Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Nyet! - The Old Gang Not Getting It.

ONE OF THE MORE diverting phenomena of recent years is the consistent inability of the Church's liberal establishment, the '60's avant garde, to read the signs of the times. Wrapped up in their hermetic understanding of the past, the present and the future, which for them defines the limits of rational discourse, more and more they seem to inhabit a vanished world: a bureaucratic, technocratic, relentlessly ideological looking-glass world, its cold, hard edges quaintly draped for our benefit (or is it theirs?) in anodyne, Kennedy-era platitudes from Gaudium et Spes.

Father Z has been "fisking" episcopal reactions to Summorum Pontificum and has identified the emergence of a coherent, hostile Party Line which goes something like this:

1) It's a "step backwards" for the purpose of placating a tiny minority of hard liners (the Pope, on the other hand, insists that the older form retains its permanent value as a bearer of the Living Tradition - that it is therefore an indispensible treasure of the Church for all times and places).

2) It doesn't therefore apply in this diocese, where we don't have any of "these people" to placate.

3) We have in any case already made generous provision for Tridentine Masses (i.e. every fourth Saturday afternoon).

4) The situation viz-a-viz the Old Rites remains essentially proscriptive - i.e. exceptional permission is still required (the diametric opposite of the truth).

5) There must be a "stable group" minimum number X (false), which..

6) ...must have been consistently attached to the Old Rite over a number of years (a completely unwarranted assertion).

7) Adoption of "New Rite" practices, though (concelebration, communion in the hand etc) must not be refused where requested.

...and so on and so forth. What it all boils down to, though, is the strident irreconcileable assertion of No. 4, in spite of its bare-faced, manifest falsehood.

Here is Cardinal Castrillon, as reported by CWN:

Rome, Sep. 14, 2007 (

With the formal implementation of Summorum Pontificum, the Pope's motu proprio providing wider access to the 1962 Roman Missal, diocesan priests do not need permission to celebrate the Latin Mass, a top Vatican official has stated. Cardinal Dario Castrillon-Hoyos - the president of the Ecclesia Dei commission, which supervises Vatican outreach to traditionalist Catholics - says that "from this point, priests can decide to celebrate the Mass using the old rite, without permission from the Holy See or the bishop."

In an interview with Vatican Radio on September 13, broadcast just before the motu proprio officially took effect, Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos explained that Pope Benedict's motu proprio affirms the right of any priest to use the "extraordinary form" of the Latin liturgy. "It is, therefore, unnecessary to ask for any other permission," he said.

Contrast with the following:

Some questions and answers on Benedict XVI's recent Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum

1. Why has the Pope seemingly taken a step backwards in allowing the former Tridentine rite of Mass alongside the one we have now?

Benedict XVI's main concern seems to be to make a gesture of reconciliation to those who have never been able to accept the rite of Mass we have now. He wants to try to integrate them more closely into the Church as a whole, so he is to a small extent relaxing the rules regarding when celebrations of the Tridentine rite can take place. In England and Wales we have already had an indult from Rome, obtained in 1971 by Cardinal Heenan, allowing celebrations of the Tridentine Mass with the permission of the local bishop. The latest document merely eases slightly the legislation that had already been relaxed for the universal Church in 1984 by Pope John Paul II...

You can read the whole of this egregious piece here. It gets better and better. It purports to issue from the Diocese of Portsmouth, in the person of its Director of Liturgy - presumably one of the lay commissariat who nowadays pretend to decide on behalf of the sheep just how much of the truth we're entitled to (under the old clericalism such were at least clerics in fact, but that's People-of-God "democracy" for you). Whether or not the piece is correctly attributed, it's nevertheless a convenient distillation, in tone and content, of Fr Z's "party line", as pioneered in these Isles by the Archbishop of Glasgow . This one contrives to evolve a couple of ingenious and imaginative refinements all of the author's own, such as the nonexistence (in the Novus Ordo - here is someone who simply doesn't, or is determined not to "get it": we're not talking about the Novus Ordo!) of the Subdiaconate and consequent inadmissibility of the Tunicle at High Mass. Give that man a coconut for superlative, nit-picking, pharisaical ingenuity.

What is hoped to be accomplished by these posturings? Have their authors still not cottoned-on to the fact that the Internet provides instant access to the authentic documentation and to authentic interpretations of it, unspiked by conniving editors, days and weeks in advance of retrospective efforts to "spin" them? - that the same medium will also expose instantaneously such mean and mendacious manoeuverings, for all the world to see? Do they think we're complete idiots, or is this simply a barefaced attempt at intimidation? Either way, the gloves are off. The Ecclesia Dei Commission will have its work cut out.


Dad29 said...

On our side of the pond (rebels, you know...) we refer to such folks as "Liturgeists."

It helps, I suppose, if you've seen the Colonial movie "Poltergeist."

Ttony said...

Welcome back! And thank Heaven that we actually have an Ecclesia Dei Commission.

Moretben said...


Now I get it! That spelling always puzzled me...


Thank you. The PCED is supposed to get an upgrade soon, from commission to "Pontifical Council". Presumably this is intended to give it some teeth - it's had few up until now. A change of name would seem appropriate too - Pontifical Council Summorum Pontificum perhaps?

Moretben said...


Now I get it! That spelling always puzzled me...


Thank you. The PCED is supposed to get an upgrade soon, from commission to "Pontifical Council". Presumably this is intended to give it some teeth - it's had few up until now. A change of name would seem appropriate too - Pontifical Council Summorum Pontificum perhaps?

John said...

I said Plymouth when I meant Portsmouth

John said...

Looking at the comment above, it seems as if my original comment has nor been saved so my previous one will make no sense.
I actually did all the right things and clicked on 'preview' . It took me through the proceedure again and again I clicked on 'preview' but his time I did get to preview it. Then it said 'publish comment' so I clicked on that and it came back to my typings but I assumed that it had been saved!!
Now it looks as if this was not the case.
So......blow it!