Seminarians to learn Latin and the old Mass?

From Robert Mickens’ Letter from Rome in the issue of The Tablet (subscription required) that just went online:

The Vatican will soon direct bishops around the world to ensure that all seminarians are taught Latin and, even more importantly, that they are trained to celebrate the Tridentine Mass. The provisions are evidently part of a new instruction that is to be issued next month by the Ecclesia Dei Commission. At least, that’s according to Andrea Tornielli of the conservative Italian daily Il Giornale.

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243 comments

  1. “The Vatican will soon direct bishops around the world to ensure that all seminarians are taught Latin”

    Which is already the law of the Latin Church:

    Can. 249 The program of priestly formation is to provide that students not only are carefully taught their native language but also understand Latin well and have a suitable understanding of those foreign languages which seem necessary or useful for their formation or for the exercise of pastoral ministry.

    People can also read Tornielli’s post directly.

    1. Nice to see Optatam Totius 13 acknowledged…

      “[Seminarians] are to acquire a knowledge of Latin which will enable them to understand and make use of the sources of so many sciences and of the documents of the Church. The study of the liturgical language proper to each rite should be considered necessary; a suitable knowledge of the languages of the Bible and of Tradition should be greatly encouraged.”

      1. So a suitable knowledge of Greek, Hebrew, and Latin is greatly encouraged. That’s a tall order for not too many years of seminary!

    2. Samuel,

      From what I know, canon 242 supersedes canon 249, meaning U.S. seminarians are to follow the “Program for Priestly Formation” of the U.S. Bishops (approved by Rome), which only encourages but does not require Latin (see #148, 162, 172, 182, and
      189; read the New Commentary on the Code).

      1. John, the USCCB Program for Priestly Formation cites OT 13 and CIC 249 when discussing this very matter.

        162. … Education in rhetoric and communications as well as language study is appropriate for a pre-theology course of studies. Latin and Greek are especially important. The study of Spanish or other languages used where one will serve in pastoral ministry should be included in the course of studies throughout the period of priestly formation, including pre-theology.

        172. The study of Latin and Greek represents a valuable component in a serious high school education and is strongly advised. The study of modern languages, especially Spanish, is also strongly advised. For international seminarians, proficiency with the English language is to be encouraged at this level, along with familiarity of United States culture.

        182. … A knowledge of Latin and the biblical languages is foundational and should be given the emphasis that the Church accords it. {Optatam Totius 13; can. 249} Particular attention must be given to ensure that before entering the theologate all seminarians can demonstrate that they have acquired that “knowledge of Latin which will enable them to understand and make use of so many scientific sources and of the documents of the Church,” according to the insistence of the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council. {Optatam Totius 13}

        189. A knowledge of Latin and the biblical languages is foundational and should be given the emphasis that church teaching accords it. {Optatam Totius 13; can. 249} Particular attention must be given to ensure that before entering the theologate all seminarians can demonstrate that they have acquired that “knowledge of Latin which will enable them to understand and make use of the sources of so many sciences and the documents of the Church,” according to the insistence of the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council. {Optatam Totius 13}

        So nice, they said it twice.

      2. John, I invite you to read the New Commentary by Beal, et al.:

        “…this canon once again requires that all candidates for the priesthood understand Latin and that provision be made for such studies in an Episcopal conference’s program of priestly formation.”p. 320

  2. And so we learn from Tornielli that the rumored document, written in Italian, is now being translated into Latin! Seems a bit back to front, given the Ecclesia Dei Commission’s brief. And that it is being translated also into modern languages at the same time — presumably for those who can’t read Latin.

    1. As someone who is not proficient in Latin, I am very grateful for these documents being made available in the vernacular. The documents are of use or value to more than just those people who are skilled in Latin.

      1. Jeffrey,

        I appreciate your point. But I rather suspect that some priests who celebrate Mass in Latin will also rely on the English version if such a document does indeed eventuate.

        I knew the Mass in Latin up till I was in my mid-twenties. It wasn’t unusual to hear priests mispronounce words, especially the misplacement of the primary accent for a given word. But even more disturbing was the clustering of phrases in such a way that it was clear that the one speaking did not have a good understanding of the text he was reciting. This certainly was not true of all, but at the same time it wasn’t infrequent. For a number of priests reciting the then very long daily Office in a language that they only partially understood was sheer torture. And it caused great scrupulosity for some, who recited the same word or phrase over and over while they saw the minute hand moving towards midnight. Another failure to finish the day’s Office, another mortal sin. And the words of Consecration could be yet a further terrible agony for these same priests.

  3. I have no issue about seminarians learning latin.. makes great sense. However, ensuring that the Tridentine mass will be a normative part of their formation, I have grave concerns… am I alone here?

    1. Yes – it goes to the heart of ecclesiology and liturgy. It is inserting a “new” approach to approved rites using diversity/enculturation in an entirely different way as a justification (not sure that is really happening as much as enshrining a past ritual). It weakens the thrust of many VII documents on ecumenism; liturgy; and the church’s interface with the world.
      Practically – we have few candidates to start with; to do this well would add months or a year to their training; it ignores issues such as third world priests serving in the US; it ignores the current challenges seminaries have with candidates in terms of their current academic abilities; academic histories/skills. Seminaries such as Redemptoris Mater focus on first generation immigrant candidates who are challenged just to learn and comprehend the main cultural language. This is an old story – pressure is put on seminaries because of time limited issues; a few added courses are crammed in; and eventually everything goes back to the way it was.

      1. john francis robert – you may want to describe how Rome had to take the MR1 or 2, translate into english; and then find out that the english helped them figure out words, phrases, translations that had been done incorrectly in the “original latin or translation”….interesting, those translating had to get it to english before they realized that their :”limited” latin skills missed what the original latin was.

      1. Why do you have grave concerns? How does your diocese plan to provide the sacraments in the traditional rite as required by Summorum Pontificum without training your seminarians in them?

    2. I see no reason to have concern. Instead, we should celebrate in seeing more and more priests exposed to the Mass celebrated by the Council Fathers and good Pope John. There is one Roman rite with two forms mutually enriching each other. Those of us who’ve had little experience with the EF should take advantage of the opportunities it provides us to grow spiritually this Lent.

  4. David: I think that seminarians learning the Latin Liturgy will help them serve the faithful in their communities who are attached to this rite. I also think it is a good idea for seminarians to have a broad education and an exposure to an authentic diversity of liturgical rites and customs.

    1. It’s one thing to learn the “Latin liturgy,” as you put it, the Novus Ordo, the CURRENT Roman Rite, as revised in 2000, celebrated in the Latin not in the vernacular. It is another thing altogether to learn the Tridentine Rite, and for this to be normative.

      I have grave concerns over this, too, David.

  5. Michael… I hope and pray that we do not see ministry as serving people who are “attached” to a particular rite. Hopefully we are encouraging all to be more “attached” to the paschal mystery. Broad education is one thing, and certainly having knowledge of a diversity of liturgy and customs… but this feels as though we might be moving step by step to encouraging an abandonment of the current Novus Ordo.

    1. David,
      There is no reason to have any concern that the Mass of Pope Paul VI will be abandoned since we are currently involved in renewing its translation in English and many other languages. I wonder if you are concerned that people exposed to it will prefer it?

    2. Well said, David – it pains me to see various dioceses erecting parishes for TLM/EF and assigning priests when we already have such need for all priests. This takes away from the diocesan resources – time, personnel, money – when we have much greater needs e.g. education, serving the poor, healthcare, etc.

      Some repeat the same meme over and over. SP initially followed up JPII’s very limited approval for a very small minority. Would suggest that others are expanding SP beyond how it was intended. Realize that SP called on the conferences to submit a report to Rome after three years in terms of this “exception” (in fact, those reports should be heading to Rome now). Again, would suggest that some are justifying personal preference and opinions by twisting SP and picking and choosing various sections to support whatever you might want.

  6. Let’s face it, we have a diversity of rites in the Latin Rite as it is. Even Cardinal Ratzinger said the same thing to traditionalists in 1997, that there are more differences between various and creative forms of the Mass in the Novus Ordo than there is in the new Mass celebrated in Latin ad orientem and the Tridentine Mass. Most wouldn’t even know that there is a difference in the two Masses celebrated in Latin and ad orientem.
    I would suspect too, depending on how it is celebrated, there are a varieties of ecclessiologies present and a weakening of post Vatican II emphasis even in the post Vatican II Mass as it is celebrated in some places.
    As for me and my household, I will be very grateful to young seminarians learning the EF Mass and assisting in celebrating it in my parish for special events, weddings funerals and monthly as a high mass on Sunday. That’s not too much to ask and no it doesn’t and hasn’t created disunity in my parish since all of my parishioners who attend the EF some of the time attend the OF most of the time and they don’t complain.

    1. Fr. Allan – “Let’s face it, we have a diversity of rites in the Latin Rite as it is.” That is a fact but the history of those rites and their current expression and how these came about are based on totally different reasons than what you are suggesting about the EF. It is apples to oranges and you are trying to justify by making it appear as if there are no differences. My epistemology prof would have given you failing marks.

  7. Grave concern is an understatement. In 1962, Pope John XXIII authorized a circular letter requiring Latin as the language of instruction in all seminaries. This coincided with the beginning of the end of all such instruction. I was in the seminary not long thereafter and was still taking Latin (had five years in school) when one day it was announced it would not longer be required.

    While some knowledge of Latin would be helpful for serious students of theology–along with Greek and Hebrew–it should be obvious that we can also get by with vernacular translations of primary and secondary sources.

    A requirement to learn how to celebrate the Tridentine Rite is another thing entirely. This would represent an obvious effort to equate the Ordinary with the Extraordinary Rites as opposed to providing access to the ER for those who are attached to it. I find an appalling lack of intellectual honesty with regard to what happened following Vatican II. It is clear that the intention of the Holy Father and the Catholic Bishops was to provide a renewed Latin Rite to replace the former rite, notwithstanding Pope Benedict’s statement that the former rite was never abrogated. If it was not abrogate de jure it was certainly abrogated in point of fact. No one thought that the Novus Ordo was some kind of experiment that might one day be canceled.

    I pray that the Successors of the Apostles will speak the truth in love to Peter and those who assist him in curial administration. There is no full, active, and conscious participation in the Tridentine Rite of which I am aware. Nor have its rites been simplified so as to express more clearly their meaning as called for by SC.

    1. There is no full, active, and conscious participation in the Tridentine Rite of which I am aware.

      I am sure there are many Catholics who attend Mass in the Extraordinary Form who would disagree with you. I’ve only attended a half-dozen or so, and I have seen (and exercised) such participation. The degree to which individual members (or whole congregations) exercise that participation is one thing, but the participation itself is there.

      1. It all boils down to post-Vatican II catechesis on the EF Mass and what was called the dialogue Mass which was incorporated into the 1962 missal, which was the missal of the Second Vatican Council. In my catechesis of those who attend the EF Mass here, either in the low or high form, I ask that they participate in all of the parts of the Mass that the altar server responds and sing all the parts of the Mass that the schola sings, such as the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei. Of course we use a simple setting of these parts in Latin. On some occasions such as our upcoming patronal feast which we will celebrate as a vigil on March 18 (St. Joseph), our combined choirs will sing Shubert’s Mass in G Major which precludes the congregation singing these parts, but they’ll still participate in the other ways possible. This past Sunday’s monthly High EF Mass heard the congregation raising the roof on all the parts of the Mass, sung and spoken. It happens in many places.

      2. Well said, Jack. Jeffrey – would suggest that you missed his point….it is not about numbers, etc. or even how you have used the term – participation, fully and actively. Jack uses that as defined by the majority of VII bishops who were looking for the pre-VII liturgy to be changed e.g. increased use of scripture; vernacular; increased variety in music; increased EPs, insertion of sacraments; alternative sacraments and their celebrations, etc. This is the heart of what VII and SC laid out. (BTW – guess I could resurrect and celebrate a version of a 2nd century eucharitic event and folks might fully participate – that says what?)

    2. No one thought that the Novus Ordo was some kind of experiment that might one day be canceled.

      What they thought at the time isn’t really relevant. The Church isn’t bound forever by what people thought was a good idea in 1962 or 1692.

    3. “There is no full, active, and conscious participation in the Tridentine Rite of which I am aware.”

      Then you are mistaken. In the dozens of EF Masses I’ve attended there was always “full, active, and conscious participation.”

    4. Sorry for commenting late but I just saw this. I think you express the concern best: “there is no full, active and conscious participation….” Now, I’ve been Roman Catholic for only two years, so I don’t know what Tridentine, Novos Ordo, etc masses are – I only know Mass in English, Mass in Latin. I was taken to Latin Masses for four evenings straight in RCIA. I did not like it one whit: couldn’t understand nor hear what priest said (yes one can read along but who can worship while trying to figure out what’s being said), found it an affront to have worship in a long dead foreign language most of the worshippers did not know. I did like that worshippers did not chat their heads off once they entered church, didn’t text on cell phones nor dress like they’re at the neighborhood barbeque. But decorum in church can (and is in other Christian churches) be addressed without having a Mass in Latin.

  8. My reading earlier in the week from the usual sources is not the seminarians will be required but that training is available for them if they desire it.

  9. Bingo, David… bingo! While there is certainly validty and value in seminarians – and all members of the Church, for that matter – understanding and respecting the liturgical history of the Church, that is quite another thing from “force feeding” it on them/us, saying “You’ll like it, you need it, it is good for you.” Not necessarily. In the years of my priestly ministry, in numerous parishes and communities and in several states, I have never heard or had anyone requesting a return to or even occasional use of the Tridentine Mass. The Novus Ordo, well and properly celebrated, does indeed satisfy the needs of those who are open and willing to receive God’s grace through it. I wouldn’t dare to mention the Latin training I received in the seminary. Somehow, I’ve managed to more-than-survive just fine without it, though. “Aufer a nobis, quaesumus, Domine, iniquitates nostras: ut ad Sancta sanctorum puris mereamur mentibus introire. Per….”

    1. In the years of my priestly ministry, in numerous parishes and communities and in several states, I have never heard or had anyone requesting a return to or even occasional use of the Tridentine Mass.

      So where were you assigned? I bet some of those communities have EF celebrations. Perhaps they didn’t approach you because they knew you were unwilling or unable to celebrate the EF liturgy. I bet some of your states and communities even have SSPX or sedevacantist groups.

      The Novus Ordo, well and properly celebrated, does indeed satisfy the needs of those who are open and willing to receive God’s grace through it.

      Perhaps it’s not what you intended, but that reads an outrageous ad hominem against those who “feel attached to some previous liturgical and disciplinary forms of the Latin tradition”, which John Paul II called “rightful aspirations” in his apostolic letter Ecclesia Dei.

  10. David and Jack,
    Could we look at this announcement and its future implementation from a broader perspective? Is it not sufficient to accept the premise of the ’07 motu SP that both forms of the Latin Rite enjoy equal status as valid and, indeed, worthy? I wonder if there’s a presumption, or more regrettably, a hope that the “Tridentine Mass” is mischaracterized as some sort of weak sister appendage to the OF by the use of words such as “attachment”? One wonders if we should just assume that the EF is not as normative as the OF simply because of statistical evidence, and that anyone “attached” to it is vestigial, or in simple terms “not integral.” Such a mindset would provide me with grave concerns.
    Jack calls into question any empirical evidence of FACP present at an EF. One would have to enumerate and describe the ritual aspects of each celebration under that form: was it a Missa Lecta, or Low Mass with a hymn sandwich, a Missa Cantata, a Solemn High Mass and so forth. I’ve experienced all of those and FACP was evident within me and, near as I could tell, among the other faithful in the pews. Put me at a CMAA colloquium/chant intensive EF Solemn Mass, and it’s heaven on earth. But, all of the Masses for which I direct music ministry at my clustered parishes are all OF. And, gradually over time the intent of SP since ’07 to have aspects of the EF inform the practices of our OF’s have literally taken root. Was that not a stated intention of SP as well? Cantillated orations of the celebrant with chanted congregational responses, the use of proper processionals, whether sung by all or choir, liturgical coherence that is respectful of the intelligence and sensibilities of all gathered?
    If SP is the law of the land, equal access an’ all, should not seminarians be provided the opportunity to study, learn and acquire a total ability to celebrate either form with equal confidence and understanding of their similarities and differences as…

  11. Seminarians should not be forced to learn the Extraordinary Form. An introductory seminar, and maybe a few Masses, is enough for those priests who have little to no desire to say the EF. However, seminarians who show interest in the older forms should be encouraged to learn more about the rite. If the diocesan seminary can’t find a priest to instruct seminarians in the EF, there are brief seminar-retreats for priests and seminarians who would like to learn how to say Low Mass.

    I used to be in the “every priest should show adequate Latin proficiency” camp. Latin (and even koine Greek) is desirable but not absolutely necessary. Now I’m more pragmatic. If a seminarian shows little to no interest in celebrating the EF, and has a pastoral gifts including bilinguality or multilinguality, he should be ordained without a real knowledge of Latin or Greek. I’m convinced that a priest can be a good pastor with the knowledge gleaned from secondary exegetical works and Thomist manuals. The ability to read the New Testament or St. Thomas Aquinas in the original may not be of great use in difficult pastoral situations.

    1. They aren’t “forced” to learn the Extraordinary Form, any more than they are “forced” to learn the OF. If I attended school to study physics, I could hardly claim that I was being “forced” to study mathematics. There is a new paradigm, and that paradigm includes a Latin Rite with two forms. If you are a seminarian, both forms will be learned.

      Why is this so objectionable?

      1. Bad comparison. One does not need to know Latin to be a good pastor, whereas one really needs math to do physics.

        This misguided attempt to impose Latin has little to do with reality. It is a nostalgia for the “golden age” that never was. We had been through this before: talk to some pre-V2 priests to hear the horror of learning Latin and Greek, or read CJ McNaspy memoir to learn about the “language camps” that they had to run in the summers for the “linguistically challenged.” (Also read #8).

        Not everyone is gifted linguistically. Do you want the majority of the seminarians to focus their precious time learning to conjugate and decline Latin verbs and nouns, instead of learning to preach well [in English] and to minister well to people, doing things like “feeding the sheep” and stuff like that?

        IMHO, seminarians are better off learning some Espanol! Leave the dead languages (Greek, Hebrew, Latin, etc.) to the scholars.

      2. John Nguyen at 6:26:

        I’m afraid you missed my point entirely. The analogy wasn’t concerning what was being learned, but the idea that someone is being “forced”. To put it in a simpler way… nobody is “forcing” them to be seminarians, so can one really say they are being “forced” to learn Latin or the EF? Perhaps a better word choice would be “required”, as in “Latin and the Extraordinary Form Liturgy are required coursework for seminarians”.

  12. Charles…I would not refer to the Tridentine Rite as a “weak sister” as you put it, but I would say that this rite is contrary to the ecclesiology and vision of the council. I know that the EF is allowed and seen as complimentary for many, and I know that the attacks will now be coming my way for saying this, but it speaks to a different vision of church, and the understanding of “full, conscious and active participation” that is central to the very nature of liturgical celebration. I can accept and tolerate that many want to “celebrate” (if that is the correct word to describe it) and pursue their “attachment” to this rite, as was earlier stated. My concern is that this development could potentially be a not so subtle step toward trying to bust apart the Novus Ordo as we have come to know it since the council.

    1. David, what if the EF Mass was allowed in the vernacular and with the current lectionary/calendar and the ecclessiology and active participation of the Vatican II? The OF Mass is in every language possible today. In rural Georgia, Mexicans thus Spanish have taken over where there was once exclusively English speaking southerners.Our seminarians must take Spanish and be able to celebrate Mass in both Spanish and English. These English speaking southerners in rural towns and villages have to adapt to a Spanish Mass since in some cases the English speakers have become the minority.
      I think it is a straw man to say that the EF Mass can’t incorporate post Vatican II sensibilities, especially if it was allowed to be in the vernacular. We’re not speaking about a museum piece anymore, we speaking about a living liturgy that will be shaped by the people who celebrate it who do not remember for the most part the way it was way back in the 50’s.

    2. “I would say that this rite is contrary to the ecclesiology and vision of the council.”
      The council claims otherwise in that it forthrightly declared its continuity with Trent and the 1962 edition was published during Vatican II. Some of the specific delineations of V2’s SC are better realized in many contemporary celebrations of the EF than they are in too many celebrations of the OF i.e. 22, 23, 26, 28, 29, 30, 36, 116, 117.
      It would be good for those who disapprove of the wide reception of the EF in the contemporary Church to recall SC’s #37: “Even in the liturgy, the Church has no wish to impose a rigid uniformity …”.

      1. Huh? You cherry-pick the quotations on continuity, ignore all the evidence of massive innovation in SC, and use this to show that the unreformed rite is not contrary to the ecclesiology and vision of the council? Then why on earth did the Council call for all the changes to the old rite? Obviously because they had a renewed ecclesiology and vision… one which the old rite doesn’t meet.

        SC #37 has nothing whatsoever to do with the diversity of unreformed rite alongside reformed rite. It couldn’t: the Council didn’t intend that anything but a reformed rite would be in use. It is this reformed rite which was to be implemented with flexibility and cultural adaptations.

        Your re-writing of history, your blatant forcing of alien interpretations onto the text of Vatican II, is simply uninformed.

        awr

      2. Making a legitimate reference to the council’s teachings need not be “cherry-picking” or most commentators on the list would be similarly accused.
        You’ve not shown where SC 37 does not apply to this situation nor have you seemingly noticed that I specified “contemporary” celebrations of the EF because I believe that the OF has already enriched the celebration of the EF. The few specific changes that SC recommends for the liturgy can be part of the mutual enrichment the Holy Father spoke about in his letter thus the EF will help the OF in its fuller reception of V2’s SC including #s 23, 26, 27, 28 and 36. Lastly, a different perspective grounded in the actual text of V2 need not be “uninformed” unless that can be shown to be true. Considering that many highly conservative Council Fathers signed on to SC, including ++Lefebvre, a diversity of interpretations may be legitimate.

      3. I repeat: SC 37 does not and cannot possibly refer to the diversity resulting from the 1962 missal remaining in use after the reformed liturgy is promulgated. It can’t refer to that, since SC clearly did not intend that the 1962 missal remain in use. SC intended that it be reformed.

        This shouldn’t be that difficult to understand.

        awr

      4. And what should be similarly easy to understand is that we see no evidence that the few changes specifically recommended by SC required any drastic modification to the RM. Stating that SC did not want the 1962 RM to remain in use is too broad a statement, SC wanted to renewal here and there but required much that is indicative of what we now typically see only in the EF. Additionally, and this is an important point, the 1962 RM has already been enriched by the post V2 liturgical momentum. The EF has already been modified to respect V2’s thinking, i.e. the prayers on Good Friday. The liturgical renewal is an on-going process permitting room for the mutual enrichment that will also benefit the ordinary form’s reception & implementation of SC’s full teaching. An open reading of SC shows that we still have a way to go in seeing the constitution’s teaching implemented in the OF and the new translation is a step in that direction.

      5. I don’t see why it is “too broad a statement” to say that SC didn’t intend for 1962 to remain in use. It didn’t. Period.

        That the tiny changes made to 1962 – eg Good Friday prayers – comes even close to fulfilling all the reform teachings of SC is simply laughable.

        The authority of the Church took a different judgment than yours and determined that the reformed Mass is faithful to SC. Paul VI stated this many times in very forceful language. Your selective reading of SC does not convince me.

        I argued here:
        http://www.praytellblog.com/index.php/2010/12/04/sacrosanctum-concilium-at-47-the-second-spirit-of-the-council/
        that there are passages in SC suggesting far-reaching reforms, alongside other passages suggesting caution. This leaves a wide berth for how the authorities might interpret and implement the Council. What happened under Pope Paul VI is well within the wide parameters laid out by SC.

        awr

      6. That the tiny changes made to 1962 – eg Good Friday prayers – comes even close to fulfilling all the reform teachings of SC is simply laughable.

        But the changes made to the missal are not all the changes to the method of celebration, which are much broader (e.g. a much greater emphasis on chant over “classical” music, a greater valuation of sung liturgy, greater participation by the people in the responses) etc. etc.

        The tridentine rite as it is celebrated in parish communities today clearly reflects an influence of the reforms requested by the second Vatican council. It may not be exactly what was envisioned by the authors of S.C., but it doesn’t have to be, since we’re not bound forever to S.C.’s disciplinary rules. But to say that things aren’t different than they were before is really only possible if you don’t know what tridentine celebrations look like in today’s parish churches.

      7. Fr. Ruff,

        The reformed liturgy as typically celebrated is where we see the the failure to implement SC and the articles I referenced above are some of those still awaiting full implementation. The celebration of the new missal by Bugnini in the Sistine Chapel (1967) was in Latin with celebrant and people facing in the same direction, full choir and all the rest.
        SC article 36, just one example, was implemented in that celebration. We don’t see that typically. The interaction of the two forms should help us to reach the goal of full realization of SC in typical parishes.

  13. It seems that the Curia has once again managed to put the cart before the horse.

    Can anybody on this list doubt that many fewer Catholics will rejoice over this emphasis on Latin and the EF than would rejoice over enforcement of the SC call for priests to be well formed in the skills of preaching and presiding?

    Give us presiders who know how to enunciate, project, move with style and grace, sing [does ANY seminary offer voice training?] and preach with more power than cliche and congregations will also sing and rejoice.

    Let us find room for oratory and dramatic training in US seminaries before we spend extra time on the EF and Latin.

    Does anyone in RCC leadership ever spend any time prioritizing needs compared to resources, or is it all just whatever gets their attention at the time?

  14. Yes, a vision of Church that was considered so in need of reform that all the world’s bishops agreed that it was time for a change.
    Hi, Todd. Which basket are you gazing upon, the apples or the oranges? As far as the ecclesial changes, total agreement. But it could be argued quite convincingly that “the bishops” didn’t sign off so readily to ABP. Bugnini’s “organic” revisions of the N.O., unless we’re mixing baskets.

    1. How could it be argued convincingly, in the absence of evidence, that the bishops didn’t sign on to Bugnini’s reform?

      It may well be that Charles Culbreth doesn’t sign on to Bugnini’s reforms. But I know of no evidence that the world’s bishops feel (or ever felt) that way. They all implemented it. The move to complete vernacular happened at the request of the bishops of each country.

      As recently as four years ago, when asked, the world’s bishops advised the Pope not to give universal permission for the old liturgy. In many cases, they begged the Pope not to do this.

      Evidence, please, that worldwide college of bishops didn’t accept the Bugnini liturgy?

      awr

      1. The 1967 Synod of Bishops comes to mind as well as their insistance that changes be made to the early version of the
        Bugnini reform, i.e. the restoration of the offertory rite. After viewing the reformed Mass the bishops at the synod
        showed considerable opposition when they voted (43 non placet), very many substantial reservations (62 juxta modum), and 4 abstentions out of 187 voters. Maybe their largely negative reaction is how we retained our offertory and the “Gloria” during Ordinary Time. Additionally, I am not certain that the new order of Mass was submitted to the collegial judgment of the Episcopal Conferences after the 1967 Synod.

      2. Not quite. They were given something unfamiliar, and yet most of them by far approved of it. Many of them had questions or suggestions or reservations. That’s normal.

        Here are a few vote tallies at the Synod:

        Add three Eucharistic Prayers? Yes 173, Yes with qualifications, 33, No 22.

        Is the structure of the Mass acceptable on the whole? Yes 71, Yes with qualifications, 62, No 43.

        Should it be permitted to replace proper antiphons with other hymns? Yes 126, Yes with qualifications, 19, No, 25.

        Among the “qualifiations” given by individual bishops, there is the suggestion to retain the old offertory prayers. But Bugni doesn’t tell us whether 1 or 5 or 10 bishops said this.

        Many of the “qualifications” of bishops are humorous – e.g. those skeptical about making Mass longer, more musical, giving priority to Sung Mass without retaining Low Mass (this was a biggie for many English-speaking bishops). Some of the qualification arise from Bishops who were ritual minimalists and didn’t want more readings and the like.

        But overall, the majority of the Bishops at the 1967 Synod still approved of the new Mass.

        awr

      3. The question originally asked was whether or not the bishops signed on to Bugnini’s reform. They didn’t, at least not initially. Rama Coomaraswamy writes that the Synod of Bishops witnessed the new “Missa Normativa” at the Sistine Chapel.
        When polled 71 voted “yes” 62 votes “yes with reservations” (and the reservations were substantial) and 43 rejected it all together. It is interesting to note that Father Annibale Bugnini celebrated the new Mass himself in Latin and with the traditional posture for the assembled bishops but fewer than half approved of the new liturgy as it stood.

      4. “Yes with qualifications” is a yes.

        The majority favored it; many had suggestions. Isn’t this how anything new is developed, through discussion and suggestions and airing of reservations? When the final product came out in 1969, I kow of no serious, widespread objections to the Pauline Order of Mass. the bishops had come to accept the changes on reflection, or some of their suggestions had been incorporated into the Order of Mass.

        Sorry, but this just isn’t the evidence of rejection by bishops that some make it out to be. It’s evidence of serious discussion, discernment, and ultimately, consensus approaching near unanimity.

        awr

      5. The majority favored it; many had suggestions. Isn’t this how anything new is developed, through discussion and suggestions and airing of reservations?

        Sure, but the question wasn’t whether “the majority favored it” the disputed statement by Todd was this:

        “a vision of Church that was considered so in need of reform that all the world’s bishops agreed that it was time for a change.”

        Clearly it’s not the case that “all the world’s bishops” agreed to the desireability of the Bugnini reforms, since some of them voted against them!

      6. In the consultation stage – but how many of them rejected the reformed liturgy when it was promulgated? How many of them claimed publicly that it violated Vatican II?

        December 1981 Notitiae reports on a survey of the world’s bishops to which more than three-quarters replied:
        “On the question of making greater allowance for use of the old rite, less than 1.5 per cent of the bishops said that their priests and people were in favor. The rest of the episcopate (equivalent to 98.68) per cent) considers the problem resolved, in the sense that the … Tridentine Rite is by now outdated.”

        awr

      7. Again, the original question was asking whether the bishops signed on to Bugnini’s reform. The evidence is clear that less than 50% of the bishops who witnessed him celebrating his reformed Mass in 1967 did so. Changes were made to his initial effort. That is all.

      8. “On the question of making greater allowance for use of the old rite, less than 1.5 per cent of the bishops said that their priests and people were in favor. The rest of the episcopate (equivalent to 98.68) per cent) considers the problem resolved, in the sense that the … Tridentine Rite is by now outdated.”

        Yes, Father, that is so. But consider that Pope Venerable John Paul II sent his questionnaire a second time, accompanied with the implication that on this occasion more accurate and truthful information be supplied. On that second occasion, bishops around the world wrote back to the Holy Father and revealed that yes, there were groups of the faithful (some small, some not so small) who remained attached to the traditional form of the Roman Missal – despite a decade and more of the new.

        This led directly to the 1984 letter Quattuor Abhinc Annos and, after a cardinalation commission and inquiry, 1988’s motu proprio Ecclesia Dei Adflicta. In other words, devotion to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite has remained alive and, truly, increased over the past 40 years. To try and remark otherwise is disingenuous in the least.

  15. Oh dear, it just gets more bizarre each day. I would say most Seminarians (at least the ones I have met) need to spend more time learning how to be pastoral and minister to God’s people instead of having their nose in a Latin textbook.

  16. What would be removed from their formation to make room for more Latin and for the extraordinary form of the Mass? Do they get to skip Spanish (substituting Latin) and training in RCIA and holy triduum rites (substituting EF), for example? Are they given additional hours for study and fewer hours for prayer?

    It’s hard to say how bad this additional item would be unless one knows about what other item would be removed to make room for it.

    1. Claire, seminarians are already required to learn Latin. If bishops don’t think their seminarians can learn everything required in the mandated time, they can lengthen their period of formation.

      1. This is not true in the U.S. (see commentary on canons #242 & #249 in the New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law — just google it).

      2. John seems to be wrong here or he may be referencing out dated materials. Canon law and the 2006 US Priestly formation doc. both stipulate that men must learn Latin in seminary. The “advised” comment is about high school students not college seminarians.
        To the contrary, the College Seminary reference to Latin studies is very strong #182 footnotes to Optatam totius, no. 13 & the post V2 Code of Canon Law, c. 249.

      3. Samuel – guess it is all about how one interprets the word – “required”. Can show you that most seminaries spend very little to no time on latin at this point in time. Spanish – yes; latin and even more so, Greek – not at all. If it makes you feel more comfortable to find a document that “requires” this, fine…but, in the real situation you will not find this reality. Even more, if a good candidate for priesthood has no background in latin (high school) or has trouble with languages or is an older candidate, no seminary will force this upon them.

        You make statements with no foundation in reality.

      4. Then that’s the problem, Bill. We don’t know what “required” means and we’re out of touch with reality. And to think, Bishop Trautman was concerned about words like “ineffable” and “wrought”, when really it’s words like “required” and “should” and “necessary” that need to be explained (away).

        No wonder this all feels like a waste of time.

      5. John, as I’ve posted above, you’re simply wrong about the New Commentary on the Code: 3/11 9:14 AM.

        Bill, by “required” I mean required by Canon Law and the formation norms of the USCCB.

        Here in New York, seminarians are, I believe, required to take 2 years of Latin at the college level.

    2. Priests who show an talent in Latin, Greek, and other biblical or sacral languages should be allowed to pursue that talent in further study. All priests do not require formal liturgical study in the Holy Week and Triduum rites. The rubrics are clear and available in Latin and translation. Neither does a particular priest need to know the RCIA rites in depth. RCIA logistics are often handled by specially-trained priests and laypeople. Priest should have an interest in catechumen progress. However, not every priest requires a thorough logistical understanding of the catechumenate. All priests must know sacramental theology; some might choose to pursue liturgical studies after ordination.

      Some diocesan seminarians might wish to study a more “academic” track, with studies in sacral/biblical languages, scriptural exegesis, classical and medieval philosophy and philology, sacramental theology, advanced systematic theology, and EF training. Other students might with to study a more “pastoral” track, with an emphasis on (post)modern liturgical studies of the Ordinary Form, psychological and sociological studies, and instruction in more than one modern “foreign” language. Perhaps these latter seminarians might be interested in earning a degree in social work, for example.

      I understand that this suggestion might come across as condescension or worse. There is a need for academic diocesan priests, just as there is a need for pastorally oriented priests. Not every academically-inclined seminary candidate should be sent to a religious order or institute for formation.

  17. How does all of this preach the Good News. What has it to do with the message of the carpenter from Nazareth? Have we become so trapped in our liturgy that we have lost all sense of its purpose and lost all sight of the mission of the Church. ‘I am for Latin, Tridentine etc. I am for Paul, I am for Apollos.’ Where is Christ?
    Could someone explain to me why facing east when celebrating Mass has any significance. To face the rising sun? Pagan surely?

    1. If you care to read it, I have an explanation here. It touches upon the Incarnation, the Resurrection, the Ascension, the Second Coming (Parousia), and the Cross.

      I’m sure there’s plenty in Christianity (not just Catholicism and Orthodoxy) that you could write off as “pagan”. Whether you would be correct in doing so is another matter.

      And yes, if you become “trapped” in the liturgy, you will lose sight of its purpose and the Church’s mission. On the other hand, I think if you immerse yourself in it, if you free yourself to it, you will gain insights into its purpose and see how intimately connected it is to the Church’s mission. At least, that’s how I approach liturgical catechesis.

  18. It seems to me that this is implementing SC paragraph 16: “Sacred Liturgy as a subject in seminaries …. is to be considered as one of the necessary, key subjects …. it will be taught not only under its theological and historical aspects…..”
    And paragraph 36 “The use of the Latin tongue is to be maintained….”
    Clergy should have some understanding of how liturgy has developed and what the different parts mean. They should be able to answer questions from the congregation as to what each part means and why it is done. Studying the historic forms of liturgy, and the EF mass that they might be asked to use, gives knowledge and understanding of the OF mass. It might also help to explain why a reform of liturgy was felt necessary which led to the OF mass.
    Then George Lynch’s priest can answer his question about which way one faces in mass and others he may reasonably ask.

    1. My point is that it doesn’t really matter. Is God to be limited by our notions of space and time? East, west, north or south. No matter which direction we face when praying and worshipping is not important. What matters is that where two or three gather in his name Christ is there, what matters is what is in our hearts at that time. I fear we are becoming a Temple worshipping church consumed with ritual and rule rather than one where Christ is central.

      1. My point is that it doesn’t really matter.

        So why ask the question if you don’t care what the answer is, and think the question isn’t worth answering? Viva la dialogue!

        Is God to be limited by our notions of space and time?

        No, but God can make use of space and time (which He created) and inform our notions of them. I suppose for some that would seem pagan and unenlightened and pre-Copernican and what-not. But I am willing to learn something from the time and place and culture into which our Lord willed to enter our fragile universe!

  19. Since 2000, I have taken scripture courses at the local seminary, a local Jesuit university, and ND.

    The good news is that the seminary scripture courses were of high quality with many demands on the students.

    The bad news is that the seminarians not only had to compete with lay students who were mostly part time and taking only one or two courses, they were overwhelmed with their other courses. Several apologized to me that they just did not have more time to give to the course.

    Beyond the seminary’s demands there is also what one professor (quoting the former bishop) called the “informal seminary” i.e. the priests of the diocese. Seminarians get to know priests of the diocese through internships, etc. So there is information available about what priests think is “really important” which completes with what the faculty, the bishop or Rome might think is important.

    Probably within the next ten years there is going to be a big push on getting young priests to be very fluent in Spanish, capable of saying Mass and preaching in Spanish. I doubt if they are going to have the time to become capable of saying Mass in Latin, too.

    Having taken both Latin and Greek, I think Greek is the more valuable language because of the study of Scripture.

    1. Jack
      That seems to be a US analysis. Here Polish and Portuguese are much more necessary.
      Are there not enough Spanish speaking seminarians? Do they need clergy for whom Spanish is a second language?
      Should not the permanent residents of the US learn English? If so the need for clergy to speak Spanish should eventually fade. Here the need to speak French has faded: the Bretons and other French immigrants have learnt English.

      1. Yes this is very much a US analysis.

        See my post on Secularism, Fundamentalism or Catholicism: the USA in 2043
        http://www.praytellblog.com/index.php/2010/12/06/secularism-fundamentalism-or-catholicism-the-usa-in-2043/

        “If fertility, immigration, transmission and switching rates remain the same until 2043, Hispanic Catholics will rise to 18% of the population, surpassing both declining Fundamentalist Protestants (17%) and non-Hispanic Catholics (15%.).”

        Since a substantial amount of the increase in Hispanics occurs through immigration (and the analysis above did not include illegal immigration, only the part of illegal immigration that has become legal) Hispanics are likely to continue needing Spanish Masses if only for that reason.

        Promoting English among Hispanics has its problems. Cultural identity has a strong influence on keeping religious identity. Much of the failure to transmit Catholic identity among non-Hispanic Catholics has to do with the decline of ethnic identities.

        Hispanic Catholics are really Rome’s and the Bishops best hope for a vibrant future for the Church in the USA. It really makes sense for the Church to support immigration, and to support speaking Spanish, and to socialize non-Hispanic Catholics to this reality. I suspect the Bishops will promote some Spanish in non-Hispanic Masses as much as or even more than they promote some English in Hispanic Masses. They are not going to let two separate churches develop so Spanish speaking seminarians will become essential.

        The future is Latino.

      2. Is it possible that this mandatory (we assume) reintroduction of church Latin and Tridentine- type celebrations in language and style and mind-set are intended to “solve” the priest-shortage?

        We are told that the Catholic Church is growing in Africa, and we know the dependence of the African hierarchy upon Rome. We see Anglican African clergy often take a very “black-and-white” (no innuendo intended-just trying to imply over-simplified, clear cut assessments) to disputed theological and social matters, and have provided an acceptable oversight for some US Episcopalian clergy and people.

        So maybe the thought is that with the widespread Latin Mass the priesthood will be truly universalised and the available clergy can be encouraged to go where needed? This does not, in my opinion, address the fact that a priest should be more than a Mass-celebrator. But maybe the pastoral duty can be assigned to our deacons. In my experience, our deacon is far better at relating to parishioners than is our EF-addicted parish priest, good pastor though the priest is in many ways.

      1. Thank you Jack
        There are two issues here. How should the seminarians spend their limited time? It seems to me that the idea that all can be learnt at one time in seminary is wrong. There should be further training after ordination on a regular basis. In part the selection of subjects taught at each stage will depend on the willingness of the seminarian to learn.
        I suspect that, given the importance of Spanish in the US, it will be learnt at school and so it would demand little time at seminary.
        The other question is: how should the church cater for those who do not speak the national language? Here it is important to encourage learning of that language lest the immigrant and descendants remain an underclass. In the short term it is fair that the language and culture may serve as an attachment to the faith. The church should try to cater for them as part of the tapestry of the faithful.

    2. I have personal knowledge of one of those lay people taking courses “part-time”. She has plenty of time to devote to her classes because all she is doing the rest of the time is holding down a full time job, taking care of her marriage, taking care of her house and participating in community development groups.

      I forgot to mention – she is also prepping for a two day exam for further certification in her field, and is paying for the classes out of her own pocket.

  20. [Sorry, I don’t know how this blogging thing works … this is a response to Samuel and Jeffrey in post #1 and what followed]

    Jeffrey,

    It is my understanding (unless I misread the document) that Latin is not required by the U.S. bishops in their seminarian formation document. Sure, every one knows it is important and should be emphasized and so on, but it seems like the bishops know their men well enough not to require it.

    What is your read on it?

    I wonder how many seminaries actually teach Latin and what percentage of the U.S. seminarians actually know Latin.

      1. Daniel:

        Your posts are not convincing (“seems” and “may be” without proper citations are not proof). Canon 242 says that the bishop conference is responsible for the formation program; the U.S. bishop document never states that Latin is required. Please indicate where in the formation document it is stated that Latin is required.

        I am not a canonist, so I stand corrected if proper proof is provided. But since no proof is provided, I stand my ground.

        The formation document can be found here:
        http://www.nccbuscc.org/vocations/ProgramforPriestlyFormation.pdf)

        and the new commentary on the code of canon law:
        http://books.google.com/books?id=JKgZEjvB5cEC&printsec=frontcover&dq=new+commentary+on+the+code+of+canon+law&source=bl&ots=GIaPQCxr0o&sig=IYAvl2_9Gp8KGCUI_nhlV-i5zi4&hl=en&ei=UYd5TYehBcXerAGxjuzwBQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&sqi=2&ved=0CCEQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false

    1. John, the USCCB document you referred to, which I quoted, does require Latin. It recommends it for high school seminaries, but requires it for college seminaries, citing Vatican II’s Optatam Totius 13 and Canon 249.

      Now, just because the documents say it is required doesn’t mean the documents are being implemented properly. But I think we should implement the documents instead of rewrite them, unless we would then rewrite — or at least officially abrogate or supercede — Vatican II’s decree on priestly training and the Code of Canon Law!

      1. Jeffrey,

        I re-read the documents and you are right: Latin is required.

        But here is an interesting point: I read somewhere that many U.S. seminaries are exempted from the Latin requirement, but now I can’t find any reference for it. Is it because it is done on a case-by-case basis or is it just a rumor? Furthermore, is this requirement applied to religious seminarians?

      2. I found this on the net:

        [Latin] is not required in the USA. That is up to each diocesan seminary. Secular seminarians in the USA have been exempt from this requirement since the 1970s. This was an exemption granted by Pope John Paul II. There was a reason for this. At the time, many religious orders were sending their men to diocesan seminaries for their degrees, because it was less expensive. The seminaries were requiring Latin. The Major Superiors wanted to use those credits for courses related to their religious charism. They asked the seminary administration to wave the Latin requirements for graduation for the religious who were enrolled. The administrators did.

        Many of our seminaries in the USA are regional, not diocesan, they train men from more than one diocese and sometimes religious orders and religious congregations as well. Since the exeption was being made for the religious, some bishops began to ask for the same accommodation for their respective students. Eventually, the seminaries applied for the exemption for all of their students and it was granted. This made it easier for the seminaries, because they did not have to create two programs of study, one for the religious and one for the secular. It also reduced the cost by consolidating, instead of having multiple courses runing simultaneously.

        Another concern that the bishops presented to the Holy See was the issue of bilingualism in the USA. There was a growing need to teach Spanish to our secular seminarians, due to the large number of Spanish-speaking Catholics. The Vatican saw that this was a priority for the USA. Pope John Paul agreed that the pastoral benefit of Spanish outweighed the benefit of Latin. Latin may be offered and is offered in some seminaries. But it is rarely a graduation requirement.
        [continue …]

      3. [continued]

        There was another consideration and that was the degree track. In the USA very few priests and deacons get theology degrees. Most get Divnity Degrees. An M.Div can best be described as a pastoral degree in applied theology, whereas the M.A. in Theology is not pastoral at all. It is a research degree or what we call an academic degree. Those students who are going for the MA do have to study ancient languages, because of the research involved.

        By Br. JR, OSF
        http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=329991&page=2

        What do you make of this?

      4. I agree that, in some cases, some priests benefited from a Latin exemption. Other priests were denied Latin instruction for ideological reasons. No priest who sincerely desires to learn Latin should be denied the opportunity to learn. Certainly, no priest should ever be denied language instruction because a superior does not wish students to formulate their own questions through the study of documents in their original languages.

        I have often wanted to offer free second year level or higher Latin instruction to priests and seminarians (e.g. Missal and Vulgate sight reading). I want to share my love of the Latin language with seminarians and clergy who might have the aptitude for study beyond the first year. I suspect that some seminary directors would not even let a layman informally instruct priests and seminarians at no cost. “guerilla Latin”? Anything to bring classical language education (and its attendant power) to clergy and students.

      5. John – My response is to ask if this is documented or if it is an unwritten exemption? Is Br. JR’s information up-to-date?

        It makes me wonder if SC 54.2 (“Nevertheless steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them.”) is simply considered a dead letter, a mere “compromise” statement never meant to be implemented.

  21. Granted, most of you posting are not involved in the formation of seminarians at a seminary, whether it be academic, pastoral, spiritual or human formation. As I am involved in liturgical formation of seminarians, I would will to give a reality check. The seminarians have a very rigorous schedule: Morning prayer, classes, Mass, classes, formation conferences, Evening Prayer, Apostolic works (jail ministry, parish ministry, etc.) Night Prayer, homework and bed. This is repeated five days a week. Plus they have spiritual reading, class room reading, papers, practicums (homilies, sacraments, counseling), spiritual direction, conferences, voice lessons, learning Spanish, formation meetings and they have to find time to exercise and have a community life, too. It is hard enough for them to learn how to say one form of the Mass, well (mind you in their last semester as a seminarian). Throw at them another form of the Mass to learn and we have problems, they don’t know their way around the Ordinary Form well. Then there will be mixture of both forms of the Mass; adding elements of the EF in the OF and vice-versa. Face it, there aren’t enough years, hours in a day, or minutes to prepare them to be “super” priests right from ordination. Prolonging formation, just so they can learn the EF or Latin is absurd.

    1. Some seminarians will teach themselves Latin and the EF in secret. I know of a priest who taught himself Latin, the Breviary, and Tridentine rubrics to a very proficient level without any formal study. His Low Masses were superb right out of the box! However, I have also heard stories of priests with no Latin who have said the text _and_ rubrics during Mass.

      A seminarian who is eager to celebrate the EF will do so after ordination regardless of official discouragement during formation. Better, then, to send those students to the Canons of St. John Cantius for further training if the seminary cannot provide a priest for “in house” training. At the very least, “say the black, do the red”, per Fr. Z.

    2. Balthazar,

      Perhaps it would be helpful to look at places where it is being done before we decide that it cannot be done.

  22. Thanks – confirm completely what you have said. And in terms of the actual needs of most parishes, dioceses, etc., EF would be way down on my list of high priority needs – let’s start with fulfilling the gospel imperatives.

    1. Yes. Granted that there is limited time in seminary, and that formation certainly should not stop with ordination, what is crucial that ALL seminarians learn up front… and leave specialized learning for later?

      It seems to me that most seminarians are going to be pastors in very short order (the luxury of many years as an associate “learning the trade” are long over); they will need to deal with adminsitrative and pastoral issues, they will be presiding and preaching on a regular basis (and that will be the priimary point of contact that they will have with their parishioners), and they will need to be able to serve an increasing number of Spanish-speaking Catholics.

      So, I have to ask:

      Are multiple courses in philosophy more important than courses in pastoral counseling?
      Are courses in Latin more important than courses in Spanish (or Vietnamese, or American Sign Language)?
      Should more time be given to learning how to preside and preach well in the OF, rather than add a whole other set of skills (which, for most, will never be applicable)?
      If there is “wiggle room” in the schedule, how about courses in parish administration, personnel management, and finances… since these issues are daily concerns for pastors (more so than being able to read Latin and Greek, or celebrate the EF)?
      Since I have met recent ordinands ignorant of the RCIA and of Catholic Social Teaching–matters that lie at the heart of parish life, that touch people where they live–should we not make sure that these basics are covered first?

      My fear is that paying attention to what is peripheral instead of to what is central will continue to perpetuate a lay-clergy divide… and make parish life increasingly irrelevent… as many Catholics have signaled as they have voted with their feet.

      1. The notion that a priest cannot be an academic and a pastor at the same time is completely unfounded. I know of two dedicated and well-educated pastors of very well-attended and enthusiastic congregations. The two pastors, despite their academic research degrees (in the view of some), have reached a excellent balance between succinct but erudite preaching and true pastoral care both in social justice and the sacraments. I know of few priests who spend as much time in the confessional as these two pastors — and their persistence has brought many Catholics back to regular Confession! These two pastors also keep tight financial ships. These parishes are afloat (one even receives donations in excess of operating costs!) because the parishioners are not viewed as a mere recipients of social services, but rather fellow-participants in the intellectual and sacramental journey that is our faith.

        The notion that a church first caters to the material needs of the community and then to the care of souls only weakens the true substratum of material welfare. The fuel of social justice is a strong and well-informed faith. The social principles of the scriptures cannot be fruitfully applied without the intellectual sustenance of orthodox catechesis through pulpit and sacrament.

      2. Jordan,
        I am not saying that rigorous academics and pastoral ministry are mutually exclusive. What I am asking–in light of the topic raised–is: given the limited time that we have, WHAT should comprise that academic study? Since the vast majority of seminarians are not going to earn doctorates or do academic reasearch, should not the emphasis in seminary be on those matters (academic as well as practical; the “core” if you will) that would serve pastors-to-be well… and leave the other stuff for later…?

  23. Bill:

    Jeffrey … it is not about numbers

    The only numbers I brought up was the number of times I have prayed Mass in the Extraordinary Form, and that was simply for the purpose of making the degree of my experience with the E.F. known. I never said it was about numbers.

    (Edit: Were you referring to me saying that some people don’t exercise this participation? If so, I’d have appreciated you being more clear about it.)

    Jack uses [the term – participation, fully and actively] as defined by the majority of VII bishops who were looking for the pre-VII liturgy to be changed e.g. increased use of scripture; vernacular; increased variety in music; increased EPs, insertion of sacraments; alternative sacraments and their celebrations, etc.

    I disagree with you that when the Council Fathers called for “full, conscious, and active participation” they believed that such participation was only possible through a larger Lectionary, widespread/complete use of the vernacular, greater variety of music, more Eucharistic Prayers (not in Sac. Conc.), etc. (I don’t know what you mean by “insertion of sacraments” and “alternative sacraments”.)

    This participation was the guiding principle of the liturgical reforms called for by Vatican II. These reforms were to serve this participation, not create it, as if such participation was simply not possible before 1965.

    For example: “To promote active participation, the people should be encouraged to take part by means of acclamations, responses, psalmody, antiphons, and songs, as well as by actions, gestures, and bodily attitudes. And at the proper times all should observe a reverent silence.” (SC 30) What there cannot be achieved in the E.F. Mass? Psalmody, I suppose… but if simple psalm tones are used for, say, the Communion chant, then it becomes possible.

    Again, the reforms sought to “more easily achieve” (SC 50) that participation, not produce it anew.

    1. Respect what you have written, Jeffrey, but do not agree with your interpretation nor how it is applied. You are taking something that has recently been highlighted by a small group and you are working backwards and revising history. Would suggest that the bishops of VII probably used and interpreted “participation” in many ways including both “to serve” and to create.

      Sorry that you find my posts confusing at times…..e.g. numbers – yes, I was referring to what you now mention in EDIT.

  24. On the one hand, I think this is a wonderful idea. I can think of no better way to quench enthusiasm for the EF than to force people to learn it (and more importantly, force people to teach it). If seminarians become familiar with Latin through tedious classes they will recognize the value of the vernacular in liturgy.

    OTOH, it will discourage some from becoming seminarians to begin with, which is too bad. We had enough years with competent people kept out of the clergy because they could not learn Latin, or did not know it well enough.

    1. I very much appreciate your implication that those devoted to the EF are either stupid or badly informed.

      Which is to say: ad hominems don’t do anything for anyone, in any part of the conversation. Charity looks better on all of us.

  25. Well, it is shamefully obvious that many do not know or study the language of the faith… so it’s no wonder that confusion and discord are rampant. How can you truly be in love with Church (as your Bride) if you don’t even care about or attempt to understand all her intricies?

  26. ensure that all seminarians are… trained to celebrate the Tridentine Mass

    This appears to me so absurd and out of touch with the reality of world-wide Catholicism that it must be a joke.

    If it is true, the Curia really are setting themselves up for yet another massive failure of credibility and authority (and possible even setting the stage for a de facto schism).

    Do these people ever travel more than 2 kilometres from St Peter’s, let alone 10,000 km, and speak to priests and real people on the gound to discover for themselves what their spiritual needs and pastoral concerns are? Or do they only ever talk to clones of themselves?

    There must be a word for this Roman “swamp fever”.

    Mind you, if true, this does set to rest once and for all the myth that the present Roman authorities are not trying to undo the reforms of the Council.

    1. this does set to rest once and for all the myth that the present Roman authorities are not trying to undo the reforms of the Council

      I wasn’t aware that this was a myth… if by trying to “undo” the reforms you mean the reforms that were carried out, not those which were part of the Council. I haven’t seen too many parishes where Latin is the normative language for the Mass with just the readings and homily in varnacular (yes, that’s one of the Council’s reforms), nor are there many parishes until very recently where Gregorian chant is the normative music (also one of the Council’s reforms). The argument isn’t about whether or not the reforms are being “undone”, but more generally about what those reforms actually are.

    2. Or do they only ever talk to clones of themselves?

      Do you deny that there are members of the faithful all over the world who have asked for the extraordinary form of the Roman rite? Haven’t YOU met them or do you just talk to clones of yourself?

      My parish has the SSPX meeting in a rented conference room within the parish boundaries. But some of the people who used to go there now come to Mass at our parish, because we offer the traditional Mass. How is this not a real pastoral need?

    3. You’ve not shown how this could be seen to undermine the council because the contemporary expression of the EF does implement some parts of V2’s SC better than most contemporary expressions of the OF do. I’ve given some references to SC above that show this to be true.
      The EF has also been slightly modified in response to V2 already including the changes to the prayers on Good Friday. My guess is that other reforms will eventually be made involving the lectionary.
      Maybe it is just one particular interpretation of V2 that is being set aside – that is a very different thing than saying that V2 itself is being undone.

    4. The Church in France is attracting seminarians who love the EF and lots of young priests there are EF fans. So the Roman fever is spreading, and the Vatican thinks that an epidemic of this nonsense will spell the renewal of Catholicism, hence their zeal to inject it into the bloodstream of all seminarians.

    1. PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:

      Since the numbering of comments changes whenever a new reply is made to a comment above another comment, it’s less confusing to refer to comments by timestamp instead of by number.

      E.g. Francis Koerber on March 10, 2011 – 10:31 pm

  27. Francis – given your reply in #92, your #94 is consistent but continues the same old meme….you work from your own limited interpretation of SC’s “active participation”.

  28. Some might remember that a former pope had a lot to say about Latin. Professors are to speak Latin, and theology textbooks are to be written and taught in Latin. Seminarians are also to learn Greek (Apostolic Constitution Veterum Sapientia, Pope John XXIII, 1962). This Constitution refers to Latin as the living language of the Church. One wonders how that can be when the vast majority of priests and bishops know little of the Latin language.

  29. It’s stuff like this – putting such an emphasis on a dead language (sure it’s the official language of the Church, but come on!) hauling out the old fiddlebacks and lace, 1962 missals, 2010 missals which are of poor quality… all stuff that makes me want to throw up my hands and sign up at the Episcopal church across the street. We have better things to worry about folks. And on top of it – a hierarchy espousing all these great values and traditions, yet simply cannot get their own house in order with regards to child abuse. Pathetic, shameful and embarrassing.

    1. Perhaps I’m wrong, but the Episcopalians seem to have a lot of what you say is driving you away from the Catholic Church – namely an allowance for their own traditional liturgical expressions and aesthetics. I’ve met lots of Episcopalians who take great pride in their liturgies being “more Catholic than Catholic.”

      IMO, we have better things to worry about that some people getting to use the 1962 missal. We have better things to worry about that some people getting to dust off old fiddlebacks and lace. WAAAY too much effort has been spent making those attached to the old Mass into miserable outcasts.

  30. Francis Koerber :
    Well, it is shamefully obvious that many do not know or study the language of the faith… so it’s no wonder that confusion and discord are rampant. How can you truly be in love with Church (as your Bride) if you don’t even care about or attempt to understand all her intricies?

    I thought we were talking about Latin, and all of a sudden you are talking about Koine Greek. That is the only language that could possibly be the language of Christian faith because that is the language of the New Testament.

    I get very tired of ahistorical and revisionist historical arguments for things which people should more honestly just say is stuff they prefer. I get downright angry when people and especially secret committees try to impose their tastes and preferences on others as if this were still an age of privileged nobility and illiterate peasants.

    Finally, in order to understand what V2 and SC in particular were meant to convey, one needs to look specifically at the contrast between what those bishops had been experiencing and what they were proposing. No matter what diplomatic language they used, they were proposing changes. They were trying to fix something they perceived to be broken. Whatever nice things they say about their existing rites are almost irrelevant because they were focused on changing them and could afford to speak kindly at the funeral.

    1. Whatever nice things they say about their existing rites are almost irrelevant because they were focused on changing them and could afford to speak kindly at the funeral.

      That is certainly one lens through which to view the Second Vatican Council. I disagree with it, but it’s beneficial to know this is how you interpret what the Council Fathers said.

  31. Bill: john francis robert – you may want to describe how Rome had to take the MR1 or 2, translate into english; and then find out that the english helped them figure out words, phrases, translations that had been done incorrectly in the “original latin or translation”….interesting, those translating had to get it to english before they realized that their :”limited” latin skills missed what the original latin was.

    More recently, exactly the same thing happened with IGMR 2000 on its way to becoming GIRM 2002 (US) / 2005 (E&W) / 2007 (Australia), as detailed in this thread: http://www.praytellblog.com/index.php/2010/07/19/how-we-got-the-current-girm/

  32. “If seminarians become familiar with Latin through tedious classes they will recognize the value of the vernacular in liturgy. ”

    Why do people often assume that Latin classes are tedious? I try to make mine enjoyable but substantive. My enrollment figures keep me encouraged that I am on the right track. (I am very grateful that Pope Benedict is a literate man who has taken away the stigma against Latin which used to be found in the minds of my RC students.)

    As I’ve mentioned before on this list most of the young Latin teachers are trying to revive Latin as a spoken language, not unlike those Jewish folk who did the same for Hebrew in the last century. Alas, most of these creative Latin teachers are either Unitarians or Episcopalians.

    1. No offense of either teachers or students was intended. I was addressing the administrative issue — a requirement imposed from far away often has few local proponents, or few willing to find enthusiastic local proponents. Often they find people whose interest is elsewhere, but who teach a subject because they are capable of teaching it. (I am thinking of physics teachers I had who had little or no grasp of the subject, but knew enough to convince someone disinterested in the topic to hire them though their real interest was biology or chemistry.)

      In a popular movement, like those supporting the EF, enthusiasm can easily be found and easily propagates. As an academic requirement, enthusiasm often wanes, and the feeling of burden propagates. It is terribly hard to (re)kindle that enthusiasm once it has been quenched.

  33. Exactly my point Paul… how can you defend a faith you don’t even really know? It’s sitting pretty for the pickin, and that is why Satan and his cronies have been having a shooting match with the valuables. The heirarchy doesn’t even know how to ‘cover’ their valuables any more… so what do you expect? Their brains have been picked clean by the vultures of modernism, and at the same time they sadly gnash their teeth at the hand that shews the birds.

    Jeez… I know a handful of people… that’s one hand, that can actually defend their faith in my town… where are the great minds… I see most of them shooting up their own valuables… see posts above!

    Propterea maestum factum est cor nostrum ideo contenebrati sunt oculi nostri. Propter montem Sion quia disperiit vulpes ambulaverunt in eo. Lam. 5:17-18

  34. I see there are a variety of pious, well thought out, academic opinions that use good epistemology concerning the advisability of SP and teaching seminarians and young priests how to celebrate the EF Mass which whether one thinks Vatican II allows for this or not is in fact the law of the Church today and as of 7/7/07. Times have changed and the Church adapts. She breaks if she can’t. By Church, just to be clear, I mean all the baptized people of God, both laity and clergy.
    So to borrow a worn out progressive cliche, the tooth paste is out of the tube and trying to shove it back into the tube will make a mess. We can’t go back in time. Today is what we have; who knows what tomorrow will bring.

  35. Yes, perhaps it is time to get rid of the clericalist masses that we witness (not participate in) so often today. A different ecclesiology, indeed! If the mass were in Latin, we poor lay people,would probably not be subjected to father so and so’s stories about getting stuck in the NJ turnpike, or anecdotes about his cat, or, as I had to suffer this Ash Wednesday, ending the liturgy with a joke about bikini clad women. Maybe the priest/centered mass would quietly fizzle out so that the faithful really could participate and the holy mass would not be the domain of the celebrity celebrant and his need to be cutesy – one of the unintended consequences of the novus Ordo. And once the sems learn Latin, Spanish will be a breeze.

  36. Since we are being subjected to advertising about pamphlets; here is an excellent article: “An Essay on Vatican II”

    Highlights:

    “….1985 synod, JPII started out badly by misquoting Pope John XXIII, who had said the Council’s greatest concern was that “the sacred deposit of faith should be more effectively guarded and taught.” John Paul reaffirmed that, period. He failed to add the rest of the quote: that “the salient point of this Council is not a discussion of one or another article of the fundamental doctrines of the Church…. For this a Council was not necessary.” Instead, John XXIII said he wanted to make “a leap forward” into a place where the Church’s best thinkers could reinterpret the Gospel for their own times because “the substance of the faith is one thing, but the way in which it is presented is another.”

    Or – “This may have been the most important sentence Pope John XXIII ever uttered. But Pope John Paul II left it out. He was revising by omission, while giving the Council the lip service it demanded. Not even a pope dare go against a Council, not openly, because, theoretically at least, ecumenical councils have the highest authority in the Church. JP II only used the word aggiornamento once-on October 11, 1987, the 25th anniversary of the Council’s opening. But even there, he had to warn that this aggiornamento was to be “rightly understood and interpreted by the Magisterium.” Meaning what? We understood JP’s meaning by his actions; his updating always seemed to take a decidedly institutional turn.”

    Or (since many of you are using 1985 Synod) – “when JP II called an Extraordinary Synod to put his own spin on the Council. In a book called La restaurazione di Papa Wojtyla, Gian Carlo Zizola, Rome’s best Vatican reporter (a Vaticanista), called that spin a betrayal. Zizola said JP II was looking more and more like Pius X, who, early in the 20th century, had conducted a reign of terror over theologians he labeled as…

  37. Francis Koerber :
    No, not talking bout the baby girl in the crib, Tom… I am talking the grown beauty…

    Now Scripture is baby talk?
    or
    Most people would consider a multilingual child to be wonderful. Learning another language, though, does not change what is a person’s native language.

    Metaphors we can exchange all week. Latin was adapted because it was the vernacular of its time. Latin was maintained throughout the era of European Christendom, in that era so treasured by B16 of a hegemonic and relatively uniform Western European culture. That time of noble elites and few educated persons and scholarship in Latin is at least three generations past. Restoring a particular culture is not the mission Christians were sent forth to teach all nations.

  38. Francis Koerber :

    Exactly my point Paul… how can you defend a faith you don’t even really know? It’s sitting pretty for the pickin, and that is why Satan and his cronies have been having a shooting match with the valuables. The heirarchy doesn’t even know how to ‘cover’ their valuables any more… so what do you expect? Their brains have been picked clean by the vultures of modernism, and at the same time they sadly gnash their teeth at the hand that shews the birds.
    Jeez… I know a handful of people… that’s one hand, that can actually defend their faith in my town… where are the great minds… I see most of them shooting up their own valuables… see posts above!
    Propterea maestum factum est cor nostrum ideo contenebrati sunt oculi nostri. Propter montem Sion quia disperiit vulpes ambulaverunt in eo. Lam. 5:17-18

    This sounds very self-righteous and judgmental. It lacks any of the careful discrimination or references to impartial supporting data which an academically trained person would be careful to use. It is entirely self-referential. It is irrelevant to the liturgical matters under discussion.

    WORST OF ALL, the reader cannot tell what specifically the writer is agreeing or disagreeing with. PLEASE, ALL, either use the quote function which can be found by hovering your cursor over any comment’s title bar or cut and paste into your message the key words you are referencing.

  39. This sounds very self-righteous and judgmental. It lacks any of the careful discrimination or references to impartial supporting data which an academically trained person would be careful to use. It is entirely self-referential. It is irrelevant to the liturgical matters under discussion.
    WORST OF ALL, the reader cannot tell what specifically the writer is agreeing or disagreeing with. PLEASE, ALL, either use the quote function which can be found by hovering your cursor over any comment’s title bar or cut and paste into your message the key words you are referencing.

    Tom:

    I am expressing an opinion. I am not speaking about anyone else’s comment here, hence why no quote. This is an observation I have made about the Church in general over the past 50-100 years. It is like a ship being battered at sea. And those on the boat aren’t sure how to use the wheel, the rudder, the sails or the anchor, but the boat will go forward because the Holy Spirit is in the wind and waves. Meanwhile, as we are being tossed to and fro, let’s try not to fall off!

  40. Tom:

    The Church is our Mother. In her infancy she evolved from various cultures and influences into what She is today. So when I speak about the rites, the Latin, and how “She” evolved, well, you can’t pick and choose or throw out parts of a person. You either love the WHOLE Church or you don’t. It is the same as having a wife. Do you tell your wife that you don’t want part of her life? How preposterous! She would be greatly offended and you would either be forced to reconcile or separate. It is no different with our Holy Mother.

    So I don’t subscribe to your academically trained requirements. The reference is not to my self, but to our tradition and for having a great love and respect for it.

    It is totally relevant to discussion and that is why it has shaken your funny bone. Otherwise, you would not have commented so strongly about what I have said.

    So in that light, I need to correct myself… In my earlier post I spelled shew incorrectly… it should have been “SHOO!”

  41. I wish we could stop referring to the EF as the “traditional Mass”. If I’m not mistaken we use the term tradition to refer to the teachings and practices handed on to us from the Apostles and as received and reflected upon by the Fathers of the early church. Does anyone doubt that it took many centuries for the worship of the Church to resemble the rites celebrated in and around Rome during the time of Constantine? What would the apostles have known about “offertory rites” or “antiphons” or proscribed eucharistic prayers? Isn’t it obvious that the rites which developed into the Missal of the Council of Trent are primarily clerical rites which presumed an “assembly of worshippers” who were illiterate? The Tridentine Mass can, no doubt, be celebrated in a manner which truly gives honor and glory to God; but that’s not how I remember it for the first two plus decades of my life. The Mass was something that priests “said” for a living. The laity were there largely out of obligation and were mostly gratified that it was blessedly short and didn’t seem to place any expectations on them as regards their lives during the rest of the week. This was the form of Mass that the Council Fathers in union with the Pope directed be reformed. They didn’t authorize a “new Mass” to go along with an “old Mass”.

    The people who participate faithfully in the Mass over the past decades are by and large well educated and well capable of exercising the priestly office they received at Baptism. The priest and the faithful have indispensable roles to play in the Holy Sacrifice and needn’t be played off against each other. The younger priests I know personally who demonstrate more than a passing interest in the EF often speak openly of longing for “the good old days” (that they never lived personally) when the clergy were clearly in charge. They love the smells and bells even if the excessive use of incense causes difficulty for people with respiratory problems. Sorry…

  42. Only comments with a full name will be approved.

    Francis Koerber :
    Tom:
    You either love the WHOLE Church or you don’t. … It is no different with our Holy Mother.

    I love God, Father, Son, and Spirit.
    I love the Scriptures.
    I do not love the church. The is no call for me to love the church.

    Holy Mother is a metaphor, don’t push it so far.
    The members of the church are the people of God, and we should love each other.
    There is no evidence that the present institutional church or the details of its governance structure was ever foreseen in Apostolic times.

    The history of the church is there for us to study and upon which we can base decisions about what is likely to work or not as we try to take the Good News to all the ends of the earth.

    We do not need to avoid the development of church structures or of the liturgy for the many because the few have a legitimate attachment to past forms. Nor should the few be denied access to those forms.

    However, things of the past are only appropriate for certain occasions. It is a beautiful and satisfying skill to be able to do calligraphy, but most of the time I use my word processor. No one in their right mind would require all English composition students to learn calligraphy. I feel that Latin has about the same value.

      1. Nothing metaphorical about it!

        What’s to “love” about the shabby way Bernard Law behaved, re-assigning predators from parish to parish and lying about it?

        What’s to “love” about what’s going on (or at least, what’s been exposed as going on under Justin Rigali) in Philadelphia?

        What’s to love about Raymond Burke travelling the world showing people how to look ridiculous dressed up like the Infant of Prague?

        What’s to “love” about popes who put these guys there, and keep them there?

        There’s all the world of difference between “obedience” and “loving” in this instance – where does it say we have to “love the Church” anyway?

  43. Francis Koerber :
    Tom:
    So I don’t subscribe to your academically trained requirements. The reference is not to my self, but to our tradition and for having a great love and respect for it.

    Below is what I had in mind as self righteous, judgmental, and unsupported.
    “The heirarchy doesn’t even know how to ‘cover’ their valuables any more… so what do you expect? Their brains have been picked clean by the vultures of modernism, and at the same time they sadly gnash their teeth at the hand that shews [shoos] the birds.”

  44. Tom–

    I dare not call you a heretic, because that would be judgmental and harsh and abrasive and all of those nasty things… 😉

    However, you are called to love the Church. She is the mystical body of Christ, without which, you would not have reference to the Scriptures which you claim to love. How can you love Scripture, but not that body of persons who authentically discerned God’s will of what should indeed be called Scripture?

    I’d recommend re-visiting the Creed about your belief “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic” Church.

    and for further reading, I’d recommend the whole section of the Catechism.

    You are called to love the Church, and in humility, bend your will to her. It’s precisely those who don’t who cause the biggest problem in it.

    1. “you are called to love the Church”

      By whom? When? Where?

      Be a member of, yes. Obey, yes. Believe, yes. Promote, yes. Tolerate, yes. Minimise its embarassment, yes. Deal with it, yes. Support, yes. Explain, yes. Laugh at much of it, yes. Wonder how it survives, yes. Pray for it, yes. All kinds of things. But love?

      I’d like to know the source for this latest commandment “Thou shalt love the Church”!

  45. Jeffrey Pinyan :Whatever nice things they say about their existing rites are almost irrelevant because they were focused on changing them and could afford to speak kindly at the funeral.
    That is certainly one lens through which to view the Second Vatican Council. I disagree with it, but it’s beneficial to know this is how you interpret what the Council Fathers said.

    I have delayed in replying to this message because I thought it better not to write immediately when I was feeling so angry and hurt. I might have irritated many by being quite nasty.

    Why, I asked as I worked in my yard, does this hurt and anger me? It is because it does not seem to fit the sort of polite dialog I have been experiencing from Pinyan. Instead it seems to dismiss the methodology I am following as mere personal opinion and be used to place me in some box which can be dismissed.

    I would have expected that Pinyan would have either agreed with the validity of the method or explained why he did not consider it valid, even proposing another method instead.

    So, I felt angry and hurt because I felt like Pinyan did not live up to the standards of the serious discussion as he has seemed to be trying to do in the past.

    I have posted another comment regarding SC#54 which can serve as an example of how I think the method of interpreting SC statements must be taken in such a context. It is misleading to cite the exceptional paragraph about laity using Latin when the entire section encourages and provides for the adoption of the…

    1. You have dismissed some of my responses to your questions as irrelevant and the product of an ornery temperament. In my response which you quoted, I did not mean to be dismissive, but to express that I know a little bit better where you’re coming from, not to put you in a box, but to know your context, your bias, your frame of reference, whatever you would call it. (And I do not use the word “bias” in a derogatory manner.)

      You say that my reply treats the methodology I am following as mere personal opinion. In the recent thread (“How to go to Mass and not lose your faith”), Fr. Philip said:

      What I find obnoxious about this trope, common among reformers of the reform, is that it’s playing off divine agency against human agency, whereas orthodoxy consists in recognising that we mustn’t do that. If what they are really saying is that our mode of celebration should be somehow more formal, then I’ll give that opinion the time of day, and maybe even agree with it sometimes–but to claim the theological high ground in the way they do (or indeed, mutatis mutandis some gung-ho reformers do) obscures the genuine issue.

      So I do see your methodology as your opinion on the matter, unless I’m shown otherwise that the bishops at Vatican II were only quoting from the old Roman Missal and speaking about what the liturgy is for a Christian in such glowing terms because they had to play nicely until the “Tridentine Missal” was, to use your metaphor, six feet under.

      I operate under the assumption that the Council Fathers had a deep respect for the Missal of their day, despite its need to be reformed. I don’t think they were speaking well of a (nearly) dead man. I think they were speaking of the best of the liturgy of their day, while calling it to be more than it was at the time.

  46. Chris Owens :

    Tom–
    However, you are called to love the Church. She is the mystical body of Christ, …
    You are called to love the Church, and in humility, bend your will to her. It’s precisely those who don’t who cause the biggest problem in it.

    I think it is quite arrogant of you to not engage in discussion of the actual points I raise then tell me to act in humility in accepting your point of view. Your praeterition of mentioning heresy cannot be made less insulting by attaching a smiley face.

    Creedal belief in the catholicity of the church does not require affection, much less love. I am interested in the effectiveness of the ecclesia, the assembly of the people who follow Jesus, not in the preservation of institutions and customs.

    There is no doctrinal teaching requiring love for the church. What we are called to love are our siblings in Christ who taken together form an assembly [ecclesia].

    I would suggest that more problems are caused by those who blindly attach themselves to the church as it is than by those who have deep love for the teachings of Jesus and are willing to critique the institution where it is weak or more attached to a culture than to the Good News.

    You contend that “you are called to love the church” but you have not supported that except by your creative use of metaphor. Are you teaching that on your own authority or maybe just accepting something which you have heard without studying it?

  47. Lizzie lopez :
    Yes, perhaps it is time to get rid of the clericalist masses that we witness (not participate in) so often today. A different ecclesiology, indeed!

    I agree that these are clericalist abuses.

    However, the solution is not to use an ancient language but to take more seriously the roles of presiding and preaching to which presbyters are called when selecting and training for the presbyterate.

    Replacing one version of clericalism with an older one is no solution.

    We need to get seminarians out of the expectation that they will be administrators and teach them to focus on presiding and preaching with style, grace, and orthodoxy. Everything else is distracting from the basic call and basic needs of the faithful.

    Corporations to administer church institutions and organizations can be managed by laity or even hired non-believers.

    Presbyters need to be trained and evaluated and continually educated to move and speak so as to draw attention away from themselves and to God and God’s Word.

    When we train lectors, we teach them that the ideal is to clearly proclaim and be transparent to the Scriptures. A similar standard needs to be taught and maintained for all liturgical ministers, including presiders. Doing this well and preparing and rehearsing good sermons and liturgies is enough of a job for anyone.

  48. “We need to get seminarians out of the expectation that they will be administrators and teach them to focus on presiding and preaching with style, grace, and orthodoxy. Everything else is distracting from the basic call and basic needs of the faithful…
    Presbyters need to be trained and evaluated and continually educated to move and speak so as to draw attention away from themselves and to God and God’s Word.” Tom Poelker at March 11,9:11pm

    Tom, respectfully, your own words seem quite consistent with those of us characterized as the RotR crowd, almost as if lifted from our playbook. Take your declaration verbatim and align it next to the issues raised by the announcement and the thread topic and subsequent commentary. What do we have here? A chicken versus egg connundrum couched as “ecclesiology” and “liturgy?”
    Besides the “lex” axiom, I hear echoes of Fr. Dietrich von Hillenbrand’s missio in your own words. And I know you meant them with all your heart.

  49. Tom Poelker (March 11, 2011 – 7:22 pm) However, things of the past are only appropriate for certain occasions. […] No one in their right mind would require all English composition students to learn calligraphy. I feel that Latin has about the same value.

    Please don’t view Latin that way. A sacral, scriptural, or “classical” language uncovers a window into an rich intellectual universe still applicable in our day. Who would dare say that the insights of Greek, Hellenistic, and Roman philosophy, medieval Christian theologians, Reformation fathers, and early modern scientists are obsolete simply because all wrote in what we postmoderns consider classical or sacral languages? Similarly, do not the Missale Romanum, Office, and Latin Catholic liturgical music heritage display not only profound theology but also the finest late Latin composition? All of us, clergy and laity, should rejoice and gratefully accept Latin and Greek language heritage that stretches far earlier than Christianity itself.

    The obstruction of sacral language instruction for ideological reasons (e.g. a zealous promotion of the vernacular or misguided notions about “active participation”) is a crime against a seminarian’s intellectual potential and growth.

  50. Chris Grady :
    Nothing metaphorical about it!
    What’s to “love” about the shabby way Bernard Law behaved, re-assigning predators from parish to parish and lying about it?
    What’s to “love” about what’s going on (or at least, what’s been exposed as going on under Justin Rigali) in Philadelphia?
    What’s to love about Raymond Burke travelling the world showing people how to look ridiculous dressed up like the Infant of Prague?
    What’s to “love” about popes who put these guys there, and keep them there?
    There’s all the world of difference between “obedience” and “loving” in this instance – where does it say we have to “love the Church” anyway?

    Chris, my response is my best paraphrase of an essay I can’t seem to recollect from St. Blogs recently by a lady whose name I’ve also forgotten. Nevertheless-
    There’s a whole lotta love to be had for a church who have survived despite internecine struggles in its infancy, survived and thrived while emerging from Roman sewers and burial chambers only to face witnessing to Christ as they were slaughtered for sport and amusement or used as living torches. There’s a lot to love about the church that would listen time and again to voices, who after literally taking Christ’s admonitions stood naked in the Assissi piazza and then before the Vicar of Christ insisting that only love could set the course of the Church aright. There’s a lot to love about a church that venerates among its number the many Thomas’s, the many Theresas et al despite its elevation…

    1. A lot to love, sure, but no command to love it, and certainly not ALL of it!

      To return to topic: we don’t have to, we aren’t called to “love the church”!

      1. Well, Christ loved the Church, indeed, He loves the Church, so I will do my best to. And even if the Church is my enemy, I will love her, because I am commanded to love even my enemies.

        Of course, I don’t love the sinful things done by her members, whether those persons be popes, bishops, priests, deacons, religious brothers or sisters, or lay people. But I’ll love the Church as the Body of Christ, as an institution, as the assembly of the faithful, as the bride of the Lamb, and so on.

  51. Charles Culbreth :
    Tom, respectfully, your own words seem quite consistent with those of us characterized as the RotR crowd, almost as if lifted from our playbook.

    Not only are these consistent, they were quite consciously consistent.
    A reduction shows where the divergence arises.
    Bad presiding is a major problem.
    Presider drawing attention to self is bad presiding.
    Presider going outside of the black words and rubrics except at places specified is self centered and abusive.
    It is more likely that a presider will change words in one’s own language.

    I want better trained presiders and bishops who spend more time in personally monitoring and guiding their presbyters on how to improve presiding skills rather than [well, lets not get into specifics and start tangential disagreements].
    Up to here, left and right should agree.

    I think that the V2 bishops clearly wanted vernacular liturgy and more scripture [including psalmody rather than hymnody] and that they were aware of the liturgical movement’s tendency toward ad populum and did not speak against it.
    Possible agreement to this point.

    The bishops praised the best of what they had known in their lifetimes [divergence point] without intending to make them the standard for the future.

    I note that most such points are in the midst of references to changes to come. TO ME, used to reading historical and political documents as well as church texts, they are clearly concessions to the affections for the best of the past, despite the intention to move forward. See SC#54

    More follows

  52. of various Alexander’s and Julius’s. There’s a lot to love for a church who has erred repeatedly, almost irrevocably in its maltreatment and oppression of its own and of fellow christians and other believers rooted in father Abraham, but still strives at all levels to right those wrongs after confessing their sin before God and His people.
    There’s a lot to love for a church wherein its titular head can accept and appreciate aboriginal artistic expressions folded into its rites in New Guinea, Gaudalupe, Australia, etc. while also upholding the value and treasure of those same rites as sung and heard by saints over a millenium. There’s a lot to love about a church that does clock in daily at the soup kitchens, the jails, the hospitals and clinics and still alot time for daily Mass and the Office, without the prompting of an exterior obligation in a cappa magna.
    And there’s a lot to love in a church whose attitudes towards human dignity and reason have steadily, if slowly, evolved so that science and belief can still kiss, humility and exquisite art converse, and justice is proclaimed from the mouths of prophets among both the lay and the clergy, while many others of our number are still mired in their private and public sin.
    The Kingdom won’t be confined to any edifaces of this earth as we know it from the past to the present. So, we don’t love the church political, as that only looks down upon the world from the walls and parapets of the temple. The church we love, as does its founder, puts all that behind in order to remain faithful to the Creator. And we, his created and His church, try our best to offer back to Him and to all those whose face is His at our door, all the sustenance and beauty we were gifted.
    We want our celebrants to manifest being “in the world but not of the world” as I understand things.
    There’s no contradiction between liturgical expression and love within the church as I see it.

  53. Tom

    Those men in those things represent sin. That is not the Church. We are called, however, to love the sinner. And because these terrible things have been done in the name of the Church, great scandal has been levied against Her. But you must be able to distinguish each act by each person who is IN the Church (the fruits of the tree) apart from the tree itself. The tree itself is good, noble and perfect. THAT is the Church. Then there are “Wolves in sheeps clothing”. They act “in the name of the church” but in reality are those who represent hell. We must be wise enough to discern these various elements which are always at work to bring us closer to truth (God) or confuse us and repell us from Him. Hence, that is why I use the imagery of the birds. It is no different than the wolf metaphor-entirely scriptural. I am however, applying the “teeth of the wolf” or the “beak of the vulture” to that which wars against faith in our day-modernism, relativism and the abberation of sin which has plagued us within the walls of our seminaries and institutions. So it is important to keep the perspective that the Church never ere’s but that her children often do. And it is those who cause the little ones to fall who would be better off with a millstone around their necks because the day of judgement will indeed be a terrible one for those deceivers.

    1. Francis, I’ve lost track of the continuity here.
      Please reply with the time of my message to which you are responding or a brief identifying quote which leads to your message beginning “Those men in those things”.

      sorry

  54. Jordan Zarembo :

    Similarly, do not the … display not only profound theology but also the finest late Latin composition? All of us, clergy and laity, should rejoice and gratefully accept Latin and Greek language heritage that stretches far earlier than Christianity itself.
    The obstruction of sacral language instruction for ideological reasons (e.g. a zealous promotion of the vernacular or misguided notions about “active participation”) is a crime against a seminarian’s intellectual potential and growth.

    Latin is a treasure worthy of study. I use it a lot more than I would ever have suspected when required to take it, both as a etymological source and for understanding how language works. This is not sufficient to require it in either the seminary curriculum or in liturgy.

    Why are your reasons good and the other guy’s ideological? Making such accusations is not the route to productive discussion or to convincing someone to your side.

    It is your concept of there being such a thing as sacral language that bothers me both as theory and as applied to Latin instead of Koine Greek for Christianity. KG is the language of our Scriptures. It would have some logic to follow the Jewish use of the Hebrew Torah for worship or Islam’s use of the Koran only in Arabic. I would not agree, but I could follow that as a logical argument.

    Otherwise, a sacral language reminds me of mystery religions which Christianity is not. No use of secret language by the priesthood.

    1. Tom, I am a layman who can understand a Latin Mass (so long as the priest enunciates properly). I also can also read the New Testament in koine Greek. Why am I not entitled to my “vernacular”?

      Also, your reference to mystery religions is somewhat inaccurate. One of the most puzzling questions about Mithraism is the almost complete absence of any written language other than a scattering of epitaphs in Gaul, for example. No Mithraist that I have read focuses exclusively on a possible textual record. Rather, Mithraic research has shown great interest in the semiotic significance of the mithraeum and attendant visual artistic iconography. These ritual images appear with regularity at diverse sites within the boundaries of the former Roman Empire.

      When Tertullian’s archetype Christian soldier threw his laurel to the dirt and proclaimed Christianus sum (“I am a Christian”, cf De Corona 1.2), Tertullian (through the juxtaposition of a model soldier and an model Roman magistrate-inquisitor) opposed not only the immediate implications of Mithraism but also Roman military culture and the imperial cult of “genius”. Tertullian is nevertheless in a strange position: he expresses his distaste for the Roman private and public cult-complex in elegant Latin prose! His paradigm shift towards Christian thought is thoroughly drenched in Latin syntax and semantics. He did not invent a new methodology to express the atheism of Christianity.

      A liturgy as old as the Let It Be album cannot be the worship of ages. The great failure of the “modern Mass for modern man” movement is not vernacularization. The notion that only “relevant” language constitutes the language of Christian worship and confession betrays a great hubris. Tertullian’s Christianus sum references ab urbe conditia and not just a discrete generation in late antiquity.

  55. Charles Culbreth :

    Besides the “lex” axiom, I hear echoes of Fr. Dietrich von Hillenbrand’s missio in your own words. And I know you meant them with all your heart.

    I am not familiar with ” Fr. Dietrich von Hillenbrand’s missio”. Please outline what you had in mind.

  56. TO ME, used to reading historical and political documents as well as church texts, they are clearly concessions to the affections for the best of the past, despite the intention to move forward…TOM POELKER @ 10:58AM.
    .

    Tom, I very much appreciate your summation.
    At sixty, I’m a relative tourist in the scholastic towers, though I can count Kung, Dulles, Ruff, Dobszay as well as Searle, Walsh and Kavanaugh as former reads.
    But I would counter that when I participated in the singing and hearing of a Requiem celebrated by the Canons of St. John Cantius, there was no concession to mere affection for a past I never experienced, or an insidious nostalgia in the worst case, nor any conern as to whether my soul was consciously compelled to move forward in time. My experience was, indeed, counter-cultural, not confined to time, past or future, but alive in the moment of the present and presence beyond history and time.
    Upon the ceremonial dismissal, then I have to decide how best my soul is to move forward in time in relation to the world and my neighbor.
    I suppose that this attitude could portray the politics of me ‘n’ Jesus working out His purpose of my soul’s salvation and santification. Or thus I pray.

  57. “So I do see your methodology as your opinion on the matter, unless I’m shown otherwise that the bishops at Vatican II were only quoting from the old Roman Missal and speaking about what the liturgy is for a Christian in such glowing terms because they had to play nicely until the “Tridentine Missal” was, to use your metaphor, six feet under.” Pinyan

    Methodology may support opinion, but it is a process, a specific tool. I have specified a methodology common to political science and paralleled in Biblical interpretation.

    Please do not dismiss the methodology as merely one opinion.

    Please state the contrasting methodology which you use.

  58. Charles Culbreth :
    But I would counter that when I participated in the singing and hearing of a Requiem celebrated by the Canons of St. John Cantius, there was no concession to mere affection for a past I never experienced, or an insidious nostalgia in the worst case, nor any conern as to whether my soul was consciously compelled to move forward in time.
    Upon the ceremonial dismissal, then I have to decide how best my soul is to move forward in time in relation to the world and my neighbor.

    It takes a certain background in order to feel the experience in the way you did. I could probably share that, given my background. I remember my happy wonder the first time I served a Mass in which the priest actually and correctly pronounced the Latin I was studying.

    I do not believe that most American Catholics have an equivalent background. I do not want to deny you and I the opportunity to repeat the experience, but I do not think Latin or Latinized English are good means to get people from the pre V2 place of private devotions during Mass to the SC ideal of full, conscious, and active participation of all in their rightful parts.

  59. GENERAL NOTE

    I am very grateful for the effort so many are making to stay on topic and express their own opinion clearly without casting aspersions on others.

    Calling me out for failure to do the same is also appreciated and I hope to keep improving in how I phrase my responses.

    I hope we can continue this discussion in the interest of clarifying issues rather than anyone merely seeking to win an argument. I find it much more pleasant to discuss rather than argue.

    Thanks, brothers and sisters of Jesus.

  60. Jeffrey Pinyan :
    I do not love the church. The is no call for me to love the church.
    Yikes. Hopefully that’s a metaphor that’s not meant to be pushed too far.

    “Holy Mother Church” is the metaphor which can be pushed too far. Calling for people to love the institution rather than have love for its members and for God is pushing it too far. It reminds me of the dangers of leaders calling for people to do things for love of the mother/father-land, of super patriotism, of jingoism, of chauvinism.

    I hope that line of thought is not what made you say, “Yikes.”

  61. Tom, my bad. Got my Deutschenamen Personen mixed up. Early onset Alz., maybe. And I still could have the wrong priest in mind.
    Should have read “Hildenbrand.”

    http://www.catholicity.com/commentary/howard/06513.html

    In all honesty (and maybe Fr. Anthony could help me here) I remember reading of a priest here in the states around 1958 who formulated a specific rationale and institute that contended that the mission of parish life begins, has its central locus, at the ambo and alter of Sunday Mass, and all else radiates outward from that.
    I’m addled a bit this morning having had my grandsons take over the run of the house overnight!

    PS. Tom, as Teri Garr’s character, Inge, said to “Young Frankenstein (Gene Wilder)- “Za feeleenk iss moochul!” Rancor needs to take a long hiatus, a sabbatical, a long walk off a short pier here in St. Blogs!

    @Rita- is there a way y’all can reset the blog format so that when a user clicks the “comments” button, the page routes to the last comment published, rather than automatically to the first. When we get a great thread like this one, that would be very expedient. Thanks.

  62. In order that the Christian people may more certainly derive an abundance of graces from the sacred liturgy, holy Mother Church desires to undertake with great care a general restoration of the liturgy itself. For the liturgy is made up of immutable elements divinely instituted, and of elements subject to change. SC 21

    “Sacral language” is a step toward blurring the line between the “immutable elements” and the “elements subject to change”. Language, which certainly can change, should not be described as if it were immutable or divine.

    Another step towards blurring this line is the attempt to separate out the sinful as if it were not part of the Church. This is not wrong, but it divides in two at a different line, which allows a confusion of sin/holiness with mutable/immutable.

    The reform the Council sought was to make the immutable more prominent and more important to Catholics, and to noncatholics. This does not mean exalting one language as mare sacred than another, but to encourage a greater contact with the divine through the mutable.

    [this is more complicated to say than I hoped, so let me stop here and perhaps be clearer later. or get insight from others?)

  63. Charles Culbreth :
    Tom, my bad. Got my Deutschenamen Personen mixed up. Early onset Alz., maybe. And I still could have the wrong priest in mind.
    Should have read “Hildenbrand.”
    http://www.catholicity.com/commentary/howard/06513.html
    In all honesty (and maybe Fr. Anthony could help me here) I remember reading of a priest here in the states around 1958 who formulated a specific rationale and institute that contended that the mission of parish life begins, has its central locus, at the ambo and alter of Sunday Mass, and all else radiates outward from that.

    I hope Fr. Anthony or someone else can find that reference. From what you recall, I also suspect I would agree.

    I constantly want to tell priests that they need to correct their priorities. A parish can exist so long as it has Sunday Mass, I say, all other things are peripheral. Doing Sunday Mass(es) well, the presiding and preaching, are your absolutely most important tasks as pastor. These are the things you are called to do which the laity cannot do and cannot have a parish without. So, spend more time writing and rehearsing your homily. In particular, put as much effort in as actors do to constantly improve your performance as a presider. Rehearse! Constantly reconsider what you do and why you do it. Do not assume that because you have done it often, that you are doing it as best as possible. Beware of sloppy ruts.
    Here…

  64. Chris Grady :

    “you are called to love the Church”
    By whom? When? Where?

    “For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “

  65. Charles Culbreth :
    Tom, my bad. Got my Deutschenamen Personen mixed up. Early onset Alz., maybe. And I still could have the wrong priest in mind.
    Should have read “Hildenbrand.”
    http://www.catholicity.com/commentary/howard/06513.html

    I followed that link to the article on Hildebrand. I hope that Thomas Howard never tries to write an EP given his tendency to overblown language and hagiography.

    OTOH, I also looked at Wikipedia and have to admit that both sources make me think von Hildebrand is a mind which ought to be taken into account.

    I note that Howard seems to be extremely concerned with the overall change in culture.

    Also, Hildebrand’s only title dealing with liturgy is from 1943.

    Again, Howard’s discourse on the need and nature of reverence struck some positive chords with me.

    In regard to liturgy, I do think reverence is an important value. I do think some on the left have dismissed it entirely as part of a package of “old” values. On the other hand, some on the right seem to value reverence over much and tend toward either expecting reverence only to exist in certain forms or to give it a much higher priority than things emphasized in SC.

  66. Tom said:
    What’s to “love” about the shabby way Bernard Law behaved, re-assigning predators from parish to parish and lying about it?
    What’s to “love” about what’s going on (or at least, what’s been exposed as going on under Justin Rigali) in Philadelphia?
    What’s to love about Raymond Burke travelling the world showing people how to look ridiculous dressed up like the Infant of Prague?
    What’s to “love” about popes who put these guys there, and keep them there?

    Tom: These are NOT the Church. You are speaking here of actions of those in the Church, some abhorent, some neutral, some political.

  67. Chris said

    Be a member of, yes. Obey, yes. Believe, yes. Promote, yes. Tolerate, yes. Minimise its embarassment, yes. Deal with it, yes. Support, yes. Explain, yes. Laugh at much of it, yes. Wonder how it survives, yes. Pray for it, yes.

    Tolerate SIN, no. Tolerate human weakness, yes. Have nothing to do with the works of darkness, but instead, expose them. Minimise the embarassment? Well, God will distribute both mercy and justice to deal with sin. Wait on the hand of God and watch. Laugh? I laugh at myself, but take the Church quite seriously and constantly defend Her. Wonder how it survives? The gates of hell will not prevail against her. No worry there. Definitely pray for her leaders and her members.

  68. Seminarians in Japan have very little English even though the Japanese Catholic Church is now 50 per cent immigrants, with whom the Japanese clergy have great trouble in relating. The Vatican’s remedy: “Let them speak Latin!”

  69. The new translation reeks of sin. Its soulless language is the product of insensitive and unscrupulous bullies and spineless, dishonest bishops. It is probably a moral duty of priests not to use it at all.

      1. As we’ve seen from at least one Australian cleric, the problem is not the English usage but the more accurate presentation of the theology already present in the Latin original.

    1. It is an even greater sin for a priest to ad lib the Mass, and especially the anaphora, in order to render it acceptable to a human ideology rather than divine worship. Some priests even render the Mass invalid by their improvisations. If I were a priest, would not want to stand before the judgment seat and say, “I offered the Holy Sacrifice of your Son, but changed the sacred Consecration because I understand the mystery of Calvary better than you, who redeemed us.”

      A few centuries from now, western Catholics will look back on this troubled time in history as a reminder of the manifest failure of a confected liturgy crafted for the satisfaction of secular anthropology and not the satisfaction of sin.

      Postmodern liturgies of ME cannot withstand the eternal mystery of I AM.

      1. To claim as you do, that x or y is an even greater sin, you must first of all prove that such an act involves intrinsic evil. Are you not aware that for the first few centuries, the president of the assembly recited the anaphora ad libitum. There is a pluriformity of anaphoras in the Orthodox tradition.

        You make it all sound like so much hocus pocus. Say the right formula and the magic spell works. The problem with all such superstition is that it seeks to invert the real order of creation, where we humans are subject to God’s will, by seeking to subject God to their will by the recitation of magic formulae.

        To borrow a phrase from another famous occasion, when a someone sought to counteract a well known cardinal who was counselling against a particular line of action, on the grounds that God would condemn the agents to hell, ‘You don’t think (your Eminence,) that the good Lord obeyed all your decrees.’

        Likewise, Jordan.

    2. Can you provide some documentation for this beyond your own seemingly overwrought emotions? I myself have been mildly critical of the 1970 Missal and those who produced it but I would never attribute motivations to them such as you have implied here.

  70. I want to focus on something a bit different, for a change.

    The coming Instruction should be a reminder for those in charge of diocesan liturgy of the task in ensuring both the forms of the Roman Rite are offered– especially as this is what the Holy Father’s desire is.

    Not to be hypercritical, but even if they were to dismiss the Pope in Rome as having any real relevance, should they not perhaps follow the desire of their local Bishop?

    Here is an example of a diocesan Bishop who is endorsing the provisions of S.P. as a point of unity for Catholics:
    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2007/07/bp-of-salt-lake-city-on-summorum-pontificum/

    However, we see here on this blog that the Director of Liturgy under this same Bishop “strongly agrees” about “grave concerns” over seminarians being formed in what could be a source of real unity in his own diocese, according to his bishop.
    (this posting, Timothy Johnston, March 10th 2:58pm)

    Having sat through a barrage of multi-culturalism at the recent liturgy conference, this is exactly my point– the one thing we all could have had in common, and celebrated, was our heritage as Catholics of the Roman Rite. But, we didn’t do that, out of a desire for novelty, which imho, simply alienated, rather than unified.

    I would be less critical, except when I looked on the website to try and find a Mass in the EF while down there, there is no mention of the EF on the Diocesan website. Doing a bit more digging, there is apparently one parish in the whole diocese (state) that offers it. And no publicity of it.

    Not to single out the Diocese of Salt Lake, but it’s an easy target (especially after the Bishop’s public endorsement), and it echoes that which has happened, or rather, not happened, in the dioceses across the USA.

    Perhaps in the hiring of those types of positions, that is a real question that should be asked (are you loyal to the Holy Father?), in light of there being two forms of one rite.

    1. Chris,

      The state of Utah might not be an ideal place to look for the EF Mass or complain that it’s only offered in one place in the state. There are no Catholics in most of the diocese, so the demand is pretty limited. It might also be that the resources are even more limited than the demand, although that’s perhaps a circumstance more amenable to ‘fixing’.

  71. The letter that Pope Benedict wrote to accompany the motu proprio gave quite specific conditions regarding the celebration of what would more appropriately be termed the “pre-Conciliar Usage”. While one might question his reasoning behind the “never juridically abrogated” statement (he doesn’t provide any), it would be wrong to infer that he is talking about two optional equivalents, as if a priest could, at whim, instigate the PCU on a Sunday without the request and permission of his Ordinary. If the next motu proprio changes the position once more then so be it.
    Regarding the content of the new translation – whether 2008 or the supposed 2010 – regular use may indicate that the prayers themselves are due for a review as the universal church considers the content of the next Roman Missal.

  72. Jeffrey Pinyan :
    Well, Christ loved the Church, indeed, He loves the Church, so I will do my best to. And even if the Church is my enemy, I will love her, because I am commanded to love even my enemies.
    Of course, I don’t love the sinful things done by her members, whether those persons be popes, bishops, priests, deacons, religious brothers or sisters, or lay people. But I’ll love the Church as the Body of Christ, as an institution, as the assembly of the faithful, as the bride of the Lamb, and so on.

    Lovely, but WHERE IS THE COMMAND for you to do so?

  73. Francis Koerber :

    Tom said:
    What’s to “love” about the shabby way Bernard Law behaved, re-assigning predators from parish to parish and lying about it?
    What’s to “love” about what’s going on (or at least, what’s been exposed as going on under Justin Rigali) in Philadelphia?
    What’s to love about Raymond Burke travelling the world showing people how to look ridiculous dressed up like the Infant of Prague?
    What’s to “love” about popes who put these guys there, and keep them there?

    Tom: These are NOT the Church. You are speaking here of actions of those in the Church, some abhorent, some neutral, some political.

    At least you could quote the right person.

    The argument attributed to me actually came from Chris Grady, 12 March, 8:54 AM.

    It is not the approach I have taken at all.

  74. Jordan Zarembo :
    If I were a priest, would not want to stand before the judgment seat and say, “I offered the Holy Sacrifice of your Son, but changed the sacred Consecration because I understand the mystery of Calvary better than you, who redeemed us.”
    A few centuries from now, western Catholics will look back on this troubled time in history as a reminder of the manifest failure of a confected liturgy crafted for the satisfaction of secular anthropology and not the satisfaction of sin.

    At least have the grace to put and “I think” in front of some of your judgments and predictions of the future.

    Even better, find some logical arguments from theology or the social sciences to support your conclusions.

    I suspect we can all produce anecdotes of abuses of the right or the left. They add nothing to our discussion.

    Let’s stick to explaining what we think is good for the liturgy of the RCC in the USA.

    Although the Eucharist does offer graces for the forgiveness of sin, that does not seem to be its primary purpose according to the last Ecumenical Council in union with the pope, but that is what your statement seems to imply. Please cite your sources.

    1. This blog spreads its net more widely than what’s good for the USA, thankfully. What a very narrow perspective to adopt!

      When you get the opportunity, you could look up the word ‘catholic’ in a dictionary.

  75. The Paraclete has set the Church aflame from first century Judaea. The Holy Spirit did not liberate our hearts and minds only after a crisp Roman winter day in 1965. We can never “sing a new Church”: the score has unfurled through our hearts for two millennia. The past fifty years are but a grace note.

    First, anthropology. Brackets are mine.

    Pope Paul VI, General Audience, 26 November 1969.. EWTN English trans.

    Paul VI’s emphasis on liturgy as a sociological vehicle:

    “16. But two indispensable requirements above all will make that richness clear: a profound participation by every single one present, and an outpouring of spirit in community charity. These requirements will help to make the Mass more than ever a school of spiritual depth and a peaceful but demanding school of Christian sociology [una scuola […] una tranquilla ma impegnativa palestra].”

    The English translation’s false equation “a school […] a peaceful but demanding school […]” masks the semantic difference between scuola and palestra. The modern Italian palestra, i.e. German gymnasium, derives from the Latin palaestra, or public space for exercise and public education. I contend that Paul VI, through literary conceit, privileges a sociological interpretation of the Roman liturgy over a spiritual interpretation. palestra joins physical exertion and intense debate within a doubly significant word. This conceit overshadows the primarily cognitive signification of scuola. This passage strongly suggests that the reformed liturgy stresses anthropocentricity over the time-honored notion of Mass as the “school of the soul”.

    The whole of Paul VI’s audience strongly asserts orthodox eucharistic theology. Still, the quotation above illustrates my qualms about an anthropologized Roman rite.

    1. ???

      Isn’t a soul still part of a person? So how is a school for the soul different from a school for the person? Why is a sociological interpretation not also a spiritual one? I really do not understand what you are trying to say.

      And have you considered that what Paul VI is also providing an insight into the traditional “school of the soul” so that you can better understand that tradition? (which I ask without understanding your point, but simply out of respect for the Pope’s teaching office?)

      1. I attempted to demonstrate that Pope Paul privileges an anthropological/sociological view of the Mass over more “traditional” views, i.e. the Mass is instruction in matters spiritual and not primarily of persons and their behavior. You are quite right that “soul” was not a good choice of words. It is better to remain with his original “school of spiritual depth”. Mass certainly instructs us in spiritual matters.

        Paul VI uses two words here that roughly mean “school”, but with slightly different emphases. One is scuola, or generic “school”, and the other is the more specific palestra, which can mean a place for physical exercise or a place for mental exercise and debate. Remember that in classical and late antiquity the baths were not just places to bathe and exercise, but also to learn and debate. The baths were archetypes for societal discourse. The sophistication of palestra versus the simpler scuola suggests that for Pope Paul the prism of the Mass now tilts towards academic and public discourse rather than God’s encounter with his creation through sin-propitiation. Certainly, the Mass has always involved the intersection of fallen creation and redemption. Pope Paul’s audience suggests that the intellectual balance has shifted towards humanity and away from God.

        Pope Paul’s articulation of the sacramental theology of the reformed liturgy is orthodox. I must assent to the Ordinary Form. Still, I do not share Pope Paul’s humanist vision. I do not wish to see Mass though the eyes of academia or human development. I wish to see salvation in the altar, not my reflection.

        If I cannot countenance the view that the Mass is informed by human intellectual criticism, then perhaps I should not adhere to the Roman rite.

  76. Gerard Flynn :

    This blog spreads its net more widely than what’s good for the USA, thankfully. What a very narrow perspective to adopt!
    When you get the opportunity, you could look up the word ‘catholic’ in a dictionary.

    If you INSIST, I will withdraw “in the USA”.

    The content of my message remains a request for fewer attacks and more logic. yet, what a nasty sort of final sentence you post!

    Gratuitous nastiness does not contribute to the conversation any more than being judgmental or stating the future as if known in both form and cause.

    1. Point taken. I’m sorry if my rhetorical flourish was experienced by you as nastiness. My intention was to persuade.

      It’s not always easy on PT to maintain one’s equilibrium. The temptation is sometimes too great and sometimes a florid expression of irritation can get the message across. That’s very often the Irish way, anyway.

      Mea culpa! Mea culpa! Mea maxima culpa!

      Which, being translated is…..

  77. “Pope Paul’s articulation of the sacramental theology of the reformed liturgy is impeccably orthodox. I must assent to the Ordinary Form. Still, I do not share Pope Paul’s vision. I do not wish to see Mass though the eyes of academia or human development. I wish to see the why and how of the gift of salvation in the altar and not myself. The Latin liturgy, and especially the Canon, express the encounter of the human and devine in a manner that I could never amplify. If I cannot countenance the view that the Mass is informed by human intellectual criticism, then perhaps I should not adhere to the Roman rite.” Zaremba

    Since the text of the Eucharist and the surrounding rituals had changed quite a bit from the Didache and the Apostolic Tradition, and since the MR of P5 was itself a compilation and redaction of multiple legitimate texts, exactly what parts of the Mass do you hold NOT to be informed by human intellectual criticism prior to V2?

    1. Re: Tom Poelker on March 14, 2011 – 3:38 pm. Please read my revised post above.

      Tom, Have you read the 18th century Scottish philosopher David Hume? Please read his An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (Project Gutenberg, expired copyright in the USA). Hume outlines the early modern notion that a human being can, and perhaps should, apprehend the world solely by his or her empirical evaluation. The notion that human beings possess the ability to evaluate the world in the absence of divinity or the supernatural is relatively recent in “western” European thought. Would St. Thomas Aquinas concede that fallen humanity reigns over the unmoved mover? Did St. Augustine affirm that fallen humanity should exalt in self-guidance? The Beauty, per Plotinus, is at the apex of human intellectual discovery beyond the immediately apprehensible. The immediate is base, not the other way around.

      The Council of Trent met at the very beginning of this modern empirical period. The council fathers of Trent never heard of “sociology”, as the study of “modern society” is a product of the 19th century. anathema sit does not permit shades of “legal rights” or empiricism. Rather, it boldly strikes a line between the development of doctrine to the 16th century and its detractors without any notion of human behavior as a factor in ecclesiastical legislation.

      Pope Paul’s contention that the Mass should be shaped by empiricism is not only novel. Isn’t that utterly foreign to Christian development of doctrine? Pope Paul’s audience of 26 November 1969 is most confusing. Why praise the Holy Sacrifice and then hand it over to the shattered sight of sinful humanity? Did St. Augustine find Jesus Christ in the raucous and licentious debates in the palaestra?

      I must believe Pope Paul, but his assertion that the Mass is both empirical and revelatory utterly baffles me.

      1. “The council of Trent …….without any notion of human behavior as a factor in ecclesiastical legislation.”

        You are certainly right. A quick look at the lives of the Popes who presided at the council will confirm that, though perhaps not in the way you might like. Take Paul III who fathered four children, or Julius III who slept with a 15 year old monkey tamer, or Paul IV who sought to execute adulterers and religious and clergy who sought to engage in sexual relations, or Pius IV who fathered three children. The council put forward the highly exalted notion of priesthood and hierarchy, without, as you say, any notion of human behaviour as a factor in ecclesiastical legislation.

        And there is no hint of irony in your tone.

      2. Does the Incarnation baffle you in the same way? Do you think adhering to Jesus only as “divine” would be appropriate? Would Jesus even be revelatory if he were not human?

        That analogy is behind Pope Paul’s thought, I think. God became human in order to reveal His great love for us. In that faith, there is no disjunction between the human and the divine, between the empirical and the revelatory, or between the sociological and the spiritual. If Trent did not see it that way (your claim, but not one I accept), then Trent erred in separating the divine from the human. More likely Trent did not address the issue, accepting the worldview of its day as Paul VI acts within the worldview of today.

  78. Jordan Zarembo :Re: Tom Poelker on March 14, 2011 – 3:38 pm. Please read my revised post above.
    …The Council of Trent met at the very beginning of this modern empirical period. The council fathers of Trent never heard of “sociology”, as the study of “modern society” is a product of the 19th century. anathema sit does not permit shades of “legal rights” or empiricism. Rather, it boldly strikes a line between the development of doctrine to the 16th century and its detractors without any notion of human behavior as a factor in ecclesiastical legislation.

    ———————-
    =============
    What does any of this have to do with my question?

    “exactly what parts of the Mass do you hold NOT to be informed by human intellectual criticism prior to V2?”

    My point being that human intellectual effort has always gone into the development of Christian liturgy.

  79. “Pope Paul’s articulation of the sacramental theology of the reformed liturgy is orthodox. I must assent to the Ordinary Form. Still, I do not share Pope Paul’s humanist vision. I do not wish to see Mass though the eyes of academia or human development. I wish to see salvation in the altar, not my reflection.” Zaremba

    What you wish to see is not a strong basis for theology.

    It appears to me that the teaching of the Ecumenical Council in union with the pope is the highest teaching authority in the church. V2 in SC taught the multiple values inherent in the liturgy. I am much more concerned that Catholics deal with that.

    How else is one to study the Mass except through the eyes of scholarship? I do not want to experience it that way every Sunday, but academic tools are the ones to use when studying how the liturgy acquired the form it has and whether or how it can be improved.

    The alternative reductio ad absurdum is to think that Midnight Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica is exactly how Jesus conducted the Last Supper.

    Also, it is a new teaching to say that one must assent to what a pope teaches. I believe that the more traditional and specific teaching is that papal teaching must be given serious weight when one forms one’s conscience but only ex cathedra statements on faith and morals require assent and that there have only been two of those.

    1. Ex cathedra statements demand the assent of faith, but some other teaching requires “a religious assent.” (LG 25) The effect is similar to what you describe, but that is the context for Jordan assenting to papal teaching.

  80. Jim McKay: Does the Incarnation baffle you in the same way?

    I have difficulty believing that human perception alone (e.g. Hume), without reference to the need for baptismal regeneration or the effects of concupiscence, can describe Christ’s perception. Could Christ, true God-true Man, apprehend the world according deistic or even atheist models? I consider this blasphemous, as it raises the cognitive distortion inherent in our tendency to sin above the perfect clarity of the God made man to forever conquer the flesh through His body. Can any academic paradigm such as sociology that often disavows any divinity, and certainly the Incarnation, be a thought of God the Son?

    Tom Poelker: How else is one to study the Mass except through the eyes of scholarship?

    When does the desire for scholarship completely edge out the divine and perfect humanity of Christ’s knowledge, a knowledge that human beings will never know? The notion that a purely secular methodology, even one that in extremis might deny god(s) and even sin outright, can reflect the Sacred Heart profoundly disturbs me.

    Consider the Holy Cross preface: Qui salutem humani generis in ligno Crucis constituisti: ut unde mors oriebatur, inde vita resurgeret: et, qui in ligno vincebat, in ligno quoque vinceretur […]

    “You have established the salvation of humanity on the wood of the Cross. Where death was ascending, might life reappear: as he who conquered by the Cross was also conquered by it.”

    The Cross has already conquered all that human beings have ever exalted above God himself.

    1. Can any academic paradigm such as sociology that often disavows any divinity, and certainly the Incarnation, be a thought of God the Son?

      Can any academic paradigm such as sociology that often disavows any divinity, and certainly the Incarnation, be a the basis for Paul VI’s Eucharistic theology?

      You seemed to be headed toward the “two truths” arguments of Aquinas’ day. Catholic teaching has been that what is learned in philosophy (including by observation) cannot be incompatible with what is learned by Revelation. This does not mean science must fall to theology, or that theology must fall before science, but that there is one truth to which our philosophy and theology must give way. Sometimes science yields, sometimes theology. It is both/and not either/or.

      You appear to have a very high Christology, emphasizing the divinity of Christ, but I cannot really grasp what you are trying to say with it. What are you saying is blasphemous? That the insights of deist philosophers might reflect the truth? That those insights could help explain our Faith? Or are you saying that the divinity of Christ prevents him from being fully human? There is a range of things you might mean by talking about Christ’s knowledge, but I can’t quite grasp how any addresses my earlier questions.

      1. Jim, no, certainly I believe that Jesus Christ is wholly God and wholly man.

        What I consider blasphemous is the notion that the sacrifice of the Cross/The Mass can be entirely understood through an academic discipline, such as sociology or anthropology. These disciplines can, but do not necessarily, disavow revelation.

        Nevertheless, I have seen and read much about the Mass in the past fifty years that, while not theologically inaccurate. It is true that the congregation at Mass should (and indeed, must) participate at Mass, even in silent attention. I have read opinions that use terms such as “presider” to blur the line between laity and the ordained clergy. The priest or bishop is the celebrant, as he acts in alter christus. “Presider” might infer that the laity somehow share in the special ontology reserved for the clergy at ordination. I view this notion of “presiding” as an extension of democratic social constructs that are foreign to the classical interpretation of how the Mass or Divine Liturgy “works”. I am not insulted when the priest does everything at EF L ow Mass. I am grateful for the presence of the saving Lord, not worried that I won’t get to touch a ciborium.

        Also, I strongly suspect that many of the arguments about the new Missal, and the implementation of the vernacular overly rely on social scientific concepts (reading levels, vocabulary comprehension, “assembly reception”, intelligence &c). In my view, these arguments privilege an intellectualized view of the Mass that diminishes the Eucharistic mystery.

        We are moving towards the Mass as a conference paper in motion, and not an encounter with the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ in our fragile temporal realm.

      2. I suppose my problems understanding you can probably be traced to your assumptions about “the classical interpretation of how the Mass or Divine Liturgy “works”.” To me, you seem to privilege a romantic interpretation of the Mass that is very different from the “classical” interpretation. Consequently, I get lost when you oppose the classical to Paul VI’s modern interpretation, since these are similar to one another.

        For example, Vatican II expressed the traditional explanation for the Eucharist by describing how the baptized and the ordained each participate in the Priesthood of Christ. This differs from the romantic view of the Priest as the one who offers sacrifice, rather than the one who leads the Body of Christ in offering sacrifice with Christ the Head of His Body the Church. I suspect that my position is the exact opposite of yours, which makes it very bewildering for me when you refer to “the classical interpretation as if everyone understands what you mean.

        As another example, you sum up the mystery of the Eucharist with transubstantiation language, where I would refer to the Paschal Mystery. It is like the Incarnation and the Resurrection: both are true about Christ, and the Resurrection is impossible without the Incarnation, but I consider the Resurrection as the central mystery of faith. So it is with transub. and Paschal Mystery; when you speak of the meaning of the Eucharist, and mean transub., I get confused because I think of the Paschal Mystery as the meaning of the Eucharist. It works out fine when you specify; I can understand you then. I imagine the same is true for you when I leave things ill defined.

        Having said all that, I share your concern that the discussions here of the Eucharist are too tied up with the human side of it — the language, translation, rubrics, etc. — and only fleetingly offers glimpses of the Divine. I sometimes make an effort to evoke the sense of divine as a part of the discussion, and seek it in others’ remarks.

    2. Jim: For example, Vatican II expressed the traditional explanation for the Eucharist by describing how the baptized and the ordained each participate in the Priesthood of Christ.

      Yes, and rightly so. The “common priesthood” certainly participates in the eucharistic action. There’s a reason why the eucharistic prayers are in the plural even though a priest alone says these prayers, i.e. te igitur […] rogamus ac petimus. You are entirely right that historically, the participation of the laity in the Eucharistic mystery was downplayed in favor of a strong propitiation model. Trent was anxious to squelch the Reformed teaching that the priesthood of believers is equal to the clerical priesthood, so it is not surprising that the Trent fathers exaggerated propitiation.

      Jim: As another example, you sum up the mystery of the Eucharist with transubstantiation language, where I would refer to the Paschal Mystery.

      Well, as postmodern Catholics, we are bound to affirm both the transubstantiation model and the paschal model. Many of us have an strong attachment to one or the other. It cuts me like a knife when participants in Pray Tell belittle or dismiss the Roman Canon and especially the Latin. This prayer deeply informs my eucharistic piety. I am not allowed to recite it, but I meditate on it daily. The notion that I am kneeling at Calvary during Mass is the very core of my piety. If Our Lady and St. John were content with adoration at the wonder of the Cross, that is certainly sufficient for me.

      Thank you Jim for your kind comments. I apologize to you and Pray Tell generally for being abrasive and arrogant in this thread.

  81. I take it you are not a fan of lay presidency of the eucharist.

    Do you imagine that all of those women and men who hosted and presided at the breaking of bread during the first few centuries of the common era were all ordained the way we ordain people today?

    1. The very moment I hear of, and can verify, that a lay person has simulated the Mass with the explicit approval of ecclesiastical authorities, you will find at the doorstep of an Orthodox church with a request for Chrismation. An approval of lay presidency would spell the end of the Mass and apostasy of the western Church. Fortunately, the Lord promises us in Scripture non praevalebunt.

      Your conception of a radically egalitarian pre-Constantinian Church is contrary to the consensus on Hellenistic and Roman social structures. The pre-institutionalized Christians were bound to a radically unequal hierarchical society. Regardless of the specifics of ministry, hierarchical structure permeated both the secular and ecclesiastical spheres of the formative Church. Please read more on Roman and Hellenistic domestic relationships and metaphors, and then consider your position.

      I have formally argued for the inclusion of women in instituted ministries such as lector and acolyte. I would prefer the institution of lay people who administer Holy Communion rather than the delegation of this role to an untrained and unlicensed lay person. Do note, however, that the revealed doctrine of ordination is non-negotiable. Certainly, one need not confect an alternative conception of the early Eucharist to justify the inclusion of any person in the Mass.

      1. “The pre-institutionalized Christians were bound to a radically unequal hierarchical society. Regardless of the specifics of ministry, hierarchical structure permeated both the secular and ecclesiastical spheres of the formative Church.”

        It’s interesting that according to your usage the fundamental aspect of hierarchical is that it is ‘radically unequal.’ Your claim that the secular sphere of early christianity was permeated by hierarchical structures is amusing and a contradiction in terms. Etymologically the word means ‘rule by priests.’ It is an anachronism to suggest that the early christians were ruled by bands of people who would have conformed to our current understanding of ‘priest’ in the RCC.

        Whatever about the societal structures of christians in the first three centuries, no one, apart from you, is conflating that role with the role of presidency of their eucharistic assemblies. Those women and men wealthy enough to do so hosted the assembly and presided.

        Incidentally why quote scripture in Latin when the original text is Greek and the mother tongue of the protagonist Aramaic? Jesus was a Mediterranean peasant, not an urbane Roman.

        The primary argument for lay presidency of the eucharist is the responsibility and dignity which baptism confers.

      2. Gerald: Your claim that the secular sphere of early christianity was permeated by hierarchical structures is amusing and a contradiction in terms.

        As John Kloppenborg (University of Toronto) has noted in lecture, even architecture betrays the strong overlay between the public sphere and nacent Christian liturgy. In his view, the villa was ideal for the sacrament since the open courtyard often acted as an expanded nave. Kloppenborg observes that villa space often delineated participation independent of sex but dependent on status. The presence of both slave and free persons at the Eucharist is not disputed. However, the facile notion that the absence of our current ordination structure implies radical egalitarianism falls in a society permeated by an intricate weave of patron-client, paterfamiliasfamilia, and princepsimperium obligations.

        Pliny’s Epistulae 10.96, the first explicit non-Christian description of Christian liturgy, specifically refers to ancillae (slave-women) at 10.96.8. These two women held unspecified leadership positions in the church, but were notable leaders. Again, radical egalitarianism cannot be presumed. Pliny’s use of ancilla is an immediate status-marker likely used among the Christian Bythinians.

        Incidentally why quote scripture in Latin when the original text is Greek and the mother tongue of the protagonist Aramaic? Jesus was a Mediterranean peasant, not an urbane Roman.

        If you would prefer, οὐ κατισχύσουσιν (Mt 6:18). Does it make a difference? I only wrote non praevalebunt (ibid.) because that is the phrase historically used in the western Church to epitomize indefectibility. This is meaningless as this is my last thread, but in future discussions with progressive Catholics I will only cite scripture in Greek.

  82. I have been the pastor of the people I serve for nearly 14 years. They gather for Eucharist on Sundays and other solemn feasts to encounter the Living God. As the celebration unfolds they become aware of Christ’s presence in the priest who is presiding in persona Christi. (There is no possibility, by the way, that Catholics can be confused about the important distinction between the ordained and the baptized in the Mass. The vesture, the architecture, the seating, the prayers all point to keeping that straight.)

    They also become aware that Christ is present in their midst since the entire flow of the Mass emphasizes that we are gathered in his name. They experience Christ’s presence in his word proclaimed, especially when Readers, Cantors, Deacons, and Priests exercise their offices with faith and devotion. Their hearts having been touched by the breaking open of God’s Word, they are actually ready to make of themselves an acceptable offering as they unite themselves to Christ’s Holy Sacrifice. Without even having to be alerted by bells, nor bothered by the smell of incense, they kneel in reverential silence (even the babies at the breast) as they behold the Body & Blood, Soul & Divinity of their Lord and Savior mysteriously obscuring their simple gifts of bread and wine.

    Now that they have internalized the prayers of the Mass and made them their own, Mother Church comes along and says we’ve found better prayers for you and your priests. You don’t think they may justifiably resent that no one even bothered to ask them if there was a problem. No one even bothered to ask their priests. May the Lord of the Sabbath have mercy on church leaders who have not come to serve but to be served.

    1. There is no possibility, by the way, that Catholics can be confused about the important distinction between the ordained and the baptized in the Mass. The vesture, the architecture, the seating, the prayers all point to keeping that straight.

      Except in those churches with ambiguous architecture where priests deviate from the norms concerning vesture and seating and use unauthorized prayers.

      1. Latin used to be an important distinguishing characteristic of the clergy. Some educated laity might learn and know Latin, but in ordinary circumstances, laity spoke the vernacular and the clergy were the ones who understood Latin.

        So if we are going to discuss “the important distinction between the ordained and the baptized”, I think we have to cite the use of Latin by both clergy and laity, instead of just by clergy, as a factor in the blurring of that distinction.

    2. Latin used to be an important distinguishing characteristic of the clergy.

      And before that, it wasn’t. Certainly as Latin lost its place as the vernacular, the ratio of laity to clergy who knew Latin changed, but Latin is not “reserved” to the clergy the way that, say, a dalmatic or chasuble is.

      If you’re going to say that using Latin blurs the line, I suppose you could say that receiving Communion frequently blurs the line, since there was a time when the laity received rarely. But I would disagree with that as well.

  83. Do you honestly think the good Lord is as fixated as you appear to be about issues of vesture and seating? On the scale of religious catastrophies, they must be near the bottom.

    Taken together the words portray a defensive and paranoid outlook, where trouble and attack are around just about every corner – ambiguity, deviation, norm, unauthorization. Hardly indicative of the presence of the spirit.

    And all you are talking about is probably no worse a catastrophy than lay and ordained faithful sitting together to hear the Word of God and to tell the story and presiders reciting anaphoras ad libitum, as the practice was in the first few centuries of the common era.

    A sense of perspective would go a long way.

  84. A couple of recurring problems in discussing RCC liturgy are suggested by these two related phrases.

    Unity requires uniformity.
    My way or the highway.

    Variations of these show up often enough in these comments to testify that they remain problems.

    Another variation seems to be visible in recent posts which might be stated as:
    All or nothing.

    I do not think that the existence or even prominence of agnostics or atheists in some area of study precludes Catholic Christians from using the findings of that field when the application of those findings is appropriate.

    “Also, I strongly suspect that many of the arguments about the new Missal, and the implementation of the vernacular overly rely on social scientific concepts (reading levels, vocabulary comprehension, “assembly reception”, intelligence &c). In my view, these arguments privilege an intellectualized view of the Mass that diminishes the Eucharistic mystery.” Zarembo

    I think a distinction must be made from how we study and critique the human developments of the Mass and how we expect ourselves and others to experience the Mass as prayer.

    From my theatrical background, I can often see ways of delivering the words and performing according to the rubrics which would be more effective communication and provide fewer distractions than what is actually being done.

    That does not mean that I want to turn the Mass into entertainment but that individual services could benefit from what entertainers know about lines of sight, movement, enunciation, projection, and many other things. Doing these things well can make an objectively holy activity into a more subjectively effective religious experience whether one is a traditionalist or a progressive.

    The same sort of perspective applies to the social sciences. Using them does not infect the Mass with whatever some teachers believe. Believing Christians using the elements of truth and reason they demonstrate can benefit other Christians.

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