Giovanni Vianini's Schola Gregoriana Mediolanensis
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,465

    It appears that the internationally famous Giovanni Vianini's schola in Milan has been sacked to make way for folk music with guitar and electronic organ. I hope this wonderful, scholarly man who has such enthusiasm and love for chant may soon find another venue for his men and women's scholae.
  • This is unspeakably sad.
  • This is wrong. Very wrong. Obviously someone fears them.
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,501
    How terrible! I've watched Vianini a million times on youtube. He's great! He's "the guy" that first comes up when I search for a chant! What a shame.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,500
    Italian church music is hitting rock bottom, I think.

  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,182
    [Admin note: I've deleted a couple of comments that were made redundant by merging the two threads on this subject. I hope the authors thereof don't mind.]
    Thanked by 2Kathy CHGiffen
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,182
    [I also deleted some comments that were contrary to the etiquette norms.--admin]
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,391
    Italian church music is hitting rock bottom, I think.

    Thanked by 2CHGiffen Cantus67
  • Look on the bright side.

    We still have next Tuesday's Vatican/World Bank light show to look forward to.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,182
    The liturgy blog Messa in latino has more:

    I'll translate it here:

    Thursday, December 3, 2015
    The Schola Cantorum Mediolanensis dismissed from church: "Because there was no place for them"

    We have learned that the famous and honored Schola Cantorum Mediolanensis of Milan has been removed from the Basilica of San Vittore where is had generously presented liturgical service.

    Still incredulous that this should have happened on the vigil of the Jubilee of Mercy, with infinite sadness we share the news with our readers not only out of a sense of solidarity among us church singers, but above all to ask for justice (it will be Christmas shortly) in regard to these good faithful who dedicated a considerable part of their lives to the service of the altar.

    The wise counsel of the magisterium remains strong in our hearts and our memory: "No one is too much for the Church; everyone can and must find his proper place." (Benedict XVI)

    Indeed, a cantor saddened by the sudden injustice has written that in the Church we should "encourage and spread this art in the service of the faith instead of setting up obstacles to it, in order to promote a shoddy repertoire."

    Then there is the detailed chronology which resembles a way of the Cross: "An overly long list: the latest is the Church of San Vittorio al Corpo in Milan.

    "Before that, the Church of San Marco in Milan, after 35 years of liturgical service (for free); the third, the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine, then the abbey of Chiaravalle, etc. In effect it is a systematic rejection of Ambrosian and Gregorian chant.

    "This is a worrisome reality."

    The results of this shambles, imposed so that a horizontal idea of the liturgy can prevail, we mourn daily: churches ever emptier, which one vainly searches for fruitful beauty, an antechamber of Paradise, which raises the mind and heart to the contemplation of the Eternal Creator.

    Here we can read the curriculum vitae of Maestro Giovanni Vianini, organist and director of the prestigious Schola Gregoriana Mediolanensis: it would be an honor and a highly spiritual pleasure to have such a great and generous Maestro, one of the most important gregorianists in the world, along with his respected cantors called to liturgical service! On the other hand....

    St. Ambrose and St. Cecilia, pray for us!

    "It appears that dismissing anyone who sings Gregorian chant has become fashionable...
    In a short time after San Marco... we went to the basilica of San Vittore....
    In the wake of other dismissals from other churches, it is worrisome; the church is losing the people who have studied Real Sacred Music for years.... we've wasted time; we went to the diocese to present our situation, but no one intervened; what a squalor..."

    Maestro Vianini has commented:
    "... The real sacred music has been massacred....
    "We, the Schola Gregoriana Mediolanensis have a presence in Milan and the province for 35 years, over 1000 cantors, practicing in the liturgy, for the whole liturgical year, in Ambrosian and Gregorian chant.
    "There's no consideration for this: we're just annoying....
    "Last evening, even though we were more or less in the basement, we continued to study with the women's schola; next Wednesday it will be the men's turn. We carry on, somewhat hidden, as though we were a danger.
    "In the face of every humiliation let us manage to react by strengthening our conviction that this work is our duty."

    The trials and the activity of the prestigious Schola Gregoriana Mediolanensis continue regularly.

    ---end of translation---
  • kenstb
    Posts: 369
    Horrible. This stuff happens here as well. How many dioceses have embraced the idea that professional musicians need not apply to work in them?
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,500
    Now there are many video resources for learning the various chants, but when I started there was only Giovanni Vianini.

    Very sad.
  • And this just when we in the USA thought a significant corner had been turned! Is the Church in Italy really 50 years behind the Church in America? This is the kind of stuff that we experienced a generation ago! I'm afraid this begs the questions: is this happening under our new Pope, and would this have been allowed to happen under our Pope Emeritus? I'm really trying to keep an open mind on this. So far, I haven't seen anything Liturgically reversed from the wonderful changes the last two Popes encouraged. Is this another "new beginning"?
  • Given that Ambrosian Chant is an endangered species, where are the usual voices shouting about cultural genocide?
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,225
    is this happening under our new Pope, and would this have been allowed to happen under our Pope Emeritus?

    You have to remember that Milan has not been 'conservative' for over 20 years. And I suspect that there's more to this story than we know. Given that, it's still sad that this has happened.
    Thanked by 1PaxMelodious
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,465
    what a squalor...

    Incredible remark, considering that Milan is one of the most affluent cities in Europe. Perhaps chant cannot thrive in opulence and comfort?

    Georgia Stevens once said about Gregorian chant that it was born in the age of martyrdom and suffering:

    "It [Chant] was born with the Christian church in a golden age and spoke the language of that age. It is characterized by simplicity, which is generally the result of depth---a simplicity that is artless but full of suggestion. It voices the sufferings and the triumphs of human beings in their greatest moments. What are those moments?

    They may be those illuminated by points of vision, of light: or they may be those that accompany the supreme effort to hold on through utter blackness, hopelessness, in the void, when nothing but the will acts---for the will does act, as it has power to act, in dire need. What has this to do with the chant? Everything. Its birth pangs were in the ecstasy of a great revelation and in martyrdom implemented by pagan cruelty---when the soul was lifted to Heaven, the body given to beasts in the arena. It has retained its inheritance, its power to carry a message of hope and love."
  • On a MUCH smaller scale, this is the very thing that happened in our parish this past summer--out with chant, in with guitars and "contemporary" music.
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,640
    Its not dark everywhere. Our parish is the opposite.

    Strange that when moving from folk guitars to chant, it always seems to be a gradual transition. The change is introduced incrementally and the congregation is given some time to adjust.

    When moving from chant to folk, the change comes like a sledgehammer through a stained glass window.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,709
    this is the crime against faith and it WILL suffer justice
  • I think this Pope has made it very clear that there is really no appeal to Rome as long as he is in the Chair; he wants bishops to rule. So this is a local matter, and a tragedy. I sent Vianini my support through the message function on YouTube, and perhaps he might like to hear from us over here. I speak Italian, but gave it to Google Translate, and it came out fine.

  • Cantus67Cantus67
    Posts: 207
    this is so sad.
  • This is why the SSPX exists.
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,391
    This is why the SSPX exists.

    No, this is an excuse sometimes given for why the SSPX exists. There's human pride, disobedience, lack of hope, lack of charity, monarchism, and a host of other reasons why the SSPX exists.
    Thanked by 2JL hilluminar
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,078
    That’s true, but one understands why they wallow in their situation when things like this occur.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,465
    Well, Father, I doubt human pride, disobedience, lack of hope, charity, monarchism, etc., are the exclusive province of our SSPX friends. According to Pope Benedict XVI, there are other reasons why the SSPX exists, and one of them is because after Vatican II, there existed in the Church in certain quarters the idea that the Council represented a break with tradition, a ground-zero starting point, if you will, wherein everything that came before the Council, including Gregorian chant, but not exclusive to it, was made to seem as if it was outdated, outmoded, archaic, useless and no longer of relevance to the modern Church. In other words, after the Council, we burned what we had previously adored and imposed upon the faithful an artificially created, experimental liturgy, regardless of the confusion, consternation and heartbreak it caused countless Catholics.

    This, despite the fact that the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, for example, said that Gregorian chant was to enjoy pride of place in the Mass, as the Pope reminded us in Summorum Pontificum, "what was sacred then, remains sacred now."

    So, let's be honest and admit with the former Cardinal Ratzinger that the New Mass represented a break in the centuries-long process of organic development in the Liturgy, and, of course, we all know that the "break" was only exacerbated by the work of ICEL in its first translation which, thankfully, was revised under the last two papacies and some of the egregious issues with it were resolved.

    Pope Benedict XVI also made a significant observation about the SSPX in his letter to the bishops of the Church concerning them in which he made clear that it always seems that there has to be one group in an institution upon which opprobrium can be heaped and which is the object of universal scorn. As he remarked, this is indeed the case with the SSPX, and we all know how fashionable it was and is to talk in such disparaging and unecumenical terms about our SSPX friends when we would never dare to talk about any other religious, or quasi-religious group in such fashion, no matter how extreme, radical, fundamentalist or fanatical or downright evil their worldview might be.

    Finally, this is not in any way to make excuse for the fact that the SSPX is not regularized, but I think there are many of us who feel that the treatment being dealt out to Giovanni Vanini reminds us of the bad old days of "the hermeneutic of rupture" and wish he had been treated more along the lines of that wished for by Pope Benedict XVI, who was in the process of setting up the restoration of Gregorian chant under the auspices of the CDW when he suddenly resigned. If it had been, SSPX would probably be a few steps closer to us instead of remaining on the peripheries.

    Let's get our house in order and let's try to start mending fences with those who should be closest to us, as Pope Benedict XVI tried to, and, I might add, Pope Francis is also trying to do in allowing our SSPX friends to have ordinary jurisdiction for the Holy Year of Mercy.

  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,465
    P.S. One more thing: If it is now official that our Jewish brothers and sisters don't have to convert, then why the harsh pre-Vatican II rhetoric on SSPX? Shouldn't they get the nice fluffy ecumenical language everyone else gets? Just askin'. : )
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,955
    after the Council, we burned what we had previously adored and imposed upon the faithful an artificially created, experimental liturgy, regardless of the confusion, consternation and heartbreak it caused countless Catholics.

    The Council never called for the things it gets blamed for, As for burning what was "previously adored," I don't recall most folks as being upset about it. They, for the most part, were glad to see chant and the old mass go.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,465
    I agree with you in part, but there are distinctions that should be made so I offer you Cardinal Ratzinger's analysis of the preconciliar liturgical situation regarding the Latin Mass:

    "On the other hand, it must be admitted that the celebration of the old liturgy had strayed too far into a private individualism, and that communication between priest and people was insufficient. I have great respect for our forefathers who at Low Mass said the "Prayers during Mass" contained in their prayer books, but certainly one cannot consider that as the ideal of liturgical celebration. Perhaps these reductionist forms of celebration are the real reason that the disappearance of the old liturgical books was of no importance in many countries and caused no sorrow. One was never in contact with the liturgy itself.

    On the other hand, in those places where the Liturgical Movement had created a certain love for the liturgy, where the Movement had anticipated the essential ideas of the Council, such as for example, the prayerful participation of all in the liturgical action, it was those places where there was all the more distress when confronted with a liturgical reform undertaken too hastily and often limited to externals."

    (From an address by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger on the 10th anniversary celebrations i Rome, delivered at the Ergife Palace Hotel, Rome, on Saturday 24 October, to an audience of almost 3,000 traditional Catholics.)
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,955
    Coming from an eastern perspective where everything is sung, chant is the norm, and the people sing the liturgy, the whole idea of the "low mass" seems an aberration and distortion of what the liturgy is supposed to be. I don't think we can blame it all on the Irish. Liturgical corruption occurred after the civilization collapse when Rome fell and worsened during the time before Trent. Some of the centuries after Trent created their own liturgical peculiarities. There was too much over-explanation and justification for why things were being done wrong with little effort to actually fix the problems.
  • I don't think we can blame it all on the Irish.

    Well finally. My time here has not been wasted.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,955
    Well finally. My time here has not been wasted.

    Bonniebede, I somehow knew you were personally responsible for it all. LOL.

    Bad liturgy is not anything new, but has been with us for centuries. As long as there are priests looking for shortcuts and uninformed laity who either don't know better or don't care, nothing much will change.
    Thanked by 2bonniebede Cantus67
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,391

    My earlier comment was not intended to disparage the use of Gregorian chant in the revised liturgy. I only meant to take exception to Chris McAvoy's comment that the diminished use of Gregorian chant is "why the SSPX exists."

    Regarding then-Cardinal Ratzinger's 30 years late "take" on the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, I respectfully differ with him. The CSL called for a restoration and a revision of the liturgy, not simply a fulfillment of the goals of the 100-year old Liturgical Movement, as you keep bringing up. Every revision entails something that is new. Some liturgical elements from earlier centuries were restored in the Missal of Pope Paul VI. But that Missal is no mere restoration of long-lost practices. It also contains new elements which, yes, are in the opinion of some a kind of rupture from earlier tradition, but these elements (such as, the revised order of readings or the addition of eucharistic prayers) certainly are not antithetical to that tradition or, indeed, to the whole of our Catholic faith.
    Thanked by 1hilluminar
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,465
    Dear Father Ron,

    You're right; Vatican II did call for a revision of the liturgical books. However, it also called for a lot of other things. It called for all lawfully existing rites to be preserved. It also called for no new innovations unless the good of the Church "genuinely and certainly required them."

    So, the important thing to remember is that SC was laying out general principles and was leaving it to others to decide the specific application of those general principles. The fact that you disagree with then-Cardinal Ratzinger on whether Arbp. Bugnini's Consilium's work faithfully carried out the wishes of the Council is proof positive that there is a legitimate freedom in the Church to disagree on the wisdom of what was produced and still be in good standing. You and then-Cardinal Ratzinger demonstrate this because you both accept SC while disagreeing on the way its broad principles were carried out and yet you are both obviously inside the Church.

    So in like manner we can also say that while Arbp. Lefebrve signed SC, his Society should also have the freedom to disagree with the work carried out by Arbp. Bugnini, while accepting the validity of the OF.

    Of course, that is the freedom that was offered them by the last two popes which they unfortunately did not accept.

    Lastly, Cardinal Ratzinger made a proposal to bridge the gap between OF and EF Catholics which would go a long way towards re-establishing liturgical peace and unity in the Church. He said that "the essential criteria" of SC apply to both forms of the Roman Rite and he listed them in the same address cited above.

    This is also relevant in light of the effect that Cardinal Sarah recently stated that SC remains "the Magna Carta of all liturgical celebrations", i.e., in both forms.

    That concept of following "the essential criteria" of SC enables both EF and OF people to pursue the two forms of the Roman Rite in the true Catholic spirit of unity-in-diversity. But here's the rub: that liturgical reconciliation presupposes that the average person attending both forms of the Roman Rite would be able to tell instantly that they are essentially the same liturgy.

    I think that represents the essential liturgical vision of Cardinals Josef Ratzinger and Robert Sarah and is a proposal that can bring us the much-desired unity and mutual enrichment we all seek.

  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,182
    If it is now official that our Jewish brothers and sisters don't have to convert,

    It isn't; the recent document about Catholic-Jewish relations states:

    Since God has never revoked his covenant with his people Israel, there cannot be different paths or approaches to God’s salvation. The theory that there may be two different paths to salvation, the Jewish path without Christ and the path with the Christ, whom Christians believe is Jesus of Nazareth, would in fact endanger the foundations of Christian faith. Confessing the universal and therefore also exclusive mediation of salvation through Jesus Christ belongs to the core of Christian faith.

    The document goes on to say that Catholics are called to witness their faith to everyone, including to Jews, but that it should be done with sensitivity and not as an institutional program.

    If this wasn't clear in the secular press, well, the secular press is often imprecise in matters of Catholic teaching. But I trust you all knew that already.

  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,465
    Thanks, Chonak. I should have been more precise: If we must now drop all active missionary outreach to those of the Jewish faith, how does that change our perception and attitude toward the SSPX?
  • Liam
    Posts: 5,003
    The prudential issue with the Jewish people is that we are not in the same situation as the era of the Apostles and Fathers. We've inherited considerable baggage of centuries of Christian abuse of evangelization, and that can't be ignored. That doesn't mean no evangelisation, but we can't pretend history didn't happen and had consequences that descend to this day.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,182
    The key word, JulieColl, is "institutional". Thr Church has no Department of Mission to the Jews. There's no blanket program of outreach, and the faithful are therefore to share the faith individually as opportunities permit. And of course there can be organized efforts of outreach to the general public.

    I wonder if there are organized efforts directed toward making converts amoing any specific non-Christian religions.

    Thanked by 1MarkThompson
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,078
    That would be the congregation known historically as Propaganda Fidei...
    Thanked by 1David Deavy
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,955
    What? Missions? Conversions? Don't all faiths contain elements of truth and point to the same god? How un-pastoral, and insensitive. This does not fit within the spirit of Vatican II.
  • bonniebede, can we just blame it on the sort of Irish who couldn't make it in Ireland?
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,955
    bonniebede, can we just blame it on the sort of Irish who couldn't make it in Ireland?

    Too funny! However, we did have an Irish priest here a few years ago. Why he left Ireland I don't know, other than he may not have been able to screw things up there as much as here. LOL. He was, to put it mildly, an administrative nightmare whose disorganization created havoc. Everywhere Fr. John went, he left chaos in his wake and another priest had to be assigned to clean up the mess. Finally, he moved to a nearby diocese and was put in a position where he can't cause as many problems.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,182
    Propaganda Fidei exists, but is there a program directed at outreach specifically to Hindus? To Muslims? Buddhists? They might exist as unofficial lay apostolates. I don't happen to know.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,078
    The Missionaries of Divine Mercy, erected in the diocese of Fréjus-Toulon, have as part of their apostolate the evangelization of Muslims.
  • can we just blame it on the sort of Irish who couldn't make it in Ireland?

    I'm speechless. No doubt some riposte will occur while driving and causing me to nearly run off the road with giggles, but until then I am speechless.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • No, this is an excuse sometimes given for why the SSPX exists. There's human pride, disobedience, lack of hope, lack of charity, monarchism, and a host of other reasons why the SSPX exists.

    No, this is an excuse sometimes given for why many Diocese exist as they are. There's human pride, disobedience, lack of hope, lack of charity, monarchism, and a host of other reasons why the Diocese exists.

    Charles is right there are priests who are not administrative experts who, like this priest who I also know, are very holy men. And Bishops who have never served in a parish for the same reason.
    Thanked by 1dad29
  • quilisma
    Posts: 136
    If you want another story of a no-longer needed schola, then Les Chantres du Thoronet seem to have gone the same way as the Schola Mediolanensis (site in French):

    The exact reasons for their departure are not yet clear but they say that they will reveal them shortly. Incidentally, the abbey of Thoronet is in the (conservative) diocese of Fréjus-Toulon, referred to above.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,182
    They have an unconventional approach to Gregorian chant, as this recording shows:

  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,460
    I'm into it.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,078
    Yes, their site says they sing it based on medieval manuscripts.
    Thanked by 1Adam Wood
  • Edited: Why is the topic not appearing in other publications? New Liturgical Movement? This is the only place that keeps the traditional of Ambrosian Chant alive and it's very useful.