Rorate Caeli

Filipino liturgists call for more liturgical liberalization

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. Take note of the references to the "Tridentine" Mass, which is clearly seen as a threat.

It can scarcely be a coincidence that this statement came out on the website of the Archdiocese of Manila around the third anniversary of Summorum Pontificum.

The annual national meetings of diocesan directors of liturgy in the Philippines are led by the Chairman and Executive Secretary of the Commission on Liturgy of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines. The current Chairman is Archbishop Romulo Valles of Zamboanga, the Executive Secretary is Fr. Genaro Diwa, all under the influence of the long-time Executive Secretary of the same Commission, Fr. Anscar Chupungco OSB. 

September 13-16, 2010


We, the delegates to the 25th National Meeting of Diocesan Directors of Liturgy (NMDDL), raise our hearts and voices in thanksgiving to Jesus Christ, the Leitourgos of divine worship. For twenty-five years, NMDDL has been a consistent instrument of the continuing liturgical formation of diocesan directors of liturgy. It has created closer ties among the directors and has promoted better coordination between the Episcopal Commission on Liturgy and the diocesan commissions in the implementation of the liturgical reform of Vatican II.

As we look back with gratitude at what NMDDL has accomplished, we look forward to what remains to be done so that the liturgy will become more vibrantly the source and summit of the Church’s life in the Philippines. Hence, we recommend attention in the future meetings to topics like the following:

1. The Use of the Vernacular. While we respect the option to use Latin and celebrate the Tridentine liturgy, we uphold the use of the vernacular in our parishes and communities and recommend translations that faithfully reflect both the spiritual doctrine of the texts and the linguistic patterns of our vernacular languages. (A not-so-subtle jab at Liturgiam Authenticam. Also, the "respect" for Latin and for the TLM has been practically nonexistent on the ground. CAP.)

2. Spirituality of Liturgy. Active participation is one of the many blessings Vatican II has bestowed on our parishes and communities. We wish to remind ourselves, however, that active participation should lead to deeper spiritual encounter with Christ and the Church. Hence our liturgical celebrations should foster the necessary environment of prayer and awe in the presence of the divine mysteries, excluding those expressions that trivialize the sacred celebration.

3. Liturgical Inculturation. The interest in recent times to revive the Tridentine Liturgy should not draw the attention, especially of the Church leaders, from the unfinished agenda of liturgical inculturation. We are of the persuasion that liturgical renewal, as envisioned by the Constitution on Liturgy of Vatican II, entails liturgical inculturation and that our rich cultural heritage has much to offer to make the Roman liturgy truly Filipino.

4. Liturgical Studies. Sound tradition and legitimate progress are key phrases that express the program of liturgical reform. It is consequently necessary to study the history and theology of the liturgy, be familiar with culture, and be imbued with liturgical spirituality and pastoral zeal for the Church. We, therefore, recommend that those involved in liturgy, particularly the clergy, should be sent by their bishops or superiors to enroll in academic institutions that specialize in liturgical studies

5. Lay Ministers. Our parishes and communities are blessed with numerous and worthy lay liturgical ministers. However, some dioceses in the Philippines still reserve to male persons ministries like serving at the altar and leading Sunday celebrations in the absence of a priest. We believe that we should encourage the ministry of women where it is allowed by universal law. (This is an about-face from the position enunciated only last year by Cardinal Rosales for the Archdiocese of Manila, in favor of having only males as altar servers. Although altar girls are allowed in the Philippines, the majority of parishes still do not have them.)

6. Liturgy Newsletter. Part of continuing liturgical formation of diocesan directors and their collaborators is liturgical information. We request the Episcopal Commission on Liturgy to publish and disseminate regularly through newsletter, in print or by electronic media, recent liturgical norms, guidelines, and other pertinent information on the liturgy.

As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of NMDDL, we recall the visionary initiative of Archbishop Jesus Dosado who, together with Fr. Camilo Marivoet, CICM, and Fr. James Meehan, SJ, established and promoted the annual meeting. We are in their debt. Likewise, we remember with gratitude the dioceses that have generously hosted NMDDL and the speakers that shared their liturgical expertise with us. Lastly, we thank His Eminence Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales of the Archdiocese of Manila for hosting NMDDL at this significant year of its existence.

That in all things God may be glorified! (which helps us to identify Anscar Chupungco OSB as the author of this piece.)

To put this statement in perspective: in the entire Philippines, which has 70-75 million Catholics served by around 9,000 priests and nearly 3,000 parishes, there are only ELEVEN locations under diocesan auspices where every-Sunday Traditional Latin Masses are available. (To be exact, there are 14 such Masses distributed among the 11 locations, which are scattered among 2 archdioceses and 7 dioceses.) Of the locations, only two are parish churches, another is a seminary chapel, while yet another is a small chapel inside a cathedral compound. Some of the rest are not easily accessible to the average churchgoer. As for the Latin Novus Ordo, I am not aware of a single parish or cathedral in the country where there is a regularly scheduled (at least monthly) Sunday Latin Novus Ordo (although there is at least one cathedral where the Eucharistic Prayer is regularly said in Latin). And yet the Philippine liturgical establishment apparently feels that these Masses are enough of a threat so as to justify a call to arms about "upholding the vernacular" and continuing the agenda of inculturation...


Katie said...

Yikes! Sad to read, though not really surprising, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

When are we, Filipinos, gonna get rid of these modernist and liberal clerics who have nothing but Satanic hatred towards the Tridentine Mass and genuine Catholic Tradition? This is my prayer.

If someone organizes a Rosary prayer-mobilization in front of the Manila Cathedral and CBCP Office in Intramuros to denounce Chupungco and his ilks in the Archdiocese of Manila, I WILL DEFINITELY JOIN AND ENJOIN MORE PEOPLE!

Anonymous said...

I was in Manila a couple of months ago. It seems to me that there is still a veneer of Catholicism but from the sleaze of the Advertising and 'Gentlemans' clubs, the immoral behaviour of those in public life one gets the impression that this once Catholic nation has lost it's bearings.
On the bright side I had the pleasure of staying with the SSPX at 'Our Lady of Victories' and It was wonderful to meet traditional families living the life of the Parish in an uncompromising fashion. Bishop Lazo is buried in the Church, you can find his letter to JP 2 here: .
Bishop Lazo pray for us.

Anonymous said...

If you bang your head against a wall long enough, you lose even the ability to think clearly. This is what has happened to the bishops in the Philippines.


Anonymous said...

Kyrie eleison! Almighty God, have mercy on Thy Filipino people!

Anonymous said...

The Philipinos are very misguided. This is just a sort of anti colonial mentality that has caused many heresies in the history of the Philipines.
I say "no, no. no!"

Anonymous said...

Msgr Andrade once said, as long as Ancar Chupungco is alive, Traditional Mass will not be popular in the Philippines.
What a terrible judgment day waiting for Chupungco. May God have pity on him. For what will it profit a man to gain the praises of the liberals and be counted as the enemy of Christ and His Church.

LeonG said...

The Filipino bequest to the liturgy is plenty of noise and endless chatter; superabundance of emotion; extraordinary overuse of eucharistic ministers; women on what used to be the sanctuary; men in jeans and t-shirts; women frequently in tight revealing clothes; flamboyant music and a general atmosphere of performance with frequent parting from the script.

Anonymous said...

Liturgical reform in the Philippines is held hostage by Anscar Chupungco OSB and his chosen ones. I am not sure how the episcopal commission on liturgy will react to this situation, given that both the chairperson and the executive secretary were his students. However, not all liturgists in the Philippines are in agreement with Dom Anscar. At present they choose to simply ignore his manueverings to influence the bishops and the liturgical establishment. They feel that he is too "powerful" and "popular" among the bishops to be opposed by liturgists who were once his students. Simply put, they do not know what to do, and perhaps need to know who reais on their side. Let us pray that the bishops, particularly the chair of the episcopal commission on liturgy, may find the courage to reject/oppose Chupungco's call to "subtle' rebellion against the Holy Father and the Holy See.

LeonG said...

............and everyone goes to Communion!

Mickey said...

Carlos and Jordanes,

Does this constitute as a Material Schism?

Anonymous said...

God spare the Philippines from Liturgical Disaster!

Liturgy seems to be unimportant to some members of the Filipino clergy. I have never attended a Mass with a priest saying the Roman Canon/Eucharistic prayer I. Choirs singing secular songs during the Mass (well, some 'religious songs' sound very secular here. There is no reference to God, etc. ) and Latin Masses and Gregorian Chant being unheard of. We are gradually losing our Catholic identity.

Some please start a prayer crusade! That's the crusade we need right now!

May we be spared from the worst!

Anonymous said...

While I certainly do not agree with Dom Anscar Chupungco's stance vis-a-vis the reform of the reform, I perfectly understand where he is coming from: he, together with his contemporaries like Fr. Matias Auge, CMF, is the "child" of the recognized promoters of the Liturgical Movement who worked for the establishment of the Pontifical Liturgical Institute in Rome, and who, together with Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, greatly influenced the bishops during the Second Vatican Council. We, his students in Sant'Anselmo in the 80s and beyond who, like him, also grew up with the pre-Vatican II Liturgy, do not have the same hang-up as he has against the Latin Liturgy. While we respect his work for the Liturgy in the Philippines, we cannot agree with him that "we will not follow Rome unless we are told to."

The Golden Monstrance said...

An article from a Filipino bishop. Please comment on this.