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Monday, January 24, 2011

From Fr. Z -- A Few Suggestions For Singing Chant, Psalms, Etc.

In no particular order.
  • Try to soften your volume a bit at the ends of phrases so you leave the impression that you are not really trying to holler.
  • Soften the high notes a bit, so you don’t hammer them.
  • You can start a phrase a bit softer and then increase your force during the middle part of the phrases, but rein yourself in at the ends.
  • Don’t race and don’t plod.  It is hard to describe the right rate.  Each genre of chant has its own purpose.  Remember that all chants are actual texts.  They are language.  Too slow and you lose the sense of the language.  Too fast and you don’t respect the content.  Keep it moving.  Psalms are quicker than other chants, but don’t race.  There is no prize for the first to finish.
  • Don’t sing in different octaves.  Get everyone on the same pitch… no really.  You can do it.
  • I don’t like mixed chant, that is male and female voices singing together.  I just don’t.  I think there should be a schola for men and a schola for women.  I love chant sung by women!  When it is good, it has an ethereal quality that men can’t accomplish.  Segregation, I say.  Separate but equal.
  • Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.  At the same time, if someone can’t hit the pitch… really can’t… is really tone deaf… be diplomatic, but find them some candle to carry even as you remove the book from their hands. If you know you aren’t singing well… can’t get those notes, perhaps there is another way in which you can help.  There are lots of cool things to do during Vespers and Mass.  Necessary things.
  • When you are singing in a group, for the love of God, LISTEN TO EACH OTHER!  Look UP once in a while to be sure you know what is going on!
  • Be careful when singing psalms not to drift flat.  This is pretty common when people AREN’T LISTENING or paying attention to each other or to the cantor(s), who will usually have a good sense of pitch.  LISTEN.   Going flat is excruciating to people who have to listen.
  • You are not Caruso.   You are not Renee Fleming.  You are not Jussi Bjorling.  Sing with everyone else, for PITY’S SAKE!  You (WE) don’t want to hear YOU.  We want to hear you merged with, singing with, every one else, singing exactly the same thing, at the same time, on the same pitch, with the same force.  If you are not designated to sing a solo bit, then get a grip!  This isn’t about you, anyway.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

DEBATE ON VATICAN II “Neither Left nor Right: why the Council must be seen in the light of tradition ...”

From my buddy John Paul Sonnen over at Orbis Catholicus Secundus

by Alberto Carosa (for “Inside the Vatican", January 2011, pp. 10-11)

One debate intensifying in Rome as Benedict XVI's pontificate nears the end of its sixth year is over the Second Vatican Coúncil (1962-65).
Benedict has stressed that he believes it is of great importance to clarify that Vatican II was not a "rupture" with prior Church tradition. He has made this one of the central principles of his papacy.

But making this "continuity" clear is turning out to be quite a difficult and delicate task, in part because forces on both sides of the "progressive/traditional" divide seem intent on clinging to the idea that the Council represented a "break," for good or for all, with prior Church history and belief.

The "progressives" claim the Council "rightly" broke with "hide-bound" and "out-of-date" beliefs and practices, and they defend the Council's right to do so.
At the same time, the "traditionalists" claim that the Council "wrongly" and "unacceptably" broke with prior teaching — and this leads them to reject the Council's authority and legitimacy.

Thus, the Pope has found himself without allies on the "left" or the "right" as he attempts to build support for a "center" position regarding the Council: that it was not a "rupture" with prior Church teaching, but an organic development of that teaching. This effort is arguably now the key task of this pontificate, in doctrinal terms.

Benedict is seeking to win broad support for his position that Vatican II taught no new doctrines. His desire is to persuade both "left" and "right" to find a way to "reintegrate" the allegedly "new" teaching of Vatican II back into the changeless "tradition" of Church faith and practice derived from the depositum fidei ("deposit of the faith") handed down in the Scriptures and taught unanimously by the apostles.

From December 17 to 19, a symposium entitled "The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council —A Pastoral Council: Historical, Philosophical, Theological Analysis," sponsored by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate in the Istituto Maria Santissima Bambina just next to St. Peter's Square, addressed these questions. Msgr. Brunero Gherardini was the keynote speaker.

This conference came just after an intense debate, also in December, over a book on the Council by Italian historian Roberto De Mattei, generally thought of as a "traditionalist": Il Concilio Vaticano II: Una storia mai scritta ("The Second Vatican Council: An Unwritten Story"). A review of the book by Catholic author and sociologist Massimo Introvigne appeared in the Italian bishops' conference daily, Avvenire, on December 1.

Introvigne criticized De Mattei's book for promoting the idea that Vatican II must be seen as a rupture with the previous tradition of the Church. De Mattei concludes his book by referring "with reverence" to "His Holiness Benedict XVI, whom I recognize as that successor of Peter to whom I feel inextricably bound".
But Introvigne says De Mattei actually upholds the very "hermeneutics of rupture" Benedict decried as "harmful" to the Church in his famous speech to the Roman Curia on December 22, 2005.

"The Magisterium teaches that its (Vatican II's) documents must be first and foremost read (many who talk about them have in fact never read them), and then allegiance given to their essential teachings," he said.
Introvigne notes that on July 24, 2007, during his vacation in the Italian Alps, the Pope said that a "hermeneutics of rupture" is upheld by both the progressive faction and the opposite end of the religious spectrum, the anti-conciliarists.

Both claim that Vatican II has broken with tradition: the former to rejoice in this rupture, and the latter to deplore it.

The Vatican expert of Italy's conservative daily Il Giornale, Andrea Tornielli, in his review of the De Mattei book (Il Giornale, December 5, 2010) also argued that De Mattei, paradoxically, ends up siding with the liberal-progressive lobby, whose most prominent exponents are Giuseppe Alberigo and his successor Alberto Melloni of the so-called "Bologna School." Alberigo authored Breve storia del concilio Vaticano If' ("Brief History of the Second Vatican Council," 2005) in which he hailed Vatican II as a "historic breakthrough." "The pattern of Christianity still dominant in Europe, and through Europe, in worldwide Catholicism, was superseded on December 8, 1965," he wrote.

In his own review of De Mattei's book in Corriere della Sera (December 12). Mellor, after criticizing alleged errors and shortcomings in the work, suggested that he appreciated the chance to include among his "fellow-travelers" this author, whom he described as "the most subtle intellectual of Italian traditionalism."
Fabio Bernabei, president of Centro Culturale Lepanto, a leading lay organization of traditionalist persuasion, also entered the fray.

"The Professor De Mattei of today," he wrote, "in distancing himself from the pontifical magisterium in his book, seems to be far from the Professor De Mattei of yesterday, when, as editor of Cristianità, he cited Paul VI approvingly when Paul said: `All that is taught by Vatican II is related in full harmony with the preceding Magisterium of the Church, of which it is a just continuation, explanation, and enhancement. In fact, just for this purpose the Council was convened".

Tornielli wrote on Christmas Day: `Being with Peter and the bishops in communion with him means to be Catholic. Otherwise I could say that I consider Pius X a modernist — how many reforms did he introduce? and what if I did not like them, or consider them inappropriate to the times and not in line with the liturgical teachings of Gregory XVI and Leo the Great? — and I want to stop at Vatican I and Pius IX...

This is `Protestant' traditionalism”.

This is a great viewpoint...

Assisi III...More Are Talking....and It is Still a Bad Idea

On January 11, Catholic Italian journalists and academics caused to appear in Il Foglio a supplication to the Pope, begging him not to go to Assisi next October. Here are some of the most significant extracts.

Most Holy Father,
Holy Father Benedict XVI,

We are some Catholics who are extremely grateful for the work that you are performing as Pastor of the universal Church in recent years. We are grateful for your great assessment of human reason, for having given us the Motu proprio "Summorum pontificum", for your profitable relationship with those Anglicans who are returning to unity and for many other things as well.

We take the liberty of writing you after having learned, precisely during the massacre of the Coptic Christians (Ed. in Egypt, December 31, 2010), your intention of convening in Assisi, in October, a large inter-religious assembly, 25 years after “Assisi 1986”.

We all remember this event that took place so long ago.

An event like few others in the media, that, independently of the intentions and declarations of he (those) who convened it, had an undeniable repercussion, relaunching in the Catholic world indifference and religious relativism.

It is this event that caused to take effect among the Christian people the idea that the secular teaching of the Church, “one, holy, Catholic and apostolic”, concerning the unique character of the Savior, was in some way to be banished to the archives.

We all remember the representatives of all the religions in a Catholic sanctuary, the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, lined up with olive branches in hand: as if to signify that peace does not come through Christ but, indistinctly, through all the founders of any credo whatsoever (Mohammed, Buddha, Confucius, Kali, Christ…)

We remember the prayer of the Muslims in Assisi, the city of a saint who had made the conversion of the Muslims one of his objectives. We remember the prayer of the animists, their invocation to the spirits of the elements, and of other believers or representatives of atheistic religions, such as Jainism.

The effect of this “praying together”, whatever its goal may be, like it or not, is to make many believe that all were praying to “the same God”, only with different names.

On the contrary, the Scriptures are clear: “Thou shalt not have false gods before me” (First Commandment), “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life: no man cometh to the Father but by me” (John 14:6)

Those who write here (the authors of this letter -- CAP) in no way contest a dialogue with each and every person, whatever his religion may be.

We live in the world, and every day we speak, discuss, love, even those who are not Christian, because they are atheists, indifferent, or of other religions. But that does not keep us from believing that God came down to earth, and let Himself be killed to teach us, precisely, the Way, the Truth, and not just one of many possible ways and truths. Christ is, for us Christians, the Savior; the only Savior of the world.

We recall with consternation, going back 25 years, the chickens beheaded on the altar of St. Claire according to tribal rituals and a statue of Buddha placed on the altar in the church of St. Peter, above the relics of the martyr Vittorino, killed in 400 AD to bear witness to his faith.

We remember the Catholic priests at the initiation rites of other religions: a horrible scene, for, if it is “ridiculous” to baptize into the Catholic faith an adult who does not believe, just as absurd is it for a priest to undergo a ritual of which he recognizes neither the validity nor the utility. By doing this, one ends up just spreading one idea: that rites, all rites, are nothing but empty human gestures. That all the conceptions of the divine are of equal value. That all moralities, that emanate from all religions, are interchangeable.

That is the “spirit of Assisi”, upon which the media and the most relativist milieus of the Church have elaborated, sowing confusion. It seemed to us foreign to the Gospel and to the Church of Christ that had never, in two thousand years, chosen to do such a thing. We would have liked to rewrite these ironic observations of a French journalist: “In the presence of so many gods, one will believe more easily that they are all equal than that there is only one that is true. The scornful Parisian will imitate that skeptical collector, whose friend had just made an idol fall from a table: ‘Ah, unhappy one, that may have been the true God’.”

We therefore find comfort for our perplexities in the many declarations of the Popes who have always condemned such a “dialogue”.
Indeed, a congress of all religions has already been organized in Chicago in 1893 and in Paris in 1900. But Pope Leo XIII intervened to forbid all Catholics to participate.

The same attitude was that of Pius XI, the Pope who condemned Nazi atheism and Communist atheism, but deplored at the same time the attempt to unite people in the name of a vague and indistinct sentiment, without religion, without Christ.

Pius XI wrote thus in Mortalium Animos (Epiphany 1928) concerning ecumenical encounters: “We see some men, convinced that it is very rare to meet men deprived of all religious sense, nourish the hope that it might be possible to lead peoples without difficulty, in spite of their religious differences, to a fraternal agreement on the profession of certain doctrines considered as a common foundation of spiritual life. That is why they begin to hold congresses, reunions, conferences, frequented by an appreciably large audience, and, to their discussions, they invite all men indistinctly, infidels of all kinds along with the faithful of Christ and even those who, unfortunately, have separated themselves from Christ or who, with bitterness and obstinacy, deny the divinity of His nature and of His mission. Such undertakings cannot, in any way, be approved by Catholics, since they are based on the erroneous opinion that all religions are more or less good and praiseworthy, in the sense that all equally, although in different ways, manifest and signify the natural and innate sentiment that carries us towards God and pushes us to recognize with respect His power. In truth, the partisans of this theory fall into a complete error, but what is more, in perverting the notion of the true religion, they repudiate it, and they fall step by step into naturalism and atheism.”

In retrospect, we can say that Pope Pius XI was right, even on the level of the simple opportunity: in reality, what has been the effect of “Assisi 1986”, in spite of the just declarations of Pope John Paul II, aimed at forestalling such an interpretation?

What is the message relaunched by the organizers, the media, and even the many modernist clerics desirous of overturning the tradition of the Church?

What came across to many Christians, through the images, which are always the most evocative, and through the newspapers and television, is very clear: religious relativism, which is the equivalent of atheism.

If all pray “together”, many have concluded, then all religions are “equal”, but if this is the case, that means that none of them is true.

At this time, you, cardinal and prefect of the Congregation of the Faith, with Cardinal Giacomo Biffi, and several others, were among those who expressed serious doubts. For this reason, in the following years, you have never participated in the replicas proposed each year by the Community of Sant’Egidio. (…)

Actually, as you wrote in “Faith, Truth and Tolerance. Christianity and the religions of the world” (Cantagalli, 2005), when really criticizing an ecumenism that is colored by indifference, the Catholic “should understand that there are no ‘religions’ in a general sense, that there is not a common idea of God and a common faith in Him, that the difference is not only one regarding the interchangeable pictures or conceptual forms but concerns the same last choices".

You perfectly agree then with Leo XIII and with Pius XI on the danger of contributing, with events such as “Assisi 1986”, to syncretism and religious indifference.

There is a risk highlighted also by the Council fathers of Vatican II when in Unitatis Redintegratio they asked for prudence against ecumenism, not against other religions, but against other “Christians”: “Still the communication of sacred things should not be considered as a means to be used indiscriminately for the restoration of Christian unity…” These past years you have taught, without always being understood, even by Catholics, that dialogue has its place, and can take place, not between different theologies, but between different cultures, and not between different religions, but between men, in the light of that which distinguishes us all: human reason.

Without recreating the ancient pagan Pantheon; without the integrity of the faith being compromised by a love for theological compromise; without Revelation, that is not our own, being modified by men and theologians in the aim of reconciling the irreconcilable; without placing Christ, “sign of contradiction”, on the same level as Buddha or Confucius, who, besides, never said that they were God.

This is why we are here to expose to you our fears.

We fear that, whatever you may say, television, the newspapers, and many Catholics will interpret it in the light of this past and of the present indifferentism; we fear that, whatever you may claim, the event will be read as a continuation of the manipulation of the figure of St. Francis, transformed by today’s ecumenists into an pacifist, a syncretist without faith. It is already the case.

We are afraid that whatever you may say to clarify things more, the simple faithful, of whose number we are, everywhere in the world will see but one fact (and that is all that will be shown, for example, on television): the Vicar of Christ not only speaking, debating, dialoguing with the representatives of other religions, but also praying with them. As if the manner and the end of prayer were indifferent.

And many will think mistakenly that the Church has henceforth capitulated, and recognized, in the line of the New Age way of thinking, that to pray to Christ, Allah, Buddha, or Manitu is the same thing. That animist and islamic polygamy, hindu castes or the polytheistic animist spiritualism, can go hand-in-hand with Christian monogamy, the law of love and pardon of the One and Triune God.

However, as you have written, in the book cited: “With the lack of differentiation of religions and the idea that they are all discernible and at the same time equal, we do not get anywhere”. Most Holy Father, we believe that with a new “Assisi 1986”, no Christian in the Orient will be saved: nor in Communist China, nor in North Korea or Pakistan or Iraq… on the contrary, many faithful will not understand why in these countries, people still die martyrs for not renouncing their encounter not with just any religion, but with Christ. Just as the Apostles died.

In the face of persecution, there exist political, diplomatic means, personal dialogues between States: may they all take place, and as well as possible. With Your love and Your desire for peace for all men.

But without giving those who wish to sow confusion and to augment religious relativism – antechamber of all relativisms –, an opportunity, for the media included, as appetizing as a second edition of “Assisi 1986”.

With our filial devotion,

Francis Agnoli, Lorenzo Bertocchi, Roberto de Mattei, Corrado Gnerre, Alessandro Gnocchi, Camillo Langone, Mario Palmaro

(Sources:, in italian. The bold print is from this edition – DICI 228, Jan. 20, 2011)

Four options regarding continence and married clergy in the West

From Ed Peters, JCD...

I think most people are understandably going directly to the webpage wherein the Four Options are spelled out. I added "Summary" sections to the four points for easier reading.

This post is a bit too long, I think, for normal blogging purposes, so I am offering here only excerpts from a longer discussion of these four options at my website, available here.
There are, I think, ultimately only four ways that the question of continence for married deacons and priests in the West can be settled.
1. Deacons and priests, even if married, must observe perfect and perpetual continence.

This is, I have argued, the way Western canon law actually reads now and is the way it has read for at least a millennium. Acknowledgement of this position would require no changes in the law and would occasion no modifications in or repudiation of the canonical expectations long made on married clerics and their wives.

Given, however, that thousands of married men have been ordained to the diaconate and that hundreds have been ordained to the priesthood, without them or their wives having been informed of the obligation of perfect and perpetual continence attached to the clerical state, some accommodations for their situations would obviously have to be made.

This accommodation for current married deacons and priests could occur in a couple of ways: . . .

2. Canon law requires priests, but not deacons, to observe perfect and perpetual continence.
There is virtually no support for drawing this sort of distinction between deacons and priests in Western canonistics, but as a canonist I cannot conclude for or against the idea as a possible development in the theology of holy orders, to which theological development canon law would then have to defer. Such an understanding would represent a modification, but not a complete repudiation, of the Western tradition of clerical continence (in regard to deacons), but it would occasion no need to change the law in regard to priests because they are already bound, as above.

If this distinction between deacons and priests were found to be authentic, the exemption from Canon 277 that was originally proposed for married deacons could simply be reinserted in the law, or an authentic interpretation or an instruction in forma specifica could be issued exempting married deacons from the obligation of continence. . . .

3. Canon law requires priests (and perhaps deacons, mutatis mutandis) to observe only periodic or temporary continence in regard to the celebration of the Eucharist.

There is virtually no support for this possibility in Western canonistics, but as a canonist I cannot conclude for or against the idea as a possible development in regard to the theology of holy orders, to which theological development canon law would have to defer. If this development, which seems essentially to mirror an Eastern approach, were found appropriate for the West, various canonical and liturgical laws would need to be modified in its wake. . . .

4. Neither deacons nor priests, if married, need observe any sort of continence.

This position is the de facto assumption of nearly all current married deacons and priests in the Roman Church, but it finds no support whatsoever in Western canonistics, and for that matter, it fails to match even mitigated Eastern practices in regard to continence for married clergy. . . . The formal acknowledgement of this position would represent a complete repudiation of the Western (and probably even of Eastern) tradition in regard to clerical continence, but it could be achieved as above (e.g., authentic interpretation, instruction in forma specifica).

Some observations

1. . . . Western married deacons and priests, despite belonging to the Church that has unquestionably held with nearly absolute consistency for a celibate (and, even if married, a completely continent) clergy, have---doubtless for lack of direction---adopted an approach to continence that, not only has no support in Western law or tradition, but fails to satisfy even the mitigated continence expectations of various Eastern Churches. Some people are not struck by the fact that, with no express approbation or endorsement by ecclesiastical authority, such a dramatic abandonment of Western expectations regarding an important area of clerical life has occurred in so short a time. But, as I said in my Studia article, I think it very important, both for the operation of law and for the stability of the faith community, that such a complete change in clerical practice be formally recognized in law if it is genuine, or be reasonably but firmly removed from practice if it is not. . . .

 I think that Ed might be on to something here...what do you think?  Honestly, I think that it is the only way that a permanent deaconate can be effective.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pope: Marriage is not an absolute right

From the AP....

VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI told priests Saturday to do a better job counseling would-be spouses to ensure their marriages last and said no one has an absolute right to a wedding.
Benedict made the comments in his annual speech to the Roman Rota, the Vatican tribunal that decides marriage annulments. An annulment is the process by which the church effectively declares that a marriage never took place.
Benedict acknowledged that the problems that would allow for a marriage to be annulled cannot always be identified beforehand. But he said better pre-marriage counseling, which the Catholic Church requires of the faithful, could help avoid a "vicious circle" of invalid marriages.
He said the right to a church wedding requires that the bride and groom intend to celebrate and live the marriage truthfully and authentically.
"No one can make a claim to the right to a nuptial ceremony," he said.
Benedict has used his annual speech to the Rota to impress on its members the indissolubility of marriage and that they should avoid the temptation of granting annulments on a whim. Last year, he urged the tribunal to work harder to encourage couples to stay together and not confuse "pastoral charity" with the need to uphold church law.
On Saturday, Benedict said priests had an important pastoral job to discern whether would-be spouses are prepared and able to enter into a valid marriage.
"The church and society at large place too much importance on the good of marriage and the family founded on it to not make a profound commitment to it pastorally," Benedict said.
The Vatican's concern about marriage annulments is largely directed at the United States, which in 2006 had more annulment cases launched than the rest of the world combined.

From a young writer over at Sub Tuum....

This is her first real sware into the Traddy world via writing, so it's a little raw, but the sentiment is there...

Traditionalism, the curse of the modern world, the embarassment of modern Catholics. So often is the word "traditional" spat out with distaste, like wine which has turned. Why is it that when a person identifies themselves as a "traditionalist", people automatically add schismatic, heretic, throw back, antiquated, outdated, pre-conciliar to it. They writhe in distaste at the sight of a chapel veil, obviously ignorant of the sacredness it symbolizes, the mystery of femininity, the veiling of that which is pure and holy. When the so called "dead language" of Latin is quoted from, or prayers of old are recited in it, a translation is screamed for, and an inclusive one at that, lest some one be offended. Gone are the days of a Sacred language, which people often associate with Catholics, oh, pardon, traditionalists. Beautiful customs and rubrics of the extraordinary form of the Mass are ridiculed, and the Most Sacred of Presences is profaned, because after all, Jesus is our buddy, and it's unsanitary to have a priest who's hands have been consecrated by the Shepherd of the Church place the Body of Jesus Christ, Son of God into one's mouth. It's considered uninclusive to have the priest face the same direction as the faithful, rather than fac the people. And because Rossini, Bach, Kodaly, and so many others are old, we need to borrow music from Baptists, Protestants, in general, anyone who is not traditional. And when a person whishes with all their hearts for some of the beauty of old, the incense, the vestments, the reverance, the music...they are belittled, they are titled prideful, pharisee, TRADITIONALIST.
Why? Because, they are of course inferior to those who desire are trapped in the heresy of Modernism, something that takes little effort to understand. Modernism, which is completley devoid of all mystery, all beauty and indeed it is a heresy condemned in the 20th century. It is a sanitary imitation of something Divine. Modernists don't want to think of God as just their friend, as well as their Saviour, their King, their Beloved, their Master, their ALL. They want to take away the Divine pedestal, and make him their buddy.
Is it perhaps considered unfaithful to the Pope to be traditional? That would be airing on the side of just plain bizarre. After all, our beloved Pope Benedikt is encouraging latin in the Mass, cassocks and cottas, and a tip of the birettas. So perhaps the Modernists have it all backwards, perhaps they are confused, perhaps they are backwards. Because,you see, the truth is that Latin is the new modern. TRaditionalism is the new radical. Hymns from such musical geniuses like Palestrina and Mozart are the new cutting edge. Whether or not all the backward people who admire Marty Haugen and adore little girls in surplices like it or not, there's a new wind blowing.
And this wind which is blowing with the force of the Holy Ghost is giving us handsome young men in cassocks with collars giving it all to Christ, beautiful women in habits, calling Christ "beloved" and eagerly giving everything up for He Who Is,and bringing by the truckful fallen away Catholics. These young people want to go the whole league for Christ, no more half stepping modernistic things for them. The Summorum Pontificum has been written, the Traditional Latin Mass has been emanicipated. Wake up and smell the incense, whether you go to the Traditional Latin Mass or the New Ordinary Mass, you will have smells, bells, and tradition. We are traditionalists, and we are the New Radical.

Not too bad...the polish will come...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

From the Catholic Herald...

The new English translation of the Order of Mass will be used in parishes in England and Wales from September, it was announced today.
The bishops’ conference said it would be introduced into parishes three months before the new Missal is published in Advent and would thus provide an opportunity for “in-depth catechesis on the Eucharist and renewed devotion in the manner of its celebration”.
The bishops also announced the creation of a website and a DVD to prepare the faithful for the transition.
They confirmed that the new Roman Missal was complete and that the Holy See had given its recognitio.
Bishop Arthur Roche of Leeds, chairman of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), which drafted the new text, said it was “a tremendous opportunity for the Church in England and Wales to learn about our faith and the Mass”.
The bishop said: “The new translation is a great gift to the Church. The Mass is at the heart of what the Church is, it is where we deepen our faith in Christ and are nourished by him so that we can glorify the Lord by our lives.
“In the new translation we find a text that is more faithful to the Latin text and therefore a text which is richer in its theological content and allusions to the scriptures but also a translation which, I believe, will move people’s hearts and minds in prayer.”
The bishop said he hoped people would use resources provided by the bishops’ conference to prepare for the new translation.
He cited a DVD produced by ICEL, called Become One Body One Spirit in Christ, which has already been sent out to parishes. It features six hours of footage of experts talking about various aspects of the Mass. Bishop Roche said it would help people “uncover the riches that the Eucharist offers us”.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Ottaviaini Intervention

The Ottaviani Intervention

If you've never taken the time to read it, here it is for your parousal..... Here is the introductory letter.

September 25, 1969
Most Holy Father,

Having carefully examined, and presented for the scrutiny of others, the
1. The accompanying critical study of the

2. The pastoral reasons adduced to support such a grave break with tradition, even if such reasons could be regarded as holding good in the face of doctrinal considerations, do not seem to us sufficient. The innovations in the

3. We are certain that these considerations. which can only reach Your Holiness by the living voice of both shepherds and flock, cannot but find an echo in Your paternal heart, always so profoundly solicitous for the spiritual needs of the children of the Church. It has always been the case that when a law meant for the good of subjects proves to be on the contrary harmful, those subjects have the right, nay the duty of asking with filial trust for the abrogation of that law. Therefore we most earnestly beseech Your Holiness, at a time of such painful divisions and ever-increasing perils for the purity of the Faith and the unity of the Church, lamented by You our common Father. not to deprive us of the possibility of continuing to have recourse to the fruitful integrity of that

A. Card. Ottaviani
A. Card. Bacci
Feast of St. Pius X

Saturday, January 15, 2011

First Ordinariate Erected 01/15/2011

In accordance with the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus of Pope Benedict XVI (November 4, 2009) and after careful consultation with the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has today erected a Personal Ordinariate within the territory of England and Wales for those groups of Anglican clergy and faithful who have expressed their desire to enter into full visible communion with the Catholic Church. The Decree of Erection specifies that the Ordinariate will be known as the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham and will be placed under the patronage of Blessed John Henry Newman.
A Personal Ordinariate is a canonical structure that provides for corporate reunion in such a way that allows former Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of their distinctive Anglican patrimony. With this structure, the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus seeks to balance on the one hand the concern to preserve the worthy Anglican liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions and, on the other hand, the concern that these groups and their clergy will be fully integrated into the Catholic Church.
For doctrinal reasons the Church does not, in any circumstances, allow the ordination of married men as Bishops. However, the Apostolic Constitution does provide, under certain conditions, for the ordination as Catholic priests of former Anglican married clergy. Today at Westminster Cathedral in London, the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, ordained to the Catholic priesthood three former Anglican Bishops: Reverend Andrew Burnham, Reverend Keith Newton, and Reverend John Broadhurst.
Also today Pope Benedict XVI has nominated Reverend Keith Newton as the first Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. Together with Reverend Burnham and Reverend Broadhurst, Reverend Newton will oversee the catechetical preparation of the first groups of Anglicans in England and Wales who will be received into the Catholic Church together with their pastors at Easter, and to accompany the clergy preparing for ordination to the Catholic priesthood around Pentecost.
The provision of this new structure is consistent with the commitment to ecumenical dialogue, which continues to be a priority for the Catholic Church. The initiative leading to the publication of the Apostolic Constitution and the erection of this Personal Ordinariate came from a number of different groups of Anglicans who have declared that they share the common Catholic faith as it is expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and accept the Petrine ministry as something Christ willed for the Church. For them, the time has now come to express this implicit unity in the visible form of full communion.

Friday, January 14, 2011

A Quarterly that Everyone should Read

Dappled Things is a quarterly that defines itself as a literary magazine dedicated to providing a space for emerging writers to engage the literary world from a Catholic perspective. The magazine is committed to quality writing that takes advantage of the religious, theological, philosophical, artistic, cultural, and literary heritage of the Catholic Church in order to inform and enrich contemporary literary culture.

Give it a look and a is certainly a worthy endeavor.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

From My Friends over at The Chant Cafe

Five Changes to Expect with the New Missal

As with the Y2K hysteria of ten years ago, it is easy to find apocalyptic warnings about the dreadful fate that is going to befall the English-speaking Catholic world on November 27, 2011, which is the first Sunday of Advent, the day on which the new Missal with its new English translation will be implemented.

We hear of the “trauma” we will experience, how disastrous splits are going to surround us not only between parishes but within them, how people are going to be even more shocked and stunned by the new translation than they were in 1969 when the entire Missal moved from Latin to English.

But just as with Y2K, I expect no disaster at all. In fact, I believe the opposite. There will be no shock and awe. It will be different but it won’t be startling. It will change us as a people but only gradually over time. In the end, the changes will be dramatic but essentially organic. I’m happy to revisit this column one year from the implementation date to see if these five predictions about the new Missal hold up.

1. Restored Sensus Fidelium. The most disturbing aspect of the translation that has been in place for forty years is the way in which it stripped out subtlety and grandeur from the Latin original. It has the feeling of something gone over by a by-the-book magazine editor working at a popular weekly. The voicing is direct, the shadings are made stark, repetitions are taken out, metaphoric imagery is removed, and the complexity and richness of the text is made simple and necessarily thin.

If the translators didn’t see the point or didn’t understand why the phrase or sentence appeared in Latin - or it seemed to smack too much of the “old Church” - it was generally tossed out or replaced by something common, more familiar, or just new and fashionable. So long as the theme was generally the same, the new version stuck. It became nearly impossible to put the Latin and English side by side and expect anyone to figure out the parallels, and this was true even in the order of Mass itself!

This wouldn’t be a terrible problem if it happened only rarely but this approach became the method by which nearly everything in the Missal was evaluated and re-rendered. It affected the people’s parts profoundly but even more thoroughly in the celebrant’s parts. The net result has been a form of prayer and a perceived content of the faith that has lived a separate existence from the Catechism of the Catholic Church or our history of popular devotions and prayers.

The Mass seemed like a thing apart from the rest of our lives as Catholics. It had a different flavor and tone, a peculiar casualness about its approach and message.

The new translation changes this. It treats the Latin as the text of continuing normative relevance. The result is a text that has more solemnity, seriousness, and dignity, and feels more Catholic in the sense in which people expect.

Compare the first Sunday of Advent preface:

CURRENT: When he humbled himself to come among us as a man, he fulfilled the plan you formed long ago and opened for us the way to salvation. Now we watch for the day, hoping that the salvation promised us will be ours when Christ our Lord will come again in his glory.

FORTHCOMING: For he assumed at his first coming the lowliness of human flesh, and so fulfilled the design you formed long ago, and opened for us the way to eternal salvation, that, when he comes again in glory and majesty and all is at last made manifest, we who watch for that day may inherit the great promise in which now we dare to hope.

The second is incomparably more evocative of the idea of Advent, complete with information missing from the first: the lowliness of flesh; the eternity of salvation; the glory and majesty of the coming; the inheritance of the promise; the dare of our hope. It has so much more color and drama!

The point is further illustrated in this preface for the first Sunday of Lent on The Temptation of the Lord:

CURRENT: His fast of forty days makes this a holy season of self-denial. By rejecting the devil’s temptations he has taught us to rid ourselves of the hidden corruption of evil, and so to share his paschal meal in purity of heart, until we come to its fulfillment in the promised land of heaven. .

FORTHCOMING: By abstaining forty long days from earthly food, he consecrated through his fast the pattern of our Lenten observance, and by overturning all the snares of the ancient serpent, taught us to cast out the leaven of malice, so that, celebrating worthily the Paschal Mystery, we might pass over at last to the eternal paschal feast.

So from the forthcoming text, we see the relationship of Christ’s fast to our own, the parallel of the devil in the desert and the devil in the garden, the rejecting of sin and the need for our own repentance, and the final relationship between Christ’s resurrection and our own eternal life of which the season of Easter serves as a metaphor. The first first flattens out all this and renders it at all plainly and unimaginatively as possible. Thus can we see how the new translation might even help restore unfashionable ideas like fasting during Lent!

2. A Push for Sacred Music. Of course the music of the Mass is the elephant in the living room, but at last some people are starting to talk about it. ICEL is emphasizing the propers of the Mass over random hymns that now dominate the liturgy. This is a very important, practical step toward fulfilling the hope for Gregorian chant to have pride of place in the Roman Rite.

The Missal itself contains a tremendous number of chants that are beautifully written and easy to sing, even without any instruments. My impression is that there is far more music, and that this music is more integral to the liturgical text itself. It contains the music and the Latin for Vidi aquam, Crux Fidelis for Good Friday, Ubi Caritas for Holy Thursday, and Gloria laus for Palm Sunday.

The beauty and dignity of the Mass text alone is going to create a better environment for chant and the music of the Roman Rite. More than any other change, this is the one that will lead to a general settling down at Mass so that the liturgy will be more prayerful and reflective, a time when time itself ceases and we are better able to contemplate and see into eternity. It is a fact that music makes a much larger contribution to the orientation of our mind and heart than is generally supposed.

3. The End of the Liturgy Wars.
Everyone knows about the wrangling and argument and contention of the last decades, an environment in which all sides squared off in bitter dispute about the environment of worship. The new Missal settles many of these disputes, not by declaring one side victorious but by reminding everyone of the real point behind our gathering for Mass in the first place. It is not about us. Once we decrease, he can increase, and in that increase we will find a new peace in our communities through the grace of the sacrament.

Indeed, the decades of wrangling have an underlying cause, which has been the attempt to push the Mass into being something that it really cannot be, which is nothing more than an uplifting gathering of like-minded friends with a unified theme. A translation that highlights the majesty and presence of of God brings the liturgy closer to its true personality and purpose, and in this we will find a new way of understanding the faith and the reason for our gathering in the first place.

4. New Decorum. The casualness of the Missal text and its studied attempt at plain speaking had many spillover effects, one of which has been to encourage a sort of sloppiness in the way we all comport ourselves at and during the liturgy. The seriousness that has been missing can more easily reassert itself in the context of a liturgical text that itself is more elevated and oriented toward heavenly things.

A new sense of dignity and decorum will come more easily to us when we cut the plain-talking ways and speak and listen to words that are not like any words we use in conversation. I fully expect that the new Missal will give impetus to other related reforms such as an altar orientation toward the East, kneeling for communion, and better and more dignified vestments and furnishings.

5. A Hinge of History. I’ve had several people point out to me the similarities in language between the new Missal and the transitional Missal of 1965. Much of the music that came out immediately following the Council - English plainchant - is now making a comeback. More and more people are looking back to the Second Vatican Council to discover what is that the Council meant to do and compare that to what actually happened from the late sixties onward.

I’ve joked that sometimes it seems like the whole of Catholic liturgical history has done as giant leap from 1965 to 2011 and it remains somewhat foggy and unclear what happened in the intervening years. At last, and after much suffering and pain, we seem to be on the right track again. We might find that our parishes will fill up again, our seminaries will have new vocations, and popular devotions will return as part of Catholic life. All of this will get a huge push forward with the new Missal. This is the year, the year that in 100 years people will look back and say: this was the turning point.

None of this will be obvious on November 27, but it will become more and more clear as time goes on. And for that we must be supremely grateful to all those who prayers and hard work have brought us to this point where the light of the faith as expressed through the liturgy is appearing before us in our time.

Thumbs up to the Monks at New Melleray

Monks make, donate casket for youngest victim in Arizona shooting

By Eric Marrapodi and Kara Devlin

A group of Trappist monks in Iowa have donated a handmade casket to bury 9-year-old Christina Green, the youngest victim in the Saturday attack that killed six and wounded 13 others in Arizona.

Sam Mulgrew, the general manager of Trappist Caskets in Peosta, Iowa, told CNN a family representative of the Greens reached out to the monks at New Melleray Abbey near Dubuque after her death. The custom-made casket arrived in Tucson, Arizona, Wednesday morning.

“We didn’t want to send an adult coffin that would be too big, we wanted something just for her,” said Mulgrew, who is not a monk but who manages the 11-year-old casket business that is part of the abbey.

The casket, crafted from red oak, was made especially for 9-year-old Christina, Mulgrew said. She died after a gunman opened fire at a constituents event held by U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was critically wounded in the shooting.

Christina’s funeral is scheduled for Thursday in Tucson.

The lid of the casket was inscribed with her name, date of birth and death, and a cross. The family also will receive five small keepsake crosses hewn from the same wood as the casket, Mulgrew said.

Before the casket was sent from the monastery in Iowa to Arizona, the monks gave the casket a special blessing inside their chapel on Tuesday.

The monks are Roman Catholic and are part of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance. They make and sell custom caskets with “reverence for nature,” according to the Trappist Caskets website.

“Along with prayer and study, our casket ministry is an extension of our sacred work. We labor quietly with our hands in support of our life of simplicity,” says a statement on the website.

Mulgrew said when a child dies it hits the monks particularly hard. He said they don’t like to sell children’s caskets; instead, a “child casket fund” they started often covers the costs.

The Ordinariate's new Magazine in the UK

The Portal is a good source for information for anyone interested in the Ordinariate.  On the front page, it states:

Welcome to The Portal Magazine

the free monthly on-line magazine

. . . for those in the Ordinariate in the UK,
. . . those Anglicans who are interested in the Ordinaraite
. . . and all Catholic friends of the Ordinaraite

The Portal Magazine, is published
on the first of every month.

It covers News, Events, Personalities
Catholic teaching, Letters, Features,
Catholic and Anglican history,
the Ordinary's Page and information
about Ordinariate Parishes

This will be of special note to Iowans as we have a parish in Des Moines, St. Adian's, which will be joining the Ordinariate as soon as they are able.  The pastor is Fr. Chori Jonathin Seraiah.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

David Nelson passes away...

David Nelson, who starred on his parents' long-running TV series "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet," has died. He was 74.

The actor died Tuesday after battling complications of colon cancer in his Los Angeles home, family spokesman Dale Olson told The Associated Press.
Nelson was the last surviving member of the famous TV family, which starred his father, actor/bandleader Ozzie; his mother, singer Harriet Hilliard; and his teen idol brother Rick.

Originally a radio show, "Ozzie and Harriet" launched in 1944 and later featured actors playing David and Rick as the brothers were too young to perform. David and Rick Nelson then made their acting debuts alongside their parents in the 1952 film "Here Come the Nelsons," which served as a pilot for the series. The sitcom premiered in the fall and ran for 14 seasons, becoming the longest running live-action sitcom in U.S. history.

Epitomizing 1950s family ideals and values, "Ozzie and Harriet" featured many storylines based on the stars' real lives. Nelson also directed and produced episodes of the show. In 1973, he produced the short-lived spin-off "Ozzie's Girls," in which Ozzie and Harriet rented the boys' rooms to two college girls.
His film credits include "Peyton Place," "The Big Circus," "Day of the Outlaw" and "Love and Kisses." In 1976, he co-starred with his mother in "Smash-Up on Interstate 5."

Nelson, who continued to act and produce in his later years, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1996.

He is survived by his wife, Yvonne; four sons and a daughter; and seven grandchildren.

This is of note, since his mother Harriet Hilliard Nelson is from Des Moines....the last of a great American acting family has passed away.

Death of a Legend and a personal hero....

Major Dick Winters passed away Jan. 2 in central Pennsylvania following a battle with Parkinson's Disease. If you've read Stephen Ambrose's book or watched the HBO miniseries, you'll likely already have mental pictures of Winters' acts of heroism during harsh fighting in Europe during the Second World War. This is what he looked like in 1945:

Courtesy of Sgt. Maj. Herman W. Clemens, Ret. / AP file

Easy Company's William Guarnere, 88, told the AP today: "When he said 'Let's go,' he was right in the front [...] He was never in the back. A leader personified."

Winters told his own story in 'Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters,' and begins his first chapter by describing the "quiet peace" he says every soldier wants to find:
I am still haunted by the names and faces of young men, young airborne troopers who never had the opportunity to return home after the war and begin their lives anew. Like most veterans who have shared the hardship of combat, I live with flashbacks--distant memories of an attack on a battery of German artillery on D-Day, an assault on Carentan, a bayonet attack on a dike in Holland, the cold of Bastogne[...] If you had a man who was killed, you looked at him and hoped that he had found peace in death. I'm not sure whether they were fortunate or unfortunate to get out of the war so early. So many men died so that others could live. No one understands why.
To find a quiet peace is the dream of every soldier. For some it takes longer than others. In my own experience I have discovered that it is far easier to find quiet than to find peace. True peace must come from within oneself. As my wartime buddies join their fallen comrades at an alarming rate, distant memories resurface. The hard times fade and the flashbacks go back to friendly times, to buddies with whom I shared a unique bond, to men who are my brothers in every sense of the word. I live with these men every day.

RIP Maj. Winters...thank you for your service...thank you for making the world a safer place.

Reform of the Reform or Re-Ordering, Part Deux

After a lively conversation with my friends over at New Liturgical Movement, I can understand that the renovation at the Dominican House of Studies is more than just re-ordering, but there are several questions that do come to mind....

1.  Why move the altar away from the wall?  It is already fixed and is in accord with Vatican Council II's interpretation.

2.  Where is the communion rail?  If they were going to do the renovation, why not just include it?  It would make sense.

I would point you to the thread St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel, Dominican House of Studies  to see the whole conversation.  It is a good one and one that I rather enjoyed.  It is always good to hear the views of other like-minded church afficiandos.  Thanks to Shawn et. al. for a great conversation.

In case you were curious, the main chapel at the Dominican House of Studies is glorious, sans "Cranmer table."


Confronting Dissent....

Michael Voris over at RealCatholicTV speaks clearly about our role in worship and how we should handle dissent.  We are Catholic, we have a right, according to Redemptionis Sacramentum to a properly celebrated Mass....listen on...

Reform of the Reform or just Re-Ordering?

Normally, I won't disagree with the good folks over at New Liturgical Movement, but I really can't see the real growth in the "renovation" at The Dominican House of Studies, in DC.

renovation on the right....

While I see a small improvement in general architecture, I really don't see how this is more than a simple "re-ordering" of the sanctuary....a true renovation would be moving toward the reform of the reform.  Comparably, when the SSPX took over the Dominican Central Province Novitiate, in 1988 (BEFORE the illicit consecrations), and made it their seminary, the chapel was re-dedicated, so one can presumably think that there was some work done, since it had been virtually unused since 1970.  The SSPX may be irregular and there may be issues with them, but from an architectural point of view, they understand how the Mass should look.  I will let you compare the two and let me know what you think....

Seminary chapel of SSPX, former novitiate of the Dominican Central Province 

Catching on in Wisconsin.....

This story appeared first in the Sunday edition of the Wisconsin State Journal newspaper.  Barry Adams covers regional news for the Wisconsin State Journal.

CHAMPION — The chapel has room for 280 people.
Most prefer the basement, with its low ceiling and humming ventilation fan.
This is where hundreds of candles burn and eight tiny pews face a statue of the Virgin Mary squashing a snake.

The pilgrims come as they are, some wearing Green Bay Packers jackets and shirts, others in hunting pants or work boots.

No one keeps track of the attendance, but it’s estimated that more than 3,000 people a year find their way to the tiny shrine on Highway K where prayer candles are $3.50 and plastic crucifixes are sold for $1.

But 2011 will be unlike any other in the 152-year history of the shrine at Our Lady of Good Help, just off one of the main routes to the Door Peninsula and its collection of wineries, cherry orchards and state parks. 
Pilgrims from around the country are descending on this farming community, in Kewaunee County about 15 miles northeast of Green Bay, to seek peace and healing and to pray. Last month, Bishop David Ricken of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay approved three apparitions of the Virgin Mary that were seen in 1859 by Adele Brise, a 29-year-old Belgium immigrant.
 It is the only church-approved apparition in the United States and joins others around the world such as Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City; Lourdes, France; and Fatima, Portugal.

“We hope it doesn’t change a bit,” said Veronica Schmelzer, 42, of nearby Casco. She has come to the shrine since she was a little girl. “It’s a part of our daily lives, so it’s kind of odd having it so public,” she said last week.

The shrine is no secret to those in the area, and signs along Highway 57 direct motorists to the site. In 1954, an estimated 20,000 people attended the Aug. 15 outdoor Mass for the annual Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Attendance for the Mass in recent years, however, has been around 1,500.

Old site hits the big time
When Ricken made his announcement Dec. 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the story was picked up by media around the world. An estimated 200 to 300 people a day have visited the site, and on some days between Christmas and New Year’s there were 1,000 visitors.
The shrine shut down its online prayer candle requests so those visiting in person could have a place for their candle.

“We had candles everywhere. We just couldn’t keep up,” said Karen Tipps, a caretaker on the grounds for 18 years. “We really felt bad shutting that down.”

Tipps has been busy fielding phone calls and answering e-mails from school groups, churches and others from around the state and from bus tour groups around the country. Her big concern is being able to stagger the visits by tour groups, which she likes to divide into smaller groups rotating them between the gift shop, crypt, chapel and, when the weather cooperates, the stations of the cross.

“I’ve bought myself a great big calendar for scheduling all these groups,” Tipps said. “It’s going to be an adjustment.”

A larger parking lot is scheduled to be paved this spring, and diocese officials are considering plans for an addition to the crypt that would offer more bathrooms and make the shrine, built on the spot of the apparitions, handicap accessible.

“As more people are coming, it’s something we’d like to have done soon, but it has to be done right,” said the Rev. John Doerfler, rector of the shrine. “We want to make sure that whatever is done, it fosters the spirit of prayer.”

‘Sign that God is active’
John Kruse, 43, of suburban Detroit, was in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on business last week but made the two-hour-plus drive from Escanaba to visit. Kruse, who has visited other apparition sites around the world, expects thousands to make their way to Champion.
 “This place will explode (with visitors),” said Kruse. “It’s another sign that God is active.”
Juan Valero came to pray with his wife Teresa and 3-year-old son Benjamin who has been sick. The family came from Oshkosh and likely will return, especially when other family members visit from Mexico.
“It’s a very peaceful place. I was excited to come,” Juan Valero said. “I feel like I have to be here.”
Peg Gallagher, a retired school teacher on the Menominee Indian Reservation, last visited the shrine when she was a teenager. She drove from her home in Shawano last week to pray and take in the peace and quiet of the crypt.

“It’s a very simple place,” Gallagher said. “It brought back memories of my Catholic faith as a child.”
A guest registry at the crypt’s entrance showed visitors from Wisconsin, Illinois, Oregon and Virginia. Greg Thome of Pleasanton, Calif., was visiting family in Allouez, a Green Bay suburb. His mother-in-law visits the shrine about once a week during the summer.

“There’s a spirit of grace that seems to be present here,” said Thome, 59, a hospital consultant. “It’s located in such a humble place.”

If you ever make it to Green Bay (which I strongly advise...the Packers the best football team EVER!!!), I would make a stop and venerate the apparition.  His Excellency, Bishop David Ricken has approved it, so you may go without any reservation at all....being so close to Iowa, I plan on making a trip there myself.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

From over at The Liturgical Pimpernel...

The Liturgical Pimpernel writes:
(with my comments and emphasis)

Father Gaudium et Spes seems to be remarkably short of both in his retirement, which is sad. One wishes that the poor man did not have to suffer the continuing "iconic insults" he complained about so loudly of before Christmas.
Now Father has written another article in which he tells us that "a vast crowd of priests and laity (10, 20, 50, what constitutes vast?) who passionately love the church...are alarmed at having a new and unsatisfactory translation of the liturgy about to be foisted on them due to power politics at the top." (, this is not an unsatisfactory translation, it is slavishly accurate.  That is the real issue.  They want "dynamic equivalence" to remain the norm.  It simply is a flawed outlook.  It isn't accurate and conveys a message that is wrong.)
"This last confrontation" he warns us "may well backfire. Many priests are simply not going to introduce the new translation. They say that if the Anglican newcomers and the Latin Mass groups can keep their liturgy, so can they." (This is open defiance of the wishes of Rome, based mainly on Liturgical norms.....What makes them any different than the SSPX, if they do this?  We are not talking about a new Missale Romanum being promulgated here, we are talking about a new translation of the same Missale Romanum -- I'll talk about that more below.)
He may be on to something here. Priests and people of his generation may be unwilling or unable to change. We should be sensitive to them. Why should they have to suffer an accurate vernacular translation of the Mass of Paul VI after all these years of using the ICEL version from the 1970’s, which has made them what they are, of course? (Because the Church is bigger than any one person or groups of people....The Liturgical Pimpernel is being facetious, I know.)
Why not give elderly priests who would find it difficult to make the change permission to keep using the old ICEL Mass? Only in private, without a congregation, of course. (Because this isn't a new Missale Romanum and the cirucmstances by which the EF was retained was because there was a whole new form of the Mass introduced, which departed from the older form.  That simply isn't the case here, we don't have any rubrical changes, to speak of.)
If there really is a “vast crowd” of laity who want this translation, perhaps they could organise themselves into “The Old-ICEL Mass Society”? They could lobby the hierarchy for an indult to have public celebrations of the old ICEL Mass. After about fifteen years they could be given permission, but only on condition that this never took place in parish churches and didn’t involve any criticism of the new Mass, of course. (I say, don't cave at all...the Church is bigger than these angry liberal clerics who didn't get their way.  They are acting like spoiled brats.  We've seen what liberalism has acheived, not one good thing for Holy Mother Church.  Not one.)
The Old ICEL Missal

Perhaps they could try the outright disobedience warned about by Father? They could even found a “Priestly Society of Paul VI” which could set up rival chapels, clergy, and even bishops, to ensure the continuation of the old ICEL Mass into the future. But they would risk excommunication, of course. (Helllooooo.....I'd call them the Priestly Society of Pope Joan, though.  We would want to be as fabricated as she was.)
They may even hope for a pope who would encourage bishops to be generous with the indult for the use of the old ICEL Mass, or for another one almost twenty years later still who, to promote reconciliation, would permit it to any group of the faithful who really wanted it, only on condition that they recognised it as “extraordinary”, of course. (Mark my words, the day is coming when the OF will become the EF and vice versa.)
Perhaps by then Father Gaudium et Spes may be enjoying its fullness at last (fullness is a good word, but full of what?), but be looked back upon as a prophet who knew that the old-ICEL Mass of Paul VI had never really been abrogated. Or perhaps not. Time will tell, of course.

I have a priest-friend who has told me that he will not celebrate the Mass with the new translation.  He says the reason for the translation in the first place was to make the Mass easier to understand.  If we are going to have this new translation, he says, we might as well go back to the Latin.  They will be just as intelligible to the average Catholic in the pew.  My response....OK!!!!  Let's!!!!  I'm all for it!!!!  That would be more in keeping with the "spirit of Vatican Council II" anyhow.  This whole ongoing problem of translation is really quite ridiculous.  We don't need a translation, we need to have celebrations of the Mass in a language that is intelligible by all.

The only thing that libby dibby's and conservatives agree upon is that a hand missal/missalette is a good thing.  So, if we can get along for almost 50 years with a hand missal then why can't we go back?  Or better yet, why bother at all?  The Mass isn't about understanding every last word, but rather, it is for uniting oneself to the mystery that is the unbloody sacrifice of Calvary.  So, if we don't understand audibly, is that so bad, when we can understand with our soul, that a sacrifice is going on?  Participatio Actuosa v. Participatio Activa  is again the real question.  Which is more intregal to the melding of soul and body to the liturgical action.

This is an important issue and one that merits discussion amongst the faithful.  If our priests are going to revolt, we should be faithful to Rome.  Rome is the final answer for matters of discipline, not aging priests who are upset at the fact that they didn't get their way.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

My favorite rendition of the Ave Maria....Schubert....

My most favorite version of the Ave Maria...there really isn't any version, including Mozart's which moves the heart more....this rendition sung by Deanna Durbin, portraying St. Anne at the end of the movie, It's a Date.  Listen and enjoy...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Some important blogs...

Orbis Catholicus Secundus
What Does the Prayer Really Say?
The New Liturgical Movement
Spirit Daily
Te Deum Laudamus
The Liturgical Pimpernel
The Hermeneutic of Continuity
Shrine of the Holy Whapping
Jimmy Akin

I am sure there are more, but here is what I look at religiously every day....

A Wonderful Idea....from over at Fr. Z's Blog....

Henry Edwards writes:

Why not First Vespers of Sunday on Saturday afternoon/evening instead of the anticipated Sunday Masses that have (I think) turned out to detract from the Sunday observation of the Day of the Lord? Think how First Vespers, along with priests hearing confessions, would prepare for Sunday Mass.

This was in response to a statement that Fr. Z made....

Pastors should give emphasis to such public celebrations, particularly the First Vespers of Sundays and solemnities.

I think that Henry is on to something.  Perhaps this could become a viable option to having an anticipated Mass.  There is something inherently incorrect about celebrating Holy Mass for a Sunday of Holy Day of Obligation the day seems like it is a concession for society, rather than society conforming to the life of the Church.

I think that since the Liturgy of the Hours is part of the Official Liturgical acion of the Church.  It is amazing that with all the libby dibby actions, that this has fallen through the cracks.  As it is, praying the Liturgy of the Hours can be done in a very orthodox manner because they have not been corrupted by the libby's....

Finally, I would love to see it tried and see what would happen if we followed Henry's advice.  I wonder if parish life would be enhanced?  One thing it would do is take pressure off of the pastors of parishes.  They could celebrate Solemn Vespers with laymen as ministers and really make a very beautiful service out of it...I know that St. Agnes does this for 2nd Vespers....

It really wouldn't be that hard to put together....definitely doable....groundswell....

From Catholic News Agency...

Vatican not collaborating with Discovery Channel’s exorcism series, says spokesman
.- The Vatican's Press Office director Fr. Federico Lombardi has denied claims that there is any official collaboration between the Holy See and the Discovery Channel for a series called “The Exorcist Files.” Publicity for the show was “misleading.”
The network was reputed to be "teaming up with the Vatican" to recreate documented cases of haunting and possession, Inside TV said on Jan. 5. The report included several statements from Discovery Channel president W. Clark Bunting on the difficulty and nature of an apparent agreement with the Vatican.
Bunting claimed that producers were given "access into the Vatican’s case files" and that "the organization’s top exorcists — religious experts who are rarely seen on television" sat for interviews with them.
“The Vatican is an extraordinarily hard place to get access to, but we explained we’re not going to try to tell people what to think," said Bunting.
Fr. Lombardi's comments, however, suggest the publicity for the show has distorted the reality.
In statements to international media on Jan. 8, he stated that no Vatican bodies are working with Discovery.

"I deny that supposed collaboration," he flatly told the Spanish EFE agency on Jan. 8. He called the claimed relationship "totally out of place."
Such news is "misleading," said Fr. Lombardi in a report from Italy's Il Giornale. He denied any involvement with both the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and the Vatican Television Center, of which he is also director.
"Neither are the Vatican nor the Catholic Church involved in this project," he stated.
Fr. Lombardi said that while the network could have been in contact with individual experts, "every attribution of this kind to the Vatican must be considered inexact."

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Caskets handcrafted and blessed by the Trappist Monks of New Melleray Abbey

From the New Melleray Trappists in New Melleray, IA.  Please consider for your needs, but also know that it is a way to support Catholicism in Iowa.

In 1849, Trappist monks from Ireland set out on a journey to America's heartland and embraced the rolling prairie of Iowa, where we founded and built our monastery, New Melleray Abbey.
Today, we bring old world craftsmanship and a sense of sanctity to fine wooden caskets and coffins, available to families in their time of need all over the country.

A Work of Prayer

In the cool silence of the morning, the darkness slowly gives way to the soft light of the morning sun, casting its warmth onto the stone walls and floors. The clang of the bell tower reverberates throughout the grounds, the organ sings its praises as we lift our voices to God, and our prayer life flows into our work life.

A simple casket prayerfully made by monks

The Trappist philosophy calls for us to labor quietly with our hands in support of our life of simplicity, as we strive to observe the call to "pray without ceasing." We've found that many people seem to connect with the simple and honest way we deal with death and burial. Working intimately with the wood, crafting these vessels for each unique child of God who will be buried in them, we feel that casket-making is a natural extension of our sacred work. We are able to live by the work of our own hands–rather than living on donations–while still being able to serve others through what we believe is a work of mercy.
As Cistercians, we follow the ancient monastic Rule of St. Benedict. Our life is one of contemplative prayer, community liturgy, and manual labor.
Each casket we make is personally blessed by one of our monk-craftsmen, and the name of the deceased is inscribed in our Memorial Book. We then pray for each person buried in a Trappist Casket at a special mass in our church.
Experience New Melleray Abbey and the work of Trappist Caskets firsthand in the video at the top of the page, or call us for a free catalog at 888-652-1032.
Immediate delivery available 1-888-652-1032
All of our caskets are available for immediate shipment and can be delivered in 1-2 business days, depending on your destination. Overnight shipment is also an option.

A Reverence for Wood

Environmental Stewardship

Trappist monks have tenderly worked the earth for centuries, and in it we have beheld God's power and majesty. And while there has been much talk of late about "going green" and being "eco-friendly", our commitment to sustainable practices has always been guided by a spiritual mandate to practice responsible stewardship.

Handcrafted at our monastery

We get to know the personality of each species of tree, the smell of sawdust in the air, and the feel of the wood as its coarseness gently gives way to the work of our hands, and becomes smooth and strong. Crafting all of the caskets in our shop at the monastery of New Melleray Abbey, we use wood mainly from our own award-winning 1200-acre forest, and supplement from other local forests that are managed with similar values. Interestingly, some of our monks are now making caskets with wood from trees they planted when they were younger.
In memory of each person buried in a Trappist Casket, a tree is planted in our award-winning, sustainable forest. This living memorial is our way to honor your loved one and to give back to the earth.

Natural wood and materials

We work with several different types of wood, from oak, cherry, and black walnut, to simple, understated pine. Our caskets and coffins emphasize the natural beauty of the wood, are made from organic materials. A classically upholstered interior, pillow, mattress and adjustable bed is included in each casket, with additional options available for premium models.

Options for all types of funerals

We make a range of dignified and expertly crafted caskets and coffins, appropriate for a wide range of family and individual needs, such as:
  • Traditional European-style old-world coffins
  • Premium rectangular caskets
  • Simple pine and oak caskets
  • Caskets for clergy and deacons
  • Child caskets
Call us for a free catalog or to learn more about how we make our caskets at 888-652-1032.

Personalization and Custom Options

From its small beginnings as an acorn to its majesty as a grown tree, from the cool breezes of the forest to the warmth of our workshop, each tree's journey is a different one. It is a privilege to be able to prayerfully spend our time crafting something so pure into something that will honor an individual's unique life on earth.

Custom Engraving

Many people who buy from Trappist Caskets choose to personalize caskets with a loved one's name and significant dates. We can engrave a casket with a religious symbol or image, a prayer, special blessing, poem, or quotation in order to pay further tribute to his or her memory. A casket can even be engraved with your loved one's image.

Personally blessed by a monk

All caskets are constructed in the prayerful environment of New Melleray Abbey. Each casket is personally blessed by one of the monks, and those who are mourning the loss of a loved one often tell us this blessing is a source of comfort and consolation.
Funeral homes are required by law to accept third-party caskets. We can work directly with your funeral home to ensure smooth and timely delivery for your loved one's funeral service.

Keepsake crosses

A keepsake cross comes with each casket and is intended to be kept by the family of the deceased. The keepsake cross can be personalized to include the name and dates of the deceased, and additional quantities can be ordered upon request. Simple models include an optional raised wooden cross.

Additional premium and custom options

The premium caskets include upholstery upgrades of the pillow and veil and an inside lid panel. Call us for a free catalog or to discuss how your loved one can be honored through your unique customization wishes at 888-652-1032.
We at Trappist Caskets feel very blessed to be able to so humbly provide these caskets, made with the work of our hands and with prayer in our hearts, to bring some small measure of comfort and solace to families in their times of need.
Call 888-652-1032 for a catalog and your very own free cross blessed by a New Melleray Abbey monk.