I am a convert to the One, True Faith. I am also what is called a Traditional Roman Catholic (or prior to 1965, just a regular, every day Catholic). But contrary to what you may have been taught, I, like most Traditionalists, am not a sedevacantist. I am loyal to the Magisterium and to the Holy Father; I believe that the Second Vatican Council was a true Church council and that the Novus Ordo Missae (Mass of Paul VI) can confect a true Eucharist when the rubrics are followed by a properly ordained Catholic priest. However, I believe that the massive destruction over the past fifty-one years has NOT been due to a misinterpretation of the Council’s documents, but is due to the documents themselves. I also believe that the Novus Ordo is grossly inferior to the Traditional Latin Mass (the True Mass, "the most beautiful thing this side of Heaven"), is Protestant in its orientation, and is grievously harmful to the Faith.

I support all Traditional Latin Mass orders (non-Sedevacantists), to include the SSPX, FSSP, ICKSP, and all diocesan priests who struggle to celebrate the True Mass under often terrible conditions.

Lastly, I hope all Roman Catholics who believe, as Holy Mother Church has taught these past 2,000 years, that there is Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus, take up the Cross & the Sword, and claim the title of “Faithful Knight.”

--I believe that Christ founded One Church, and that there is NO salvation outside Her.

--I believe that Irish monks saved Western civilization.

--I believe that the Crusades were a good thing.

--I believe that Islam is still the greatest threat to Western civilization.

--I will never apologize for the Catholic Church and Her mandate by Christ to spread the Gospel.

--I believe that at the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), Luther won.

--I believe that homosexuality has devastated the Catholic priesthood.

--I believe that many Novus Ordo bishops are direct successors to only one Apostle, Judas Iscariot.

--I believe that Dante was correct: The floor of Hell is littered with the skulls of bishops.

--I believe the "Reform of the Reform" is a toothless dog.

--I believe that Communion in the hand, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, removal of the altar rails, and removal of our tabernacles from the altar of sacrifice, has destroyed Catholic belief in the Real Presence.

--I believe that Traditional Catholics are at war with Roman-Protestants for the very soul of Holy Mother Church....and We will win!

--I believe that Russia has not been consecrated to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart by any Pope, and that parts of the Third Secret are still hidden by Rome.

--I believe that Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre will be raised to the altar as a Saint.

--I believe that if it were not for the Society of St. Pius X, Tradition would have died long ago.

--I believe that the Society of St. Pius X is the Marine Corps of Catholicism.

--I believe that the term "in full communion" is a sham. After all, per Rome, heretics like Cardinal Mahony and sodomites like Archbishop Weakland are "in full communion."

--I believe that the Republican Party is no different from the Democrat Party...and that they deserve each other.

--I believe that the U.S. Military produces the finest young men and women on the face of the earth.

--I believe that America has done more good for others around the world than any nation in history.

--I believe that our current Commander in Chief is a Marxist.

--I believe in the 2nd Amendment, just as the Fathers of our Nation did.

--I believe that the Death Penalty is a good thing.

--I believe in restoring all things in Christ.

Soldier of Christ-Defender of the True Church

Soldier of Christ-Defender of the True Church

Saturday, November 30, 2013

The New Mass weakens notion of sacrifice

Taken from The Mass of All Time, a collection of the words of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre concerning the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we offer some extracts about the defects of the Novus Ordo Missae.

We offer here the first of 3 crucial points of dogma that Archbishop Lefebvre uses to explain some fundamental flaws of the New Mass.

(Introduction) The Reform and the Law of Faith[12]

Attenuation of the three principal dogmas concerning the Mass in the Novus Ordo

In order to judge the dogmatic, moral, and spiritual worth of this reform, we must briefly recall the immutable principles of the Catholic Faith concerning the essence of our holy Mass. These propositions are “de fide divina catholica definita” — defined truths of Divine and Catholic faith. They are therefore dogmas, such that someone who did not believe them would by that very fact be outside the Church. The first truth is that “in the Mass a true and real sacrifice is offered to God.”[13] We must add that this sacrifice is a propitiatory sacrifice, a point that will be of use when we look at the New Mass.[14] The second is the dogma “The host or the victim is Christ Himself present under the species of bread and wine.”[15]The third affirmation is that “The priests, and they alone, are the minsters.”[16]
It is obvious that these three fundamental truths are — not to be severe in our judgment of the Novus Ordo — at least clearly weakened, and this we can easily prove whether by internal or external factors, that is to say, by an analysis of the Ordo itself; also, by what outsiders say about it; and, lastly, by the realities that flow from this reform. But it is especially by the internal proofs, that is to say, by studying the Novus Ordo itself, that we reach this conclusion.
Archbishop Lefebvre now illustrates in detail the depreciation of these three dogmas in the Novus Ordo. [The first one, "The New Mass and the Sacrifice" is presented here — the other two will be provided in the coming weeks.]

(First principal dogma) The New Mass and the Sacrifice

The Novus Ordo weakens the notion of sacrifice. The suppression of certain prayers and liturgical gestures hides the sacrificial aspect of the Mass. The churches themselves are no longer centered on the altar.

1. The absence of sacrifice in the liturgy

Basically, there are two parts in the Novus Ordo: the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. The liturgy of the sacrifice is gone. That is why immediately after the quick words of the Consecration the distribution of the Eucharistic bread takes place.
It constitutes a diminution of what is the center of the Mass, of what the sacrifice of the Mass truly is.

2. Suppression of the propitiatory prayers

All the texts that very clearly affirm the propitiatory end, the essential end, of the sacrifice of the Mass have been removed. One or two faint allusions still remain, but that is all. This was done because the propitiatory end is denied by the Protestants.
The prayers that explicitly expressed the idea of propitiation, like those of the Offertory and those pronounced by the priest before communicating, have been suppressed. Likewise, at the end of the Mass, the prayer to the Blessed Trinity, which says “...grant that the sacrifice which I...have offered up in the sight of Thy Majesty may be acceptable to Thee, and through Thy mercy be a propitiation (propitiabile — the very word is used!) — for me and for all those for whom it has been offered,” has also been suppressed. The expression “sacrifice” is absent from Canon II, attributed to St. Hippolytus.[21] The diminution of the notion of sacrifice in the new rite is obvious because the term sacrifice itself is rarely employed; and when it is employed, it is in a Protestant manner, because the Protestants accept the term sacrifice for the Mass but only in the sense of a sacrifice of praise or Eucharistic sacrifice, but certainly not in the sense of a propitiatory sacrifice.

3. A suppression inspired by Protestantism

When you say, “The notion of sacrifice is being lost in the Novus Ordo,” the innovators respond, “No, look, the word sacrifice is still here and there.” Indeed, the word sacrifice is used a few times.... The Protestants also accept the notion of sacrifice in the Mass, but uniquely as a sacrifice of thanksgiving, praise, or adoration, and not as a propitiatory sacrifice, which is essential to the Catholic notion of sacrifice. The Council of Trent wrote entire chapters about this against the Protestants. Thus it is a very serious matter to have suppressed all the prayers speaking of propitiatory sacrifice.
The result, unfortunately, of the post-conciliar reforms has been to affect the notion of sacrifice, the notion of the Passion continued in the sacrifice of the Mass. Not that the innovators have denied it outright, but that they do not mention it, with the result that men forget it; they no longer think of it. Certainly, the authors of the new, post-conciliar liturgy have not denied the sacrifice of the Mass, but by the fact that they put so much emphasis on the table, the Eucharistic meal, and by omitting the term sacrifice, or at least by speaking of it only occasionally so that they can claim that they are not unaware of it, people stop believing in the virtue of Calvary.
I could have brought you a book that came out during vacation entitled Fifteen Bishops Profess the Faith of the Catholic Church, published by the Cerf Publishing house. Three of the fifteen bishops are cardinals. The worst of the articles is surely the one by the bishop of Arras on the Mass. In the book he writes: “It is said that the sacrifice of the Mass was made to offer satisfaction that horrible word, satisfaction.” He asserts that this term originated in a medieval idea that represents God the Father as needing blood for the remission of our sins, as if God were a blood-thirsty executioner who wants to immolate His Son and who wants His Son’s Blood. Yet the Council of Trent clearly affirms that Our Lord offered His life as a propitiation for our sins, hence for satisfaction, which is another term that means the same thing. This approach to understanding Christ’s sacrifice is found in St. Paul. If the notion of propitiatory sacrifice is excluded, then there is nothing left to do but cast all St. Paul’s epistles into the fire. Consequently, what do these bishops understand of the sacrifice of the Mass?

4. Suppression of the gestures symbolizing the sacrifice

Moreover, to analyze the new rite, I think that it is necessary to consider not only the texts, but also all the rubrics and the new gestures that are required: the genuflections, the Signs of the Cross, the inclinations...and even the change in the objects. Thus, in the first Canon, all the Signs of the Cross have been suppressed! One day I was celebrating Mass, at the Swiss Carmel, I think. The Carmelites didn’t have a new missal. They had an old missal that had been given to them. But the missal had been scrawled all over by the reformers. There was a big red circle over every cross to show that it had been deleted. Likewise, the rubrics mentioning genuflections were crossed through in red. I could see at a single glance the complete transformation of the Canon! I assure you, the first Canon is no longer the Roman Canon. That clearly is not so; everything was changed: no more genuflections, no more Signs of the Cross! Appalling! The Sign of the Cross showed that it indeed concerned the sacrifice of the Cross. Let us not say that these are merely details. These are not details; these are gestures that have meaning and value.
Another example: The grandeur of the sacrifice requires that the altar be made of a noble material and in some way be attached to the ground. From the fourth century, the Church has prescribed the altar stone. Undoubtedly altar stones were already in use, but the pope who prescribed the altar stone for offering the sacrifice only confirmed what probably had been done from the beginning. Well, the altar stone was suppressed. It is no longer obligatory, and now the altar is replaced by a simple table to signify better the meal rather than the sacrifice; and that certainly does not enhance the dignity or sacred character of the Mass, which is a true sacrifice.
The suppression of the altar stone also led to the suppression of the relics of the holy martyrs who were immolated and who shed their blood for Our Lord Jesus Christ, and thus the union of the blood of the martyrs and the Blood of Our Lord expressed by the presence of the saints’ relics in the altar stone. The beautiful link that exists between the sacrifice of the saints and the sacrifice of Our Lord who offers Himself on the altar is no longer represented. How could they have suppressed these things? It is unbelievable!
I told Cardinal Seper: “See how the notion of sacrifice is diminished.” The Church has always had the sense of sacrifice. I would even say that it is in the nature of man. It is a part of man’s nature to offer sacrifices. All sacrifices are offered on a stone, on something solid. And they suppressed the altar stones!
The doing away with the altar stone, the introduction of a table covered with a single cloth, the turning of the priest towards the people, the host left on the paten and not on the corporal, the authorization of the use of ordinary bread, vessels made from diverse materials, even the humblest — all these and many other details help to inculcate those present with Protestant notions essentially and gravely opposed to Catholic teaching.

5. The altar cross suppressed or relegated to the side

The crucifixes on the altars have also often been suppressed, or at least moved to the side of the altar. Consequently, there is not even a reminder of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ for something that is the true, real reproduction of Our Lord’s sacrifice.
Occasionally finding myself in Spain, I recently went to the mountains to visit the little villages. The first thing I did was to go to the church to see if perhaps in these remote regions of Spain there was still an altar of sacrifice as before. But no, there was nothing. There was no crucifix! But where is the sacrifice? They’ve suppressed the cross! I looked for the cross, but there was no cross. There was just a bare, meaningless table. That is not the Catholic Faith. The Catholic Faith is the sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ in which we participate and which transforms Christian life — the life of families and societies.
The suppression or displacement of the altar cross betokens a diminution of the idea of sacrifice. The Church requires a crucifix on the altar; it must be there precisely because it reminds us of the sacrifice of Calvary.
The innovators no longer see in the Mass a propitiatory sacrifice, but we must always come back to that. We must always put the faithful at the foot of the Cross, before the sacrifice of Our Lord. This must be our recurrent theme. The Mass is a sacrifice. A sacrificial action is effected, and we partake of the Victim. It is not a “sharing of bread”; it is not a “sharing of the word.”
People want nothing to do with the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ. They want nothing to do with His sacrifice, because His sacrifice reminds us that we must sacrifice ourselves, that to have life we must die to our sins, and men who seek their pleasures and satisfactions cannot stand to see it, hear it, or understand it. They want no part of the Cross. That is why so many crucifixes have disappeared in our day.

6. The Mass celebrated facing the people in the Roman basilicas

The priest turns towards the crucifix for the offering of the sacrifice. Thus the Mass celebrated facing the people takes away this notion of sacrifice. Some argue that at Rome the altars on which the pope celebrates are altars facing the people.[38] That is true, and yet it is not true, because the pope celebrates with his entire chapter, which is behind him. Thus, when the pope would celebrate, he did not turn towards the notables present — all the priests, and cardinals, and his entire court. He turned towards the faithful, but he was at such a distance that his face could scarcely be seen. On all these altars there was a crucifix, candelabra, and other ornamentation that created a separation. And then, he celebrated facing Our Lord Jesus Christ. It was not in order to celebrate Mass facing the people that he was turned towards the people, but it was because of the orientation of the basilica.[39]

7. The sacrifice of the Mass is no longer visibly signified in the churches

In the beautiful basilicas that our ancestors built, one can see that the altar is truly the heart of the edifice. You have the building’s main nave and the transept representing the Cross of Our Lord, and the altar is in the place of Our Lord’s heart. Having lost the notion of sacrifice in the Mass, the innovators now create any kind of building for a church. They construct some kind of hall, and a multi-purpose hall at that, suitable for all kinds of events, and there they “do the Eucharist,” as they call it. A table can be put anywhere. It isn’t necessary to have a building that represents the Cross. It has no meaning at all.
Contrariwise, in the olden days those who built the churches really intended to reproduce the Cross. For them, the sacrifice of the Mass was truly the sacrifice of Our Lord and not only, like now, a “Eucharist.”

8. From the disappearance of the Sacrifice to the disappearance of the Sacrament

There are two great realities in the Mass, which are the sacrifice and the Sacrament. These two great realities are realized at the same instant, at the moment when the priest pronounces the words of the consecration of the bread and the wine. When he has finished the words of consecration of the precious Blood, the sacrifice of Our Lord is accomplished, and Our Lord is also there present; the Sacrament of Our Lord is there, too....This mystical separation of the species of bread and wine realizes the sacrifice of the Mass. Thus, these two realities are effected by the words of consecration. They cannot be separated. But that is what the Protestants did; they wanted only the Sacrament with the sacrifice. They have neither the one nor the other, neither the Sacrament nor the sacrifice. And that is the danger of the New Masses. They no longer speak of sacrifice; it seems that they ignore the sacrifice. Now they only speak of the Eucharist, they do a “Eucharist” as if it were only a meal. There is a real risk of their having neither the one nor the other. It is very dangerous. Inasmuch as the sacrifice disappears, the Sacrament also disappears because what is present in the Sacrament is the victim. If there is no more sacrifice, there is no victim.

9. An official document from the Paris chancery

Here is a document from the Centre Jean-Bart, official center of the Archbishopric of Paris; there are incredible statements, for instance Christ’s Eucharist Today (no out-of-date publication, it is dated March 17, 1973): “Is not the Mass Our Lord’s Supper, an invitation to communion?” There is no more mention of sacrifice. Then: “At the heart of the Mass lies a story”....No, it is not a story.
What we are celebrating then is a memorial of our redemption. Memorial, a word which it is essential to understand. It is not a question of commemorating a past event, as though meeting simply in remembrance. Neither is it a question of the renewal of that event. Christ died and rose again once for ever — that can never happen again.
Can never happen again”? Is not Our Lord able to perform a miracle and repeat for us His sacrifice on Calvary?
Those who hold authority in the Church are gradually making the notion of propitiatory sacrifice disappear, and exalt communion even more than the Real Presence.
NB: the footnotes referring to the conference or work the Archbishop’s words were derived from have been omitted here for the sake of space.
12 According to an adage well known to liturgists, “Lex orandi, lex credendi,” or “the law of prayer affects the law of faith”; that is to say, the way we pray influences our faith. In his Encyclical Mediator Dei on the liturgy, Pius XII explains that this adage, taken from the Indiculus of Pope Celestine I (Pope from 422-432, DS 246), does not mean that the liturgy is “a kind of proving ground for the truths to be held of faith, meaning by this that the Church is obliged to declare such a doctrine sound when it is found to have produced fruits of piety and sanctity through the sacred rites of the liturgy, and to reject it otherwise” (§46). It means that “The entire liturgy, therefore, has the Catholic faith for its content, inasmuch as it bears public witness to the faith of the Church” (§47).
13 In missa offertur Deo verum et proprium sacrificium. Cf. Council of Trent, Session 22, Canon 1, DS 1751 (Denzinger 948).
14 The Council of Trent enounces this condemnation: “If anyone says that the sacrifice of the Mass is only one of praise and thanksgiving, or that it is a mere commemoration of the sacrifice consummated on the Cross, but not one of propitiation...: let him be anathema” (Session 22, Canon 3, DS 1753 [Dz. 950]). Propitiation restores man to the Divine friendship (renders God “propitious”) by the remission of sins.
15 Hostia aut victima est ipse Christus praesens sub speciebus panis et vini.
16 Sacerdotes illique soli sunt ministri.
21 The N.O.M. allows a choice between four “Eucharistic prayers,” including one ascribed to St. Hippolytus. Open Letter to Confused Catholics, p.21.
38 In Roman basilicas, which were civic buildings originally, the apses are oriented westward. When using them as churches, the Christians celebrated facing east (the symbol of Our Lord, the Sun of Justice), thus facing the people in the nave.
39 In churches properly situated, the priest celebrates facing east

Happy New Year!

From Rorate Caeli:
The new Liturgical Year begins today at 1st Vespers of the First Sunday in Advent. As our readers know, the advent of the nativity of Our Lord is a very special season for us, considering the name chosen for this venue. We wish all of you and your families a very blessed new year and a very blessed season of preparation for Christmas.

As an Advent and Christmastide gift, we will post in installments in the upcoming weeks the new updated, corrected and revised version of the great work first published by us in 2011: Don Pietro Leone Monselice's "The Roman Rite: Old and New", translated by our dear Francesca Romana.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Awesomeness of the Novus Ordo!

Stunningly beautiful new altars grace the Novus Ordo around Europe.  We can only hope that this AWESOMENESS will cross the pond and into the U.S. Heck, who needs those dusty old high altars anyway?

From Rorate Caeli:
In the past few days this photograph has circulated among some Catholic blogs (and at least one Orthodox blog):

It shows Cardinal Marx spreading chrism on what surely has to be one of the strangest altars ever consecrated for a Catholic church in the past 60 years.
This event, the consecration of this altar, actually took place in 2010 for Munich's Jugendkirche ("youth church"). More pictures of the event can be found here. The altar is not as light as it appears: it is made of galvanized bronze and weighs 160 kilos all in all. 

Below we see the altar in use during a Youth Mass in 2011 led by Bishop Engelbert Siebler, at that time an Auxiliary Bishop for Munich and Freising (source):

Speaking of youth churches: all in all there are more than a hundred Catholic "youth churches" in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Luxembourg. There is a website on the activities of the various Catholic and Protestant "youth churches" in German-speaking lands: Jugendkirchen. There are no words to describe many of the pictures. For example:

Coming back to Cardinal Marx and his attitude to strange altars: he consecrated or will be consecrating 2 of them this month. 

On the 10th of November, he consecrated a new altar for the Church of the Annunciation in Traunstein-Haslach, one of the oldest parishes in the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, dating back to the 14th century. (More photos here.)

Then on the 24th of November (today) he is scheduled to consecrate the following altar, for the church of St. Michael in Attel. According to the linked article, the altar is made of glass, with a metal framework inside.

These are no "isolated instances" but part of a wider trend that has not stopped at all in these past few years. This is the continuing trend of permanently erecting deliberately "modern" altars versus traditional and venerable altars, implanting dissonance, rupture and ugliness in the middle of so many old churches in Europe. This trend has continued and will continue, Benedict XVI or no Benedict XVI, Francis or no Francis, with or without the blogs documenting them, and despite the fantasies of some that insanity in liturgy and sacred art is over.

To see more examples from Germany, the old version of Fides et Forma has a post with pictures of Archbishop Gerhard Müller consecrating five very "modern" altars as Bishop of Regensburg, all during the reign of Pope Benedict XVI, all in beautiful old Bavarian churches.

From France we have this blank-looking altar consecrated in May of this year for the 12th century Abbey of Leoncel, this monument to dissonance consecrated in 2011 for the 18th-century Sainte-Madeleine de Besançon, and this cramped little altar consecrated last year in the historical Église Sainte-Marguerite de Soppe-le-Haut. Want more? See this (from 2011), and this (the article doesn't say the year, but this was installed in the centuries-old Carmel of Angers in 2012),  and this (the new altar, along with the new ambo and throne of the Gothic-style Cathedral of Nantes, consecrated in May of this year). And there are so many other examples on the Internet...

The new altar and ambo of Sainte-Madeleine de Besançon

In neighboring Belgium, Archbishop Leonard of Malines-Brussels blessed a glass altar in 2012 in the splendid neoclassical (18th c.) Église Saints-Jean-et-Étienne-aux-Minimes in Brussels.

For examples from Italy, we have this cube altar consecrated only last month for a neoclassical church, a new asymmetrically designed altar consecrated in August this year for an 18th century church in Trent (!), and yet another cube altar of rough stone consecrated in December last year for the 16th-century parochial church of Montorfano.

The Gesù in Rome was not spared. This banality was installed only a couple of years ago, when Benedict XVI was Pope.

Rorate has other posts on this theme.

These aberrations can and will continue, as these are but symptoms of the profound dislocation of the sacred liturgy of the Roman Rite. This dislocation cannot be set right either by purely voluntary movements for the promotion of the sacred from among the clergy and the laity or by the "good example" and "encouraging words" of any Supreme Pontiff.

And the "Liturgical Art and Sacred Music Commission" that was supposed to have been set up in the Congregation for Divine Worship late in 2011? No one seems to have heard of it after its creation was announced... Has it already joined the long list of aborted liturgical projects from the last two pontificates?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Deadly Book

"In 20 years, I've buried 120 priests and ordained only one"

If one could point to the primary reason the Church today has fallen off a cliff, look no farther then our bishops.  Most of our Novus Ordo bishops could screw-up a one car funeral.  Many are absolutely despicable men!

Here, courtesy of Rorate Caeli, we have a perfect example of a direct successor to Judas Iscariot.  This complete buffoon, Archbishop Yves Patenôtre, can't figure out why he hasn't ordained more then one man over the past 20 years in his Archdiocese.

Simple answer:  Real boys & real men want nothing to do with the feminized, protestantized Novus Ordo and "men" like him.  Period.

Wake up Archbishop...and put on a collar.

 Monseigneur Yves Patenôtre has been a bishop since 1994, and Archbishop of Sens-Auxerre (and Prelate of Mission de France) since 2004. And, in an article on a talk he had with a faithful who complained of giving to the Church's tithing campaign when he had not had a priest available for important moments of his life, Patenôtre wrote:
I told him what I often mention: "In almost twenty years of episcopate, I have buried one hundred and twenty priests, and I have ordained only one in the dioceses of Yonne [Sens] and the Jura [Saint-Claude, whose bishop he was from 1994 to 2004]."
And the article goes on with platitudes on how important it is to give and that the Church's foundations are her priests, and that many who are called are not willing to follow their vocation (all true, of course). But his admission is an absolutely shameful thing for a bishop to say because it is not joined by a public declaration of his grievous personal fault for this state of affairs.

As we have always said, the crisis of the Church is indeed a crisis of bishops first of all.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

1st Traditional Latin Mass experience – “The highly pastoral nature of the Extraordinary Form.”

As much as I miss Pope Benedict XVI on the Chair of Peter, and as grateful as I will always be to him for trying to restore the Faith, I will never agree with a few things he did during his much too short pontificate:

1.  I will never use the term "Extraordinary form of the Mass."  Why?  Terms such as "Traditional Latin Mass or TLM,"  "True Mass" and "Mass of the Ages" sums it up just fine.

2.  I will never believe that the TLM and the protestant Novus Ordo are one in the same Mass.  Wrong!

3.  I will never believe that both the TLM and the Novus Ordo can be mutually rewarding to each other.  Hogwash!  Or in Marine terms:  Just plain BS!

From Fr. Z this morning:

Over the past 10 years have assisted at a few dozen EF masses. I usually go alone and sometimes with my very Catholic friends, but this weekend I took a group of high school students and their parents. For all, this was their first EF experience.Most were less than enthusiastic going into it (don’t understand the language, priest facing the “wrong way,”), but afterward they were excitedly making plans for the next time they could all get together and do this again.I heard a lot of the expected reactions, e.g. more reverent, “holier”, more intimate. What struck me was the varied approaches each one took toward the Mass. Each of the parents and students were all over the map personality wise, spiritually, and intellectually, but they all intuitively found a place for themselves and participated enthusiastically. Some insisted on following the missal the entire time, while others (who came in a different car and I didn’t get the chance to give them any heads up as to what to expect) did not even pick up a missal. Some embraced the challenge of trying to understand this or that prayer or gesture, others didn’t. No one had trouble following along.For me, the EF had always been an occasional refuge from our poorly organized and largely uninspiring weekly OF mass, and, if attending with my friends, it felt like the “big boy” mass; something for those with a good theological education and a good deal of enthusiasm for the Church in general. My experience today prompted me to reflect on the highly pastoral nature of the EF.Throughout my theological training (graduate level) it was constantly impressed upon us that we should “meet people where they are,” and that we should be prudent about engaging people on the more difficult Church teachings. Today I was impressed by how the EF did these things, and did them so “effortlessly”. I and the rest of our pastoral team have frequently bent over backwards in an attempt to meet people where they’re at; with the EF, it happened, seemingly, without anyone even trying. The Church did it all for us.I hope I get the chance to assist at many EF Masses in the future, but I will no longer look on it as the Mass for the advanced. There’s truly something for everyone there!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Remnant Underground

Michael Matt and Christopher Ferrara, down 
in the catacombs, discuss religious liberty and Pope Francis.

Why the Traditional Latin Mass?

From The Remnant:
Father Michael Rodriguez
Guest Columnist  
The Only Mass Padre Pio Ever Offered
(1) The venerable and immemorial Roman Mass, including in its exquisite ritual detail, is theocentric—centered on and directed to Almighty God.  It gives constant glory to the Triune God:  a sacrifice of adoration, thanksgiving, propitiation, and impetration, directed to God, both theologically and ritually.

(2) The venerable Roman Mass (Traditional Latin Mass) is the “Mass of the Ages,” it is the Mass which has always been offered by the one, holy, Catholic Church.  Thus, it is the true and proper Catholic Mass.  This is the Mass which has been handed down by the tradition of Rome, the city consecrated by the blood of two princes, the holy apostles, St. Peter and St. Paul.  It is the masterpiece of two-thousand years of Catholic Tradition, life, and worship.

(3) By means of the Traditional Latin Mass we are able to be supremely faithful to our Catholic religion, i.e. faithful to the (exact same) law of belief (lex credendi) and the (exact same) law of prayer (lex orandi) which have been professed by all our ancestors in the Faith, stretching back to the Apostles themselves.

(4) The venerable Roman Mass, including in its exquisite ritual detail, professes, manifests and honors the ineffable Mystery which takes place:  Jesus Christ, the one High Priest, offers the sacrifice of His life, through the ministry of His priests, in an unbloody manner.  Our Redeemer returns mystically to die for us.

(5) The venerable Roman Mass, including in its exquisite ritual detail, professes, manifests, reverences, and adores the ineffable Mystery which takes place:  the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, together with His Soul and His Divinity, are made present and real through the Miracle of Transubstantiation at the time of the Consecration.

(6) It is a Dogma of the Catholic Faith that the worship of Adoration (latria) must be given to Christ present in the Eucharist.  The venerable Roman Mass, including in its exquisite ritual detail, carries this out to perfection.

(7) The venerable Roman Mass highlights the fact that Holy Mass is Christ’s own sacrifice, holy, perfect, and in every point complete, through and with which each one of the faithful nobly honors God, confessing at one and the same time one’s own nothingness and the supreme dominion which God has over one.

(8) The classical Roman Mass is unchanging.  It is characterized by a holy permanence and stability.  This is extremely important because it is a reflection of the lex credendi (the Faith) which does not change.  God is immutable, the holy truths of the Catholic Faith are immutable, Holy Scripture is immutable . . . Holy Mass is immutable.

(9) The classical Roman Mass is universal.  It unites us not only with all the Catholics of the world (space) but also with all our Catholic ancestors across the centuries (time), especially the throngs of saints whose souls were nourished and strengthened by this very same heavenly Liturgy.

(10) Our Ancient Rite expresses the Roman Catholic Faith clearly, fully, and with sublime beauty and noble precision, e.g. the mysteries of the Blessed Trinity and the Incarnation, the holiness and grandeur of Almighty God, the mystery of grace and reality of sin, the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the angels and the saints, the Mass as the Sacrifice of Christ offered to the Eternal Father for our salvation, the priesthood as a perpetuation of Christ’s own Priesthood, the hierarchical nature of the Church, death, judgment, heaven, and hell.

(11) The venerable Roman Mass professes, manifests, and extols the following effects of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass:  the most Blessed Trinity is adored, honored, and glorified, Jesus Christ renews His Death on the Cross, Jesus Christ intercedes for the Church, the Virgin Mary and the saints are honored, the Church is aided in its battle against the devil and in its effort to reach heaven, the holy souls in purgatory are freed.

(12) The orations (prayers) of the Traditional Latin Mass express, transmit, and  extol Catholic doctrine, e.g. Catholic teaching on hell, divine judgment, God’s wrath, punishment for sin, the wickedness of sin as the greatest evil, detachment from the world, purgatory, the souls of the departed, Christ’s kingship on earth, the Church Militant, the triumph of the Catholic Faith, the evils of heresy, schism and error, the conversion of non-Catholics, the merits of the saints and miracles.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Remember: Many Novus Ordo bishops are direct successors to only one Apostle, Judas Iscariot

Francis endorses the "hermeneutic of reform in continuity"

From Rorate Caeli:

Papal letter praises critic of "Bologna School" as "best interpreter of the Second Vatican Council"

In his latest post for his personal blog, Sandro Magister publicized the text of a letter sent by Pope Francis to Abp. Agostino Marchetto, a former Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People. He is best-known as the author of The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council: A Counterpoint for the History of the Council, which criticizes the "Bologna School' and champions the "hermeneutic of reform, of renewal in continuity" as proposed by Benedict XVI, most notably in his speech of December 22, 2005.
Also striking is the thanks directed to Archbishop Marchetto for having corrected an unspecified "mistake or imprecision" of Pope Francis.

Here is Rorate's translation of the letter, with our emphases:
Dear Abp. Marchetto,  
With these lines I wish to be close to you and join myself to the act of presentation of the book “Primato pontificio ed episcopato. Dal primo millennio al Concilio ecumenico Vaticano II” [Pontifical primacy and epicopate: from the first millennium to the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council"]. I beg you to consider myself spiritually present [there].  
The topic of the book is an homage to the love that you have for the Church, a loyal and at the same time poetic love. Loyalty and poetry are not an object of trade: they cannot be bought or sold, they simply are virtues that are rooted in the heart of a son who feels the Church to be a Mother; or, in order to be more precise, and saying it with an Ignatian familiar "tone", as "the Holy Mother the hierarchical Church".  
You have made this love manifest in many ways, including correcting a mistake or imprecision on my part - and for that I thank you from the heart -, but above all it is manifest in all your purity in the studies made on the Second Vatican Council. I once told you, dear Abp. Marchetto, and I wish to repeat it today, that I consider you to be the best interpreter [ermeneuta] of the Second Vatican Council.  
I know that this is a gift from God, but I also know that you made it bear fruit. I am grateful to you for all the good that you do for us with your testimony of love for the Church, and I ask the Lord that you be abundantly blessed.  
I beg you please not to forget to pray for me. May Jesus bless you, and may the Virgin protect you.  
Vatican, October 7, 2013  

In The Old Mass Did The Priest Really Turn His Back On The People?

 “In the old days the priest said Mass with his back to the people.”  The priest never had his back to the people.  When churches began to be built in the early centuries of Church history, they were constructed in such a way that when the priest offered Mass he would be facing east.  The people would face east as well.  Priest and people would face east together.  If east on a compass was impossible, priest and people would face “liturgical east”. Facing east together was what was most important.      
What is so important about facing east?  First, the sun rises in the east.  The rising sun of the universe would be a reminder of the risen Son who created the universe.  Nature itself speaks to us, remind us of the resurrection of Christ.  Second, there is a tradition that when Christ returns at the end of the world, He will come from the east.  Saying Mass with both priest and people facing east is a way for us, His people, to be ready and waiting to meet Him when He comes.  It is a way to express eager expectation of His return.  (Some cemeteries even bury the dead and have headstones facing east for the same reason).  At Christmas, the Wise Men saw the Star of Bethlehem rise in the east to announce the Messiah’s coming.  A sign in the sky from the east will also announce the Messiah’s second coming.    

Graves facing the east awaiting the Messiah's return
The reason why priest and people faced the same direction during Mass also relates to the specific role of the priest.  The priest is the spiritual leader of the people.  The priest is entrusted with being like a good shepherd, who helps lead and guide the flock towards Christ.  Since Christ will come from the east, it makes perfect sense that both the priest and people turn together towards the east, and that the priest be out in front leading the flock toward their ultimate Good Shepherd.  General George Washington always got out in front of his soldiers and led them in battle.  No soldier complained about Washington having his back to them as he led them in battle.  Similarly, no one complains when a pilot, the leader of passengers, has his back to the people when he pilots the plane.  They are happy he is focused on their destination.  The priest is like a general or a pilot, in that he is a spiritual leader of the people.  It makes sense that both priest and people face towards the east together, and that the priest lead them to their ultimate destination, to God.  
Other things to consider: When the priest and people face the same direction, their souls and bodies are oriented where they should be – towards the Lord.   When the priest and people face each other, a danger that could occur is that instead of being focused on God, the priest and people are focused in on each other and Mass can become worship of self and of human achievement, rather than a worship of God and focus on Him alone.  Today, with priest and people facing each other, how often is there applause during Mass for some human accomplishment?  How often is Mass focused on a specific group of people?  How often did this occur when the priest and people faced the same direction and focused on God alone? 

Take your pick ... This one
With priest and people facing each other, the priest can subconsciously feel he is on a stage, rather than in a sanctuary and that he has to try to be humorous or somehow interesting to the people.  When the priest faces the same direction as the people, his face is unseen and his individuality is diminished. This helps the people and the priest.  It helps the people focus on God alone and helps the priest suppress his own personality, driving home that he is a slave of God and the Mass, not the main character in a stage production.    
“In the old days the priest said Mass with his back to the people.”  Absolutely false!  This gives the impression that the priest was haughty or that the people were excluded.  Rather priest and people faced the same direction, faced towards the Lord.  

Or this one?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cardinal Bartolucci (RIP)
Dominicus Card. Bartolucci 
vii Maii MCMXVII - xi Nov. MMXIII

Cardinal Bartolucci on the Traditional Latin Mass, August 12, 2009 (from The Remnant)

A bombshell of an interview. Mons. Domenico Bartolucci on the liturgical reforms and the reform of the reform.

An interview with Mons. Domenico Bartolucci, Maestro Perpetuo of the Sistine Chapel under five Popes. The original Italian can be found here.

From the remarkable Italian Catholic blog, Disputationes Theologicae:
The liturgical reform of the 1970-ies is today taking up much space in the theological discussions, because liturgy and theology are mixed up in a – may we venture to say so – “transcendental relation”. It is not possible to discuss the one without taking up the other, if one does not want to fall into that theology of watertight compartments that was in use in the 1950-ies. Today it is necessary – in the wake of a more vast debate in which we engage ourselves – to formulate an open and straightforward analysis of what has happened and take an appropriate attitude towards the practical remedies and above all remedies that are “realizable” (realizzabili) as Saint Pius X used to repeat. Upon the request of so many of our readers, our Editorial Office also would like to occupy itself with the argument, if possible avoiding the repetition of the methodological errors of the past. Therefore it is our wish to initiate the true transmittance of the authentic Tradition.– basing ourselves on the testimony of those who have known the past, because of their age and their prestige, and not only because of their authority. As liturgy is also practical science, we have not wished to start off with pontificating “liturgists” who say they have read so and so many books and codices, but rather take the matter up with someone who has lived and touched the liturgy as nobody else has, because he has prepared, repeated, coordinated and known the religious ceremonies in his Tuscan countryside, ceremonies which concluded with the “Messa in terza” (a mass celebrated by three i.e. Solemn Mass -- CAP) and the unfailing processions with a musical band, as well as the splendors of the “Cappella Papale” in the Sistine chapel. We have the honor of introducing to you Monsignor Domenico Bartolucci, in an interview done by us lately. He was born in 1917 in Borgo San Lorenzo (Florence)., Tuscan by birth, Roman by pontifical summons, in 1952 he became substitute next to Perosi in the Sistine Chapel and from 1956 he became its Maestro Perpetuo. On the 24th of June, 2006 the reigning pontiff organized a special ceremony in honor of the musician (see the picture above), in order to consecrate “ad perpetuam rei memoriam” his closeness to the great master. During the occasion the Pope said: “ sacred polyphony, especially the one belonging to the Roman school, is a legacy which we must preserve with care (..); a genuine updating of the sacred music can only take place within the great tradition of the past of the Gregorian chant and of the sacred polyphony”. S.C.

by Pucci Cipriani and Stefano Carusi
A meeting with Monsignor Domenico Bartolucci, the distinguished Mugellan musician, Maestro Emeritus of the Sistine Chapel, admirer, friend and collaborator of Benedict XVI.
It is a sunny afternoon on the green hills of the Mugellan landscape, when we arrive on the Roman church of Montefloscoli, in the antique rectory full of memories the Maestro Perpetuo of the Sistine Chapel is enjoying the fresh air, behind him a framed photo of the hug the reigning pontiff is giving Monsignor Domenico Bartolucci, the successor of Lorenzo Perosi in the Sacred Palace. On his writing-desk the now-famous book of Monsignor Brunero Gherardini: “Il Concilio Vaticano II- un discorso da fare” (“The Second Vatican Council – a debate to be started”), edited by Edizioni Casa Mariana.
It is on the subject of the liturgical reform that we start our conversation with the Maestro, with Domenico Bartolucci, who in liturgical and musical matters has been at ease working and giving counsel to five popes and who is a friend and collaborator of Benedict XVI, whose work he says is “an immense gift to the Church, if only they would let it work”.
Maestro, the recent publication of the Motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum” has brought a gust of fresh air into the desolate liturgical panorama which surrounds it. Even you may now celebrate the Mass of all time (“messa di sempre”.)
To tell the truth, I have always and without interruption celebrated it since my ordination … on the contrary, I sometimes found it difficult to celebrate according to the modern rite, even if I never said so.
The Mass which never was abolished, is it not?
Those are the words of the Holy Father even if some people pretend not to understand and even if many in the past have argued that the opposite is true. 
Maestro, you have to admit to those who are denigrating the old Mass that it is not a Mass open to participation.
So that you won't think that I'm just saying anything, I know how participation in old times was like, both in Rome, in the (St. Peter's) Basilica and outside it, for instance down here in Mugello, in this parish, in this beautiful countryside, which was then populated by people strong in faith and full of piety. During Sunday Vespers the priest could just start singing “Deus in adiutorium meum intende” and thereafter fall asleep on his seat to wake up only at the “chapter”, the peasants would have continued alone and the heads of the family would have intoned the antiphon!
Do we see a veiled polemic, Maestro, in your confrontation with the current liturgical style?
I do not know, if you have ever been at a funeral and witnessed those “hallelujahs”, hand-clapping, giggly phrases, etc. One really asks oneself if these people have ever read the Gospel. Our Lord himself cried over Lazarus and his death. Here now, with this oily sentimentalism, nothing is respected, not even the suffering of a mother. I would like to show you how the people in old times participated in a Funeral Mass and how in the midst of that compunction and devotion, the magnificent and tremendous “Dies Irae” was intoned. 
Was the reform not done by people who were conscious of what they were doing and well educated in the teachings of the Roman Church?
I beg your pardon, but the reform was done by arid people, arid, arid, I repeat it. And I knew them. As for the doctrine, Cardinal Ferdinando Antonelli himself, once said, I remember it well: “What are we to make of liturgists who know nothing about theology?”
We agree with you, Monsignore, but is it not true that the people did not understand….
Dearest friends, have you never read Saint Paul: “It is not important to know anything but what is necessary”, “it is necessary to love knowledge ad sobrietatem”. At this rate, after a few years people will pretend to understand “transubstantiation” in the same way as they explain a mathematical theorem. But just think of it that not even the priest may quite understand this mystery!
But how could it have come to this twisting of the liturgy?
It became a kind of fashion. Everybody talked about it, everybody “was renewing”, everybody was trying to be like popes (tutti pontificavano) in the wake of sentimentalism, of eagerness to reform. And the voices that raised themselves to defend the two thousand year old Tradition of the Church, were cleverly hushed. There was the invention of a kind of “people’s liturgy” … when I heard these refrains, it came into my mind something which my professor at the Seminary used to say: “the liturgy is something given by the clerics to the people” (“la liturgia è del clero per il popolo”). It descends from God and does not come up from the bottom. I have to admit, however, that this foul-smelling appearances have made themselves a bit more rare. The young generations of priests are maybe better than those who came before them, they do not have the ideological fury of an iconoclastic ideology, they are full of good feelings, however they lack in education.
What do you mean, Maestro, when you say “they lack in education”?

It means that they need it! I am speaking of the structure that the wisdom of the Church had so delicately chiseled in course of centuries. You do not understand the importance of the seminary: a liturgy that is fully lived, the orderly articulation of the different periods of the year and all this experienced in social communion with the brothers... Advent, Lent, the big feasts that follow after Easter. All of this is educational and if you only knew how much!

A foolish rhetoric wants to depict the seminary as something which spoils the priest, that the seminarians, remote and far away from the world, remain closed in themselves and distant from the people. This is pure imagination, invented by people who wish to dissolve an age-old formative richness and replace it with emptiness.

Let us return to the crisis of the Church and to the fact that so many seminaries have closed down, do you, Monsignore, support a return to the continuation of Tradition?
Look here, to defend the old rite is not the same as being a worshipper of ancient times; it is to be “eternal”. You see, when one gives the traditional mass names like “Mass of Saint Pius V” or “Tridentine” one is wrong, it makes it seem as if it is a mass belonging to a certain epoch. It is our Mass, the Roman universal Mass, valid everywhere and in all times, a single language spoken from the Oceania to the Arctic’s. Concerning the continuity in time, I would like to tell you an episode. Once we were together with a Bishop whose name I forgot, in a small church in Mugello, when there came the sudden notice that a brother of ours had died. We suggested that we at once celebrate a Mass, but then we realized that we only had old Missals at hand. The Bishop refused categorically to celebrate. I will never forget it and I repeat that the continuity of the liturgy means that – except for small details – it can be celebrated today, with that old dusty missal standing on a bookshelf and which for four centuries or more has served my predecessors.
Monsignore, there is much talk about a “reform of the reform” which could take away the deformities that came in the 70-ies.
The question is rather complicated. That the new rite had deficiencies is by now becoming evident for everybody, and the Pope has many times said and written that we must “keep what is ancient” (guardare all'antico). However we must beware of the temptations of introducing hybrid measures. The liturgy with a big “L” is the one that comes to us from centuries back, it is the reference, it is not the debased liturgy which holds so many compromises “that make God sad and the enemy happy” ("a Dio spiacenti e a l’inimici sui”)
What do you mean, Maestro?
Let us for instance take the innovations in the seventies. Some ugly songs in beat that were in vogue in the churches in 1968, are today already archeological pieces. Giving up perennity and emerging oneself in time, means that one is condemned to the fads of fashion. In this connection I come to think of the Reform of the Holy Week in the 1950's, made with some hurry under the pontificate of a Pope Pius XII who was already exhausted and tired. Only some years later, under Pope John XXIII who in liturgical matters was of a convinced and moving traditionalism, came a telephone call to me from Mons. Dante, Master of Ceremonies of the Pope, who told me to prepare the “Vexilla Regis” for the coming celebration on Good Friday. I was somehow taken aback and answered: “They have forbidden me to do it”. The answer was: “But the Pope wishes it.” In a few hours I organized the repetitions of the songs and very happily we sang again the same songs which the Church had sung in many centuries on that day. All this only to say that when one distances oneself from the liturgical context those voids become difficult to fill and you can be sure they are noticed! In front of our liturgy of many centuries we should contemplate it and venerate it and remember that in our mania for “improvements”, we only risk doing great damage.
Maestro, what role does music play in this process?

It has an incredibly important role for many reasons. The affected “Cecilianism” to which certainly Perosi was no stranger, with its tones that were so mild and enticing to the ear had introduced a new romantic sentimentalism, which had nothing to do, for instance, with the eloquent and solid physicality of Palestrina. Some extravagant deteriorations introduced by Solesmes had cultivated a subdued gregorianism, which also was the fruit of a pseudo-restauring passion for the Medieval ages, which were so popular in the nineteenth century.

The idea of an opportunity to recuperate the archeological vein, both in music and liturgy, of a past, from which the so called “oxen centuries” (seculi bui) of the Council of Trent separated it ….. in short an archeology which has nothing at all to do with Tradition and which wishes to restore something which maybe never existed, is a bit similar to certain churches restored in the “pseudoromantic” style of Viollet-le-Duc.
What does it mean, Monsignore, when in the musical field you attack Solesmes?
This means that the Gregorian chant is modal, not tonal and not rhythmical, it has nothing to do with “one, two, three, one, two, three”. We should not despise the way people sung in our cathedrals and replace it with a pseudo-monastic and affected murmuring. A song from the Middle Ages is not interpreted with theories of today, but one should go about it as it was then. Moreover the Gregorian chant of another historical time could also be sung by the people, sung using the force with which our people expressed their faith. Solesmes never understood this, but we should recognize the learned and great philological work executed on the old manuscripts.

Maestro, how far have we come in our days with the restoration of Sacred Music and the Liturgy?

I cannot deny that there some signs of restoration, but I still can see that there persists a certain blindness, almost a complacency for all that is vulgar, coarse, in bad taste and also doctrinally temerarious. Most important, do not ask me, please, to make a judgement on the guitar-players and on the tarantellas which are sung during the Offertory.….The liturgical problem is serious, do not listen to the voices of those persons who do not love the Church and who oppose the Pope and if you want to cure the sick then remember that the merciful doctor makes the wound purulent (fa la piaga purulenta).