Putting back what’s missing in the new Mass

US Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, prefect of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature, thinks the Mass of Paul VI needs fixing. He would put back in the old prayers at the foot of the altar and the last Gospel (Prologue of John). But he has a good word for the priest facing the people.

All this under the rubric of “mutual enrichment.” Read about it here.




  1. Geez – you would think that Allan and Burke were joined at the hip.

    What Burke knows about liturgy would not fill a thimble.

    Just love when various hierarchy state: “There was a stripping away, a changing of the form of the rite that in my judgment was too much,” he says. “You can’t take a living reality, the worship of God as God has desired that we worship him, and tamper with it without doing violence and without in some way damaging the faith life of the people.”

    At the same time, if others said the same thing, then Burke states:
    “There’s no question that there remains in certain places a resistance to what the Holy Father has asked, and that’s sad,” says Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, prefect of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature and a former archbishop of St. Louis. “It’s sometimes even an expression of disagreement with the Holy Father’s discipline and even an expression that this is harmful for the church.”

    So, guess the only rule is that you must follow exactly what the current pope says. Or – Burke can disagree with Paul VI and more than 2000+ bishops on liturgical directions but that is okay. But, if anyone else disagrees, then, for Burke, you are *harmful* to the church.

    His statements merely express his personal desires and his own *biased* views – so, Burke’s typical TLM regalia would have disagreed with Paul VI. But is it okay now that that pope has passed? Geez, is everything so contingent upon a current pope – what about Tradition, Canon Law, etc.

    Burke has a tendency to be a cafeteria catholic just like everyone else. Ask most of the archdiocese of St. Louis about Burke and his *wonderful* pastoral style and decisions. Talk about polarization, anger, etc. He never met a social justice, sexual abuse, ecumenical, or VII liturgical directive that he didn’t fail to ridicule, ignore, etc. So, doesn’t his own quote apply to him?

    1. What Burke knows about liturgy would not fill a thimble.

      So, guess the only rule is that you must follow exactly what the current pope says. Or – Burke can disagree with Paul VI and more than 2000+ bishops on liturgical directions but that is okay. But, if anyone else disagrees, then, for Burke, you are *harmful* to the church.

      Sorry to say, Bill, but the unwarranted insolence of these excerpted opinions is only exceeded by the egregious hyperbole.
      Of course, though, you may have some sort of wormhole insight into every instance that Cdl. Burke and 2000+ of his brothers including Holiness Paul 6 actually practiced the discipline of their orders as regards the obligation to confect daily Mass, your vast perspective, tho’ not omniscient, surely has enabled you to eschew any common decency when criticisizing (uh, actually excoriating) his “knowledge” of liturgy.
      Is seeming perpetually malcontented now a virtue?
      And as I’m gazing down at KLS’s twopence, maybe a silent canon might be a virtue itself if it reminds one of gramma’s advice “If you don’t have anything good to say….”

      1. And he could not make it six words before mentioning Fr. Allan (invoking him as an insult, it seems). I’m quite tired of their near-daily pseudo-divorcee spats. Is there nowhere else for them to berate or taunt one another?

      2. Charles

        Like over at the CMAA boards, I’ve given up trying intervene often in remarks that are obviously driven by personality or conflicts between personalities. (The similarities are more striking than the differences, and I do wonder if neuro-atypical folks are drawn to certain liturgical issues.)

        Also (in humor), the implication of your bon mot is that the canon is nothing good to say…. (LOL)

      3. Bill correctly identified a performative contradiction at the hear of Burke’s erratic utterances. As to “if you don’t have anything good to say”, it surely applies to your own modd piece. IS there anything good to say about Burke’s utterances? You tell us.

      4. Charles, Jp – review most of the comments below. They fall into roughly two categories – those who think Burke adds to the current conversation; those who find Burke to be, charitably, off base.

        Would challenge any of you to say what you say if you had been active in a seminary or a parish in St. Louis when Burke was the archbishop. That experience alone would have created *unwarranted insolence* and *egregious hyperbole*.

        *Seeming perpetually malcontented now a virtue* – well, ask Burke – that is his MO.

        (Note – most of my comments on PTB are not malcontented; try to provide both historical facts and my own experience and judgements – just like the two of you.)

        A few comments below pick apart and correct historical *stated facts* that really aren’t facts by Burke. Paul Inwood has correctly reframed Burke’s comments. Some react because Paul has hit the nail on the head with a sledge hammer.

        You can each attack me, fine, but I watched the damage done by Burke in both Glennon-Kenrick and the various parishes in the archdiocese. It got to a point where pastors ignored the archbishop and men were ordained who had no business being ordained and parishes are having to contend with that reality now. Why do you think Burke was moved to Rome?

        Deacon makes the correct summation – Burke plays at liturgy using SP as his justification. Yes, he is young and that is alarming until the next Pope. Burke will then be sidelined forever.

        JP – had not posted here for more than six days – so, find your comments to also be *tired* and *near daily pseudo* whatevers. Find that a pastor “experiments with novelty* to be a scandal – unfortunate that his newly appointed bishop doesn’t have the gummtion to do something about it. You might want to think about why I comment when Allan posts – find him to be rewriting history based upon his ideology rather than any solid academic knowledge or foundation. His posts here are mild compared to his own blog in which he attacks, demeans, criticizes freely and with little Christian charity because he controls and has the power on his own blog. KILS may be right about personality conflicts but to let certain comments stand as if they are factual and correct rubs me the wrong way esp. when a cleric is using his position and collar.

        Burke has been making this statements, etc. now for years – he is a symbol of polarization; if you can find Burke statements, articles, etc. that reference the gospel values; that take from scripture and try to explain; that even reference the totality of Vatican II documents rather than his personal slant on the pre-VII liturgy, let me know.

        Allow me to provide an example: Here is an interview with Bishop Lucker before he died: http://ncronline.org/news/people/bishop-lived-teachings-lumen-gentium-37-years

        Money quote:
        “The article in the current issue of The Tablet is wonderful, just marvelous. [Lucker is referring to “Opening up the big questions” by Clifford Longley in the July 11, 2001, issue.] It is a good summary of the debate between Cardinals [Joseph] Ratzinger and [Walter] Kasper on the relationship of the local and universal churches.
        This really was one of the central doctrinal issues of the council. Ratzinger came out a while ago with his essay on communio, claiming that the universal church is first and then the local churches come from it.

        Now that is worth revisiting. I was on a panel of the Catholic Theological Society of America and the speakers pointed out that Ratzinger’s position is a remaking of the council, showing exact quotes from conciliar documents about the relationship of the universal church and the local churches.”

        Some commentors below reference his exact same remark – *Ratzinger’s position is a remaking of the council”. Yes, he is the current pope but, like his ROTR, he is remaking the council which is his privilege; but don’t rewrite history as if his position is what 2000+ bishops said and did at Vatican II. Burke is merely a small part of this same phenomenon.

        (Note – now you have Allan disparaging Richard Sipe who has done more good in terms of victims of sexual abuse than almost anyone else I can think of. Yes, he is an *inactive* priest who was laicized through official channels and meeting all canon law and church regulations. Find the personal snide comments to be *egregious hyperbole* and unchristian, at best. In fact, if he taught Allan, Allan must not have taken any notes)

      5. Bill, I beg your pardon, but as a St. Louis resident who moved here partially BECAUSE of +Burke’s great Christian charity as an individual (although I have not benefited directly from it), you make a great many unfounded accusations, unsubstantiated claims, and are virtually committing calumny.

        I have many friends who have graduated from K-G, and they may not share your opinion, but they are the most charitable, well-rounded group of seminarians I have met. You may not like that some of them are more traditionally-inclined, but at least they have a real ethic of belief, rather than some pieced-together faux traditional piety (which you often encounter at other seminaries.)

        In addition, I could pull 20 Catholics out of the pews in my parish, and get any of the last four archbishops named as “the most damaging prelate in our archdiocese”.

        It sounds as perhaps you need to have a nice glass of wine and relax, or at least should try to see less blood when the word BURKE comes up on your screen.

      6. Sorry, Bruce – I also could poll plenty of people who would suggest that you don’t know what you are talking about. You reveal everything by saying that a partial reason to come to STL was Burke. That is your right but it colors and reveals your bias.

        No calumny and no unsubstantiated claims. Stand by what I have said. Think Burke on sexual abuse cover ups; think that he completely changed Kenrick-Glennon; think about financial irregularities in the archdiocese; think about the St. Stanislaus incident. Why do you think Rome moved him so quickly? Not because he was a pastoral success story. Have you ever seen a video or youtube of Burke and his hand picked coterie after an evening TLM extravanganza – Burke in all his finery being served a five course meal complete with wine at every course; waiters galore; and more lace than you can ever see. What justifies this type of waste of money – and after a communal eucharist?

        Sorry, never made any statements about traditionalist ordinands in terms of lack of charity or ethic of belief (whatever that is). Base my statements upon lived experience, statements from Kenrick-Glennon faculty about Burke and the ordinands from his time period; from pastors who have had to deal with these ordinands. This is reality – not some faux reality. They may be very well intentioned but you are ordained to serve not to be a traditionalist priest (serve an agenda, ideology, etc.). This has created and impacted numerous parishes (why just recently received an e-mail from a prominent PTB commentor that talked about visiting a parish where the recently ordained priest always wore his cassock and his biretta especially when visiting their catholic school.)
        Again, if anything, the sexual abuse scandal has taught us that *well intentioned* and even an *ethic of belief* doesn’t guarantee that the church will be served.

        I could find 2,000 folks in the pews who could tell you about the impact of Burke on STL – it will take a generation for the archdiocese to heal.

        Don’t drink wine but you may need some after this comment.

      7. Bill, just have to respond to the things you mention:

        1) “He completely changed K-G”. Perhaps, it has been changed again since then to a totally different model…and Rigali changed it by getting rid of the Vincentians. So what? That’s life. Many dioceses have pulled their seminarians from Kenrick…oh wait, that was after Burke was long gone.

        2) Financial irregularities? He pulled in a record breaking amount of donations for the seminary collection. $30 million or so.

        3) St. Stan’s. You do know that Rigali started that, right? AFter he went down that road (and his VG threatened to excommunicate everyone), what was Burke to do?

        It seems clear that you are focused on externals: a priest wears clerical garb to a Catholic school. Next thing you know, Carlos Beltran will wear his jersey to Busch stadium! Seriously, that is ridiculous an accusation as someone who sees his priest doing yardwork, and tells him he shouldn’t be out of his clerics!

        You can deduce what you want about my reasons, but I can tell you that I was interested in St. Louis because Burke had an opinion about liturgy. There are more progressive bishops I would feel the same way about; perhaps you should stick to what people write and not try reading the tea leaves.

        Seriously, though, you seem a reasonable commentator on here most of the time: why the fire against a bishop who is one of the most personable bishops around? I mean, he was asked by a 2nd grader at my parish (right after he had to reiterate the St. Stan’s path…that he didn’t begin), “Why do you hate Polish people?” He just laughed with everyone else! Just stick to what Burke said in this video, not you ad hominem.

      8. Hello Bill,

        “…I just recently received an e-mail from a prominent PTB commentor that talked about visiting a parish where the recently ordained priest always wore his cassock and his biretta especially when visiting their catholic school.”

        God save us: Hide the women and children.

    2. Bill speaks of His Eminance the Cardinal : “thimble,” “bias,” “cafeteria Catholic”. Strange idea of thoughtful dialog there Bill.
      I can’t believe that devotion to progressive ideas of liturgy necessarily leads to the neglect of charity.

      1. Progressive ideas of liturgy – actually, no, just statements about liturgy as directed by Vatican II and Paul VI. You inserted concepts of progressive, conservative.

        thimble, bias, cafeteria – again, my opinions but based upon actual experience with Burke as archbishop. If you provide any evidence that Burke is an expert in liturgy; has anything more than an exposure to liturgy from his MDIV years ago – let me know?

        PTB has posted numerous statements and articles about and from Burke – anyone can note his bias and ideology – we just don’t usually name it that.

        neglect of charity – see JP, Charles, yourself, Allan, etc

        Funny – in an effort to be fair – we all have broken that commandment.

      2. Bill, others including many “experts” read V2 far differently than you do. You also tend to rest your interpretation of V2 not on the documents but on some kind of consensus reached by like-minded persons grounded on diaries, interviews, and notations made by individuals present at the council and by individuals not present at the council but who claim to represent the opinions of those who were. This interpretation is well known but cannot definitively be described as “Vatican II” since only the actual documents were vetted by the Council Fathers, approved by them in session, and recognized by the pope at the council. In other words, it is the documents that matter.

      3. Yes, some do intepret VII differently from me. I typically follow the Alberigo five volume history as the authority. Yet, over the last decade, this current pope along with some in Communio have offered a different narrative. Unfortutanely, like most histories, it depends upon the one who is interpreting.

        Sorry, I use the documents but don’t pick and choose from documents which so many do. It tends to skew what the council was trying to say – we do know that the council’s documents all too often were expressions of compromised concepts and ideas. So, you can find in any specific document paragraphs that seem to state almost contradictory ideas. Given that, you do need to drill down to what the actual writers, various groups, etc. intended in the specific language of the documents.

        What I object to specifically in liturgy is the *new* ROTR interpretation. Rarely find that it can trace its roots to specific bishops or groups beyond the usual suspects – Ottaviani, Lefevbre, Hennan, etc. What is disturbing is that this small group was overwhelmingly outvoted at VII – and so we have folks who rewrite history to fit their own pre-conceptions (or in the case of the current pope, his later 180 degree change).

        Eventually, years from now the situation will be studied and written about with enough distance and time to achieve some type of objectivity.

        Currently, my concerns around the ROTR:
        – small group has reacted to what they perceive happened after VII and Paul VI (john francis roberts has posted here on what appears to be *indirect attacks* on Paul VI’s legacy and directions). Some of these go well beyond what has usually been continuity and respect for a predecessors accomplishments. (speaking of how *continuity* has been twisted by ROTR)
        – Paul Inwood has repeatedly tried to identify and point out the ROTR memes – esp. labelling Bugnini, the 1970 mass, the usual that they went too far (based upon what), etc. These memes are just straw men.
        – as Paul says well, Consilium, Bugnini, etc. were working under the direction of Paul VI and trying to fulfill the VII directives. What is interesting is that many of Bugnini’s efforts, etc. were openly demonstrated to bishops, conferences, Synods. Thus, the original VII open diagolue continued and yes some of the early decisions were modified and changed based upon episcopal feedback. (yet, some of you cite this as violating the wishes of VII. How? VII set up directives and left implementation to the pope and who he appointed. In fact, the process is very different today – small group, isolated, sworn to secrecy, rejecting VII’s vote that episcopal conferences make these decisions, rewriting things from translation methods to rubrics.) Concern – a curial group (BTW – curia is not found in the VII documents; it is not found in the first millenium of the church; it is not found in the gospels, scripture, etc.) now sets direction based upon a set of rules that they have invented (talking about liturgy inventions).
        In fact, much of what the ROTR criticizes about VII and 1970/80’s methods have successfully been adopted and used by them. (e.g. commentor who sees Allan’s actions as just as egregious as what he accuses the 1970’s of)
        – it appears that both VII and Paul VI’s statements have been rewritten – examples cited at PTB
        …..Paul VI abrogated the 1962 missal (now this fact has been re-interpreted to fit another narrative)
        …..SC gave episcopal conferences authority to make liturgical decisions (now this fact has been re-interpreted to fit another narrative)
        …..Paul VI made decisions to *simplify* liturgical and official vestments, adornments, customs, etc. (now this fact has been re-interpreted to fit another narrative)

        Sorry, the interpretation of VII that I rely upon has been thoroughly vetted, written and published in the Alberigo five volume history, the works of Consilium, decisions by episcopal conferences, by the actual interviews of council fathers over the last 15 years. That is “definitive” as agreed upon throughout the church history, schools of theology, and Vatican II fathers (now changed by curia/Ratzinger/JPII – this rejects a council and rewrites history). Sorry, the actual documents only were vetted by the Council Fathers, voted on, and approved by Paul VI – that is true but then you yourself take those vetted documents and rewrite history based upon what – what you think the documents mean?
        (BTW – this reminds me of the ongoing USA debate on the constitution between *originalists* and *living document* lawyers, teachers, politicians, etc. Vatican II is a living document)

      4. Bill, your favored interpretation is not definitive: http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/34283?eng=y
        but you probably know that. You say that V2 is made up of “living documents” akin to the way some read the US constitution but you also maintain that V2’s interpretation is governed by “… what the actual writers, various groups, etc. intended in the specific language of the documents.” You can’t have it both ways Bill. You maintain that the ROTR school is tied to certain prelates at V2 who were consistently outvoted without observing that the prelates you mention actually voted for the conciliar documents including Lefebvre who voted for SC. ++Lefebvre’s vote for SC, along with most of the bishops present, are indicative of the fact that progressives have to look outside the documents of the council to find support for their liturgical goals which brings us back to the nebulous search for what the experts at the council “intended” instead of what the documents actually say.

      5. And your point is what?

        *Definitive* – that term means what? Not all of us live in a world that requires *definitive* laws…..it is a term that has been changing since JPII and Ratzinger. Too often, it is a term that seeks to shut off all discussion, transparency, openness. It conflicts with conscience and treats folks as less than mature catholics of faith.

        As many experts and theologians have discussed, the current papacy and curia have redefined *definitive* in ways that have little to do with the church’s tradition or history. Is this organic development or over centralization? The curia is an invention of the papacy – it is not part of the definitive nature of the church. Yet, it is the curia today that legislates and proclaims *definitive* laws.

        Yes, a few council fathers voted for SC, etc. but then disagreed with the Pauline directives and implementations that followed. So, what is your point? It is still a distinct minority.

        Having it both ways – how? Have laid out the majority vote at VII, the directives/implementation of Paul VI (which was consensus, open, transparent which means that there was some disagreement but overall consensus); that conferences of bishops asked for even more adaptations within the published order of mass (again, Paul VI’s mass allowed for many options; gave some limited permissions, etc. and given the positive feedback and experiences of the people in the pews, these same conferences asked that permissions be extended and expanded.)

        My point – you are using a tiny minority to set up a parallel liturgy. Since the time of the Jerusalem Council, decisions have been made for unity even with diversity but not decisions to set up parallel churches that practice their own liturgical rites.

      6. From Ruini:

        “…. also rejected the idea that Vatican Council II was centered upon the Church”

        “During the discussion leading up to the constitution ‘Dei Verbum,’ Ratzinger wondered aloud which came first in the order of faith: the historical-critical exegesis of the biblical texts, or the tradition of the believing community. He responded that tradition came first. And the council agreed with him. The alternative would have been to have transformed the Church into a parliamentary democracy dominated by theologians and exegetes.”

        Ruini has published his opinion and this is an *advocacy* piece. His two quotes above indicate that he picks and chooses to defend his ideological point of view (advocacy).

        First quote – doubt that many would agree with this statement.
        Second quote – at best, it is quoting a peritus notes (just like Congar). at worst, he has left out most of the quote, the context, etc. In reality, the council fathers did not choose one way over the other – rather Dei Verbum was a both/and approach and showed that the historical-critical method is a *method* – Ruini is mixing apples and oranges to make his advocacy point.

        He is merely preaching to the ROTR crowd. This is not a scholarly article. From my post below quoting Ladislas Orsy, SJ on a Dulles article:

        It is not a scholastic “disputation” in the style of Aquinas, in which arguments for and against an affirmation are posed, pondered and judged. It is not a “theological investigation,” in the manner of Karl Rahner, who left no nuance unexamined before reaching a cautious conclusion. It is not an inquiry according to the “transcendental precepts” of Bernard Lonergan—from research to understanding to judgment. It is not an aesthetic contemplation of the mystery of the church in the spirit of. Hans Urs von Balthasar. It is none of these. What is it then? It is advocacy. It is driven by the art and craft of rhetoric. It uses or omits information to support a “thesis,” which is that the development of the exercise of the papal office has reached a point where no significant changes are needed.

      1. Fritz, the FX Rocca article on CNS seems to be a fairly direct report of the interview with Card. Burke, which you can see on video over on Fr Z’s website.

        Or by “the author of the piece” do you mean Card. Burke?

      2. I’m not sure whom I mean; but describing the canon as “the prayers before Communion” seems a bit odd. I notice that the Cardinal doesn’t discuss this in the video.

    1. The 1962 Missal has much to offer the 1970 Missal. The 1970 Missal has one or two things to offer the 1962 Missal.

    2. Todd, I wouldn’t have thought you liked the pre-reformed Holy Week rites found in the 1955!

      Seriously, though, that’s like saying Bernini has nothing to offer modern man since he’s fashionably outdated.

      My atheist and agnostic friends who love the beauty of St. Peter’s in Rome would disagree.

  2. What scares me most about Burke is he was born in ’48 making him a fairly young cardinal. We could be stuck with him for quite a while. He could do a lot of damage in the next ten or so years.

    1. In the words of the Acclamations from our divine liturgy:
      God grant him many years, God grant him many years, God grant him many blessed years! In health and happiness, in health and happiness,
      God grant him many blessed years!

      Not that I agree with him on everything. But in the face of powerful forces who would with Mr. Flowerday erase everything that came before 1970, we need all the help we can get.

      1. The Mass has ample and healthy roots that extend well back before 1970, and even the Council of Trent. The 1962 Missal is unreformed, and has nothing to offer the Catholic liturgy today that we haven’t already mined form the Church’s heritage of texts and music.

      2. Todd,

        You seem to be ascribing a kind of omniscience to the Consilium. It doesn’t seem to me beyond the realm of possibility that some things were abandoned during the reform that should have been retained. Already in MRIII the Pentecost Vigil was retrieved from the dustbin. Though I think the burden of proof is on those who want to retrieve things from the 62 Missal, it is at least a discussion worth having.

      3. Omniscience to the Consilium? No. Pentecost Vigil was essentially in the Lectionary, 1975. But I don’t think it was original to 1570/1962. I think there’s a lot to recover from history. I just don’t think there’s anything particularly original to 1570.1962 that’s not already in the Missal.

        And yes, sure: let’s have the discussion. I will certainly be happy to decline insulting people in exchange for an occasional poke at the old rite.

      4. The 1962 Missal is unreformed, and has nothing to offer the Catholic liturgy today …

        Likewise, the 1970 Missal is unreformed. Cardinal Burke is simply talking about reforming it. You’re not against reform, are you?

      5. Actually, Dwayne, the 1970/1975 Missal was a preliminary stage, a temporary Missal. The first permanent Roman Rite Missal in English was finally completed and approved by the bishops in 1998.

        The degree of “unreformed” is quite different. The 1962 Missal was directed to be reformed by a Council of all the world’s bishops, together with the pope. The 1970 Missal, in contrast, was temporary stage to achieve a later, better, and ongoing work.

    2. I think this is the most shocking information I’ve read on this blog. I think of the traditionalists of the Curia as being left over old men, but Burke is only 6 years older than me! However, as near as I can make out, he spent his high school years in junior seminary before the reforms of Vatican II could have really made any changes. (Perhaps the most significant change being the elimination of junior seminary for 14 year olds!) While other American men his age faced the existential crisis of the Draft, he was sheltered at university and seminary. He missed the Women’s Liberation Movement residing in the Vatican. Looking over his biography, it makes sense that he seems to be living in a weird, idealized version of the 1950’s!

      1. Don’t worry Brigid, far younger men and women than Cardinal Burke
        subscribe to these views as well, and none of us missed the delightful things that you have just mentioned.

  3. It amazes me that priests who were present in the destruction of the Church over the last 50 years are now beginning to worry about “damage” to the Church’s liturgy.

    Church attendance since Vatican II has dropped precipitously. Few Catholics know what a catechism is, let alone are knowledgeable about their faith. Priests no longer preach and teach from the pulpit.

    Vocations can’t keep up with the growth of the Church, especially in dioceses with large number of Spanish speaking Catholics. Our elementary and secondary education system is a shadow of what it once was.

    The Catholic divorce rate is the same as that for protestants and Catholic supporters of contraception and abortion, many of them priests and sisters, are quite vocal about their views.

    That damage has been and is being done. I wouldn’t worry about a 65 year old Cardinal who wants to pray more at Mass if I were you.

    1. Ray: AND even with people coming into the Church through RCIA, less than 50% of them are still practicing the faith after one year. We are also missing the variety of devotional practices and so it is little wonder that the Mass takes the hit for everything because it has become in most cases the ONLY expression of the faith. It is the source and summit, but even great rivers are built by tributaries.

    2. Gee, Ray, does that mean if we just retrograde everything that all of these problems will go away? Who woulda thought.

    3. Ray, church attendance was already in decline in Europe well before the council. As for North America, sociologists tell us that Humanae Vitae chased a goodly number of Catholics away, and many progressives are getting the boot now. If you want to argue that the Church needs to swerve back to the center to preserve its numbers, I’m not sure I’ll poke at that one.

      Vocations can’t keep up with the pace in *some* of the Church in the post-WWII era. But given the scandals of sex and cover-up from that era, I’m not sure I want to sacrifice quality for quantity. I’m more concerned about recovering a sense of the vocation of baptism, not to mention an evangelical spirit before I want to hype 50’s-style vocations.

      And as for catechesis, I don’t know that it wasn’t as bad or worse before the Council, especially in the areas of Scripture, liturgy, and the lay apostolate.

      1. Richard

        What a straw man. Todd is not. He’s relaying descriptive historical information.

        There was a revolution of rising expectations in the years before HV that Church teaching was going to be changed in some important way. This revolution was shown in a number of ways, but as my mother and a few other women of her vintage (all non-contraceptors) have pointed out to me, it was mostly vividly shown in the length of the lines of women (for some reason, confession about contraception seemed to fall more heavily on the shoulders of women than men…) for confession with what were then known as “pastoral” confessors. After HV was issued, in the context of an era when the credibility of authority was deeply in question, a lot of people reduced or eliminated the regular practice of the Catholic faith.

      2. Hello Todd,

        With respect, it seems to me that you were being too clever by half, and I wanted (and still want) clarification. It was you, not Ray, who suggested that Humanae Vitae “chased a goodly number of Catholics away.”

        But let me lay my own cards on the table. I do fully support (as I must) Humanae Vitae (though I believe it says nothing that Casti Connubi did not say just as, if not more, clearly), but I *do* concede that there’s plenty of evidence that at least some Catholics were disaffected by HV. I agree with Karl that expectations for an overturning of Church teaching on this question were indeed recklessly and irresponsibly raised by too many clergy – many of whom also encouraged dissent and disregard for it afterward. If that’s likewise your position, I would be gratified to learn it.

        Let me add also that I don’t share the view of some traditionalists (though I believe they are a small minority) that erosion wouldn’t have taken place but for the revolutionary changes (to the mass, and elsewhere) that ensued in the wake of the Council. The real revolution was in Western society, or at least in much of its elites, and the Church did not, could not, stand in isolation from the society in which it existed and carried out its mission. And the Church was not all sweetness and light before 1962.

        Yet the blunt facts, outlined by Ray, of the collapse of access to the sacraments – and the apparent disintegration of belief of so many of those who still attend – since the introduction of the Pauline missal (and the reforms leading up to it, beginning in 1965) remain – indeed, the two almost perfectly coincide chronologically. If these developments are not all the fault of the reformers and their successors, the burden still lies on them to show how they *didn’t* contribute to them. The great renewal predicted by the Council and many progressives of the day simply has not happened – quite the reverse.

        Dumping most or all of the blame on HV or the sex scandals is not going to cut it. It’s too easy a copout.

      3. Richard, I think placing blame on one aspect of post-conciliar Catholicism for the decline in Sunday attendance (liturgy) and not another (Humanae Vitae) is an exercise in wishful thinking. I suspect that some Catholics *want* to believe that bad liturgy chased away good people. My stance on Humanae Vitae is irrelevant to the discussion, at any rate. If you are truly curious, I invite you to visit my web site and read for yourself. Your attempt to raise the question might signal you have nothing to say in rebuttal.

        The truth is that a lot of people left the Church for many different reasons. To attempt to narrow the analysis of the 60’s and 70’s to liturgy when so much else was on the table, doesn’t strike me as a position of intellectual rigor. Put simply, proximity is not equal to causation. In raising difficult news about HV, one cannot posit that I automatically disagree with it. (Well, one can, but that would be illogical.)

        Returning to the thread topic (sort of), it would be my view that the Church has not implemented Vatican II vigorously enough, particularly in the area of the call of the baptized to evangelize the world.

        I do recommend Ms Leightley’s essay in Worship. She offers more in a twenty-page article than I care to cram into a combox word limit.

        Ray does raise an interesting question about accommodation: How much does or should the Church steer away from unpopular matters? If 50% disagree? If 5? If the wealthiest donors? Only conservatives? These are serious questions many pastors wrestle with.

      4. Hello Todd,

        1. To be more candid: Given the views you have enunciated elsewhere – and your perspective is,obviously, generally on the progressive end of the theological spectrum – I am wont to suspect (if not necessarily assume) skepticism in some degree of the teaching on contraception, especially when it’s introduced by the speaker (you) as a causal factor in an objectively bad phenomenon (fall in mass attendance). It’s not an automatic, I grant.

        2. I think you may have misread what I said about the liturgical reforms. I readily granted that there were multiple causes for the general collapse in mass attendance – including HV, and the context in which it was promulgated. Much of the problem, as I said, was driven by upheavals in the larger secular culture – upheavals that were not anticipated by the Council Fathers.

        My point was not to insist that the changes in the liturgy caused all this. Rather, my point is that there is a blithe but unjustified dismissal on the part of liturgists that they contributed in any significant way at all to this collapse – indeed, that their effect was mostly positive, that things would have been even worse but for this overhaul of the liturgy. People arguing such a viewpoint have a heavy burden of proof to meet. And they rarely even bother.

        I’m not suggesting that there were legions of Evelyn Waughs out there, fleeing the Church because of the sudden loss of the Latinate glories of the old mass. But is it really so farfetched to imagine that such massive and rapid changes to what had been an almost changeless liturgical tradition left many Catholics unmoored and adrift?

        3. “How much does or should the Church steer away from unpopular matters?”

        It shouldn’t. But we all know too well that it’s been doing just that in more than one area.

      5. Hi Richard,

        Regarding number 1, I appreciate your honest response. However, I must point out that in today’s secular culture, it is a habit to discount the message from people one disagrees with, even if said message is delivered as a neutral observation, and not as an opinion.

        “It’s not an automatic, I grant.”

        Good to hear.

        “Much of the problem, as I said, was driven by upheavals in the larger secular culture – upheavals that were not anticipated by the Council Fathers.”

        Agreed. Which is why the traditional Church was wise to rely more on the office of bishop, and the person better able to discern and judge local matters, better often than Rome, anyway.

        “People arguing such a viewpoint have a heavy burden of proof to meet. And they rarely even bother.”

        Well, given the resistance to neutral messages, I might understand why some people don’t bother.

        That said, I don’t mind conceding, as I’ve done on my web site, that some of the conciliar reforms were handled in a very hamfisted way. But it is a frequent observation in the spiritual life that we do the right things for the wrong reasons. I would also add we can do the right things poorly. I suspect that many clergy failed to grasp the reasons behind the changes. And not every change was a good one. My own sense is that many of the more grievous errors were corrected in the 80’s–poor translations, better liturgical formation for the laity, and the like.

        I would suggest the main hurdle for the past generation has been the lack of an evangelical mindset for the average believer. The average Catholic, especially the average Catholic with a pre-conciliar mindset does not see herself or himself as Christ’s evangelical agent in the world. Even something seemingly as simple as inviting someone back to Church. In all the talk about engaging difficult subjects, I see more commentary about the Church being better for not having certain people. That is not a Catholic mindset,…

  4. The emperor has no clothes. The 1962 roman missal was revised and renewed under the highest authority in the church. The successor to the former rite came to be known as the Novus Ordo. But the people who didn’t like it agitated from then until now to turn its reforms back. They exaggerated the abuses of the NO while turning a blind eye to the abuses of the old rite. They hijacked the term “traditional” and joined it to Latin and Mass to create the TLM and insisted that it was what Jesus must have had in mind when he said, “do this in memory of me”. Now we have a Pope who is a Bavarian classicist who wishes the best of the old could somehow be inserted into the new to create a……..WHAT. If RM3 is a taste of what that would be a lot of people will be very unhappy. The Rite has been reformed, and all of us need to learn to live with that.

  5. The reform of the Roman Missal in the period following Vatican II was “too radical,” and “went beyond, and in some senses perhaps not completely coherently with, what the council fathers had set forth,” the cardinal says.

    The dear man has clearly forgotten what his brother bishops asked for, once they saw the pastoral benefits of the immediate postconciliar reforms. It really is time we debunked this myth that the reforms went beyond what the bishops wanted.

    Yes, the Council Fathers may not at the time of SC have envisaged the range and immensity of the reforms; but yes, as soon as they saw how good the initial reforms were for their people they asked for more, and more quickly. Indeed, one could say that they hustled the Consilium into doing their bidding, so anxious were they to implement change. These men were genuine pastors, unlike Cardinal Burke. People blame Bugnini for manufacturing the changes and wrecking the Church. All Bugnini and the Consilium did was respond to the demands of the world’s bishops — the same bishops who had been at Vatican II.

    1. Is that why the 1967 Synod of Bishops requested changes to the Missal demonstrated by the consilium? Is that why the hierarchies of England & Wales needed a little prodding to accept the former ICEL translation of the canon? Is that why the Agatha Christie indult was so quickly requested and granted (1971)? Is that why we saw the return of the former missal as early as 1984 with Quattuor Abhinc Annos – only 14 years after the 1970 missal? By 1988 the Holy See was encouraging diocesan bishops to be liberal in their permission for the EF. I’d ask Paul I. above to consider his words in a different way: “…but yes, as soon as they (the bishops) saw how good the initial reforms were for their people they asked for more, and more quickly …”(Paul Inwood above). But then we have the late Cardinal Heenan’s remarks to the contrary:

      “Like all the bishops I offer my sincere thanks to the Consilium. Its members have worked well and have done their best. I cannot help wondering, however, if the Consilium as at present constituted can meet the needs of our times…Many bishops in this Synod have spoken of the need of coming to the rescue of the faithful grown restless and disturbed on account of too frequent changes in the Mass. I must therefore ask what attitude the Consilium will take to these warnings from the pastors of the Church? I confess in all seriousness that I am uneasy lest the liturgists say: “These bishops know nothing about liturgy.” It would be tragic if after the bishops have gone home, no notice were to be taken of their opinions.” (Cardinal Heenan 1967). He went on to request regular Latin in the OF and the Agatha Christi indult for the EF.

    2. Hi Paul, are we to assume that your Bugnini conclusions were informed also by a reading of Prof. Dobszay’s examination?

    3. These men were genuine pastors, unlike Cardinal Burke.

      Now really, Paul, your responses on here often are great, and then you throw this sort of thing in. For what? It’s unlikely you know Burke’s pastoring more than anecdotally. I can tell you there were very positive things about his time in St. Louis, just as there are with any bishop. There was at least a consistent ethic, which is more than can be said for many episcopal regimes.

      Also, can things never be re-examined? Post-SC liturgy changes can’t be the last word, or else Trent would have been, and so on, ad absurdum.

  6. Sad to think that really praying with everyday modern Catholics is so little valued. Burke is a mess. This whole “Reform the Reform” movement is a mess.

    I pray that Saints Dom Helder Camara, Saint Oscar Romero, and other Saints of Vatican II will pray for us today, and intercede for us.

    JPII and B16 are huge Messes!

  7. The reform of the reform has happened and is happening and it is clearly a sign of the times. Those of us who celebrate the 1962 missal and still love the reformed Mass can see where the reformed Mass needs to be reformed and where the unreformed Mass needs reform; it is from there that we will eventually get a revised missal but only God knows when. It is my most humble opinion that my parish’s reform of the reform Masses found here: http://www.southernorderspage.blogspot.com/2012/07/saint-joseph-catholic-church-events.html
    could be a sight for sore eyes of what is coming down the liturgical pike. The Ordinary Form really only needs a little more Latin but primarily in the vernacular, prayers at the foot of the altar and/or rite of sprinkling as a prelude and a couple of tweaks here and there. I’ve also noticed that Msgr. Wadsworth talk in Salt Lake City made it to the “Tablet.”
    EF-phobia is a condition that needs prayer and therapy as well as reform of the reform-phobia. And thanks Bill for the compliment above, I love how you drag me into all your comments which pleases me that I cause you such alarm.

    1. I think it’s less a phobia and more a criticism. I found Georgia Masters Keightley’s recent essay in Worship to be very insightful in pointing out three gross omissions from the 1962 Rite.

      I think it’s less about a feel-good local initiative. What forms the faithful for the Great Commission and moves beyond passive awe? Or a pat on the back for a job well done. Another commentator suggested that Fr McDonald’s initiatives, though well-executed as such, really seem very much like 70’s liturgy.

      1. The experimentation certainly is, perhaps the novelty, but the execution is anything but….people seem to think that I absolutely hated the 70’s, no I am very much an adult of that period for better or worse…

      2. The distinction in execution is important. Obviously, bad ideas can be performed very well: Beethoven on synthesizers for example.

        As for the 70’s, I can’t claim that time period as my own. I was a teenager for most of it. By the time I reached the 80’s, my liturgical sensibilities were more aligned with implementation rather than experimentation. That said, certainly as a musician, I have “experimented,” applying Vivaldi’s Mandolin Concerto in C to hammer dulcimer–stuff like that. The old sprinkling rite tacked on to the beginning of Mass–that struck me as creepy. Well done, no doubt. But a kind of surface thing, like cosmetics that lacks real depth.

        I would be very interested in hearing commentary on Ms Keightley’s criticism of the 1962 Missal. If some Catholics insist on retaining it, what reaction, do you think, would there be to her comments regarding liturgy as formative of lay spirituality and action? My own sense is decidedly less a phobia and more a criticism of the 1962 Missal indulging a passive narcissism. We sure don’t need that these days of evangelization, new or otherwise.

      3. I haven’t read the commentary, but I do know a huge number of Catholics (in my family, now deceased) who were pre-Vatican II Catholics and far from narcissistic, but rather comprised the greatest generation. I’m also old enough to remember my own family of origin as Catholics that embraces the era prior to the Council and afterward. I think it absurd to denigrate any liturgy of the church no matter what rite or how recent in the way you denigrate the 1962 missal. If you don’t like it, fine, but really, it formed Catholics since the 1600’s many of whom were selfless saints and martyrs and this form of the Mass existed in basics certainly well before the 1600’s although not as well codified as at Trent.

      4. Fr. McDonald, it seems to be repeated like a “liturgical urban legend” that Pius V codified the Roman missal, the apparent implication being that in the wake of Trent various existing pre-existing elements of the Mass were sifted and winnowed and finally assembled into a unified final form for the Roman missal of 1570, whose use throughout most of the Church was mandated by Pius V.

        Whereas it is my understanding that the text of the Mass itself in the 1570 missal is identical to that in the first printed Roman missal, which was published in 1474, and which itself merely reproduced in printed form previously existing medieval manuscripts of the Roman Mass. Perhaps the alleged “codification” of Trent consisted in the insertion in 1570 of the “rules and norms” documents Rubricae generales, Ritus celebrandi, and De defectibus which still appear (though since amended) at the front of the EF Roman missal, but were missing from the 1474 Roman missal.

      5. Per “the greatest generation.” please, let’s not get into the myth of exceptionalism. Every generation has its strengths and weaknesses. The parents of the post-WWII era still had lynching, sexism, the start of the arms race, the slow death of chemical abuse (alcoholism) and such. Let’s prraise them for their sacrifices and accomplishments. But it was their children, largely, who marched for civil rights, joined the Peace Corps, and promoted peace and love–also pretty great values.

  8. “What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful,” the pope wrote

    Perfect for those who wish to stick to the 1973-2011 translation of the new missal. With those words, Pope Benedict himself, without realizing it, acknowledges the legitimacy of our wish. It cannot be entirely forbidden: he said it himself!


        A charter for all who detest the new translation.

    1. I believe there is a difference between the Missal of Pope Paul VI and the translation of that missal. The Mass has not been
      changed one bit. It is exactly the same Mass. It is the
      translation, which was inaccurate, which has been changed. So
      perhaps a translation is not in the same category as the
      original Mass.

      Translations always open the door to the spirit of the times,
      and that is always disastrous. Eventually this translation will
      need changing as well. That’s why I think it best to stick to the

  9. From Cardinal Burke’s video interview: “As Pope Benedict XVI has pointed out to us, why does accepting the Ordinary Form of the Mass mean that you have to reject the Mass from which it developed?”

    I would ask in similar vein, “why does accepting the Extraordinary Form of the Mass mean that you have to reject the Mass into which it developed?”

    Yet that is what a large number of traditionalists do. Or they barely tolerate the OF, or make silly comments to the effect that the EF is “red meat” whilst the OF is “baby pap”.

    Cardinal Burke wants to add things that have been stripped away from the Tridentine Mass — the prayers at the foot of the altar, for instance. But what about the things that have been added to it: regular communion in both species, for instance? Many, many traditionalists want to take these things away.

    “It has a beauty to it that is beyond discussion,” says Cardinal Burke of the Tridentine Mass, “at least to reasonable people.” The video accompanies this statement with shots of a red cardinal’s hat, a swathe of lace, and footage of stately, plump Card. Burke, celebrating an elaborate Mass in golden chasubles, stiff white bishop’s gloves and an enormous gold mitre.

    All, in my view, of questionable beauty.

    Just before 3:00, Cardinal Burke says, “Influenced, I believe, by the times in which the reform was made, a lot of the language having to do with asking God’s forgiveness and so forth was removed.”

    In the first part of the sentence we get a stupid black-and-white shot of a 1960s “hippie” event, showing guitars, a guy with an unkempt beard and people clapping and holding candles. This is obviously to show the “bad” place from which the OF came. And then we’re back in colour, showing the Cardinal in full pomp. How that conveys God’s forgiveness, I don’t know.

    I join Hereward Wake in wishing Cardinal Burke long life and good health. But I don’t think he adds anything to the debate on the liturgy.

    1. Of course, this may be the reformed liturgy of the future that I’m suggesting but I seen absolutely no reason why intinction at each and every EF Mass should not be allowed as well as lay lectors for either the EF’s Liturgy of the Word and done in an OF style or the OF’s lectionary incorporated into the EF’s calendar. There are all kinds of possibilities for the EF Mass while maintaining its ethos. And of course more vernacular–sounds like what SC had envisioned, no?

      1. Fr Allan, what you say sounds good to me, even though I think the OF is fine just as it is.

        But I can hear traditionalists howling in rage at your suggestions. The EF is (they say) “the Mass of all time”. Pope Benedict (they say) sinned gravely in changing the Good Friday prayer for the Jews. Keep talking they way you are, Father, and they will put you in the same group with Bugnini…

      2. Well as you can read here there are extremes with the OF and phobia about adjusting it which is obviously true with the ultra-traditionalists too as it concerns the EF. We’re all people with our phobias afterall, OF and EF! 🙂 People who know me, and Fritz hit the nail on the head, know that I really am quite the progressive and libertine when it comes to styles of Masses.

    1. Thank you Philip for the link to that site. Who is going to take any notice of the opinions of Burke on liturgy, or indeed on Christianity, after viewing it?

      1. We should be protesting to Rome about making duds like Burke Cardinals (at the risk of letting him take the chair of Peter in due course!). A Cardinal who has nothing better to do than fret about prayers at the foot of the altar and the Last Gospel is unworthy of his station.

      2. The ravings of a Cardinal who may be Pope and who will be electing a Pope are a matter more worthy of comment than the absurd fantasia of restoring the Last Gospel. Jeffrey, your comments are always so atomistic, how about perspective? What, in fact, do you stand for?

      3. Joe, if that’s how you feel, you seem to be matching Jeff blow for blow on absurdities.

        The absurd fantasia of the Last Gospel was actually one of the most beautiful things about the Mass when I researched it before becoming Catholic, and even now, it seems odd that you would talk about one of the most beautiful passages from Sacred Scripture with such blatant disdain.

      4. Jeffrey, your comments are always so atomistic, how about perspective?

        Sorry, Fr. Joe, I was chided some time ago for my prolixity. Allow me to give some context to my terse retort:

        A Cardinal who has nothing better to do than fret about prayers at the foot of the altar and the Last Gospel is unworthy of his station.

        A priest who has nothing better to do than comment on blogs is unworthy of his station.

        My point was that you are not commenting on this blog because you have nothing better to do. (At least, that is my assumption.) Likewise, I do not think Cardinal Burke made his remarks about liturgical reform because he had nothing better to do.

        What, in fact, do you stand for?

        The Gospel. And several other parts of the Mass. 😉

        What specifically are you asking me about? What do I stand for liturgically? Pastorally? Ecumenically?

      1. All Mr. Sipe is doing here is providing a ‘price list for the curious’. That would be the result of a fairly objective exercise in consulting catalogues. As far as I can see from consulting the price lists in several ‘ecclesiastical tailors and suppliers’ he is not wrong in his quotes and in several items the prices have gone up since. Whatever one might say about this collection of ecclesiastical ‘things’ can be I am sure that good quality objects and proper but simple vestments and accoutrements for worship could be bought with the aim of ‘noble simplicity’ in mind at much less grandiose rates.

      2. Yes, the aim of noble simplicity. SC 124 lays out the Roman Rite. Cardinal Burke’s finery looks nice for five-figure kitsch, but it is not in keeping with the Roman Rite.

    2. If people wish to spend their own money or donate it to the Church in order that beautiful vestments and ornaments can be bought and used in the Mass, what’s the problem? It’s not like anyone is forcing people to contribute to these things if they don’t want to.

      And what about the craftsmen and women who make these beautiful things? Shouldn’t they be adequately rewarded for their work and devotion?

    3. Then, Phillip, you will love these photos – catch the last two:


      What does any of this have to do with the community eucharist that sends us out on mission? It appears to be completely focused in on itself.

      What does this say about the example of Christ who poured himself out for others? Isn’t this the mission of the church and why we celebrate the eucharist? How does finery, clericalism, an order that is established to only serve the TLM, have anything to do with the gospel imperatives?

  10. When Card. Burke says, “You can’t take a living reality, the worship of God as God has desired that we worship him…” what is he saying about the origins/foundations of liturgical norms and practices?

    Is he insinuationg that rubrics are divinely inspired? Does God “desire” that a certain number of signs of the cross be made over the elements during a canon that is prayed silently? Or that Latin be the primary language of Catholic worship?

    It seems to me that he is making a vast assumption about God’s desires.

    1. I don’t think he is insinuating any of those things but he is open minded to the EF Mass as it is, celebrates the OF Mass as it is and appreciates it too.
      I believe though, the most stunning admission from a person of his rank in the curia is that there were mistakes made with the reform of the EF Mass that he calls abuses. He’s not speaking here of those silly things that went on in local parishes and religious houses but the actual reform going too far and then he highlights what some of those are by suggesting a return to older practices such as the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, the former offertory prayers, but he does indicate the option of facing the people as a laudable feature which technically could be offered even in the 1962 missal, the lectionary as we have it in the OF Mass and I suspect noble simplicity interpreted in a more nuanced way which might take care of multiplicity of crosses phobia, but I could be wrong.

      1. reform of the EF Mass — is your periphrasis for the Novus Ordo? one reason Burke is Cardinal is that he shares the Pope’s project of re-reforming the Novus Ordo by making it more like the 1962 liturgy. A fabulous level of nuttiness is being reached here. Those responsible for the liturgy of 1,200,000,000 billion Christians are making a mockery of the worship of the people of God.

    2. I am not sure whether Burke means to say that the form of the Roman Rite in 1962 was “the worship of God as God has desired [it]”, or that Christian liturgy is “the worship of God as God has desired [it]”. I would hope he means the latter.

      1. Whatever he means, he has a frozen idea of ritual that excludes anything resembling creativity or inculturation. The catholic eucharistic crisis has nothing to do with people tampering with essential elements, and everything to do wiht people unable or afraid or forbidden to use any creativity in their worship.

      2. Joe, here again, my experience with what he taught at K-G in St. Louis (and discussed with young priests) contradicts your experience. He encouraged those who knew nothing about the EF to learn a little as a pastoral favor to possible EF fans in parishes, and to those who were openly disdainful of the OF, he corrected and reminded them of the good things about the new form.

      3. “Whatever he means, he has a frozen idea of ritual that excludes anything resembling creativity or inculturation.”

        Of course, some of us think this is a virtue, not a defect.

  11. Again, in performative contradiction, he has no problem using sartorial creativity as he flounces expensively about in his gorgeous dress.

    1. It’s lamentable that you couldn’t resist “going there,” Father.
      But I’m sure that you wouldn’t have a moment’s hesitation saying the above to the cardinal archbishop to his face.

      1. Whenever I’ve met cardinals, I’ve made a point of cramming as much critical feedback into the minutes as possible.
        The sycophancy that poisons their lives has to be broken through.

    2. I am not sure it can be said that he is using sartorial creativity. He is wearing the vestments that the liturgical books prescribe for someone of his rank to wear. I would call that an act of humility to the authority of the Church.

      1. Vatican documents discouraged the cappa magna — in 1969 we have “The cappa magna, always without ermine, is no longer obligatory; it can be used only outside of Rome, in circumstances of very special solemnity. ” I believe there are also prescribed limits on its length. Does Burke respect them?

      2. Yes, JP – check above comment providing quote from Paul VI and his ruling that cappa magna, etc. should only be used in extraordinary circumstances (if at all).

        Burke has never kept that Paul VI ruling. It goes back to earlier comments that he makes the rules but doesn’t keep them unless he agrees with them.

      3. Bill, I have already read the comment above; that’s what I was replying to.

        Fr. Joe said (after quoting the 1969 document) “I believe there are also prescribed limits on its length.”

        So I found (what I think is) the most recent ruling on its length, 7 meters. Has that changed? Is Burke’s cappa longer than 7 meters? (And, as is often asked at this point, does God care?)

        I do not know where, when, and on what occasions Cardinal Burke has worn the cappa magna. Now that I look more closely at the source I used for the 1952 quote, I see that there is evidence that Burke has worn a cappa that exceeds 7 meters.

        Out of curiosity, here is the Latin regulation on the cappa from the 1969 instruction Ut sive sollicite:

        “12. Magna cappa sine pelle mustelina, scilicet sine hermellino, non amplius praescribitur, eademque tantum extra Urbem, in sollemnissimis quidem festivitatibus, adhiberi poterit.”

        How should the section in bold be translated? Does it mean that the cappa may only be worn outside of Rome, and then only on very solemn occasions; or does it mean that, outside of Rome, it may only be worn on very solemn occasions (thus giving wider latitude to its use in Rome)?

      4. I’ll let you know if I spot any prelates sporting the cappa magna in Rome the next few days.

        I shall remember to dine at Da Roberto’s in the Borgo Pio in the next few days. Perhaps Herr Rindfleisch will be around? I’ll be donning my white fedora.

        Ciao! I’ll be back in a week or so.

      5. This page gives a good translation of the quote that Jeffrey provided — a more literal rendering might be:

        “The cappa magna, always without the fur of a weasel (i.e. ermine) is no longer mandatory; it is only to be used outside Rome, for the highest solemnities or festivities.”

        The page points out that Cardinal Burke, among others, has continued to wear the cappa with ermine trimming, and it has a picture of His Eminence wearing what it calls an “illicit cappa magna”, trimmed with ermine and longer than 7 metres.

        More to the point, it says:

        My criticism is not necessarily of the cappa magna itself, but rather the spirit in which it is worn, and the abuses of its use that we have recently seen, such as having a train that is excessive and illicit in length and lined in fur.

        A cappa magna symbolizes the glory of the office of the wearer: that is, what they are in the hierarchical order of the Church. Sacred vestments, on the other hand, glorify the Person of Christ represented in the priest, bishop, or prelate during our liturgical rites, and most especially at Holy Mass. … It is the glory of Christ that we ought to strive to elevate, not the glory of a man or the glory of a bureaucratic office.

        And that seems exactly right to me.

    3. I would suggest that the “noble simplicity” that SC was most concerned about is the Pontifical High Mass and its very, very complex nature along with all the paraphernalia. The normal low Mass and Sung Mass in normal parishes were and are for the most part nobly simple in the EF–it is the Solemn High with deacon and subdeacon and other additions that gets very complicated but even in pre-Vatican II times in most parishes that Mass was never celebrated. But I suspect the bishops at Vatican II were thinking of the Mass they were made to celebrate and it was that Mass, the Pontifical Mass they envisioned developing some noble simplicity.

      1. SC was certainly not most concerned about Pontifical High Mass. The noble simplicity was an ideal for the language of our common worship.

      2. Moreover, the prayers addressed to God by the priest who presides over the assembly in the person of Christ are said in the name of the entire holy people and of all present. And the visible signs used by the liturgy to signify invisible divine things have been chosen by Christ or the Church. Thus not only when things are read “which were written for our instruction” (Rom. 15:4), but also when the Church prays or sings or acts, the faith of those taking part is nourished and their minds are raised to God, so that they may offer Him their rational service and more abundantly receive His grace.

        Wherefore, in the revision of the liturgy, the following general norms should be observed:

        34. The rites should be distinguished by a noble simplicity; they should be short, clear, and unencumbered by useless repetitions; they should be within the people’s powers of comprehension, and normally should not require much explanation.

        35. That the intimate connection between words and rites may be apparent in the liturgy:

        1) In sacred celebrations there is to be more reading from holy scripture, and it is to be more varied and suitable.

        2) Because the sermon is part of the liturgical service, the best place for it is to be indicated even in the rubrics, as far as the nature of the rite will allow; the ministry of preaching is to be fulfilled with exactitude and fidelity. The sermon, moreover, should draw its content mainly from scriptural and liturgical sources, and its character should be that of a proclamation of God’s wonderful works in the history of salvation, the mystery of Christ, ever made present and active within us, especially in the celebration of the liturgy.

        3) Instruction which is more explicitly liturgical should also be given in a variety of ways; if necessary, short directives to be spoken by the priest or proper minister should be provided within the rites themselves. But they should occur only at the more suitable moments, and be in…

      3. Joe – another example of Allan’s lack of knowledge about how the VII documents came to be; the arguments for and against various paragraphs, statements, etc.

        Thus, his bias and rewriting history leads to this statement – “would suggest that the “noble simplicity” that SC was most concerned about is the Pontifical High Mass and its very, very complex nature along with all the paraphernalia.”

        Read the just translated into english journal of Congar’s. He repeatedly makes personal statements about how he hated to attend pontifical masses, etc. because he found them to be so far from the daily community celebrations that the church was founded and continued to do in all of the thousands of catholic parishes, etc. He clearly based his contributions theologically, liturgically upon the local parish community as his foundation – not a Pontifical Mass. There are many quotes from Congar when Paul VI would actually come down onto the floor of St. Peter’s – Congar was thrilled when Paul VI appeared in *simple* dress without the prior papal vestments and adornments.

        Really, more of his alternative universe. Read his blog – it consists of taking snippets from folks such as Fr. Z, Fox News, EWTN, etc. and adding his own comments.

        Can you imagine what a university theology prof would do if his blog stuff was handed in as his assignment for class?

      4. Bill,

        Congar was not the Council, he was not the Council fathers: as the reports of the Council make clear, many of the documents were fudged precisely so as to enable a consensus to be gathered around them: Congar’s interpretation is no more than that: an interpretation among many others.

      5. Didn’t say Congar was the council. Interesting statement – “as the reports of the Council make clear, many of the documents were fudged precisely so as to enable a consensus to be gathered around them:”

        *fudged* – no, they were not *fudged* – they were consensus and Congar among some shed light on how and why the consensus happened. Yes, Congar provides more than an interpretation – he provides actual quotes from participants both periti and bishops plus curial officials.

        You state: “as the reports of the Council make clear” – what reports? I have both here and elsewhere quoted and posted links to folks such as Congar, Rahner, Schilleebeckx, Komonochak, the editors/writers of the Alberigo history as folks who gave reports based upon actual minutes, notes, council schema, etc. What reports are you quoting from? It is the difference between primary sources in any historical endeavor and folks who years later quote from other interpreters, interpretations, etc. which, at best, are secondary but more often are tertiary sources e.g. Fr. Z, EWTN, curial officials today, etc.

      6. Thomas, Bill has remarked that Dulles changed his tune (i.e. entered dotage) as he got older, especially after becoming a Cardinal. That effectively disqualifies his 2003 article in America.

      7. Jeffrey,

        Yes, I recall that Bill cast aspertions on the state of the late cardinal’s faculties last time this subject came up.

        But the point remains, Dulles was not some latter-day revisionist and I find his account of this aspect of the Council rather more persuasive than that of the authors that Bill cites: men who were seeking to use the Council as Hengest’s Hide for their own enthusiasms.

      8. JP & Thomas – allow me to ignore your sarcasm and post what I did say (much beyond just *dotage* & disparagement).

        American Magazine published a series of articles around the theme of *The Papacy for an Ecumenical Age* – Ladislas Orsy,SJ posted a response to Dulles article; also published by America magazine.


        Money quotes:
        – “His approach is clear but puzzling. The information he provides is partial. He reports the activities of the center faithfully, but he does not speak of the weaknesses in the provinces. Then, on the basis of incomplete data, he reaches the conclusion that no significant change is needed. As for the ecumenical outcome, here is his position: “It will be for members of the other churches to judge whether a strong and energetic papacy is ecumenically acceptable.” In other words, the contemporary way of exercising the papacy is not open to a new situation.

        A puzzling response, indeed, to the pope’s demand. Surely, John Paul II meant what he wrote: he wants to preserve the substance of his office intact but does not want to cling to unnecessary historical accretions that can impede the union of the churches. To achieve that goal, he asks for fresh ideas and creative insights. Among theologians, an honest “disputation” is in progress. Learned, wise and responsible scholars from the world over are joining it.”
        – It is not a scholastic “disputation” in the style of Aquinas, in which arguments for and against an affirmation are posed, pondered and judged. It is not a “theological investigation,” in the manner of Karl Rahner, who left no nuance unexamined before reaching a cautious conclusion. It is not an inquiry according to the “transcendental precepts” of Bernard Lonergan—from research to understanding to judgment. It is not an aesthetic contemplation of the mystery of the church in the spirit of. Hans Urs von Balthasar. It is none of these. What is it then? It is advocacy. It is driven by the art and craft of rhetoric. It uses or omits information to support a “thesis,” which is that the development of the exercise of the papal office has reached a point where no significant changes are needed. There is an irony in what Father Dulles is doing: he wants to support the pope but he does not enter into the dynamics of John Paul’s request.”
        – “Should our Catholic community accept Father Dulles’s position in practice, the church would freeze in its current state. Of course, it cannot happen. The achievements of the pontificate of John Paul II were possible precisely because he inherited a living church, not one frozen in time.”

        At least try to engage the actual topic that JPII raised; that Dulles may or may not have adequately responded to; and the arguments of experts (not Hengest’s Hide) who are practicing the age old custom of *disputation*. (BTW – Thomas, you are back to straw men and name calling. So sad.)

      9. Bill

        It is hardly “name calling” to point out that the authors that you have cited approached the Council with their own pre-existing ideas of the direction that the Church should take; I am not setting up a straw man by pointing out that their reportage if the Council is nuanced by those ideas – There are points on which they and other men of the Council (Von Balthasar and Benedict XVI, for example) diverge.

        If Congar’s or Shillebeeckx’s accounts of the Council are reliable, why have so many of the ideas that they put forward in the wake of the Council failed to gain traction with the episcopacy (i.e. the Council Fathers themselves)?

      10. Just a pedantic note: von Balthasar was quite notably not at the Council, since he was so suspect theologically that no bishop would have asked him to be there as a peritus.

      11. To say that their interpretation of the Council hasn’t gained tractioned with the episcopacy (ie th Council fathers) is to revise the history a fair bit.

        What did or didn’t gain traction is mostly about how the Roman Curia maintained centralizd control, and how Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have appointed bishops to their liking.

        In the years right after the Council, the bishops around the world, for the most part, had a more progressive understanding of the Council than what Benedict, the curia, and some younger Catholics are now pushing. They felt the “spirit of the Council” and allowed laity to run with it.

        I recall that when Schillebeeckx and others were called to Rome to be investigated and questioned, local Bishops accompanied them to support them. More than once, local bishops had to push back against the centralizing curia’s power plays.


      12. Thank you for the correction, Fr Ruff.

        However, I will take issue with you: while many bishops did have a more progressive understanding of the Council than has been expressed by the current or previous Pontiff, there were very few who demonstrated a view of the Council that went as far as that expressed by Schillebeeckx or Congar.

      13. “In the years right after the Council, the bishops around the world, for the most part, had a more progressive understanding of the Council than what Benedict, the curia, and some younger Catholics are now pushing.”

        I wonder if you see this progressive understanding in the 1967 Synod of Bishops? The 1980 special synod dealing with the Dutch Church did have a few things to say about the laity but was probrobly not viewed as a progressive synod. By 1980 Pope John Paull II had appointed very few bishops.

  12. What, then, Fr. McDonald and Jeffrey, do you understand to be Card. Burke’s meaning when he says, “…the worship of God as God has desired that we worship him…”? We already know he is open to the EF and that he celebrates the OF. This is not the question I posed.

    It seems to me that he is speaking of particular elements of the mass that he thinks should be restored, suggesting that the removal of these particular elements was “damaging.”

    1. Well of course he’s not infallible. I see him giving his measured opinion which others like him seem to have.
      My own opinion is that some of the reforms has led to a
      more casual approach to our formal liturgy which by its nature is formal not casual, not that we can’t have casual prayers in other contexts. So perhaps that is what he is speaking of the formal worship of God at Mass in a majestic sort of ethos as being what God desires and this certainly going back to the Jewish temple and also the synagogue. The Jewish model which is majestic, sober and formal is the paradigm?

    2. I don’t know whether he was speaking generally or specifically. I would hope he meant it generally, i.e., Christian liturgical worship of God. Altering Christian liturgical worship in any way (for good or ill) has an impact on the people.

  13. What are the essentials of the Mass? Without those, is it a Mass? If the essentials are there, isn’t anything else (however justified by past practice or current understanding) just a matter of personal taste?

      1. Perhaps we have to ask how we shape the Mass to ensure we encounter the God we want to encounter.

      2. Brigid, “how we shape the Mass to ensure the encounter” is ambiguous. The canon lawyer would take it to refer to conditions of validity that ensure the Real Presence. But I think you mean how to shape the celebration humanly and artistically to open ourselves to the encounter (not “ensure” it).

      3. “We encounter the God we want to encounter” is ambiguous too. I assume you meant it in the sense of “We encounter God, who (whom?) we truly do want to encounter”, not the sense of encountering that God which we’d prefer to encounter rather than someone else’s imposed perception of God.

    1. Tautologically, if the essentials of Mass are missing, no, it’s not a Mass. There are abstract and concrete essentials. “The encounter with God” is essential. So is the Eucharist. So is a priest. So is prayer.

      1. You do not mention the “words of consecration”, wisely, if they were not part of the Mass as celebrated by the Pauline communities.

        Some want to reduce the essentials of the Mass to what Canon Law prescribes as essential for validity. But of course that could leave us with very dead, skeletal liturgies. The routinization of the Mass stems from this mentality and creates a big problem. (Many routine masses are celebrated, even today, for the purpose of pocketing
        mass stipends.)

      2. By saying the Eucharist is essential, I imply that what is necessary for the Eucharist to be genuine is essential too. If that’s an epiclesis, an institution narrative, a berakah, etc., so be it.

        As for reducing Mass and routinizing Mass (one thing I do not stand for), I think SC 11 explains the situation well enough.

  14. “how we shape the Mass to ensure the encounter” is ambiguous.

    Those who favor the guitar Mass do not expect to encounter a strict Master, and those who favor the most formal TLM aren’t seeking a friend.

  15. Will no one condemn as an abuse of the sacred liturgy to celebrate it around the compositions of the great masters? For worshippers to sit, stand, or kneel while the Kylie, Gloria, and Sanctus go on and on and on. Beautiful music….yes indeed! Uplifting….no doubt! But the celebrant just continued murmuring on shifting from one side of the altar to the other. This is one of the reasons there was a reform built around the call for noble simplicity. The mass is not a concert, nor a fashion show. It is the whole church’s perfect sacrifice of praise. If they want to restore private prayers for the priest, let them pray in the sacristy or a chapel.

    1. And your prescription for that part of the “whole Church” whose full and active participation in the action of the Mass is best expressed in assisting at a Mass where the music is well sung by a decent choir is what, exactly?

      1. I like choirs, but there’s nothing more beautiful and inspiring than the entire assembly praising God in song!

      2. The question remains unanswered.

        Why not both, Jack? Some of each, reflecting the diversity of the Church?

        I can tell you that (before I was Catholic) it never crossed my mind that polyphonic compositions were the centerpiece of the liturgy. It always seemed, rather, that they were inspired by the liturgy. We can argue the pastoral elements here, but this is all very subjective, as were your comments.

  16. in its newer version are the opening prayers at the foot of the altar, which he says provide an “immediate tie-in” to the liturgy’s Jewish heritage: the psalms once sung by the high priest in the temple in Jerusalem.

    I am constantly amazed at the historical assumptions proffered by the retrograde “magisterium.” They obviously have not attended, nor subsequently read the proceedings of, any reputable liturgical or patristic conference this century. Asserting that the prayers at the foot of the altar are descendants of temple worship is stretching the facts to say the least. What temple worship was, what synagogue worship was, and how Christians adapted it, is at best, far from clear. If it was related at all. We’re back to projecting medieval theology and liturgical practice onto scant biblical evidence assumed to give clear evidence of “Jewish” practice.

    The not so funny thing is, the penitential rite was created by the concillium to keep elements of the prayers at the foot of the altar that a minority wanted to retain to keep their personal piety in tact. In fact, the Roman Rite never had such introductory pious-penitential elements.

    I’m sure the confietor and Kyrie suffice as is. If I need more I’ll go to confession. Nor am I about to pretend I’m a pre or post exilic Israelite. Burke wears enough tat – why doesn’t he wear a Ephod if he’s so concerned.

  17. @Henry Edwards #36 — It’s not that Pius V codified the Roman Mass for the first time — it’s that the Roman version of the Mass was to be the form for all, unless it could be demonstrated that local usages went back at least 200 years. I have no doubt that the Roman mass went back for centuries before Trent. What Trent called for, and what Pius V began to implement, was a standardization of liturgical texts, under the direction of Roman authorities. Local usages were associated with the abuses that Luther and Huss and others objected to.
    So yes, the text of the Missal of Pius V is probably much older — at least in parts — than 1563 (the ending of the Council). The Roman Canon, last I heard, was dated around the 4th century. But it was not the only Canon being used. Even the importation of Roman liturgical books by Charlemagne didn’t convert his kingdom to the “Roman” rite, as celebrated at Rome — the books were copied, edited, adjusted for local usages, etc.
    Bp Burke’s remark to the effect that the Roman, Latin mass is the way God desires us to worship him — that right there betrays a regrettable ignorance of liturgical history. Unless, of course, one believes that the Holy Spirit was with all the liturgical developments through the Tridentine reforms, and stopped there.
    That would be analogous to the fundamentalist Protestant belief that God’s providence was in the biblical ms traditions until the King James Version, but in nothing since.
    Do I believe that the Spirit is at work in the “Reform of the reform” movement? Yes; but I’m not sure how — too soon for any of us to say. Perhaps it will eventually be seen as a last gasp attempt of those resisting the Spirit’s work at Vatican II. But I am reasonably certain that Bp Burke’s view of liturgical history does not bear many marks of the Spirit’s wisdom, knowledge, and counsel.

    1. The standardization of the Roman Mass/Missal after Trent has much more to do with the invention of ‘movable type’ and the possibilities of printing than anything else. The first incunabula Missal was in 1473, well before the Reformation. Prior to ‘printing’ there was no way one could standardize the texts in all the copies and ‘styles’ of Missals. Once printing became common, then this sort of standardization could take place. And only the religious orders and the wealthy Dioceses could afford to print books for themselves, that is, the ‘200 year rule’.

      The present day ‘reform of the reform movement’ is a throwback to that first effort of ‘standardization’. The Church has not yet even really begun to ‘digest’ the rapid and profound changes in scholarship and communication — telegraph, telephone, TV, radio, photocopying, etc, etc since the middle of the 19th century and rapidly developing in the 20th and now the 21st centuries. [Marshall McLuhan’s theories are full of insights into these rapid developments and it would be worthwhile studying them].

      The Rite post-Vatican II is/was a serious effort to take advantage of the scholarship as well as the many ‘changes in communication’ possibilities. [This also would include electric lights and microphones!]

      And I am convinced that this process must continue, if our liturgy is not to be ‘fossilized’ again into some sort of ‘museum piece’. It is the time of the New Testament scribe (Matthew 14:51-52) who presents treasures both old and new in explaining and advancing toward the Kingdom of God — where the Bride/Church meets the Groom/Jesus for the Wedding Feast where we are invited by the Holy Trinity.

  18. Having now read all 77 comments I would appreciate it very much if one or more of you actually addressed yourselves to the specific proposals that Cardinal Burke made regarding additions to and/or deletions from RMIII. As far as I can recall at this point, no one has done so. Are they good or bad, helpful or not, based on liturgical principles or not, etc? As a priest of the Archdiocese of St Louis I am not particularly fond of or appreciative of what Cardinal Burke brings to his comments not only on the liturgy but on other issues facing the Church in the U.S. BUT he made specific suggestions. Even if you don’t think he deserves attention, his suggestions do as part of an on-going discussion. Address the issues and not the man. Thank you.

    1. I would like to see the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, the offertory prayers, and the last Gospel returned to the OF. I would also like to see the ember & rogation day observance in the US. Having said this, please realize that I do not attend the EF regularly because it is not yet offerred in my area but also because I am generally well served by the OF. I simply believe the prayers/readings mentioned by His Eminance would enrich the OF by bringing more wealth from the psalms and John’s Gospel into the OF while also permitting us to once again benefit from the rich prayers of the EF offertory.

      1. I love the first chapter of the Gospel of John. I would lament the return of its reduction to liturgical boilerplate in the form of the Last Gospel (well, except on the Mass of Christmas Day, when the Last Gospel is from Matthew).

        A curious question: What did Abp Burke do to promote Ember and Rogation days when he was active as a bishop in the US?

      2. Karl, I’m not aware that anything was done, but then my experience was that he was actually very hands-off with the liturgy office, or at least was moving very incrementally to change things.

    2. The silent canon in the OF is a no-go. Not permitted now if you’re a do-the-red-say-the-black type (especially the preconciliar practice of singing the Sanctus while the celebrant prays the first part of the canon, and the Benedictus while he prayers the second half). The development of the silent canon was resisted for a few centuries, and became encrusted with a lot of post-hoc rationalisations.

      1. But there’s nothing to stop it being re-permitted; all it would require is a small change in the rubrics to insert the option.

        I do sometimes find the OF too verbose and loud. Often, it seems like someone is always saying something, and it can be quite easy to either go into autopilot or tune out (or both!). For me, on the occasions when I get to attend the EF, it’s nice to feel like I have that silent space with God, and also to be able to share that space with others! Over the last couple of years in our parish, we’ve had a certain amount of success with carving out some silent space in the Sunday evening Mass for people to reflect and meditate (after the readings, after the homily, after Holy Communion). It’s something I think is important to cultivate, especially in a consumer culture that bombards us with all sorts of stimuli, almost all the time.

        I feel that it would be beneficial to at least have the option of a silent Roman Canon in the OF. (I’m not sure it could happen with the other EPs, though I’ve not really thought about it.) Don’t get me wrong, I’m not pretending that the autopilot/tune out problems would be magically solved with a silent canon – I’ve heard enough stories from people to know the EF before Vatican Council II had its problems! – but silence does come with potential benefits as well as potential pitfalls.

    3. Fr. Ron – good questions.

      Did not respond because, at the heart of the matter, Burke’s suggestions replay exactly what the Vatican II council did, discussed, argued, studies with experts, voted, and agreed upon.

      Why re-open this up without a council – but leave it up to who – a pope, curia, dicastery? That alone violates what VII accomplished and rewrites history.

      Most of what Burke mentions are *accretions* that were purposely studied, examined, and removed from the Paul VI missal.

      Seriously doubt that, at the current time, an objective analysis could be done; conferences of bishops or a Synod called to involve all the world’s bishops with their consultants to weigh in on this. Beyond that, what about the sensus fidelium – Burke appears to justify his actions by *protecting the spirituality* of some small part of the church; yet, then he goes on to encourage this *mythical* mutual enrichment ROTR concept. This makes the *supposed* Bugnini inventions look good – he at least presented to episcopal groups openly; made changes based upon feedback; etc. You have experienced Burke – do you really think he is advocating for the same process and end results?

      1. Most of what Burke mentions are *accretions* that were purposely studied, examined, and removed from the Paul VI missal.

        One person’s “accretion” is another’s organic development.

        I don’t pretend to be an expert on the 20th century liturgical movement, but from my reading, the agitation just before the Council from some liturgists to get rid of “accretions” skates very close to archeologism. Just because something is a “late” addition doesn’t mean it should be got rid of. Post-consecration elevations and genuflections are, to the best of my knowledge, “late”, yet these have been retained in the OF. Why keep some “accretions” and not others?

        The Consilium reformed the order of Mass. They removed some “late” accretions, and kept others. But the Consilium was not the Council, and it’s not a “violation” of the Council to wonder out loud whether the order of Mass we currently have is the only possible one congruent with SC, or whether some things that were removed could be put back in. (Given that the Vatican II is still within living memory, though, perhaps it is still too early to wonder out loud?)

      2. Matthew – your point is well made. May I add and expand:
        – difference is that the accretions removed by Consilium were accepted by conferences of bishops and Paul VI and were based upon VII’s ressourecement and expert research and study (e.g. Jungmann’s Mass of the Roman Rite). You cite a couple of examples and would suggest that Concilium’s notes carefully record why they chose the order of mass – in some cases, such as the opening rites, they inserted a type of penitential rite (altho it is not meant to replace confession; nor to focus on individual sins, rather to proclaim the mercy of God as the community begins its eucharist (this focus, unfortunately has been lost since 1970. This decision is explained by Consilium – it shows why the foot of the altar prayer was dropped and a *new* rite inserted but a *new rite* based upon earlier communal practices (not invented).

        Agree that one person’s accretion is another’s organic development. This point is why I strongly disagree with the mutual enrichment argument and the 1970’s novelty/gimmick approach that Allan highlights in Macon. Again, Consilium, Bugnini operated under guidelines and Paul VI’s agreement/acceptance. There was much consensus and compromise that went into the 1970 mass. For me, one difference is that Consilium operated under one agreed upon ecclesiology and the ROTR/mutual enrichment appears to ignore ecclesiology or tries to shoehorn mutual enrichment into some amorphous ecclesiology. Also, keep in mind what Paul Inwood repeatedly adds – Consilium and Paul VI were already being asked by episcopal conferences for even more changes, enculturation, vernacular, etc. So, to say that Concilium went too far is to ignore historical facts. We also need to be more nuanced here – distinctions between organic development which is enculturation for good reasons and efforts such as ROTR which appears to be seeking a “museum piece”.

      3. This decision is explained by Consilium – it shows why the foot of the altar prayer was dropped and a *new* rite inserted but a *new rite* based upon earlier communal practices (not invented)

        Not totally invented, but there’s a certain amount of invention and novelty, no? Kinda like how people are told that EP2 is based on the Canon of Hippolytus, when in reality any resemblance EP2 has to it is only a passing one. Indeed, if you substitute EP2’s preface – an allowable option in the rubrics – there’s very little left of Hippolytus’ canon!

        To me, at least, the words “based on” seem designed to cover (and excuse) a multitude of questionable historiographic decisions, whether that’s in liturgy or (e.g.) film. In any case, if you’re going to remove the prayers at the foot of the altar because they are a “late” accretion, how then is it consistent with that line of though to substitute, in effect, an original composition in its place that is designed to fulfil the exact same function and is open to the exact same criticisms?

        Consilium and Paul VI were already being asked by episcopal conferences for even more changes, enculturation, vernacular, etc. So, to say that Concilium went too far is to ignore historical facts.

        Not at all. Just because episcopal conferences were asking for various things that the Consilium then implemented doesn’t automatically make those things right, desirable or beneficial.

      4. “(T)he agitation just before the Council from some liturgists to get rid of “accretions” skates very close to archeologism.”

        I would disagree. Accretions can and often do obscure the essentials. Lichens grow on gravestones. To mycophobes, they might be fascinating and beautiful, but to others, the “defacing,” even the organic developments on memorials may be inappropriate. Lichens are better on rocks or trees, one might say.

        SC laid down some principles for liturgical reform, and it intended that the work of reform would not conclude when the final bell of Vatican II rang, a point often lost on those looking for absolute authority (or lack thereof) in the documents.

        John 1:1-14 is an artistic beginning to the fourth Gospel. But it obscures the Liturgy of the Word, drawing undue attention to itself from those who love it, and becoming sapped of meaning for those who zone out. If you’re going to put a last gospel in place, at least look to the post-resurrection narratives, Matthew 28:16-20.

        John 1:1-14 is a brilliant piece of narrative, but there’s no way it belongs at a moment in the Mass when believers should be leaving the mountaintop and moving into the world to evangelize. By saying its accretion is thoughtless does not disrespect the Second Person or his evangelist.

        Liturgical reform focuses the post-conciliar Church on applying non-rubrical means of highlighting the Scriptures, the Eucharistic Prayer, the Communion Rite, etc. so as to bring about a progressive and artful solemnity based on the vital moments of the Mass. We don’t, for example, recite a psalm verse, then petition God’s mercy in chant, then listen to the choir give glory to God. We apply human vocal arts to each of these to communicate the proclamation of the Word, and prepare ourselves for the Eucharist.

        From what I read of Archbishop Burke, his vision of liturgy is narrow, and off focus from the intent of the Mass (SC 7) as well as a needed Catholic evangelical…

      5. Well stated, Todd, thanks. It also supports and affirms what Fr. Ruff has just posted.

        Matthew – read Fr. Ruff’s post today at 11:46 AM above. It addresses your last two points.

    4. I don’t think there is anything missing from the reformed Mass; I would probably have gone further and eliminated the Confiteor is as an option at the beginning of Mass.

      I don’t think the Psalm at the foot of the altar should be restored as an obligatory part of the Mass; however I could see it being chanted as an Introit Psalm especially at daily Mass where people might not know a great number of hymns. Perhaps that is even something that could be done under existing rules.

      The Last Gospel never made sense to me, just a pious devotion at the end of Mass like the prayers to Saint Michael. I like the ideal of “noble simplicity” as a feature of the Roman Rite in contrast to the Byzantine Rite (even though there are many things I like better about their Rite). To me, eliminating a lot of these things made things simpler.

      Unfortunately at the same time we increased the options. That has tended to make things more complicated by making them less predictable. The best implementations of the Reformed Rite that I have experienced have kept it simple and predictable.

      In general I don’t think the notion of mutual enrichment is a very good idea. There is a lot that I like about the Byzantine Rite but I don’t think mutual enrichment would help either Rite. I think people should have choices.

    5. One problem with the Last Gospel is that it is pretty odd to dismiss the people and then have a gospel reading. If a priest wants to recite it while on his way back to the sacristy, I suppose that would be fine by me.

      1. If I remember correctly Joseph Jungman sj pointed out two things about the Last Gospel’s presence at the end of the liturgy. First, that it could be seen as a ‘devotion’ for the celebrating priest while he was returning to the sacristy. It was not originally therefore read on the Gospel corner of the altar before leaving — the text was either memorized or the ‘altar card’ was carried and read by the priest heading to the sacristy. And secondly, and more ‘folkloric’ that in some areas in Medieval times the first chapters of the Gospels were used as ‘blessings’ &/or ‘medicines’ for various ailments at the end of the Mass. The first Chapter of Saint John was connected with the ‘blessing’ of sick animals (cattle especially). [This would be roughly akin to the ‘king’s touch’ healing rites found in England, and for some time in France for the healing of skin diseases.] In any case it was not for the awesomeness and the grandeur of the text itself.

  19. Joe O’Leary :

    Whenever I’ve met cardinals, I’ve made a point of cramming as much critical feedback into the minutes as possible.
    The sycophancy that poisons their lives has to be broken through.

    Oh Fr. Joe, you’re going to have to cite better than that qualification. Either you’ve broken through a cardinal archbishop’s sycophants and nailed your theses, or you are projecting a “wannabe” fantasy. Which is it? Have you had your moment with a defective prelate or haven’t you? And please do us’n’s po’ layfolk a favor, don’t condemn our rhetoric whilst hiding behind your own.

  20. After wading through the responses, I have concluded that few are taking a macroscopic view of this particular question. Cdl. Burke’s desire to see certain elements from Tridentine liturgy restored to the ordinary form is, in my view, an explicit sign that the tension has snapped between patristic liturgical ressourcement advocates and those who oppose the latter ressourcement as a valid hermeneutic of liturgical development. Communication between these two groups has almost completely dissolved into stalemate. Arguments about the merits of discrete changes to liturgy merely build up an impenetrable ideological divide.

    Those who support the reformed liturgy certainly have a right to defend the ordinary form status quo. I sense that some who support the reformed liturgy as it is suspect that optional changes are merely a trojan horse for a re-tridentinization of the reformed rites. I agree that this could be the case. Even so, the anti-patristic-ressourcement, “reform of the reform” side of the debate will not quiet despite deprecation of their views. Indeed, deprecation might result in oppositionally defiant actions such as perhaps the outre liturgical expressions sometimes seen at pontifical EF Masses.

    I offer no resolution. Yet, the broad strokes of the conflict must be engaged alongside the finer points more often discussed.

    1. Jordan, the thing that is most amazing to me is that Burke is grouped with the ROTR folks. I don’t see him there. He is definitely a Traditionalist, and while he would like some things “reformed”, I imagine it would be closer to the 1962 Missal if he could choose. The important thing, though, is that he is always consistent in his traditionalist leanings. One of the most puzzling things I see/hear/etc. from colleagues and have observed is that many bishops (and a fair number of priests) now are firmly in the “neo-con” camp. They will often pick and choose elements of tradition, but there isn’t an overarching principle guiding their liturgical goals. Likewise, the EF and such things tradtional are often considered a “hot potato” in seminaries and diocese, so many just don’t teach anything. The young priests will still try to educate themselves, though, so… Then, you end up with people making up their own neo-con OF/EF celebrations. Burke was giving them education at K-G, so the trads are at least consistent trads. In addition, when they integrate more traditional “takes” on the OF, they make sense: they don’t decide to do something bizarre just because it “seems traditional”. For what it’s worth, I’d much rather have the consistency of a Burke (or a progressive mirror of his) than the randomness of the neo-cons.

  21. Bruce – can only add one thing to your comments. Formation faculty and teachers would probably not agree that Burke was “giving them education, so that the trads are at least consistent trads.” And what exactly does this mean – they will never change their minds?

    It is not the role or job of Burke to take 3rd or 4th year theology students and try to get them to do TLM/EF. Their focus at that time was to be prepared to serve the people of STL. What formation faculty experienced were students who ignored standard courses and even faculty input because they felt that Burke would protect them. You make it sound as if Burke had little input but he tried so that ordinands could respond to requests for EF, etc. In fact, Burke inserted himself aggressively and overrode standard trainings – some students obviously were attracted to Burke’s favor and attention and spent untold hours on the EF/TLM. In some cases, Burke overrode formation faculty concerns because the ordinand followed Burke’s suggestions. There already have been issues with folks ordained in the past five years. BTW – canvass US dioceses….you would find out that the majority of bishops, even today, tightly control EF parishes and masses. Bishops have enough of a priest shortage without mass multiplications for small EF groups; finances are tight so why dedicate a parish to the EF, etc. When less than 10% of most dioceses report folks requesting EF/TLM, bishops are do not want the aggravations and parish polarizations that occur when this happens.

    You cite Rigali (who shifted away from the Vincentians) and that the changes that Burke dealt with started with Rigali; or that the loss of the Vincentians happens – tough. Whether issues started with Rigali or not, Burke did not resolve them – in many cases, he only poured gasoline on a fire. You cite that he raised $30 million for the seminary to be renovated – well, that $30 million might have been used for many more pressing needs. You might also want to update the number of dioceses who send students to Kenrick-Glennon today. It is not increasing.

    1. Hello Bill,

      “It is not the role or job of Burke to take 3rd or 4th year theology students and try to get them to do TLM/EF.”

      The archbishop hardly needed to do so. Most of the seminarians present then (and now) already had/have an intrinsic interest in doing so.

      And it’s obvious that you recognize this at some level. You may not be happy with the theological orientation (and liturgical sympathies) of many of these seminarians and young priests. The fact remains, however, that Archbishop Burke more or less doubled the enrollment at Kenrick-Glennon. It’s hard to “serve the people of St. Louis”if you aren’t producing priests to provide the sacraments.

      At any rate, I can only assume you rest a lot easier now, given how the new seminary leadership has effectively squashed all formation or access to the EF by K-G seminarians.

      “In some cases, Burke overrode formation faculty concerns because the ordinand followed Burke’s suggestions.”

      And you take it as given, of course, that those faculty concerns were valid.

      “There already have been issues with folks ordained in the past five years. BTW – canvass US dioceses….you would find out that the majority of bishops, even today, tightly control EF parishes and masses.”

      Which is not even *remotely* a surprise to Catholics with an interest in the EF living in these diocees.

      1. Kenrick-Glennon doubled enrollment –

        correct if you go back to 2007 but it wasn’t Burke who did this. enrollment doubled because other dioceses were closing their seminaries and thus sent candidates to STL.

        During Rigali’s time period, there was a movement across the US in seminaries to try to have local diocesan priests run their own seminaries. Thus, STL had a good rector (local STL msgr) for ten years. This changed (as it is changing elsewhere) because the local need for qualified pastors necessitated transferring diocesan seminary staff to parishes because of the lack of priests. This also meant that the dioceses had to find religious order priests to restaff the seminary. this is exactly what happened at Kenrick-Glennon – now a mixture of Jesuit, Vincentian, Dominican staff with one or two diocesan. The other issue is that most dioceses do not have enough qualified priests who have higher degrees and training to administer and teach in theologates.

        With the subsequent changes at Kenrick-Glennon, the decrease in other dioceses sending candidates, and the negative impact of affairs in STL, the student body numbers continue to decrease.

        BTW – K-G continues to offer the only EF liturgies that I know of in a major seminary. Hough, local diocesan priest on staff, teaches practicums in english, spanish (required) and also EF (the seminary has EF once or twice a month). It is interesting that Hough compares his course in EF using the same reason to require his course in spanish. He believes that EF and spanish are the same type of needs in the church today in STL. (you can agree or not with his thinking?)

    2. Bill, I’m very confused: you are speaking of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, MO? You’ve said a number of things that are way off base (factually speaking). You also have deflected serious questions about the accuracy of your posts. I don’t have an agenda here other than to make sure that our archdiocese is represented truthfully.

      1) “Rigali who shifted away from the Vincentians”: actually, he more or less kicked them out, and their administration was replaced by diocesan priests. A number of them still teach on some basis.

      2) $30 mil: the point is, people WANTED to give for it. Keep in mind, he never saw that money: the campaign was completed just in time for him to move to Rome. If you have a problem with the use of the money, you’d have to ask the current ordinary.

      3) Seminary enrollment: you have misread my post. I said clearly that the number of diocese decreased AFTER Burke left. This includes dioceses in our province, which is worrying to me. In any case, it has nothing to do with EF/OF/anything liturgical, but rather with big changes in the formation process and changes in the way spiritual direction is handled (there are fewer outside directors, and much less diversity in terms of religious orders, etc.)

      4) Your reason for the transfer of Msgr. Wojcicki is incorrect; it was just “time up”. He did a great job, and it was time to move on. We are doing ok here, priest-wise.

      5) Faculty changes: there are not more religious priests now: there are proportionally more Jesuits! There are many diocesan priests still on staff, and an auxiliary bishop.

      6) EF: there are many seminaries with the EF. Mt. St. Mary’s is only one example. K-G used to a have a weekly Latin Mass, alternating between OF and EF weekly. Now, each happens twice a semester, and the EF is never on-campus.

      7) Hough: this mystery man, who is he? He isn’t listed on the faculty page, and I just asked one of the liturgy faculty who he was…

      1. Rigali did not kick them out – in fact, Dolan as auxiliary worked with the Vincentians in terms of an orderly transition to diocesan staff. Some Vincentians stayed on. Rigali was trained by Vincentians – reality is that the Vincentians’ mission in the Western USA was changing and they no longer had the personnel (qualified, trained, experienced) to continue to provide adequate staff for K-G while also trying to continue other apostolates e.g. St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo; DePaul University; etc.

        $30 mil – don’t disagree but still question the expenditure

        Agree with point 3…..there are complex reasons for why bishops choose and don’t choose to send candidates to K-G. And the reasons change almost annually and, in fact, some bishops make choices based upon individual candidates every year and choose a variety of seminaries. That process has little to do with Burke being there or not being there. Example -the newly appointed bishop of Joliet, IL no longer sends his men to Mundelein – why? well, they have had a few newly ordained priests leave quickly; one because of abuse issues, etc. Thus, he questions the formation quality of Mundelein. This tension between bishops and seminary staffs have been going on for two generations.

        Point 4 – we will have to disagree on that one. He did do a great job but my inside sources would not agree with your *time to move on* or that the archdiocese is doing fine priest-wise. And why wasn’t he replaced by a diocesan priest?

        Point five – Jesuits are order priests and the rector is a SJ. Yes, within the past year an auxiliary bishop was placed at the seminary in residence. Most diocesan staff are there part time to teach.

        Point 6 – agreed but the director of worship appointed last year made these changes to the EF. (thus, Malcolm’s comments elsewhere – some of us would see this has both appropriate and needed). You would have to list the major theologates that do EF (if so, it is very irregular and may be off campus)

        Point 7 – my mistake. Mispelled the name of the now ordained priest from 2007. Obviously from your points above, what happened in 2007 no longer applies. A Vincentian is now the director of worship.

      2. Bill, no problem. Regarding #4: the pick of president-rector is ultimately the sole choice of the archbishop of St. Louis. In this case, +Carlson was already in place and knew Fr. Horn well. You’d have to ask the archbishop about why it wasn’t a diocesan priest, but it wasn’t priest shortage. As I mentioned we are doing way better than most places in the country regarding priests. The archdiocese isn’t particularly large, and we have a steady 4-5 guys every year ordained. They are also of very high quality and had promising career prospects before they entered seminary. It’s always a good sign when someone has to give something up to follow that particular vocation.

        The point with this is: you are conflating some Burke and some of the current regime and (whether you realize it or not) confusing things. In the few years I have been here, there has been a big turn-over. Many of the changes Burke made in formation were after he had been here a few years. Carlson has made changes rather more quickly. In any case, the seminary is much different now than it was in 2008, probably positively in some ways and, to my mind, negatively in others. In any case, I think painting Burke into an Ottaviani mold is a mistake. That isn’t who he was here, and it isn’t who he is in Rome. In particular, I think he is way ahead of most Catholic bishops in this country regarding Catholic schools, realizing that our current model is unsustainable and may not be the best path in catechizing the Church.

  22. You can have EF sensibilities without tweaking the OF Mass that much. I don’t agree that it is necessary to have Psalm 42 in the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, especially since the official Introit is a Psalm and in the EF Psalm 42 is omitted for Requiem Masses and it was eliminated in the 1965 missal and it does tend to drag out this part of the EF Mass. So my most humble suggestions for a future reform while not tinkering too much with the order of the OF Mass:
    Processional Chant consistent with the theme of the readings,
    Penitential Act at the Foot of the Altar to include the Sign of the Cross, all kneel, ministers bow for the introduction to the Penitential Act which becomes, “I will go unto the altar of God, with its response, and the exclusive use of the Confiteor and absolution. Afterward all stand and the Official Introit is chanted, the altar is kissed (incense if used) and the priest goes to the chair for the Kyrie, Gloria, then the Greeting and Collect (as the EF has the greeting and the Episcopal liturgy).
    The official Offertory and Communion Antiphons should be made mandatory in the OF GIRM but not to exclude additional motets or anthems at that time to cover the action of the offertory and the Communion procession.

    It wouldn’t be that dramatic to return to the former offertory prayers, but I wouldn’t see this as absolutely necessary.

    The Last Gospel was eliminated in the 1965 missal. I don’t advocate its return to the OF Mass, but if it were to be returned it should be after the Prayer after Communion and prior to the blessing and dismissal.

    Of course another solution is to leave the OF alone but offer an EF order of the 2012 missal but leaving in tact the OF Liturgy of the Word and calendar. That would be simple and it could be the EF order in the vernacular or Latin.

    A slight revision to the OF calendar should occur too and use the Anglican Ordinariate’s well-done version of it:
    Then the 1962 missal would be only for those communities that want it and under the SSPX Ordinariate if that comes about or the FSSP under the local bishop.

    1. Hello Fr. McDonald,

      I might also suggest restoring, as far as possible, the original collects of the Sunday mass.

      As Lauren Pristas put it: “[T]hose responsible for the revision of the Missal made extensive changes to the corpus of Sunday and Holy Day collects. The result is not the revival of either a Roman or non-Roman Latin liturgical tradition that fell into disuse over the centuries, but something essentially new.”


      1. That part of the revision of the OF is above my pay scale but I have certainly heard this before and concur that our collects should also concern themselves with the phenomenon of evil and our need to do battle with it by God’s grace, which the EF collects seem to indicate much better. But personally, I am very happy with the more literal translation of the new English collects although I would not be adverse to some linguistic tweaking here and there.

      2. Hello Fr.McDonald,

        It’s above my pay scale, too!

        Going back to retrieve the old collects would, of course, be a considerably more ambitious undertaking than the translation was – and given how contentious the latter has been, not likely in the near future.

        But it does point to a shift in theological emphasis – some might put it more strongly – in so much of the Pauline Missal, a new emphasis that appears to have been a feature, not a bug. I recall when Bryan Cones at US Catholic reacted with dismay last year when he looked more carefully at translations of some of the new week day prayers over the people and the gifts, and realized that the problem was as much in the original Latin as it was in the translation: “To me it seems not only that we shouldn’t be using these translations, we shouldn’t be using most of these prayers at all anymore. They simply reflect an approach to God–a distant, imperial God to whom we must beg for mercy–and an understanding of the church–sinful, unworthy, unredeemed.”

        But that only begs the question of whether the Church was badly offbase in its liturgy over the previous 14-16 centuries, since that’s how old most of those sacramentaries are. A Rahnerian reduction of such prayers to a categorical and historical level won’t quite do to dismiss such concerns.

      3. I am all for ” A Rahnerian reduction of such prayers to a categorical and historical level.” what have you got against it?

        Put simply, the liturgy was enculturated for the stratified class system of the Roman Empire and the feudal societies that followed. That type of society has evaporated with the rise of revolutions and democratic movements.

        The RoR is itself a grassroots democratic movement that really is out of sync with the reforms they propose. If you want to go back to the pre-Vatican II liturgy, the first step should be to obey the Pope. That will not get you the ritual you want, but it creates a society and culture that can live with the Tridentine liturgy without fracturing into a thousand kingdoms each with its own leaders and rationales.

      4. Hello Jim,

        “what have you got against it?”

        Only everything else I have against Rahner’s metaphysic. For one thing, the categorical seems to inevitably crowd the transcendent down to a nub of microscopic size, permitting endless creativity, pelagianism and antinomianism. But I don’t want to derail the thread,so…

        “Put simply, the liturgy was enculturated for the stratified class system of the Roman Empire and the feudal societies that followed.”

        Exactly which parts of the Roman Rite do you think were enculturated for “the stratified class system of the Roman Empire?”

        And do you believe that the same is also true of the Divine Liturgy and other Eastern Rites?

      5. re: Jim McKay on July 8, 2012 – 10:21 am

        Jim: Put simply, the liturgy was enculturated for the stratified class system of the Roman Empire and the feudal societies that followed. That type of society has evaporated with the rise of revolutions and democratic movements. The RoR is itself a grassroots democratic movement that really is out of sync with the reforms they propose.

        It’s quite true that a conflict exists in some corners of the RoR and EF movement between a desire for liturgical pluralism in the Roman rite and the hierarchical implications of Tridentine liturgy. Indeed, some EF proponents have used democratic constructs to advance arguments for liturgical plurality within one Roman rite. However, as you rightly note, Tridentine liturgy is certainly not designed for democratic or pluralist societies.

        Might I suggest that the predilection in some EF circles for regal or aristocratic symbolism (heraldry, historical vestments of the nobility, etc.) is an attempt to maintain an affinity for the imperial/feudal structure of Tridentine liturgy within a postmodern environment? I would argue that an artificial separation of postmodern society from the imperial or feudal aspects of Tridentine liturgy weakens, rather than supports, the viability of the EF within the Roman rite. Either the EF is recognized as socially anachronistic but also capable of reform, or the EF becomes encapsulated in a false dualism. This false dualism, in which the EF preserves imperial and feudal aspects “for the sake of the liturgy”, will eventually fold against the yawning disjunct between social implications reinforced by the celebration of Tridentine liturgy and the social progression of the postmodern Church.

      6. Well stated, Jordan. IMO, you have provided insights into the whole ROTR movement – built upon a shaky foundation; inconsistent eccelesilogy; tendency to fracture among themselves; and aimed to preserve a *museum piece” resultiing in a false dualism.

      7. Hello Jordan,

        1. Liturgical pluralism has *always* been a fact of life in the Church, and was explicitly affirmed by Trent. Not even the hoariest SSPXer (that I know of) advocates the elimination of the Ambrosian, Mozarabic, or Eastern Rites, or those of the various religious orders. And this is not to speak of the multitudinous permitted local or regional variants in vestments, rubrics, etc.

        2. “Tridentine liturgy is certainly not designed for democratic or pluralist societies.” This is, with all respect, simply bizarre. Not least because, somehow, the traditional Roman Rite failed to prevent millions of American Catholics for the first three centuries of our existence from becoming productive and loyal democratic citizens, to say nothing of Catholics in various European, Anglo-Saxon, or Latin American democracies in the years before 1965.

        3. There’s no question that there are traditionalists with monarchical or aristrocratic sympathies – a minority, in my experience, for whatever that is worth. But you can find all sorts of political inclinations across the Catholic spectrum. I simply don’t see any causal connection here. You’re tarring with a broad brush.

    2. re: Richard Malcolm on July 8, 2012 – 2:36 pm

      In response:

      1. It’s true that the Church has always had a multiplicity of rites and uses within the Roman rite. Jim’s point, and my comments, do not challenge this fact. Rather, all of the previous rites and uses of the Church, and especially the Tridentine lineage of liturgies, had come of age in a socio-political climate radically different than even 1962. The Tridentine redaction of the Roman rite came of age at the very stirrings of “nation state” in Europe. The Enlightenment had yet to fully revolutionize both the human and cosmic universes, Marx and Engels were about three centuries yet to come, and the question of women’s rights, let alone the concepts of gender and sexual orientation, did not exist within a peri-feudal society where autonomy of personal expression was simply inconceivable. All of the above issues were, in some form or another, were articulated and developed by the eve of the Second Vatican Council.

      For these reasons, the 1962 liturgy inhabits an ideological “problem set” which vastly differs from our own. The questions which have arrived at human minds since 1570 do not disappear with the opening notes of the asperges me. So long as the EF movement sequesters itself from considering so-called “secular issues”, the more its viability declines.

      2. Perhaps it could be said that the productivity of societies progressed in spite of Tridentine enforced uniformity. Popes repeatedly condemned democratic representative government and religious pluralism in the 19th centuries. It is not coincidental that the ideological-theological revolution in these areas coincided with liturgical reform.

      3. I recognize that heraldry etc. is a niche EF community interest (e.g. some). The fact that this interest exists, however, suggests an uneasy reconciliation between the feudal-early-modern liturgical past and society today.

      1. Thank you Jordan for your typically insightful response.

        Richard, the only answer I can give is that all go the Roman rite reflects the culture in which it developed. Same for the Greek, Coptic and any other rites. Liturgy as we know it is not like the liturgy of Heaven, except when it is. Things like language and gestures come from the culture.

        Sacrament is a good example. The word originally referred to an oath that committed the person to military service. Christians applied it to their initiatory rites, but everyone would have known its military significance. Today, not so much. The social structures that gave meaning to the word are gone.

        Does that mean we should stop using the word sacrament? Certainly not. It has already adapted to the absence of a Roman military caste. Should we recover elements of sacraments that have disappeared? Depends. I would say no to coronations as a kind of secular ordination, but I might say yes to other elements that resonate today.

  23. Exactly which parts of the Roman Rite do you think were enculturated for “the stratified class system of the Roman Empire?”

    How could anyone who has ever observed a processional ask that question? Not to mention the use of the altar rail, or, (dare I say it?) the cappa magna!

    1. I do love the way that altar rails have become the ultimate shibboleth among some Catholics. The Methodists (arch typifiers of the Roman class structure that they are) still use them, some Baptist congregations effectively fence off their equivalent of the sanctuary, William Laud introduced them into Anglican churches to keep dogs from straying into the sanctuary, some Lutherans build them out into the churchyard to emphasise the community between the living an the dead members of the assembly, many of us find them jolly handy when we want to kneel to receive Our Lord – they are an eminently practical piece of Church furniture.

    2. Hello Brigid,

      Processions, altar rails,and cappas magna are all important and ancient Roman liturgical traditions, but they aren’t in the missal per se. Believe it or not, you can celebrate the 1962 missal (or its Tridentine and Gregorian predecessors) without any of them.

      What I wanted to know was: What prayers – What parts of the mass itself – are mere enculturations of imperial Rome? That’s what I want to know.

      1. Compare the relative simplicity and brevity of the Our father to the typical collect and there is quite a difference in style and attitude.
        What about all the bowing?
        The vestments themselves are holdovers from Roman times.
        The use of relics in the altar goes back to Roman custom.
        Calling the cup a chalice

        Perhaps the most prominent enculturation of Imperial Rome is the notion that Rome ultimately dictates to the rest of the Church how things are to be done.

  24. The Last Gospel was removed as an excrescence from the order of the Mass in 1965. Cardinal Burke shows an amazing archaism and frivolity in pleading for its restoration. This is of a piece with his sartorial extravagances.

    How fatuous to suggest that the abolition of the Last Gospel showed contempt for the Johannine Prologue. On the contrary, it showed proper respect for it (a respect I share; it is thepart of Scripture I have most intensively studied).

  25. The prayers at the foot of the altar and having the priest standing at the altar rather than from some chair off to the side are about the only elements of the EF I see worth keeping.

    Fiddlebacks, altar cards, lace doilies on the clergy? No thanks. Saw enough of that in the 1950s with the wedding cake, plaster of paris altars, and incessant genuflecting, bowing, and marching back and forth of altar boys and others moving the missal from “epistle” to “gospel” side etc. Then to be followed by priestly mumblings in Latin.

    All of this, just one big private act of clerical devotion with the people in the pews gawking at the floor show on stage. All the while listening to the pretty music.

  26. Well – here is the latest from Burke:


    – “”It is absolutely wrong for the priest to start making changes to make it more interesting because he wants to make the liturgy better,” he added.
    – “Cardinal Burke also warned against excessive use of the concelebration of liturgy and called for the practice to be reviewed where it is used repeatedly. He told the conference that excessive use of concelebration could result in priests losing sight of the fullness of their office and an understanding of the Eucharist as a sacrifice.”

    Some of us would suggest that his TLM events violate his first statement.

      1. Not at all, Mr Howard. Bill has very perceptively identified the incongruity at the heart of the matter.

    1. Bill has very perceptively identified the incongruity at the heart of the matter.

      Really? Burke said that to do this is “absolutely wrong”. Bill said that “[Burke’s] TLM events violate his first statement” i.e. they “[make] changes to make it more interesting because he wants to make the liturgy better.” Thereby accusing Cardinal Burke of doing something “absolutely wrong”.

      But there’s no evidence or argument presented that this is the case. Bill is unhappy not that Cardinal Burke changes the Church’s liturgy to make it more interesting, but that he exercises his legitimate freedom within the law to celebrate the liturgy according to the older form. While that could be called change, it’s not the kind of change Cardinal Burke is talking about. And it’s not “absolutely wrong” in the way what Burke (and Sacrosanctum Concilium) describe.

      Bill is free to argue that Burke’s exercising of his legitimate freedom to celebrate the Church’s rites in a particular way that is in accordance with the Church’s law is a mistake, or should be illegal, or whatever, but it’s wrong to attack it as “absolutely wrong” and therefore immoral, just like it would be wrong for me to accuse some music director of doing something immoral because he chose to program “alius cantus aptus” rather than a Gregorian proper.

      1. Is it then improper for Cardinal Burke to call something “absolutely wrong”? Is he absolved because he leaves it general and does not apply it to any particular person? It still sounds like an invitation to condemn what he describes, an invitation that Bill unfortunately accepted.

        There has already been a great deal of discussion of Burke’s transgressions on this thread. No one has said that wearing ermine on the cappa magna is “absolutely wrong,” but Burke sure seems to imply it. It is not calumny to point that out that he will be judged by the same rule that he judges. Might even be an act of charity.

      2. Sorry, Jim – *unfortunately* – no, was just contrasting Burke’s statements with his own behavior and choices. Yes, agree, my point might be an act of charity as outlined by canon law in terms of my responsibility as a lay catholic. speaking to authority.

        Here is another interesting article about Burke’s satorial choices:


        Money quote:

        – “It appears – and I only say appears because I do not know the intent in Cardinal Burke’s thinking – that his wearing of the galero is, in fact, an act of papal disobedience. What, you ask. Yet, appears to be true. It was on April 17, 1969 that Pope Paul VI, in a papal decree, ended the galero tradition. Go to point number 9. These are the words that appeared in L’Osservatore Romano on that day: “The red cardinalitial hat (‘galero’) and the red plush hat are abolished. The black plush hat is retained. When appropriate, it can be adorned with the red and gold cord and tassels.” You can check it out”

  27. Burke has got us all talking about Ermine and the Last Gospel. Here is something more wholesome, from today’s Irish Times:

    Sir, – It is encouraging to read Patsy McGarry’s report (Home News, July 6th) that a lay Catholic group is being established to promote reform in the church. That is what Archbishop Martin has been encouraging and it is what the recent Eucharistic Congress is seen as inaugurating.

    The news is doubly encouraging in that the new group’s agenda is likely to be based on the Second Vatican Council. It is almost half a century since the council ended. On its final day, December 8th, 1965, Pope Paul VI formally “approved and established” the council’s decisions.

    On April 23rd, 1966, in an obvious reproof to the Curia about its slownesss in implementing them, he stated forcibly: “Whatever were our opinions about the council’s various doctrines before its conclusions were promulgated, today our adherence to the decisions of the council must be whole hearted and without reserve; it must be willing and prepared to give them the service of our thought, action and conduct. The council was something very new: doctrine must be seen as belonging to the magisterium of the church and, indeed, be attributed to the breath of the Holy Spirit.”

    Among the decisions approved by the vast majority of the world’s bishops and now, according to the Pope, part of the church’s magisterium, or ultimate teaching authority, is that in the council’s decree on the apostolate of the laity. In chapter 1.2, is a sentence stating that “the laity share in the priestly, prophetic, and royal office of Christ and therefore have their own share in the mission of the whole people of God in the church and in the world”.

    The Vatican has shown no great urgency in recognising the significance of this and many other council pronouncements. Instead post-council popes and curia cardinals have adopted a policy of ignoring, obstructing or misinterpreting…

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