New TLM Poll from Georgetown

I received the following from the courteous Sister Mary E. Bendyna, RSM.  Please comment on the results!  Follow the link below:

Dear Mr. Arbuckle,

As you may recall, you were in contact with CARA a couple of years ago about the possibility of including questions about the Traditional Latin Mass in one of our surveys.  I just wanted to let you know that we were able to include questions very similar to those you were interested in in a poll we conducted in 2008 and have just released the results.  The press release is posted on our website at  The findings suggest that fewer Catholics have an opinion about the Mass than was the case when the Gallup poll asked about it in 1985.  I suspect that this is largely a function of many fewer Catholics having any recollection or experience of the Traditional Latin Mass than was the case in 1985.

I hope you find this information helpful.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Sister Mary

— Sr. Mary E. Bendyna, RSM, Ph.D.
Executive Director
and Senior Research Associate
Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA)
Georgetown University
Washington, DC 20057

TLM Venue Change for Carmel, Indiana

CARMEL, INDIANA – The St John Bosco Traditional Latin Mass Community will have a change of venue for the TLM.  The location for the community’s TLM on August 30th and for all Sundays in September will be at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church, Carmel, Indiana.  The Mass will begin at 3:00 PM.  This TLM for the St. John Bosco Latin Mass Community has been in existence since April 2008.

The “Reform of the Reform” is in motion

From Rorate Caeli – In today’s edition of Italian daily Il Giornale, religious journalist Andrea Tornielli brings the news that several “propositiones” approved by the plenary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (reserved session held on March 12, 2009) regarding several reforms of the new Mass of Paul VI. Full translation below:

ROME The document was delivered to the hands of Benedict XVI in the morning of last April 4 by Spanish Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship. It is the result of a reserved vote, which took place on March 12, in the course of a “plenary” session of the dicastery responsible for the liturgy, and it represents the first concrete step towards that “reform of the reform” often desired by Pope Ratzinger. The Cardinals and Bishops members of the Congregation voted almost unanimously in favor of a greater sacrality of the rite, of the recovery of the sense of eucharistic worship, of the recovery of the Latin language in the celebration, and of the remaking of the introductory parts of the Missal in order to put a stop to abuses, wild experimentations, and inappropriate creativity. They have also declared themselves favorable to reaffirm that the usual way of receiving Communion according to the norms is not on the hand, but in the mouth. There is, it is true, and indult which, on request of the [local] episcopates, allows for the distribution of the host [sic] also on the palm of the hand, but this must remain an extraordinary fact. The “Liturgy Minister” of Pope Ratzinger, Cañizares, is also having studies made on the possibility to recover the orientation towards the Orient of the celebrant, at least at the moment of the eucharistic consecration, as it happened in practice before the reform, when both the faithful and the priest faced towards the Cross and the priest therefore turned his back to the assembly.

Those who know Cardinal Cañizares, nicknamed “the small Ratzinger” before his removal to Rome, know that he is disposed to move forward decisively with the project, beginning in fact from what was established by the Second Vatican Council in the liturgical constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, which was, in reality, exceeded by the post-Conciliar reform which came into forceat the end of the Sixties. The porporato, interviewed by monthly 30Days in recent months, had declared regarding this: “At times change was for the mere sake of changing from a past perceived as negative and outdated. Sometimes the reform was regarded as a break and not as an organic development of Tradition.”

For this reason, the “propositiones” voted by the Cardinals and Bishops at the March plenary foresee a return to the sense of sacredness and to adoration, but also a recovery of the celebrations in Latin in the dioceses, at least in the main solemnities, as well as the publication of bilingual Missals – a request made at his time by Paul VI – with the Latin text first.

The proposals of the Congregation, which Cañizares delivered to the Pope, obtaining his approval, are perfectly in line with the idea often expressed by Joseph Ratzinger when he was still a Cardinal, as it is made clear his unpublished words on the liturgy, revealed in advanced by Il Giornale yesterday, and which will be published in the book Davanti al Protagonista (Cantagalli [publisher]), presented beforehand at a congress at Rimini. With a significant nota bene: for the accomplishment of the “reform of the reform”, many years will be necessary. The Pope is convinced that hasty steps, as well as to simply drop directives from above, serve no good, with the risk that they may later remain a dead letter. The style of Ratzinger is that of comparison and, above all, of example. As the fact that, for more than a year, whoever approaches the Pope for Communion, have had to kneel down on the kneeler especially placed by the cerimonieri.

RORATE note: The Pope needed, for practical purposes, this first bureaucratic step by the Congregation for Divine Worship. His decisions on this matter will come in the next few months and years. May God grant him many more fruitful years of work as Successor of Peter.

A bombshell of an interview. Mons. Domenico Bartolucci on the liturgical reforms and the reform of the reform.


Source: Rorate Caeli

An interview with Mons. Domenico Bartolucci, Maestro Perpetuo of the Sistine Chapel under five Popes. The original Italian can be found here.From the remarkable Italian Catholic blog, Disputationes Theologicae:


August 12, 2009

Mons. Bartolucci speaks about the liturgical reform and the “reform of the reform”

The liturgical reform of the 1970-ies is today taking up much space in the theological discussions, because liturgy and theology are mixed up in a – may we venture to say so – “transcendental relation”. It is not possible to discuss the one without taking up the other, if one does not want to fall into that theology of watertight compartments that was in use in the 1950-ies. Today it is necessary – in the wake of a more vast debate in which we engage ourselves – to formulate an open and straightforward analysis of what has happened and take an appropriate attitude towards the practical remedies and above all remedies that are “realizable” (realizzabili) as Saint Pius X used to repeat. Upon the request of so many of our readers, our Editorial Office also would like to occupy itself with the argument, if possible avoiding the repetition of the methodological errors of the past. Therefore it is our wish to initiate the true transmittance of the authentic Tradition.– basing ourselves on the testimony of those who have known the past, because of their age and their prestige, and not only because of their authority. As liturgy is also practical science, we have not wished to start off with pontificating “liturgists” who say they have read so and so many books and codices, but rather take the matter up with someone who has lived and touched the liturgy as nobody else has, because he has prepared, repeated, coordinated and known the religious ceremonies in his Tuscan countryside, ceremonies which concluded with the “Messa in terza” (a mass celebrated by three i.e. Solemn Mass — CAP) and the unfailing processions with a musical band, as well as the splendors of the “Cappella Papale” in the Sistine chapel. We have the honor of introducing to you Monsignor Domenico Bartolucci, in an interview done by us lately. He was born in 1917 in Borgo San Lorenzo (Florence)., Tuscan by birth, Roman by pontifical summons, in 1952 he became substitute next to Perosi in the Sistine Chapel and from 1956 he became its Maestro Perpetuo. On the 24th of June, 2006 the reigning pontiff organized a special ceremony in honor of the musician (see the picture above), in order to consecrate “ad perpetuam rei memoriam” his closeness to the great master. During the occasion the Pope said: “ sacred polyphony, especially the one belonging to the Roman school, is a legacy which we must preserve with care (..); a genuine updating of the sacred music can only take place within the great tradition of the past of the Gregorian chant and of the sacred polyphony”. S.C.



by Pucci Cipriani and Stefano Carusi

A meeting with Monsignor Domenico Bartolucci, the distinguished Mugellan musician, Maestro Emeritus of the Sistine Chapel, admirer, friend and collaborator of Benedict XVI.


It is a sunny afternoon on the green hills of the Mugellan landscape, when we arrive on the Roman church of Montefloscoli, in the antique rectory full of memories the Maestro Perpetuo of the Sistine Chapel is enjoying the fresh air, behind him a framed photo of the hug the reigning pontiff is giving Monsignor Domenico Bartolucci, the successor of Lorenzo Perosi in the Sacred Palace. On his writing-desk the now-famous book of Monsignor Brunero Gherardini: “Il Concilio Vaticano II- un discorso da fare” (“The Second Vatican Council – a debate to be started”), edited by Edizioni Casa Mariana.


It is on the subject of the liturgical reform that we start our conversation with the Maestro, with Domenico Bartolucci, who in liturgical and musical matters has been at ease working and giving counsel to five popes and who is a friend and collaborator of Benedict XVI, whose work he says is “an immense gift to the Church, if only they would let it work”.



Maestro, the recent publication of the Motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum” has brought a gust of fresh air into the desolate liturgical panorama which surrounds it. Even you may now celebrate the Mass of all time (“messa di sempre”.)

To tell the truth, I have always and without interruption celebrated it since my ordination … on the contrary, I sometimes found it difficult to celebrate according to the modern rite, even if I never said so.


The Mass which never was abolished, is it not?


Those are the words of the Holy Father even if some people pretend not to understand and even if many in the past have argued that the opposite is true.


Maestro, you have to admit to those who are denigrating the old Mass that it is not a Mass open to participation.


So that you won’t think that I’m just saying anything, I know how participation in old times was like, both in Rome, in the (St. Peter’s) Basilica and outside it, for instance down here in Mugello, in this parish, in this beautiful countryside, which was then populated by people strong in faith and full of piety. During Sunday Vespers the priest could just start singing “Deus in adiutorium meum intende” and thereafter fall asleep on his seat to wake up only at the “chapter”, the peasants would have continued alone and the heads of the family would have intoned the antiphon!


Do we see a veiled polemic, Maestro, in your confrontation with the current liturgical style?


I do not know, if you have ever been at a funeral and witnessed those “hallelujahs”, hand-clapping, giggly phrases, etc. One really asks oneself if these people have ever read the Gospel. Our Lord himself cried over Lazarus and his death. Here now, with this oily sentimentalism, nothing is respected, not even the suffering of a mother. I would like to show you how the people in old times participated in a Funeral Mass and how in the midst of that compunction and devotion, the magnificent and tremendous “Dies Irae” was intoned.


Was the reform not done by people who were conscious of what they were doing and well educated in the teachings of the Roman Church?


I beg your pardon, but the reform was done by arid people, arid, arid, I repeat it. And I knew them. As for the doctrine, Cardinal Ferdinando Antonelli himself, once said, I remember it well: “How come that we make liturgists who know nothing about theology?”


We agree with you, Monsignore, but is it not true that the people did not understand….


Dearest friends, have you never read Saint Paul: “It is not important to know anything but what is necessary”, “it is necessary to love knowledge ad sobrietatem”. At this rate, after a few years people will pretend to understand “transubstantiation” in the same way as they explain a mathematical theorem. But just think of it that not even the priest may quite understand this mystery!


But how could it have come to this twisting of the liturgy?


It became a kind of fashion. Everybody talked about it, everybody “was renewing”, everybody was trying to be like popes (tutti pontificavano) in the wake of sentimentalism, of eagerness to reform. And the voices that raised themselves to defend the two thousand year old Tradition of the Church, were cleverly hushed. There was the invention of a kind of “people’s liturgy” … when I heard these refrains, it came into my mind something which my professor at the Seminary used to say: “the liturgy is something given by the clerics to the people” (“la liturgia è del clero per il popolo”). It descends from God and does not come up from the bottom. I have to admit, however, that this foul-smelling appearances have made themselves a bit more rare. The young generations of priests are maybe better than those who came before them, they do not have the ideological fury of an iconoclastic ideology, they are full of good feelings, however they lack in education.


What do you mean, Maestro, when you say “they lack in education”?

It means that they need it! I am speaking of the structure that the wisdom of the Church had so delicately chiseled in course of centuries. You do not understand the importance of the seminary: a liturgy that is fully lived, the orderly articulation of the different periods of the year and all this experienced in social communion with the brothers… Advent, Lent, the big feasts that follow after Easter. All of this is educational and if you only knew how much!

A foolish rhetoric wants to depict the seminary as something which spoils the priest, that the seminarians, remote and far away from the world, remain closed in themselves and distant from the people. This is pure imagination, invented by people who wish to dissolve an age-old formative richness and replace it with emptiness.


Let us return to the crisis of the Church and to the fact that so many seminaries have closed down, do you, Monsignore, support a return to the continuation of Tradition?


Look here, to defend the old rite is not the same as being a worshipper of ancient times; it is to be “eternal”. You see, when one gives the traditional mass names like “Mass of Saint Pius V” or “Tridentine” one is wrong, it makes it seem as if it is a mass belonging to a certain epoch. It is our Mass, the Roman universal Mass, valid everywhere and in all times, a single language spoken from the Oceania to the Arctic’s. Concerning the continuity in time, I would like to tell you an episode. Once we were together with a Bishop whose name I forgot, in a small church in Mugello, when there came the sudden notice that a brother of ours had died. We suggested that we at once celebrate a Mass, but then we realized that we only had old Missals at hand. The Bishop refused categorically to celebrate. I will never forget it and I repeat that the continuity of the liturgy means that – except for small details – it can be celebrated today, with that old dusty missal standing on a bookshelf and which for four centuries or more has served my predecessors.


Monsignore, there is much talk about a “reform of the reform” which could take away the deformities that came in the 70-ies.


The question is rather complicated. That the new rite had deficiencies is by now becoming evident for everybody, and the Pope has many times said and written that we must “keep what is ancient” (guardare all’antico). However we must beware of the temptations of introducing hybrid measures. The liturgy with a big “L” is the one that comes to us from centuries back, it is the reference, it is not the debased liturgy which holds so many compromises “that make God sad and the enemy happy” (“a Dio spiacenti e a l’inimici sui”)


What do you mean, Maestro?


Let us for instance take the innovations in the seventies. Some ugly songs in beat that were in vogue in the churches in 1968, are today already archeological pieces. Giving up perennity and emerging oneself in time, means that one is condemned to the fads of fashion. In this connection I come to think of the Reform of the Holy Week in the 1950’s, made with some hurry under the pontificate of a Pope Pius XII who was already exhausted and tired. Only some years later, under Pope John XXIII who in liturgical matters was of a convinced and moving traditionalism, came a telephone call to me from Mons. Dante, Master of Ceremonies of the Pope, who told me to prepare the “Vexilla Regis” for the coming celebration on Good Friday. I was somehow taken aback and answered: “They have forbidden me to do it”. The answer was: “But the Pope wishes it.” In a few hours I organized the repetitions of the songs and very happily we sang again the same songs which the Church had sung in many centuries on that day. All this only to say that when one distances oneself from the liturgical context those voids become difficult to fill and you can be sure they are noticed! In front of our liturgy of many centuries we should contemplate it and venerate it and remember that in our mania for “improvements”, we only risk doing great damage.


Maestro, what role does music play in this process?

It has an incredibly important role for many reasons. The affected “Cecilianism” to which certainly Perosi was no stranger, with its tones that were so mild and enticing to the ear had introduced a new romantic sentimentalism, which had nothing to do, for instance, with the eloquent and solid physicality of Palestrina. Some extravagant deteriorations introduced by Solesmes had cultivated a subdued gregorianism, which also was the fruit of a pseudo-restauring passion for the Medieval ages, which were so popular in the nineteenth century.

The idea of an opportunity to recuperate the archeological vein, both in music and liturgy, of a past, from which the so called “oxen centuries” (seculi bui) of the Council of Trent separated it ….. in short an archeology which has nothing at all to do with Tradition and which wishes to restore something which maybe never existed, is a bit similar to certain churches restored in the “pseudoromantic” style of Viollet-le-Duc.


What does it mean, Monsignore, when in the musical field you attack Solesmes?


This means that the Gregorian chant is modal, not tonal and not rhythmical, it has nothing to do with “one, two, three, one, two, three”. We should not despise the way people sung in our cathedrals and replace it with a pseudo-monastic and affected murmuring. A song from the Middle Ages is not interpreted with theories of today, but one should go about it as it was then. Moreover the Gregorian chant of another historical time could also be sung by the people, sung using the force with which our people expressed their faith. Solesmes never understood this, but we should recognize the learned and large philological work executed on the old manuscripts.

Maestro, how far have we come in our days with the restoration of Sacred Music and the Liturgy?

I cannot deny that there some signs of restoration, but I still can see that there persists a certain blindness, almost a complacency for all that is vulgar, coarse, in bad taste and also doctrinally temerarious. Most important, do not ask me, please, to make a judgement on the guitar-players and on the tarantellas which are sung during the Offertory.….The liturgical problem is serious, do not listen to the voices of those persons who do not love the Church and who oppose the Pope and if you want to cure the sick then remember that the merciful doctor makes the wound purulent (fa la piaga purulenta).

Pitch-in Next Sunday at the Poe’s House

Poe Pitch-In

Next Sunday August 23rd after Mass there will be a pitch-in dinner hosted by the Brian Poe family at their home.  All are welcome!

  • The main dish and table service will be provided. 
  • Sides and dessert contributions are welcome.

 Please RSVP via e-mail to Susan Poe.

“Official” PCED guide to the Latin Mass

Cover dvd PCED2

 Our friends at Rinascimento Sacro inform us that the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” has made public its own guide for the celebration of the Mass in the “Extraordinary Form” of the Roman Rite, according to the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum.
The guide is a 2-DVD production, with subtitles in English, French, Italian, and Spanish. The first DVD includes a full Missa Recitata, and some video excerpts of Missae Cantatae. The second DVD includes a proper teaching video, with explanations for the gestures and rubrics of the Mass, from the preparatio ad Missam to the post-Mass sacristy prayers.
At this moment, copies may be acquired directly from the PCED:

Other means of distribution will be available shortly.
Pontificia Commissione Ecclesia Dei – Palazzo della Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede
Piazza del Sant’Uffizio, 11 – 00193 ROMA –
Tel. (Italy:39) 06/69885213 – 69885494 – Fax 69883412

Pope confirms visit to Shroud of Turin; new evidence on shroud emerges


By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI confirmed his intention to visit the Shroud of Turin when it goes on public display in Turin’s cathedral April 10-May 23, 2010.

Cardinal Severino Poletto of Turin, papal custodian of the Shroud of Turin, visited the pope July 26 in Les Combes, Italy, where the pope was spending part of his vacation. The Alpine village is about 85 miles from Turin.

The cardinal gave the pope the latest news concerning preparations for next year’s public exposition of the shroud and the pope “confirmed his intention to go to Turin for the occasion,” said the Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, in a written statement July 27.

The specific date of the papal visit has yet to be determined, the priest added.

The last time the Shroud of Turin was displayed to the public was in 2000 for the jubilee year. The shroud is removed from a specially designed protective case only for very special spiritual occasions, and its removal for study or display to the public must be approved by the pope.

The shroud underwent major cleaning and restoration in 2002.

According to tradition, the 14-foot-by-4-foot linen cloth is the burial shroud of Jesus. The shroud has a full-length photonegative image of a man, front and back, bearing signs of wounds that correspond to the Gospel accounts of the torture Jesus endured in his passion and death.

The church has never officially ruled on the shroud’s authenticity, saying judgments about its age and origin belonged to scientific investigation. Scientists have debated its authenticity for decades, and studies have led to conflicting results.

A recent study by French scientist Thierry Castex has revealed that on the shroud are traces of words in Aramaic spelled with Hebrew letters.

A Vatican researcher, Barbara Frale, told Vatican Radio July 26 that her own studies suggest the letters on the shroud were written more than 1,800 years ago.

She said that in 1978 a Latin professor in Milan noticed Aramaic writing on the shroud and in 1989 scholars discovered Hebrew characters that probably were portions of the phrase “The king of the Jews.”

Castex’s recent discovery of the word “found” with another word next to it, which still has to be deciphered, “together may mean ‘because found’ or ‘we found,'” she said.

What is interesting, she said, is that it recalls a passage in the Gospel of St. Luke, “We found this man misleading our people,” which was what several Jewish leaders told Pontius Pilate when they asked him to condemn Jesus.

She said it would not be unusual for something to be written on a burial cloth in order to indicate the identity of the deceased.

Frale, who is a researcher at the Vatican Secret Archives, has written a new book on the shroud and the Knights Templar, the medieval crusading order which, she says, may have held secret custody of the Shroud of Turin during the 13th and 14th centuries.

She told Vatican Radio that she has studied the writings on the shroud in an effort to find out if the Knights had written them.

“When I analyzed these writings, I saw that they had nothing to do with the Templars because they were written at least 1,000 years before the Order of the Temple was founded” in the 12th century, she said.

Pope Benedict: A Pontiff With a Plan


Scott’s Catholicism Blog

By Scott P. Richert


Tuesday July 21, 2009 – The recent release of Pope Benedict XVI’s third encyclical, Caritas in veritate, followed the very next day by a motu proprio on the unity of the Church (Ecclesiae unitatem), has reinforced a sense that I have had ever since the Holy Father’s election in 2005: This is a pontiff with a plan.

Because of his age, Pope Benedict has always known that his would not be one of the longest pontificates in the history of the Catholic Church, but he seems determined to make it one of the most significant in recent centuries. And considering the men who have occupied the Chair of Peter in the 19th and 20th centuries, that’s a tall order.

74633849po101_pope_assisiYet the Holy Father is well on his way to fulfilling it.  In his now-famous address to the Roman Curia on December 22, 2005, he set forth a plan to show to the world that there is no such thing as a “pre-Vatican II” and a “post-Vatican II” Church, but simply One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, upholding an unbroken Tradition from the time of the Apostles.

That required that Vatican II be interpreted through a “hermeneutic of reform” rather than a “hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture,” which has characterized both proponents of the “spirit of Vatican II” and traditionalist critics of the council.

And Benedict set about putting his own words into action. He signed the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum on June 29, 2007, the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. Summorum Pontificum freed priests to use the Traditional Latin Mass, and the date was significant: The Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch sends representatives to Rome each year to take part in the celebration of the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul (and sometimes comes himself). The Orthodox have long been concerned about the decline of the liturgy in the Western Church, and the revival of the Traditional Latin Mass was seen as a major step in the right direction.

The motu proprio was released to the public on July 7, 2007—a date that takes on greater significance this year, in light of the release of Caritas in veritate on the same date. Three days after the release of Summorum Pontificum, which was an overture to the traditional Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), Pope Benedict authorized the public release of “Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church.” It, too, was dated June 29, 2007, and it addressed another major concern of traditionalists—namely, the Catholic understanding, expressed in the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium, of the nature of the Church—and, by extension, the nature of those other churches and Christian communities that are not in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church.

Now, two years later, Pope Benedict has delivered a similar one-two punch. Caritas in veritate, as I have noted, is an extended exercise in the “hermeneutic of reform,” taking another document long criticized by traditionalists—Pope Paul VI’s 1967 social encyclical Populorum progressio—and situating it squarely within the mainstream of traditional Catholic social teaching. Delivered on the same date (July 7) as Summorum Pontificum (and signed on June 29, as Summorum Pontificum and “Responses” were), the message could not be clearer: All of these documents forum part of a unified plan to clear up confusion and misconceptions that have reigned in the Church since the closing of Vatican II.

Part two was the release of Ecclesiae unitatem the very next day. This motu proprio may seem unexciting, simply announcing the folding of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei into the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, but what it signals is far more important. As far as Pope Benedict is concerned, all liturgical questions raised by the SSPX schism have been answered, and the groundwork has been laid for addressing the remaining doctrinal questions.

As the Holy Father notes in Ecclesiae unitatem,

The duty to safeguard the unity of the Church, with the solicitude to offer everyone help in responding appropriately to this vocation and divine grace, is the particular responsibility of the Successor of the Apostle Peter, who is the perpetual and visible principle and foundation of the unity of both bishops and faithful.

And thus it is significant that the results of all doctrinal discussions with the SSPX will be submitted “to the superior dispositions of the Supreme Pontiff.”

It is important always to keep in mind that the pope—any pope—is a man, and subject to personal failings. Even though he cannot err when speaking ex cathedra on a matter of faith or morals, he can make mistakes on practical matters.

Yet at many points in the history of the Church, when the Faith seemed most under attack and the Church Herself has seemed in disarray, the Holy Spirit has raised up a Supreme Pontiff who has led the Church out of Her troubles in truth, in charity, and in prudence.

I cannot help but feel that we might be in one of those times now.