The past was like Sodom?
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    Have I misinterpreted this remark made by Rita Ferrone?

    From here

    And posted here

    She said at the NPM::

    "We've come a long way the past 50 years," she said, but cautioned them to "remember Lot's wife," who was turned into a pillar of salt for looking back at the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,142
    "Whatever happened to 'aggiornamento'?" Ferrone said, using the Italian word Blessed John XXIII used when convoking Vatican II to seek an "updating" of the church and opening it to the world. "We need updating even today."

    I'd also like to know exactly what she's getting at here.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    If she means don't look back to the 1970s, I'm good with that. Somehow...doubts.
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,111
    I doubt it also. Clearly the past is something we need to expunge from our memory. The allusion to Lot's wife is also very troubling.
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    More weirdness from the PTB people. Nothing we haven't seen before...
    Thanked by 1Jahaza
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    I'd venture to say after reading reviews of Rita's book on Sacrosanctum Concilium that she held a pretty dim view of the "Vetus Ordo" (to use a phrase that has been in the news lately.)

    This was an enlightening summary of her latest tome from an Amazon reviewer:

    In a concluding summary, Ferrone asks if we are better off liturgically now than we were forty years ago. And, of course, she has elegantly led us to understand the question is by now rhetorical. Some malcontents may call for a "reform of the reform" in an attempt to recast the mandate of the council into "a desire for a timeless liturgy, for a liturgy that gives us access to a divine world, untouched by the grime of history." One can almost hear the author tisk. "The times in which we live cannot fail to have a profound effect on how we worship," she writes. "It is best to acknowledge them" (109).

  • Do not look back, especially with regret, at the sins you have turned from. That is the perennial meaning of the story of Lot's wife. Christ alludes to it (Luke 17) and Augustine somewhere in City of God, and lots of other writers. O foolish Galatians! etc.

    But to apply these warnings so as to equate tradition with the old life left behind, is scandalous.
    It sets Scripture against Scripture and the Church against herself. Is outrage!
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    that was my sense. I mean, I don't want to interpret uncharitably but it truly does seem like she was saying: the past is only sin. One long S&G. If we look back, we turn to salt. No tradition, ever. No past, ever. This is the Catholic theory of destructionism.
  • .
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    I love getting the scoop before Jeffrey. I alerted another Cafe poster about Rita's little boo-boo on Monday. Anyways, from PTB combox yesterday:
    #22 by Charles Culbreth on July 30, 2013 - 2:55 pm
    As for a so-called restoration of the reform, I would prefer not to get all weepy for the 70′s. Instead, I prefer “Forward the Reform,” so we can look at the issues of this century, putting the lace and canvas both well behind us. Todd Flowerday, comment.

    I find that maxim, Todd, to be in synch with the closing advice Rita gave at the Pray Tell Live address yesterday, when she remembered Fr. Diekmann’s slogan sign, “Don’t look back.” Of course, she told of how Frere explained that by saying ” You do remember what happened to Lots wife.” And at that quip, the predisposed audience got quite a chuckle. However, as juxtaposed to the content of the rest of Rita’s talking points, I found it kind of a weak coda as it caricatured (something I know you’re not fond of in these arenas) the process and product of MR3 rather obviously. And much of what Rita dealt with in reviewing 50 years of post conciliar ecclesiology seemed very in tune with your notion of the Lord’s Day encounter being couched in this era’s modem. Namely being, almost exclusively a horizontal emphasis that reflects us, where we are, rather than the more oblique, mysterious, otherworldly constructs and concepts that you all seem to want removed from the equation.
    “Forward the Reform,” a cliche quite similar to MSNBC’s new “Lean forward,” seems not to be at all concerned with anamnesis that extends beyond the last half century, indeed a history and tradition pre-dating Christ’s incarnation and one that confesses communion with saints known and unknown, alive in concert with the Resurrected Lord and heavenly hosts.
    So both your and Rita’s axioms, to this listener, also seem to forget the advice of a post-conciliar, progressivist theologian who uttered these words at an NPM national some decades ago, “REMEMBER into the future.” That, said by the late Pr. Mark Searle, still resonates to me to this day. And it also seems more in keeping with the Church Glorified and the Church Militant of this and all future eras.

  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,350
    I am a "fan" of both the letter and "spirit" of V2, and of the Novus Ordo. (etc etc - most of you know me...)

    And this analogy is deeply troubling to me.

    It strikes me as going far beyond any Hermeneutic of Rupture (an interpretation I disagree with, but which is quite defensible) and instead offers a Hermeneutic of Destruction and Abandonment.

    The work of liturgical reform should (it seems to me) be about making the perfect ever more perfect. You can agree or disagree about whether reform was needed, whether the Novus Ordo is an improvement or not, or any of those things.

    But the position alluded to here that the point was to throw out the old and start again with newly created (as opposed to renewed and refreshed) rites and customs seems both indefensible and irresponsible.
    Thanked by 2chonak Andrew Motyka
  • Put the lace and the canvas behind us...
    onward to...

    The Sodom remark says it all. Good to know that the combo of nuttiness and bitterness aren't limited to any one small group within the Church. Ferrone has more in common with the negative branch of malcontent rad trads than she may realize.
    Thanked by 1irishtenor
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    I might get flamed for saying so

    (There are alot of things I'd like to torch, but you're not one of them, Andrew!)

    Speaking of flames, a priest I know once commented on the post-conciliar liturgical reforms, that "we burned what we had previously adored" ----but perhaps there is some basis for the (almost visceral) antipathy that liturgists like Rita F. have for the pre-conciliar liturgy, in light of the fact that the desires of the pre-conciliar Popes regarding the Mass weren't always implemented as were called for in the Church's documents on the liturgy.

    In other words, it can't be denied that the PIP's before Vatican II were sometimes treated as "strangers" or "mute spectators,' or “dumb and idle spectator” or“detached and silent spectators," to quote Popes Pius XI and XII, and that reality may have unfortunately pushed alot of people fast and furiously in the exact opposite direction. That's what I think we're dealing with now.

    Perhaps the best remedy for ameliorating the resentment and hatred for the Usus Antiquior and promoting reconciliation and mutual enrichment between the two forms (as much as is possible and as Pope Benedict XVI advocated) is by doing our best always to present the EF Mass as the pre-conciliar Popes desired and as Sacrosanctum Concilium itself called for, i.e., by simply making sure that the people are taught to say or sing in Latin those parts of the Mass that pertain to them.

    Actually, I believe it would be very beneficial if there could be a high-profile celebration of the EF Mass in exact accordance to the norms of De Musica Sacra et divina liturgia. Might it be possible for the CMAA to consider such an undertaking and offer a presentation of a Missa Cantata with as much full, conscious, active participation by the faithful as is called for in that key document?

    I humbly submit that someone like Henri de Villiers, the music director at Ste-Eugen-Ste-Cecile at Paris, would be the ideal person to consult for such a celebration. I keep a regular watch on his blog,, for his weekly reports on his EF Sunday liturgies.
    His Sunday Missa Cantatas are the best examples I've found of the EF Mass in a "populist" model in which the people in the pews are fully engaged and uplifted.

    P.S. The anniversary of De Musica sacra is coming up on Sept. 3. I don't know if it's possible but I wish such a project could be actualized somewhere---maybe Holy Innocents in Manhattan?---I'm just throwing ideas out here.

    I don't know if it's possible but if you could hear the way the people in the congregation sing at Henri de Villier's church, you would be truly amazed and inspired.
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,111
    I don't know if it's possible but if you could hear the way the people in the congregation sing at Henri de Villier's church, you would be truly amazed and inspired.

    Having been there last year, it is quite remarkable. There is no sleeping during the liturgy there or mumbling of rosaries. And when I was there, the place was packed.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    Sounds incredible! I'd love to visit someday, or at the very least, speak to M. de Villiers himself and learn what he thinks it is that inspires such liturgical joie de vivre but my French is not anywhere near that level. : )
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,308
    In June, we conducted several Masses in the OF and EF along those lines at the Cathedral in Salt Lake City, if it helps!

    Incidentally, M. de Villiers is on the masthead for our sister site "New Liturgical Movement", but alas, he hasn't written anything for it for a couple of years.
    Thanked by 1JulieColl
  • A more appropriate Scripture reference would have been:
    "This is what the LORD says: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, 'We will not walk in it.' "Jeremiah 6:16
  • SkirpRSkirpR
    Posts: 854
    I'm curious - just to be fair...

    I know of plenty of instances where people were experienced - even entrenched - in the "out-with-the-old" style of liturgy of the 70s-80s-90s, and had either suddenly or slowly come to see the value of the influence of tradition.

    I haven't heard *any* stories of people who were formed in a more authentically traditional environment who then became more and more progressive with their liturgy. Or should I say, is there anybody online who has openly or critically abandoned the RotR movement?
  • Caleferink
    Posts: 325
    And this is why I have no interest in attending another NPM convention.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,308
    For an on-the-scene commentary, here's a blog entry by Andrew Motyka.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,827
    And this is why I am glad I have never attended an NPM convention.
  • It strikes me as going far beyond any Hermeneutic of Rupture (an interpretation I disagree with, but which is quite defensible) and instead offers a Hermeneutic of Destruction and Abandonment.

    Absolutely. Given that hermeneutic, why does even the nuttiest celebration of the Mass look the way it does. Why do we worship primarily on Sunday? If nothing is worth looking back at, why do we have anything but complete annihilation of the rites?

    I just attended a talk about the propers of the Mass and their implementation, at the NPM Convention! While I strongly disagreed with the presenter's characterization of the documents leading up to and following Vatican II, it encouraged me to see a full ballroom. There were at least 200 people packed in for the presentation.

    People want to know. They're hungry, and somebody has to feed them.
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,142
    Can you elaborate on that, Andrew? What did the NPM presenter have to say on the subject? Who was the presenter?
  • jpal
    Posts: 365
    From my seat I remember being somewhat surprised when Ms. Ferrone delivered that line, but understood it as referring to the craziness that happened during the early post-Vatican II reform. It occurred to me that she could be misconstrued as referring to pre-Vatican II liturgy, but I do not believe that is a fair interpretation. For what it's worth, she did emphasize "singing the Mass" vs. "singing at Mass," although NPM-goers might draw different conclusions about what that means, compared to what many users of this forum would say.
  • scholistascholista
    Posts: 109
    In my humble opinion, a reading of Rita Ferrone's complete address would minimize any misunderstanding by placing her comments in their original context. I haven't been able to find the speech online.
    Thanked by 2Adam Wood jpal