And it came to pass that the “bidding prayers” (if they are called that way) at the friendly NO parish near you contained a sort of appeal for people who follow the religions of Abraham to fight “evil” together. Now, “evil” certainly meant here the things all those religions (the true one and the false ones) oppose: abortion, perversion, euthanasia, and the like. It is also undoubtedly true that in Countries like the UK certain things can only be achieved if Christians and Infidels fight together (the famous example is a definition of “hate publication” that would have included the Bible and the Koran, a definition then expunged from the legislative text).
However, I cannot avoid alarm bells starting to ring whenever I hear anyone, the more so a priest, in any way engendering this idea that Islam and Judaism are somewhat good in themselves, at least by association with the goodness of Christianity. Whatever goodness there is in these false religion is Christ’s Goodness, not their own. Islam and Judaism are, in and of themselves, worth exactly nothing. Worse still: they deny Christ and are, therefore, objectively evil. And of the two, Islam is by far the worse one; then it came after Christ, and it is nothing but a grotesque, sensual, violent parody of the truth.
Al Capone might have had some good feelings in himself. I am pretty sure he loved his mother, his wife and children, and probably even his dog. But you wouldn’t hear in church an appeal to fight together with a modern-day Al Capone for, say, the establishment of the new village park or children’s recreation zone. Why? Because this modern-day Al Capone is evil even when he happens to do something good, that’s why.
We live in very confused times. The laymen who have “composed” the bidding prayer suffer of this common disease, good-ism; the priest who should keep them in check – and most certainly knows better – is too weak to speak out.
It is out of this huge sea of dung that Amoris Laetitia can grow and try to prosper.
And it came to pass that almost at the end of the NO mass an insisted, alarmed shouting emerges from the pews. Strong, persistent, and very loud.
The NO priest gives us the “What the Francis” face; but he does not say anything, and goes on.
The noise keeps coming. It's uncontrolled now, it's a very loud, shrill shrieking. The NO priest tries to ignore it, but then snaps, interrupts his prayer and says, in a rather imperious tone, “can this stop, PLEASE!”, or words to that effect.
The din goes on unabated. Again, it is a repeated noise, a very shrill, uncontrolled shriek.
Turns out a poor boy, evidently retarded or with some sort of brain damage, was sitting in the pews, and for some reason was having some sort of panic attack, possibly triggered by the honest attempts of the mortified parents to persuade him to be silent. My prayers went – as, I am sure, those of most of those present – to both the boy and his parents.
This episode led me to a reflection. A reflection that will not please the “Patheos” crowd; it will not because, while it is logical and devout, does not sound well in these ipersensitive, effeminate times of ours.
If the noise made by the crying baby at mass is not a desecration of the same – a desecration for which, obviously, the parents, not the baby, have to answer – then the insisted screaming of the poor retarded or otherwise brain damaged boy isn't a desecration either, and should be accepted in the same way.
If the noise made by the poor boy (and we can expand this, and easily imagine one of those poor boys who scream for fifteen minutes at a time, and not because of ill will) is not to be tolerated at Mass because it is a desecration, then the baby or the unruly child must not be tolerated, either.
I do not need to tell my readers – but it might be salutary for the occasional Patheos reader who chanced to land here because, say, some overweight bitch linked to me – that the fact that the crying baby does not allow you to hear the homily is neither here nor there. Whilst you are expected to be there and it does you a world of good, the Mass is not about you. I know: it is unbelievable that I have to explain this. Alas, such are the times.
We live in times of such distorted religiosity and community-fixation that parents think it quite normal that the screams in church desecrate the Mass; their excuse for this apparently being that after the desecration has occurred for some time they will get out with the baby; which is, by the way, another blatant contradiction: if it is not wrong that the desecration takes place, the baby should stay and everyone in the church happily rejoice at the gift of parenthood; if it is, the baby or the unruly child should not have been there in the first place.
Our priorities have been completely subverted, because our faith has been forgotten. I have it from an extremely solid and conservative priest that in Christian times it was considered a given that if there are no alternatives to a child desecrating the Mass, it is certainly appropriate and not sinful at all that the person who mind him does not attend. Granted: in past times extended families made alternative arrangements easier; but the principle remains.
Not so today. Today the priority is the “community”, the mass attendance, perhaps the desire to avoid the neighbour in the pews thinking that Mrs Jones “skips Mass”; and, often, the desire not to have the Sunday morning inconvenienced by having mom and dad going at two different masses as one spouse cares for the baby at home. Harrod's beckons, you understand.
Either disturbances at Mass are a desecration, or they aren't. If they aren't, let the boy scream for forty minute, poor innocent soul, and pray for him and his parents in the meantime. If they are (and they are!) let us be consequent on this, let us put Christ before the “community”, and let us start going back to the sound principles of old: that the Church must be attended to in the most reverent silence by everyone; that parents answer for their children; and that the parents should make alternative arrangements if they can, or one of them should stay at home if they cannot, without this being seen as an offence to the new god, the congregation. And yes, it is the sacred duty of every parent to teach a little child from the tenderest age about sacredness and appropriateness of behaviour, to enforce proper behaviour and to make it his care and his responsibility that his children are able to attend Mass and be a credit to God and family. It beggars belief that no restaurant nowadays would brooch the unspeakable din that goes on in many Novus Ordo Masses. It is the best indication of how far our Christian feeling has deteriorated.
When I was a child, every little child like me was so imbued with the sense of sacredness of a church, that he had to shut up and be silent I do not say inside – where he was not allowed unless there was total security of proper behaviour – but outside of it. There were even expressions, like in religioso silenzio, due to the obvious fact that silence is what you had in a religious setting! Similarly, people who wanted to indicate a situation of extreme silence used the comparison with a church. “come in chiesa!”
These linguistic usages are disappearing.
There is no silence in church anymore.
Thinking of it, there isn't much of religion, either.
There are many things that anger me in a typical Novus Ordo church: the sanctuary resembling the village's main square, the holy water in minimal quantities and at times well-hidden, or the (rare in England, in my experience) tabernacle away from the main altar.
But one thing that angers me especially is… when there is no place for kneeling in front of the Blessed Virgin. I do not mean that you have to kneel on the stone pavement (a very small but very welcome penance, this one). No, I mean when there is literally no place, and you would be kneeling in the middle of a corridor.
Whenever this happens I detect the pungent smell of the faithless, half-protestantised, Sixty-Eighter “innovator”. You know the type, because one of them is Pope.
The message is clear: firstly, kneeling is very much passé. You can sit comfortably in the pew instead of undergoing this minimal motion indicating a mere modicum of humility, and God who loves you so much because you are so cool would never want you to do something like that. Secondly, it is clear FrancisPriest not only does not want you to kneel in general, but he does not want you to kneel in front of the Blessed Virgin in particular. Hey, some passing Proddie might be offended! We don't want to perpetuate these old customs, do we now? No, you are probably supposed to have a chat with the Blessed Virgin on a “You are very ok, I am ok too” basis. God forbid, you should feel that you are a wretched sinner unworthy of even kneeling. We don't do that anymore in the age of mercy.
One of the signs that sanity is coming back will be the reappearance of proper kneeling facilities in front of the statues of the Blessed Virgin. Alas, we will have of get rid of a lot of insane priests first.
And it came to pass yours truly was, a couple of months ago, attending Mass at one of the Novus Ordo parishes that are still not difficult to find in his parts, taking the temperature of the local churches.
A leaflet at the entrance talks about the inability of adulterers to receive communion, and describes it in terms of “exclusion”. It falls short of saying that this exclusion is “wrong”, but at the same time this “exclusion” is compared to Christ’s “inclusion”. The leaflet was not signed.
Father is your typical V II product: oily ceremonious, utterly unmanly (though not effeminate), and speaking in a sanctimonious, slow, low tone voice. You know the type. The love child of Uriah Heep and McDonald’s. He asks whether someone wants to volunteer to be the reader, because the readers haven’t showed up yet (and he seems to know the types). No takers I am afraid. Father keeps smiling.
The mass begins. One arrives late and is directed straight at the lectern. No readers for the second reading. Who wants? No one? Embarrassment all around. Father does not even think of being a priest and doing what priests do. A child of the apparent age of ten is finally chosen as mama encourages him to go there and do his best.
The boy can’t read. No, I mean he can’t read. He stotters and staggers over every word less than entirely banal, takes his time to read it, then dares to speak it. The boy is clearly mother tongue, and clearly not retarded. The scene is so embarrassing I would like to disappear; but hey, this might be the typical reading skills standard of an English boy of an apparent age of 10 in the Year of the Lord 2015. It is, by now, abundantly clear having Scripture read by a functional illiterate is still vastly preferable to Father than having to do it himself. I’m sure it’ s not laziness, but simple cult of V II.
The homily is so boringly stupid I struggle not to sleep. It clearly has five main concepts: poverty, poverty, poverty, poverty, and poverty.
The “choir” consists of five old parishioners, sitting in the pews behind me. The most tone-deaf people I have ever heard opening their mouth and sing in a church. Embarrassment again, with added pain. I am absolutely sure they were “the choir” because no one else wanted. These five, by the way, had been chatting aloud before Mass like it’s afternoon tea time in the garden. I don’t think there was any arrogance in it, just pure ignorance.
After Mass, Father has some communications:
- The rota of the readers is more and more neglected. People just don’t show up.
- The rota of the cleaners is like the rota of the readers.
- Less money is donated than it used to be, this or that initiative might not be possible next year.
And there stays yours truly, wondering how this man can be so thick that he does not understand his pathetic excuse of a mass literally drives all but the oldest away from it, and his spineless oily behaviour causes him to be despised to the point that even those scheduled to read at mass do not think they should do him the courtesy of showing up. Mind, I am not saying they are not attending Mass elsewhere, or at other times; but they do not show up when they said they would, because Father is just irrelevant.
When even your readers do not show up, Father, don’t be surprised that the money doesn’t come in, either. Your parish is dying, and deservedly so. In a number of years you’ll have to find another parish to demolish, if the money if there for that in the first place.
Perhaps should we all become more “inclusive”?
… there appears to me to be a paradigm growing regarding Summorum Pontificum/Universae Ecclesiae and the TLM, that while it may be permitted by bishops/powers that be/Pope for a priest “raised,” if you will, in the Novus Ordo environment, to offer the TLM on occasion, it most certainly will not be permitted for such priests to offer the TLM exclusively.
This interesting reflections appeared on the always interesting “Blog for Dallas Area Catholics”.
On personal reflection, it seems to me that this cannot be a uniform key of reading the events. I say this because of the following reflections:
1. To my knowledge, the FFI offered many Masses in the Novus Ordo before the Great Persecution started. They were, though, becoming increasingly more critical of V II. There is also, from what I have read around, an interesting episode of the FFI allowing the Tridentine Mass in a church of theirs, just metres past the boundary of the then Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Bergoglio; a move evidently aimed at making the Traditional Latin Mass as convenient as possible to the faithful of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, then led by Archbishop Pothead himself.
2. Father Rodriguez was, as far as I know, already in disgrace by his own bishop because of his energetic defence of marriage against the tide of sexual perversion currently sweeping the West. It is difficult for me not to imagine that this is what made him a privileged target of his bishop’s attentions, and caused his transfer to a remote parish in the first place.
3. Bishop Lovieres Plano, another victim of this Pontiff, and Bishop Oliveri of Albenga-Imperia, possibly the next one, also had most certainly most masses in their dioceses celebrated in the Novus Ordo. In these cases, though, they both run extremely successful seminaries, which were certainly a Catholic menace for the likes of Bergoglio.
It seems to me that there is no single common denominator behind these episodes of persecution of good Catholic priest, other than this: that their being good Catholic priests is seen as a nuisance, a menace or an open challenge to the Church of Nice. The ways in which this can happen are multiform, but they can all traced back to one common denominator: Catholicism taken seriously.
If we want to understand what is happening, we must see the events in the right perspective: whilst the usual “feel-good” V II mentality was always an obstacle to sound Catholicism, Francis is, with his secular Neo-Paganism, its sworn enemy. He will, therefore, attack sound Catholicism whenever he thinks he can do so safely, perhaps abandoning caution when – as in the case of the FFI – personal animosity add to the already evident motive of attacking sound Catholics.
This cascades, then, in a sort of open season on orthodox priests. Cardinal Dolan can get rid of Father Wright under Francis in a way that would not have been possible under Benedict. The climate has changed. The bishops read the new temperature, and act accordingly.
Father Rodriguez is, no doubt, not the last to be targeted. Excuses and pretexts of various kind will never be in any shortage, and there will never be any shortage of dumbos ready to believe whatever accusation is merely hinted to.
This is the way of this pontificate. There will be no scarcity of bishops adopting the same methods.
Stellar blog post from Father Ray Blake concerning the way our very image of God – with the obvious consequences in practically every aspect of life – was subtly but substantially subverted by Bugnini and his band of liturgical terrorists.
The blog post appears to have been removed, or I cannot find it anymore. Perhaps it will reappear. The main message of the post was that the careful selection of the readings in the New Missal gave a different image of Christ: not King anymore, but Buddy Boy. The blog post was truly good.
EDIT: It is here, a blog post of 2013!
I would like to add some additional considerations that might be of some use.
We see once again Satan’s gradual approach to war at work. Bugnini expunges the Rex Tremendae Majestatis from the experience of the common pewsitter, and substitutes it with a harmless kindergarten Christ who likes everyone and whom no one needs to fear. Given time, a Pope will invite sects from all over the world to Assisi, to take part to an orgy of blasphemous “feel good-ism” inconceivable in the past, but made possible exactly by the harmless kindergarten Jesus with which one generation has now been raised. Given more time, a much more shameless Pope will publicly – if not solemnly and officially – renounce to any requirement of Christian faith, or even to any faith at all, thus spreading a message of universal salvation that represents a new high in blasphemy.
The devil works in grades, advances in small steps. He knows there will be no lack of stupid people accepting the first step and calling “uncharitable” those who refuse to do it; after a while, exactly the same will happen with the second steps; then with the third, and the fourth. At this point, so-called same-sex marriage can’t be far away; after that, it will be outright persecution of Christians. All the while, there will be plenty of stupid people thinking they are Christians, and those who are persecuted are simply backwards homophobic reactionaries.
It must become clear to us that this corruption filters through every aspect of our life. Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi. The kindergarten Jesus begets a kindergarten theology, which begets a truly stupid kindergarten mentality. Suddenly, the accent is not on the tabooisation of homosexuality, but on making the homosexual feel comfortable with himself. When people write comment in your box stating that people should go around saying to everyone that they are catholic homosexual like others go around saying that they are recovering alcoholics, you understand the perversion of our times has come so far, has polluted the mind of the people so brutally, that to them the concept of taboo and of sexual perversion is not different from excessive drinking. The new lex orandi has perverted the lex credendi to such an extent, that sexual perversion is now accepted part of the lex vivendi.
The same happens in many other aspects of life, but most clearly nowadays in the matter of adultery. We see here the same kind of mainstream madness that has worked so well for the pervs. If Jesus not only loves, but saves everyone unconditionally, this “greatest buddy evah” created in the mind of the people will be incompatible with any kind of sanctions, and the concept of sin – even of very grave and public scandal – will be washed away to the point that a “cruel” Church is now seen as the Oppressor and the public sinner, poor lamb, as the oppressed victim.
What is happening today – from the outright revolt of homosexualism to the more subtle madness of imagined “third ways”, and from the outright dissent concerning communion for adulterers to the satanical deception of “pastoral approach” that perverts Christ’s very message – is the logical continuation of the subversion of sound Catholicism started with V II.
This is why every attempt to justify V II blaming exclusively its after effects is completely wrong. It is like justifying the first line of cocaine, stating that the real trouble was caused only by the addiction that followed.
V II must not be reformed or revisited, or brought back to a supposed original purity.
It must be simply exterminated.
Rorate Caeli has two interesting posts which, in fact, touch on the same subject: Modernism is hemlock for religious communities, and orthodoxy is their very bread.
The first post is about the Paulists, an order which, only a few decades after adopting a “modern” stance in Church things, went from being robustly prospering to… having to sell their seminary.
Good riddance. May their impending extinction be a cautionary tale for every sound Catholic, and let’s hope the Jesuits go the same way soon. The future centuries will remember the massacre of religious orders after V II as the just punishment for their haughtiness and insolence.
The second post is about the prospering Abbey of Fontgombault, that continues to create new communities or, again, overtake V II ones, staying faithful to their conviction of bringing the Traditional Mass wherever they go, or rather expand. The image of the old, dying members of the Abbey of Wisques celebrating the NO whilst the younger saviours of the monastery celebrate the TLM is a sad, even pathetic, but very accurate portrait of what will probably happen in the Church at large in the next few decades, as the Bergoglios of the world take position in the only place where they will no longer be a threat: six feet under.
It must be noted, here, that the Abbot of Fontgombault goes out of his way to avoid saying one single word against V II, or making even half reflection as to why they overtake other communities, and not vice versa. The Abbot must have grasped that in the Age of Mercy the only way to be spared is to avoid the New Sin That Shall Not Be Forgiven: criticism of V II.
Still, there is no denying orthodoxy and traditionalism have the keys of the future. The Francis of the world will at some point get out of the way and, in time, their followers will become unable to control the wave of orthodoxy that will sweep the, by then, vastly reduced ranks of the Church.
The Church is Indefectible and we need therefore not be worried about Her. But this huge tsunami of stupidity that has been impacting the Western emisphere for now 50 years will leave a huge trail of destruction behind itself. A destruction that has been going on under our very eyes for a long time now and continues to march undisturbed as our hierarchy, with stubbornness worthy of the Politburo, not only continue to deny the decay but even try to depict it as a great moment in a Church history. Perhaps not even the Politburo is here a valid comparison. Perhaps, North Korea might be more to the point.
Read on Rorate the report of a pseudo mass in a pseudo catholic (small c is de rigueur) church in the once to 40% Catholic (now 1% mass attendance) Netherlands.
What is most shocking of this event is not only that the group is not formally excommunicated (as far as I know, they do not have to be), but the fact that in the Netherlands things are so confused that, say, an uninstructed person confusedly trying to approach the Church might confuse these clowns for real Catholics, and one wonders how very different the Catholic mass must be, at least in places.
The Netherlands have a long tradition of schismatic mentality, when not outright schism. If you have read iota unum you will certainly remember the pages devoted to the Dutch Schism, and have an idea of whose spiritual sons the current Dutch bishops are. The mess of the Sixties continues to go on, in a somewhat milder form, to this day. After my experiences in Bruges, I do not doubt over there in the Netherlands you can find everything from the halfway reverent to the outright sacrilegious. I do not see much improvement in the next years, particularly with the disgraceful papacy with which we all are being very obviously punished.
Rorate also mentions another interesting fact: the tendency to move the Novus Ordo towards the “right” by some Anglo-Saxon priests trying to mix elements of the Tradition in their Novus Ordo masses. I have myself assisted to a Novus Ordo Mass which, whilst advertised as a standard mass in English, had so many parts in Latin you could not avoid thinking the celebrating priest was paving the ground for the Traditional Mass, biding his time until he could do without incurring the wrath of Vincent “Quisling” Nichols. He’ll have to arm himself with patience, I am afraid.
Still, the freedoms allowed to a Novus Ordo celebrant – both the licit ones that are allowed, and the illicit ones that are made possible – will continue to make of a Novus Ordo an unknown entity and a known risk: in some places it will be very reverent; elsewhere it will a mess, a disgrace, a desecration or, in the worst cases, a fake; in all cases, it will be vastly inferior to the Mass of the Ages.
At some point in the future, the Church will recover sanity, and will ditch the Novus Ordo. The future generations will, methinks, consider the introduction of the new Mass (I mean the introduction itself, not the abuses; then the abuses are nothing else than the unavoidable product of the mentality that gave us the new Mass in the first place) the maddest thing the mad Sixties produced.
Unfortunately, the Sixties are, for now, still full in power, joyously driving the barque towards the shoals amidst stupid old bishops jumping around like demented idiots to the tune of some very faggoty dance master.
Every now and then, yours truly attends a V II Mass in a randomly chosen Home County parish, to see what is happening on the ground, away from the oases of sound Catholicism like the Brompton Oratory. Some weeks ago, I had some pleasant surprises.
The priest – a young man, and not a pussycat like the ones I saw around me in Italy in younger years – suddenly invites the faithful to pray the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. This was the first surprise. The second was that when he started to recite it out loud, not only yours truly but two others (a man and a woman) recited it out loud, with that “better late than never” tone and a clear sense of relief that the obviously young priest was steering things in a different direction than his predecessor, certainly not a great fan of St. Michael as shown by the deafening silence from most of the pews. I took this as a sign the number of Catholics who do not rely on the local priest for their instruction might be bigger than we think… but perhaps they had it from their parents and I am wrong here…
The third and biggest surprise came at the end of the Mass, when Father came again on the prayer, explained how powerful it is, invited everyone to memorise it and said from now on it will be recited at the end of every Mass. It truly made my day.
I do not know whether a slowly awakening Bishop is behind this and we will therefore listen to more voices like this one, but I consider it far more probable that this was the initiative of an already awakened priest who wants to try to steer things in the right direction before it’s too late. The homily was good too, though to your average Mundabor it lacked some bite; but then again, to your average Mundabor most homilies do. In time, I am sure, we’ll get there; one step at a time.
Better times ahead?
Heard at a Novus Ordo Mass not many weeks ago.
” In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”
“The Lord be with You”
“And with your spirit”
“Good morning everybody!”
From the Canadian Site of the SSPX ( I wonder how long until they will be outlawed in Canada, for “hate crime”).
Padre Pio and the Novus Ordo Missae
He was a model of respect and submission towards his religious and ecclesiastical superiors, especially during the time when he was persecuted. Nonetheless, he could not remain silent over a deviation that was baneful to the Church. Even before the end of the Council, in February 1965, someone announced to him that soon he would have to celebrate the Mass according to a new rite, ad experimentum, in the vernacular, which had been devised by a conciliar liturgical commission in order to respond to the aspirations of modern man. Immediately, even before seeing the text, he wrote to Paul VI to ask him to be dispensed from the liturgical experiment, and to be able to continue to celebrate the Mass of Saint Pius V. When Cardinal Bacci came to see him in order to bring the authorization, Padre Pio let a complaint escape in the presence of the Pope’s messenger: “For pity sake, end the Council quickly.”
The same year, during the conciliar euphoria that was promising a new springtime to the Church, he confided to one of his spiritual sons: “In this time of darkness, let us pray. Let us do penance for the elect”; and especially for the one who has to be their shepherd here below: All his life, he immolated himself for the reigning pope, whose photograph was among the rare images that decorated his cell.
Renewal of Religious Life?
There are other scenes from his life that are full of meaning, for example, his reactions to theaggiornamento of the religious orders concocted in the wake of Vatican II. (The citations here are taken from a book bearing an imprimatur):
In 1966, the Father General [of the Franciscans] came to Rome prior to the special Chapter on the Constitutions in order to ask Padre Pio for his prayers and benedictions. He met Padre Pio in the cloister. “Padre, I came to recommend to your prayers the special chapter for the new Constitutions…” He had scarcely gotten the words “special Chapter”…”new Constitutions” out of his mouth when Padre Pio made a violent gesture and cried out: “That is all nothing but destructive nonsense.” “But Padre, after all, there is the younger generation to take into account…the youth evolve after their own fashion… there are new demands…” “The only thing missing is mind and heart, that’s all, understanding and love.” Then he proceeded to his cell, did a half-turn, and pointed his finger, saying: “We must not denature ourselves, we must not denature ourselves! At the Lord’s judgment, Saint Francis will not recognize us as his sons!”
A year later, the same scene was repeated for the aggiornamento of the Capuchins:
One day, some confreres were discussing with the Father Definiteur General [The counselor or adviser to the general or provincial of a religious order –Ed.] the problems in the Order, when Padre Pio, taking a shocked attitude, cried out, with a distant look in his eye: “What in the world are you up to in Rome? What are you scheming? You even want to change the Rule of Saint Francis!”The Definiteur replied: “Padre, changes are being proposed because the youth don’t want to have anything to do with the tonsure, the habit, bare feet….”
“Chase them out! Chase them out! What can you be saying? Is it they who are doing Saint Francis a favor by taking the habit and following his way of life, or rather, isn’t it Saint Francis who is offering them a great gift?”
If we consider that Padre Pio was a veritable alter Christus, that his entire person, body and soul, was as perfectly conformed as possible to that of Jesus Christ, his stark refusal to accept the Novus Ordo and the aggiornamento should be for us a lesson to learn. It is also noteworthy that the good Lord desired to recall His faithful servant just before they were implacably imposed on the Church and the Capuchin Order. Noteworthy, too, is the fact that Katarina Tangari, one of Padre Pio’s most privileged spiritual daughters, so admirably supported the priests [of the Society of Saint Pius X] of Ecône until her death, one year after the episcopal consecrations of 1988.
Those who have read other books about this greatest of saints will recognise without difficulties the traits who make Padre Pio not only so saintly, but so lovable: the emotional outbursts, the extremely strong language, the hate for every compromise with what “people want” rather than what they ought to do. “Chase them out! Chase them out!”.
If you have ever seen an Italian accalorarsi about a controversial issue, you will have a picture in front of you as true as life.
I remember reading that he prayed the Lord – and said so openly – to be allowed to die before he had to celebrate the new Mass. The exemption, by the way, was not conceded so automatically as the text might imply, but was given to him as to all the old priests who asked to be exempted because too old to learn the new, complex missal. Padre Pio was also exempted and the Lord allowed him, after a life of suffering, to be spared this last crushing sacrifice. But he died a very worried man, greatly fearing the damage the new madness would inflict to the Church and to countless souls.
In these dark days, it should be a consolation for us to reflect that such a great saint shared our suffering – nay, he certainly felt it much more keenly – and, for those of Italian inclinations among you, our anger.
San Padre Pio, pray for us!
A new discussion has erupted regarding the limitations of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal concerning the music when the new missal comes into force. It appears very clear that these changes will be sweeping (no fantasy song at the Entrance and at Communion, say) and will be aimed at recovering some reverence and Catholic dignity to the Mass. I do not doubt that disobedience and pretending not to understand the instructions will be rampant at the beginning, but in time things will slowly adjust.
This is, though, another indication of what has happened in the last years:
1. A wonderful mass was available (the Tridentine);
2. V II and the “Spirit of V II” intervened and ravaged the Mass, protestantising it and reducing it to the travesty of the reverent, theologically sound celebration it was.
3. An attempt to recover the old, reverent way of celebrating Mass is ongoing, but still whilst trying to remain coherent with the principles of the new Mass.
What we continue to see is an attempt to repair a devastated Mass by staying as much as possible faithful to the principles of those who caused the devastation in the first place.
This is illogical. It must be clear now to everyone that what was wrong with the Novus Ordo is the Novus Ordo. It is not that there was a “right reform” which subsequently degenerated in the “wrong reform”. On the contrary, there was a wrong reform and this inevitably led to even worse problems, as logically as the French Revolution led to the Terror and the October Revolution led to the Stalinian purges. To start the “aggiornamento” and to think that it would stop where the initiators (allegedly) hoped it would stop was exactly as intelligent as to throw oneself down a cliff and to hope that one will stop in mid-air. There is no single problem of the Novus Ordo that has not been generated by the very mentality that has originated the Novus Ordo, that is: that the old ways were wrong, and the way of celebrating Mass had to be “updated”. The mentality is always the same, the only difference is the degree of devastation. The “Spirit of V II”-crowd is – liturgically speaking, of course; on the theology there have been no innovations, only a lot of confusion – not the betrayal of V II, but its logical end.
Further proof of this is that the allegedly moderate, “prudent revolutionaries” Conciliar Fathers who have given us the V II reforms were the same people who came back to their dioceses and immediately started to preside over the further work of destruction. This was not an accident, nor was it the result of all these bishops suddenly losing their head. It was the logical development of the ideological premise, that the liturgy needed to be “updated” and adapted to the new world. When you start to think that the Mass must be updated, where will the update stop? When you start to think that it must be adapted to the changed times, how will you stop those who want to, after some time, “adapt” further?
The recent attempts at repairing the Novus Ordo are laudable in themselves, but they are a path leading back to the only inevitable conclusion: the recovery of tradition, and of the Tridentine Mass. To continue to make wrong things less and less wrongly but remaining within the realm of the wrong mentality that caused the problems in the first place is an improvement (less wrong is better than more wrong, for sure), but it will never lead to doing things right.
The only way of doing things right is doing them the way they were done before the wrong mentality crept in.
Give us back the Tridentine Mass as the only Mass. This solves all the liturgical problems.
From the German site Summorum Pontificum, a communique’ of the German SSPX about Universae Ecclesiae:
Two points are particularly noteworthy:
1. Zur Frage des Papstamtes
Die Priesterbruderschaft St. Pius X. anerkennt Papst Benedikt XVI. als rechtmäßigen Papst und als Oberhaupt der katholischen Kirche. […]
1. On the question of the Papal Office:
The Society of St. Pius X acknowledges Pope Benedict XVI as legitimately reigning Pope and as the Head of the Catholic Church. […]
It follows a clear distinction between them and the Sedevacantists. We knew that already, but I think there is a lot of confusion around.
2. Zur Frage der neuen Messe
Die Bruderschaft bestreitet nicht die Gültigkeit der neuen Messform. Wenn sie korrekt gefeiert wird – was an vielen Orten allerdings nicht mehr selbstverständlich ist – ist sie eine gültige Messfeier. […]
Again, my translation:
2. On the question of the New Mass
The Society doesn’t question the validity of the new form of Mass. When it is celebrated correctly – which in several places is not an automatic occurrence anymore – it is a valid Mass celebration […].
It follows, again, a rather convoluted explanation that the Novus Ordo be valid, but the SSPX has doubt about its “legality” or “legitimacy” or “lawfulness” (Rechtsmaessigkeit), an expression that I can’t explain to you – in my simple world, if you recognise its validity it means that you recognise the right of the Church to celebrate it – and would make a clarification of the SSPX very welcome.
Still, I find it positive that the SSPX in Germany has explicitly intervened making clear that they recognise both the Pope’s legitimacy and authority, and the validity of the New Mass. It is sad to hear incorrect or outright mendacious information about the Society and this kind of intervention is just what is required to deal with it. I wish the SSPX would intervene more often on these points, as otherwise they offer the flank to misinformation or outright calumniation.
From the reader “Knight of Malta” on Rorate Caeli. Too beautiful to ignore…
Let me say beforehand – though those who have been reading me for some time, if any, know it already – that I do not have any problem with the sacramental validity of the Novus Ordo mass. None whatsoever.
I believe that there is only One Church and that Ubi Petrus, Ibi Ecclesia. It follows that I cannot believe that the consecration of this only Church has become a fraud.
This doesn’t mean, however, that I consider everything happening within this Only Church to be right. If we look at the past, we see various ages in which the Church has gravely failed to properly instruct the faithful and, in general, do a halfway decent job of things. The extreme corruption of pretty much everything regarding the Church in the IX and X Century is an example; the decadent, irreverent splendour of the Church of the XVI century is another; the rather laissez-faire style of the XVIII century another still. In spite of all that, we know that Communion, Confession & co were as valid during these dark times as they always were, and that the consecration effected by a priest remains valid even should the priest be in mortal sin.
Similarly, periods in which the Mass was ill-treated are clearly recognisable: the notorious fast masses – or the “bespoke” masses – of the XVI century (some of them done with in 15 minutes, it seems), with the priests deciding what is “in” and what is “out” of the traditional liturgy are a clear example, and one with many parallels to what happens today. The Tridentine Council adjusted things then, and we are waiting for a similar repair work today.
What has been happening in the last half century is, therefore, not new in itself. What is different today is that in the present situation the liturgical and theological corruption has reached the very heart of the Church, in a measure and with a virulence that we cannot find in the past.
Some Popes of the past knew how to be assassins, gluttons, womanizers or, in general, first-class greedy bastards. But they never even conceived of tampering with the liturgy. The private lusts of an Alexander VI didn’t impinge the daily spiritual life of millions of Catholics anywhere near as the experiments of a John XXIII, or the stupefying weakness of a Paul VI, did.
What we have today is, therefore, nothing new on one hand, but alarmingly novel on the other. The Smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God not through the private vices and weaknesses of his leaders, but through a direct attack to the very centre of Her life, the Liturgy.
This is why the New Mass must die.
When the “fast-food” masses of the XVI century were critically examined their sacramental validity was (apart from very extreme cases) not put into question, but it was nevertheless decided that such way of celebrating Mass had to be stopped. When a vast series of regional or local “usages” was deemed to be detrimental to Church life, the thus celebrated masses were not declared invalid, only it was wisely considered that only traditional usages should be allowed to survive. Every cleaning carries with himself the necessity of eliminating poor practice, irrespective of its sacramental validity.
A strong, universally applied “best practice” policy is what is needed, as it was – very wisely! – done in the past by similar cleaning-up operations. There can be no doubt that the best practice is the Mass of the Ages. There can be no doubt that the recovery of integrity in the Liturgy goes through the recovery of the Liturgy in its most traditional, purest form. This is what has been – very wisely – done in the past. It stands to reason that it is what must be done today.
Whilst this is – intellectually speaking – clear enough, it never fails to slap me in the face every time that I – as I do every now and then – go around assisting to some Novus Ordo Mass around London and its immediate vicinity. The return to the proper Mass is always – and I repeat this – like a slap in the face; every single time, it is impossible not to notice the sheer inadequacy of the Novus Ordo to convey the sacredness of the Mass.
It’s like going to a concert of some cretinous rapper and then go back to a Schubert piano recital. “What was they thinking” is the thought that always comes to my mind; a bit the same as when you look at those iron and concrete monsters of the Sixties and wonder what everyone (architects; city planners; citizens) were doing with their brains in those fateful years.
The Novus Ordo must die. It must end up in the same dustbin where the old fast masses, and the vast number of regional and local uses of the past, have ended up.
Not because it is invalid, but because once you have known the Tridentine Mass, the Novus ordo is so woefully inadequate that it is a sheer embarrassment to attend to.