Wednesday, February 28, 2007

2007 German horror tale 

"Earlier this month, a German teenager was forcibly taken from her parents and imprisoned in a psychiatric ward. Her crime? She is being home-schooled."


Austrian Catholic Youth- 60 years


My wife was a member in the days when they took their identity from God and his Church and before they became self-referrential. Sorry in German.

Storm is brewing over editorial control of new German Muslim TV programming

ZDF are disputing about the “Word on Friday”
Translation of article.

Previous posts here.

A storm is brewing on the contents of the internet provision of the planned programme “Word on Friday” between the Islamic Associations in Germany and ZDF. The ZDF Editor in Chief Nikolaus Brender told FAZ on Tuesday “it is obvious that the overall editorial responsibility is with ZDF”.

“The receivers of this programme will not only be Muslims but the entire German society who do not understand Islam fully. Society therefore has a right to discover more about this religion through questions. I therefore imagine that it would have a strong content related to dialogue. We live in a time where religion attracts stronger interest, which should come across in the considerations of religious journalism,” Brender stated.

The religious journalists are in the process of developing a format for the “Word on Friday” and ZDF aims to launch the programme in may of this year.

“There are enough talk shows”

The General Secretary of the Muslim Central Council, Aiman Mazyek said when talking to the FAZ that it does not make sense if the transmission is solely another platform for “a dispute with Islam”. He said “there are enough talk shows which feature this”. It is rather that according to the Law guaranteeing equality in the German constitution, in addition to the “Word on Sunday”, there should be a platform for the sermons of representatives of other religions. The responsibility for the contents of the Islamic contributions in this programme are “naturally with the Islamic associations”, according toMazyek. He wishes to start a level headed and open debate. He could imagine that Muslims would share a space with Christian churches, Jews and agnostics. “One should consider, over and above this, whether the present concept that makes religion public should be newly addressed”, so said Mayciek.

The Speaker of the Turkish Islamic Union for Religion (DITIB) Bekir Alboga told FAZ that a meeting with ZDF representatives was planned for this week. He stated that he considered the ZDF offer to be serious. “I am glad that the Home Secretary said at the Islamic conference that Islam is now a part of Germany and this was not just lip-service”. Alboga did not talk about the contents of this new programme, which are only details. He did say however that he expects that the programme would be like the “Word on Sunday. Sermons would be in German. More details on the programme would be considered in the Coordination Committee of the German Islamic Associations. The Committee consists DITIB, the Central Islamic Council and the Association of the Islamic Cultural Centres.

Overheard in the Sacristy

"It is my hope that the Latin Mass according to the 1962 Missal, would be not a relic of the past but a living, viable expression and experience of faith and worship to help strengthen us in our Catholic heritage to resist the false promises the world holds out to us and live a life of virtue and authentic joy...' -- Auxiliary Bishop of San Diego, Salvatore Cordileon"

Full news story here.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

News maybe on the Latin Mass indult

"The news comes from Rome and was confirmed yesterday in the Sacred Halls.":

What did you do in the Cold War, Father?

New book links dozens of priests in Poland to Communist-era secret services.

Indult for the Latin Mass

In the end, its all up to the Pope.

The Vatican does not want those that oppose the indult to say that it was due to undue pressure from traditionalists. Hence, Cardinal Hoyos earlier comments about the international petitions for the new indult.

Bishop Mixa's defence of family values


More criticism from all sides

Family Minister, Van der Leyen warns the Christian Democrats of a return to the 1950s
Translation of Part I. Part II of this article to follow.

Hypocrisy, cynicism, verbal abuse. The dispute about future nursery places becomes more controversial.

Frau Nahles of the Socialist Party calls the Family Minister’s plans “a makeover programme”, whilst Family Minister van der Leyen considers the dispute in her party “almost cynical”. Member of the Socialist Party governing body, Andrea Nahles reproaches her coalition partner for being hypocritical in order to achieve improved nursery care.

Frau Nahles, centre, pretending to be one of the Three Kings.
Beware of socialists bearing gifts.

She says in the Liepziger Volkszeitung that instead of reproaching the socialists for their financing suggestions of improved nursery care “they should, in the first place, their own ideological problems in their own court”. The SPD leftwinger suggested on the topic of financing to utilise a period of time, for instance, five years and that instead of increasing child benefit in this time to use the freed-up means in a qualitative and quantitative extension of nursery care. If the Union considers this suggestions as not being “socialists” then their intention is to hide their own ideological problems. “Frau van der Leyen’s make-up is very thin”, Nahles said critically. On the other the Family Minister considered it cynical when some people make out as if a voluntary offer of a nursery place for a child is seen as an obligation to send one’s child there. In view of the heated debate on her proposal of extending massively children’s nursery provision in Germany, she warned the Frankfurter Rundschau about the conflict between generations in the CDU. “We should not try to go back to the 50s, when we are in the year 2010.” Van der Leyen said it is beyond discussion to comment on the reproach of the Augsberg Bishop Mixa that she degrades women to baby making machines when she tries to extend provision for women of more nursery places. Demands for a family summit were brushed aside by the Minister when she said, “ I don’t think much of summits” The interaction of State, regions and local government cannot be handled in a summit on one morning.

Bishop Mixa criticism has continued to attract great interest. The German Family League in Bavaria, on Sunday, supported Mixa’s position. The needs of the family are only met in family policy at the moment if this is in the interest of the economy. This is what Johannes Schroeter of Munich, the Regional Chairman of the Family League said. “ The result is the one-sided emphasis on the mother’s earnings which Bishop Mixa quite rightly criticises.”

Para on Bishop Mixa’s restated position – see original story.

The Catholic Family League in Bavaria stated that the background to the latest family policy is in actual fact a strategy paper published by the national Family Ministry and the National Association of German Industry, dated November 2004. The aim of this paper was to ensure availability of a large workforce for the economy, despite a reducing population. It was seen that this could be achieved by increased nursery care outside the family and the withdrawal of the financial support for family childcare.

This strategy paper has now more and more taken on concrete in the hands of van der Leyen.

The Young Liberals in Swabia however, have asked Bishop Mixa to apologise for his verbal abuse whereby the expression “child bearing machines” was totally unacceptable. In fact, Bishop Mixa should in future concentrate on the care of souls and should respect the seperation of religion and state.

Cathcon note

Mixa has now withdrawn the use of this expression.

St Patrick's Day Recollection and Latin Mass


Cardinal Sin


So wicked, I post the whole article.


FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE: Cardinal Egan (above) had Our Lady of Vilnius padlocked by order as he met with pastor Eugene Sawicki.

Edward Cardinal Egan pulled a fast one on a lower Manhattan parish pastor yesterday, summoning the priest to meet with him - then dispatching security guards to permanently lock the cleric's church doors.

The priest returned to Our Lady of Vilnius to find himself locked out - a brusque Egan move that left parishioners stunned and saddened.

The cardinal's move also occurred right before a scheduled meeting with Lithuania's consul general, who was set to make a plea to save the church, parishioners and the Archdiocese of New York said.

"Cardinal Egan again shows his true colors," said Peter Borre, a Boston man who is advising local parishioners in their efforts to avoid planned church closings by the archdiocese.

"This church has been here for 102 years. We're supposed to have a 12:15 p.m. Mass today and people were turned away crying," said the church's secretary, who gave only her first name, Joy.

"I find this unconscionable."

Egan's sneak attack came just days after The Post revealed that Lithuania's president had written a letter asking that he reverse a plan to close Our Lady of Vilnius on Broome Street, originally founded to serve natives of his country.

It also comes on the heels of his abrupt closure of an East Harlem church after parishioners there staged a one-day sit-in that ended in six arrests, and after two similar trespassing arrests at a Yonkers church that was being closed.

"It seems to be a vindictive act," said Ramute Zukas, president of the local chapter of the Lithuanian-American Community Inc., who has coordinated efforts to keep Our Lady of Vilnius open.

Egan's spokesman last week had said that although the small church was slated to close - because of dwindling attendance, a crumbling roof and the fact that Mass no longer was being offered in Lithuanian - no closing date had been set.

But yesterday, Egan summoned the Rev. Eugene Sawicki to his Madison Avenue office at 9 a.m., and told him "the closure is effective immediately," said archdiocese spokesman Joseph Zwilling.

Even as that meeting with the pastor was occurring, three security guards were changing the locks on the parish doors and preventing anyone from entering.

An hour later, Egan met with Lithuanian Consul General Mindaugas Butkus, who hand-delivered President Valdas Adamkus' letter, and told the cardinal that "we value [the church] very much . . . it has historical value and cultural value."

Butkus, who had scheduled the meeting days before, had no idea the closing was imminent.

Asked if he was insulted by Egan agreeing to hear his request when he had already made up his mind, Butkus said, "I decline to comment."

But he said Egan "expressed dissatisfaction" about the way the issue had been portrayed in the media.

Zwilling, asked if anything had happened between last week and yesterday to prompt the cardinal's sudden shuttering of the church, said "nothing in particular," and denied that Egan was miffed by press coverage of the planned closure.

Liturgical excellence

as interpreted by Desperate Housewives stands for liturgical decadence.

German bishop supports the return of the Latin Mass


Bishop Hanke of Eichstätt stated to the Donau Kurier today that a generous permission of the old Rite would offer more people a home in the Church. Furthermore, he stated that the Catholic University of Eichstaett would get a stronger profile otherwise it would be difficult to convince other Bishops about the facility.

The Bishop also pointed to the problems caused by the probable enormous destruction of books in the library of the Capuchins by the head librarian. It is of greatest importance to take a stock and to evaluate the loss in an investigation. (Seems the librarian destroyed thousands and thousands of books. She clearly hated the beauty of the Catholic heritage entrusted to her but she would not be the only one!)

The Bishop according to a separate report stressed the importance of understanding the liturgy of the Orthodox Church.
The Bishop is also the youngest of the 27 German bishops (and clearly the one most directed towards the future of the Church).

Monday, February 26, 2007

Church colleagues reprimand Bishop Mixa

The statements made by Bishop Walter Mixa on Ursula van der Leyen’s policies have found critics within both the Protestant churches and the Catholic Church. The Protestant bishop Margot Kaessmann told the Passauer Neuen Presse on Friday that she could not agree with Mixa’s critical position.

Frau Kaesmann with some ecumenical partners.

“The Christian churches should do everything to make Germany child-friendly.”, the Bishop further more points out that nursery places for only every third child would only be available by the year 2013.

Also the General Secretary of the German Catholic Central Committee ZDK Stephan Vesper

was critical. He asked in a newspaper for more calm and objectivity when debating family policy. Parents should be free to choose whether they will put their children, up to the age of 3, during their worktime in a nursery facility. “We need more respect for the decision that the parents make”, says Vesper. The Parliamentary State Secretary of van der Leyen, Hermann Kues (CDU) said that the demand for an extension of the nursery provision is an old demand of the German Bishops’ Conference. Hermann Kues is a member of the ZDK. The Chistian Democratic Union family expert, Ursula Heinen reproached Bishop Mixa for being distant from reality. Bishop Mixa’s stance would lead to a childless society, she said.


Cathcon comments

So much for Catholic solidarity and ecumenical partnership. The Bishop has been supported by the German Catholic Family League.

New document due on natural law

Comments on The Times website

Ecumenists in a hurry

before the Church of England disintegrates and Rome becomes more conservative.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

We don’t need any mosque broadcasting.

I commented below on a report that ZDF the German equivalent of the BBC was starting with programming aimed at a Muslim audience (and scroll down a small way).

Now the General Secretary of the Bavarian Christian Social Union has criticised the ZDF plans.

As there has been the broadcast “Word on Sunday” over many decades, it is envisaged to provide Muslims with a broadcast of a similar type. The ZDF wants to offer a “Forum for Friday” on the internet within a few months.

The 40 year old CSU General Secretary Markus Soeder has criticized this sharply in an interview with Bild am Sonntag, “Germany does not need mosque broadcasting” Television fees are not meant for this. The “Word on Friday” does not assist integration but emphasises “parallel societies”. He further says that public television must overcome barriers and should emphasise differences.

“Instead of talking about Islam, rather the values of our overall culture should be reported”.

The General Secretary criticizes that the “Forum for Friday” is only on the internet and says “how could one prevent the situation that agressive Islamic groups use this internet platform for their purposes”.

The German Green Party has attacked Herr Soeder and backed the plan.

Enthusiastic Catholics clamor for Mass

"If the speculation around the Vatican is right,

their prayers might be answered. Rumors have swirled for months that Pope Benedict XVI will formally grant permission to all Catholic churches to perform what's commonly - though incorrectly - known as the Latin Mass.

For Catholics who are dedicated to the handful of local services, such a declaration would be about time. "I don't see the purpose in outlawing a Mass," says Elise Phair, 21, who has attended the Tridentine service at the church on Saratoga Street for about a decade. "

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Why a general indult for the Latin Mass is inevitable

The Vatican has only got to watch the television every other Sunday morning (the Catholic Church alternates with the Protestants) to survey the liturgical wasteland which is Germany, but which is also typical of the whole Catholic world.

The reconciliation of the SSPX may be important but it is not the only issue at stake.

Here are a selection (which change from time to time) podcasted by ZDF, the German equivalent of the BBC.

The notable exception to this was the broadcast from Maria Plain, which saw an eastward facing Mass of sorts and magnificent singing. Sadly, we can only see the latter in the podcast.

Extending German religious programming
to a Muslim audience

ZDF is planning a “Word on Friday” in its online religious provision to benefit a Muslim audience. They are using the ARD transmission, “Word on Sunday” (a discussion programme) as a prototype and they plan to transmit it from May onwards in the German language. They will feature imans as well as German commentators, talk about the latest topics and attempt to get discussions going, according to ZDF Editorial Chief, Nikolaus Brender. It is intended to be a further tool in the examination of Islam. The protestant bishop, Wolfgang Huber and Interior Minister, Wolfgang Schauble support this initiative. If there is positive feedback, it is envisaged to extend it to television. (edited translation of press release)

This plan has now drawn some heavy criticism from the Christian Social Union, the main political party in nominally Catholic Bavaria.

Finally from ZDF

A remarkable claim that the previous Pope carried out an exorcism. Caution disturbing content showing an exorcism prefacing the interview.

Beyond help

Those that think that a good idea for a parish excursion for Ascension is to visit all the most modern local Churches.

They don't call themselves a Catholic Parish but a Council Parish.

Stational Churches of Rome


Fate of Europe

Mosques Could Outnumber Churches

Socialist Party head

compares Bishop Mixa to a castrated cat for his comments on family policy.

"When the cat no longer can, he can still give advice." Not even the Nazis would have used such grotesque language in public to a senior cleric.

What will become of Germany?

Why is the Pope keeping us in suspense on the Latin Mass?

"Traditionalist fans of Pope Benedict XVI are worried sick at the moment, though they are trying not to show it. The reason? The non-appearance of a papal document that they hoped would allow them to bypass the authority of their lefty bishops."

Bishop criticises family policy in Germany

One sided and harmful to children

Bishop Dr Walter Mixa of Augsburg has criticised Family Minister van der Leyen’s plans to enormously extend children’s nursery places from 250,000 to 750,000 by the year 2013. This is a translation of his press release. See the firestorm raining down on the Bishop for all sides of politics. In the meantime, his Catholic colleagues and ecumenical friends attack him.

He called them “harmful for children and families and one sided” concentrating an active increase in working mothers with small children. The Bishop said that it was “a socio-political scandal” to cut other family allowances in order to finance new crèche facilities. “Frau van der Leyen’s family policy does not serve in the first instance the welfare of the child or the strengthening of the family but is solely concerned to recruit young women as workforce reserves for industry”. Mixa said this in the course of an audience with the Chairman of the Catholic Family League of his Diocese. The thought pattern of the Family Minister recalls in a worrying way the ideology of state-run nurseries of the former East Germany where children were looked after not by their parents but by strangers. East Germany had the highest number of state-run nurseries and at the same time the lowest birthrate in Europe.

The Bishop energetically attacked “the repeated attempts by the Family Minister to discredit the quality of parental upbringing and to support a ‘a professional pre-school education of small children’. This means that women who bring up children on their own are given a bad conscience because the child can develop less at home than by so called professionals. The Bishop reiterated, “the real professionals for the upbringing of a child are its parents, especially its mother”. The efforts by the state for a modern family policy should therefore be aimed at the situation where more mothers could be won over to spend the first three years with the child at home to benefit its upbringing. This should be financially supported by the state. In addition, Bishop Mixa supports in this context, the demands of the Catholic Family League for the parents to receive a childcare allowance, so that parents have a choice either of spending some of it on some care outside the family or to compensate parents if they bring up their own children. The Bishop also supports an extended recognition of the period spent bringing up one’s own children reflected in pension rights as well as the state’s improved financial support of single and socially dependent mothers who are forced for economic to go to work, even in the first year of their child’s life.

“Young mothers in a prosperous society are forced to give their children to a state-run childcare systems where the care is undertaken outside the family in order to economically survive. This is contrary to a modern and humane family policy” Mixa said.

Children need for a balanced and healthy, physical and mental development, a continuous dialogue with the mother but no qualified third-party care. The aim of modern concepts in family policy should therefore “ be to guarantee the convergence of children’s upbringing and professional activity external to the family, not simultaneously but successively”.

Frau van der Leyen however clings to the already old-fashioned ideological model of a working mother in the earliest years of a child’s development and she cannot be distinguished from the erroneous family policy of the previous Socialist/ Green coalition government.

Bishop Mixa also criticised in this context that when the head of the Family Ministry changed, there were hardly any personnel changes in terms of advisors and consultants.

“There are still the old socialist ideas prevalent and the new Family Minister simply puts the label “Christian Democrat” on the same policies”.

Two income families have been elevated to an ideological fetish by the Christian Democratic Union Minister van der Leyen. Those who seduce mothers to leave their children shortly after birth to place them in state-run nurseries and support this with state subsidy, they degrade the women to become a “baby making machine” and disregard all scientific understanding of the child/ mother relationship in the child’s first year, reiterated Mixa

The Bishop of the second largest Diocese in Bavaria called the Catholic voters to use the democratic opportunities as a strong and creative minority and asked them to be vigilant about the family policy which is coming off the rails and to engage in a socio-political debate.


According to the Bild Zeitung, Mixa has refused to apologise for his reproach.

“My criticism is against the policy which only supports that young mothers give their small children shortly after birth into state-run care instead of spending the first three years with the child”, was the reply of the Catholic Bishop.

Those who don’t give a choice to mothers and nevertheless demand more births in politics degrade the mother, drastically expressed to “baby-making machines”

And I stick to that, says Mixa.

Cathcon comment.

Frau van der Leyen has herself seven children. However, her position seems to have more to do with aristocratic guilt than any religious opinion (not clear which part of the religious spectrum, if any, she occupies).

She tries to "play for both teams" having set up an "Association for Upbringing" in association with both Catholics and protestants last year. With her right hand she does this, yet with her left hand!

If her ministry has been captured by the left, she may also have been stung into action by the left, which portrayed her as the Sleeping Beauty for her previous inaction.Family Policy in Deep Sleep

But more telling was the photo on the front of The Spiegel.

I am Germany.

The Crusade of Ursula van der Leyen


Children, Church and Career.

This is a parody of Kaiser Wilhelm II definitiom of the role for women (later taken over by the Nazis) as "Kirche, Kueche, Kinder" (church, kitchen, children.)

Combined with a parody of the later Nazi propaganda campaign "Du bist Deutschland"

The slogan was also used accidentally and much to their embarassement when it was discovered by a recent German government "feel good" campaign.

What will become of Germany when it pursues such policies?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Feast of the Crown of Thorns


The first feast in honour of the Crown of Thorns (Festum susceptionis coronae Domini) was instituted at Paris in 1239, when St. Louis brought thither the relic of the Crown of Thorns, which was deposited later in the Royal Chapel, erected in 1241-8 to guard this and other relics of the Passion. The feast, observed on 11 August, though at first special to the Royal Chapel, was gradually observed throughout the north of France. In the following century another festival of the Holy Crown on 4 May was instituted and was celebrated along with the feast of the Invention of the Cross in parts of Spain, Germany, and Scandinavia. It is still kept in not a few Spanish dioceses and is observed by the Dominicans on 24 April. A special feast on the Monday after Passion Sunday was granted to the Diocese of Freising in Bavaria by Clement X (1676) and Innocent XI (1689) in honour of the Crown of Christ. It was celebrated at Venice in 1766 on the second Friday of March. In 1831 it was adopted at Rome as a double major and is observed on the Friday following Ash Wednesday. As it is not kept throughout the universal Church, the Mass and Office are placed in the appendices to the Breviary and the Missal. The hymns of the Office, which is taken from the seventeenth-century Gallican Breviary of Paris, were composed by Habert. The "Analecta hymnica" of Dreves and Blume contains a large number of rhythmical offices, hymns, and sequences for this feast.

Stations of the Cross

Veneration of Relic touched to the true Cross

Mass for the First Friday of Lent

Liturgical Rearguard fighting the Latin Mass Indult

Blind French loyalty to a lost cause
Napoleon and his Imperial Guard

This is a translation of an article from Rudolf Pacik appeared in the once-conservative Austrian Church magazine, Die Furche on the 8th February 2007.

Rudolf Pacik is the Professor of Liturgical Science and Sacramental Theology at the University of Salzburg. He has been on the Liturgical Commission for Austria since 1980 and on the Austrian Theological Commission since 2004.

Clerical Latin

What is hidden behind the demand to readmit the pre-Conciliar liturgy into the Catholic Church?

The title implies that the traditional movement in the Catholic Church is only clerical. As the question is not answered in the article, it is slur suggesting all sorts of dubious motives.

There has been a rumour for some time now that Rome will readmit the old form of the Mass generally in the near future and that the promulgation of the relevant Papal document is almost immediately due.

There is, however, already a limited permission that has been valid since October 3rd 1984. At that time local bishops were empowered to allow the celebration of the Mass according to the Tridentine Missal (in the edition of 1962) in certain circumstances. Since then conservative circles have tried to widen the use of the old Rite. They even use the argument that the old Rite still is valid.

Shock, horror. Quo Primum Tempore valid after all these years.

Even those in the higher echelons of the hierarchy, such as the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal Hoyos maintained that with reference to article 4 of the Liturgy Constitution, “according to tradition the Holy Council that our Holy Mother the Church acknowledges the same rights and the same honour to all legally recognized Rites”. This text, however, refers to the relationship of the Roman Rite to the Eastern Rite and non-Roman Western liturgies: one is not above the other, but all rites are of equal value.

The Roman Rite clearly has some sort of primacy as it is the Pope's liturgy but at the same time the Council gives all rites, "equal right and dignity". The text does not overtly talk about specific rites and can clearly apply to the old Rite, providing rather ample protection, if anyone had bothered to read the text earlier.

"Lastly, in faithful obedience to tradition, the sacred Council declares that holy Mother Church holds all lawfully acknowledged rites to be of equal right and dignity; that she wishes to preserve them in the future and to foster them in every way. The Council also desires that, where necessary, the rites be revised carefully in the light of sound tradition, and that they be given new vigor to meet the circumstances and needs of modern times. "

The beginning of liturgical chaos
Supposing the above rumour is correct. What would happen? Would the former legislation and the pre-conciliar liturgical books really be free to use? The Church would not be destroyed if this happens but there would be a chaos. There would be two differing Church years, two saints calendars, two books for the readings of Holy Scipture, two divergent regulations on the arrangement of the Churches, there would be ordinations into minor orders and sub-deacons with these “old believers” and the lay ecclesiastical officials would be done away with.

An unbelievable accusation. The guys that brought you the last forty years of liturgical chaos (see Cathcon passim) are worried about liturgical chaos. There would, of course, be a simple solution to the problems posed by two books. Go back to the 1962 Missal but I doubt that the good professor would agree to this. He uses “old believers” as a pejorative – it can either mean Old Catholic or Russian Old Believers- in neither case is the comparison meant to be flattering. The return of the true expression of hierarchy in the minor orders would indeed be most welcome as would the sweeping away of the pseudo-clerical elite that has developed since the Second Vatican Council. The Professor is a participant in the bureaucracy of this elite. When he talks of active participation below, he normally means not by the ordinary Catholic layman or woman but by the members of this elite.

The actual problem however is not the chaos that this creates but the running in parallel of two different theologies of the liturgy. The Second Vatican Council has defined in the Liturgy Constitution the liturgy as being celebrated by the whole parish. A form of Mass that concerns everybody in all parts and in which many are all actively participating and understand it and where many have been given different roles to perform. The faithful have through baptism been re-given these offices, which they have not been able to exercise since the Middle Ages.

Due to this, one had to revise the form of the liturgy in the Mass which is exactly what happened in the Missale Romanum of 1970. The so-called Tridentine Rite (which should in reality be called medieval) even in its small revision of 1962 is a totally priest bound Mass as the former Viennese liturgist Johannes Emminghaus pointed out.

Totally priest bound - is that a protestant talking? Well maybe he is getting near, he did write a Plea for Communion in Both Kinds. The Council of Trent on this matter, for contrast.

The Ritus Servandus which is the introductory chapter to the Missale describes its basis as the private celebration by one priest.

To compare the old and the new rubrics is not possible, as the new Mass was extensively derubricised. Both priests and people were given far too much liberty. It is surprising that the new Mass has retained the character of a Rite given the wide divergence in form and content throughout the Catholic world.

The priest has to see to everything. Only what he does is valid.

The last comment is not worthy of a serious academic.

And texts which others, such as lectors, deacons and choir use, he recites again soto-voce (for safety’s sake?).

What on earth does “for safety’s sake” mean? Is he insulting the laity or the priesthood?

The celebrant and people are acting independently of each other.

This serves his argument well but is totally inaccurate in theory (priest and people are distinct but related) as well as practice.

The Communion of the Faithful is the only exception to the lack of interaction and is therefore in the rubrics outside the Mass (!).

This was for historical reasons, given that frequent Communion was only promoted in the pontificate of Pope St Pius X. Is he saying that there was absolutely zero interaction before this Pope?

There was a liturgical movement from the 1920s onwards which instituted a “communal mass” in which the priest was responsible for the silent Mass and a vernacular layer was laid over this. However, the rites themselves were not changed (in the beginning, it was not even made clear whether the people would be allowed to reply to the priest).

Theological truth
The Second Vatican Council has initiated the liturgy as a parish celebration and active participation. This is not only a pedagogical imperative but rather has resurrected a long-forgotten theological truth. This truth is the core of all Eucharistic celebrations.

Outrageous. The truth at the core of all Masses is that the action is identical with the Sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus on Calvary.

As St John Chrysostom, perhaps the greatest preacher of the early Church, proclaimed:
When thou seest the Lord sacrificed and lying as an oblation [on the altar], and the priest standing by the sacrifice and praying; and all things reddened with that precious blood, dost thou think that thou art still among men and standing on earth? Nay, art thou not straightway translated to heaven, so as to cast every carnal thought out of thy soul, and with unimpeded soul and clean mind to behold the things that are in heaven?

Shot through the discussion is the idea that the congregation actively participating can in some sense achieve the benefits of the Mass.

Christ is the Sacrifice offered by the priest, standing in persona Christi.

To return to the pre-Conciliar era is not possible even if one is inclined to criticise some details of the reform. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who as is well known is a friend of the traditional liturgy has several times pointed out an example of his 1998 speech to the 10 year celebration of the Motu Propriu Ecclesia Dei when he said the following (Ecclesia Dei was Pope John Paul II’s reaction to Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre’s willful consecration of bishops).

Willful! He has just been told that as part of the “peace deal” he had to hand over all the money and property.

“Above all, the Second Vatican Council has generated an understanding of the substance of the liturgy is shown in specific reforms but which, at the same time, expresses the constant standard of correct liturgical celebration”. Both the celebration of the liturgy according to the old, as well as the new books can be judged by this standard.”

He then quotes the relevant articles of the Liturgy Constitution which describes the liturgy as a communal celebration. He also said on his lecture at the 40th Anniversary of the Liturgy Constitution in 2003.

“It was an urgent desire to unite priests and faithful in a single communal liturgy, to reopen the glass shrine for a communal devotion in a “reasonable worship”, as one could translate the words of the Roman Canon “rationale obsequium”.”

He called participatio, one of the fundamental categories of the reform.

Pope Benedict XVI would contradict his earlier statement if he gave general freedom to the old Rite of the Mass. Above all he would negate the theological cognition of the Second Vatican Council.

Quoting the Pope’s own words against the Pope are the last acts of a desperate movement. He has not read the Pope’s writings extensively. This is what he had to say about the question at a conference at the Abbey of Fontgombault in France.

It is time the Pope acted and issued the new indult. He needs to put modern liturgists out of the agonies of anticipation.

The Future of the Missal of Saint Pius V - Cardinal Ratzinger 2001

Source The Times

I well know the sensibilities of those faithful who love this Liturgy — these are, to some extent, my own sensibilities. And in that sense, I can well understand what Professor Spaemann was saying when he asserted that if you do not know the aim of a reform, however small it may be, if you are left to suppose that this is just an intermediate step towards a complete revolution, then people feel sensitive about it. And in that sense we have to be very careful about any possible changes. However, he did also say—and I emphasise this — it would be fatal for the old Liturgy to be, as it were, placed in a deepfreeze, left like a national park, a park protected for the sake of a certain kind of people, for whom one leaves available these relics of the past. This would be — as Professor de Mattei said to us — a kind of inculturation: "There are also the conservationists, let that group have their own cultural version!" If it were to be reduced to the past in that way, we would not be preserving this treasure for the Church of today, and that of tomorrow. It seems to me that we should avoid, come what may, having this Liturgy frozen, as if in a deep-freeze, just for a certain type of people.

It must also be a Liturgy of the Church, and under the authority of the Church; and only within this ecclesial dimension, in a fundamental relationship with the authority of the Church, can it give all that it has to offer. Naturally, one can say, 'We no longer have any confidence in the authority of the Church, after all we have been through in the past thirty years.' It is nevertheless a basic Catholic principle to trust in the authority of the Church. I have always been much impressed by something Harnack said in a discussion with Peterson, a Protestant theologian who at that time was moving towards converting to Catholicism; Harnack answered the questions of his younger colleague by saying: it is obvious that the Catholic principle of Scripture and Tradition is better, and that it is the correct principle, and that it implies the existence of a given authority in the Church; but even if the principle in itself, the Catholic principle, is correct, we are better off living without an authority and without the actions such an authority might take. He had confidence that the free use of reason in studying the Scriptures would bring men to the truth, and that this was better than being subject to some authority which could equally make mistakes. That is true, authority can make mistakes, but being obedient to that authority is for us the guarantee of our being obedient to the Lord. That is certainly a very strong admonition to those people who are exercising authority, not to exercise it in the way you exercise power. Having authority in the Church is always an exercise in obedience. When the Holy Father decided that the Church does not have the power to ordain women, this was an exercise in obedience towards the great Tradition of the Church and towards the Holy Spirit. For me, it is always most interesting to see the keenest progressives and the fiercest opponents of the Church's Magisterium saying to us, "Why, no, of course the Church can perfectly well do that! You ought to make use of the powers you have available!" —No, the Church can not do everything, the Pope can not do everything. It seems to me that, towards an authority which in the present situation is becoming more than ever a conscious exercise in obedience, everyone can have, must have such confidence.

To speak more in concrete, practical terms, I am not going to do anything in this sphere for the moment—that is clear. But, for the future, we ought to think —it seems to me —in terms of enriching the Missal of 1962 by introducing some new saints; there are now some important figures amongst the saints —I am thinking, for example, of Maximilian Kolbe, Edith Stein, the martyrs of Spain, the martyrs of Ukraine, and so many others —but also thinking of that little Bakita in the Sudan, who came from slavery and came to freedom in her faith in the Lord; there are many really lovely figures whom we all need. Thus, opening-up the calendar of the old Missal to new saints, making a well thought-out choice of these, that seems to me something which would be appropriate at present, and would not have any destructive effect on the fabric of the Liturgy. We might also think about the Prefaces, which also come from the storehouse of wealth in the Church Fathers, for Advent, for example, and then others; why not insert those Prefaces into the old Missal?

Thus, with great sensitivity, and by showing a great deal of understanding for people's fears and preoccupations, maintaining contact with their leaders, we should be able to understand that this Missal is also a Missal of the Church, and under the authority of the Church, that it is not an object preserved from the past, but a living reality within the Church, very much respected in its particular identity and for its historical stature, but equally considered as something which is living, and not as a dead thing, a relic of the past. All the Liturgy of the Church is always a living thing, a reality which is higher than us, and is not subject to our decisions and our arbitrary intentions. Those are the few remarks that I wanted to make.

Apostolic Exhortation on the Eucharist

is imminent and maybe also the universal indult for the Latin Mass?

Carnival Stealth Priestess

in the Church of St Francis in Wels "celebrates" Carnival last Tuesday with Communion from the tabernacle.

The Church were the servers wear tiaras
and the ministers funny hats

Later on, the server gets to wear the funny hat

There was an early walk-out.

The boy with the tambourine wearing the hat recycled from Halloween.

This is the Church where they no longer have the Cross but worship the twig

Let's celebrate

Altar becomes a hiding place

One day you will grow up and can be a priestess.

Just what, however, is she trying to prove?

Coming soon to a Church near you.

The Bishop of Linz is silent, so that you could hear a pin drop.

Also covered on the ever-excellent

Judges Won't Stop Closure of St. Brigid's Church

The Superior Court has ruled it has no jurisdiction to intervene in the closure of St. Brigid's Roman Catholic Church.

Three judges say the Archdiocese of Ottawa was within its rights in ordering the parish closed.

Parishioners claim Archbishop Marcel Gervais broke an implied agreement to keep the Murray Street church open if enough funds were raised.

Liturgical research as a motor of reform

Fascinating article sorry its in German! Discusses the work of Father Josef Jungmann SJ- almost impossible to overestimate his influence of the Second Vatican Council.

Forgetting the salvation of your soul, Cardinal calls on us to save planet

Cardinal Lehmann calls on Germans to economise on car travel during Lent.

The Chaiman of the German Bishops Conference Karl Cardinal Lehmann has asked the Germans to forego car driving in view of the threatening climate change, according to the Bild Zeitung of yesterday. The Cardinal supports the Church’s action in Rheinland Pfalz and Saarland. He recommends that the faithful should leave their cars for four weeks and go either by bus, foot or bicycle.

Lehmann says to the Bild Zeitung.
“Lent running up to Easter invites us to think about our style of living. We should therefore use Lent so that we personally make a contribution to the improvement of the climate. The preservation of creation is a task that concerns us all”

Cardinal Lehmann
The Invention of Nature and Landscape

Here seen at an environment conference. Hasn't the world got enough environmentalists?

What a great life I've had.

Close friend of Pope John Paul II a communist spy? text and audio report. The title of his autobiography serves as the title to this post.

Modern Passionists meet


Although you would not know it from the way they dress.

Blessed Dominic Barberi said during his lifetime that he would not pray for his order in heaven if they substantially changed the Rule or the habit. They haven't actually scrapped the Rule but completely attentuated it by ludicrous "constitutions".

Some Passionists dress like the real thing,
even down to the sandals rather than shoes.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Latin Mass meditated by St John Eymard


Franciscans says goodbye

A Third Order Franciscan community will try
to maintain the tradition and preserve the Church.

May the Passion of Christ be always in our hearts

The symbol of the Passionists

Feasts of the Cross and Passion

Collated from several sources the dates of these Feasts;
hopefully I have them correct. First comes the Feast followed by a
list of sources with the details from each source. 5th Friday means
Friday in Lent. The Catholic Encyclopedia makes a distinction
between Feasts of the Cross and the Passion. The Feasts of the
Passion are the seven granted to the Passionists

Precious Blood
Roman Missal English Version
5th Friday and July 1
Catholic Encyclopedia
5th Friday
1st Sunday July
Variation in English Breviary Supplement 1844
5th Friday
Passionist Supplement Benzinger 1944
5th Friday
Sheed and Ward Meditations & Readings for Lent St Thomas Aquinas
5th Friday

Sacred Wounds
Roman Missal English Version
4th Friday
Catholic Encyclopaedia
4th Friday
Friday after Octave of Corpus Christi
6 February in Portugal
2nd Sunday March in Venice
Variation in English Breviary Supplement 1844
4th Friday
Passionist Supplement Benzinger 1944
4th Friday

Holy Shroud
Roman Missal English Version
3rd Friday
Catholic Encyclopaedia
3rd Friday
11 July in Besancon
4 May in Savoy
4th Sunday in Lent in Aachen
(Translation of claimed relic)
English Breviary Supplement 1844
3rd Friday
Passionist Supplement Benzinger 1944
3rd Friday
Sheed and Ward Meditations & Readings for Lent St Thomas Aquinas
3rd Friday

Nails and Lance
Roman Missal English Version
2nd Friday
Catholic Encyclopaedia
2nd Friday and Friday after Low Sunday
Roman Missal English Version
Variation in English Breviary Supplement 1844
2nd Friday
Passionist Supplement Benzinger 1944
2nd Friday
Sheed and Ward Meditations & Readings for Lent St Thomas Aquinas
2nd Friday

Crown of Thorns
Roman Missal English Version
1st Friday
Catholic Encyclopedia
1st Friday
Variation in English Breviary Supplement 1844
1st Friday
Passionist Supplement Benzinger 1944
1st Friday
Sheed and Ward Meditations & Readings for Lent St Thomas Aquinas
1st Friday

Flagellation DNJC
Passionist Supplement Benzinger 1944
Feria VI post cineres

Commemoration of the Passion
Roman Missal English Version
Tues after Sexugesima
Catholic Encyclopedia
Tues after Sexugesima
English Breviary Supplement 1844
Friday after Sexugesima
Passionist Supplement Benzinger 1944
Tues after Sexugesima with Octave
Sheed and Ward Meditations & Readings for Lent St Thomas Aquinas
Tues after Sexugesima

Prayer of Our Lord in the Garden
Roman Missal English Version
Tues after Septugesima
Variation in English Breviary Supplement 1844
Passionist Supplement Benzinger 1944
Tues after Septugesima
Sheed and Ward Meditations & Readings for Lent St Thomas Aquinas
Tues after Septugesima

Seven Sorrows of Our Lady
Roman Missal English Version
Passion Friday and 15 September
Catholic Encyclopedia
3rd Sunday in September
Variation in English Breviary Supplement 1844
3rd Sunday in September
Passionist Supplement Benzinger 1944
15 September
Sheed and Ward Meditations & Readings for Lent St Thomas Aquinas
Passion Friday

Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Roman Missal English Version
14 Sept
Catholic Encyclopedia
14 Sept
Passionist Supplement Benzinger 1944
14 September

Title of the Holy Cross
Passionist Supplement Benzinger 1944
Feria VI infra hebdom II post Oct Paschae

Holy Sepulchre
Passionist Supplement Benzinger 1944
Friday after Domenica in Albis

Good Thief
Passionist Supplement Benzinger 1944
26 March

Station at Santa Croce in Gerusalemme
4th Sunday
Relics of the Cross are kept in this Church and is the site of St
Gregory's Vision of Christ Suffering during Mass.

Gorinchem, Netherlands


Former Catholic Church now appartments.

The former Catholic church has been turned into apartments years ago, but at least its neo-Classical facade has been saved. The original building dated from 1838 and from 1867 was dedicated to the martyrs of Gorcum, a group of 19 monks from Gorinchem who were tortured and murdered because of their faith by protestant pirates in 1567.

Great Places to Stay

St Francis Church - I think not.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Much will have to change before England is going to listen to the Pope


How can Anglicans and Catholics get together again?
by Philip Oltermann

Translation of German article

Proposals are being drawn-up in a 42 page document by an international commission for the unification of both churches. This however has little to do with the day-to-day reality of the Church of England.

Maybe the writers of the document should not have met in Tanzania but rather in the dreamy village of Much Hadham in Hertfordshire, because it is there that you can find a “local ecumenical partnership” (existing for 20 years) which is a church building which is used by both Anglicans and Catholics and this project was initiated in 1987 when the Catholic Church was closed for renovation works. The Anglican vicar Michael McAdam invited his Catholic colleague to use his church for a few months during the renovation works. From this experiment resulted a long-term co-operation. In fact, today, both present priests alternate services, the Revd Chris Boulton and Father Bob Styles, with much success.

“We are one family who are sharing a house. One only has to be careful not to get on one another’s nerves”

Is the Parish of Much Hadham a vision of the Anglican church for the future?

Archbishop Williams of Canterbury, Catholicism Light


This type of “flat sharing” is always cost-effective and for this reason it is of especial interest to the Anglicans.

Whilst the Catholic Church in England profits from the growth in immigration from Eastern Europe, the Church of England suffers from an acute fall in attendance. The Times prophesised only a week ago that soon there would be more practicising Catholics than Anglicans in the United Kingdom. The Church of England will have to make cuts. Already at this stage, there is only one vicar for several districts. Whilst Father Bob has only two parishes has only two parishes to look after, Revd Chris has to look after six simultaneously.

The Anglican parish is mostly more willing to make compromises than the Catholic in the church of Much Hadham. Bob Styles explains that shared worship is mostly “quasi-catholic”: Catholics are liturgically more disciplined and it would be rather awkward if one had to undertake each ritual observance twice. It is not difficult in these circumstances to recognise an identity crisis in the Church of England. One remembers the old proverb that Anglicanism is actually only Catholicism without a Pope.

Less than understanding from Anglican women

When Rowan Williams was chosen to be head of the Anglican church in 2003, he appeared to be completely in the tradition of Catholicism Light, in terms of being intellectual, rather liberal with English reserve. In his essay, “The Bodies’ Grace” , he argued for a more open attitude of the church, with respect to her homosexual members and he supported the application to be a bishop by the homosexual cleric, Jeffrey John. In view of the threatened division in the church, Williams withdrew his protecting hand and John lost his bishopric. Since then many think there is a more conservative direction in the leadership of the Anglicans. This suspicion would find its conformation in the rapprochement with the Catholic Church.

Liberal Anglicans consider themselves to be deserted by Williams. The statement in The Times on Monday morning has baffled especially the women’s movement within the church. This statement talked about both churches making the first steps towards unification.

“This was a hard blow for us”, says Christine Rees from the Watch Campaign (Women and the church) which had to date been looking at an alliance between the Anglicans and the evangelical/ Methodist churches.

“Today every fifth vicar in the Church of England is female. Up to a few days ago, it looked as if we would be welcoming the first female bishop in 2012. This would be impossible with the Pope as the head”

Latin Mass Indult - it is the Holy Father who will decide.

Newsflash from Inside the Vatican

Interview with the Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship.

All who are interested in the Church’s liturgy are wondering if the Pope will soon issue a motu proprio allowing the celebration of the "Old Mass," and (if he does), what it will say. One of the Vatican’s liturgists sheds light on the Pope’s plans

ANTHONY VALLE: Your Excellency, you have been generous in giving several interviews to the international press regarding liturgy since becoming the secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship. Some of your statements have been misinterpreted and aroused controversy rather than providing the intended clarity. Would you care to clarify anything?

ARCHBISHOP MALCOM RANJITH: What I wished to insist on in those interviews was that the post-conciliar reform of the liturgy has not been able to achieve the expected goals of spiritual and missionary renewal in the Church so that today we could be truly happy about it.

Undoubtedly there have been positive results too; but the negative effects seem to have been greater, causing much disorientation in our ranks.

The churches have become empty, liturgical free-wheeling has become the order of the day, and the true meaning and significance of that which is celebrated has been obscured.

One has to, then, begin wondering if the reform process had in fact been handled correctly. Thus, we need to take a good look at what had happened, pray and reflect about its causes and with the help of the Lord move on to make the necessary corrections.

VALLE: It seems as if Pope Benedict XVI will release a motu proprio to liberalize the use of the traditional or Tridentine Mass. Some hope that the Pope’s motu proprio will institute a juridical structure enabling priests to celebrate the traditional Mass without being unjustly harassed and persistently thwarted by, ironically, not people of other faiths or secular authorities, but by their own pastors and bishops. Is this hope for a new juridical apparatus realistic? Is such an apparatus necessary?

RANJITH: Well, there is this rising call for a restoration of the Tridentine Mass. And even certain leading figures of the elite have made public appeals for this Mass in some newspapers recently.

The Holy Father will, I am sure, take note of this and decide what is best for the Church.

You speak of the possible realization of new juridical structures for the implementation of such decisions. I do not think that this would be so much of a problem. Rather what is more important in all of this is a pastoral attitude.

Will the bishops and priests reject requests for the Tridentine Mass and so create a need for juridical structures to ensure the enforcement of a decision of the Pope? Should it go that way?

I sincerely do not hope so.

The appropriate question the shepherds have to ask themselves is: How can I as a bishop or priest bring even one person closer to Christ and to His Church?

It is not so much a matter of the Tridentine Mass or of the Novus Ordo. It is just a question of pastoral responsibility and sensitivity.

Thus, if the Tridentine Mass is the way to achieve an even better level of spiritual enrichment for the faithful, then the shepherds should allow it.

The important concern is not so much the "what" as much as the "how." The Church should always seek to help our faithful to come closer to the Lord, to feel challenged by His message and to respond to His call generously. And if that can be achieved through the celebration of the Novus Ordo Mass or the Pius V Mass, well, then space should be provided for whatever is best instead of getting down to unnecessary and divisive theological hair-splitting. Such things need to be decided through the heart and not so much through the head.

After all, Pope John Paul II did make a personal appeal in Ecclesia Dei Adflicta of 1988 to the bishops, calling upon them to be generous in this matter with those who wish to celebrate or participate in the Tridentine Mass. Besides, we should remember that the Tridentine Mass is not something that belongs to the followers of Archbishop Lefebvre only. It is part of our own heritage as members of the Catholic Church.

The Second Vatican Council, as Pope Benedict so clearly stated in his speech to the members of the Curia in December 2005, did not envisage a totally new beginning, but one of continuity with a renewed sense of enthusiasm and a new outlook that better responds to the missionary needs of the time.

Besides, we also have the serious question of the diminishing number of faithful in some of the churches in the Western world. We have to ask ourselves what happened in these churches and then take corrective steps as may be necessary. I do not think that this situation is attributable to secularization only. A deep crisis of faith coupled with a drive for meaningless liturgical experimentation and novelty have had their own impact in this matter. There is much formalism and insipidity visible at times.

Thus, we need to recover a true sense of the sacred and mystical in worship.

And if the faithful feel that the Tridentine Mass offers them that sense of the sacred and mystical more than anything else, then we should have the courage to accept their request.

With regard to the timing and nature of the motu proprio, nothing yet is known. It is the Holy Father who will decide.

And when he does, we should in all obedience accept what he indicates to us and with a genuine love for the Church strive to help him. Any counter attitude would only harm the spiritual mission of the Church and thwart the Lord’s own will.

VALLE: Like many Catholics today, my wife and I have found that we leave the celebration of the Novus Ordo Mass on Sunday exasperated and perplexed rather than spiritually invigorated. Why?

RANJITH: In the celebration of the Novus Ordo we have to be very serious about what we do on the altar. I cannot be a priest who dreams in his sleep about what I will do at the Mass the following day, walk up to the altar and start celebrating with all kinds of novel self-created rubrics and actions.

The Holy Eucharist belongs to the Church. Hence, it has a meaning of its own which cannot be left to the idiosyncrasies of the single celebrant.

Every element in the liturgy of the Church has its own long history of development and significance. It is certainly not a matter of private "traditions" and so cannot be the object of manipulation by all and sundry.

In fact, Sacrosanctum Concilium does state that other than the Apostolic See and the bishops, where this is allowed to the latter by the former, "absolutely no other person, not even a priest, may add or remove or change anything on his own authority" (SC 22). Even then, we note much free-wheeling in liturgical matters in some areas of the Church today, basically due to an incorrect understanding of liturgical theology.

For example, the mystery of the Holy Eucharist has often been misunderstood or partially understood, leaving thus the door open to all kinds of liturgical abuses.

In the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, some place too much accent on the presidential role of the priest. But we know that the priest is really not the main agent of what happens on the altar.

It is Jesus Himself.

Besides, every liturgical celebration has also a heavenly dimension "which is celebrated in the holy city of Jerusalem towards which we journey as pilgrims" (SC 8).

Others explain the Eucharist in a way that places the accent on its banquet/meal dimension, linking it to "communion." This too is an important consideration, but we should remember that it is not so much a communion created by those taking part in the Eucharist as much as by the Lord Himself.

Through the Eucharist, the Lord assumes us unto Himself and in Him we are placed in communion with all the others who unite themselves to Him. It is thus not so much a sociological experience as much as a mystical one. Hence even as "communion" the Eucharist is a heavenly experience.

What is more important is the sacrificial dimension of the Eucharist. Each time we celebrate the Eucharist we relive the sacrifice of Calvary, celebrating it as the moment of our salvation.

And this very fact also constitutes the unique dignity and font of identity of the priest. He has been instituted by Christ to celebrate the wonderful mystery of turning this corruptible piece of bread into the very glorified Body of Christ and this little bit of wine into the Blood of Christ, enacting the sacrifice of Calvary for the salvation of the world. And this has to be lived, understood and believed by the priest each time he celebrates the Eucharist.

Indeed, Sacrosanctum Concilium placed accent on the sacrificial and salvific effectivity of the Mass. The priest thus becomes another Christ, so to say. What a great vocation! And so, if we celebrate the Eucharist devoutly, then the faithful will reap immense spiritual benefit and return again and again in search of that heavenly nourishment.

VALLE: Some have contended that the solution to the liturgical crisis -- and at bottom the crisis of faith -- afflicting the Catholic Church today would be to implement the exclusive use of the Tridentine Mass, while others maintain that all we really need is a "reform of the reform," in other words, a reform of the Novus Ordo. What do you think?

RANJITH: An "either-or" attitude would unnecessarily polarize the Church, whereas charity and pastoral concern should be the motivating factors.

If the Holy Father so desires, both could co-exist.

That would not mean that we would have to give up the Novus Ordo. But in the interaction of the two Roman traditions, it is possible that the one may influence the other eventually.

We can’t say everything is completed and finished, that nothing new could happen. In fact, Vatican II never advocated immediate change in the liturgy. Rather it preferred change to "grow organically from forms already existing" (SC 23). As Cardinal Antonelli, a much revered member of the Concilium that undertook the revision of the liturgy after the Council, noted in his diaries, some of the liturgical changes after the Council had been introduced without much reflection, haphazardly, and made later to become accepted practice.

For example, Communion in the hand had not been something that was first properly studied and reflected upon before its acceptance by the Holy See. It had been haphazardly introduced in some countries of Northern Europe and later become accepted practice, eventually spreading into many other places. Now that is a situation that should have been avoided. The Second Vatican Council never advocated such an approach to liturgical reform.

VALLE: Lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi ("The law of praying (is) the law of believing, (is) the law of living"). Is it true that how we worship and pray influences what we believe, and that what we believe influences how we live? In other words, liturgy ultimately influences our moral life, does it not?

RANJITH: Yes. How can we convince the faithful to make sacrifices in their ethical and moral options, unless they are first touched and inspired by the grace of God profoundly? And such happens especially in worship when the human soul is made to experience the salvific grace of God most intimately. In worship, faith becomes interiorized and brims over with inspiration and strength, enabling one to take the moral options that are in consonance with that faith. In the liturgy, we should experience the closeness of God to our heart so intensely that we in turn begin to believe fervently and are compelled to act justly.

VALLE: What are some contemporary liturgical trends or problems that need correction?

RANJITH: One of these, as I see, is the trend to go for ecumenical liturgies in replacement of the Sunday Mass in some countries, during which Catholic lay leaders and Protestant ministers celebrate together and the latter are invited to preach the homily. Sunday Liturgies of the Word with the distribution of Holy Communion, which form is allowed in cases where a priest cannot be present, if turned into ecumenical events can give the faithful the wrong signal. They may get used to the idea of the Sunday without the Eucharist.

The Eucharist, as you know, makes the Church (Ed E. 21) and this is central to us Catholics. If it is so easily replaced by Liturgies of the Word, or worse still by so-called ecumenical prayer services, the very identity of the Catholic Church would be in question. Unfortunately, we hear also of cases whereby the Eucharist itself is being celebrated under various guises along with the Protestant pastors. This is totally unacceptable and constitutes a graviora delicta ("more grave offense") (RM 172).

Ecumenism is not something left to the ad hoc choice of individual priests. True ecumenism, such as the one espoused by Vatican II, comes from the heart of the Church. For example, the path to true ecumenism begins with serious reflection on the part of those who are deemed competent to engage in that type of reflection, such as the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity and the Holy Father himself. Not everyone has the competence to know in what way this delicate search for unity is to be perceived. It needs much reflection and prayer. Hence, liturgical novelty in the name of ecumenism should not be tried out individually.

A second disturbing trend is the gradual replacement of the Mass celebrated by a priest with a paraliturgical service conducted by a lay person. This of course can legitimately happen when no priest is available and facilities for the fulfillment of Sunday obligation are scarce. However, this is an exception, not the rule. What is dangerous is to marginalize the priest even when he is available and some lay pastoral leader team arrogates to itself tasks that are reserved for the priests. I mean by this the trend to get the lay leader to preach the homily instead of the priest, even when he is present, or to distribute Holy Communion, leaving the priest to sit idle at the altar.

We have to stress here that, as the Second Vatican Council affirmed, the common priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial priesthood "differ from one another in essence and not only in degree" (LG 10). And so it is gravely abusive to relegate to the laity the sacred obligations reserved to the priest.

What is unfortunate is the increasing tendency worldwide to laicize the priest and to clericalize the laity. This too is contra mentem ("against the mind" or "against the intention") of the Council.

There is also an increasing trend to shift the Sunday Mass to Saturdays almost as a "normal" practice. Rather than Sunday being the true day of the Lord, and so a day of spiritual and physical rest, there is a move to reduce its importance, making it become a day of worldly distractions. In Dies Domini, Pope John Paul II warned against this disturbing trend.

A final point I wish to make here concerns some practices introduced in mission territories, for example, in Asia, in the name of change, which are counter to its cultural heritage.

In some Asian countries we see a trend to introduce Communion in the hand which is received standing. This is not at all consonant with Asian culture. The Buddhists worship prostrate on the floor with their forehead touching the ground. Moslems take off their shoes and wash their feet before entering the mosque for worship. The Hindus enter the temple bare-chested as a sign of submission. When people approach the king of Thailand or the emperor of Japan, they do so on their knees as a sign of respect. But in many Asian countries the Church has introduced practices like just a simple bow to the Blessed Sacrament instead of kneeling, standing while receiving Holy Communion, and receiving Communion on the hand. And we know that these cannot be considered practices congruent with Asian culture.

Besides, the laity whose role today is being enhanced in the Church are not even consulted when such decisions are made.

All these situations do not augur well for the Church and we need to correct these trends, if the Eucharist we celebrate is to become, as St. Ignatius of Antioch affirmed, "medicine of immortality and antidote against death" (Eph. 20).

Anthony Valle is a theologian and writer who lives in Rome.

Cardinal Carnival Lehmann

has a day job as a Wine Ambassador for Nierstein am Rhein.

Here seen with some of his friends.

I thought the idea was to proclaim the Gospel not the glories of the grape.

Passionists, so small an order, so many saints


The Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff announced today that on Friday, in the Consistory Hall of the Apostolic Palace, an ordinary public consistory will be held for the canonization, inter-alia, of Blessed Charles Houben of the Congregation of Discalced Clerks of the Most Holy Cross and Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ- the Passionists.

His prayer to Our Lady of Holy Hope, under which title the Passionists venerate Our Lady.
Most Holy Virgin Mary Oh, my Mother! How sweet it is to come to thy feet, imploring thy perpetual help! If earthly mothers cease not to remember their children, how canst thou, the most loving of all mothers, forget me? Grant then, to me, I implore thee, thy perpetual help in all my necessities, in every sorrow, and especially in all my temptations. As we are all thy children, I ask for thy unceasing help for all who are now suffering. Help the weak, cure the sick, convert sinners, and console all earthly mothers who are now weeping over their children. Open the gates of heaven to those we loved upon earth and who are now suffering in purgatory. Obtain for us, dear Mother,that having earnestly invoked thee on earth, we may see thee, love thee, and eternally thank thee hereafter in heaven. Amen. Mother of Holy Hope, pray for us.

When the news was made known in January in Holland.
A glorious video. A Mass near to the intentions of at least some of the Fathers of Vatican II (how different to the liturgical wasteland of the rest of Holland) and veneration of Charles Houben's relics.

Inside the Curia of the Passionists in Rome,

but, oh dear, what have they done to their chapel!

The Founding of the Passionists by St Paul of the Cross.

Try to forget that Martin Sheen is doing the narration! And they paraphrase, by selectively editing the texts, the love of St Paul for England.

Lenten Stational Churches

in Rome.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Lifeteen Mass?


Did all the congregation run away?

Impressive beauty of the new Mass

Cardinal Lehmann has used the German manifesto for the liberation of the old Mass to his own ends, by coming out with praise of the failed liturgy reform of the late 1960s. Translation of an article from the ever excellent

“There are mis-implementations here and there.”

The Mainz bishop, Karl, Cardinal Lehmann has recently remarked on the “beauty” of the new Mass.

A reason for this recent praise was the German language manifesto for the readmitance of the old Rite.

These comments were made by Cardinal Lehmann for the latest edition of the Mainz Church News, “Glaube und Leben” (Belief and Life). According to the Catholic news agency, KNA the Cardinal defended the prevailing liturgy in the Catholic Church. Cardinal Lehmann explained in his introductory article, that “a group of intellectuals”, the inverted commas are the Cardinal’s own have asked for the official re-admittance of the old Mass in a manifesto. He was pleased that there were no polemics against the new Mass of the Second Vatican Council.

The Church has no doubt about the beauty and the celebratory nature of the Latin Mass especially in musical times. But it has already got to be considered that this Mass had gone through many alterations.

The Second Vatican Council has renewed this old Mass for our times and the Cardinal repeats that thanks be to God, there have been no polemics against the new Mass.

After all, the Old Mass had never been eliminated.

The Cardinal underlined once more that the post conciliar Mass – apart from some abuses – has its own beauty and festive nature.

The Second Vatican Council had decided with circumspection to instigate a general renewal of the liturgy with great care. However, the Cardinal did not mention that the required reform had been put into practice in the 1965 Missal. This Missal was however only used for four years.

Furthermore, he says that the Church is grateful for the enormous treasures that have been derived from art and culture but the Church does not have to be exclusively bound by them. The Holy Spirit has at all times renewed and inspired the celebration of the Mass. This is mostly born out in the new arrangement of the Eucharistic celebrations.

“I am grateful that this has been managed thanks to the dedication of Pope Paul VI (+1978) and many efficient and respected liturgists who understood the position of the Church very well and in an impressive manner”.
There are here and there some abuses Cardinal Lehmann acknowledges and often at randomn, a lack of dignity and form but this is in no way an argument against the new Mass.

“And it is this that should be added to the manifesto”, said the Cardinal.

Restrictive policy

The Bishop of Mainz has been known as a strong adversary of the old Mass. Last November, 2005, he said it was sufficient to celebrate an old Mass “now and then”. After all, there are hardly any priests who are capable and ready to say the old Mass.However, in the late summer 2006, the Cardinal forbade a member of the Fraternity of St Peters to celebrate the old Mass. 300 people who had requested the old Mass from the area of Giessen in Oberhessen are still waiting for a reply from the Cardinal. They did request in their petition to celebrate the old Mass.

The Cardinal denies to others that which he was given in abundance.

Two pictures from 1963

The other lest we forget he is forever, the Carnival Cardinal, taken when he acted in a play when he was studying at the German college in Rome. More artist than prelate perhaps.

Click on the tag below to see more pictures of the Cardinal.