Thanksgiving Day Proclamation of 1789

by President George Washington

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor, and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanks giving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many single favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the Service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks, for His kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the single and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of His providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, of the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have to acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge and in general for all the great and various favors which He hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humble offering our prayers and supplications to the Great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all people, by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone know to be best.

Rowan Returns

H.H. Pope Benedict XVI and H.G. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury on Saturday, November 21, 2009 (Reuters)

WHISPER IN THE LOGGIA:  A month after the Holy See announced its historic initiative to accommodate groups of Anglicans seeking inclusion into the Roman fold, and a fortnight since the Apostolic Constitution paving the way to “personal ordinariates” was released, this morning the Pope received the archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, for the duo’s third private meeting.

Here below, the joint release on the session:

This morning His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI received in private audience His Grace Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury.

In the course of the cordial discussions attention turned to the challenges facing all Christian communities at the beginning of this millennium, and to the need to promote forms of collaboration and shared witness in facing these challenges.

The discussions also focused on recent events affecting relations between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion, reiterating the shared will to continue and to consolidate the ecumenical relationship between Catholics and Anglicans, and recalling how, over coming days, the commission entrusted with preparing the third phase of international theological dialogue between the parties (ARCIC [the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission]) is due to meet.

In an Audience Eve conference at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University, Williams raised some eyebrows by terming the state of ecumenism a “glass half full,” recent developments included.

THE MINOR ORDERS

sevenorderssc1

The minor orders are the lower degrees of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, in contrast to the “major” or “sacred” orders.  In the Latin Church, there are four minor orders:  porter, lector, exorcist, and acolyte.  They are all mentioned in a letter of Pope Cornelius to Bishop Fabius of Antioch in A. D. 252.  More recently, the Council of Trent of July 15, 1563 said of the minor orders and subdiaconate:

 … From the very beginning of the Church the names of the following orders and the duties proper to each one are known to have been in use, namely those of the subdeacon, acolyte, exorcist, lector, and porter, though not of equal rank; for the subdiaconate is classed among the major orders by the Fathers and the sacred Councils, in which we also read very frequently of the other inferior orders (D.958).

 Minor orders are conferred by the presentation to the candidate of the appropriate instruments of his office, in accordance with the ritual given in the Satuta Ecclesiæ antiqua, a document which originated in Gaul about the year A.D. 500.  This ritual was later introduced in Rome.  By the ordination to any of the 4 minor orders, the recipient receives official authority to perform the liturgical functions of this office. 

 Porter or doorkeeper (ostiarius in Latin; from the word ostium, a door), denoted among the Romans the slave whose duty was to guard the entrance of the house.  From the end of the second century, the Christian communities began to own houses for holding church services.  Church doorkeepers were found at least in larger cities.  The texts of the ritual clearly express the duties of the porter as well as the virtues he must practice, especially zeal for the house of God.

 Lector is someone who is sufficiently educated to be able to read publicly the Sacred books in the Church.  The text of the ritual requires from the lector clear and precise diction as well as the understanding of the words of Sacred Scripture.  The first mention of a Christian liturgical reader is by St. Justin, who died a Martyr, in A.D. 165.

The word Exorcist finds its origin in the Greek language.  In general, it refers to anyone who casts out or professes to cast out demons.  IN particular, It refers to him who is ordained or appointed to this office by the bishop.  IN the early ages of the Church, this function was not confined to clerics.  But with the development of the rites of baptism (since catechumens had to be exorcized every day by an imposition of hands), some clerics were specially appointed o this office.  Currently only priest are authorized to use the exorcizing power conferred by this ordination.  In each diocese, the local bishop appoints a priest to the special task of casting out demons from the possessed. 

 Acolyte, in Greek, means someone who follows, who attends.  The chief duties of an acolyte are to light the candles on the altar, to carry them in procession and during the solemn singing of the Gospel.  He is also in charge of preparing the wine and water for Mass.  Unlike the other minor orders, the ritual of the ordination of acolytes ends with three prayers of blessing instead of one.  This underscores the importance of the minor order of Acolyte, the last step before the “sacred” or “major” orders.

 Since 1972, minor orders are no longer conferred in the Latin Rite, except in those communities where the 1962 liturgical books are in use.

MONASTERIES & ORDERS who observe Minor Orders

Canons Regular of the New Jerusalem
Institute of St. Philipp Neri
Fraternity of St. Peter
Apostolic Administration of St Jean-Marie Vianney, Brazil
Le Barroux
Servants Minor of St Francis
Clearcreek Monastery
Religious Institute of the Holy Cross of Riaumont
Canons Regular of the Mother of God      [ French ]
 Canons Regular of the Mother of God        [English]
Abbaye Fontgombault
Institute of Christ the King
Fraternity of St. Vincent Ferrer
Opus Mariae Mediatricis
Oblates of Mary

George Washington and Roman Catholics

America has been blessed by God in many ways but perhaps no blessing has been greater than His granting us George Washington to lead us in our struggle for independence and to be our first President.  Catholics have perhaps more reason than other Americans to keep the memory of Washington alive in our hearts.  In a time of strong prejudice against Catholics in many parts of the colonies he was free from religious bigotry as he demonstrated on November 5, 1775 when he banned the anti-Catholic Guy Fawkes celebrations.

“As the Commander in Chief has been apprized of a design form’d for the observance of that ridiculous and childish custom of burning the Effigy of the pope – He cannot help expressing his surprise that there should be Officers and Soldiers in this army so void of common sense, as not to see the impropriety of such a step at this Juncture; at a Time when we are solliciting, and have really obtain’d, the friendship and alliance of the people of Canada, whom we ought to consider as Brethren embarked in the same Cause. The defence of the general Liberty of America: At such a juncture, and in such Circumstances, to be insulting their Religion, is so monstrous, as not to be suffered or excused; indeed instead of offering the most remote insult, it is our duty to address public thanks to these our Brethren, as to them we are so much indebted for every late happy Success over the common Enemy in Canada.”

Order in Quarters, November 5, 1775

George Washington

This stand against anti-Catholicism was not unusual for Washington.  Throughout his life Washington had Catholic friends, including John Carroll, the first Catholic bishop in the US.  He would sometimes attend Mass, as he did during the Constitutional Convention when he led a delegation of the Convention to attend Mass in Philadelphia as he had attended Protestant churches in that town during the Covention.  This sent a powerful signal that under the Constitution Catholics would be just as good Americans as Protestant Americans.

Washington underlined this point in response to a letter from prominent Catholics, including Charles and John Carroll, congratulating him on being elected President:

“[March 15], 1790

Gentlemen:

While I now receive with much satisfaction your congratulations on my being called, by an unanimous vote, to the first station in my country; I cannot but duly notice your politeness in offering an apology for the unavoidable delay. As that delay has given you an opportunity of realizing, instead of anticipating, the benefits of the general government, you will do me the justice to believe, that your testimony of the increase of the public prosperity, enhances the pleasure which I should otherwise have experienced from your affectionate address.

I feel that my conduct, in war and in peace, has met with more general approbation than could reasonably have been expected and I find myself disposed to consider that fortunate circumstance, in a great degree, resulting from the able support and extraordinary candor of my fellow-citizens of all denominations.

The prospect of national prosperity now before us is truly animating, and ought to excite the exertions of all good men to establish and secure the happiness of their country, in the permanent duration of its freedom and independence. America, under the smiles of a Divine Providence, the protection of a good government, and the cultivation of manners, morals, and piety, cannot fail of attaining an uncommon degree of eminence, in literature, commerce, agriculture, improvements at home and respectability abroad.

As mankind become more liberal they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protection of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations in examples of justice and liberality. And I presume that your fellow-citizens will not forget the patriotic part which you took in the accomplishment of their Revolution, and the establishment of their government; or the important assistance which they received from a nation in which the Roman Catholic faith is professed.

I thank you, gentlemen, for your kind concern for me. While my life and my health shall continue, in whatever situation I may be, it shall be my constant endeavor to justify the favorable sentiments which you are pleased to express of my conduct. And may the members of your society in America, animated alone by the pure spirit of Christianity, and still conducting themselves as the faithful subjects of our free government, enjoy every temporal and spiritual felicity.

G. Washington

His Holiness Pope Leo XIII of blessed memory recalled the attitude

Papist_Leo_XIII

Pope Leo XIII with Papal guard in the background - Circa 1890

of Washington towards Catholics in his encyclical (well worth the read)Longinqua:

“Nor, perchance did the fact which We now recall take place without some design of divine Providence. Precisely at the epoch when the American colonies, having, with Catholic aid, achieved liberty and independence, coalesced into a constitutional Republic the ecclesiastical hierarchy was happily established amongst you; and at the very time when the popular suffrage placed the great Washington at the helm of the Republic, the first bishop was set by apostolic authority over the American Church. The well-known friendship and familiar intercourse which subsisted between these two men seems to be an evidence that the United States ought to be conjoined in concord and amity with the Catholic Church. And not without cause; for without morality the State cannot endure-a truth which that illustrious citizen of yours, whom We have just mentioned, with a keenness of insight worthy of his genius and statesmanship perceived and proclaimed. But the best and strongest support of morality is religion.”

On November 5, the anniversary of Washington dealing a death blow to an anti-Catholic celebration in this country, Catholics have good reason to echo the words of Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee, the father of (the great American General) Robert E. Lee, in his funeral eulogy of Washington in Congress on December 26, 1799: 

“First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”

 

MEETING BETWEEN “ECCLESIA DEI” AND SOCIETY OF ST. PIUS X

 VATICAN CITY, 26 OCT 2009 ( VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICES ) – The Holy See Press Office released the following communique late this morning:

“On Monday 26 October in the Palazzo del Sant’Uffizio, headquarters of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”, the study commission made up of experts from “Ecclesia Dei” and from the Society of St. Pius X held its first meeting, with the aim of examining the doctrinal differences still outstanding between the Society and the Apostolic See.

“In a cordial, respectful and constructive climate, the main doctrinal questions were identified. These will be studied in the course of discussions to be held over coming months, probably twice a month. In particular, the questions due to be examined concern the concept of Tradition, the Missal of Paul VI, the interpretation of Vatican Council II in continuity with Catholic doctrinal Tradition, the themes of the unity of the Church and the Catholic principles of ecumenism, the relationship between Christianity and non-Christian religions, and religious freedom. The meeting also served to specify the method and organisation of the work”.

OP/SOCIETY ST. PIUS X/…                                                        VIS 091026 (200)

Anglicans Return

ATHANASIUS CONTRA MUNDUM – There is some exciting news recently, as nearly 1,000 Anglican priests and some of their faithful will enter full communion with the Catholic Church. To facilitate this, the Holy Father is cardinal_newmanexpanding the already extent “Anglican Rite” to incorporate the Anglican Tradition.

Now this may give some traditional Catholics pause, but once we understand what this is, and what it represents historically it should pose for us but a few difficulties.

If one recalls correctly the history of the Church, the English Church had its own liturgy (Sarum Rite) and had for the most part its own ecclesiastical jurisdiction. For lack of a better term it was a western rite different from the Roman, much as the Ambrosian rite, or the Mozarabic rite in Spain. These rites enjoyed their own canonical status and their own rights and customs. If Henry VIII for example, had not left the Church to found his own sect, St. Pius V’s bull Quo Primum would have had no effect on the liturgical customs of England since those went back nearly 1000 years.

Thus to bring the Anglicans into the Church under their own rite with their own liturgy, provided they are re-ordained (or at least conditionally re-ordained where they can’t prove orders coming from valid Bishops today), is not an utter and complete novelty. It rather would restore a situation which was in place for a good part of the Church’s history.

NewmanNow if we look at more recent history, such as the union of Brest, what do we find? The formula for reunion between the Ukranian Orthodox and the Church was brought about by allowing them to retain all of their religious customs and rites, but requiring only professing all articles of the Catholic faith and being loyal to the Pope. The Clergy of the Eastern Rites which followed the Ukranians on the same model were allowed not only the traditions of the Eastern Church, but to retain the right of married clergy.

This presents one of the largest problems for establishing an Anglican Communion that accepts all Catholic teaching and Papal infallibility. It was not the tradition prior to 1531 to have married clergy, yet even amongst anglo-Catholics most clergy are married. This presents us with a problem. Does the Church acknowledge the tradition which persisted from St. Patrick and St. Augustine of Canterbury until 1531, in accord with the customs of the West, or does it follow the more recent custom since the revolt from the Catholic faith?

Cardinal Newman at work in his study.

Cardinal Newman at work in his study.

It seems to me that it makes the most sense that after those who wish to join now, the priests of the Anglican rite ought to be celibate, in accord with the millennial tradition of celibacy that persisted amongst English clergy, and also for greater conformity with the customs of the Roman Rite. This is also most beneficial for retaining that apostolic discipline, which in the west has realized itself in perpetual continency of the clergy in the Roman rite as well.

Now there is also an added benefit to this move, the vast majority of the clergy from the Anglican Church which will be coming home are high Church. This is one of the reasons the liberal stalwart of Westmisnter, Bishop Murphy-O’Connor, resisted such a move for so long. Since Newman’s time, the Anglican Church has suffered the full effects of modernism taken to its conclusions, nothing is true and tradition doesn’t matter. This is a blow to those in the Catholic Church who should like to see the same happen in the bride of Christ, who wish to have a man centered liturgy cut off from tradition.

p4_Cardinal Newman_1_One more thing useful thing has occurred as well. It is a blow to the Ecclesiology of those such as Cardinal Kasper, who claim that there is no ecumenism of return. He has been noted in the press in recent days only by his absence, because he can have no positive view of this development. All the more reason to welcome it.

However there is one thing which is disconcerting, especially as we witness further talks with the SSPX which may result in an apostolic administration of some sort. Those priests who have remained faithful to Rome, such as we see in the FSSP, ICKSP, and those many diocesan priests who have been scorned by the modernists for saying the Traditional Mass for years, they still have no apostolic administration of any sort, no bishops, and no priviledges which are now to be given to groups which were either schismatic, left the Church or persisted for hundreds of years out of full communion. What does that say about the virtue of fidelity? Not that this move should not be made to the Anglicans, because I think it ought, but that the same rights and priveledges to celebrate the sacraments of the Church’s immemorial tradition ought to be granted to those who have been faithful. Otherwise all one does is encourage disobedience.

Cardinal Newman's Coat of Arms

Cardinal Newman's Coat of Arms

Yet that has been the very thing encouraged by the Vatican for 50 years now. The faithful get punished, while the disobedient tacitly criticized, every once in a while publicly condemend (as we see with the SSPX), but privately tolerated and approved of. We see this as well with the Eastern Catholic clergy, who endured persecution and martyrdom to be Catholic and remain so, who for being faithful are ignored by Rome, while every move is made to pacify the Orthodox who have been out of communion for 1,000 years and hurled insults at Rome matched by only the worst schismatics of our day. What this move evinces is the need for interior unity in Rome both in terms of policy and in its behavior toward various groups in the Church.

Another Dramatic Move


 
The Vatican today made a dramatic announcement: Pope Benedict has authorized a bold new plan to bring Anglicans back into full union with Rome. But many questions remain unanswered

By Robert Moynihan, reporting from Rome

====================================

 
VATICAN CITY, October 20, 2009 — Dramatic news today — as dramatic as the decision earlier this year to “un-excommunicate” the four Lefebvrist bishops, as dramatic as the decision on July 7, 2007 (in the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum) to restore the old Mass.

Pope Benedict XVI is proposing a special Church structure for those Anglicans who wish to come into full communion with Rome without giving up many of the things they cherish as Anglicans.

The news, which came without prior warning this morning, was precisely coordinated between Rome and London.
 
On a cool, sunny, crystal clear day here, at 11 this morning, Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia, O.P.. Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, held a press conference to announce this unprecedented Roman initiative after almost 500 years of Anglican-Catholic division.
 
In London, at precisely the same hour, a parallel press conference was held by Archbishop Vincent Nichols, the head of the Catholic Church in England, and Archbishop Rowan Williams, the head of the Anglican Church.
 
“Rome is reabsorbing us, it’s as simple as that,” one prominent British journalist told me after the Vatican press conference, when I asked him what he thought this was all about.
 
That is too simplistic.
 
Rome is hoping to reunite with all those elements of the Anglican Church which still feel a deep connection with Rome and with the Catholic faith — and is willing to take considerable pains to make those Anglicans feel comfortable when they “come over to Rome.”
 
That is what is happening.
 
And quite a few people don’t want that to happen — and that explains some of the anomalies associated with today’s anouncement…
 
======================================

“New era begins”

 
In London, Damian Thompson, a religion writer for the Telegraph Media Group, wrote an excellent article today on this papal decision, headlined: “New era begins as Benedict throws open gates of Rome to disaffected Anglicans.”
 
“This is astonishing news,” Thompson continues. “Pope Benedict XVI has created an entirely new Church structure for disaffected Anglicans that will allow them to worship together – using elements of Anglican liturgy – under the pastoral supervision of their own specially appointed bishop or senior priest…
 
“In theory, they can have their own married priests, parishes and bishops – and they will be free of liturgical interference by liberal Catholic bishops who are unsympathetic to their conservative stance. There is even the possibility that married Anglican laymen could be accepted for ordination on a case-by-case basis – a remarkable concession.”
 
Thompson goes on to report that both Archbishop Nichols and Archbishop Williams “are surprised by this dramatic move.”
 
He writes: “Cardinal Levada, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was in Lambeth Palace only yesterday to spell out to Dr Williams what it means. [Note: Levada flew back to Rome at midnight, and so, as one would expect, he was exhausted during this morning’s press conference. The Pope evdiently feels a deep urgency to get this done, or he wouldn’t be asking his cardinals to travel in this way.] This decision has, in effect, been taken over their heads – though there is no suggestion that Archbishop Nichols does not fully support this historic move.”
 
Thompson adds: “Incidentally, I suspect that Rome waited until Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor’s retirement before unveiling this plan: the cardinal is an old-style ecumenist who represents the old way of doing things. His allies in Rome, and many former participants in Anglican-Catholic dialogue, are dismayed by today’s news, which clears away the wreckage of the ARCIC process.”
 
He further adds: “The truth is that Rome has given up on the Anglican Communion. With one announcement, the Pope has given conservative Anglicans a protected route to union with Rome… Thousands of Anglicans who reject women bishops and priests and liberal teaching on homosexuality are certain to avail themselves of this provision.”
 
Will this really affect “thousands” of Anglicans?
 
Cardinal Levada seemed to think the number will be fewer, just a few hundred.
 
“‘Many’ is, of course, a relative term,” Levada said. “If I had to say the number of [Anglican] bishops [who may come over to Rome], I would say that is in the 20s or 30s. If I had to say individual [Anglican] lay people, I would say that would be in the hundreds.”
 
How will this work out, practically, in England?
 
Anglicans will have to request their own “Personal Ordinariate.”
 
Thompson says he suspects that the “most pro-Roman Church of England bishop,” the Right Reverend Andrew Burnham, Bishop of Ebbsfleet, could submit a request to Rome.
 
He would then be ordained a Catholic priest (as Anglican orders are not recognized by Rome) and might himself be made “ordinary” (bishop in all but name) of ex-Anglican clergy and lay people who have been received into the Catholic Church together.

 

Thompson concludes: “This is a decision of supreme boldness and generosity by Pope Benedict XVI, comparable to his liberation of the Traditional Latin Mass… I suspect that this will be a day of rejoicing for conservative Anglo-Catholics and their Roman Catholic friends all over the world.”
 
 
==================================
 
Strange proceedings
But I must say that today’s press conference was among the strangest I have ever attended at the Vatican.
 
Why?
 
Because many things either didn’t make sense, or were not explained.
 
For example, the “missing person.”
 
Who was missing?
 
German Cardinal Walter Kasper, head of the Council for Christian Unity, the man who has been nominally in charge for many years now of the decades-long Catholic-Anglican dialogue.
 
According to all usual protocol, Kasper should have been at this conference, but was not (he is in Cyprus for a few days carrying on a dialogue with the Orthodox).
 
Cardinal Levada said: “I invited both Cardinal Kasper and Bishop Farrell (Kasper’s second-in-command), and both looked at their calendars and said they were committed elsewhere.”
 
Levada added that the matter has increasingly come under his doctrinal congregation, and less under the ecumenism office headed by Kasper.
 
Another oddity was the strange haste to hold this press conference.
 
Why do I say “strange haste”?
 
Because the normal time-frame for advising all journalists of an upcoming Vatican press conference was not respected.
 
Normally, the Vatican gives a week’s advance notice for a major press conference. (This was confirmed for me today at the press office.)
 
But today’s conference was announced via a cell phone text message frrom Press Director Father Federico Lombardi, S.J, sent to journalists’ cell phones at only 5 pm yesterday — just 18 hours before the event, less than one day.
 
Journalists at the conference said the short notice was unusual for a document, something that was not an obvious emergency, like a accident or an assassination.
 
Finally, it seemed quite odd that the text of the document that the press conference was held to present was… not presented!
 
The document detailing all aspects of this new iniative was announced, but no copies were given out, and so no one knows yet what it really will say because… it isn’t finished — even though officials as recently as yesterday evening thought that it would be finished for today!
 
Cardinal Levada told journalists that the document wasn’t ready because “some questions of canon law need still to be clarified,” without expalining what those questions are or how long it may take to clarify them.
 
So these are mysteries….
 
What is going on?
 
Why the evident haste to make this announcement?
 
Why go ahead and hold a press conference about a document before the document is finalized?
 
Is someone is trying to “steal a march” on someone?
 
It would seem so.
 
But who is hurrying, and why?
 
Is it the Pope himself?
 
If so, why?
 
I don’t know. 
 
Does it have to do, perhaps,with the Pope’s age, that he wants to move on these questions now, while he is vigorous, rather than waiting even a week or a month, or longer?
 
Or is the question of married priests the difficulty? Are there perhaps potential “Trojan horses” for a married priesthood within the document that the Pope has only just noted, and has at the last minute decided to remove, even if it means delaying the document’s publication?
 
Or are there financial and political consequences of these ecclesial developments — much very valuable ecclesial property could be involved in future Anglican conversion en masse to Catholicism — which demand that “the thing be done quickly”?
 
A journalist asked: “To what extent does this step weaken the Anglican Church?”
 
“I wouldn’t even hazard a guess,” Levada replied. “I think it would be inappropriate.”
 
Journalist Robert Mickens of the London Tablet said he was “flabbergasted” that no one from the Council for Christian Unity was present.
 
“This is all rather vague,” Mickens said. “What type of numbers are we talking about here? And, who was involved?”

“If we have been vague, then so be it,” Levada replied.

 
A journalist from France asked what would happen if a maried bishop in the Anglican Church becomes a Catholic. “Could he become a married Catholic bishop?” she asked.
 
“This does not provide for married bishops,” Levada said, “respecting the long historical tradition of both the West and the East in which bishops were celibate. As for priests, many are asking, if these married Anglicans can be [Catholic] priests, what about us? The Church has now, over the past number of years,  dispensed (in the case of married Anglican priests who became Catholics) from the discipline that only unmarried men can be Catholic priests. When the Church deals with these cases, it is an exception…”
 
In sum, an announcement of such importance would ordinarily have been made with greater solemnity. The split between Rome and London since the time of King Henry VIII is one of the great fractures in the history of the Church, and its healing is one of the deep longings of all English Catholics and of many English Anglicans, who come out of the Roman tradition and consider themselves the heirs of that tradition.
 
But the announcement was made in an almost off-hand way, at a last-minute press conference, announced without any  description of its content, at 5 pm yesterday, allowing no time for journalists to prepare questions, and without the presence of any Anglicans who might have answered questions from their perspective, and with the text itself still unfinished.
 
======================================
Unease in England
 
The haste I sensed in Rome seems to have been felt in England as well.
Thompson has just added another note on his blog, saying that the Anglican archbishop, Williams, has written a letter to the Anglican clergy of England to express his feelings about this annoucnement.
 
Williams sounds “humiliated – and, I suspect, furious that the Vatican sprang the plans to welcome ex-Anglicans on him ‘at a very late stage,'” Thompson writes.
Here is the text of the emotional Williams letter (with emphasis added):
 
“The Vatican has announced today that PopeBenedict XVI has approved an ‘Apostolic Constitution’ (a formal papal decree) which will make some provision for groups of Anglicans (whether strictly members of continuing Anglican bodies or currently members of the Communion) who wish to be received into communion with the See of Rome in such a way that they can retain aspects of Anglican liturgical and spiritual tradition.

I am sorry that there has been no opportunity to alert you earlier to this;  I was informed of the planned announcement at a very late stage, and we await the text of the Apostolic Constitution itself and its code of practice in the coming weeks. But I thought I should let you know the main points of the response I am making in our local English context– in full consultation with Roman Catholic bishops in England and Wales – in the hope of avoiding any confusion or misrepresentation.

 ============================

The View from Australia
 
My friend and colleague, Australian journalist Andrew Rabel, just filed this to me:
 
“At joint conferences today in both London and Rome, provisions were announced that will permit Anglicans with a Catholic bent, to enter the Roman Catholic Church, maintaining elements of Anglican liturgy (based on the 1662 Book of Common Prayer derived from the Sarum Rite) and discipline, such as married priests.

“Archbishop John Hepworth, the worldwide head of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) received a special briefing beforehand, and it is likely that the new structures have been created, because of a recent request of theirs to formally join the Catholic Church in 2007, although they will be confined to this body and will encompass other conservative Anglican movements such as Forward in Faith, as well.

“This group consists of 16 member churches throughout the world with approximately 400,000 members, with a particularly large proportion from Africa, in nations like Zimbabwe and Tanzania. There are about 5,000 members in the USA, with about 1,500 members in Australia, the country of Archbishop Hepworth.

“An apostolic constitution was announced that will facilitate the integration of disaffected member of the Anglican Communion. But today’s announcements indicate that this movement only in the embryonic stages, as it will be up to individual bishops conferences to implement the strictures of the constitution.

“At the conferences, reference was made to the Anglican-Catholic dialogues pursued over the last 40 years, beginning with the visit of Archbishop Ramsay to Pope John XXIII.

“This is also an interesting situation coming with the visit of Pope Benedict to Britain in 2010, and the beatification of John Henry Newman, one of the founders of the 19th Century Oxford Movement, that was pushing for a greater Catholic revival in the Church of England, because of the onset of liberal ideas.

“These ideas have further developed in 20th Century Anglicanism, with the ordination of women and homosexuals, denial of Christ’s Resurrection, and a permissiveness regarding practices like abortion. Many Anglicans, both clergy and laity who previously had never had much sympathy towards Rome, fond themselves alarmed at the denomination they were in.

“Up until the present moment, procedures to incorporate disaffected Anglicans, have been largely temporary such as the Anglican Use in the USA, but the structures announced today will be permanent, though technical details are still to be worked out.

“One unexpected problem with this may be, with the movement towards married priests very much discouraged in the Latin Rite, an exception will appear to have been made to a group outside. How this will play out is unclear.”

 =================

 
The Text Announcing the Decision 
NOTE OF THE CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH ABOUT PERSONAL ORDINARIATES FOR ANGLICANS ENTERING THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
 
With the preparation of an Apostolic Constitution, the Catholic Church is responding to the many requests that have been submitted to the Holy See from groups of Anglican clergy and faithful in different parts of the world who wish to enter into full visible communion.
In this Apostolic Constitution the Holy Father has introduced a canonical structure that provides for such corporate reunion by establishing Personal Ordinariates, which will allow former Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of the distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical patrimony. Under the terms of the Apostolic Constitution, pastoral oversight and guidance will be provided for groups of former Anglicans through a Personal Ordinariate, whose Ordinary will usually be appointed from among former Anglican clergy.

The forthcoming Apostolic Constitution provides a reasonable and even necessary response to a world-wide phenomenon, by offering a single canonical model for the universal Church which is adaptable to various local situations and equitable to former Anglicans in its universal application. It provides for the ordination as Catholic priests of married former Anglican clergy. Historical and ecumenical reasons preclude the ordination of married men as bishops in both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. The Constitution therefore stipulates that the Ordinary can be either a priest or an unmarried bishop. The seminarians in the Ordinariate are to be prepared alongside other Catholic seminarians, though the Ordinariate may establish a house of formation to address the particular needs of formation in the Anglican patrimony. In this way, the Apostolic Constitution seeks to balance on the one hand the concern to preserve the worthy Anglican liturgical and spiritual patrimony and, on t he other hand, the concern that these groups and their clergy will be integrated into the Catholic Church.

Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which has prepared this provision, said: “We have been trying to meet the requests for full communion that have come to us from Anglicans in different parts of the world in recent years in a uniform and equitable way. With this proposal the Church wants to respond to the legitimate aspirations of these Anglican groups for full and visible unity with the Bishop of Rome, successor of St. Peter.”

These Personal Ordinariates will be formed, as needed, in consultation with local Conferences of Bishops, and their structure will be similar in some ways to that of the Military Ordinariates which have been established in most countries to provide pastoral care for the members of the armed forces and their dependents throughout the world. “Those Anglicans who have approached the Holy See have made clear their desire for full, visible unity in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. At the same time, they have told us of the importance of their Anglican traditions of spirituality and worship for their faith journey,” Cardinal Levada said.

The provision of this new structure is consistent with the commitment to ecumenical dialogue, which continues to be a priority for the Catholic Church, particularly through the efforts of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity. “The initiative has come from a number of different groups of Anglicans,” Cardinal Levada went on to say: “They have declared that they share the common Catholic faith as it is expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and accept the Petrine ministry as something Christ willed for the Church. For them, the time has come to express this implicit unity in the visible form of full communion.”

According to Levada: “It is the hope of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, that the Anglican clergy and faithful who desire union with the Catholic Church will find in this canonical structure the opportunity to preserve those Anglican traditions precious to them and consistent with the Catholic faith. Insofar as these traditions express in a distinctive way the faith that is held in common, they are a gift to be shared in the wider Church. The unity of the Church does not require a uniformity that ignores cultural diversity, as the history of Christianity shows. Moreover, the many diverse traditions present in the Catholic Church today are all rooted in the principle articulated by St. Paul in his letter to the Ephesians: ‘There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism’ (4:5). Our communion is therefore strengthened by such legitimate diversity, and so we are happy that these men and women bring with them their particular contributions to our common life of faith.”

Background information

Since the sixteenth century, when King Henry VIII declared the Church in England independent of Papal Authority, the Church of England has created its own doctrinal confessions, liturgical books, and pastoral practices, often incorporating ideas from the Reformation on the European continent. The expansion of the British Empire, together with Anglican missionary work, eventually gave rise to a world-wide Anglican Communion.

Throughout the more than 450 years of its history the question of the reunification of Anglicans and Catholics has never been far from mind. In the mid-nineteenth century the Oxford Movement (in England) saw a rekindling of interest in the Catholic aspects of Anglicanism. In the early twentieth century Cardinal Mercier of Belgium entered into well publicized conversations with Anglicans to explore the possibility of union with the Catholic Church under the banner of an Anglicanism “reunited but not absorbed”.

At the Second Vatican Council hope for union was further nourished when the Decree on Ecumenism (n. 13), referring to communions separated from the Catholic Church at the time of the Reformation, stated that: “Among those in which Catholic traditions and institutions in part continue to exist, the Anglican Communion occupies a special place.”

Since the Council, Anglican-Roman Catholic relations have created a much improved climate of mutual understanding and cooperation. The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) produced a series of doctrinal statements over the years in the hope of creating the basis for full and visible unity. For many in both communions, the ARCIC statements provided a vehicle in which a common expression of faith could be recognized. It is in this framework that this new provision should be seen.

In the years since the Council, some Anglicans have abandoned the tradition of conferring Holy Orders only on men by calling women to the priesthood and the episcopacy. More recently, some segments of the Anglican Communion have departed from the common biblical teaching on human sexuality—already clearly stated in the ARCIC document “Life in Christ”—by the ordination of openly homosexual clergy and the blessing of homosexual partnerships. At the same time, as the Anglican Communion faces these new and difficult challenges, the Catholic Church remains fully committed to continuing ecumenical engagement with the Anglican Communion, particularly through the efforts of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity.

In the meantime, many individual Anglicans have entered into full communion with the Catholic Church. Sometimes there have been groups of Anglicans who have entered while preserving some “corporate” structure. Examples of this include, the Anglican diocese of Amritsar in India, and some individual parishes in the United States which maintained an Anglican identity when entering the Catholic Church under a “pastoral provision” adopted by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and approved by Pope John Paul II in 1982. In these cases, the Catholic Church has frequently dispensed from the requirement of celibacy to allow those married Anglican clergy who desire to continue ministerial service as Catholic priests to be ordained in the Catholic Church.

In the light of these developments, the Personal Ordinariates established by the Apostolic Constitution can be seen as another step toward the realization the aspiration for full, visible union in the Church of Christ, one of the principal goals of the ecumenical movement.

(Source: http://212.77.1.245/news_services/bulletin/news/24513.php?index=24513〈=it)

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“He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God’s providence to lead him aright.”Blaise Pascal (French mathematician, philosopher, physicist and writer, 1623-1662)
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A Talk by Dr. Robert Moynihan on CD

“The Motu Proprio: Why Latin Mass? Why Now?”

In order to understand the motu proprio one must understand the history of the mass. Dr. Moynihan gives a 2000 year history of the mass in 60 minutes, which is clear and easy to understand. Dr. Moynihan’s explanation covers many questions, like:

–  How does the motu proprio overcome some of the confusion since Vatican II?
–  Is this the start of the Benedictine Reform?
–  The mind of Pope Benedict: How can the Church restore the presence of God in the Liturgy?

=======================
 
Special Announcement: Please join me in Rome during Holy Week in 2010. For more information, click on the image below:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Iowa bishop blasts ‘spirit of Vatican II,’ calls it ‘a ghost or demon that must be exorcised’

HE Bishop Nickless

HE Bishop Nickless

In a new pastoral letter on Church renewal, Bishop R. Walker Nickless of Sioux City denounces false interpretations of the Second Vatican Council and calls upon Catholics to “reclaim and strengthen our understanding of the deposit of faith.” Bishop Nickless, originally a priest of the Archdiocese of Denver who served as Archbishop Charles Chaput’s vicar general, writes:

 

The question arises: Why has the implementation of the Council, in large parts of the Church, thus far been so difficult? Well, it all depends on the correct interpretation of the Council or – as we would say today – on its proper hermeneutics, the correct key to its interpretation and application. The problems in its implementation arose from the fact that two contrary hermeneutics came face to face and quarreled with each other. One caused confusion, the other, silently but more and more visibly, bore and is bearing fruit.

On the one hand, there is an interpretation that I would call “a hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture,” it has frequently availed itself of the sympathies of the mass media, and also one trend of modern theology. On the other, there is the “hermeneutic of reform,” of renewal in the continuity of the one subject – Church – which the Lord has given to us. She is a subject which increases in time and develops, yet always remaining the same, the one subject of the journeying People of God.

The hermeneutic of discontinuity risks ending in a split between the pre-conciliar Church and the post-conciliar Church. It asserts that the texts of the Council as such do not yet express the true spirit of the Council …

It is crucial that we all grasp that the hermeneutic or interpretation of discontinuity or rupture, which many think is the settled and even official position, is not the true meaning of the Council. This interpretation sees the pre-conciliar and post-conciliar Church almost as two different churches. It sees the Second Vatican Council as a radical break with the past. There can be no split, however, between the Church and her faith before and after the Council. We must stop speaking of the “Pre-Vatican II” and “Post-Vatican II” Church, and stop seeing various characteristics of the Church as “pre” and “post” Vatican II. Instead, we must evaluate them according to their intrinsic value and pastoral effectiveness in this day and age …

The so-called “spirit” of the Council has no authoritative interpretation. It is a ghost or demon that must be exorcised if we are to proceed with the Lord’s work.

Outlining pastoral priorities for his diocese, Bishop Nickless urges priests to offer Mass with greater reverence, hear Confessions for more than one hour per week, and promote Eucharistic adoration, the Liturgy of the Hours, and Marian devotion. “The use of the vernacular has certainly opened up the treasures of the liturgy to all who take part, but this does not mean that the Latin language, and especially the chants which are so superbly adapted to the genius of the Roman Rite, should be wholly abandoned,” he adds.

The Judge of Bishops

PHOTO: Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest

WHISPERS IN THE LOGGIA– As the Holy See remains open for business on Saturdays, weekend news is always a possibility on the beat… and true to form, a move announced this morning will likely garner no shortage of reaction in church circles, and from all sides at that.

Earlier today, B16 named the church’s “chief justice” Archbishop Raymond Burke to the membership of the Congregation for Bishops, giving the 61 year-old prelate a seat at the dicastery’s all-important Thursday Table, whose votes recommend prospective appointees to the Pope.

As a result, Burke’s impact on the process and its outcomes could extend for two decades; normally renewed on a five-yearly basis, Curial memberships automatically cease at age 80 both for bishops and the college of cardinals, which the Wisconsin-born prefect of the Apostolic Signatura is likely to join at the next consistory, currently expected to take place sometime in mid-2010.

Best known for his oft-controversial commentary on public life, the naming of the former St Louis archbishop gives the US its fifth seat on the 30-member A-list group, joining Cardinals Bernard Law (archpriest of St Mary Major), William Levada (prefect of CDF), Francis Stafford (retired Major Penitentiary) and Philadelphia’s Justin Rigali, a former #2 at Bishops who’s become the Stateside hierarchy’s standout kingmaker since his appointment to the congregation in September 2007.

While Burke is the youngest US member the congregation’s seen since Law’s arrival at the peak of his clout in the early 1990s, its most youthful American until today was Levada, 73; Stafford and Law are both 77, and Rigali turns 75 next April. By custom, the heads of both the Signatura and the Apostolic Penitentiary (the top tribunal for matters pertaining to the internal forum) each hold a seat on Bishops.

Though it can only be gauged with time, the emergence of a potential — and potentially significant — “Burke effect” on Stateside appointments bears watching.

Since Rigali’s return to the table, the congregation’s American choices have trended heavily toward pastoral, conciliatory candidates whose ideological leanings have proven tough to read. Along these lines, the recent picks have mostly shown little inclination to enforce Burke’s reading of Canon 915, whose preclusion from Communion of anyone “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin” would, in the prefect’s clearly and frequently articulated judgment, see the Eucharist denied to Catholic politicians who defy church teaching on abortion.

While last spring’s selection of Archbishop Robert Carlson as Burke’s St Louis successor can easily be viewed among said bunch, the new prelate-maker’s penchant for unstinting fidelity with a taste for stoking public debate was reflected in at least one recent high-profile pick: Oakland Bishop Salvatore Cordileone, a protege of Burke’s who was named to head the northern California diocese in March.

Again, whether the presence of the sanctions’ first and most prominent advocate will lead to a shift won’t become clear for some time. In the meanwhile, though, it makes a process that’s lately become far more complex all the more interesting.

Also named to Bishops this morning was the Vatican’s “Worship Czar,” the Spanish Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, whose longstanding ties to Pope Benedict have seen him dubbed the Ratzingerino, or “Little Ratzinger.”

Tomorrow morning, Burke will offer a Pontifical High Mass in the Roman rite’s “extraordinary form” in St Peter’s Basilica. The celebration with the 1962 Missal — a cherished cause of the archbishop’s — is believed to be the first public use of the pre-Conciliar Mass at the Vatican since the liturgical reform was implemented in 1969.

Some reflections on HH Pope Paul VI and the liturgical reform

jpeg

By Robert Moynihan, reporting from Rome

Letter from a Reader about the Liturgy

 I just received this letter from a reader:
 
Dear Dr. Moynihan,

These newsflashes are really informative and important for many of us to help us understand what is going on in Roma.

Given some of the past (and somewhat unfinished) newsflashes, I was wondering if you had seen this, from Fr. Anthony Chadwick (TAC priest in France) on his Civitas Dei web site http://pagesperso-orange.fr/civitas.dei/reflections10.09.htm, translating from a French traditionalist email group:

(Note: here follows the text from the web site; the incident occurred in about 1974.)

==============================
 

Father Louis Bouyer

Father Louis Bouyer

October 3rd — Sainte Thérèse de l’Enfant Jésus (Roman calendar and a local Saint here in Normandy)…

Father Louis Bouyer (photo): I wrote to the Holy Father, Pope Paul VI, to tender my resignation as member of the Commission charged with the Liturgical Reform. The Holy Father sent for me at once (and the following conversation ensued):

 

Paul VI: Father, you are an unquestionable and unquestioned authority by your deep knowledge of the Church’s liturgy and Tradition, and a specialist in this field. I do not understand why you have sent me your resignation, whilst your presence, is more than precious, it is indispensable!

Father Bouyer: Most Holy Father, if I am a specialist in this field, I tell you very simply that I resign because I do not agree with the reforms you are imposing! Why do you take no notice of the remarks we send you, and why do you do the opposite?

Paul VI: But I don’t understand: I’m not imposing anything. I have never imposed anything in this field. I have complete trust in your competence and your propositions. It is you who are sending me proposals. When Fr. Bugnini comes to see me, he says: “Here is what the experts are asking for.” And as you are an expert in this matter, I accept your judgement.

Father Bouyer: And meanwhile, when we have studied a question, and have chosen what we can propose to you, in conscience, Father Bugnini took our text, and, then said to us that, having consulted you: “The Holy Father wants you to introduce these changes into the liturgy.” And since I don’t agree with your propositions, because they break with the Tradition of the Church, then I tender my resignation.

Paul VI: But not at all, Father, believe me, Father Bugnini tells me exactly the contrary: I have never refused a single one of your proposals. Father Bugnini came to find me and said: “The experts of the Commission charged with the Liturgical Reform asked for this and that”. And since I am not a liturgical specialist, I tell you again, I have always accepted your judgement. I never said that to Monsignor Bugnini. I was deceived. Father Bugnini deceived me and deceived you.

Father Bouyer: That is, my dear friends, how the liturgical reform was done!

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(The letter to me then continues):

Of course, this plays into the I think unfinished story you were recounting about Cardinal Gagnon’s investigation, and the aftermath. I must add that I saw on another traditionalist list group a few years back the comment from Prof. Luc Perrin (Strasbourg) that he himself had a typescript copy of Fr. Bouyer’s memoirs, which could not then be published due to family opposition or something of the sort, but that they contained bombshells…

Keep up the good work and all the best,

Woody Jones
woodyjones@mac.com
 
==================================

 
Here is the original French version of this early 1970s conversation between Father Bouyer and Pope Paul VI, which the English translator, Father Anthony Chadwick, says he found here:
 
http://www.leforumcatholique.org/message.php?num=508624:

 
« J’ai écrit au Saint-Père, le Pape Paul VI, pour lui présenter ma démission de membre de la Commission chargée de la Réforme Liturgique. Le Saint-Père m’a convoqué immédiatement » :

Paul VI : – « Mon Père, vous êtes une autorité incontestable et incontestée par votre connaissance profonde de la liturgie et de la Tradition de l’Eglise, et un spécialiste en ce domaine. Je ne comprends pas pourquoi vous me présentez votre démission, alors que votre présence, est plus que précieuse, indispensable ! »

Père Bouyer : – « Très Saint-Père, si je suis un spécialiste en ce domaine je vous dirai très simplement que je démissionne parce que je ne suis pas d’accord avec les réformes que vous nous imposez ! Pourquoi ne tenez-vous pas compte des remarques que nous présentons, et pourquoi faites-vous le contraire ? ».

Paul VI : – « Mais je ne comprends pas : je n’impose rien, je n’ai jamais rien imposé dans ce domaine, je m’en remets entièrement à vos compétences et à vos propositions. C’est vous qui me présentez des propositions. Quand le Père Bugnini vient chez moi, il me déclare : Voici ce que demandent les experts. Et comme vous êtes des experts en cette matière, je m’en remets à vos jugements ».

Père Bouyer : – « Et pourtant, quand nous avons étudié une question, et avons choisi ce que nous pouvions vous proposer, en conscience, le Père Bugnini prenait notre texte, et, nous disait ensuite que, après Vous avoir consulté : Le Saint-Père désire que vous introduisiez ces changements dans la liturgie. Et comme je ne suis pas d’accord avec vos propositions, parce qu’elles sont en rupture avec la Tradition de l’Eglise, alors j’ai donné ma démission ».

Paul VI : – « Mais pas du tout, mon Père, croyez-moi , le Père Bugnini me dit exactement le contraire: jamais je n’ai refusé une seule de vos propositions. Le Père Bugnini venait me trouver et me disait : “Les experts de la Commission chargée de la Réforme Liturgique ont demandé cela et cela”. Et comme je ne suis pas spécialiste en Liturgie, je vous le répète, je m’en suis toujours remis à vous. Jamais je n’ai dit cela à Monseigneur Bugnini. J’ai été trompé, Le Père Bugnini m’a trompé et vous a trompés ».

Père Bouyer : – « Voilà mes chers amis, comment s’est faite la réforme liturgique ! »

 
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However, the original source seems to be the following: http://www.hermas.info/article-36681786.html.
 

 Monsignor Jacques Masson

Monsignor Jacques Masson

This is a web site and article authored by Monsignor Jacques Masson (photo), a traditional Catholic French priest.
 
Monsignor Masson writes that Father Louiss Bouyer, a priest of the Oratory, was a consultor at the Second Vatican Council, and a prominent figure in the litrugical movement prior to the Council.
 
After the Council, however, Masson says, Bouyer “denounced violently” the “deviations” in the implementation of the Church’s liturgical reform.
 
Masson then says the seminarians of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre’s Society of St. Pius X, studying at Econe in Switzerland, once had a long conversation with Father Bouyer.
 
During that conversation, Bouyer recounted how he gave Pope Paul VI his resignation from the commission charged with implementing the liturgical reform, Masson tells us.
 
That is the source of the account he has given here, he says.
 
Here are Masson’s words in the original French:
Le Père Louis Bouyer, de l’Oratoire

               Il a participé au concile Vatican II comme consulteur. Personnalité marquante du Mouvement liturgique (Le Mystère pascal, 1945) et promoteur de la réforme, il en dénonce violemment les déviations et les malfaçons dans les dérives postconciliaires (La Décomposition du catholicisme, 1968 ; Religieux et clercs contre Dieu, 1975) : « Ils ont alors en pratique substitué à la liturgie de l’Église et à la tradition vivante avec laquelle ils voulaient renouer une pseudo-liturgie quasiment fabriquée de toutes pièces (…) ». II fustige la perte du sens des origines, du sens du sacré, et le mépris des clercs pour les fidèles : « Même ce qu’il y avait de bon dans la réforme liturgique a été appliqué d’une manière qui ne l’était nullement. ». «  Jamais on n’a imposé aux laïcs d’une manière aussi impertinente la religion des prêtres ou leur absence de religion… ».
 
              Les séminaristes sortis d’Ecône, et les séminaristes qui ne sont pas entrés dans les séminaires en France, et moi-même, avons eu l’occasion de rencontrer le Père Bouyer, qui nous témoignait son affection, et son approbation pour la maintien de la liturgie tridentine.
 
              Lors d’une longue conversation, il nous raconta comment et pourquoi il avait donné sa démission de membre de la Commission chargée de la réforme liturgique…
 
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Evidence and Truth

Is this interesting conversation between Father Bouyer and Paul VI, which Father Bouyer related to the seminarians, really authentic?
 
Are Father Bouyer’s words accurately reported by Monsignor Masson?
 
In other words, did Paul VI actually say these words about Monsignor Annibale Bugnini, the principle author of the new Mass, to Father Bouyer?
 
Monsignor Masson says yes, that this is precisely what Father Bouyer told him and the other Econe seminarians.
 
But, of course, this is still second-hand evidence.
 
Still, it does at least suggest that it might be important to seek out Father Bouyer’s notes and diaries, if he left any.
 
Today, 40 and more years after the fact, it is not easy to know the truth about the events during the Council and shortly after, whether in regard to the liturgy, or in regard to other matters, and as time goes on, it seems likely to become ever more difficult.
 
But before more time passes, we will make an effort to speak to those who lived through those times, and record their testimony for posterity.
 
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“He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God’s providence to lead him aright.”Blaise Pascal (French mathematician, philosopher, physicist and writer, (1623-1662)