Tuesday, August 23, 2005

What's "Let's Get it On!" in Latin?

CWNews confirms old news....
Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) will meet with Bishop Bernard Fellay, the superior-general of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), on August 29, to discuss the prospects for reconciliation between the Vatican and the schismatic group.

Although the Vatican has not yet confirmed plans for the meeting, officials of the Roman Curia have unofficially acknowledged the accuracy of reports within the SSPX about the coming meeting.

According to those reports, Bishop Fellay will meet with the Pontiff and with Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos (bio - news), the prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy. Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos was charged by Pope John Paul II (bio - news) with the task of seeking to restore unity with the traditionalists. Bishop Fellay will be accompanied to the meeting by Abbot Arnaud Sélégny, the secretary-general of the SSPX. The talks will take place at the Pope's summer residence in Castel Gandolfo.
Castrillion is taking the part he is thanks to his presidency of the Ecclesia Dei commission -- they're the cats who supervise the application of the indult for the 1962 Missal and, ergo, relations with Econe. He ordained the former SSPXer in Campos -- the sole Tridentine-only jurisdiction anywhere -- a couple years back after JP named him a bishop and apostolic administrator there. And he performed the other great recent gesture of Trid love, the pontifical high 1962 liturgy at St. Mary Major during a Trad pilgrimage to Rome. This was in '02, if memory serves.
Bishop Fellay said that when he met with Pope Benedict, he would ask the Pontiff to authorize the universal use of the Tridentine mass. He also said that he would ask the Pope to retract the decrees of excommunication against Archbishop Lefebvre and the bishops he consecrated. Bishop Fellay added that these two requests would be the starting point for discussions with the Holy See.
Um, it's more than a little cocky for Fellay to think he's the one who can dictate "the starting point," no? But, then again, should we be surprised?

Don't be surprised, however, if the universal indult comes up high on the discussion list from both sides. It's in the winds for discussion at the Synod....

SVILUPPO: Papabile, our resident expert on issues of the old rite and the SSPX, clarifies this report. Here's a snip:
The Fraternity of St. John Marie Vianney [Campos] was not established by the SSPX, nor was it ever administered by them. It was the former Bishop of Campos who took many Priests with him when the new Bishop directed the Pauline Rite be offered. In some ways, it was administered much like a diocese.

When they were reconciled, they were made an Apostolic Administration and put under Congregation for the Clergy. They were not put under Ecclesia Dei. This is critical. They do not exercize the Ecclesia Dei indult. They offer the Mass proper to their Apostolic Administration, the Pian Rite.

Now, why do so many people think they are former SSPX'ers? They think this because when Lefebvre conducted the June 88 consecrations, the Bishop of Campos was a co-consecrator and thus putatively incurred the same penalty.
With thanks, cheers and a tip, I stand corrected and am enjoying a hearty dose of crow.



Blogger Jeff said...

Yes, I'm not too fond of Fellay and his arrogant crew, though I go to Tridentine Mass. Their dear Pius No. 10 would have thrown them out on their collective ear for talking and acting the way they do. And I don't even want to THINK about what Pius No. 11 would have done to them...

But it seems like something on the order of a Universal Indult--or else arrangements for a new Rite with great freedom to operate--is the only thing that's going to either bring about reconciliation or bring so many of the "Traditionalists" back that those who are left are reduced to a tiny minority. The grudging, stingy application of the present indult won't be enough.

23/8/05 15:58  
Blogger the Savage said...

The universal indult will only happen if the Holy Father simply does it. If it is "discussed at the synod", it will be a dead letter and the schism will gradually become permanent. In any event, it is a trivially simple matter for the Pope to allow the universal indult: he simply has to publish the findings of the 1986 cardinalatial commission (of which then Cardinal Ratzinger was a member) which apparently ruled by an 8-1 margin that the Tridentine Mass had never been suppressed and that any Latin rite priest already has the canonical right to celebrate it. It was never published because of outrage from the European bishops, although the 1988 indult was a gesture towards liberalization.

23/8/05 16:10  
Blogger Todd said...

The limited use of the 1962 Rite is a boon in disguise for traditionalists. A universal permission for that Rite would guarantee a significant drop in quality of those Masses where prayed. As it is, in large cities, all eggs can be put into one basket, as it were. If you had the Tridentine Mass groups splintered into various sympathetic parishes, it would weaken these groups and dilute the witness they try to provide.

As a Roman Rite, eventually the 1962 Missal needs to be reformed. It's hard to miss the hypocrisy of the fuss over glass chalices and who handles the tabernacle key for the 1970 Rite when more important aspects (like a revised Lectionary) are ignored in the 1962 Rite.

23/8/05 16:13  
Blogger Dad29 said...

The opinion that the 1962 Lectionary "needs" revision is founded on what?

Yes, I like the three-cycle, more complete readings of the N.O. But that certainly doesn't make the readings of the Old Rite less valid, nor less interesting.

The omphaloskeptic-originated cri de couer of "hypocrisy" is, at best, a red herring; at worst, it's a thinly-disguised snit thrown by an endangered species: the lit-wonk.

Give it up, already!!

23/8/05 16:25  
Blogger the Savage said...

There are aspects of the 1962 Missal that I agree could or even should be revised, but there are no crying problems with the old rite. Sticking to the ancient cycle of readings in the Lectionary is not a liturgical abuse like improper handling of the sacred species. Ensuring the stability of the old rite is a much more important objective than letting the liturgists have another crack at changing it. The last attempt didn't go so well, as the former Cardinal Ratzinger noted on many occasions.

23/8/05 17:22  
Blogger John Hearn said...

I have to agree with you that a universal indult for the '62 mass would do exactly what you said. The intention of the priest saying the mass is important - the "spirit" as it were of the current Tridentine movement is one of profound reverence for that rite. If any priest could say it any time he wished, then the same sort of problems of carelessness and disrespect that now plague the NO mass in many parishes would start cropping up in the older mass too.

My hope is that in twenty years or so there will be no controversy around the liturgy and both sorts of masses will be profound, holy and beautiful. Don't laugh! I asked my mom what was the biggest issue in her high school back in 1938 and she told me gum chewing. Things don't always stay problems forever.

23/8/05 17:24  
Blogger John Hearn said...

My post was to Todd.

23/8/05 17:25  
Blogger PiousPius said...

As I have already explained in Papabile, you are not as off the mark as you believe, Rocco Palmo: after Bishop Castro Mayer died, a new bishop was chosen in the Campos community (Bp. Licinio Rangel) and was consecrated by SSPX bishops.

Their seminarians spent some formative years in SSPX seminaries. So their connection to the SSPX was extremely, extremely close in the period which goes from the early 80s to the 2001 agreement.

23/8/05 17:30  
Blogger Jeff said...

Yay! It's Todd again!

Todd is a frequent and intelligent commenter on many blogs. He has a fine contribution of his own as well.

But Todd, among other things, is a defender of dissent and has a deliberately ambiguous position on women's ordination. In fact, he doesn't spell it, Dissent. He spells it, "Dissent." And he defends those who somehow--who knows how?--can't seem to square their understanding of scripture, etc., with magisterial teachings. Here and there, anyway. I think it's only fair, since his comments are in the public domain, to let people know where he's coming from. I think in his case, it shouldn't be spelled, Catholic, but rather, "Catholic."

So, when he presumes to tell those who want the 62 Missal more widely available that they should be grateful that it isn't and that they are poorly disguised hypocrites, one knows where he's coming from.

Bishops may exercise freedom where that is allowed. They may not exercise freedom where it isn't allowed. There may be ambiguities here and there and people concerned with proper celebration of the liturgy may sometimes be in the wrong in the accusations they make. But if Catholics are to be told that they must accomodate their sensibilities to changes that offend them, it is fair to ask that the same rules that bind them in piety also bind other authorities, priests and bishops, in the Church.

Todd also thinks that liturgy was horrible fifty years ago, especially the gabbled Low Mass. Well, the gabbled Low Mass was an inspiration to Newman, St. Francis de Sales and countless working class Catholics in the US, who got up in the wee hours before work to participate in it. It's an inspiration to me. It was a genuine tradition of the Church for century after century, rather than a constructivist, hobby-oriented, "What Shall We Do Today?" affair, like so many liturgies today. To treat those who find it wholesome and are attached to it with the contempt his comments imply is, Thank God, becoming passe. We will have--we are already having--more and more availability of the Old Missal. I hope it will be gingerly changed and adapted as time goes by. But as long as people like Todd are proposing such revision--along with restricting its use as much as possible--that day will be delayed by the legitimate suspicion and distrust of motives that are engendered.

I went to my wife's father's Requiem Mass a few weeks ago. It was a sparsely attended Low Tridentine Mass, with altar server and priest gabbling over one another in Latin. A woman who had been going to Tridentine Sunday Mass for many weeks came up to us afterward and told us how deeply moved she had been by this particular Mass with its quick, overlapping responses and the feeling of intimacy and well-worn familiarity that it produced. She not at all "Pi", yet she said, "It made me want to be a better person."

The Todds of the world will probably never understand that reaction. Nor will they have the patience to learn what it's all about, since they know better already. But at least they could have the common decency to leave us alone and let us worship without constantly interfering and telling us what's good for us. We have a great crowd of forefathers who loved this Mass and many even who died for it at our backs, receding wave after wave into the past. And we have many young people who have discovered it and learned with patience to love it and who now crave it, who are getting it more and more and we have a Pope who sympathizes with them.

Familiarity with the Old Mass teaches us what the New Mass, which I do not at all oppose, should be. It's supposed to be a REVISION of the Roman Rite, not a new Mass at all. The degree to which it has lost the connectedness to the former rite is the degree to which it has failed.


23/8/05 17:42  
Blogger Todd said...

"The opinion that the 1962 Lectionary "needs" revision is founded on what?"

No less than a Universal Council of the Church.

" ... but there are no crying problems with the old rite."

If not, then why did the world's two-thousand-plus bishops nearly unanimously think otherwise, and think it to the extent they produced a Constitution on it? Or perhaps Council teachings are somehow optional?

" ... he presumes to tell those who want the 62 Missal more widely available that they should be grateful that it isn't and that they are poorly disguised hypocrites ..."

Nice try, but I aim the label of hypocrite at those in authority, the Vatican, especially the CDWDS.

"But at least they could have the common decency to leave us alone and let us worship without constantly interfering and telling us what's good for us."

For starters, I've never written letters to my bishop or to the Vatican about indult Masses. I haven't picketed their liturgies, neither have I audiotaped or videotaped their Masses, nor have I insinuated or even outright stated they are not Catholics. I haven't even spilled root beer on their maniples or tied their altar servers' shoelaces together.

I stated an opinion about the use of the indult Mass. I may well be wrong, but calling me a dissenter has nothing to do with my assertion. If I had the luxury of putting all my best energies and volunteers to task for one 1970 Rite Mass a week, I could blast your garden variety baldacchino to the neighboring parish. Maybe literally. We have one indult rite parish in KC: a few hundred people. If four or five parishes offered the 1962 Mass, those parishioners would line up regionally or along parish lines and we'd have four or five Masses with about fifty people each.

Decency is far from a common virtue amongst many Catholics, and this has never been truer than in the Catholic blogodrome.

23/8/05 20:06  
Blogger Jeff said...

Okay, Todd. You claim that theology and liturgy are unconnected. Hans Kung is just as likely to be a fanatical devotee of the Tridentine Mass as he is to be an admirer of the present liturgical establishment. Archbishop Lefebvre, a thoroughgoing anti-Modernist, might have turned out to be a lover of the Clown Mass had it not been for an accident of temperament. To state this is to expose if for the profound silliness that it is.

People with a deep and abiding respect for Tradition, who try to seek out what the Church of the Ages has taught and practiced and submit themselves to it, believe in order and reverence and care in the liturgy and they believe in tradition and continuity and following the rules. John Paul said that he didn't mind when people called him conservative because it was the nature of the Church to be conservative. Pope Ratzinger says that the entire SENSE of what the liturgy IS has been virtually lost in the West. You say things are much better than they were fifty years ago. I'm in good company with these Popes, who even in their personal opinions and private lives were wise and holy men and good Catholics. And it's hardly unsurprising that someone who thinks as you do about doctrine, also thinks as you do about liturgy.

No, you didn't aim your charge of hypocrisy at the authorities. I remember your comments about chalices and such. They were aimed--as are your comments about writing letters and objecting to abuses--at ordinary laypeople who complain about priests who believe in authority going below them but not coming from above them. NOT just people who picket houses and tie shoelaces together.

And you didn't just express an opinion about the Tridentine Mass. You said that you thought it would be best if it were not freely available, a comment you repeated in your response. Better for those of us who love the Old Mass to have to do without it, lest making it common somehow corrupt it. That's proposing denying people something that this Pope and the last have asked be "widely and generously available." The bossy contempuousness of it cannot be glossed over by crying, "But I've just stated my opinion!" We are sick of being denied the Old Mass and want it freely available and de-politicized. We don't need people generously proposing that we be DISALLOWED from having the old Mass available, lest it prove corrupting. Then, let the chips fall where they may. Let the Holy Spirit sort things out. And let the liturgies cross-fertilize each other.

Todd, YOU are the one who proposes and defends dissent and denies its seriousness. For two thousand years, people who are unfaithful to Church teaching have been condemned. It's the Popes and the Catechism and the Code of Canon Law that say that people who disbelieve defined doctrine are not Catholics. I didn't invent it. You shouldn't be shocked and appalled when it's put to you. That's either ignorant or disingenuous.

You say, Holiness is important. Forget Dissent. (See your comments on "Cosmos, Liturgy, Sex" blog.) I say, with the Catholic Church, that that is clear nonsense. Catholicism requires propositional Faith--Dogma. Sinners (and mean grumps!) are in the Church; Dissenters (be they ever so sweet and kind) are out.

There are plenty of people who agree with your general view of things on this blog; and that likely includes the author. So take heart! Others, though, need to know the character of your belief as a whole so that they can evaluate it, despite your weak protestations that Belief and Liturgy are unrelated. And as for me: I've got your number.


23/8/05 23:14  
Blogger Gyrovagus said...

Speaking of snits and wonks, could someone please pass Dad29 the Metamucil?

Gotta love the friendly face of Traditional Catholicism.

The tone of his postings always reminds me of post-Mass chats I've been at in the parking lots of Traditionalist Chapels.

23/8/05 23:28  
Blogger Todd said...


"You claim that theology and liturgy are unconnected."

I made no such claim. My statement that a wide use of the 1962 Rite would result in a decrease in the overall external quality of Tridentine worship. That a matter not of theology, or really liturgy, but of speculative economics and sociology.

"People with a deep and abiding respect for Tradition ... believe in order and reverence and care in the liturgy and they believe in tradition and continuity and following the rules."

Great. So do I. But both these people and I know there are times when the rules alone are not enough. Faithfulness to the rubrics is a fine starting point, but more is required for good liturgy.

"Pope Ratzinger says that the entire SENSE of what the liturgy IS has been virtually lost in the West."

I agree. And I think the loss predates Vatican II.

"You say things are much better than they were fifty years ago."

Generally, yes, they are.

"And it's hardly unsurprising that someone who thinks as you do about doctrine, also thinks as you do about liturgy."

You have no clear idea what I think about doctrine. I'm a good and faithful Catholic. The Catechism teaches us that you should presume to agree, unless you have a substantial reason to believe otherwise. My confessing that the church's teaching on women's ordination is difficult isn't nearly in the category of rejection of doctrine, however much you wish it to be.

"No, you didn't aim your charge of hypocrisy at the authorities. I remember your comments ..."

You've also mixed them up. I believe it's hypocritical to focus on peripherals when the liturgy demands more serious work. If, however, you have complained about these things, I don't take you for being a hypocrite, just misguided.

"You said that you thought it would be best if it were not freely available, a comment you repeated in your response."

Best for those who are attached to quality in liturgy.

"That's proposing denying people something that this Pope and the last have asked be 'widely and generously available.'"

Not at all. I'm just making a prediction.

"We are sick of being denied the Old Mass and want it freely available and de-politicized."

Some women would like an inclusive language translation of the Lectionary and Sacramentary. Sometimes they fuss publicly about it. Sometimes they're just heartsick over not getting it. Would you grant parishes and communities that wanted it such a translation if you were given yours?

"Todd, YOU are the one who proposes and defends dissent and denies its seriousness."

As Amy Welborn says, "Prove it!"

"You say, Holiness is important. Forget Dissent."

Holiness is more important than dissent.

"Sinners (and mean grumps!) are in the Church; Dissenters (be they ever so sweet and kind) are out."

But that's the thing of it. Dissenters are all over the place. They're not out. This is not the time for the harvest, and Jesus has not delegated his role as the harvestmaster to traditionalist, liberal, or any other kind of Catholic.

24/8/05 00:51  
Blogger Jeff said...

Jesus HAS delegated his authority to the Popes who say you have to believe it all or you're not part of it. No picking and choosing allowed. And you know it, too. If traditionalists say No Vatican Two, go with the Popes instead. If modernists say Women Priests, go with the Popes instead. Especially in the latter case, where we are bound to believe by a Pope who clearly was speaking with the very highest authority. It's not a question of following conservatives. It's a question of following Peter. The Pope said, The issue is settled. YOU are the one who wants to make room for it as if it's not.

If I have, in fact, no clear idea of what you believe on faith about women priests, it's entirely your fault. You refuse to be clear about it. As I've said before, if you're going to hem and haw and make vague and dissimulating statements about a matter of faith, then the presumption must be that you don't believe what you won't say you believe. If someone asks me do I believe unreservedly in the Doctrine of the Trinity, I say, Yes, unreservedly, as a matter of Catholic faith. Do you say that about the Church's teaching that women cannot be ordained as priests? Because as a Catholic, you are required to believe it AND TO CONFESS IT; as you know very well.

"You claim that theology and liturgy are unconnected."

I made no such claim. "

Oh, you mean that you made no such claim THIS TIME. The Todd of today is not the Todd of yesterday. But YesterTodd said on Amy Wellborn's blog that there was no connection between his attitude toward doctrine and dissent and his opinions about the liturgy. Do you really need a cite on that? It's on Amy Wellborn's blog a few days ago, if you don't remember.

And since widespread use of a Rite guarantees its corruption, why don't we restrict the Novus Ordo to a few parishes every other Sunday and go back to the grand old ways of Yesteryear? I suspect that its only free use of the OLD rite that's a problem, somehow. "Keep it safe and rare" can hardly be borne of generous concern. Sociological, was it? You mean you were just prognosticating, not offering suggestions? "Yes, let's have a Universal Indult, but it will have bad results?" People who are attached to the Old Missal WANT it celebrated as it was for hundreds and hundreds of years. They want Low Mass the way their fathers and grandfathers and great-grandfathers had it and loved it, inferior product though you may deem it. They want the tradition to go on. They don't want it MESSED WITH. The Pope understands that. You don't. But howsabout we put our differences aside and let the Pope settle the issue, huh? "Wide and generous availability." Sounds good to me. Doesn't sound like carping comments about how it'll only be good if it's done once a year in Notre Dame de Paris fits that bill. That won't reconcile the schismatics who are the subject of the post. But then, you don't particularly care about reconciling them, do you? You just want to "gather in" the heretics.

I want to allow people what they are allowed. I never asked for the Tridentine rite before it was authorized. Now it's authorized and supposed to be widely available. I think people should be allowed what they are allowed. Rome says Tridentine Mass, okay; Inclusive Language, not okay. Let's just do that, that's all I'm asking. Let's have what we're supposed to have. If you want what you're supposed to have, you should have it. If you want what you're not allowed to have, you shouldn't get it, without persuading the authorities first.

Really, Todd, prove that you defend dissenters? You just did it again. They're a part of the Church, they need to be gathered in. They are Catholics in good standing. What's a poor dissenter to do, you said on Cosmos, Sex and Liturgy, if he studies Scripture and thinks women should be ordained, despite the Magisterium? The Catholic answer to that is easy. Trust the authority of the Apostles instead of yourself. Peter speaks with the voice of Christ. A thousand difficulties do not make one doubt. These is all Catholic Theology 101 and I doubt you're unfamiliar with it.

If you're going to pretend you didn't say things you said on other occasions and in other places or that they're not relevant to the discussion, I'll just have to make a citation log, but save me the trouble, won't you? In any case, all I'm after is that people know where you're coming from. As I said before, when people who don't accept defined Catholic teaching start opinionating on the liturgy, one sees that the disagreement will come down, in the end, to ecclesiology and what the Germans call, "Fundamental Theology." Then one wastes less time arguing about inessentials.

Now I'll leave the last word to you!

24/8/05 09:53  
Blogger Todd said...

Thanks, Jeff; I'll accept that last word.

It is clear you seem not able to focus on a topic thread. Personally, I find cocktail conversatino stimulating: going from one topic to another without much of a logical sequence. I'm not sure why you are so bothered by what I write in comment boxes that you keep running track of these things, nursing them like a grudge. I've invited you a few times, and others as well, that if you would like me to comment in detail on something, to just e-mail me and I'll be happy to post on my blog both your questions and my response. You have yet to take me up on that challenge. I'm left to conclude you enjoy being contrary for contrariness' sake. That's cool. I do it too.

But don't mistake your own sense of contrariness for being a defender of the faith.

24/8/05 10:26  
Blogger Disgusted in DC said...

What would the so-called "universal indult" accomplish in practice? Would it mean that any pastor in any parish could suddenly switch his masses from English Novus Ordo to Tridentine even if his parishioners and his bishops object? If that is the case, then I would oppose the universal indult. That would be too bad, since I want there to be MORE celebrations of the tridentine mass, not less.

24/8/05 11:01  
Blogger Gyrovagus said...

One of the news reports says:

The schismatic bishop Richard Williamson send a “confidential” letter to his faithful informing them that the Pope had acceded to a demand of meeting requested by Fellay.

Didn't Williamson mean to say, "The Pope graciously (in light of the Circular Letters of the SSPX, VERY graciously, one might say) granted the private audience humbly requested (insofar as Lefebvrians can manifest ANY humility toward the Holy See) by the schismatic Bishop Fellay"?

These people were consecrated in direct disobedience to Pope John Paul II after the Father Founder of this group, Marcel Lefebvre, reneged on an agreement he had already signed, an agreement worked out, it should be noted, by then-Cardinal Ratzinger!

Since when does the Vicar of Christ "accede" to "demands" by excommunicated schismatics?

Therein is the difficulty with any kind of "reconciliation." Lacking all humility, the Lefebvrians don't realize that it is THEY who need to be reconciled to the Church, not the Church to them.

Surely the attitudes expressed in the "Circular Letters," letters which bear re-reading and which, though intended for "internal communication" within the Society are widely available on the Internet, do not express any sense of the "filial devotion and loyalty" proclaimed toward the Pope on the USA website of this schismatic group.

Here are the Circular Letters. They speak for themselves. And they form the backdrop or context of this upcoming meeting. Judge for yourselves whether or not these are "filial," "devoted," or "loyal."

In light of their tone, the Holy Father is being VERY gracious indeed!

The Circular Letters:

Circular Letter No. 2005-04 (excerpt):

After the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Cardinal Ratzinger, who took the name of Benedict XVI, we are in expectation of what this pontificate will be. Obviously, Cardinal Ratzinger's past is scarcely encouraging and one might indeed well be fearful. Nevertheless, one might equally entertain some hope, however faint, for the liturgy should the Pope have the courage of the convictions he expressed as a private author in his different publications over the last few years. One of the first, keenly awaited gestures which should give us a fairly significant indication will be his nomination for the prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.

It seems that, after a moment of panic, the hard-liners have begun to recuperate their position and to encircle the new pope so as to keep a free hand to continue to spread in the Church deleterious seeds. As the Anglo-Saxons say: "Wait and see . . . "

Fr. Arnaud Selegny

Circular Letter 2005-05EX

Dear Confreres,
The election of Pope Benedict XVI after the death of John Paul II is an event that must hold the attention of the Society and its superiors, even though significant changes from the course described by the preceding pontificate probably cannot be expected. The Pope's recent authorization to open the cause of beatification of his predecessor, waiving the five-year period that is supposed to elapse first, can scarcely inspire confidence.

Nevertheless, as our beloved and venerated founder Archbishop Lefebvre did upon the election of Pope John Paul II, it seems useful and necessary to contact the new pope to request an audience. This is Bishop Fellay's intention, determined in consultation with his council, and which he desires to make known to you by this letter.

Yet, so that this intention may be rightly understood, I have been charged with explaining to you his reasoning as regards this request for an audience. What is its purpose? Above all, it is a matter of making the presence of Tradition felt at Rome, of bearing witness to what we are so that the voice of Tradition may be heard at the heart of Christendom, even if we must not have any illusions about the kind of echo it will encounter. It is an episode in the combat of the faith that we are waging, and which must necessarily also be waged in Rome.

This audience will equally be the occasion to solemnly reiterate in a personal, direct manner, the call for the restoration of the Tridentine Rite of Mass in all its rights, so that the ostracism of which it is the object may cease. It will be the occasion to remind the Pope that Cardinal Ratzinger belonged to the Commission of nine Cardinals that unanimously judged in 1986 that no one could prevent a priest from celebrating this Mass. If there was unanimity, then necessarily he must have voted thus.

Will he be responsive to this argument? It is hard to say, but it is our duty to remind him of it, and to go and proclaim the inalienable right of this rite before the distant successor of St. Pius V.

Bishop Fellay considers it very important to inform you at the outset of this initiative so that it can proceed in the light of day, and so that al the members of the Society can understand its scope and meaning. Please note well that there is no intention at this time of resuming "negotiations" of any kind.

You are asked to please inform the members of the Society entrusted to your solicitude, so that all may know the reasons for this request of an audience and its goal. On the other hand, this letter is not supposed to be disclosed outside the Society, even if experience has taught us that this type of news rarely remains "intra muros" . . .

Confiding this step to Popes St. Pius V and St. Pius X, I assure you, dear Confreres, of my prayers to the united Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

+Fr. Arnaud Selegny
Secretary General.

Source: PRIESTS' BULLETIN, June 2005, #174, pp 5-7

24/8/05 11:17  
Blogger Jimmy Mac said...

When I was young the Tridentine mass was the only one that 99% of U.s. Catholics experienced. I cut my teeth as an altar boy learning the Latin responses so that I could join in the race to get it over with ASAP. People now seem to think that it was holy, profound, mysterious, blah, blah, blah. It was, in most times and places, pedestrian, boring, foreign and less than enervating. Most of the priests that I knew took it as a challenge to get through it as quickly as they could. I served for one priest who bragged that he could get through the entire mass, sans sermon of course, in about 15 minutes. And the people loved his masses! It was a performance by the few for the bored many.

Do not confuse solemn sung high masses for the usual Tridentine mass. Low masses were VERY low!

There are many lousy NO masses, granted. But until you have lived through the old way as the only way, don't be too quick to glorify that which you didn't know.

24/8/05 12:24  
Blogger PiousPius said...

The blogger has already called 'bearded marys' the wild conservatives at EWTN. I wonder if gyrovagus, who seems so "shocked" with the "tone" of private letters, should not also be called one.

It seems he would prefer that these private internal letters were wrote in insincere fashion, as well-known hipocrites like to do.

I wonder if he has the same harsh words for undoubtedly schismatic priests, such as the Eastern Orthodox. If he is so easily shocked, let us see what he thinks of these comments on the late Pope John Paul by one of the most prominent priests in the Moscow Patriarchate:

"Therefore, speaking objectively, John Paul II was not a theologian of consequence. His treatises on ethics, which he wrote before his election and then developed in many encyclicals, do not represent anything original or interesting. His poetry puts him in the rank of secondary Eastern European poets of the period from the 60s to 80s; his plays would hardly provoke an interest, if he were not the Pope of Rome. He is an image of television more than reality."**

Oooooooooooooh!!! The toooone!!! My saaaalts! How does Rome send Kasper so promptly to lick their wounds???

** Source: Interfax (http://www.interfax-religion.com/notenemies/)

24/8/05 12:36  
Blogger Jeff said...


You've NEVER invited me to talk to you off-post. But I'll be glad to. Thanks! You needn't post things on your blog.

But when I find you commenting on liturgy and leaving people the impression that you are orthodox, I'll call you every time. Because that's the ROOT of the topic and the disagreement as far as I'm concerned. People need to know where you stand as a whole.

24/8/05 12:43  
Blogger PiousPius said...

"It was, in most times and places, pedestrian, boring, foreign and less than enervating."

Wow, Jimmy, you are surely a divine person! You are able to ascertain what happened and what people felt "in most times and places"?... Congratulations!

Now, I will not use the adjectives that I would like to write regarding the new mass because I do not wish to offend anyone. And because I do not know what happens in most times and places. I can speak only for myself: the new mass drove me away from the Church; the classic Roman Mass called me to my Mother and Teacher.

24/8/05 12:44  
Blogger Jeff said...

Jimmy Mac:

I'm sure that there are a lot of people who feel and felt as you do. Many people find praying the Rosary or reading the Bible boring. Some people are bored stiff going to Church at all!

I didn't grow up with the Old Mass, but I go every Sunday and have been for many years. Most of the time, it's the low Mass and that's what I like best. I find it very prayerful and the more I go, the better I find it. I know many older Catholics who loved it and miss it. I'm certainly glad it's around!

I certainly appreciate the New Mass, too. At its best, it provides a different and equally lovely kind of prayerfulness that suits many people much better. Nice to be in such a marvellous big church with you!

24/8/05 12:57  
Blogger Disgusted in DC said...

Here is another author, John Jay Hughes, who found the tridentine mass, as practiced, to be pedestrian and shoddy. Father Hughes used to be a spike Anglo-Catholic priest, so he knows good liturgy when he sees it. I don't agree with his argument in its entirety, but I do believe his characterization of how the mass was usually celebrated.


The quality of the low masses I've atttend has been just "ok" though nothing to write home about. (I am not a fan of the low mass). I do think that tThose who are most otivated to preserve the Tridentine mass are likely to celebrate it with more care than the average priest who used to say the mass. On the other hand, a well-executed solemn high mass (Tridentine) is glorious. Outside of places like Washington, DC where there is a high Tridentine mass once a month, they are very difficult to find.

But no one has yet explained how a universal indult would work!

24/8/05 14:43  
Blogger Jimmy Mac said...

Pius, my lad, one didn't have to be prescient nor divine to understand the great extent of lack of interest in what was going on in those Good Olde Days. The proof was in the kind and degree of participation. But what do you expect when almost everyone was there because of the fear of MORTAL SIN that resulted in knowingly missin mass without a valid reason?

The one time what folks really woke up and seemed engage was at benediction when WE got a chance to actually do something! "Holy God We Praise They Name" was beleted out, I think primarily because it was in English. Tantum Ergo was the next favorite, althought many folks stumbled over many of the words.

Tell me the logic of a Latin mass where almost all folks had to follow along in the ENGLISH (Spanish, German, Slovenian, Finnish, etc.)translation? What was the purpose in the Latin to begin with, other than to possibly allow the priest to rip through it without scandalizing the sheep in a manner that he would have done if they had realized the slurring of English that would have been a comparable performance?

You may like what you see now, but if you could be teletransported back 50 years and experience over time what the rest of us old fogeys went through, you might not be quite so much in love.

24/8/05 18:37  
Blogger Jimmy Mac said...

That should be "resulted FROM .... "

24/8/05 18:38  
Blogger Gyrovagus said...

To PompousPious:

Guess you didn't like my pointing out the hypocrisy of the SSPX

(and you really should do some spell-checking and grammar-checking, luv, if you're typing really fast when your panties are all in a twist),

though you can't defend them either, or at least didn't try during your little tirade.

Not one word on your opinion regarding their duplicity and arrogance.

Only ranting and raving about me Eastern Orthodox priests, for God's sake.

For your information, my opinion of the Moscow Patriarchate and its disagreeable leader, Alexy II, is fairly low.

As, by the way, is my opinion of you.

24/8/05 22:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Todd, we all know where you're coming from--I just skip over your stuff anymore...it's old hat, very old hat.

Somebody up top said that Pope Pius X wouldn't like any of this--honey, Pope Pius X wouldn't have put us in this mess we're in. Nor would Pope Pius XI, either.

Jimmy Mac, if I had been as superficially twitty as you claim you were, I sure wouldn't blast it all over the Internet.

There is one major reason why progressivists and liberals don't like--no, FEAR--the Tridentine mass. They know damn well that if a universal indult is given, the NO will decrease all over and the Tridentine will increase. Their campaign will have failed. People can and will drive.

What they couldn't do with propanda, they tried to do with sheer force, and it's not going to work. And they are *finally* realizing it. I agree with the poster above who said, what people are supposed to get, they should get. What people aren't supposed to be doing, they shouldn't. The pope, after all, is the Pope. The CDW is the CDW. Let it be. Your opinion after all is just your opinion. Deal with it.

We will not see poorer Tridentines. On the contrary, the NO will be cleaned up in order to survive the inevitable comparison that will occur.

Saying that allowing more tridentines will weaken them makes no sense. Unless, that is, you are trying to propagate the NO in order to decrease its quality. Do you really think that this is what happens?

24/8/05 22:52  
Blogger Elinor Dashwood said...

I like the Tridentine rite when it's well done; it never is around here, however. The only priest who says it - a dear, excellent man - has the worst Latin pronunciation I've ever heard in my life, possibly because he talks it so fast and slurs all the words together. It keeps me from objecting as I otherwise would that he talks up his sleeve and is almost inaudible.

I must say, however, that participation really is not the summum bonum of Mass attendance. That's a view that only cropped up in the last forty years. I'd be glad to see a much broader indult, but I don't think it would lead to the new rite being driven out: people are lazy, and for some reason most people are scared to death of Latin. Of course if the Tridentine rite became much more common there would be abuses, but that's life in this vale of tears. The point is to police the abuses the best way we can, in whatever rite they occur.

25/8/05 00:18  
Blogger Jimmy Mac said...

michigancatholic: be careful how you toss the word "honey" all over the internet. It makes you sound superficially (or otherwise) queeny.

Ta ta, now.

25/8/05 11:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jimmy Mac, what makes you think I'm a guy? I wouldn't say "Ta Ta Now" if I were you though. I know you're a guy and it sounds "queenie" of you.

26/8/05 00:29  
Blogger Jimmy Mac said...

My dear boys, both: I have never made any bones about my sexual orientation: 100% red-blooded, born and bred in the USA Roman Catholic HOMO-SEX-UAL.

If you have read any of Amy's blogs I have "come out" more than once.

And, my dears, I know queenieness when I hear it!

26/8/05 02:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jimmy Mac, you may think you do. But I'm a female. And you ain't.

27/8/05 10:39  
Blogger Jimmy Mac said...

Well, isn't that so very special: you are a WOMAN!

And no, my dear, I don't claim to be a woman. Contrary to popular misconception, very few if any gay men want to be women.

27/8/05 13:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're just plain addled, Jimmy Mac. Most gay men are women haters--I know that already.

28/8/05 02:39  
Blogger Jimmy Mac said...

Lady, if you think most gay men are women haters, then you don't know s**t. You need to get out of your little rustic haven and meet some real people.

You are not worth any more of my time. Go away, lady; you bother me.

28/8/05 16:45  

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