Monday, November 23, 2009

Watch for it...

The forces that want to stop the now-unstoppable forward motion of liturgical reform are in a panic. They have resorted to a hearsay "populism" (most people think...nobody wants...etc...etc..) to try and stop the movement now that the new translation is assuredly on its way and at least a tentative date has been given for the day when all parishes will begin using it.

The efforts have been targeted at the Bishops for the last several years. Now that has failed, and the final front in this lost war is with the Catholic faithful themselves...convincing them that they don't want a new translation which they know nothing about except what the opponents tell them. We will see polls about the lack of support for it. We will see polls about people's satisfaction with the current translation (who wouldn't be "satisfied" with a translation they've used for 40 years?). The effort will be made to appeal to the same principle as was demonstrated in Summorum Pontificum, where those who prefer the 1962 Missal are allowed to freely use the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. The cry will go out to allow the use of the old translation for those who are "attached" to it. Mark my words.

Our love of democracy runs deep in the United States, and one of the conflicts increasingly presented to American Catholics is the necessary realization that democracy has no place in faith, at least not in this way. We cannot "vote" on what is right, and it is not our "right as Catholics" to have a voice in forming Church doctrine. The Bishop, or Pastor or Priest that continues to appeal to "what the people want", whether it's about the new translation or any other facet of reform for that matter, will eventually find themselves trapped in a hole from which there is no escape... a hole that leads them, and their faithful, further and further away.

Friday, November 20, 2009

And the Survey Says....

This week saw the final passage of the last section of the new translation of the Missale Romanum by the USCCB at their Synod in Baltimore. There was some drama surrounding the final vote (see HERE), but in the end it was passed nearly unanimously and now proceeds to Rome for any final changes to be made by the Holy See, and for final recognitio. After that, it will be on its way to publishing houses and then on to Catholic parishes across the English speaking world. A “leaked” memo tells us also that the implementation date may have been moved up from November 2011 to April 2011.

In the words of Jerry Galipeau (WLP)…” So, folks, this is going to happen. No more ‘what ifs’ at this point.”.

But now begins the hard work – Implementation. Essentially, the drama we saw this week at the USCCB, Bp. Trautman vs. Cardinal George, will now be repeated in every parish across the country. The loud, whining voices of opposition will be raised to every Pastor and priest. “If we make these changes”…I can hear them already…”I’ll just have to LEAVE THE CHURCH!!”

I’m making light of this, but it’s really no laughing matter. This will happen. Once again, some people will think that they have a say in whether or not the Pastor implements the new translation, and they’ll use every tactic in the “Spirit of Vatican II” playbook to strong-arm the poor man into going against Church teaching and instead adopting a sort of tyranny of the whiny.

But just what is the Pastor thinking when he makes decisions based on complaints from what is, essentially, a very small but vocal minority of the faithful in a parish? There are many reasons, among them the desire to avoid confrontation and a sense of guilt over the rather authoritarian history of the Church that makes Pastors feel that they have to listen to what “the people” think on every issue, even if those thoughts are most often dissenting and rarely in support of church teachings. But whereas the “voice of the people” may have a legitimate role in some decisions at a parish…whether to take on a major capital campaign or perhaps to buy a new organ or not…there are other decisions for which “the people” have no legitimate claim to having a role. Among these are matters that have already been decided by the Church hierarchy, such as the implementation of the new translation. In such cases, even the Pastor’s decision is limited to how to implement these changes, not whether or not to implement them. The people out in the pews may have an opinion but they have no choice, and Pastors need to understand this distinction as we approach the day when they will have to face their parishioners and let them know this in no uncertain terms.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. During the past several years, we’ve seen a sort of “trial-run” of this with the movement towards re-introducing Latin and re-establishing chant and sacred music in the liturgy. Both of these are decisions that have already been made “higher up”, and which have been clearly and eloquently articulated in Sacramentum Caritatis at the very highest level, and in the USCCB document Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship at the local level. And yet most parishes have been slow to adopt these “recommendations” regardless of how strong they are because of a few very loud complaints – “Oh Father, PLEEEZE… I’ll just have to leave the Church if we go back to using Latin!!” or worse yet the completely unfounded claim …”If we sing chant, then the people won't be able to participate” even though every study yet made as well as an overwhelming compilation of anecdotal evidence strongly supports the fact that people participate MORE in the singing of chant at Mass than in the singing of songs and hymns (try chanting the Our Father at Mass and see what happens…). Perhaps the Pastors of such parishes would rather wait until it becomes a “no-choice” mandate, thereby taking it out of their hands, but if this trial-run is any indication, we are in for a very rough road ahead in a year or two.

The solution, of course, is to have just such a strong, forceful and unequivocal mandate from the top…a sort of “offer you can’t refuse” from the Godfather himself. No option to continue using the old translation… for whatever reason. Recall all old books. Mandate that all publications of worship resources by all publishers use the new translation as of the date of implementation. Leave no choice for the Pastor, and they can offer no choice to the parishioners. The same solution would work equally well for the Latin and chant issues. Take the decision away in its entirety and leave only the desired option as the single possibility. If the Sanctus is supposed to be chanted in Latin, then prohibit the composition of vernacular settings and prohibit their publication. There will, of course be the die-hard dissenters (such as those parishes that allow liturgical dance, female homilists and the such) but by and large, the church will follow where the head leads us, even if it is kicking and screaming.

Will some people actually leave the Church? You bet. There are those who just don’t like to be told what to do, particularly if it’s something they disagree with. But that’s the price to be paid for espousing the truth with authority…it can’t be determined by survey and there will always be those who won’t accept it. Those who remain and completely submit to that authority are, and always have been, part of its domain. Those who resist it and leave never were.

So as we enter into this time of transition, we need to keep an open mind…so open in fact that we can understand clearly that "ours is not to question, but to submit".

Jesus asked his disciples “will you also leave?” and they responded “Lord, to whom shall we go?”

The church doesn’t need our opinion. Get over it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Bishop, The Antiphons, and the New Translation

This past week many Catholic bloggers and journalists have been following the drama of the USCCB Bishops Synod in Baltimore. Although there are a number of important and interesting issues being discussed and voted on, most of the attention has been on the final vote on the new translation of the Missal. This particular issue became even more dramatic with a last minute effort by Bp. Donald Trautman (Erie PA) to derail the final vote by bringing up an issue that had heretofore gone unnoticed. It seems that the Antiphons had been left out of the translation project, or rather, it had been removed and appropriated by the Holy See and the CDW.

Bp. Trautmann argued that the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concillium) specifically delegated to the Bishops conferences the responsibility for translations of texts that are to be used in the liturgy, and as such the Antiphons would have to be translated, amended and overseen by the USCCB before they could be submitted to the Holy See for recognitio. Cardinal George, the Chair of the USCCB, informed Bp. Trautman that the translation of the Antiphons had been appropriated by the CDW, and that they would be included in the final version of the Missal even though the Bishops would not have the opportunity to vote on them. Cardinal George noted that this was a legitimate action and well within the rights of the Holy See as outlined in Sacrosanctum Concilium.

In a bold and perhaps admirable move, Bp. Trautmann made a motion to have the translation of the Antiphons re-delegated to the Bishops conference, a move that would delay the implementation of the new translation for at least a year, possibly two. Many observers suggested that this was the actual motive, rather than any desire to be involved in the translation of the Antiphons… texts which are not currently used in most US parishes. The motion was defeated…roundly…193-20 against adoption. And so, the last stand to stop the implementation of the new translation apparently failed, and the final draft of the translation of the Propers for the Saints was voted on and passed, and the whole Missal project now goes to Rome to receive final changes and the recognitio by the Holy See. In a rather indicative moment, Cardinal George reminded all of the Bishops that this was the last opportunity for the Bishops Conference to have any input on the translation. And with that, the drama surrounding the new translation appeared to be concluded.

The media coverage of this particular issue focused on the efforts by Bp. Trautman to scuttle or at least stall the translation project, and most of the analysis looked forward to what would happen now and the timeline from here on in. But with the focus on Bp. Trautman’s attempts to stall the project, something important may have been overlooked. A very important piece of news (although it was not necessarily being kept secret) came to the forefront in a context that I hadn’t considered it in up to now. By Cardinal George’s own admission, the translation of the Antiphons had been appropriated by the CDW and the Holy See and would be included in the new translation of the Missale Romanum. Perhaps this was just a situation that Bp. Trautman was seeking to exploit as a way of stalling the project long enough to allow for more negative public commentary as he has been doing for a few years now. Or perhaps there is more to this news that could shed some light on what impact the new translation will have on liturgical music.

Turn back the clock to 2001 and the promulgation of Liturgiam Authenticam (LA), a document that is often cited in connection with the new translation, as well as a document that was strongly objected to by Bp. Trautman from the day it was issued. Although LA is a universally applicable document for the translation of liturgical texts, it is generally thought that it was specifically intended for the English translation, and even more specifically for the Church in the United States. There are a few passages in LA that seem out of place and give some credence to the suggestion that the document is even more specifically intended as parameters for this specific translation into English .

One such passage is LA 108:

108. Sung texts and liturgical hymns have a particular importance and efficacy. Especially on Sunday, the “Day of the Lord”, the singing of the faithful gathered for the celebration of Holy Mass, no less than the prayers, the readings and the homily, express in an authentic way the message of the Liturgy while fostering a sense of common faith and communion in charity. [78] If they are used widely by the faithful, they should remain relatively fixed so that confusion among the people may be avoided. Within five years from the publication of this Instruction, the Conferences of Bishops, necessarily in collaboration with the national and diocesan Commissions and with other experts, shall provide for the publication of a directory or repertory of texts intended for liturgical singing. This document shall be transmitted for the necessary recognitio to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

The bolded passage is significant. If LA is a general application document on translation, why is there a directive to complete this very specific task within 5 years from the publication of the instruction? That would be 2006. Such a mandate would be meaningless outside of the context of the proposed English translation. LA then further mandates that this repertoire of texts for liturgical singing shall be transmitted to the CDW for recognitio. Keep that in mind as we continue.

When LA was first promulgated, a few commentators asked a question that may have seemed obscure and maybe slightly laughable at the time. Why require the Bishops to compile a repertoire of texts for liturgical singing to be approved by Rome? Nobody then took seriously the idea that such a thing would even be possible given the stranglehold that commercial publishing has on the creation of ever new texts and tunes for church. And if such a repertoire of texts was a mere formality, then there was already a complete repertoire of such sung liturgical texts in existence. They are called the Antiphons.

But the Antiphons that were translated into English and included in the 1972 Missal were intended to be spoken, not sung…an omission that is thought to have contributed significantly to their sudden and thorough disappearance from the liturgy after Vatican II as they were quickly replaced with vernacular hymns or songs. What would have been needed then was a translation of the Antiphons from the Graduale Romanum set to either traditional melodies or perhaps Psalm-Tones so that they could be easily sung. Interestingly, that is exactly what was done with the Ordinary Texts that are now to be included in the new translation when published. Keep that in mind as well as we continue.

Move forward from 2001 to 2006…the deadline for submission of the repertoire of texts for liturgical singing. In November of 2006, the Bishops Committee on the Liturgy (now the Committee on Divine Worship) voted on and submitted a document called the Directory for Music and the Liturgy (DML), supposedly in fulfillment of the requirements of LA #108. Even on the surface, it was obvious to most observers that this document, a set of guidelines for approval of individual songs to be included in hymnals and worship resources, was not even close to what was called for in LA #108. The Directory was submitted to the Holy See for recognitio, but was never approved or acted upon in any way. The Bishops Committee on the Liturgy did not seem to be the least bit concerned. It began to look as though the DML was a stalling tactic to put off the mandated creation of a list of approved texts that would effectively restrict much of the commercially published music currently used at Mass. Keep that in mind as we continue.

And who was the Chair of the Bishop’s Committee on the Liturgy that proposed the Directory for Music and the Liturgy instead of an actual list of approved texts? That would be Bishop Donald Trautman. Definitely keep that in mind as we continue.

In early 2007, the USCCB rather unexpectedly undertook a complete re-write of Music in Catholic Worship at the behest of the CDW. Their stated reason for requesting this overhaul was to bring Music in Catholic Worship into conformity with the actual documents of Vatican II and their specific directives for liturgical music. From the beginning it was clear that MCW was so heavily flawed that a completely new document would be needed. The new document, Sing to the Lord-Music in Divine Worship (SttL) was far more comprehensive and detailed (110 pages vs. 10 pages) and contained some rather startling passages.

Among the more striking :

•Participation in the Sacred Liturgy must be “internal, in the sense that by it the
faithful join their mind to what they pronounce or hear, and cooperate with heavenly grace.” Even when listening to the various prayers and readings of the Liturgy or to the singing of the choir, the assembly continues to participate actively as they “unite themselves interiorly to what the ministers or choir sing, so that by listening to them they may raise their minds to God.” (SttL 12)

•The importance of the priest’s participation in the Liturgy, especially by singing, cannot be overemphasized. (SttL 19)

•Programs of diaconal preparation should include major and compulsory courses in the chant and song of the Liturgy. (SttL 23)

•Familiarity with a stable repertoire of liturgical songs rich in theological content can deepen the faith of the community through repetition and memorization.(SttL 27)

•The Second Vatican Council directed that the faithful be able to sing parts of the
Ordinary of the Mass together in Latin. In many worshiping communities in the United States, fulfilling this directive will mean introducing Latin chant to worshipers who perhaps have not sung it before. (SttL 74)

• Each worshiping community in the United States, including all age groups and all
ethnic groups, should, at a minimum, learn Kyrie XVI, Sanctus XVIII, and Agnus Dei XVIII, all of which are typically included in congregational worship aids. More difficult chants, such as Gloria VIII and settings of the Credo and Pater Noster, might be learned after the easier chants have been mastered. (SttL 75)

And then, there were these three passages that raised more than a few eyebrows:

• “The assembly of the faithful should participate in singing the Propers of the Mass as much as possible, especially through simple responses and other suitable settings.”When the congregation does not sing an antiphon or hymn, proper chants from the Graduale Romanum might be sung by a choir that is able to render these challenging pieces well. As an easier alternative, chants of the Graduale Simplex are recommended. Whenever a choir sings in Latin, it is helpful to provide the congregation with a vernacular translation so that they are able to “unite themselves interiorly” to what the choir sings. (SttL 76)

• The Entrance and Communion antiphons are found in their proper place in the Roman Missal. Composers seeking to create vernacular translations of the appointed antiphons and psalms may also draw from the Graduale Romanum, either in their entirety or in shortened refrains for the congregation or choir. (SttL 77)

• Proper antiphons from the liturgical books are to be esteemed and used especially because they are the very voice of God speaking to us in the Scriptures. Here, “the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet his children, and talks with them. And such is the force and power of the Word of God that it can serve the Church as her support and vigor, and the children of the Church as strength for their faith, food for the soul, and a pure and lasting fount of spiritual life.” (SttL 117)

For many Catholic musicians, this was the first time they had ever heard of the Sung Propers or of Antiphons in general. To suggest that the Propers be sung by the assembly would be unheard of. The reaction was most often one of puzzlement: How can the Propers (particularly the Entrance and Communion Antiphons) be sung in English when there is no English translation of the Antiphons from the Graduale Romanum, and there are no vernacular settings? SttL does give the option of singing the Latin chants from the Graduale, but it clearly envisions the assembly singing the Antiphons in English at some point in the future. And these are directives coming from the USCCB at the behest of the CDW. Keep this in mind as we continue on…

And so we can make a brief summary:

1. LA mandated the creation of a repertoire of texts for liturgical singing within 5 years. The inclusion of this mandate in a document guiding the translation of the Missal would lead to the conclusion that this repertoire of texts was to be included in the proposed new Missal translation.

2. In 2006, the BCL under the leadership of Bishop Donald Trautman proposes a document, the Directory for Music and the Liturgy, ostensibly to fulfill this mandate, but more likely as a tactic to delay the creation of a restrictive list of texts for use at Mass. The DML was submitted but never approved or responded to, leaving it to the Holy See to either request a new document or to appropriate to themselves the creation of such a document.

3. In 2007, the CDW requests the rewriting of the music guidelines for Diocese of the United States to include instructions to begin the organized introduction of Latin chant at Mass, as well as directions for the use of Sung Propers and Antiphons in English, neither of which exists yet.

And this brings us to November of 2009…this past week. We learned that the Holy See and the CDW had appropriated the translation of the Antiphons to themselves, to be included in the new Missal. But it was clear from the discussion that the Bishops had never seen the Antiphons as part of the project, meaning that the CDW and Holy See had most likely appropriated them from the beginning of the project.

Remember that LA mandates that a repertoire of texts for liturgical singing be included as part of the approved texts of the Missal. The Bishops Committee on the Liturgy was charged with submitting this repertoire but instead submitted mere guidelines which were rejected. About this same time, the Holy See and the CDW apparently began work on translating the Antiphons, and soon after ordered the rewriting of the music guidelines for the United States to include the singing of the Proper Antiphons as a priority going forwards.

And now that the final actions are being taken on the new translation, word comes out that the Holy See and CDW have been in charge of translating the Antiphons all along, and that they will be included as approved texts. Since the Antiphons have to be translated, we might well suppose that these are the Antiphons from the Graduale, or perhaps they are new translations of the Missal Antiphons intended to be sung.

But the big question is this: Will this collection of Antiphons being worked on by the Holy See and the CDW be the repertoire of texts for liturgical singing required by Liturgiam Authenticam? Perhaps the answer to this question can be discerned by considering just who reacted most strongly to the news that the Holy See and CDW had approprited them: the same Bishop Donald Trautman who had sidestepped work on an approved repertoire just three years earlier.

Of course, we will have to wait to find out the answer to that very important question. At stake is whether we will have the status quo of vernacular hymns and songs based on unapproved texts, or setting of the actual Antiphons sung in the future. There may be some clues at the upcoming meeting of Artists and Musicians with Pope Benedict on November 21st. At that time, he is expected to discuss the need for a greater continuity with the past traditions of the Church in liturgical art and music. I for one will be listening closely to what he has to say on this topic. Stay tuned…

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Makes You Say "Hmmm..." - Part II

The Pope has been speaking a lot lately about historical instances of theological discussion within the Church and their consequences. He seems to be emphasizing that, historically, such discussions arise when things are unclear, or when there is no definitive teaching from the Magisterium on the issues being discussed. In such cases the point of theological debate is always to strike a balance between Revelation and reason (Tradition handed down and interpretation). Most interesting in the following example is Benedicts assertion that when such a balance fails or falls into error “ it is then up to the Magisterium to exercise that necessary service to truth which is its task".

Now what exactly might he be talking about?

My emphasis and comments

VATICAN CITY, 4 NOV 2009 (VIS) - Benedict XVI dedicated his catechesis during this morning's general audience to the twelfth-century debate between St. Bernard of Clairvaux and Abelard, proponents, respectively, of the monastic and scholastic approaches to theology. [faith vs. reason]

The Pope began by recalling that theology "is the search for a rational understanding (in as much as that is possible) of the mysteries of Christian revelation, which are believed by faith, the faith that seeks intelligibility". Yet, "while St. Bernard places the emphasis on faith Abelard insists on understanding by reason. [notice that Benedict is building an example that becomes relevant to reflection on the issue of continuity (faith/tradition) vs. rupture (reason/modernism) but resists making the analogy….yet)

"For Bernard", the Holy Father added, "faith itself is endowed with an intimate certainty, founded on the testimony of Scripture and on the teaching of the Fathers of the Church [the definition of Tradition as the foundation of Faith]. In cases of doubt or ambiguity [here comes the setup] faith is protected and illuminated by the exercise of ecclesial Magisterium". [So…Benedict is saying that in instances of doubt or ambiguity, it is the role of the Magisterium to step in and clarify Church teaching so as to protect the Faith from error] Thus, for the abbot of Clairvaux, "theology has a single goal, that of promoting the living and intimate experience of God".

"Abelard, who among other things introduced the term 'theology' as we understand it today, originally studied philosophy then applied the results achieved in this discipline to theology"[so Abelard applied philosophic principles…reason…to theology and this led to problems] He had a "religious spirit but a restless personality, and his life was rich in dramatic events: he challenged his teachers (dissent) and had a child by a cultured and intelligent woman, Eloise. ... He also suffered ecclesiastical condemnations, although he died in full communion with the Church to whose authority he submitted with a spirit of faith". [Abelard submitted…to the authority of the Church…and so achieved full communion, unity, with her]

"An excessive use of philosophy rendered Abelard's Trinitarian doctrine dangerously fragile", said the Pope. "Likewise, in the field of morals his teaching was not without ambiguity as he insisted on considering the intention of the subject as the only source for describing the goodness or malice of moral acts, ignoring the objective moral significance and value of actions.

[Benedict now makes the analogy that he resisted making at the beginning]

"This aspect", Benedict XVI went on, "is highly relevant for our own age, in which culture often seems marked by a growing tendency to ethical relativism. Nonetheless, we must not forget the great merits of Abelard, who made a decisive contribution to the development of scholastic theology. Nor must we undervalue some of his insights such as, for example, his affirmation that non-Christian religious traditions already contain some form of preparation to welcome Christ, the Divine Word. [Abelard sounds quite a bit like Vatican II….while Bernard seems to represent Tradition…Hmmm?]

"What can we learn from the confrontation between Bernard[Tradition?] and Abelard [Vatican II?] and, more generally, between the monastic and scholastic approaches to theology?" the Holy Father asked. "Firstly", he went on, "I believe it shows the usefulness and need for healthy theological discussion within the Church [like some discussions that began in October?], especially when the questions being debated have not been defined by the Magisterium [like many of the issues arising from interpretations of Vatican II], which, nonetheless, remains an ineluctable point of reference". [IOW, the Magisterium will be the final word if and when it is exercised]

"In the theological field there must be a balance between what we may call architectonic principles,[Tradition] which are given to us by the Revelation and which, hence, always maintain their priority and importance, and interpretative principles suggested by philosophy [can you say “Spirit of Vatican II?] (that is, by reason), which have an important function, but only an instrumental one. When this balance fails, theological reflection risks becoming marred by error and it is then up to the Magisterium to exercise that necessary service to truth which is its task". [Ba Da Bing…there it is!]

"The theological dispute between Bernard and Abelard concluded with a full reconciliation. ... What prevailed in both men was that which we must have to heart whenever a theological controversy arises: that is, defending the faith of the Church and ensuring the triumph of truth in charity".


WOW! I have frequently commented on Pope Benedicts narratives, and it is often his method to use historical events to teach about the issues of today. I usually add a caveat though, and note that he seems to be talking about this or that, and that a particular story seems to be related to an issue being discussed today.

I am making no such caveat today. This narrative is about the discussions between the Church and the SSPX which began in October. It is a clarification of what these talks are about, and it very clearly defines how these talks will conclude. But everything is not as it seems. The analogy is a perfect one, but not necessarily an obvious one, and it reveals something very striking about these discussions and how Pope Benedict sees them.

Firstly, we have to ask who is Bernard, and who is Abelard in this analogy? We might first want to make the obvious and simple distinction…Bernard is “The Church” and Abelard is the “Dissenter” who reconciles and comes into full communion through submission. If we accept that, then Bernard is the Holy See, and Abelard is the SSPX in the recently begun discussions, the goal being to have the SSPX eventually submit to the Church teachings and return to full communion. It would be a neat analogy, but one which I believe to be wrong. I say that because I’m not entirely sure that the Holy See and the SSPX are really on opposite sides of the issues being discussed. There may be some nuanced distinctions in their positions, but it seems to me that both are in opposition to what Benedict refers to as the “Hermeneutic of Rupture”. I think the analogy is this:

Bernard is the SSPX (the reference to Bp. Bernard Fellay is a bit eerie), the defender of Faith and Tradition. Abelard is not Vatican II, as we might want to immediately assume, but rather he is the so called Spirit of Vatican II… the result of philosophy and modernity being used as lenses of interpretation. Like the Spirit of Vatican II, his work has led to some good…. the development of scholastic theology and the affirmation that non-Christian religious traditions already contain some form of preparation to welcome Christ, the Divine Word, in other words ecumenism. But, the over application of reason left Abelard’s concept of the Trinity “dangerously fragile”, much like the “Spirit of Vatican II” has left core doctrines of the Church dangerously fragile.

So, Bernard (The SSPX) and Abelard (The Spirit of Vatican II) engage in discussions, the point of which is to defend the faith of the Church and ensure the triumph of truth. And where is the Holy See in this analogy? It is (both figuratively and literally) the Magisterium…ready to exercise that necessary service to truth which is its task. And that is what the outcome of these talks will be. The truth will be discerned through the lens of Tradition, the Magisterium will clarify this truth, and Abelard (The Spirit of Vatican II) will give up his errors and wayward behavior and come into full communion with the Church through submission to the Magisterium.

I know that this leaves up in the air the obvious loose end… namely that the SSPX is NOT in full communion with the Holy See, while the “Spirit of Vatican II” is. That is true, for now at least. But what happens once the Magisterium has clarified the issues of contention? Who will be in dissent then? Who will represent the actual faith of the Church, and who will be in opposition?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Convergence of "Things"

Liturgiam Authenticam,
Chirograph on Sacred Music,
The New Translation of the Missal,
Cardinal Arinze’s Letter to the USCCB Bishops,
The Reformation of ICEL,
The Rejection of the Inclusive Language Proposals,
Pope Benedict XVI,
A New Master of Ceremonies,
Sacramentum Caritatis,
The Hermeneutic of Continuity,
The Rejection of The Directory for Music in the Liturgy,
Sing To The Lord: Music in Divine Worship,
Summorum Pontificum,
The Resurgence of Chant,
Critical Appointments to the Curia,
The Benedictine Altar Arrangement,
Ad Orientem Celebrations by Pope Benedict,
Ad Orientem Celebrations by Bishops around the World,
The Lifting of Excommunications of SSPX Bishops,
The Anglican Provision,
Formal Talks with the SSPX….

And this is just some of what has happened in the last 8 years.

What others can you come up with?

Got the feeling that something is up?