Msgr. Wadsworth talks new missal translation in New York — Part II

Ed. note: On June 22, the Archdiocese of New York sponsored a music workshop at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Scarsdale. Msgr. Andrew Wadsworth, executive director of ICEL, was a featured speaker. Thanks to the archdiocese for sharing the audio files of Msgr. Wadsworth’s presentations. A transcription of the first presentation was published Tuesday. A transcription of Msgr. Wadsworth’s second talk is below. Pray Tell is happy to present Msgr. Wadsworth’s engaging and well-informed remarks. 

 Msgr. Wadsworth @ NY Archdiocesan music worskhop, Part II


  1. “If we look at the texts of the liturgy, they are majorly more about God than they are about us.”

    If one takes the Psalter as a model for liturgical prayer, these are the morphological occurrences of the top 30 Greek words (I includes me, etc), the number of times and their ranking. (The top 30 is dominated by a lot of common connectors, and prepositions that have a high number of occurrences, e.g. “and”, “or” so I have not listed them.)

    “I” 1948, #3
    “Lord” 815, #7
    “God” 462, #9
    “age, time, material world”,201, #18
    “soil, earth,200, #19”
    “psyche, soul, self”149, #21
    “heart” 137, #22
    “laos, people, 117,#27
    “man, mankind, 107, #30

    In the Psalter, liturgical prayer is mostly about our (both personal and communal) relationship to God and one another here in this world of time and space.

    I have always been impressed by how easily the Psalter slides back and forth between the personal and the communal.

    Remember that the”Propers” are mostly psalms, not just a few psalm verses, as a model for our prayer.

      1. Yes, and “I” includes all its morphological forms (me, we, us).

        I did not claim that the psalms were more about (I, we, us) than about God. What I did claim which I think would hold up on detailed analysis is that the psalms are mostly about our relationships (both personal and communal) with God and one another.

        I am challenging the facile notion that there is a choice between an emphasis upon God or upon us, or the emphasis is upon the personal or the communal. It all about love of God and love of neighbor, and God’s love for us and our neighbor. In my experience the Psalms do a good job of keeping all those things together. We would do well to study and imitate them.

        The psalms are also concerned very much with life here and now, which matches the needs of many people.

      2. What’s your objection, Jeffrey? A vocabulary count is a perfectly well accepted methodological tool in such cases. And very informative.

      3. Gerald, my point (not so much an objection as a caution) is that the context of the vocabulary is as important as the vocabulary itself. The frequency of words like “I”, “me”, and “mine” in a passage of text does not tell you who the “I” of the text is.

      4. No. But it is informative about the subjective nature of the literary works in question – over and against, for example, their focus on God – which, I think, was the original point at issue.

        By the way, Jeffrey, there’s an L of a difference between Gerald and Gerard!

      5. I suspect the “material world” thing may have been stolen from Madonna . . .

  2. “In my experience the Psalms do a good job of keeping all those things together. We would do well to study and imitate them. The psalms are also concerned very much with life here and now, which matches the needs of many people.”

    Which is undoubtedly a reason why their daily recitation has endured for over a millennium and a half in the lives of so many Christians. Possibly more so now than ever. Not only do so many people pray the divine office or LOH privately, I can attend morning and evening prayer daily in parish churches near me–as was virtually unheard of locally just a decade or so ago.

    1. Dump the propers,
      Recite the Psalms.
      The Psalms in their entirety, without excisions, without a-scriptural antiphons.
      The Psalms instead of hymns for Entrance and Communion.
      The Psalms said or sung by the entire congregation so often that the words are eventually memorized by all and can be recalled instead of read for private prayer.
      The ICEL Psalter, first victim of the RotR and the secret revisionists of the curia, was the work of more than a decade. It offered the hope of a single text for chant and metric settings.

      Rev. Frank Quinn, OP, RIP.

      1. Amen Tom.

        For almost a year now I have been incorporating the Sunday Propers with the whole psalm into my prayer. I was surprised by the variety of different psalms used. Also the whole psalm appeared relevant not just the verses found in the Propers.

        There obviously was some attempt to use these Mass occasions to familiarize people with the psalms. The psalms were regarded not only as prayers but also an introduction to spiritual life.

        In the interviews that I conducted with people engaged in Bible study, I asked them about the psalms. They were favorable, but for most people, the responsorial psalm during Mass was their only encounter with the psalms.

        The popularity of the psalms in the early church appears to have flourished around the time that there was much criticism of hymns for their theological content. Of course we shouldn’t abolish hymns; we got some very good ones from the early church (Te Deum, Gloria, O Gladsome Light). But the sense that the psalms are more reliable helped then, and may help again today.

      2. Wasn’t a much greater use of psalms the original plan for the Novus Ordo Missae? I remember reading that where we now have antiphons, the original idea was for there to be psalms. Except there were objections that this was too much psalmody for the laity, so the psalms were scrapped for antiphons. I don’t remember where I read this; it might have been the book by Abp. Bugnini.

  3. Fr. Anthony,
    I am disappointed that you closed comments on the earlier Wadsworth thread. The discussion had gotten well off the original topic, but I had not thought that this blog had the limited focus of the classroom. People were discussing, fairly politely, subjects of interest to them.

    Unless there is a serious expense involved to TLP, I do not see a good reason for shutting down such a discussion. It would have died a natural death as new topics of serious interest were posted to the blog. It might even be due to the slow news cycle that the previous thread extended itself and diverged so much.

    Please consider re-opening that thread so that people can continue to use the respond and quote features to continue their discussions.

    1. Guess, I have a different view.

      Once comments get beyond the hundred mark, they become too unwieldy to follow or to comment. I would prefer that comments routinely be closed once we get to something like the hundred mark.

      It might also be helpful for the moderator to close with a brief summary, listing the principle subtopics, distinguishing between those that were particularly relevant and those that were divergent. That might be helpful for people who browse the archives, especially to locate divergent topics.

      Divergent threads are often very helpful, but should become separate posts, and not be buried so that only the people who read all or most of the comments read them. I suspect that many people rarely or only occasionally read the comments.

      It might be particularly helpful to hear from readers who rarely or ever comment but often read the comments about how to make the comments more helpful. I suspect those of us who regularly comment are a very small minority of the readers of the blog. I am always curious about the diverse silent majority out there.

      As someone who spent a couple of decades engaging in public discussions in the mental health system with many constituencies, I habitually thought about all the other viewpoints that were present but not being expressed, and did not get taken up with responding to my present interlocutor(s). I tend to bring that habit over into this blog.

      In the case of the Wadsworth review, once we got the full text, it might have been better to open the comments in that different post. I was very reluctant to comment until I got the full text. I was uneasy about commenting among all the comments made without the full text. And of course the issue had become confused since we were also conversing with the author of the book without reading his book.

      Finally, I understand why the moderator sometimes closes comments and directs our conversations elsewhere, especially to other blogs, e.g. Rita’s article at Commonweal. I usually read the posts at America, Commonweal, NCR, but I rarely read the comments, and I have almost never commented at any of those blogs. I really like commenting in the context of a “liturgy” readership rather than the readership of some of the other blogs. I would have liked to have the discussion of Rita’s article here as well.

      1. — First three remarks would be good if and only if this were a classroom type situation

        — If thread is closed while people are still conversing, it is like turning off the lights at a party just because some are ready to go to a different party. One can always quit following the thread and wait for the next new posting, but those get farther between some times than others.

        — These discussions are not stakeholder/constituency discussions affecting decision making, just ussuns chatting. Any useful insights need to be taken elsewhere anyway.

        — The commenters have no way to initiate separate posts. To move a thread would involve a notable amount of work for the moderator, identifying and copying to the new post all the relevant comments appropriate to that new post. Why not just leave the post open for those happy to talk to one another? Probably, as soon as something new and sufficiently interesting is posted, the old thread will wither to the natural end of its frayed life.

        — It is interesting to me and relevant to this question, I think, that some long dormant but still open posts picked up comments last week.

        I think that closing threads when they have deteriorated to sheer nastiness is something which should be done sooner rather than later. If two or more people want to continue going round the mulberry bush, let ’em, nobody needs to pay much further attention, and it might be a healthy and productive discussion for the few.

  4. I just watched a DVD of Brian Moore’s “Catholics”, where the modern priest from Vatican IV comes to shut down the last holdout Latin Mass on an island monastery off Ireland.

    1. Absolute fiction which will never come true.

      No “Latin Mass holtout” will ever need to be shut down: they will all die off naturally and, in the long view, quickly.

      Buona Domenica.

      1. Of course, because the number of Latin Masses has so sharply decreased in the last 4 years…oh…oops, wait, that was actually a sharp increase…my bad. And the Latin MAss parishes are closing all across the country…oops…again that would be OF parishes that are having to close, and the EF parishes are opening. But there is hope…the number of seminarians in Traditional orders is decreasing rapidly…oh…dang it, that’s an increase to.

        But you’re probaby right that they will all be gone soon. At least you could hope so! Yep….you can hope so.

      2. And if the number of conspiracy theorists about Burke’s galero increases by 1, it will have grown by 50%.

      3. I think in that book the last Latin Mass holdout occurs at the end of the 20th Century (after the fourth Vatican Council has completely moved the Church into secularism). We’ve already passed that point.

        I think in the long run, the Latin Mass will surpass the OF – it won’t overtake it or become the “ordinary form” again, but I think the OF will be replaced by other missals over time (perhaps national ones) while the EF will evolve on its own and remain the “traditional option,” sticking around because of its major place in Western culture and history (a position the OF probably won’t have time to assume unless it gets “frozen” for several hundred years like the EF was).

      4. Of course the current missal will be replaced by other missals. It’s the nature of these things that they will change and develop, since liturgy is about the action of the people of God.

        It would be preferable to call the Tridentine Mass traditionalist rather than traditional.

        The traditionalist form has appeal to some as a cultural phenomenon. With its medieval character, it is as far removed from the Jewish roots of the eucharist as it is possible to be.

      5. I don’t see how “traditionalist” would be preferable (I also don’t see how the EF deviates so much more dramatically from its Jewish roots than the OF does – to me it’s like discussing the dramatic difference between the star-belly and plain-belly sneeches). It is traditional unless you limit “traditional” to only what people may have done in the first few centuries.

        I think many in the Church need to grapple with the fact that the EF was the dominant liturgy of the Church, for better or worse, for nearly one fourth of its existence and has elements that dominated even longer. It was also a major vehicle for western art and music during the past few centuries and is still relevant as a meaningful participatory liturgy for a segment of the Catholic population. The EF is part of our liturgical tradition too, and the Church is more than big enough to accommodate that fact.

        I imagine the development of the OF will determine the future relevance of the EF. If the OF is reformed in a more “traditionalist” (to use your term) direction, then the EF will probably just merge with it and go away. If the OF goes in the opposite direction, the EF will probably remain around and grow since it will fill a niche the OF doesn’t.

      6. I’m distinguishing between tradition and traditionalism in the way that Jaroslav Pelikan has done, i.e. between the living faith of the dead and the dead faith of the living. Your reference to the dominant cultural expression of Roman Catholicism of former times places the emphasis in the right place.

        Apart from its value as a medieval cultural phenomenon, which may be appreciated by Christian and non-Christian medievalists alike, its fundamental defect is the distance the Tridentine practice had moved from the Jewish roots of the eucharist.

      7. I don’t consider myself to know the hearts of other people so well that I can judge who does and does not have a “dead faith.” That quote by Jaroslav Pelikan is cute for those who already think it is true, but otherwise irrelevant. That’s why I also don’t like it when traddies say the only reason people attend the OF is because it’s easy entertainment rather than a challenging faith they have to think about. Just simple blanket statements that don’t do anything other than maybe make some people feel superior.

        I see the OF and EF as living liturgies that both fill the needs of a large and varied Church – the people who wish for the demise of one or the other make no sense to me and strike me as misguided and counterproductive.

      8. The OF and EF are both vibrant and living forms of the Roman rite, each at its best a glory to man and God. There are many worshiping in both forms with such sincere participation and and spiritual benefit that all the shop-worn cliches used to criticize either are baseless canards that reflect poorly on those who utter them.

        Anyone who habitually denigrates either of these groups–or the form of the Roman rite in which they choose to worship–is himself (in my view) a lesser Catholic for doing so. Why should not we all, instead, submit our minds to the will of the Church, and gratefully acknowledge both forms as treasures of the faith.

      9. Henry, you talk about the “two forms of the one rite” as if they’d been infallibly established side-by-side from the beginning of time: in fact, it’s an innovation hitherto unheard of. It’s an experiment that can be revoked, and which has not stood the test of time.

        Before you and the other Prophets of Doom all get too carried away with yourselves, let’s establish something here that is also a fact and not just a feeling: the notion of “two forms of the one rite” is, indeed, so new, that it is a concept unknown to every Pope up to and including Blessed John Paul II!

      10. Chris, grow up and stop name calling with all your “prophets of doom” nonsense. If you can’t engage people in a meaningful way, then don’t bother commenting at all.

      11. And good morning to you, too Jack.

        The term “prophets of doom” may not be good enough for you but it was good enough for Blessed John XXIII and it’s good enough for me.

        If it’s not good enough for this blog, I’m sure the moderators will sort it out.

        I named the Prophets of Doom for what they (or, more accurately, you) are, and all your baseless “name calling” accusations (I am no more “name calling” than Blessed John XXIII was!) won’t change the facts.

        And, noting that your comment doesn’t add to the discussion but, not for the first time, merely attacks me, none of your baseless accusations can alter the fact that the notion of “two forms of the one rite” is so new that it is a concept unknown to every Pope up to and including Blessed John Paul II

      12. Chris, you can’t be rude to other people and then cry about how they are attacking you when they point it out to you.

        Also, you should actually read Blessed John XXIII – he didn’t use the term the way you do. Thoughtlessly using his quotes as a smear on other people is disrespectful to his memory.

        And I’ve yet to see anyone other than you actually care that “two forms of the one rite” was “hitherto unheard of.” If the Church were only bound to do things “hitherto unheard of,” we wouldn’t have the three year lectionary, for example. Development happens.

      13. Jack, if you think “prophets of doom” is being rude, you need to think again. Telling people to “grow up” (as you did) might be rude, and making baseless accusations (as you do) might also be rude, but calling people “prophets of doom” is no more rudeness on my part than it was on the part of Blessed John XXIII.

        Perhaps by “rude” you mean “accurate” . . .

        And if you think I am crying (about what you yourself call your “attacking”!!!), you’re even more wrong than you are customarily about liturgy, history, ecclesiology, English and any other subject you turn your mind to.

        Blessed John XXIII used “prophets of doom” exactly the way I do, and if you have proof otherwise, instead of your customary baseless assertions, provide it.

        It doesn’t matter how many people you’ve seen who actually care that “two forms of the one rite” [were] “hitherto unheard of” – the fact remains that no Pope, up to and including Blessed John Paul II, ever heard of such a thing.

        I honestly have no idea what you’re saying in your last paragraph:

        ‘If the Church were only bound to do things “hitherto unheard of,” we wouldn’t have the three year lectionary, for example. Development happens.’

        which doesn’t appear to make sense. If you mean what I think you might mean, you’re picking a fight with someone who has no interest in the matter (though you do amazingly appear to be making a very good argument for the post-Conciliar introduction of the reformed liturgy and the abrogation of the old one, especially for a Prophet of Doom).

      14. “If the Church were only bound to do things “hitherto unheard of,” we wouldn’t have the three year lectionary, for example. Development happens.”

        Precisely. We’re going to need this attitude when Advent arrives and we shall have, not only two forms of the one rite, a novel situation indeed, but two (at least) forms of one of the two forms.

        But, at least, now that there’s a precedent for two forms, those who would object to the continued use of the current missal, won’t have a liturgical leg to stand on.

        As Joe O’ Leary has intimated, the chaos that will ensue will be interesting, to say the least.

      15. Sorry all, I meant to say “If the Church were only bound to never do things “hitherto unheard of,” we wouldn’t have the three year lectionary, for example. Development happens.” Was in a hurry.

        And Chris, I’m going to go back to what I used to do – ignore you. Also, it is on you to prove how I and others are “prophets of doom” in the way Pope John intended it since you are the one who persists in making the claim without any reason given as to why – I see no evidence whatsoever in anything I have ever posted here on PrayTell to justify your labeling of me. However, I’ll gladly take up the name “Prophet of Doom” with the understanding that it is your perversion of Blessed John XXIII’s words and not in any way connected to what he actually said.

        To Gerard Flynn: Does that that mean those who use the precedent of SP as a reasoning to keep the current translation around will no longer advocate against SP? If so, I would be perfectly happy with permission being granted for the 1973 translation as an “Alternate Translation of the Roman Rite For English Speaking Countries.” It would probably be wildly successful since it would not have had forty years of suppression to overcome.

      16. Jack: I know you’re ignoring me, so don’t read this, but if you read “Gaudet Mater Ecclesiae” you’ll find he was talking about you and your fellow Prophets of Doom.

        Oh, and do you always ignore people by asking them questions?

      17. @Gerard: I am puzzled that you (and perhaps others) keep referring to the Tridentine Mass, or the Extraordinary Form, as “medieval”. Surely you know that the Council of Trent is well after what most scholars would consider a “medieval” period. If anything, the Medieval liturgy (pre-Trent) was characterized excess, which is easily seen in the multitude of tracts and troping of many parts of the Mass. Perhaps you are using “medieval” as some sort of perjorative, which is rather unhelpful to constructive dialogue.

      18. Bruce: I cannot of course speak for Gerard, but I would have thought “medieval” was about as accurate as anything else for a rite that, we are told, goes back into the mists of time, virtually unchanged. Medieval, baroque, dark ages . . . why, pretty much anything except the 21st Century!

      19. Chris, thank you for your kind reply. Would you please supply some references for the position you hold (expressed as “a rite that, we are told, goes back into the mists of time, virtually unchanged.”)? I am unfamiliar with any liturgical documents that expressly state this. After all, many parts of either form of the Roman Rite date to quite a long time ago.

    2. The Latin Mass, in the story, is the real-symbolic point of clash between two different “Catholicisms”. Not all that different from a lot of the clashes I have read here over the last months.

    3. In that novel/movie, didn’t it turn out that the traditionalist Abbot had lost his faith years before, and was just continuing to recite the old forms without actually believing anything? Hmmm ….

      1. I think in the story the head Abbot kept the traditional ways around because he didn’t think it was his right to change them for people who did still believe. Meanwhile the other monks and the thousands traveling from all around the world were sincere believers trying to hold on to the last vestiges of the Catholicism they had always known (this imagined future Church doesn’t really believe in the sacraments anymore and is thinking about merging with

      2. I think that’s the point J.S. is making: the fundamental dishonesty of such a position.

    4. I think Jack accidentally described the point of CATHOLICS:
      it’s easy entertainment rather than a challenging faith they have to think about.

      Jack dismisses this as a proper critique of OF adherents, but I think Moore is quite serious about critiquing those who get so caught up in liturgy wars that their faith suffers.

  5. Well, jeffrey, it certainly is hard to keep things straight, with so much happening contrary to the received wisdom of the last forty years. Obviously, some will have to re-orient themselves.

    1. Don’t worry, Your Eminence, their re-orientation will happen automatically once they start praying that new translation of Lenten Preface II that changes “disordered affections” Maybe that’s why Vox Clara put that phrase in even though it’s not what the Latin says!

  6. Not at all to counter Tom Poelker’s comment (no. 13 above), nor to impugne his good intentions. Rather, just a friendly retort that his championing of the psalter and only the psalter calls to mind the views and wreckage of quite a number of Reformation era apostates – Calvin, for instance… et al.

    1. Apostasy, by definition, is the state of disaffiliation from a particular religion. Christianity is a religion, Catholicism a denomination or a confession of that religion. Ergo, the term does not apply to Calvin or any of the reformers.

      The use of the term apostate in this context is scraping the bottom of the barrels of intellect and decency and an indication of bankruptcy of argument.

      Western Christianity owes an enormous debt of gratitude to the reformers for putting scripture, of which the psalter is a rich and representative compendium, centre stage once again, a position it held in the early centuries of Christianity.

    2. .
      preterition, guilt by association, name calling

      I do not find this friendly at all.

      Besides that, mis-attribution: I did not oppose everything except psalms. Please read what I actually wrote instead of setting up a {Ta-Da!} straw man as an easy target.

      Rather than these means of attacking an opponent, do you have anything which contributes to the conversation?

      1. No, they don’t, Tom. They’re Blessed John XXIII’s Prophets of Doom and that’s what they do.

  7. Calvin is one of the fundamental Christian theologians and biblical scholars. To call him an apostate is ridiculous.

    He approved the murder of heretics (Servetus), but so, alas, did Aquinas, Melanchthon, Bellarmine, and many others.

    1. These are the virtues Calvin thought desirable
      In a wife: an even mood,
      Chastity, patience, thrift, and an untirable
      For her lord’s health. Here ends the simple list-
      And not one word
      Tells us if he admired a delicate wrist
      Or much preferred
      A hazel eye to brown or amethyst.
      What! Had he not some choice
      Of statures? Was he not partial in the matter
      Of a right female voice,
      Desire but silence or a wrenlike chatter?
      And did not kindness count, or a cool repose?
      A cheek of white-and-rose?
      Or courtesy? Or wit?

      All very well that it should not obtain
      If she were fair or plain
      (Since by philosophy one must admit,
      In this connection,
      A woman’s flesh is but the spirit’s mask)
      But ah! not even to ask
      That in her breast some taper of affection,
      Some flame however decorous and dim
      Should burn, and burn especially for him?

      Of Mistress Calvin we know very little save
      She was eight years a wife,
      Well-dowered, also “honorable and grave”
      And lived a quiet life.
      One hopes against hope that she was debonair
      And managed to mingle with connubial care
      For his dyspepsia, some small tendernesses.
      But miracles are rare.
      One’s better guess is
      (And all we have is Calvin’s list to go on)
      That since he asked, beside a sensible dot,
      Only thrift, patience, chastity and so on –
      Likely it’s what he got!

      Phyllis McGinley, “Times Three”

    2. In the City of God with Calvin, king,
      The capital virtues had their fling,
      But mirth won little or no renown.
      A cold decorum. A pious frown
      Were proper Burghers’ appareling.

      Nobody laughed much. None might sing
      Or dance to fiddles or kiss-and-cling.
      Condemned together were lover and clown
      In the City of God.

      For smiling in church, or slumbering,
      For wreathing a Maypole come the Spring,
      Jail was the punishment handed down.

      One wonders if God, when He walked the town,
      Ever felt homesick or anything
      In the City of God!

      Phyllis McGinley, “Times Three”


  8. Gerard Flynn :

    “If the Church were only bound to do things “hitherto unheard of,” we wouldn’t have the three year lectionary, for example. Development happens.”
    Precisely. We’re going to need this attitude when Advent arrives and we shall have, not only two forms of the one rite, a novel situation indeed, but two (at least) forms of one of the two forms.
    But, at least, now that there’s a precedent for two forms, those who would object to the continued use of the current missal, won’t have a liturgical leg to stand on.
    As Joe O’ Leary has intimated, the chaos that will ensue will be interesting, to say the least.

    So, should the 1970 form of the Ordinary Form be permitted only by a special indult and with the bishop’s permission? I really wonder if the 1970 OF could survive some forty years or so of suppression.

  9. Were a Catholic Rip Van Winkle to chance upon this blog, he would be astonished. Irish clerics rushing to the defense of Calvin and the Reformers and reacting to Rome and the Latin Mass with attitudes ranging from embarrassment to hostility.

    1. I find it surprising that people can be so warm and open to people in other denominations (and their theologians), yet so cold and cruel to those within their own house who hold to the same beliefs. Most non-Catholics and non-believers I know find the attitude some Catholics have towards the Latin Mass to be off-putting and bizarre.

      1. Jack, I know you’re ignoring me, so don’t read this, but I am not so sure that the number of non-Catholics and non-believers who give a flying whatever about the Latin Mass is very great, or important.

        Another Prophecy of Doom?

  10. ” That quote by Jaroslav Pelikan is cute for those who already think it is true, but otherwise irrelevant. ”

    Interesting that Pelikan himself chose very unmodern and unreformed Orthodoxy.

  11. The Gettysburg Address

    Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

    Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

    But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

  12. @ Chris Grady

    Have a look at the signatures appended to the 1971 petition to Paul VI which resulted in what has become known as the ‘Agatha Christie Indult’.

    1. The “Agatha Christie Indult” is too twee by half. It’s just silly.
      The “Cardinal Heenan Indult” is another matter altogether.

  13. The Lateran Treaty

    IN the name of the Most Holy Trinity.

    Whereas the Holy See and Italy have recognized the desirability of eliminating every reason for dissension existing between them and arriving at a final settlement of their reciprocal relations which shall be consistent with justice and with the dignity of both High Contracting Parties, and which by permanently assuring to the Holy See a position de facto and de jure which shall guarantee absolute independence for the fulfillment of its exalted mission in the world, permits the Holy See to consider as finally and irrevocably settled the Roman Question which arose in 1870 by the annexation of Rome to the Kingdom of Italy, under the Dynasty of the House of Savoy;

    And whereas it was obligatory, for the purpose of assuring the absolute and visible independence of the Holy See, likewise to guarantee its indisputable sovereignty in international matters, it has been found necessary to create under special conditions the Vatican City, recognizing the full ownership, exclusive and absolute dominion and sovereign jurisdiction of the Holy See over that City;

    His Holiness the Supreme Pontiff Pius XI and His Majesty Victor Emanuel III, King of Italy, have agreed to conclude a Treaty, appointing for that purpose two Plenipotentiaries, being on behalf of His Holiness, His Secretary of State, viz. His Most Reverend Eminence the Lord Cardinal Pietro Gasparri, and on behalf of his Majesty, His Excellency the Cav. Benito Mussolini, Prime Minister and Head of the Government; who, having exchanged their respective full powers, which were found to be in due and proper form, have hereby agreed to the following articles:

    Article 1

    Italy recognizes and reaffirms the principle established in the first Article of the Italian Constitution dated March 4, 1848, according to which the Catholic Apostolic Roman religion is the only State religion.

    . . . etc . . .

  14. The hubris to misappropriate the Gettysburg Address and all that seems it was meant to imply, not the least of which to associate one’s self with the Great Liberator, is beyond comprehension and measure. I acknowledge my own culpability if my remarks and citations elsewhere here about the McCarthy episode provided such bizarre license.
    I do, at least, hope that the malefactor realizes how offensive to citizens of this nation, both living and passed (including the memory of our confederate dead), this egregious and specious “comment” is. But no candle will light the window to signify that hope, given the track record and rhetorical path this soul seems inclined to follow; he follows a light, apparently, that is meant to be self-flattering

    1. Charles,

      You seem to have a clearer idea than I do of what was intended by the Gettysburg Address quotation. I presumed it was simply more of Chris’s Dada/nihilist approach to blog commenting.

  15. No Fritz, I don’t have a clue, none was provided.
    It, to me, was simply offensive, so I stated that alone.
    If the purveyor of the quotation believes that something was accomplished or someone benefited by it, then there is nothing more to say.

  16. I find Chris’s contributions help greatly to lighten up the tone of PT. I can understand that his incisive wit is not always appreciated by others. But I wonder what model of spiritual reading they are working from. What we resist, in what we read, is equally as significant in our quest for self-understanding as what we resonate with. So, if you resist something you read here, use it as a tool of self-discovery! That would be far more positive and helpful than the tone of mortal offence adopted by some who don’t like what they hear. Blogging isn’t all about expecting to have one’s prejudices massaged – at least not all of the time.
    The inclusion of a recipe for pancakes was humorous, amusing, and rhetorically effective.

    1. I imagine you find his tone to be light and witty because you are, more or less, on the same “side” of debate as him and don’t have to put up with the name calling and such being directed right at you. Were you more often the subject of his name calling and pointless postings you would think differently.

      I don’t dislike Chris’ posts because I disagree with him – I dislike them because he is so over-the-top rude to people he doesn’t agree with and never takes anything they say into account or engages with it seriously. Chris also doesn’t know when to stop – he just badgers and bullies people until they get tired of it and leave because most adults don’t want to waste their time like that. I find he accomplishes the total opposite of what you think he does – his posts deaden the tone of threads because they are so off putting.

      If I wanted my prejudices massaged, I certainly wouldn’t come to PrayTell. However, I don’t want to be called stupid names and badgered – that’s not challenging and it doesn’t make me think.

      1. Oh for God’s sake Jack, you keep telling me you’re ignoring me and then you continue misquoting me. You have still not been able to show one instance of my being rude or having called you a “stupid name” (except when I call you with deadly accuracy one of the people who Blessed John XXIII referred to as “Prophets of Doom”) – don’t you people have anything better to do than to misquote, wrongly accuse and discuss me?

        I have been attacked (your word about your action) for reiterating the fact that “two forms of one rite” is a thing unheard of until this pontificate, and indded, not for the first two years of it – and all you and your fellow Prophets of Doom can do is attck me personally for it: you have, as usual, nothing else but accusations of “rudeness” with which to reply.

        Even poor Gerard (who is Irish and therefore, well, you know . . . ) tried to engage you in a legitimate discussion about learning and spiritually profiting and advancing from employing the techniques of spiritual reading, but you replied by poo-pooing me!

        But as you’re ignoring me, you won’t be reading this I guess.

  17. “Two forms of one rite unheard of until this pontificate.” OK.
    So…now it’s not unheard of any more. Is this a description of a fact or some kind of argument? Surely the point cannot be that novelty is inherently invalidating.

  18. Bruce Ludwick, Jr. :

    @Gerard: I am puzzled that you (and perhaps others) keep referring to the Tridentine Mass, or the Extraordinary Form, as “medieval”. Surely you know that the Council of Trent is well after what most scholars would consider a “medieval” period. If anything, the Medieval liturgy (pre-Trent) was characterized excess, which is easily seen in the multitude of tracts and troping of many parts of the Mass. Perhaps you are using “medieval” as some sort of perjorative, which is rather unhelpful to constructive dialogue.

    Medieval, as in being a product of the cultural of the European Middle Ages. Trent fell into the Renaissance period if you consider only Italy, but much of Europe was fighting over the secular Reformation issues of medieval versus the rising national cultures. Much of Europe outside of Italy was still living a version of Medieval Culture. England, Scotland, and Ireland come to mind as well as all the minor feudal states in what later became Germany.

    Regardless, the texts Trent required and the court behavior mimicked by the ceremonials it locked into place were Medieval in origin and development. Even the earliest versions of the MR are medieval, which is precisely one of its problems because so much of the earliest heritage of Christianity had been lost and so much of Roman Imperial culture had to be replaced for the needs of what we now call medieval culture. It was acculturation to a culture now long past.

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