Vatican II’s rapid, ill-considered changes: “Haste makes waste.”

ClownMass
…I came to see the futility of trying to repair something that, at bottom, is structurally unsound. Nowhere is the old adage, “Haste makes waste”, truer than when applied to the precipitous reform of liturgical rites and the books that contain them. In most places the liturgical landscape has become a dreary wasteland. The liturgical rites and books prepared so feverishly in the wake of the Second Vatican Council have been tried and found wanting.
There are, it is true, liturgical oases here and there, where the reformed rites are carried out intelligently, with dignity, reverence, and devotion — I am thinking of certain communities, monasteries, and parishes, the Communauté de Saint-Martin, for example — but these subjective qualities cannot make up for the objective flaws and structural weaknesses inherent in the same rites.
Link

Authentic masculinity has been knee-capped in our Church.

This trend is conspicuously apparent in our liturgical life, as any manifestation of authentic masculinity is attacked as boorish male chauvinism, old manifestations of discrimination and oppression from a Church that is “unfairly” dominated by an all-male hierarchy. (The article cites an example of a parish in the Diocese of Madison where the pastor insisted on only boys serving as acolytes. Predictably, he received tons of criticism as a result. Fortunately, Bishop Morlino backed up his priest.) What’s more, many of the “liturgical planning committees” have been taken over by women. The embellishments of many church buildings often look like a Jo-Ann Fabric was detonated inside. Pastel ribbons, crafts, baskets, streamers, quilts…BOOM!

What I’ve often referred to as the “Oprahfication” of our Church has had a direct effect on the number of men who opt out of liturgy. Much of our Church culture has imbibed a pandering, touchy-feely, soft sofa approach to dealing with real challenges, and guys don’t dig that. Coupled with a de-emphasis on the Sacramental life, the Eucharist in particular, many men simply see no point in attending Mass if all they’re “getting” is meaningless psychobabble and Stuart Smalley motivational talks.

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Did six Protestant ministers at the 2nd Vatican Council really help design the Novus Ordo Mass?

vaticansix

(Vatican II’s “Fantastic Six” didn’t really wear numbers)

Returning to the “myth” that Protestant observers did not contribute in creating the New Mass, to hold this position is to deny the obvious – not only in fact, but also in substance. In the first place, an ecumenical liturgy that would no longer offend Protestants was Fr. Annibale Bugnini’s intention from the get-go as he declared in 1965:

We must strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren that is for the Protestants… [my emphasis]

While we learn from the close confidant of Pope Paul VI, Jean Guitton:

The intention of Pope Paul VI with regard to what is commonly called the Mass, was to reform the Catholic Liturgy in such a way that it should almost coincide with the Protestant liturgy. There was with Pope Paul VI an ecumenical intention to remove, or, at least to correct, or, at least to relax, what was too Catholic in the traditional sense in the Mass and, I repeat, to get the Catholic Mass closer to the Calvinist mass” [my emphasis][4].

To accomplish this ecumenical goal, the Consilium
enlisted the help of these Protestant observers:

  1. A. Raymond George (Methodist)
  2. Ronald Jaspar (Anglican)
  3. Massey Shepherd (Episcopalian)
  4. Friedrich Künneth (Lutheran)
  5. Eugene Brand (Lutheran)[5]
  6. Max Thurian (Calvinist-community of Taize).

Their contribution in creating the New Mass was immortalized in a picture taken of them during an audience with Pope Paul VI after thanking them for their assistance. The image was subsequently published in L’Osservatore Romano on April 23, 1970 with the title: “Commission Holds Final Meeting, Pope Commends Work of Consilium”.

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Following the User’s Manual: The Catechism of the Catholic Church

catechismbook

Seen on Bishop Robert Vasa’s blog

The global Church is the primary instrument for the promotion of the message and teachings of Christ.  As such, Catholics are called to believe that the message of Jesus is truly “good news” in every sense – good for humankind, both spiritually and temporally.   As bishop, I can speak from confidence and strength in ensuring that those Catholic teachings are taught and consistently presented throughout the entire diocese.

To that end, I seek to employ a strong catechetical model — one that starts with getting to know the faith.  One of my favorite books is the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  Through the years I have gone through it several times, and each time I highlight different aspects,  different quotes.   Sometimes I scribble in the margins, as different things strike me at different times.  In my view, it is critical for our Catholic faith to remain in tune and in touch with this particular book which is fully consistent with the Scriptures, fully consistent with the Church traditions, fully consistent with Church practice with respect to the liturgy.

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Becoming Catholic often means overcoming a surprising number of obstacles.

jcblind

Ten Reasons why it’s (sometimes) hard to become Catholic.

Be sure to read the comments…

The Church Calendar and Corresponding Colors

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Recovering the theological significance of Sunday is fundamental to rebalancing our lives.

For Christians, Sunday, the Lord’s Day, is a special day consecrated to the service and worship of God.  It is a unique Christian festival.  It is “the day the Lord has made” (Ps. 117 (118):24). Its nature is holy and joyful. Sunday is the day on which we believe God acted decisively to liberate the world from the tyranny of sin, death, and corruption through the Holy Resurrection of Jesus.

The primacy of Sunday is affirmed by the liturgical practice of the early church. St. Justin the Martyr writing around 150 AD notes that “it is on Sunday that we assemble because Sunday is the first day, the day on which God transformed darkness and matter and created the world and the day that Jesus Christ rose from the dead (First Apology, 67).” Sunday has always had a privileged position in the life of the church as a day of worship and celebration. On Sunday the Church assembles to realize her eschatological fullness in the Eucharist by which the Kingdom and the endless Day of the Lord are revealed in time.  It is the perpetual first day of the new creation, a day of rejoicing.  It is a day for community, feasting and family gatherings.

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Fifteen elements of modern Catholic worship that Jews of Jesus’ time would be sure to recognize.

The view of Jesus as the simple country preacher does have some connection with the real Jesus, but we also have to remember that Jesus was a first century Jew. He would have been familiar with, and shared in the rituals and traditions of synagogue worship as well as the worship of the temple. What was this worship like? First of all, the synagogue worship was formal and liturgical. They used set prayers and established readings as Catholics do with their liturgy and tables of readings. Furthermore, the worship of the ‘domestic church’ for Jews was structured around seasons and feasts. Throughout the year, as Catholics do, they celebrated certain feast days and fast days. For the feasts they had structured, ceremonial meals that they shared together. These ceremonial meals consisted of set, written prayers and psalms and Scripture readings.

In addition to the worship of the domestic church and the synagogue the Jews in the time of Jesus all worshipped at the temple in Jerusalem. The worship in this splendid and ornate structure was predicated by the temple of Solomon which was in turn established according to the instructions given by God in Exodus for the construction of the tabernacle. The tabernacle, and both the Herodian and Solomonic temples in Jerusalem were splendid, ornate and rich buildings where the worship was ceremonial and ritualistic. The priests wore ornate vestments, there were ritualistic processions into and around the temple, ornate images of angels surround the worship space and incense was burned before God to symbolize the prayers of the faithful rising to heaven.

Read the list

Inspirational Catholic Website: Pray the Mass.Org

Visit the site

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

Submitted by AndyP/Doria2

My “pick” for the most significant Catholic Church event of 2011: Pope Benedict’s Anglican Ordinariate Initiative.

by Doug Lawrence

In a church that acts with glacial speed, which took longer than a biblical generation (40+ years) merely to address the errors of the hasty, post-Vatican II translation of the Novus Ordo Mass, and which spent the same amount of time aimlessly pursuing fruitless and often “wacky” efforts at ecumenicism … a novel, papal initiative that actually achieved substantial and measurable positive results … right here and right now, in spite of certain negative political consequences … should not go unheralded.

Such is the nature of the new Anglican Ordinariate, conceived by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009, which made it not only possible … but extraordinarily practical … for large blocks of disaffected Anglicans, from all around the world … to finally return to the Catholic Church, with their dignity and their distinctive Christian faith intact.

The first group of Anglicans/Episcopalians were received into the Catholic Church on January first, 2011 … and they’re still coming!

While there is no substitute for prayer, it’s nice to see some decisive and positive action by the Catholic Church … especially when it comes from the very top.

So here’s to Pope Benedict … for actually getting something done, in 2011!

Benedict also deserves much credit for making the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Mass more available to the faithful, and for the latest, revised Roman Missal, which goes a long way toward fixing liberal abuses of the liturgy that have for so long, served to quietly and insidiously undermine and erode the faith of Catholics, everywhere. He’s also proved himself to be an excellent catechist, in general.

God bless Pope Benedict XVI and God bless his Holy Church! 

More…

I got a chance to experience the new, Revised Roman Missal, at Sunday Mass. It was good!

by Doug Lawrence

I attended Mass at my old parish in Chicago yesterday. They had decided to start using the new, revised Roman Missal, so we had little cardboard fold-outs to help keep us apprised of all the new “parts”.

The priest had some new language to get used to, as well.

The toughest thing seemed to be remembering to say, “And with your spirit” rather than “And also with you”.

The youngsters had a bit of a hard time figuring out what the people were thricely doing with their hands, during the penitential rite. But they’re smart. They’ll “get it”.

Probably the easiest thing to get used to was listening to the revised language, which did indeed add new emphasis to many of the awesome yet sublime beliefs and principles of the authentic Catholic faith, many of which had recently been either blatantly disregarded or totally forgotten.

One other thing I noticed was the “little c” used for the word “catholic” in the Nicene Creed.

The word “consubstantial” is in the Creed now, referring to Jesus Christ, the incarnation, and the mystery of the Holy Trinity, where God is described as sharing one and the same eternal, uncreated, godly substance, among three distinct, rational, divine persons.   

There were a few other changes, but nothing problematic. The little, cardboard “cheat sheets” proved to be more than adequate.

All in all, it was a positive experience, and not really that much a “stretch” at all.

I liked it!

Read and/or print your own official “cheat sheet” (PDF)

New Mass Translation: All over but the shouting.

There will certainly be challenges with the new translation for everyone. For instance, “And with your spirit” is not idiomatic, nor is the word “consubstantial” familiar to most parishioners. But we all know what the real disagreements will be. There is an online petition asking the Bishops not to demand the use of the new translation, and in the comments you can see the points of contention.

There is, of course, the procedural argument: The change is being imposed from above and does not reflect the views of the laity because it was not produced by a democratic process. This is the constant tension over the hierarchy. But there is also a theological argument, a dispute over what the language is for. According to one South African Bishop, the very reason for the new translation was based, among other things, upon “a purely arbitrary decision to demand that the English text had to faithfully represent the Latin . . .” Well, quite.

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The Devil Is Afraid of Holiness

Ildefonso Schuster, the son of a Roman tailor, the Abbot of Saint Paul-Outside-the-Walls, and the Cardinal-Archbishop of Milan, was at the same time a scholar learned in the Church’s liturgy, in history, in art, in catechesis, spirituality, and archeology; he was a shepherd of souls, a diplomat, and a peace-maker. Beneath the scarlet robes of a Prince of the Church, he remained a monk, a child of Saint Benedict. Thus was he able to say:

Before all other things, and even above all things, O Venerable Brothers, we are essentially adorers. “This is how one should regard us, as ministers of Christ” (1 Cor 4:1). After that we must also be ministers of the people, the salt of the earth, and fishers of men, etc. but first, it is absolutely necessary that we be true servants of God: Ministers of Christ . . . appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God (Heb 5:1).

As Cardinal-Archbishop, Blessed Schuster never failed to direct the energies of his priests toward the One Thing Necessary. A few days before his death he withdrew to the seminary he had built and there he delivered a final message to his seminarians, warning them of the futility of an apostolate without personal holiness:

I have no memento to give you apart from an invitation to holiness. It would seem that people are no longer convinced by our preaching; but faced with holiness, they still believe, they still fall to their knees and pray.

People seem to live ignorant of supernatural realities, indifferent to the problems of salvation. But when an authentic saint, living or dead passes by, all run to be there.

Do not forget that the devil is not afraid of our [parish] sports fields and of our movie halls: he is afraid, on the other hand, of our holiness.

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The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (Short Instructional Video)


Watch the video

More about the Mass

Submitted by Ken K.

Cause of Schism: “those who assert that Vatican II founded a new Church with a new theology and new sacraments.”

Rorate Caeli has posted an English translation of a Die Welt interview by Paul Badde with Martin Mosebach, author of the seminal lay apology for the traditional Mass, The Heresy of Formlessness.  Mosebach, with his usual insight and ability to get to the crux of an issue quickly, discusses the new instruction on the Extraordinary Form, Universae Ecclesiae.

Link

New Liturgy translation ‘suprisingly good’

When judging the process devised by the Congregation for Divine Worship, however, most people will focus on its success in producing good texts that are happily received by clergy and laity. A tacit consensus has emerged that the consultation and transparency central to due process have been lacking, and that this lack has diminished the quality of the work and the good will necessary for its implementation.

Judgments about the quality of translations are inevitably subjective. Commentators tend to compare the best bits of the version they applaud with the worst bits of the versions they dislike.

My own judgment, based on a limited reading, is that, considering the narrow instructions governing its preparation, the new translation overall is surprisingly good. In less skilled hands the result could have resembled Inspector Poirot’s English. In fact it reads more like the English used in costume drama — workable, but with a slightly archaic and formal flavor. It demands that the celebrant slow down and settle into period. It also supposes relatively high linguistic skills in its audience.

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Priest: “The Catholic Church is really two Churches now.”

The relaxation of the role of the priesthood, what Kreitzer calls a “denigration of genuine priestly charism of the ordained while instilling a false sense of clericalism in the laity,” helped contribute a worldwide sex abuse scandal lying dormant but that would soon emerge, like a full-blown virus, many years down the road. “It fit with the times when priests were encouraged to escape the sanctuary while the laity flocked to it,” Kreitzer writes, meaning that, if the Church could change a 1,500 year-old liturgy in a couple years, then anything was changeable—and possible, even behavior related to Allen Ginsberg’s famous line, “This form of life needs sex.”

While some sexual abuse cases occurred prior to the Council, most occurred in the 1960s and 70s, when the Church was in the midst of its so-called “springtime.”

According to Thomas Plante, Professor and Chair of Psychology, Santa Clara University, the average age of the priest abuser in 2002 was 53. That means that the vast majority of abuse cases coming to light today are from 20, 30 and 40 years ago, the post Vatican II years, when ‘ liturgical experimentation’ was at its height. At that time not much was understood about sexual abuse. It wasn’t until the early 1980s, as Plante suggests in his book, Bless Me Father for I Have Sinned, that serious research began in this area.

Abuser priests identified by Church authorities 20, 30 or 40 years ago, were given the usual Bayer aspirin treatment: a therapeutic slap on the wrist and 30 days of isolated prayer in a faraway retreat. After that, they were discreetly recycled and farmed out to a different parish setting. It was all very much like signing off on a traffic ticket, or getting your mouth washed out with soap, sans the obligatory cold shower.

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The Significance of Genuflections and Other Gestures

ROME, JAN. 21, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Faith in the presence of the Lord, and in particular in his Eucharistic presence, is expressed in an exemplary manner by the priest when he genuflects with profound reverence during the Holy Mass or before the Eucharist.

In the post-conciliar liturgy, these acts of devotion have been reduced to a minimum in the name of sobriety. The result is that genuflections have become a rarity, or a superficial gesture. We have become stingy with our gestures of reverence before the Lord, even though we often praise Jews and Muslims for their fervor and manner way of praying.

More than words, a genuflection manifests the humility of the priest, who knows he is only a minister, and his dignity, as he is able to render the Lord present in the sacrament. However, there are other signs of devotion.

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Seen on the web: from Dr. Robert Moynihan of “Inside the Vatican Magazine”


Six weeks ago, an important liturgical convention was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where Malcolm Ranjith, a thoughtful defender of the old rite, is archbishop. Here, an extraordinary talk delivered at the conference, by the German writer Martin Mosebach…

“Even the Church’s enemies recognized that her strength lay in her untimeliness — that is, not that she was old-fashioned, but that she and her liturgy were not completely identified with any particular period or culture; she always had one foot outside time in every period of history.” —Martin Mosebach, a leading German Catholic writer, reflecting on the Church’s liturgy in a conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in September.

“In this axis year, 1968, reform turned into revolution. It began with the liturgy. And here we can see liturgy’s central role in the Church: everything else, theology, the person of the priest, the hierarchical constitution of the Church, the everyday prayers of the faithful, the edifice of Catholic culture, missionary work, and ultimately even the core articles of faith, were intimately connected with the liturgy. With the liturgy they all stood or fell.“—Ibid.

“We should not allow ourselves to drown in pious routine but seek to rediscover the Church’s visible form, learn to love and defend it like a precious treasure that we thought had been lost.” —Ibid.

Concerned about upcoming changes to the Mass …

Q: I am not so excited about changing the Mass. Forty years of hearing Mass in English is tradition to me.  People think changes will give more meaning to them. “‘What can the church do for us?’ has to be changed to ‘What can we do for our parish?’

A: The changes that are coming up next year are (virtually) all in English. They are just corrections to the very sloppy, rush job that was done in the 60’s. No big deal to learn.

As for the Latin Mass … some people like it. Some don’t. I appreciate both.

Any time Jesus becomes present on the altar for us, so we can worship God through him, with him, in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, (and that happens in every approved and faithfully conducted Mass liturgy) I have no complaints.

The problem lies in the fact that people fail to understand the reason and purpose of the Mass … so they fail to fully participate in the church … and they subsequently miss out on all or most of the grace that’s necessary to accomplish the things that you mention. That same weakness is manifest is the many liturgical abuses … which have become so common, as to be almost expected.

John 15:1-7 I am the true vine: and my Father is the husbandman.  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, he will take away: and every one that beareth fruit, he will purge it, that it may bring forth more fruit.  Now you are clean, by reason of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in me: and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abide in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine: you the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.  If any one abide not in me, he shall be cast forth as a branch and shall wither: and they shall gather him up and cast him into the fire: and he burneth. If you abide in me and my words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you will: and it shall be done unto you.

It’s virtually impossible to abide in Jesus Christ without full, faithful and regular participation in the Mass and the sacraments.

If the sacred liturgy fails to “deliver” a clear and truthful “message” then the mission of the church is easily compromised and/or watered down. That’s pretty much what happened during the last 40 years.

So … weak, confused liturgy makes for weak, confused Catholics … while solid, authentic liturgy makes for solid, well-informed Catholics … and that’s pretty much the whole point.

Pope Benedict (when he was younger, as a priest and bishop) is largely responsible for the “Spirit of Vatican II” that led to many of the liturgical abuses and other wacky innovations, so now that he’s pope, it’s nice to see him trying to fix some of the messes he helped to make.

Perhaps you missed this article on the Mass changes that I posted, a while back. You can read all of  the changes, word-for word.

Submitted by Marcia C.