28 May 2011

I'll be there. What about you?

Hey, what better way to begin the summer vacation than a course at Saint John's? They've got a whole rollout of stuff, but this one is the Pimpernel's pick:

LTGY 468 01A Liturgical Celebration (June 13-July 1)

3 credits Melanie Ross 8:00-11:15 AM

This course will be directed to better liturgical celebration. Contemporary liturgical practice will be evaluated in its historical, cultural, and theological context. Students will learn the principles of effective celebration of the Liturgy of the Word and liturgical prayers and will practice good liturgical worship. Students will also be introduced to the historical development of Christian liturgy, its anthropological dimensions, and important church documents. Students will engage the pastoral and academic dimensions of liturgical theology and discuss the role of sacramental ministry in worship.

Se ya there. But if this one is not for you, there's a whole pile of others, including Anthony Ruff OSB on - not (again) why he's upset that the Mass will be in English for the first time in forty years - but Gregorian Chant. Go check it all out here.

25 May 2011

An ecumenical gift

This morning Pope Benedict was given the gift of a tiara by an ecumenical group of Catholics and Orthodox.  John Sonnen at Orbis Catholicus Secundus has more photos.

It's not polite to accept a gift and never use it, is it? Especially not if it could cause ecumenical offense.

Caption ?

24 May 2011

Getting ready for the new translation

If you've not seen this, or participated in a program like this to prepare for the new translation of the modern Mass, enjoy.

23 May 2011

English Text of Pope Benedict's Address to the Saint-Anselmo 50th Anniversary Congress

It has taken more than a fortnight to appear, but the Holy Father's May 6th address to the participants of the 50th anniversary congress organised by Saint-Anselmo in Rome is now available in English. This address is important. Enjoy.




Clementine Hall, Friday, 6 May 2011

Your Eminences,
Reverend Abbot Primate
Reverend Rector Magificent,
Distinguished Professors,
Dear Students,

I welcome you with joy on the occasion of the Ninth International Congress on Liturgy which you are celebrating in the context of the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Pontifical Liturgical Institute. I cordially greet each one of you and in particular the Grand Chancellor, Abbot Primate Notker Wolf, and I thank him for his courteous words to me on behalf of you all.

Bl. John XXIII, in accepting the requests of the liturgical movement which sought to give a new impetus and a new breath to the Church’s prayer, shortly before the Second Vatican Council and during its celebration, wanted the Faculty of the Benedictines on the Aventine Hill to be a centre for study and research to assure a sound basis for the conciliar liturgical reform.

On the eve of the Council, in fact, the urgent need for reform in the liturgical sector emerged ever more acutely, also postulated by the requests made by various episcopates. Moreover, the strong pastoral demands that motivated the liturgical movement required that a more active participation of the faithful in liturgical celebrations be encouraged and elicited through the use of national languages. Also necessary was an in-depth examination of the subject of the adaptation of the rites in the various cultures and especially in mission lands.

In addition, the need for a more thorough study of the theological foundation of the Liturgy appeared clear from the outset, in order to avoid lapsing into ritualism or fostering subjectivism and to prevent the celebrant from making himself the centre of attention; and to base the reform firmly found within the context of the Revelation and in continuity with the tradition of the Church. In order to respond to these needs Pope John XXIII, inspired by his wisdom and his prophetic spirit, created the Liturgical Institute, which he immediately called “Pontifical” to denote its special connection with the Apostolic See.

Dear friends, the title chosen for the Congress of this Jubilee Year is equally significant: “The Pontifical Liturgical Institute, Between Memory and Prophecy”. As regards memory, we must note the abundant fruits generated by the Holy Spirit in half a century of history and let us thank the Giver of all good for this, despite the misunderstandings and errors in the practical implementation of the reform. How can we forget the pioneers, present at the act of the foundation of the Faculty? They were: Fr Cipriano Vagaggini, Fr Adrien Nocent, Fr Salvatore Marsili and Fr Burkhard Neunheuser who, in accepting the Pontiff-founder’s requests, committed themselves to a further examination, especially after the promulgation of the conciliar Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium of the “exercise of the priestly office of Jesus Christ. It involves the presentation of man’s sanctification under the guise of signs perceptible by the senses and its accomplishment in ways appropriate to each of these signs. In it full public worship is performed by the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, that is, by the Head and his members” (n. 7).

To the “memory” belongs the very life of the Pontifical Liturgical Institute, which has made its contribution to the Church committed to the reception of the Second Vatican Council, through 50 years of academic liturgical formation. Formation offered in the light of the celebration of the holy mysteries, of comparative liturgy, of the word of God, of liturgical sources, of the Magisterium, of the history of ecumenical requests and of a solid anthropology.

Thanks to this important formative work, a large number of those with degrees and licences now offer their service to the Church in various parts of the world, helping the Holy People of God to live the Liturgy as an expression of the Church in prayer, as a presence of Christ among people and as a constitutive feature of the history of salvation.

In fact, the conciliar Document sheds a clear light on the dual theological and ecclesiological character of the Liturgy. The celebration at the same time brings about an epiphany of the Lord and an epiphany of the Church, two dimensions that unite in the liturgical assembly, where Christ actualizes the Pascal Mystery of death and Resurrection and the people of the baptized draw more abundantly from the sources of salvation. The active presence of Christ subsists in the liturgical action of the Church: what he did as he went about among human beings, he continues to make active through his personal sacramental action whose centre is the Eucharist.

With the term “prophecy”, our gaze opens to new horizons. The Liturgy of the Church goes beyond the “conciliar reform” itself (cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 1), whose aim, in fact, was not primarily to change the rites and the texts, but rather to renew mentalities and to put at the centre of Christian life and ministry the celebration of the Paschal Mystery of Christ.

Unfortunately, perhaps, we too, Pastors and experts, understood the Liturgy as an object to be reformed rather than a subject capable of renewing Christian life, since “A very close and organic bond exists between the renewal of the Liturgy and the renewal of the whole life of the Church. The Church not only acts but also expresses herself in the Liturgy and draws from the Liturgy the strength for her life”. Blessed John Paul II reminds us of this in Vicesimus Quintus Annus, in which the Liturgy is seen as the vibrant heart of all ecclesial activity. And the Servant of God Paul VI, referring to the worship of the Church, affirmed with concise words: “From the lex credendi we pass to the lex orandi, which takes us back to the lux operandi et vivendi” (Address at the ceremony of the Presentation of Candles, 2 February, 1970, ORE, 12 Feb. 1970, p. 2).

The Liturgy, the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed is at the same time the fount from which all her power flows (cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 10), with its celebratory universe thus becomes the great educator in the primacy of the faith and of grace. The Liturgy, a privileged witness of the living Tradition of the Church, faithful to its original duty to reveal and to make present  in the hodie of human vicissitudes the opus Redemptionis, lives on a correct and constant relationship between healthy traditio and legitima progressio, which the conciliar Constitution has made lucidly explicit in n. 23.

In their programme of reform, the Council Fathers wished to maintain an equilibrium between both terms, a balance between the great liturgical tradition of the past and that of the future. Tradition and progress are often clumsily opposed. Actually, the two concepts merge: tradition is a living reality, which therefore includes in itself the principle of development, of progress. It is as if to say that the river of tradition also carries its source in itself and flows towards the outlet.
Dear friends, I trust that this Faculty of Sacred Liturgy will continue its service to the Church with a renewed impetus, in full fidelity to the rich and precious liturgical tradition and the reform desired by the Second Vatican Council, in accordance with the guidelines of Sacrosanctum Concilium and the pronouncements of the Magisterium. The Christian Liturgy is the Liturgy of the promise fulfilled in Christ, but it is also the Liturgy of hope, of the pilgrimage on its way to the transformation of the world, which will take place when God is everything to every one (cf. 1 Cor 15:28). 
Through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, in communion with the heavenly Church and with the Patrons, St Benedict and St Anselm, I invoke the Apostolic Blessing upon each one. Thank you.

22 May 2011

Modern Roman Rite Patrimony?

A photo of deacons ordained by the Bishop of Portsmouth, England, recently from the Ordinariate Portal website. More photos here. The Pimpernel wonders what the ordinands and their fellow-travellers thought of the altar-table? Perhaps they would be best avoiding Modern Roman Rite patrimony in their liturgy. 

An altar?

21 May 2011

The Liturgy of the Academy

Over at the Pray Tell blog we’ve been hearing ad nauseam from Fr Anthony Ruff OSB just how bad the new English translations of the modern Mass are.

He recently took exception to a piece by Msgr. James Moroney, Executive Secretary of Vox Clara, and declared: “I don’t think I’ve ever seen, through the whole missal translation saga, the truth stretched this far. I can’t let this one pass without comment.” If you’re interested, you can read it all here.

"Why weren't we asked?"
One of Father Ruff’s main complaints is that “the Academy” doesn’t agree with what the hierarchy have decided is best for the Church. He complains: “If there was a consultation with, say, members of the North American Academy of Liturgy, or Societas Liturgica, or the Society for Catholic Liturgy, or the Catholic Theological Society of America, or the faculty at Sant’ Anselmo or any other theological faculty, I missed it.” And again: “Consultation with mainstream scholars? No. If there had been consultation with the academy, and if their input had been taken seriously, neither Liturgiam authenticam nor the 2011 English missal would have happened.”

Well, Father Ruff, the Academy (however you define it) and “mainstream liturgical scholars” (which is a nice way of excluding scholarly critique of your own position) are not in charge of making decisions about the liturgy. The pastors of the Church are. It is the Church’s liturgy, not the Academy’s, thank God.

15 May 2011

An Eminent Choirmaster

Domenico Cardinal Bartolucci directs the choir at today's Mass in Saint Peter's Basilica

Photo: Orbis Catholicus Secundus

13 May 2011

The Pimpernel's 'Universae Ecclesiae' Award Goes to:

His Excellency, Archbishop Nichols of Westminster, London, for his response when asked about Universae Ecclesiae 21 which talks about seminarians being trained in the old rite.

“Personally I don’t think it needs to be added to an already crowded seminary programme because it’s a skill that can be learned later in a priest’s life.” 

Thank you for your personal opinion Your Excellency. It shares with us something of your own journey, and where you personally are at at this time. It helps us to understand this challenging moment in your ongoing ministry, and how difficult it can be to adjust to changes in the continuing development of the Church’s worship life. It must be hard just being you in this pontificate.

Seminarians in England might have a different personal opinion. The Pimpernel wonders whether the diversity and inclusivity, which His Excellency has so often promoted, will apply to differences of personal opinion on this matter in the seminary of the Archdiocese of Westminster? Or will this be yet another demonstration of the illiberal tyranny perpetrated by self-styled liberal clergy?

11 May 2011

The Explanation of the Instruction on the Motu Proprio

Friday is a big day for Cardinal Levada
 Today's announcmement of the Instruction Universae Ecclesiae includes one very interesting sentence: "Con il testo dell’Istruzione verrà fornita anche una Nota redazionale."

So there is to be an Explanation of the Instruction which is itself being issued to clarify the Motu Proprio.

The Pimpernel wonders just what will need explaining? Will the explanation try to water the Instruction down? Perhaps those who tried, and failed, to get a restrictive text past the Pope are making one last attempt? Or perhaps the Explanation will reinforce it.

Friday will reveal all. Unless, of course, a certain priest's honourable "unless" comes to pass ("I will honor the embargo, unless someone else breaks it.") Then we may know sooner.

9 May 2011

The real issue in Toowoomba: General Absolution

The deposed Bishop of Toowoomba, William Morris, is a liberal martyr. Anyone who has read anything he has said or written about his removal can see that. If you need another dose, there is a nice video interview with the bishop here.

But he is not a martyr for his advocacy of the ordination of women or the validity of non-Catholic Christian ordinations. Nor is he the victim of a tyrant-Pope. At least not according to another (ageing) liberal Bishop, Geoffrey Robinson, who retired early as an Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney at the age of 66 in 2004. According to Bishop Robinson in an interview given here it was because Bishop Morris would not desist with his support for the ordinary use of General Absolution in his diocese that he was removed.

The Pimpernel wishes Bishop Morris a happy retirement.

5 May 2011

No Council, not even Trent or Vatican I, and much less Vatican II, is above Tradition.

In Italy there is one hell of a row errupting over the "hermeneutic of continutiy" and Vatican II. Professor Roberto de Mattei's latest contribution includes the statement, "No Council, not even Trent or Vatican I, and much less Vatican II, is above Tradition."

Some people, including Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, are calling him a right-wing extremist in places like L'Osservatore Romano. 

His article "A council can also make mistakes" doesn't get to the liturgical implications of his argument, but that's just one step away. It's well worth a read.