Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Quotes to reflect upon (11)

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Venerable Pope Pius XII celebrating Holy Mass


The liturgical movement is thus shown forth as a sign of the providential dispositions of God for the present time, of the movement of the Holy Ghost in the Church, to draw men more closely to the mysteries of the faith and the riches of grace which flow from the active participation of the faithful in the liturgical life.
 ...

As We have said in the encyclical Mediator Dei, the liturgy is a vital function of the Church as a whole, and not of a single group or “movement” only: “The sacred liturgy is the public worship of the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ in the entirety of its Head and members.” 
… 

Therefore everything is directed towards God, His service and His glory. The Church, filled with the gifts and the life of God, devotes itself with an interior and spontaneous movement to the adoration and praise of the infinite God, and through the liturgy, renders Him, as from a society, the worship that is due to Him.
… 


The solemn liturgical ceremonies are, besides, a profession of faith in action. They express the great truths of faith concerning the inscrutable designs of God’s generosity and His inexhaustible goodness to men, concerning the love and mercy of the heavenly Father for the world, to save which He sent His Son and delivered Him to death. Thus, the Church in the liturgy abundantly dispenses the treasures of the “deposit of faith,” the truth of Christ.

The care of the hierarchy extends still further to everything which contributes to the greater beauty and dignity of the liturgical ceremonies, whether in the matter of places of worship, of furnishings, of liturgical vestments, of sacred music or sacred art.

...

1) The Action of Christ

What is this principal action of the eucharistic sacrifice? We have spoken of it explicitly in the Allocution of November 2, 1954. We then quoted, first, the teaching of the Council of Trent:


In this divine sacrifice which takes place at Mass, the same Christ is present and is immolated in an unbloody manner who on the cross once and for all offered Himself in a bloody manner . . . . For the victim is one and the same, now offering Himself through the ministry of priests, who then offered Himself on the Cross; only the manner of offering is different.


We then continued in these terms:


Therefore it is the priest-celebrant, and he alone, who, putting on the person of Christ, sacrifices: not the people, nor clerics, nor even priests who reverently assist. All these, however, can and should take an active part in the sacrifice.

 ...

2) The Presence of Christ

Anyone who adheres sincerely to this doctrine does not think of the formulating objections against the presence of the tabernacle on the altar. In the Instruction of the Holy Office “On Sacred Art” of June 30, 1952, the Holy See insists, among other things, on this point:


This Supreme Sacred Congregation strictly commands that the prescriptions of Canons 1268, par. 2, and 1269, par. 1, be faithfully observed: “The Most Blessed Sacrament should be kept in the most distinguished and honorable place in the church, and hence as a rule at the main altar unless some other be considered more convenient and suitable for the veneration and worship due to so great a Sacrament. . . . The Most Blessed Sacrament must be kept in an immovable tabernacle set in the middle of the altar.”


It is not so much to the material presence of the tabernacle on the altar as to a tendency toward a lesser esteem for the presence and the action of Christ in the tabernacle that We would like to draw your attention. The sacrifice of the altar is considered sufficient, and the importance of Him who accomplished it is diminished. But the person of the Lord must occupy the centre of worship, for it is that which unifies the relations of the altar and the tabernacle and gives to them their meaning.

3) The Infinite and Divine Majesty of Christ

In conclusion we would like to add two observations on “the liturgy and the past” and “the liturgy and the present time.”

The liturgy and the past. In the matter of liturgy, as in many other spheres, one must avoid two extreme attitudes with regard to the past: a blind attachment and a complete contempt. There are found in the liturgy unchangeable elements, a sacred content which transcends time, but also elements which are variable and transitory, and sometimes even imperfect. The present-day attitude of liturgical milieux towards the past seems to Us in general to be entirely sound: there is investigation, serious study, attachment to that which truly deserves it, without, moreover, a falling into excess. Here and there, however, there appear ideas and erring tendencies, oppositions, enthusiasms or condemnations with whose concrete from you are well acquainted and of which We have said a word above.

The liturgy and the present time. the liturgy confers on the life of the Church, and even on the whole religious attitude of today, a characteristic mark. Above all, one notices an active and intelligent participation by the faithful in liturgical actions. On the part of the Church, the liturgy today admits of a preoccupation with progress, but also with conservation and defence. She returns to the past without slavishly copying it, and creates anew in the ceremonies themselves, in the use of the vernacular, in popular chant and in the building of churches. It would be, however, superfluous to recall once again that the Church has serious reasons for retaining steadfastly in the Latin rite the unconditional obligation of the celebrating priest to use the Latin language, and, likewise, for insisting that the Gregorian chant at the holy sacrifice shall be in the language of the Church. The faithful, on their part, are concerned with responding to the measures taken by the Church, but in so doing they adopt profoundly different attitudes. Some will show readiness, enthusiasm, occasionally even a too active desire, which demands interventions of authority. Others will show indifference and even opposition. Thus is manifested the diversity of temperaments, as also preferences for individual piety or for community worship.


Allocution by Pope Pius XII, taken from The Assisi Papers: Proceedings of the First International Congress of Pastoral Liturgy, Assisi-Rome, September 18-22, 1956. Published as a Supplement to Worship, by The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minn, 1957: pp. 223-236.


Monday, December 7, 2015

Hall of Honour (6): Fr Martin Borg OCD

Fr Martin Borg has a very good and clear knowledge about the life and the person of St Theresa of Avila. He is also an accomplished artist and has restored several ecclesiastical works of art around Malta.
 
Fr Borg was also involved in acquiring a new bell for the St. Theresa's Church in Cospicua.

According to Article 3 of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum:

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.
Fr Martin is one of those who has implemented this Article. He regularly celebrates Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and has also - on occasions - celebrated Mass for members of Pro Tridentina (Malta).

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Blessed Paul VI's address on the Novus Ordo Missae


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The below is an interesting address by Blessed Paul VI given 46 years ago. Given on the eve of the introduction of the Novus Ordo Missae, the concerns and arguments expressed by the Pope are still relevant half a century later (emphasis ours). And some of his words were not heeded, especially as far as Sacrosanctum Concilium is concerned.


Changes in Mass for Greater Apostolate
Address to a General Audience, 26 November 1969

Our Dear Sons and Daughters:

1. We ask you to turn your minds once more to the liturgical innovation of the new rite of the Mass. This new rite will be introduced into our celebration of the holy Sacrifice starting from Sunday next which is the first of Advent, 30 November [in Italy].

2. A new rite of the Mass: a change in a venerable tradition that has gone on for centuries. This is something that affects our hereditary religious patrimony, which seemed to enjoy the privilege of being untouchable and settled. It seemed to bring the prayer of our forefathers and our saints to our lips and to give us the comfort of feeling faithful to our spiritual past, which we kept alive to pass it on to the generations ahead.

3. It is at such a moment as this that we get a better understanding of the value of historical tradition and the communion of the saints. This change will affect the ceremonies of the Mass. We shall become aware, perhaps with some feeling of annoyance, that the ceremonies at the altar are no longer being carried out with the same words and gestures to which we were accustomed—perhaps so much accustomed that we no longer took any notice of them. This change also touches the faithful. It is intended to interest each one of those present, to draw them out of their customary personal devotions or their usual torpor.

4. We must prepare for this many-sided inconvenience. It is the kind of upset caused by every novelty that breaks in on our habits. We shall notice that pious persons are disturbed most, because they have their own respectable way of hearing Mass, and they will feel shaken out of their usual thoughts and obliged to follow those of others. Even priests may feel some annoyance in this respect. 

5. So what is to be done on this special and historical occasion? First of all, we must prepare ourselves. This novelty is no small thing. We should not let ourselves be surprised by the nature, or even the nuisance, of its exterior forms. As intelligent persons and conscientious faithful we should find out as much as we can about this innovation. It will not be hard to do so, because of the many fine efforts being made by the Church and by publishers. As We said on another occasion, we shall do well to take into account the motives for this grave change. The first is obedience to the Council. That obedience now implies obedience to the Bishops, who interpret the Council's prescription and put them into practice. 

6. This first reason is not simply canonical—relating to an external precept. It is connected with the charism of the liturgical act. In other words, it is linked with the power and efficacy of the Church's prayer, the most authoritative utterance of which comes from the Bishop. This is also true of priests, who help the Bishop in his ministry, and like him act in persona Christi (cf. St. Ign., ad Eph. I, V). It is Christ's will, it is the breath of the Holy Spirit which calls the Church to make this change. A prophetic moment is occurring in the mystical body of Christ, which is the Church. This moment is shaking the Church, arousing it, obliging it to renew the mysterious art of its prayer.

7. The other reason for the reform is this renewal of prayer. It is aimed at associating the assembly of the faithful more closely and more effectively with the official rite, that of the Word and that of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, that constitutes the Mass. For the faithful are also invested with the "royal priesthood"; that is, they are qualified to have supernatural conversation with God.

8. It is here that the greatest newness is going to be noticed, the newness of language. No longer Latin, but the spoken language will be the principal language of the Mass. The introduction of the vernacular will certainly be a great sacrifice for those who know the beauty, the power and the expressive sacrality of Latin. We are parting with the speech of the Christian centuries; we are becoming like profane intruders in the literary preserve of sacred utterance. We will lose a great part of that stupendous and incomparable artistic and spiritual thing, the Gregorian chant. 

9. We have reason indeed for regret, reason almost for bewilderment. What can we put in the place of that language of the angels? We are giving up something of priceless worth. But why? What is more precious than these loftiest of our Church's values?

10. The answer will seem banal, prosaic. Yet it is a good answer, because it is human, because it is apostolic.

11. Understanding of prayer is worth more than the silken garments in which it is royally dressed. Participation by the people is worth more—particularly participation by modern people, so fond of plain language which is easily understood and converted into everyday speech. 

12. If the divine Latin language kept us apart from the children, from youth, from the world of labor and of affairs, if it were a dark screen, not a clear window, would it be right for us fishers of souls to maintain it as the exclusive language of prayer and religious intercourse? What did St. Paul have to say about that? Read chapter 14 of the first letter to the Corinthians: "In Church I would rather speak five words with my mind, in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue" (I Corinthians 14:19).

13. St. Augustine seems to be commenting on this when he says, "Have no fear of teachers, so long as all are instructed" (P.L. 38, 228, Serm. 37; cf. also Serm. 229, p. 1371). But, in any case, the new rite of the Mass provides that the faithful "should be able to sing together, in Latin, at least the parts of the Ordinary of the Mass, especially the Creed and the Lord's Prayer, the Our Father" (Sacrosanctum Concilium n. 19).

14. But, let us bear this well in mind, for our counsel and our comfort: the Latin language will not thereby disappear. It will continue to be the noble language of the Holy See's official acts; it will remain as the means of teaching in ecclesiastical studies and as the key to the patrimony of our religious, historical and human culture. If possible, it will reflourish in splendor. 

15. Finally, if we look at the matter properly we shall see that the fundamental outline of the Mass is still the traditional one, not only theologically but also spiritually. Indeed, if the rite is carried out as it ought to be, the spiritual aspect will be found to have greater richness. The greater simplicity of the ceremonies, the variety and abundance of scriptural texts, the joint acts of the ministers, the silences which will mark various deeper moments in the rite, will all help to bring this out. 

16. But two indispensable requirements above all will make that richness clear: a profound participation by every single one present, and an outpouring of spirit in community charity. These requirements will help to make the Mass more than ever a school of spiritual depth and a peaceful but demanding school of Christian sociology. The soul's relationship with Christ and with the brethren thus attains new and vital intensity. Christ, the victim and the priest, renews and offers up his redeeming sacrifice through the ministry of the Church in the symbolic rite of his last supper. He leaves us his body and blood under the appearances of bread and wine, for our personal and spiritual nourishment, for our fusion in the unity of his redeeming love and his immortal life.

17. But there is still a practical difficulty, which the excellence of the sacred renders not a little important. How can we celebrate this new rite when we have not yet got a complete missal, and there are still so many uncertainties about what to do?

18. To conclude, it will be helpful to read to you some directions from the competent office, namely the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship. Here they are: "As regards the obligation of the rite:

1) For the Latin text: Priests who celebrate in Latin, in private or also in public, in cases provided for by the legislation, may use either the Roman Missal or the new rite until 28 November 1971. If they use the Roman Missal, they may nevertheless make use of the three new anaphoras and the Roman Canon, having regard to the provisions respecting the last text (omission of some saints, conclusions, etc.). They may moreover recite the readings and the prayer of the faithful in the vernacular. If they use the new rite, they must follow the official text, with the concessions as regards the vernacular indicated above.

2) For the vernacular text. In Italy, all those who celebrate in the presence of the people from 30 November next, must use the Rito della Messa published by the Italian Episcopal Conference or by another National Conference. On feast days readings shall be taken: either from the Lectionary published by the Italian Center for Liturgical Action, or from the Roman Missal for feast days, as in use heretofore. On ferial days the ferial Lectionary published three years ago shall continue to be used. No problem arises for those who celebrate in private, because they must celebrate in Latin. If a priest celebrates in the vernacular by special indult, as regards the texts, he shall follow what was said above for the Mass with the people; but for the rite he shall follow the Ordo published by the Italian Episcopal Conference.

19. In every case, and at all times, let us remember that "the Mass is a Mystery to be lived in a death of Love. Its divine reality surpasses all words. . . It is the Action par excellence, the very act of our Redemption, in the Memorial which makes it present" (Zundel).


With Our Apostolic Benediction. 
(L'Osservatore Romano, Weekly Edition in English 4 December 1969)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Pope St. John Paul II on Prayer



https://tomperna.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/jp-ii-praying-the-rosary.jpgnew page with prayers in Latin and English has been added on this website. It is interesting to read also the below piece by Pope Saint John Paul II:

What is prayer? It is commonly held to be a conversation. In a conversation there is always an “I” and a “thou” or “you”. In this case the Thou is with a capital T. if at first the “I” seems to be the most important element in prayer, prayer teaches that the situation is actually different. The “Thou” is more important because our prayer begins with God. In his letter to the Romans, St. Paul teaches precisely this. According to the Apostle, prayer reflects all created reality; it is in a certain sense a cosmic function.

Man is the priest of all creation; he speaks in its name, but only insofar as he is guided by the Spirit. In order to understand profoundly the meaning of prayers, one should meditate for a long time on the following passage from the Letter to the Romans:
For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God; for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it, in hope that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now; and not only that, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. (Romans 8:19-24)  
And here again we come across the Apostle’s words:
The Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings. (Romans 8:26)
In prayer, then, the true protagonist is God. The protagonist is Christ, who constantly frees creation from slavery to corruption and leads it towards liberty, for the glory of the children of God. The protagonist is the Holy Spirit, who “comes to the aid of our weakness”. We begin to pray, believing that it is our own initiative that compels us to do so. Instead, we learn that it is always God’s initiative within us, just as Saint Paul has written.

Much as been written about prayer, and further, prayer has been widely experienced in the history of humankind, especially in the history of Israel and Christianity. Man achieves the fullness of prayer not when he expresses himself, but when he lets God be most fully present in prayer.

(Crossing the Threshold of Hope, pp 16-18)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

EXCLUSIVE: Benedict XVI to celebrate Tridentine Mass?

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He may do so during this Holy Year of Mercy. One has to admit that if a celebration of the Tridentine Mass by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI indeed takes place, this would raise the question, once again, of what is Pope Benedict's true position on the Tridentine Mass.

A number of distinct personalities (including Dr Alice von Hildebrand) have asked him, over the years, his opinion on this Mass, but Benedict XVI never gave a full, unambiguous answer. 

Prior to his election as Pope, Cardinal Ratzinger celebrated at 07:00 each Thursday in the Teutonic College church inside the Vatican walls, and those Masses were always of the Novus Ordo, celebrated in a very simple, solemn way.

Cardinal Ratzinger repeatedly expressed a certain sorrow, even indignation, over the way the conciliar liturgical reform took place, saying that the liturgy was developed in a non-organic way by professors sitting around a table and that, as the new liturgy was introduced, without sufficient explanation, the ordinary faithful were often confused, and sometimes scandalized. This is the position that Ratzinger took quite explicitly in his book The Spirit of the Liturgy.

At the same time, Benedict XVI personally does in some ways favor at least certain aspects of the conciliar liturgical reform as an improvement over the traditional liturgy.

The German writer Martin Mosebach once stated that Pope Saint John Paul II celebrated the Tridentine Mass on several occasions privately. Bishop Bernard Fellay of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) also had said that someone in the Roman Curia told him that Pope Benedict, too, has celebrated the Tridentine Mass on several occasions privately. It is, in any case, a known secret that when he was a Cardinal, Benedict XVI celebrated on a number of occasions the Tridentine Mass, including for the Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP).

But why would Benedict XVI celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite? 

One can here attempt a number of reasons:
  • The traditional Latin Mass was, and is, the organic expression of the faith of Catholics in the Risen Lord, from the first generation to the present time. 
  • This Mass was never intended to be the Mass of any political or cultural regime. And that it came to be seen as the expression of a certain political or social culture is one of the unfortunate reasons that the Council Fathers felt they had to approve a reform of the liturgy. 
  • However the reform that was produced was not the reform that the Council Fathers called for.
  • This has meant almost two generations of liturgical confusion, and the consequent crisis of belief which inevitable follows liturgical confusion, for it is true that lex credendi lex orandi
  • Worse still, some overzealous people stripped our churches of statues, broke stained-glass windows, and turned against our heritage.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Useful advice from St. Charles Borromeo

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“I admit that we are all weak, but if we want help, the Lord God has given us the means to find it easily. Would you like me to teach you how to grow from virtue to virtue and how, if you are already recollected at prayer, you can be even more attentive next time, and so give God more pleasing worship? Listen and I will tell you. If a tiny spark of God's love already burns within you, do not expose it to the wind, for it may get blown out.

Keep the stove tightly shut so that it will not lose its heat and grow cold. In other words, avoid distractions as well as you can. Stay quiet with God. Do not spend your time in useless chatter.”

St. Charles Borromeo (1538 – 1584), Cardinal and Patron Saint of Pro Tridentina (Malta). Today is his feast day in both Forms of the Roman Rite.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

New FIUV Council 2015 - 2017 elected

Felipe Alanis, FIUV's new President

During the XXII General Assembly of the International Federation Una Voce (FIUV) being held in Rome, the new FIUV Council was elected. The members are:


Alain Cassagnau – UNA VOCE FRANCE
Albert Edward Doskey – UNA VOCE CUBA
Eduardo Colon – UNA VOCE COSTA RICA
Fabio Marino – UNA VOCE ITALIA
Felipe Alanis – UNA VOCE MÉXICO
Hajime Kato – UNA VOCE JAPAN
Johan von Behr – UNA VOCE GERMANY
Joseph Shaw – THE LATIN MASS SOCIETY OF ENGLAND AND WALES
Juan Manuel Rodriguez-Cordero – UNA VOCE SEVILLA (Spain)
Marcin Gola – UNA VOCE POLONIA
Monika Rheinschitt – PRO MISSA TRIDENTINA (Germany)
Oleg-Michael Martynov – UNA VOCE RUSSIA
Othon de Medeiros Alves – UNA VOCE NATAL (Brazil)
Patrick Banken – UNA VOCE FRANCE
Rodolfo Vargas Rubio – ROMA ÆTERNA (Spain)

Of these the following members were elected as follows:
Felipe Alanís Suárez (UNA VOCE MÉXICO), President
Patrick Banken (UNA VOCE FRANCE), Vice-President.
Monika Rheinschmitt (PRO MISSA TRIDENTINA), Treasurer.
Juan Manuel Rodríguez y García-Cordero (UNA VOCE SEVILLA), Secretary.


This time round, for a number of reasons, Pro Tridentina (Malta), a member of the FIUV, did not nominate a person for the Council. This brings to an end therefore the mandate of Godwin Xuereb, who served as a Councillor for the period 2009 - 2012 and 2012 - 2015.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Hall of Honour (5): Edric Micallef Figallo

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Dr Edric Micallef Figallo was Pro Tridentina (Malta)'s first Secretary, a post he held between 2007 - 2012. He was responsible for drafting the organisation's first (and current) statutes. He made a good defense of the Tridentine Mass in the local media. During the the period of his activity with the organisation, Micallef Figallo was one of the main promoters and discussions related to the Tridentine Masses in Valletta. He considers the Tridentine Mass as showing more solemnity, a greater sense of sacrifice and mystery than the Novus Ordo Missae, and also due to the beauty of the Latin language.

Micallef Figallo works as an advocate and he also successfully completed an LL.M. (masters of law) degree in European & Comparative Law course at the University of Malta. Micallef Figallo is also a freelance translator, with a particular preference for legal translation work (in any combination of the Maltese, Italian and English languages). 

Micallef Figallo is also involved with pro-life and other Catholic organisations, in particular Italy's Alleanza Cattolica, and a close collaborator of its main exponent Massimo Introvigne.

Monday, September 21, 2015

EXCLUSIVE: Pope Francis to visit Malta in 2016!

 

This Blog is pleased to announce that His Holiness Pope Francis will visit Malta in the second half of 2016.

Sources inside the Vatican have confirmed that the visit will be spread over 3 days. It is the Pope's wish that during his visit, he will visit three Marian sanctuaries. 

Unlike the last visit of a Roman Pontiff, this time round the visit will include a stop in Gozo  - probably with Holy Mass at Ta' Pinu Sanctuary.

In Malta, the visit - apart from the usual courtesy visits - is expected to include a visit to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Graces in Żabbar and the Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Valletta. 

Still to be confirmed is a visit to the Church of Divine Mercy at San Pawl Tat-Tarġa, in Naxxar - the latter to coincide with the Jubilee year dedicated to Mercy.




Tuesday, September 15, 2015

New interim Committee for Pro Tridentina (Malta)


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We are pleased to inform you that an interim Executive Committee is being established for Pro Tridentina (Malta). The names will soon be published on the this page. The committee will include old faces and new comers.

The Committee's role will be to operate under the current statutes and prepare for the extraordinary General Meeting that will take place in the near future. It will also launch a process to ensure that the Tridentine Mass is firmly established in Malta. This will mean that this petition and discussions with the Church will be reactivated.

The transition phase, as expressed in this article is finally coming to an end. Deo gratias!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

50 anni fa la Mysterium Fidei di Paolo VI


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Paolo VI celebrando la Santa Messa

[…] 9. Fratelli Venerabili, non mancano, proprio nella materia che ora trattiamo, motivi di grave sollecitudine pastorale e di ansietà, dei quali la coscienza del Nostro dovere Apostolico non ci permette di tacere.

10. Ben sappiamo infatti che tra quelli che parlano e scrivono di questo Sacrosanto Mistero ci sono alcuni che circa le Messe private, il dogma della transustanziazione e il culto eucaristico, divulgano certe opinioni che turbano l'animo dei fedeli ingerendovi non poca confusione intorno alle verità di fede, come se a chiunque fosse lecito porre in oblio la dottrina già definita dalla Chiesa, oppure interpretarla in maniera che il genuino significato delle parole o la riconosciuta forza dei concetti ne restino snervati.

11. Non è infatti lecito, tanto per portare un esempio, esaltare la Messa così detta «comunitaria» in modo da togliere importanza alla Messa privata; né insistere sulla ragione di segno sacramentale come se il simbolismo, che tutti certamente ammettono nella ss. Eucaristia, esprimesse esaurientemente il modo della presenza di Cristo in questo Sacramento; o anche discutere del mistero della transustanziazione senza far cenno della mirabile conversione di tutta la sostanza del pane nel corpo e di tutta la sostanza del vino nel sangue di Cristo, conversione di cui parla il Concilio di Trento, in modo che essi si limitino soltanto alla «transignificazione» e «transfinalizzazione» come dicono; o finalmente proporre e mettere in uso l'opinione secondo la quale nelle Ostie consacrate e rimaste dopo la celebrazione del sacrificio della Messa Nostro Signore Gesù Cristo non sarebbe più presente.

12. Ognuno vede come in tali opinioni o in altre simili messe in giro la fede e il culto della divina Eucaristia sono non poco incrinati.

[…]

Salva infatti l'integrità della fede, è necessario anche serbare un esatto modo di parlare, affinché usando parole incontrollate non ci vengano in mente, che Dio non permetta, false opinioni riguardo alla fede dei più alti misteri. Torna a proposito il grave monito di sant'Agostino quando considera il diverso modo di parlare dei filosofi e del Cristiano: « I filosofi, egli dice, parlano liberamente senza timore di offendere orecchi religiosi in cose molto difficili a capirsi. Noi invece dobbiamo parlare secondo una regola determinata, per evitare che la libertà di linguaggio ingeneri qualche opinione empia anche intorno al significato della parola ».(10)

24. La norma di parlare dunque,che la Chiesa con lungo secolare lavoro, non senza l'aiuto dello Spirito Santo, ha stabilito, confermandola con l'autorità dei Concili, norma che spesso è diventata la tessera e il vessillo della ortodossia della fede, dev'essere religiosamente osservata; né alcuno, secondo il suo arbitrio o col pretesto di nuova scienza, presuma di cambiarla. Chi mai potrebbe tollerare che le formule dogmatiche usate dai Concili Ecumenici per i misteri della SS. Trinità e dell'Incarnazione siano giudicate non più adatte agli uomini del nostro tempo ed altre siano ad esse temerariamente surrogate? Allo stesso modo non si può tollerare che un privato qualunque possa attentare di proprio arbitrio alle formule con cui il Concilio Tridentino ha proposto a credere il Mistero Eucaristico. Poiché quelle formule, come le altre di cui la Chiesa si serve per enunciare i dogmi di fede, esprimono concetti che non sono legati a una certa forma di cultura, non a una determinata fase di progresso scientifico, non all'una o all'altra scuola teologica, ma presentano ciò che l'umana mente percepisce della realtà nell'universale e necessaria esperienza: e però tali formule sono intelligibili per gli uomini di tutti i tempi e di tutti i luoghi. […]

 Dall’enciclica Mysterium Fidei di Paolo VI, 3 settembre 1965

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Recommendation to One's Guardian Angel for a Happy Hour of Death

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Death mask of St. Charles Borromeo


By Saint Charles Borromeo

My good Angel: I know not when or how I shall die. It is possible I may be carried off suddenly, and that before my last sigh I may be deprived of all intelligence. Yet how many things I would wish to say to God on the threshold of eternity. In the full freedom of my will today, I come to charge you to speak for me at that fearful moment. You will say to Him, then, O my good Angel:

That I wish to die in the Roman Catholic Apostolic Church in which all the saints since Jesus Christ have died, and out of which there is no salvation.

That I ask the grace of sharing in the infinite merits of my Redeemer and that I desire to die in pressing to my lips to the cross that was bathed in His Blood!

That I detest my sins because they displease Him, and that I pardon through love of Him all my enemies as I wish to be pardoned.

That I die willingly because He orders it and that I throw myself with confidence into His adorable Heart awaiting all His Mercy.

That in my inexpressible desire to go to Heaven I am disposed to suffer everything in may please His sovereign Justice to inflict on me.

That I love Him before all things, above all things and for His own sake; that I wish and hope to love Him with the Elect, His Angels and the Blessed Mother during all eternity.

Do not refuse, O my Angel, to be my interpreter with God, and to protest to Him that these are my sentiments and my will. Amen.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Hall of Honour (4): Zak Portelli

Seminarian Zak Portelli

Our fourth recipient of this virtual honour is a seminarian - Zak Portelli. A known apologist in Catholic circles in Malta, he was the main promoter of Tridentine Masses held in the parish of Ta' l-Ibraġ. Albeit not a member of Pro Tridentina (Malta) there was close co-operation because the aim was mutual, namely to ensure that the Tridentine Mass in Malta takes place on a regular basis, according to the provisions of Summorum Pontificum and Universae Ecclesiae. It was an experiment that was reasonably successful, although unfortunately it was hampered in recent years, due to various reasons, outside the control of Bro. Portelli.  


Portelli is also the author of a book  From Hell with Love. Below is a review of this book:

This book is an in depth study of the origins of the New World order. It focuses on the events which led to the French and Russian revolutions as well as the events which ousted and destroyed the Monarchies of Europe. The main focus of the book is on the Catholic Church with regards to its strict stand against the Freemasonry, and the war that has been going on silently between the Church and the Freemasonry. The book reveals stunning facts which are not found in modern day bias history books sponsored by the main stream medias which indoctrinate society into believing that we are at peace and that we have freedom. The book also goes on to describe how peace is not achieved by those men who sit around a table and discuss world peace but that true peace is found in defending morality and the cross of Christ which has been trampled on and put to shame by the liberal forces of this world.
One augurs that the Maltese Church in Malta will continue to benefit for the sterling service of this seminarian, once he is ordained to the sacred priesthood.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Papacy of John Paul I - a return to Tradition?

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Pope John Paul I - a friend of Tradition
On the 37th anniversary of the election of Cardinal Albino Luciani as Pope (26 August 1978), we felt it is appropriate to honour the memory of this Pontiff who reigned for just 33 days by sharing the following:

In a past article the former Pro Tridentina (Malta) President, Godwin Xuereb, had indicated that Pope John Paul I was in favour of the Tridentine Mass. His article was picked up by other blogs, although some twisted it to fit their agenda.

It is interesting that, a couple of years later,  the Catholic Traditionalist Movement confirmed, in essence, what that article had claimed (without acknowledging the source). In its article dated September 2013, Father Gommar De Pauw was quoted as follows:

“Well, I tell you one thing, if he had remained Pope, you wouldn’t have me here at the Chapel because with that beautiful official letter signed by the Secretary of State, also came an unofficial message that I better start packing my suitcase, that there was a job waiting for me in Rome, in the Vatican, to help Pope John Paul I bring the Truth back to the Church. Well, it wasn’t to be and the Lord, Who knows what He does, obviously wanted me to be in this Chapel … what was I going to do in Rome? Well let’s just forget it …” 

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Fr Gommar De Pauw
This implies that Pope John Paul I was not going to “tolerate”, so to speak, traditionalist Catholics, but rather change course so that the abuses in the liturgy would be stopped, and Fr De Pauw was going to be his right-hand man in achieving this.

The same article claims that Cardinal Ottaviani (famous for the "Ottaviani Intervention") considered Cardinal Luciani as the second best choice for a traditionalist candidate for the Papacy, second only to Cardinal Pericle Felici.
What the former President of Pro Tridentina (Malta) had said was proven right - albeit at the time many in traditional Catholic circles, in particular from the Veneto region, had remained perplexed at his revelation.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Saint John Paul II on liturgical abuses

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A suffering Saint John Paul II



"I would like to ask forgiveness — in my own name and in the name of all of you, venerable and dear brothers in the episcopate — for everything which, for whatever reason, through whatever human weakness, impatience or negligence, and also through the at times partial, one-sided and erroneous application of the directives of the Second Vatican Council, may have caused scandal and disturbance concerning the interpretation of the doctrine and the veneration due to this great sacrament. And I pray the Lord Jesus that in the future we may avoid in our manner of dealing with this sacred mystery anything which could weaken or disorient in any way the sense of reverence and love that exists in our faithful people."  Letter Dominicae Cenae, n. 12 (1980)

"But these encouraging and positive aspects cannot suppress concern at the varied and frequent abuses being reported from different parts of the Catholic world: the confusion of roles, especially regarding the priestly ministry and the role of the laity (indiscriminate shared recitation of the Eucharistic Prayer, homilies given by lay people, lay people distributing Communion while the priests refrain from doing so); an increasing loss of the sense of the sacred (abandonment of liturgical vestments, the Eucharist celebrated outside church without real need, lack of reverence and respect for the Blessed Sacrament, etc.); misunderstanding of the ecclesial character of the Liturgy (the use of private texts, the proliferation of unapproved Eucharistic Prayers, the manipulation of the liturgical texts for social and political ends). In these cases we are face to face with a real falsification of the Catholic Liturgy ...

None of these things can bring good results. The consequences are — and cannot fail to be — the impairing of the unity of Faith and worship in the Church, doctrinal uncertainty, scandal and bewilderment among the People of God, and the near inevitability of violent reactions." Instruction Inaestimabile Donum, Foreword (1980)

"On occasion there have been noted illicit omissions or additions, rites invented outside the framework of established norms; postures or songs which are not conducive to faith or to a sense of the sacred; abuses in the practice of general absolution; confusion between the ministerial priesthood, linked with Ordination, and the common priesthood of the faithful, which has its foundation in Baptism. It cannot be tolerated that certain priests should take upon themselves the right to compose Eucharistic Prayers or to substitute profane readings for texts from Sacred Scripture. Initiatives of this sort, far from being linked with the liturgical reform as such, or with the books which have issued from it, are in direct contradiction to it, disfigure it and deprive the Christian people of the genuine treasures of the Liturgy of the Church. It is for the bishops to root out such abuses." “Apostolic Letter” Vicesimus Quintus Annus, n. 13 (1988)

"The Bishop’s place in the Church’s sanctifying mission leads him to have special concern for the observance of liturgical law in his diocese… Unfortunately, excesses in one direction or another have led to a certain polarization within communities. ...The spiritual vitality of your communities depends greatly on the dignified and worthy celebration of the liturgy. In all of this you need the support and help of your priests and all the faithful, but the greatest responsibility lies with you who have received the fullness of the sacrament of the priesthood." Address to Episcopal Conference of Australia, n. 3 (1993)

"To look back over what has been done in the field of liturgical renewal in the years since the Council is, first, to see many reasons for giving heartfelt thanks and praise to the Most Holy Trinity for the marvelous awareness which has developed among the faithful of their role and responsibility in this priestly work of Christ and his Church. It is also to realize that not all changes have always and everywhere been accompanied by the necessary explanation and catechesis; as a result, in some cases there has been a misunderstanding of the very nature of the liturgy, leading to abuses, polarization, and sometimes even grave scandal." Address to Episcopal Conference of the United States, n. 1 (1998)


"Unfortunately, alongside these lights, there are also shadows. In some places the practice of Eucharistic adoration has been almost completely abandoned. In various parts of the Church abuses have occurred, leading to confusion with regard to sound faith and Catholic doctrine concerning this wonderful sacrament. At times one encounters an extremely reductive understanding of the Eucharistic mystery. Stripped of its sacrificial meaning, it is celebrated as if it were simply a fraternal banquet. Furthermore, the necessity of the ministerial priesthood, grounded in apostolic succession, is at times obscured and the sacramental nature of the Eucharist is reduced to its mere effectiveness as a form of proclamation. This has led here and there to ecumenical initiatives which, albeit well-intentioned, indulge in Eucharistic practices contrary to the discipline by which the Church expresses her faith. How can we not express profound grief at all this? The Eucharist is too great a gift to tolerate ambiguity and depreciation." “Encyclical” Ecclesia de Eucharistia, n. 10 (2003)

"In this regard it is not possible to be silent about the abuses, even quite grave ones, against the nature of the Liturgy and the Sacraments as well as the tradition and the authority of the Church, which in our day not infrequently plague liturgical celebrations in one ecclesial environment or another. In some places the perpetration of liturgical abuses has become almost habitual, a fact which obviously cannot be allowed and must cease." Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum, n. 4 (2004)