Skip to comments.Vatican prepares to relax the rules on the celebration of the Tridentine Mass
Posted on 06/18/2004 12:26:59 PM PDT by Tantumergo
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A Low Mass during the week with no singing or homily, and the usual small attendance usually did take about 20 minutes. I served for several years at these Masses, but I never jumped to the conclusion that the priests did not understand their Latin.
Especially after the several years of Latin they took in the seminary, on top of the usual 2-4 years in high school (since many priests had gone to Catholic high schools in those days).
I only had two years of Latin, but I understand the texts of the Tridentine Mass very well. And that's not bragging, because in general I'm terrible in languages.
So I would think that a priest who attended the Tridentine Mass (with his missal) from his boyhood days, and then was trained throughout seminary in this same Mass, and then offered it every day of his priestly life, would probably understand what he was saying.
If he didn't , I would jump to the conclusion that he was just plain stupid. But I can't imagine how he would get through college and seminary if that were the case, especially with the rigorous training in those days.
So maybe this is just your own opinion?
Of course. Just as it is your opinion that priests understood every word of what they were saying.
So, we're at a standstill.
You're entitled to your opinion, of course. I just cringe a little whenever I hear that the Latin Mass is so unintelligible, and that the new Mass is so vastly superior simply because it's in the vernacular.
I'm not saying you implied this. Only that it's often put forth as an objection to the Tridentine Mass.
And yes, I know that the Council wished to have more of the Mass in the vernacular. I don't have a problem with that, or even with the new Mass.
I have a problem with those liberals who wish to stamp out the Tridentine Mass, because it so uncomfortably refuses to mesh with their "anything goes" liturgical ambitions.
Doesn't matter, even if it were accurate, which I don't think it is. Certainly most of the faithful didn't understand as much Latin as they might have.
People are drawn to traditional things, the prayers of the traditional mass in Latin symbolically united the faithful to all of the generations before in a way that the vulgar tongue cannot. Of course the vernacular does too, in a theological sense alone, but the symbolic sense, the way the people see it, is important.
The record of the church since the introduction of the vernacular has been decline, less churches, less schools, less nuns, less folks in the pews. Liturgical language has a purpose, I fully expect that sooner or later, Latin will come back just as Hebrew was reintroduced as the language of Reform Judaism after a considerable hiatus.
But it will definitely take time, a major commitment would have to be made and just a statement by a cardinal ain't going to do it.
"The vast majority of priests who said the Tridentine Mass prior to 1962 didn't understand one single word of what they were saying."
This is the most nonsensical thing you've said to date. It is so demonstrably false as to be ludicrous. Seminarians in the preconciliar period took their EXAMS in Latin. They entered the seminary already having taken a half dozen courses in college or high school Latin. Many also had Greek under their belts. Ask any priest over sixty who was around back then.
Don't get your hopes up. This seems like wishful thinking on Hoyos' part. He talks about studying the situation further. The term "juridical guarantee" is not any kind of official term, it's a speculative concept on the Cardinal's part. Hoyos uses the future tense and presents the whole idea as being in the realm of possibility only. It's all very iffy, if you ask me.
Meanwhile, even more significant was his response to the direct question of how the Pope views traditionalists. He gave what I consider a non-answer, bringing up the old argument about the motu proprio--as if that somehow signified the Pope's favor. It certainly does not. The Indult was a ploy to divide the SSPX and nothing more. Had the Pope wanted the Indult to truly succeed, he would not have acted so harshly to punish it a few years ago--on a trifling matter.
The opposite is more likely true, if you ask me. When the Pope granted the Indult for the FSSP, he said he did so so that the priests might continue to follow "their spiritual and liturgical traditions." --As if those traditions were any different from his own! The truth is, JPII has little regard for the movement and shows this in myriad ways. Had he wanted to encourage its growth, he would have issued the kind of praise he routinely lavishes on other groups and persons. He knows how to encourage and give praise when he wants to. But his attention is only grudging at best. When he met with indult priests and seminarians not many years ago, he admonished them rather than praised them for their successes.
This interview is a gross disappointment. It reenforces my sense that there are two factions in Rome vying for dominance--the one to which Hoyos subscribes which looks with favor on the traditionalist movement in general and which is using the media to encourage the movement, and the modernists who remain in fierce opposition to anything from the past. The Pope, in my opinion, belongs with the latter group, or, at the very least, has decided to remain neutral and to allow them to spread their falsehoods without interference.
When and how did the Pope "punish" the indult movement?
As if those traditions were any different from his own
However, it is necessary that all the Pastors and the other faithful have a new awareness, not only of the lawfulness but also of the richness for the Church of a diversity of charisms, traditions of spirituality and apostolate, which also constitutes the beauty of unity in variety ... To all those Catholic faithful who feel attached to some previous liturgical and disciplinary forms of the Latin tradition I wish to manifest my will to facilitate their ecclesial communion by means of the necessary measures to guarantee respect for their rightful aspirations.
When he met with indult priests and seminarians not many years ago, he admonished them rather than praised them for their successes.
"When and how did the Pope "punish" the indult movement? "
I'd still lke to know why "The Catholic Herald" in the UK seems to be the only publication in the world to have this insider information.
I even went to their website to read the article first hand, and found nothing but an empty website.
Does the Novus Ordo, even one celebration of it, somehow taint an FSSP priest, like a stain?
This is a pot, kettle, black situation, if you ask me.
Where's the punishment? Perhaps you can point it out - there's no "punishment" of the indult movement recorded in that article.
"So maybe this is just your own opinion?"
No need to dignify it that way. It's just more crap that he pulled out of...somewhere and flung at the wall to see if it would stick.
My mother was born in 1911 and went to Catholic schools for 14 years, until 1931. In the 1960s she still remembered quite a lot of Latin--and that's never having studied at a seminary.
The "vast majority" my butt. The only thing that's at a standstill is sinkspur's long journey back to honesty.
Every traditionalist knows the event I'm talking about. He met with adoring seminarians from the FSSP--and instead of recognizing their devotion, he found fault. That was the turning-point for me. Up till then I thought, like most others, he must be sympathetic. Then it dawned on me--the problem was not with the middle echelon--it was with him.
I am a regular reader of this caucus, though I seldom post. I recognise your status as the >I>rebel in residence</I< and I have to say that, though I am often in disagreement with you, your comments frequently add some spice to the discourse.
In this case however,
>I< The vast majority of priests who said the Tridentine Mass prior to 1962 didn't understand one single word of what they were saying. </I<,
your assertion is pure b*lls. I come from a large UK family in which there were several priests and I do not recall one who could not have translated your above statement instantly into fluent Latin. They would also have made a better job of the syntax.
"I'd still lke to know why "The Catholic Herald" in the UK seems to be the only publication in the world to have this insider information."
The Catholic Herald has good links with the committee of the Latin Mass Society - the UK organisation affiliated to Una Voce. They have run a number of stories in the last couple of years which have been very supportive of traditionalists.
Also since the appointment of the LMS' new publicity officer, there seems to have been a tactical change in that they are now getting much more militant and using the Catholic press more efficiently to take the cause of tradition straight to the faithful.
I would guess that either the LMS has slipped the Catholic Herald some info. on current developments OR it could simply be the re-spinning of an older story to keep the pressure on.
IMHO one of the greatest successes of the modernists over traditional Catholicism in the last 40 years has been their ability to just ignore its existence and pretend that it's not there - especially in a country like ours where we don't have one single bishop of the calibre of Chaput, never mind the likes of Burke, Sheridan and Olmstead.
Every piece of positive publicity strengthens the hands of the friendly forces in the Vatican, and even though this next step may have no effect at all in most places, it may be one small step on the road back to sanity.
The passage you have cited is a gross misrepresentation of the key point I was making. The priests he was addressing had not invented any peculiar spiritual or liturgical practices. They celebrated the ancient Mass which had been handed-down to them from the Church. Everything they do and study was the tradition of the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH until a few years ago. There is nothing that they do or teach or think that is other that what the Church had inspired for two thousand years up until recently when the Apostolic See itself chose to abandon Catholic Tradition. That is what is so alarming. It is the CHURCH'S OWN TRADITION, not a special charism peculiar to these priests, of which the Pope was speaking! The Pope dealt with this, however, as if it were something alien to him--and I can understand why. It would be--to a modernist.
For a long while I imagined it was the modernists who have held the Pontiff back all these years and prevented him from doing what I told myself he surely wanted to do--bring the Church back to Sacred Tradition. But now I see it is the other way around. It is the mass of traditionalists who hold him back--otherwise he would have lurched even more to the left than he has done already. He has already rejected the SSPX--though the Society's bishops made clear they did not challenge his legitimacy and would have obeyed--if it were possible for them, if obeying would not violate their consciences as Catholics and make them complicit in the destruction of Tradition. But he charged them with schism anyway--though no schism existed. It makes perfect sense that he should have done this to no others--but FAVORS the radical prelates instead, elevates them and gives them red hats. All this also explains why he says one thing and does another. He gives the faithful who long for a return to normalcy what it expects in writing, all the while moving the Church leftwards in practice.
JP II has granted to all of the FSSP's priests a universal "indult" to "celebrate" the Novus Ordo, anywhere, anytime, with permission required from no one: no superiors nor bishops need give their approval. A FSSP priest could offer nothing but the Novus Ordo Mass for the rest of his life, and be in good standing with JP II.
However, any Novus Ordo priest who wishes to offer the Tridentine Mass is at the mercy of his bishop.
It is obvious that JP II favors the Novus Mass and the continued supression of the Traditional Latin Mass, the Mass of All Time.
[Bishop Rifan:] Opposition towards the Holy See is each time more hard and more radical. Bishop Williamson has written that we should not offer public or official veneration to St. Padre Pio, in order not to give any credit to the canonizations made by the Pope. And Fr. Peter Scott, the rector in Australia, in his public letter of Nov. 1st 2002, wrote to friends and benefactors about the Luminous Mysteries proposed by the Pope: "I ask of you, if you wish to remain Catholic and if you wish to have a truly supernatural interior life, to not eve think of praying these mysteries."
In line with this directive, the most logical ones arrive at sedevacantism, like Fr. Basilo Meramo, prior of the SSPX in Bogota, who wrote: "The Pope, with his errors and his heresies, and with all manner of doctrinal and governing action, does not give the guarantee of being the legitimate successor of the Chair of Peter..." (La Nef, May 6 2003)
The magazine Guarde a Fe has published an article whose contents are alien to the Catholic faith; in this article, it is stated that today it is the Society of St. Pius X which posseses the essential and characteristic elements of the Church (unity, holiness, catholicity and apostolicity), and that what is called the official Church has lost these elements. What is the difference between the official Church and the visible Church?
The logical consequence of this article is that the Church of Our Lord has either ceased to exist, or it has been reduced to the Society of St. Pius X. But this has never been, and cannot be, Catholic doctrine. (Letter of the Apostolic Administration St. Jean-Marie Vianney, April 2003)
He has already rejected the SSPX
No, the SSPX rejected him.
complicit in the destruction of Tradition
I agree. Certainly regularizing the Society, giving them the approval of the Apostolic See, and consecrating a bishop for them would destroy Tradition. No wonder the Society had to refuse obedience to this evil command!
It is the CHURCH'S OWN TRADITION, not a special charism peculiar to these priests, of which the Pope was speaking!
In case you haven't noticed, the 1962 Missal is a "special charism" in the Catholic Church today, being a preceding form of the Roman Rite from the current Missal.
The Pope didn't grant them any "indult". All Latin-rite priests have a right to offer Mass according to the normative rite of the Church - the reformed rite of Paul VI, just as all Byzantine-rite priests have a right to offer according to the rite of St. John Chrysostom even if they've been granted a celebret for the 1962 Roman Missal.
All Latin-rite priests, also have a right to offer The Tridentine Mass as codified by the Council of Trent and authorized by Pope Saint Pius X's , Bull Quo Primum. How does a "purely pastoral" council, VC II, trump a dogmatic council, Trent?
Pope Saint Pius X's = Pope Saint Pius V's
And, I've got anecdotal tales of pre-Vatican II priests who couldn't understand one word of Latin, after they left the seminary.
As to the syntax, perhaps you're right. British grammar goes a long way toward making up for the lousy food.
Anecdotal. There were bishops who did not attend Vatican II because they couldn't understand what was being said. It was conducted, as you know, in Latin.
Anyone to the left of Tomas Torquemada is a liberal around this place.
How does a "purely pastoral" council, VC II, trump a dogmatic council, Trent?
For one thing, Trent didn't codify the Mass. At the end of Trent, all the different Western usages still existed. For another thing, unless you want to claim that Pius XII was wrong to change the rite with Maxima Redemptoris, it's clear that an Apostolic Constitution like Maxima Redemptoris or Missale Romanum can modify the rite promulgated by Quo Primum.
There's a big difference between being able to carry on the business of a Council in Latin and understanding the Mass.
There's a difference between an FSSP priest being ALLOWED to concelebrate the Novus Ordo, and his being FORCED to concelebrate said Mass.
Read the article carefully. The infamous Protocol 1411 clearly violates the original agreement between the Vatican and the Fraternity, which guaranteed them the EXCLUSIVE use of the 1962 Missal. Remember that the FSSP was set up by the Pope in order to bring SSPX priests back to the fold. Because of the outrageous actions of 16 French priests, who were upset over the outcome of the Fraternity's general election, all FSSP priests may someday be REQUIRED to concelebrate the Novus Ordo by their bishops. Once this door is opened, there is no telling what additional requirements may be imposed on the Fraternity, such as an obligation to celebrate Sunday Masses in under-staffed parishes, for example. This will, IMO, be the death knell to the Fraternity, and a further disincentive for SSPX'ers to come back. Hey, come back to Rome and then get stabbed in the back.
And the Vatican's heavy-handed shakeup of the Fraternity, and its cancellation of their general chapter, sends the usual chilling message to traditionalists:
"Watch your step, or we'll come down on you like an ton of bricks!"
Funny how apostates and heretics continue to flourish in our chanceries and "Catholic" colleges, while traditional Catholics set off a red alert if they so much as step out of line.
At the end of VC II, how many Western usages, remained in existence, i.e. openly allowed to be offered and free from any and all restrictions or prohibitions?
Bugnini's and Paul's "Mass" wasn't a modification of any Mass; they, themselves presented it as the New Rite. And they forcibly imposed it on the entire Catholic Church.
Let the TLM flourish, then there will be two Churches. One for single soccer moms and their kids and old blue-headed women. The other for families(including men).
"Where's the punishment? Perhaps you can point it out - there's no "punishment" of the indult movement recorded in that article."
What article were you reading? The one I posted clearly shows a heavy-handed interference by the Vatican in the internal affairs of the Franternity, at the instigation of 16 rebel priests in France, who could not accept the results of the Fraternity's general election.
Having the gall the send their own letter to Rome behind their superiors' back, they got everything they wanted, and more:
A severe shake-up of the leadership of the Fraternity, the Vatican's abrupt cancellation of their general chapter, and the infamous Protocol 1411, which completely goes against the charism of the Fraternity and the reason for its existence, and leaves the door wide open for bishops to obligate FSSP priests in their dioceses to offer the Novus Ordo.
I'd call that punishment.
You've been a Catholic for what? The day before yesterday?
And now you're making distinctions about transubstantiation?
What do you mean?
I just love fishing for flounder.
You've found the right fishing hole.
That's against canon law. Cardinal Hoyos says in his letter to the General Chapter:
On the other hand, it is clear that no priest is obliged to make use of this right. In this way, an atmosphere of freedom and trust can arise in this area, which stands in opposition to every exclusivity and every liturgical extremism. The "Fraternity of St. Peter", as its name already says, can only be a family of brethren, who mutually accept each other with fraternal love, and who are united wholly into the great family of the Roman Catholic Church, where there is a legitimate place for Catholics with a traditional sensibility, which I will defend with all my power.
"Anyone to the left of Tomas Torquemada is a liberal around this place."
How would you know? You can't see over Weakland's shoulder to see what might be over there to the right.
I also believe the recent canonizations are suspect. But I have never read this by Williamson, so I'm glad to see it. Have you a source for this? And I totally agree with Fr. Scott about the Pope's protestantization of the Rosary--designed to once again trash a Catholic devotion. I also agree the Pope has been at the very least a material heretic at Assisi I and II--though this would not make him illegitimate since his heresies have been accepted by the hierarchy itself. I also agree that it is the traditional movement that embodies the Catholic faith in the present crisis--not the conciliar Church's form of bogus Catholicism. At the present time the Apostolic See is not fully Catholic, having in its midst a coterie of public apostates. This pope does not seem to mind the situation. That makes him suspect, in my opinion.
The SSPX has never rejected this Pontiff--never. It was he who was all too eager to pretend it did. Had he investigated his own canon laws fairly and objectively, he would have recognized the right of the bishops and Archbishop to disobey under the circumstances. It was rejecting his aggressive policies of crushing traditional Catholicism any way he could. He is still doing this. Disobedience was therefore legitimate on the Society's part. It has never been a doctrine of the Church that any Catholic must obey a Pope who intends to harm the Church. And if you don't think this Pontiff is harming the Church--take another look at his record--which was already pretty damaging to his reputation even back then.
As for this comment by you: "In case you haven't noticed, the 1962 Missal is a 'special charism' in the Catholic Church today"--here is the answer you deserve: that is so much b.s. A tradition is whatever has been handed-down. These priests only think and pray and act and teach what they have been given from the Church itself. The conciliar Church and this Pope HAVE NO OTHER TRADITION. THERE IS NO OTHER TRADITION IN THE WEST OTHER THAN THE ONE THESE PRIESTS OBSERVE. If theirs is not the Pope's tradition--then HE HAS NONE. Because the Novus Ordo is not a tradition. Kissing Korans is not a tradition. Praying in synagogues is not a tradition. Hugging Buddhists is not a tradition. Canonizing saints by the cartload is not a tradition. Elevating heretics is not a tradition. The only tradition the Church ever had before Vatican II was that which is practiced by those traditional Catholic priests today--and it is the Pope's tradition as well as theirs.
You have no idea how dumb this sounds. If priests before VII knew nothing else, they knew their Latin. The usual preparation for the priesthood included years and years of Latin courses. The words used in the ancient text, moreover, are common enought for even a dunce to understand. The Confiteor is mastered by small altar boys routinely. And this idea you have that since some priests said the Mass rapidly, this meant a lack of comprehension is another dumb idea. The brain is always quicker than the tongue.
"There were bishops who did not attend Vatican II because they couldn't understand what was being said. It was conducted, as you know, in Latin."
This is an altogether different capability. Colloquial Latin requires a different mode of recognizing meanings. A familiar liturgical text would have been mastered easily, especially since it loomed so importantly in priestly lives. Heck, many ordinary Catholics who never took a course in high school Latin routinely learned to recite the Pater Noster and the Salve Regina and the Ave Maria without any difficulty. Even when I write these titles down--most people know immediately what prayers I am referring to.
"would have been mastered easily, especially since it loomed so importantly in priestly lives. Heck, many ordinary Catholics who never took a course in high school Latin routinely learned to recite the Pater Noster and the Salve Regina and the Ave Maria without any difficulty."
Every day. Except when I fall into the sin of sloth.
This is more bull. I know the situation well. The FSSP are being strong-armed to concelebrate--"to show unity with their fellow priests" in the Novus Ordo. In other words, they are being forced to accept the Novus Ordo--which most feel is deleterious to the faith, just as the Archbishop said. Now they are caught in a bind. They felt they had an agreement with Rome. It was the reason they accepted the Pope's offer. But no sooner had they expanded and achieved a great success than Rome came down on them like a ton of bricks. They were NOT SUPPOSED TO SUCCEED!
This was precisely the sort of maneuver the Archbishop suspected might happen. He mistrusted Rome--since he knew it has never disguised its intention to kill the traditional Mass. There is no interest in the Tridentine on the part of this Pope, none whatsoever. He couldn't care less if it achieves success. He wants a different Church--one that precludes co-existence with Tradition. For a modernist--as for a traditionalist--the two versions of Catholicism are incompatible. One is ancient and traditional and believes itself to be the one true faith, the other is newly invented and has as its lodestar an ecumenical "unity in diversity." The two can never be reconciled. They are different religions.