The grime-blackened blocks of stone of which Hinsley Hall in Leeds is built make it a forbidding, even grim, place to approach for the first time. Once through the door, however, it is a place of warmth and cheer, with a well-attended morning Mass. Judge not the book by the cover; judge not by appearances but with right judgment (John7:24).
The occasion was the national conference of diocesan financial secretaries, an event held either side of last night, at which I was privileged to inflict upon them some penitential spiritual input. It sounds like the sort of dry, dusty, arid affair one would avoid with some effort, a grey gathering of ecclesiastical apparatchiks. (more…)
There is quite the barely-contained frenzy surrounding the Correctio filialis issued above the signatures of a number of clergy and laity, many of them eminent men and women of letters and learning. Soon after there was an invitation to those clergy and laity who had not been invited previously to sign the document to add their names to it. Looking at it today I see that there are now 233 signatories.
Yet is no less remarkable a document for who has not signed it. For some, no doubt, there is that fear that has been articulated by Fr Ray Blake and, more stridently, by Fr John Hunwicke, a fear of retaliatory ecclesiastical bullying. Fr Blake also raised the impression that might be conveyed by such popular initiatives, namely that their concerns belong only to those who have signed, whereas they are shared by many more. In other words, the correctio carries with it the danger of a sort of self-marginalisation. Which is why the loopier among conciliarista and neo-papalist theologians, such as Massimo Faggioli, can come out with such absurdities as this series of tweets (among the dizzingly vast stream he puts out—is this all he does? can theology be adequately pursued by 140-character tweets?): (more…)
…bought this lovely piece of liturgical bookmanship. This altar missal for the Extraordinary Form is so nicely produced, and at a price cheaper than the equivalent for the Ordinary Form available here, that I felt it needed a brief review. In part this is due to the fact that there are now a number of editions of the EF missal being produced at varying price points. There is certainly a lot of life in the old form yet!
The missal comes from the FSSP publishing house in Germany (or is Switzerland?).
Two documents, both episcopal but both quite different, have captured my attention these last few weeks. The first was the motu proprio of Pope Francis, Magnum principium, devolving primary responsibility for the liturgical translations to bishops’ conferences. It has already been dealt with on this site here and here and here, but one thing from it lingers in the mind: that “great principle” of the title, which is really something of a great misrepresentation:
The great principle, established by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, according to which liturgical prayer be accommodated to the comprehension of the people so that it might be understood, required the weighty task of introducing the vernacular language into the liturgy and of preparing and approving the versions of the liturgical books, a charge that was entrusted to the Bishops.
One searches in vain through the conciliar decree on the liturgy for anything that adequately justifies this bold assertion. Whoever drafted this for the pope got away with quite the deception. (more…)
On social media there are clergy and others who are worried, as I am, about the extra burden of expense new missals would bring to parishes, and many an individual, already struggling to make ends meet.
However, it would be a brave anglophone bishops’ conference that would submit a new translation of the missal now. The last one took almost ten years to produce and was attended by such angst that one wonders who in his right mind would want to renew that saga now.
If the missal is in the crosshairs, it will be for small but crucial details. (more…)
The recent flurry of words and concern over the motu proprio has involved reflection on the curia, bishops’ conferences and collegiality. To no one’s surprise, I have some strong views about them all. So, in order that the wrong impression is not gleaned by the uninitiated reader, a word of clarification is timely.
No bishops, no Church. No Eucharist. No priesthood. No absolution. You get the idea. The Vatican Council reiterated the essential truth that, (more…)
Let’s compare the old and the newly-decreed forms of canon 838.
Can. 838 – §1 The ordering and guidance of the sacred liturgy depends solely upon the authority of the Church, namely, that of the Apostolic See and, as provided by law, that of the diocesan Bishop.
§2. It is the prerogative of the Apostolic See to regulate the sacred liturgy of the universal Church, to publish liturgical books and review their vernacular translations, and to be watchful that liturgical regulations are everywhere faithfully observed.
§3. It pertains to Episcopal Conferences to prepare vernacular translations of liturgical books, with appropriate adaptations as allowed by the books themselves and, with the prior review of the Holy See, to publish these translations.
§4. Within the limits of his competence, it belongs to the diocesan Bishop to lay down for the Church entrusted to his care, liturgical regulations which are binding on all.
Not unreasonably, some people in social media are at a loss as to why there is such a fuss about the change to canon law, and so liturgical law, in the pope’s just-released motu proprio, Magnum Principium. After all, it is just a change to an obscure canon, #838, that 99% of Catholics have never heard of, let alone read. Surely allowing bishops’ conferences to choose their own translations of liturgical books is sensible, and no big deal?
Well, yes and no. It should not be a big deal, all things being equal. However, in the current context of post-conciliar liturgical reform it is a potentially retrograde step that presages strife and turmoil. (more…)
Herewith my hasty and rough translation of the pope’s new motu proprio, Magnum Principium. Comments to follow in due course.
The great principle, confirmed by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, according to which liturgical prayer, as adapted to their comprehension, should be understood by the people, required the grave duty be entrusted to the Bishops for introducing the vernacular into the liturgy, and to prepare and approve the [vernacular] versions of liturgical books. (more…)
It has dropped. Not in L”Osservatore Romano as expected, but on the Vatican website. As yet it is only in Latin and Italian, so it will take some time for those slow in those languages (like me) to read it properly.
Attached herewith is the Latin text and the interpretive notes from the Congregation for Divine Worship.
This may seem to be a matter of small details. But as we know, the devil is so often in the details.
UPDATE: I have added my own rough translation here.
One of the brethren pointed out to me an article in the May-June 2017 edition of Doctrine & Life. The article is by the Irish Dominican Liam Walsh. I am assuming this is the same Fr Liam Walsh OP who contributed to the fascinating book Vatican II: The Liturgy Constitution (1964) edited by Fr Austin Flannery OP. He refers to “a Benedictine monk” his correspondence in The Tablet last year regarding the Mass as meal. His discretion is no doubt because he takes issue with what the monk wrote in his brief letters. That monk was I. Here is the relevant page from Fr Walsh’s article: (more…)
It had not been in mind to comment on the latest chapter of papagate, in which Pope Francis has declared, we are told, that the liturgical reform is irreversible. Many commentators have weighed on the papal address, not least Frs Z and Hunwicke, Christopher Altieri at Catholic World Report and Phil Lawler at Catholic Culture. Though they share the same general interpretation of the papal speech they are not identical in their approach to liturgy; so reading them together makes for a balanced orthodox approach to the situation. (Feel free to add others you have found in the comments’ section below.)
However I followed one link to the infamous Pray Tell blog, and a commentary by Fr Anthony Ruff OSB of that monastic bastion of modernism modernity, Collegeville. He approached the papal address in a rather canny way, by examining its sources. He gives a running score of the sources cited in both the text proper and its footnotes. His tally is tabulated thus: (more…)
The summer school has wound down and the participants have been wending their way, at various speeds, back to home. My return was direct. The change from a sunny but sweaty Côte d’Azur summer to a grey and cool English summer was not entirely unpleasant. The English climate is far friendlier to those of us who wear a habit.
My liturgical impressions of the summer school have already been explored in some detail. To round them off, and to balance them, a few quick remarks are needed.
First, for all the impressiveness, beauty, authenticity and utter tradition of the ancient rites, and their placing of the worshipper into the unbroken, organic stream of Catholic worship over century upon century, there can be no easy waving away of the post-conciliar catechesis and liturgical formation those such as me have received. This is a reality that must be faced if the middle aged are to be engaged in liturgical renewal. For all that I sympathise with those who feel that, liturgically, it is “1962 or bust” for the future, nevertheless this cannot be imposed en masse and immediately without some serious, and counterproductive, collateral damage, to use the modern euphemism. (more…)