Anathemas against the adversaries of ecclesiastical chant
  • Chrism
    Posts: 760
    Today happens to be the 218th anniversary of the Papal Encyclical Quod Aliquantum of Pius VI, to Cardinal Rochefoucauld and the bishops of the National Assembly of France, March 10, 1791, on the subject of the infamous Civil Constitution of the Clergy. The encyclical contains this nugget on sacred music:

    The Gallican Church, in far distant times, had established a rite and maintained it carefully. This rite gave to ecclesiastics raised to the dignity of canons of honorable functions a means of nourishing piety, arousing the faithful's devotion and attracting them by means of chant and the splendor of ceremonies to fulfill their religious duties and thereby merit new graces. But the National Assembly, in a single decree, not without grave scandal has nullified, suppressed and abolished this rite. On this point, as in all other articles of the decree, it adopted the principles of the heretics, especially the senseless opinions of the Wycliffites and of the Centuriators of Magdeburg, who rose up in rage against the use of ecclesiastical chant and dared to deny its antiquity.

    We can only advise the authors of that decree to read attentively the anathemas pronounced by the Council of Arras in 1025 against the adversaries of ecclesiastical chant, so that a healthy shame may make them stop and think. "Who can doubt," says the Holy Council, "that you are not possessed by the unclean spirit, seeing that you reject as superstition the use of psalmody established in the Church by the Holy Spirit? The clergy were not inspired by games and profane amusements to produce the tone and modulation of religious music, but by the Fathers of the Old and New Testament. Those who pretend that the chanting of psalms is foreign to divine worship, must be ejected from the bosom of the Church; such innovators agree perfectly with their head, the spirit of darkness, the source of every iniquity, who tries to denaturalize and corrupt the meaning of the Sacred Scripture by malignant interpretations."

    Finally, if the glory of God's house, if the majesty of worship is degraded in the kingdom, the number of ecclesiastics will necessarily lessen...

    -- cf. Hayburn, Papal Legislation on Sacred Music, p. 113. (For the decrees of the Council of Arras in Latin, see Mansi et al, Sacrorum Conciliorum, Vol. XIX, p. 452 (electronic page 295), Chapter 12.)
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,245


    ...but well for us all to take heed.

    thanx for the info.
  • Why can't people talk like this anymore? Has sensitivity training taken hold of men entirely?
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    "Why can't people talk like this anymore?"

    Because saying "agree with me or go to hell" is considered a personality disorder these days.
  • Finally, if the glory of God's house, if the majesty of worship is degraded in the kingdom, the number of ecclesiastics will necessarily lessen...

    Well... the recent drop of the number of vocations currently would seem to bear this out!
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    I should, as usual, qualify my comments. There is some truth that those who despise chant (or at least the SPIRIT of chant) tend to be enemies of the Truth. On the other hand, I'm becoming rapidly and increasingly convinced that polemics and fanaticism are lower than worthless. And I say this as a self-indictment.
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,574
    Chrism, thanks for this, but even more-so, thanks for including that online reference.
    More and more items are becoming available online. Glad to learn about another resource.
    We live in wonderful times.

    Here is the root of that amazing website (latin required, sometimes big files, but still) ...

    Documenta Catholica Omnia