“Universae ecclesiae” to be released…

On July 7, 2007 Pope Benedict XVI issued as a motu proprio Summorum pontificum as well as a letter to the bishops throughout the world.  In this letter the Holy Father states, “Furthermore, I invite you, dear Brothers, to send to the Holy See an account of your experiences, three years after this Motu Proprio has taken effect.”

And so, on May 13, 2011 the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” will release a document entitled Universae ecclesiae to reaffirm the principles of Summorum ponfiticum and offer clarification on particular items.

Unlike columnists and bloggers who claim as much, I do not have a crystal ball.  But we can prudently write that the document will add to the official corpus of writings which will endure time and this same document (I am led to believe) will not greatly or lightly shift the canonical or liturgical ground as did its older sister Summorum pontificum.

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117 comments

  1. Fr Z is very happy with what he’s seen, so I suspect it will probably include a requirement that seminarians learn the EF (as opposed to merely requiring seminaries to make training available). But it would seem that it will fall short of requiring all parishes to offer the EF regardless of demand, as it were.

  2. I have been told, “Poelker, the subtle is lost on you.”

    What does this, “will not greatly or lightly shift the canonical or liturgical ground as did its older sister Summorum pontificum.” mean?

    Neither greatly nor lightly?

  3. I just downloaded remarks on the nature of the Eucharist as a contingent artifact; see josephsoleary.typepad.com

  4. “Clarification,” or expansion? I’m not sure I look forward to finding out.

    IIRC, “Summorum pontificum” doesn’t even require seminaries to offer training in it, let alone require anyone to learn it. But it does seem that a bit of expansion has been happening since then.

  5. Does anyone have an idea of the juridical force of the Instruction? Hopefully it has the force of a Constitution, or close to it. That way, our liberties may never be taken away from us.

    et factus est principatus super humerum eius! (Isaiah 9:6) What a blessing!

    EDIT: I’m not trying to rub it in. Can’t traditional Catholics be sincerely happy that they will most likely be entirely free to worship in the rite they love? In charity, I hope that there is a way for some parishes to continue using the Sacramentary for due need.

    1. That would depend in part on the forma it is approved and published in the AAS, I would imagine, which we would not necessarily know when the embargo is lifted.

      For my part, I am most interested to see if it addresses bination and trination, something the MP notably failed to address. If it doesn’t, it not as serious a document in practical terms as it would otherwise have been.

      1. For my part, I am most interested to see if it addresses bination and trination, something the MP notably failed to address.

        I’m unclear on what you mean. Why is this notable? Do you mean saying more than one ’62 Mass per day or more than one Mass period?

      2. I mean that addressing bination/trination would clearly show they are thinking of the practical issues involved, instead of just a concept document (concept documents are fine and dandy, but they don’t really work until granular crap is engaged and addressed). A parish with a single priest that already has 2 or 3 Sunday Masses scheduled is going to be hard pressed canonically to add another as an EF unless there’s clarity that this would be sufficient reason for offering another Mass (as a pastoral matter, no sane pastor is going to convert an OF Mass to an EF Mass without at least a majority of the regular attendees wishing that to be so – this is the practical reason the MP very deliberately avoided the issue of number threshholds for stable groups, since what’s pastorally sensible will vary considerably from place to place).

    2. Jordan,
      Motu Proprio means it is issed by the Pope Benedict himself. It has the full force of papal authority. It does not derogate from any existing laws unless it so specifies. I hope this helps.

    3. Thanks, Mike. I am hoping that Universae Ecclesiae unambiguously states and juridically reinforces that all the sacraments of the EF may never again be abrogated. I hope that no future Pope will ever be able to put traditional Catholics through “forty years in the desert” again.

      That is my earnest desire, regardless of my ignorance of papal jurisprudence.

      1. “Never again” does not exist in Roman liturgical jurisprudence; no pope can bind his successors in matters outside faith and morals. It didn’t work as a way to perpetuate Quo Primum.

        Mind you, for example, the curious thing about the MP is that it strongly implies that all editions of the Roman Missal before 1962 are indeed abrogated. It also allows one to infer that former editions of the post-conciliar Missal that have not been expressly abrogated are not abrogated. (This is a hint that the Pope was indulging in a bit of legal fiction to reduce the reliance on positive papal legislation….)

        In any event, to expect the EF to be preserved in amber is not what the Council intended, however one wishes the reforms might have been done differently. That meta-fact remains and will linger like a sword of Damocles over erstwhile amber-pushers.

      2. Jordan,
        The Motu Proprio is a Papal source of Liturgical Law. Other sources are the Apostolic Constitution, Instructions, and The Code of Canon Law, portions of Book IV and Book II.

      3. Jordan – read the article below by Robert Mickens…..this move was almost universally opposed by all latin rite bishops for the very reasons we see today….polarizations; two forms of one rite (never before in the history of liturgy); hermeneutic of disruption by not abrogating (another first).

        Would use the Gamaliel approach – would not outlaw but would do nothing to support; redirect; etc. would let it die of its own weight.

      4. Any pope can damn well do as he wants, whenever he
        wants. To hope some future pope will or will do not enact something is to enter a twilight zone. I don’t think it
        much matters what this motu proprio will say. There
        are those who will ignore it as “Summorum Pontificum”
        has been and will continue to be ignored.

    4. Jordan, what would an ‘untraditional’ Catholic be? I get a little irritated by the use of ‘traditional’ to designate those who prefer the EF. If we belong to the Catholic Church, are we not all part of the Tradition? Forgive me if it seems like I’m splitting hairs, but it seems like more conservative Catholics like to use words such as these to cut off their fellow Catholics, and I’m tired of it. I’m a traditional Catholic too – in fact, the Tradition of the Church is why I remain a Catholic. And if I’m not mistaken, the 1970 missal is as much a part of the Tradition as the 1962 missal. When I hear ‘traditional Catholics’ it puts a sour taste in my mouth.

      1. Rather than “untraditional Catholics”, it would be better to call them “ordinary Catholics”. Rather than “traditional Catholics”, it would be better to call them “extraordinary Catholics”, wouldn’t it? That would accurately echo the name of their favorite liturgies.

  6. Suggestion – to put this into context, you might want to read Robert Mickens article in The Tablet, June 25, 2009 – Return to Tradition:

    Points:

    – More than 30 years ago when Pope Paul VI instructed Catholics that they must use the new rite of Mass, it dismayed traditionalists. But a group of cardinals over many years strove to ensure that the vernacular would not supplant the old Mass
    – In the summer of 1980 the late Pope John Paul II authorised the then Sacred Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship to conduct a consultation with the heads of all Latin rite dioceses
    – the results of that survey – to which more than three-quarters of the 2,317 bishops responded – were published in December 1981 in the Congregation’s periodical, Notitiae. Traditionalists were immediately alarmed when the consultation indicated that Latin
    was “more and more tending to disappear” from the Mass, because – as the bishops reported – most Catholics in their dioceses did not want it.
    “The great majority (83.82 per cent) of the responses affirm that there does not exist any request for the use of Latin in the liturgy,” the 22-page report said. And 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 favour.
    “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,” the report said. It indicated that many of the bishops were also “decisively opposed to an eventual concession” for use of the Old Rite because it would “create more problems than it aimed to resolve”.
    -The traditionalists evidently had more sway with Pope John Paul than the “modernists” because, less than a year after Archbishop Lefebvre gave his talk in New York,
    the Vatican issued a circular letter entitled “Quattuor abhinc annos” (“Four years ago”).

  7. cont…

    This 1984 document totally rejected the views on the Latin Rite that bishops had expressed in the 1980 consultations – specifically
    their recommendation that Rome make no concession for a return to the old Mass. Instead, the new circular letter granted an “indult”, under certain conditions, for the celebration of the sixteenth-century Mass of
    Pius V (1962 edition), which the SSPX was already using. The irony was that this document was issued by the newly re-named Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, at that point
    headed by German Cardinal Augustin Mayer, OSB.

    (Note – Mayer was the runner up when the worldwide Benedictines elected their general, Rembert Weakland. These two were on opposite poles in terms of liturgy. As a result of this election, Mayer gravitated to Rome and the curia)

    1. I have been around this controversy for quite awhile. I wish we could get away from labeling people. I now believe that there are many mansions in God’s house. The Church at large is not being told to celebrate the EF. It is not my preference for many liturgical reasons. We have had various rites celebrated within the Catholic Tradition, even to this day. For example, the Ambrosian and Mozarabic rites in Spain. These don’t seem to have made the revised Liturgy crumble. I would hope that both in our language and discourse that we try to find common ground. That common ground is the saving Pashcal Mystery of Christ and all that means: his life, death, and resurrection. The Eucharist as sacrifice, memorial, and meal.

      1. Having a Mozarabic or Ambrosian rite somewhere else gets no notice and has no effect on any US parish. The heat for this fire is generated at the parish level where TLM people are rubbed against those with no interest in changing the OF. It is the sense of ownership of the liturgy in the parish and the sense of being criticized one way or the other. These elements are rubbed against each other in geographic parishes and under pressure of uniformity for the sake of unity in each here and now. US pastors tend toward lowest common denominator Sunday Masses of Obligation and tend to avoid actual liturgical leadership in the form of educating through preaching and risking the lightning bolts of complaint from one side or the other. The reason for that has to do with the career path and assigned jobs to which they are limited inside one small community of fellow priests with whom they have to live, work, and often are expected to recreate. Our priests live in pressure cookers along with brother clergy. They are the only ones in our society who still live above the store and can not get away from it all. Our most junior clergy are the only employees who can not go home and get away from their bosses. All of these conditions of geographic parishes, uniformity for the sake of unity, limited career opportunities, no distance from the boss or bureaucracy in a digital age, residence on job site, conflation of social and employment communities, lead to timid pastors, too closely examined from too many directions, responsible to bosses but working for people who are neither employers nor consumers with choice.

        The fire would have long ago died out [see deHaas info above] if some were not continually re-fighting the battle on the local level with each arbitrarily assigned pastor.

        There is the fuel, the pressure, the rub.

        The actual provision of sufficient EF Masses is simple if done outside the clerical culture and geographic parishes.

      2. The Church is not being told to celebrate EF but nonetheless all seminarians will have so spend a lot of time learning it — including in countries like NIgeria and the Philippines, where this is an odd priority.

  8. Jordan Zarembo :

    I hope that no future Pope will ever be able to put traditional Catholics through “forty years in the desert” again.

    I would suggest, as a topic for consideration rather than as a specific retort, that it is possible that “traditional” Catholics took their own detour through the desert.

    Many of the things they seem to me to want have been available all along through use of the OF in Latin with furniture, vestments, music, and equipment they prefer.

    The same people who are now urging obedience for the counter revolution showed no such tendency toward obedience in using the new Missal and adapting to the officially encouraged use of it in the original Latin edition which was required to be available in the vernacular editions.

    Their insistence on having exactly what they had before led them into a sort of guerrilla warfare campaign and depiction of themselves as heroes fighting from the wastelands.

    I’m not claiming this is exactly what happened, but I am urging some self-examination as to how the resistance originated and was promoted and which options were ignored, in general, despite some horrifying pastoring incidents in particular.

    1. “The same people who are now urging obedience for the counter revolution showed no such tendency toward obedience in using the new Missal and adapting to the officially encouraged use of it in the original Latin edition which was required to be available in the vernacular editions.”

      Many EF devotees I know were obedient – they simply went and found the most traditional OF available (which isn’t the Latin OF you feel they could have embraced all along – that was completely forbidden at the local level it seems – but rather a vernacular Mass with a few traditional flourishes, most of which had to be fought for). Others found refuge in the Eastern rites, or attend indult Masses.

      The folks who went down the road of disobedience seem to thumb their noses at those who attend indult and SP Latin Masses as being “NewChurch” Catholics in disguise, traitors, etc. I’ve been to EFs where the priest had to address the problem of fliers being left in the parking lot by the local “independent” Latin Mass chapel because apparently the EF isn’t legit.

    2. Many of the things they seem to me to want have been available all along through use of the OF in Latin with furniture, vestments, music, and equipment they prefer.

      The ordinary form in Latin was been in many places just as prohibited de facto as the EF was. When they won’t let you use the Church and the priests refuse to celebrate it for fear of losing their positions, it matters little what the legislation says.

      The same people who are now urging obedience for the counter revolution showed no such tendency toward obedience in using the new Missal and adapting to the officially encouraged use of it in the original Latin edition which was required to be available in the vernacular editions.

      Yeah, most of the people involved in the EF communities I’m involved with never went anywhere near illicit rites and have been obedient Catholics according to the current legislation, whatever that was, all along.

      I’m not claiming this is exactly what happened,

      I’m not claiming you’re an [x], but we ought to examine whether it’s the case. It’s not a nice way of arguing.

  9. Nonetheless, there seem to be enough laity, priests, bishops and cardinals who want the option of the EF to keep it alive. If it were truly such a minority opinion, it would have gained little traction. People do believe what they want to believe.

  10. Michael – you ignore the fact that a tiny minority can run rough shod in a hierarchical institution and can hijack via power…..would suggest (as Tom above did) that this is the actual history. We have had two popes who were at VII exert their own interpretation of events via episcopal appointments; motu proprios; power grabs; subverting collegiality; etc.

    As Fr. Ruff has said before, popes can legally do whatever they want but it doesn’t mean that it is right.

    Some day the whole sordid history will be written and like most periods after a council, Vatican II will eventually be implemented.

    It in many ways is a parallel to the process since 1997 with the translation.

    “People do believe what they want to believe including popes and curia.”

  11. All of this was brought about by the Bishops’ recalcitrance when JP II issued Ecclesia Dei.

    My bishop, who steadfastly refused permission back then to a small, devout group of good people who respectfully asked for the Traditional Rite (in a diocese that boasted polka masses, puppets and all manner of “creativity”), told me that the US Bishops (or a group of them at least) were going to be meeting at Seton Hall “to figure out a way around” the Pope’s clear directive in Ecclesia Dei. Ironically (but not surprisingly), the chancery hack who wrote the Bishop’s refusal letters, citing the danger of “confusing the faithful” (as if the polka Gloria didn’t), when HE became a bishop himself was the first US bishop to celebrate the Traditional Mass publicly after SP took effect ….

    All those refusal letters were sent to Ecclesia Dei, and Cardinal Ratzinger surely figured out what was going on. So, when as Pope he issued SP, he determined that the Bishops were NOT going to circumvent the papal will – and the rights of the people, by the way. So I think the Bishops have no one to blame but themselves – and their predecessors.

    What happened to “Let a thousand flowers bloom?” Is anyone less tolerant than a liberal with power? Gamaliel’s advice ought to prevail with the Traditional Rite: “Leave them alone!” How well I remember confreres, in the days of the Soviet Union, struggling to learn the Byzantine Rite and even very challenging languages to assist the overburdened eparchial priests whose numbers were few and distantly distributed. Surely the least a priest of the Latin Rite can do to earn his keep (to put it at its most basic level) is to learn ALL the liturgies that make up our Rite. Anyone with four years undergrad and four postgraduate years ought to be able to manage that!

    1. When you write “Traditional Rite”, you really mean the Extraordinary form of the Mass. Let’s keep the correct names, otherwise people might start getting the wrong idea — for example, that there are two rites, or that the EF is somehow better than the other form (“traditional”, “orthodox” versus “untraditional”, “unorthodox”). To avoid biasing interpretation by one’s choice of words, let’s just stick to the official names – “extraordinary” versus “ordinary”.

      1. Oh for God’s sake – you got the point I was making.

        Let me write out 100 times “I must use the correct terminology!”

        Once through junior high was enough, Sister.

        Gimme a break.

      2. Michael,

        You might try reading your Thomas Aquinas: terminology matters and precision in making distinctions is important.

        And while you’re at it, you might want to read his treatise on charity.

      3. people might start getting the wrong idea — for example, that there are two rites

        Quite right, Claire. And as Michael says just above, it’s only reasonable to expect a priest to know his own rite. So the Instruction’s expected mandate that all seminarians receive instruction in the EF should not be seen as a burdensome imposition.

      4. Not a burdersome imposition? African and Asian seminarians will be forced through more meaningless Roman hoops and further alienated from their own culture.

      5. Joe, simply because things are meaningless to you doesn’t mean they are essentially so.

        It is striking that you mention cultural barriers to Christianity in the case of African and Asian seminarians. Is there some reason you neglect to include the Anglosphere? Are you suggesting the dominant culture of the richer, Western world is essentially Christian or at least Christ-friendly as opposed to that of our unspoiled colonial brothers? Do you really entertain a vision of a privileged, white-man’s-burden Christianity stumbling into a dreamscape of Rousseauean innocence? Oh, Joe, you do make me laugh!

        Culture does not exist in a vacuum, Joe. Culture is the fruit of what a community believes. Seminarians in Africa and Asia are not that different from seminarians in the Anglosphere: they too are Christians and it’s as such that they inhabit and inform the communities and cultures they call home. They too like us live in the world while striving to be not of it. It makes no sense to posit a seminarian’s culture as something distinct from his faith. Such a man we would describe as incoherent, lacking in integrity, conflicted and unresolved. He would not be a good candidate for ordination because his manner of living would not reflect what he believed about the world and himself. In rich lands and poor, in East or West, the choice to be a Christian and to respond to a vocation is a bid for conversion, of both the person and ultimately the culture. This is part of what it means to believe in an apostolic Church. All the seminarians I know understand that.

      6. And how amazing that Robert Ramirez identifies mandatory study of the EF in Asia and Africa with receiving the Gospel — that is true Eurocentric imperialism, and betrayal of the Gospel. Is the EF more sacred than the Gospel to its supporters?

    2. If the Pope can call it “the old rite” we can call it the traditional rite without worrying that we’re somehow opposing the Church’s desire for precision in terminology. “extraordinary form” is not an official name, it’s a legal description of how the the old rite functions in the Church. S.P. refers to it most commonly as “the Roman Missal published by Bl. Pope John XXIII in 1962” or a variation of that. It also refers to “the earlier liturgical forms”.

      1. When you call it “the traditional rite”, you are implying that the other rite is not traditional. See Clarey McInerny’s comment above.

        How would EF fans react if we started calling the OF “the correct rite”?

      2. I’m implying that the new rite is new and different. Paul VI called it the “novus ordo” himself, so this shouldn’t be controversial. “traditional” does stand in opposition to “new”, but “new” doesn’t stand in opposition to “Tradition”.

        Language is socially constructed though. People call it the “traditional Latin Mass” and realistically, they’re going to keep saying that. It makes more sense to ask them what they mean than to complain they’re using the “wrong” word.

      3. Samuel, maybe I’m wrong, but I think that there is a connotation: “old” is neutral, but “traditional”, because it seems to refer to the Tradition, is positive, and so, it implicitly sends a negative message about the OF.

        But maybe it’s not a big deal. “Traditional” is a term that has certainly been hijacked by plenty of people before — the Lefebvrists, for example. So maybe it really sends mixed signals, both positive (respecting the Tradition) and negative (leaning towards Lefebvrists), and on average it’s neutral.

      4. From Paul VI’s Address to a General Audience, November 19, 1969: (one of two addresses prior to the “new rite”) –

        he ends this address with these words:

        “So do not let us talk about “the new Mass.” Let us rather speak of the “new epoch” in the Church’s life.”

        Wise words to live by….

      5. But, from a speech in 1976:

        Novus Ordo promulgatus est, ut in locum veteris substitueretur post maturam deliberationem, atque ad exsequendas normas quae a Concilio Vaticano II impertitae sunt. Haud dissimili ratione, Decessor Noster S. Pius V post Concilium Tridentinum Missale auctoritate sua recognitum adhiberi iusserat.

      6. “[The adoption of the new Ordo Missae is certainly not left to the free choice of priests or faithful… .]The new Ordo was promulgated to take the place of the old, after mature deliberation, following upon the requests of the Second Vatican Council. In no different way did our holy predecessor Pius V make obligatory the Missal reformed under his authority, following the Council of Trent.”

      7. This is off the topic, which was terminological, but of course, there was a difference. St. Pius V allowed any missal that had been in use for 200 years continue to be used.

      8. Mr Ramirez, it is not “to me” but to the seminarians of Japan and the Philippines that jumping through these Roman hoops is a meaningless exercise. I speak as one who lived in both countries and taught seminarians there.

      9. Interesting quote from Paul VI, who clearly intended to abrogate the old rite — there is thus a lie at the heart of Summorum Pontificum, which renders it legally invalid.

      10. Joe

        It doesn’t render SP legally invalid – Paul VI could no more bind B16 than Pius V could bind Paul VI. However, it does illustrate the tenuousness of the legal fiction employed as a premise. But the premise is not necessary to what followed, only to to mask the muscularity of the action.

  12. Sounds nice but you take your single memory of an event and globalize.

    Let’s expand the horizon – it appears that this whole EF, TLM, OF sits mainly in english or western nations.

    2/3rd’s of all catholics reside in continents that are not english speaking or western. So, what exactly will be the future of the EF/TLM?

    Agree – leave them alone but JPII and B16 and pronouncements such as Ecclesia Dei went far beyond “leave them alone” and have given impetus, if not permission, to develop an alternative catholic universe. This is the true hermeneutic of disruption..it has violated the liturgical history of the church.

    1. “Single memory of an event?”

      A group of the nation’s bishops – maybe the whole gang (I don’t know where they were meeting that year) – plotting their strategy “to get around” the manifest will of the man to whom they had pledged their obedience?

      Permitting an alternate rite for those who want it is “violating the liturgical history of the Church”? More than polkas, puppets, dancing nuns, and – just last week in that same Diocese – a McDonald’s Happy Meal as a First Communion homily prop?

      C’mon now!

      If you don’t like or approve of the EF, you don’t have to attend one for the rest of your life. Leave them alone!

    2. Bill, why must the older generation of Catholics insist that the reformed liturgy must resolutely crush any yearning for the more ancient liturgy? Is this because some older Catholics have sacrificed everything for a ritual that never appealed to many Catholics in the first place?

      I respect that so many Catholics of the previous two generations gave their time, energy, and indeed professional lives to make the 1970 Missal relevant for all those who have encountered it. Yet, the OF could never illuminate every Catholic heart.

      The EF is not an “alternative catholic universe”. The life of extraordinary form Catholics is merely the continuation of centuries of Catholic popular piety and sacerdotal prayer, moving along as if uninterrupted by a noble but ultimately distorted union of postmodern socio-anthropology and archaeologized western Christian worship. Journals, conferences, and liturgical congresses could never epitomize the wisdom of centuries hidden both in the folds of Papal vestments and the creased hands of a worshiper silently at prayer before a Low Mass.

      The liberation of the EF is a “Berlin Wall moment”. The planned central economies, “worker’s paradises” supposedly more prosperous than the evil Americans, were shown to be mired in ideological confusion when the Iron Curtain was thrown back. No longer can the Catholic post-modern liturgical establishment ignore that their handiwork must stand in contrast and free exercise along with an unreformed Romanitas. Advocates of the reformed liturgy must now compete in the open liturgical marketplace rather than rely on establishmentarian notions.

      1. On the other hand, let’s not get carried away.

        I’ve spoken to enough confreres to know that this is not just MY experience: sometimes the proponents of the EF are their own worst enemies. A military chaplain told me of EF parishioners upset when he had to supplement the Hosts he had consecrated at the EF Mass with Hosts from the tabernacle – the EF folks didn’t want to risk Hosts that may have been “invalid” (ie, consecrated at the OF Mass). The glares and stares among some of the EF regulars towards women without headcoverings. The complaints at coffee hour – before the priest arrived – at his rubrical errors, replaced upon his arrival with, “What a lovely Mass, Father!” The animosity toward dialogue Mass and congregational singing on the part of some EF fans as being “the first steps toward Vatican II.” The ridicule of the OF Mass and Liturgy of the Hours (the OF’s patristic lectionary being vastly superior to that of the EF by any objective standard / not too mention the repeal of the Urban VIII hymnody). And that little (?) bit of anti-Semitism you sometimes bump into in EF circles …. No privileged corner on sanctity in either Form; no absence of the effects of original sin.

      2. Yes, Michael, I am caught in the moment. The ugliness and bigotry you mention is very real. Prejudice in the church is a reality regardless of doctrinal position or liturgical persuasion. I’m buoyed by the tide; but my sails are a bit puffed up, eh?

        The EF Masses I attend are not as you mention. The laity and priests accept the OF, even if they are generally dissatisfied with its implementation and some aspects of its ideological development. Few, if any, are explicitly anti-Semitic (can’t read minds, sadly), and almost all daily communicants will go to the OF if that’s most convenient for them. I also happily encounter my Lord from any ciborium.

        My hope is that regularization of the EF will gradually decrease the crypto- (and not so crypto-) Lefebrvist sentiments often displayed by those who suffered through the recusancy. The years of prohibition brought out some very dangerous and vile bigotry that will take decades to leach out. Again, an “open market” with the OF, as well as further revisions to the EF itself, might help to bleach out these sentiments.

        As for my invective about the OF as an “engineered liturgy” and an anthropological confection: these are indeed my thoughts on the OF after the veil of nicety is pulled away. This demonstrates a lack of charity and also disobedience. I’ve asked for pardon too many times for offending others with these comments and now deserve none.

        Regardless of what Universae ecclesiae portends, I must at least continue to act in charity and not boasting. Time to exit this thread.

  13. At #18, Clarey McInerny objected to my use of “traditional Catholic” to identify EF devotees. I agree that the term “traditional” is divisive. All Catholics should self-identify and not characterize others.

    I am not “traditionalist”, as I reject the anti-Semitism and authoritarian positions of the SSPX and allies. I am not “Tridentine”, as this juridical and political era no longer exists. How should I charitably self-identify? I am a young adult whose adoration, piety, repentance, and aesthetic joy is nourished by a Roman Rite as practiced, in its basic form, from the era of Charlemagne to 1st Advent 1970. In the Tridentine rituals I have found the trodden path to the Christian life.

    At #25, Tom Poelker contends that the EF “counter-insurgency” (my term) concerned only the Tridentine aesthetic. For Poelker, this aesthetic could have been fulfilled within the 1970 Missal. I answer most bluntly: those who have yearned for the return of the EF pined not only for the aesthetic but also for the rich prayers coldly ripped from the reformed liturgy. The old munda cor meum, the suscipe Sancta Trinitatis, the Placeat — prayers of inestimable power now rationalized for a hypothetical “modern man”. The engineered liturgy of 1970 purposefully overlooked the mortal men and women who longed to not be fitted to a metric but simply worship in the folkways of centuries.

    Earlier I quoted the Latin for Isalah 9:6, “and the government is upon his shoulder” (D-R). As Christians have long interepreted Isalah’s prophesies in the name of Christ, I interpret this particular verse as the assurance that Christ’s justice will always prevail. The restoration of Tridentine liturgy alongside the reformed liturgy demonstrates that Christ draws all the baptized to himself without prejudice and in equanimity. Why, Tom, would you deny even this?

    1. Oops, suscipe Sancta Trinitatis should be suscipe Sancta Trinitas. Got to watch those Latin feminine 3rd declensions.

    2. Jordan,
      You mention above that that OF is “engineered Liturgy”. I am not quite sure what you mean? simply of human design? You would deny the power of the Holy Spirit that brought about the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy at Vatican II? so, what would you call the EF “unengineered”-do you know its history?

      1. Wait… Wasn’t it Cardinal Ratzinger who called the OF a “fabricated liturgy?” Yes, I think it was…

        The liturgical reform, in its concrete realization, has distanced itself even more from its origin. The result has not been a reanimation, but devastation. In place of the liturgy, fruit of a continual development, they have placed a fabricated liturgy. They have deserted a vital process of growth and becoming in order to substitute a fabrication.They did not want to continue the development, the organic maturing of something living through the centuries, and they replaced it, in the manner of technical production, by a fabrication, a banal product of the moment.
        (Revue Theologisches, Vol. 20, Feb. 1990, pgs. 103-104)

      2. Indeed, I must acknowledge that my notion of “engineered liturgy” is originally based in Cardinal Ratzinger’s sentiment, as cited by William Simms. Thank you for posting this citation.

        My notion of “engineering” refers not necessarily to the “banality” of the OF as a final product, but to a more complex question: did the framers of the OF design every last detail of the internal “machinery” of the reformed liturgy to fit a hypothetical metric exclusive of the revealed liturgical wisdom of the Church? I cannot help but think “most certainly”. My thoughts align well with, and spring from, Cdl. Ratzinger’s idea of “technical production”.

        The break in organicity described by Cdl. Ratzinger is not merely due to the rupture after the implementation of the OF. The OF is engineered, indeed intrinsically designed, to rupture our collective Catholic liturgical memory.

    3. You would deny the power of the Holy Spirit that brought about the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy at Vatican II?

      The Holy Spirit preserves councils from doctrinal or moral error. It doesn’t make their disciplinary decisions public revelation.

      1. This is the nub – Mr. Howard sees the reformed liturgy as a diciplinary decision. Jordan – you wonder why many of us become depressed when we see more mention of the “alternative catholic universe”.

      2. Can you document that, or is it your opinion? What exactly is a disciplinary action?

      3. Paul VI and the bishops of Vatican II have far more authority than a shoddily produced and divisive motu proprio issued despite widespread episcopal opposition. The EF folk are fanatical guerillas, intent on erasing Vatican II.

      4. Well then if it preserves councils from doctrinal and moral error, how perfect. Since the Liturgy is “lex orandi, lex credendi (the law of praying is the law of believing) and is also prima theologia, the CSL is fully a work of the Holy Spirit. Thanks Samuel!

    4. Re: Mike Burns at #52

      I refer to the OF as “engineered liturgy” because even the very core of the Mass — the eucharistic prayer — was not spared from novelty.

      The Canon Missae is of such great antiquity that no precise date, place, or redactor can be pinpointed as the origin of the venerable prayer. It is, at first glance, a jumble of disconnected petitions. Look deeper, and one finds a five-minute epitome of apostolic Christianity’s enduring truth of the Holy Sacrifice and the Eucharist. This resounding affirmation of the Catholic faith is enrobed in brilliant assonance, alliteration, and metric. How could one glorify God better than through one of the exemplar prayers of Christian Latin?

      Instead, the framers of the OF insisted that three new de novo eucharistic prayers accompany the Canon. Had we not the precis of the faith in our ancient anaphora? No. We were told that the Canon was deficient because of its weak pneumatology demonstrated through an undefined epiclesis and lack of explicit reference to the Holy Spirit. For the reformers, the Canon did not reflect the structure of ancient Eastern eucharistic prayers. Somehow, the ancient Roman expression of Sacrifice could not be the model because it did not resemble something it never was intended to be. Why must Mass be notably Alexandrian or certainly Antiochian if we are beautifully and distinctly Roman?

      The new EPs are orthodox and must be affirmed by Catholics. Even so, why should novel compositions of the 1960s almost completely displace the majesty of our very Roman, very Latin, and very unique anaphora? The new EPs are the epitome of engineered liturgy.

      1. We need de novo eucharistic prayers in every linguistic and cultural region. This cult of dead texts has nothing to do with what Jesus intended at the Last Supper.

  14. “The restoration of Tridentine liturgy alongside the reformed liturgy demonstrates that Christ draws all the baptized to himself without prejudice and in equanimity. Why, Tom, would you deny even this?” JZ

    I favor easy availability of TLM in some form in about one out of ten urban parishes. I thing they should use the calendar and lectionary of the OF in the vernacular. Smells, bells, orientation, vestments, music, and assisting ministers to taste. I think most of this is available in the OF Missal.

    I do not see anything I am denying here. I feel more into facilitating.

    1. Tom, I don’t disagree with you on your point. In fact I’ve often wondered if an option of the OF Mass with slightly redesigned rubrics would have been more beneficial–
      After singing the Entrance Chant and incensing the altar, the Penitential Rite using the current confiteor and absolution done as the “prayers at the foot of the altar;” approaching the altar for the Kyrie and Gloria, turning to greet the people after the Gloria, then praying the collect at the Epistle side of the altar

      Normal Liturgy of the Word

      Liturgy of the Eucharist ad orientem; kneeling for Holy Communion. If in Latin, I doubt that most new comers to the EF would notice much difference, but then you have the option of an all vernacular form of this celebration and no one could say that this isn’t the reformed Mass after Vatican II. But with that said, I have rather enjoyed celebrating the EF once a month on Sunday as a High Mass and every Tuesday as a Low Mass–what’s the big deal in giving people this option?

      1. kneeling for Holy Communion

        I don’t want to kneel for Communion unless it is crystal clear that I am kneeling before the Host and not before the priest — for example, if the priest himself stays kneeling while giving Communion. (But that does not seem very practical.)

        On a related matter, I notice that in many parishes after Communion people remain kneeling, not until the Host is put back into the tabernacle, but until the priest sits back down. That seems wrong to me. It again suggests that the priest, not the Host, is the reason for our kneeling.

      2. At the EF Masses in my parish, some people don’t kneel, but not for ideological reasons, but for other reasons. It’s fine by me and the same is true of our OF Masses, some people kneel on the hard floor. Of course they understand quite well that they’re not kneeling before the minster of Holy Communion, but our Lord. In most parishes that I’ve been most people don’t sit after Holy Communion until the priest does. I suspect there are a number of reasons for this. To give it a post-Vatican II spin we could say they are respecting the presence of Christ in a sacramental way in the “Presider.”

      3. “I don’t want to kneel for Communion unless it is crystal clear that I am kneeling before the Host and not before the priest”

        ‘Twas once a “floating parish” in the Diocese, constructed of malcontents assembled from all the other parishes, hating all things hierarchical and sacerdotal, taking from the cafeteria offerings everything marked peace and justice and leaving the rest behind: “worshipping” in the gym of an inner-city parochial HS, using paper napkin purificators and ceramic vessels (need I add that these were limousine liberals whose tables at home in the toney suburbs featured sterling silver and the china service with cloth serviettes) … It all went fine as long as the “chaplain” they had “hired” was a Catholic priest who pretended to be neither. You can see them still on Sundays at the various inner city venues to which they motor from their same suburbs, standing when everyone else kneels, holding hands at the Our Father …. I suppose they’ll be more visible (or at least more audible) once the new translation is imposed. Such a waste of energy with so many mostly-empty Episcopal churches all over town. Oh, I almost forgot: Holy Thursday for this gang was a potluck with bread and wine at every table, everyone saying the EP together but pausing for the priest to say the magic words. Naturally, the footwashing mandated by Jesus was replaced by hand washing (in honor of Pontius Pilate?). The Good Friday liturgy, declared “depressing” and “guilt-mongering” by the psychiatric professionals in the community (there were many professionals, especially from academia – surprise! – in the community, was replaced by participation in the ecumenical “Living Stations of the Cross” held at various tragic venues around the inner city. The Easter Vigil was replaced by a sunrise service on the beach.

        Question: if you were washing a fellow layperson’s feet, would you kneel in reverence for the Christ within him/her?

      4. I don’t want to kneel for Communion unless it is crystal clear that I am kneeling before the Host and not before the priest.

        Kneeling for blessings and the like is right out then?

        Fr. Serge Kelleher tells a story about the servant of God, Catherine de Hueck Doherty (founder of Madonna House, spiritual advisor to Thomas Merton, etc. etc.)

        Catherine Doherty, of holy memory, for most of her life always knelt down and asked the blessing of any Priest or Bishop, and kissed his hand in response. She finally gave up and began asking the blessings only of those Priests and Bishops whom she already knew. But on one hilarious occasion, she knelt down and asked a blessing, which the priest gave with visible reluctance – when she went to kiss his hand he pulled it back in horror. Catherine got up off the floor, looked him square in the face, and said “Who the [expletive deleted] do you think you are? IT WASN’T YOUR HAND THAT I WANTED TO KISS!” Catherine later regretted having given way to anger, but my personal opinion was that the offending priest got at least a taste of what he deserved.

      5. Samuel, it’s a funny story. It just goes to show how tricky it can be to separate the priest-man from the person of Christ that he represents.

        Michael, pushing people to leave (with the suggestion of the Episcopalian church) is what I like the least in the discourse of some Catholics. Remember what your middle school teacher taught you about Evangelization!

      1. I have not before heard much argument in favor of the calendar and lectionary, much less that they are essential to the rite.

        I would be willing to hear you make that argument, but will you please take into account how much they have changed over the centuries and how little of a change [Septuagesima, I know] is actually involved.

        I would be willing to throw in the concession that Ordinary Time is not very desirable terminology.

  15. Joe O’Leary :

    The Church is not being told to celebrate EF but nonetheless all seminarians will have so spend a lot of time learning it — including in countries like NIgeria and the Philippines, where this is an odd priority.

    Where did we get the idea that seminarians will be required to learn the EF mass? I think it would be a neat thing for priests to learn, at least as an instructional tool about the Mass in general, but I don’t see any reason at this point to believe that it will be required. And even if it were “required,” how required? Priests (in the latin rite) are all supposed to learn latin…

  16. Michael. I think you can understand just how threatened so-called progressive Catholics are regarding this issue. They are very, very scared. As you probably know, dissent in the church is ok only for causes they espouse, no one else. Any critique of the OF and you’re a reactionary neaderthal… You’ve heard it all before. It’s getting boring and wearing thin, and they just don’t understand why. Have mercy- their own inner contradictions weigh them down.

  17. If all seminarians are forced to learn the EF rubrics, that will indeed be threatening. It will be another step to undermining meaningful liturgy and a healthy clerical culture in our increasingly clueless Church.

    1. One of many, but extremely high up there reasons why I and others that I’ve spoken with have decided against entering the seminary.

      1. Yes, of course it is a formula for emptying seminaries. Why would you join an association that seems intent on wasting your time, when there are many other ways of serving humanity and living the Gospel?

  18. Just to be clear, the possibility that you will have to say the E.F. is high up on the list of reasons you haven’t entered the seminary?

    Yes.

  19. This endless chatter about EF vs. OF leads me to wonder how many people here are truly knowledgeable about SC. The document I re-read just a couple of weeks ago clearly called for a reform of the sacramental celebrations of the Roman Rite. How does the continued use of the so-called EF comply with that reform? How does one participate in that rite fully, consciously, and actively? I know not all participation requires moving around or praying out loud all the time. But certainly it calls for something more than supposing the only important actions are being conducted quietly by the priest at the altar. Nor can compliance be limited to something going on inside us. When one traces the roots of Catholic worship back to the Lord’s Supper, the first post-resurrection Mass at Emmaus, to the breaking of the bread in each other’s homes at Jerusalem surely participation goes beyond what Jesus is doing and saying.

    Why does it make any sense at all that in the EF, it’s OK for the priest and the servers to be doing all the praying and also OK that the priest does all the parts of the Mass. How do we avoid the conclusion that EF’ers contend that the Rite as celebrated according to the 1962 Missal is basically beyond the reach of the called for reform? Isn’t that our beef with LeFebvrites….that they deny the legitimacy of the council’s authority?

    It was OK for Pius V to determine that henceforth the Missal revised under his authority was to be used always and everywhere, but not OK for the Paul VI to make the same claim for the Missal revised under his authority? At least in the latter instance, virtually the entire apostolic college actively cooperated in its reception and use. Why should there be special rules for EF’ers? Because they like the Mass in the old form? With all due respect, I really have a hard time getting it.

    I am in favor of an ongoing reform of THE ROMAN RITE, I am not in favor of the obvious divisiveness resulting from two usages.

    1. Jack, I am led to wonder how many here are truly knowledgeable about the EF. Given what you imply about the supposed absence of participation on the part of the people, may one ask for the record how often you encounter the EF, and in how many places you have done so? Is your EF experience limited to Low Mass, or have you ever assisted at another form? I ask because my own experience, mostly but not exclusively in parochial settings in the USA, does not resonate with your description.

      Full disclosure: since the issuance of Ecclesia Dei adflicta I have attended well over 1,000 Masses in the EF (always with diocesan permission), as well as about half that number of celebrations in what’s now called the OF. A cleric on this blog who’s not at all shy about liturgical opinions has volunteered his own lifetime experience with the EF: two. It would be helpful to know the extent of everyone’s experience before deciding what weight their remarks should carry.

      As for SC, how often does anyone posting here assist at a Mass as envisioned by the Council: one in which chant has pride of place, in which ad orientem is not excluded as a possibility, in which the people know and perform their parts in both Latin and the vernacular?

      You trace the roots of Catholic worship to the Last Supper, and appear to be saying that the meal at Emmaus was a Mass. I am not so sure about either of these claims.

      Finally, you are mistaken first of all that Pius V mandated the use of his missal “always and everywhere”, and second, that Paul VI issued an analogous mandate for the Novus Ordo. While the Pauline missal was certainly intended to be the norm within the Roman Rite (as was the Pian in its own day), in both cases earlier uses continued to be tolerated.

      1. …it calls for something more than supposing the only important actions are being conducted quietly by the priest at the altar.

        Yep, of course it does. I’m with Robert. How often have you participated in an EF celebration? Because it’s quite clear both in practice and from the rubrics and other liturgical documents that it’s not the case that the only important actions are conducted quietly by the priest at the altar.

        Much of what the priest does at the altar that’s important is not quiet, some of what the priest does quietly that’s important is not done at the altar, much of what the choir and people do is important, loud, and not done at the altar, much of what’s done quietly that is not done at the altar and not done by the priest is important.

        Why does it make any sense at all that in the EF, it’s OK for the priest and the servers to be doing all the praying

        It doesn’t but they don’t

        and also OK that the priest does all the parts of the Mass.

        He doesn’t.

        How do we avoid the conclusion that EF’ers contend that the Rite as celebrated according to the 1962 Missal is basically beyond the reach of the called for reform?

        It’s not. (We’ve had the discussion before about the ways that the praxis has changed in the EF following the council.)

        Isn’t that our beef with LeFebvrites….that they deny the legitimacy of the council’s authority?

        No. The problem with the LeFebrevites as a whole is that they refuse to submit to the administrative authority of the Church. This is why they are suspended. They don’t have a uniform view on Vatican II.

        It was OK for Pius V to determine that henceforth the Missal revised under his authority was to be used always and everywhere

        He specifically exempted ancient usages.

        Moreover, the position that I take and that many other EF supporters take is that Paul VI actions were probably within his authority, but still unwise.

      2. I once attended a Lefebrite mass — there was certainly activie participation — but it was more the fanatical groups spirit of beleagured cultists than the sort of participation envisaged by Vatican II.

        As to Paul VI, the Latin quote above says the opposite of what you seem to think it says.

      3. Huh? I quoted it primarily for the fact that Paul VI refers to the “new” rite. Do you dispute that?

        Other than that what do you think I think it says and what do you think it says?

  20. It seems to me that GMG’s rant (no less) on May 12 at 9:47am, currently #59, is exactly the kind of ridiculous post that the moderators of this blog ought to be excising. No argument, no debate, just one long series of half-baked potshots at his favored targets. How does that further the discussion?

    1. Far from a rant, Sebastian, those notes are a statement of historical fact.

      Far from ridiculous, that history (i.e., a bishop permitting, or in this case even catering to a progressive community’s liturgical aberrations while denying a traditional community’s legitimate right) is crucial to understanding the Pope’s motivation in promulgating both the Motu proprio and today’s Instruction.

      Finally, what is it with you Leftists monitoring and wanting to monitor free speech. If you disagree with something, state your reasons for disagreeing. Debate. Discuss. But take off the brown shirt and the jack boots and leave people and our right to free speech the hell alone!

  21. G. Michael McGuire :

    ‘Twas once a “floating parish” in the Diocese, constructed of malcontents assembled from all the other parishes, hating all things hierarchical and sacerdotal, taking from the cafeteria offerings everything marked peace and justice and leaving the rest behind: …
    The Good Friday liturgy, declared “depressing” and “guilt-mongering” by the psychiatric professionals in the community (there were many professionals, especially from academia – surprise! – in the community, was replaced by participation in the ecumenical “Living Stations of the Cross” held at various tragic venues around the inner city.

    The sort of people described here can drive me crazy a lot faster than any Latin Mass advocate. I got the feeling that some people who have commented on this list associate anyone who favors SC and FCAP with this sort of extremist. That is a still faster way to drive me crazy. There is no logical connection between this sort of DIY liberal community prayer and the principles of SC.

    Please, those of you who desire more awesome liturgy, do not confuse trained liturgists with liberated extremism.

    1. Please, those of you who desire more awesome liturgy, do not confuse trained liturgists with liberated extremism.

      Historically there’s been plenty of “trained liturgists” advocating this kind of stuff. If by “trained liturgists” you mean “someone who has a degree in liturgy”. If you mean something else, you’ll likely soon be mired in a “no true Scotsman” problem.

      1. Why insist on casting aspersions, Samuel, when it adds nothing to your position and you just got what you could have taken as agreement as to a large category of abuses?

  22. per JZ
    “The EF is …. moving along as if uninterrupted by a noble but ultimately distorted union of postmodern socio-anthropology and archaeologized western Christian worship. Journals, conferences, and liturgical congresses could never epitomize the wisdom of centuries hidden both in the folds of Papal vestments and the creased hands of a worshiper silently at prayer before a Low Mass.

    These seem to be unusually pure statements of ideology unsupported by facts. This may be how JZ feels about these things, but I would like to see some proof rather than partisan opinion here. How does one distinguish between the wisdom of centuries and the debris of centuries, which is closer to how the bishops of V2 described the state of the MR they well knew?

    The liberation of the EF is a “Berlin Wall moment”. The planned central economies, “worker’s paradises” supposedly more prosperous than the evil Americans, were shown to be mired in ideological confusion when the Iron Curtain was thrown back. No longer can the Catholic post-modern liturgical establishment ignore that their handiwork must stand in contrast and free exercise along with an unreformed Romanitas. Advocates of the reformed liturgy must now compete in the open liturgical marketplace rather than rely on establishmentarian notions.”

    More ideology and mud slinging, it appears. Why associate liturgical expertise with Communism? Advocates of reformed liturgy did compete in that open market place for more than a century, then, 2000 to 4, the bishops of the world named it a valuable product. It is the opponents of the reform who are in charge of the establishment right now and constantly seeking to broaden the return to the unreformed past.

    1. Tom Poelker: How does one distinguish between the wisdom of centuries and the debris of centuries, which is closer to how the bishops of V2 described the state of the MR they well knew?

      The Council Fathers’ plan for reform, as outlined in Sancrosanctum Concilium promoted modest liturgical change consonant with the aspirations of a number of EF adherents today. The EF is moving towards vernacularization, greater congregational singing, and dialogue Masses. These are advances SC sought, and some EF adherents like myself are eager to implement the Council Fathers’ genuine call for change.

      By contrast, the post-conciliar liturgical hermeneutic brought us innovations radically opposed to the received liturgical wisdom of the Church. Yes, early Christians were permitted to receive the Sacrament in their hands and reserve it in their homes, but this practice gradually declined with the experience of profanation. There is no conscious precedence, however, for the laity to enter the tabernacle, touch the sacred vessels, and administer Our Lord. These practices are based on a conjecture about pre- and peri-Constantinian practices, and not the collective liturgical memory of the Church at the call of the Council.

      Again, what the Council fathers desired was not the radical innovations, and indeed progressive liturgical insistence on, “lay ministries” which unjustly seize clerical prerogative. Who anointed those who decided that the laity must usurp one of the most important tasks of the clergy, the administration of the Holy Eucharist? Again, academic archaeological notions of liturgical participation trumped the always-evolving wisdom of the Church. Time-honored practice spoke to a particular piety and action that reformers changed out of ideological hubris.

      1. Clerical prerogative! The EF want a silent priest as sacral dummy and puppet. The Vatican love laity who uphold clerical prerogatives, but in reality the Vatican are being played along by the cultists, who will bite their hand in time.

      2. Communion ministers are essential in a time of fewer priests and in a liturgical milieu in which frequent communion under both forms is the norm.
        What good reason is there to deny the faithful a share in the cup of Christ’s blood? Or, was Jesus only speaking to the apostles when he said “take and drink this all of you”? Shall we return to the Jansenistic practice of forbidding communion to all but the pious and devout? The successors of the apostles along with Peter have acknowledged the wisdom of this development, have they not. There are so few EFers around the world including the SPXers, what sense does it make for the tail to wag the dog.

        I am not opposed to a variety of catholic rites, but not more than one Roman Rite.
        .

      3. As I have often remarked to myself, I would gladly wait for one priest to administer Holy Communion to a church of five hundred or more. The “high church” and EF parishes here communicate Masses of that number with only a priest and deacon. All wait patiently and prayerfully until the last communicant rises from the rail and the ciboria are replaced.

        Are postmoderns so impatient that they cannot pray silently for fifteen minutes or even longer? How long has Christ waited for us to come to Him?

        The administration of the chalice by the laity is sometimes an opportunity for accidental or even intentional profanation. The Body of Christ is the full grace of the sacrament. Why add yet another possibility for sacrilege when the clergy can confer the grace of the Sacrament in one species? Do we come to Mass for grace and forgiveness of sin, or the “symbolism of bread and wine”?

        It is not Jansenistic if a number of worshipers do not receive at a Mass. Their examinations of conscience are sacrosanct, as are the consciences of communicants. I only know that I am always in need of sacramental confession before communion. I have noted after many years that the churches with the greatest Eucharistic reverence are the parishes where many queue for their Saturday confession. Conversely, the Eucharist is often treated irreverently in churches where the priest sits alone with no penitents.

    2. Jordan,

      as I remember it, you have pointed out that the post V2 innovations were influenced by political structures. The flip side of that is that the liturgy pre V2 was also an embodiment of political structures. The EF will not prevail until it too is molded by democratic influences, and moves away from its monarchic roots.

      That is the context for addressing you concerns. innovations radically opposed to the received liturgical wisdom were introduced because they were instruments of unjust class structures, not really part of the “wisdom” of the Church. The radical equality granted by Baptism was seen as more important than the stratification of feudal society.

      Who anointed…? is easily answered: the bishop, overseeing the liturgy, chose those whom he felt would make the best decisions. Things were not decided by an anointed decider, but by experienced practitioners. It is not simply a matter of bad decisions, but a transformation of the decision making authority.

      All of this happened in the wake of WW2, with the fading of royalty and the growth of democracy. And it would take a return to Kings and Emperors for our liturgies to become anything like those that prevailed before V2.

      As you have noted, the EF has begun taking on some of the more modern political elements. It has accepted its status as one among many forms of the Roman Rite, something that would have been unthinkable in the age of monarchs. As a progressive, weighed down by my own internal contradictions, I marvel at individuals who call for a return to the supposedly traditional forms. They don’t seem to realize that the traditional form was “The Pope says stop doing what you are doing and do it my way.” That is more or less obsolete today, and because it is, we now have tow forms of one rite.

      1. Jim, this is a brilliant critique of the EF as political commentary. Let me place both the EF and OF within the injustices of any political system.

        Until 1955, the Exsultet ended with a prayer to the Holy Roman Emperor, gone since 1806. The recent bloodletting (no unbloody sacrifice!) of the French Revolution occasioned laïcité, republics, and even constitutional monarchies. The EF is not merely anachronistic, but for many untenable when compared against “liberal, democratic, and representative democracy.” Throughout this time, the buzzing bees of the wax trident candle still swarmed in praise of Charlemagne.

        What is “liberal democracy” without the proletariat? The Hegelianism of Marx, combined with Engel’s pre-Dickensian view of English classist abject poverty, answered remnant feudalism through open-ended, and humanist-driven, dissolution of class structure. The close of the 20th century demonstrated the depths of cruelty when an “atheistic” Hegelianism is placed in motion. V2 arose not only from the recent unfathomable murder of racialist Nazism, but also the conflict between the so called humanism of communism and the so called democracy of republicanism.

        Let’s return to the buzzing bees. The praises of Charlemagne betray the EF’s sturdy roots in antecedent Roman power structures. The unbloody sacrifice of the Canon, when compared to the progressive revelation of the Paschal Mystery model, speaks of a distinctly late antique reification of state divinity and social control through bloody executions. Yet, did not 20th century communism and fascism also present the cruelties of Pilate on the scale of millions? Does republicanism truly satisfy human social justice? Neither the EF or OF have arisen out of a “Christian humanism”, but rather similar scars of human atrocity.

        The choice between EF and OF is, as you note, rife with internal contradiction and the tension between just human idealism and the depravity of society.

  23. per JZ
    It is, at first glance, a jumble of disconnected petitions.

    Which is more appropriate for private meditation than communal prayer.

    a five-minute epitome of apostolic Christianity’s enduring truth of the Holy Sacrifice and the Eucharist.

    Is this the purpose of prayer?

    How could one glorify God better than through one of the exemplar prayers of Christian Latin?

    One could use one’s own language instead of a dead pagan one.

    Even so, why should novel compositions of the 1960s almost completely displace the majesty of our very Roman, very Latin, and very unique anaphora?

    Precisely because it is Roman and Latin and precious rather than contemporary and vernacular and muscular.

    All of which just goes to demonstrate that you and I are using different subjective values. So how do we get out of this box?

  24. The EF certainly comes across here as the concentration of an anti-Vatican II and eurocentric ideology, much more about threatened identity than about celebrating a meaningful liturgy. It is a symptom of a problem, and as such has a certain value, but it in no way contributes to the solution. Getting us all back to reciting the Roman Canon in Latin and in silence (even if our culture is Indonesian, Chinese or Nigerian) is a ridulous, magical prescription, that only a Church in deep, deep crisis could take seriously.

  25. per JZ
    By contrast, the post-conciliar liturgical hermeneutic brought us innovations radically opposed to the received liturgical wisdom of the Church.

    How can one person be so confident of a subjective judgment in conflict with all the academic expertise involved in implementing SC?

    There is no conscious precedence, however, for the laity to enter the tabernacle, touch the sacred vessels, and administer Our Lord.

    “Enter the tabernacle” interestingly rings of the idea of holy of holies. “Sacred vessels” also seems to reflect temple worship view of the Eucharist rather than a communal banquet. Are you suggesting that you are only comfortable with an entirely adoring, sacerdotal, upward directed ritual and that you think that is the only way the entire Mass should be for everyone?

    “lay ministries” which unjustly seize clerical prerogative. Who anointed those who decided that the laity must usurp one of the most important tasks of the clergy, the administration of the Holy Eucharist?

    Clerical prerogatives and concern about important tasks usurped from clergy bespeaks more concern for that caste than for the members of the community to whom they are supposed to minister.

    Again, academic archaeological notions of liturgical participation trumped the always-evolving wisdom of the Church. Time-honored practice spoke to a particular piety and action that reformers changed out of ideological hubris.

    Except that the exact problem was that the evolution had been stopped for four hundred years. The practices spoke to a piety at one time and then were revised in limited reaction to the Reformation and used as part of the fortifications for the anti-Protestant counter-Reformation. The bishops of V2 taught that those practices no longer served the faithful as effectively as they should.

    1. Tom Poelker on May 12, 2011 9:59 pm (Tom’s comments passim)

      Tom: How can one person be so confident of a subjective judgment in conflict with all the academic expertise involved in implementing SC?[…] The [EF] practices spoke to a piety at one time and then were revised in limited reaction to the Reformation and used as part of the fortifications for the anti-Protestant counter-Reformation. The bishops of V2 taught that those practices no longer served the faithful as effectively as they should. (my ellipsis, additions)

      My answer to Jim’s reflections proposes that neither the pre- or post-Vatican II zeitgeists provide a firm ethical liturgical modality. The recent liturgical reform bears the same scars of human injustice as the Tridentine era liturgy. The council periti must also endure the same scrutiny as the Tridentine council fathers because neither the Tridentine or post-conciliar periods address egalitarianism in worship and social analogues. Academic expertise and its detractors must both weigh history, and not plant themselves firmly in a discrete era of ritual composition.

      A person’s endorsement of either liturgy requires a defense of a theology of ritual space. The contrasting spaces you have presented (“holy of holies” versus “community banquet”) fail to provide unassailable models of worship. Rather, the choice of a ritual or certain piety requires a constant re-evaluation of personal participation within a particular ritual and the subsequent impact of a personal ritual decision on “secular” or “temporal” affairs.

      I am certainly guilty of presenting the Tridentine mindset as superior to the post-conciliar mindset. My maintenance of this position is only as strong as my constant awareness of the EF’s travels through human history and expression. My arguments fail, but I must persevere.

      1. And let’s not forget that the fixing of the liturgy in the wake of Trent was itself not a traditional thing, but a modern thing borne of rationalism and enabled by technology (printing press).

  26. Karl – are you saying that Trent “engineered” the liturgy? Say it ain’t so!

    Revisionist history at its worst – no documentation; using revisiionist historians as your primary source; second and in some cases third hand sources quoted as experts; reading the minds of the council fathers by those who haven’t a clue; etc. Yes, the alternate catholic universe is alive and well and passively blessed by this pope.

    You do realize that the next pope may wisely put a stop to this herneneutic of disruption and out right subjective decisions based on a “made up” interpretation.

      1. Just trying to understand – in my simple reading of Jungmann’s classic work about the Roman Rite…he goes into great research and detail about how various cultures, peoples, tribes, nations “engineered” their liturgies.

    1. Bill deHaas, I’ve long been curious as to what you think should happen were a Pope to “put a stop to” the fruits of SP and its liberalization of the EF. Is your desire for SP to be repealed or found illegal? Of so, would the EF still be allowed in your ideal universe? What would happen to the People of God who make up the vibrant EF communities that have sprung up in the past several years?

      1. Fair question and sorry if I come across as frustrated.

        Too long to write a dissertation here but here are some thoughts:
        – seriously question the whole initiative that led to SP; research indicates that it was a well-intentioned effort to bridge a gap to the SSPX (we know enough now to realize that this will never happen especially not via a liturgical form); so why continue to expand the effort
        – SP followed up on other indults (fine but we live in a new world of communication and SP has led to numerous unintended consequences)
        – like the history of liturgy; previous councils,etc. John XXIII missal (LTM) was abrogated. Any indults should have clearly stated a time period (sort of like sundown laws) and clarified who the indult was for (i.e. old, etc.) Instead, it has been twisted to support a “new” spirituality, etc.
        – the people of God (EF) should be given a period to use the old rite – but not to the degree of separate parishes; priest orders whose sole function is to support this; etc.
        – SP will eventually be repealed or suppressed/superceded.
        – the church I live in confronts significant challenges in a world of limited clerical resources e.g. bilingual; increasing spanish communities; increasing social issue demands (immigration; economics – jobs, wages, unions, growing economic stratifications; gender issues; sacrificing eucharist for a disciplinary reason (celibacy); education – both general and catholic; lack of priests. Adding a second rite in this world seems (IMHO) to be a side issue that misses the point of a catholic community; our pro-life advocacy; going forth from the eucharist on mission (sorry, fighting for SP is not a mission for me and it pales in significance to real issues).

        – guess this will get me in trouble but as Jack said, much of the push for SP appears to be about spirituality…so, put it in the realm of sacramentals, devotions, etc. but not in the world of community eucharist- think, ecclesiology, etc.

      2. I suppose I’m the opposite – I find fighting the EF to be a major waste of resources and efforts that could be used for real issues. A tiny minority of us worshipping according to the 1962 Missal isn’t some major problem in a Church with so many other things to grapple with.

      3. The EF is a marginal issue on the ground where I am (New England), but it’s easy to get into combox warfare over, so it assumes far more attention at St Blog’s than it merits.

  27. #57 William Simms
    Well he may be calling the OF a “fabricated Liturgy” now but that is not what the young conciliar peritus was saying in 1964 at Vatican II.
    Ratzinger pointed to five important elements in the liturgical schema. (1) “the return to Christian origins and the pruning of certain accretions that often enough concealed the original liturgical nucleus; examples: priority of Sunday over saints’ days; of mystery over devotion, of “simple structure over the rank growth of forms”; “defrosting’ of ritual rigidity; restoration of the liturgy of the Word; “the dialogical nature of the whole liturgical celebration and its essence as the common service of the People of God; “reduction in the status of private Masses in favor of emphasis on greater communal participation.”

    (2) a stronger emphasis on the Word as an element of equal value with the sacrament:” new arrangement of biblical readings.

    (3) “a more active participation of the laity, the inclusion of the whole table-fellowship of God in the holy action”.

    (4) “the decentralization of liturgical legislation,” which represents “a fundamental innovation.” Conferences of bishops now will have responsibility for liturgical laws in their own regions and this, “not by delegation from the Holy See, but by virtue of their own independent authority.” This is to introduce “a new element in the Church’s structure, … a kind of quasi-synodal agency between individual bishops and the pope. This decision may even have “more significance fore the theology of the episcopacy and for the long desired strengthening of episcopal power than anything in the ‘Constitution on the Church.’”

    (5) the language of the liturgy. Behind this vigorous debate lay the need for a “new confrontation between the Christian mind and the modern mind. For it can hardly be denied that the sterility to which Catholic theology and philosophy had in many ways been doomed since the end of…

    1. So you assert.

      I assert that the “Ordinary Form” will be suppressed within the next 89 years (i.e. – in the 21st century).

      And the evidence I present for my assertion is more convincing than the evidence you have presented for your assertion!

  28. The Ordinary Form will evolve into a pluralistic, inculturated liturgical tradition; there may still be a benchmark text, possibly in Latin, that may be an improved version of the OF, but liturgical creativity will not be bound very strictly by it. If we were still confined to OF and EF in 2100, I would conclude that Catholicism had died.

  29. per Jordan Zarembo
    neither the Tridentine [n]or post-conciliar periods address egalitarianism in worship and social analogues.

    A person’s endorsement of either liturgy requires a defense of a theology of ritual space. The contrasting spaces you have presented (”holy of holies” versus “community banquet”) fail to provide unassailable models of worship.

    Rather, the choice of a ritual or certain piety requires a constant re-evaluation of personal participation within a particular ritual and the subsequent impact of a personal ritual decision on “secular” or “temporal” affairs.

    I would like to see the principles and logic behind these thoughts explained more fully and clearly.

    Perhaps Jordan could write up a basic explanation for Fr. Anthony to post to the list.

    I have to admit that I cannot discuss this because I am not understanding it very well and I think it may be an interesting challenge to my preconceptions or a different way of stating what I hold in different terms.

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