The following comes from a May 13 Father Z’s Blog post:
The liturgical celebration of Ascension by the Latin Church has become a little confused in recent years.
In the post-Conciliar calendar used with the Novus Ordo editions of the Missale Romanum for this coming Sunday we ought – in my opinion – to be observing the 7th Sunday of Easter. Ascension Thursday should fall, appropriately, on Thursday. However, by the same logical that dislocated Epiphany (“Twelfth Night”) from its proper place twelve days, appropriately, after Christmas, some years ago the Holy See allowed bishops to transfer the celebration of Ascension Thursday to the following Sunday.
I call this liturgical caper “Ascension Thursday Sunday”.
Those who are participating at Holy Mass with the 1962MR avoid all this. Ascension Thursday is, logically, on Thursday.
Since we should, when examining issues, pay attention to cult, code and creed, and since we have looked at the theological point of the liturgical observance of the Ascension (creed and cult) let’s look also at some law (code).
In the 1983 Code of Canon Law, can. 1246, Ascension Thursday is indicated as one of the few Holy Days of Obligation.
You fulfill your obligation by going to Mass either Ascension Thursday or the Vigil of Ascension.
The bishops who did transfer the feast to Sunday were, I am sure, hoping to expose more people to the mystery of the Ascension of the Lord. Probably included in that calculation was also the notion that it is tooo haaard for people to go to Mass also on Thursday. “Mass twice in a week? Tooo haaard!”
I am no doubt under the the influence of having read so much St. Augustine. My present view of humanity suggests that when Holy Mother Church lowers expectations regarding the liturgy, people get the hint and lower their own personal expectations of themselves. They get the hint that the feast just isn’t that important. As a matter of fact, maybe none of this Catholic stuff, with all these rules, is that important. This is what happened with lowering expectations about Friday abstinence (hardly anyone pays attention to it anymore), going to confession regularly and confession all mortal sins, the Eucharistic fast, dressing appropriately for Mass, etc. etc. etc. If you change how people pray (or tell them they don’t have to) you change the way people believe. There is a reciprocal relationship between our prayer and our belief. Lex ordandi – Lex credendi.
I am left with the opinion that the option to dislocate such an important and ancient feast falls into the category of a Really Bad Idea™. As a matter of fact, it isn’t a Really Bad Idea™ just because it could undermine our Catholic identity, it is also a Really Bad Idea™ because it smacks of arrogant novelty.
Celebration on Thursday reflects the ancient practice of the Churches of the East and West alike. We read in Holy Scripture that nine days, not six, intervened between the Lord’s physical ascent to the Father’s right hand and the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. If Pentecost was the 50th day, seven weeks – as the ancients counted the starting day itself is included so you get 50 rather than 49), then Ascension Thursday was fixed at the 40th day after Easter.
The observance of Ascension Thursday was fixed from about the end of the 4th century. In the Latin West, St. Augustine of Hippo (+430) called it Quadragesima (“fortieth”) Ascensionis. In the Greek East, St. Gregory of Nyssa spoke of it in 388. That’s only a 16 century tradition.
And how, I ask you, is transferring Ascension Thursday to Sunday in conformity with the “spirit of Vatican II” as actually printed in the documents of Vatican II?
My Parish Bulletin stated that Sunday Mass was acceptable for observation of the Holy Day, and I had no reason to question this. I went to Church Today, and hope it was done properly – at least as far as Sincere Intent.
Father Zuhlsdorf is great, he has become more and more a TLM priest over the years than when he first began, I understand he must walk a tight rope in concern with the current papacy I get that, but I believe he sees what this current pontiff is all about and is not crazy about him.
There are PLENTY of Masses early in the morning or in the early evening during the week, there is NO EXCUSE why we cannot have Ascension Thursday on a Thursday!!! If it were a Giants game or some sporting event, believe you me, people would have no problem with going to that.
A lot of what goes on in the modern Catholic Church has “become a little confused in recent years”.
I know what the good father means. Ascension Thursday was on both my calendars, the one for the Ordinary Mass in English and the one for the Extraordinary Latin Mass, so I chose to go on Thursday to an Ordinary Mass in English at a convenient time. Nevertheless, Ascension Thursday is not what I got; it had been transferred in my area to Sunday
Please bishops put it on the same date, Thursday, or change the date on your calendar. I am tired of playing “Who’s on first, What’s on second and I Don’t Know is on third. Anyway, St. Mathias got honored.
Did anyone hear Fr. Robert Barron’s Word on Fire homily of this morning? Maybe I misunderstood, as I was driving, but I thought I heard him deny that Christ physically ascended into heaven, and, without using the word, suggested that the Gospel account was a metaphor.
No – he said Jesus sitting at “God’s right hand” was a metaphor for being in the position of favor that He (Christ) is not (most probably) just sitting on high and looking low – He is active and engaged in the situations on earth. Sounds to me like he hates using the term “the Father” but no – I don’t think he is saying what you suggest.
Come on, Fr. Z, get with the N.O. Program.
We, the bishops of America, transferred all those “Obligation” days to Sundays because no one believes in them anymore. You know that, come on; Mass twice a week??
Also, it means that we, and our priests, need to have more masses, even if not many come. We do not want to do this, as it spoils dinner and our TV viewing later.
Does anyone really believe that Christ went up into the air – – – like a balloon – – – (laugh track on here). Where is He now, over Pluto? Hah,hah,hah.
Oh, Fr. Z, that is a knee-slapper of an idea. We are so close now to training our attendees in just the right way: thoughtless dolts who hand over the dough. You don’t think that we follow any rules do you? Why, we hated Benedict and never followed what he said: just look at Bishop Lynch in St. Pete dumping those Traditional masses — way to go Lynch!! And Dolan leading the Fairy Brigade at the St. Paddy’s Day Parade. Oh, God, I love it so!!
Are you aware of Amazon.com? It is available starting at $17.48 on up. There are many other fine books by Vatican 2 eyewitnesses. Romano Amerio’s “Iota Unum” is another. You have a chance not to be like the mindless (best-they-remain) anonymous crowd.
[These were the same people who for forty years denied there was a problem with the words of institution, and who lock-step backed up those of the criminal hierarchy who hid the abuse and immorality problem. I saw enough of them in Phoenix under a certain prior episcopate. Even when the bishop hit ran and killed a guy on Glendale Ave: they still backed him up 120%. ]
Sorry, the prior post was supposed to be a response to YFC so he can get his own copy of K Gamber’s “The Reform of the Roman Liturgy”, and my system hiccupped.
Steve Phoenix– again, thanks for all of your wonderful posts! Your resources are also excellent!
I have always missed the traditional Feast Day observances, of Feasts such as Ascension Thursday, and Epiphany! A long time ago, every Feast and season had meaning! People who were devout Catholics, really embraced the many opportunities, to practice their Faith, and observe all of the Feasts and traditions! It also brought Catholic families together, in the practice of their Faith. It is not hard, for Catholics and their families, to plan for religious observances! On Ash Wed., the entire Catholic world (even sometimes, fallen-away Catholics!) runs to crowd all the churches, for Mass, and reception of their Ashes! It means a lot, to Catholics!!
In 1979 I was visiting Rome, Italy, and the day I flew back to the States was Ascension Thursday, however, in Italy at that time is was “Ascension Sunday”. I went to Mass, which was a regular day. After arriving back home, when I went to Mass on Sunday, it was the 7th Sunday after Easter. So I never attended an Ascension Thursday Mass in 1979.
This article is just one written in the tone of it being in their personal opinion. Poorly written and sounding more personal agenda written. If written intelligently it would provoke faithfulness not recentment. I do appreciate the awareness it tried to convey though. Notice it states Novus Ordo instead of proper name OF and it mocks V2. Certaintly it was written out of their personal prejudices. Blaming all on the church are people who tear down the faith. My understanding today, is that Computers, internet, tv, media and even many protestant movements have changed our moral view point. Unfortunately, all these and more have become very influencial on the priorities of the people and laid heavy burdens at family life. Many that undermine the church and its intended mission since its beginning, but God still wins in the end. Divorce, abortion, contraception, etc are sins that enslave the will and creates not necessarily lazy people but actually spiritually bankrupt people. Even those who religiously do comply, have become numb. The church understands this and perhaps not all biships or priests understand how to deal with modern day moral decline, its much more bigger a problem then simply blaming whats on the surface, the issue is moral decline that had been accuring way before V2. Today modern day technology has become the monster that has swept many off their feet.
Fr. Z makes it clear in the second paragraph of the article above that he is expressing his personal opinion, Abeca: “In the post-Conciliar calendar used with the Novus Ordo editions of the Missale Romanum for this coming Sunday we ought – in my opinion – to be observing the 7th Sunday of Easter.”
Abeca Christian, although I usually use the terms Ordinary and Extraordinary for the newer Mass and the older Latin one, I might use the term Novus Ordo when speaking to someone who also goes to the Extraordinary Latin Mass and under stands the Latin as I believe it is the proper Latin term for the newer Mass (post Vatican II Mass). All Novus Ordo means in English is New Order, and not all who use that term use it derogatorily. One must look at the context of what the person is saying to understand how they are using it. I believe it is actually the proper Latin term for the Extraordinary Mass, and “Extraordinary” is the proper English term for the same Mass. The experts on this can correct me if I am wrong.
Whoops! a big correction. I meant I beleive the Latin words Novus Ordo are the proper Latin words for the Ordinary Mass, not the Extraordinary Mass. I did not see my mistake in my last lines until I clicked the back button after I had already sent out my post. So sorry!
Yes, so now 40 days after Easter, Ascension Thursday is too inconveeeenient.
Heh-heh! I thought Fr Z might also mention Mk 16:14 (the immediately preceding and actually introductory verse to the “Ascension Sunday” Gospel reading, that verse which was “conveniently left out”, because it shows Jesus as “hard” and “demanding”, and he spiritually thrashes the episcopal leadership within 40 days of His own resurrection!) :
“At length he appeared to the eleven as they were at table: and he upbraided them with their incredulity and hardness of heart, because they did not believe them who had seen him after he was risen again. ” -Douai-Rheims version, Mk. 16;14
We can only observe that, while Our Lord had recently risen, the Church leadership, riven by lack of faith and “hardness of heart” (Ps. 94:8-11, Ps 95 in the “new” version), decided to go on with life’s necessaries (they were eating dinner): understandable, but also a bit mordantly funny, since I see not very many thin, ascetic-looking bishops and cardinals these days (certainly excepting Cordileone and Bp Barber, among others of course).
But more importantly the “full Gospel” passage shows that if we are expecting a nice and conveeeenient Lord to return, we may be in for an attitude adjustment.
Why not “Ash Sunday.” I think if these Holy Days were not accompanied by attendance required “under the pain of mortal sin” there might be a better result – and BTW – perhaps make “feast days” more of a real feast? Carrot rather than stick. The Eastern rites don’t obsess with more occasions for sin. Just a suggestion.
Well, Ash Wednesday is not a holy day of obligation, at least not in the United States.
Father Zuhlsdorf’s article is totally correct. With most Americans having access to transportation, it is quite easy to attend Mass during the week. When I was a newly ordained priest, there were two Masses in the morning, beginning at 6:30am, and there were also Masses at noon and then in the evening there were two Masses as well. Of course, there were three priests at the parish. To test our love for God, sometimes we have to go out of our way to show we love Him, and holy days of obligation were one way. By switching Ascension Thursday to Sunday the Church has dumb downed Catholicism. Even in Germany, which is quite liberal, most of the Holy Days are not on Sunday. An example of this is Corpus Christi and Epiphany. What is even more confusing to American Catholics is the law which states that if a holy day falls on a Friday, Saturday, or a Monday, then there is no obligation. This is Mass roulette! Like going to Mass two days in a row is going to impose a hardship. I am glad the TLM calendar was not tampered with, so at least there are still Holy Days of Obligation, and Catholics can keep the traditional days as special..
Fr. Karl is 100% correct! The U.S.C.C.B. gives individual bishops permission, in our modern era– to decide on what to do, in their own dioceses– with Holy Days of Obligation, if they fall on or near a Sunday! And YES– they mistakenly figure, that modern Catholics, will all complain, not rejoice!– to go to the trouble, of a Mass obligation, twice in a brief time period, such as the day before or after a week-end! How WRONG the U.S.C.C.B. is!! It really hurts good Catholics, because most of the Holy Days are of the Blessed Mother, and it is very special, to have Novenas, and special parish celebrations, to honor her, on her special Feast Days!! Catholics are NOT supposed to be WORLDLY people!! They are supposed to all be people dedicated to God!!
Father Karl, I think you may be slightly mistaken in saying that the obligation to attend Mass does not bind when the holyday falls on a Friday. Rather it applies only when the holyday falls on a Saturday or a Monday. And even this Saturday/Monday rule does not apply (in the USA) to the Solemnities of the Immaculate Conception.
I agree with you: these rules have become so complicated for our faithful that they need a road-map.
You might be interested in this: there is a growing body of opinion among canon lawyers that a holyday Mass obligation is fulfilled if, say, a holyday falls on a Friday and one attends any Mass which begins at 4 pm or later (e.g., a Nuptial Mass or Funeral Mass). The basis is that the law requires one to attend Mass, but does not specify that it must be a Mass at which the proper and readings are those of holyday. That being the case, the general norm that a law which creates an obligation is to be construed strictly, is applied. At least that’s the rationale.
and of course the Saturday/Monday rule does not apply to the Feast of the Nativity.
sorry for the inadvertent omission.
By the way, the term “Novus Ordo” for the Mass of Paul VI is quite accurately and technically the correct phraseology: during the year 1969, the Vatican International Theological Commission first began using this term for the forthcoming revised mass April 28, 1969, after the encyclical Missale Romanum (Apr 3, 1969) —again, remember, this being a new liturgy never called for by Vatican II and no where mentioned in Sacro. Concilium (Sac. Constitution on the Liturgy). So it was an official Vatican term in the first place (altho’ not appearing in Paul VI’s actual encyclical).
Realizing in time that the “traditionalists” advocated the Traditional Latin Mass, and that the New Church since Vatican II was advocating a New Mass, those who influenced Benedict XVI at the time of Summorum Pontificum, 2007, like Vatican liturgist, Fr. Piero Marini, ( the putative successor and “god-child” of Abp. Annibale Bugnini. the latter who got us into this mess in the first place), came up with the completely artificially contrived and a-historical terms “Ordinary Form” vs. “Extraordinary Form” within the Roman Rite. There is no precedence for these terms at all or for a “double rite withint a rite”. But to avoid the virtual admission that the New Church had dispensed with tradition and had broken continuity with the Novus Ordo service, they were politically essential. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Steve Phoenix is 100% correct! Excellent post! The historical information is all there, for all who care to read it– if they do not know anything, about this important subject!! YES– the two terms recently invented (“Ordinary Form,” and “Extraordinary Form”) are POLITICAL terms!! Not correct THEOLOGICAL terms! These terms are truly a-historical, and artificially contrived– for a difficult situation, as this poster correctly describes!! Well, God bless Pope (emeritis) Benedict XVI, for his 2007 “Summorum Pontificum!” Anyway– it is tragic, that so many Catholics of today, receive NO EDUCATION, in the history of their Church– including the recent modern history, of events directly affecting them all!
….an absence of history and accurate terminology assures the phenomenon of history repeating itself. And since societies rise and fall, we can and should read the signs of the times. Especially those who have no taste for history or misinterpret accuracy and the acknowledgment of oftentimes ugly realities as being mean….. or not trusting in God.
These trying times should rather serve as proof of God. For God will not be mocked, hence He is allowing this mess to wake us up. Wake us up so that we will return to and fight for the Faith. Not wake up only to blind ourselves yet again by denying the reality that He has shaken us awake to see. (The Apostles in the Garden of Olives couldn’t wish away the Romans.)
Thank you, Linda M and Anne M: All some of us are trying to do is shed light on the facts that we have painstakingly researched, read, and catalogued, and share it with those who care about the matters involved.
We cant help those who fly into a rage and start hurling the mindless insults: ignorance is its own —and may I add, very severe—punishment.
P. Benedict XVI did his best to resolve the break of “organic development” in the Roman Liturgy. But take seriously also what pro-New Mass peritus Josef Jungmann, SJ, reputedly said at the time: “The Roman Rite as we know it is dead.” If that is so, there has been a break in tradition. If the Novus Ordo Missae demands the (for a time) prohibition of the Tridentine Mass, they are not the same Mass and there is a break in continuity: you cant have it both ways.
And if there is a break in continuity, then is it the same Church, or a different Church? Arius and his followers broke the tradition of Christology, changed wording and meanings, and for a time took over the Catholic Churches, and had Arian sacraments. The famously invalid “Arian Form of Baptism” was “I baptize you in the name of God the Father, who is greater, and Jesus Christ, the Son, who is lesser…” (I have no idea where they put the Holy Spirit in their Trinity :) ) It was a different church. ‘
So are you saying that the Catholic Church today is not the same Catholic Church as before Vatican II?
Correction, I meant to say “apostolic constitution”, not “encyclical”, for Missale Romanum (1969)..
You do know, I assume given that you are a very knowledgeable person, that Vatican II DID call for a revision of the mass, to include the vernacular and to eliminate repetitions that stood in the way of a clear understanding of the fundamental nature, and to place the scripture into a more prominent place, and to involve the People of God more thoroughly. You are kidding when you say that Vatican II never called for a revision of the mass, right?
You are indeed kidding, YFC. An update is not a complete do over, YFC. Like going in to get one’s hair styled and getting a new pair of glasses is not getting a sex change and/or having a eye transplant.
This is why then-Card. Ratzinger in the 1990’s twice (once in the German periodical Revue Theologisches, 1990, and also in the preface to Monsgr. Klaus Gamber’s book “The Reform of the Roman Liturgy”(1980; English, 1993) called it “fabricated liturgy”. (You really need to read this book, esp. you, YFC: it will blow your liturgical mind)
Monsgr. Klaus Gamber, an eyewitness and peritus at the Council, testifies in his book that the Council Fathers never conceived of a new liturgy. The proof of this is, as he attests, the Council Fathers gave the order for the printing of tens of thousands of the 1965 Roman Missal—a Missal essentially unchanged form the Tridentine Missal, and yes, by the way entirely in Latin, as SC n. 36.1 calls for. He declares “Why would they have ordered this printing, except that this was the “Revised Mass of Vatican II”?
As to the vernacular issue: the norm of the Mass was to be in Latin. Gamber also says (and note SC 36.2 which only calls for the vernacular in “the readings, directives, prayers and chants”) no one conceived that the entire Mass was to be in the vernacular. Gamber states that the Council Fathers only thought of the vernacular in fact for the readings ONLY and in mission lands ONLY.
Of course, Gamber and all of the Fathers also assumed—wrongly—that no one would so drastically tamper with the structure of the Mass, dispensing virtually with the Entrance Rites, eliminating the offering motif of the Offertory (by the way, that is explicitly stated in Missale Romanum (par. 7).
Of course, Gamber and all of the Fathers also assumed—wrongly—that no one would so drastically tamper with the structure of the Mass, dispensing virtually with the Entrance Rites, eliminating the offering motif of the Offertory (by the way, that is explicitly stated in Missale Romanum (par. 7), but as I have mentioned before, eliminating the prayer, “Suscipe Sancte Pater”, which is the only prayer specifically stating that the intent of the priest in the traditional Mass is an expiatory sacrifice for the sins of the living and the dead. So, when you read SC, and then re-read Missale Romanum, a logical interpreter would ask, “What happened here?”
Please send direct links to english translation versions. Hunting around on amazon, which by the way takes my position on same sex marriage and has donated beaucoup bucks to pass it, is not my style, and I don’t want you to come back to me and tell me that I didn’t read the right book.
I’ve read the right book, the Bibile, and Vatican II, and you STILL dispute both of those, so please, if you want ot site a source, please lead us directly there, not to some mega site like “Amazondotcom”
You may desire to undermine faith. You may desire to undermine prayer. The gates of hell will not prevail against the Holy Catholic Church. The Eucharist is the Source and Summit of the Holy Faith.
I’m open to reading anything but I can’t find it.
Gambler’s book is at Amazon.com for 17.95
It’s not available from Amazon, it is only available from third parties who sell through Amazon.
Oh, come now, YFC, let’s not split hairs. If you really want to know the facts, you can get this book by Gamber, as well as Romano Amerio’s Iota Unum and others.
And I hope you do so with an open mind, because it seems to me you’re afraid of finding out the truth.
No YFC it never called for what the current result we now have in the NO. Thank God in Heaven for Pope Benedict and the Sumorrum Pontificum
I used the phrase “…Remember, this being a NEW LITURGY never called for by Vatican II”: that is true and correct. There is no article in Sacro. Concilium (SC, Const. on the Sacred Liturgy) calling for a “New Order” of the Mass, in other words, a new liturgy, a New Mass replacing the “old” Mass: but especially, nowhere, anywhere in SC is there an article prescribing the abolition nor abrogation of the Traditional Roman Mass. Yet, that is exactly what was done.
One proof that this is a different liturgy is that the Traditional Mass was, for a time, prohibited from public celebration. If they were the same Mass before and after (i.e., just a “revision”), why would you not allow “both”? I have never said SC didn’t call for a “revision of the liturgy” (see n. 33: it’s right there, as well as elsewhere in SC). So let’s not make up things. The facts are actually much more interesting.
SC actually calls for “a general restoration of the liturgy itself” (n.21) and “the rites are to be simplified” (no. 50)—but then, as the ap. constitution Missale Romanum (MR, Apr 3, 1969) admits, they (Bugnini and his Consilium) manufactured 3 new Canons! Here:
“In this matter, however, apart from the fact that the Eucharistic Prayer is enriched by a great number of Prefaces, either derived from the ancient tradition of the Roman Church or composed recently, we have decided to add three new Canons to this Prayer.” (MR, par. 6)
And I want to go back also to the quote that Anne Malley some time back was savaged for, of course because she was right, about the “Novus Ordo Missae” (using the Vatican International Theological Commission’s own term for it in April, 1969) regarding it being a “fabricated liturgy”. Here again is then-Card. Ratzinger’s quote from the preface of Gamber’s book:
“What happened after the Council was something else entirely: in the place of liturgy as the fruit of development came fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over centuries, and replaced it—as in a manufacturing process—with a fabrication, a banal on-the-spot product. Gamber, with the vigilance of a true prophet and the courage of a true witness, opposed this falsification, and thanks to his incredibly rich knowledge, indefatigably taught us about the living fullness of a true liturgy.”
Ratzinger is NOT talking about “abuses” of the liturgy, but about the Consilium itself and the New Mass per se, the Novus Ordo Missae of Archbp Bugnini. It is a highly flawed new liturgy, not a revision.
Where Ratzinger is speaking of a “manufactured”, “fabricated liturgy”, but about the Consilium itself and the New Mass, the Novus Ordo Missae of Archbp Bugnini, and thus it stands by implication, the apparently duped Paul VI. Ratzinger’s statement stands today for its candor and its scholarship.
As to the possible evidence that Paul VI, a career diplomat and not a liturgical scholar, was duped: look for example, to Missale Romanum, where Paul VI ingenuously states that “more ancient liturgical sources have been discovered” as a basis for setting aside Quo Primum and the Tridentine Missal. (MR, par. 4)
This was a classic conceit of Bugnini, his “archaelogism” (= the idea that a liturgical practice supposedly of the early Church, supposedly “found” in an ancient written source is “better” or “purer” than a practice of the later or medieval Church), that he had discovered an “ancient text” in the Vatican Archives, or an “ancient Eucharistic Prayer of Hippolytus” (our now EP2)—a completely bogus attribution, of course: there was only one anaphora in the Western Latin Church, and that has always been the Roman Canon (I am not talking about the Ambrosian, Mozarabic, nor other recognized rites).
I don’t assert this alone, about Bugnini’s falsification of facts: read the research of expert Fr. Stefano Carusi, who has been unraveling the dissemblings of Bugnini and his masterful ways of making others think that he had great knowledge of ancient texts—and he was a fraud.
I don’t assert this alone, about Bugnini’s falsification of facts: read the research of expert Fr. Stefano Carusi, who has been unraveling the dissemblings of Bugnini and his masterful ways of making others think that he had great knowledge of ancient texts—and he was a fraud.
This is another reason why, according to expert historian Robert de Mattei, there has hitherto been no discovery of any notes or minutes of the Consilium—nothing in writing at all! Every Vatican organization keeps minutes and notes: for the Consilium, there are none, or none that are known. Makes it easier to cover one’s tracks, doesn’t it.
Steve Phoenix– excellent posts, and 100% historically accurate! I, too, have read and known all of this material, for many years! Most Catholics of today, have no education, in the recent history of our Church, which is sad! Also, many receive no religious nor moral training, as children! A tragic situation, for the Church! Many Catholics in the pews, are sadly deceived about many things, pertaining to their religion! Thanks for taking the time, to write these excellent posts! Maybe it will help others tremendously, and open their eyes a bit, to better understand recent Church history!
Steve, again, I salute you. So, who took the ball and ran with it? (enforced the NO Mass etc. and changed the liturgy?) That must be why Bp Lafebre was so distraught? Wasn’t he a canon lawyer besides a liturgist authority? I was reading about him last night and it’s all so strange what happened to him and the old Mass. I’m going to try to make the Latin Mass more often, even if it is a long drive.
Dana, I will try to do more research, but one does learn to pay attention to the strange history about Bugnini. That is because this individual seems to have had a history of trying to conceal so much went that went on with the Consilium, and he flat out lied sometimes, such as portraying the Eucharistic Prayer 2 as being an ancient anaphora of S. Hippolytus, to “sell” it to Paul VI. More and more is coming out every year as new research, such as that by Fr. Stefano Carusi has done on Bugnini’s dissemblings
And whether you concede that VII allowed the revisions that took place or not, it was still within the Pope’s authority to make the changes that were made. He didn’t need an ecumenical council to change the liturgy, just as Benedict didn’t need one to change the translation of the OF mass to ancient English that nobody in the pews understands. But it is still my opinion that the changes that were made are within the paramaters laid out at VII. You are free to disagree, as I know you do. I admit, when I first read SC decades ago, it was hard to find a clear direction for the entire mass being in English and using modern instrumentation.
A professor at my college who was organist at the local cathedral once said, “I miss the Latin Mass!!! When you sang Kyrie Eleison, you knew you really meant it.” To which a grad student of his reminded him, “But, Professor, that is the one prayer that was in Greek!!” So much for the ancient language.
(reply at bottom of post sequence)
YFC– many well-trained Catholic musicians, who are very devout in the practice of their Faith– have extensive education (more than many modern well-educated clergy and Church leaders!) in the historical aspects and details, of our Church music and liturgy. A fascinating education, yet– very frustrating, in this day and age! Speaking of Latin– at the turn of the previous century, when my grandfather attended Jesuit schools in Italy, his homeland– the priests conversed daily in Latin, to keep up their fluency! I think clergy like beloved Archbishop Sheen (who was my grandfather’s age) THOUGHT in Latin, as well as being fluent in reading, writing and speaking Latin!! A completely different Catholic Church!! Very intellectual, as well as devout!
It is all about where you stop believing and start doubting.
Your doubt starts at Vatican II.
Steve’s seems to start at the promulgation of the Novus Ordo.
Ann Malley has these huge holes of doubt that interfere with every aspect of her faith.
You don’t recognize them as doubt.
Willful doubts are a sin.
Latin is a truly dead language. Medicine abandoned it 7 or so decades ago, and the Church abandoned it 5 decades ago. The WORLD abandoned it about 16 centuries ago.
That reply, YFC, doesn’t do you justice (the hackneyed line,”Latin is a dead language. ”
You should know well the John XXIII composed the Apostolic Constitution “Veterum Sapientia”(1962)—remember, an ap. constitution is one of the highest orders of papal authority—- which stated the mandate for the retention of Latin for priestly studies and also of course, in the liturgy. JXXIII stated Latin was to be retained particularly because it is uniquely ” universal, immutable, and non-vernacular.”
Latin, JXXIII states, “is truly Catholic”, “consecrated through constant use by the Apostolic See”, and “of incomparable worth”.
It would seem surprising that you would want to rebuke the Pope who called the Council in the first place and who thought it was so important that he committed himself to an apostolic Constitution to preserve its use.
Discerning is not doubting, Anonymous. And Catholics are called to discern.
Catholics are called to discern?
I think you will find that is much more of a protestant concept because they do not have Tradition and the hierarchy and the Pope.
Within one’s life, one may be called to discern their vocation, their ministry.
Generally, in Catholic circles you find more the concept of discernment of spirits. It is a gift. The spiritual concepts that you promote here are not Catholic and you cannot say it is a true discernment of spirits because it is contrary to the Catholic Faith. As in private revelations, if someone tells you something contrary to the Faith, you know it is not of God.
I did not rebuke Good Saint John, I just think that in this case, he was wrong. He also said (I’ve long forgotten where) that he prayed the entire Office all at once early and the morning so he could be over and done with it, even though he himself called for a reinvigoration and rediscovery of the Liturgy of the Hours. Popes, like most people, are composed of myriad contradictions. Literally contra-dictions. Clinging to one phrase or one idea or one speech is not likely to get you very far in understanding Christian life. This is why I take such issue with your quoting half a sentence –literally half a sentence– out of Ratzinger’s entire life work as though his entire theological movement was about destroying Vatican II and its reforms, which would not do him justice.
If you believe discernment is a Protestant notion, that explains your misunderstanding of the papacy and what it means to have the Catholic Faith, Anonymous.
The discernment of spirits is not strictly a mystical gift.
You are right, however, that Catholics have Tradition. It is precisely this tradition that calls out much of the novelty being promoted today within the Church.
Ann Malley, of course discernment is not a Protestant notion.
Protestants have to discern much that we do not have to because we have the infallibility of the Church. We do not have to try to discern the Lord’s will on abortion, contraception, euthanasia, etc. We do not have to discern the Lord’s Will on the Mass. It has been done by people with the charism to do it. When you do not trust those people (or God) then you feel the need to “discern” (or judge) and you risk “discerning” incorrectly. You risk following your own will instead of God’s.
As many Catholics do know, and as Ann Malley does, as the SSPX do (since they follow the Exercises closely), the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius have a list of approx. 10 or so “Rules for the Discernment of Spirits” both for the 1st Week of the Exercises, and also [more involved ones] for the 2nd Week.
For a good link to the text of the 2nd Week of the Exercises,
there is this:
…hopefully Anonymous will look to the link you provided, Steve Phoenix, and seek the requisite education about discerning spirits. Too many are falsely led to believe the most rudimentary practices are beyond their scope – having them falsely interpreted as being advanced, beyond the normal layman, or “mystical”. Much like many Catholics are led to believe that being open to life in the context of sacramental marriage is beyond people today…or remaining chaste in accordance with one’s state in life.
Being told, “It’s just too hard today” followed up by “Relax and trust me” is a heady and often dangerous combination.
TO HAVE THE TRUE SENTIMENT WHICH WE OUGHT TO HAVE IN THE CHURCH MILITANT
Let the following Rules be observed.
First Rule. The first: All judgment laid aside, we ought to have our mind ready and prompt to obey, in all, the true Spouse of Christ our Lord, which is our holy Mother the Church Hierarchical.
Ann Malley and Steve Phoenix, this is exactly what we have been trying to tell you.
It is characteristic of the evil angel, who takes on the appearance of an angel of light, to enter by going along the same way as the devout soul and then to exit by his own way with success for himself. That is, he brings good and holy thoughts attractive to such an upright soul and then strives little by little to get his own way, by enticing the soul over to his own hidden deceits and evil intentions.
Thank you for reading, Anonymous, but it is precisely the novelties that have led to the ongoing crisis within the Church – those “ambiguities” that can and are being used to introduce destruction – that must be discerned and subsequently discarded.
So the “good and holy thought” that would lead some to welcome and embrace that which is inherently sinful and always has been declared sinful is what should be suspect, Anonymous. Not the rightful rejection of such well intended novelty.
For the true Angel teaches that which the Church has always taught, not that which makes fans of the world because the new unspoken teaching is that there is no judgment, no Hell, and no consequence for sin not discarded.
The Catholic Church teaches what the Church has always taught.
CCC 1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, “eternal fire.” The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.
1021 Death puts an end to human life as the time open to either accepting or rejecting the divine grace manifested in Christ. The New Testament speaks of judgment primarily in its aspect of the final encounter with Christ in his second coming, but also repeatedly affirms that each will be rewarded immediately after death in accordance with his works and faith. The parable of the poor man Lazarus and the words of Christ on the cross to the good thief, as well as other New Testament texts speak of a final destiny of the soul–a destiny which can be different for some and for others.
1022 Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of heaven or immediate and everlasting damnation.
CCC 1861 Mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself. It results in the loss of charity and the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God’s forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ’s kingdom and the eternal death of hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices for ever, with no turning back. However, although we can judge that an act is in itself a grave offense, we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God.
YFC– it is not good, to resist education, in religion! It is not good for anyone at all, to remain in complete ignorance! Some people refuse to read the Holy Bible, or large 1994 recent Catechism– because these books look so big! But what good is ignorance??
Let me tell you something about traditional Catholics. Many of them, myself included, were raised in the 1960’s. We went along with the changes, but then, around the mid 1990’s, we realized how far left the Church had turned. Things that were once sinful, were now fine, and things that were once virtuous were now considered evil. Have you read a copy of Abbot’s book, THE DOCUMENTS OF VATICAN II ? Well, if you have a new printing of it, many of the words and paragraphs have changed from what they were in the original edition. We are not ant-papal, nor are we denying that Pope Francis is the pontiff. But he is leading the Church in a bad way. We traditionalists were practically loosing our faith by attending invalid Novus Ordo Masses where the priest was the ring leader in a three ringed circus. Instead of coming away from Mass with graces, we were enraged that such nonsense was going on during the Mass: heretical sermons, cookies and muffins used as altar hosts, ungodly and pagan music, female dancing in the sanctuary, etc. None of this garbage occurs at a TLM. It took a long time for me to make the switch, as I am sure it took many others. If instead of praying during Mass, you feel outrage and anger at what is happening, then it is time to either find a decent Novus Ordo Mass, or to attend the TLM.
I still read Fr. Z pretty regularly and although he makes great points here, it’s basically the same article he runs every year at this time. (Sadly, things in the Church remain the same I guess.)
Recently, someone pointed out some things about Fr. Z that make me uncomfortable. He seems to be a diocesean priest, yet is assigned to no parish? He also seems to be living quite well on the donations of his benefactors; especially recently his column has been more about his many foreign trips and photos of food he’s eaten at this or that restaurant. He used to comment a lot more on current events, but recently that has dwindled as well. For example he didn’t seem to say much of anything about Bishop Finn’s “resignation.” What do people here know about him? I wonder sometimes if he’s going down the path of other celebrity priests.
By dropping many holy days of obligation, the Church, maybe without knowing, downplayed the importance of Mass. Holy days of obligation were once treated like Sundays in Catholic countries, and even here in the United States we were not supposed to go shopping on the holy days. Now Sundays are just as banal and ungodly as the other days of the week. Growing up, all the department stores were closed on Sundays. It was JC Penney’s who first opened their doors on Sunday. Sports was also limited, but it was the Dallas Cowboys who began with Sunday shows. All this happened without a peep from the bishops. Sunday is now a day to go shopping or to go and play all kinds of sports. The Lord’s Day is no longer HIS; it is the devil’s. By downplaying holy days of obligation, especially ones that have been around for over 1500 years, the Catholic Church said that the world is more important than God. We Catholics have our faith too easy, and we do not value it because we have not fought for religion (look at how the Iraqi Catholics are being tortured and killed in the Middle East).. By fitting in with the rest of the world, Catholics are giving up their identity and are becoming just another face in the crowd. Bravo to Father Z. for the excellent article he wrote ! We need more priestly writers like him.
The issue is, YFC, that Sacro. Concilium (SC, “On the Liturgy, Vat II) called for “a general restoration of the liturgy” (21), “the rites are to be simplified” (50), and a “revision of the liturgy” (33): not for a new liturgy, not a new mass.
None of these directives in SC entail the Consilium’s creating completely new “fabricated” Eucharistic Prayers, nor the wholesale excision of the Offertory, including preparatory prayers that define the Trad Roman Mass as an universal expiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead (esp. cf “Suscipe Sancte Pater”), nor the virtual elimination of the entrance rites (“Prayers at the Foot of the Altar”), nor a new lectionary cycle necessarily (but this lectionary could be shared with non-Catholic Churches, esp. Lutheran, Episcopal, etc) . A new liturgy, a New Mass, changing words, structures, key understandings: is this not therefore a new church?
Now, here’s another thing, YFC: so you assert, “..It was still within the Pope’s authority to make the changes that were made. He didnt need an ecumenical council to change the liturgy.”
Two problems: First, this appears to admit this is a New Liturgy, a New Mass, and therefore possibly a New Church.
2nd, and more importantly, this implies the pope can change anything he wants in the Mass (misconstruing the authority in canon law and defined in Mediator Dei  that the pope’s authority over the liturgy is actually to preserve it, not to change it: that was the battle Pius XII actually was fighting in post WW2 Europe).
The pope does not have the authority to fundamentally change a rite from what it essentially is, into something it is not—are we agreed?
Now, some will come running forward and (incorrectly) state “The pope has changed the Mass many times.” Not in its essential elements: offices and chants were added, the structure remained intact. This is what P Benedict XVI called “organic development” of the Roman Mass.
The Roman Canon (again, “canon” = “an unchanging rule or law”) as well as other elements of the Mass go back at least to S. Ambrose’ time, according to his magnum opus, De Sacramentiis (398 AD). Prior to this, the late Card. Stickler asserted that the “DIsciplina Arcania”, the memorized unchanging prayers, never written down deliberately in order to avoid sacrilege by pagans or Satanists, controlled the Mass, going back at least to “Peter and Paul, Linus, Cletus, Clement, Sixtus…” —- why in the Roman Canon, there is the attribution to where the Mass came from.
A pope is not above fraternal correction: where an error has crept in—just as Leo X grievously erred in granting plenary indulgences in exchange for money, a later pope can correct the error. The Novus Ordo Missae is not even 50 years old: All rites that were less than 200 years old were suppressed at Trent, even the historic Sarum rite of English Catholics. This rite can be changed and corrected: yes, the pope has that authority. Benedict XVI took the first step. A pope of his caliber and fortitude down the line likely will do more—not to suppress it necessarily, but to fundamentally correct it.
And now, violating even what GIRM (365.a) recommends, the Roman Canon is often not recited on Sundays in parishes, instead the priest often opting for the non-traditional anaphoras of the Concilium. But the ap.. constitution Missale Romanum (1969) of Paul VI stated that based on “ancient texts”, the “revised order of the Mass” allowed many prefaces—again, this is true, but these are ADDING to, not structurally changing the Mass: so Paul VI (actually, Bugnini, his ghost-writer) states, “…We have decided to add three new Canons to this Prayer.”
What? Based on what “ancient authority”? How nice. Do you want anything else to “add” to your “restoration”?
Thank you, Steve Phoenix, for your abundant patience in educating, documenting, and researching. Until we understand the reasons behind why and how we’ve come to this point within the Church there will be no renewal.
I think you are misrepresenting Pope Leo X in saying that he exchanged plenary indulgences for money.
Steve Phoenix, Every time I look up your sources, you are not telling the truth.
….one has to bring the necessary elements of intellect and will to any endeavor, Anonymous. A man doesn’t lie to say the sky is blue if the one to whom he speaks insists on keeping his eyes closed or, better still, peering at everything via off-color glasses.
What if a man says the sky is blue…he is correct less than 50 % of the time. So if a man says the sky is blue and it is nightime, he may not be intentionally lying, he may just be projecting a past experience onto the current sky. Or repeating something he learned as a child. Or just not comprehending the reality that the sky is sometimes black and other times grey.
Then we should take joy that the true teaching of the Catholic Church does not change – even though there are many who, for expediency sake, would have even Catholics believe that it does.
So while VII in all its documentation may “look” blue to you, that may not be the reality of it at all. Close examination by those not willing to just repeat what they’ve been told coupled with the errant fruits of ambiguity are showing what the truth really is. Thank the Lord!
Ann Malley, I really don’t think anyone who knows the teachings of the Catholic Church from the times of the Apostles and evangelists throughout the 20th century would say what you just said.
If one will not take the time to learn, then one is culpably ignorant.
It can take 5 years or more depending on the person. It can also happen quickly for the docile and obedient. Exposing yourself to writings of those who themselves do not understand is not fruitful. You must read the Bible and the Catechisms; the writings of the Popes and Saints. It takes time. It takes prayer. It takes decades to really understand and many things we will not understand until we die.
Ann Malley, what is it with you and Vatican II?
THere’s a continuum, isn’t there, SP? That we call it the novus ordo says new order. Yes, there are things in the mass that are not the same as the way they were a century ago, so yes, there IS a new order. Is that bad? No! There have been new orders from time to time throughout the history of the Church.
The questions you are getting at is Whether changing a word or a prayer, adding to or simplifying the Mass, changes it in a way that makes it invalid or bad, and whether the Pope has the authority to make those changes.
The answers are no and yes, and to deny those answers, you have to deny history itself. We do today what we have always done, we remember our Lord in the way he commanded us.
What essential element do you think is lacking in the Mass?
The Mass is of the Holy Spirit. Period.
The origin of the Mass is found in the Bible, in the historical accounts of the Last Supper. It is good to have a thorough religious education, a thorough training in the Catechism– then, one can be properly prepared, to lead a good life, as a practicing Catholic!
You do know about the Holy Trinity, right?
One God in Three Persons.
Steve Phoenix– once again, what a beautiful job! It would be wonderful, if all Catholics– including the clergy!– could receive accurate training, in their religion! Excellent!!
“The Mass is of the Holy Spirit.”
This is a nice, obscurantist principle. Is this the Holy Spirit of the Catholic Trinity? Or the holy spirit of the Arian Trinitarian formula (God the greater, Jesus the lesser, and the holy spirit of Arius, somewhere)?
Of is this the “Spirit of Vatican II” as Yves Congar, the lion of V2, created, as a principle to dispense with the written decrees and create a New Church?
Perhaps it is the spirit of one priest not long ago who began the “liturgy” with “Let us begin, in the name of God our Mother, Jesus our brother, and the Spirit our Sister” etc”, and proceeded to replace “Father” with mother throughout the New Liturgy he was proclaiming. (This has happened more than once: the quackers will say “it’s an abuuuuuse, it’s just an occasional abuuuuuse.” And it goes on, and on and on….)