Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Vatican to Release Latin Mass from Basement

From the London Times

By Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

The Pope is taking steps to revive the ancient tradition of the Latin Tridentine Mass in Catholic churches worldwide, according to sources in Rome. (there have been mutterings for nearly three years, now. I try not to get too excited about this stuff but this seems liek the real deal.)

Pope Benedict XVI is understood to have signed a universal indult — or permission — for priests to celebrate again the Mass used throughout the Church for nearly 1,500 years. The indult could be published in the next few weeks, sources told The Times. Well credit to Ruth, the Mass may be called the Tridentine but it really harkens back 1000 before the Council of 1500 years is about right. It has long been a lie that this Mass was invented in 1500. This lie was intended to mitigate the fact that a new Mass was concocted in 1967. From 500 A.D. to 1962 the revisions to the Mass have been absolutely minor and totally "organic."

Use of the Tridentine Mass, parts of which date from the time of St Gregory in the 6th century and which takes its name from the 16th-century Council of Trent, was restricted by most bishops after the reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65).

This led to the introduction of the new Mass in the vernacular to make it more accessible to contemporary audiences. By bringing back Mass in Latin, Pope Benedict is signalling that his sympathies lie with conservatives in the Catholic Church. Actually, many of the "conservatives" love the new Mass ... the Latin Mass devotees are probably more acurately described as traditionalists as opposed to conservatives.

One of the most celebrated rebels against its suppression was Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who broke with Rome in 1988 over this and other reforms. He was excommunicated after he consecrated four bishops, one of them British, without permission from the Pope. This excommunication is not clear, a few priests ordained by the "four" have been quickly ushered in by the Vatican into various religious orders, thereby demonstrating the validity of their priesthood and by implication the validity of the Bishops.

Some Lefebvrists, including those in Brazil, have already been readmitted. An indult permitting the celebration of the Tridentine Mass could help to bring remaining Lefebvrists and many other traditional Catholics back to the fold. Bit of misinformation here. Bishop Rifan from Brazil is not a Lefebvrist. In his diocese of Campos Brazil, he just refused to celebrate the new protestantized mass. Actually, he's been to St. Benedict's Center in Harvard before. He is truly a great man and I hope to see him next time around.

The priests of England and Wales are among those sometimes given permission to celebrate the Old Mass according to the 1962 Missal. Tridentine Masses are said regularly at the Oratory and St James’s Spanish Place in London, but are harder to find outside the capital. Same in New England. There are Latin Masses at St Benedcit's center in Harvard, MA and in Boston and in 1 in Springfield. They are few and far between. For a directory go here.

The new indult would permit any priest to introduce the Tridentine Mass to his church, anywhere in the world, unless his bishop has explicitly forbidden it in writing. This is what is different. Pope John Paul's Ecclesia Dei let the cat out of the bag, but most Bishops (busy protecting paedofiles, ordaining homosexuals and engineering countless modifications to their new Mass) absolutely refused to permit it.

Catholic bloggers have been anticipating the indult for months. The Cornell Society blog says that Father Martin Edwards, a London priest, was told by Cardinal Joseph Zen, of Hong Kong, that the indult had been signed. Cardinal Zen is alleged to have had this information from the Pope himself in a private meeting.

“There have been false alarms before, not least because within the Curia there are those genuinely well-disposed to the Latin Mass, those who are against and those who like to move groups within the Church like pieces on a chessboard,” a source told The Times. “But hopes have been raised with the new pope. It would fit with what he has said and done on the subject. He celebrated in the old rite, when Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.” There have been false starts mainly due to the internal bickering in the Vatican.. me thinks the Pope has dropped the Holy Hammer of the progressive scum like Cardinal Montini.

The 1962 Missal issued by Pope John XXIII was the last of several revisions of the 1570 Missal of Pius V. In a lecture in 2001, Cardinal Ratzinger said that it would be “fatal” for the Missal to be “placed in a deep-freeze, left like a national park, a park protected for the sake of a certain kind of people, for whom one leaves available these relics of the past”.

Daphne McLeod, chairman of Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, a UK umbrella group that campaigns for the restoration of traditional orthodoxy, said: “A lot of young priests are teaching themselves the Tridentine Mass because it is so beautiful and has prayers that go back to the Early Church.” It is true. The old Geezers from the 1960s prefer the Birkenstock-wearing, tambourine banging, guitar strumming Lutheran happy-meal. Generation Xers and Yers are sick of that crap.


Anonymous said...

What nonsense.

The reforms of 1911 - 1913 were a radical departure from the Roman rite as 'organic' development not to mention the complete revision of Holy Week in the 1950s by "scum" Montini's protector Pius XII.

Thomas Shawn said...

The reforms of 1911 - 1913 were a radical departure from the Roman rite as 'organic' development. False.

The changes during the 1950s are organic to my eye.... they should have stopped there. But these things are debatable among people who love the Church.

What is clear is that the Novus Ordo as is practiced all over Massachusetts is based on Lutheran-happy meal -community worship.

Anonymous said...

Please cut the trad crap.

You clearly have no understanding of what Pius X did to the Roman Breviary. One the worse features of the 1911 revolutionary reform of the litury was the suppression of the Laudate psalms. Baumstark commented "Hence to the reformers of the Psalterium Romanum belongs the distinction of having brought to an end the universal observance of a liturgical practice which was followed, one can say, by the Divine Redeemer Himself during His life on earth."

Pray tell how cutting and pasting a new rite of Holy Week is 'organic' and e.g. pasting some prefaces from old sacramentaries into the Roman rite is not.

But of course, how silly of me, there was never any reform before wicked old Paul VI.

Thomas Shawn said...

Mr. Anonymous,

You clearly are intellectually dishonest. Tinkering with Psalms does not amount to a hill of beans compared to the moutainous changes of 1965.

Even our non-church going readers understand this as I just had a conversation with one.

I am talking about: communion in hand, completely different Eucharistic prayers (some written by Protestants), contemporary music, girl altar boys, Mass ad populam, the rotating gospel readings, communion while standing, the exclusive use of the local languages (i.e the supression of Latin), the architectural revolution.

You are being coy, trying to cite minor changes in 1911 and other changes around the time of the Council Trent and thereby trying to gloss over the current liturgical mess we are in. Even the Pope is trying to pump out books called the "Spirit of the Liturgy" to correct this disaster.

Your deceit gets you nowhere. My athiest friends clearly see through the neo-Catholic ploy.

The new Mass is a dead letter and it will be consigned to the ash heap of church history, wait and see.

Anonymous said...

Intellectually dishonest? Come, come, that is a rather rich statement coming from a supporter of the ‘No reform before Paul VI (aka “Scum Montini” as I think you appellated him) brigade’.

That late guru of traddie land apologists, Michael Davies, in his pathetic pamphlets would claim e.g. “[Pius X] made a reform, not of text but of the music” (Davies, M., The New Mass, Angelus Press, 1977 p. 6) Conveniently he quotes from part of Adrian Fortescues’ book ‘The Mass’ that was published before the full reform of Pius X and Davies when citing the good Dr. Fortescue fails to add, for intellectual honesty, Fortecue’s comment as a footnote “Since this was written the hope [of reform] has already been in great part fulfilled..” (Fortescue, A.F., The Mass, Longmans, 1912, p. 213).

Let’s just look at some basic aspects of the ‘tinkering with psalms’ as you put it. In the pre-Pius X rite today mattins for St. Peter of Alacantra would have had psalms 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 14, 20, & 23; lauds psalms 92, 99, 62-66, Benedicite, 148-149-150; prime psalms 53 and two divisions of 118 and then nine other divisions of psalm 118 spread between terce, sext and none. In contrast after Pius X the arrangement would have been: at mattins psalms 19, 32 (division 1), 32 (division 2), 67 (division 1), 67 (division 2), 67 (division 3), 88 (division 1), 88 (division 2) & 88 (division 3); at lauds psalms 80, 107 (division 1), 107 (division 2), Canticle of Anna & 147; at prime psalms 66, 89 (division 1) & 89 (division 2); at terce psalms 26 (division 1), 26 (division 2) & 83; at sext psalms 22, 33 (division 1) & 33 (division 2) and at none psalms 79 (division 1), 79 (division 2) and 92. Vespers in the reformed rite had psalms 115, 137, 144 (division 1), 144 (division 2) & 144 (division 3). In contrast the Roman rite had psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. Compline in the new order psalms 11, 38 (division 1) & 38 (division 2) in contrast to the fixed psalms of old rite compline with psalms 4, 30 (vv. 1-6), 90 & 133.

This is not a tinkering it is a radical reform. Bear in mind too that there are significant musical changes with different tones as defined by the respective antiphons. One should note that whilst in the ancient Roman secular order several psalms were grouped under a single antiphon (e.g. 62-66) in the new order the same psalm was often broken into divisions under different antiphons. Apart from the ancient use of psalm 118 for the Little Hours such a splitting up into sections was unheard of.

If you wish to compare the respective psalters I suggest you buy a book on the subject – a good starting point would be Burton, E. & Myers, E., The New Psalter and Its Use, Longmans, London, 1912.

Apart from the psalter there were hundreds of other changes. The distinction between the festal and dominical office was lost. Hitherto the dominical office had a longer mattins, dominical preces (prayers) at prime and compline, the Athanasian Creed on all Sundays (except Easter and Pentecost) when the domincal office was sung. There were too a series of suffrages sung at the end of lauds and vespers for the Blessed Virgin, St. Joseph, SS Peter and Paul, the Patron or Titular and for Peace. To get a flavour of this one only need attend Anglican choral evensong with its versicles and the collect for peace, O God from whom all holy desires, which is identical to that in the old Roman office (Deus, a quo sancta desideria..). In the reformed office the Athanasian creed and preces were omitted on Sundays when a double feast occurred. The suffrages were replaced by a single suffrage. In penitential periods the Miserere was sung as part of an extended series of ferial preces at vespers and the De profundis at lauds. In the reformed liturgy the ferial preces were sung without these psalms.

In terms of the mass hitherto most Sundays were celebrated as Saint’s days and the thing most people noticed about the reform was Sundays ‘going green’. For the first time in the history of the Roman liturgy a low mass was prescribed by the rubrics for the festal mass on a day formerly requiring two high masses in choro.

As to organic development what about All Soul’s Day – before the reform the Office of the Dead (vespers, mattins and lauds) was sung in addition to the office of the day within the Octave of All Saints. After the reform a whole new creation appeared with little hours of the dead which had no precedent in history.

Pius X described the Tridentine liturgy as “squalid” in Abhinc duos annos (1913) and promised a significant reform that would take many years to execute. He died before this could be started.

I really suggest you do some reading on the subject.

What is a neo-Catholic? I have no idea.

I'll respond to the rest of your errors in due course.

Thomas Shawn said...


Anonymous said...

That A Nony Mouse fellow does get testy, doesn't he...

Anonymous said...

Mr. Shawn,

I wonder are you a congenital idiot or have you developed your ignorance through practice?

Perhaps you should consult your 'Beano Manual' of liturgy and theology and try and come up with at least a semi-coherent argument for the crap you with to inflict on the People of God.

Anonymous said...

Thomas Shawn and Anonymous - what you both need to consider is that:
A) Yes, changes were made, numerous before Vatican II and Paul VI.
B) It doesn't really matter. For in the Catholic Church/Liturgy, if something is to be superceded or replaced, it has to be replaced by something that is CATHOLIC. As to whether said new thing is in fact CATHOLIC, all one needs to do is consider the fruits it has borne. Ergo, the new mass/mess is not CATHOLIC.

My name is Rick, and I am a CATHOLIC