Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Saint James the Greater - Of the twelve disciples, two were named James. St. James the Greater is the brother of the apostle St. John and son of Zebedee and Mary Salome. He is called "the Greater" because he was called to the apostolate earlier than St. James the Less who led the Christians of Jerusalem until its destruction in 70 AD. During late antiquity a tradition was held that the territory of Spain was entrusted to the evangelization of St. James. On January 2, AD 40, tradition has it that, at Caesaraugusta, on the bank of the Ebro River while preaching the Gospel, the Virgin Mary appeared upon a pillar to James, after which he returned to Judea. The pillar, Nuestra Señora del Pilar, is venerated & preserved within the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, in Zaragoza, Spain. St. James was beheaded by King Herod Agrippa I in AD 44.
In the Martyrology of Usuard of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, completed around 865, in which St. James's feast-day is listed on the 25th of July, is recorded the circumstances of his martyrdom, and continues 'his most holy remains were translated from Jerusalem to Spain and deposited in its uttermost region (in ultimis finibus), they are revered with the most devout veneration (celeberrima veneratione) by the people of those parts'. According to legend his body was taken up by angels, and sailed in a rudderless, unattended boat to Iria Flavia in Spain, where a massive rock enclosed his relics. A Galician monk, during the time of king Alfonso II, announced that a star had led him to a field where he found the remains of the saint. This "field of the star" became the city of Compostela, the basis for the pilgrimage route that began to be established in the 9th century, and the shrine dedicated to James at Santiago de Compostela, which became the most popular pilgrimage site in the Christian world during the Middle Ages. For a long time there were those who doubted the accuracy of these legends until an archaeological discovery at Mérida found an inscribed stone which noted the dedication of a church in honour of St. Mary and the relics of saints St. John the Baptist, St. Stephen, St. Paul, St. John the Evangelist, St. James, St. Julian, Sta Eulalia, St. Tirsus, St. Genesus and Sta Marcella being laid beneath the main altar, the stone is believed to be from the seventh century.
In 844 Ramiro of Castile won over the Muslims at the Battle of Clavijo during the Reconquista. Catholic Spaniards saw St. James riding with them, slaying the enemy moors. Santiago Matamoros became the patron saint of Spain, and an imagery in with the saint saddled upon a horse with sword raised his sword surrounded at his feet with dead and dying Moors and has since been known as "Santiago Matamoros" and was heralded by Catholics as the protector of the faith of Spain.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Some Distributist bloggers and I have been working on building a New Distributist League, which according to NDL contributor Athanasius, would "fill the function of the old Distributist League founded by Chesterton and Belloc during the inter-war period"; and according to Gen Ferrer the new league will "face modern questions, debate, explore issues such asthe family, liberty, ethical economics and the role of the State and religion in national affairs." Other contributors include Roy F. Moore from The Distributist Review, and Gen Ferrer from The ChesterBelloc Mandate, Kelly M. from the Next Worker, and John Médaille from The Distributist Review. The New League has recently been officially launched by its chief editor Athanasius, and as it grows to its full capacity and success with some of these talented bloggers behind the wheel, readers might expect some of my meager contributions to this new endeavor, so feel free to drop in and see how things are coming along.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel: This feast was instituted by the Carmelites between 1376 and 1386 under the title "Commemoratio B. Marif Virg. duplex" to celebrate the victory of their order over its enemies on obtaining the approbation of its name and constitution from Honorius III on 30 Jan., 1226. The feast was assigned to 16 July, because on that date in 1251, according to Carmelite traditions, the scapular was given by the Blessed Virgin to St. Simon Stock; it was first approved by Sixtus V in 1587. After Cardinal Bellarmine had examined the Carmelite traditions in 1609, it was declared the patronal feast of the order, and is now celebrated in the Carmelite calendar as a major double of the first class with a vigil and a privileged octave (like the octave of Epiphany, admitting only a double of the first class) under the title "Commemoratio solemnis B.V.M. de Monte Carmelo". By a privilege given by Clement X in 1672, some Carmelite monasteries keep the feast on the Sunday after 16 July, or on some other Sunday in July. In the seventeenth century the feast was adopted by several dioceses in the south of Italy, although its celebration, outside of Carmelite churches, was prohibited in 1628 by a decree contra abusus. On 21 Nov., 1674, however, it was first granted by Clement X to Spain and its colonies, in 1675 to Austria, in 1679 to Portugal and its colonies, and in 1725 to the Papal States of the Church, on 24 Sept., 1726, it was extended to the entire Latin Church by Benedict XIII. The lessons contain the legend of the scapular; the promise of the Sabbatine privilege was inserted into the lessons by Paul V about 1614. The Greeks of southern Italy and the Catholic Chaldeans have adopted this feast of the "Vestment of the Blessed Virgin Mary". The object of the feast is the special predilection of Mary for those who profess themselves her servants by wearing her scapular.
-- edited by Leo
Thursday, July 12, 2007
In 1963 Paul VI established the Consilium which was tasked with the job of carrying out the liturgical reform mandated by Vatican II. Consilium formulated a new Order of Mass which Paul VI promulgated on April 3, 1969. Conservatives had seen half a decade of continual change in the liturgy as each progressivist revision brought the Mass closer to Protestantism, and, for fear that this new theology was going to eradicate the traditional theology of the Tridentine liturgy, a small group of conservative theologians, liturgists and pastors, including Cardinal Bacci, prepared a study of the contents of the Novus Ordo Missae. Cardinal Ottaviani, whose name to which the document has come to referred to under, consented to revise the study and to present it to Paul VI. The preparation of the text was the duty of Dominican theologian and philosopher then a professor at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome , Fr. M.L. Guérard des Lauriers. What was born of this was what was titled "Breve Esame Critico del Novus Ordo Missae", now commonly known as The Ottaviani Intervention.
And so it was that close to 12 cardinals had agreed to sign the study including Arcadio Cardinal Larraona, former head of the Sacred Congregation of Rites. After examining the Critical Study, Cardinal Ottaviani signed the cover letter on Sept. 13 1969. However, most of its supporters abandoned the thing after a French priest published the Study a month early, leaving only Ottaviani and Bacci the sole supporters of the document.
Antonio Cardinal Bacci was a famous Latinist and during this time served on the Vatican Congregations for Religious, Causes of Saints, and Catholic Education, and was one of the most outstanding scholars on Latin in the Curia having published the Lexicon Eorum Vocabulorum Quae Difficilius Latine Redduntur, a dictionary of modern terms in Latin and a standard reference for writers of Latin, especially in the Vatican, continued his support along with Ottaviani. In 1967 Cardinal Bacci had written a complimentary preface to a book which accused the liturgical reform of abandoning the Council of Trent in favour of novel theologies, and that Cardinal Lercaro, the head of Consilium, was “Luther resurrected.” Cardinal Bacci signed the letter on September 28, and, on September 29, the Study and the covering letter were presented to Paul VI. Almost 2 years later, on Jan. 20, 1971, Antonio Cardinal Bacci died at 84.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
September 25th, 1969
Most Holy Father, Having carefully examined, and presented for the scrutiny of others, the Novus Ordo Missae prepared by the experts of the Consilium ad exequendam Constitutionem de Sacra Liturgia, and after lengthy prayer and reflection, we feel it to be our bounden duty in the sight of God and towards Your Holiness, to put before you the following considerations:
1. The accompanying critical study of the Novus Ordo Missae, the work of a group of theologians, liturgists and pastors of souls, shows quite clearly in spite of its brevity that if we consider the innovations implied or taken for granted which may of course be evaluated in different ways, the Novus Ordo represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent. The "canons" of the rite definitively fixed at that time provided an insurmountable barrier to any heresy directed against the integrity of the Mystery.
2. The pastoral reasons adduced to support such a grave break with tradition, even if such reasons could be regarded as holding good in the face of doctrinal considerations, do not seem to us sufficient. The innovations in the Novus Ordo and the fact that all that is of perennial value finds only a minor place, if it subsists at all, could well turn into a certainty the suspicions already prevalent, alas, in many circles, that truths which have always been believed by the Christian people, can be changed or ignored without infidelity to that sacred deposit of doctrine to which the Catholic faith is bound for ever. Recent reforms have amply demonstrated that fresh changes in the liturgy could lead to nothing but complete bewilderment on the part of the faithful who are already showing signs of restiveness and of an indubitable lessening of faith.
Amongst the best of the clergy the practical result is an agonising crisis of conscience of which innumerable instances come tour notice daily.
3. We are certain that these considerations, which can only reach Your Holiness by the living voice of both shepherds and flock, cannot but find an echo in Your paternal heart, always so profoundly solicitous for the spiritual needs of the children of the Church. It has always been the case that when a law meant for the good of subjects proves to be on the contrary harmful, those subjects have the right, nay the duty of asking with filial trust for the abrogation of that law.
Therefore we most earnestly beseech Your Holiness, at a time of such painful divisions and ever-increasing perils for the purity of the Faith and the unity of the church, lamented by You our common Father, not to deprive us of the possibility of continuing to have recourse to the fruitful integrity of that Missale Romanum of St. Pius V, so highly praised by Your Holiness and so deeply loved and venerated by the whole Catholic world.
A. Card. Ottaviani
A. Card. Bacci
II Definition of the Mass
By a series of equivocations the emphasis is obsessively placed upon the 'supper' and the 'memorial' instead of on the unbloody renewal of the Sacrifice of Calvary.
III Presentation of the Ends
The three ends of the Mass are altered:- no distinction is allowed to remain between Divine and human sacrifice; bread and wine are only "spiritually" (not substantially) changed.
IV The Essence
The Real Presence of Christ is never alluded to and belief in it is implicitly repudiated.
V The Elements of the Sacrifice
The position of both priest and people is falsified and the Celebrant appears as nothing more than a Protestant minister, while the true nature of the Church is intolerably misrepresented.
VI The Destruction of Unity
The abandonment of Latin sweeps away for good and all unity of worship. This may have its effect on unity of belief and the New Order has no intention of standing for the Faith as taught by the Council of Trent to which the Catholic conscience is bound.
VII: The Alienation of the Orthodox
While pleasing various dissenting groups, the New Order will alienate the East.
VIII The Abandonment of Defences
The New Order teems with insinuations or manifest errors against the purity of the Catholic religion and dismantles all defences of the deposit of Faith.
History of the Change
In October 1967, the Episcopal Synod called in Rome was required to pass judgement on the experimental celebration of a so-called "normative Mass" (New Mass), devised by the Consilium ad exsequendam Constitutionem de Sacra Liturgia. This Mass aroused the most serious misgivings. The voting showed considerable opposition (43 non placet), very many substantial reservations (62 juxta modum), and 4 abstentions out of 187 voters. The international press spoke of a "refusal" of the proposed "normative Mass" (New Mass) on the part of the Synod. Progressively-inclined papers made no mention of it. In the Novus Ordo Missae lately promulgated by the Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum, we once again find this "normative Mass" (New Mass), identical in substance, nor does it appear that in the intervening period the Episcopal Conference, at least as such, were ever asked to give their views about it.
In the Apostolic Constitution, it is stated that the ancient Missal promulgated by St. Pius V, 13th July 1570, but going back in great part to St. Gregory the Great and still remoter antiquity, was for four centuries the norm for the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice for priests of the Latin rite, and that, taken to every part of the world, "it has moreover been an abundant source of spiritual nourishment to many holy people in their devotion to God". Yet, the present reform, putting it definitely out of use, was claimed to be necessary since "from that time the study of the Sacred Liturgy has become more widespread and intensive among Christians".
This assertion seems to us to embody a serious equivocation. For the desire of the people was expressed, if at all, when - thanks to Pius X - they began to discover the true and everlasting treasures of the liturgy. The people never on any account asked for the liturgy to be changed, or mutilated so as to understand it better. They asked for a better understanding of the changeless liturgy, and one which they would never have wanted changed.
The Roman Missal of St. Pius V was religiously venerated and most dear to Catholics, both priests and laity. One fails to see how its use, together with suitable catechesis, could have hindered a fuller participation in, and great knowledge of the Sacred Liturgy, nor why, when its many outstanding virtues are recognised, this should not have been considered worthy to continue to foster the liturgical piety of Christians.
Rejected by Synod
Since the "normative" Mass (New Mass), now reintroduced and imposed as the Novus Ordo Missae (New Order of the Mass), was in substance rejected by the Synod of Bishops, was never submitted to the collegial judgement of the Episcopal Conferences, nor have the people - least of all in mission lands - ever asked for any reform of Holy Mass whatsoever, one fails to comprehend the motives behind the new legislation which overthrows a tradition unchanged in the Church since the 4th and 5th centuries, as the Apostolic Constitution itself acknowledges. As no popular demand exists to support this reform, it appears devoid of any logical grounds to justify it and makes it acceptable to the Catholic people.
The Vatican Council did indeed express a desire (para. 50 Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium) for the various parts of the Mass to be reordered "ut singularum partium propria ratio nec non mutua connexio clarius pateant." We shall see how the Ordo recently promulgated corresponds with this original intention.
An attentive examination of the Novus Ordo reveals changes of such magnitude as to justify in themselves the judgement already made with regard to the "normative" Mass. Both have in many points every possibility of satisfying the most Modernists of Protestants.
Definition of the Mass
Let us begin with the definition of the Mass given in No. 7 of the "Institutio Generalis" at the beginning of the second chapter on the Novus Ordo: "De structura Missae":
"The Lord's Supper or Mass is a sacred meeting or assembly of the People of God, met together under the presidency of the priest, to celebrate the memorial of the Lord. Thus the promise of Christ, "where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them", is eminently true of the local community in the Church (Mt. XVIII, 20)".
The definition of the Mass is thus limited to that of the "supper", and this term is found constantly repeated (nos. 8, 48, 55d, 56). This supper is further characterised as an assembly presided over by the priest and held as a memorial of the Lord, recalling what He did on the first Maundy Thursday. None of this in the very least implies either the Real Presence, or the reality of sacrifice, or the Sacramental function of the consecrating priest, or the intrinsic value of the Eucharistic Sacrifice independently of the people's presence. It does not, in a word, imply any of the essential dogmatic values of the Mass which together provide its true definition. Here, the deliberate omission of these dogmatic values amounts to their having been superseded and therefore, at least in practice, to their denial.
In the second part of this paragraph 7 it is asserted, aggravating the already serious equivocation, that there holds good, "eminently", for this assembly Christ's promise that "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matt. XVIII, 20). This promise which refers only to the spiritual presence of Christ with His grace, is thus put on the same qualitative plane, save for the greater intensity, as the substantial and physical reality of the Sacramental Eucharistic Presence.
In no. 8 a subdivision of the Mass into "liturgy of the word" and Eucharistic liturgy immediately follows, with the affirmation that in the Mass is made ready "the table of the God's word" as of "the Body of Christ", so that the faithful "may be built up and refreshed"; an altogether improper assimilation of the two parts of the liturgy, as though between two points of equal symbol value. More will be said about this point later.
This Mass is designed by a great many different expressions, all acceptable relatively, all unacceptable if employed, as they are, separately in an absolute sense.
We cite a few: The Action of the People of God; The Lord's Supper or Mass, the Pascal Banquet; The Common Participation of the Lord's Table; The Eucharistic Prayer; The Liturgy of the Word and the Eucharistic Liturgy.
As is only too evident, the emphasis is obsessively placed upon the supper and the memorial instead of upon the unbloody renewal of the Sacrifice of Calvary. The formula "The Memorial of the Passion and Resurrection of the Lord", besides, is inexact, the Mass being the memorial of the Sacrifice alone, in itself redemptive, while the Resurrection is the consequent fruit of it.
We shall later see how, in the very consecratory formula, and throughout the Novus Ordo, such equivocations are renewed and reiterated.
Presentation of the Ends
We now come to the ends of the Mass.
1. Ultimate End. This is that of the Sacrifice of praise to the Most Holy Trinity according to the explicit declaration of Christ in the primary purpose of His very Incarnation: "Coming into the world he saith: 'sacrifice and oblation thou wouldst not but a body thou hast fitted me' ". (Ps. XXXIX, 7-9 in Heb. X, 5).
This end has disappeared: from the Offertory, with the disappearance of the prayer "Suscipe, Sancta Trinitas", from the end of the Mass with the omission of the "Placet tibi Sancta Trinitas", and from the Preface, which on Sunday will no longer be that of the Most Holy Trinity, as this Preface will be reserved only to the Feast of the Trinity, and so in future will be heard but once a year.
2. Ordinary End. This is the propitiatory Sacrifice. It too has been deviated from; for instead of putting the stress on the remission of sins of the living and the dead, it lays emphasis on the nourishment and sanctification of those present (No. 54). Christ certainly instituted the Sacrament of the Last Supper putting Himself in the state of Victim in order that we might be united to Him in this state but his self- immolation precedes the eating of the Victim, and has an antecedent and full redemptive value (the application of the bloody immolation). This is borne out by the fact that the faithful present are not bound to communicate, sacramentally.
3. Immanent End. Whatever the nature of the Sacrifice, it is absolutely necessary that it be pleasing and acceptable to God. After the Fall no sacrifice can claim to be acceptable in its own right other than the Sacrifice of Christ. The Novus Ordo changes the nature of the offering turning it into a sort of exchange of gifts between man and God: man brings the bread, and God turns it into the "bread of life"; man brings the wine, and God turns it into a "spiritual drink".
"Thou are blessed Lord God of the Universe because from thy generosity we have received the bread (or wine) which we offer thee, the fruit of the earth (or vine) and of man's labour. May it become for us the bread of life (or spiritual drink)".
There is no need to comment on the utter indeterminateness of the formulae "bread of life" and "spiritual drink", which might mean anything. The same capital equivocation is repeated here, as in the definition of the Mass: there, Christ is present only spiritually among His own: here, bread and wine are only "spiritually" (not substantially) changed.
Suppression of Great Prayers
In the preparation of the offering, a similar equivocation results from the suppression of two great prayers. The "Deus qui humanae substantiae dignitatem mirabiliter condidisti et mirabilius reformasti" was a reference to man's former condition of innocence and to his present one of being ransomed by the Blood of Christ: a recapitulation of the whole economy of the Sacrifice, from Adam to the present moment. The final propitiatory offering of the chalice, that it might ascend "cum adore suavitatis", into the presence of the divine majesty, whose clemency was implored, admirably reaffirmed this plan. By suppressing the continual reference of the Eucharistic prayers to God, there is no longer any clear distinction between divine and human sacrifice.
Having removed the keystone, the reformers have had to put up scaffolding; suppressing real ends, they had to substitute fictitious ends of their own; leading to gestures intended to stress to union of priest and faithful, and of the faithful among themselves; offerings for the poor and for the church superimposed upon the Offering of the Host to be immolated. There is a danger that the uniqueness of this offer will become blurred, so that participation in the immolation of the Victim comes to resemble a philanthropical meeting, or a charity banquet.
We now pass on to the essence of the Sacrifice.
The mystery of the Cross is no longer explicitly expressed. It is only there obscurely, veiled, imperceptible for the people. And for these reasons:
1. The sense given in the Novus Ordo to the so-called "prex Eucharistica" is: "that the whole congregation of the faithful may be united to Christ in proclaiming the great wonders of God and in offering sacrifice" (No. 54. the end)
Which sacrifice is referred to? Who is the offerer? No answer is given to either of these questions. The initial definition of the "prex Eucharistica" is as follows: "The centre and culminating point of the whole celebration now has a beginning, namely the Eucharistic Prayer, a prayer of thanksgiving and of sanctification" (No. 54, pr.). The effects thus replace the causes, of which not one single word is said. The explicit mention of the object of the offering, which was found in the "Suscipe", has not been replaced by anything. The change in formulation reveals the change in doctrine.
2. The reason for this non-explicitness concerning the Sacrifice is quite simply that the Real Presence has been removed from the central position which it occupied so resplendently in the former Eucharistic liturgy. There is but a single reference to the Real Presence, (a quotation - a footnote - from the Council of Trent) and again the context is that of "nourishment" (no. 241, note 63)
The Real and permanent Presence of Christ, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, in the transubstantiated Species is never alluded to. The very word transubstantiation is totally ignored.
The suppression of the invocation to the Third Person of the Most Holy Trinity ("Veni Sanctificator") that He may descend upon the oblations, as once before into the womb of the Most Blessed Virgin to accomplish the miracle of the divine Presence, is yet one more instance of the systematic and tacit negation of the Real Presence.
Note, too, the suppressions:
* of the genuflections (no more than three remain to the priest, and one, with certain exceptions, to the people, at the Consecration;
* of the purification of the priest's fingers in the chalice;
* of the preservation from all profane contact of the priest's fingers after the Consecration; of the purification of the vessels, which need not be immediate, nor made on the corporal;
* of the pall protecting the chalice;
* of the internal gilding of sacred vessels;
* of the consecration of movable altars;
* of the sacred stone and relics in the movable altar or upon the "table" - "when celebration does not occur in sacred precincts" (this distinction leads straight to "Eucharistic suppers" in private houses);
* of the three altar-cloths, reduced to one only;
* of thanksgiving kneeling (replaced by a thanksgiving, seated, on the part of the priest and people, a logical enough complement to Communion standing);
* of all the former prescriptions in the case of the consecrated Host falling, which are now reduced to a single, casual direction: "reventur accipiatur" (no. 239)
All these things only serve to emphasise how outrageously faith in the dogma of the Real Presence is implicitly repudiated.
3. The function assigned to the altar (no. 262). The altar is almost always called 'table', "The altar or table of the Lord, which is the centre of the whole Eucharistic liturgy" (no. 49, cf. 262). It is laid down that the altar must be detached from the walls so that it is possible to walk round it and celebration may be facing the people (no. 262); also that the altar must be the centre of the assembly of the faithful so that their attention is drawn spontaneously towards it (ibid). But a comparison of no. 262 and 276 would seem to suggest that the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament on this altar is excluded. This will mark an irreparable dichotomy between the presence, in the celebrant, of the eternal High Priest and that same presence brought about sacramentally. Before, they were 'one and the same presence'.
Separation of Altar and Tabernacle
Now it is recommended that the Blessed Sacrament be kept in a place apart for the private devotion of the people (almost as though it were a question of devotion to a relic of some kind) so that, on going into a church, attention will no longer be focused upon the Tabernacle but upon a stripped, bare table. Once again the contrast is made between 'private' piety and 'liturgical' piety: altar is set up against altar.
In the insistent recommendation to distribute in Communion the Species consecrated during the same Mass, indeed to consecrate a loaf for the priest to distribute to at least some of the faithful, we find reasserted disparaging attitude towards the Tabernacle, as towards every form of Eucharistic piety outside of the Mass. This constitutes yet another violent blow to faith in the Real Presence as long as the consecrated Species remain.
The formula of Consecration. The ancient formula of consecration was properly a sacramental not a narrative one. This was shown above all by three things:
a) The Scriptural text not taken up word for word: the Pauline insertion "mysterium fidei" was an immediate confession of the priest's faith in the mystery realised by the Church through the hierarchical priesthood.
b) The punctuation and typographical lay-out: the full stop and new paragraph marking the passage from the narrative mode to the sacramental and affirmative one, the sacramental words in larger characters at the centre of the page and often in a different colour, clearly detached from the historical context. All combined to give the formula a proper and autonomous value.
"To separate the Tabernacle from the Altar is tantamount to separating two things which, of their very nature, must remain together". (PIUS XII, Allocution to the International Liturgy Congress, Assisi-Rome, Sept. 18-23, 1956). cf. also Mediator Dei, 1.5, note 28.
c) The anamnesis ("Haec quotiescompque feceritis in mei memoriam facietis"), which in Greek is "eis emou anamnesin" (directed to my memory.) This referred to Christ operating and not to mere memory of Him, or of the event: an invitation to recall what He did ("Haec . . . in mei memoriam facietis") in the way He did it, not only His Person, or the Supper. The Pauline formula ("Hoc facite in meam commemorationem") which will now take the place of the old - proclaimed as it will be daily in vernacular languages will irremediably cause the hearers to concentrate on the memory of Christ as the 'end' of the Eucharistic action, whilst it is really the 'beginning'. The concluding idea of 'commemoration' will certainly once again take the place of the idea of sacramental action.
The narrative mode is now emphasised by the formula "narratio institutionis" (no. 55d) and repeated by the definition of the anamnesis, in which it is said that "The Church recalls the memory of Himself" (no. 556).
In short: the theory put forward by the epiclesis, the modification of the words of Consecration and of the anamnesis, have the effect of modifying the modus significandi of the words of Consecration. The consecratory formulae are here pronounced by the priest as the constituents of a historical narrative and no longer enunciated as expressing the categorical affirmation uttered by Him in whole Person the priest acts: "Hoc est Corpus meum" (not, "Hoc est Corpus Christi").
Furthermore the acclamation assigned to the people immediately after the Consecration: ("We announce thy death, O Lord, until Thou comest") introduces yet again, under cover of eschatology, the same ambiguity concerning the Real Presence. Without interval or distinction, the expectation of Christ's Second Coming at the end of time is proclaimed just at the moment when He is substantially present on the altar, almost as though the former, and not the latter, were the true Coming.
This is brought out even more strongly in the formula of optional acclamation no. 2 (Appendix): "As often as we eat of this bread and drink of this chalice we announce thy death, O Lord, until thou comest", where the juxtaposition of the different realities of immolation and eating, of the Real Presence and of Christ's Second Coming, reaches the height of ambiguity.
The Elements of Sacrifice
We come now to the realisation of the Sacrifice, the four elements of which were: 1) Christ, 2) the priest, 3) the Church, 4) the faithful present.
In the Novus Ordo, the position attributed to the faithful is autonomous (absoluta), hence totally false - from the opening definition: "Missa est sacra synaxis seu congregatio populi" to the priest's salutation to the people which is meant to convey to the assembled community the "presence" of the Lord (no. 48). "Qua salutatione et populi responsione manifestatur ecclesiae congregatae mysterium".
A true presence, certainly of Christ but only a spiritual one, and a mystery of the Church, but solely as an assembly manifesting and soliciting such a presence.
This interpretation is constantly underlined: by the obsessive references to the communal character of the Mass (nos. 74-152); by the unheard of distinction between "Mass with congregation" and "Mass without congregation" (nos. 203-231); by the definition of the "oratio universalis seu fidelium" (no. 45) where once more we find stressed the "sacerdotal office" of the people (populus sui sacerdotii munus excercens") presented in an equivocal way because its subordination to that of the priest is not mentioned, and all the more since the priest, as consecrated mediator, makes himself the interpreter of all the intentions of the people in the Te igitur and the two Memento.
In "Eucharistic Prayer III" ("Vere sanctus", p. 123) the following words are addressed to the Lord: "from age to age you gather a people to yourself, in order that from east to west a perfect offering may be made to the glory of your name", the 'in order that' making it appear that the people rather than the priest are the indispensable element in the celebration; and since not even here is it made clear who the offerer is, the people themselves appear to be invested with autonomous priestly powers. From this step it would not be surprising if, before long, the people were authorised to join the priest in pronouncing the consecrating formulae (which actually seems here and there to have already occurred).
Priest as Mere President
2) The priest's position is minimised, changed and falsified. Firstly in relation to the people for whom he is, for the most part, a mere president, or brother, instead of the consecrated minister celebrating in persona Christi. Secondly in relation to the Church, as a "quidam de populo". In the definition of the epiclesis (no. 55), the invocations are attributed anonymously to the Church: the part of the priest has vanished.
In the Confiteor which has now become collective, he is no longer judge, witness and intercessor with God; so it is logical that his is no longer empowered to give the absolution, which has been suppressed. He is integrated with the fratres. Even the server address him as such in the Confiteor of the "Missa sine populo".
Already, prior to this latest reform, the significant distinction between the Communion of the priest - the moment in which the Eternal High Priest and the one acting in His Person were brought together in the closest union - and the Communion of the faithful has been suppressed.
Not a word do we now find as to the priest's power to sacrifice, or about his act of consecration, the bringing about through him of the Eucharistic Presence. He now appears as nothing more than a Protestant minister.
The disappearance, or optional use, of many sacred vestments (in certain cases the alb and stole are sufficient - no. 298) obliterate even more the original conformity with Christ: the priest is no more clothed with all His virtues, become merely a "non-commissioned officer" whom one or two signs may distinguish from the mass of the people: "a little more a man than the rest", to quite the involuntarily humorous definition of a modern preacher. Again, as with the "table" and the Altar, there is separated what God has united: the sole Priesthood and the Word of God.
3) Finally, there is the Church's position in relation to Christ. In one case only, namely the "Mass without congregation", is the Mass acknowledged to be "Actio Christi et Ecclesiae" (no. 4, cf. Presb. Ord. no. 13), whereas in the case of the "Mass with congregation" this is not referred to except for the purpose of "remembering Christ" and sanctifying those present. The words used are: "In offering the sacrifice through Christ in the Holy Ghost to God the Father, the priest associates the people with himself" (no. 60), instead one ones which would associate the people with Christ Who offers Himself "per Spiritum Sanctum Deo Patri".
In this context the follows are to be noted:
1) the very serious omission of the phrase "Through Christ Our Lord", the guarantee of being heard given to the Church in every age (John, XIV, 13-14; 15; 16; 23; 24);
2) the all pervading "paschalism", almost as though there were no other, quite different and equally important, aspects of the communication of grace;
3) the very strange and dubious eschatologism whereby the communication of supernatural grace, a reality which is permanent and eternal, is brought down to the dimensions of time: we hear of a people on the march, a pilgrim Church - no longer militant - against the Powers of Darkness - looking towards a future which having lost its line with eternity is conceived in purely temporal terms.
The Church - One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic - is diminished as such in the formula that, in the "Eucharistic Prayer No. 4", has taken the place of the prayer of the Roman Cannon "on behalf of all orthodox believers of the Catholic and apostolic faith". Now we have merely: "all who seek you with a sincere heart".
Again, in the Memento for the dead, these have no longer passed on "with the sign of faith and sleep the sleep of peace" but only "who have died in the peace of thy Christ", and to them are added, with further obvious detriment to the concept of visible unity, the host "of all the dead whose faith is known to you alone".
Furthermore, in none of three new Eucharistic prayers, is there any reference, as has already been said, to that state of suffering of those who have died, in none the possibility of a particular Memento: all of this again, must undermine faith in the propitiatory and redemptive nature of the Sacrifice.
Desacralizing the Church
Desacralising omissions everywhere debase the mystery of the Church. Above all she is not presented as a sacred hierarchy: Angels and Saints are reduced to anonymity in the second part of the collective Confiteor: they have disappeared, as witnesses and judges, in the person of St. Michael, for the first.
The various hierarchies of angels have also disappeared (and this is without precedent) from the new Preface of "Prayer II". In the Communicantes, reminder of the Pontiffs and holy martyrs on whom the Church of Rome is founded and who were, without doubt, the transmitters of the apostolic traditions, destined to be completed in what became, with St. Gregory, the Roman Mass, has been suppressed. In the Libera nos the Blessed Virgin, the Apostles and all the Saints are no longer mentioned: her and their intercession is thus no longer asked, even in time of peril.
The unity of the Church is gravely compromised by the wholly intolerable omission from the entire Ordo, including the three new Prayers, of the names of the Apostles Peter and Paul, Founders of the Church of Rome, and the names of the other Apostles, foundation and mark of the one and universal Church, the only remaining mention being in the Communicantes of the Roman Canon.
A clear attack upon the dogma of the Communion of Saints is the omission, when the priest is celebrating without a server, of all the salutations, and the final Blessing, not to speak of the 'Ite, missa est' now not even said in Masses celebrated with a server.
The double Confiteor showed how the priest, in his capacity of Christ's Minister, bowing down deeply and acknowledging himself unworthy of his sublime mission, of the "tremendum mysterium", about to be accomplished by him and even (in the Aufer a nobis) entering into the Holy of Holies, invoked the intercession (in the Oramus te, Domine) of the merits of the martyrs whose relics were sealed in the altar. Both these prayers have been suppressed; what has been said previously in respect of the double Confiteor and the double Communion is equally relevant here.
The outward setting of the Sacrifice, evidence of its sacred character, has been profaned. See, for example, what is laid down for celebration outside sacred precincts, in which the altar may be replaced by a simple "table" without consecrated stone or relics, and with a single cloth (nos. 260, 265). Here too all that has been previously said with regard to the Real Presence applies, the disassociation of the "convivium" and of the sacrifice of the supper from the Real Presence Itself.
The process of desacralisation is completed thanks to the new procedures for the offering: the reference to ordinary not unleavened bread; altar-servers (and lay people at Communion sub utraque specie) being allowed to handle sacred vessels (no. 244d); the distracting atmosphere created by the ceaseless coming and going of the priest, deacon, subdeacon, psalmist, commentator (the priest becomes commentator himself from his constantly being required to 'explain' what he is about to accomplish) - of readings (men and women), of servers or laymen welcoming people at the door and escorting them to their places whilst others carry and sort offerings. And in the midst of all this prescribed activity, the 'mulier idonea' (anti-Scriptural and anti-Pauline) who for the first time in the tradition of the Church will be authorised to read the lessons and also perform other "ministeria quae extra presbyterium peraguntur" (no. 70).
Finally, there is the concelebration mania, which will end by destroying Eucharistic piety in the priest, by overshadowing the central figure of Christ, sole Priest and Victim, in a collective presence of concelebrants.
The Destruction of Unity
We have limited ourselves to a summary evaluation of the new Ordo where it deviates most seriously from the theology of the Catholic Mass and our observations touch only those deviations that are typical. A complete evaluation of all the pitfalls, the dangers, and spiritually and psychologically destructive elements contained in the document - whether in text, rubrics or instructions - would be a vast undertaking.
By Priest or Parson
No more than a passing glance has been taken at the three new Canons, since these have already come in for repeated and authoritative criticism, both as to form and substance. The second of them gave immediate scandal to the faithful on account of its brevity. Of Canon II it has been well said, among other things, that it could be recited with perfect tranquillity of conscience by a priest who no longer believes either in Transubstantiation or in the sacrificial character of the Mass - hence even by a Protestant minister.
The new Missal was introduced in Rome as "a text of ample pastoral matter", and "more pastoral than juridical", which the Episcopal Conferences would be able to utilise according to the varying circumstances and genius of different peoples. In the same Apostolic Constitution we read: "we have introduced into the New Missal legitimate variations and adaptations". Besides, Section I of the new Congregation for Divine Worship will be responsible "for the publication and 'constant revision' of the liturgical books". The last official bulletin of the Liturgical Institutes of Germany, Switzerland and Austria says: "The Latin texts will now have to be translated into the languages of the various peoples; the 'Roman' style will have to be adapted to the individuality of the local Churches: that which was conceived beyond time must be transposed into the changing context of concrete situations in the constant flux of the Universal Church and of its myriad congregations."
The Apostolic Constitution itself gives the coup de grace to the Church's universal language (contrary to the express will of Vatican Council II) with the bland affirmation that "in such a variety of tongues one (?) and the same prayer of all . . . may ascend more fragrant than any incense".
Council of Trent Rejected
The demise of Latin may therefore be taken for granted; that of Gregorian Chant, which even the Council recognised as "liturgiae romanae proprium" (Sacros Conc. no 116), ordering that "principem locum obtineat" (ibid.) will logically follow, with the freedom of choice, amongst other things, of the texts of the Introit and Gradual.
From the outset therefore the New Rite is launched as pluralistic and experimental, bound to time and place. Unity of worship, thus swept away for good and all, what will become of that unity of faith that went with it, and which, we were always told, was to be defended without compromise?
It is evident that the Novus Ordo has no intention of presenting the Faith as taught by the Council of Trent, to which, nonetheless, the Catholic conscience is bound forever. With the promulgation of the Novus Ordo, the loyal Catholic is thus faced with a most tragic alternative.
The Alienation of the Orthodox
The Apostolic Constitution makes explicit reference to a wealth of piety and teaching in the Novus Ordo borrowed from Eastern Churches. The result - utterly remote from and even opposed to the inspiration of the oriental Liturgies - can only repel the faithful of the Eastern Rites. What, in truth, do these ecumenical options amount to? Basically to the multiplicity of anaphora (but nothing approaching their beauty and complexity), to the presence of deacons, to Communion sub utraque specie.
Against this, the Novus Ordo would appear to have been deliberately shorn of everything which in the Liturgy of Rome came close to those of the East.
Moreover in abandoning its unmistakable and immemorial Roman character, the Novus Ordo lost what was spiritually precious of its own. Its place has been taken by elements which bring it closer only to certain other reformed liturgies (not even those closest to Catholicism) and which debase it at the same time. The East will be ever more alienated, as it already has been by the preceding liturgical reforms.
By the way of compensation the new Liturgy will be the delight of the various groups who, hovering on the verge of apostasy, are wreaking havoc in the Church of God, poisoning her organism and undermining her unity of doctrine, worship, morals and discipline in a spiritual crisis without precedent.
The Abandonment of Defences
St. Pius V had the Roman Missal drawn up (as the present Apostolic Constitution itself recalls) so that it might be an instrument of unity among Catholics. In conformity with the injunctions of the Council of Trent it was to exclude all danger, in liturgical worship, of errors against the Faith, then threatened by the Protestant Reformation. The gravity of the situation fully justified, and even rendered prophetic, the saintly Pontiff's solemn warning given at the end of the Bull promulgating his Missal "should anyone presume to tamper with this, let him know that he shall incur the wrath of God Almighty and his blessed Apostles, Peter and Paul. (Quo Primum, July 13, 1570)
When the Novus Ordo was presented at the Vatican Press Office, it was asserted with great audacity that the reasons which prompted the Tridentine decrees are no longer valid. Not only do they still apply, but there also exist, as we do not hesitate to affirm, very much more serious ones today.
It was precisely in order to ward off the dangers which in every century threaten the purity of the deposit of faith (depositum custodi, devitans profanas vocum novitates" Tim. VI, 20) the Church has had to erect under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost the defences of her dogmatic definitions and doctrinal pronouncements.
These were immediately reflected in her worship, which became the most complete monument of her faith. To try to bring the Church's worship back at all cost to ancient practices by refashioning, artificially and with that "unhealthy archeologism" so roundly condemned by Pius XII, what in earlier times had the grace of original spontaneity means as we see today only too clearly - to dismantle all the theological ramparts erected for the protection of the Rite and to take away all the beauty by which it was enriched over the centuries.
And all this at one of the most critical moments - if not the most critical moment - of the Church's history!
Today, division and schism are officially acknowledged to exist not only outside of but within the Church. Her unity is not only threatened but already tragically compromised. Errors against the Faith are not so much insinuated but rather an inevitable consequence of liturgical abuses and aberrations which have been given equal recognition.
To abandon a liturgical tradition which for four centuries was both the sign and pledge of unity of worship (and to replace it with another which cannot but be a sign of division by virtue of the countless liberties implicitly authorised, and which teems with insinuations or manifest errors against the integrity of the Catholic religion) is, we feel in conscience bound to proclaim, an incalculable error.
Monday, July 9, 2007
The Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum of July 7, 2007 re-establishes the Tridentine Mass in its legal right. In the text it is clearly acknowledged that it was never abrogated. And so fidelity to this Mass – for the sake of which so many priests and lay people have been persecuted, or even severely punished, for almost forty years – this fidelity was never disobedience. Today it is only right and just to thank Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre for having maintained us in this fidelity to the Mass of all times in the name of true obedience, and against all the abuses of power. Also there is no doubt that this recognition of the right of the traditional Mass is the fruit of the vast number of rosaries offered up to Our Lady during our Rosary Crusade last October; let us not forget now to express to her our gratitude.
Beyond the re-establishment of the Mass of Saint Pius V in its legitimate right, it is important to study the concrete measures issued by the Motu Proprio and the justification given by Benedict XVI in the letter which accompanies the text:
- By right, the practical measures taken by the pope must enable the traditional liturgy – not only the Mass, but also the sacraments – to be celebrated normally. This is an immense spiritual benefit for the whole Church, for the priests and faithful who were hitherto paralyzed by the unjust authority of the bishops. However, in the coming months it remains to be seen how these measures will be applied in fact by the bishops and parish priests. For this reason, we will continue to pray for the pope so that he may remain firm following this courageous act.
- The letter accompanying the Motu Proprio gives the pope’s reasons. The affirmation of the existence of one single rite under two forms – the ordinary and the extraordinary forms – of equal right, and especially the rejection of the exclusive celebration of the traditional liturgy, may, it is true, be interpreted as the expression of a political desire not to confront the Bishops’ Conferences which are openly opposed to any liberalization of the Tridentine Mass. But we may also see in this an expression of the "reform of the reform" desired by the pope himself, and in which, as he himself writes in this letter, the Mass of Saint Pius V and that of Paul VI would mutually enrich one another.
In any event, there is in Benedict XVI the clear desire to re-affirm the continuity of Vatican II and the Mass which issued from it, with the bimillenial Tradition. This denial of a rupture caused by the last council – already shown in his address to the Curia on December 22, 2005 – shows that what is at stake in the debate between Rome and the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X is essentially doctrinal. For this reason, the undeniable step forward made by the Motu Proprio in the liturgical domain must be followed – after the withdrawal of the decree of excommunication – by theological discussions.
The reference to Archbishop Lefebvre and the Society of Saint Pius X made in the accompanying letter, as well as the acknowledgment of the testimony given by the young generations which are taking up the torch of Tradition, clearly show that our constancy to defend the lex orandi has been taken into account. With God’s help, we must continue the combat for the lex credendi, the combat for the faith, with the same firmness.
Menzingen, July 7, 2007
+ Bernard Fellay
Saturday, July 7, 2007
By the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, Pope Benedict XVI has reinstated the Tridentine Mass in its rights, and clearly affirmed that the Roman Missal promulgated by Saint Pius V had never been abrogated. The Priestly Society of Saint Pius X rejoices to see the Church thus regain her liturgical Tradition, and give the possibility of a free access to the treasure of the Traditional Mass for the glory of God, the good of the Church and the salvation of souls, to the priests and faithful who had so far been deprived of it. The Priestly Society of Saint Pius X extends its deep gratitude to the Sovereign Pontiff for this great spiritual benefit.
The letter which accompanies the Motu Proprio does not hide however the difficulties that still remain. The Society of Saint Pius X wishes that the favorable climate established by the new dispositions of the Holy See will make it possible – after the decree of excommunication which still affects its bishops has been withdrawn – to consider more serenely the disputed doctrinal issues.
Lex orandi, lex credendi, the law of the liturgy is that of the faith. In the fidelity to the spirit of our founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, the attachment of the Society of Saint Pius X to the traditional liturgy is inseparably united to the faith which has been professed "always, everywhere and by all."
Menzingen, July 7, 2007
Bishop Bernard Fellay
VATICAN CITY, JUL 7, 2007 (VIS) - Given below is the text of the English- language version of Benedict XVI's Letter to all the bishops of the world concerning his Motu Proprio "Summorum Pontificum," which was published today:
"With great trust and hope, I am consigning to you as pastors the text of a new Apostolic Letter 'Motu Proprio data' on the use of the Roman liturgy prior to the reform of 1970. The document is the fruit of much reflection, numerous consultations and prayer.
"News reports and judgments made without sufficient information have created no little confusion. There have been very divergent reactions ranging from joyful acceptance to harsh opposition, about a plan whose contents were in reality unknown.
"This document was most directly opposed on account of two fears, which I would like to address somewhat more closely in this letter.
"In the first place, there is the fear that the document detracts from the authority of the Second Vatican Council, one of whose essential decisions - the liturgical reform - is being called into question.
"This fear is unfounded. In this regard, it must first be said that the Missal published by Paul VI and then republished in two subsequent editions by John Paul II, obviously is and continues to be the normal form - the 'Forma ordinaria' - of the Eucharistic liturgy. The last version of the 'Missale Romanum' prior to the Council, which was published with the authority of Pope John XXIII in 1962 and used during the Council, will now be able to be used as a 'Forma extraordinaria' of the liturgical celebration. It is not appropriate to speak of these two versions of the Roman Missal as if they were 'two rites.' Rather, it is a matter of a twofold use of one and the same rite.
"As for the use of the 1962 Missal as a 'Forma extraordinaria' of the liturgy of the Mass, I would like to draw attention to the fact that this Missal was never juridically abrogated and, consequently, in principle, was always permitted. At the time of the introduction of the new Missal, it did not seem necessary to issue specific norms for the possible use of the earlier Missal. Probably it was thought that it would be a matter of a few individual cases which would be resolved, case by case, on the local level. Afterwards, however, it soon became apparent that a good number of people remained strongly attached to this usage of the Roman Rite, which had been familiar to them from childhood. This was especially the case in countries where the liturgical movement had provided many people with a notable liturgical formation and a deep, personal familiarity with the earlier Form of the liturgical celebration. We all know that, in the movement led by Archbishop Lefebvre, fidelity to the old Missal became an external mark of identity; the reasons for the break which arose over this, however, were at a deeper level. Many people who clearly accepted the binding character of the Second Vatican Council, and were faithful to the Pope and the bishops, nonetheless also desired to recover the form of the sacred liturgy that was dear to them. This occurred above all because in many places celebrations were not faithful to the prescriptions of the new Missal, but the latter actually was understood as authorizing or even requiring creativity, which frequently led to deformations of the liturgy which were hard to bear. I am speaking from experience, since I too lived through that period with all its hopes and its confusion. And I have seen how arbitrary deformations of the liturgy caused deep pain to individuals totally rooted in the faith of the Church.
"Pope John Paul II thus felt obliged to provide, in his Motu Proprio 'Ecclesia Dei' (July 2, 1988), guidelines for the use of the 1962 Missal; that document, however, did not contain detailed prescriptions but appealed in a general way to the generous response of bishops towards the 'legitimate aspirations' of those members of the faithful who requested this usage of the Roman Rite. At the time, the Pope primarily wanted to assist the Society of St. Pius X to recover full unity with the Successor of Peter, and sought to heal a wound experienced ever more painfully. Unfortunately this reconciliation has not yet come about. Nonetheless, a number of communities have gratefully made use of the possibilities provided by the Motu Proprio. On the other hand, difficulties remain concerning the use of the 1962 Missal outside of these groups, because of the lack of precise juridical norms, particularly because bishops, in such cases, frequently feared that the authority of the Council would be called into question. Immediately after the Second Vatican Council it was presumed that requests for the use of the 1962 Missal would be limited to the older generation which had grown up with it, but in the meantime it has clearly been demonstrated that young persons too have discovered this liturgical form, felt its attraction and found in it a form of encounter with the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist, particularly suited to them. Thus the need has arisen for a clearer juridical regulation which had not been foreseen at the time of the 1988 Motu Proprio. The present norms are also meant to free bishops from constantly having to evaluate anew how they are to respond to various situations.
"In the second place, the fear was expressed in discussions about the awaited Motu Proprio, that the possibility of a wider use of the 1962 Missal would lead to disarray or even divisions within parish communities. This fear also strikes me as quite unfounded. The use of the old Missal presupposes a certain degree of liturgical formation and some knowledge of the Latin language; neither of these is found very often. Already from these concrete presuppositions, it is clearly seen that the new Missal will certainly remain the ordinary form of the Roman Rite, not only on account of the juridical norms, but also because of the actual situation of the communities of the faithful.
"It is true that there have been exaggerations and at times social aspects unduly linked to the attitude of the faithful attached to the ancient Latin liturgical tradition. Your charity and pastoral prudence will be an incentive and guide for improving these. For that matter, the two Forms of the usage of the Roman Rite can be mutually enriching: new Saints and some of the new Prefaces can and should be inserted in the old Missal. The 'Ecclesia Dei' Commission, in contact with various bodies devoted to the 'usus antiquior,' will study the practical possibilities in this regard. The celebration of the Mass according to the Missal of Paul VI will be able to demonstrate, more powerfully than has been the case hitherto, the sacrality which attracts many people to the former usage. The most sure guarantee that the Missal of Paul VI can unite parish communities and be loved by them consists in its being celebrated with great reverence in harmony with the liturgical directives. This will bring out the spiritual richness and the theological depth of this Missal.
"I now come to the positive reason which motivated my decision to issue this Motu Proprio updating that of 1988. It is a matter of coming to an interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church. Looking back over the past, to the divisions which in the course of the centuries have rent the Body of Christ, one continually has the impression that, at critical moments when divisions were coming about, not enough was done by the Church's leaders to maintain or regain reconciliation and unity. One has the impression that omissions on the part of the Church have had their share of blame for the fact that these divisions were able to harden. This glance at the past imposes an obligation on us today: to make every effort to unable for all those who truly desire unity to remain in that unity or to attain it anew. I think of a sentence in the Second Letter to the Corinthians, where Paul writes: "Our mouth is open to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. In return . widen your hearts also!" (2 Cor 6:11-13). Paul was certainly speaking in another context, but his exhortation can and must touch us too, precisely on this subject. Let us generously open our hearts and make room for everything that the faith itself allows.
"There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture. What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church's faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place. Needless to say, in order to experience full communion, the priests of the communities adhering to the former usage cannot, as a matter of principle, exclude celebrating according to the new books. The total exclusion of the new rite would not in fact be consistent with the recognition of its value and holiness.
"In conclusion, dear brothers, I very much wish to stress that these new norms do not in any way lessen your own authority and responsibility, either for the liturgy or for the pastoral care of your faithful. Each bishop, in fact, is the moderator of the liturgy in his own diocese.
"Nothing is taken away, then, from the authority of the bishop, whose role remains that of being watchful that all is done in peace and serenity. Should some problem arise which the parish priest cannot resolve, the local ordinary will always be able to intervene, in full harmony, however, with all that has been laid down by the new norms of the Motu Proprio.
"Furthermore, I invite you, dear brothers, to send to the Holy See an account of your experiences, three years after this Motu Proprio has taken effect. If truly serious difficulties come to light, ways to remedy them can be sought.
"Dear brothers, with gratitude and trust, I entrust to your hearts as pastors these pages and the norms of the Motu Proprio. Let us always be mindful of the words of the Apostle Paul addressed to the presbyters of Ephesus: 'Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the Church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son.'
"I entrust these norms to the powerful intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church, and I cordially impart my apostolic blessing to you, dear Brothers, to the parish priests of your dioceses, and to all the priests, your co-workers, as well as to all your faithful."
BXVI-LETTER/MOTU PROPRIO/SUMMORUMVIS 070707 (1860)
EXPLANATORY NOTE ON MOTU PROPRIO "SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM"
VATICAN CITY, JUL 7, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office today issued an explanatory note concerning the Motu Proprio "Summorum Pontificum". The most important paragraphs of the note are given below:
"The Motu Proprio 'Summorum Pontificum' lays down new rules for the use of the Roman liturgy that preceded the reform of 1970. The reasons for such provisions are clearly explained in the Holy Father's letter to bishops which accompanies the Motu Proprio (the two documents have been sent to all the presidents of episcopal conferences and to all nuncios, who have arranged to distribute them to all bishops).
"The fundamental provision is as follows: the Roman liturgy will have two forms ('usus'):
"a) The ordinary form is the one that follows the liturgical reform undertaken by Pope Paul VI in the year 1970, as it appears in the liturgical books promulgated at that time. There is an official edition in Latin which may be used always and everywhere, and translations in divers languages published by the various episcopal conferences.
"b) The extraordinary form: which is that celebrated in accordance with the liturgical books published by Blessed Pope John XXIII in 1962."
In paragraph 8 the note reads: "The bishop of a particular place may erect a personal parish, wherever there is to be found a very substantial number of faithful who wish to follow the earlier liturgy. It would be appropriate for the numbers of faithful to be substantial, even if not comparable to those of other parishes."
The explanatory note also highlights some of the characteristics of the 1962 Missal:
"It is a 'complete' or 'integral' Missal in the Latin language, that is, it also contains the readings for the celebrations (it is not distinct from the 'Lectionary' as the later 1970 Missal is).
"It contains just one Eucharistic prayer, the 'Roman Canon' (corresponding to the first Eucharist Prayer of the later Missal, which includes a choice of various Eucharistic Prayers).
"Various prayers (including a large part of the Canon) are recited by the priest in a low voice inaudible to the people.
"Other differences include the reading of the beginning of the Gospel of John at the end of Mass.
"The 1962 Missal does not provide for concelebration. It says nothing concerning the direction of the altar or of the celebrant (whether facing the people or not)."The Pope's Letter envisages the possibility of future enrichment of the 1962 Missal (inclusion of new saints, new prefaces, etc.)."
OP/MOTU PROPRIO/SUMMORUM PONTIFICUMVIS 070707 (430)
Today the Vatican has released the long awaited Motu Proprio allowing the Latin Mass to be celebrated everywhere under the rubrics of the John XXIII 1962 Missal. Below we will now post the document, Benedict XVI's Letter to the bishops, an explanatory note on it from the Vatican, and the SSPX' response.
MOTU PROPRIO "SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM"
VATICAN CITY, JUL 7, 2007 (VIS) - Given below is a non-official English- language translation of the Apostolic Letter "Motu Proprio data" of Pope Benedict XVI, "Summorum Pontificum," concerning the use of the Roman liturgy prior to the reform of 1970. The original text is written in Latin.
"Up to our own times, it has been the constant concern of supreme pontiffs to ensure that the Church of Christ offers a worthy ritual to the Divine Majesty, 'to the praise and glory of His name,' and 'to the benefit of all His Holy Church.'
"Since time immemorial it has been necessary - as it is also for the future - to maintain the principle according to which 'each particular Church must concur with the universal Church, not only as regards the doctrine of the faith and the sacramental signs, but also as regards the usages universally accepted by uninterrupted apostolic tradition, which must be observed not only to avoid errors but also to transmit the integrity of the faith, because the Church's law of prayer corresponds to her law of faith.' (1)
"Among the pontiffs who showed that requisite concern, particularly outstanding is the name of St. Gregory the Great, who made every effort to ensure that the new peoples of Europe received both the Catholic faith and the treasures of worship and culture that had been accumulated by the Romans in preceding centuries. He commanded that the form of the sacred liturgy as celebrated in Rome (concerning both the Sacrifice of Mass and the Divine Office) be conserved. He took great concern to ensure the dissemination of monks and nuns who, following the Rule of St. Benedict, together with the announcement of the Gospel illustrated with their lives the wise provision of their Rule that 'nothing should be placed before the work of God.' In this way the sacred liturgy, celebrated according to the Roman use, enriched not only the faith and piety but also the culture of many peoples. It is known, in fact, that the Latin liturgy of the Church in its various forms, in each century of the Christian era, has been a spur to the spiritual life of many saints, has reinforced many peoples in the virtue of religion and fecundated their piety.
"Many other Roman pontiffs, in the course of the centuries, showed particular solicitude in ensuring that the sacred liturgy accomplished this task more effectively. Outstanding among them is St. Pius V who, sustained by great pastoral zeal and following the exhortations of the Council of Trent, renewed the entire liturgy of the Church, oversaw the publication of liturgical books amended and 'renewed in accordance with the norms of the Fathers,' and provided them for the use of the Latin Church.
"One of the liturgical books of the Roman rite is the Roman Missal, which developed in the city of Rome and, with the passing of the centuries, little by little took forms very similar to that it has had in recent times.
"'It was towards this same goal that succeeding Roman Pontiffs directed their energies during the subsequent centuries in order to ensure that the rites and liturgical books were brought up to date and when necessary clarified. From the beginning of this century they undertook a more general reform.' (2) Thus our predecessors Clement VIII, Urban VIII, St. Pius X (3), Benedict XV, Pius XII and Blessed John XXIII all played a part.
"In more recent times, Vatican Council II expressed a desire that the respectful reverence due to divine worship should be renewed and adapted to the needs of our time. Moved by this desire our predecessor, the Supreme Pontiff Paul VI, approved, in 1970, reformed and partly renewed liturgical books for the Latin Church. These, translated into the various languages of the world, were willingly accepted by bishops, priests and faithful. John Paul II amended the third typical edition of the Roman Missal. Thus Roman pontiffs have operated to ensure that 'this kind of liturgical edifice ... should again appear resplendent for its dignity and harmony.' (4)
"But in some regions, no small numbers of faithful adhered and continue to adhere with great love and affection to the earlier liturgical forms. These had so deeply marked their culture and their spirit that in 1984 the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, moved by a concern for the pastoral care of these faithful, with the special indult 'Quattuor abhinc anno," issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship, granted permission to use the Roman Missal published by Blessed John XXIII in the year 1962. Later, in the year 1988, John Paul II with the Apostolic Letter given as Motu Proprio, 'Ecclesia Dei,' exhorted bishops to make generous use of this power in favor of all the faithful who so desired.
"Following the insistent prayers of these faithful, long deliberated upon by our predecessor John Paul II, and after having listened to the views of the Cardinal Fathers of the Consistory of 22 March 2006, having reflected deeply upon all aspects of the question, invoked the Holy Spirit and trusting in the help of God, with these Apostolic Letters we establish the following:
"Art 1. The Roman Missal promulgated by Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the 'Lex orandi' (Law of prayer) of the Catholic Church of the Latin rite. Nonetheless, the Roman Missal promulgated by St. Pius V and reissued by Bl. John XXIII is to be considered as an extraordinary expression of that same 'Lex orandi,' and must be given due honour for its venerable and ancient usage. These two expressions of the Church's Lex orandi will in no any way lead to a division in the Church's 'Lex credendi' (Law of belief). They are, in fact two usages of the one Roman rite.
"It is, therefore, permissible to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal promulgated by Bl. John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated, as an extraordinary form of the Liturgy of the Church. The conditions for the use of this Missal as laid down by earlier documents 'Quattuor abhinc annis' and 'Ecclesia Dei,' are substituted as follows:
"Art. 2. In Masses celebrated without the people, each Catholic priest of the Latin rite, whether secular or regular, may use the Roman Missal published by Bl. Pope John XXIII in 1962, or the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1970, and may do so on any day with the exception of the Easter Triduum. For such celebrations, with either one Missal or the other, the priest has no need for permission from the Apostolic See or from his Ordinary.
"Art. 3. Communities of Institutes of consecrated life and of Societies of apostolic life, of either pontifical or diocesan right, wishing to celebrate Mass in accordance with the edition of the Roman Missal promulgated in 1962, for conventual or "community" celebration in their oratories, may do so. If an individual community or an entire Institute or Society wishes to undertake such celebrations often, habitually or permanently, the decision must be taken by the Superiors Major, in accordance with the law and following their own specific decrees and statues.
"Art. 4. Celebrations of Mass as mentioned above in art. 2 may - observing all the norms of law - also be attended by faithful who, of their own free will, ask to be admitted.
"Art. 5. õ 1 In parishes, where there is a stable group of faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical tradition, the pastor should willingly accept their requests to celebrate the Mass according to the rite of the Roman Missal published in 1962, and ensure that the welfare of these faithful harmonises with the ordinary pastoral care of the parish, under the guidance of the bishop in accordance with canon 392, avoiding discord and favouring the unity of the whole Church. õ 2 Celebration in accordance with the Missal of Bl. John XXIII may take place on working days; while on Sundays and feast days one such celebration may also be held. õ 3 For faithful and priests who request it, the pastor should also allow celebrations in this extraordinary form for special circumstances such as marriages, funerals or occasional celebrations, e.g. pilgrimages. õ 4 Priests who use the Missal of Bl. John XXIII must be qualified to do so and not juridically impeded. õ 5 In churches that are not parish or conventual churches, it is the duty of the Rector of the church to grant the above permission.
Art. 6. In Masses celebrated in the presence of the people in accordance with the Missal of Bl. John XXIII, the readings may be given in the vernacular, using editions recognised by the Apostolic See.
"Art. 7. If a group of lay faithful, as mentioned in art. 5 õ 1, has not obtained satisfaction to their requests from the pastor, they should inform the diocesan bishop. The bishop is strongly requested to satisfy their wishes. If he cannot arrange for such celebration to take place, the matter should be referred to the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei".
"Art. 8. A bishop who, desirous of satisfying such requests, but who for various reasons is unable to do so, may refer the problem to the Commission "Ecclesia Dei" to obtain counsel and assistance.
"Art. 9. õ 1 The pastor, having attentively examined all aspects, may also grant permission to use the earlier ritual for the administration of the Sacraments of Baptism, Marriage, Penance, and the Anointing of the Sick, if the good of souls would seem to require it. õ 2 Ordinaries are given the right to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation using the earlier Roman Pontifical, if the good of souls would seem to require it. õ 2 Clerics ordained "in sacris constitutis" may use the Roman Breviary promulgated by Bl. John XXIII in 1962.
"Art. 10. The ordinary of a particular place, if he feels it appropriate, may erect a personal parish in accordance with can. 518 for celebrations following the ancient form of the Roman rite, or appoint a chaplain, while observing all the norms of law.
"Art. 11. The Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei", erected by John Paul II in 1988 (5), continues to exercise its function. Said Commission will have the form, duties and norms that the Roman Pontiff wishes to assign it.
"Art. 12. This Commission, apart from the powers it enjoys, will exercise the authority of the Holy See, supervising the observance and application of these dispositions.
"We order that everything We have established with these Apostolic Letters issued as Motu Proprio be considered as "established and decreed", and to be observed from 14 September of this year, Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, whatever there may be to the contrary.
" From Rome, at St. Peter's, 7 July 2007, third year of Our Pontificate." (1) General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 3rd ed., 2002, no. 397. (2) John Paul II, Apostolic Letter "Vicesimus quintus annus," 4 December 1988, 3: AAS 81 (1989), 899.
(3) Ibid. (4) St. Pius X, Apostolic Letter Motu propio data, "Abhinc duos annos," 23 October 1913: AAS 5 (1913), 449-450; cf John Paul II, Apostolic Letter "Vicesimus quintus annus," no. 3: AAS 81 (1989), 899. (5) Cf John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Motu proprio data "Ecclesia Dei," 2 July 1988, 6: AAS 80 (1988), 1498.
BXVI-MP/.../SUMMORUM PONTIFICUMVIS 070707 (1900)
Monday, July 2, 2007
"The case of the general talk of "progress" is, indeed, an extreme one. As enunciated today, "progress" is simply a comparative of which we have not settled the superlative. We meet every ideal of religion, patriotism, beauty, or brute pleasure with the alternative ideal of progress--that is to say, we meet every proposal of getting something that we know about,
with an alternative proposal of getting a great deal more of nobodyknows what. Progress, properly understood, has, indeed, a most dignified and legitimate meaning. But as used in opposition to precise moral ideals, it is ludicrous. So far from it being the truth that the ideal of progress is to be set against that of ethical or religious finality, the reverse is the truth. Nobody has any business to use the word "progress" unless he has a definite creed and a cast-iron code of morals. Nobody can be progressive without being doctrinal; I might almost say that nobody can be progressive without being infallible-- at any rate, without believing in some infallibility.
For progress by its very name indicates a direction; and the moment we are in the least doubtful about the direction, we become in the same degree doubtful about the progress. Never perhaps since the beginning of the world has there been an age that had less right to use the word "progress" than we. In the Catholic twelfth century, in the philosophic eighteenth
century, the direction may have been a good or a bad one, men may have differed more or less about how far they went, and in what direction, but about the direction they did in the main agree, and consequently they had the genuine sensation of progress. But it is precisely about the direction that we disagree. Whether the future excellence lies in more law or less law, in more liberty or less liberty; whether property will be finally concentrated or finally cut up; whether sexual passion will reach its sanest in an almost virgin intellectualism or in a full animal freedom; whether we should love everybody with Tolstoy, or spare nobody with Nietzsche;--these are the things about which we are actually fighting most. It is not merely true that the age which has settled least what is progress is this "progressive" age. It is, moreover, true that the people who have settled least what is progress are the most "progressive" people in it. The ordinary mass, the men who have never troubled about progress, might be trusted perhaps to progress. The particular individuals who talk about progress would certainly fly to the four winds of heaven when the pistol-shot started the race. I do not, therefore, say that the word "progress" is unmeaning; I say it is unmeaning without the previous definition of a moral doctrine, and that it can only be applied to groups of persons who hold that doctrine in common. Progress is not an illegitimate word, but it is logically evident that it is illegitimate for us. It is a sacred word, a word which could only rightly be used by rigid believers and in the ages of faith."
-- G. K. Chesterton - "Heretics".
"Every one of the popular modern phrases and ideals is a dodge in order to shirk the problem of what is good. We are fond of talking about "liberty"; that, as we talk of it, is a dodge to avoid discussing what is good. We are fond of talking about "progress"; that is a dodge to avoid discussing what is good. We are fond of talking about "education"; that is a dodge to avoid discussing what is good. The modern man says, "Let us leave all these arbitrary standards and embrace liberty." This is, logically rendered, "Let us not decide what is good, but let it be considered good not to decide it." He says, "Away with your old moral formulae; I am for progress." This, logically stated, means, "Let us not settle what is good; but let us settle whether we are getting more of it." He says, "Neither in religion nor morality, my friend, lie the hopes of the race, but in education." This, clearly expressed, means, "We cannot decide what is good, but let us give it to our children."
-- G. K. Chesterton, "Heretics".