Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Vatican Council II Documents: a compass to guide the ship of the Church

Image result for benedict xviWe are reproducing parts of the speech by then Pope Benedict XVI, during a general audience dated 10 October 2012. This is important in the context of the current quarrels between different traditional Catholics in Malta. They range from Novus Ordo conservatives, to SSPX symphatisers to sedevacantists and even outright Conclavists. The latter, in particular, are known to be very active lately.

 "We have reached the eve of the day on which we will celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Vatican Council II and the beginning of the Year of Faith. And it is about the great ecclesial event of the Council that I wish to speak.


The documents of Vatican Council II are, even in our own time, a compass guiding the ship of the Church as she sails on the open seas, amidst tempests or peaceful waves, to reach her destination. ... I was able to witness the living Church ... which places herself at the school of the Holy Spirit, the true driving force behind the Council. Rarely in history has it been possible, as it was then, to touch almost physically the universality of the Church at a moment of peak fulfilment of her mission to carry the Gospel into all ages and unto the ends of the earth.


In Church history Vatican II was preceded by many other Councils such as Nicea, Ephesus, Chalcedon and Trent. In general though, they met to define fundamental elements of the faith, and particularly to the correct errors endangering that faith. This was not the case with Vatican Council II, because at that time there were no particular errors of the faith to correct and condemn, nor were there specific questions of doctrine and discipline to be clarified. ... The first question that arose during the preparation of this great event was how to begin, what task to give it. Blessed John XXIII in his opening address of 11 October fifty years ago gave some general guidelines: the faith had to speak with a 'renewed' and more incisive voice, because the world was changing rapidly, but it had to maintain its perennial message intact, without giving way or compromising.


The Pope wanted the Church to reflect upon her faith and upon the truths that guide her. But that serious and profound reflection ... had to be the starting point for a new relationship between the Church and the modern age, between Christianity and certain essential elements of modern thought, not in order to seek conformity, but to show our world, which tends to distance itself from God, the requirements of the Gospel in all its greatness and purity.


The age in which we live continues to be marked by forgetfulness and deafness towards God. I believe, then, that we must learn the simplest and most fundamental lesson of the Council: that the essence of Christianity consists in faith in God, ... and in the individual and community encounter with Christ Who guides our lives. ... The important thing today, as was the desire of the Council Fathers, is for us to see - clearly and anew - that God is present, that He concerns us and responds to us. And when faith in God is lacking our essential foundations give way because man loses his dignity. ... The Council reminds us that the Church ... has the mandate to transmit God's salvific word of love, so that the divine call which contains our eternal beatitude may be heard and accepted.


The four cardinal points of our guiding compass: Sacrosanctum Concilium on the sacred liturgy, which speaks of the centrality of the mystery of Christ's presence in the Church; Lumen Gentium which highlights the Church's fundamental duty to glorify God; Dei Verbum on divine Revelation, which speaks of the living Word of God that unites and animates the Church throughout history, and finally Gaudium et Spes which deals with the way the Church transmits to the world the light it received from God.


Vatican Council II is a powerful appeal to us to make a daily rediscovery of the beauty of our faith, to understand it deeply through a more intense relationship with the Lord, and to live out our Christian vocation to the full".

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Pope Francis Says Rejecting Vatican II Excludes You from the Church

The below article should serve as a warning to Tridentine groups in Malta that their activities will soon end.

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Religious education must focus on leading people to a personal relationship with Christ and building a community of believers where the talents of each person are valued and where all go out to share the Gospel and serve the poor, Pope Francis said.

"The first protagonists of catechesis are those messengers of the Gospel, often laypeople, who generously get involved to share the beauty of having encountered Jesus," the pope said Jan. 30 to participants in a meeting organized by the Italian bishops' National Catechetical Office.

Catechesis must "express God's saving love, which precedes any moral and religious obligation on our part," he said. "'You are loved, you are loved' -- this comes first; this is the gateway."

Catechesis does "not impose the truth but appeals to freedom, like Jesus did," he said, and "it should be marked by joy, encouragement, liveliness and a harmonious balance which will not reduce preaching to a few doctrines which are at times more philosophical than evangelical."

However, he said, a catechist always must teach what the church teaches and that includes the vision and teachings of the Second Vatican Council.

"This is magisterium: the council is the magisterium of the church," he said. "Either you are with the church and therefore you follow the council, or if you do not follow the council or you interpret it in your own way, as you wish, you are not with the church."

"We must be demanding and strict on this point," the pope said.

"Selectivity with respect to the council" is something that has happened throughout the history of the church with its various councils, he said. "It makes me think of a group of bishops who, after Vatican I (1869-70), left with a group of lay people, of groups, to continue the 'true doctrine' that was not that of Vatican I."

"Today they ordain women," the pope said, apparently referring to the Old Catholic Churches that are part of the Union of Utrecht.

"Please," the pope told the group, "no concessions to those who try to present a catechesis that does not agree with the magisterium of the church."

Pope Francis also told the group that after five years of on-again, off-again discussions, the Italian bishops' conference "must begin the process for a national synod -- community by community, diocese by diocese."

The bishops, religious and laypeople who gathered in Florence in 2015 for the Italian church's national convention, held every 10 years, spoke about the idea of having a synod, but no formal steps were taken to organize it. "Now, take it up again. It's time," the pope said.

Quoting from his speech to the convention delegates in Florence, Pope Francis told members of the catechetical office that religious education must place the community dimension of the church at its center.

"This is not the time for elitist strategies," he said. "This is the time to be artisans of open communities that know how to value the talents of each one. It is a time for missionary communities, free and disinterested, that do not seek relevance and advantage, but walk the paths of the people of our time, bending down to those on the margins."

"It is the time for communities that can look disappointed young people in the eye, that welcome strangers and give hope to the disheartened," he said. "It is a time for communities that fearlessly dialogue with those who have different ideas. It is a time for communities that, like the good Samaritan, know how to draw near to those wounded by life, to bind up their wounds with compassion."

Monday, November 2, 2020

New Executive Committee

After a number of years, we are pleased to announce that during an online conference held for members, a new Committee has been elected. More details on the page "Kumitat Eżekuttiv". Our first activity is a Tridentine Mass next Sunday in Valletta at 10:30.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Bishop Mario Grech on Pope Benedict XVI

CIRCULAR LETTER From H.L. Mons. Mario Grech Bishop of Gozo
To the reverend Archpriests, Rectors of Churches, Religious superiors, Consecrated persons and Catholic Laity. HEARTFELT SALUTE TO POPE BENEDICT XVI Beloved, In a few days the Pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI will end. We have every reason to be grateful to this Pope who guided the Church for the past eight years. Apart from being for us a model of how we should be disciples of Jesus Christ, he was a strong wall on which we could rest. But above all, the Gozo Church continues to remember Pope Benedict XVI who, on 18th April 2010, made an extraordinary gesture and personally presented a golden rose to Our Lady of Ta’ Pinu on the Floriana granaries. Moreover, we are also grateful to the Pope because it pleased him to call into his family one of our priests, Mgr. Alfred Xuereb, who has been his second secretary during the past six years. As a token of love toward our Spiritual Father, I am asking all Gozitans to unite with the Universal Church in one prayer during the next few days so that, while we thank God for the gift He lent us in the person of the Pope, we pray for the Lord to help him live these moments of separation in serenity. Since the last day of Pope Benedict XVI’s Pontificate is Thursday 28th February, I propose that on that particular Thursday: 1. there will be a day of fasting as a prayer for the Pope’s intention; 2. a mass Pro Pontefice is celebrated in each church; 3. the Holy Hour will be for the Pope’s needs; 4. families offer the rosary for him; 5. the Pope’s flag is raised on the churches and private residencies; 6. a photograph of the Pope is exposed in churches and church-owned public places (schools, parochial centres, etc.) 7. at noon church bells will toll for 15 minutes; 8. in the evening the churches light up their frontage; 9. a fjakkolata is set up on church properties; 10. all families light a candle in the windows of our houses. From Friday 1st March 2013 until we have a new Pope, the intercession for the church in the Eucharistic Prayer will be in the way indicated in the subsidy prepared by the Liturgy Secretariat (page 10). Then, when the conclaves start, a Mass for the Selection of the Pope will be celebrated in all the churches of the Diocese at a time most suitable for the people. The start of the conclaves will be announced by all the churches at eight o’clock in the morning of the opening day through a fifteen-minute bell toll. When the news of the Pope’s election becomes available, the local churches will announce the happy event by bell-tolling for fifteen minutes. I pray for Heaven’s blessing on you. Given at the Bishop’s Curia, Victoria, Gozo, on Friday 22nd February, 2013, feast of the Cathedra of Saint Peter. 30/2013

Bishop Mario Grech and Amoris Laetitia - lest we forget

We are reproducing a comment from one of our readers. Any further information is appreciated. We consider the below as mere allegations for the time being.
Very sad. As a German residing in Malta, I remember that in 2015 this was reported in 'Malta Today' newspaper: •Priests pleaded with Rome and Cardinal Marx of the Bishops Conference in Europe not to see Grech appointed as Archbishop of Malta due to "reprehensible behaviour." •Grech failed to carry out the Vatican's order to defrock perverted priests who allegedly threatened to expose other cases of sexual abuse by priests. •He possessed the "grin of a Cheshire Cat" and was the "embodiment of a heady combination of spiritual authority and power with the lack of human accountability," in addition to a "manifest attachment to material wealth." •He was also accused in no uncertain term of being a "bully," creating a "bullying culture" in the local Church and being obsessed with of thriving in a "media spin culture." •Gozo continued, at least in 2015, to live at "home with his parents," and was accused of nepotism! Very sad news indeed. These are the corrupt Catholic Church leaders nowadays.
It had already been denied by Bishop Grech:
In a statement today, the Gozo Curia said that Bishop Mario Grech denies reports made in some international media, where it was alleged that he had threatened priests with suspension. The Curia said, “what is being stated by certain sections of the (international) media with reference to Bishop Mario Grech, namely that he `threatens priests with suspension (a divinis) for refusing communion to divorced/remarried,’ “is absolutely false.”
Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna and Bishop Mario Grech have prepared guidelines for priests, for the application of Chapter VIII of the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis – Amoris Lætitia . This chapter is an invitation for mercy and for pastoral discernment. In a letter read on Sunday in the churches of Gozo and Malta, the bishops explained that “this message is also relevant to the couples and families who find themselves in complex situations, especially those involving separated or divorced persons who have entered a new union. Although they may have “lost” their first marriage, some of these persons have not “lost” their hope in Jesus. Some of these earnestly desire to live in harmony with God and with the Church, so much so, that they are asking us what they can do in order to be able to celebrate the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.”

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Malta's Third Cardinal in history

Mario Grech (20 February 1957) is a Maltese prelate who was Bishop of Gozo from 2005 to 2019. He was Pro-Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops from October 2019 until he became Secretary General in September 2020. On 25 October 2020, Pope Francis announced he would raise him to the rank of cardinal at a consistory scheduled for 28 November 2020. Mario Grech was born in Qala, Gozo, on 20 February 1957. His family moved to Ta' Kerċem when he was a young boy. He attended the Victoria high school and then studied philosophy and theology at the Gozo diocesan seminary. He was ordained a priest on 26 May 1984. He then obtained a licenciate in civil and canon at the Pontifical Lateran University and a doctorate in canon law at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas. He then fulfilled pastoral assignments at the Cathedral of Gozo, in the National Shrine of Ta' Pinu, and the parish of Kerċem. His responsibilities for the Diocese of Gozo included service as Judicial Vicar of the diocese, a member of the Metropolitan Court of Malta, teacher of canon law at the seminary, and a member of the College of Consultors, of the Presbyteral Council and of other diocesan commissions. On 26 November 2005, Pope Benedict XVI named him Bishop of Gozo. He received his episcopal consecration on 22 January 2006 from his predecessor in Gozo, Bishop Nikol Joseph Cauchi. In 2011, he joined other Maltese bishops in advising Catholics to defeat a referendum that would allow the legislature to consider legalizing divorce. He was famous for prohibiting any Tridentine Masses from being held in Gozo, unlike the position taken by the Maltese Archbishop, Paul Cremona O.P. As president of the Episcopal Conference of Malta, he participated in the Synod of Bishops on the Family in 2014 and 2015. Speaking to the Synod in October 2014, Grech said that
"the doctrine of the faith is capable of progressively acquiring a greater depth"
and that addressing people in complex familial relations, or homosexuals or parents of homosexuals, "It is necessary to learn to speak that language which is known to contemporary human beings and who acknowledge it as a way of conveying the truth and the charity of the Gospel."
With Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna, Grech co-authored the Maltese bishops' pastoral guidelines on Amoris Laetitia, released in January 2017, which stated that in certain cases a divorced Catholic who remarried might receive communion after "honest discernment". The guidelines were republished in L'Osservatore Romano. The guidelines infamously said that:
"If, as a result of the process of discernment, a separated or divorced person who is living in a new relationship manages, with an informed and enlightened conscience, to acknowledge and believe that he or she is at peace with God, he or she cannot be precluded from participating in the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist."
In a December 2018 interview, he said he enjoyed discussions with atheists that sharpened his own beliefs and preferred dialogue to the confrontation his critics preferred. When asked about family and sexual issues he said:
If someone comes to me, asking me for help to discover Jesus Christ... he or she could be homosexual, and even in a homosexual relationship. It doesn’t matter. I will not impede that person; on the contrary I would help. The last thing I would do is take up a position against that person.... Before, we would say: 'put your life in order first, and then we’ll begin the journey towards God'. Today, on the other hand, we would say: 'Let us approach Jesus Christ... and Christ will help us put our lives in order.' ... 'Black' and 'white' still exist; but the grey area in-between has grown. It is in the grey areas that we must search. That’s why I said that I am wary of those priests, or Christians, who feel they already know all the answers. No one can make that claim. We all have to continue searching.
On 2 October 2019, Pope Francis named him Pro-Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, in anticipation of succeeding Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri when he retired as Secretary General. Grech worked alongside Baldisseri and participated as a member in the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon region. Grech was also the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Gozo until 2020. He was one of five Synod officials who served ex offico on the fifteen-person commission that was responsible for drafting the final document of the Amazon Synod. In his first interview after his appointment he stated that
"there is a movement toward which the Church can acquire a greater feminine face that would also reflect Mary’s face"
. On 4 July 2020, Pope Francis named Grech a member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, with the exception of reconciliation with traditional Catholic communities. On 25 October 2020, Pope Francis announced he would raise him to the rank of cardinal at a consistory scheduled for 28 November 2020. The previous Maltese cardinals were: Fabrizio Sceberras Testaferrata and Prospero Grech OSA .

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Crisis in the Church according to Fr. Alfredo Morselli

Don Alfredo Morselli: Dio è cattolico – Cristianesimo Cattolico

Fr. Alfredo Morselli's “Thesis on the Council” can be explained briefly as follows:

1 The present crisis is of unprecedented gravity, essentially neo-modernist, but much graver than the original modernist crisis at the beginning of the 20th century.

2 However, Vatican II is not simply the cause of the present crisis, because:

2.1 The crisis began long before 1960,

2.2 its neo-modernism would never have taken root without the deep corruption of modern man, and

2.3 similarly the pontificate of Pope Francis was prepared long before the 21st century.

3 We must distinguish between the Council itself and the post-Council, or aftermath of the Council:

3.1 The Council cannot be blamed for all errors attributed to it, even if they were done in its name,

3.2 The Holy Spirit was at the Council, so that one cannot say there was no good at all in the Council.

4 The Council texts do include ambiguous formulae, which give the neo-modernists an opening.

5 Almost all these problems have been solved subsequently by official Church Declarations.

6 The problems represent not so much errors as the desire to be inclusive rather than exclusive.

7 A tragic example of that desire is the Council’s refusal to condemn Communism.

8 Calling the Council “pastoral” does not mean that there is nothing dogmatic in its pronouncements.

9 One may only criticize the Council in accordance with Church teaching on the Faith. Hence

9.1 Faith means believing God, i.e. accepting and not choosing what truths one will believe.

9.2 The Catholic Church’s Magisterium is the prime decider of which are those truths to believe.

9.3 That Magisterium is not open to private interpretation. It alone can interpret its own decisions.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Archbishop Viganò on the Second Vatican Council

This is a summary of his 9 June 2020 public letter: "People talk of “the Spirit of the Council.” But when was there talk of “the Spirit of Trent,” or of any other Catholic Council? There never was, because all other Councils simply followed the spirit of the Church. However, the good Bishop should beware of exaggerating “errors” that needed “correcting” in past teachings of the Church, because whatever these may have been, they were nothing like what the Second Vatican Council did, which was comparable (even in content) with the Council of Pistoia (A.D. 1786), later condemned by the Church. At Vatican II, many of us were fooled. In good faith, we made too many allowances for the supposed good intentions of those promoting an ecumenism which turned later into false teaching on the Church. Today many Catholics no longer believe that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church, and it is in the texts of Vatican II that the ambiguities are to be found which opened the way to this undermining of the Faith. It began with inter-religious meetings, but it is due to end in some universal religion from which the one true God will have been banished. This was all planned long ago. Numerous errors of today have their roots in Vatican II, to the texts of which it is easy to trace back today’s multiple betrayals of truly Catholic belief and practice. Vatican II is now used to justify all aberrations, whereas its texts prove uniquely difficult to interpret, and they contradict previous Church Tradition in a way no other Church Council has ever done. I confess serenely now that I was at the time too unconditionally obedient to the Church authorities. I think that many of us could not then imagine the Hierarchy being unfaithful to the Church, as we see now especially in the present Pontificate. With the election of Pope Francis, at last the conspirators’ mask came off. They were finally free from the philo-Tridentine Benedict XVI, free to create the Newchurch, to replace the old Church with a Masonic substitute for both the form and substance of Catholicism. Democratisation, synodality, women priests, pan-ecumenism, dialogue, demythologising the Papacy, the politically correct, gender theory, sodomy, homosexual marriage, contraception, immigrationism, ecologism, – if we cannot recognise how all these have their roots in Vatican II, there will be no cure for them. Such a recognition “requires a great humility, first of all in recognizing that for decades we have been led into error, in good faith, by people who, established in authority, have not known how to watch over and guard the flock of Christ.” Those shepherds who in bad faith or even with malicious intent betrayed the Church, must be identified and excommunicated . We have had far too many mercenaries, more concerned with pleasing Christ’s enemies than with being faithful to His Church. “Just as I honestly and serenely obeyed questionable orders sixty years ago, believing that they represented the loving voice of the Church, so today with equal serenity and honesty I recognize that I have been deceived.” I cannot now persevere in my error. Nor can I claim that I saw clear from the start. We all knew that the Council was more or less a revolution, but none of us imagined just how devastating it would be. We could say that Benedict XVI slowed it down, but the Pontificate of Francis has proved beyond all possible doubt that among the shepherds at the top of the Church there is sheer apostasy, while the sheep below are abandoned and virtually scorned. The Declaration of Abu Dhabi (“God is pleased with all religions”) was unforgivable for a Catholic. True charity does not compromise with error. And if one day Francis refuses any longer to play the game, he will be removed, just like Benedict XVI was removed, and replaced. But the Truth remains and will prevail: “Outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation.”

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

A temporary solution?

See the source image

Recently this Blog was informed that the Tridentine Mass has stopped being celebrated in Birkirkara. For the foreseeable future it has been transferred to the Jesuits’ Church in Valletta.  While, on paper, this is a welcome development - Valletta being more central - the good news might be short-term only. A regular attendee confirmed that this is also due to the fact of the COVID-19 virus, Birkirkara's church being small for the current ASPM congregation.

It is our sincere wish that more priests (there are already some who wish to) will be allowed to celebrate the Tridentine Mass on a regular basis. Otherwise, the traditional Catholics would be considered as a small part of today's Church. Also, the less Tridentine Masses by different priests are held, the more people would think that traditional Catholics:

  •  reject the idea of contents a priori prevailing over form. In the case of religious rituals, form and contents do not just form two separable, autonomous entities, but connect with each other through complex relationships, including theological, psychological, phenomenal, aesthetic and historic dimensions.
  • These aspects, in their turn, play a role in the perception of these rituals by the faithful and in their spiritual lives. Considering the fact that Church rituals from their very beginning were intertwined with doctrinal truth, changing these rituals may have a tremendous effect on religious conscience and a severe impact on the faithful.
  • Some consider any pre-Vatican II practice as exclusively theirs, denying that the Catholic Church has any claims upon a history before Saint Pope Paul VI.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Recent important developments concerning the traditional Latin Mass (3)

Pope Orders Cardinal Müller to Dismiss Three CDF Priests ...

Note for the presentation of the Decree Cum sanctissima
on the liturgical celebration in honour of Saints
in the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite

With the Decree Cum sanctissima of 22 February 2020, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which since January 2019 deals with those matters formerly assigned to the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”[1], completed the work initiated several years earlier by that Commission in order to fulfill the mandate given by Pope Benedict XVI to facilitate the celebration of more recently canonized Saints according to the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite[2]. Indeed, since the Sanctoral of the forma extraordinaria is determined by the liturgical books in force in 1962, Saints canonized thereafter were not included therein.

The studies carried out in order to develop a practical solution for the liturgical celebration of more recent Saints in the Usus Antiquior provided an opportunity to address the many issues that this matter raises, such as the density of the existing calendar (particularly as regards III class feasts), the consideration of all the repercussions of any potential changes, the always preferable consistency between Mass and the Divine Office, and the matter of the liturgical texts to be used.

In this context, it appeared that rather than dealing with this or that more recent Saint, it would be more appropriate to lay down a general principle that would enable, within the general rubrical context of the forma extraordinaria, and when the liturgical day permits, the celebration of any Saint canonized after the 1960s, on the date of their proper feast.

Specifically, the Decree broadens the scope of missæ festivæ latiore sensu referred to in n. 302-c of the Rubricæ Generales Missalis Romani (which hitherto only applied to IV class days), to a number of III class feasts and to III class vigils[3] (cf. Decree, n. 1). It is therefore clear that the new provisions will not in any way affect other celebrations, and in particular those of the I or II classes. In addition, the Decree specifies that missæ festivæ latiore sensu may be celebrated in honour of Saints canonized after 26 July 1960 (which is the date of the last amendment to the Martyrology of the forma extraordinaria), on their respective liturgical feast day (n. 2).

With this principle in mind, the other provisions of the Decree give the necessary indications that derive therefrom, such as the applicability to the Divine Office, which in such a case is to be celebrated in full in honour of the Saint (n. 3), the requirement to make a commemoration of potentially occurring III class feasts, as the case may be (n. 4), and the rules relating to the selection of the liturgical texts to be used (n. 5). Regarding this particular point, one should note the three successive sources from which texts are to be drawn, namely in the first place the Proprium Sanctorum pro aliquibus locis which already exists in the Missal of the forma extraordinaria, secondly a special Supplement to be published by the Holy See in the future, and finally, should the two former sources be lacking, the existing Commune Sanctorum.

It is noteworthy that the celebration of more recent Saints pursuant to the new provisions is a mere possibility, and therefore it remains optional. Accordingly, those who wish to continue to celebrate the Saints according to the existing calendar of the forma extraordinaria as it appears in the liturgical books, remain free to do so. In relation to this, one should be reminded that the existence of optional feasts in honour of the Saints is not a complete novelty in the Roman Rite, given that throughout the post-tridentine period, and up till the rubrical reform carried out by Pope St. Pius X, the calendar included no less that twenty-five such so-called ad libitum feasts.

The new Decree also opens a further possibility for cases in which whilst following the existing calendar, one wishes at the same time to honour eventual other occurring Saints. Specifically, according to n. 6 of the Decree, an ad libitum commemoration of an occurring Saint may be made, if said Saint appears in the Proprium pro aliquibus locis or in the future special Supplement.

In choosing whether or not to make use of the provisions of the Decree in liturgical celebrations in honour of the Saints, the celebrant is expected to make use of good pastoral common sense. As regards the particular case of celebrations in Religious Institutes and Societies of Apostolic Life, n. 7 of the Decree provides some useful clarification.

The Decree concludes (n. 8) with reference to a list of seventy III class feasts that may never be impeded by its provisions. This list, which is provided as an annex, reflects the particular importance of the feasts in question, on the basis of precise criteria, e.g. the importance of these respective Saints in the Plan of Salvation or in the history of the Church, their importance in terms of either the devotion they have generated or their writings, or the antiquity of their worship in Rome.

[2] “New Saints (…) can and should be inserted in the old Missal. The “Ecclesia Dei” Commission, in contact with various bodies devoted to the Usus Antiquior, will study the practical possibilities in this regard”: Benedict XVI, Letter to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of the Apostolic Letter “Motu Proprio Data” Summorum Pontificum on the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970, AAS 99 (2007) 798. This mandate was further confirmed and completed in 2011 by the Instruction Universæ Ecclesiæ of the same Pontifical Commission: cf. Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”, Instruction on the Application of the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum of His Holiness Benedict XVI given Motu Proprio, n. 25, AAS 103 (2011) 418.

[3] In fact there is only one such III class vigil in the calendar of the forma extraordinaria, namely that of St. Lawrence on 9 August. On this subject one may be reminded that from 1568 until the Codex Rubricarum of 1960, non-privileged vigils such as that of St. Lawrence were of the simplex rite, and accordingly, when they fell in occurrence with a semiduplex or duplex feast of a Saint, that feast would prevail over the vigil. With the reform enacted under St. Pius X in 1911-1914, in non-conventual Masses the celebrant could, in certain cases, choose between the Mass of the occurring Saint or the Mass of the vigil (cr. Additiones et variationes in rubricis Missalis, n. 1).

Recent important developments concerning the traditional Latin Mass (2)

10 Things You May Not Know About the Vatican - HISTORY

Press Release: CDF Decrees on new Prefaces and Saints for the Extraordinary Form - From the President and Officers of the FIUV

26th March 2020

Yesterday the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), now exercising the functions of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, has issued two decrees, one on Prefaces to be added to the 1962 Missal (Quo Magis), and the other on the possibility of saints, canonised since 1962 to have Masses celebrated in their honour (Cum Sanctissima). (English summary here.)

The Federation was consulted on both issues, and we would like to thank the CDF for taking the views of our members into account in developing these decrees.

The Federation welcomes in particular the possibility of making a liturgical commemoration of saints canonised since 1962, without excessive disruption to the Sanctoral Calendar as it has come down to us. We wish, however, to issue some notes of caution.

On Prefaces, we note that the Note presenting the decree explains that while three of the seven newly permitted Prefaces are of the ‘Neo-Gallican’ tradition (of 18th century French origin), the other four are Prefaces used in the Ordinary Form, though not composed from scratch for the reformed Mass: ‘their central section(s), known as the “embolism”, appear in ancient liturgical sources’.

This implies that these ancient Prefaces have been adapted for use in the Ordinary Form, a process which makes them conform less, rather than more, with the spirit of the Extraordinary Form. If the value of these Prefaces lies in their antiquity, it is not clear what is to be gained by their being used in the Extraordinary Form in a redaction designed to make them conform to the themes and preferences of the Ordinary Form.

Further, we would like to appeal to priests celebrating the Extraordinary Form to bear in mind the great antiquity, theological importance, and centrality to the ancient Roman liturgical tradition, of the Preface of Trinity Sunday, and the Common Preface, whose use would become less frequent if the newly optional Prefaces were systematically employed. These two Prefaces have been of such centrality to the celebration of ancient Mass up to this point, that to downgrade them to mere options among others would be to make a fundamental change in the balance of texts and theological ideas which the Missal presents to the Faithful over the course of the year.

On the Saints, we note the list of saints celebrated as 3rd Class feasts, whose celebration remains obligatory. We recognise that in order to make possible the celebration of the new saints room must somehow be made for them, and we endorse the method proposed. We have reservations, however, about the composition of this list.

We note with particular dismay that the only male lay saints on the list are SS Cosmas and Damian: this seems an omission in need of correction, particularly as the excluded category include men central to the development of their countries: St Louis of France, St Stephen of Hungary, St Henry the Emperor of Germany, St Edward the Confessor of England, and St Wenceslas of Bohemia, outstanding examples of the vocation of the laity to ‘to penetrate and perfect the temporal order with the spirit of the Gospel’.[1]

Also completely absent are female founders of religious orders, such as St Angela Merici, St Juliana of Falconieri, and St Jane Francis de Chantal.

Although we are pleased to see two widows on the list—St Monica and St Francis of Rome— it would seem in general that non-clerical vocations, of the active or the religious life, which are richly represented in the ancient sanctoral calendar, have been set aside as of marginal importance.

Another category poorly represented on the list are Doctors of the Church. Some of the highest importance have been excluded: St Isidore, St John Damascene, St Bede, and St Irenaeus.

The imbalance represented by the list of obligatory saints appears to have been inherited from the list of non-optional Memorials found in the sanctoral cycle of the Ordinary Form, which it closely resembles. The lack of interest in the lay vocation and in the Doctors of the Church shown by the reformers of the 1960s should not be allowed to distort the presentation of the Church’s great patrimony of saints in celebrations of the Extraordinary Form today.

In choosing when to avail themselves of the option to celebrate newly canonised saints, we would like to appeal to priests celebrating the Extraordinary Form to consider carefully the balance of the categories of the saints, the importance of maintaining the connection to the distant past represented by the most ancient saints, and the value of the Marian devotional feasts also now rendered optional, such as Our Lady of Lourdes and the Presentation of Mary.

As an indication of feasts which we regard as particularly worthy of continued celebration, we give the following, non-exhaustive, list.

14/01   St Hilary
10/02   St Scholastica
11/02   Apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary (of Lourdes)
17/03   St Patrick
18/03   St Cyril of Jerusalem
27/03   St John Damascene
4/04     St Isidore
27/05   St Bede
3/07     St Irenaeus
15/07   St Henry, Emperor
25/08   St Louis, King
30/08   St Rose of Lima
2/09     St Stephen, King
28/09   St Wenceslas, Duke and Martyr
8/10     St Bridget, Widow
13/10   St Edward, King
24/10   St Rafael the Archangel
15/11   St Albert the Great
21/11   Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
25/11   St Catherine of Alexandria

[1] Second Vatican Council Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity Apostolicam actuositatem 5

Recent important developments concerning the traditional Latin Mass (1)

Retired popes are a rare thing; that's why it's hard to make rules ...

We will start the first part of these articles with the latest developments concerning the Tridentine Mass.

Pope Francis has now taken a major new step concerning the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Mass and the motu proprio Summorum pontificum issued by Benedict XVI. Pope Francis has sent two letters to all the Bishops of the world pertaining to Summorum Pontificum to ask a number of questions. The bishops are directed to respond to the questionnaire of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith by 31 July 2020. 

The worrying issue is related to the fact that many bishops are hostile to the traditional Latin Mass. Therefore their responses are expected to be almost universally hostile to the Tridentine Mass. If one looks at the Maltese dioceses, the situation is that the Tridentine Mass is only allowed in one small church in Malta every Sunday. This has meant that other priests in Malta are de facto prohibited from celebrating the Tridentine Mass in public. Even though in some occasions more than 100 persons attended Tridentine Masses organised by Pro Tridentina (Malta) when a fully functioning committee was in place. In Gozo, the situation is even worse, because the Tridentine Mass is not allowed at all!

This could provide a pretext for the Pope to come to the conclusion that the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Mass has not been widely or well received and that, therefore, Summorum Pontificum and its permissions will be abolished.

Such a development may come into effect this Advent or the Advent of 2021. Presumably the Tridentine Mass will revert to the status given to it in 1984 and 1988 by  Saint Pope John Paul II. 

Having said that, it's the opinion of this Blog that the provisions of Summorum Pontificum will be retained as the second and third parts will show.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Traditional Catholicism and Covid-19

COVID-19 Safety Aspects | European Cockpit Association (ECA)

Guidelines on how to practice your faith during the coronavirus pandemic:

1. Practice the habit of trying to elicit Perfect Contrition and of partaking in Spiritual Communion until you have the opportunity to receive the true Sacrament of Penance.

2. Say the Rosary together with your family.

3. Read spiritual works.

4. Study the Propers of the Roman Missal.

Unless there are important notifications this Blog will remain inactive till daily life returns to normal.