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PALM SUNDAY – DOMINICA in PALMIS

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Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine’s
The Church’s Year

Why is this day called Palm Sunday?

In memory of our Saviour’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem, when the multitude strewed palm branches before Him, for which reason the Church, on this day, blesses palms, and carries them in procession.

Why are palms blessed?

That those who carry them with devotion, or keep them in their houses, may receive protection of soul and body, as prayed for in the blessing; that those who carry the palms may, by means of the prayers of the Church, adorn their souls with good works and thus, in spirit, meet the Saviour; that, through Christ whose members we are, we may conquer the kingdom of death and darkness, and be made worthy to share in His glorious resurrection and triumphant entrance into heaven. St. Augustine writes of the palms: “They are the emblem of praise, and sign of victory, because the Lord by death conquered death, and with the sign of victory, the cross, overcame the devil, the prince of death.” Therefore, preceded by the cross, we go in procession around the church singing hymns of praise; when we come to the church door, we find it locked; the priest knocks at it with the cross. Heaven was closed to us by the sin of Adam, and it is opened to us by reconciliation through Jesus on the cross.

To move us to compassion for the suffering Redeemer, the Church, in the person of Christ, cries in lamenting tones at the Introit:

INTROIT O Lord, remove not Thy help to a distance from me, look towards my defence: save me from the lion’s mouth, and my lowness from the horns of the unicorns. O God, my God! look on me, why hast Thou forsaken me? Far from my salvation are the words of my sins. O Lord! Remove not, &c. (Ps. XXI.)

COLLECT Almighty and everlasting God! who didst vouchsafe to send Thy Son, our Saviour, to take upon Him our flesh, and to suffer death upon the cross, to give mankind an example of humility; mercifully grant, that we may both follow the example of His patience, and be made partakers of His Resurrection. Through the same &c.

EPISTLE (Philip. II. 5-11.) Brethren, let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery himself to be equal to God; but debased himself, taking the form of a servant, being made to the likeness of men, and in shape found as a man. He humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore, God also hath exalted him, and hath given him a name, which is above every name: that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth; and that every tongue should confess, that the Lord, Jesus Christ, is in the glory of God, the Father.

INSTRUCTION In this epistle, the apostle urges us in a special manner to humility by which we are made like to Christ, our Lord, who putting off the majesty of His divinity, became man, and humbled Himself in obedience to the ignominious death of the cross. “Would that all might hear,” exclaims St. Gregory, “that God resists the proud, and gives His grace to the humble! Would that all might hear: Thou dust and ashes, why dost thou exalt thyself? Would that all might hear the words of the Lord: Learn of me, because I am humble of heart. The only-begotten Son of God assumed the form of our weakness, suffered mockery, insult and torments for the purpose that the humble God might teach man not to be proud.”

ASPIRATION Ah, that my sentiments were as Throe, O my Lord, Jesus! who so humbled Thyself and writ obedient to the most ignominious death of the cross. Grant me, I beseech Thee, O my Redeemer, the grace. diligently to follow Thee in humility.

Instead of the gospel of the Passion, that is, the history of the sufferings of our Lord according to St. Matthew, (Chaps. XXVI. XXVII.) is read in this day’s Mass, and neither incense, nor lights are used, nor is the Dominus vobiscum said, thus signifying that Jesus, the Light of the world, was taken away by death, and that the faith and devotion of the apostles was shaken, and became almost extinct. When reading the History of the Passion at the words: and bowing his head, he gave up the ghost, the priest with all the congregation kneel and meditate for a short time on the great mystery of the death of Jesus, by which our redemption was effected.

THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
ACCORDING TO ST. MATTHEW, CHAP. XXVI., XXVII: I-XVI

At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: You know that after two days shall be the Pasch, and the Son of Man shall be delivered up to be crucified. Then were gathered together the chief priests and the ancients of the people into the palace of the high-priest, who was called Caiphas. And they consulted together, that, by subtilty, they might apprehend Jesus and put him to death. But they said: Not on the festival day, lest there should be a tumult among the people. And when Jesus was in Bethania, in the house of Simon the leper, there came to him a woman having an alabaster-box of precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he was at table. And the disciples seeing it, had indignation, saying: To what purpose is this waste? For this might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. And Jesus knowing it, said to them: Why do you trouble this woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. For the poor you have always with you: but me you have not always. For she, in pouring this ointment upon my body, hath done it for my burial. Amen, I say to you, wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, that also which she bath done, shall be told for a memory of her.

Then went one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, to the chief priests, and said to them: What will you give me, and I will deliver him unto you? But they appointed for him thirty pieces of silver. And from thenceforth he sought opportunity to betray him.

And on the first day of the Azymes, the disciples came to Jesus, saying: Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the Pasch? But Jesus said: Go ye into the city to a certain man, and say to him: The master saith: my time is near at hand, I will keep the Pasch at thy house with my disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them, and they prepared the Pasch. Now when it was evening, he sat down with his twelve disciples. And whilst they were eating, he said: Amen, I say to you, that one of you is about to betray me. And they being very much troubled, began everyone to say: Is it I, Lord? But he answering, said: He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me. The Son of Man indeed froeth as it is written of him; but woe to that man, by whom the Son of Man shall be betrayed: it were better for that man, if he had not been born. And Judas that betrayed him, answering, said: Is it I, Rabbi? He said to him: Thou hast said it. And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed and broke, and gave to his disciples, and said: Take ye and eat: This is my body. And taking the chalice he gave thanks: and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many for the remission of sins. And I say to you, I will not drink from henceforth of the fruit of the vine, until that day, when I shall drink it new with you in the kingdom of my Father. And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to Mount Olivet.

Then Jesus saith to them: All you shall be scandalized in me this night. For it is written: I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be dispersed. But after I shall be risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. And Peter answering, said to him: Though all shall be scandalized in thee, I will never be scandalized. Jesus said to him: Amen, I say to thee, that in this night, before the cock crow, thou wilt deny me thrice. Peter saith to him: Though I should die with thee, I will not deny thee. And in like manner said all the disciples. Then Jesus came with them to a country place which is called Gethsemani, and he said to his disciples: Sit you here, till I go yonder, and pray. And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to grow sorrowful and to be sad.

Then he saith to them: My soul is sorrowful even unto death; stay you here, and watch with me. And going a little further he fell upon his face, praying, and saying: O my Father! if it is possible, let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he cometh to his disciples, and findeth them asleep; and he saith to Peter: What! could you not watch one hour with me? Watch ye, and pray that ye enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Again he went the second time, and prayed, saying: O my Father! if this chalice cannot pass away except I drink it, thy will be done. And he cometh again, and findeth them asleep; for their eyes were heavy. And leaving them, he went away again, and he prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then he cometh to his disciples, and with to them: Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man shall be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us go; behold, he is at hand that will betray me.

As he yet spoke, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the ancients of the people. And he that betrayed him, gave them a sign, saying: Whomsoever I shall kiss, that is he: hold him fast. And forthwith coming to Jesus, he said: Hail, rabbi! And he kissed him. And Jesus said to him: Friend! whereto art thou come? Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus, and held him. And behold one of them that were with Jesus, stretching forth his hand, drew out his sword; and striking the servant of the high-priest, cut off his ear. Then Jesus saith to him: Put up again thy sword into its place for all that take the sword shall perish by the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot ask my Father, and he will give me presently more than twelve legions of Angels? How then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that so it must be done? In that same hour Jesus said to the multitude: You are come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to apprehend me. I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and you laid not hands on me. Now all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then the disciples all leaving him, fled away.

But they holding Jesus, led him to Caiphas, the high-priest, where the scribes and the ancients were assembled. But Peter followed him afar off to the high-priest’s palace. And going in, he sat with the servants, to see the end. Now the chief priests and whole council sought false witness against Jesus, that they might put him to death: and they found not, though many false witnesses had come in. And last of all, there came two false witnesses. And they said: This man said: I am able to destroy the temple of God, and in three days to rebuild it. And the high-priest rising up, said to him: Answerest thou nothing to the things which these witness against thee? But Jesus held his peace. And the high-priest said to him: I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us if thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus saith to him: Thou hast said it. Nevertheless I say to you, hereafter you shall see the Son of Man, sitting on the right hand of the power of God, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high-priest rent his garments, saying: He hath blasphemed, what further need have we of witnesses? Behold, now you have heard the blasphemy. What think you? But they answering, said: He is guilty of death.

Then they spit in his face, and buffetted him, and others struck his face with the palms of their hands, saying: Prophesy unto us, O Christ! who is he that struck thee? But Peter sat without in the palace, and there came to him a servant maid, saying: Thou also wast with Jesus the Galilean. But he denied before them all, saying: I know not what thou sayest. And as he went out of the gate, another maid saw him, and she saith to them that were there: This man also was with Jesus of Nazareth. And again he denied with an oath: I do not know the man. And after a little while, they that stood by came and said to Peter: Surely thou also art one of them: for even thy speech doth discover thee. Then he began to curse and to swear that he knew not the man.

And immediately the cock crew. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus which he had said: Before the cock crow, thou wilt deny me thrice. And going forth, he wept bitterly.

And when the morning was come, all the chief priests and ancients of the people held a council against Jesus, to put him to death. And they brought him bound, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate, the governor.

Then Judas, who betrayed him, seeing that he was condemned, repenting himself, brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the ancients, saying: I have sinned, in betraying innocent blood. But they said: What is that to us? look thou to it.

And casting down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed: and went and hanged himself with a halter. But the chief priests having taken the pieces of silver, said: It is not lawful to put them into the corbona, because it is the price of blood. And having consulted together, they bought with them the potter’s field, to be a burying-place for strangers. Wherefore that field was called Haceldama, that is the field of blood, even to this day.

Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremias the prophet, saying: And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they prized of the children of Israel. And they gave them unto the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed to me.

And Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, saying: Art thou the king of the Jews? Jesus saith to him: Thou sayest it. And when he was accused by the chief priests and ancients, he answered nothing. Then Pilate saith to him: Dost thou not hear how great testimonies they allege against thee?

And he answered him not to any word: so that the governor wondered exceedingly.

Now upon the solemn day the governor was accustomed to release to the people one prisoner, whom they would. And he had then a notorious prisoner, that was called Barabbas. They, therefore, being gathered together, Pilate said: Whom will you that I release to you, Barabbas, or Jesus, who is called Christ? For he knew that through envy they had delivered him up. And as he was sitting on the judgment-seat, his wife sent to him, saying. Have thou nothing to do with that just man. For I have suffered many things this day in a dream on account of him. But the chief priests and ancients persuaded the people, that they should ask Barabbas, and make Jesus away. And the governor answering, said to them: Which will you have of the two to be released unto you? But they said: Barabbas. Pilate saith to them: What shall I do then with Jesus that is called Christ? They all say: Let him be crucified. The governor said to them: Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying: Let him be crucified. And Pilate seeing that he prevailed nothing, but that rather a tumult was made; having taken water, washed his hands before the people, saying: I am innocent of the blood of this just man: look you to it. And all the people answering, said: His blood be upon us, and upon our children. Then he released to them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to them to be crucified.

Then the soldiers of the governor, taking Jesus into the hall, gathered together unto him the whole band. And stripping him, they put a scarlet cloak about him. And platting a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand. And bowing the knee before him, they mocked him, saying: Hail, king of the Jews!

And spitting upon him, they took the reed, and struck his head. And after they had mocked him, they took off the cloak from him, and put on him his own garments, and led him away to crucify him.

And going out, they found a man of Cyrene, named Simon; him they forced to take up his cross. And they came to the place that is called Golgotha, which is, the place of Calvary. And they gave him wine to drink mingled with gall. And when he had tasted, he would not drink. And after they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots; that the word might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: They divided my garments among them; and upon my vesture they cast lots. And they sat down, and watched him. And they put over his head his cause written: This is Jesus, the King of the Jews. Then were there crucified with him two. thieves; the one on the right hand, and the other on the left. And they that passed by blasphemed him, wagging their heads, and saying: Vah, thou who destroyest the temple of God, and in three days buildest it up again, save thy own self: if thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. In like manner also, the chief priests with the scribes and ancients, mocking, said: He saved others; himself he cannot save: if he be the king of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God, let him deliver him now if he will save him: for he said: I am the Son of God.

And the self-same thing the thieves also, that were crucified with him, reproached him with. Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the earth, until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying: Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani? that is: My God! my God! why hast thou forsaken me? And some of them that stood there and heard, said: This man calleth for Elias. And immediately one of them, running; took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar; and put it on a reed and gave him to drink. And the others said: Stay, let us see whether Elias will come to deliver him. And Jesus again crying with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

And behold the veil of the temple was rent in two, from the top even to the bottom, and the earth quaked, and the rocks were rent; and the graves were opened: and many bodies of the saints that had slept arose: and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection, came into the holy city, and appeared to many. Now the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, having seen the earthquake and the things that were done, were greatly afraid, saying: Indeed this was the Son of God. And there were there many women afar off, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him; among whom was Mary Magdalen, and Mary, the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee. And when it was evening, there came a certain rich man of Arimathea, named Joseph, who also himself was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded that the body should be delivered. And Joseph taking the body, wrapped it up in a clean linen cloth. And laid it in his own new monument, which he had hewed out in a rock; and he rolled a great stone to the door of the monument, and went his way. And there was Mary Magdalen, and the other Mary sitting over against the sepulchre.

And the next day, which followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees came together to Pilate, saying: Sir, we have remembered that seducer said, while-he was yet alive: After three days I will rise again. “Command, therefore, the sepulchre to be guarded until the third day; lest his disciples come and steal him away, and say to the people: He is risen from the dead. So the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said to them: You have a guard, go guard it as you know. And they departing, made the sepulchre sure, with guards, sealing the stone.

INSTRUCTION ON UPCOMING HOLY WEEK

Why is this week called Holy Week?

This week is called Holy Week because during it we celebrate the most holy mysteries of our religion, and in all her offices and ceremonies the Church refers in quiet mournfulness to the passion and death of our Redeemer.

What remarkable things did Christ do during the first four days of this week?

After He had entered the temple at Jerusalem on Palm Sunday amidst the greatest rejoicings of the people, and was saluted by the children with that cry of joy: “Hosanna to the Son of David,” He drove the buyers and sellers out of the temple, and when He had spent the entire day in preaching and healing the sick, He went in the evening to Bethania, where He remained over night in Lazarus’ house, because in Jerusalem no one wished to receive Him for fear of His enemies. The three following days He spent in Jerusalem, teaching in the temple, and passing the night in prayer on Mount Olivet. In His sermons during these days He strove especially to convince the Jewish priests, the Doctors of the Law and the Pharisees, that He was really the Messiah, and that they would commit a terrible sin by putting Him to death; that they would bring themselves and the whole Jewish nation to destruction. This ruin of the people He illustrated most plainly causing the fig-tree to wither under His curse, and by foretelling the destruction of the city and the temple of Jerusalem. He disputed with them, and confounded them, and brought them publicly to shame by parables, so that out of anger and hatred they with one mind determined to kill Him. The impious Judas aided the most in the execution of their design; through avarice he sold Him for thirty pieces of silver (about eighteen dollars in our money) to the chief priests, and the next day, Thursday, became His betrayer and delivered Him over into their hands.

April 13, 2019   No Comments

Exposition of Sacred Relics

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Exposition of Sacred Relics throughout the day on Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Mass is offered at 8:30 am (the Rosary is prayed at 8:00 am)

You are invited to pray in the presence of more than 100 Sacred Relics following Mass until 6:30 pm.

Holy Martyrs Catholic Church

120 Allison Road

Oreland, Pennsylvania

www.holymartyrschurch.org

Included is the True Cross of our Lord, relics from Mount Calvary and the Birthplace of the Lord, the Cloak of St. Joseph, St. John the Baptist, St. Anthony of Padua, St. John of the Cross, St. John Neumann, St. Katharine Drexel, St. Teresa of Calcutta, St. John Paul II, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, St. Damian of Molokai, Sts. Louis & Zelie Martin, St. Therese, Venerable Fulton J. Sheen, Servant of God Fr. Walter Ciszek, and many others.

Coffee and light snacks will be served in the Father Szal Conference Room as well as a video presentation on Relics by Fr. Carlos Martins.

You are invited to bring a church or school group. Please call to arrange a presentation for your group.

More information call 215-884-8575

or email: holyrelics@outlook.com

Reverend Jason V. Kulczynski, Pastor, 

                Holy Martyrs Catholic Church
                120 Allison Road
                Oreland, Pennsylvania   19075
                           215-884-8575

Celebrant, Traditional Latin Mass Community of Philadelphia:   www.latinmassphila.org

Host of AIM HIGH on Radio Maria:  http://radiomaria.us/aimhigh/                   www.radiomaria.us

U. S. National Director of the Universal Archconfraternity of St. Philomena:  www.philomenafamilyusa.com

Faith, Joy, Optimism. But not the folly of closing your eyes to reality

-St. Josemaria Escriva

 

April 8, 2019   No Comments

Passion Sunday (Judica Sunday)

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Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine’s
The Church’s Year

This Sunday, called Judica from the first word of the Introit, is also called Passion Sunday, because from this day the Church occupies herself exclusively with the contemplation of the passion and death of Christ. The pictures of Christ crucified are covered today in memory of his having hidden Himself from the Jews until His entrance into Jerusalem, no longer showing Himself in public. (John XI. 54.) In the Mass the Glory be to the Father, etc. is omitted, because in the person of Christ the Holy Trinity was dishonored. The psalm Judica is not said today, because on this day the high priests held council about our Lord, for which reason the Church in the name of the suffering Saviour uses these words at the Introit:

INTROIT Judge me, O God, and distinguish my cause from the nation that is not holy: deliver me from the unjust and deceitful man, for Thou art my God and my strength. Send forth thy light and thy truth: they have conducted me, and brought me unto thy holy hill, and into thy tabernacles. (Ps. XLII. 1. 3.)

COLLECT We beseech Thee, Almighty God, graciously to look upon Thy family; that by Thy bounty it may be governed in body, and by Thy protection be guarded in mind. Through, &c.

EPISTLE (Heb. IX. 11-15.) Brethren, Christ being come, a high-priest of the good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is, not of this creation, neither by the blood of goats or of calves, but by his own blood, entered once into the Holies, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and of oxen, and the ashes of an heifer being sprinkled, sanctify such as are defiled, to the cleansing of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who, by the Holy Ghost, offered himself without spot to God, cleanse our conscience from dead works, to serve the living God? And therefore he is the Mediator of the new testament; that by means of his death, for the redemption of those trangressions which were under the former testament; they that are called may receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

EXPLANATION St. Paul here teaches, that Christ as the true high-priest of the New Testament, through His precious blood on the altar of the cross, has indeed rendered perfect satisfaction for sins, but that the sinner must also do his own part, by cooperating with Christ to make himself less unworthy of participating in His passion and merits, and to appropriate to himself its fruits. This is done when he diligently and devoutly assists at the unbloody Sacrifice of the Mass, by which the fruits of the death on the cross are attributed to us; when, according to the will of the Church, he purifies his conscience by true contrition and confession; and when he seeks by trust in Christ’s merits to render some satisfaction for his sins through voluntary penance and faithful following of Christ.

ASPIRATION Grant us, O meek Jesus, Thy grace, that through perfect sorrow for our sins and the exercise of good works we may become participators in the merits of Thy bitter passion.

GOSPEL (John VIII. 46-59.) At that time, Jesus said to the multitudes of the Jews: Which of you shall convince me of sin? If I say the truth to you, why do you not believe me? He that is of God, heareth the words of God. Therefore you hear them not, because you are not of God. The Jews therefore answered, and said to him: Do not we say well, that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil? Jesus answered: I have not a devil; but I honor my Father, and you have dishonored me. But I seek not my own glory; there is one that seeketh and judgeth. Amen, amen, I say to you, if any-man keep my word, he shall not see death for ever. The Jews therefore said: Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest: If any man keep my word, he shall not taste death for ever. Art thou greater than our Father Abraham, who is dead? and the prophets are dead. Whom dost thou make thyself? Jesus answered: If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father that glorifieth me, of whom you say that he is your God. And you have not known him; but I know him. And if I shall say that I know him not, I shall be like to you, a liar. But I do know him, and do keep his word. Abraham your father rejoiced that he might see my day: he saw it, and was glad. The Jews therefore said to him: Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said to them: Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham was made, I am. They took up stones therefore to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple.

Why did Christ ask the Jews, which of them should convince Him of sin?

To show us that he who would teach and punish others, should strive to be irreproachable himself; and to prove that He, being free from sin, was more than mere man, and therefore, the Messiah, the Son of God, as He repeatedly told the Jews, especially in this day’s gospel, and substantiated by His great and numerous miracles.

Why did He say: He that is of God, heareth the words of God?

To prove that the Jews on account of their stubbornness and unbelief were not the children of God, but of the devil. “Therefore,” St. Gregory says, “let every one when he hears the word of God, ask himself, of whom he is. Eternal truth demands that we be desirous of the heavenly fatherland, that we tame the desires of the flesh, be indifferent to the praises of the world, covet not our neighbor’s goods, and give alms according to our means. Therefore examine yourself, and if you find in your heart this voice of God, then you will know that you are of God.”

CONSOLATION UNDER CALUMNY

When Christ told the Jews the truth, He received insults and calumny; they called Him a Samaritan, that is, an unbeliever, a heretic, one possessed of a devil. This was a terrible slander, and it must have pained Him exceedingly, but at the same time it is a great consolation to those who are innocently calumniated, when they consider that Christ Himself received nothing better. St. Augustine consoles such by saying: “O friend, what is there that can happen to you that your Saviour did not suffer before you? Is it slander? He heard it, when He was called a glutton, a drunkard, a heretic, and a rebel, a companion of sinners, one possessed of a devil; He even heard, when casting out devils, that He did so by Beelzebub, prince of devils.” (Matt. IX. 34.) He therefore comforts His apostles, saying, If they have called the good man of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of his household? (Matt, X. 25.) Are the pains bitter? There is no pain so bitter that He has not endured it; for what is. more painful, and at the same time more ignominious, than the death of the cross? For think, says St. Paul, diligently upon him who endured such opposition from sinners against himself: that you be not wearied (by all contempt and calumny), fainting in your minds. (Heb. XII. 3.)

How and why did Christ defend Himself against those who slandered Hate?

Only by denying with the greatest modesty the things with which they reproached Him, saying that He had not a devil, that He was not a Samaritan, because He honored His Father not in their manner, but in His own. In repelling this calumny while He left the rest unanswered, Christ removed all doubt in regard to His divine mission, thus vindicating the honor of God, and securing the salvation of man. Christ thus teaches us by His own conduct to defend ourselves only against those detractions and insults which endanger the honor of God and the salvation of man, and then to defend ourselves with all modesty; by no means however to do it, if they injure only our own good name, for we should leave the restoration of that to God, as exemplified by Christ, who knows better than we how to preserve and restore it.

[Use the search engine at the top to See the Instruction on the Epistle of the Third Sunday After Epiphany. Type in Third Sunday After Epiphany.]

How had Abraham seen Christ’s day?

In spirit, that is, by. divine revelation he foresaw the coming of Christ and rejoiced; also, he heard, by revelation from God, with the other just in Limbo, that Christ’s coming had taken place, and derived the greatest comfort from it.

Why did Christ conceal Himself from the Jews, instead of taking vengeance?

Because the time of His death had not come; because He would show His meekness and patience and teach us that we should avoid our enemies rather than resist them or take vengeance on them; Christ wished to instruct us to avoid passionate and quarrelsome people, for it is an honor for a man, to separate from quarrels: but all fools are meddling with reproaches. (Prov. XX. 3.)

PETITION When Thine enemies calumniated Thee, most meek Jesus, Thou didst answer them with tender words, and when they were about to stone Thee, Thou didst depart from them, whilst we can scarcely bear a hard word, and far from yielding to our neighbor, defend and avenge ourselves most passionately. Ah! pardon us our impatience, and grant us the grace to bear patiently the wrongs done us, and when necessary, answer with gentleness for Thy glory and the salvation of our neighbor.

April 6, 2019   No Comments

April 2019 First Friday and First Saturday TLM’s

The Traditional Latin Mass will be offered on
Friday, April 5th and Saturday, April 6th

at:

Church of the Immaculate Conception 
of the Blessed Virgin Mary
602 West Avenue
Jenkintown, PA 19046
(215) 884-4022
Confession and Mass will be upstairs 
both Friday and Saturday.
First Friday, April 5th
Priest: Rev. Harold B. McKale (Parish Vicar, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church)
Location:  Church of the Immaculate Conception, Main Church

Time: 7:00 p.m., preceded by Confessions upstairs at 6:30 p.m.

This Traditional Latin Mass will be the Mass for Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent, offered in Reparation to The Sacred Heart of Jesus.
First Saturday, April 6th
Priest: Rev. Harold B. McKale (Parish Vicar, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church
Location:   Church of the Immaculate Conception, Main Church

Time: 9:00 a.m., preceded by Confessions upstairs at 8:30 a.m.

This Traditional Latin Mass will be the Mass for Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent offered in Reparation to The Immaculate Heart of Mary.
For further information, please contact Mark Matthews or Pamela Maran at (215) 947-6555.

 

April 5, 2019   No Comments

“A Half-Century of Novelty: Revisiting Paul VI’s Apologia for the New Mass”

This lecture was given in Wagga Wagga on March 28, in Melbourne on March 30, and in Hobart on April 3, during Dr Kwasniewski’s visit sponsored by the Latin Mass Society of Australia. The full text is presented below, in a Rorate exclusive. UPDATE: The video of the lecture as given in Melbourne may be found here.
A Half-Century of Novelty: Revisiting Paul VI’s Apologia for the New Mass

Peter A. Kwasniewski
April 3 of this year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the promulgation of the Novus Ordo Missae by Pope Paul VI’s 1969 Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum, the provisions of which were to go into effect on November 30, the first Sunday of Advent.
When we look back a half-century later at this monstrous masterpiece of liturgical reform—and, truth be told, it is no longer only self-proclaimed traditionalists who lament a job badly done—we often feel moved to ask the simple question: Why? Why was it deemed necessary to make so many and such radical changes in the Mass? For an explanation, we must look to the pope who, more than any other figure, was responsible for pushing forward the liturgical reform, handing down not only a new rite of Mass, but also, in like manner, new rites for all of the sacraments and indeed new versions of almost everything to be said or done in church—a figurative “sack of Rome” that throws the work of Alaric and Charles V into the shade.
Where can we look to find the pope’s explanation? There are, as one would expect, a plethora of addresses, letters, and other documents that allow us not just a glimpse into the mind of Montini, but a leisurely review; he was frank and outspoken about the liturgical reform, which was and had been his passion prior to and during his pontificate. Above all, however, we ought to look carefully at three general audiences in the 1960s: the first from March of 1965, concerning the epochal shift from Christian Latin to modern vernaculars; and two from November of 1969, on the even greater shift from the classic Roman Rite to the product of the Consilium. Before descending into the details of these general audiences, I will make a theological argument about how we, as believers, should understand the historical development of liturgy in the Catholic Church, as this, I am convinced, is the only way to see the magnitude of what Paul VI desired to do, attempted to do, and, in the judgment of most people, succeeded in doing.
Laws of Organic Liturgical Development
In his 1947 encyclical on the liturgy, Mediator Dei, Pope Pius XII pointed out a theological error in the tendency of some members of the Liturgical Movement to reach back to suppositious liturgical rites of ancient times while excluding or denigrating later periods of Church history such as the Middle Ages or the Baroque. Speaking of “some persons who are bent on the restoration of all the ancient rites and ceremonies indiscriminately,” he says:

[T]he liturgy of the early ages is most certainly worthy of all veneration. But ancient usage must not be esteemed more suitable and proper, either in its own right or in its significance for later times and new situations, on the simple ground that it carries the savor and aroma of antiquity. The more recent liturgical rites likewise deserve reverence and respect. They, too, owe their inspiration to the Holy Spirit, who assists the Church in every age even to the consummation of the world (cf. Matt 28:20). They are equally the resources used by the majestic Spouse of Jesus Christ to promote and procure the sanctity of man.[1]

Pius XII is writing in 1947 about avant-garde liturgists who want to leap frog over the Baroque and medieval periods—in other words, over the Roman rite as codified after Trent—to arrive at a pristine apostolic liturgy. In 1947 the Roman Rite was still very much intact, as vintage photos of Pius XII’s magnificent papal liturgies evince; the liturgy committee that was to give Bugnini his first post at the Vatican and eventually produce a new Holy Week was yet to come. So when Pius XII talks about “more recent liturgical rites,” he is talking about medieval and Baroque developments, culminating in the Tridentine codification, of which the 1570 Missale Romanum is the flagship. The key points to take away from this paragraph are, first, that something’s being more ancient does not ipso facto make it better; second, that the historical development of the liturgy is not an accident that God permits, but a plan that He positively wills, inspired by the Holy Spirit and used by the Head of the Church, Our Lord Jesus Christ, to sanctify the members of His Mystical Body.
Indeed, this passage reads rather like a commentary on the famous Canon 13 of the Seventh Session of the Council of Trent:

If anyone says that the received and approved rites of the Catholic Church that are customarily used in the solemn administration of the sacraments can be looked down on, or that ministers can without sin omit them according to their own whim, or that any pastor of churches whatever can change them into other new ones, let him be anathema.[2]

The seventh canon of the twenty-second Session of Trent is also highly pertinent. This canon states:

If anyone says that the ceremonies, vestments, and outward signs which the Catholic Church uses in the celebration of Masses are incentives to impiety rather than offices of piety; let him be anathema.[3]

When the Council pointedly says “which the Catholic Church uses,” we are given to understand that all of the liturgical ceremonies, vestments, and external signs received from tradition are offices of piety and not incentives to impiety. Thus, the view, later popular with 20th century reformers, that aspects of the classical Roman Rite are to be considered corruptions of authentic liturgy and detrimental to the spiritual life of the faithful is anathematized ahead of time.
In the same spirit, the Roman Catechism published in 1566, three years after the Council of Trent was concluded, says this about the Mass in particular:

The Sacrifice is celebrated with many solemn rites and ceremonies, none of which should be deemed useless or superfluous. On the contrary, all of them tend to display the majesty of this august Sacrifice, and to excite the faithful when beholding these saving mysteries, to contemplate the divine things which lie concealed in the Eucharistic Sacrifice.

Christ promised that “when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, he will teach you all truth”[4]: cum autem venerit ille Spiritus veritatis, docebit vos omnem veritatem (Jn 16:13). This includes the fullness of liturgy.[5] One would expect, if the Church is truly governed by the Spirit of God, that her liturgy would, in its large lines and accepted forms, mature and become more perfect over time. Would it not then follow that the rate of change will slow down and the Spirit’s work will gradually shift from inspiring new prayers to preserving the prayers already inspired? A liturgical rite will grow in perfection until it reaches a certain maturity, and then will cease to develop in any but incidental or minor ways.
One could diagram this process as a chart with two lines: the descending line[6] represents the creation of liturgical forms, while the ascending line[7] represents the preservation of existing liturgical forms. As the former action tapers, the latter action dominates, until that verse from Ezekiel is fulfilled in the Church’s sacred liturgy: “Your renown went forth among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through the splendor that I had bestowed on you, declares the Lord God” (Ezek 16:14).[8]

(The following diagram was distributed as a handout.)

Much more can and should be said on the subject of what we might call “the laws of organic liturgical development,” and I am currently researching and writing on the subject. In the interests of time, however, I will turn to the three general audiences of Paul VI on the topic of the liturgical reform.[9]

Papal example: Paul VI offering the first-ever Italian Mass, versus populum


General Audience of March 17, 1965

The first text we will look at was delivered on March 17, 1965 [English here; Italian at Vatican website], ten days after Pope Paul VI celebrated the first-ever Italian-language Mass at the Church of All Saints (Ognissanti) in Rome. In spite of official rhetoric, there is little evidence that the people rejoiced; a plaque memorializing the event in Ognissanti was vandalized so many times that a new plaque finally had to be placed high on the wall, out of reach of disgruntled parishioners.[10]
It is hard to know what to be more astonished about: the sheer contempt for the common man with which the audience drips, or the sheer fantasyland into which the pope enters when describing the anticipated benefits of the “new liturgy” that was unveiled at Ognissanti—remember, this was not the Novus Ordo, which was four years away, but a heavily simplified Tridentine Mass conducted in Italian (except for the Roman Canon), with the celebrant facing the people, standing at a temporary altar placed outside of the sanctuary.[11]
The pope says there have been negative reactions and positive reactions. The negative reaction is one of “a certain confusion and annoyance”:

Previously, they say, there was peace, each person could pray as he wished, the whole sequence of the rite was well known; now everything is new, startling, and changed; even the ringing of the bells at the Sanctus is done away with; and then those prayers which one doesn’t know where to find; Holy Communion received standing; Mass ending suddenly with the blessing; everybody answering, many people moving around, rites and readings which are recited aloud … In short, there is no longer any peace and we now know less than we did before; and so on.

This does not seem an altogether unreasonable reaction. As far as the pope is concerned, however, Catholics who react this way have a paltry understanding of what they are doing:

We shall not criticize these views because then we would have to show how they reveal a poor understanding of the meaning of religious ceremonial and allow us to glimpse not a true devotion and a true appreciation of the meaning and worth of the Mass, but rather a certain spiritual laziness which is not prepared to make some personal effort of understanding and participation directed to a better understanding and fulfillment of this, the most sacred of religious acts, in which we are invited, or rather obliged, to participate.

One wonders when a pope has ever said something more self-righteous, presumptuous, insensitive, and unjust? I suppose everyone, before the glorious revolution, was spiritually lazy, unprepared to make even “some” effort to understand, and altogether bereft of participation in the mysteries. The popularity of Liturgical Movement authors like Dom Prosper Guéranger, Pius Parsch, and Ildefonso Schuster, whose commentaries on the Mass instructed and inspired precisely those laymen who were startled and disturbed by the changes of the 1960s—is passed over in utter silence.[12]

Montini continues by explaining that reform always causes people to feel upset because deeply rooted religious practices are being tampered with, but that’s okay—soon everyone will love it. And we’ll make sure that no one can settle back again into silent devotion or laziness. “The congregation will be alive and active!,” he says: everyone must participate. Now one must “listen and pray” (apparently they were doing neither before). Activity is the order of the day, the name of the game! We will finally have a liturgy that is not mummery (“performed merely according to its external form”) but “an immense wing flying towards the heights of divine mystery and joy.” An immense wing… Excuse me while I reach for the airsickness bag.

The positive reaction, on the other hand, is, according to Paul VI, that of a majority of Catholics, young and old, uneducated and scholarly, the earnestly devout and the urbanely cultured, insiders and outsiders, who greet the changes with “enthusiasm and praise.” At last, they say, “one can understand and follow the complicated and mysterious ceremonial” (the pope declines to explain how simplication and easy accessibility fit with “complicated and mysterious,” unless his meaning is that a ceremonial that was once complicated and mysterious will henceforth cease to be either). At last, “the priest speaks to the people” (but wait: I thought the liturgy was addressed primarily to God?). One old gentleman, the pope says, fighting back a tear, gushed to a priest that “at last” in this new way of celebrating Mass he fully participated in the sacrifice—indeed, possibly for the first time in his life. Some say this excitement will quiet down and turn into habit. But Pope Paul expresses the hope that the “new form of worship” will continue to stir up “religious enthusiasm,” so that “the gospel of love” will be realized in “the souls of our time.” (He does not seem aware of Msgr. Ronald Knox’s classic critique of religious enthusiasm; it is just this hankering for feelings of enthusiasm or excitement that has led to ever-repeated efforts to stir up or stimulate congregations ever since the sixties, with ever-diminishing returns.)

This papal address is notable for the number of times it uses the word “new”: “new, startling, changed”; “new order”; “new scheme of things”; “new liturgical books”; “new form” (twice); “new liturgy” (twice); “new habit”; “liturgical innovation.” If we add them up, eleven times. Some Catholics today are critical of traditionalists who speak of the Novus Ordo, but here we have a pope identifying the interim missal of 1965 as a novel thing, when it was vastly less of a novelty than the missal of 1969. I think we owe it to Pope Paul to use his terms when we talk about his reforms. He did not try to hide the fact that there had been a sea change.

Many notable Catholics of this period have left us records of their reaction to the “new Mass” of 1965 (which in retrospect turned out to be a half-way house). Evelyn Waugh and William F. Buckley left us choice words about it, but I shall quote what Dietrich von Hildebrand wrote in 1966:

The basic error of most of the innovators is to imagine that the new liturgy brings the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass nearer to the faithful, that shorn of its old rituals the Mass now enters into the substance of our lives. For the question is whether we better meet Christ in the Mass by soaring up to Him, or by dragging Him down into our own pedestrian, workaday world. The innovators would replace holy intimacy with Christ by an unbecoming familiarity. The new liturgy actually threatens to frustrate the confrontation with Christ, for it discourages reverence in the face of mystery, precludes awe, and all but extinguishes a sense of sacredness.[13]

Beware: intellectual at work
General Audience of November 19, 1969

Now we turn to a pair of general audiences given 4½ years later, in the month of November 1969. As mentioned at the start, the Novus Ordo Missae was officially to go into effect on the first Sunday of Advent, which fell on November 30th that year.
The Pope was really feeling the heat at this moment. He had promulgated the text of the Novus Ordo Missae seven months earlier, on April 3. The Short Critical Study of the New Order of Mass, more commonly known as The Ottaviani Intervention, was completed by June 5, but not published until a few months later; somehow it did not come to Paul VI’s knowledge until September 29, according to historian Yves Chiron. The popular press picked up the story and made a great deal of it. Paul VI sent the Short Study to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, whose prefect, Cardinal Šeper, reported to him on November 12 that, in his opinion, the Study was essentially worthless. This was only one week prior to the general audience of November 19. We must bear in mind, then, that this and the following week’s address are Paul VI’s attempt to defend the entire project of the Novus Ordo in the face of its critics and for posterity. It is his apologia pro Missa sua.[14]

What is perhaps most striking about these addresses is the pope’s penchant for gratuitous assertion and his stark authoritarian tone. He wants us to believe that nothing really central has changed, while at the same time listing, and doubling down on, one enormous change after another. For those who take seriously that a developed liturgical rite is a kind of body-soul composite in which one cannot readily separate what it is from how it is done, how it looks, sounds, smells, and feels, the case he makes for essential identity is far from convincing.
On November 19 [English text here; only Italian at the Vatican site], again the pope does not shy away from the language of novelty: he speaks of “a new rite of Mass” (four times) “a new spirit,” “new directions,” “new rules,” “new and more expansive liturgical language,” “innovation” (twice). He closes with the guarded sentiment: “Do not let us talk about ‘the new Mass.’ Let us rather speak of the ‘new epoch’ in the Church’s life.” In a colossal understatement, the pope says “the Mass will be celebrated in a rather different manner from that in which we have been accustomed to celebrate it in the last four centuries, from the reign of St. Pius V, after the Council of Trent, down to the present.”

He shows admirable candor in getting right to the point:

This change has something astonishing about it, something extraordinary. This is because the Mass is regarded as the traditional and untouchable expression of our religious worship and the authenticity of our faith. We ask ourselves, how could such a change be made? What effect will it have on those who attend Holy Mass?

His answer is feeble. Just pay attention to the explanations you will get from the pulpit and in religious publications, and trust that “a clearer and deeper idea of the stupendous and mysterious notion of the Mass” is just around the corner, thanks to the new missal. Again, he shows candor in admitting that the faithful will have “spontaneous difficulties.”

Paul VI claims that the new missal “is due to the will expressed by the Ecumenical Council held not long ago.” This claim is questionable, to say the least—particularly in view of what the pope will say one week later, when he openly contradicts Sacrosanctum Concilium on any number of points. But here, the new missal is said to be four things, each of which is surprising:

It is an act of obedience. It is an act of coherence of the Church with herself. It is a step forward for her authentic tradition. It is a demonstration of fidelity and vitality, to which we all must give prompt assent.

It is quite unclear how “coherence of the Church with herself” is to be achieved by breaking with much of what the Church had been doing in her most important actions for centuries. It is quite unclear how exactly a radically revised missal counts as a “step forward” (whatever that means) for the Church’s “authentic tradition” (whatever that means). I do not think it would be unfair to call this doublespeak. According to Edward Herman, “What is really important in the world of doublespeak is the ability to lie, whether knowingly or unconsciously, and to get away with it; and the ability to use lies and choose and shape facts selectively, blocking out those that don’t fit an agenda or program.”[15] Again, one is left speechless at the claim that the Novus Ordo Missae is “a demonstration of fidelity and vitality, to which we all must give prompt assent.” Fidelity—how so, precisely? Vitality—just because papal muscle can be flexed to push through the biggest raft of changes in the history of the Church’s worship?

The speech continues in a tone almost feverish and certainly imperious, as if the pope were feeling the total inadequacy of his account:

It is not an arbitrary act. It is not a transitory or optional experiment. It is not some dilettante’s improvisation. It is a law. It has been thought out by [wait for it] authoritative experts of sacred liturgy; it has been discussed and meditated upon for a long time [that is, for a few years of extremely hasty and busy committee work]. We shall do well to accept it with joyful interest and put it into practice punctually, unanimously, and carefully.

These are not the words of a man who is especially at peace about what he has done, or confident in the power of the product to win over the customers. One suspects a psychiatrist could have a field day analyzing this language.
Pope Paul VI then says that the reform he has imposed “puts an end to uncertainties, discussions, arbitrary abuses. It calls us back to that uniformity of rites and feeling proper to the Catholic Church…” Can irony have no limits? It was in large part the Vatican’s practically yearly changes to the liturgy from the 1950s through the 1960s that stirred up this febrile atmosphere of uncertainty, discussion, and abuse; it was the insistence on liturgical reform that shattered the uniformity of rites and feeling that the Church had enjoyed in relative peace from the end of the Council of Trent to the 20th century. Moreover, one of the most characteristic features of the Novus Ordo is its lack of uniformity from one celebration to another, and its multiplication of Catholic “identities.”
The second part of the address goes into “what exactly the changes are.” Whether from ignorance or from duplicity, the pope states that the changes “consist of many new directions for celebrating the rites,” not adverting to the fact that the principal change is in the substance of the texts themselves: for example, only 17% of the orations of the old Roman Missal survived intact in the new missal. He then has the temerity to say: “Keep this clearly in mind: Nothing has been changed of the substance of the traditional Mass.” I wonder how many people in 1969 believed this; I wonder how many still believe it today.

A passage in St. Irenaeus of Lyons, directed against the arbitrary interpretations of the Gnostics, seems to me to capture perfectly what was done in our times with the Roman Rite, as well as the subterfuge of saying: “This is the Roman Rite” or worse, “This is now tradition.” St. Irenaeus writes:

Their manner of acting is just as if, when a beautiful image of a king has been constructed by some skillful artist out of precious jewels, one should then take this likeness of the man all to pieces, should rearrange the gems, and so fit them together as to make them into the form of a dog or of a fox, and even that but poorly executed; and should then maintain and declare that this was the beautiful image of the king which the skillful artist constructed, pointing to the jewels which had been admirably fitted together by the first artist to form the image of the king, but have been with bad effect transferred by the latter one to the shape of a dog, and by thus exhibiting the jewels, should deceive the ignorant who had no conception of what a king’s form was like, and persuade them that that miserable likeness of the fox was, in fact, the beautiful image of the king.[16]

Returning to the general audience, we find Paul VI—as if detecting the misgivings his words to this point might generate in a listener—going on the defensive:

Perhaps some may allow themselves to be carried away by the impression made by some particular ceremony or additional rubric [this is what he says, but in fact the transition from old to new is mostly a matter of lost rubrics, not additional ones], and thus think that they conceal some alteration or diminution of truths which were acquired by the Catholic faith for ever, and are sanctioned by it. They might come to believe that the equation between the law of prayer, lex orandi, and the law of faith, lex credendi, is compromised as a result.
It is not so. Absolutely not. Above all, because the rite and the relative rubric are not in themselves a dogmatic definition. Their theological qualification may vary in different degrees according to the liturgical context to which they refer. They are gestures and terms relating to a religious action—experienced and living—of an indescribable mystery of divine presence, not always expressed in a universal way. Only theological criticism can analyze this action and express it in logically satisfying doctrinal formulas.

In a spectacular instance of neoscholastic reductionism, we are told that only dogmatic definitions pertain to the essence of the Catholic Faith, since rites and rubrics have to do with experiences and actions that vary according to place and time; the only expression of truth is a “logically satisfying doctrinal formula.” In these words Paul VI has obliterated the lex orandi as a reality unto itself and has denied liturgy as theologia prima, a mode of revelation.

He continues: “The Mass of the new rite is and remains the same Mass we have always had. If anything, its sameness has been brought out more clearly in some respects.” As Shakespeare says, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” To belabor the point that the Mass is the same establishes that it isn’t; the obvious need not be said. In order to agree with the sameness hypothesis, one would first have to adopt the perspective that the Roman Rite is nothing other than a generic outline—an introduction, some readings, an anaphora with valid words of consecration, communion, conclusion.[17]
As if to offer proof of his claim, the pope rather pathetically turns to the oneness of the Lord’s Supper, the Sacrifice on the Cross, and the representation of both in the Mass, which he says all remains true for the Novus Ordo. Apart from the somewhat odd claim that the Mass is a representation of both the Cross and the Last Supper—which is not what the 22nd Session of the Council of Trent teaches—this, it must be said, is placing the bar of liturgical continuity pretty low. Far from supporting the claim that the Novus Ordo is still the same Roman rite, it demonstrates only that the Novus Ordo is a valid liturgical rite, like any other liturgy, Eastern or Western, offered by a validly ordained priest using the correct matter and form. By this logic, one could argue that the Novus Ordo is the same as the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.
Still clutching at straws, Paul VI says that the new rite brings out more clearly the relationship between the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist,[18] but fails to explain how this is so; and, as can be shown both theoretically and practically, the opposite proves to be true. He makes one last plug for the joy of active participation, then, as if running out of steam, declares: “You will also see other marvelous features of our Mass.” Why exactly does this plural suddenly appear? Is it the papal “we”: our modern papal rite? Is it an oblique reference to the Consilium: our committee Mass that we now present to a Catholic world panting in expectation? Or is this the “we” of the collectivity that would subsequently find in the Novus Ordo Missae the incentive, and indeed the invitation, to celebrate itself?

Then, another desperate attempt to ram home the sameness thesis: “But do not think that these things are aimed at altering its genuine and traditional essence.” We are left once more with the stubborn question that will not go away: What is “the genuine and traditional essence” of a liturgy? Is it whatever the pope decides it is, however minimal that may be, or can we trust the broad lines of its historical development and its universal reception in the Church, as the Council of Trent so obviously did? In short, it is hard to imagine two more opposed visions of liturgy than Trent’s and Montini’s.

At the end he invokes a favorite word, “pastoral,” as justification, and expresses his desire that “the faithful will participate in the liturgical mystery with more understanding, in a more practical, a more enjoyable, and a more sanctifying way.” I’ll admit this is a subjective call on my part, but to my ear the language here smacks of urban planning and social engineering. How curious, then, that he refers to “the Word of God which lives and echoes down the centuries”—that very Word whose ongoing incarnation in the organic development of the liturgy is being repudiated—and then opines that the faithful will better “share in the mystical reality of Christ’s sacramental and propitiatory sacrifice,” even though the Novus Ordo has purged the liturgy of its palpable mysticism and its unmistakable accentuation of the propitiatory sacrifice of Calvary.
This address is classic Montini: cold logic, stiff manner, overbearing tone, occasional Maritainian poetic flourishes, and, above all, a baffling obliviousness to the sheer magnitude of what he is doing, as if the dropping of liturgical nuclear bombs were like playing a game of theological chess.

Ready to throw open the windows to the world!

General Audience of November 26, 1969

One week later, the pope continues his apologia [English text here; Italian here]. Once again, notice how relentlessly Paul VI underlines the newness of what he is imposing on the Church. In the opening sentence he speaks of “the liturgical innovation of the new rite of the Mass.” The phrase “new rite” is mentioned seven times; the words “new,” “newness,” or “renewal,” seven more times; “innovation” twice; “novelty” twice. That makes a total of 18 times.
In classic Montini fashion, his second paragraph lingers regretfully over what is to be lost:

A new rite of the Mass: a change in a venerable tradition that has gone on for centuries. This is something that affects our hereditary religious patrimony, which seemed to enjoy the privilege of being untouchable and settled. It seemed to bring the prayer of our forefathers and our saints to our lips and to give us the comfort of feeling faithful to our spiritual past, which we kept alive to pass it on to the generations ahead. It is at such a moment as this that we get a better understanding of the value of historical tradition and the communion of the saints.

As incredible as it may seem, the pope appears to be saying that when we give up our hereditary religious patrimony, we feel most keenly the value of that tradition and of the communion of saints with whom we once prayed in common! This seems to me a sadistic maneuver, like telling a child: “You will appreciate your mother more if we take her away from you and you never see her again.” He continues, resuming themes from his March 1965 address:

This change will affect the ceremonies of the Mass. We shall become aware, perhaps with some feeling of annoyance, that the ceremonies at the altar are no longer being carried out with the same words and gestures to which we were accustomed—perhaps so much accustomed that we no longer took any notice of them. This change also touches the faithful. It is intended to interest each one of those present, to draw them out of their customary personal devotions or their usual torpor.

If I am not mistaken, Paul VI is arguing that ritual stability causes people to stop paying attention to what is going on and to fold in on themselves in subjectivism or laziness. If this were true, it would explain the obsession of modern liturgists with constantly changing things up: as I once remarked, paraphrasing Heraclitus, “you can never step in the same Novus Ordo twice.” In the experience of many, on the contrary, stability in ritual makes possible a deep intimacy with the Church’s prayer, and thereby heads off unhealthy private or collective subjectivism.

In any case, the pope seems to be under no illusions about the shake-up when he writes in paragraphs 4 and 5:

We must prepare for this many-sided inconvenience. It is the kind of upset caused by every novelty that breaks in on our habits. We shall notice that pious persons are disturbed most, because they have their own respectable way of hearing Mass, and they will feel shaken out of their usual thoughts and obliged to follow those of others. Even priests may feel some annoyance in this respect. … This novelty is no small thing. We should not let ourselves be surprised by the nature, or even the nuisance, of its exterior forms.

This hardly requires comment, except to say that Paul VI would never have succeeded as a salesman. It is no wonder so many Catholics stopped going to Mass and a further wave of priests and religious suffered the crisis of spiritual disorientation, when their supreme Shepherd thought it was a good idea to cause especially pious persons and priests a “many-sided inconvenience,” “upset,” “disturbance,” “annoyance,” “nuisance,” as they struggled to figure out what in Hades was going on with the “exterior forms”—not to say internal spirit—of the Church’s liturgy!

In the face of this upcoming challenge, what does Paul VI recommend? Like an eggheaded intellectual out of touch with ordinary Christians, he suggests that we need to prepare ourselves for “this special and historical occasion” by, don’t you know, doubling down on our study of books and articles that explain the motives for “this grave change.” Recognizing again the inherent weakness of his position, he invokes “obedience to the Council”—he knows the lesson of totalitarian propaganda that the only thing needed to establish a falsehood as truth is to repeat the same lies calmly, boldly, and frequently—and adds to it, for good measure, “obedience to your bishops.” He is confident that all the bishops will be lining up in good ultramontanist (or should we say ultra-Montini-ist)[19] fashion.  In a moment of almost Montanist afflatus, he concludes paragraph 6:

It is Christ’s will, it is the breath of the Holy Spirit which calls the Church to make this change. A prophetic moment is occurring in the Mystical Body of Christ, which is the Church. This moment is shaking the Church, arousing it, obliging it to renew the mysterious art of its prayer.

In paragraphs 7 through 14—the largest thematic section of the discourse—Paul VI offers a defense of the practical abolition of Latin. He still seems to be smarting under the lash of Tito Casini’s 1965 book The Torn Tunic, in which that popular Italian author attacked the introduction of the vernacular into the Mass.
The pope’s point of departure in this section is the claim that because “the faithful are also invested with the ‘royal priesthood’ … they are qualified to have supernatural conversation with God” (§6). From this truth—which no one had ever denied, in theory or in practice—Paul VI deduces the necessity of replacing Latin with the common spoken language; for otherwise, the people are not able to have a supernatural conversation with God (?). The pope starts up his familiar hand-wringing routine, in which he will first tell us how great a loss will be incurred by the new rite:

The introduction of the vernacular will certainly be a great sacrifice for those who know the beauty, the power, and the expressive sacrality of Latin. We are parting with the speech of the Christian centuries; we are becoming like profane intruders in the literary preserve of sacred utterance. We will lose a great part of that stupendous and incomparable artistic and spiritual thing, the Gregorian chant. We have reason indeed for regret, reason almost for bewilderment. What can we put in the place of that language of the angels? We are giving up something of priceless worth. But why? What is more precious than these loftiest of our Church’s values? (§§8–9)

It is at this point that Paul VI shows his cards, advocating a kind of epistemological nudism or “free and simple” philosophy:

The answer will seem banal, prosaic. Yet it is a good answer, because it is human, because it is apostolic. Understanding of prayer is worth more than the silken garments in which it is royally dressed. Participation by the people is worth more—particularly participation by modern people, so fond of plain language which is easily understood and converted into everyday speech. (§§10–11)

As our earlier quotation from Dietrich von Hildebrand pointed out, we see here a humanistic, horizontal, and anthropocentric understanding of liturgy that is opposed, paradoxically, to liturgy’s very effectiveness as a means of spiritual transformation, drawing the soul up to the infinite God and into communion with the Mystical Body of Christ, past, present, and eternal. The Latin language is effective precisely because of its “beauty, power, and expressive sacrality,” its “sacred utterance,” its “priceless worth,” the loftiness of its associations, and the “stupendous and incomparable artistic and spiritual thing” that clothes it in music, Gregorian chant.
Participation in the sense of the immediate comprehension of “plain language, easily understood, in everyday speech,” is the least and lowest sense in which the faithful participate in the awesome mysteries of Christ. Sociologists have pointed out that dense, impenetrable, to some extent off-limits religious rituals are a powerful motivator for belief and devotion. Fr. Aidan Nichols observes: “The notion that the more intelligible the sign, the more effectively it will enter the lives of the faithful is implausible to the sociological imagination. … A certain opacity is essential to symbolic action.”[20] Psychologists note that archetypal symbolism conveyed in gestures, clothing, and other physical phenomena, not to say the superrational language of music, are at least as communicative as words, if not more so. The power of the liturgy to affect the soul depends to a very great extent on such non-verbal elements and the subtle factor that may be called, for lack of a better term, atmosphere or ambiance.

Yes, the faithful should have some grasp of the content of the Mass (and, of course, of more than just the Mass); about this, Dom Guéranger and the pars sanior of the Liturgical Movement were right.[21] But what draws men to liturgical worship is the prospect of an encounter with the mysterious and the ineffable, the strangely beautiful that opens our minds to the transcendent and offers a glimpse of heaven. In this way it was exactly anti-apostolic to invert the Church’s priorities by placing a superficial notion of popular engagement above the more profound immersion in prayer that the ancient liturgy, properly celebrated, had always offered to the faithful, and still does.

In one of the most hauntingly ironic statements in papal history, Paul VI noted with some melancholy in his 1975 Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi: “Modern man is sated by talk; he is obviously tired of listening, and what is worse, impervious to words.”[22] This observation was made only five years after he had imposed on the Church a liturgy outstanding for its non-stop verbosity, huge doses of Scripture, lack of silence, and paucity of non-verbal ritual.
Back in the 1969 address, Pope Paul, however, proceeds to dig himself into a hole:

If the divine Latin language kept us apart from the children, from youth, from the world of labor and of affairs, if it were a dark screen, not a clear window, would it be right for us fishers of souls to maintain it as the exclusive language of prayer and religious intercourse?

The most dramatic decline in Mass attendance in the decade after the Council (that is, from the first introduction of the vernacular and versus populum to the imposition of the Novus Ordo) was found precisely among the laborers, as English sociologist Anthony Archer demonstrated.[23] Furthermore, it is by no means clear that “men of affairs” ever favored the liturgical reform. I have already mentioned Casini, von Hildebrand, Waugh, and Buckley, but the most embarrassing sign of the lack of support among educated people came in 1971, with a petition urging the preservation of the traditional Latin Mass, signed by 56 of the most eminent cultural figures of Great Britain—“many of the foremost writers, critics, academics, and musicians of the day, as well as politicians from Britain’s then three main parties, and two Anglican bishops”[24]—which John Cardinal Heenan presented to Pope Paul VI, an intervention that led to the “English Indult” (sometimes called the “Agatha Christie Indult”) for the continued use of the old Mass, which was, in retrospect, the first step in a long process of backtracking on the overblown claims that had been made for the “new epoch” to be ushered in by the liturgical reform.[25] Lastly, Paul VI’s mention of “children and youth” may remind us of what is perhaps the sharpest irony of all: while the average number of children born to mainstream Catholics and the average retention rate of young adults continues to be alarmingly low, the numbers of large families and the overall youthfulness of the traditional Mass movement tell a very different story about what attracts people to Christ and what pushes them away.
In paragraphs 13 and 14, the pope throws a sop to Latin-lovers by reminding them that the new rite of Mass allows for the people to sing together in Latin the Ordinary of the Mass—an allowance that was almost never to be actualized in practice—and that Latin will still remain the official language of Vatican documents, cold comfort if ever there was any. Without any indication of sarcasm, he says: “Latin will remain … as the key to the patrimony of our religious, historical, and human culture. If possible, it will reflourish in splendor.” Yet if Latin is really the key to our Catholic patrimony, why are we making the one move most calculated to destroy its living presence in the Church? How will this help Latin “reflourish in splendor”?
In paragraph 15, Paul VI takes up his theme from the previous week that the Mass hasn’t really changed, because “the fundamental outline of the Mass is still the traditional one, not only theologically but also spiritually.” If by “fundamental outline” one means that some kind of penitential thing comes first, some kind of Eucharistic prayer comes around the middle, and some kind of gesture indicating the end of the service comes last, one can warmly agree with the pope’s assessment. Here we would not have the time to go through a lengthy list of examples of ways in which the structure, theology, and spirituality of the new missal clearly differ or depart from those of the old missal.[26] But it takes little more than attendance at the usus antiquior to begin to see for oneself that the application of the word “traditional” to the reformed liturgical rites of Paul VI is precisely the sort of “abuse of language, abuse of power” about which the philosopher Josef Pieper, who lived under the National Socialist regime in Germany, wrote so eloquently.
Then Paul VI has either the naivete or the shamelessness to assert:

Indeed, if the rite is carried out as it ought to be, the spiritual aspect will be found to have greater richness. The greater simplicity of the ceremonies, the variety and abundance of scriptural texts, the joint acts of the ministers, the silences which will mark various deeper moments in the rite, will all help to bring this out.

As long as everyone “participates profoundly,” he says, the Mass will become “more than ever a school of spiritual depth and a peaceful but demanding school of Christian sociology. The soul’s relationship with Christ and with the brethren thus attains new and vital intensity.” In lines like this, we see Paul VI abandoning himself to full-scale fantasyland.

The last three paragraphs, 17 through 19, form a bizarre coda that conveys to us, even today at a distance, something of the feeling of slapdash haste and scarcely-controlled chaos that surrounded the entire project of liturgical reform:

But there is still a practical difficulty, which the excellence of the sacred renders not a little important. [What an expression!] How can we celebrate this new rite when we have not yet got a complete missal, and there are still so many uncertainties about what to do?

Good question, Holy Father. It was a question that had rarely left the lips of clergy and laity for a good 15 years by this point, as rubrics, texts, music, language, nearly everything continued to evolve on an almost annual basis. What we see in this madness for sacramental reform, starting regrettably under Pius XII, is the very negation of the correct Catholic attitude towards tradition, which is that of a gardener, not that of an industrialist or a real estate developer who knocks down the old mansion to make way for modern flats. If I might adapt some recent words of Fr. John Hunwicke: the pope needs

to remember the aperçu of Blessed John Henry Newman, that the ministry of the Roman Church within the oikoumene is to be a barrier, a remora, against the intrusion of erroneous novelty. It is: to hand on the Great Tradition unadulterated. In an age when the adjective ‘negative’ has unpopular vibes, we need a reappropriation at the very highest level within the Church of the central, fundamental importance of a negative and preservative papacy. Tradidi quod et accepi implies Quod non accepi non tradam.

Having posed the question, Paul VI answers it with rather more technical detail than one would expect in a general audience. The takeaway is that Latin liturgy is definitely on its way out—and that, by the pope’s express will. By November 28, 1971, there are to be no more Latin liturgies from the old missal or even from the new one. And if a priest expects to find himself in various places, offering Mass alone and with a congregation, he had better invest in a stout wagon for carrying all the liturgical books he will need. The old days when an altar missal sufficed are hereby excluded in the name of “greater simplicity of rites.”[27]

The address closes with a final subtle irony—a quotation from one of Paul VI’s favorite authors, the Swiss priest and theologian Maurice Zundel (1897–1975), from the preface to the second edition of Le Poème de la Sainte Liturgie of 1934, which was published in English in 1939 under the title The Splendor of the Liturgy:

The Mass is a Mystery to be lived in a death of Love. Its divine reality surpasses all words. . . It is the Action par excellence, the very act of our Redemption, in the Memorial which makes it present.[28]

I do not know what Zundel, who died in 1975, thought of the Novus Ordo Missae, but I can say without a doubt: Anyone who reads this book, a profound work of mystical theology, which, from start to finish, is steeped in the prayers and ceremonies of the classic Roman Rite, enters into a world of luminous wonder and fiery devotion—the epitome of a Church securely and gratefully rooted in her tradition. This world was doomed by Paul VI’s interim missal of 1965 and banished by the perfidious Missale Romanum of 1969. To a poor layman or priest standing in the audience on November 19 or November 26 of that fateful year, the glorious and intimate world described in Zundel[29] seemed on the verge of being lost for ever.
Say goodbye!
Conclusion
Revisiting these audiences five decades later is important for many reasons. Today I should like to mention just two of them.

The main reason is that, considering the magnitude of the reform, Paul VI’s defense of it is exceedingly flimsy. Some people saw that already back in 1965 and 1969, but today it is overwhelmingly clear, with the benefit of a hindsight that shows how narrow and dated are his assumptions, and how his every prediction has failed. Montini’s defense of the Novus Ordo relies on equivocation, deceitfulness about the extent of the changes, and a brute exercise of top-down authority. It is based on a poor theology of liturgy, sacraments, and prayer; a poor sociology of ritual; a poor psychology of habit; and a poor philosophical analysis of modernity.

A second reason has to do with more recent attempts to clean up the Montinian mess. Proponents of the “Reform of the Reform,” no doubt in good faith, cling to a narrative in which the Novus Ordo Missae came hot off the Vatican press clothed in Latin as with a garment, ready to be celebrated in splendor and solemnity to the noble strains of Gregorian chant, in perfect fulfillment of the conciliar constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium—and then the Mass got “hijacked” by European and American progressives, who flatly contradicted the good intentions of Paul VI.

A  basic problem with this narrative is that it’s false. The three general audiences indicate that Paul VI never thought that the Novus Ordo would be celebrated widely in Latin; he never expected Gregorian chant to survive in the parishes; he never wanted “our Mass” to look or sound like the inherited Roman liturgy. He calmly noted that Latin and Gregorian chant would disappear; the old way of celebrating Mass would perish from the face of the Earth. To this extent, then, he sought rupture, not the continuity for which his successor Benedict XVI has become famous.[30] Certainly Paul VI could have heartily endorsed the words of influential liturgist and Consilium member Joseph Gelineau, S.J.:

Let those who like myself have known and sung a Latin-Gregorian High Mass remember it if they can. Let them compare it with the Mass that we now have. Not only the words, the melodies, and some of the gestures are different. To tell the truth, it is a different liturgy of the Mass. This needs to be said without ambiguity: the Roman Rite as we knew it no longer exists. It has been destroyed.[31]

It is evident that Paul VI’s operative principle was accommodationism: the liturgy must be accommodated to the mentality and purported needs of Modern Man.[32] To this hungry Moloch of modernization, every other consideration had to yield; indeed, the first sacrificial offering to be placed in its mouth was the Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. It requires no towering intelligence to see that some of its clearest and most important provisions were not only ignored but negated. Paul VI acted against the provisions signed by 2,147 bishops and major superiors in an exercise of hyperpapalism that has no other historical equivalent and probably never will. In this way he exhibited an extreme megalomania that could be summed up in the phrase: L’église, c’est moi.
These three audiences illustrate a more general trend. We can see an exact parallel to them in the manner in which the Vatican after the Council discouraged culturally Catholic nations from preserving any special constitutional recognition of or agreement with the Church, and in the disastrous policy towards the Communist countries known as Ostpolitik, which has resurfaced in Pope Francis’s sell-out to the Chinese government. We see it in the encouragement of ugly modern art, with the Paul VI audience hall, opened in 1971, as its preeminent monument. We see it in the discouragement of clerical attire and large families. In other words, we are looking at a comprehensive program of secularization, of conformity to the liberal Western world forged in the anticlerical Enlightenment and repackaged after World War II as optimistic humanism. This was the defining ethos of the Vatican II period as interpreted and advanced by and under Pope Paul VI. And this is and was contrary to the fundamental demand of Christianity according to St. Paul in the Epistle to the Romans: “Do not be conformed to this world”—that is, the world as fallen angels and sinful men have made it, in their rebellion against God—“but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom 12:2).
The great American Catholic writer of the 19th century, Orestes Brownson, wrote in July 1846:

The Church is not here to follow the spirit of the age, but to control and direct it, often to struggle against it. They do her the greatest disservice who seek to disown her glorious past, and to modify her as far as possible, so as to adapt her to prevailing methods of thought and feeling. It is her zealous but mistaken friends, who, guided by a short-sighted policy, and taking counsel of the world around them, seek, as they express it, to liberalize her, to bring her more into harmony with the spirit of the age, from whom we, as good Catholics, should always pray, Libera nos, Domine![33]

Martin Mosebach speaks of “the defective liturgical development that was encouraged by a mentality antagonistic to spiritual realities.”[34] This, in fact, is what we see in Paul VI: a mentality so preoccupied with modernity, with evangelization, and with accessibility that it ends up becoming antagonistic to spiritual realities—the set-apartness of the sacred; the primacy of God and the things of God; the otherworldly itinerary of Christ in His Passion, death, resurrection, and ascension; and the conquest of this world for Christ the King, seizing it from Satan’s empire and sanctifying it with her “mystic benedictions . . . derived from apostolic discipline and tradition.”[35]
Permit me to conclude with a quotation from Johann Adam Möhler:

If one cannot trust tradition, then Christians would rightly despair of ever learning what Christianity really is; they would rightly despair that there is a Holy Spirit which fills the Church, that there exists a common spirit and sure knowledge of Christianity. … This is the state in which those who reject tradition find themselves, and for them there can be no such thing as an objective Christianity.[36]

Thank you for your kind attention.
NOTES
[1] Mediator Dei, n. 61.

[2] DZ 856: “Canon 13. Si quis dixerit, receptos et approbatos Ecclesiae catholicae ritus in solemni sacramentorum administratione adhiberi consuetos aut contemni, aut sine peccato a ministris pro libito omitti, aut in novos alios per quemcumque ecclesiarum pastorem mutari posse, A.S.” Another translation of this dense text renders it thus: “If anyone says that the received and approved rites of the Catholic Church, accustomed to be used in the administration of the sacraments, may be despised or omitted by the ministers without sin and at their pleasure, or may be changed by any pastor of the churches to other new ones, let him be anathema.”

[3] “Si quis dixerit, ceremonias, vestes et externa signa, quibus in missarum celebratione Ecclesia Catholica utitur, irritabula impietatis esse magis quam officia pietatis: anathema sit.” On the surface, this canon would seem to require saying that the Novus Ordo, in its integrity, must be an “office of piety” and not an “incentive to impiety.” But it does not follow that the Novus Ordo fosters piety as much as the traditional rite, or that it avoids occasions of impiety as well as the traditional rite does. This canon also cannot be taken in isolation from other conditions that must be fulfilled before we can identify a given rite as actually Catholic, as opposed to being a tolerated intruder.

[4] St. Thomas Aquinas (ST II-II, q. 1, a. 9, sed contra) cites this verse as evidence for the indefectibility of the Church: “The universal Church cannot err, since she is governed by the Holy Ghost, Who is the Spirit of truth: for such was Our Lord’s promise to His disciples (Jn 16:13): ‘When He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will teach you all truth.’”

[5] Susanne Spencer writes: “The beauty of tradition is that it does not cast out the years between the early Church and now, but trusts that the Holy Spirit has guided the Church as we have grown in understanding of doctrine and developed our liturgical rites. Soon-to-be-canonized Blessed John Henry Newman describes the development of tradition in this way: ‘A true development, then, may be described as one which is conservative of the course of antecedent developments being really those antecedents and something besides them: it is an addition which illustrates, not obscures, corroborates, not corrects, the body of thought from which it proceeds.’” “The Beauty of the Extraordinary Form Comes from Tradition,” citing Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, Pt. II, Ch. V.6.

[6] Like the descent of the dove, or the tongues of fire on Pentecost, announcing that a new dispensation is at hand. However, there will never be another dispensation: that of Christ is definitive. Hence, one can never expect a time, after the age of the Apostles, in which new Christian rites or sacraments will come into existence.

[7] This could remind us of the Ascension and the Assumption, exemplars of our final destiny in the unchanging bliss of heaven. As liturgy unfolds over time, it becomes more evidently the image of the eschatological banquet.

[8] This entire chapter of Ezekiel, especially verses 8 to 26, can be taken as a description of a three-stage historical drama: first, the calling of Israel and the old covenant; second, the coming of Christ and the new covenant, which inaugurated a period of maturation and royal splendor; third, the apostasy of the 20th century when churchmen went whoring after secular values, created “colorful shrines” to the gods of the world,  and made a religion out of humanism, burning incense to “images of men.” To these values, gods, and images, churchmen sacrificed the Church’s sons and daughters, in the outward exodus of the baptized who left the Church and the internal exodus of the faithful who have ceased to believe or even to know the Catholic Faith.

[9] I would like to point out that all canonists and theologians are in agreement that General Audiences, like papal homilies or sermons, occupy a lowly place among the instruments by which a pope can choose to exercise his magisterium. They are often a mixture of statements that say something about matters of faith or morals and other statements that mere express the pope’s personal opinion. While they deserve our respectful attention, they usually do not demand much from us in the way of assent.

[10] See Gregory DiPippo, “The Liturgist Manifesto.” For more on the Ognissant event, see Dom Alcuin Reid, “March 7th, 1965—‘An extraordinary way of celebrating the Holy Mass’”; Peter Kwasniewski, “‘Backwards vs. Forwards’—What Does It Mean?” and “Just Say No to ’65!”; and the article mentioned in the next note.

[11] See the description at Rorate Caeli in “The 50th Anniversary of Paul VI’s First Italian Mass: Some Hard Truths About the ‘1965 Missal’ and the Liturgical Reform.”

[12] Pope Benedict XVI, whose intelligence, fairness, courtesy, and realism greatly exceeded those of Paul VI, noted precisely this fact in his Letter to Bishops Con Grande Fiducia, which accompanied the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum: “Afterwards, however [i.e., in the period after the introduction of the new missal], it soon became apparent that a good number of people remained strongly attached to this [older] usage of the Roman Rite, which had been familiar to them from childhood. This was especially the case in countries where the Liturgical Movement had provided many people with a notable liturgical formation and a deep, personal familiarity with the earlier form of the liturgical celebration.”

[13] Triumph magazine, October 1966; cited in Michael Davies, Liturgical Time Bombs in Vatican II (Rockford, IL: TAN Books and Publishers, 2003), 40–41.

[14] It is also worth noting that in response to the Short Study and other critiques, the pope pushed through a number of significant modifications to the Institutio Generalis that prefaced the missal.

[15] Quoted here. A similar Montinian phrase shows up in an Address to a Consistory, May 24, 1976: “For our part, in the name of tradition [!], we beseech all our children and all Catholic communities to celebrate the rites of the restored liturgy with dignity and fervent devotion.”

[16] Against Heresies, Book I, ch. 8.

[17] Such a remote or abstract sameness would not, in all probability, satisfy the simple and childlike or the sophisticated and cultured that the Mass was the same—the two demographics most heavily alienated from the Church during this period.

[18] Incidentally admitting that the age-old nomenclature of “the Mass of Catechumens” and “the Mass of the Faithful,” matching up to ancient practice and followed by hundreds of commentators over the centuries, has therewith been jettisoned.

[19] This was prior to the heroic stance taken up by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, which was to bring out the worst of the tyrant in Paul VI. But that is a story for another time.

[20] Aidan Nichols, Looking at the Liturgy: A Critical View of Its Contemporary Form (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1996), 61.

[21] It is distressing to see some of today’s would-be advocates of tradition exalting a “devotionalism of ignorance” and a strict bifurcation between lay spirituality and the rites of the sanctuary. On this topic, see my articles “Is Passivity Mistaken for Piety? On the Perils and Pitfalls of Participation”; “Two Different Treasure Chests”; “Carrying Forward the Noble Work of the Liturgical Movement”; “Living the Vita Liturgica: Conditions, Obstacles, Prospects.”

[22] Evangelii Nuntiandi, n. 42.

[23] In his book The Two Catholic Churches: A Study in Oppression (SCM Press, 1986); see this article by Joseph Shaw.

[24] See this position paper, which is included in the forthcoming book from Angelico Press, The Case for Liturgical Restoration.

[25] The crucial milestones in this process are well known: the English Indult of 1971, Quattuor Abhinc Annos of 1984 (cleverly named to sound like a response to and replacement of Tres Abhinc Annos of 1967), Ecclesia Dei Adflicta of 1988, Summorum Pontificum of 2007, and Universae Ecclesiae of 2011.

[26] It is clear to those who compare them, although one is permitted to wonder how well acquainted Paul VI was with every liturgical book published at his behest. According to Archbishop Bugnini, on the one hand Paul VI read each draft of the Ordo Missae with painstaking care, underlining in multiple colors and annotating the margins in small print, while on the other hand he returned the text of the new lectionary with a note saying he had not been able to study it in detail but assumed that the experts had done their work properly.

[27] To use the language of the Synod of Pistoia—and of Paul VI.

[28] The wording of the opening phrases as quoted by the pope is somewhat different from that which is found in the English edition published by Sheed & Ward: “The Mass is a mystery, which must be made our living experience. And that experience is no less than a death for love.”

[29] Or, for that matter, in Prosper Guéranger, Nicholas Gihr, Pius Parsch, Fernand Cabrol, Ildefonso Schuster, or any of the large number of liturgical commentators in the 19th and 20th centuries who labored tirelessly to advance understanding and reanimate participation in the liturgy of the Church in its traditional (i.e., handed down) form, not as it might be reinvented by engineers in laboratories.

[30] The only exception was in Paul VI’s attitude towards monks and nuns, who, in his Apostolic Letter Sacrificium Laudis, he encouraged to retain their chanted Latin Divine Office. However, he never enforced this, in keeping with his typically weak and ambivalent mode of governance, and watched from the balcony as all of the great religious orders collapsed, taking their choral office and sung Mass into the tomb with them.

[31] From Demain la liturgie (Paris, 1976), 9–10.

[32] On the motives of the reform and its revolutionary nature, the comprehensive work by Michael Davies remains indispensable, even if it must be supplemented by more recent publications: Pope Paul’s New Mass (Kansas City, MO: Angelus Press, 2009). See Yves Chiron, Annibale Bugnini, Reformer of the Liturgy, trans. John Pepino (Brooklyn: Angelico Press, 2018).

[33] “Newman’s Development of Christian Doctrine,” accessed here on March 20, 2019.

[34] Martin Mosebach, Subversive Catholicism: Papacy, Liturgy, Church (Brooklyn: Angelico Press, forthcoming), 95.

[35] Council of Trent, Session 22, ch. 5.

[36] Quoted in Antoine Arjakovsky, What is Orthodoxy? A Genealogy of Christian Understanding (Brooklyn: Angelico Press, 2018), 267–68.

The video of the lecture as given in Melbourne:

April 5, 2019   No Comments

Exactly 50 Years Ago, Paul VI tried to destroy the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

From Rorate Caeli Blog

7. Cena dominica sive Missa est sacra synaxis seu congregatio populi Dei in unum convenientis, sacerdote praeside, ad memoriale Domini celebrandum. Quare de sanctae Ecclesiae locali congregatione eminenter valet promissio Christi: “Ubi sunt duo vel tres congregati in nomine meo, ibi sum in medio eorum” (Mt. 18, 20).

 

“7. The Lord’s Supper, or Mass, is the sacred meeting or congregation of the people of God assembled, the priest presiding, to celebrate the memorial of the Lord. For this reason, Christ’s promise applies eminently to such a local gathering of holy Church: ‘Where two or three come together in my name, there am I in their midst’ (Mt. 18:20).”

This is the original complete definition of the Mass according to the 1969 Novus Ordo Missae, the New Order of the Mass promulgated by the “Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum”, to the horror of many believing Catholics, exactly 50 years ago today: they were arguably the most influential liturgical words written in the 20th century and signaled a watershed moment — in a sense, closing the book written since late antiquity and the chapter begun in Sessions XIII and XXII of the Council of Trent.
Number 7 of the first edition of the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani (the General Instruction of the Roman Missal – GIRM) is the end moment of the original liturgical movement. Its writers also thought they would have the final say in the history of the Traditional Mass – within a few months, the storm started by these words on the edge of acceptability would spark the Brief Critical Study of the New Order of the Mass, presented to the Pope and to the Catholic world under the auspices of Cardinals Ottaviani, first Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Bacci.
The waves set by that text have not subsided. That famous number 7 and other highly problematic words of the original 1969 IGMR (in which Trent is not mentioned a single time) and Ordo Missae would be amended in 1970, 1975, and 2002. While much was vindicated by the swift and significant corrections of 1970 — and, ultimately, by the proclamation by Pope Benedict XVI that the traditional Roman Missal was “never abrogated — can it be denied that the spirit of the 1969 IGMR lives on in the New Mass, or “Ordinary Form”?
While the texts of the 1970, 1975, and 2002 IGMR are widely available, it had been impossible up to now to find online the original source of the controversy. We in RORATE first presented to our readers the original 1969 Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani. in 2011, and we take the opportunity of this tragic anniversary to make known once again the full horror that Paul VI wrought.

April 5, 2019   No Comments

FOURTH SUNDAY IN LENT (LAETARE SUNDAY)

Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine’s
The Church’s Year

The Introit of this day’s Mass, which begins with the word Laetare, is as follows:

INTROIT Rejoice, O Jerusalem, and come together all you that love her; rejoice with joy you that have been in sorrow: that you may exult, and be filled from the breasts of your consolation. (Isai: LXVI. 10. 11.) I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: We shall go into the house of the Lord. (Ps. CXXI. 1.) Glory be to the Father, etc.

COLLECT Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that we who justly suffer for our deeds may be relieved by the conso lation of Thy grace. Through etc.

EPISTLE (Gat. IV. 22-31.) Brethren, it is written that Abraham had two sons; the one by a bond-woman and the other by a free-woman. But he who was of the bond-woman was born according to the flesh; but he of the free-woman was by promise: which things are said by an allegory. For these are the two testaments. The one from Mount Sina, engendering unto bondage, which is Agar: for Sina is a mountain in Arabia, which hath affinity to that Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But that Jerusalem which is above is free, which is our mother. For it is written: Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not: break forth and cry, thou that travailest not; for many are the children of the desolate, more than of her that hath a husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born according to the flesh persecuted him that was after the spirit, so also it is now. But what saith the scripture? Cast out the bond-woman and her son: for the son of the bond-woman shall not be heir with the son of the free-woman. So, then, brethren, we are not the children of the bond-woman, but of the free: by the freedom wherewith Christ hath made us free.

EXPLANATION It was the common custom, in the days of the patriarchs, for a man to have more than one wife. This was permitted by God, partly because they and their descendants would hardly have been satisfied with one marriage, (Matt. XIX. 8.) partly because bigamy was a means of promoting the increase of the people of Israel, typical of the future increase of the children of God. Thus Abraham had two wives, who had each a son; of these Ismael was born to Abraham from his bond-woman Agar, in the natural way; the other, Isaac, the son of the free wife Sara, was born in a supernatural manner according to the promise, (Gen. XVIII. 11. 14. ) that she by the grace of God, although aged, would give birth to a son. These two women with their sons were types, as St. Paul says, of the two Testaments: Agar the bond-woman typified the Old, Sara, the free-woman, the New Testament; the son of Agar, the Jews, the son of Sara, the Christians; for the Jews, like Ismael, are descendants of Abraham by natural descent, but the Christians, like Isaac, by grace. The Old Testament gave birth only to servants; for the Jews obeyed the commandments of God through fear of punishment, and in hope of temporal reward; the New Testament, the Jerusalem from above. that is, the Christian Church, gives birth to children who willingly and through love obey the commandments of God. Although the Christian Church, the New Jerusalem, chosen from heathenism, was in the beginning barren, as was Sara, she gives birth, by the grace of God and through His apostles, to more children than the Jewish Church, which was so long the Church of God, that is, more were converted to Christianity from the Gentiles than from the Jews. The latter even hated and persecuted the Christians, as did Ismael his brother Isaac. For their hardness of heart they were cast out by God, like Agar and her son; that is, after the destruction of Jerusalem the Jews were dispersed to all parts of the world. Let us, therefore, give thanks to God, that through Jesus we have become the free children of our heavenly Father, who through love fulfil His holy will by which we shall be saved.

ASPIRATION Give me the grace, O Jesus, that by prayer and fasting, and patience in all adversities and persecutions, I may be made less unworthy of Thy passion; that I may not, one day, be cast out by Thee, but become worthy of Thy divine promise and Thy eternal consolation in the heavenly Jerusalem.

GOSPEL (John VI. 1-15.) At that time, Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is that of Tiberias; and a great multitude followed him, because they saw the miracles which he did on them that were diseased. Jesus therefore went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. Now the pasch, the festival day of the Jews, was near at hand. When Jesus therefore had lifted up his eyes, and seen that a very great multitude cometh to him, he said to Philip: Whence shall we buy bread that these may eat? And this he said to try him; for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered: Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one may take a little. One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, saith to him: There is a boy here that hath five barley loaves and two fishes: but what are these among so many? Then Jesus said: Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. The men therefore sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to them that were set down: in like manner also of the fishes, as much as they would. And when they were filled, he said to his disciples: Gather up the fragments that remain, lest they be lost. They gathered up, therefore, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above to them that had eaten. Now those men, when they had seen what a miracle Jesus had done, said: This is of a truth the prophet that is to come into the world. Jesus therefore when he knew that they would come to take him by force, and make him king, fled again into the mountain himself alone.

Why did Christ try St. Philip?

To test his faith and confidence; to instruct us that before seeking supernatural means, we should first look for natural ways of providing; that the miracle of the multiplying of the loaves should be more marvellous to the people from having seen there was no provision; and that we may learn to trust in God, who is a helper in due time in tribulation. (Ps. IX. 10.)

What signs did Christ make use of in this miracle, and why?

According to St. Matthew (XIV. 19.) He lifted up His eyes to heaven, by which He showed that all good gifts come from above; He gave thanks, thus teaching us to give thanks to God for all His blessings. “The table,” says St. Chrysostom, “that is approached and is left with prayer will never know want, but the more richly yield its gifts.” He blessed the bread showing us that the divine blessing increases all things.

Why did Christ require them to gather up the fragments that were left?

That they should not be wasted or destroyed; that the greatness of the miracle should be made evident by the quantity of the fragments; and that we might learn to honor the gifts of God, even the most insignificant, and if we do not ourselves need them, give them to the poor.

Why did Christ, after this miracle, flee from the people?

Because after this miracle the people recognized in him the Messiah, and would have made Him king. He wished to teach us to flee from praise and honor, and in all our actions seek not our own, but God’s glory.

CONSOLATION IN POVERTY

This gospel gives the account of Christ providing for those who followed and listened to Him, which is indeed consoling for the poor. God from the beginning of the world has always cared for His own. For the aid and comfort of His chosen people in time of famine God sent Joseph, the son of the Patriarch Jacob, in advance into Egypt: (Gen. XLV. 5.) for forty years He fed the children of Israel in the desert with bread from heaven; (Deut. VIII. 2. 3.) He fed the Prophet Elias by a raven; (III Kings VII. 6.) and thought of Daniel in the lions’ den. (Dan. XIV. 37.) In the New Testament God shows His merciful care for His own, because in great need He fed them marvelously through angels, men, and even animals, as we frequently see in the lives of the saints. Truly has David said: God forsakes not the just, I have been young, and am now old: and I have not seen the just forsaken, nor his seed seeking bread, (PS. XXXVI. 25.) that is, one who sincerely serves Him, and seeks before all the kingdom o f God a n d His justice, as Christ commands. (Luke XII. 31.) Strive to be a faithful child, and you will have God for your father, and with King David you can cast your care upon the Lord, and He will sustain you. You must not think it is enough to pray and trust in God, He demands that you should use your strength to receive help, for if any man will not work, neither let him eat. (II Thess. III. 10.)

ASPIRATION In Thy omnipotence and goodness, O my God, I put my trust, firmly believing that if I fear Thee, serve Thee faithfully, and avoid evil, I shall not be abandoned in poverty, but receive many good things. Amen.

INSTRUCTION ON PREPARATION FOR EASTER

Now the Pasch the festival day of the Jews, was near at hand. (John VI. 4.)

If we would sing a joyful Alleluia with the Church on the festival of Easter, we must fulfill her desire, and prepare ourselves to celebrate it worthily. Therefore, we should shun improper, clamorous meetings, and retire often to pray in solitude, especially to meditate on the bitter sufferings of our Saviour, for when man is alone, God speaks to his heart. (Osee. II. 14.) We should carefully examine our conscience, and consider how we stand before God, for upon this day shall be the expiation for you, and the cleansing from all your sins: you shall be cleansed before the Lord; for it is a Sabbath of rest, and you shall afflict your souls, that is, by fasting, watching, and praying. (Lev. XVI. 30-31.) From this Sunday until Easter we should fast more strictly, give more alms to the poor if we are able, or if poor ourselves, bear our poverty more patiently, offering it to Christ in union with His poverty, His hunger, thirst, &c. ; we should make a sincere and contrite confession, and purify our heart from the old leaven of iniquity, that we may keep the Easter meal with Christ in the unleavened bread of purity and truth. (I Cor. V. 7. 8.) For this end we should incite ourselves to holy desires, rise from sin, which is the death of the soul

March 30, 2019   No Comments

Providence Heights College of Sister Formation, 1961

https://gloria.tv/video/gXxeAtMRxtTh64Br4zrYJdiT3

https://youtu.be/qVk8x-giWeQ  [Part 2 of 2]
Includes audio. Introduction to Providence Heights, founded in 1961 in Issaquah, Washington. The campus served as both the College of Sister Formation for the Sisters of Providence and other women religious, and was also the novitiate and provincialate for the Sisters of Providence, Sacred Heart Province. Narrated by Mother Judith (Teresa Lang), provincial superior of Sacred Heart Province. Film features Mother Judith and Sr. Genevieve Gorman, College dean, explaining the development of the College from the Everett Curriculum; the College buildings and grounds, the chapel and art collection. ©Providence Archives, Seattle, Washington

March 27, 2019   No Comments

Openness: Thirty US Diocesan Bishops Have Approved SSPX Marriages

Until now the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) has contacted about 45 of the 200 US dioceses seeking permission to celebrate weddings.

According to CatholicHerald.co.uk (March 21) roughly thirty dioceses have created policies for the SSPX weddings.

A SSPX spokesman said, that “several” US bishops have visited SSPX priories, chapels, schools and even attended priest retreats and meetings.

According to the spokesman, the bishops were “impressed” by the fidelity and youth of the traditional faithful and priests.

March 26, 2019   No Comments

11 Questions with Fr. Pagliarani – First English Interview

Please copy and paste the following link to watch the video of the First English Interview with Father Pagliarani:

https://fsspx.news/en/news-events/news/11-questions-fr-pagliarani-first-english-interview-46273?utm_source=Society+of+Saint+Pius+X+%7C+Newsletter&utm_campaign=22f7545cbb-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_03_22_11_23&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8c13eb2341-22f7545cbb-203967149

March 24, 2019   No Comments