Sunday, February 18, 2024

Quotes to reflect upon (25)

 


We are conscious today that many, many centuries of blindness have cloaked our eyes so that we can no longer see the beauty of Your Chosen People nor recognize in their faces the features of our privileged brethren. 
We realize that the mark of Cain stands upon our foreheads. Across the centuries our brother Abel has lain in the blood we drew, or shed tears we caused by forgetting Your love. 
Forgive us the curse we falsely attached to their name as Jews. Forgive us for crucifying You a second time in the flesh. For we know not what we did.

These phrases are taken directly from the fake 'prayer' that former Jesuit priest Malachi Martin published in the American Jewish Committee publication, Commentary, in January 1965. Malachi alsot attributed this fake prayer to Pope John XXIII and claimed that Pope John XXIII intended for the 'prayer' to be recited in all of the churches of the world. It is worrying that this fake prayer has been recited in many churches throughout the world, even regularly in some areas such as in Poland and the USA.

Monday, February 5, 2024

Nitolbu għall-Provinċja Karmelitana Maltija

 


A church to be turned into a mosque?

 


According to traditional Catholic sites, apparently American, the Archdiocese of Malta is considering the selling of one of the Carmelite churches that are expected to pass from the Carmelite Order to the Archdiocese. It is rumoured that it will be sold for usage as a mosque.

Fgura appears to be one of the churches that the Provincial Chapter of the Maltese Carmelite Province is considering to release. Hopefully, such drastic measures will not be put in place, considering also that Fgura is just one parish. 

As Pro Tridentina (Malta) we're not informed whether the above websites are correct or not. But, as Maltese Catholics, it's important that clarifications are made.


Friday, January 26, 2024

Biblical Concept of Time by Prof. Goswin N. M. Habets

 


I. The Hebrew Concept of Time and HistoryA. Israel had a concept of time very different from ours.The Western concept of time and history cannot be applied adequately to Israel.1. Our concept is linear: past - present - futureThe Western concept is also absolute and abstract.This is an a priori to every event; there is already time before the events.We can put any events on the time line.


Israel’s concept of time was not linear, absolute, abstract. No word exists in the Bible to express this. Some examples follow:

  • Jer. 50:16 time of harvest
  • Jer. 8:15 time of healing
  • Gen. 38:27, Mic. 5:2 time of giving birth
  • Gen. 29:7 time to gather animals
  • Ruth 2:14 time of a meal
  • Ps. 1:3 time for giving fruit
  • Ps. 104:27 time to give food
et = “time” - not a line, but punctum temporis, a point of time that is a determinate moment, a period of time. It is relative, always in connection with other words which always indicate an event. The event is not possible without its time; time is not without its event. Time in Israel is not abstract, but concrete. Time is identified with its content. Time is never empty time, but concrete, filled time.


'yom = “day” - from dawn to sunset (as distinct from 'laylah, “night”); unity of the calendar; same value as ‘et.

  • Gen. 2:4 day in sense of occasion, event of creation
  • Dt. 4:32 day that God created man on the earth
  • Dt. 9:7 the day when you came from Egypt - the occasion of Exodus.

This coincidence of time and event was not only valid for events of nature, but also for all human events, even internal movements of the soul.


  • Qoheleth 3:1-8 time imposed on every circumstance. Every event is determined by the time assigned to this event.
  • Ps. 31:16 “My times are in Your hands.”

Western concept of time is eschatological. Humanity is directed toward a final fulfillment.

  • Gen. 8:22 “all the times of the earth.”

Contrasts - two contrary concepts indicate totality. Succession of times rhythmic - cyclical vision of time. This conception of cyclical, anti-eschatological time of Archaic Yahwism did not remain so. Israel gradually elaborated an eschatological concept of time. The point of departure was the Feasts: Sabbath, Passover, Unleavened Bread, In gathering.

  • Passover: pastoral origin; rite practiced by nomadic or semi-nomadic shepherds.
  • Sacrifice of first fruits of the flock. Rite known before stay in Egypt.
  • Unleavened Bread: feast of sedentary people, Canaanite origin; an agricultural feast.
  • Periodic cycle of nature; beginning of Spring. Thanksgiving.

The Hebrew Concept of Time and History SummaryWestern Biblical1. Linear Punctum temporisAbsolute RelativeAbstract Concrete
2. Eschatological Non-eschatological in Archaic YahwismCyclical (Gen. 8:22)(Feasts) LinearEschatological (Dt. 16:1)


Passover given historical meaning: journey of Exodus a definitive journey.

Ex. 23:15 Feast of Unleavened Bread: symbolized Birth of People of Israel.


Passover and Unleavened Bread joined
a. Chronological coincidence:Nomads (1st full moon of Spring);
Unleavened Bread - (1st Gathering of grain)
b. Eating Unleavened Bread part of both rites.
c. Symbolism: strictly related
Passover - 1st event of Exodus
Unleavened Bread - Last event
Together - whole event

Israel’s Feasts:

Gilgal - conquest of the Promised LandSchechem - Covenant on SinaiFeast of Booths - Providence in the desertPassover - Exodus celebrated in familiesBethel - Patriarchs


Israel recognized these events as successive, as a “becoming” as history that was intelligible. Gestalt: each part takes its significance from being in relation with each other part and the whole.
Short biography: Born in the Netherlands in 1938, Fr. Goswin N.M. Habets became lecturer (professore incaricato) of Biblical theology within the Faculty of Theology at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum (APRA) in 1977. He was highly esteemed by his students. One of his most interesting courses was the one on prophets. For decades, Fr. Goswin would go to the back entrance of the sacristy at 07:00 to celebrate Mass on the Altar of St. Pius X in St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome. The Dutch priest travelled a lot and Malta was one of his favourite places. Here he had several friends, including former altar boys who had served at St. Peter's Basilica over the years.

When he fell ill, Fr. Goswin asked a young American priest if he would be able to keep the Altar of St. Pius X “warm” for him. Afterwards, one morning, Fr. Goswin came by the sacristy to ask the sacristan and some of the senior altar servers to be ready for the American priest with vestments and cruets as soon as he entered — the trick that the more experienced priests in and around the Vatican had perfected.

Fr. Goswin died on 7 March 2005. A few hours after his death, a person who had attended his lectures stated that, after teaching the Old Testament throughout his life, Fr. Goswin was now ready to be examined on the New Testament. 

Thursday, January 11, 2024

FIUV's Reactions to Fiducia supplicans

Dr. Joseph Shaw, FIUV President


From the President: Pope Francis risks his authority over the blessing of irregular unions

In this second President’s Bulletin I wish to consider international reactions to Pope Francis’ recent document, issued by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, on the blessing of irregular unions (same sex unions, illicit second marriages, and so on). I considered the meaning and intentions of the document in a message to supporters of the Latin Mass Society, here. Links to documents quoted below can be found here.

Positive reactions

The President of the German Bishops’ conference has welcomed the document, though his lay counterparts on the Catholic Central Committee see it only as a positive step. It is difficult to imagine what next step could be taken which is not explicitly ruled out by the document itself, but they tell us that 'to be Catholic in these times means to expect change.'

The celebrity American homosexual priest James Martin SJ reacted by posting a photo of him blessing a same-sex couple.

Neutral reactions

Some conservative bishops in Europe and America have issued statements that welcome the document but emphasise its limitations rather than any new possibilities.

Negative reactions from liberals

A homosexual lapsed Catholic writer in the left wing secular British newspaper The Guardian was in no way mollified by the document. 'That’s not a blessing, it’s an insult.'

Former Irish President Mary MacAleese said it was 'nowhere near enough', but nevertheless 'a massive climbdown by Pope Francis and the DDF.'

Negative Reactions from Bishops’ Conferences

What is most striking is the reaction of Bishops’ Conferences. A refusal to countenance the blessing of irregular unions has now been expressed by the bishops of Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Malawi, Zambia, Cameroon and Nigeria. I will try to keep my collection of their comments here up to date, as more statements are being published by the hour.

Similar is the statement of the English Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, a conservative grouping with sister organisations in Australia and the USA.

Comment

With Fidudia supplicans Pope Francis generated many positive headlines from the liberal Catholic and secular Western press, and reassured German liberals that he was still willing to advance their agenda, balancing recent statements which seemed to go against them. As the dust has settled, however, things have become more complicated.

Conservative Western bishops instinctively avoid making statements on homosexuality and divorce, because of the attitude of the secular press and so many among of their own flocks. It is no surprise, therefore, that they have reacted to this latest document as they have.

African bishops, by contrast, are very aware of the danger of public scandal on this issue. The bishops of Kazakhstan and Ukraine, again, are mindful of the attitude of Russian Orthodox believers, and of Vladimir Putin’s periodic attempts to present himself as the champion of authentic Christian values.

Pope Francis and his advisers may have thought that a concession to sexual libertinism that is more symbolic than real would be an easy victory, but this ignores the non-Western perspective.

The net result is that is that Pope Francis' authority being questioned as never before, with opposition coming from a new quarter: not Americans or liturgical traditionalists, but the 'peripheries', above all Africa.

We must ask the Christ Child, whose coming into the world we are soon to celebrate, to maintain in all our bishops His purity of heart, and to hold them steady to the injunction of St Paul: nolite conformari huic sæculo: ‘Be not conformed to this world’ (Romans 12:2).

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Gozo - For everyone except for the Latin Mass


According to Fr David Wright (the new Anglican Chancellor at St. Paul’s Pro Cathedral in Valletta)

“Relationships between the Anglican and Catholic communities in the Maltese islands are strong and cordial, with both denominations joining other Christian groups in the ecumenical group known as Christians Together in Malta. Another example of this warm friendship is that the Gozo Anglican congregation worship in the chapel of the Sacred Heart Seminary in Rabat.”

The Gozo Diocese, then under Bishop (now Cardinal) Mario Grech, has also made available the chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes (that stands on a promontory overlooking Mġarr Harbour) to the Italian community for the past eight years. Here, Novus Ordo Mass in Italian is celebrated at the chapel on Sundays and feasts of obligation at 10:00, while catechism lessons for those receiving the First Holy Communion and Confirmation are also held at the chapel. In addition, the community organises social and cultural activities for Italian residents.

What a pity that the same is not applied by the Gozo Diocese to Tridentine Roman Catholics. Different requests for Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite since 2007 were met with silence or refusals. 

Monday, October 30, 2023

A life for Christ the King: Archbishop Lefebvre

 


First published in the October 2011 issue of The Angelus magazine.

Archbishop Lefebvre: A Life for Christ the King

Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais

Archbishop Lefebvre always linked the priesthood to the social reign of our Lord Jesus Christ: the one is source of the other; the other spontaneously flows from the first.

I. At the French 
Seminary in Rome

On the Via Santa Chiara, where he trained for the priesthood from 1923 to 1929, Fr. Lefebvre learned from Fr. Henri Le Floch, the Father Superior of the house, not to separate what should be joined: the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ and His social reign, a priest’s doctrine and his piety, and also the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the social reign of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the teaching of the popes in their encyclicals.

Pius IX, Leo XIII, Pius X, and Pius XI are the masters, and also Cardinal Pie, Louis Veuillot, and so on. But the Fathers of the seminary were also well-beloved masters to whom they listened.

Fr. Le Floch

According to Archbishop Lefebvre:

Fr. Le Floch made us enter into and live the history of the Church, this fight that the perverse powers take to our Lord. We were mobilized against this dreadful liberalism, against the Revolution and the forces of evil which were trying to overcome the Church, the reign of our Lord, the Catholic States, and the whole of Christianity."[1]

 

This conflict imposed a personal choice on every seminarian: "We had to choose: we had to leave the seminary if we didn’t agree, or else join in the fight." But taking up the fight meant taking it up for one’s whole life: "I think that our whole life as priestsor as bishopshas been marked by this fight against liberalism."[2]

But how does the priesthood fit into this essentially political combat?

At the French Seminary, the seminarians had to read or had read to them the writings of Godefroid Kurth [The Origins of Modern Civilization, 1912] to make them consider how

the mystical Body of Christ transformed the pagan society of imperial Rome and prepared the growing movement that recognized the plans for society of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Priest and King";

 

the seminarians also learned through the writings of Fr. Deschamps [in his book Secret Societies and Society] that

revolutions caused the exclusion of Christ the King from government with the final goal of eliminating the Mass and the supernatural life of Christ the sovereign High Priest."[3]

 

Fr. (and later Cardinal) Billot’s De Ecclesia made them grasp “the sense of the royalty of Christ and the horror of liberalism.” Through the works of Cardinal Pie they learned

the full meaning of ‘thy kingdom come,’ namely, that Our Lord’s kingdom must come not only in individual souls and in heaven, but also on earth by the submission of States and nations to His rule. The dethroning of God on earth is a crime to which we must never resign ourselves" (Fr. Fahey).[4]

 

[Fr. Fahey was a seminarian in Rome 12 years before Marcel Lefebvre. He attended the same seminary, which was also under Fr. Le Floch’s direction.] “Pius IX’s Syllabus and the encyclicals of the last four popes,” said Fahey, “have been the principal object of my meditations on the royalty of Christ and its relation to the priesthood.”[5]

What a surprising meditation subject for a young seminarian: joining the highest spirituality with the submission of the temporal order to Christ. For Marcel Lefebvre’s teachers, there was no divorce between individual life and political action in the broadest sense. So-called “Catholic” liberalism separates what should remain united.

Fr. Voegtli

It was also at the French Seminary in Rome that Fr. Marc Voegtli, C.S.Sp., a professor at Santa Chiara, commented on Pius XI’s encyclical Quas Primas of December 11, 1925, on the social kingship of Jesus Christ. Before his enthusiastic young audience he set forth the political program of the Catholic Church by the action of the Catholic priest. We’ll explain at the end of this talk the political program in which the priest is engaged.

The testimony of Fr. Voegtli’s students is unanimous: His teaching was simple, he spoke only of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King…. He taught the integrity of the priesthood, the priesthood taken to its logical conclusion: the sacrifice of the priest [Keep that idea in mind] for the reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Everything was judged in that light. 'My dear friends,' the Father would say, 'you must preach Our Lord Jesus Christ with all your heart!'"

 

A collective testimony signed by twelve seminarians declares:

Through him [Fr. Voegtli] we learned to see our Lord Jesus Christ, the King, as the center of everything, the answer to all questions, our food, our thought, our life, everything…. That is what he wanted to impress upon us: that will remain!"[6]

 

And remain it did, as we shall see. Marcel Lefebvre was one of those who had an unforgettable memory of Fr. Voegtli’s conferences. You may be thinking, "Let’s get to his actions during the Council and after!" Yes, but it is essential to understand the mainspring of his action!

The mainspring of Archbishop Lefebvre’s fight for Christ the King: 
a testimony

He essentially gave his own testimony to the fact: 50 years [after the 12 seminarians’ testimony] one of Fr. Voegtli’s rare faithful disciples, Marcel Lefebvre, also bore witness to the indelible impression produced by Fr. Voegtli’s “talks, which were very simple, taking the words of Scripture, showing who Our Lord Jesus Christ was…. That remained with us for life!”[7]

It even became the subject of the seminarian’s meditation:

We shall never have sufficiently meditated on, or sought to understand, what Our Lord Jesus Christ is…. He should rule our thinking, He makes us holy. He is also our Creator since nothing whatsoever was made without the Word, and therefore without Our Lord Jesus Christ who is the Word. So we must only think about and contemplate Our Lord Jesus Christ. And that transforms one’s life!"[8]

 

What a striking remark. For Marcel Lefebvre, belief in the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ and consequently His right alone to reign meant personally dedicating himself to the fight. This he did, like many of his confreres, at Rome before the Confession of St. Peter. There he made a private vow of doctrinal and militant “Romanity.” The account of the Fr. Berto suggests that making such a vow was normal and went without saying. The seminarian promised “to be constantly on crusade” (Archbishop Lefebvre).[9]

He didn’t know when or where or in what troubled, tragic circumstances of the Church it would be that he would have to enter the arena and himself write a page of that Church history that he was shown under the light of Christ the King, but he knew that he would have to join in the battle.

The Second Vatican Council was to be the providential moment for Archbishop Lefebvre, the moment when he felt himself pushed to intervene in fidelity to the promise he had made as a seminarian at Rome long before.

II. Herald of Christ the King

During the Council, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre became the head of the resistance against false religious freedom in the name of Christ the King. During the presentation of two rival drafts on religious freedom, one by Cardinal Bea and one by Cardinal Ottaviani, at the last meeting of the Central Preparatory Commission in June 1962, he gave his opinion.

About the liberal schema of Cardinal Bea, he said:

On Religious Liberty: non placet… since it is based on false principles solemnly condemned by the sovereign pontiffs, for example Pius IX, who calls this error "delirium" (Denzinger 1690)…. The schema on religious liberty does not preach Christ and therefore seems false…."

 

About the Catholic schema of Cardinal Ottaviani, he said:

‘On the Church’: placet. However, the exposition of the fundamental principles could be done with more reference to Christ the King as in the encyclical Quas Primas…. Our Council could have as its aim to preach Christ to all men, and to state that it belongs to the Catholic Church alone to be the true preacher of Christ who is the salvation and life of individuals, families, professional associations, and of other civil bodies.

 

…The Theological Commission’s schema expounds the authentic doctrine but does so like a thesis; it does not sufficiently show the aim of this doctrine which is nothing other than the reign of Christ…. From the point of view of Christ as source of salvation and life, all the fundamental truths could be expounded as they say “pastorally,” and in this way the errors of secularism, naturalism, and materialism, etc., would be excluded."[10]

 

III. Theological adversary 
of the secular state

The Declaration on Religious Freedom promulgated by the Council on December 7, 1965, Dignitatis Humanae, seems to assert that the State must recognize the Catholic religion as the one true one (DH 1), but at the same time it teaches the “natural” freedom of the adherents of false cults to practice their beliefs publicly (DH 6). This contradiction became more problematic after the Council from the way the Holy See required its application by States that were still officially Catholic: the article in their constitutions professing the Catholic religion as the State religion had to be expunged.

So, while passing through Colombia, South America, soon after the suppression of the “Catholic religion” as “that of the nation,” Archbishop Lefebvre remarked that “the speech of the president of the Republic is more Catholic than the Nuncio’s.” The Archbishop was indignant that Ireland had agreed to replace the expression “the special position of the holy, Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman Church as guardian of the faith professed by the great majority of its citizens,” with “the homage of public worship” given by the State “to Almighty God.”

In Italy, Article 1 of the Lateran Accords of February 11, 1929, read:

Italy recognizes and reaffirms the principle expressed by Article 1 of the Statute of the Realm of March 4, 1848, by which the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman religion is the only religion of the State."[11]

 

In 1984, to the consternation of Archbishop Lefebvre, the new concordat between the Holy See and Italy only recognized that “the principles of Catholicism constitute part of the historical patrimony of the Italian people.” In 1977 [7 years before the 1984 concordat], Cardinal Giovanni Colombo, the Archbishop of Milan, had declared: "o stato non puo essere che laico.The State can only be secular. He explained:

The Church does not ask for privileges, but for genuine freedom…. In the current historical development of society, a confessional State is not possible: not only a confessional Christian State, but also a confessional Marxist atheistic State or a confessional radical bourgeois State. We are calling for a State that does not embrace any particular ideology, that does not impose the dogmas of any culture, and that does not identify with any party. Otherwise, very many of its citizens, because of their religious or ideological or partisan choices, would be compelled to feel like strangers in their own land."[12]

 

In terms that are insulting to the Church of Christ thus put on a par with ideologies, parties, and cultures, the Cardinal could not better express the current interpretation given to Dignitatis Humanae as propounding the agnostic and indifferentist State. The State’s pledge of allegiance to Jesus Christ, God Incarnate and the one true God, would amount to uncharitableness, contempt for human dignity, and unfair discrimination.

Archbishop Lefebvre spoke out against these liberal platitudes in an interview with the three cardinals who questioned him in 1975. “The goal of the secularization of the State,” he said, “is nothing other than the goal of the devil, who is behind Freemasonry: the destruction of the Catholic Church by affording all the false religions freedom of speech and by forbidding the State to work for the social kingship of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The archbishop explained what he meant: First of all, the recognition of Christ by the State is not a privilege; it is the right of the Man-God and Redeemer of the human race. On the other hand, “How many Catholics are still able to recognize that the work of our Lord’s Redemption must also be accomplished through civil society?” And yet this is so, for “everything was made for our Lord Jesus Christ,” as St. Paul teaches (Col. 1:16).[13]

Man has but one ultimate goal: eternal salvation. The Church works directly toward this goal, but the State should also work towards it, although indirectly, for civil society is also a creature of our Lord Jesus Christ.[14] Consequently, as St. Pius X teaches, the State has as its “ultimate object …man’s eternal happiness after this short life shall have run its course.”[15]

This… is founded on the dogmatic reason and on the experience of the conversion of numerous nations subsequent to the conversion of their rulers: for example, Clovis, Ethelbert, and so on. This fact prompted St. Alphonsus Liguori to declare: “If I convert a king, I do more for the Catholic cause than hundreds of missionaries.”

Archbishop Lefebvre also held the supernatural and traditional position of the Church on Christ the King—namely, that the State should be an instrument in the work of Redemption. He is not far from taking as his own the program of his brother in religion and co-alumnus of Santa Chiara, Denis Fahey: since the reign of Christ must be established by the cross (“Regnavit a ligno Deus” we sing in the Vexilla Regis):

In order to favor union with Christ as Priest in Holy Mass, God wants the world organized under Christ as King."[16]

 

From this it follows that:

At Holy Mass all the members of Christ express their determination to work for the integral establishment of the rights of God and of Christ the King over the world."[17]

 

More briefly, Archbishop Lefebvre would often say: “The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the expression of the kingship of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

At the French Seminary in Rome, Fr. Marc Voegtli, following the teaching of Fr. Deschamps, taught the young Marcel Lefebvre the liberal, Freemasonic agenda in three points:

  1. The banishment of Christ the King from government by the secularization of the State;
  2. eliminating the Mass which would result from the persecution of the Church by legal means, and ultimately the secularization of the Church itself, the supreme plot of initiated Masons; in order
  3. finally to suppress the grace of Jesus Christ High Priest in souls—the very secularization of Catholic souls. All of this happened after the Second Vatican Council…

What Archbishop Lefebvre did is reverse this satanic program in order to come up with the Catholic program, which is that of the Society of St. Pius X, also in three points:

  1. Restore to the faithful the Mass—the true Mass, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass—which is the source and expression of the reign of Jesus Christ.
  2. By the grace of the Mass, form an elite of faithful Catholics living in the state of grace; and
  3. through the work of this elite in public institutions—not just in ecclesiastical organizations, but also in openly Catholic civil organizations—re-crown our Lord Jesus Christ in society: “Omnia instaurare in ChristoEstablish all things in Christ,” according to the motto of St. Pius X.

This is the program Archbishop Lefebvre tried to explain to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future Benedict XVI, in a meeting they had in Rome on July 14, 1987:

Eminence… you are working to dechristianize society and the Church, and we are working to Christianize them. For us, our Lord Jesus Christ is everything, He is our life. The Church is our Lord Jesus Christ; the priest is another Christ; the Mass is the triumph of Jesus Christ on the cross; in our seminaries everything tends towards the reign of our Lord Jesus Christ. But You! You are doing the opposite: you have just wanted to prove to me that our Lord Jesus Christ cannot, and must not, reign over society.

 

For us, our Lord Jesus Christ is everything!"[18]

 

See also these related books:


Footnotes

1 Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Marcel Lefebvre: The Biography, pp. 36-7.

Ibid.

3 Fr. Denis Fahey, C.S.Sp., “Apologia pro Vita Mea,” 1950 (reprinted in Catholic Family News, April & May 1997), quoted in Tissier, Marcel Lefebvre, p. 37.

Ibid.

Ibid., pp. 37-8.

6 Tissier, Marcel Lefebvre, pp. 43-4.

Ibid., p. 44.

Ibid.

9 Archbishop Lefebvre, The Little Story of My Long Life [ref. to French edition], p. 28.

10 Tissier de Mallerais, Marcel Lefebvre, p. 285.

11 A.A.S. 21 (1929), pp. 290 seq.

12 Quoted from L’Osservatore Romano, translated from the Italian and published by “Ya” on July 14, 1977, and reprinted in the bulletin of the CICES, No. 210, March 15, 1977, under the byline of Andre Laforge.

13 Spiritual Conference, Econe, September 23, 1977, relating the conference of Archbishop Lefebvre at Rome at Princess Palaviccini’s in June 1977. CfThey Have Uncrowned Him, p. 101 [ref. to French edition].

14 It is a creature of God because the social nature of man is God’s creation.

15 St. Pius X, encyclical Vehementer Nos condemning the Law of Separation of Church and State in France, February 11, 1906.

16 Rev. Fr. Denis Fahey, C.S.Sp., The Mystical Body of Christ and the Reorganization of Society, pp. 114-5.

17 Ibid.

18 Tissier de Mallerais, Marcel Lefebvre, p. 548.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Traditionis custodes & Desiderio desideravi - the soon-to-be abolished Tridentine Mass in Malta

 


With the death of Benedict XVI at the end of 2022, it became known how painful it was for the late Pope the publication of Traditionis custodes (16 July 2021) as well as Desiderio desideravi (29 June 2022). In the latter document, Pope Francis called on Catholics to overcome forms of aestheticism that appreciate only outward formality or allow sloppiness in liturgy, noting that “a celebration that does not evangelize is not authentic.”

The Pope’s Apostolic Letter reaffirms the importance of ecclesial communion around the Novus Ordo Missae to the detriment of other valid Catholic rites. Below are some pertinent points from it:

  • Recalling the importance of Vatican II’s constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium  the Pope adds, ”I want the beauty of the Christian celebration and its necessary consequences for the life of the Church not to be spoiled by a superficial and foreshortened understanding of its value or, worse yet, by its being exploited in service of some ideological vision, no matter what the hue” (16).
  • After warning against “spiritual worldliness” and the Gnosticism and neo-Pelagianism that fuel it, Pope Francis explains that “Participating in the Eucharistic sacrifice is not our own achievement, as if because of it we could boast before God or before our brothers and sisters” and that “the Liturgy has nothing to do with an ascetical moralism. It is the gift of the Paschal Mystery of the Lord which, received with docility, makes our life new. The cenacle is not entered except through the power of attraction of his desire to eat the Passover with us” (20).
  • To heal from spiritual worldliness, we need to rediscover the beauty of the liturgy, but this rediscovery “is not the search for a ritual aesthetic which is content by only a careful exterior observance of a rite or is satisfied by a scrupulous observance of the rubrics. Obviously, what I am saying here does not wish in any way to approve the opposite attitude, which confuses simplicity with a careless banality, or what is essential with an ignorant superficiality, or the concreteness of ritual action with an exasperating practical functionalism” (22).
  • He writes that “it would be trivial to read the tensions, unfortunately present around the celebration, as a simple divergence between different tastes concerning a particular ritual form. The problematic is primarily ecclesiological.” (31) 
  • The Pope points out he does not see how it is possible to say that one recognizes the validity of the Council, and at the same time not accept the liturgical reform born out of Sacrosanctum Concilium.
  • A liturgical-sapiential plan of studies in the theological formation of seminaries would certainly have positive effects in pastoral action. There is no aspect of ecclesial life that does not find its summit and its source in the Liturgy. More than being the result of elaborate programs, a comprehensive, organic, and integrated pastoral practice is the consequence of placing the Sunday Eucharist, the foundation of communion, at the centre of the life of the community. The theological understanding of the Liturgy does not in any way permit that these words be understood to mean to reduce everything to the aspect of worship. A celebration that does not evangelize is not authentic, just as a proclamation that does not lead to an encounter with the risen Lord in the celebration is not authentic. And then both of these, without the testimony of charity, are like sounding a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” (37).
  • Among the ritual acts that belong to the whole assembly, silence occupies a place of absolute importance” which “moves to sorrow for sin and the desire for conversion. It awakens a readiness to hear the Word and awakens prayer. It disposes us to adore the Body and Blood of Christ” (52).
  • Pope Francis asks “all bishops, priests, and deacons, the formators in seminaries, the instructors in theological faculties and schools of theology, and all catechists to help the holy people of God to draw from what is the first wellspring of Christian spirituality,” reaffirming what is established in Traditionis custodes so that “the Church may lift up, in the variety of so many languages, one and the same prayer capable of expressing her unity,” and this single prayer is the Roman Rite that resulted from the conciliar reform and was established by the saintly pontiffs Paul VI and John Paul II.   
  • Let us recall that in an interview a couple of days after Benedict XVI's death, Archbishop Gänswein admitted the following:

Interviewer: So, Pope Benedict’s lifting of restrictions on celebrating the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite according to the 1962 Missal did not last as long as he intended. As Pope Emeritus, he was around to see the promulgation of Pope Francis’ motu proprio Traditionis Custodes. Was he disappointed?

Archbishop Gänswein: It hit him pretty hard. I believe it broke Pope Benedict’s heart to read the new motu proprio, because his intention had been to help those who simply found a home in the Missale Vetustum — to find inner peace, to find liturgical peace — in order to draw them away from Marcel Lefebvre. And if you think about how many centuries the old Mass was the source of spiritual life and nourishment for many people including many saints, it’s impossible to imagine that it no longer has anything to offer. And let’s not forget that many young people — who were born long after the Second Vatican Council, and who don’t really grasp all the drama surrounding that council — that these young people, knowing the new Mass, have nevertheless found a spiritual home, a spiritual treasure in the old Mass as well. To take this treasure away from people … well, I can’t say that I’m comfortable with that.