Skip to comments.Worse than deja vu all over again: Vatican caves
Posted on 04/03/2004 9:38:01 AM PST by ultima ratio
Worse Than Deja Vu All Over Again:
Vatican caves on meaningful reform of disastrous New Mass
Thomas A. Droleskey, Ph.D.
Certainly, we will preserve the basic elements, the bread, the wine, but all else will be changed according to local traditions: words, gestures, colors, vestments, chants, architecture, decor. The problem of liturgical reform is immense.
--Pope John Paul, while still Bishop of Krakow, as quoted in Mon Ami: Karol Wojtyla. P. 220
When last we left the saga of the Novus Ordo Missae, Pope John Paul II promised Catholics worldwide that a new set of instructions to correct liturgical abuses would be drawn up and issued by the Holy See as a follow up to his Ecclesia de Eucharistica encyclical letter. This caused many well-meaning Catholics in the Novus Ordo community to jump up and down for joy, believing that the long awaited crackdown from Rome was forthcoming. Some commentators said at the time that the Popes encyclical letter was just the word we needed to have during the Easter season. Others of us said that the Holy Fathers encyclical letter made many of the same points as his 1980 Holy Thursday letter to priests, Dominicae Cenae, which promised a set of instructions to correct liturgical abuses.
Well, if a news report from Catholic World Newss website is to be believed, the forthcoming document from Rome about the liturgy is worse than deja vu all over again. The 1980 instruction, Inaestimabile Donum, issued by the then named Sacred Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship, did list the major abuses in the new Mass and called for them to be corrected. This gave much hope to those of us who did not then have the grace of tradition. Indeed, I waved copies of Inaestimabile Donum in the faces of offending priests for a year or two before I realized that Rome wasnt going to enforce anything, including the reaffirmation of the ban on girl altar boys. Many of us did not realize at the time that the abuses were simply manifestations of the false presuppositions of a synthetic liturgy that sought to empty the Mass of its authentic tradition while claiming positivistically that tradition had been maintained as it was updated. There was no correcting the Novus Ordo then. There is no correcting it now. There will never be any correction of abuses in the Novus Ordo.
According to the CWN.com news story, the new document from Rome dealing with the liturgy will not mandate any disciplinary measures against liturgical abuses. It will merely call for an adherence to existing norms by proper training in the liturgy. If true, this is actually worse than Inaestimabile Donum. All of the thunder made by Francis Cardinal Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, in the immediate aftermath of the Popes encyclical last year was merely rhetoric, which yielded in the final instance to the desires of the ideological descendants of the late Archbishop Annibale Bugnini to keep exploding the liturgical time bombs that Michael Davies has noted with great precision were placed into the Novus Ordo as it was being created synthetically by the Consilium. Although this was entirely predictable, the fact that the new document will not represent the salvation of the Novus Ordo, which admits of so many legitimate adaptations and exceptions as to make any discussion of a liturgical rite an absolute oxymoron, should give traditionally minded priests who remain in the diocesan structure a wake up call. Rin Tin Tin and the Cavalry are not coming from Fort Apache.
All discussion of a universal indult for priests to offer the Traditional Latin Mass evidently has disappeared from the final text of the soon to be released liturgical document. Of course, Quo Primum is the only universal and perpetually binding indult any priest has ever needed to offer the Immemorial Mass of Tradition. The powers that be in Rome, however, do not want to admit that on behalf of the Holy Father, who must give his approval to the new document. Thus, those traditionally minded priests who thought that they were going to get a golden parachute from the Holy See so as to be able to offer the Traditional Latin Mass in the daylight rather than in the underground have been deceived. As good sons of the Church, many of these priests wanted to wait and see, although the outcome was predictable. Now that the outcome is clear, it is time for these priests to respond to this wake up call. They will receive no help from this pope.
Indeed, Pope John Paul II is wedded to the liturgical revolution, and has been since the Second Vatican Council. He is not going to be leading the cavalry over the hill. The late Father Vincent Miceli gave me a very important insight into the mind of the Holy Father back in January of 1983. As a self-deceived Catholic conservative who held out high hopes for the pontificate of the former Karol Cardinal Wojtyla when he was elevated to the Throne of Saint Peter on October 16, 1978, I was flabbergasted that the Pope had appointed the then Archbishop of Cincinnati, Joseph Bernardin, to succeed the late John Cardinal Cody as Archbishop of Chicago. Bernardin? Chicago? That was the stuff of Father Andrew Greeley. I had written a priest-friend in Canada in 1979 at around the time Greeley began to push Bernardin for Chicago, that this will never happen in the pontificate of Pope John Paul II. Father Miceli took a few bites out of his meal at a diner in Massapequa Park, Long Island, New York, looked at me and said, The Popes a liberal. Bernardin is a friend of his from the Second Vatican Council. They are fellow progressives. Dont kid yourself. He continued eating his meal in perfect peace. Well, although I filed Father Micelis wise counsel away, I didnt want to believe it at the time. He was, of course, quite right.
To wit, I received a letter from a reader of Christ or Chaos (which is going to become an online publication by the end of February) that contained a nugget from a 1980 book, Mon Ami: Karol Wojtyla, written by a fellow named Malinski and published in France:
"In 1965when Pope John Paul II was still the Bishop of Krakow, he discussed the phenomenon referred to as inculturation with a friend, saying: 'Certainly, we will preserve the basic elements, the bread, the wine, but all else will be changed according to local traditions: words, gestures, colors, vestments, chants, architecture, decor. The problem of liturgical reform is immense.'" (page 220)
The reader, Mr. A. E. Newman, had a pithy comment or two of his own in his letter to me: Tell me, what hope is there from a man who thinks like thiswhat hope for a stable liturgy, for upholding of age long traditions? What hope from a man who flies in the face of his predecessors? Now that his reign is drawing to a close I can answer that [there is] no hope! My own view is that in the eyes of history the last three popes will bear a heavy responsibility for our present shambles and [the loss] among the faithful of millions. Just at the moment when Islam is strong. We can credit him for one thing: he followed through! God will deal with him, but we [will deal] with the deformation of our Faith.
Although the fodder for an entire series of articles, the comments of the then Archbishop of Krakow are quite instructive. They should serve as a sobering reminder to good priests and laity who believed that the Novus Ordo can be reformed that the problem rests in the new Mass itself. Not much time needs to be wasted on this as the proverbial handwriting is really on the wall. Those traditionally minded priests who have remained in the Novus Ordo structure should stop believing that their words or even their presence can counteract entirely the harm to the Faith contained within the new Mass, admitting that there are priests within the diocesan structure who are zealous for the salvation of souls and who spend themselves tirelessly for the flock entrusted to their pastoral care. They should, as painful as it may be for them to consider, simply follow the courageous examples of Father Stephen P. Zigrang and Father Lawrence Smith. They should assert their rights under Quo Primum no matter what unjust ecclesiastical consequences might befall them. Many of their sheep will follow them, and those sheep will provide for their temporal needs, as is happening at Our Lady Help of Christians Chapel in Garden Grove, California, where hundreds upon hundreds of fed-up Catholics have found their way to the Catholic underground simply by word of mouth. It is simply time to force the Novus Ordo structure, built on quicksand, to collapse of its own intellectual dishonesty and liturgical incompleteness. It is time for good priests to say goodbye to a synthetic concoction and to bravely embrace the glory of Tradition.
Each priest must make his own decision in this regard. It is, though, a grave disservice to the faithful to try to pretend that the Novus Ordo itself is not the problem and/or that the problems will get better over the course of time. They will not. The Novus Ordo remains the prisoner of its own false presuppositions and of the devolution of liturgical decision making to local level, as was envisioned in Paragraph 22 of Sacrosanctum Concilium itself on December 1, 1963.
What applies to priests applies as well to the long-suffering laity who have waited for such a long time to see the abuses that have their origin in the Novus Ordo itself come to an end. So many good people, who dearly love God and want to save their souls, have fought valiant but ever failing efforts in most instances to keep the liturgical time bombs from exploding in their own local parishes and dioceses. Some of these people have tried to equip themselves with the latest information from Rome about what is licit and illicit in the context of Holy Mass. What these good people need to realize, though, is that the Novus Ordo is impermanent and unstable of its very nature. The new Mass is entirely predicated upon the idiosyncratic predilections of a bishop or a priest or diocesan and/or parish liturgical committees.
The Mass of Tradition has always been beyond even the realm of a bishop to change for reasons of inculturation or the genius of the peoples. The Immemorial Mass of Tradition gives God the fitting and solemn worship that is His due, communicates clearly and unequivocally the nature of the Mass as a propitiatory sacrifice for human sins, and provides a permanence and stability that are reflective of the nature of God Himself and of mans need for Him and His unchanging truths. It is time for good lay people themselves to say goodbye to the angst and confusion and anger generated by all of the problems associated with the Novus Ordo Missae.
Our Lady, Help of Christians, pray for us.
The solution is not to remain in the Novus Ordo Church but to return to the Catholic Church--wherever it exists, in pockets of traditional faith around the world. We must be Catholics in faith first, obedient second! If the Holy See will not lead us in orthodoxy, we should not follow it into heterodoxy.
He's a liturgical liberal and a doctrinal liberal but not a social liberal.
He could have just said "Lutheran Church". It's all the same these days.
2. So the fathers of the fourth Council of Constantinople, following the footsteps of their predecessors, published this solemn profession of faith: The first condition of salvation is to maintain the rule of the true faith. And since that saying of our lord Jesus Christ, You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church , cannot fail of its effect, the words spoken are confirmed by their consequences. For in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been preserved unblemished, and sacred doctrine been held in honor. Since it is our earnest desire to be in no way separated from this faith and doctrine, we hope that we may deserve to remain in that one communion which the Apostolic See preaches, for in it is the whole and true strength of the Christian religion .
--Pope John Paul, while still Bishop of Krakow, as quoted in Mon Ami: Karol Wojtyla. P. 220
JUAN CARDINAL DE TORQUEMADA [IOANNES DE TURRECREMATA], O.P. (1388-1468)
OFFICIALLY DESIGNATED THEOLOGIAN OF THE COUNCIL OF BASEL/FLORENCE GIVEN BY POPE EUGENIUS IV THE TITLE OF "DEFENDER OF THE FAITH"
"By disobedience, the Pope can separate himself from Christ despite the fact that he is head of the Church, for above all, the unity of the Church is dependent upon its relationship with Christ. The Pope can separate himself from Christ either by disobeying the law of Christ, or by commanding something that is against the divine or natural law. by doing so, the Pope separates himself from the body of the Church because this body is itself linked to Christ by obedience. In this way, the Pope would, without doubt, fall into schism.... "He would do that if he did not observe that which the Universal Church observes in basing herself on the Tradition of the Apostles, or if he did not observe that which has been ordained for the whole world by the universal councils or by the authority of the Apostolic See. Especially is this true with regard to the divine liturgy, as, for example, if he did not wish personally to follow the universal customs and rites of the Church. This same holds true for other aspects of the liturgy in a very general fashion, as would be the case of one unwilling to celebrate with priestly vestments, or in consecrated places, or with candles, or if he refused to make the sign of the cross as other priests do, or other similar things which, in a general way, relate to perpetual usage in conformity with the Canons. "By thus separating himself apart, and with obstinacy, from the observance of the universal customs and rites of the Church, the Pope could fall into schism. The conclusion is sound and the premises are not in doubt, since just as the Pope can fall into heresy, so also he can disobey and transgress with obstinacy that which has been established for the common order of the Church. Thus it is that [Pope] Innocent [III] states (De Consuetudine) that it is necessary to obey a Pope in all things as long as he does not himself go against the universal customs of the Church, but should he go against the universal customs of the church, he ought not to be obeyed...."
(Summa de Ecclesia )
"Si quis dixerit, receptos et approbatos ecclesiae catholicae ritus in solemni sacramentorum administratione adhiberi consuetos aut contemni, aut sine peccato a ministris pro libito omitti, aut in novus alio per quemcumque ecclesiarum pastorem mutari posse: anathema sit." - -Session VII, Canon 13
"If anyone says that the received and approved rites of the Catholic Church, accustomed to be used in the administration of the Sacraments, may be despised or omitted by the ministers without sin and at their pleasure, or may be changed by any pastor (a term that includes the Supreme Pastor, the Pope] of the churches to other new ones, let him be anathema."
--"Pope" John Paul, while still Bishop of Krakow, as quoted in Mon Ami: Karol Wojtyla. P. 220
FRANCISCO SUAREZ, S.J. (1548-1617)
CALLED BY POPE PAUL V DOCTOR EXIMIUS ET PIUS (MOST EXALTED AND PIOUS)
"Et hoc secundo modo posset Papa esse schismaticus, si nollet tenere cum toto Ecclesiae corpore unionem et coniunctionem quam debet, ut si tentat et totem Ecclesiam excommunicare, aut si vellet omnes Ecclesiasticas caeremonias apostolica traditione firmatas evertere. (De Charitate, Disputatio XII de Schismate, sectio 1) >p> "And in this second way the Pope could be schismatic, if he were unwilling to be in normal union with the whole body of the Church, as would occur if he attempted to excommunicate the whole Church, or, as both Cajetan and Torquemada observe, if he wished to overturn the rites of the Church based on Apostolic Tradition."
58. It follows from this that the Sovereign Pontiff alone enjoys the right to recognize and establish any practice touching the worship of God, to introduce and approve new rites, as also to modify those he judges to require modification. (Pius XII, Mediator Dei)
It furthermore declares, that this power has ever been in the Church, that, in the dispensation of the sacraments, their substance being untouched, it may ordain,--or change, what things soever it may judge most expedient, for the profit of those who receive, or for the veneration of the said sacraments, according to the difference of circumstances, times, and places. (Council of Trent, Sess. XXII Ch. II)
"The sacred pastors are not the inventors and composers of the Gospel, but merely the authorized guardians and preachers divinely established. Wherefore, we ourselves, and all bishops with us, can and must repat the words of Jesus Christ: "My teaching is not my own, but his who sent me" (John 7:16)....
"Therefore, we are not teachers of a doctrine born of the human mind, but we are in conscience bound to embrace and follow the doctrine which Christ Our Lord taught and which He solemnly commanded His Apostles and their successors to teach (Matthew 28:19-20)." (Encyclical Letter "Ad Sinarum Gentem," October 7, 1954)
How can you be a Catholic without a Pope? Isn't that one of the basic definitions of a Catholic: one who is in communion with the Bishop of Rome?
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