Thursday, June 30, 2011

Catholics! Mind your language

In a recent post I referred to the Martin Mosebach interview with Paul Badde for 'Die Welt', the full text of which was published by 'Rorate Caeli' on May 30th this year. The first question was mildly irritating because it displayed apparent ignorance of the fact that it was generally known (I thought) that 'Summorum Pontificum' (hereinafter SP) was initiated for an initial period of three years, after which time, the Pope and Ecclesia Dei would assess how it had been received and implemented. 'Universae Ecclesiae' did not therefore come out of the blue but had long been anxiously awaited, particularly by pro-Benedict 'reform of the reform Catholics. Knowing some of Badde's other work, one could only assume a willingness on his part to assume that ignorance for the sake of the readership of 'Die Welt'

I found the second question quite shocking.'The Instruction (UE) speaks of "two usages" of the one Roman rite. Doesn't this open the door to a creeping new schism?'
Why shocking? First because it showed that Badde had not read and understood SP, or at least had to assume that his readers would not have done so, telling in itself; second because the question seemed to accuse the Pope of encouraging schism and therefore showed not only a misunderstanding of the his intentions, but also of the meaning and history of the word 'schism'; and thirdly because I was surprised to see the word in print at all. But if I was shocked by the question, I was stunned by Mosebach's answer:
"There's already a schism, not between supporters of the new and old rites, but between those Catholics who adhere to the old sacramental theology of the Church as was solemnly confirmed by Vatican II, and those who assert that Vatican II founded a new Church with a new theology and new sacraments. This latter doctrine has been diffused wholesale and against the better knowledge of its promoters, in the seminaries, universities and Catholic Academies. This is what has fostered the danger of a schism.".

I was stunned because almost four years ago, after the promulgation of the SP, when there had been sufficient time to assess the extent to which  it was being swept under episcopal carpets, consigned to diocesan wastepaper baskets, being deliberately misinterpreted/misrepresented, or simply ignored, I wrote in a letter to a close spiritual friend:
 "Opponents of the SP accuse it of being divisive. On the contrary, I suggest that it is they who are divisive. There has been serious division in the Church for at least the last 30 years. Those who oppose that division have been stifled, but not into complete silence. I see this as a deep, and largely hidden wound in the Church. It is not just a matter of Latin versus the vernacular, or of the TLM versus the NO. It has to do with a different theological understanding. In the SP Pope Benedict exposes and identifies the wound and asks the whole Church to help him cleanse  salve and heal it."

Even in that letter I did not refer to this wound as 'schism'. But the reason it is so deadly is that it is a schism that remains in the heart of the Church. The question was asked recently as to why dissenting 'Catholics' remain in the Church, why they do not do the honest thing and leave her. Surely the answer is fairly obvious. They do not need to leave because the Church allows them to stay.

Later in the Die Welt interview Badde claims that the promotion of the older liturgy has led to 'so much conflict'. I would challenge his use of the word conflict. That there is opposition to it cannot be denied. But its supporters do not any more need to fight back, except by positive promotion of what they are now able to do  because Pope Benedict has protected them. As Mosebach points out he has "created legal prerequistes for returning the Old Rite to complete freedom.  No bishop who would like to impede the Old Rite can cite legal reasons anymore." If there is conflict, it is between Pope Benedict and those who seem unable to comply with his wishes. Mosebach also speaks of "the misunderstanding, so perilous for the Church, that Vatican II established a new Church. The struggle surrounding this  .... must be endured to the end. Covering it up with peaceful phrases doesn't help the Church."

To me 'divisive'  is a dangerous euphemism for schismatic.The irony is that the former term is one most often used by opponents of  the initiatives of the successor of Peter. The truth of the matter is that they would call the SP and UE schismatic if they dared. (Badde almost did in his second question.) Or perhaps that wouldn't be necessary because schism becomes an outdated concept when all opinions that deny the Magisterium are taken as having an equal right to be considered and debated as viable. As far as I am concerned that is Protestantism.

We need to start calling a spade a spade.

To be continued



Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The most important moment of my life - Sixty years ago, 29 June 1951, Joseph Ratzinger was ordained a priest

The most important moment of my life - Sixty years ago, 29 June 1951, Joseph Ratzinger was ordained a priest

Mathis, Troyanos, Laubenthal & Engen - Mozart "Missa Brevis No. 10" in C...

London Pride by Noel Coward

Interim post: Some music - 'London Pride' and a Mozart Mass?

Guests didn't arrive yesterday as planned, explained by misinformation given me about dates. So have a little time before they eventually appear today.

I'm sure Sir Noel, although allegedly very 'so', as we used to say in polite circles, was not thinking of 'Gay Pride', nor was he thinking of a male when he referred to a 'gay lady' in this song. It also contains the line "Nothing ever could break or harm the charm of London town" I hope he is right...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Catholics! Mind your language! Pt 1

I'm not talking about the new/corrected version of the English Missal, nor about the ongoing battle to save Latin in the liturgy of the Church.
I'm talking about deliberately watered down or sloppy inaccurate language in everyday Catholic speech, (e.g.'loyal dissent', 'division' , a priest 'presides' at Mass etc.) and about peculiarly constructed episcopal announcements, that say one thing whilst clearly intending to effect the opposite. ( No Communion rails at Westminster, but kneeling for Communion is a free choice.) I've posted this tonight just to let you know that I've been thinking about this matter for some time, to be precise, since Martin Mosebach's interview with Die Welt on May 23rd. (Full text of interview on Rorate Caeli May30th)

Visitors from Tasmania will preclude posting until Thursday. Part 2 then, DV.

American Bishops organize celebration for pope's 60th anniversary as ord...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Vaughan Williams - O Taste and See

My next post is dedicated to a dear friend who will be received into the Church tomorrow afternoon

.................. as part of the SW Ordinariate group. Appropriately this recording was made in Exeter Cathedral.

Sneak Preview of Vatican News Site.

h/t to Fr Z and Fr Tim, who still can't quite forget the awfulness of the new Vatican site, and nor can I. Still, never mind. All in a day's march!

At last some more news on Adoratio 2011 thanks to Fr Gabriel Burke

Father has posted  on his general impressions and some of the things that remain as outstanding in his memory.
Link to his blog in the sidebar of go straight there Huge thanks to Fr Gabriel, and of course to Fr . Henry of Offerimus Tibi Domine..
Still nothing from the conference organisers. Exasperating, to say the least. Fr Gabriel says a book containing all the talks will be published later in the year. I hope that doesn't mean that copyright restrictions will prevent  online publication. I had a comment saying that Rorate Caeli would be posting about Adoratio 2011. Thanks for the alert.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Disappointment over lack of Internet coverage of Adoratio 2011

The only blog in my sidebar to report on Adoratio is that of Fr Simon Henry at Offerimus Tibi Domine. He was in attendance and has been blogging from Rome.
I went to his combox on Tuesday to say thank you and to ask him how Fr Mark's talk went. Fr Simon has not published my comment. I do hope this is an oversight.

I also emailed Fr Florian Racine, one of the Adoratio organisers, asking whether the Conference talks would be appearing anywhere online.He has not replied.

There is nothing in other places where one might have expected some reportage: NLM ?(they are usually up for anything that involves Mgr Marini and in the recent past have mentioned Fr Mark's work in several similar contexts); Zenit? Catholic Culture? Catholic Herald? Stuff just hasn't been sent out to them I suppose. Considering the illustrious reputation of most of the speakers, Cardinal Burke included, this near blanket of silence is quite astonishing. The Conference is now concluded. Maybe tomorrow the Web will be flooded with reports and texts. If not, a golden opportunity for evangelisation will have been missed.

The sharp pain of disappointment was dulled out of existence during Pope Benedict's Mass and Procession last night. Deo Gratias.



Thursday, June 23, 2011

Gregorian chant - Pange Lingua

Solemnity of Corpus Christi

With my prayers that you all have a holy and happy day.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What New Yorkers Really Think about Same-Sex "Marriage"

Archbishop Celli interviewed after May 2nd Blogmeet in Rome

 Vatican prelate: 'The Church has something to learn from bloggers'. See interview in l'Osservatore Romano here

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

ZENIT - Aide: Benedict XVI Lived True "Priestly Life"

ZENIT - Aide: Benedict XVI Lived True "Priestly Life"
Bad headline. Use of the past tense careless and unsuitable. Fr Lombardi did not employ it
HAS LIVED please

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Vatican's new Website

I saw it earlier in the week and from today's Catholic Herald site I note that it is coming in for a great deal of criticism, and deservedly so I think. (This is desperately disappointing considering the hopes we were given at the Bloggers meeting on May 2nd. One can only hope that this is a 'work in progress'.)  Aside from all the established rules of successful web-design, which the new version breaks, even more so than did the original, FIRST impressions count. That photograph of Pope Benedict on the new  front page is worse than the previous one, and invites the suspicion that a prize must have been offered to the finder of the worst  available photograph of him! After all there are thousands to choose from.We all know he is an old man; we all know he has shadows under his eyes. Photos taken in fair light do not emphasise the latter feature even if they honestly convey the former. I bought a 2012 calendar when I was in Rome, simply because its twelve photos show Pope Benedict as he really is.Yes, the wrinkles and the bags and lines are all there but not one of the photos, taken in broad daylight,  over emphasises those dark shadows.  One does not have to be a Patrick Lichfield to know that the camera can accidentally, or deliberately be made to,  emphasise such features.We all know too, that photos of the kind now on the front page of the Vatican site, are used in anti-papal videos on You Tube to make our dear Pope Benedict look like a demon. It is hard to know how and why the Vatican chose this photo.. I hope they will soon be back to the drawing board.

Father Mark Kirby speaks in Rome tonight at Adoratio 2011

This is probably an unnecessary reminder that our dear HSD Fr Mark will speak at  6pm tonight on 'Eucharistic Spirituality'. His will be the second talk during this Conference. For a full programme and list of speakers please see the Adoratio site I am hoping that full texts of all the talks will be posted there too. As well as Father Mark's contribution there are several other treats in store during the three day Conference. For example tomorrow, Mgr Guido Marini will speak on 'Celebrating the Feast of Corpus Christi' followed by Bishop Athanasius Scheider on 'The Adoration of the Blessed Eucharist and the Sacred Liturgy'. On Wednesday Cardinal Burke will give a talk entitled 'The Importance of Adoration of the Blessed Eucharist in the formation and life of priests' and Cardinal Ranjith will then address the objections to Eucharistic adoration.
(An opportunity for some irrefutable Apologetics in this last offering?!!)
During the Conference Cardinal Arinze will preach at a concelebrated Mass of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More. Substantial contributions will be made by 6 Cardinals, 5 Bishops, 1 Monsignor, 3 priests, 1 Mother Superior and 1 Missionary of Charity. One is profoundly grateful to all those who will take part. (A shame though, that they could not  find, or didn't consider, the inclusion of at least 1 layperson.) Adoration will take place during the day and all the night hours of the Conference. There will be 3 EF Masses celebrated during the four days, and 1 OF, 2 if one includes the Papal Mass on Corpus Christi. The attendees will accompany that Papal Liturgy, so look out for Father Mark on that occasion!

In the meantime, on behalf of its followers, readers and author, this blog sends its good wishes and prayers  for the success of Adoratio 2011, and especially to our 'own' Father Mark.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Saint Patrick's Breastplate

Thanks to the Internet, and I don't know what made me look, I discovered last night that at the year and date of my birth, the Church celebrated Trinity Sunday on its latest possible date. I regret never having been told this by my parents. I only knew that I was born on a Sunday. This newly found knowledge gave me an awareness of how my little life fits into the unfolding of human time, and with it a tremendous sense of peace, and of belonging in God's time. Deo Gratias.

A happy and holy Trinity Sunday to all my friends and readers.

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

'Let Nothing You Dismay' has the organ version of Saint Patrick's Breastplate. Thank you Father. I'll post the words in the next few minutes.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The kind of Bishop we need? Concluding part of PL report on the Diocese of Angouleme

"III. The experience at Saint-Yrieix-sur-Charente

Independently of the bishop a celebration of Mass, according to the spirit of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificuam, had a place in the Charente after 2007

From 2008 to 2010, Fr Texier, parish priest of the parish of St Yrieix on the outskirts of Angouleme, had in fact offered the EF liturgy each Sunday, a Mass which attracted 40 faithful.  Operating under several pressures amongst which were the particularly spiteful ones of  Fr Braud*, the former Vicar-General of the diocese,  Fr Jean-Baptiste Texier was eventully lent to the diocese of Bayonne in the summer of 2010. The only application of the SP in the diocese of Angouleme therefore ended with his departure and the group of faithful who had supported his Masses were unhappily disbanded, and since have supported the Masses celebrated by the Fraternity of the Transfiguration. (My not:e: The letter does not distinguish itself with this unsubstantiated remark about Fr Braud.  All one can think is that the source(s) of this claim have asked for anonymity.)

IV. And Now?
In a commentary on the Motu Proprio published in July 2007 Mgr Dagens affirmed belief  'in the importance of thorough dialogue on the essence of the Faith', and added that 'this essence is not only in the matter of the Faith but also in the matter of charity.'
How could one not subscribe to such a proposal?
And today when the instruction ' Universae Ecclesiae' has forcefully recalled that the traditional liturgy is 'a treasure' offered 'to all the faithful', we ask the bishop: With what charity, Monsegneur, do you intend to treat the faithful in your diocese who are desirous of living their faith according to the rhythm of the Extraordinary form of the Roman Rite?

There are at present two requests (for the EF) pending in the diocese, that of Angouleme which has survived the episodes at Genac and St Yrieix, and that of Cognac which had originally been submitted by the cathedral deanery, evaluated in the episcopal council, and which to this day remains a dead letter! If the situation at Angouleme is complicated by other matters* which have worried the Cathedral, it is more simple at Cognac. whose parish priest retires in August. At Angouleme the application of the Motu Proprio could be easily achieved by having recourse to the services of an Ecclesia Dei Institute (e.g.IBP or FSSP) but Mgr Dagens has always refused this assistance, even though it would represent a welcome injection of new blood into the deanery. At Cognac on the other hand, the 'stable group' awaits a new priest with determination and confidence that he will arrive with a copy of UE in his hands.
(* 'other matters' may be a politely veiled reference to the fact that Fr Braud was reported in Le Figaro (03.07.09) as being under investigation as the result of an accusation of improper behaviour, allegedly committed in the 1990s  when the three female accusers were minors. I have so far been unable to find out what happened as a result of that investigation.)

Apologies for any errors. Have to go out. Will do a check later.

The letter concludes with notification of PL's intention to conduct a poll in the Diocese of Angouleme
Angouleme Cathedral

Friday, June 17, 2011

The kind of bishop we need? Pt 2

Paix Liturgique letter on the situation of the EF in the Diocese of Angouleme

"1. The situation of the EF liturgy before 2007:
One of the paradoxes of the Angouleme diocese is that the traditional liturgy has now disappeared from parish life, even though it was still being celebrated before 2007. Without going back to the details of the 1980s when there was still a traditional Mass at Cognac and another at Angouleme, by 2005 there was only one Sunday EF Mass in the diocese. This was celebrated each week by Abbe Hervouet at either Lussac or Suaux, villages situated between Angouleme and Confolens.

Born in 1926, ordained in Angouleme in 1956, l'Abbe Eugene Hervouet was one of those old priests who had continued, come what may, but with faithful care of his parishioners to celebrate the Mass as on the day of his ordination. His last years were truly heroic as the Abbe was much weakened by sickness.  Since God called him home on January 2nd, 2006, the traditional liturgy has not been celebrated either at Suaux or at Lussac. Without entering into details, we will only say that the bishop did not waste a second in using his power as Ordinary to forbid any attempt to give continued life to the traditional Mass in these churches..

Outside the diocesan parish system, the Fraternity of the Transfiguration, a community friendly to the SPPX, celebrated two Sunday Masses at Angouleme which attracted a congregation of 100 faithful. Founded in the neighbouring Indre departement by Fr Lecareux, this Fraternity of the Transfiguration was called to Angouleme in 1988 to take responsibility for a Mass on the part of a diocesan priest, Abbe Chambaud. Their presence witnessed to the existence of a stable group attached to the traditional liturgy in Angouleme itself.
(My note. Mgr Dagens did not become bishop of Angouleme until 1993)

II. The false application (of the 2007 Motu Proprio) at Genac
On the publication of the 'Summorum Pontificum a 'stable group' fomed itself at Angouleme. At the beginning of 2008, that is fairly quickly according to the normal way of these things, the response of Mgr Dagens was to grant  the concession of a monthly Mass at the parish church of Genac 20 km from Angouleme. A Mass, yes, but not weekly and above all not at Angouleme: in brief, Mgr Dagens decided to apply in 2008, the Motu Proprio de.........1988 and not that of 2007. And to apply it moderately, Mgr Dagens being a moderate!

We remember that the Motu Proprio of John Paul II reserved to the bishop the power to grant permission for the traditional liturgy if he considered it appropriate, whilst that of Benedict XVI erected that right for priests and faithful. The bitter irony of this story is that Mgr Dagens had taken good care up to that point not to apply  the terms of the Motu Proprio of 1988., making it well known that the Ecclesia Dei Communities (e.g. IBP) were not welcome in his diocese. (my note: Proof of that claim is necessary  before it is mentioned in a report of this nature. I myself heard local gossip to this effect as early as 2002, but it remains gossip unless there is stated proof.)

The first Mass at Genac was a success since more than 70 people some of whom were journalists were present. One should add that the organisers had infringed the instruction of Mgr Dagens, that the event should not be advertised publicly, or the press alerted,  until 48 hours before the celebration of the Mass."

PL then reports that Mgr Dagens, incensed by the said infringement had retaken control of the situation by issuing a public comminique and by being interviewed on local radio. Outside the forty members of Genac parish there had been a further 20 from the surrounding area.

"The one black mark against this first Mass, made apparent to the participants and to viewers of the France 3 evening news programme was the advanced age of the celebrant chosen by Mgr Dagens: He was 87! He was not to be a high ranking cleric and the unspoken message was clear that such traditional Masses had a limited future. Moreover the choice of Genac was  hardly random since that village shelters the retirement home for diocesan priests, the same one to which Abbe Hervouet had gone on the eve of his death.
 In fact the pseudo-application of Summorum Pontificuam at Genac ended during 2009 with the death of the celebrant and his non-replacement."

Further points not included in the PL letter, but from the memory of my husband and myself. On the publication of Summorum Pontificum, Bishop Dagens had expressed his fear in the 'Charente Libre' that Pope Benedicts's Motu Proprio would be divisive in the French church. At the time of the first Mass at Genac, the same newspaper interviewed the old priest celebrant and he expressed lack of confidence that he would be able to remember with full accuracy, either the Latin or the rubrics of the old Mass.

Remaining parts of the PL letter in the next post.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The kind of bishop we need?

Bishop Ambrose Griffiths O.S.B. Requiescat in Pace

Before embarking on an English resume of the recent Paix Liturgique letter about the Diocese of Angouleme, I'd like to express my thanks to Fr Michael Brown at 'Forest Murmurs' , who June 15th recounted his personal experience of serving under Bishop Ambrose Griffiths (RIP), who was bishop of Hexham & Newcastle from 1992 until his retirement in 2004. Father refers to his Emeritus bishop as 'a true liberal', in the sense that although he didn't personally favour what we now know as the Extraordinary form of the Mass, he always gave permission for its celebration under the terms of the then Indult. These permissions were acts of pastoral charity to the few 'nostalgics' who hungered for the old ways. He held the view that there was no need to oppose the old form because it would eventually die out in any case.  I think we can safely say that he was right on the first count and that he showed himself not to be driven by an ideological 'liberal' agenda at the expense of concern for his entire flock. He used what the Church had given him to carry out his pastoral office. He seems to have been wrong on the second count but that is not relevant in the present context. I for one am grateful to Fr Brown for reclaiming the word 'liberal' and for using it in its true sense. Surely it should not be applied to people who are covertly or overtly in opposition to a free application of 'Summorum Pontificum'  and who publicly display intolerance towards it.

Meanwhile in Angouleme...................

First a disclaimer:
The Paix Liturgique letter is critical of Bishop Dagens and although it expresses its views in terms of irony rather than direct attack, it does lay out the truth of what has happened to the EF 'on his watch'.  Let it be understood that I am not anti my bishop, and I must say that liturgically, and at the ordinary parish level, things have improved vastly over the last five years. This is largely due, over the last three years, to Bishop Dagens' appointment to our Canton of about 24 (mostly rural) parishes, of a dedicated, reverent, holy, dedicated and energetic young priest. (There is no seminary in Angouleme so all Charentais candidates are formed at Bordeaux Seminary.) The letter does not make it clear enough that the Diocese is largely rural and therefore it is difficult for individuals in favour of the EF to get together and form a 'stable group'. Rather than argue the toss at local level, such people find it easier to drive to Bordeaux which is well served by the IBP (Institute of the Good Shepherd, an Ecclesia Dei Community). At the same time this enables one to think that there is no demand.

The PL  letter is a 6 page document, the first two and a half of which constitute an examination of Bishop Dagens' reputation as a moderate and as a great intellect; the grounds on which he was elected as a member of the Academie Francaise, (two documents presented to the French Bishops Conference in 1994 and 1996 respectively); how his publicly stated views differ from those of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI; and finally how his actions as regards the EF display  a fairly certain opposition to it. Whilst PL does not identify Bishop Dagens  as a 'dishevelled progressivist', it judges that his belief that the Church must continue to adapt herself to the modern world, and his optimism for her future if she does so, marks him out as being fundamentally 'a long way from John Paul II's denunciation of the"culture of death" and that of Benedict XVI against "nihilism".

The remaining pages of the letter are arranged under the following headings:
1. The situation of the 'Extraordinary Liturgy before 2007
2. The False Application (of Summorum Pontificum) at the village of Genac (2008)
3. The Experience of Saint-Yrieix-sur-Charente (2008-2010)
4  And Now?
5  The pending requests for the EF at Cognac and Angouleme.

Translation of these sections to appear in next post.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

ZENIT - Musical Wealth

ZENIT - Musical Wealth

An Interview with Cardinal Farina, the Director of the Vatican Library and Secret Archives. Recommended reading for those interested in the Church's musical patrimony.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The French priest who advocates the wearing of the soutane

Thanks to clues given me by Fr Michael Mary of Papa Stronsay, I've been able to discover the identity of this priest. He is another Fr Michel Marie (Zenotti Sorkine) and he is Cure of the parish of St Vincent de Paul in  Marseilles. The video clip which appeared on the 'Transalpine Redemptorists at Home' blog is from kto's series 'L'Esprit des Lettres'. Fr Michel Marie was interviewed on the programme because of his recently published book 'Man and Priest'.. To see the full interview, which tells you rather more about him and the success of his mission go to  this link. Once you enter the site, click on the kto programme in the right hand sidebar. Please be patient. There's quite a lot of preamble before  the proper interview.
You can read more about how Pere Michel Marie conducts his life and runs his parish here. Underneath the video, the combox is very revealing.

The Paix Liturgique Angouleme Diocese report translation is deferred but definitely not abandoned. That's the trouble with this Pontificate.There's just too much to deal with from day to day. I'm sure that occasionally the Holy Father himself is tempted to say the same. But he doesn't. And so we must press on.

Meanwhile thanks to Richard at 'Linen of the Hedgerow' for that clip of Cardinal Arinze on the subject of kneeling for communion.   Dear Bishops, please 'leave us in peace but not in pieces'.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Transalpine Redemptorists at home

Transalpine Redemptorists at home
Basically this is a lovely update on the Chartres Pilgrimage at present in progress, but re. French traditionalists -
see particularly the clip from a kto recording of an interview with a young priest, telling the truth, as he sees it, about why French priests and nuns should revert to wearing the soutane and the veil.  For those who don't read French his message is, 'Priests and nuns should make themselves visible if they want to reach the people! ' I'll look at the kto list and see if I can find out the identity of the priest interviewee. Earlier this week a British blogger accused our home-grown traditionalists of being smug. This young priest is anything but smug. My own reaction is to feel that the only smuggery appears in the facial expression of the interviewer.

TradiNews: [Paix Liturgique] Enquête dans le diocèse de "l'Immortel" Mgr Dagens, évêque d'Angoulème

TradiNews: [Paix Liturgique] Enquête dans le diocèse de "l'Immortel" Mgr Dagens, évêque d'Angoulème

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Mozart - Veni Sancte Spiritus, KV. 47

Some Mozart for tomorrow morning?

Gregorian Chant-Veni Creator Spiritus

Eve of Pentecost

Apart from putting up some appropriate music, I don't expect to be able to post again until late Tuesday afternoon.

Have a peaceful and blessed Pentecost Sunday everyone.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Paix Liturgique: Enquiry into EF provision in the Diocese of Angouleme

In its letter 286 Paix Liturgique begins investigations into the four French dioceses that have no provision for the EF at all. They are Langres, Mende, Viviers and Angouleme. The PL  letter arrived in my inbox this morning and conveyed the results of its first enquiry and was therefore of particular interest to me since Angouleme is my home diocese. PL describes the usual methods of keeping the EF from resurfacing, that is the ones described by Una Voce in its three reports since the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum.. Unfortunately I haven't time to translate it today, but will work on it over the weekend. Also PL is going to conduct a poll in our diocese and I'll certainly publish the results of that as soon as available.

Langres is in the Haute Marne in the north and its bishop Mgr Gueneley is two years away from retirement.
Mende and Viviers form a skein of three neighbouring dioceses running west to east - Rodez, Mende and Viviers. Bishop Blondel of Viviers is four years from retirement.

Mgr Claude Dagens, Bishop of Angouleme

Compared with the other three bishops, Mgr Dagens indeed appears moderate rather then 'progressive'. He is certainly no traditionalist either in liturgical or sartorial preferences. He is 71.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

'One woe doth tread upon another's heel, so fast they follow'

Hamlet's mother was speaking of the drowning of Ophelia, but the words Shakespeare gave to her describe my present feelings perfectly. Over the last week in France a man has been elevated to the episcopate who according to reliable reports does not subscribe to the teaching of the Magisterium and because of his relative youth he will be in that position for 18 years; in Scotland a senior prelate has, in a letter to his priests,  rubbished the authority of the Pope; and then to crown all this, Father Hunwicke has been informed that his ordination is 'deferred'. All this constitutes absolute nonsense. Fr Blake and 'Pastor in Valle' have registered  pained dismay on their blogs, the latter warning how damaging this development may be to the Ordinariate. Indeed he makes it clear that he knows, the Hunwicke situation has already done considerable damage.

People, particularly priests, come into the Church from outside, when they have grappled with the question of  Petrine authority. I know of no better description of that journey, that intellectual and spiritual fight,  than the one set forth by Mgr Vernon Johnson in 'One Lord, One Faith' (published between the Wars, I think)

The present state of affairs is crazy isn't it? We have bishops who do not recognise that authority, and yet a man who does recognise it is kept from ordination.

Yes, we should pray for Archbishop Conti and for Bishop Fonlupt of Rodez, but I know that I'll be spending more time tonight, praying for Fr Hunwicke.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I don't know why Fr Z pulled his post last night, but...............

That is, the one which gave his first reaction to the recent 'ad clerum' letter of Archbishop Conti. In case you didn't see it, the only proof I have of its existence is shown in my last night's combox conversation with Pelerin when I was trying to direct her to find it. I think it's possible that he removed it in order to make absolutely sure, or as sure as possible in these circumstances, that the priest who sent him a copy of the letter should be protected by anonymity. Fr Tim at 'The Hermeneutic of Continuity' says he received a copy too. Damian Thompson (Holy Smoke) also saw it, although he gives no clue as to how it came into his hands.

It really does seem as if we should let this thing take it's course, and that there is at least one priest, probably in the Glasgow Archdiocese, who is upset by his Archbishop's  expressed opinions and manner of 'dealing' with the SP and UE, and that over a long and gruelling period of timei. In the deleted post Fr Z said that the priest had pleaded with him not to be named. I'm sure we all want to do our best to respect his wishes.

But  attention is now riveted on our nuncio, and the eventual appointment of Archbishop Conti's successor.. Surely that can not be too far into the future. Prayer and fasting will continue to mark our days.

I read quite a fanciful notion on 'Rorate Caeli' tonight, namely that Pope Benedict has been told by his Guardian Angel that he has at least another ten years to reign and that he will therefore live longer than Leo XIII who died at the age of 93. The person who said this doesn't give any proof of what I'm sure we all pray will be the case.  Actually I have often wondered how Pope Benedict can be so calm, unhurried and serene. He may well have had conversation with his Angel, but he also has the faith to know that he will be allowed to remain with us as long as he can be effective in his God-given work.

Ad multos annos, dear Holy Father.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Orlandus Lassus: Missa "Tout les regretz" 5/5 Agnus Dei

Archbishop Conti of Glasgow and his letter to his priests

See WDTPRS in sidebar for the text the letter with Fr Z's comments.

Not really recovered from the Rodez appointment, the Archbishop leaves me totally speechless.



Sunday, June 5, 2011

LEADALL: Pope departs from Croatia "deeply impressed" - Monsters and Critics

LEADALL: Pope departs from Croatia "deeply impressed" - Monsters and Critics

Well, that's a vast relief, I must say! I mean that he got away safely. Deo gratias.

Tremendous storm over Zagreb

According to kto tv a terrible storm prevented the televising of the Holy Father's departure ceremony from Zagreb.


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Lying to Peter

I beheld this mosaic during my first visit to  St. Peter's Basilica at the beginning of last month. It is found  above the so-called Altar of the Falsehood and depicts the final part of the incident described in Acts 5: 1-11
The married couple Ananias and Saphira appeared separately before St. Peter and  in succession told him the same lie about income they had gained from the sale of a field. Ananias was immediately struck dead. Minutes later, Saphira appeared and totally unaware of her husband's fate, when St Peter asked her the same question about the funds, she repeated the lie, and was also struck dead. . 'The Seminarians Guide' has this to say about the mosaic: 'It is supposedly placed in front of the priest as he leaves the sacristy to celebrate Mass, a permanent reminder to him that he is called to give himself entirely to God and to the service of His people, and woe to the priest who selfishly withholds his promise.' And one might add, as MS and I agreed when standing before the mosaic, woe to anyone, priest or not, who lies to Peter, by concealing from him, the full truth of  a situation.

It is perhaps not the greatest work of art in St. Peter's and has been criticised because its colours are too vivid. Nevertheless the image and our thoughts about it have stayed with me ever since. I have thought also over the past days that another message is held in the fact that the two culprits told the same lie independently. Neither one could claim that the other was partly responsible and plead that as an excuse. In the end the decision to lie is personal whoever else has been involved. A very hard lesson, but easy to run away from.

Either the present successor of Peter has completely lost his marbles (higlly unlikely), or he has not been given the full facts of the case. Today I found a most useful pdf document issued by the USCCB and which explains exactly how bishops are chosen. See here  It's worth reading if you're not clear on any point. It also makes painfully apparent just how many opportunities there are at various levels of the selection process, for information to be 'edited' even before it gets to the Nuncio, let alone the Congregation. My researches today lead me to believe that the local Province of Clermont Ferrand to which Rodez belongs, must be largely responsible, certainly more so than the nuncio, Archbishop Luigi Ventura. Last night I was puzzled to discover that he was nuncio in Canada, moving to Paris at about the same time as Cardinal Ouellet went from Canada to Rome. Nuncio and Cardinal therefore must know each other quite well. Either the latter trusts the former, or if he doesn't then he would have been more careful about his recommendations. Further, 'Golias' a very left wing French journal, is slightly puzzled about Archbishop Ventura's 'docility' in sending on the locally favoured names to Rome. It also seems that several other priests had refused to accept the offer of the Rodez diocese. In any case  'Golias' is crowing about what has happened and closes its piece by saying 'The Tradis have every reason to be worried!'

Ubi Petrus ibi Ecclesia

Tomorrow I continue with the Novena to the Holy Spirit, pleading for all who have been involved in the Rodez appointment, and particularly for our dear Holy Father as he prepares to celebrate his diamond Jubilee of Ordination.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina "Viri Galilaei"

Ascension day in France

Today is a public holiday here in secular France, so whatever your liturgical arrangements I feel justified in wishing you all a happy and holy Solemnity. Next post on Sunday, DV.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Long overdue thanks and apologies to Pastor in Valle; reflections on the Rodez affair

I was alerted to the episcopal nomination of Mgr Fonlupt to Rodez , by Pastor in Valle's post on May 14.
If you haven't read that post, please do so. It explains why I found the news of such desperate concern, and proved, if proof were still needed, that there are people at the heart of the Vatican who are misinformed, deliberately or otherwise, by Nuncios 'in the field', and worse, that there are people there who are deliberately acting against the stated vision of our Holy Father. Simply, the Congregation for Bishops has announced a decision at total variance with Pope Benedict's repeatedly stated vision for the Church in the future. It is hard to believe that Cardinal Ouellet is a willing or knowing party in this most damaging situation and I suppose that there must be some around him who are laughing their way to the next general absolution.. At the very least, though, it casts doubt on the Cardinal's control of his Congregation. One can only pray that he has read the lettter from the Rodez priests, has realised that 'wool has been pulled' and has informed the Holy Father to that effect. It seems likely that it will be too late. But at least the Holy Father will know....................

It is easier to combat the wolves when you know where they are and what they are up to,  so that they may not sneak unawares into the fold and scatter the sheep. All the same one continues to pray that our holy shepherd Pope Benedict,  may not flee for fear of them.

I very much regret not having expressed gratitude to 'Valle Adurni' before now. I am really very sorry Father and can only plead pressure of work as an explanation of the omission.