Monday, September 22, 2008

Pope Benedict's French Visit: Liturgy Report I

FRENCH BISHOPS AND CATHOLIC MEDIA: WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T MENTION THE LITURGY?

Approaching my keyboard this morning, I was anticipating a lovely few hours revisiting repeat videos of our Holy Father's beautiful liturgies whilst in France. My idea was to check these against my original notes, for signs of Fr. Z's 'martial plan'. On La Croix and kto I found easy access to the homilies (videos and text transcripts) plus many 'elucidations' from the French bishops, but did not find videos of the actual liturgies in full until early this evening. They were hidden way back on the original itinerary for the visit, not exactly the first place you would look now the visit is over. Having found these full videos, I will conduct the original exercise as intended at some point in the future but this morning's frustration made me realise that I should highlight something else here that has worried me for the last ten days.

I have said elsewhere that I suspect kto and la Croix are in the bishops' pockets and plainly any proper discussion of the 'Summorum Pontificum' has been 'denoticed'. There has not been one occasion in the whole coverage, when a traditionalist has been invited to speak up for his/her position or give an interpretation of the said document. To allow that opportunity would have been to risk people's actually understanding Benedict's theology of the Eucharist and apostolic action. Nobody in the Catholic media appears to understand it or recognise it. And yet it was clearly demonstrable in everything our Holy Father did and said during the trip. There's none so blind as those who refuse to see, or have been told not to see.

It is the secular 'Le Figaro' that gives an objective coverage of all aspects of the visit, mentioning the Liturgy freely and openly as part of a complex picture. This the Catholic media have singularly failed to do.

More tomorrow, which unless nothing else intervenes, will probably be a comparison between the Figaro coverage, that of the weekly Le Pelerin, and an interview with Mgr 23 and editors of influential catholic newspapers. The latter makes my hair stand on end.

Before supper I had the misfortune of listening to my own bishop on kto announcing that all hankering for the old ways is mere nostalgia. Tradition has no value in the modern Christian way of following the message of Christ.

Courage a tous! Pray without ceasing.

In Christo pro Papa,

Jane

2 comments:

Br. David said...

First, thank you very much for the comment on my blog. You are in my daily prayers.

Yes, it is scary how things goes in France. The French bishops seems very determined that THEY are running the show and not the Pope, not a good thing.

It is very odd as you mention, that the liturgy isn't mentioned at all. To me it looks a bit like the Pope for the moment is using the soft version of "the shoes of the fisherman", not to step to hard on the French bishops tiny toes. But eventually he will have to set them straight, they have to obey Rome.

That your bishop can talk about tradition not having a value of todays Christian way of following the message of Christ, is close to madness. The Catholic Church exists because of tradition. Maybe he needs to read the job description of a bishop once again. Sorry if I am to harsh in my language.

But as we pray for the Pope we must also pray for our bishops however wrong or odd they may be. At times I get the feeling that they have forgotten their role of having to save our soles. And especially therefor we need to pray for them. Because when their time comes and they stand before God, they will be asked - what did you do to save my children ? The shepherd is responsible for his sheep.

With prayers
Soli Deo

Jane said...

br. David:

Thanks for your comment. I agree with everything you say, except the fact that the bishops have to obey Rome. The problem is that THEY don't appear to think they have to. ( Do you agree that it is the post conciliar emphasis on collegiality and the invention of Bishops' Conferences that has helped to creat this situation?)But yes,indeed we must pray for them. My husband was 'very angry with these bishops' last night and I managed to calm him down by saying exactly what you say here. This should be all bound up with our prayer for His Holiness.

I expect you use the old Breviary. I'm learning it but for the time being have to use the new one. However, my mind has been wonderfully concentrated for the last week or so by the readings from Saint Augustine on Shepherds. There indeed is the job description! And moreover one which our chief shepherd on earth, is following. No wonder St Augustine is his favourite, for this and many other reasons. Every year when these readings come, I look around me and think, Oh dear! This year they seem even more poignant and apposite.

Thanks again, please post here whenever you have time.

In Christo pro Papa,

Jane