Rorate Caeli

Filipino Archbishop denounces the "terrorist proclivities" of some liturgists

UCANews has published the following text by Archbishop Jesus Dosado of Ozamiz, Philippines (who has been featured in previous articles on Rorate -- see this and this.)
The liturgical renewal I would like to see
Looking back, some of the culprits for me for the gradual loss of the true reform of the liturgy were the so-called “liturgists” who were more like technicians and choreographers rather than pure students of liturgy.

They had a peculiar affinity for refined liturgical celebrations coupled with disdain for the old rites and devotions. Unfortunately, some bishops, not pure students of liturgy either, gave in to their terrorist proclivities.

A search for creativity and community were dominant projects in “reform-minded” Catholic circles in the 1960s and beyond. In itself, this might not have been bad. But the philosophy that the community was god, and that “God” was not fully “God” without the community was the source of ideas that have done most damage to the Church.

This secular notion of community made its way into the liturgy to gradually supplant the inherited Christian tradition.

These self-appointed arbiters of the reform were, and I hate to say this, liturgical hijackers who deprived ordinary parishioners – and bewildered pastors – of their right to the normative worship of their own Church. Hence, there was the need for a reform of the reform.

A major goal of Pope Benedict XVI is the restoration of our Catholic identity. Liturgy is a key component of such an endeavor.

Benedict’s broad liturgical approach can be described in terms of “continuity,” i.e. recovering elements of the liturgical tradition which he believes were too hastily set aside or downplayed in the immediate period after the Second Vatican Council.

The idea of a new liturgical movement came with strength from his book, Spirit of the Liturgy.

A relevant section: “I am convinced that the crisis in the Church that we are experiencing today is to a large extent due to the disintegration of the liturgy … in that it is a matter of indifference whether or not God exists and whether or not he speaks to us and hears us. … Such circumstances will inexorably result in a disintegration. This is why we need a new Liturgical Movement, which will call to life the real heritage of the Second Vatican Council.”

Pope Benedict XVI in his Pastoral Letter to Catholics in Ireland situated the sexual abuse of children in the wake of fast-paced social change and a decline in adherence to traditional devotional and sacramental practices.

To his priests in the Diocese of Rome he said, “In the Eucharist we do not invent something, but we enter into a reality that precedes us, more than that, which embraces heaven and earth and, hence, also the past, the future and the present. … Hence, the liturgical prescriptions dictated by the Church are not external things, but express concretely the reality of the revelation of the body and blood of Christ and thus the prayer reveals the faith according to the ancient principle ‘lex orandi – lex credendi.’” (“the law of praying establishes the law of believing.”)

To be sure, the Pope has great regard for the Novus Ordo. He issued a Letter to the Bishops on the Occasion of the Publication of Summorum Pontificum where he narrated why he wanted to expand the use of what is now called the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and, in so doing, he deliberately responded to the fear that this expansion was somehow intended to demote the Novus Ordo or undermine the Vatican Council’s call for liturgical reform, saying it was unfounded.

For the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, (now Pope Benedict XVI) the liturgy is of its nature an inheritance, a space we inhabit as others have inhabited it before us. It is never an instrument we design or manipulate. Self-made liturgy is a contradiction in terms, and he distrusts liturgies that emphasize spontaneity, self-expression and extreme forms of local inculturation.

In his own book, Spirit of the Liturgy, Cardinal Ratzinger scathingly compared such liturgies to the worship of the Golden Calf, “a feast that the community gives itself, a festival of self-affirmation. Instead of being worship of God, it becomes a circle closed in on itself: eating, drinking and making merry … It is a kind of banal self-gratification … no longer concerned with God but with giving oneself a nice little alternative world, manufactured from one’s own resources.”

In his view, the liturgy is meant to still and calm human activity, to allow God to be God, to quiet our chatter in favor of attention to the Word of God and in adoration and communion with the self-gift of the Word incarnate.

The call for active participation seems to Benedict XVI to have “dumbed” down the mystery we celebrate, and left us with a banal inadequate language (and music) of prayer.

The “active participation” in the liturgy for which Vatican II called, he argues, emphatically, does not mean participation in many acts. Rather, it means a deeper entry by everyone present into the one great action of the liturgy, its only real action, which is Christ’s self-giving on the Cross.

We can best enter into the action of the Mass by a recollected silence, and by traditional gestures of self-offering and adoration – the Sign of the Cross, folded hands, reverent kneeling.

For the Pope, therefore, liturgical practice since the Council has taken a wrong turn, aesthetically impoverished, creating a rupture in the continuity of Catholic worship, and reflecting and even fostering a defective understanding of the Divine and our relationship to it.

His decision to permit the free celebration of the Tridentine liturgy was intended both to repair that rupture and to issue a call to the recovery of the theological, spiritual and cultural values that he sees as underlying the old Mass.

In his letter to the bishops of July 2007, he expressed the hope that the two forms of the one Roman liturgy might cross-fertilize each other, the old Missal being enriched by the use of the many beautiful collects and prefaces of Paul VI’s reformed Missal, and the celebration of the Novus Ordo recovering by example some of the “sacrality” that characterized the older form.

It is just like Anglicanorum Coetibus, the Apostolic Constitution providing for personal ordinariates for Anglicans entering into full communion with the Catholic Church, about which the Pope talked to the Bishops of England and Wales in their ad limina visit.

“It helps us to set our sights on the ultimate goal of all ecumenical activity: the restoration of full ecclesial communion in the context of which the mutual exchange of gifts from our respective spiritual patrimonies serves as an enrichment to us all,” Anglicanorum Coetibus reads.

Despite Summorum Pontificum, Pope Benedict himself has only celebrated the ordinary form of the Mass in public, “facing the people” in the manner of the Novus Ordo, using modern languages, all as stipulated in the Liturgical Books of the different countries where he celebrated.

Many people, for example, were waiting for him to use “for many,” instead of “for all” in the United States, but he did not do so.

The Pope celebrated ad orientem (to the east) once more at the newly renovated Pauline Chapel, whose altar was repositioned so that it could be used to celebrate both ways – and the Pope chose the traditional direction in the Mass he celebrated with members of the International Theological Commission.

Small changes to the accessories, vestments and ritual rubrics point to the Pope’s Reform of the Reform. On Corpus Domini of 2008 he began to give Communion exclusively on the tongue to the kneeling faithful.

In November of that year with a new master of pontifical liturgical ceremonies, the Crucifix and candle holders returned to the papal altar, from which the post-Conciliar liturgical reform had taken them away putting the Cross to the side and replacing the candelabra, if at all, by little temple lights.

On the Feast of the Epiphany last year, the Pope wore the guitar-shaped so-called Philippine chasuble instead of the post-Conciliar flowing chasuble, to underscore the continuity between past and present, manifested through liturgical vestments.

Then there are the ritual silences during the liturgies, observed after readings, after psalms, after the homily, and most especially, after Communion.

With these silences, the Pope is starting to educate the faithful who follow papal liturgies to a better, more appropriate attitude of concentration and meditation.

What is the Pope up to? In the words of Monsignor Guido Marini, “I think what the Holy Father is trying to do is to wisely bring together traditional things with the new, in order to carry out, in letter and spirit, what Vatican II intended, and to do it in such a way that papal liturgies can be exemplary in all aspects. Whoever takes part in, or watches, a papal liturgy should be able to say, “This is the way it should be done. Even in my diocese, in my parish!”

And that is how I would like the direction of the liturgical renewal to take with the Mass to be recast, yes, but in order to remain what it is, Calvary and the Upper Room


Anonymous said...

Archbishop Dosado has put a voice to my own sentiment concerning the way the Liturgy in the Philippines is being held hostage by liberal Filipino liturgists. I am consoled that at least there is one Filipino bishop daring enough to speak against the "terrorist proclivities" of these liturgists. I am sure that there are more bishops in the Philippine hierarchy who share his sentiments, and are only waiting for one among them to speak out. As for me as a liturgist myself, I resonate with the Holy Father's subtle reform of the reform, and I find great encouragement in Archbishop Dosado's words. I am more eager now to pursue the reform of the reform of the liturgy initiated by Pope Benedict both in my classroom teaching of Liturgy and in the pastoral setting. Having been once upon a time chair of the Philippine episcopal commission on Liturgy, I am sure that the bishops will listen to the Archbishop's wise words. Thank you very much, Archbishop Dosado! Thank you very much, Pope Benedict!

Anonymous said...

We just had a post the other day, from the Filipino liturgist this article denounces!:

"The website of the Archdiocese of Manila has posted the following statement made on September 16, 2010 by the assembled diocesan directors of liturgy of the Philippines..."

I suppose this is the Archbishop's return fire.

Anonymous said...

This shows we can still hope that the so-called Liturgists (Chupungco, et. al) will not be able to pursue with their plans easily. God is sparing the Philippines from the worst! Hallelujah!

We need more Archbishops, bishops and priests who are more interested with beautiful liturgy. To'make the Roman liturgy truly Filipino.' is ironical. We should make the Roman Liturgy more Catholic, returning what has been removed from it.

Anonymous said...

Salamat Bishop Dosado! Mabuhay ka!

You give voice to millions and millions of Filipino victims of the "terroristic proclivities" of Chupungco and Genaro Diwa!

Anonymous said...

The article is pretty good, but he seems to miss the point that the entire liturgical revolution -- from start to finish -- was carried out by the cronies he has no problem denouncing as post-conciliar liturgical hijackers.

The document Sacrosanctum Concilium itself was prepared by the "terrorists" (Bugnini et al), then used by the same people to create the NO. The notion that the reform was hijacked and the practice of the Mass in the 70's wasn't what was demanded by the Council (which seems to be en vogue right now, even among bishops and clergymen) begs a simple question: the council fathers who voted for S.C. are the very same bishops who returned to their sees and implemented the "reform"; did they all suffer from multiple personality syndrome, or did they implement the liturgical "reform" that they had themselves voted for?

There is no sense in trying to reform the NO; it was conceived to create a rupture with the past; the only way to reconnect to tradition is to use the liturgy that is an authentic part of that tradition.


LeonG said...

There is no sense in trying to reform the NO; it was conceived to create a rupture with the past; the only way to reconnect to tradition is to use the liturgy that is an authentic part of that tradition.


My sentiments precisely! Nothing else will do. Fabricating more changes with an already fabricated liturgical rite is an implicit admission that there was rupture in the liturgy of The Church, in the first place. Furthermore, comparative analysis of the two rites illustrates more contrasts than similarites. The effects of both rites is higly contrastive also.

Paul Haley said...

With all due respect it is impossible for me to believe that the Holy Father wants reform in the liturgy when he allows female altar servers and lectors in the sanctuary and when he allows communion to be taken in the hand at all masses in the Latin Rite. These practices would be anathema to popes before Vatican II and that is a fact that cannot be denied by those who preach continuity - continuity with what, that is the question. He is the Vicar of Christ and could put an end to these abuses, if he so desired, with papal statements leaving no doubt as to his intent. The fact that he doesn't means only that he doesn't consider the practices to be abuses and that is a tragedy of enormous proportions IMO.

M. A. said...

"To'make the Roman liturgy truly Filipino.' is ironical. We should make the Roman Liturgy more Catholic, returning what has been removed from it.

The same goes for Spanish Masses! My oh, my! Have you ever seen one? - with the guitars and tambourines and maracas?

Let's just teach them the Old Mass!

Anonymous said...

Say NO to the NO.
A sows ear can not be turned into a silk purse.
I dread the day the Holy Father asks the Latin community to "enrich" the TLM with parts from the NO.

Repressed Catholic

Anonymous said...

Forty-five years and counting, and we are still trying to figure the mess out.

It is wearisome.

Hieronymus, Leon and Paul Haley, you have my vote. And you too, dear Repressed Catholic!


pclaudel said...

Count me as another signatory, alongside LeonG and Mr. Haley, to Hieronymus's formula.

His Grace's article is one more in a long line of Traditionalism's equivalent of three-and-a-half-minute eggs. The position it takes is no longer soft, nor is it yet truly hard. Curious but widespread, too, is the Bendictine parablindness that permits him, in his first five paragraphs, to diagnose the sorry situation of the V2 era with virtual exactitude. Yet once he mentions the reigning pope's name, His Grace's percipience disappears into a pocket of another suit, to be replaced by a polysyllabic form of wishful thinking, one that makes striking use of the very vocabulary and Weltanschauung that he has so insightfully skewered in the first paragraphs.

If Benedictine rosé is your preferred tipple, Mr. Perkins's brand is an infinitely better vintage. It comes bottled with far fewer (if any) illusions.

A footnote to Repressed Catholic's appropriately gloomy comment. Even without direct instruction from the pontiff, "enrichment" has already taken place. Any commenters on this blog who have witnessed what the pastor of the Church of Saint Eugene in Yonkers, NY, has been doing to the TLM for two years and more know what I am talking about.

Anonymous said...

"ny commenters on this blog who have witnessed what the pastor of the Church of Saint Eugene in Yonkers, NY, has been doing to the TLM for two years and more know what I am talking about."

Mr. Claudel, sad news indeed, but not surprising. It was only a matter of time.


Anonymous said...

I hope he succeds the present Cardinal Archbishop of Manila, who is the opposite of this good man, and in fact by some of his actions against the Tridentine Latin Mass seems to be just another one of the wimpy Vatican II Bishops (and PaulVI), who acquieced to everything the liturgical "experts" did in destroying the Mass and Papal and Catholic ceremonies and traditions.

Pablo said...

The same goes for Spanish Masses! My oh, my! Have you ever seen one? - with the guitars and tambourines and maracas?...

This comment is about American Chicano Novus Ordo Masses.

The Mexican Mass is the Tridentine.

If God will rid us of the Freemason gremlins that have been allowed by the Holy Fathers to take a sledge hammer to our Faith, it would take little effort to 'teach' Mexicans Latin.

My ancestors were poor, and uneducated in public schools.

What they knew was what was given them by God's grace.

As a Mexican, I think your statement is deeply racist.

Santa María de Guadalupe Esperanza nuestra, salva nuestra patria y conserva nuestra Fe.

Viva Cristo Rey!


Sharon said...

From my reading of The Feast of Faith by Joseph Ratzinger it would appear that the now Holy Father prefers the Ordinary Form of the Mass as it should be celebrated - say the black and do the red. That he gave permission for the use of the Extraordinary Form is not surprising considering the number of people who like this form of the Mass - the Holy Father made a very pastoral decision here.

M.A. said...


There is nothing racist about my comment.

My son was recently hired as an organist for a parish which has a Spanish Mass. He is slowly trying to wean the people from what a previous pastor allowed: maracas, guitars, tambourines.

I have been helping him to search for more traditional Spanish music, so we've been looking at youtube Masses for ideas. Makes you 'wanna' cringe at what you find. (cringe,or dance!)

We are trying to educate people in proper Catholic worship. I would hope that most readers would agree that we show love for people when we wish for them to be better Catholics.

If there is anyone else who will concur with you that my comment was racist, I will apologize for my mode of expression which would have given that impression, but I contend that you are seeing evil where there is none.

Pablo said...

"we show love for people when we wish for them to be better Catholics..."

We do this by praying for their souls, and for their families. And getting out of the Padres way while he is tending his sheep.

Holy Mother Church has established the music to be used during Mass.

If Priests in charge of a Parish bring novelty and innovation to the Masses he is in charge of, he will answer to our Lord for having done so if that activity causes the loss of souls.

That is very Anglo of you to search for Spanish music that is more palatable to your taste and virtue.

If your son is the organist at Mass, why not play what the Padre in charge tells him to play?

It is not up to laity to establish the Mass or its music. Does he really need his mommy to do his job?

Mexicans don't need to be weaned; we are not dogs.

"...We are trying to educate people in proper Catholic worship..."

Madam, this is a slap in the face to us. Again.

I will pray for those poor Mexicans that will be suffering at your hands.

Adios Senora.

May God our Lord in His infinite and supreme goodness be pleased to give us His abundant grace, that we may know His most holy will, and entirely fulfill it.

Santa María de Guadalupe Esperanza nuestra, salva nuestra patria y conserva nuestra Fe.


Pablo said...

In the interests of fairness, I should state this is what some of us Mexicans consider the Mass:

Towards the end of the video, you might recognize one of the Priests participating in the True Mass of All Time.

I have been in many small barrios in Mexico, and during a visit to one, I was very pleased to hear a poor uneducated man speak to me of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. He is well loved by the poor.

Archbishop Lefebvre safe guarded their only treasure.


Ivan said...

I knew that there some people here brimming with negative vibes would try to deprive us of this moment of celebration. Let me just say a few things.

Archbishop Dosado's speech is immensely encouraging for us Filipino Traditionalists who have been suffering for decades under the dictatorial regime of liberal and modernist Ecclesiastical Authorities of the Church in the Philippines. We are especially delighted to hear that someone of Archbishop Dosado's stature has dared to vocally oppose the terroristic impunities of Genaro Diwa and Anscar Chupungco. This signals an advance for the cause of the Filipino Traditionalists, no matter how limited or small.

We are steadily working our way through. We are subjected to various ridiculous criticisms and insults from those in authority, but we dare to hold on and persevere because we are of the conviction that we can never afford to completely abandon our fellow Filipino Catholic faithfuls in the hands of the enemy. It is easier to get disillusioned and choose to work (and criticise) from the outside, but we choose to work within a hostile environment because we believe that the salvation of souls and the preservation of Catholicism in the Philippines are worth more than the difficulties we have to bear.

Mabhuhay ka Mahal at Pinagpipitagang Arsobispo Dosado!

In Christo sacerdote et Maria!

Anonymous said...

God Bless and continue to spread the word about Summorum Pontificum. That will help give power to the people. It is the people who will cut out the rot that continues to obstruct the Pope's view for the Catholic Church worldwide.

B. said...


The notion that the reform was hijacked and the practice of the Mass in the 70's wasn't what was demanded by the Council [...] begs a simple question: the council fathers who voted for S.C. are the very same bishops who returned to their sees and implemented the "reform"; did they all suffer from multiple personality syndrome, or did they implement the liturgical "reform" that they had themselves voted for?

I agree with most of what you wrote, however, this is inaccurate. The bishops who implemented the reform were not the bishops who voted in favor of SC. You are forgetting Pope Paul VI infamous Motu Proprio "Ecclesiae Sactae", demanding the retirement of bishops at age 75. As almost all bishops were older than that at the time, Paul VI replaced almost the entire episcopate during that time. Even lots of bishops who were not yet 75 were forced into retirement or requested in desperation at that time.

Anonymous said...

Why do we pretend that liturgical "terrorists" gutted the Roman Liturgy when it was recent Popes who approved such practices as Communion in the hand, altar girls, Mass vs. populum, multiple Eucharistic Prayers (Roman Liturgy), vernacular Masses, pianos, guitars and various musical instruments used at Mass, non-Catholics permitted to perform readings at Mass (confer the Eucmenical Directory)?

Didn't Pope Paul VI acknowledge in 1969 that he had initiated a radical liturgical reform?

Address to a General Audience, November 26, 1969:

Our Dear Sons and Daughters:

"We ask you to turn your minds
once more to the liturgical innovation of the new rite of the Mass.

A new rite of the Mass: a change in a venerable tradition that has gone on for centuries.

This is something that affects our hereditary religious patrimony, which seemed to enjoy the privilege of being untouchable and settled.

We must prepare for this many-sided inconvenience.

It is the kind of upset caused by every novelty that breaks in on our habits."

M. A. said...


Personally, I don't care what you think of me.

I would prefer a more intelligent discussion with others, if you please.


Go ahead, make my day said...

The claim that the Mexican mass is the Tridentine is absolute nonsense. It hardly exists in our 51st state.

Anonymous said...

Excellent! Salamat po, Archbishop!

After the recent post about Chupungco's lastest stunt, I suppose that this is ana ppropriate response.

Just one question: why is Archishop Dosado Ordinary of a remote diocese in Mindanao, not of Manila?

Pablo said...

I am a Guadalupano, a descendant of Mexican Cristeros.

I am not unknown on Tepeyac Hill.

Simply because terrorists as described in this post have worked hard at the demolition of Holy Mother Church does not make us accomplices. We are just having to tolerate the foolishness until God answers our prayers.

Where the Tridentine Mass springs up in Mexico, through God's grace,there is no shortage of faithful that come running to Mass.

Filipinos are not the only people terrorized by "liturgists".They are working hard to extend the Kingdom of Christ. Our prayers are with them.

Mexicans are working hard to restore all things in Christ, also.

When I attended Mass at San Santiago Church in Sahuayo, Michoacan, Mexico, the Mass was one promulgated by the brethren of those Freemasons that brutally killed Blessed Jose Sanchez del Rio. (his remains are in the Church).

Wherever the new mass has been shoved down people's throat, death ensues; Monasteries, Convents, Churches close. The Faithful abandon the Church.

Where the True Mass is said, souls are saved, Monasteries, Convents, and Catholic Schools open.

Life comes from the Mass of the God made man.

Look around at the fruits of the Protestant created Mass of the man made God.

Mexico is not the 51st State of Freemason America.

Freemasons are Satan’s children.

Mexicans are the children of Nuestra Senora Santa Maria de Guadalupe.

She appeared to Mexican Saint Juan Diego.

She did not appear to Grand Worshipful Master of the Free and Accepted Masonic Lodge George Washington and co.


Anonymous said...

"A major goal of Pope Benedict XVI is the restoration of our Catholic identity. Liturgy is a key component of such an endeavor." (Abp Dosado)

Good but so far it's only wishful thinking by the good archbishop. Litniks are firmly controlling everything and pope Benedict XVI has done nothing to change this in FIVE long years. Nothing, nada, niente, nichts.

The whole pretended "reform of the reform" is not even implemented : a better English translation that will be enacted in ... 2011. Otherwise what has been changed by the pope in NOM ?
Where are the new guidelines to train proper liturgists ? Nowehere.
Have you heard about the American successor of Abp Ranjith ? No he is mute.

What was announced in 2005 as indeed the "major goal" of new Pontiff is unfortunately left as an abandonned vineyard without anybody working in it.
Enough with the wishful thinking and please change the good "words" into actions.


Anonymous said...

Also in the Philippines, it is rumored that the SSPX there is to have a Bursar. So, finally, is Fellay going to beard the lion in it's den?

Recorder said...

Stunning reports from Birmingham on the Beatification festival including the talks given before the Beatification and pictures of the Blessed Cardinal's vestments from the exhibition.

Forest King said...

Correct me if I am wrong; but, i am in the opinion that inculturation should only be employed in the context of masses celebrated in the Mission areas. The purpose of which is to situate the mass in the context of the culture of the converts or the "young" faithful of a mission area. This is just sort of "prologue" or "preparation" to the right way of celebrating mass. Therefore, the ultimate goal of incultration is not making the mass "truly filipino" but to usher filipinos to the proper celebration of the Roman Rite - in Latin, ad orientem etc.

The Philippines had been converted in the 1500's. By this time, inculturation should already be a dead "strategy".

I don't understand which Chapungco et al. are still pushing inculturation even in parishes that are almost 500 years old.