30 June 2007

Letter to Chinese Catholics

Full letter here. First word is that the restrictions of 1988 forbidding interaction with the government-run Church are lifted. Interesting.

With a few paragraphs for context, and urging you to read the entire letter for full context, the passage below, especially the last paragraph, seems to speak not only to this but to other situations:

Moreover, faced with certain problems that have emerged in various diocesan communities during recent years, I feel it incumbent upon me to recall the canonical norm according to which every cleric must be incardinated in a particular Church or in an Institute of consecrated life and must exercise his own ministry in communion with the diocesan Bishop. Only for good reasons may a cleric exercise his ministry in another diocese, but always with the prior agreement of the two diocesan Bishops, that is, the Ordinary of the particular Church in which he is incardinated and the Ordinary of the particular Church for whose service he is destined.47

In not a few situations, then, you have faced the problem of concelebration of the Eucharist. In this regard, I remind you that this presupposes, as conditions, profession of the same faith and hierarchical communion with the Pope and with the universal Church. Therefore it is licit to concelebrate with Bishops and with priests who are in communion with the Pope, even if they are recognized by the civil authorities and maintain a relationship with entities desired by the State and extraneous to the structure of the Church, provided – as was said earlier (cf. section 7 above, paragraph 8) – that this recognition and this relationship do not entail the denial of unrenounceable principles of the faith and of ecclesiastical communion.

The lay faithful too, who are animated by a sincere love for Christ and for the Church, must not hesitate to participate in the Eucharist celebrated by Bishops and by priests who are in full communion with the Successor of Peter and are recognized by the civil authorities. The same applies for all the other sacraments.

Concerning Bishops whose consecrations took place without the pontifical mandate yet respecting the Catholic rite of episcopal ordination, the resulting problems must always be resolved in the light of the principles of Catholic doctrine. Their ordination – as I have already said (cf. section 8 above, paragraph 12) – is illegitimate but valid, just as priestly ordinations conferred by them are valid, and sacraments administered by such Bishops and priests are likewise valid. Therefore the faithful, taking this into account, where the eucharistic celebration and the other sacraments are concerned, must, within the limits of the possible, seek Bishops and priests who are in communion with the Pope: nevertheless, where this cannot be achieved without grave inconvenience, they may, for the sake of their spiritual good, turn also to those who are not in communion with the Pope.

29 June 2007

The Favored Fifteen

Just wanted to post a photo of the fifteen Bishops, His Grace Archbishop Burke among them, who met with the Pope and Cardinal Bertone to receive the Motu Proprio. Thought you might like to see it. Photo comes from Cardinal O'Malley's blog, with a tip to New Liturgical Movement.
In the picture, from left to right: Burke, Bagnasco, Koch, Dziwisz, Bertone, Engone, the Pope, O'Malley,Castrillón, Ruini, Toppo, Ricard, Pell, Arinze, and Murphy O'Connor.

Farewell (for now) to KCC

I would be greatly remiss if I didn't mention that Kansas City Catholic is going on hiatus. Wolftracker is more or less responsible for me ever starting this blog, so direct complaints to him at the link above. I will keep him on the linked sites, though, until I am actually convinced that he won't be back.

So long. And thanks. You'll be missed.

Archbishop Burke Among Bishops Who Received Motu Proprio

Via Rorate Caeli, a list of the Bishops who were invited and present for the historic gathering Wednesday and received the contents of the upcoming Motu Proprio concerning the traditional Mass:

Roman Curia:

1. Cardinal Bertone, Secretary of State
2. Cardinal Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
3. Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei



4. Cardinal Ruini, Cardinal Vicar of Rome
5. Angelo Bagnasco, Archbishop of Genoa, President of the Italian Episcopal Conference


6. Cardinal Ricard, Archbishop of Bordeaux, President of the French Episcopal Conference
7. Cardinal Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyon


8. Cardinal Lehmann, Bishop of Mainz, President of the German Episcopal Conference

England and Wales

9. Cardinal Murphy O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales


10. Kurt Koch, Bishop of Basel, President of the Swiss Episcopal Conference


United States

11. Cardinal O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston
12. Raymond Burke, Archbishop of Saint Louis



13. Basile Mvé Engone, Archbishop of Libreville, President of the Episcopal Conference of Gabon



14. Cardinal Toppo, Archbishop of Ranchi, President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India


15. Cardinal Pell, Archbishop of Sydney

In addition to Archbishop Burke, Archbishop Engone of Libreville, Gabon, was present. The ICRSP has a strong missionary presence there and I believe was first incardinated (someone who knows, tell me if this is the right term) there.

Is it too much to hope that our beloved Archbishop might be made a Cardinal without being moved in order to bring this about? Not that he wouldn't look good (eventually) in white...

28 June 2007

In the Year 2000

For those who don't watch Late Night with Conan O'Brien, he does this skit where he tries to predict the future in the retro-nebulous "year 2000", where he and his guest (that's Jack Black over there) shine a flashlight up their faces.

You know. Highbrow stuff.

And, for those of you who don't waste their lives on Catholic blogs all day, the Curt Jester posts some pretty humorous articles on matters relating to the Church and its members.

You know. Catholic stuff.

At the link above, he posted a template for mainstream media types who wanted to publish their own hatchet-job news stories on the Traditional Mass and the Motu Proprio, but who didn't want to work to find the usual lies and half-truths about these subjects on their own. Quite funny, and true.

That got me thinking, what could it be like in 50-100 years from now, when some fringe group of Catholics get "nostalgic" for the novus ordo and clamor for an indult for its use? Thus, without further ado, this story from the Year 2000-- Motu Proprio edition:

Pope Set to Approve Wider Use of Forgotten "Vernacular" Mass

Boston (AP)-- Don't look now, but the Pope is set to ignore the advice of his Bishops and grant permission for the long-discarded novus ordo missae of 1969. The Vatican states that some people are nostalgic for this form of Mass, which was briefly in use in the late twentieth century prior to the restoration of the Church begun in the reign of Benedict XVI.

In the vernacular Mass the priest faces away from God and faces the congregation, reciting the prayers of Mass in a very loud voice, requiring almost continual verbal responses from the faithful, who are not allowed to enter into contemplative prayer and experience the deep inner participation of the Mass of the Ages.

"Because two to three generations of Catholics are accustomed to assisting at the Mass celebrated in the Church's official and unifying language of Latin, it is unlikely most will want to switch to a liturgy that is less formal and conducted in the language they use at the flea market," opined Fr. Jones of Catholic University.

The Holy Father is taking the Church back to before the restoration of Mass and removing the revitalizing norms set by Benedict XVI and subsequent Popes-- a revitalization that most scholars agree brought about the reunification with the former Orthodox churches and increased the number of Catholics by 30 percent. Faithful Catholics are concerned.

The vernacular Mass dilutes the role of the priest by making everyone liable to be up at the altar, walking around the sanctuary like a used car showroom.
The vernacular Mass encourages each priest and congregation to make up their own rubrics to suit their particular mood of the day. In its most advanced stage, it takes the form of the "Clown Mass".

The Pope has received considerable advice not to allow this use from most of the world's bishops, excepting those in France and those in the U.S. northeast and California--long considered the hotbeds of heretical, "progressive" Catholicism in the past.

Catholics are wary because the vernacular Mass is associated with the schismatic groups Call to Action and Voice of the Faithful (sic), whose tiny numbers are offset by their incessant clamor for change. Many believe this move is designed to try to foist a reconciliation with these groups upon the world's bishops.

The proponents of the vernacular Mass are said to number no more than 2 percent of Catholics, and polls show the majority of Catholics embrace the traditional restoration of decades ago. "There seems to be no demand for it," said Fr. Jones.

"I totally dig the old guitar Masses, man," said Moonbeam Johnson, age 87, of Orange County. "Holding hands at the Our Creator prayer, and helping break the bread and pass around the wine make me feel really good."

I Never Expected to Learn of the Publication of the Motu Proprio in the Post-Dispatch...

...but I nearly keeled over when I read the following headline at its website today:

Pope Approves Wider Use of Latin Mass
Well, it is the case that it is jumping the gun just a little bit, but what is confirmed by the Vatican press office is that the Pope did in fact have that meeting yesterday that confirmed the Motu Proprio to the Bishops and that the MP WILL BE PUBLISHED IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS!

Here is the story in full from Rorate Caeli, who should get full marks for this, as for many other sober and reliable updates during the protracted season of motu-mania:

A meeting took place yesterday afternoon at the Vatican, presided by the Cardinal Secretary of State, in which the content and the spirit of the expected "Motu proprio" of the Holy Father on the use of the Missal promulgated by John XXIII in 1962 were explained to the representatives of several episcopal conferences. The Holy Father came to salute those who were present and maintained a deep discussion with them for about one hour. The publication of the document - which will be accompanied by a thorough personal letter of the Holy Father to the singular Bishops - is predicted for within a few days, when the document itself will be sent to all Bishops with the indication of its successive coming into effect.
And now, from that Post-Dispatch article (via AP, of course) with the usual inaccuracies as to what the Mass really is, but firmly stating that the document is a done deal:

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Benedict XVI has approved a document that relaxes restrictions on celebrating the Latin Mass used by the Roman Catholic Church for centuries until the modernizing reforms of the 1960s, the Vatican said Thursday.

Benedict discussed the decision with top officials in a meeting on Wednesday and the document will be published in the next few days, the statement said. The meeting was called to "illustrate the content and the spirit" of the document, which will be sent to all bishops accompanied by a personal letter from the pope.
Some cardinals and bishops, particularly in France - where Lefebvre's group is strong - have objected publicly to any liberalizing of the old rite, saying its broader use could lead to divisions within the church, and could imply a rejection of other Vatican II teachings.

In a recent document, Benedict urged seminarians and the faithful alike to learn Latin prayers, and in the 1997 book "Salt of the Earth" he said it was "downright indecent" for people who are still attached to the old rite to be denied it.

"I am of the opinion, to be sure, that the old rite should be granted much more generously to all those who desire it," then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said. "It's impossible to see what could be dangerous or unacceptable about that."

Full story at the Post-Dispatch link, above.
Well, I can say that the champagne is thoroughly chilled.

Non nobis, Domine, non nobis,
Sed nomini tuo da gloriam.

27 June 2007

OK, Now I'm Excited Again!

News of the Motu Proprio, confirmed now at many sources, but...
Kathnet was the first to report:

The motu proprio liberating the Tridentine Mass for the entire Catholic Church has been given to about 30 bishops from all over the world in the Sala Bologna of the Apostolic Palace by Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone.

Vatican (kath.net/DieWelt/closedcafeteria.blogspot)--Die Welt report that the motu proprio liberating the Tridentine Mass for the entire Catholic Church has been given to about 30 bishops from all over the world in the Sala Bologna of the Apostolic Palace by Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone.

The bishops had been invited to Rome for that purpose. At the end of the meeting, in which the motu proprio was introduced together with a letter of explanation by Pope Benedict XVI., Pope Benedict met with the bishops. The document is about three pages long, the accompanying letter about four. From Germany, Cardinal Lehmann had been invited. The circumstances of the procedure make clear that the Pope was very interested to personally inform the bishops, in collegial manner, of the content rather than from the media. The publication of both documents will take place on July 7th. It emphasizes the unity of the Roman Rite which will consist of an ordinary and an extraordinary form which are supposed to inspire each other. The ordinary/regular form will continue to be the new rite of 1969. The extraordinary form will be the Missal of Bl. John XXIII. of 1962.
Of course, we continue to pray and wait to see the fruition, and the contents. But this news in itself is major cause for thanksgiving and celebration. And if the substance is true, well, Gloria in excelsis Deo! And thanks to Our Mother of Perpetual Help on this, her feast day.
In case you are wondering, July 7 is the feast of Sts. Cyril and Methodius.

Vatican Again Rejects STL Teachers Union

The Vatican has again turned down the attempt of some Archdiocesan elementary school teachers to unionize. From the STLToday story:

St. Louis Catholic elementary school teachers said Tuesday that the Vatican's supreme court has ruled against them a third and final time in their effort to be recognized as a union.

The Association of Catholic Elementary Educators had asked the church body in Rome to review a 2004 declaration by Archbishop Raymond Burke. In a letter to teachers, Burke had declared that the archdiocese will not bargain collectively with any teachers organization.

Mary Chubb, president of the association, said the panel of judges has rejected the group's final appeal. Chubb said she's not sure what this means for the organization; it has been fighting to represent teachers for 12 years.

Bishop Robert Hermann, vicar for Catholic education, issued a statement Tuesday endorsing the Parish Teacher Committee of the St. Louis Archdiocese as the best way to involve elementary teachers in negotiating compensation.
I have followed this story on and off for a number of years; my mother was an elementary school teacher in the Archdiocese for many years, and I have previously served on Parish school boards. This news is welcome, and should not be surprising. It used to be common knowledge that Catholic education (good Catholic education) required real sacrifices-- from the parents who paid tuition in addition to the taxes that fund the public schools, to the teachers (first religious, then lay) who worked for pay far less than they could get at the public schools, to the parishes, who subsidized the schools to ease the burdens for the parents and teachers.

Well, as the Catholicity of the education given ebbs away, and all involved treat the schools more and more as mere private schools, the commitment to sacrifice (not just teachers, all parties) also ebbs away-- parents have a hard time making ends meet and often have to cut costs; teachers seek more money to make ends meet also and thus seek higher wages, and parishes strapped for cash also cut subsidies to the schools, and make them pay-as-you-go affairs.

It is not that one cannot identify with teachers who seek a more "free market" wage, it is just that with the dearth of religious sisters and their enormous charity of the past in teaching for little pay, should the teachers unionize it would cause what is left of Catholic education to enter into a fight for survival.

26 June 2007

ICRSP Has New Apostolate in New Jersey

The Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest, has a new apostolate in the United States.

With the gracious permission of the Archbishop of Newark, the Most Reverend John Meyers, the Institute of Christ the King will be assigning a priest to the Latin Mass Community at St. Anthony of Padua Chapel in West Orange, Newark- New Jersey. Father Matthew Talarico, one of our newly ordained priests, has been appointed Rector of the Chapel by the Archbishop Meyers. Father Talarico, who has already gained good experience serving as deacon in other Institute apostolates and in carrying out many responsibilities in the Seminary, will begin his work on July 17th.

Full story at the link above.

Pope Restores Absolute 2/3 Requirement for Papal Elections

This is really good news. I admit to being worried in the last conclave that certain cardinals who might scrape a bare majority, but not a 2/3 super-majority, might have just waited out the conclave and given us someone less able than our Holy Father. Of course, the Holy Ghost is to be trusted, as I learned. But, in any event, the Motu Proprio just released by the Holy Father restores the tradition. From Fr. Z:

Pope Benedict XVI desires that the manner of electing a Pope in a conclave will return to an earlier form. John Paul II had changed the legislation to permit "simple election". Under the legislation of Pope John Paul II, if there were a certain number of ballots, which required a 2/3 majority for an election, that did not in fact produce an election, it was then possible to pass to an election by a simple majority. Benedict XVI has abolished this and returned to the earlier form. Now it will require 2/3 majority of electors no matter how many ballots it takes.

So, if the Cardinals become deadlocked and cannot get an election, they are to have a day of prayer and dialogue. After that, the two Cardinals at the top of the last balloting may not vote but the number required for a valid election will continue to be 2/3 majority rather than the simple majority established by John Paul II in 1996.

Now that the printer knows how to type-set "Motu Proprio", can we expect another one?
Full text of the Motu, in Latin, here.

25 June 2007

How Was Your Lunch?

Scene: Local Restaurant at lunch time

(Three traditional Catholic friends eat lunch and discuss the past weekend's activities)

How was your weekend?

Fun. The lake was really beautiful. Just got back this morning.

Looks like you got a sunburn.

Little bit.

What did you do for Mass on Sunday-- is there a traditional Mass up there?

Nah, I had to do the N.O.

Ouch, that's rough. Was it bad?

Sorta. The priest who celebrated Mass had everybody turn and greet each other after the entrance procession.

You're kidding! After the procession?

I think I would have walked out-- nah, I guess I would have stuck it out.

Where else could she go?

And almost everyone bowed to the tabernacle when they came in. One family genuflected, though.

Well that makes it O.K., then. Any dancers?


There you go. Did you kneel for communion?

No, I thought about it. But the priest was a bit surprised when I received on the tongue.

Cool, no Eucharistic "ministers"?

Nah, there were the usual eighty or so. (chuckles).

Were they wearing their dress sweatpants?

No sweatpants. But the cantor wore a suit with sandals and socks.

Ugh. Weird.

Did Father have one of those polyester table cloth chasubles?

Sure did.

Wow. I had a seminarian friend point out something about those I hadn't thought of-- not only are they unattractive, they're impractical.

How so?

Well, they have all those chalices and decanters with the Precious Blood on the altar now, and the poor priest is wearing this huge robe with enormous flowing sleeves trying to maneuver them all.

Wow. Never thought about that.

Did people give you weird looks because of your veil?

No, I wore a hat.

Modernist. (smirks)

Very funny.

Let me guess-- Gather Us In; Here I Am, Lord; Table of Plenty; and Let Us Build the City of God?

Almost-- you got the last one wrong.

Sing a New Song?


(collective shudder)

Man, I can't go back. I just can't.

Me neither. Wait, Paul's wedding's coming up.

Yeah, I forgot.

(collective shudder)

Is that Motu Proprio out yet?

Scene fades to black........

24 June 2007

ICRSP Ordination Mass Now Available on DVD

Great News! The Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest has made available on DVD the majestic ordination Mass in the traditional rite. This Mass was celebrated by His Grace, Raymond L. Burke, Archbishop of St. Louis on June 15, 2007, at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis.

From the Institute's Press Release:

"...After more than forty years, young men were again ordained through that ancient liturgy whose history can be traced to over 1,500 years. Before a congregation of 1,200, two deacons of the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest received that day from the hands of Archbishop Raymond L. Burke the orders of holy priesthood.


[ICRSP seminarians and clergy] provided an exquisitely refined rendition of Gregorian chant, expertly sung in the style of the monks of Solemnes.


In the pews the congregation gathered from all parts of the country, from Arizona and California to New York and Florida-- young families with many children being particularly prominent.

The four-hour duration of the entrancingly beautiful ceremony was hardly perceived by those in attendance, transported, as they felt, into the 'timelessness of Heaven'. Videos of the ceremony can be ordered at www.institute-christ-king.org, or by calling 773-363-7409."

They are right about the four hours not being a problem. It was a stunningly beautiful Mass in all respects. And as a final incentive, the Institute has published many more images of day's events here.

Heresy of Formlessness Author Wins Top German Prize

With thanks to a reader, and to the Remnant--

German author Martin Mosebach won his country's top literary award, to be presented this fall. Mosebach is a traditional Catholic, who wrote one of the very best books about the traditional Latin Mass, "The Heresy of Formlessness".

Written from the point of view of the lay Catholic faithful, it is a wonderful book to give your friends and family to explain why the traditional Mass is the key to restoring the faith, and to persuade them to look into it. If you haven't read it already, I urge you to do so. Don't let the title fool you, it is an extremely interesting read, and hard to put down.

From the original story:

Darmstadt, Germany- Author Martin Mosebach was named Thursday as winner of this year's Georg Buechner Prize, Germany's most prestigious literary award. Born in 1951, Mosebach has published novels, stories, and collections of poems, written scripts for several films, opera libretti, theatre and radio plays.

The German Academy for Language and Literature praised him for "combining stylistic splendour with original storytelling that demonstrates a humourous awareness of history."

Among his works translated into English is The Heresy of Formlessness, a collection of essays on the liturgy and its recent reform told from the perspective of a literary writer.

The book argues for a return to the Tridentine rite of the Mass, which was in use prior to Pope Paul VI's promulgation of the new order of the Mass in 1969.

Other works include The Turkish Woman, The Tremor, The Long Night and Prince of Mist, in which the author examines the motives behind man's eternal search for a meaning.

The prize, named after 19th century author Georg Buechner, is worth 40,000 euros (53,600 dollars). It will be presented to Mosebach on October 27.

23 June 2007

Abortion-- no more serious an issue than immigration?

Well, of course it is way more serious. Yet the latest (and certainly not the last) story in the mainstream press about the U.S. Bishops' strategy for dealing with pro-abortion, "Catholic" politicians would lead you to believe otherwise.

From STLToday:

Three years after a few outspoken U.S. Roman Catholic bishops tied together presidential politics, abortion and the Communion rail, leaders of the nation's largest denomination are starting to speak out again. Only this time, the political climate is much different.

The Catholic presidential hopeful under criticism for championing abortion rights is a Republican instead of a Democrat, the general election might pit two candidates who believe abortion should remain legal, Democrats control both chambers of Congress and immigration reform has surfaced as a major issue.


Yet abortion also could share the spotlight with immigration. U.S. bishops have called for "comprehensive reform" that highlights immigrants' contributions and promotes a pathway to citizenship, and many have been vocal about it.

"Those bishops who did not feel represented by what some of their brother bishops were saying in '04 feel this is their opportunity to correct public impressions, to remind people the church is not a one-issue faction," he said.
We have seen this act before. Last election cycle, those who did not want to dwell upon a candidate's pro-abortion record because he or she happened to be in their preferred political party took refuge in the dodge that goes something like this: "Well, he is so good on other "Catholic" issues, like redistribution of wealth, socialized medicine, death penalty, and world peace!" (To the reader: it really helps if you re-read that last sentence in a Jeff Spicoli [from Fast Times at Ridgemont High] accent--try it!).

So, advocating, supporting, and voting for the wholesale slaughter of millions of babies, and further ensuring that Judges are placed on Courts to block any attempt to stop the slaughter is OK, as long as one raises the minimum wage by 50 cents?

Hence, the new issue to be added to the seamless garment litany of excuses for pro-abortion "Catholic" politicians is comprehensive immigration reform. Now, regardless the merits of such a cause--and these merits are not the subject of this post-- the issue cannot touch the moral seriousness of abortion. Archbishop Burke made this case quite well in his guide on Catholic voting principles, and is worth another read.

Thus, be prepared for the usual tirades of the media against the Church when brave bishops stand up for life against the temporal powers. And be ready for those who will make peace with the world instead. Immigration is just one more excuse to dodge the fight.

22 June 2007

Enthronement of Sacred Heart in Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis

Jesus enthroned as ‘King, Friend’ of archdiocese

by Jean M. Schildz, Review Staff Writer

The Archdiocese of St. Louis lies securely cradled in the heart of Jesus with the June 17 consecration of the local Church to his Most Sacred Heart.

Archbishop Raymond L. Burke led the enthronement, blessing and dedication of the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the end of 5 p.m. Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis.

The historic event included the unveiling of the cathedral basilica’s newest addition, the Shrine to the Most Sacred Heart.

The striking mosaic and marble free-standing shrine seemed aglow in the warm, golden rays of early evening sunshine streaming through the stained glass in the west transept.

A procession of priests, deacons and seminarians more than 50 strong came down from the main altar to form a crescent around the shrine. Men and women religious and a large crowd of faithful gathered around them.

Among those in attendance were several religious orders, including members of the Benedictines, Carmelite Religious of Trivandrum, India, Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus, Daughters of St. Paul, Franciscan Sisters of the Martyr St. George, Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, Missionaries of Charity, Oblates of Wisdom and the Society Devoted to the Sacred Heart.

Archbishop Burke, arrayed in a vestment of gold brocade adorned with fleurs-de-lis, stood at the center before the shrine leading the prayer. Smoke from burning incense enveloped the sacred space. It slowly drifted up to the mosaic of the Pentecost high above the scene below.

"I now enthrone Jesus as King and Friend of the Archdiocese of St. Louis," declared the archbishop at the blessing of the shrine’s image. With these words, the enthronement of the Sacred Heart in the cathedral basilica and the archdiocese was realized.

The act of consecration followed. Reciting parts of the prayer were several individuals. They represented families, priests and deacons, religious men and women and consecrated persons, the lay faithful and young people.

A personal act of consecration to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus was made by all present in one resounding voice. The prayer recited was written and used by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. Christ appeared to her, confiding to her the mission to establish the devotion to the Most Sacred Heart.

The archbishop then entrusted the consecration of the Sacred Heart to the Immaculate Heart of Mary while a candle encased in blue glass was placed before an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe next to the shrine.

Archbishop Burke afterward thanked all who were involved with the memorable occasion. Among those he recognized were Duncan G. Stroik, the shrine’s designer, and Chad Meyer of Stone Renaissance.

Meyer, a member of Immacolata Parish, had installed the shrine and restored the original marble floor around it.

At the dedication’s end, Archbishop Burke asked the crowd, "Please continue to pray with me that the blessing of the Shrine to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the act of consecration of the Archdiocese of St. Louis to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus will bear abundant fruits in the daily lives of us all, the fruits of renewed faith, hope and love."

The archbishop earlier in his homily on the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart (see page 4) said that the dedication of the archdiocese to the Sacred Heart would "be a lasting reminder of God’s unceasing love of us." He added that the act of consecration would serve as the faithful’s response "to God’s immeasurable love with the pledge to love Him, in return, with all our being."

He noted that loving Christ, expressed in the devotion to the Sacred Heart, "is not some static state or feeling."

Rather, it is a relationship with Jesus in which the faithful take up Christ’s mission given by God so that all may be saved and the world may be prepared to welcome Jesus on the Last Day. By placing our hearts into Jesus’s heart, the faithful are "necessarily engaged" in Christ’s mission to serve others, especially those most in need.

He called on all to enthrone the image of the Sacred Heart in homes and places of work and other activities.

Archbishop Burke asked those who already have done so to renew the enthronement so Christ may "reign in every aspect" of their lives and "his kingdom of mercy and love be extended throughout" the world.

The archbishop added that the enthronement and act of consecration will lead the faithful to sources of new enthusiasm and energy needed for the New Evangelization, "for the teaching and living of our Catholic faith, which transforms our lives and our world."

St. Louis Review Story on the ICRSP Ordinations, with Photos

Story and photos here.

21 June 2007

Housekeeping: Comment Moderation

Laudetur Jesus Christus!

First of all, I want to thank those of you who visit here regularly; I'm grateful, and not a little mystified, that you find things worthwhile to read or comment on here. And, also, I want to thank those who are new visitors, or who stop by on the odd occasion.

The recent ordinations in St. Louis have brought many new readers to the site, and I hope they become regulars, too.

But increased exposure can also bring problems. There was a recent post where a few commenters left false and otherwise rude comments, and I was forced to turn on the comment moderation. As I commented in that post, calumny will not be tolerated here. This doesn't mean that some things in the Church's affairs are not open to legitimate criticism-- some are, and they are fair game. What this does mean is that you are still free to leave comments (and I welcome them!) but they will be reviewed by me first before showing up on the blog.

I trust this will be a temporary situation and I apologize for the short delay you may experience before seeing your comments. I will do my best to be prompt. After a little while, hopefully the malcontents will find some other wall to graffiti and leave this blog to Catholic adults of good faith.

As I state on the right hand side of the blog, this site is entirely dedicated to Our Blessed Mother, and I know she will resolve the situation.

V. Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Genitrix.
R. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.

20 June 2007

More Pictures from ICRSP Ordination (and excellent ones, too!)

With a big thanks to New Liturgical Movement, someone with obvious skill in photography has posted their many photos of the recent Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest ordinations.

Follow the link from NLM, or link here.


And an explanation, to the many readers who have asked about the abbreviations used for the Institute--
English, obviously: ICKSP.
French (forgive the English keyboard): Institut du Christ Roi Souverain Pretre (ICRSP).
Latin: Institutum Christi Regis Summi Sacerdotis (ICRSS).
German (again, forgive the English keyboard): Institut Christus Koenig und Hoherpriester (ICKH).

19 June 2007

A Reason Why the New, More Accurate Novus Ordo Translations Are Being Resisted?

Although I don't usually like to tread over ground covered by other blogs, this case merits an exception. Rorate Caeli has a very perceptive post about the current angst being expressed by some over the more accurate translations. The usual bogeyman of "pastoral considerations" (as though this excuses a departure from the truth) is trotted out. But what is really at issue?

From the post:

Bishop Trautman, of Erie, chairman of the Committee on the Liturgy of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, asks in the Jesuit weekly America:

Why have the new translations become so problematic, so non-pastoral? What is the basic difficulty?

May we venture a guess? We call to the stand Dom Prosper Guéranger:

Since the liturgical reform had for one of its principal aims the abolition of actions and formulas of mystical signification, it is a logical consequence that its authors had to vindicate the use of the vernacular in divine worship.

This is in the eyes of sectarians a most important item. 'Worship is no secret matter.' 'The people,' they say, 'must understand what they sing.'

Hatred for the Latin language is inborn in the hearts of all the enemies of Rome. They recognize it as the bond among Catholics throughout the universe, as the arsenal of orthodoxy against all the subtleties of the sectarian spirit. ...

The spirit of rebellion which drives them to confide the universal prayer to the language of each people, of each province, of each century, has for the rest produced its fruits, and the reformed themselves constantly perceive that the Catholic people, in spite of their Latin prayers, relish better and accomplish with more zeal the duties of the cult than most of the Protestant people. At every hour of the day, divine worship takes place in Catholic churches. The faithful Catholic who attends leaves his mother tongue at the door. Apart form the sermons, he hears nothing but mysterious words which, even so, are not heard in the most solemn moment of the Canon of the Mass. Nevertheless, this mystery charms him in such a way that he is not jealous of the lot of the Protestant, even though the ear of the latter doesn’t hear a single sound without perceiving its meaning. ...

We must admit it is a master blow of Protestantism to have declared war on the sacred language. If it should ever succeed in ever destroying it, it would be well on the way to victory. Exposed to profane gaze, like a virgin who has been violated, from that moment on the Liturgy has lost much of its sacred character, and very soon people find that it is not worthwhile putting aside one’s work or pleasure in order to go and listen to what is being spoken in the way one speaks on the town square. ...

The Anti-Liturgical Heresy(L'Hérésie Anti-Liturgiste, an excerpt of the Institutions Liturgiques, v. 1)
The Institutions Liturgiques, v. 1, were first published in 1840; Chapter 3 of Volume 2 of the same work includes a thorough presentation of the issue of liturgical language.

18 June 2007

Please Pray for These Men

Priests of the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest. Front row, from left: Fr. Olivier Meney (Wausau, WI); Fr. Philippe Mora (Seminary Rector); Msgr. Gilles Wach (Prior General); Msgr. R. Michael Schmitz (U.S. Provincial); Fr. Jean-Marie Moreau (Green Bay, WI); Fr. Michael Wiener (Oakland, CA). Back row, from left: Fr. Matthew Talarico (newly ordained and will be assigned in U.S.); Fr. Karl Lenhardt (U.S. Vice-Provincial and Prior of St. Francis de Sales Oratory in St. Louis); Fr. Denis Buchholz (Kansas City, MO); Fr. Andreas Hellmann (Chicago); Fr. Glenn Gardner (Wausau, WI); Fr. Brian Bovee (Rockford, IL); Fr. William Avis (newly ordained and assigned to St. Francis de Sales Oratory).

Pray for all priests and seminarians, and for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

New Blog Link...

...on the right of the page: The Road to Reform. Its author is the young seminarian from another state who stayed with us over the last weekend to see the ordinations. He has several posts from the St. Louis trip, including not only the ordinations and oratory, but also the Old Cathedral and the Shrine of St. Joseph.

Whispers About St. Louis

Rocco Palmo, no traditionalist himself, has a short entry in his Whispers in the Loggia (known as an "insiders" blog about all things Ecclesiastical) about our fair city in light of the recent ICRSP ordinations:

"...St Louis sealed its claim to the distinction of the nation’s (traditionalist) capital on Friday as Archbishop Raymond Burke ordained two new priests from a Tridentine-exclusive society in the city’s cathedral-basilica. The Pontifical High Mass featuring the ordinations was said to be the first of its kind celebrated in a US cathedral in over four decades."

The events of the past several days certainly have been a great success by any measure. It is nice to see the word getting out.

16 June 2007

The ICRSP Ordinations and the Motu Proprio: Some Observations

Catholics who love the Church's timeless liturgy and timeless teachings wait anxiously, yet hopefully, for the release of the Motu Proprio confirming the rights of Priests and Faithful alike to the Traditional Mass and Sacraments.

Meanwhile, this weekend in St. Louis, there took place an event that highlights what is at stake in this Motu Proprio, and exemplifies the spiritual and practical benefits of the restoration of the traditional Mass to the Catholic Church.

We in St. Louis are extremely blessed to have available to the faithful of the Archdiocese the traditional Mass, Sacraments, devotions, spiritual guidance and a total Catholic community and culture in one place.

These centers of spiritual life were once common, and were called "parishes". What exists at St. Francis de Sales Oratory is simply a good Catholic parish. The fact that the beauty, truth and sanctity found there happens to exist in conjunction with the traditional Sacramental forms is not an accident.

The Catholic who belongs to the Oratory can expect to assist at Masses celebrated according to their prescribed rubrics, with dignity, mystery and with the end of offering fitting worship to God in the propitiatory Sacrifice of Calvary. He can expect to have priests who strive to live the call to holiness-- who are available to him for spiritual direction, absolution of sins, and most importantly to administer the Sacraments, which are the lifeblood of the Church.

The local bishop, in this case His Grace, Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, is unwavering in his support for the mission of the Oratory. The Oratory is unwaveringly loyal to him. It is as it should be. Souls are saved. The lost are found.

It seems as if the ordinations of Fr. Talarico and Fr. Avis of the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest by His Grace yesterday, and the surrounding liturgical and community celebrations at the Oratory, are both the culmination and the genesis of the traditional Catholic "Parish" in the postconciliar or, at least, post-Ecclesia Dei era. You may have read in other places about the events, and have seen the images. Many people have expressed their amazement, their emotion, and most of all their gratitude for this event.

But there is no reason that this Oratory, this "parish", need to be a rarity. This is where the Motu Proprio comes in.

The Institute of Christ the King and many other traditional societies are the vanguard of restoration. But every Catholic has a right to this. Every Catholic has a right to the Truth-- the Truth Who is after all, a Person. They have a right to worship Him fittingly. To give Him their best. They have a right to sound doctrine, sound teaching, and a solid Catholic community in which to raise their children, and to prepare themselves for eternity.

There are those who maintain that no Motu Proprio is needed for these things to occur. What may be true intellectually does not always translate into experience. This Motu Proprio is necessary to achieve practical progress towards the renewal of the Church. The real availability of the traditional Mass will ensure this. The novus ordo as it is experienced by the typical Catholic cannot stand the comparison. It will either be reformed itself, or fall into disuse.

The demographics of the situation are well-known. Where tradition thrives, the Church thrives. Look at the average ages, the average family size, for instance. There are other indicators more subjective, too.

So I for one will celebrate when the Motu Proprio is published, even though it won't change anything for me. As I sat in the Cathedral on Friday, I prayed for all of my fellow Catholics for whom such an occasion is still just a dream. I pray the Motu Proprio will be that proverbial first step to a holy and revitalized Catholic Church.

Cor Jesu Sacratissimum, Miserere Nobis!

15 June 2007

Images from the ICRSP Ordinations

I am back from the ICRSP ordinations at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis. I know my pictures won't be the best posted, so I figured at least they could be among the first posted.

The Ordination Mass was magnificent. I can only thank God I was there. The Mass lasted about four hours, but believe it or not, I didn't mind a bit.

The Cathedral was packed-- there were between 1,100 to 1,200 people in attendance. Archbishop Burke ordained Fr. Avis and Fr. Talarico. Two other bishops were also present, Bishop Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, and Bishop Joseph Perry, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago.

The Archbishop processed in with members of the Institute wearing the cappa magna. After praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament, and vesting for Mass, the main procession began.

Monsignors Wach and Schmitz, above; His Grace, below.

"Let those to be ordained come forth", above; imposition of hands, below.

Packed house.

First blessing, to His Grace.

Kissing the hands of Fr. Talarico, above; Fr. Avis blesses the faithful, below.

I thank everyone who attended and all those who helped bring this day about. We are so blessed in St. Louis; hopefully better days for tradition are coming to all.

What better day than the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to experience the glory of the traditional rite of ordination?



I almost forgot! I had a sighting yesterday of that often talked of, but rarely seen, ad orientem novus ordo Mass! The daily noon Mass at the Cathedral was celebrated by Fr. Thomas Keller, a priest of the Archdiocese who is a friend to the Oratory. Well, the Ordination Mass was already set up, so the parishioners got a treat. Some looked puzzled, but it was edifying to experience. I took one picture to prove it happened.

14 June 2007

Motu Proprio Said to Be "a Matter of Days" Away

Serious buzz at Rorate Caeli, New Liturgical Movement, and WDTPRS-- all linked at the right. Just for the record.

Solemn High Mass at the Oratory and Investiture of Choir Habit

At St. Francis de Sales Oratory tonight, Monsignor Gilles Wach, Prior General of the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest, celebrated Solemn High Mass. Also, he invested the U.S. clerics of the Institute with their distinctive choir habit.

I just wanted to post a few photos, for two reasons: 1) to give you a flavor of the evening, and 2) to lower the quality standards of blogger photography.

Monsignor Wach during the investiture ceremony.

During Mass: Gloria. You can see some of the priest's choir habits behind Monsignor.

Sermon given by Monsignor R. Michael Schmitz, Provincial Superior for the United States. Monsignor talked about the mission of the Institute, its reliance on Mary as Patroness, and issued an invitation to young people to follow Christ without reserve if they feel the call to the priesthood and religious life. Finally, he announced that the Institute would soon promote its lay Society of the Sacred Heart.

Holy Communion distributed by Fr. Jacques Fournier, Vicar at the Oratory.

Recessional, with a view of the choir habit. See you tomorrow at the Cathedral at 1 pm!

"'Old' Latin Mass Makes a Comeback

It seems the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has finally heard about the traditional Mass. The following story appears in today's edition--the headline, above, is theirs. My comments follow.

Old Latin Mass Makes a Comeback
Tim Townsend

Melinda Scanga (left), of Jefferson County, prays during Latin mass at St. Francis De Sales Oratory. (Dawn Majors /P-D)

The church's windows are broken, its beige bricks are sooty, its paint is chipped. The 300-foot steeple, a hallmark of the St. Louis skyline, is pulling away from its foundation. One day it could tumble into traffic on Gravois Avenue.

St. Francis de Sales church, often called the Cathedral of South St. Louis, is an ideal home for a group of Roman Catholic priests devoted to restoration. But restoring this 19th-century neo-Gothic church to its former glory is only one reason St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke assigned the priests to oversee St. Francis de Sales.

The real mission of the group, called the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, is the restoration of the traditional Latin Mass.

The 1,600-year-old Mass isn't used much today, but it's making a comeback.

That effort will get a boost Friday when Burke — one of the most devoted supporters of the old Latin rite among U.S. bishops — will ordain two deacons of the Institute at the Cathedral Basilica. Burke has ordained members several times in Italy, where the institute is based outside Florence. But Friday will mark the first time members of the 17-year-old institute will be ordained in the United States and the first time the traditional Latin liturgy will be used in an ordination here in more than 40 years.

Most of the world's 1 billion Catholics are familiar with the celebration of Mass in their own languages. The traditional Latin Mass, also referred to as the Tridentine Mass, Classical Latin Mass, Old Rite, Classical Roman Rite or Mass of Ages, was largely set aside by the church in the 1960s when the Second Vatican Council approved changes in the liturgy.

The Latin Mass is thick with pageantry, solemnity and symbolism and is often referred to as "smells and bells" for its generous use of incense and music.

A papal decree, which Vatican officials have said should be released soon, is likely to expand the use of the ancient Mass. The decree — called a motu proprio — is expected to allow any priest to celebrate the traditional Latin Mass without the permission of his bishop.

Vatican watchers say the decree could be released July 14, the date, in 1570, when Pope Pius V published the liturgical text that would be used to celebrate Mass for the next 400 years — until the reforms of Vatican II.

In today's church, priests are free to celebrate the post-Vatican II liturgy, or new order Mass, in Latin — though most don't. What a priest cannot do without the permission of his bishop is celebrate the traditional Latin Mass as it was structured, worded, sung and heard in 1962, the last time it was changed before Vatican II.

Audio slideshow of the Latin Mass

Because two generations of American Catholics are accustomed to hearing the Mass celebrated in English, it's unlikely most will want to switch to a liturgy that is longer, more formal and celebrated in a language they don't understand.

But some Catholics would welcome a choice.

Eric Kraenzle, 44, of Webster Groves and a member of St. Pius V parish in St. Louis, said he thought it was a good idea for the Vatican to expand the use of the traditional Latin Mass.

"It would be a nice option," he said. "I'm not sure it's for everyone because of the language barrier, but why not let people experience that tradition if they want to?"

In St. Louis, Catholics who love the traditional Latin Mass have a bishop who shares their feelings. Burke was the first bishop to bring the Institute of Christ the King to the United States when, as bishop of LaCrosse, Wis., he invited its priests into his diocese. He also established another group of religious men dedicated to the old Latin rite, called the Canons Regular of the New Jerusalem, while in Wisconsin. He has since moved that group to St. Louis.

Burke declined to be interviewed for this story.

The institute is a "society of apostolic life" within the church. Its priests are not quite part of a religious order, nor are they quite diocesan priests. They live in community as religious order priests do, but they take no vows.

A papal decision reinstituting the wider use of the church's ancient liturgy would be a celebratory moment for the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.

Monsignor Michael Schmitz, the institute's U.S. superior, has said the motu proprio "will be like seeing your mother all dusty and in rags on the streets; you go up to her and rip off the old dusty clothing and below that you see the golden clothes that she has brought for the most beautiful ball she has ever attended.

"Many of those Catholics who love the traditional Latin Mass are part of a younger generation, people who are seeking a connection with the ancient history of their faith, said the Rev. Karl Lenhardt, St. Francis de Sales rector. For instance, he said, the average institute priest (there are 50 around the world) is in his 30s, and the institute has 70 young men in various states of training.

The Rev. Eugene Morris, a theology professor at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, said younger Catholics who have no memory of the old Latin Mass are attracted to the "traditional symbols and rituals that in some ways communicate more clearly the historicity and mystery of what we are celebrating."

Outside St. Francis de Sales on Sunday, Daniel Frasca, 28, of St. Charles said he attends Mass there "because it feels more like church here than at other Masses.

"Natalie Kummer, 31, a mother of four from Florissant, said she liked to experience the same Mass as Catholics a millennium ago. "It's more reverent," she said, "more beautiful."

St. Agatha Church, also in south St. Louis, hosted the archdiocese's old Latin Mass before it was moved to St. Francis de Sales in 2005. According to Lenhardt, about 300 people came to one traditional Latin Mass each Sunday at St. Agatha. At St. Francis, the number is close to 1,000 for two Masses each Sunday, he said.

On Sunday, about 500 people gathered in St. Francis, for a 10 a.m. Mass that lasted more than two hours. Before Mass, and for about 45 minutes after it began, the line for confessions was 10 deep at three different elaborately carved wooden confessionals inside the church. Most of the women and girls wore black or white lace head coverings. The army of priests, deacons, subdeacons and altar boys in the sanctuary, which is separated from the nave by an altar rail, wore an array of ornate vestments. Six members of the Knights of Columbus, dressed in full regalia and bearing swords, escorted the clergy to the altar before the Mass began.

The pace of the traditional Latin Mass can seem slow and drawn out to those used to the newer liturgy. Long periods go by while the congregation sits still, watching the rituals in the sanctuary, praying and listening to the chanting of the choir. But it is exactly this meditative quality of the Mass that attracts some Catholics.

Mostly, though, it is tradition — as important in Catholicism as Scripture — that draws so many people to the old Latin rite. With the traditional Latin Mass, "we merge into a stream that has its origins in Christ himself, and that goes until the end of time," said Lenhardt.

Before high Mass on Sunday, Kummer stopped her son Joseph outside the church to wipe a smudge of dirt from his forehead. She seemed excited but contemplative as they walked through St. Francis de Sales' large wooden doors into a two-hour ritual that would be the same this Sunday as it was for some of the earliest Christians.

"They used to say Mass was the most beautiful thing this side of heaven," said Kummer. "That's what it's like here."


My comments: All in all, for a secular paper, a very nice story, and largely favorable. The article starts out with some doom and gloom about how the Church building needs restoration (it does, but is presently still gloriously beautiful). You think it will be the typical, "these people are stuck in the past" hatchet job. But it isn't.

The Mass is making a comeback, they note. True. Some of my favorite parts of the article--

A novus ordo Catholic is quoted as supporting giving the faithful the choice of this rite.

Fr. Lenhardt at de Sales is quoted well, noting that many of the people who choose the traditional Mass are young, "people who are seeking a connection with the ancient history of their faith."

Fr. Morris, of the local archdiocesan seminary, states that the traditional Mass "in some ways communicate[s] more clearly the historicity and mystery of what we are celebrating."

A member of the oratory is quoted saying "it feels more like Church here than at other Masses." Amen.

The reporter notes that close to 1,000 people go to Mass at St. Francis de Sales Oratory each Sunday,and that the several confession lines were jammed all day. You don't see that everywhere, do you?

How better to some up the experience than to quote Fr. Lenhardt about the traditional Mass: in it, "we merge into a stream that has its origins in Christ Himself, and that goes until the end of time."

Oh, as an aside, I don't know where the local paper gets the inside info on the next expected date of the motu proprio. We hope, but so far all predictions have left us disappointed.

If you can make the ordination Mass at the Cathedral tomorrow at 1pm, you won't be disappointed.