AWR at Manhattan CTA – 2 reports

OK, some little details errors here and there, but I still want to put this up right away. It’s a colorfully written report on my talk to Call to Action last week in Manhattan about the new English Missal.

And here is another impression of the same talk – link sent by my friend Jeffrey Tucker from Chant Café. As I said to him, people who don’t know me sometimes think at first that I’m sweet.

awr

36 comments

  1. “The bishops would be critical of Rome’s translations over drinks at night, but the next day we would read that they were publicly defending the new Missal as a great moment of renewal.”

    Thank you for your honesty, transparency and dedication to the church and real “truth.” I await the same from the hierarchy…

    Drinks and hypocrisy…and they don’t see the problems…

  2. Thanks v/much.

    I too would have enjoyed being there. Reports are no substitute for first-hand experience. We are often so starved for good theological and spititual food in Catholic South Africa that I’m incredibly grateful for the internet community.

    Can I dare to hope for a podcast of awr next time?

  3. Many thanks to Father Ruff for teaming up with Call To Action on this! The Roman clique will not silence our voices of protest on this one.

  4. A consistent and charitable voice in the midst of turmoil.
    I only wish that Fr Anthony’s lecture and his handout were made widely available here in the UK. Since September it doesn’t get easier. But thanks for being out there Fr Anthony.
    Would it not be possible to mail, individually, every Bishop in England and Wales a copy of this NCR article? Or at least the Chair of the Bishop’s Conference ?
    Chris McDonnell UK

  5. I was very pleased to hear about your presentation for CTA, Anthony — good work!
    I’ve discovered over many years of seminary teaching and pastoral work, it’s nothing short of amazing what my clergy colleagues will dare to say after the first Scotch…

  6. I, too, commend Fr. Ruff for risking “slings and arrows” as he invokes the courage of his convictions in public, no matter the venue or its constituents.
    I also have a wish and hope: that in some pubic forum he would join Msgr. Wadsworth in an open discussion of both the content and process that has eventuated in the implementation of MR3.

  7. Congrats, Fr. Anthony – Jaime Manson, no less.

    Thought you might find this to be interesting – from B16’s formal welcome at the start of the Australian bishops’ ad limina:

    http://www.oecumene.radiovaticana.org/en1/Articolo.asp?c=530677

    Key point:
    “Finally, as Bishops, you are conscious of your special duty to care for the celebration of the liturgy. The new translation of the Roman Missal, which is the fruit of a remarkable cooperation of the Holy See, the Bishops and experts from all over the world, is intended to enrich and deepen the sacrifice of praise offered to God by his people. Help your clergy to welcome and to appreciate what has been achieved, so that they in turn may assist the faithful as everyone adjusts to the new translation. As we know, the sacred liturgy and its forms are written deeply in the heart of every Catholic. Make every effort to help catechists and musicians in their respective preparations to render the celebration of the Roman Rite in your Dioceses a moment of greater grace and beauty, worthy of the Lord and spiritually enriching for everyone. In this way, as in all your pastoral efforts, you will lead the Church in Australia towards her heavenly home under the sign of the Southern Cross.”

    Have to wonder if he is “unaware” or “chooses to deny, ignore, etc.”?

    Echo Charle’s point – would love to see a debate between you and Wadsworth. Who plays “Rick Perry”?

    1. Thanks for the excerpt from the Pope’s comments. What strikes me is the nearly exclusive focus on the “vertical” orientation of our liturgy toward the heavenly one. Although Roman catechesis keep pointing to the Last Supper as the institution of the Eucharist, somehow the communal aspect of liturgy — the presence of the Risen Lord in the midst of the disciples — seems quite foreign to their ideal of liturgy. There is normally very little in the way of seeing liturgy as a sacrament of and for the Kingdom and its justice for the poor and afflicted. There IS a “horizontal” dimension to Christ’s Real Presence in the world that is routinely overlooked — or so it seems to me.

  8. Jamie Manson’s report on Fr. Ruff’s lecture, per the above NCR article: Beyond his objections as a liturgist, on a pastoral level this cumbersome wording worries Ruff. “I offer Mass for inmates at an area prison,” he told the audience. “Some of them cannot even read English.” How will these men and women adapt to the changes and find meaning in this language?

    Thank you, Father, for your prison ministry. Often grace overflows in the most desperate of situations.

    As I once mentioned, my developmentally disabled brother understands the Mass better than I ever will. My strident tone in that post wasn’t charitable to either you or Fr. McCarthy. Then, as now in this quotation, you stress a cerebral or intellectual understanding of Holy Mass. Perhaps I do not now and never will understand your above point well. Perhaps I am also unwilling to understand this point.

    I am rightly accused of teetering on heresy, given my crypto-Jansenist-Quaker-quietist-Weslyean emphasis on the “fervent and silent contemplation” over a word-by-word comprehension of spoken prayer. I am disappointed that you have not mentioned the education through the heart as well as through the difficulty of the spoken and written text. Often many arrive at the Mass through heartfelt contemplation rather than what is heard from the celebrant.

    As a confessor, you likely recognize the paths to the Mass with a much greater extent than I ever will. Most of this knowledge is locked sub sigillum. This is why I will hedge and concede that your comment above is probably more knowledgeable than my criticism.

  9. Dear Anthony,

    Thank you for all you have done, and continue to do, to bring these critical issues to the attention of the wider Church. Sadly, I think this will be needed, and probably even more so, well beyond 27 November.

  10. Carl, I think there may have been some problem on the IT end. Whenever I logged onto Pray Tell I got a message telling me of a “serious attack” to my computer being thwarted. We’ve reported it here at this end, and it seems to be gone now. Thanks for your concern!

  11. As the Church continues to fall apart from the divisions within it will not be people who supported the Holy Father and Rome, but the people who blatantly disorient the people that will bear the brunt of it. It will be clear as ice one day and I often wonder what the people who witness and add to its’ confusion will state then. Probably a hands off approach. Couldn’t the objections be expressed from within? Why do ordinary Catholics have to witness the continued bloodshed? Or is it that without a loud group of a minority of Catholics that from within the ranks of the Church the agenda would collapse as not being in the best interest of the Church or its’ people? Sure does look that way.

    1. I’m amazed at the naivete of those who call on other Catholics to stop being disobedient and fall into line. It’s not going to happen. We’ve reached a breaking point where monarchical top-down authorities no longer have credibility. Insisting more strongly on their authority only makes it worse. This is just the way it is.

      I think an analogy from 12-step addiction programs is helpful. Someone states the truth – “Grandma has a drinking problem,” “Dad’s doing drugs,” out of love for the people involved, and out of a desire to bring healing. Nearly always someone will misinterpret the honesty as betrayal and disobedience – “After everything Dad has done for us, how dare you…” “But Granny paid our way through college, and she only drives around town, not on the highway…” “It would SO embarrass our family and business if so-and-so went off to treatment.” But of course the honesty is motivated by loving concern, a form of loyalty. Walking away and saying nothing would be so much easier.

      We tell the truth about the deep problems in the power structure of the Catholic Church out of love for her, out of a sense of obligation and loyalty, out of hope that there will be healing, renewal, and conversion. (And structural reform!) Others will completely misunderstand, and will think that if everyone just kept quiet and ignored the problems, all will be well. Ain’t gonna happen.

      I hope that those who are not convinced by what I wrote can at least acknowledge that convictions such as mine are not going away anytime soon. There will be Catholics speaking up from now until change happens. Get used to it – it’s part of being a Catholic just now.

      Pax,
      awr

      1. It sounds deeply flawed..A statement of intent to justify specific actions while being terribly divisive. I did not infer for people to be quiet but suggested from fighting within your own house. Not in the middle of the street of the neighborhood where everyone must witness it. It turns more people off than you can imagine.

      2. But Call to Action is the way to do this in union with the Church? Call to Action is a pressure group sponsoring a campaign for women’s ordination. Not just pressing for a further discussion of women’s ordination, but sponsoring a petition stating that “excluding women from the priesthood is sinful.”

        It’s not like here in New York we can’t have discussions involving a diversity of views without associating ourselves with Call to Action. This is after all an archdiocese that hosts both the Catholic League and the Catholic Worker under the authority of the Archbishop.

      3. Please, fellow traditional Catholics: let Father Ruff speak. Remember how bitterly vocal we were during the forty years we had to wander the wilderness before the restoration of the EF? I remember at least one monsignor getting visibly angry with me for daring to mention Tridentine worship in public even after Ecclesia Dei . It’s been barely four years since our so-called “triumph”. So soon do we traditional Catholics forget when we were demoralized and marginalized.

        I don’t agree with CTA’s agenda, and neither the SSPX for that matter. CTA is, however, just as much a part of the postmodern Roman discourse as the SSPX or any other dichotomous ideological poles in the Church today. Every perspective must be heard regardless of traditional Catholic sensibilities. Let’s not wield the new translation as a weapon against progressive Catholics. How very soon do we forget the ideological struggles we endured!

      4. Jordan, my point is that he’s not being prevented from speaking. He’s got a blog sponsored by one of the main liturgical publishers. He’s got a faculty appointment at a Catholic university. He has faculties to preach. He’s been published in America.

        But it’s not neccesary in order to speak to align oneself with a group pressing for the ordination of women to the priesthood.

        My criticism is not like criticism of traditionalists for speaking about the Tridentine Mass, it’s like the (correct) criticism of traditionalists who associated themselves with sedevacantist groups or the Feeneyite groups that were not in communion with their bishops.

      5. SJH – you might want to spend some time on the history of CTA and its legacy groups.

        Organized and coordinated initially by Bishop Deardon of Detroit – supported by Bernandin.

        Yes, it may have diverged from its initial roots but, to be fair, that split began because of the authoritarianism of a specific bishop that violated much of what VII called for.

        Given that legacy and history – Fr. Anthony is providing a ministry to these folks in an area in which he is an expert.

      6. SJH – you might want to spend some time on the history of CTA and its legacy groups.

        Bill, I know the history of Call to Action.

        Yes, it may have diverged from its initial roots but, to be fair, that split began because of the authoritarianism of a specific bishop that violated much of what VII called for.

        When a person or an organization does something wrong, the fact that arguendo they did it because of the wrong actions of another towards them may mitigate their responsibility, but it doesn’t make thier behavior acceptable.

        Given that legacy and history – Fr. Anthony is providing a ministry to these folks in an area in which he is an expert.

        We’re not talking about hearing their confessions… and we’re not talking about lectures on the history of Catholic church music, we’re talking about a call to join in a movement for structural reform of the Church and for “justice,” which CTA has interpreted explicitly to mean the ordination of women to the priesthood:

        Call To Action announces a national tour on the [new translation] that will tell the real story behind the mass translations and provide local venues for more Catholics to join the church justice movement.

  12. Samuel J. Howard :
    Jordan, my point is that he’s not being prevented from speaking. He’s got a blog sponsored by one of the main liturgical publishers. He’s got a faculty appointment at a Catholic university. He has faculties to preach. He’s been published in America.
    But it’s not neccesary in order to speak to align oneself with a group pressing for the ordination of women to the priesthood.
    My criticism is not like criticism of traditionalists for speaking about the Tridentine Mass, it’s like the (correct) criticism of traditionalists who associated themselves with sedevacantist groups or the Feeneyite groups that were not in communion with their bishops.

    Only comments with a full name will be approved.

    Well said, what exactly is the message for a Priest to join a group who openly opposes the implementation of the Missal? Divisive…It is all about who wins and who loses…SO if the new translation is scrapped and we start again a whole new group of people will prop up calling this unneeded bureaucracy and demand the approved translation be put into effect..It goes around in circles appealing to different groups of people striking different moods at different times. You can’t please everyone or even most in such a diverse group unless you poll the millions of English speaking Catholics..Otherwise people are assuming for others…I just see no humility in this Call to Action effort, just Pride….

  13. While I a not a member of CTA or its local affiliate FutureChurch, I have attended many FutureChurch events.

    Expanding ordination to married men and women is not part of my agenda. But I see nothing wrong with discussing the possibilities, and I have nothing against people who advocate for or against them.

    FutureChurch seems to me to be doing a good job of keeping some people, especially women, far happier as Catholics than they would otherwise be. I think FutureChurch makes a liberal version of SPXX less likely to happen.

    FutureChurch has brought many interesting speakers to town. It is certainly ironic for me to learn from SJH that it looks like they will be bringing Father Anthony to town on January 10, 2012. Thanks SJH for promoting FutureChurch!

    Father Anthony, this is the lake effect snow belt!

    Yes I know all about the cold weather in Minnesota, and the snow on the ground (I have lived there) but here it comes off the lake in great amounts at unpredictable times and places (even when the sun is shining less than a mile away)! Soak up all that warmth and sun in Florida on January 8th! And get ready to doge the lake effect snow in these parts.

    I hope in a spirit of intra-Catholic ecumenism that some of the readers of PrayTell who have chant friends in Cleveland will have them provide some welcoming Gregorian Chant for Father Anthony’s appearance here. If I have to doge the snow to hear Father Anthony, I will certainly be far more motivated if there is some, maybe even a lot of Gregorian Chant at the other end. A lot of my liberal friends like Chant and would be very pleased, too.

    The Gregorian Chant welcome should also have some humor! Maybe some PrayTellers will have some suggestions as to the most appropriate Gregorian Chants to welcome Father Anthony! When I see his youthful picture, I think of “Puer natus est”

    Perhaps at the end we could have the Salve Regina. FutureChurch is an older crowd with a lot of religious women. All we would need is the words to remind us.

  14. AWR… I too am amazed that there is an expectation to just fall in line. Yes, we have reached a top-down breaking point where many in the hierarchy have no credibility. It’s affecting the universal church in huge ways. And if no one speaks out, the crumbling will continue ever quickening.

    Keep speaking out… you in your circles and I in mine. We’d all better get used to it because like it or not… it’s part of being Catholic just now.

    Paz y todas cosas buenas.

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