Saturday, November 12, 2016

Quotes to reflect upon (13)
Sir Alec Guinness in The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
“Much water has flown under Tiber's bridges, carrying away splendour and mystery from Rome, since the pontificate of Pius XII. The essentials, I know, remain firmly entrenched and I find the post-Conciliar Mass simpler and generally better than the Tridentine; but the banality and vulgarity of the translations which have ousted the sonorous Latin and little Greek are of a super-market quality which is quite unacceptable. Hand-shaking and embarrassed smiles or smirks have replaced the older courtesies; kneeling is out, queueing is in, and the general tone is rather like a BBC radio broadcast for tiny tots (so however will they learn to put away childish things?) The clouds of incense have dispersed, together with many hidebound, blinkered and repressive attitudes, and we are left with social messages of an almost over-whelming progressiveness. The Church has proved she is not moribund. ‘All shall be well,’ I feel, ‘and all manner of things shall be well,’ so long as the God who is worshipped is the God of all ages, past and to come, and not the idol of Modernity, so venerated by some of our bishops, priests and mini-skirted nuns.” Sir Alec Guinness in Blessings in Disguise.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Important announcement

Those interested in joining Pro Tridentina (Malta) are kindly asked to meet one of the member of the provisional Committee who will be attending Mass in the Extraordinary Form on the dates indicated in the poster or every Sunday at 19:00.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Festa tal-Beatu Karlu I tal-Awstrija

File:Emperor Karl I of Austria-Hungary.jpg
Bi pjaċir inħabbru li l-Festa Liturġika tal-Beatu Karlu I tal-Awstrija ser tiġi ċċelebrata permezz ta` Quddiesa bil-Forma Straordinarja tar-Rit Latin fil-Knisja ta` San Pawl tal-Wied f`Birkirkara l-Ħadd 23 ta` Ottubru, 2016 fis-7:00 pm. Kulħadd huwa mistieden biex jingħaqad mal-membri tal-Moviment ta` Talb tal-Imperatur Karlu għal din l-okkażżjoni. Wara jsir il-bews tar-Relikwija u ser jiġi inawgurat inkwatru tal-Beatu Karlu I li ser ikun espost permanenti f` din il-knisja.

Monday, August 8, 2016

A sustained attack in Malta on those in favour of the Tridentine Mass - 2

A smashed statue of Jesus (not in Malta)
Another contribution from the Sunday Times of Malta, dated 31 July 2016.

New and old in the Church

In his article ‘Thank you; but no thank you’ (The Sunday Times of Malta, July 17), which discussed the curious position of a Vatican prelate, Fr Joe Borg wrote that “our local brand of Tridentine conservatives, fuelled by several priests who were ordained during the past 15 years or so, were thrilled to no end”.

What is old, what is new in religion? What is progressive, conservative? If Fr Borg’s comment is valid, how come younger priests are giving the impression that they are conservative or antiquated, and the elderly priests more progressive or more modern? Admittedly these phrases – antiquated, modern – doctrinally mean very little, but they could have relative pastoral importance.

At 75 I am adamant not to distance myself from the young in general and more so from younger priests, and not to fall into the trap of the so-called ‘generation gap’. It would be stupid of us elderly in the Church to disdain any suggestion coming from the young, and equally stupid of the younger priests and laity – but especially the priests – to fall into the same trap.

I am in the 50th year of my priesthood. It is opportune to point out that the reforms that came about in the post-Vatican II Church, such as introducing the local language in the liturgy, were brought about by the old of today!

Other reforms simplified liturgical vestments: parish priests put away their munzetta (mozzetta) and the monsignors used the mitre more sparingly.

Great strides forward were taken in the administration of Church finances, including in Malta, leaving behind traces of feudalism and emphasising the fact that the Church is not after money for its own sake. Priests’ salaries reflect the fact that priestly life is essentially a mission, not a profession.

The missionary spirit was revamped by Vatican II. Most of today’s missionaries are among the elderly who are fortunately passing on a praiseworthy example to the young.

Above all, the magisterium accepted the principle of ‘development of doctrine’ meaning that not all teaching is ‘dogmatic’ in nature.

Pope Francis, who was incidentally chosen by elderly cardinals, is helping the Church, through the celebration of Synods, not to forget the irreversible path traced by Vatican II.

Let us pray that the fear expressed by Fr Borg, that a closed Tridentine  mentality is “fuelled by several priests who were ordained during the past 15 years or so” abates, following in the footsteps of Pope Francis whose pontificate is epitomising the best of  Vatican II.

After all, one is justified in asking, what is old, what is new in the practice of religion?

One thing is certain: fundamentalism kills the Spirit.

Monday, August 1, 2016

A sustained attack in Malta on those in favour of the Tridentine Mass - 1

Fr Joe Borg regularly writes against traditional Catholics.
The below letter, dated 17 July 2016, published in the Sunday Times of Malta, is the latest in a sustained attack on those Catholics faithful who like the Tridentine Rite. Seems that this priest (who is a member of the Facebook Group of Pro Tridentina Malta) has never heard of what the contemporary Popes said about the Tridentine Mass. And by contemporary we mean Popes who were very much involved in the Second Vatican Council and who implemented the reforms ensuing from it.
To facilitate matters, he might want to refer to the following documents, among others:
  1. Veterum Sapientia - On the Promotion of the Study of Latin, issued by Pope Saint John XXIII in 1962;
  2. Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium,  promulgated by Blessed Pope Paul VI in 1963;
  3. Protocol N. 1897/71 issued by Archbishop Annibale Bugnini in 1971; 
  4. Quattuor Abhinc Annos, issued by the Office of the Congregation for Divine Worship, in 1984;
  5. Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei, promulgated by Pope Saint John Paul II in 1988;  
  6. Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, promulgated by Pope Benedict XVI and the accompanying letter addressed to all bishops;
  7. Motu Proprio Latina Lingua, establishing the Pontifical Academy for Latin, promulgated by Pope Benedict XVI.
The text of the letter by Fr Joe Borg follows (emphasis ours):

Thank you; but no thank you

Those of you who during the past 15 days devoted your time to watching football, or lazing by the sea or cursing the English for Brexit, would have probably missed the stirring of the ecclesiastical pot as a result of the address given by Cardinal Robert Sarah during the opening of the Sacra Liturgia conference in London on July 5.
Sarah exhorted priests to start celebrating Mass facing the east while giving their backs to the congregation. Sarah is not an average Joe. As head of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, his comments carry weight. More so since a couple of weeks earlier he took the same position during an interview with the French maga­zine Famille Chrétienne.
Social networks provided the battleground between those who were exultant or in shock at the proposal made by such an authoritative darling of the conservative wing of the Church. Our local brand of Tridentine conservatives, fuelled by several priests who were ordained during the past 15 years or so, were thrilled to no end.
Like conservatives overseas they form a motley bunch more than a monolithic block. Undoubtedly there are some mode­rate conservatives who have a right to their views and with whom one can dialogue. Others share the views of the extreme right, which consider the post-Vatican II Mass as ‘a protestant rite’. Sarah fell foul even with these ultra-traditionalists, so much so that the website askaCatholic describes Sarah as “a weak and incompetent neo-con hero”.
The practice of orienting both the liturgy – and Church buildings – toward the east is a very old tradition in the Catholic Church. It is still the norm for Orthodox Christianity and Eastern Catholic churches. John of Damascus wrote about it as far back as the seventh century. It is based on Matthew 24,27: “The coming of the Son of Man will be like lightning striking in the east. And flashing far into the west.” This practice also means that the priest celebrates Mass with his back to the people.
Sarah believes that if this practice becomes mainstream (instead of the exception it now is) the Church will be putting God back at the centre of the Church’s liturgical life. He quoted the “lament of God” proclaimed by the prophet Jeremiah: “The people have turned their backs on me.” “Let us turn again towards the Lord!” he said.
I have no doubt that Cardinal Sarah has taken this position because he sincerely believes that it is for the good of the Church. However, he is intelligent enough to know that his use of this scriptural quote is, at best, very unfortunate, as it has nothing to do with the direction of one’s gaze or the position of one’s back while celebrating Mass.
Sarah exhorted priests to start celebrating Mass facing the East while giving their backs to the congregation.

Looking towards the east (as he suggests) or the west or in any other direction will not in itself help people experience the beauty of the love that is celebrated during Mass, which is the community’s sacrificial meal par excellance. The Church’s celebration of the earthly liturgy will not give participants a better foretaste of the heavenly liturgy just by looking towards the east and by having the celebrant give his back to the congregation.
When congregation and celebrant face each other their communication and bonding is definitively much better. This bonding will then help them experience the presence of Christ that is guaranteed whenever people are gathered in his name. The presence of he who is the way to the Father will then help the community understand that “the liturgy is not about us but about God” (to quote Benedict XVI). There is absolutely no need to revert to yesteryear’s symbols to live this perennial reality.
Luckily, the Vatican immediately quash­ed all rumours that Sarah was flying Pope Francis’s kite. Many got this impression as Sarah himself had twice mentioned during his London address that he had the full support of Pope Francis in his quest to “reform the reform”.
Fr Federico Lombardi SJ, the Vatican spokesperson, said that the Pope met Cardinal Sarah two days after the London speech, making it clear that the “ordinary” form of celebrating the Mass is the one promulgated after the Second Vatican Council. He added that the “extraordinary” form, while accepted under the means expressed by Benedict XVI, should not become the norm.
Francis practices what he preaches about the possibility of celebrating Mass ad orientem in extraordinary and exceptional circumstances. Since his election, he has celebrated this rite at least once a year, for the annual tradition of the Pope baptising the newborns of Vatican employees in the Sistine Chapel.
Lombardi added that the General Instruction of the Roman Missal states that the altar should be built in such a way “that Mass can be celebrated at it facing the people, which is desirable wherever possible”.
Lombardi also said that “it is better to avoid using the expression ‘the reform of the reform’ (as Sarah did in his London speech), given that this has sometimes been the source of misunderstanding”.
Those using the expression form a spectrum ranging from those who would reasonably like to tweak certain exaggerations that some unfortunately indulge in, to those eager to throw the clock backwards, thus deforming the reform.
Pope Francis is of a different opinion. Last year he celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first Mass offered in Italian. In his homily he said that:
“Let us thank the Lord for what he has done in His Church in these 50 years of liturgical reform… It was truly a courageous gesture for the Church to draw near to the people of God, so that they are able to understand well what they are doing."
“It is not possible to go backwards,” he said. “Always forward! Those who go backward are mistaken.”
My final comment to the good cardinal and to the local enthusiasts of the deforming the reform movement: thanks, but no thanks.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Litanija ta` Riparazzjoni lil Ġesu` Sagramentat

Litanija ta` Riparazzjoni lil Ġesu` Sagramentat

Mulej, ħniena
· Kristu, ħniena,
· Mulej, ħniena,
· Kristu, ismagħna,
· Kristu, ilqa' t-talb tagħna.
· Missier Etern, Alla, ħenn għalina.
· Iben, Alla, li fdejt id-dinja, ħenn għalina.
· Spirtu s-Santu, Alla, ħenn għalina.
· Trinita Mqaddsa, Alla wieħed, ħenn għalina.

· Ostja Mqaddsa, offerta għas-saħħa tal-bnedmin, ħenn għalina.
· Ostja Mqaddsa, umiljata fuq l-Altar minna u għalina, ħenn għalina.
· Ostja Mqaddsa, offiża mill-ħżiena, ħenn għalina.
· Ostja Mqaddsa, miġġielda mill-eretiċi u minn dawk li ma jemmnux fik, ħenn għalina.
· Ostja Mqaddsa, imżebilħa mid-dgħajfa, ħenn għalina.
· Ostja Mqaddsa, ħobż tal-anġli mogħti lil min ma jixraqlux, ħenn għalina.
· Ostja Mqaddsa, ittraskurata u abbandunata fil-knejjes, ħenn għalina.

·  Alla, kun ħanin magħna, u aħfrilna.
· Alla, kun għalina ta' għajnuna, u ismagħna.
· Għad-disprezzi bla qies lejn is-Sagrament hekk tal-għaġeb, aħna npattulek, Mulej!
· Għat-tqarbin ħażin, aħna npattulek, Mulej!
· Għall-Quddies sagrileġġ, aħna npattulek, Mulej!
· Għan-nuqqas ta' qima tal-insara, aħna npattulek, Mulej!
· Għan-nuqqas ta' ġieħ fil-knejjes Tiegħek, aħna npattulek, Mulej!
· Għas-serq tal-Pissidi Mqaddsa, aħna npattulek, Mulej!
· Għad-dagħa ta' sikwit tal-ħżiena, aħna npattulek, Mulej!
· Għall-wiri ta' films ħżiena li joffendu s-sentimenti ta' pajjiż nisrani, aħna npattulek, Mulej!
· Għall-ebusija u kefrija tal-eretiċi, aħna npattulek, Mulej!
· Għal Ġesu’ Kristu ppersegwitat fil-Vigarju Tiegħu f'din l-art, aħna npattulek, Mulej!
· Għal Ġesu’ Kristu ppersegwitat fl-Isqfijiet Tiegħu, aħna npattulek, Mulej!
· Għal Ġesu’ Kristu ppersegwitat fis-saċerdoti Tiegħu, aħna npattulek, Mulej!
· Għal Ġesu’ Kristu diżoronat mill-ġurnali ħżiena, aħna npattulek, Mulej!
· Għad-diskors ħażin li jingħad fil-knejjes Tiegħek min-nies bla għaqal, aħna npattulek, Mulej!
· Għall-profanaturi tal-knejjes, li jagħmluhom post ta' skandlu, aħna npattulek, Mulej!

· Mulej kattar fl-insara kollha r-rispett lejn l-Adorabbli Sagrament tal-Altar,
Ismagħna, nitolbuk, Mulej!
· Mulej, ikxef is-Sagrament tal-imħabba Tieghek lill-eretiċi,
Ismagħna, nitolbuk, Mulej!
· Mulej, ixħet fuqna l-offiżi ta' dawk li jiddisprezzawk,
Ismagħna, nitolbuk, Mulej!
· Mulej, ilqa' t-tpattija tagħna magħmula bi spirtu ta' umilta’,
Ismagħna, nitolbuk, Mulej!
· Mulej, agħmel li togħġbok dejjem l-adorazzjoni tagħna,
Ismagħna, nitolbuk, Mulej!
· Ostja Pura, ismagħna.
· Ostja Mqaddsa, ismagħna.
· Ostja Immakulata, ismagħna.
Ħaruf ta' Alla, li tneħħi d-dnubiet tad-dinja, aħfrilna, nitolbuk, Mulej.
Ħaruf ta' Alla, li tneħħi d-dnubiet tad-dinja, ismagħna, nitolbuk, Mulej.
Ħaruf ta' Alla, li tneħħi d-dnubiet tad-dinja, ħenn għalina.
O Sinjur tagħna Ġesu’ Kristu, f'ġieħ l-Omm Tiegħek Marija jkollok ħniena minna, ilqa' dawn l-atti ta' riparazzjoni, u bierek l-ulied tal-Omm Tiegħek. Ammen.

Inħeġġeġ lil kulħadd biex titolbu din il-litanija wara li smajna b`serqa sagrilega tas-Santissimu Sagrament minn Kunvent fil-Belt Valletta. Wasal il-mument li t-tqarbin jibda isir fil-ħalq biss biex nevitaw aktar riskji.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Tridentine Mass today in Birkirkara

 Sunday Mass will be celebrated in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite this afternoon.

Venue: St. Paul's Chapel
Time: 18:30 
Celebrant: Canon Nicholas Doublet

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Photo of the Tridentine Mass in Birkirkara

In the previous post, we had advertised this Mass.

A reader sent us this photo, from Facebook showing the Mass held at St. Paul's Chapel.

Between 50 - 60 people, including many young ones, attended this celebration.

It was a great success, bearing also in mind that a heavy downpour had just occurred.

We look forward to more Masses.

Special thanks to Canon Nicholas Doublet, who was the person behind this Mass and who also delivered a wonderful homily.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Tridentine Mass in Birkirkara


 Service at this mass will be offered by members of the Priestly Fraternity of the Opera Familia Christi, from the Archdiocese of Ferrara-Comacchio.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

EXCLUSIVE: Tridentine Mass to be celebrated in Malta every Sunday!

Sources close to this Blog have confirmed that this year a petition reached the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, asking for Tridentine Mass to start being held regularly in Malta.

The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei (PCED) has replied and is liaising with the Archdiocese of Malta to establish the Tridentine Mass on a permanent basis in Malta. The emphasis is that Mass will be celebrated every Sunday.

A parish in the South of Malta has already been identified.

We will keep you updated when further details reach us.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Il-Knisja fi kliem Dun Rene' Camilleri
 Indikazzjoni ta' ħsieb modernista li għadu jagħmel ħsara fil-Knisja f'Malta. Dan il-ħsieb deher ċar fl-attakk riċenti li sar fuq l-Arċisqof Scicluna mill-istess individwu. Fost l-oħrajn, qal hekk: 

“Dawn, jiddispjaċini ngħid, qed isibu r-riħ fil-qala b'din it-tip ta' Knisja antikwata li lkoll konna ħsibna li mietet. Għadu kemm kellna numru ta’ qassisin żgħar ħafna li saru kanonċi. Dawn huma affarijiet barra minn żmienhom għalkollox u l-Arċisqof ma jistax jippromovi din it-tip ta' Knisja. Ngħid 'ma jistax' mhux għax jien għandi xi dritt nindaħallu kif imexxi, imma għaliex ir-responsabbiltà tiegħu lejn il-Knisja u lejn dan il-pajjiż żgur titlob prijoritajiet oħra.”
 “Pjuttost bħalissa rridu nxammru biex nissettjaw prijoritajiet pastorali li l-Knisja jagħmluha iktar dik li qed joħlom Franġisku.” 
“Ma niflaħx iżjed nara Knisja li fiha qisni kkundannat biex inkun dejjem fl-oppożizzjoni. Dan mhux qed ngħidu għalija biss. Meta sena ilu saret il-kritika li saret għan-nuqqas ta’ tmexxija li kellna fil-Knisja, żgur li ħlomna u xtaqna xi ħaġa differenti. Għadni qed nistenna biex niddeċiedi morniex għall-aħjar, għax s'issa mhemm l-ebda sinjal."
Interessanti r-risposta li ngħata mill-Kappillan ta' Kristu Re, Paola li tidher hawn:



Saturday, April 16, 2016

Adultery: A Breakdown of the Personal Covenant

With all the hype surrounding Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia, let us keep in mind the following by Pope Saint John Paul II:

1. In the Sermon on the Mount Christ said: "Think not that I have come to abolish the Law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them" (Mt 5:17). In order to understand clearly what such a fulfillment consists of, he then passes on to each single commandment. He also refers to the one which says: "You shall not commit adultery." Our previous meditation aimed at showing in what way the correct content of this commandment, desired by God, was obscured by the numerous compromises in the particular legislation of Israel. The prophets point out such content in a very true way. In their teachings they often denounce the abandonment of the true God-Yahweh by the people, comparing it to adultery.

Hosea, not only with words, but (as it seems) also in his behavior, is anxious to reveal to us(1), that the people's betrayal is similar to that in marriage, or rather, even more, to adultery practiced as prostitution: "Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry, and have children of harlotry, for the land commits great harlotry by forsaking the Lord" (Hos 1:2). The prophet heeds this command within himself and accepts it as coming from God-Yahweh: "The Lord said to me, 'Go again, love a woman who is beloved of a paramour and is an adulteress'" (Hos 3:1). Although Israel may be so unfaithful with regard to its God, like the wife who "went after her lovers and forgot me" (Hos 2:13), Yahweh never ceases to search for his spouse. He does not tire of waiting for her conversion and her return, confirming this attitude with the words and actions of the prophet: "In that day, says the Lord, you will call me, 'My Husband,' and no longer will you call me, 'My Ba'al.... I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness, and you shall know the Lord" (Hos 2:16, 19-20). This fervent call to conversion of the unfaithful wife-consort goes hand in hand with the following threat: "That she put away harlotry from her face, and her adultery from between her breasts, lest I strip her naked and make her as in the day she was born" (Hos 2:4-5).

2. The unfaithful Israel-spouse was reminded of this image of the humiliating nudity of birth, by the prophet Ezekiel, and even within a wider sphere.(2) "...but you were cast out on the open field, for you were abhorred, on the day that you were born. And when I passed by you, and saw you weltering in your blood, I said to you in your blood, "Live, and grow like a plant in the field." And you grew and became tall and arrived at full maidenhood. Your breasts were formed, and your hair had grown, yet you were naked and bare. When I passed by you again and looked upon you, behold, you were at the age for love, and I spread my skirt over you, and covered your nakedness. I plighted my troth to you and entered into a covenant with you, says the Lord God, and you became mine.... And I put a ring on your nose, and earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown upon your head. Thus you were decked with gold and silver, and your raiment was of fine linen, and silk and embroidered cloth.... And your renown went forth among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through the splendor which I had bestowed upon you.... But you trusted in your beauty, and played the harlot because of your renown, and lavished your harlotries on any passerby.... How lovesick is your heart, says the Lord God, seeing you did all these things, the deeds of a brazen harlot, making your lofty place in every square. Yet you were not like a harlot, because you scorned hire. Adulterous wife, who receives strangers instead of her husband" (Ez 16:5-8, 12-15, 30-32).

3. The quotation is rather long. However, the text is so important that it was necessary to bring it up again. It expresses the analogy between adultery and idolatry in an especially strong and exhaustive way. The similarity between the two parts of the analogy consists in the covenant accompanied by love. Out of love, God-Yahweh settles the covenant with Israel—which is not worthy of it—and for him Israel becomes as a most affectionate, attentive, and generous spouse-consort is towards his own wife. In exchange for this love, which ever since the dawning of history accompanies the chosen people, Yahweh-Spouse receives numerous betrayals: "haughtiness"—here we have the cult of idols, in which "adultery" is committed by Israel-spouse. In the analysis we are carrying out here, the essential thing is the concept of adultery, as put forth by Ezekiel. However, it can be said that the situation as a whole, in which this concept is included (in the analogical sphere), is not typical. Here it is not so much a question of the mutual choice made by the husband and wife, which is born from mutual love, but of the choice of the wife (which was already made at the moment of her birth). This choice derives from the love of the husband, a love which on the part of the husband himself is an act of pure mercy. This choice is outlined in the following way. It corresponds to that part of the analogy which defines the covenant of Yahweh with Israel. But on the other hand, it corresponds to a lesser degree to the second part of it, which defines the nature of marriage. Certainly, the mentality of that time was not very sensitive to this reality—according to the Israelites, marriage was rather the result of a unilateral choice, often made by the parents—nevertheless, such a situation seldom forms part of our mentality.

4. Apart from this detail, we can note that the texts of the prophets have a different meaning of adultery from that given by the legislative tradition. Adultery is a sin because it constitutes the breakdown of the personal covenant between the man and the woman. In the legislative texts, the violation of and the right of ownership is pointed out, primarily the right of ownership of the man in regard to that woman who was his legal wife, one of many. In the text of the prophets, the background of real and legalized polygamy does not alter the ethical meaning of adultery. In many texts monogamy appears as the only correct analogy of monotheism as understood in the categories of the covenant, that is, of faithfulness and confidence toward the one true God-Yahweh, the Spouse of Israel. Adultery is the antithesis of that nuptial relationship. It is the antinomy of marriage (even as an institution) inasmuch as the monogamous marriage accomplishes within itself the interpersonal alliance of the man and the woman. It achieves the alliance born from love and received by both parties, precisely as marriage (and, as such, is recognized by society). This type of covenant between two people constitutes the foundation of that union when "man...cleaves to his wife and they become one flesh" (Gn 2:24). In the above-mentioned context, one can say that such bodily union is their "right" (bilateral). But above all, it is the regular sign of the communion of the two people, a union formed between the man and the woman in the capacity of husband and wife. Adultery committed by either one of them is not only the violation of this right, which is exclusive to the other marriage partner, but at the same time it is a radical falsification of this sign. It seems that in the pronouncements of the prophets, this aspect of adultery is expressed in a sufficiently clear manner.

5. Adultery is a falsification of that sign which does not have its "legality" so much as its simple interior truth in marriage—that is, in the cohabitation of the man and the woman who have become a married couple—then, in a certain sense, we refer again to the basic statements made previously, considering them essential and important for the theology of the body, from both an ethical and anthropological point of view. Adultery is a "sin of the body." The whole tradition of the Old Testament bears witness to it, and Christ confirms it. The comparative analysis of his words in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5:27-28), like the several relevant enunciations contained in the Gospels and in other parts of the New Testament, allows us to establish the exact reason for the sinfulness of adultery. It is obvious that we determine the reason for sinfulness, or rather for moral evil, basing ourselves on the principle of contraposition, in regard to that moral goodness which is faithfulness in marriage. That goodness can be adequately achieved only in the exclusive relationship of both parties (that is, in the marriage relationship between a man and a woman). Such a relationship needs precisely nuptial love. As we have already pointed out, the interpersonal structure of this love is governed by the interior "normativity" of the communion of the two people concerned. Precisely this gives a fundamental significance to the covenant (either in the relationship of man-woman, or, analogously, in the relationship of Yahweh-Israel). One can judge on the basis of the contraposition of the marriage pact as it is understood, with adultery, its sinfulness, and the moral evil contained in it.

6. All this must be kept in mind when we say that adultery is a sin of the body. The body is considered here in the conceptual bond with the words of Genesis 2:24. This speaks of the man and the woman, who, as husband and wife, unite so closely as to form "one body only." Adultery indicates an act through which a man and a woman, who are not husband and wife, unite as "one body only" (that is, those who are not husband and wife in a monogamous sense, as was originally established, rather than in the legal casuistic sense of the Old Testament). The sin of the body can be identified only in regard to the relationship between the people concerned. One can speak of moral good and evil according to whether in this relationship there is a true "union of the body" and whether or not it has the character of the truthful sign. In this case, we can therefore judge adultery as a sin, according to the objective content of the act.

This is the content which Christ had in mind when, in the Sermon on the Mount, he reminded us: "You have understood that it was said: 'You shall not commit adultery.'" However Christ did not dwell on such an aspect of the problem.


1) Cf. Hos 1-3

2) Cf. Ez 16:5-8, 12-15, 30-32

Source:  L'Osservatore Romano


Sunday, March 6, 2016

Quotes to reflect upon (12)

"If I could only make the faithful sing the Kyrie, the Gloria, the Credo, the Sanctus and the Agnus Dei ... that would be to me the finest triumph sacred music could have, for it is in really taking part in the liturgy that the faithful will preserve their devotion. I would take the Tantum Ergo, the Te Deum, and the Litanies sung by the people over any piece of polyphony." 
Giuseppe Cardinal Sarto (later Pope Saint Pius X), Letter to Msgr. Callegari, 1897

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Limited offer: DVDs on the Tridentine Mass

Pro Tridentina (Malta) has obtained, thanks to a regular visitor to the island (based in Rome), some DVDs of the 'Easter Sunday 1940  Solemn Sung High Mass celebrated in Illinois and commented on by Archbishop Fulton Sheen'. It also includes the Rubrics of the Tridentine Mass - celebrated in Dublin (Eire) by Fr. Joseph Vallauri in 1991. Fr Vallauri himself and another traditional Catholic priest have blessed these DVDs.

These DVDs will be distributed FREE OF CHARGE to anyone who is seriously interested in the Tridentine Mass, on a first-come, first-served basis. Anyone who would like to order a copy is kindly requested to send an e-mail at .

Monday, February 1, 2016

Dr. Helmut Rückriegel R.I.P.
 Dr. Helmut Rückriegel (right) during a meeting with Benedict XVI.

His Excellency Dr. Helmut Rückriegel, one of the elder statesmen of the International Federation Una Voce (FIUV), a personal friend of former Pro Tridentina (Malta) President Godwin Xuereb, and a great champion of tradition over many decades, died early on 25th of January, 2016.

Dr. Rückriegel has been actively involved in the Una Voce movement since 1967. He was head of Una Voce Deutschland in 1992–2005, member of the FIUV Council, and later one of the Federation’s Presidents d’honneur.



Dr. Helmut Rückriegel, an important and highly meritorious upholder for the traditional Latin liturgy has left us.

Born on the 20th of November 1925 in Niedergründau, close to Hanau, he spent the days of his philological studies in Marburg, with whose university he remained in close contact for all his life. Having achieved a doctorate (Dr. Phil) he was a lecturer for ancient European languages in Manchester prior to being employed as from 1956 by Germany’s Foreign Service. His first assignment there was the post of an attaché at the German embassy in London. Following further postings as chargé d’affaires in Israel and with the German Information Center in New York between 1979 and 1984 he ran the personal office and worked as head of protocol of the German Federal President Dr. Karl Carstens. Following that he officiated as German ambassador to Thailand until 1988 and until his retirement in 1990 as German ambassador to Ireland.

In November 1980 he was a member of the diplomatic team which greeted Pope John Paul II on his first visit to Germany. As they waited for the Pope’s aeroplane to land he found himself standing next to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and they began conversing. This led to a friendship that endured until his death.

Already fascinated by the Catholic Church from an early age as a youth he converted to Catholicism. This association post the liturgical reforms brought about by the Second Vatican Council resulted in his exemplary and incessant engagement towards the preservation and restoration of the traditional Latin liturgy and Gregorian chant. Thus, from 1992 to 2006, he occupied the position of President of Una Voce Germany. During that period he led the association and its publication, the Una-Voce-Korrespondenz, to a renewed flourishing.

A further passion of his, besides his love of literature and poetry (he knew innumerable German poems by heart) was that for old English and Irish roses which he planted and cultivated at his 3,000 sqm property in Niedergründau. This rose garden was renowned amongst the friends of roses and every year was the destination of a great number of tourists. Following a long illness, during the night leading to the 25th of January 2016, Helmut Rückriegel passed away. His perseverance and his extraordinary merits for the traditional Catholic liturgy shall remain unforgotten.

Dr. Johann von Behr, deputy president Una Voce Deutschland e.V.


In paradisum deducant te Angeli;
in tuo adventu suscipiant te martyres,
et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Jerusalem.
Chorus angelorum te suscipiat,
et cum Lazaro quondam paupere æternam habeas requiem.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Hall of Honour (7): Fr Marc Andrè Camilleri
Fr Camilleri (centre) during a procession
The seventh recipient of this virtual award is Fr Marc Andrè Camilleri, who was appointed parish priest of Christ the King parish in Paola by Archbishop Paul Cremona in August 2014.

Fr Camilleri, from Lija, was born on 15 August 1984 and ordained priest on 23 June 2010. He served as deputy parish priest at St Sebastian parish in Qormi and - since 2010 - is a member of Missjoni ż-Żgħira. The latter was established in Malta in 1884 by Canon Francesco Bonnici. The Canon was inspired by the activities of the Mission founded by St. Gaspare del Bufalo in Rome. with the primary aim of instructing children through missionary preaching. Today, the Missjoni ż-Żgħira preaches missions not only to children but also to adults, and especially to youths.

Fr Camilleri has celebrated Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite in several localities, including Valletta, St. Paul's Bay, Bengħisa and Ta' l-Ibraġ. Some of these were celebrated with the aid of Pro Tridentina (Malta).
Fr Marc Andrè has also contributed to the debate on the so-called reform of the reform. Below is his article (when he was a deacon) published in the Sunday Times of Malta.

The reform of the reform

It seems very unfair to say that any discussion about the implementation of the post-Vatican II liturgical reform would lead to its deformation.

It was Pope Benedict himself, while still Cardinal, who pointed out that "the reform of the liturgy in its concrete realisation... resulted not in reanimation but in devastation. We have a liturgy that has degenerated into a show, in which attempts are made to make religion appear interesting with the help of idiotic fashions..." (Preface in Klaus Gamber: La reforme liturgique en question, 1992.)

He himself called for a reform of the reform many times, not, as others would have us believe, that this younger generation is "nostalgic for turning back the clock".

Would the Pope accuse the younger generations of "nostalgia" or "Lefebvrian fundamentalism"? I doubt it. When asked about this in 2001, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger answered very clearly to those who wish "to make us believe that if we did not adhere to their schemas we will be nostalgically returning to the past. Such things do not go like that. It is an attitude of a past faction. It is important to reflect in an open manner and not to kill instantly all this reflection, we are accused of being partisans of St Pius V. We need to outride this way of thinking. I'm evidently for Vatican II, which has given us a lot of beautiful things. But declaring that it is impossible, and to judge unacceptable all the reflection on what we can elicit from the Church's history, for me is sectarianism which I don't accept any more."

While reflecting on the use of the 1962 Roman Missal, Pope Benedict pointed out that the fact "that young people too have discovered this liturgical form, felt its attraction and found in it a form of encounter with the mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist, particularly suited to them."

What a far cry from the accusation Fr Joe Inguanez levelled at the younger generations for "returning the practices and rituals that belong to another era are nothing less than a manifestation of wanderlust, of romantic utopia, symbolised in the sacred rather than the religious." (Excerpts from the '2005 Mass census report', Malta, p. 28)

In the words of the Pope, "what earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church's faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place." (July 7, 2007)

The Pope has made it clear that he is attempting even to reform the Papal liturgies according to the principles he so vociferously spoke about before his election. The first reform was the change of the master of ceremonies after which the Papal liturgies took on a different style; that of "a wise joining of the ancient with the new, to actuate in spirit and letter, as much as possible, the indications of the Second Vatican Council, and to do this in such a way that the pontifical celebrations are exemplary in all aspects."

Benedict has given us a direction to aim for; a Church which does not look for uniformity but for unity in diversity; a Church in which two forms of the same rite if celebrated well can exist together, a Church in which the Roman rite can exist together with different Eastern rites and now even with an Anglican rite. Not a Church that accuses these reformers of "Lefebvrian fundamentalism", or of trying to turn the clock back. Had this attitude of mistrust and hostility guided the Church's authorities during the centuries, no reform would have ever taken place.

Fr. Joe Inguanez, who holds a diametrically opposite view, replied a month later. The letter can be found below:

The Church: a reform or a counter-reform?

My attention has been drawn to a letter written by Rev. Deacon Marc Andre' Camilleri, published on February 28.

I read his letter with all the attention it merits. Ironically, I was both amused and amazed.

I was amused because the letter speaks more about its author than about my pastoral commentary which introduced the Malta Sunday Mass Attendance Census 2005.

I was amazed because Fr Camilleri is reaching the end of his degree course in theology and I could hardly find any theological argument in his missive.

This was also a disappointment, since I am aware of the effort of most of my colleagues, who are doing their best to teach theology and resisting turning their lectures into glorified Catechism lessons.

Not that I do not accept the Catechism, but its teachings alone do not constitute theology. The problem with Fr Camilleri - and with those of a similar mindset - is that he ignored the serious pastoral problems which I tried to tackle in my commentary.

The reason people are leaving the Church are not the "so-called" aberrations in the liturgy that followed Vatican II, but what Cardinal Ratzinger, on Good Friday 2005, referred to as the "filth [that] there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to Him!

How much pride, how much self-complacency!"

Fr Camilleri praised Mgr Guido Marini, the present Papal Master of Ceremonies, without letting readers know these words were uttered by a certain Father Gagliardi, a member of the staff of the same Mgr Marini. (see Zenit, January 8, 2010).

May I suggest he reads the book by Archbishop Piero Marini (the former Master of Ceremonies to His Holiness), Challenging Reform: Realizing the Vision of the Liturgical Renewal, 1963-1975 (2007).

He will learn that "with the change of the Consilium into a Congregation in 1969 and the transformation of the Congregation for Divine Worship to a subsection of another Congregation in 1975 (Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments), the distinctive style of the Consilium was gradually absorbed into the more traditional style proper to the Roman Curia.

This was probably one of the first signs of a tendency to return to a pre-conciliar mindset that has for years now characterised the Curia's approach.

As more and more time passes since the Second Vatican Council, an event charged with such hope and desire for renewal, its distinctive contributions seem to be increasingly questioned."

Fr Camilleri does not seem perturbed by the fact that 49 per cent are not attending Sunday Mass.

Or perhaps he believes these can be brought back by the widening of clerical phylacteries and lengthening of tassels, a style definitely not promoted by Jesus (Matthew 23: 5).

He seems to be unaware of the Lord's pastoral injunction to leave the 51 per cent and go out in search of those who have left, or have never been in.

In line with people of ultra-conservative mindset, he takes critique to be an accusation. Ironically, he quotes Pope Benedict to make his point; ironically, I can use the same quote in support of my argument: "We need to outride this way of thinking. I'm evidently for Vatican II, which has given us a lot of beautiful things. But declaring that it is impossible, and to judge unacceptable all the reflection on what we can elicit from the Church's history, for me is sectarianism which I don't accept any more".

It is his lack of knowledge of the Church's history, history of theology and human thought that is Fr Camilleri's achilles' heel.

I am really sad he has really proved one of the points made in my commentary - that we are faced with a number of clerics who seem to be more interested in custom than tradition; in one's attire more than in the way one lives; in building and decorating the Temple of our Jerusalems rather than in nurturting the Body of Christ.

What our Church needs is not the reform of a reform, but constant reform on the lines started by Vatican II and perhaps, as Cardinal Martini and others have suggested, by means of a Vatican III.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Clarification from the parish priest of St. Augustine, Valletta

Interior of the Church of Saint Augustine, Valletta during a festivity (Source: Facebook)
A reader sent us a clarification from Fr Deo Debono OSA, parish priest of Saint Augustine, Valletta regarding the previous article Liturgical abuses in Valletta.

Fr Debono stressed that what was stated is incorrect and that the only time that such a situation occurs is when Mass is celebrated by a 90 year old friar. For obvious reasons, this friar would need assistance. 

It is pertinent to note that in liturgical matters, this parish has implemented a number of measures, including that:

  • following a 20-year absence, on the occasion of Christmas, the main altar - as well as the lateral ones - were decorated according to the rubrics;
  • once a month, Holy Mass is celebrated ad orientem;
  • for festivities the Crucifix was placed in the centre, surrounded by the candlesticks.
Pro Tridentina (Malta) would like to commend Fr Debono for the above. They are definitely steps in the right direction. This Blog in the past commented on how the late Fr Alberto Borg OSA, a friar in the same parish had implemented the Second Vatican Council. This shows that what was posted earlier was because of genuine concerns.

Would Fr Debono be in favour of having Mass in the Extraordinary Form celebrated in his parish? If in the affirmative, he can contact us and we can discuss further.

Liturgical abuses in Valletta

St. Augustine Church, Valletta
In normal circumstances Bishops, priests and deacons distribute Holy Communion in virtue of their office as ordinary ministers of the Body and Blood of the Lord. 

The only exception should be when the size of the congregation or the incapacity of the bishop, priest, or deacon requires it, the celebrant may be assisted by other bishops, priests, or deacons. If such ordinary ministers of Holy Communion are not present:

 "the priest may call upon extraordinary ministers to assist him, i.e., duly instituted acolytes or even other faithful who have been deputed for this purpose. In case of necessity, the priest may also depute suitable faithful for this single occasion (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, GIRM 162)."

Alas, the parish of St. Augustine in Valletta is abusing this norm. It is happening quite often that during morning Mass, when the congregation is composed of a handful of people (20 at most), after the priest has concluded his own Communion, he distributes Communion to the extraordinary minister, and then hands the sacred vessels to him for distribution of Holy Communion to the people.

This is clearly an abuse - the priest is still relatively young and walks unaided.

Church authorities, kindly note. Perhaps such a practice has reduced attendance to this Mass which up to 3 years ago had a congregation of around 60.