Rorate Caeli

Archbishop Koch on the just-concluded Schulerkreis

From Zenit:

Ratzinger Students Discuss Fidelity, Openness

Prelate Stresses Importance of Spiritual Life in Ecumenism

VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 2, 2010 ( The annual meeting of the "Ratzinger Schulerkreis," a group of the Pope's former students, focused on the Second Vatican Council priorities of fidelity and openness.

Archbishop Kurt Koch, the new president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the principal speaker for the meeting, reported this to L'Osservatore Romano. The Pope's former students gathered Aug. 27 in Castel Gandolfo for their annual study circle, which concluded Monday.

Benedict XVI also participated in some of the discussions.

Archbishop Koch noted that the gathering had a clear conclusion: "Fidelity to tradition and openness to the future."

He explained, "Fidelity to tradition, openness to the future is the most correct interpretation of the Second Vatican Council, which continues to be the magna carta of the Church also in the third millennium."

The speaker noted, "In the first session I proposed a reflection on how to read and interpret the Second Vatican Council, indicating the priority of an hermeneutics of reform."

He added that this is an "issue which I took up again and developed in the second presentation, reflecting further, in particular, on the constitution 'Sacrosanctum Concilium' on the liturgy, precisely to show concretely how an hermeneutics of reform can be implemented."

The two presentations were "followed by a debate of more than one hour, very interesting and rich in significant contributions," the prelate reported.

According to Archbishop Koch, "one was able to understand how fundamental is the spiritual dimension of Christian life in all aspects. And this is true, from my point of view, also in the ecumenical dialogue, which is the most direct field of work before me."

The archbishop commented briefly on a private audience he had with Benedict XVI on Monday.

"We spoke of my new ecumenical challenge," he said, "because the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity is not an independent reality but it has a mandate from the Pope to see how dialogue can develop in the future."

A longer article can be found here. (H/t to Messa in Latino)

[Update (NC), excerpts, as reported by L'Osservatore Romano, according to the Italian blogs linked above]:
Last weekend, the annual meeting of the Pope with his former students took place [in Castel Gandolfo] and the relevant topic of discussion was the proper hermeneutics of Vatican II. .


"Loyalty to tradition, openness to the future: it is the more correct interpretation of Vatican II, which remains the Magna Charta of the Church in the Third Millennium." ... This is the sum of the so-called Ratzinger Schülerkreis according to archbishop Kurt Koch, keynote speaker of the meeting of the Pope with his former students, which was held between August 27 to 30 in Castel Gandolfo. ...

"First - he says - I proposed a debate on how to read and interpret the Second Vatican Council, indicating the priority of a hermeneutics of reform." A "question that I took up and developed in the second report, with an emphasis, in particular, on the Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium on the liturgy, just to show how to implement concretely a hermeneutics of reform." The two reports, he explains, "were followed by a debate of over an hour, which was very interesting and filled with significant contributions." ...

Going into detail of his two reports, Bishop Koch explained that the first report, centered on "Vatican II between tradition and innovation", was divided into seven sections: "a history of receiving and not receiving; hermeneutic of reform in fundamental continuity; breaking the Tradition in the council?; return to the sources and updating the criteria of a hermeneutic of reform (full interpretation of texts, dogmatic and pastoral units, no split between the spirit and the letter); Catholic breadth and fullness, the legacy of the Council amidst current challenges; reform of the Church as a spiritual task. " For the second report, on the "post-conciliar reform of the liturgy between continuity and discontinuity," Archbishop Koch followed a line of eight subjects. "I started - he explains - by finding that the liturgy is the crux of hermeneutic reconciliation, then treating the phenomenology and theology of the liturgy, the liturgy in its organic development (the principle of active participation of all the faithful in the liturgy and the principle of easier readability and simplicity of the rites), lights and shadows in the Post-Conciliar liturgy, protection of the great heritage of the liturgy, the necessary reform of the reform, based on the primacy of Christology, the unity of the New Testament rite and liturgy, Christian liturgy and the religions of mankind; and the cosmic dimension of the liturgy. Finally, the revitalization of the Paschal Mystery was the last issue presented prior to the conclusions. "


  1. Anonymous3:03 PM

    These guys continue to reinvent Vatican 2 and ignore the disaster it caused the church. I just pray they don't get it into their heads to combine the "best" of the Novus Ordo with the Traditional Latin Mass.

  2. Mairedecortichon4:02 PM

    Silly as usual......nothing concrete in the language, but vagueness as garbage, I see that the wintertime of Vatican II is not over yet... and it has begun this September again, a new winter yet... without real gain... the Truth imprisoned...or poisoned... by liberals, modernists and heretics...

  3. The fact that Vat II is ambiguous enough to be ambiguous with respect to its proper hermeneutic of interpretation attests to me its utter worthlessness. It's enough to want its abandonment, abolition, anathematization, excoriation, and consignment to hell. This continuity with tradition/need for reform ruse only enables further mischief; there is no evidence whatsoever that "the needs of modern man" require any sort of "reform" of the Church whatsoever unless it's the "need" for modern man to place himself over God. I can't believe our hierarchy can't acknowledge this unless it's in the interest of saving face and politics. I've grown impatient with the tedious nonsense of trying to find the value in it. For the glory of God and the good of mankind, pray that an end be put to it all.

  4. Adeodatus5:01 PM

    "Magna Carta of the Church"?! Isn't the Magna Carta where rebellious subjects wrest power from the King?

    Isn't Jesus Christ our King? Who are these men to assert themselves before Him?

  5. John McFarland5:50 PM


    That's what the Magna Carta is, all right: the Magn Carta of Runnymede -- and the Magna Carta of the Vatican.

    Now about the denial that there's a state of emergency...

  6. Anonymous6:45 PM

    Pride is THE sin with the modern Church. Ignorance only fuels this pride.The modern Pastors, priests and laity would need to be humbled.So many are riding on a high horse.

  7. A grave concern is the elitism and neo-gnosticism that seems to be very paradoxical vis-a-vis the approach to modernism. In the name of upholding doctrine (some, not all) adhere to such a set of rules that they seem to nearly betray a gnostic mindset whereby they are the "saved", have special insight etc., and the others are (if not damned) in grave error, sinners, heretics etc.

    What we need over and above a return to the traditional liturgy - is a profound catechetical renewal. People need to know the fundamentals of the faith, especially that we are all fallen, broken creatures, sinners who need redemption....

    We are not going back to the Mass of 1962, or some earlier version (in a universal sense). The Pope is leading by example to correct the excesses/innovations of the 1969 Missal and lead a way back to 1965 (as culture has changed) with copious amounts of vernacular. I think the future will have the 1962 Missal as an option with new prefaces and saints days -- as it should, after all, the liturgy is not dead.

    The "new" mass will be brought into conformity to 1965. Grave, evil abuses will have to cease. Holy Communion in the hand is, to me, the gravest liturgical attack on the Church. It is an attack on the Real Presence... it is an implicit attack on the priesthood. I'd rather have only new masses with no communion on the hand, then what we have today....

  8. Anonymous7:12 PM

    Under all this prolix sociological bull, what we have here is the reconciliation of truth and error: how to make truth and error contribute to and enrich each other. All of this is being delivered to the world on the Feast of St. Pius X, as a slap in the face to the greatest Pope of recent ages. The symbolism of delivering this nonsense on 3rd September is much like the symbolism of the Star Trek amphitheatre being set up for the canonisation of Cardinal Newman in England.

    The Pope's experts cannot deal with the S.S.P.X experts in the talks. For all the blather about the Vatican experts being oh-so-brilliant-and-profound (having awarded one another endless degrees) and the Society representatives being oh-so-dense-and-out-of-touch, the fact is that the former has no way to address the direct objections of the S.S.P.X. All the Vatican liberals can do is to 'talk around' their opponents. And, make no mistake, 'opponents' is the right term here.

    The Pope and his team of liberals are intoxicated by the complexity of their own verbosity. They are not convinced by the logical structure of their own argument; they are convinced by the lustre of its sound. It makes one feel sooo sophisticated to utter this nonsense. Where does this feeling come from? Look thou down.

    So the Pope can only signal his determination here: he will not abandon Vatican II and its errors. He will, in fact, go to great lenghts--despite this rhetoric--to accommodate the S.S.P.X. In fact, he is prepared to 'tolerate' its perspective even to the point of allowing its supporters to condemn other perspectives. But there is a limit and this is being signalled by this gobbledygook today. This theologically-liberal Pope WILL NOT condemn the points-of-view / of liberals in the Church. Yes, he might condemn a certain limited number of erroneneous interpretations of conciliar and post-conciliar interpretations. But there will be limits.

    How will the S.S.P.X react? It will not accept such a compromise. There will be no regularisation in the forseeable future. The problem is not just the bishops; it is the Pope himself.

    To be continued . . .

  9. Anonymous7:13 PM

    Continuation, P.K.T.P.

    Will the Pope recognise Society faculties anyway? I don't think so. No. If the Pope does that, he is essentially saying that the Society can have its cake and eat it too. It would make the Pope look *too* tolerant and the more liberal prelates would object strenuously--and rightly so, from their perspective. If the Pope wanted to recognise Society faculties, today would have been a wonderful opportunity to do so. Instead, he has slapped us in the face.

    Will the Pope publicly recognise Society Masses as fulfilling the obligation? Yes, this he will do (but probably not until the talks end next year) because he and his predecessor have been preparing for this by unofficial admissions for eight years now. This really is what counts, and not the faculties. But, after the talks, the Pope will issue a statement that harshly criticises the S.S.P.X and gives the bishops some ammunition against it, while, at the same time, delivering the only good thing he really can deliver unless he realises fully the errors perpetrated in and through the Council. I see no evidence of this happening.

    One can have the appearance of some sort of compromise, even if imposed by fiat. But a real compromise is not possible theologically. The Society takes the plausible (but not necessarily correct) position that the serious errors of the liberals *must* be condemned specifically in order to protect the spiritual life of the fatihful. Hence their argument for sacramental suppy of jurisdiction remains valid under the loose canons (ironically) of the 1983 Code.

    The mark of Satanic philosophy is in-volvement in the old sense of that term: the self takes delight in the seemingly-endless complexity of itself, not realising that it is not endless and that what is there was infused by Another. Think of Milton's Satan. Divine philosophy looks humbly to the Other for inspiration. Christ is the Light of divine illumination coming from without the self. Divine philosophy will insist on reference to external knowledge (revelation) and to precision. Satanic philosophy abhors precision (too 'limiting') and rejoices in change, "reform" (note the prevalence of this term in Koch's address), an exploration of the endless 'possibilities'. Bishop Koch would reconcile these two perspectives. He would have Truth and error meet and kiss; He would have Christ make friends with the devil. But who is it that insists on such a reconciliation? It can only be the devil. Then the price of peace with the devil is ultimately to be subject to the 'hermeneutics' of Hell.


  10. Martin7:17 PM

    @ Adeodatus: excellent remark, perfectly to the point.

    More nonsense from conciliar apparatchiks, nothing new under the Sun. The Restoration of All Things in Christ will happen despite those drones, not thanks to them.

  11. Anonymous7:26 PM

    Adeodatus makes an excellent point. The very notion of a magna charta is historically inapplicable and wildly inappropriate here. No doubt, Bishop Koch would say that he only meant 'great charter' in a loose sense. But methinks that the resonance of the term appealed to him for other reasons, whether or not he reflected on that before using it.

    This report of Bishop Koch is troubling but it is not surprising. The liberals in the Church are getting worried because Benedict XVI has been replacing all their heroes in the curia. Is this Pope getting ready to throw out their 'hermeneutical' trash?

    Whether the Pope is preparting to dump liberalism or not (and 'not' is the correct answer there), he needs to *signal* that he will not abandon Rahnerism and the other nonsense. He needs to soothe the liberal babies. Cooo! He feels that he needs to reassure them that mummy will protect their damnable ideas.

    This Pope is highly intelligent. He knows that something went terribly wrong at Vatican II and he is not obtuse enough to be believe that the Council is unrelated to the decline that followed. But he does not (and almost cannot) realise that the whole Council needs to be discarded, despite the fact that it may be reconcilable to the Faith if you re-interpret it to death. Docments are useful as much for their directness as for their orthodoxy. Those which mislead are useless, even if they be true when properly understood. If the Vatican II revolution is to be the Magna Charta of the Third Millennium, then we can prepare ourselves for new catacombs.

    Liberals--like the Protestants they really are--love to return to the Primitive Church. So they will not mind taking their erroneous ideas underground, from whence the True Faith emerged in the fourth century.


  12. Anonymous7:33 PM

    G is exactly right here and makes a superb point. What was it, precisely, that required a revolution in the Church in the 1960s? What fundamental new understanding required this aggorniamento? When a good man hears the Beatles on the radio, he just turns off the radio. He does not set about to 'reform' the Church. Reformers are the adherents of a Reformation.

    What I can see in the Twentieth Century is a vast change in the *degree* of the effect of technology and, yes, this has had social and ethical effects (e.g. those discovered during the slaughter of World War I). What I cannot see, however, is a fundamental change. People are materially richer today (in the West, at least) but are faced with the same essential challenges that define mankind, like how to face death. That is what religion is all about.


  13. Anonymous8:28 PM


    This signal from the new man in the useless council (for promoting unity with Christ's enemies) is very telling. It does not reveal anything new but it does confirm the sorts of things that Mr. McFarland has been alleging all along. I like it because it is emphatic in its ambiguity.

    I think that the Pope wants to restore much of the liturgical glory of the past but he wants to reconcile the irreconcilable as well: he wants the essential beliefs of the Modernists and liberals to 'enrich' and be enriched by the ancient patrimony. He thinks that many errors have been made on the liberal side but that that side also has a valid and pressing contribution to make in understanding the faith. He is the grand master of reconciliation.

    I suggest that the following papal plan is acoming:

    1. Since the S.S.P.X is instransigent, the Pope cannot simply approve and regularise it. He would lose all credibility in doing so. It would be a humiliation for the Pope as well as for the liberals who largely control the hierarchy. Therefore, there will be no regularisation in the foreseeable future and no granting or recognition of Society faculties. The Society will have to rely on a claim of supplied jurisdiction for the rest of this pontificate (and probably the one to follow).

    But H.H. will grant something. I repeat: he will publicly recognise what has already been acknowledged since 2002 in documents which have little legal standing: that Society Masses do fulfil the Sunday and holyday obligation of the faithful to assist at Mass. As I have explained before, this is really the whole ball of wax, pace Mr. Haley. Very few of us are simply 'unable' to find a good priest for confession. We never lived in a perfect world, and there have always been some (e.g. in parts of the N.W.T.) who cannot get to Mass or confession on a regular basis.

    In order that it not SEEM that the Pope is giving away the farm, he will need to seem to deny the Society something (viz. faculties) and make that something seem to be important, and he will have to go further. He will need to deliver a strong criticism of the S.S.P.X which implies that good Catholics will avoid it. This 'ammunition' will then be used by the liberal bishops to assault the S.S.P.X and keep faithful away from its chapels.

    However, this will not be enough because rotters like me will shout the truth from every rooftop and will openly correct priests who try to tell the faithful that they 'may not' go to a Society Mass. To deal with people like me (and I'm not blowing my own horn: there are lots of us), the Pope must do something more.

    When the statement on the S.S.P.X finally does come, look cunningly for that tell-all word 'should' in the English translation. The Vaticn II appartchiks love that word because it bears an ambiguous meaning: does it convey a command or only a strong recommendation? Then one shall find that the latter is conveyed by the Latin text.


    Continued in Part II

  14. John McFarland8:39 PM

    Anonymous 18:45 and Pascendi,

    Pride? Gnostic elitism? In America at least, almost all of the guys who thought they were hot stuff (Cardinals McCarrick and Keeler come to mind) are retired. The incumbents are hanging on, dancing with who brung 'em, because they don't have any other ideas, and generally lying low to avoid the process servers. Most of them remind me of Ben Bernanke, the head of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board: things are falling down around their ears, and they have no clue as to what to do about it. Their Germans and French equivalents are more feisty, but I can't believe that in their heart of hearts, they're not like the Emperor after the little child pointed out that he had no clothes: all that remains is to bluff it out until retirement.

  15. John McFarland8:55 PM


    As usual, as regards the catechetical renewal you rightly call for, the SSPX leads the way. See in the latest Angelus the remarks of Father Rostand, the U.S. District Superior, and particularly the fact that the SSPX is translating the "real" Catechism of St. Pius X: it's in French already, and they're working on the English.

    As for the future of the Mass, your crystal ball is just as cloudy as mine. But I would note that there are going to be no changes of any consequence as long as the Church leadership is in the hands of the devotees of Vatican II, or better their dispirited spiritual sons. If Rome is liberated before Judgment Day, it's a nice question whether the 7,000 who then will not have bent the knee to Ba'al will have much more sympathy for 1965 than for balloon Masses and clown Masses.

    The New Mass is intended to wean the faithful away from a true understanding of the Mass. Is has succeeded, as witnessed by the fact that something like a third of Catholics believe in the Real Presence. That's the real issue. Communion in the hand is just a relatively unimportant add-on to that program.

  16. Anonymous8:56 PM


    This Pope and his predecessor have tried to bring the T.L.M. in through the back door, so that it can be one tiny piece in the Brave New Church of the future. The problem is that the diocesan bishops made their careers by suppressing the ancient and venerable Mass of the Roman Rite. They lose face to some extent by restoring it. So some of them have fanatically opposed its toleration anywhere in their sees (I'm loving the ground you walk on, Ramirez of Las Cruces), while others have barely tolerated it.

    The Pope tried to circumvent the diocesans by transferring jurisdiction for TrueMass to parish priests (and retired priests: something still realised by few). It didn't work very well. But it was only meant to deliver a boost to tradition, so the Pope knew what he was doing.

    As long as the diocesans control the sacred places and can persecute their own priests, there is little opportunity for more traditionalist priests to meet the spiritual needs of themselves and many laics.

    They have floated the idea of a universal and personal diocese (or apostolic administration) for tradition but the problem, as that [term omitted in a revised act of charity], Perl, pointed out long ago, is that this is obstructed by concordats signed by the Holy See and various countries. These countries include some with strong traditionalist groups, such as France, Poland, Austria and Argentina. A problem.

    Second Half of Part II to follow . . . P.K.T.P.

  17. Anonymous8:56 PM

    Second Section of Part II:

    The best way might be regional and personal ordinariates like those being granted to the incoming Anglicans. I suggest that they might differ from the Anglican structures in two essential ways. First of all, they will have no 'governing councils' (a special concession made to Anglican traditions of governance but foreign to us). Secondly, the Anglican structures would be unpractical for our demographical presence: each is limited to one episcopal conference as a norm. Even El Salvador has its own episcopal conference! We need a more flexible provision. I suggest the Campos structure--a personal diocese or apostolic administration--one that covers a large area but not the entire earth (thanks to the concordats). There needs to be just one for Spanish-speaking America, one for Brazil, one for largely Anglophone Northern America, one for France, one for Germany & Scandinavia, one for Benelux (perhaps), one for Italy, one for Spain, one for Poland, one for the British Isles, yes, a separate one for Austria (or else no structure there at all: concordat), one for the Philippines and one for Australia & N.Z. The rest of the world would gradually gain them over time. Countries like Switzerland are already doing just fine (relatively) under the bishops; countries like Portugal so far have almost no provision for tradition to begin with.

    These structures would be assisted by a clarification of S.P. Article One insists that the T.L.M. MUST [the Pope's word] be respected for its ancient and venerable usage. Now the clarification needs to specify a norm arising from this in each and every diocese: that there be AT LEAST one every-Sunday T.L.M. per diocese even if nobody asks for it. The norm, of course, means, 'to the extent possible given available resources'.

    A clarification will explain that the new ordinaraites have a right of access to churches in order to satisfy this norm. Please note that this is a MINIMUM: it does not override the norm of Article 5 that the T.L.M. be provided for groups requesting it. It supplements that norm; it does not replace it!

    The F.S.S.P. and I.C.R. and others will work under the new ordinariates where necessary and where they exist, and under the local bishops where ordinariates do not exist or in other places where they get along well with them. Let flexibility be the watchword here.

    Gradually, the new structures will incardinate their own priests and build their own churches. But we shall see little of this in the next decade or so. It is a longer-term consequence of the preservation of our Mass and culture. It takes MONEY to achieve all that.

    To be continued . . .


  18. John McFarland8:59 PM

    Mr. Perkins,

    I'm probably treading on dangerous ground saying this to a mad-dog Anglomane like you, but here goes:

    Cardinal Newman was primarily an early devotee of the Problem, not of the Solution.

    He's certainly not Star Trek; but neither is he anything like Cardinal Manning or Father Faber.

  19. Adamz9:11 PM

    Is this Pope getting ready to throw out their 'hermeneutical' trash?

    That is most unlikely. Please refer to the International Theological Commission document, ‘Memory and Reconciliation: The Church and the Faults of the Past’, published with the approval of Cardinal Ratzinger in 1999.

    Section 4, ‘Historical Judgement and Theological Judgement’ (which is effectively paraphrased from Hans-Georg Gadamer’s ‘Wahrheit und Methode’, Tübingen, 1965), provides the theoretical basis for, to quote Pope Benedict, ‘the “hermeneutic of reform”, of renewal in the continuity of the one subject-Church which the Lord has given to us.’

    And it is not just Catholics who are resorting to Gadamer. New Confucians, such as Tu Weiming at Harvard University, also use this Gademerian “continuous hermeneutic” to salvage classical Chinese tradition from the ruins of modernity.

  20. Anonymous9:11 PM

    Part III:

    Now comes the nasty bit. This Pope, whether we like it or not, plans to enrich the New Mass with our Mass but also to impoverish our Mass with bits from that Protestant sing-along. He has made this clear even to the politically-deaf Fr. Zuhlsdorf: there is to be MUTUAL enrichment. But those who don't want to believe this choose not to. We now live in a fantasy world: reality is what we want it to be. That, my friends, is teh liberal legacy. The Pope said that there is to be a mutual enrichment and he meant it. He is an honest man, I think.

    He has already begun the process of 'correcting' perfection by changing the Good Friday Prayer. This was a baby step and it reminds me of the addition of St. Joseph to the Canon. The new form is not bad in itself (although it is vastly inferior and in that way is unlike the addition of St. Joseph). What makes it bad is the reason for the change and the precedent this sets. I will not go there today yet again because that would be a digression. Baby-stepping people into reform means starting with optional and minimal change. The purpose is to accustom people to the idea that unnecessary change is acceptable. It prepares the way for more and more.

    The Pope does not really want to smash the integrity of the T.L.M. But he wants to 'touch' the venerable and ancient usage in order to show that it is no more untouchable than is NewMass. The idea is to suggest that the ancient Mass is very valuable but not MORE valuable. If any liberal screams that the Pope has removed that horrid new Offertory from NewMass, H.H. will reply that change is the norm for revolutionaries and he has changed the Ancient Mass as well. Tit for tat.

    Of course, God may have other plans.

    That's all for now but get ready for some unfortunate reforms, such as additions of prefaces from NewMass, an 'enrichment' of the calendar, and so forth. The S.S.P.X will refuse all of this and, if the hardliners have their way there, they will dump 1962 and go back to the editio typica of 1925 but with the calendar as it was in 1952. This liturgical 'reaction' will be the Society's way to signal its refusal (some will say 'non serviam', of course).


  21. Anonymous9:23 PM

    The poor Holy Father will have a papacy that will be a walking contradiction is he doesn't change course soon.

    Modernism and Tradition cannot mix. It is an utter contradiction. His Hegelian synthesis is not going to work, wrong, and a compromise. You can't take a thesis, anti-thesis and make a new synthesis. That is bad philosophy.

    The Church needs solid Tradition without Modernism and Liberalism.

    The Chuch needs discipline not compromise and accommodation.

  22. Anonymous9:42 PM

    P.K.T.P. is right. The signs are clear that the modifications are being prepared. All the sympathetic opinion makers have been contacted, and many won over. This must have happened over the last few years. The ones deemed non-sympathetic were lulled to sleep. We have been lazy and off guard.

    The opinion makers are openly preparing the way, which means that time is now short. The final drafts of the first documents may well be ready for signature.

    St. Pius X, pray for us!

  23. Anonymous9:52 PM

    "The poor Holy Father will have a papacy that will be a walking contradiction is he doesn't change course soon."

    Only a miracle will accomplish that at this point in the life of Benedict XVI. He has said that he has not changed since the infamous Council. I, for one, believe him.


  24. Anonymous10:40 PM

    What is this garbage of the opennes to the "future"? Didn´t our Lord said "Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Mt 6:34)

    What do this people mean with this nonsensical words?

    They shoudl say "fidelity to Tradition". Full Stop. Care for the souls, NOW, for who knows if there would any future?

  25. Anonymous11:05 PM

    Anonymous wrote:

    "Now comes the nasty bit. The pope, whether we like it or not, plans to enrich the new mass with our mass but also to impoversih our mass with bits from the Protestant sing-a-long'

    Anon, what is it that makes you believe that there is such a thing as "our mass?" It is the Church which has promulgated the mass, whether or not it is the TLM or the new mass. We do not own it, as one would own a car or house. It's very materialsitic to think that any mass can be owned by anyone or any group.

  26. "then treating the phenomenology and theology of the liturgy, the liturgy in its organic development (the principle of active participation of all the faithful in the liturgy and the principle of easier readability and simplicity of the rites),"

    These words should sound the alarm. They refuse to leave our Mass alone, and they will not stop until they mangle our venerable Western Roman rite.

    I am sick of hearing of the alleged need for "active participation"!

  27. Anonymous12:05 AM

    I wonder what Pope St. Pius X would say about this hermeneutical heuristical nonsense.


  28. Anonymous12:10 AM

    Anon. with no initials wrote this:

    Anon, what is it that makes you believe that there is such a thing as "our mass?" It is the Church which has promulgated the mass, whether or not it is the TLM or the new mass. We do not own it, as one would own a car or house. It's very materialsitic to think that any mass can be owned by anyone or any group.

    I did not mean that we own it materially. It is our Mass in the sense that it is we who are attached to it. This is a perfectly normal sense of the pronoun.


  29. Anonymous12:14 AM

    Dear Mr. McFarland:

    Actually, I agree with you about Newman. I've never been a fan of his at all, but that was not, of course, my point. To use that Star Trek set for the canonisation of any saint is a slap in the face to Jesus Christ.

    To others here:

    I apologise for repetitons of my Part III. This infernal machine tells me that my text is not being posted but then it is. I'm not sure why.


  30. Anonymous12:33 AM


    Following is a suggestion of the *kind* of change I think Benedict XVI has in mind. It is not my plan (obviously) and, in fact, I'm against it. Nor is it really a prediction but only an indication of what direction I think these people want to take.

    First of all, if the two Masses are held to be two forms of one Rite (which they certainly are not), they need something new to bind them together. I suggest that this Pope will devise a common calendar for them and a common set of propers. It is said that one of the things Benedict XVI likes most about NewMass is its Lectionary--something about the riches of all those Biblical texts brought to the 'Table of the Lord' or something--some Protestant expression like that. One possibility is a revised set of propers based on the N.O. Lectionary and its three-year cycle. A complete set of Offertory versicles would be included. At the New Mass, they would be mandatory only at recited Masses and could be replaced by ditties at sung Masses. A set of Postcommunions could also be included for optional use at NewMass and mandatory use at TrueMass. But the readings would be the current set of the N.O. on the three-year cycle, with a few modifications and new propers for new saints. The two Masses would share this common calendar.

    The Pope will also likely 'enrich' the T.L.M. by adding in the N.O. prefaces. He apparently loves those too.

    Another possibility is a merging of the two forms of the Confiteor, one that will restore mention of the angels and saints (but collectively, not by name) and our Lady to both halves and yet also include those sins of omission from the NewMass version. This Confiteor is only to be used in Penitential Rite #1 of NewMass, so liberals who hate the new compromise will just avoid that option. In NewMass, it will not be followed by any Indulgentiam or the prayers that follow in the T.L.M.; and it will not be said in an alternating formate between priest and server.

    They might also try to reverse the order of dismissal and last blessing in the T.L.M., to reflect the 'improvement' in NewMass.

    But I expect a restoration to NewMass of the treble alternating Kyrie. After all, liberals who hate it can just avoid it because it is only part of Penitential Rite #1.

    The new common propers will include Graduals, Alleluias, Tracts and Sequences in accordance with T.L.M. practice. Again, though, ditties will be allowed as substitutes, at least in NewMasses that are sung. Bring on the banjos and the harmonicas!

    A major change to NewMass will likely be restoration of the traditional Offertory but probably only as an option. The Pope will not touch Offertory or Canon in the T.L.M. He might restore the traditional Words of Institution at least for Eucharistic Prayer #1 in NewMass.

    That's about it: we shall be on the journey towards merging these two 'forms' of Mass into one glorious Missal with options. Koom-buy-ah-milord, Deo gratias!


  31. "Openness to the future" clearly demonstrates the agenda - tradition in the light of postmodernity. You have to know modernism for what it is. These fellows are so imbued with protestantised philosophies that tradition no longer means just that. The "reform of the reform" & the attempt to brain wash us with the notion that the post-conciliar church is not in rupture with the pre-conciliar model are both an implicit admission that not only is the NO liturgy in crisis but so is the church itself.

    The new catholic church represents a rupture with the Roman Catholic Church, a term they no longer like to use because they disapprove of this name for their new paradigm. The liturgy is a novel vernacular fabrication using anathematised elements and it is all too easily abused. The pastoral model is a total failure and has yielded the rotten fruits of moral, financial and liturgical chaos. The objective evidence is there for all of us to witness. The modern catholic is illiterate where the faith is concerned and falls prey all too easily to "itching ears".

    The modern presbyterate is also in crisis - numbers dramatically in decline; imbued likewise with liberal modernist philosophies & many themselves teach the same false ideas about the faith as their episcopal masters. The modern presbyterate has all but lost its authentic & necessary Catholic sacerdotal character.

    The modernists achieved what they wanted at the Vatican Councils II together with its sequel and it is there as a written record for us to learn from. They have wrecked the old church and initiated a new one which no longer bears any liturgical, pastoral or moral resemblance to the one traditionalists desire and represent.

    Where does Pope Benedict XVI stand amidst all of this? That is a question which deserves an honest answer for the effective & enduring restoration of all things in Christ advocated by Pope St Pius X.

  32. Anonymous3:09 AM

    "He explained, "Fidelity to tradition, openness to the future is the most correct interpretation of the Second Vatican Council, which continues to be the magna carta of the Church also in the third millennium."

    No one seems to have noticed the last words in this sentence. It is a clear shot across the bow of anyone who would dare suggest that the Church should revisit Vatican II. No -- Abp Koch is saying -- Vatican II will remain the reference point for the Church in the ages to come!

    Trouble ahead...

  33. Anonymous4:40 AM

    This has become an echo chamber of the worst sorts, errors are piling up on top of each other... The following may seem rude, but I think it has to be said:

    First: Somehow ++Koch's summary of what he said has transformed into an account of the Pope's plans. We have no way of knowing if the Pope agree with ++Koch on any of this: he there was an hour long debate, but not whether anyone agreed with his thesis

    Second: Koch's paper is about interpreting VII, that is always going to be a hermeneutic task. The word 'hermeneutic' comes from the Greek for 'interpretation'; it is stupid to latch onto that word as indicative of post-modernism. Aristotle wrote a book called Peri Hermenias. Aquinas wrote a commentary on it: are they post-modernists? Moreover, if post-modernism is opposed to modernity (and indeed much post modern philosophy is constituted as a critique of modern philosophy) are we so sure that traditionalists are not post-modernists of one kind or another?

    Third: "phenomenology of liturgy" simply means to deal with the liturgy as it is experienced or appears: the subjective elements. This is distinguished from the theology of liturgy, which deals with what it objectively is. There is no reason to panic. A low mass is objectively the same as a pontifical high mass, but appears differently. The theology of the two is the same, the phenomenology different.

    Fourth: There is no more theological 'gobbledygook' here than one will find in high scholasticism, although admittedly of a different sort. Aquinas is ripe with technical terms, i.e. gobbledygook. So is physics, chemistry and any higher study. Words like 'quark' only sound silly to people who don't know about physics... Vagueness might indicate a lack of understanding on the part of the hearer, not the speaker

    Fifth: Koch's paper is primarily about the PAST, not the future. The topic area's he mentions (i.e. reform of the liturgy) are not PLANS, but ANALYSIS of what has happened. To be sure, this will influence the future, but it is not about the future per se.

    Sixth: there is no evidence that I am aware of to suggest that SSPX's theologians are taking the Vatican's theologians to the woodshed, or vice versa. The only comments I am aware of are +Williamsons, which were criticized by +Fellay. The simple truth is, nobody here REALLY knows how the discussions are going.

  34. Anonymous5:33 AM

    Yah! Let's get all the maybe 20,000 crypto-sade-vacantist sectarians together and form the "TRUE CHURCH"!

    The pseudo-pope Benedict is either a heretic or fellow traveler of heretics. WE IN OUR LITTLE PURE GROUP know exactly what Catholicism means! Let's have some sectarian Lefevrite bishops excommunicate all the people whose tastes we don't like!

    Yes, after reading the posts above, I think I understand. Thank good that me and Pope Michael I, at least, are TRUE CATHOLICS. PIUS X IS ON OUR SIDE!

    God bless all you TRUE CATHOLICS! And God damn the rest! I got it right, didn't I?

    If you find this offensive, reread the comments on this post.
    Reread them carefully, and honestly.

  35. Anonymous7:52 AM

    To answer one of the various Anon.s

    First, Koch is the Pope's man. He was appointed recently by Benedict XVI to replace another archliberal, Kasper. He was not appointed by Osama bin Laden. Now we see the true colours of the replacement. But this is certainly not a surprise.

    Next, we have this:

    "Fifth: Koch's paper is primarily about the PAST, not the future. The topic area's he mentions (i.e. reform of the liturgy) are not PLANS, but ANALYSIS of what has happened. To be sure, this will influence the future, but it is not about the future per se."

    That's odd, I heard Koch refer to Vatican II as a 'Magna Charta' for the future. There is no doubt that he was referring to how to 'reconcile' a spirit of reform with tradition. I think we know what he means--and where he'd like to go. Of course, this does not mean that Benedict XVI will go there. But there are other reasons to suppose that this Pope wants to merge the two Missals. For example, he's actually said so.

    We really don't need a lecture on these Greek terms. We know what they mean but they are bandied about by liberals to slip-slide themselves--and the Church--into a Modernist future in which the Church is reconciled to the spirit of this world. We are Latins, not Greeks. There is nothing wrong with the term 'interpretation'. Too much Greek is replacing too much Latin these days. There is a reason for the change.


  36. Anonymous8:23 AM

    Anon. writes:

    "First: Somehow ++Koch's summary of what he said has transformed into an account of the Pope's plans."

    There is no claim here that Koch's account proves the Pope's plans. What is claimed is that his account is a further indication of a curial direction that was established long ago. Even Cardinal Mayer, the most traditional president of the P.C.E.D., allowed the new Lectionary to be used in the T.L.M., and that was in 1991, at a time when his other changes were all positive. Cardinal Ratzinger has long very much favoured the New Lectionary and the new Prefaces. However, their attempted introduction in the Diocese of Oakland and the Archdiocese of Warsaw was met with strong disapproval by those in the pews, so much so that the experiment was discontinued. The same is now happening in Verdun, France.

    What Koch's little summary shows is that a direction set long ago is continuing along its course. Why do I get the impression that this Anon. is new to this blog, and perhaps even to the traditionalist movement? He does not seem to be writing from a perspective grounded in familiarity with what has transpired in the Roman Rite over the last twenty to thirty years or so (well, at least since 1984). We who know that perspective see what these little smoke signals mean.

    Note that I was very careful not to suggest what the Pope's plan will be. I wrote that the changes I suggested were only examples of what sort of reform might be coming. H.H. has declared in "Summorum Pontificum" that the T.L.M. and NewMass are merely two different forms of one Rite. He has also said elswhere that the two forms will be 'mutually enriching' in the future. The Pope is an honest man and I think that he means what he says. One way to attempt such enrichment, while, at the same time, conjoining the two 'forms' would be to impose a common calendar. There are others.

    Bishop Fellay has reported that there is currently a proposal in the C.D.W. to reform the New Mass. Somehow, I think that this will be accompanied by a reform of the Traditional one as well. I hope to God I'm wrong.


  37. Prof. Basto10:52 AM

    The reference to Vatican II as a Magna Carta seems to directly contradict the Pope's statement, contained in his 2005 Christmas address to the Roman Curia, in which he rejected the view of the Council as possessing constitutive power to replace the Church's constitution with a new one:

    "(...) The nature of a Council as such is therefore basically misunderstood. In this way, it is considered as a sort of constituent that eliminates an old constitution and creates a new one. However, the Constituent Assembly needs a mandator and then confirmation by the mandator, in other words, the people the constitution must serve. The Fathers had no such mandate and no one had ever given them one; nor could anyone have given them one because the essential constitution of the Church comes from the Lord (...)"

  38. Thank you, anon 4:40.

    You got it right.

    The ill-will and arrogance in some of these posts are not edifying.

    "Mutual enrichment"---perhaps a bit of diplomacy, for everything ratzinger wrote on the liturgy leads one to think the enrichment will be mainly a one-way street.

    That's not dishonesty, but tact.

  39. I've withheld the urge to post on this topic because IMO the one and only real motivation for the Pope to do anything is his upcoming "conversation" with the Lord. The Lord has already had such a "conversation" with Archbishop Lefebvre, and other prelates who have tried, during their earthly existence, to promote and stand up for Tradition in spite of the enormous attacks against it by the, ahem, modernists in the hierarchy.

    The pope knows he will soon be judged and, unless he is an charlatan (which he most certainly is not), knows that there is much on the minus side of the scale that weighs heavily against him. For this reason I expect him to administer Justice to the FSSPX and not only to them but to every Catholic who has tried, despite enormous pressure to retain the Faith whole and entire that was passed on by the apostles. As Bishop Fellay has described it, the "Rolls-Royce" solution will be imposed in the Latin Rite and the bishops will just have to deal with it.

    Archbishop Koch is just a front man IMO to grease the skids in advance of the upcoming act of the Pope himself, something that Kasper could hardly be expected to accomplish. Well, that's my take on things for what it's worth - the Holy Father is preparing to meet the Lord "up close and personal" as they say.

  40. Anonymous6:19 PM

    Thank you for that contribution, Professor Basto. Of cuorse it is true that the words of Archbishop Koch might not reflect the view of the one who appointed him. I guess that I'm just a little disappointed, given that we endured Cardinal Kasper for so long and were hoping that Benedict XVI would replace him with someone who had a very different orientation, as so Archbishop Burke and Cardinal Cañizaris Llovera. This is one of the later curial replacements of this Pope, Kasper (and Grocholewski and Rodé) having been named by John Paul II.

    I think that many of us here are very sick of hearing that Vatican II is some Magna Charta for the next 1,000 years. Obviously, that will not come as welcome news here. It feels very much as if it has been with us for the last thousand.


  41. Anonymous10:24 PM

    Does anyone know if there will remain an "untouched" Rite should mutual enrichment mean the worst? For example, can a TAC priest offer the Sarum Use, or will the Carmelites or Dominicans be able to offer their Rite unchanged by the mutual enrichment of the Roman Rite(s)? How would the FSSP and ICRSS be affected by mutual enrichment?

    I am interested in possible alternatives to the SSPX and the catacomb scenario.

  42. Anonymous1:08 AM

    Dear Professor Basto:

    Thank you so much for digging this up. I really do appreciate it. While the Pope has indicated (mainly when he was Cardinal Ratzinger) that he would favour a merging fo the two Missals, and while others in the curia have supported this (e.g. Msgr. Perl), there was a contrary indication last year. I am having trouble recalling this one but I believe that it was after the conflict in England over the calendar of the T.L.M. and the transfer of holydays. The P.C.E.D. replied at one point that each Rite of Mass has its integrity and this includes its calender.

    Let's just pray that, after the coming review of S.P., scheduled for this autumn, Benedict XVI sees fit to foster the Traditional Latin Mass even more in that integrity. As I noted before, attempts to intrude the new Lectionary have been few and have so far met with strong opposition. To my knowledge, the only one of them still be offered is in the Diocese of Verdun, and then only once or twice per month.

    What concerns me the most is the fact that, after an initial increase in the number of Traditional Latin Masses over the initial eleven months following publication of S.P., the bishops soon learned how to delay and obstruct such Massses. Their method has been brutally simple: they simply threaten priests with transfer if they offer the ancient Roman Mass. It is time for the Church to consider personal dioceses and apostolic administrations in which the preconciliar liturgy is normative.


  43. Anonymous5:30 AM

    Anon. 22.24 asks some good questions.

    First of all, the F.S.S.P. and I.C.R. offer Mass under special laws proper to their institutes. So they are not automatically and necessarily affected by changes to the Roman Missal, although they may become so. For example, one traditionalist society (I'd rather not name it) has special permission to use the pre-1962 Holy Week offices and liturgies.

    The question of the Sarum Use is a good one. A few years ago, I heard that some dicastery had at least suggested that any right to Sarum had lapsed by desuetude. However, I've heard that that was later contradicted. A few years ago, I entered an argument on a weblist--one that was later substantiated indirectly by S.P.--that there is a difference in law between a right to celebrate a Rite of Mass and a right to use a particular Missal when offering that Mass. Hence the right of priests to offer according to what is now called 'the extraordinary form' is not the same as doing so in accordance with the rubrics and text of a particular Missal. The former right derives from immemorial custom; the latter, at least since 1570, by written law.

    In my inexpert view on this, Sarum has not lapsed from desuetude and not only incoming TAC priests but arguably others as well (e.g. in England) could have a right to use the Sarum Missal. But they would need to do so only in Latin, since there exists no approved translations.

    As for the Carmelites and Dominicans and perhaps others (Norbertines, e.g.), their Missals are separate and are not at all affected by changes to the general Roman Rite. Who has the right to offer Mass in accordance with them is usually restricted, however.

    Another option is the Braga Use, which is similar to Sarum. One priest in the F.S.S.P. has a right to offer the Braga Mass, even though he is not incardinated in the Archdiocese there. I am intrigued by this but have never investigated the reasons.

    I apologise to the list for venting my fears over these remarks of Archbishop Koch. I should know better by now. I suppose that I have just become exasperated by all of this. I've been at it for too long and need a break. The truth, more likely, is that Archbishop Koch is performing his expected duty, which is to soothe and reassure the liberals in the Church as the Pope restores order.

    My considered view is that Benedict XVI would prefer to intrude the new Lectionary into the T.L.M. However, I don't think he will do it. It would ruin any possible deal with the S.S.P.X and incense those traditionalists who do not support the Society. The P.C.E.D. knows what happened in Warsaw, Oakland, and in one see in Florida (can't remember which one now) and I don't think they'll foist that on us. They may devise a common calendar for the two Masses. After all, while there have been almost no changes to the Ordinary from 1474 to 1962, it is quite normal over the decades to add feasts for new saints, and re-organisations of the calendar might accompany that.

    Anyway, it is exciting that incoming TAC priests will be able to offer Mass at least in accordance with the 1962 Roman Missal. Under the general law of the Code, they will be able to binate and trinate to the extent allowed by their respective personal ordinaries. I expect a blanket permission for most of them (as is the norm).


  44. Mairedecortichon12:34 PM

    @anonymous(4 sept, 4h40), The Summa and other writings of St Thomas are very clear, without many technical terms(except the metaphysical parts), St Thomas said this himself at the beginning of the Summa, that he wished to write a theological summa which is very clear and precise for theology students. Precision and clarity have been the stronger points of the doctors like him. And your second point about Aristotle's book and St Thomas commentary misreads the essential definition of modernism, which makes your argument there quite futile.
    What disturbs me with the whole " hermeneutics of continuity" issue, is the way it must be implemented, they are trying to save the Council without discarding or condemning the ill-conceived doctrines that brought disasters to the Church! To the simple Catholic on the ground, all of this does not matter, what he sees are empty confessionals(if they are still there), sacraments which are altogether neglected, and Catholics who are living like pagans. The fancy words of modern theology will not convert, but clear and unequivocal preaching about the essence of the Faith, sins, doctrinal errors, heresy and the last ends will, and this has been lacking in the language of the Church.
    All the talk and “brick by brick” solution is simply too vague, too little, too late , the world does not care and is currently gearing up for the persecution of the Catholic Faith!!!

  45. Mairedecortichon12:35 PM

    We in the West thought that we could change the immortal Rites of the Mass without consequences, forgetting in the process that the mysteries of the Faith are far better transmitted by Holy Mass than any other aspect of our Holy Faith. Restoring the sacred has been very timid, the Pope is the Pope, he can order a ban of hand communion, He can declare the Missal of 1962 as a Missal which contains a far more precise Catholic theology and rituals than the N.O.M, but he will not do these things, as modern theological thought discourages any precise, subtle and direct action. The modern theological language used nowadays implies compromise with the world. It is a life of penance, contrition, sanctity that will save us. Souls are at stake here, not peanuts, and salvation is the most difficult affair of our lives as St Alphonsus of Ligouri said, I wished that the modern popes took this affair far more seriously!!!

  46. "While the Pope has indicated (mainly when he was Cardinal Ratzinger) that he would favour a merging of the two Missales"

    He still does & if he has his way this is what is going to happen. Hybridise is the word.

  47. John McFarland9:24 PM

    Mr. Perkins,

    I have cruelly misjudged you. The Star Trek-Newman crack was just an infelicitous turn of phrase.

    Have you seen Father Philippe Toulza's piece on the TACers in the September number of the Angelus? He treats it as purely a Novus Ordo thing; it clearly never even crosses his mind that it would serve any good purpose in connection with the return to tradition. He does pretty much give them the benefit of the doubt, unlike his confrere, Father Peter Scott. But I myself think that that's because Father Scott, being an Aussie, knows his Anglicans a lot better than Father Toulza.

  48. John McFarland10:05 PM

    Let me offer my own prognosis, and my reasons therefor.

    My prognosis is that barring a return to tradition, nothing much is going to happen liturgically in this pontificate, or this generation, or this century.

    It's been nearly fifty years since Pope John XXIII served notice that the Church was going to cease disciplining error.

    He and his successors have been, with very rare exceptions, as good as his word.

    As a result, everyone in the Church, from the greatest even unto the least, is very much out of the habit of paying much attention to what the Pope says, unless it suits his purposes.

    Therefore, any significant movement to the "right" can pretty much be ruled out: the bureaucracy will stall, the bishops won't go along with anything that might get adopted, and no conciliar pope will try very hard to make them go along.

    Presumably a squish-em-together program for the Old Mass and the New Mass, or a greater or lesser Novus Ordofication of the Old Mass, would have more support.

    But this runs into the same problem that is the raison d'etre for the FSSP: unless the Vatican has its own more or less credible version of traditionalism, it's going to lose market share to the SSPX. So unless it can think of a way to convince the motuists to buy into the reform of the reform, monkeying with the Old Mass is any significant way is likely going nowhere.

    I also doubt that there'll be much reform to the "left." Everyone can already have or find whatever goofball liturgies they like without changing anything, so why waste the energy and risk further disaffection among the more conservative?

    To be sure, I wouldn't mind if I were dead wrong on all these counts. So far as I'm concerned, anything is a good thing that helps reduce the Novus Ordo laity to these who would rather be wrong with the Pope than right without him.

  49. I imagine many of you will be intensely displeased by this, but I think this needs to be said:

    I find it amazing that a comparative few modern prelates can be so highly praised and we can refer to a host of bishops, popes, and others from before 1950. Then, in the same commentary, many of you refuse to admit that the Holy Spirit could possibly have inspired 300 or so bishops to make some practical changes to the Church.

    I have long felt that Vatican II came along precisely so that people like yourselves might be forced to examine what you believe more thoroughly. Catholic faith was never intended--for the modern world anyway--as a means to browbeat someone into submission. Being Catholic needs to be a choice, not a social mandate.

    I don't like modernist ideas, but I won't tolerate your arrogant rigidity of thought and practice either.

    Please be bothered to examine Vatican II itself honestly. Don't merely scream that you don't like change.

    PS. Perhaps the Vatican and the SSPX are struggling because the SSPX refuses to acknowledge that they could be wrong about anything at all.

  50. "I don't like modernist ideas, but I won't tolerate your arrogant rigidity of thought and practice either."

    In view of the appalling moral, financial & liturgical condition of the modernist church with its dysfunctional pastoral & liturgical paradigms reflected in the catastrophic decline in the sacerdotal nature of the priesthood; closure of innumerable of churches, chapels, seminaries & religious houses etc., it is astonishing that you can level such a limited criticism of traditional Catholics here on this site and elsewhere.

    Look carefully at the chief indicators since the Councils closed. It is a sorry and depressing story of postmodernist confusion and indiscipline. Disobedience and "itching ears" are the order of the day not only in the church's rank & file but among the hierarchy also. Is this what The Holy Ghost has brought to us as the fruit of those councils?

    Read the considerable corpus of literature available that demonstrates how the church has been hijacked by liberal modernism and its protestantised philosophies that have disorientated what was once Catholic thinking. Even the church's own surveys cannot hide the social reality.

    Rigidity of thought and practice is concealed in the current insistence that we have continuity in church norms and values and in her liturgy, when it is plainly obvious, even to children, that we do not. This also applies to other features of contemporary ecclesiastical life - ecumenism & inter-religious policies to name but two other examples.

    "Openness of mind"? Now, where have we heard that one before?

  51. Mairedecortichon12:47 PM

    Mr John, your definition of the way the Holy Spirit works in the Church is a very modernistic one, The Holy Spirit was given to the Catholic Church so that the successors of St Peter would keep the faith intact and transmit it by keeping immaculate, the deposit of the Faith entrusted to them by Jesus Christ, at the dead of the last apostle(Epistle of St Jude), and they do this by making Revelation precise, by declaring dogma's which are only a precision of the given Faith. Your definition implies a development and evolution of dogma(inspiring new doctrines instead of safeguarding the Fide by the Popes!!!), which is what St Pius X condemned in Pascendi, but I guess many prelates and Catholics these days would understand the Holy Spirit, in a modernistic manner.
    Your understanding of work of the Holy Spirit here on earth also implies that, all that the demons have to do is to inspire someone or prelates to promulgate ill-conceived doctrines, and with the very modern understanding of the Holy Spirit, Catholics will excuse those prelates, saying that they where inspired by the Holy Spirit.
    The Holy Spirit protects the Catholic Church, If and only If, the ones governing the Church stick to the immaculate deposit of Faith, all those new doctrines of VCII are in flat contradiction with this, the very fact that the Holy Spirit did not let the modern popes declare the VCII council a dogmatic one is the very proof that the Holy Spirit did not want it to be so, and for good reasons!!!

  52. A few comments:

    1. The Church is in crisis.

    2. The Traditionalist have serious points correct.

    3. Benedict knows this, but as Father of all Catholic souls, he has to move carefully, or a liberal successor could rock the ship leftwards soon after Benedict is in the ground, and please God, enjoying his eternal reward in heaven.

    4. Not all NO Masses are a mess. Opus Dei, certain dioceses with stable clergy, new TLMs springing up, the growth of the SSPX, the talks, SP, etc, EVEN with resistance, are all signs of hope.

    5. I am a VII baby, and man, it is better now than it ever was. 40 years is a long time, but not by God's standards.

    6. Yes, bad music, poor homilies, poor catechesis are a drag on the Church--but Jesus is now the Risen One, and He can pull us out of this.

    7. Trads need to lighten up. Smile more, it's God's Church, not the bishops, or even the Pope's.

    8. Prayer and Sacrifice are the way out; a loving Faith, not simply a correct Faith.

  53. Anonymous5:41 PM

    VII Baby Ortiz

    Check back with us in 20 years (if we old battle-weary curmudgeons are still around) and let us know if you still feel so up-beat.


  54. Anonymous8:17 PM

    Mr. Ortiz,

    The Church is in crisis because Pope John XXIII told us to lighten up and smile more. This is the false optimism which plagued VII from its beginning to its end and continued during the "springtime" that followed.

    The Traditionalist have all points correct because if the point was not correct, the Traditionalist would not hold it.

    If the VII baby is concerned about a liberal successor rocking the ship leftwards, what does the VII baby think of the last few predecessors?

    All NO Masses contain Bugnini's work -- and he was a big mess.

    Why is it better now? To whom, or what, can this be attributed? Lightening up? Smiling? False optimism? Spring?

    Jesus is now the Risen One, and He will pull a REMNANT out of this (read the Gospel).

    It is the Pope's Church (it was given to Peter to preserve, protect, and promote) - hence the crisis.

    An incorrect loving faith will not suffice -- hence the crisis. Live the Truth in Charity.

    By all means pray, fast, and mortify yourself with a smile on your face -- that is the answer. But lighten up? That is so 1969.

  55. Ok, points taken.


    1. Supernatural hope smiles. It is not secular "all will be just fine" optimism.

    2. "The Traditionalist have all points correct because if the point was not correct, the Traditionalist would not hold it."

    Well, let's not make every Traditionalist an instrument of the magisterium.

    Being correct is essential; so is being charitable, as God is LOVE.

    If that's 1969, you guys need to reread the Gospels.

    Finally, I despise everything that came from the 60s and 70s (except civil rights legislation).

    I know hollow.

    And it stinks.

  56. Anonymous12:43 AM

    As far as Anglicans, I know of a TAC priest who taught a Catholic priest how to say the Tridentine Mass. Saved the laymen a lot of work.

    He had Old Catholic lineage so I didn't quote the word "priest".

  57. Mairedecortichon et al:
    Oddly, your own comments demonstrate precisely where you err. Among other things, you insist that the Holy Spirit kept Vatican II from being declared dogmatic and with good reason.

    Well, yes, but not in the manner you think. More about that in a moment.

    First, some of you insist that Vatican II heralded the death of the Church because of many woes our Church has suffered since. I find that odd, really. Didn't Christ Himself tell us that we'd suffer greatly from following Him, that the world would hate us vigorously? Why then are you enraged by the results?

    Former popes rightly warned us against reaching out too much to the world. They knew many wouldn't handle the extra spotlight very well. How well they prophesied!
    Even so, Christ Himself didn't tell us to write all this stuff down, examine it, quote it at will, did he? Especially not from behind Church walls.
    No, Christ Himself told us to go out into ALL the world to make disciples of ALL men.

    Vatican II challenged us to that task all the more deeply than most have ever admitted. The Holy Spirit didn't contradict anyone, but challenged us to run that risk of being exposed to the world. If many have fallen astray since, should we be surprised? No, in fact we should be grateful to our Father in Heaven for the nerve to try, try again, and yet again a few more times. Yes, we'll fall, many times. We can expect that. That's why we still have Confession!

    So you say that the Council wasn't declared dogmatic? I'm no expert in these matters, but basic logic suggests to me that if a Council is to be "dogmatic" needs to declare a dogma!

    How many of you have ever read the actual documents of Vatican II? I have read English translations of each of the 4 Constitutions. There's nothing new in any of them, but a deep challenge live Christ's teachings ever more deeply.

    Yes, many have misconstrued these teachings, willfully or unwillfully. So? Are we not still subject to human nature's concupiscence? Rather than reacting with rage, shouldn't we celebrate the nerve that we've exercised in trying and failing? Isn't that essentially what John Paul II tried to teach and live?

    I understand the severe angst with that all too well. I grew up in a Church which seemed to reek with chaos, moral dereliction, and arrogant contempt for actual Church rules. In fact, while living in a diocese with rampant abuses to the Mass, I nearly quit to join a traditionalist CMRI parish. Considering my military occupation at the time and the events of 9/11 a few months before then, I assure you I had a serious struggle with spiritual matters!

    Ultimately though, I discerned that even if the bishops--especially ours in that diocese--and many clerics seemed bent on devastation, I could not find any means to declare that their authority wasn't rightful.
    Hideous though abuses were--and still are in many cases--I still could not justify leaving the Church in it's..malfeasance.

    Unfortunately, much like a marriage, I felt morally obligated to remain in the recognized Roman Catholic Church, still headed by the Vatican, and still prone to be loathed by the average man.

    Frankly, I still cringe when I hear some bishops speak. They can't seem to realize that I loathe their equivocations, dodginess, and contempt for the Church's Tradition.
    (I pray I NEVER wind up living someplace where Bishops Skylstad or Trautman "reign". Once was quite painful enough!)

    Ultimately, we each must decide:
    Will we support, defend, pray for, and love our Holy Father? Will we understand his trials and acknowledge the limits of what he can truthfully do?
    Or will we each declare ourselves and/or a few friends as our own Magisterium, quoting old bulls, encyclicals, and old councils as best we may?

    Heaven, eternal bliss, and direct communion with God, Himself await we who struggle with life all the way to the very end!

  58. Here's a serious concern, I think: Vatican II never taught new dogma. As such, it wouldn't be declared a "dogmatic" council.

    Have you read any of the actual documents of Vatican II? The Vatican's website has English translations readily available. Some of you would benefit greatly from some research.

    So the Church has suffered woes? What's new? Christ, Himself, told us we'd suffer immensely. Even so, He told us to go out into the world and make disciples of ALL men anyway.

    I understand the angst of many. Not long after 9/11, I nearly joined a traditionalist parish (CMRI vintage) because of serious concerns I had about my spiritual well-being and that of others. Masses had rampant abuses in that diocese then and I wished to hear the unfettered Truth.

    Ultimately, though I loath many actions by bishops--two in particular I wish to never meet--I could not then, nor can I now, ignore the authority of the rightful priesthood. The See of St. Peter, the Vatican, has not failed in it's mission, and thought the path may seem brutal, I cannot leave it because of rampant horrid examples.

    Don't forget, we're each still human too. Being our own Magisterium or Pope makes us all the more open to evil itself.

  59. Anonymous11:57 PM


    Here's something that I have often pondered.

    Does this Holy Father, or any of the Vatican II popes, ever consider what we, the faithful, have suffered and are suffering due to their malfeasance? What have they done except allow everything to become worse by doing...nothing!

    It's a two way street, John, and he is, after all, supposed to be OUR shepherd, not we his.

  60. Good Evening, Anonymous,
    I read comments like this anymore and wonder: Do people have the slightest understanding of what all they're asking?
    I think every pope has been VERY concerned with the sufferings of the faithful. I think that's foremost on the their minds actually.

    What have we really suffered?

    Liturgical abuse, priest scandals, and a few unpopular wars? OK, bad enough.

    What about death threats or being shot in your own Church square? What about attending seminary while knowing you have a death sentence awaiting you if caught? What about being arrested and sent to a prison camp because you don't worship the party in power?

    Haven't seen that?

    Look, I hate being cruel, but our most recent popes both suffered the rule of the Nazis; one also suffered rule of the Soviets. Many of our brothers and sisters STILL suffer in places like China, North Korea, and other areas where Christian faith is only poorly tolerated.

    Can we really believe that we've suffered horridly here in the United States?

  61. Excellent points, John.

    The Acts of Vatican II are to be judged by the Church. That they are pastoral is an official position. However, for laymen to pass judgement on it -- as any number of these posts do so -- is beyond what a layman or laywoman may do.

    It is interesting that as one regards both extremes - they meet up in their hatred of authority and the papacy. The liberals and modernists wish to either corrupt the papacy or abolish it; the soi-disant traditionalist wishes to become a little pope.

    Both ultimately rest their position on personal interpretations.

  62. Anonymous4:39 PM

    Dear John:

    Speak for yourself. You apparently have no idea of how some of us have suffered for and on account of Holy Mother Church. Or do you think because it hasn't happened to you, it can't be?

    I am quite tired of the suffering of the faithful being downplayed by those like yourself. Tell that to the parents of a young man who committed suicide because one of the priests that he trusted sodomized him!

  63. Mairedecortichon6:19 PM

    Mr John, some of your responses show a compete lack of understanding of the grave affair of the salvation of souls... and a misjudgment of the importance of Church doctrine, as for the documents of VCII, we read and reread and studied them at the Angelicum..., I can tell you that all of the serious Thomists at the the Angelicum in Rome and others serious theologians as well, agree with the traditionalist cause, read the serious theological'll be surprised by how much the Council is beginning to be questioned.. even in the Vatican... As for the hatred of the Pope and authority implied by Mr Pascendi... I have heard that fallacious argument before... silly and unprovable as it is...personal opinions, passing judgment? Really... I didn't even want to answer these posts anymore, because of the flawed arguments here, especially the sentimental rant of Mr John. It has been almost 50 years, the world goes on, into the infernal abyss of paganism and atheism...with the Catholic Church unable to stop it, something she did well... before modern times... Well gentlemen... as you were...

  64. Mairedecortichon,

    It is you who pass judgement, not I. I refer you to your original post. Attack the point and not the person.

  65. Anonymous10:28 PM


    We have more than a few reformed sedevacantists in our diocese that sound quite like Mr. John.

    "I didn't even want to answer these posts anymore, because of the flawed arguments here, especially the sentimental rant of Mr John. "

    I couldn't agree with you more. Personally, I found what he wrote to be quite insulting.


  66. So...I'm both a cold-hearted jerk and a doctrinally negligent rube.

    Regarding suffering: Someone asked whether our Holy Fathers had ever considered the tribulations of the faithful. I explained why I felt that suffering was surely utmost on the pontiffs' minds.
    Regarding doctrine: I didn't declare that Vatican II was easy to understand OR implement, nor that it didn't involve any doctrinal risk. Methinks the Council Fathers knew quite well what risks they asked of us.

    For all the preaching about compassion and knowing doctrine that I'm come across, especially these last 10 years, I've seen entirely too little living those same ideas.
    From the traditionalist, I hear howls that we haven't learned every jot and tittle of doctrinal discussion. From the modernist, I see an insistence that all persons must feel everything and cannot exercise intellect beyond the age of 5 years old.

    BOTH sides seem to believe the other side is wholly accountable for the Church's ills; NEITHER side will accept any failing on their own part.
    Should we wonder why our Church has been in near schism for 50 years?

    How many of you who rip this or that from the Church via the internet have bothered to pray for our Holy Father, for our Church, for victims of any trial, or for personal sanctity? How many have sought the Church's graces by means of the sacraments?

    How many have stepped forward to help ensure that anything virtuous within the Church will be continued and promoted?

    If any of us expect to get to heaven, we'll need to understand quite a little of ALL the Church teaches, not just the parts that we like the most.

  67. Anonymous12:49 AM


    Your post astounds me! My, what did we do before you came along to show us how?

    How could you even pretend to know what many of us have done and suffered for the Faith and probably doing it long before you were born?

    And why would you assume that we do not pray for the Holy Father and all Cardinals, Bishops, priests and religious in Holy Mother Church?


  68. John,

    Your posts are sound and charitable. A reading of Grabowski's book on the Church according to St. Augustine would be beneficial to all.

  69. Delphina,
    I wish I could say your comments were provoking me toward some kind of apology. Regrettably, I'm mostly persuaded to quit trying to talk to you all and move on to other things.

    I don't remember commenting that no person in the US had suffered at all. That wasn't the point. Again, I commented that I felt that our Holy Fathers had suffered plenty and knew before and know now how the faithful have suffered.

    Ponder this, if you will: Various arguments about Vatican II's merits have been argued before, they are now, and they will continue to be debated for some time.
    Will you behave with humble obedience to what the Holy Father and his bishops decide?

    Or will you insist that nothing good can happen until we toss Vatican II and the Novus Ordo?

    Will you act with dignity and respect in old age? Or will you jab everyone who doesn't toe your line?
    How you behave yourself, both in regular life and on the internet, will determine how others treat you.

    (For the record, yes, I've taken some risk with how charitable I've been. Regrettably, that seems to be the only way to persuade many to listen.)

  70. One last thought (I hope):
    Seems we're all quite concerned about suffering and what we think the Church ought to do about it.

    How have we handled our suffering? Have we offered it to God in reparation for our sins and those of others? Or have we resorted to howling about life's travails at whomever will listen?

    I can hope for the former. I fear the latter in far too many cases.

  71. John,

    I think people's patience with the generous reading of VII has worn quite thin. The fact that it may have met certain conditions to be considered a valid council doesn't mean it's acts must be considered as having been positively willed by the Holy Spirit and that we must consider it as the great "gift to the Church" in our age that is being asked of us. The erosion and obfuscation of Catholic doctrine makes it no more palatable to the world than it ever was, unless it's to believe it can have its way with it. VII was a political statement--"pastoral" is a euphemistic ruse--that its Fathers made a largely reluctant bargain for. Any doctrinal value in it is redundant, so what remains is its practical and political value, which has manifestly proven corrosive and downright evil--clearly, at least, not what was promised.

  72. The Pope is moving slowly and carefully forward, realizing that the will of the Fathers at the Council was never fully and truly implemented. For example, Musicam Sacram (1967) applies to the "Traditional" Mass and it should be implemented. The Old Mass cannot live statically in 1962 but be augmented with new Saints days (for example).

    It might well be that the New Mass will be drawn back towards the Missal of 1965. This would be the ideal for the vast majority that continue to attend the New Mass. One first step is to apply universally accurate translations ... as is the case to be.


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