Friday, July 01, 2022

"Let us abandon our polemics to listen together to what the Spirit is saying to the Church….”

Not anytime soon.

People will out-talk me, outsmart me with scriptural-liturgical-theological knowledge, but as an ordinary Catholic man, let me tell you there is nothing wrong with the Ordinary Form of Mass.  Many who despise Pope Francis are bending over backwards to pick apart his latest Apostolic Letter "Desiderio desideravi” in their effort to promote the TLM.  They out rightly reject Vatican II and the subsequent liturgical reforms.  There is no hiding that fact.

" I do not see how it is possible to say that one recognizes the validity of the Council — though it amazes me that a Catholic might presume not to do so — and at the same time not accept the liturgical reform born out of Sacrosanctum Concilium, a document that expresses the reality of the Liturgy intimately joined to the vision of Church so admirably described in Lumen gentium. For this reason, as I already expressed in my letter to all the bishops, I have felt it my duty to affirm that “The liturgical books promulgated by Saint Paul VI and Saint John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of Vatican Council II, are the unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.” (Motu Proprio Traditionis custodes, art 1)" - Desiderio desideravi

Fr. Z and those like him are on the offensive, dissecting every line of the document for error and lack of clarity.  Many ordinary people without a strong formation in liturgy are gravely misled by their 'resistance' to the Pope and the Council, sowing doubts in the legitimacy and validity of the Novus Ordo sacrament and rites.  

He is talking about the TLM, not the Novus. It is an ERROR to think of the TLM in those shallow ways. - Fr. Z

It seems to me people of good will would see rather, that the Apostolic letter could help put to rest the claims of  priests such as Fr. Charles Murr and promotion of the Archbishop Annibale Bugnini sabotage stories involving Freemasonry and the Novus Ordo. Yet diehards continue to promote the allegations which have circulated since the initial implementation of the Novus Ordo. Wasting no time, they immediately attack the simple intentions of the Pontiff as expressed in the current Letter.

61. In this letter I have wanted simply to share some reflections which most certainly do not exhaust the immense treasure of the celebration of the holy mysteries. I ask all the bishops, priests, and deacons, the formators in seminaries, the instructors in theological faculties and schools of theology, and all catechists to help the holy people of God to draw from what is the first wellspring of Christian spirituality. We are called continually to rediscover the richness of the general principles exposed in the first numbers of Sacrosanctum Concilium, grasping the intimate bond between this first of the Council’s constitutions and all the others. For this reason we cannot go back to that ritual form which the Council fathers, cum Petro et sub Petro, felt the need to reform, approving, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and following their conscience as pastors, the principles from which was born the reform. The holy pontiffs St. Paul VI and St. John Paul II, approving the reformed liturgical books ex decreto Sacrosancti Œcumenici Concilii Vaticani II, have guaranteed the fidelity of the reform of the Council. For this reason I wrote Traditionis custodes, so that the Church may lift up, in the variety of so many languages, one and the same prayer capable of expressing her unity.[23] - DESIDERIO DESIDERAVI 
No doubt in the discussions surrounding the Holy Father's Letter "Desiderio desideravi” one encounters the name of Archbishop Bugnini over and over, as the scoundrel who concocted the Novus Ordo. Fr. Louis Bouyer is often mentioned, conveniently noting his lack of esteem for the Archbishop and his reputation. That is true of course, nevertheless it doesn't cancel out the Ordinary Form/Novus Ordo as the normative rite in the Church.  The other day a former Catholic on Twitter complained, 'how can you attend the NO, a reform based upon lies?' He was referring to Bugnini and an exchange between Paul VI and Bouyer, among other things.  The critics of the OF and devotees of the EF frequently harbor similar sentiments.  Some go so far as to say if they can't attend an EF they won't attend Mass at all.

"But this myopic view must at least be challenged." - Fr. Z

As I said before, I'm not a liturgist and I very much like the OF as it is properly celebrated in my parish. So I have no problem with Pope Francis and his effort to unify the lex orandi of the Roman Rite. I'll just say it might be good to acquaint ordinary fellow Catholics with Louis Bouyer, who ought to be known for much more than his disappointment in protégés at the time and subsequent developments in liturgical reform.

[NB While a novice at New Melleray, Fr. Bouyer gave conferences to the monks, as well as a separate mini conference for the novices.]

A good, quick resource for an introduction to the life and work of Louis Boyer, click here:
Rev. Louis Bouyer: A Theological Giant | An Interview with Dr. Keith Lemna | Ignatius Insight | November 12, 2010.
  Just keep in mind that the Ordinary Form of Mass, the Mass of St. Paul VI was indeed approved and promulgated by Pope Paul VI and his successors.  It is the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.

Ignatius Insight: What influence did his work have on the Second Vatican Council?

Dr. Lemna: It is difficult to assess the precise influence that Bouyer's work had on the council. By the time that the council had convened, many of Bouyer's ideas had become common currency among some of the theologians who were present at the council, even if they were not influenced by Bouyer. Bouyer was a theological expert relied upon by the Church in the period surrounding the council, and he was greatly trusted by Paul VI, who appointed him to the first International Theological Commission after the council and who had wanted to name him a cardinal. Bouyer refused the offer, arguing that it would cause too much trouble for the Holy See. He had been engaged in fierce polemics with the later generation of liturgists in France, and his reputation had suffered as a result. In our own day, especially with the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI, Bouyer's reputation should be restored, as his liturgical vision coheres with that of the Holy Father.

Certainly, if Dom Hugh Gilbert is right about the singular importance of Bouyer's book on the Paschal Mystery, then we might go so far as to say that Bouyer's work was a decisive influence on the council, if only indirectly so. Also, it is difficult to measure just how influential Bouyer's writings and teachings on liturgy and spirituality were in the period leading up to the council.

At any rate, there is no doubt that Bouyer's general approach to Scripture, theology, spirituality, the Church, and liturgy were canonized by the texts of the council. It would perhaps be better to say, rather than speaking in terms of influence, that Bouyer's work enables us to interpret the council through the lens of a "hermeneutic of continuity." Bouyer's work is very much in line with the theologies of both John Paul II and Benedict XVI. He provides further support for their joint effort to inspire the Church to read the council in terms of the meaning of the actual texts of the council rather than according to some "Spirit" that is presumed to have little connection to the texts. Bouyer: Interview

Beware of the online scholars who frequently depend upon undocumented rumors, gossip, hearsay and conspiracy theories to make their case against Vatican II, Sacrosanctum Concilium, The Novus Ordo and the Popes.  


Thursday, June 30, 2022

Howard's End

"On the other hand, every man is a liar, infirm, unstable, and subject to fail, especially in words; so that we ought not readily to believe even that which in appearance seems to sound well.  
How wisely did you forewarn us to beware of men, and that a man's enemies are they of his own household, and that we are not to believe, if anyone should say, 'Behold here! or Behold there!'" - Imitation, Bk. III, Ch. 45

Bishop Emeritus Howard J. Hubbard

Not much to say on this story - pretty much just documenting it.  The details are indecent.  The bishop who transferred guilty priests was guilty himself.  Rather creepy, actually.  In this case there appears to be a localized network.  It makes more sense now why McCarrick got away with his crimes.  It really annoys people who were made to feel shame and cast off, just because of who they were or how they identified, even when they strived to live in accord with Catholic teaching, while the upper class hierarchy lived double lives, engaged in binding up heavy burdens too heavy to carry, without ever lifting a finger to help.  

QUEENSBURY — Two brothers who grew up in Warren County in a devout Catholic family allege that Gary Mercure, a former priest in their childhood parish who was later convicted of raping young boys in Massachusetts, had sexually abused them on multiple occasions over a period of years and that ex-Albany Bishop Howard J. Hubbard took part in some of the assaults. - Full story

al Catholic

·Jul 29, 2018

In 2004, Hubbard was accused of having had a regular homosexual affair with one Thomas Zalay in the 1970s. Zalay committed suicide in 1978 at the age of 25. His suicide note was later found by his brother, and read, in part, as follows:

Radical Catholic

·Jul 29, 2018

The same year, one Anthony Bonneau came forward to claim that Hubbard had solicited sex from him during his time as a teenage prostitute working in Albany's Washington Park in the 1970s. Like Zalay's family, Bonneau did not seek financial compensation.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022


We prayed Psalm 90 at Compline every night when I was a novice.

I prayed this verse with all my heart - still do.

Since he clings to me in love, I will free him,

 protect him, for he knows my name.

I love the entire psalm.  I thought of it again today, considering how many seem to be falling away from the faith.  Not necessarily belief in God - but walking away from the Church.  Many are scandalized, feel rejected and abused, finding solace and acceptance elsewhere, and so on.  Never judge, never condemn - we never know what happened - even when they try to explain it.  Remember, even the most fervent can fall away.  Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.  There is a song I love, which reminds me of Psalm 90, and it reminds us that we must trust Jesus as savior and redeemer...

If you're lost you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall, I will catch you, I'll be waiting
Time after time - Lauper/Hyman

A popular priest online tweeted, "Dear God, help me to focus on the Catholic faith and not on Catholics."  That's not quite right - the focus must be upon Jesus, who inspires and perfects our faith.

Cling to him in love and he will free you, he will protect you and reveal himself to you.

Psalm 91 (90)

1He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High,

 and abides in the shade of the Almighty,

 2says to the LORD, “My refuge,

 my stronghold, my God in whom I trust!”

3He will free you from the snare of the fowler,

 from the destructive plague;

 4he will conceal you with his pinions,

 and under his wings you will find refuge.

 His faithfulness is buckler and shield.

5You will not fear the terror of the night,

 nor the arrow that flies by day,

 6nor the plague that prowls in the darkness,

 nor the scourge that lays waste at noon.

7A thousand may fall at your side,

 ten thousand fall at your right:

 you it will never approach.

8Your eyes have only to look

 to see how the wicked are repaid.

 9For you, O LORD, are my refuge.

 You have made the Most High your dwelling.

10Upon you no evil shall fall,

 no plague approach your tent.

 11For you has he commanded his angels

 to keep you in all your ways.

12They shall bear you upon their hands,

 lest you strike your foot against a stone.

 13On the lion and the viper you will tread,

 and trample the young lion and the serpent.

14Since he clings to me in love, I will free him,

 protect him, for he knows my name.

 15When he calls on me, I will answer him;

 I will be with him in distress;

 I will deliver him, and give him glory.

16With length of days I will content him;

 I will show him my saving power.