Monday, December 26, 2011

Msgr. Georg Ratzinger on the Tridentine Mass



In what is likely to be my last post, at least for the foreseeable future, I would like to quote what Msgr. Georg Ratzinger - the Pope's elder brother - had to say about the liturgy, soon after the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum:


"One lives the liturgy with great intensity, and the modernists swear by their new discoveries. Everyone who cannot join in with the new then strikes back with equal violence. I must confess that as far as the liturgical realm is concerned many an awkward word has been dropped and many an awkward novelty has been introduced. However, I would not, as I said, condemn the liturgical reform in its entirety.


With the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum by Pope Benedict XVI the celebration of the so-called Tridentine Mass has been freely given as an extraordinary rite for all the faithful without special permission. I myself often receive letters from people from Munich, Regensburg and from other places, for whom it is truly an inner concern to be able to celebrate the old liturgy again. Certain people did not succeed in finding themselves in the new liturgy. Helping such people is I believe a concern. I must confess that I personally have few problems, but there are people of deep religiosity who cannot be reconciled to the new liturgy. They simply miss a lot that their liturgical celebration and their faith used to enliven and deepen, and that is missing in the current liturgy." (31 August 2007 published on the Wiener Zeitung)


Points to reflect and ponder upon...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

How not to interpret & implement Vatican Council II


It was pointed out to me that earlier this week, the Malta Environment & Planning Authority (MEPA) board confirmed a decision it took in August whereby 50 parish churches throughout Malta and Gozo were scheduled as grade one buildings. In terms of the scheduling, only restorative works will be allowed to take place on both the internal and external of the building and that even such works can only be carried out with MEPA’s approval and monitoring. In my opinion, this is a step forward although admittedly I do not know the fine details of such a scheduling.


The Maltese Curia has however sought a reconsideration and further discussion, arguing that scheduling should be based on the individual characteristics of each church. Here, I also tend to agree with the Curia. It is what the architect representing the Curia said that I totally disagree with.


He explained that churches were places of worship - not monuments - and therefore changes might be required over time in line with changes to the liturgy, as had happened in the past. The architect specifically pointed out to changes made inside churches in the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council.


Isn't it ironic that the architect condones changes that, at most, should have meant the addition of an altar table? But is this what happened in reality? Hardly so...


a) are we therefore to think that the Curia is in agreement with changes that meant the removal of artistic gates, altar rails, side altars, etc. in a number of churches, including ones built hundreds of years ago?


b) are we to witness again the replacement of stained glass windows with ordinary coloured glass as has happened in a particular parish? The reason given by its parish priest being that the church did not have enough sunlight during the day?


c) and how about the many churches that are being used as stores? In a particular case that I saw with my own eyes, the building that used to serve as a parish church was used as a storage place for, among other things, beer! Yes, beer to be used during the typical band march that is a characteristic of patron saints' feasts in these islands. Not to mention that this church's old baptismal font was thrown away...


In my opinion, the Curia's architect shot himself in the foot when he mentioned the 'changes' made in some churches following Vatican II as a sort of justification. In many cases, these 'changes' amounted to vandalism and nothing else. And surely that was not the way to interpret and implement Vatican II in Malta.


On a more postive note, it is encouraging to note that in the Diocese of Gozo, a number of restoration works have taken place on old altars in the past months. This augurs well.


Concluding, I wish everyone, in particular all the readers and members of Pro Tridentina (Malta), a Blessed Christmas and a serene 2012.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera on Communion


Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera recently recommended that Catholics:

"receive Communion on the tongue and while kneeling. ... It is to simply know that we are before God himself and that He came to us and that we are undeserving ..."

(Communion in this way) “is the sign of adoration that needs to be recovered. I think the entire Church needs to receive Communion while kneeling. In fact, if one receives while standing, a genuflection or profound bow should be made, and this is not happening.”

“If we trivialize Communion, we trivialize everything, and we cannot lose a moment as important as that of receiving Communion, of recognizing the real presence of Christ there, of the God who is the love above all loves, as we sing in a hymn in Spanish.”

“Bishops have a unique responsibility ... and we must not fail to fulfill it, because everything we do to ensure that the Eucharist is celebrated properly will ensure proper participation in the Eucharist.”

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Goodbye Mgr. Depasquale


This morning I was thinking of drafting a letter to Mgr. Annetto Depasquale regarding some important matters. It was not to be. In the afternoon, I heard of the sudden dead of Bishop Depasquale.

Bishop Annetto Depasquale passed away this afternoon, aged 73. It is indeed a sad loss for us all Maltese Catholics. Many of us have benefitted in one way or another from his advice, guidance or his welcome smile. Personally, I will miss that handshake and beaming smile although I last met him in 2007.

Bishop Depasquale was the epitome of humility and prudence. He was soft spoken and avoided the front rows, but his views and advice manifested the depth of his wisdom and his ability to grasp the core of situations. The Archdiocese of Malta has lost a highly intelligent and erudite priest.

Over the years he served the Church in pastoral duties with the Church Commission for Children’s Homes, the Pastoral Research Services, besides assisting in the parish of St George in Qormi and the English speaking community in Malta. He taught Canon Law in the Faculties of Theology and Laws of the University of Malta. He became Chancellor on 6 August 1977 and Pastoral Secretary on 14 April 1986. On 9 January 1989 he was appointed Vicar General and on 16 November 1998 His Holiness Blessed Pope John Paul II nominated him Titular Bishop of Aradi and Auxiliary Bishop of Malta.

Mgr. Annetto Depasquale, R.I.P.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Wara ż-żewġ Pastorali għall-Avvent...

Nistqarr li l-Pastorali ta' l-Arċisqof Pawlu Cremona għall-Avvent ma tantx ħassejtha turi imħabba ta' ragħaj lejn parti mill-merħla tiegħu. L-Arċisqof jaf tajjeb li:

  • Pro Tridentina (Malta) dejjem uriet - u se tibqa' turi - ubbidjenza lejn il-Papa u lejn l-Arċisqof.
  • għadd ta' saċerdoti użaw il-media sabiex jattakkaw lil min għandu għal qalbu dan ir-Rit, inkluż attakki fuq saċerdoti ħuthom. U li f'ċerti każi dawn ta' l-aħħar qed jiġu mwarrba u redikolati.
  • Pro Tridentina (Malta) tat stampa veritiera lis-Santa Sede dwar is-sitwazzjoni f'Malta, minkejja li kien hemm min kien se jikteb lill-Papa Benedittu XVI li f'Malta m'hawn ħadd li jrid il-Quddiesa bil-Latin.
  • Pro Tridentina (Malta) kienet - u għadha - disponibbli li tassisti lill-Knisja sabiex dan ir-Rit jingħata l-post li jixraqlu, dejjem f'konformita' max-xewqa ta' Papa Benedittu XVI kif imniżżla f'Summorum Pontificum u Universae Ecclesiae.
Huwa stramb għalhekk il-fatt li meta f'Malta hawn qawmien mill-ġdid għar-Rit Tridentin, b'għadd ta' Quddies f'postijiet differenti, għal żmien l-Avvent kelli nassisti għal lingwaġġ (ara hawn taħt) li jweġġa'. U li għawweġ il-fatti (lajċi f'Malta kienu diġa' attivi mill-1907 - jew insejnih lil San Ġorġ Preca u s-Soċjeta' tal-M.U.S.E.U.M.?). U t-tfal se nbeżżawhom bil-Latin qisna fi żmien il-Babaw?

MILL-ITTRA PASTORALI GĦALL-AVVENT – IL-KURAĠĠ LI NIĠĠEDDU

Xi drabi anke l-istess komunitajiet tal-Knisja bħal donnhom iħossuhom komdi jserrħu fuq dak li s-soltu jsir u jippreferu jkunu ripetittivi fil-messaġġ u fir-ritwal. Hemm min qed jagħlaq għajnejh għall-preżent, medhi bin-nostalġija tal-imgħoddi. F’ħafna każi għadna nitkellmu b’lingwaġġ u nużaw metodi tal-bieraħ, u dan minkejja li nafu li qed nirriskjaw bil-kbir, għax huma lingwaġġi u metodi li llum ma jinftehmux. Dan qed jissagrifika l-messaġġ tal-Vanġelu! Għaldaqstant, jekk ma noqogħdux attenti, anke fil-knisja nistgħu “nitqaddu”, il-liturġija ssir teatrin, il-knisja nirrenduha mużew tal-istorja!

Il-Konċilju Vatikan II, li l-Knisja bdiet tiċċelebra ħamsin sena ilu, kien esperjenza qawwija tal-Ispirtu li fetħet orizzonti ġodda u kbar. Dakinhar l-Ispirtu s-Santu bejjet żerriegħa ġdida li, jekk inħalluha tnibbet u tikber, kapaċi tagħti wiċċ isbaħ lill-Knisja u lis-Soċjetà! Imma ġara li “xi żerrigħat waqgħu mal-mogħdija u ntrifsu, u l-għasafar tal-ajru naqqruhom kollha. Oħrajn waqgħu fuq il-blat, u nibtu u nixfu, għax tira ma kellhomx. Oħrajn waqgħu qalb ix-xewk, u x-xewk kiber magħhom u ħanaqhom. Oħrajn waqgħu f’art tajba, u nibtu u għamlu l-frott kull waħda mija” (Lq 8:5-8). Il-Konċilju kellu jkun qawwa kbira ta’ “aġġornament” tal-Knisja. Kif darba stqarr il-Papa tal-Konċilju, Pawlu VI, “il-Knisja kollha għandha tadatta ruħha għall-ħtiġijiet ġodda tad-dinja; fid-dawl tat-tagħlim tal-Konċilju, il-Knisja kollha hija impenjata għal dan it-tiġdid spiritwali u organizzattiv”.

Napprezzaw li frott ta’ dan il-Konċilju, fil-Knisja lokali saru diversi riformi, bħal, per eżempju, l-aġġornament fil-Liturġija u l-mod kif tiġi ċċelebrata bis-sehem aktar attiv tal-poplu, is-sehem tal-lajċi fil-qasam aktar wiesa’ tal-Katekeżi u tad-Djakonija, l-attenzjoni tal-Knisja lokali għall-ħtiġijiet tas-soċjetà, kif ukoll l-attenzjoni tagħha għal dawk l-aktar imbegħdin, l-insara mifrudin u saħansitra dawk li jħaddnu reliġjonijiet oħra jew li ma jħaddnu ebda twemmin. Imma billi xi żerriegħa waqgħet fuq il-blat u qalb ix-xewk, forsi din għadha ma tatx il-frott kollu mixtieq.

MILL-ITTRA PASTORALI TAL-AVVENT GĦAT-TFAL

Ħamsin sena ilu fil-Knisja kien hemm mument sabiħ meta il-Papa ta’ dak iż-żmien sejjaħ lill-Isqfijiet kollha tad-dinja biex jiltaqgħu flimkien fil-Vatikan ħalli bħala rgħajja jaraw kif l-insara tad-dinja kollha jistgħu jgħixu aħjar fuq it-tagħlim ta’ Ġesù. Dan kien mument qawwi tal-Ispirtu s-Santu tant li t-tagħlim li ħareġ dak iż-żmien għadu jgħodd sal-lum. Pereżempju fejn qabel il-quddiesa ma kien jifhimha ħadd għax kienet bil-Latin, illum issir bil-lingwa tal-post biex hekk kulħadd ikun jista’ jieħu sehem fil-quddiesa u jifhem dak li jkun qed isir u jingħad. Dak iż-żmien kienu biss is-saċerdoti li jgħallmu u jmexxu fil-knisja. Minn dak iż-żmien il-lajċi wkoll bdew jagħtu s-sehem tagħhom fil-ħidma tal-Knisja; pereżempju illum għandna rġiel u nisa jew żgħażagħ li jgħallmuna l-katekiżmu, li jqarbnu fil-Knisja u anke jmorru jqarbnu lill-morda fid-djar.

*****************

Bħala President ta' Pro Tridentina (Malta) ma nistax ma nittamax li din il-Pastorali kienet sforz żelu żejjed għax il-Knisja se tiċċelebra għeluq il-50 sena tal-Konċilju Vatikan II. U nittama li bħalma l-Kurja diġa' fasslet serje ta' attivitajiet biex tfakkar dan l-avveniment, ma tħallix barra żewġ avvenimenti kbar oħra li l-2012 taħbat egħluq il-50 sena tagħhom:

  • Il-Missal Ruman tal-Beatu Ġwanni XXIII (jiġifieri il-Missal tar-Rit Tridentin) u
  • l-Kostituzzjoni Appostolika Veterum Sapientia dwar l-istudju tal-Latin, promulgata mill-istess Papa tal-Konċilju.
U nafu li l-Beatu Ġwanni XXIII huwa Papa għal qalb ħafna l-Arċisqof tagħna...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

FIUV XX General Assembly: a brief report

(Address by Leo Darroch, FIUV President. Photo: courtesy St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association)

Saturday 5 November 2011

On Saturday morning, delegates and a number of distinguished guests (including Suor Margherita Marchione, MPF and Princess von Thurn und Taxis) attended the Tridentine Mass in St. Peter's Basilica. This was celebrated by Cardinal Dario Castrillón Hoyos (President Emeritus of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei) in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel. The text of his sermon can be found in the previous post (in Italian). Mons. Pablo Collino, Maestro Emeritus of the Julian Chapel Choir was in choir.

Just after Mass, I held private talks in the Apostolic Palace.

Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke (Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature) joined the FIUV delegates for lunch. After lunch, His Eminence gave his benediction to those present.

In the afternoon, the XX General Assembly of the Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce started with the Address by its President, Leo Darroch. The 7 new member organisations were presented, they are:

  • Ecclesia Dei Society of St. Joseph (Philippines),
  • Una Voce Japan,
  • Una Voce Portugal,
  • Una Voce Natal (Brazil),
  • Una Voce Cuba,
  • Una Voce Albaruthenia (Belarus), and
  • Una Voce Ucraina (Ukraine).

Leo Darroch was reconfirmed for a further term as President by acclamation.

The newly elected Council (including Pro Tridentina (Malta)'s representative) then proceeded to select the following officials:

  • Vice-Presidents: Jack Oostveen (the Netherlands), Jason King (USA) and Patrick Banken (France).
  • Treasurer: Monika Rheinschmitt (Germany).
  • Secretary: Thomas Murphy (Ireland).

Rodolfo Vargas Rubio (Spain) had earlier renounced his post as Secretary due to health reasons. He however remains as a Councillor. I would like to take this occasion to thank Rodolfo for the hard work he devoted to our cause and the assistance he gave Pro Tridentina (Malta) in the past years.

Sunday 6 November 2011

In the morning, delegates assisted at a solemn Tridentine Mass celebrated by Fr. Joseph Kramer, FSSP at the Personal Parish of Santissima Trinita' dei Pellegrini.

In the afternoon, the FIUV General Assembly held an open forum at which a number of speakers delivered papers. They were:

  • Fr. Joseph Valluari, FDP, who read a paper on the “private prayers” that the Priest says during Mass.
  • Don Stefano Carusi, IBP, about the spirit and progress of the Institute of the Good Shepherd.
  • Dr. Helmut Ruckriegel, a founder member of FIUV, gave a brief history of our organisation.
  • Rev. Dr. José-Apeles Santolaria de Puey y Cruells, JCD (ABD), HistL, SMOM, on the value of Romanitas in the Traditional movement and the Roman Rite as a factor of Civilisation in the Western World.
  • Mons. Valentín Miserachs, President of the Pontifical Institute for Sacred Music, on Sacred Music and the Centenary of the Pontifical Institute.
  • Fr. Joseph Kramer, FSSP, gave statistics regarding the Priestly Fraternity.
  • Canon Joseph Luzuy of the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest, about the progress of the Institute.


The XX General Assembly ended with the chant of the Salve Regina and the benediction by the priests present.

Godwin Xuereb
President, Pro Tridentina (Malta)
Councillor, Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce

Omelia della S. Messa di S. Maria in Sabato Dario Card. Castrillón Hoyos


Omelia della S. Messa di S. Maria in Sabato
per inaugurare la XX Assemblea Generale della
Federazione Internazionale “Una Voce”

Basilica di San Pietro
Cappella del SS.mo Sacramento
Sabato 5 novembre 2011

Dario Card. Castrillón Hoyos


Sia Lodato Gesù Cristo!

Saluto il Dr. Leo Darroch, Presidente della Federazione Internazionale “Una Voce”, i signori delegati della XX Assemblea Generale e tutti i fedeli presenti.

Ringrazio particolarmente il Presidente Darroch per il gradito invito a presiedere questo solenne Pontificale che cade, tra l’altro, in occasione del quarto anniversario della promulgazione del Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum di Sua Santità Benedetto XVI.

Cari fratelli e sorelle,

sono veramente lieto di essere qui tra voi per esprimere un sentito ringraziamento alla Divina Provvidenza che non manca mai di soccorrere i suoi figli che l’invocano fidenti; nello stesso tempo manifestiamo sincera gratitudine al nostro amato Santo Padre Benedetto XVI che con la sua lungimirante sollecitudine pastorale ha riconsegnato alla Chiesa universale il sacro Rito Gregoriano, dandogli nuova fioritura dopo molti lustri di oblio.

“Consta infatti che la liturgia latina della Chiesa nelle varie sue forme, in ogni secolo dell'età cristiana, ha spronato nella vita spirituale numerosi Santi e ha rafforzato tanti popoli nella virtù di religione e ha fecondato la loro pietà”, così Benedetto XVI (MP Summorum Pontificum).

Nell’obbedienza, ossequio e rispetto verso il Magistero della Chiesa, in sommo grado nei confronti del Supremo Magistero petrino, si attualizza nella vita di ogni credente il proposito fondamentale della sequela Christi.

In tale ottica si innesta la retta comprensione dei doveri e dei diritti dei fedeli che nella sacra liturgia trovano la loro forma di espressione più eminente, esplicitando con la forza santificante dell’azione sacramentale il vero culto al Dio altissimo, Creatore e Signore dell’universo.

Il Santo Padre Benedetto XVI, del quale è nota la profonda sensibilità liturgica, ha frequentemente ribadito con il suo alto Magistero l’importanza della liturgia e del suo retto uso, affinché nella diversità delle forme cultuali possa risplendere la ricchezza dei tesori di fede e spiritualità della Sposa di Cristo, poiché “il rapporto tra mistero creduto e celebrato si manifesta in modo peculiare nel valore teologico e liturgico della bellezza. La liturgia, infatti, come del resto la Rivelazione cristiana, ha un intrinseco legame con la bellezza: è veritatis splendor (Benedetto XVI, Es. Ap. Sacramentum Caritatis, n.35).

Il Rito Gregoriano con la sua solennità e sublimità di contenuti indubbiamente costituisce una forma eccellente per innalzare a Dio le lodi che gli sono dovute, dando nello stesso tempo ai fedeli una più profonda percezione del Mistero che si celebra.

Una tale magnificenza non è dovuta semplicemente a una somma di dati esteriori e di indole puramente estetica, piuttosto sgorgando e alimentandosi di una profonda interiorità.

Possiamo affermare che in tal modo si contempera il dovere di offrire a Dio nel modo più consono il tributo di adorazione e di lode proprio della sua Maestà con i diritti dei fedeli nel poter esprimere al meglio la loro aspirazione di mettere in atto adeguatamente siffatto proposito.

Nell’ascoltare l’odierno brano evangelico di San Luca non deve affatto destare meraviglia se alle parole di lode che la donna del popolo rivolge alla Madre del Salvatore - “Beato il grembo che ti ha portato …” (Lc 11, 27) - , questi risponde ricordando la beatitudine dell’obbedienza alla parola di Dio.

Così argomentando, infatti, il Signore Gesù non si discosta per nulla dall’affermazione di elogio diretta alla S. Vergine; piuttosto la rafforza, sottolineando quella preclara virtù di totale oblazione che in lei rifulge più che in ogni altra creatura, a tal punto da contrassegnare con essa i primordi della redenzione dell’umanità.

Nello stesso tempo ci rammenta come la Santa Vergine sia stata eletta dalla Beata Trinità quale modello e guida di coloro che nulla antepongono alla salvezza eterna; è proprio imitando l’obbedienza fedele della Madre del bell’amore che la nostra obbedienza di viandanti in cerca di Dio riesce a trovare un sentiero sicuro che possa condurci al sommo bene.

Siamo certi di poter dire che l’obbedienza a Dio passa per l’obbedienza a Maria, tanto che nella sincera devozione a così eccelsa Regina si manifesta in modo eloquente la predilezione verso le creature che hanno compreso questo ammirabile segreto dello spirito.

A tal proposito San Luigi Maria Grignion de Montfort, nel suo Trattato della Vera Devozione a Maria, richiamandosi al libro dei Proverbi (Pr 8,32), scrive:

“… i predestinati seguono le vie della Vergine Santa, loro Madre, e cioè la imitano. Proprio in questo sono veramente felici e devoti, e posseggono il segno infallibile della loro predestinazione, come dice loro questa Madre amorevole: Beati quelli che seguono le mie vie” (S. Luigi Maria Grignion de Montfort, Trattato della Vera Devozione a Maria, n.200).

Il singolare compendio di ogni virtù con il quale la divina sapienza ha adornato la Santissima Vergine, è come il riflesso di quella umiltà ineguagliabile che l’ha resa Sovrana di grazia e Madre di misericordia presso il cuore di Dio.

L’obbedienza della Beatissima Vergine è il fiore odoroso germogliato nel solco di questa sua insondabile humilitas che inebria soavemente ogni anima desiderosa di renderle omaggio e chiederle aiuto e protezione.

Il Santo Dottore della Chiesa Alfonso Maria de Liguori delinea alcuni importanti principi teologici sul ruolo di Maria Santissima a favore del popolo cristiano:

“Chiamando Maria Mediatrice ho inteso chiamarla tale, solo come Mediatrice di Grazia, a differenza di Gesù Cristo, che è il primo e l’unico Mediatore di Giustizia. Chiamando Maria Onnipotente …, ho inteso nominarla tale, in quanto ella come Madre di Dio ottiene da Lui colle sue preghiere quanto domanda a beneficio dei suoi devoti … Chiamando Maria nostra Speranza, ho inteso di chiamarla tale, perché tutte le grazie (come afferma S. Bernardo) passano per le sue mani” (cfr. S. Alfonso Maria de Liguori, Le Glorie di Maria, Parte I, Sopra la Salve Regina, Protesta dell’Autore).

L’anima obbediente a Dio - sull’esempio di Maria SS.ma – è tutta compresa dal desiderio di compierne la volontà a qualunque costo. In null’altro del resto consiste l’amore delle creature come ci ricorda lo stesso Salvatore:

“Chi accoglie i mie comandamenti e li osserva, questi mi ama” (Gv 14, 21).

San Tommaso d’Aquino in riferimento a tale affermazione del Signore scrive:

“…c’è qualcuno il quale ha i comandamenti di Dio nel cuore, mediante il ricordo e l’assidua meditazione … Però questo non basta, se poi non li osserva nell’operare … Alcuni hanno i comandamenti sulla bocca, per recitarli e per esortare… Anche costoro devono però osservarli nelle opere … Altri poi hanno i comandamenti negli orecchi e li ascoltano volentieri e con diligenza … Ma neppure questo basta, se essi non li osservano” (San Tommaso d’Aquino, Commento al Vangelo di San Giovanni, XIV, § 1933).

Se è vero che il culto più gradito a Dio è quello dell’adesione alla sua santa volontà, nello stesso tempo non si può non tener conto della straordinaria importanza del culto esterno di cui la Sacra Liturgia costituisce il mezzo di attuazione privilegiato.

La diffusa prassi di abusi in campo liturgico negli anni del post - concilio ha determinato profonde ferite nella Chiesa, esautorando la preminenza di quello spirito di obbedienza al Magistero della Chiesa che dovrebbe immancabilmente caratterizzare espressione di fede.

“L’ars celebrandi scaturisce dall’obbedienza fedele alle norme liturgiche nella loro completezza, poiché è proprio questo modo di celebrare ad assicurare da duemila anni la vita di fede di tutti i credenti” (BENEDETTO XVI, Esort. Ap. Sacramentum Caritatis, n. 38).

Sappiamo come il cosiddetto “spirito del concilio” costituisca per alcuni uno strumento per propugnare pretestuose rivendicazioni volte ad imporre inquietanti modi di pensare e di agire; costoro si rendono responsabili di pericolose derive teologico- pastorali che danneggiano concretamente la vita di fede del popolo di Dio.

La Sacra Liturgia, in particolare, è sovente oggetto di arbitrarie interpretazioni che ne stravolgono la natura e i fini, causando sofferenza e disorientamento nei christifideles, divenuti spettatori attoniti di prassi marcate da forme bizzarre di esasperata creatività.

Cari fedeli,

in questo fausto giorno anniversario del vostro pio sodalizio, sorto per amore a Gesù e alla sua Chiesa, offriamo le nostre preghiere perché la voce del Vicario di Cristo sia da tutti ascoltata e amata.

Imploriamo dalla Santa Madre di Dio, umile e alta più che creatura, quei sentimenti di umiltà e di obbedienza che Dio chiede alle anime devote, affinché tutta la nostra vita sia una liturgia di lode nell’adempimento gioioso della divina volontà.


Sia Lodato Gesù Cristo!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Another Tridentine Mass in Valletta!


Organised by the

Għaqda Dilettanti Mudelli ta' Knejjes A.D. 1986

http://www.freewebs.com/ghaqda_dilettanti_knejjes/

Church of the Augustinian Nuns' Monastery of St. Catherine, Valletta

Wednesday 9 November 2011 at 18:00.

Celebrant - Rev. Fr. Marc Andre' Camilleri.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sit uffiċċjali


Pro Tridentina (Malta) tixtieq tinforma li s-sit uffiċċjali li kien http://www.protridentina.org/ issa tneħħa. Għal aġġornamenti wieħed għandu jara dan il-Blog jew il-Grupp fuq Facebook. Grazzi.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Until further notice...

... I won't be posting on this Blog. This is due to other commitments and projects that are being undertaken. I apologise in advance to those who might not receive an early reply to their messages and queries.

FAQs: How to apply Summorum Pontificum in Malta & Gozo


In the fifth and final part of this series about the Extraordinary Form of the Mass in the Maltese islands, I will attempt to explain how Mass can be celebrated in the two dioceses, based on the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum and the Instruction Universae Ecclesiae. I advise Maltese Catholics to familiarise themselves with these two important documents.

FAQ 1. May individual religious communities celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Mass without permission of their superiors major?

Yes, Article 3 of Summorum Pontificum states,

"Communities of Institutes of consecrated life and of Societies of apostolic life, of either pontifical or diocesan right, wishing to celebrate Mass in accordance with the edition of the Roman Missal promulgated in 1962, for conventual or "community" celebration in their oratories, may do so. If an individual community or an entire Institute or Society wishes to undertake such celebrations often, habitually or permanently, the decision must be taken by the Superiors Major, in accordance with the law and following their own specific decrees and statues."

So a religious house could offer the Extraordinary Form of the Mass on special occasions even without the permission of their superior major. They would only need this permission if they wished to celebrate it very often, probably, for example, if there was a desire for daily or weekly Masses. Clearly superiors are encouraged to offer generous access to the Tridentine Mass in the pastoral spirit of the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI. This is more or less what is already happening in St. Theresa's Church, Cospicua.

FAQ. 2 May a bishop prohibit people from attending the private Masses of priests offering the Extraordinary Form of the Mass?

Absolutely not. Article 4 of Summorum Pontificum is clear,

"Celebrations of Mass as mentioned above in art. 2 may - observing all the norms of law - also be attended by faithful who, of their own free will, ask to be admitted."

FAQ. 3 Can a parish or other place request more than just private Masses?

Yes, if there is a "stable group of faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical tradition," which would mean that there is a sufficient number in the parish - or "different parishes or dioceses," - who are committed to the ancient Mass and desire it on a regular basis, then the Holy Father states, "the pastor should willingly accept their requests to celebrate the Mass according to the rite of the Roman Missal published in 1962 . . ."

"Different parishes or dioceses" was inserted in Universae Ecclesiae following pressure from traditional Catholics particularly from Malta. I can say this with authority, so to speak, having been involved in informal discussions with the Roman Curia for the previous 18 months. Persuasion was the keyword here as the motu proprio did not cater so much for realities such as the local one. Now it needs to be concretely applied in Malta and Gozo to bear the desired fruit.

So the parish priest by all means should grant the request of the faithful unless there is some real reason that he absolutely cannot. If there is some temporary reason why this cannot be granted, Article 7 of the motu proprio provides that,

"If a group of lay faithful, as mentioned in art. 5, has not obtained satisfaction to their requests from the pastor, they should inform the diocesan bishop. The bishop is strongly requested to satisfy their wishes. If he cannot arrange for such celebration to take place, the matter should be referred to the Pontifical Commission 'Ecclesia Dei.' "

So Rome has pledged assistance through the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei to making sure that assistance is offered to the faithful in this situation. It is here that, in my view, Maltese have encountered a stumbling block at a local level which hopefully should be solved without further delays.

FAQ. 4 In cases where there is to be a publicly scheduled Mass in the Extraordinary Form, is the bishop's permission required?

No. This is not at all implied in the letter. The letter specifically leaves this up to the pastor or rector of the Church, who is to be guided by the Bishop. The motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, under Article 5 states,

"In parishes, where there is a stable group of faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical tradition, the pastor should willingly accept their requests to celebrate the Mass according to the rite of the Roman Missal published in 1962, and ensure that the welfare of these faithful harmonises with the ordinary pastoral care of the parish, under the guidance of the bishop in accordance with canon 392, avoiding discord and favouring the unity of the whole Church."

So the Bishop, as always, must guarantee the unity of the faithful. The pastor is the one who grants the permission, but he does so under the watchful eye of the bishop, who makes sure that all is done in charity and respect for the Faith of the Church. This guidance, however, does not imply that the pastor needs permission of the Bishop. As the Holy Father himself has stated, the Missal of Pope John XXIII was not abrogated, nor could it be abrogated. He has also stated that the excuse that the Extraordinary Form of the Mass is divisive is unfounded; in the motu proprio, he stated very clearly,

"In the second place, the fear was expressed in discussions about the awaited Motu Proprio, that the possibility of a wider use of the 1962 Missal would lead to disarray or even divisions within parish communities. This fear also strikes me as quite unfounded. "

Unfortunately, locally there have been many misinterpretations of Article 5 that have led to a considerable number of Tridentine Masses either being cancelled or granted permission in extremis.

FAQ. 5 Does the motu proprio allow for daily Masses in the Extraordinary Form?

Yes it does. Article 5 of Summorum Pontificum is clear,

"Celebration in accordance with the Missal of Blessed John XXIII may take place on working days ..."

FAQ. 6 Is there any resource that Bishops can use to help satisfy requests for the Extraordinary Form in their dioceses?

Yes. They have the ability according to section 8 of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum to, "refer the problem to the Commission 'Ecclesia Dei' to obtain counsel and assistance."

If I am allowed to add my two Euro cents' worth, the best thing our Bishops could do for a wider dissemination of the Extraordinary Form is to ensure that more traditional teaching methods in seminaries, in particular in the areas of liturgy and the Latin language, take place. Especially because there is a demand both from laity, seminarians and priests. More than might be expected. Hopefully this will be done soon, according to feedback I have received from Rome.

FAQ. 7 What if particular parishes wish only the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass?

Admittedly, this might be unrealistic in Malta, at least for the short to mid-term. However, this is allowed for under the motu proprio. As the Holy Father states in Article 10 of the Summorum Pontificum,

"The ordinary of a particular place, if he feels it appropriate, may erect a personal parish in accordance with can. 518 for celebrations following the ancient form of the Roman rite, or appoint a chaplain, while observing all the norms of law."

Pope Benedict XVI himself has set the example when, as Bishop of Rome, he erected a personal parish.

FAQ. 8 Can specifically Novus Ordo Missae practices, such as Communion in the hand or altar girls, be done at Extraordinary Form Masses?

No, they only apply to the Novus Ordo Missae.

Concluding, let us hope that our Bishops would accede to the wishes of many Catholic faithful and in this way enhance the unity of the Church under Pope Benedict XVI.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My worries as a Maltese Catholic

In this fourth article of the series about the Tridentine Mass, I want to share some of my experiences. I grew up without the Tridentine Mass and was therefore surprised when - during the time as an altar boy in St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican 30 years ago - I served the Novus Ordo Missae in Latin with the priest facing the altar and his back towards the congregation. I dismissed it as simply a necessity because of the way altars are in this Basilica.

I loved the Latin liturgy back then (altar boys at the Vatican had to learn the Novus Ordo Missae in Latin and Italian, it is my understanding that nowadays they learn it in English and Italian) and did not like the continuous changes that I experienced in many masses in Malta. Not to speak about laxity in a number of churches.

What amazes me nowadays in Malta is the real hostility that any expression of a desire for the Tridentine Mass raises. The mere mention of Latin seems to mark the speaker as a subversive weirdo. The Bishops’ response to Pope Benedict XVI’s Moto Proprio Summorum Pontificum and the Instruction Universae Ecclesiae has been less than enthusiastic at best. It almost seems that the Church in Malta is afraid that the people will create a schism! Still you hear in various Masses music coming directly from so-called Christian groups that in some cases use subtle language against the Catholic Church. So much for lex orandi, lex credendi!

The propaganda that the Tridentine Mass was unintelligible to the people has been sold to such an extent that even people who should remember it will claim that they did not know what was being said. Well, I still remember and understand most of the Novus Ordo Missae in Latin and I haven't attended one since 1981. Please note, that means when I was 11 years old.

Hebrew, Sanskrit, Classic Arabic, Old Church Slavonic, etc., are all used as sacred languages by their respective religions. They have the advantage of adding solemnity, authority and consistency to the rites in which they are used. We used to have a sacred Language for Holy Mass too. I wish that it will be revived in Malta once again. If not out of conviction, at least out of respect for His Holiness.

(Note: the photo is not taken in Malta)

Archbishop Annibale Bugnini on the Novus Ordo Missae


Msgr. Annibale Bugnini, (14 June 1912 – 3 July 1982) was a Roman Catholic prelate and the main person behind the introduction of the Novus Ordo Missae. One of his most famous quotes (L’Osservatore Romano, 19 March 1965) is the following:
"We must strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren that is for the Protestants.”

However, it must be said, for the record that these are not the exact words of Bugnini.What follows are the actual words in bold (the clear ecumenical goals aimed for in the liturgical reform of the liturgical prayers on Good Friday are evident):

The 7th prayer [of the new rite for Good Friday] bears the title: 'For the Unity of Christians' (not 'of the Church', which was always one.) No longer used is the pariah 'heretics' and 'schismatics' but 'all brethren who believe in Christ...' Scholars think to shed light on biblical and liturgical sources from which the new texts are derived or inspired, which the Study Groups of the "Council" accomplished by using a chisel. And let's say that often the work proceeded 'with fear and trembling' by sacrificing terms and concepts so dear, and now part of the long family tradition. How not to regret that 'Mother Church - Holy, Catholic and Apostolic - deigned to revoke' the seventh prayer? And yet it is the love of souls and the desire to help in any way the road to union of the separated brethren, by removing every stone that could even remotely constitute an obstacle or difficulty, that has driven the Church to make even these painful sacrifices."

Friday, August 26, 2011

Pope John Paul I and the Tridentine Mass


Albino Cardinal Luciani was elected 33 years ago (26 August 1978) and died on 28 September of the same year, amid rumours that he had been assassinated.


Pope John Paul I was also reported to have been ready to restore the Tridentine Mass, notwithstanding earlier opposition during the time he served as Patriarch of Venice. The late Fr Gommar De Pauw, the founder of the Catholic Traditionalist Movement in New York City on 15 March 1965, reported that within days after John Paul I's election, the priest was unexpectedly summoned to the Vatican to participate on a commission to restore the Tridentine Mass. Unfortunately, John Paul I died before the commission could meet.


It is interesting to note that, after John Paul I's death, the man whom he had selected to organise the restoration of the Tridentine Mass fell into obscurity. Most traditional Catholics today do not even know who the 'founder' of their movement in 1965 was, i.e. Fr Gommar De Pauw. They have also forgotten the Pope who was to be the "traditional" whom they had prayed for, John Paul I.


Godwin Xuereb
President, Pro Tridentina (Malta)
The picture above shows a holy card with the prayer that the Bishop of Belluno composed to obtain Albino Luciani's beatification. It has a small relic from the clothing of Pope John Paul I. Holy cards can be requested at Centro Papa Luciani: centro@papaluciani.it

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Flash News: SSPX Delegation in Malta





A delegation from SSPX has (allegedly) arrived in Malta yesterday and is holding discussions to establish a presence here.


After their (alleged) first visit earlier this year, I had contacted the General House of the SSPX in Menzingen, Switzerland. However, the news was neither denied nor confirmed.

In any case, none of the four bishops of this Fraternity has come to Malta.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Some fallacies...





The third article in the series about the Tridentine Mass deals with some fallacies that I encounter related to Latin and the Tridentine Mass:


a) Latin is a universal dead language now. Latin is called dead for it does not change such as all the modern languages do, that is why the Roman Catholic Church still uses it. Latin is far from extinct, it provides the true form and root for understanding many legal and medical terms. It is also one of the official languages of the Holy See. And yes, you do not need to know Latin to appreciate this form of the Mass. There are Missals available in Latin with translation into other languages. And even if these are not available, do all the opera goers (to mention one classic example - pun intended) necessarily understand each and every language used in the preformances?


b) The Tridentine Mass is a cause of division among the faithful. This is the preferred argument used by some of the clergy in Malta who are vehemently opposed to this Mass. And yet they fail to acknowledge -or ignore the fact - that other than the Latin Mass there are many valid liturgical rites in the Catholic Church such as the Byzantine, Alexandrian, Syriac, Armenian, Maronite, and Chaldean. I will not attempt here to go into related issues like the fact that Baroque churches in Valletta - originally built for Tridentine Masses - are being used by the Orthodox and the Copts, but are 'not allowed' for Tridentine Masses.


c) Too much symbolism in the Tridentine Mass. This argument is used by some “who make the case for the Novus Ordo Missae” in the sense that this form is closer to the early Christian Mass. But then they do not document or explain what these arguments are. Indeed, studies show that the Last Supper had the sacrificial order of a Jewish Passover where each act had a deep symbolism beyond any language. This ritualistic form itself expressed a sacredness that is lacking in modern “social celebrations.” Also, they fail to mention the rich tradition of papal documents such as St. Pius V Quo Primum stating the reasons for the decree of the liturgical Latin Missal in 1570.


The way I see it: in the Tridentine Mass it is clear that along with the Eucharistic thanksgiving the priest is making a sacrificial offering to God and asking for His forgiveness and divine blessings; there is an intrinsic sense of sacredness in which the soul seeks its Divine Maker. The parts of the mass are clearly marked and depict a specific form in its words, the priest and altar positions; also, the rite is specific in the particular use of candles, Gregorian hymns, incense, communion rail and bells which serve to call and elevate all the senses to a heightened state of adoration into the eternal realm. The triple repetition of many prayers call for the triune God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost and help to bring back the memory and attention of the faithful.



In all of these acts that include the physical senses, the emotions, the will and the reason I find a complete participation of being, which purpose is the surrender in charity to God. It is a sense of recollection in which each person is apart from the world to find communion with God in union with the faithful -and from which love of God springs the love of neighbour.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sentire cum Ecclesia



Although imbued with fresh ideas, Pro Tridentina (Malta) forges its whole outlook on traditional Catholic principles.


Like all the founders of similar lay movements, we are innovatory rather than revolutionary. The distinction has to be made clear. The revolutionary tries to pull down the present order of things to set up a new one, having nothing to do with the past. The innovatory loves tradition and wants to ruminate its past in order to renew the present order.

Our whole mission can be summarised by a "sentire cum Ecclesia", an empathy with the Church, currently under Pope Benedict XVI and our shepherds Archbishop Paul Cremona and Bishop Mario Grech.

Godwin Xuereb

President

Pro Tridentina (Malta)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Fourth Anniversary of Pro Tridentina (Malta)

Below: One of the first designs for the badge of Pro Tridentina (Malta) by Ivan Vassallo. Today is the fourth anniversary of the official founding of Pro Tridentina (Malta). Prior to this event, there was no lay movement in favour of the Tridentine Mass in Malta or Gozo.



The developments that led to the founding can be traced back to November 2006. At the time, Abbé Armand de Malleray, from the FSSP, contacted a number of Maltese aiming to develop something concretely in this country. I am eternally greatful to Fr. de Malleray for the help he gave me and others at the time.



A first informal meeting was held on 21 April 2007 to determine the way forward. This was followed by another informal one on 20 July 2007 i.e. a week after the publication of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. Four years ago, the first official meeting was held.



Since then, we can say that the Tridentine Mass is becoming, albeit slowly, a reality in Malta. Pro Tridentina (Malta) was accepted as a member of the International Federation Una Voce (FIUV) in 2009.


Not everything has been positive. Some members have since left, the Catholic Church in Malta is still not favourably inclined to a wider, regular celebration of the Extraordinary Form. The media still presents a different picture than the reality is, namely that young people in Malta are among the most fervent followers of this form of the Mass.



But today, looking back at the past four years, one can be filled with hope that more progress will be achieved.



Ad multos annos Pro Tridentina (Malta)!




Sunday, July 31, 2011

Some differences between the Tridentine Mass and the Novus Ordo Missae



Sometimes I am asked this silly question: "Which is better, the Novus Ordo Missae or the Tridentine Mass?" Silly questions usually deserve silly answers, but in the second article of the series, I will try to explain some (evident) differences between the two Forms of the Roman Rite.


First of all, fundamentally, all valid Masses from a Pontifical Solemn High Mass to a 'Neocatechumenal Way' Mass all have the same value, that is to say Christ offering Himself to the Father on our behalf. Whether, however, the photo above of a so-called Youth Mass (with lay persons having the clown nose) can be deemed as reverent, I think the answer is an obvious NO!


From my limited understanding and experience, the Tridentine Mass more fully represents a sacrificial nature than does the Novus Ordo. The following are the main, basic differences:


a) Ad Orientem posture: This indicates that the prayers of the Mass, while some are said for our benefit, are not to us, but to the Father. The Priest, in the Person of Christ, is praying to the Father, not announcing to us.


b) Prayers at the foot of the altar: These prayers are reminiscent of the prayers the High Priest would say before entering the Holy of Holies. The priest would do this to purify himself from sin in order to make a worthy offering for the people. The priest says the prayers at the foot of the Altar for the same reason. Note that he does this before the Introit, recognising that he is a sinner and that he comes as a servant.


c) Motions: The motions are much more reverent, more genuflecting and the like, and a small motion that was started due to necessity but that can have great meaning attached. The Deacon and subdeacon hold the edge of the Chasuble when the Priest incenses the altar.


d) Offertory: This part of the Mass has changed a lot. Supposedly this had to with the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, on the grounds that it was a needless repetition, and that it was confusing when the wafer became the Hostia! This is nothing less than the preparation of the Victim, and if one reads through the Pentateuch (and visualises the sacrifice) and sees a Tridentine Mass the link becomes clear.


e) Silence: This argument is the same as the argument for Ad Orientem posture, this is not about us, it is about God. This silence is real, part of the Rite, and encourages contemplation. Silence in the Novus Ordo is far less and it seems imposed and unnecessary. How much silence is kept by the congregation during the Novus Ordo should also be taken into account.


f) Communion: In the Tridentine Mass, the Christian kneels, and humbly receives the Sacred Host, the Lord of Heaven and Earth. In the Novus Ordo it depends on the whims of the priest: standing, or kneeling, in the hand, in the mouth, distributed by Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, etc.


In Malta, we can increase the unity of the Church by bringing the Novus Ordo more in line with tradition. We could also incorporate better music (i.e. more traditional) and an ad orientem posture (especially in the old churches). This would increase reverence in the Mass and decrease narcissism. It would also help the Novus Ordo priest’s humility, as quite a number of Masses have become more of the 'Father XYZ Show'.


Other ideas could be to limit the role of lay persons as too often serving at Mass has become a status position or a position of pseudo authority in the Church. A far better way to assist at Mass is through interior participation.


Finally the insistence of a more reverent attitude regarding the dress code at Mass (especially during the hot summer months in these islands), talking while in the Church, and more Orthodox teaching would bring more people in line with Church teaching and lessen fear and distrust of the Tridentine Mass.


People, young people especially, really crave authenticity. The answer is to gradually return to organically developed practices that were developed over the past two milienia, that is the Tridentine Mass. We need to allow the richness of the organic rite to influence the Novus Ordo Missae (which was not organically developed, it was written up by a committee) and purge all elements of the Novus Ordo which are less in line with our Catholic Tradition.


More will follow in a later post.


Godwin Xuereb

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Holy Mass in Malta since 1969: a brief history

Since July 2007, slowly but surely, a number of articles in the Maltese media appeared that showed growing intolerance towards the Tridentine Rite. Alas, a number (if not the majority) were penned by well known priests. These articles are continuing to increase, although in a more subtle form. The time has come to set the record straight as many Maltese are still unaware of the developments that are happening in Malta and elsewhere. This is the first article of a series.



In 1969 Pope Paul VI introduced a new rite of the Mass for the Latin Rite Church that was apparently binding on all Catholics – priests, bishops, religious and laypeople. It was then – and is still the case to a great extent in Malta – widely believed that it has been forbidden for a priest to say the Tridentine Mass – unless he had special permission to do so, with a document called an “Indult.”



The introduction of a new rite caused widespread confusion, discouragement, division, disillusionment and destruction – even the closure (or selling) of churches in many countries. This situation did not reach the Maltese shores except for one major common factor with the rest of the Catholic world: more than half of Catholics in Malta have stopped going to Mass altogether since the new rite of Mass was introduced, albeit the introduction of the vernacular was supposed to encourage more participation by the faithful. Not to mention the destruction, in a number of cases, of a number of church furnishings such as altar rails.



A false impression was created throughout almost all the Catholic world by very high Church officials that by virtue of holy obedience all priests after 1969 had to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass according to the Novus Ordo Missae. In Malta, the first people that approached the Archbishop of the time were asked not to pursue matters further because any concessions might lead to schisms.


At the same time, efforts were made by Catholics around the world and, notwithstanding hurdles, a number of milestones were achieved:



a) the so-called Agatha Christie Indult (the permission granted in 1971 by Pope Paul VI for the use of the Tridentine Mass in England and Wales);



b) an attempt by Pope John Paul I, within days after his election, to summon a commission to restore the Tridentine Mass. Unfortunately, John Paul I died before the commission could meet.



c) Quattuor abhunc annos (1984) - this granted an indult for bishops to authorise celebration of the Tridentine Mass according to the 1962 Missal.



d) The first President of FIUV, Dr. Eric de Saventhem was instrumental in convincing Pope John Paul II in 1986 to convoke a special Commission of Cardinals to investigate the situation concerning the celebration of the Tridentine Mass. This Commission consisted of these nine Cardinals: Ratzinger, Mayer, Oddi, Stickler, Casaroli, Gantin, Innocenti, Palazzini and Tomko. It reached the following conclusions:



1) the Tridentine Mass was never forbidden to be said by a Catholic priest in good standing; and furthermore,



2) no one – not even a religious superior, bishop or Cardinal – could forbid a priest from saying the Tridentine Mass.



e) Pope John Paul II's 1988 Ecclesia Dei adflicta established the PCED to address concerns arising from activities of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and his followers and aimed at facilitating a wider access to the Tridentine Mass.


The developments under Pope Benedict XVI have been well documented in this Blog and elsewhere so there is no need to elaborate further here.



Pro Tridentina (Malta) has been in discussion with the Church for a number of years in the hope that the current Pontiff's wishes are adhered to. We are still not yet there but we are moving in the right direction.



Let us pray so that the spiritual as well as temporal benefits of the Tridentine Mass will be available to these islands again, sooner rather than later.




Godwin Xuereb

Friday, July 22, 2011

Tridentine Mass in Valletta

It is with immense joy that I was informed that this week a Tridentine Mass took place at the Church of the Jesuits, in Valletta. Unfortunately, I came to know about it only later on in the day by the same priest who celebrated it. Thanks to this Blog - at least blogs can be useful tools sometimes :-) - we got in touch and had the opportunity to discuss various topics of common interest.

I trust that this event will be the first of a series of others.


Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum, benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui Iesus. Sancta Maria mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Karm Debattista's perspective on the Holy Mass


The following quotes come from Karm Debattista (pictured above), a Maltese priest of the Missionary Society of Saint Paul (M.S.S.P.). I am taking the liberty to post them as they were in the public domain (replies on an event on Facebook). No editing was done and typos were left. Any further comments from my end are superfluous.


In the near future I will be commenting on how I personally view the Holy Mass (both forms of the Roman Rite) and the current situation in Malta.


Godwin


4 July 2011, replying to a query why he said "count me out" when invited to attend Mass in the Extraordinary Form:


"it does not suit me at all. I believe the mass as it is now is already outdated let alone the tridentine. Sorry, but it will never do for me. Need to live in 2011"



6 July 2011, replying to a query on what a 'future' Mass means to him:


"A relation with God that, as Jesus said, requires only adoring God in spirit and in truth."


11 July 2011, replying to a further query on his position about the Holy Mass:


"... I am saying that I live in 2011. The Catholic Church has in history deviated from the original meaning of the Eucharist and so Vatican II has come to reform these deviations."


11 July 2011, reacting to comments about the spirituality of the Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form and abuses in the Ordinary Form:


"... And do you think that all these details matter at all? I always wonder if we have the same Gospel and how we understand Jesus words when I read such things. But do not worry. God is very patient with us."

11 July 2011, reacting to comments on the unfairness with which traditional Catholics are labelled as schismatics when it is more a question of them being secluded by Church authorities:

"when we create one way of doing things we create schisms. I believe Jesus came to remove the right or wrong way of doing things. And not just the way to do it but even the place to do it. He calls us to adore in Spirit and in Truth, and not in the temple or on the mountain. We have ears, but we do not hear."

Friday, July 15, 2011

Avviż importanti rigward Quddies Tridentin f'Malta

Fid-dawl ta' xi kummenti li qed isiru, l-aktar fuq Facebook, nixtieq niċċara dan li ġej.

Pro Tridentina (Malta) normalment ma torganizzax Quddies bil-Forma Straordinarja. Li għamilt jien fil-passat kien li meta nkun infurmat b'Quddies li se jsir, noħloq event fuq Facebook u avviż fuq dan il-Blog sabiex nagħti pubbliċita'. Jidher li din l-inizjattiva mhux dejjem intlaqgħet tajjeb.

Għalhekk, minn issa 'l quddiem mhux se noħloq aktar events fuq Facebook jew il-Blog dment li ma jkunx quddies organizzat minn Pro Tridentina (Malta) nnifisha.

Ħassejt li kelli nieħu din id-deċiżjoni drastika sabiex nissalvagwarda lil Pro Tridentina (Malta) li fl-aħħar mill-aħħar kienet qed tipprovdi dan is-servizz sabiex jitqawwem aktar l-għarfien f'Malta dwar il-Quddiesa bil-Forma Straordinarja.


Sfortunatament, minflok il-grazzi naqalgħu kważi tgħajjir minn min suppost jaf aħjar.

Godwin Xuereb
President

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Important Notice - Tridentine Mass Cancelled



The Tridentine Mass that was originally to be held on the 16th July 2011 on the occasion of the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel at St. Theresa Church, Cospicua has been cancelled.

Wednesday, June 29, 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 - When the Archbishop laid his hands on me, a lark sang a joyful song




In his essential and limpid autobiographical account published in 1997 – the original German is entitled Aus meinem Leben. Erinnerungen 1927-1977 (Milestones: Memoirs 1927-1977) – Joseph Ratzinger remembers with vivid simplicity his ordination to the priesthood. The great German Catholic Cardinal, Michael von Faulhaber (1869-1952), distinguished biblicist and patrologist, Archbishop of Munich and Freising from 1917, who during the dark years of the Third Reich had become one of the most courageous critics of Hitler’s regime, laid his hands on the 24-year old deacon in June 1951 and on his older brother Georg and 42 other young men.



“We were more than forty candidates, who, at the solemn call on that radiant summer day, which I remember as the high point of my life, responded “Adsum”, Here I am. We should not be superstitious; but, at that moment when the elderly archbishop laid his hands on me, a little bird—perhaps a lark—flew up from the high altar in the cathedral and trilled a little joyful song. And I could not but see in this a reassurance from on high, as if I heard the words “This is good, you are on the right way.” There then followed four summer weeks that were like an unending feast. On the day of our first Holy Mass, our parish church of Saint Oswald gleamed in all its splendor, and the joy that almost palpably filled the whole place drew everyone there into the most living mode of “active participation” in the sacred event, but this did not require any external busyness. We were invited to bring the first blessing into people’s homes, and everywhere we were received even by total strangers with a warmth and affection I had not thought possible until that day. In this way I learned firsthand how earnestly people wait for a priest, how much they long for the blessing that flows from the power of the sacrament. The point was not my own or my brother’s person. What could we two young men represent all by ourselves to the many people we were now meeting? In us they saw persons who had been touched by Christ’s mission and had been empowered to bring his nearness to men. Precisely because we ourselves were not the point, a friendly human relationship could develop very quickly.”




A priest for sixty years, Joseph Ratzinger carries out daily, with humility and transparence, the work of making the one Lord of the world and of history present to women and men of our time. For this, the Osservatore Romano offers Benedict XVI its best wishes, sure that its sentiments are echoed not only by those in the Catholic Church but by many others throughout the world. And repeats for him the words of the ancient prayer for the Pope, invoking Christ’s protection and the only happiness that counts: Dominus conservet eum, vivificet eum, beatum faciat eum in terra et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius.



Godwin's comment: on this special occasion and being also the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, to my mind comes also the hymn dedicated to these two apostles:



"O felix Roma, quae tantorum principum es purpurata pretioso sanguine, non laude tua, sed ipsorum meritis excellis omnem mundi pulchritudinem"