Pontifical Low Mass at WYD

His Excellency, Bishop Marc Aillet, Ordinary of Bayonne, offered a Pontifical Low Mass at the Church of Saint Francis de Sales for Juventutem pilgrams at World Youth Day. Juventutem  is an international movement that was established in 2004 of young Roman Catholics between the ages of 16 to 30 who are attached to the Traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form).  The aim of the society is to foster and strengthen relationships between these young people at the national and international levels, and to encourage and assist them in developing their faith.

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Cardinal Canizares calls for Communion on tongue, kneeling

The prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship has strongly endorsed the practice of receiving Communion on the tongue, while kneeling. Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera told the Catholic News Agency that the traditional posture is a “sign of adoration that needs to be recovered.” When Catholics receive Communion while standing, they should show their reverence with a bow, the Spanish cardinal said; but in practice few people do that. He said: “I think the entire Church needs to receive Communion while kneeling.”

Source(s): these links will take you to other sites, in a new window. •Spanish cardinal recommends that Catholics receive Communion on the tongue (CNA)

Fish on Friday re-established by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales

  

By Peter Jennings

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales have re-established the Friday Penance of abstaining from meat on a Friday.

The law will come into force on Friday 16 September 2011, the First Anniversary of the State Visit by Pope Benedict XVI to the United Kingdom in 2010.

Following their Spring Meeting at Hinsley Hall, Leeds, Monday 9 to Thursday 12 May 2011, the Catholic media office issued the following statement (13 May 2011) under the heading Catholic Witness – Friday Penance:

By the practice of penance every Catholic identifies with Christ in his death on the cross. We do so in prayer, through uniting the sufferings and sacrifices in our lives with those of Christ’s passion; in fasting, by dying to self in order to be close to Christ; in alms-giving, by demonstrating our solidarity with the sufferings of Christ in those in need. All three forms of penance form a vital part of Christian living. When this is visible in the public arena, then it is also an important act of witness.

Every Friday is set aside by the Church as a special day of penance, for it is the day of the death of our Lord. The law of the Church requires Catholics to abstain from meat on Fridays, or some other form of food, or to observe some other form of penance laid down by the Bishops’ Conference.

The Bishops wish to re-establish the practice of Friday penance in the lives of the faithful as a clear and distinctive mark of their own Catholic identity. They recognise that the best habits are those which are acquired as part of a common resolve and common witness. It is important that all the faithful be united in a common celebration of Friday penance.

Respectful of this, and in accordance with the mind of the whole Church, the Bishops’ Conference wishes to remind all Catholics in England and Wales of the obligation of Friday Penance.

The Bishops have decided to re-establish the practice that this should be fulfilled by abstaining from meat.

Those who cannot or choose not to eat meat as part of their normal diet should abstain from some other food of which they regularly partake.

This is to come into effect from Friday 16 September 2011 when we will mark the anniversary of the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United Kingdom.

Many may wish to go beyond this simple act of common witness and mark each Friday with a time of prayer and further self-sacrifice.  In all these ways we unite our sacrifices to the sacrifice of Christ, who gave up his very life for our salvation

“In the Eucharistic celebration we do not invent something”

The Holy Mass, celebrated in the respect of the liturgical norms and with a fitting appreciation of the richness of the signs and gestures, fosters and promotes the growth of Eucharistic faith. In the Eucharistic celebration we do not invent something, but we enter into a reality that precedes us, more than that, which embraces heaven and earth and, hence, also the past, the future and the present. This universal openness, this encounter with all the sons and daughters of God is the grandeur of the Eucharist: we go to meet the reality of God present in the body and blood of the Risen One among us. Hence, the liturgical prescriptions dictated by the Church are not external things, but express concretely this reality of the revelation of the body and blood of Christ and thus the prayer reveals the faith according to the ancient principle “lex orandi – lex credendi.” And because of this we can say “the best catechesis on the Eucharist is the Eucharist itself well celebrated” (Benedict XVI, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation “Sacramentum Caritatis,” No. 64). It is necessary that in the liturgy the transcendent dimension emerge with clarity, that of the mystery, of the encounter with the Divine, which also illumines and elevates the “horizontal,” that is the bond of communion and of solidarity that exists between all those who belong to the Church. In fact, when the latter prevails, the beauty, profundity and importance of the mystery celebrated is fully understood. Dear brothers in the priesthood, to you the bishop has entrusted, on the day of your priestly Ordination, the task to preside over the Eucharist. Always have at heart the exercise of this mission: celebrate the divine mysteries with intense interior participation, so that the men and women of our City can be sanctified, put into contact with God, absolute truth and eternal love.

The Holy Father offers Mass ad orientem

Pope Benedict XVI offered Mass ad orientem this morning, in the Pauline Chapel at the apostolic palace.  The Holy Father offered the Holy Sacrafice of the Mass for members of the International Theological Commission. In his homily the Pope warned the theologians against taking undue pride in their scholarly work. He noted that many renowned thinkers have been “unable to see the mystery in itself, the central nucleus: that Christ truly was the Son of God.” By contrast, he pointed out, simple believers like St. Therese of Lisieux and St. Damian of Molokai have plumbed the depths of the faith; they were “little people who were also wise.” The Pontiff cited the attitude of St. Paul, who “became blind and thus truly came to see.”

NY TIMES on Latin Mass

The New York Times

 


November 29, 2009
Op-Ed Contributor

Latin Mass Appeal

By KENNETH J. WOLFE

(Washington, DC) WALKING into church 40 years ago on this first Sunday of Advent, many Roman Catholics might have wondered where they were. The priest not only spoke English rather than Latin, but he faced the congregation instead of the tabernacle; laymen took on duties previously reserved for priests; folk music filled the air. The great changes of Vatican II had hit home.

All this was a radical break from the traditional Latin Mass, codified in the 16th century at the Council of Trent. For centuries, that Mass served as a structured sacrifice with directives, called “rubrics,” that were not optional. This is how it is done, said the book. As recently as 1947, Pope Pius XII had issued an encyclical on liturgy that scoffed at modernization; he said that the idea of changes to the traditional Latin Mass “pained” him “grievously.”

Paradoxically, however, it was Pius himself who was largely responsible for the momentous changes of 1969. It was he who appointed the chief architect of the new Mass, Annibale Bugnini, to the Vatican’s liturgical commission in 1948.

Bugnini was born in 1912 and ordained a Vincentian priest in 1936. Though Bugnini had barely a decade of parish work, Pius XII made him secretary to the Commission for Liturgical Reform. In the 1950s, Bugnini led a major revision of the liturgies of Holy Week. As a result, on Good Friday of 1955, congregations for the first time joined the priest in reciting the Pater Noster, and the priest faced the congregation for some of the liturgy.

The next pope, John XXIII, named Bugnini secretary to the Preparatory Commission for the Liturgy of Vatican II, in which position he worked with Catholic clergymen and, surprisingly, some Protestant ministers on liturgical reforms. In 1962 he wrote what would eventually become the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, the document that gave the form of the new Mass.

Many of Bugnini’s reforms were aimed at appeasing non-Catholics, and changes emulating Protestant services were made, including placing altars to face the people instead of a sacrifice toward the liturgical east. As he put it, “We must strip from our … Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren, that is, for the Protestants.” (Paradoxically, the Anglicans who will join the Catholic Church as a result of the current pope’s outreach will use a liturgy that often features the priest facing in the same direction as the congregation. )

How was Bugnini able to make such sweeping changes? In part because none of the popes he served were liturgists. Bugnini changed so many things that John’s successor, Paul VI, sometimes did not know the latest directives. The pope once questioned the vestments set out for him by his staff, saying they were the wrong color, only to be told he had eliminated the week-long celebration of Pentecost and could not wear the corresponding red garments for Mass. The pope’s master of ceremonies then witnessed Paul VI break down in tears.

Bugnini fell from grace in the 1970s. Rumors spread in the Italian press that he was a Freemason, which if true would have merited excommunication. The Vatican never denied the claims, and in 1976 Bugnini, by then an archbishop, was exiled to a ceremonial post in Iran. He died, largely forgotten, in 1982.

But his legacy lived on. Pope John Paul II continued the liberalizations of Mass, allowing females to serve in place of altar boys and to permit unordained men and women to distribute communion in the hands of standing recipients. Even conservative organizations like Opus Dei adopted the liberal liturgical reforms.

But Bugnini may have finally met his match in Benedict XVI, a noted liturgist himself who is no fan of the past 40 years of change. Chanting Latin, wearing antique vestments and distributing communion only on the tongues (rather than into the hands) of kneeling Catholics, Benedict has slowly reversed the innovations of his predecessors. And the Latin Mass is back, at least on a limited basis, in places like Arlington, Va., where one in five parishes offer the old liturgy.

Benedict understands that his younger priests and seminarians — most born after Vatican II — are helping lead a counterrevolution. They value the beauty of the solemn high Mass and its accompanying chant, incense and ceremony. Priests in cassocks and sisters in habits are again common; traditionalist societies like the Institute of Christ the King are expanding.

At the beginning of this decade, Benedict (then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) wrote: “The turning of the priest toward the people has turned the community into a self-enclosed circle. In its outward form, it no longer opens out on what lies ahead and above, but is closed in on itself.” He was right: 40 years of the new Mass have brought chaos and banality into the most visible and outward sign of the church. Benedict XVI wants a return to order and meaning. So, it seems, does the next generation of Catholics.

Kenneth J. Wolfe writes frequently for traditionalist Roman Catholic publications.

Perfect Storm?

jpeg
 
After a quiet summer, clouds gather over Rome…

By Robert Moynihan, reporting from America
A storm is about to be unleashed on the Pope, the Vatican, and, by extension, the Catholic Church.

The first drops of rain have just fallen, with public accusations that the Pope lied this winter in connection with the “Williamson affair.” (see below)

 
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What is it about?

 
Whether this storm will “blow over,” or intensify into a “perfect storm,” only time will tell.

But whatever happens, there is this to keep in mind: many, inside and outside of the Church, would like the Church’s traditional liturgy, known as the Latin Mass — the old liturgy celebrated up until 1970, and two years ago designated by Pope Benedict XVI as the “extraordinary rite” of the Mass — to disappear.

 
And they are irritated that Benedict — against many and vociferous objections —  “restored” the old liturgy, which many thought had been buried definitively.
 
As strange as it may seem, this battle is in part about that — about the survival of the Church’s old liturgy — about her way of worshipping God.
 
But when I say this, I do not mean to downplay other, quite obvious concerns, for example, the tense situation in the Middle East, or in the world economy.
 
I mean to say that, on a fundamental level, it is not simply a political or economic battle, as important as political and economic factors are, but a spiritual battle.
 
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Is Rome alone?
And at a time like this, when many forces in the West (the European Union, the new US administration)  seem to be aligning themselves in favor of a thoroughly secularized “new world order,” the ally most helpful to Rome may well be the ally who still celebrates a divine liturgy which has not been modernized: the Orthodox.
 
And the most numerous and powerful of the Orthodox are the Russians.
 
In this perspective, these attacks on the Pope and the Vatican may drive Rome to ally herself, after a thousand years of separation, with Contantinople, and with Moscow — reuniting the “three Romes”…
 
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The allegation this morning is that Vatican officials (but not the Pope) lied when they said this winter that no one in the Vatican knew about Bishop Richard Williamson’s views about the Holocaust when the Pope decided to lift his excommication on January 24.

However, this allegation has been exploited by the Church’s current antagonist in Italy, Prime Minsiter Silvio Berlusconi, through his media empire, to suggest that the Pope, too, lied.

Here is the headline being run right now on Google news:

 
Swedish TV: Vatican knew about Holocaust-denier

Here is a link to the entire story:
 
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iSmeUYxiL3cK2bBxxIHl9aTafLoAD9AT13984
 
Here are the first few few paragraphs to give you the gist of what is being said:

 
By KARL RITTER (AP) – 4 hours ago

STOCKHOLM — A Swedish TV program to be aired Wednesday (
Note: today) claims that top Vatican officials knew that an ultraconservative British bishop was a Holocaust-denier when his excommunication was lifted in January. The program, which was obtained by The Associated Press prior to broadcast, could add new fuel to the controversy over Bishop Richard Williamson.

Jews and Catholics worldwide were outraged after Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunication of Williamson, along with three other ultraconservative bishops, in an attempt to bring dissidents back into the mainstream church.

The order, dated Jan. 21, came as Sweden’s SVT aired an interview recorded two months earlier in which Williamson said he didn’t believe any Jews were killed in gas chambers during World War II.
Vatican officials have said they didn’t know about the interview at the time. Benedict later condemned Williamson’s remarks and spoke out against anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.

Yet in a follow-up report, SVT says the Vatican had been informed of Williamson’s Holocaust-denial shortly after the interview was recorded in November. It doesn’t suggest, however, that the pope knew about the remarks.

The program singles out Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, who had been leading efforts to heal the schism with the ultraconservative Society of St. Pius X. The Vatican announced in July that Castrillon Hoyos was stepping down after reaching the customary retirement age of 80.

The SVT program says Sweden’s Catholic diocese informed the apostolic nuncio — the Vatican envoy to Sweden — about Williamson’s remarks and that he in turn informed Vatican officials, including Castrillon Hoyos…
 
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The Italian Front: “He Lied”

 

The second allegation is that the Pope himself knew.
 
This allegation made headlines today in Italy, where the Catholic Church and the Italian government of Prime Minister Berlusconi have been sparring for months over Berlusconi’s immiration policies and his alleged sexual impropriety. This morning, Berlusconi (or those close to him) took the gloves off.
 
(Here, in better times, Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi greets Pope Benedict XVI in Cagliari on the Italian island of Sardinia in this September 7, 2008,  photo — CNS photo/Reuters)
 
For the first time in the many months of acrimony, Berlusconi (or his associates) directly attacked the Pope. This escalates the battle.
 
Il Giornale, a newspaper owned by Berlusconi’s family, carried the exaggerated headline “He Lied” (“Ha mentito”), referring to the Pope and his handling of the “Williamson affair.”
 
(Below is a photo from three weeks ago of women reading Il Giornale. The Sept. 3 newspaper front page has a picture of Dino Boffo, editor of the Catholic newspaper Avvenire. Boffo resigned from Avvenire, the newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference, in a row that has strained relations between the Vatican and the Italian government — CNS photo/Stefano Rellandini, Reuters)
 
Here are a few lines from a British newspaper today explaining this story:
 
Silvio Berlusconi turns his guns on Pope Benedict XVI
The Italian newspaper Il Giornale, owned by the family of Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi, carries a headline today dominated by the words “Ha mentito” – “he lied”, referring to Pope Benedict XVI. The paper is busy stirring up trouble over the claims by Swedish TV, due to be aired tonight, that the Vatican knew in advance about the Holocaust-denying background of Bishop Richard Williamson before his excommunication was lifted.That struggle, which is part of a left-right, secular-Catholic battle at the heart of Italian society and government, has already damaged relations between the gruesomely oversexed Berlusconi and the Holy Father…
 
 
=====================================
 
One consideration is the Italian situation.
 
There isn’t space or time here to go into the entire sordid affair. Suffice it to say that a rift between the Vatican and the government of Silvio Berlusconi has now become a chasm.
 
Since the Vatican, humanly speaking, is a tiny state entirely surrounded by Italian territory, it is naturally always a hope of the Vatican to be on close and friendly terms with the Italian government.
 
Therefore, this deteriorating relationship with the Italian governement led by Berlusconi is a real concern.
 
Here is a link to an Associated Press article on the background to this story: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090906/ap_on_re_eu/eu_italy_scandal_3

And here is a link to a Time magazine story on Berlusconi: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1923076,00.html

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

 

The words “he lied” are admittedly taken from the programme. But it’s a malicious allegation: Benedict has told no lies whatsoever regarding this matter, even if Vatican officials working for him have a case to answer.

The background you need to know is that Il Giornale has been engaged in a furious battle with Vatican Radio and the Catholic newspaper Avvenire, whose editor Dino Boffo it forced to resign after claiming he was a homosexual with a police record. Avvenire

, not coincidentally, had consistently opposed Berlusconi, with the backing of the Italian Bishops’ Conference.
 
A second consideration is the relationship of the Vatican to the world Jewish community.
 
The re-emergence of the “Williamson affair” under these circumstances, with new allegations, shows that the “affair” was not settled in March, when the Pope on March 12 issued a dramatic letter of apology to the bishops of the Church.
 
Here are some key lines from that March 12 letter:
 
“An unforeseen mishap for me was the fact that the Williamson case came on top of the remission of the excommunication,” the Pope wrote.
 
“I have been told that consulting the information available on the internet would have made it possible to perceive the problem early on. I have learned the lesson that in the future in the Holy See we will have to pay greater attention to that source of news. I was saddened by the fact that even Catholics who, after all, might have had a better knowledge of the situation, thought they had to attack me with open hostility.
 
“Precisely for this reason I thank all the more our Jewish friends, who quickly helped to clear up the misunderstanding and to restore the atmosphere of friendship and trust which – as in the days of Pope John Paul II – has also existed throughout my pontificate and, thank God, continues to exist.”
 
 
Will the world Jewish community come to the Pope’s defense?
============================
 
A third consideration is the relationship between traditional Catholics, now un-excommunicated, and those we may call “conciliar” Catholics.
 
Is this case only about Williamson and his views, or are the “conciliar” Catholics actually unwilling to accept the readmission of “traditionalist” Catholics into communion with Rome, and themselves?
 
In this regard, a question arrises: who is really behind the re-emergence of attacks on the Pope for his January 24 action in un-excommunicating the four Lefebvrist bishops?
 
It isn’t fully clear.
 
But it has been reported in the La Stampa of Milan, Italy, that the Catholic bishop of Stockholm, Anders Arborelius, is in a very cordial relationship with the Swedish TV — and that he is a firm opponent of the Society of St. Pius X (the SSPX).
 
 
Arborelius said Wednesday in a statement posted on his diocese’s website that he was aware of negationist remarks Williamson made to an investigative news program filmed by Swedish public television SVT in November 2008 and which aired on January 21, 2009.

Arborelius wrote: “The content of the interview with Richard Williamson … was sent to the Vatican in November 2008, forewarning that the program with the Holocaust denial would be broadcast on January 21, 2009.

“We, at the diocese office in Stockholm, as we always do in matters of the Church, had forwarded the information we had about SSPX and Richard Williamson, including what we knew about the content in the interview Uppdrag Granskning had with him, to the Vatican,” Arborelius said.

“I want to underline that forwarding information to the Vatican is pure routine, and not something exceptional for this case,” he added.

 
(Of course, it is evident that such information could possibly have been held up on one desk or another, and never reached the Pope or his top advisors.)
 
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A fourth consideration is the relationship of the Roman Catholic Church to the world’s Orthodox Churches.

 
It became clear last week, during a very cordial visit to Rome by a representative of the Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow, that relations between Catholicism and Orthodoxy, especially Russian Orthodoxy, at least on the surface, are much improved over the past few years.
Here are excerpts from an account of that visit I wrote for the Monday, September 21 edition of the Zenit news agency:
Recent Meeting Could Mark Turning Point
On September 18, inside Castel Gandolfo, the Pope’s summer palace about 30 miles outside Rome, a Russian Orthodox Archbishop named Hilarion Alfeyev (photo), 43 (a scholar, theologian, expert on the liturgy, composer and lover of music), met with Benedict XVI, 82 (also a scholar, theologian, expert on the liturgy and lover of music), for almost two hours, according to informed sources.
 
(There are as yet no “official” sources about this meeting — the Holy See has still not released an official communiqué.)

The silence suggests that what transpired was important — perhaps so important that the Holy See thinks it isn’t yet prudent to reveal publicly what was discussed.

But there are numerous “signs” that the meeting was remarkably harmonious…

In memory of the visit, Archbishop Hilarion gave the Pope a pectoral cross, made in workshops of Russian Orthodox Church…

It is especially significant, in this context, that Hilarion, Patriarch Kirill’s “Foreign Minister,” has some of the same deep interests as Benedict XVI: the liturgy, and music.

“As a 15-year-old boy I first entered the sanctuary of the Lord, the Holy of Holies of the Orthodox Church,” Hilarion once wrote about the Orthodox liturgy. “But it was only after my entrance into the altar that the ‘theourgia,’ the mystery, and ‘feast of faith’ began, which continues to this very day.

“After my ordination, I saw my destiny and main calling in serving the Divine Liturgy. Indeed, everything else, such as sermons, pastoral care and theological scholarship were centered around the main focal point of my life — the liturgy.”

These words seem to echo the feelings and experiences of Benedict XVI, who has written that the liturgies of Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday in Bavaria when he was a child were formative for his entire being, and that his writing on the liturgy (one of his books is entitled “Feast of Faith”) is the most important to him of all his scholarly endeavors.

“Orthodox divine services are a priceless treasure that we must carefully guard,” Hilarion has written. “I have had the opportunity to be present at both Protestant and Catholic services, which were, with rare exceptions, quite disappointing… Since the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council, services in some Catholic churches have become little different from Protestant ones.”

Again, these words of Hilarion seem to echo Benedict XVI’s own concerns. The Pope has made it clear that he wishes to reform the Catholic Church’s liturgy, and preserve what was contained in the old liturgy and now risks being lost.

Hilarion has cited the Orthodox St. John of Kronstadt approvingly. St. John of Kronstadt wrote: “The Church and its divine services are an embodiment and realization of everything in Christianity… It is the divine wisdom, accessible to simple, loving hearts.”

These words echo words written by Cardinal Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI, who often said that the liturgy is a “school” for the simple Christian, imparting the deep truths of the faith even to the unlearned through its prayers, gestures and hymns.

Hilarion in recent years has become known for his musical compositions, especially for Christmas and for Good Friday, celebrating the birth and the Passion of Jesus Christ. These works have been performed in Moscow and in the West, in Rome in March 2007 and in Washington DC in December 2007.

Closer relations between Rome and Moscow, then, could have profound implications also for the cultural and liturgical life of the Church in the West. There could be a renewal of Christian art and culture, as well as of faith…

 
(Here is a link to the complete article: http://www.zenit.org/article-26932?l=english.)

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As I said at the outset, the “Williamson affair,” and the effort to ascertain what the Vatican knew, and when, about Williamson’s views, may continue to dominate news headlines, or it may pass away into silence. Time will tell.

 
But the re-emergence of the issue reminds us that there is a larger battle occurring, a battle for the “deposit of the faith,” a battle for our tradition and the beliefs handed down to us from the Apostles, and it is that battle that we should be aware of and concerned about.
Last week, I had a wonderful and productive meeting in New Rochelle, New York, with Dr. Alice von Hildebrand, 86, who has given me some documents which may help me to understand better the history of the Church in our time.
 
I will be returning to Rome soon, God willing, and reporting on these documents, and on other matters which I have left unfinished.
 
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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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