The proposed closing of Holy Innocents in NYC
  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    He doesn't have to make kneeling optional. He's within his rights to determine that the norm in his diocese is to stand.

    Now, as to the wisdom of the lawful directive, we're getting into a good academic discussion here. I'm up for it, but I might have to do some more reading myself to take part.

    I see the logic of both sides and my main concern is what is lawful, which either way is.
    Thanked by 1Ignoto
  • Ignoto
    Posts: 126
    I confess that I have been one to kneel even when everyone else is standing after the Agnus Dei. I was quite shocked the first time I experienced it; I decided that I was always going to kneel anyway. But after reading #42 in the GIRM, I see that I have been the one in the wrong. It would be much more humble of me to accept the authority of the Church hierarchy as expressed in the GIRM rather than to follow my "private inclination."

    The document is certainly worded very strongly in #42:

    Attention must therefore be paid to what is determined by this General Instruction and by the traditional practice of the Roman Rite and to what serves the common spiritual good of the People of God, rather than private inclination or arbitrary choice.

    A common bodily posture, to be observed by all those taking part, is a sign of the unity of the members of the Christian community gathered together for the Sacred Liturgy, for it expresses the intentions and spiritual attitude of the participants and also fosters them.
  • donr
    Posts: 949
    A common bodily posture, to be observed by all those taking part, is a sign of the unity of the members of the Christian community gathered together for the Sacred Liturgy, for it expresses the intentions and spiritual attitude of the participants and also fosters them


    This may be true but it is also true that when the entire assembly is doing something that is not expressly called for at Liturgy like holding hands during the Our Father we do not have to do it.

    Just thought I'd throw that in.
    Thanked by 2Ignoto ryand
  • Ignoto
    Posts: 126
    ...when the entire assembly is doing something that is not expressly called for at Liturgy like holding hands during the Our Father we do not have to do it.


    Good point...although that may be why the GIRM does emphasize in #42 that "Attention must therefore be paid to what is determined by this General Instruction" and why the USCCB currently says "No position is prescribed in the Roman Missal for an assembly gesture during the Lord’s Prayer."

    (Incidentally, the USCCB website gave more info about this issue in 1998: "No position is prescribed in the present Sacramentary for an assembly gesture during the Lord’s Prayer. While the recently approved revised Sacramentary does provide for the use of the orans gesture by members of the assembly during the Lord’s Prayer, the revised Sacramentary may not be used until it has been confirmed by the Holy See. I might also note that in the course of its discussion of the this question, the Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy expressed a strong preference for the orans gesture over the holding of hands since the focus of the Lord’s Prayer is a prayer prayed to the Father and not primarily an expression of community and fellowship.")

    I figure the holding hands fad falls under the "arbitrary choice" category.
    Thanked by 1Jani
  • Jani
    Posts: 386
    Don't forget the little hand squeeze after the prayer is recited, as well as the little solidarity-inducing joined-hand pump before ones hands are mercifully released. I hope when the bishops finally get around to ending their silence on this practice, that they include those two things. They can give specific instructions, too, as in, "make sure to squeeze just hard enough to bring tears, but not hard enough to cause a shriek."

    The positions and gestures either have meaning, or they don't. What has changed about Orans being a supplication gesture of the celebrant? The GIRM is silent about standing on one's head during Mass. Still, it's probably not a good idea. But you can bet that if it is ever mentioned, some lovely, well-meaning mom is going to say "well I doubt I'm going to go to hell for standing on my head with my kids during Mass...." You want to hold hands with your family or stand on your head or whirl like a Dervish, go for it. Just leave me out of it.
  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    There are two (well, more actually) conversations going on here.

    In the case of standing for Communion, it is licit and lawful for the bishop to make that posture the NORM for his diocese.

    In the case of the Lord's Prayer, there is no such licit allowance. There is simply NO posture mandated, as correctly pointed out.

    This may be true but it is also true that when the entire assembly is doing something that is not expressly called for at Liturgy like holding hands during the Our Father we do not have to do it.


    Therefore, I find that this statement DOES apply to the Our Father but is not applicable to standing at Communion. If the bishop licitly makes standing the Communion Rite norm, then it IS expressly called for in the Liturgy, by virtue of his permission to make that the norm for his diocese, and you should do it.

    "Have to" do it? I don't know; how many angels can dance on the head of a pin? My advice to anyone would be "follow lawful norms." So stand at Communion if the bishop says so, do what you want at the Lord's Prayer since no one can mandate anything there.

    Now some liturgists have even recommended orans for the Lord's Prayer. A mistake, to be sure.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    PGA, I'm too lazy (oops, bad admission!) to hunt for references, but both hand-holding and orans I recall being expressly discouraged/suppressed by the USCCB. IIRC, I thought the "praying hands" posture was, OTOH, endorsed.
  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    I think you're correct.

    I was not endorsing either; I was simply addressing the contention that there is an equivalency between not participating in orans/hand holding and refusing to stand during Communion if that is the norm promulgated by the bishop.

    On the other hand, with no posture specified, it IS hard for me to argue that people who hold hands are actually doing something WRONG. But I certainly do not encourage it.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • Jani
    Posts: 386

    There are two (well, more actually) conversations going on here.

    Yes there are. Dang! You just never know when or where a soapbox is going to jump out at you!!!
    Thanked by 2Gavin Ignoto
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,912
    What has changed about Orans being a supplication gesture of the celebrant?


    Two words: versus populum
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 802
    Ignoto,

    You make a fair point about being in sync with the norm as laid down by the hierarchy. However - I had a similar experience to yours in a diocese where I used to live. The bishop determined that all should stand after communion and made a formal ruling to that effect. One pastor created a ruckus by insisting on the norm to the point of having the ushers remind people during mass to stand instead of kneel. Turns out the bishop didn't absolutely insist on his own directive: though he recommended standing for the purposes laid down in the GIRM, he said people were free to kneel if they wanted to.

    Also, your interpretation is undermined somewhat by the Holy See's defense of those who kneel instead of stand to receive communion (the latter being the norm for the US).

    Which is to say that it is hard to see the benefit of (needlessly) disrupting people's accustomed postures and gestures during mass. Whenever I visit my old diocese I still kneel after communion (as do some others), and think how strange it is that everyone has to stand for reasons I suspect few of them understand.

    I've been to Europe where everyone stands as a matter of course (not to mention the Eastern rites), so I don't necessarily have an issue with the practice in and of itself. It's just that it seems self-conscious and artificial to change a venerable practice here in the US for reasons known only to liturgists.
    Thanked by 1Ignoto
  • Ignoto
    Posts: 126
    I think that GIRM 43 as posted by TCJ ("The faithful kneel after the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) unless the Diocesan Bishop determines otherwise") is unrelated to GIRM 160 ("The norm established for the Dioceses of the United States of America is that Holy Communion is to be received standing, unless an individual member of the faithful wishes to receive Communion while kneeling").

    GIRM 43 establishes that the postural norm for PiPs after the Agnus Dei is kneeling unless the Bishop exercises his authority to establish a different posture (presumably standing, but theoretically could be sitting or something else). If the Bishop wanted to make either standing or kneeling an acceptable posture, then that is his prerogative.

    GIRM 160 establishes that the norm for receiving Communion (in the U.S.) is standing unless a parishioner personally decides to receive Communion while kneeling (the only exception I know to the admonition against "personal inclination").

    The difference is that in GIRM 43, the Holy See has granted the authority of choice to the Bishop whereas in GIRM 160, the Holy See has granted the authority of choice to the parishoner. My understanding is that even the Bishop would not have the authority to change that norm in his diocese and/or refuse Communion to a kneeling parishoner.

    I think that's a big distinction.

    (For the record, my personal preferences are: No hand-holding during Our Father; Kneel after Agnus Dei; Receive Communion while kneeling if at the rail or, if in a walking procession, while standing. But I do primarily want to follow Church teaching regardless of my preferences.)
    Thanked by 1Jani
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    There is, however, another alternative.

    I'm the first to appreciate the fact that we should all obey the Church's liturgical law.
    That being said, there is a total way out for those who would like to kneel instead of stand, who like Latin instead of the vernacular, who prefer chant and polyphony to other lawfully approved options, and finally who would like to receive Communion kneeling at the altar rail, on the tongue, from a priest whom they know will probably be the only ordinary minister of Communion serving that day.

    As Pope Benedict XVI said, "What was sacred then remains sacred now," so, following the prescriptions of Summorum Pontificum and its succeeding document Universae Ecclesiae, both promulgated by lawful ecclesiastical authority and both coming to us from the heart of the Church (just a few years ago), all you have to do if you're not satisfied with the liturgical praxis of GIRM is gather a small group of like-minded people and tell your pastor, or a pastor in another parish, or even in another diocese (UE provides for all of this) that you'd like to exercise your right to have a traditional Latin Mass every Sunday and holy day and, according to the documents, he and the local ordinary must comply with your request.

    I might also add that Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos (who at the time of the Pope's remarks above was the lawful competent authority on these matters as head of the PCED) made clear in his comments on the FSSP Latin Mass training video for priests that it was the wish of Pope Benedict XVI that the EF Latin Mass become a normal part of parish life (in every single parish in the world).

    So, to summarize, if GIRM accommodates your liturgical sensibilities, by all means embrace it and live it to the full. On the other hand, if the Church's ancient traditions as expressed in the EF are what appeal to you, then by all means head down to your local rectory and cor ad cor loquitur ask your pastor charitably and respectfully how soon Summorum Pontificum and Universae Ecclesiae can be implemented in your parish.

    It's as easy as that. ; )
  • Jani
    Posts: 386
    It's as easy as that. ; )

    If only!!!! :-p
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,349
    Nemo potest ad impossibile obligari (Regulae Iuris in Sexto, no. 6)

    That trumps anything and everything in SP.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    But, dear Fr. Krisman, it's NOT impossible---which leads us full circle back to the original post.

    I might remind you that Holy Innocents is implementing SP and UE and doing it very well, with limited resources in a commuter parish and with priests living a considerable distance outside the parish. I humbly submit that if they can do it despite all the obstacles, just about any parish can.

    What does it say about the current situation if you describe it as "impossible" to implement the liturgical law of the Church re: the EF? Why are you saying it's impossible?

    I find it awfully incongrous and flat-out contradictory for someone to say that GIRM must be obeyed at all costs (which it certainly is), while on the other hand not insisting that SP and UE deserve the same kind of obedience.

    Or, are we to conclude from this attitude that obedience to church law is dependent upon individual preferences or circumstances?

    Put a third way---how can you possibly call on people to obey GIRM while not equally insisting that SP and UE be obeyed and implemented?

    P.S. I don't know if you're a pastor, but wouldn't you be happy to implement SP and UE if someone requested it? Really, Father, on what possible legal basis could one refuse to implement it?
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,349
    Julie, at the parish at which I recently recuperated, there are 6 weekend Masses, three in English and three in Spanish. Weekend Mass attendance is between five and six thousand people. In addition each Saturday usually has one or two weddings/quinceañeras. There is a pastor and an associate. To ask them to add another Mass for 15-30 people is not only absurd but actually an impossibility, morally and legally.

    It is also an absurdity to say that lay people can demand that the diocesan moderator of the liturgy (namely, the diocesan bishop) must accede to their wishes because of SP.

    No law of the Church can correctly be interpreted without reference to other related laws as well as to the Church's canonical tradition. (That's why I quoted RI 6.) The approach to law you demonstrated in your 6:34 PM posting is seriously deficient.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    Well, Father, it sounds like you certainly have your hands full, and God bless you for all you do. I would be less than honest if I didn't tell you that I'm not particularly shocked that you find it a moral impossibility to implement SP in any parish in the world. : )

    That being said, just a couple of questions which are asked in all sincerity and respect:

    1) When His Eminence Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos said in his introduction to the FSSP Latin Mass training video for for the old rite that the Pope wanted to see the EF become an ordinary part of parish life in every parish in the world, was His Eminence (and also the Pope whose wish the Cardinal was expressing) guilty of "a seriously deficient" approach to the law? I might also add, Father, would you disagree that the intent of the lawgiver is of fundamental importance in one's approach to interpreting the law?

    2) If you're going to argue that because of the heavy work load of priests, implementing SP is a "moral impossibility", why can't every single Catholic who finds it a "moral impossibility" to adhere to the prescriptions of GIRM due to both their liturgical sensibilities and the lived experience of the past fifty years (i.e., the collapse of faith we are witnessing all around us) dismiss GIRM in the same manner that you are dismissing SP and UE?

    3) If you are going to declare SP and UE non-starters, then on what basis can you object if somebody, following your logic, declares GIRM equally non-binding?

    Or does your argument as regards the law of the Church come down to this: The moral impossibility clause only applies to those seeking to ignore SP and UE, while it could never under any circumstance be invoked by someone who finds it a moral impossibility to follow GIRM?

    Lastly, if Fr. Ron Krisman can declare that due to the obligations imposed by the OF, there's no time to implement the EF, what's to stop some young pastor who's disgusted with what Fr. Louis Bouyer called "the decomposition of Catholicism" from declaring that due to the time constraints of implementing the EF, it's now a moral and legal impossibility to continue offering the OF?

    What's good for the OF goose is good for the EF gander, dear Fr. Ron. Wouldn't it be an irony if the young priests coming up the ranks cite The Fr. Ron Krisman Moral Impossibility Clause as they begin replacing one OF Mass after the other with the EF?

  • rich_enough
    Posts: 802
    The difference is that in GIRM 43, the Holy See has granted the authority of choice to the Bishop whereas in GIRM 160, the Holy See has granted the authority of choice to the parishoner.

    I get that there is a difference de facto - i.e that as a matter of fact the Holy See has interpreted one law in a certain way, and has not interpreted the other in the same way (since it hasn't been asked). But I don't see this as a difference in the laws themselves which would rule out the same interpretation for both - i.e. the interpretation favoring liberty for the parishioner.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,102
    We all know that Curial hands are expert at spinning their remarks as the will of a given Holy Father.

    One very notable lacuna (among a few) in SP is that it did not address the issue of bination/trination. Had the Holy Father seriously intended that every parish have the EF on Sundays, the motu proprio ought have expressly provided an exception to the rules regulating bination/trination - there are just too many parishes with a single pastor and no vicars for this issue to be elided well. It's not like the issue wasn't raised before the motu proprio was issued; it was a topic of conversation.

    The more attenuated but related issue has to do with the fact that, since the adoption of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, parishioners are not obliged to worship in their parish of domicile. This is why Catholics are free (at least in non-rural or non-mission areas) now to roam in search of parishes more to their liking. A pastor who replaces a well-attended OF Mass on the Sunday schedule with an EF Mass without having persusaded at least a majority of the regular attendees at such Mass time of the good of such an action (pastors have all the power on paper, but in reality, as any Roman knows - but many American Catholic pastors neglect - real authority comes through assiduous consultation), then that flock is likely to grace a nearby parish with its attendance and money.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    Liam, I'm not a canonical expert, but I do know after having read UE many times that it was sensitive to the fact that one size does not fit all and provides some wiggle room for pastors, and there are specific provisions for small coetus fidelium.

    17. § 1. In deciding individual cases, the pastor or the rector, or the priest responsible for a church, is to be guided by his own prudence, motivated by pastoral zeal and a spirit of generous welcome.

    § 2. In cases of groups which are quite small, they may approach the Ordinary of the place to identify a church in which these faithful may be able to come together for such celebrations, in order to ensure easier participation and a more worthy celebration of the Holy Mass.


    Getting back to Fr. Ron's Moral Impossibility Clause, I think he has struck upon something quite brilliant, and the possibilities for application are endless.

    Far be it from me to spread this to people like The Remnant or Catholic Family News, but really, what's to stop a Catholic family out in the Midwest from saying it's a moral and physical impossibility for them to drive 5 hours to the nearest diocesan-approved TLM, so they're heading to the SSPX?

    Or what about the priest who's so fed up with finding consecrated Hosts stuck in hymnals and under kneelers and on the windshield of a car (true stories) that he says it's a moral and physical impossibility to allow Communion in the hand anymore so he's not obligated to obey GIRM on that point?

    How about the church musician who says he's so scandalized by playing circus music on the grand piano in the sanctuary and watching the local ballet class dancing with incense pots on their heads during the Offertory every Sunday that he says it's a moral impossibility for him to obey GIRM and he will only use Gregorian chant and the Adoremus hymnal and the organ from now on?

    Lastly, what about the priest I know who is increasingly demoralized since he performs six funerals/week for his congregation, sees his CCD classes shrinking every year and knows in ten years his parish will be non-existent and for whom celebrating the OF is a daily cross since he believes with all his heart that the liturgical reforms were a huge mistake and GIRM is a disaster---couldn't it be a moral impossibility for him to continue offering the OF?

    At any rate, thanks for opening up new ground for discussion, Father.

  • Liam
    Posts: 4,102
    Julie

    Those precatory clauses in UE do not modify the canonical regulation. If Rome intended to modify the canonical regulation, it can do so. But it hasn't.
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 802
    I'm not sure what the examples Julie gives above are meant to prove. One may bring up "hard cases"-which, as the saying goes, makes for bad law-but Fr. Kinsman's principle still holds. Every case is a matter of prudence. Except in truly desperate circumstances, I would say there's plenty to stop a family from either driving five hours to an EF mass or going to the SSPX; a church musician could certainly decide that he can sing only traditional hymns and chant, but then he might be out of a job, and so on.

    Having said that, "impossible" can be a relative term; it may actually be a matter of priorities. My own pastor has learned to celebrate the EF, even though he's as busy as any pastor in the diocese with a large parish. For him, it's not so much a matter of what's "possible" (I'm sure he could come up with plenty of legitimate excuses not to do it) as what he thinks will serve the spiritual health of his parish and his priesthood.

    The fact is that one will make time for what he considers important, and this is what I see Benedict inviting pastors to do. He did not impose a legal obligation for every priest to say the EF every Sunday, but invited them to discovers its riches and to implement it because they see and understand its importance and how it can serve his flock. Naturally, there will be situations where this is not possible, but on the other hand one sees situations where the EF has been blocked, discouraged, or otherwise impeded not because of "impossibility" or even hardship but because the pastor or bishop thinks it's not worth doing, or even "harmful." This is what the Holy Father wanted to end, and certainly the spirit, if not the letter, of SP would discourage such a negative attitude towards the EF.
    Thanked by 2Gavin PaixGioiaAmor
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    So, it's basically a dead letter? I hardly think so, Liam, but I'm not an expert as I have said. A motu proprio may not have the same juridical weight as a Constitution or papal bull, but it comes directly from the Pope and specifically expresses his intentions and desires---which can hardly be ignored or lightly dismissed, esp. since SP has not been countermanded in any way by the current Pope. Until and unless it does, it's still very much in effect, but I'm sure you aren't disputing that in any way.

    Regardless of the alleged missing canonical status I would imagine that what is most important is that bishops and priests are obliged to accommodate the intent of the lawgiver, i.e. Popes John Paul and Benedict, to the best of their ability.

    At least SP and UE do not contain self-contradictions like GIRM does as noted in the posts above (GIRM 43 vs. GIRM 160) although it is imposed with an iron hand throughout the land. How is one supposed to navigate through that?
  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    Far be it from me to spread this to people like The Remnant or Catholic Family News, but really, what's to stop a Catholic family out in the Midwest from saying it's a moral and physical impossibility for them to drive 5 hours to the nearest diocesan-approved TLM, so they're heading to the SSPX?


    What's to stop them? The fact that such an action would make them no better than the members of the women priest movement, Call to Action, or any other dissident NON-CATHOLIC group.

    I prefer the organ, chant, and good choral music in the mass. If my choice were between a Latin mass celebrated by the SSPX and an Ordinary Form mass celebrated in a CATHOLIC church with bongo drums and the songs "Are All Welcome" and "We Are Called," I would choose the CATHOLIC mass in a heart beat, without even thinking about it.

    Schism is no light matter.

    I'm not even getting into why a family HAS to drive 5 hours for a TLM (They don't.) The Ordinary Form is a valid mass. Repeat that 10 times out loud.

    Or what about the priest who's so fed up with finding consecrated Hosts stuck in hymnals and under kneelers and on the windshield of a car (true stories) that he says it's a moral and physical impossibility to allow Communion in the hand anymore so he's not obligated to obey GIRM on that point?


    What's to stop him? The fact that such an action effectively renders him a protestant. Remember, the protestants don't obey Church authority; each man is an authority unto himself to interpret scripture and the law.

    Also - "true stories?" I don't doubt you, but if that all happened in one parish, it's the weirdest parish I ever heard of. Those sound more like urban legends. I've seen something even CLOSE to that maybe twice - and not nearly as egregious as those examples. And "twice" means in a span of over 10 years, at several different parishes.

    How about the church musician who says he's so scandalized by playing circus music on the grand piano in the sanctuary and watching the local ballet class dancing with incense pots on their heads during the Offertory every Sunday that he says it's a moral impossibility for him to obey GIRM and he will only use Gregorian chant and the Adoremus hymnal and the organ from now on?


    He doesn't have to be "scandalized." Church musicians, happily, are not under the authority of the bishop or a superior for assignments. He can quit his job if he doesn't like the working conditions there.

    Of course, this is the only scenario out of all that you present where in doing what you suggest he would not be doing anything wrong. Quite to the contrary, in this one what he would be doing would be quite lawful.

    He should still expect to be fired if he does it, because that's how this works.

    Lastly, what about the priest I know who is increasingly demoralized since he performs six funerals/week for his congregation, sees his CCD classes shrinking every year and knows in ten years his parish will be non-existent and for whom celebrating the OF is a daily cross since he believes with all his heart that the liturgical reforms were a huge mistake and GIRM is a disaster---couldn't it be a moral impossibility for him to continue offering the OF?


    It sounds like he is dancing on the edge of the flames of heresy.
    Thanked by 2Gavin hilluminar
  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    SP has not been countermanded in any way by the current Pope.


    I'm not sure how long this statement will be true. I think something is coming.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,102
    Julie

    It's surely not a dead letter, but that wish and intention expressed in SP and UE remains circumscribed by the canonical regulations unless and until such time as Rome moves further to address the canonical issue. It's not merely an alleged canonical issue, btw.

    So, a pastor who is his canonical limit has solid canonical grounds for not feeling obliged to add an EF Mass to the Sunday schedule.
    Thanked by 1PaixGioiaAmor
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    There is so much misinformation, lies, ignorance, and needless drama in this thread. From both right and left.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    PGA, your definition of what constitutes a faithful Catholic is ridiculously narrow. Reminds me of someone dancing on the head of a pin. : )

    First of all, the PCED itself has said Catholics may attend an SSPX Mass and it will fulfill their Mass obligation. It is not recommended obviously, and the PCED has asked people not to contribute money to them if they attend Mass at one of their Mass centers, but a Catholic does not ipso facto commit an act of schism by attending their Masses.

    Just for the record, I don't recommend this practice either and have personally done everything I could to dissuade a number of people from attending SSPX Mass centers. It's obviously fraught with dangers, but Catholics who attend SSPX Masses are not automatically schismatics.

    Second, people who attend SSPX Masses don't necessarily believe the OF Mass in invalid. Just for the record, I've never intimated the OF Mass was invalid and never would even if someone pointed a gun at my head and commanded me to do so. I attend a daily OF Mass at my parish and have never ever questioned the validity of the OF Mass or the validity of any of the sacraments. Please, please, please don't ever paint me with that brush, I beg you.

    Third, according to the authoritative document Redemptionis Sacramentum 92 a pastor may indeed refuse to give Communion in the hand to his parish and a priest may refuse to give Communion in the hand on an individual basis if he believes there is a danger of sacrilege. Doing so does not make said priest or pastor a heretic.

    Fourth, many esteemed Catholic scholars and Catholics in good standing have serious questions about the post-Vatican II liturgical reforms and the way Sacrosanctum Concilium was implemented. That does not make said Catholics heretics. I'll be happy to give you plenty of examples when I have more time.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,102
    I should clarify that my intervention on the canonical point is aimed at disarming the implication that pastors who do not add an EF Mass to the Sunday schedule at their parish are *necessarily* disobeying the wishes of Rome or acting in bad faith or out of another improper motive or negligent omission.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    So kind and thoughtful of you to say that, Gavin.
  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    From both right and left.


    Not picking on you, because I know that you, like me, struggle to find a way to label competing views of the Church. So I've used those terms before too, but they are so inaccurate. I hate even acknowledging "political parties" or "sides" in the Church because they shouldn't exist in the way that they do in the US Church. There have always been "liberals" and "conservatives" in the Church, but they weren't viewed the way that we view "Republicans" and "Democrats."

    We need to become CATHOLIC. Just follow the laws and obey the Church. Period. No right, left, whatever. This isn't US politics.

    You don't like Latin in the mass? Too bad; read the GIRM and every other document. You don't like the bishop telling people to stand at Communion? Too bad, he has the authority to do that.

    I'm so sick of every issue getting parsed in this way (I'm not talking primarily about this board; I'm talking about real life.)

    A TIMELY article. http://ncronline.org/news/politics/archbishop-warns-balkanization-us-church

  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    First of all, the PCED itself has said Catholics may attend an SSPX Mass and it will fulfill their Mass obligation. It is not recommended obviously, and the PCED has asked people not to contribute money to them if they attend Mass at one of their Mass centers, but a Catholic does not ipso facto commit an act of schism by attending their Masses.


    I suppose you are legally and technically correct about the canonical status of one who attends an SSPX mass.

    It reminds me of a "breakaway" congregation in my diocese; the congregation itself wasn't excommunicated, only the pastor was. But I sure wouldn't mess with such a thing and don't have any use for them - nor for the SSPX. Bottom line: they've placed themselves outside the Church.

    Second, people who attend SSPX Masses don't necessarily believe the OF Mass in invalid. Just for the record, I've never intimated the OF Mass was invalid and never would even if someone pointed a gun at my head and commanded me to do so. I attend a daily OF Mass at my parish and have never ever questioned the validity of the OF Mass or the validity of any of the sacraments. Please, please, please don't ever paint me with that brush, I beg you.


    I'm very relieved to hear that.

    Third, according to the authoritative document Redemptionis Sacramentum 92 a pastor may indeed refuse to give Communion in the hand to his parish and a priest may refuse to give Communion in the hand on an individual basis if he believes there is a danger of sacrilege. Doing so does not make said priest or pastor a heretic.


    I didn't call him a heretic for that example. I did call him a protestant. I can see how in your mind I effectively intimated that he's a heretic, in as much as protestants are called heretics. No, he's not a heretic.

    I think that any priest choosing to not give Communion in the hand is on shaky ground. Can he articulate the danger of sacrilege? It probably had better be something like "The local pro-choice group announced that they would be attending mass as a demonstration and receiving Communion that day, so he chose to suspend Communion in the hand." It probably shouldn't be "This parish can't handle Communion in the hand, because I don't really like it anyway."

    Fourth, many esteemed Catholic scholars and Catholics in good standing have serious questions about the post-Vatican II liturgical reforms and the way Sacrosanctum Concilium was implemented. That does not make said Catholics heretics. I'll be happy to give you plenty of examples when I have more time.


    I have serious questions about the way the reforms were IMPLEMENTED. That's quite different than your example wherein the priest "believes with all his heart that the liturgical reforms were a huge mistake and GIRM is a disaster."

    I deliberately said "dancing on the edge of heresy." Believing that something the Church does or teaches is a mistake does not make one a heretic. But refusing to accept Vatican II as valid, etc. does. And the priest in your example sounds to me like he's probably right on that line.

    And even if one privately believes those things, he has no authority to disobey them.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    I just find "left and right" easy. We all know what that means, even though it is inaccurate.

    To be precise, it is a LIE to say that a priest who forbids communion in the hand is effectively protestant. It is MISINFORMATION to assert that Pope Benedict wanted the EF in every parish by providing a quote from someone who isn't him. (And at any rate, if the pope's feelings about that are binding, how do you think the current one feels about it?)

    It is NEEDLESS DRAMA to go back and forth about these tangential issues throwing labels of heresy and corruption at the other camp.
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  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    It is NEEDLESS DRAMA to go back and forth about these tangential issues throwing labels of heresy and corruption at the other camp.


    Sometimes "traditional Catholics," who believe they know more than the Pope need to be reminded where they stand. I think the word "heretic" gets thrown (correctly) at those who espouse women's ordination a lot; but we don't talk enough about the status of those who deny the authority of Vatican II.

    Bishop Morlino of Madison, WI gave a great interview, where the reporter alluded to the fact that he is much more "conservative" than Pope Francis, and that Morlino is sort of a hero to traditional Catholics. The reporter said "What do you say to some who say that Pope Francis isn't traditional enough, that he doesn't sound like a conservative when he speaks?"

    Morlino, to his unending credit, responded "I tell them, hey, he's the pope! If you don't agree with him, YOU need to change, not him."

    I'm not in a "camp." I'm CATHOLIC, and in my official position I promote adherence to the norms, the law, and authentic Catholic theology. Like I said, that makes angry those on both "sides" from time to time.
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  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,632
    I think that any priest choosing to not give Communion in the hand is on shaky ground. Can he articulate the danger of sacrilege?

    I can't speak for everyone here in MA, but I know that after the Harvard Black Mass incident, many people I know are concerned about the possibility of such things being done and the contribution of Communion in the hand as a means of obtaining the Blessed Sacrament for these sacrilegious rites. I've also heard too many stories of custodians finding hosts on the floor after Mass, or people finding hosts in the hymnals, (at local parishes, no less) not to be concerned about the problem of dangers of sacrilege with Communion in the hand.
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  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    In the MA case, I think that is an example of real danger and a legitimate reason to make this kind of decision.

    Incidentally, often times these other types of incidents are not "sacrilege." They are well meaning people who don't understand that they can't do these things. One of the two or so incidents I alluded to was an elderly woman who took a host to the pew and put it down on the seat, intending to take it to her sick husband.

    That's wrong to do; it's not sacrilege.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,632
    They are well meaning people who don't understand that they can't do these things.


    Of course, if the clergy would actually preach on the Dogma of Transubstantiation and the True Presence of Christ in the Holy Sacrament, in addition to how to treat It, I don't think we'd have these problems nearly as much.

    How is it that in fifty years we've 'progressed' from only allowing priests to touch the Host, and then never to separate their thumbs and fore-fingers until the ablutions, to allowing lay people (who may or may not have any real training, liturgically or theologically) distribute the Host to people in their own hands, and not seen the increased lack of respect for the Sacred Species in tandem with this? And there's nothing that bothers me quite like seeing a priest who has just touched the Blessed Sacrament start glad-handing people at the ruckus of 'peace'.
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  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    I don't really disagree with you; I think there's too many EM's, they are overused, and there's overall not enough reverence given by ANYONE.

    Celebrating mass well would go a long way towards setting the proper tone.
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  • Liam
    Posts: 4,102
    Btw, communion on the tongue is no silver bullet. People knew how to keep a host intact in their mouths after receiving on their tongue in former days; it's not rocket science. With intinction, however, it would be much harder.
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  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    Believing that something the Church does or teaches is a mistake does not make one a heretic.But refusing to accept Vatican II as valid, etc. does. And the priest in your example sounds to me like he's probably right on that line.


    I'm happy to assure you, PGA, the priest in question accepts Vatican II as valid, hook, line and sinker, as do I. I have an old, tattered and beloved copy of the Vatican II documents, many of which I love to read and think were overall a great gift to the Church.

    Perhaps I shouldn't have used the word "mistake", and I apologize for any confusion, but just because Catholics may question the wisdom of the decision to make radical changes in the Church's liturgy at that particular point in time, and who may find problems with the texts of some of the Collects, and who are concerned about the changes in the structure and orientation of the Mass, but do not question in any way the sacramental integrity and validity of the OF Mass does not mean they are heretics or are in any way close to being heretics.

    Two examples of some pretty tough talk about the Novus Ordo from some very eminent members of the hierarchy:

    1) In Msgr. Klaus Gamber's book, The Reform of the Roman Liturgy, the preface of which was written by then-Cardinal Ratzinger who obviously endorsed its contents, Msgr. Gamber called the new liturgy "a tumor" and said,

    "Where are the bishops courageous enough to remove this cancerous tumor, which is the modernist theology implanted in the tissue of the celebration of the sacred mysteries?"


    2) Card. Alfredo Ottaviani said: (Don't forget that he was Cardinal Ratzinger's predecessor at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith)

    "The Novus Ordo represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent."
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 802
    So, a pastor who is his canonical limit has solid canonical grounds for not feeling obliged to add an EF Mass to the Sunday schedule.

    Of course, that's not the only option. He could replace a regularly scheduled OF mass with an EF mass. (I realize it's not always quite that simple.)
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,102
    Which option I addressed in my earlier comment:


    The more attenuated but related issue has to do with the fact that, since the adoption of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, parishioners are not obliged to worship in their parish of domicile. This is why Catholics are free (at least in non-rural or non-mission areas) now to roam in search of parishes more to their liking. A pastor who replaces a well-attended OF Mass on the Sunday schedule with an EF Mass without having persusaded at least a majority of the regular attendees at such Mass time of the good of such an action (pastors have all the power on paper, but in reality, as any Roman knows - but many American Catholic pastors neglect - real authority comes through assiduous consultation), then that flock is likely to grace a nearby parish with its attendance and money.
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  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    Thank you, one and all, for your important and timely canonical clarifications. Your logic can only lead one to conclude that Pope Benedict, in promulgating these two documents was a) unaware of the relevant canons that would make it impossible, and b) unaware of the fact that every pastor in the world would find it a moral impossibility to implement this document, and c) unaware of the fact that it would be totally impractical to implement on a parish level because of the fact that no parish mass schedule in the world could be altered to do what he wanted to see done.

    Really, fellas, I appreciate all of the explaining away that's been done here, but I want to leave you all with a few questions:

    Why did Pope Benedict promulgate these documents in the first place?

    If you are correct in declaring that they cannot be interpreted in their obvious sense, then maybe you will please take the time to explain what you think the documents really mean?

    Is it not just a tad bit off-key to conclude from the discussions here that the only people in the Church who have a reasonable moral impossibility argument are the ones who choose not to implement Summorum Pontificum?

    Conclusion: If you're prepared to affirm that a) SP and UE can rarely if ever be implemented, and b) the clear meaning of the texts have no application in the real world, and c) the only people who can claim moral impossibility are those who don't want to implement this document, then I think you're all worthy of congratulations for coming up with legislative interpretations never before heard of in the history of the Church!
  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    Calm down a bit.

    There is a line - I'll find it eventually - that I remember from either the GIRM, or Sacrosanctum Concilium - anyhow, immediately after talking about making use of Latin, and the patrimony of the Church, the line immediately following says "Pastors of souls should take care to build up the Church in unity and peace."

    I've always been struck by the placement of that line. It seems to be addressing these "liturgy wars" between a seemingly divided Church.

    That is the real end goal. I do believe that Pope Benedict was correcting some obvious problems and excesses that he saw. He actually did quite a bit of good in that direction. We still have some problems with us, and always will.

    But above all, in the end, let's not lose sight of the true goal. To get people to heaven, it is ideal to have them in the Church - so anything that is cause for division and people leaving the Church, no matter how intrinsically good that thing is, be it the TLM, the use of Latin in the Ordinary Form, or anything else - must be carefully looked at and evaluated for what it is accomplishing in a given situation.
    Thanked by 1JulieColl
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,102
    Julie

    Your series of questions begs a question. What do you mean by "implemented"? If you think it means "an EF on the Sunday Mass schedule of every parish", as it seems you do, then I think you've misunderstood SP and UE. They do not provide what is necessary for that. But I think the flaw is not with the documents or the legislators but with your understanding of them.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    It's not just my own limited pea-brained understanding---see what Cardinal Castrillon says here.

    (It was Cardinal Castrillon's Commission that was responsible for overseeing the application of SP.)

    When asked by a journalist if the pope wanted to see "many ordinary parishes" making provision for the Tridentine Mass, Cardinal Castrillon, a Colombian, said: "All the parishes. Not many, all the parishes, because this is a gift of God.
  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    That is fair, and since we all know how Pope Benedict feels about the EF, it's probably not far off the mark.

    But do you think a journalist could find a Cardinal who would say that the pope wants the EF implemented "very carefully" and that great care and some caution must be used when promoting it? I'll bet the farm you could.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Cardinal Castrillon is not the Pope.