Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fr. Z. on Cardinal Hoyos' remarks

By Brian Kopp

Fr. Zuhlsdorf has weighed in on Cardinal Hoyos' remarks:

Reflecting on Card. Castrillon’s remarks the other day

He summarizes the situation quite well:

Most of the time, I think, these expressions of frustration come from decades of being deeply hurt by their priests and bishops and other Catholics who showed contempt for their aspirations about the older form of Mass and the Sacraments and the expressions of doctrine and devotion that go hand in hand with them. Now, when they do have greater recognition of their rights, they are venting a little, of course… but when they sense that old treatment rearing its ugliness, when they receive that blow upon the bruise, they lash out as they did of old.

His commentary on the CNS article is worth reading:

Cardinal: Some not satisfied even after pope’s Tridentine Mass decree

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

ROME (CNS)—Rather than being grateful, some people have reacted to Pope Benedict XVI’s wider permission for the celebration of the Tridentine Mass with further demands, said Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos. [This sets a bit of a sour note at the start. Sure, as I said above, there are still some difficult folks out there. But there are also many who are grateful and irenic. I wish they would write to the Commission and their bishops to express gratitude!]

The cardinal, president of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei," spoke Sept. 16 at a conference marking the first anniversary of "Summorum Pontificum," the document by which Pope Benedict expanded access to the Tridentine rite, the Mass rite used before the Second Vatican Council.

Cardinal Castrillon, whose commission works with communities using the old rite, said his office continues to receive letters requesting the Tridentine rite be used not just at one Mass a week but at every Mass, and that such Masses be available not just at one church in a town but at every church.

He said he even got a letter demanding that Rome’s Basilica of St. Mary Major be dedicated exclusively to the celebration of the Tridentine-rite Mass.

Such people, he said, are "insatiable, incredible."

"They do not know the harm they are doing," Cardinal Castrillon said, adding that when the Vatican does not accept their demands immediately "they go directly to the Internet" and post their complaints. [Well… YAH! This is called freedom of expression. This is also the 21st century. The internet is now something that must be taken into consideration. It isn’t going away… any more than the Novus Ordo is going away. Alas, sometimes people make unreasonable requests and they can be pesky. They often don’t think things through very well. They often say things they shouldn’t. But let’s turn the sock inside out and see the other side. I don’t see the Holy See acting with lightning speed to respond to some serious concerns that need to be addressed. Some of the frustration being expressed through the alternative media and means of communication is rising because there is a perception that not a lot is being done to carry forward what we have been told is a desirable thing: .... Didn’t we hear from someone that the Holy Father desired that the older Mass be widespread, indeed that perhaps even many…. even every… parish might have it? So is it a surprise that people express themselves about that? ]

The cardinal and officials in his office have been saying for more than a year now that they were preparing detailed instructions responding to questions about how to implement the papal document, which said the Mass in the new Roman Missal, introduced in 1970, remains the ordinary way of Catholic worship. [And so the question is… where’s the document?]

Asked about the status of those detailed instructions, Cardinal Castrillon told Catholic News Service that his office had completed its work and passed the draft on to the pope, who would make the final decision about its publication.

In addition to responding to the desire of Catholics who wanted more frequent and easier access to Mass celebrated in the old rite, the pope’s 2007 document was seen as a major step toward reconciliation with the followers of the late French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who was excommunicated when he ordained four bishops against the express wishes of Pope John Paul II. [I suspect that on the list of those who are not satisifed with what has been given, you might find some members of the SSPX.]

But the process of reconciliation broke down in late June when Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior of the Society of St. Pius X and one of the four bishops ordained by Archbishop Lefebvre, failed to meet four conditions posed by Cardinal Castrillon for moving the process forward. [Hang on… I am not sure that they absolutely refused. Didn’t Card. Castrillon express a measure of qualified satisfaction that he received a response?]

"The Eucharist should never become a point of contrast and a point of separation," Cardinal Castrillon said at the Sept. 16 conference. "What is more important: the mystery of God who becomes bread or the language by which we celebrate the mystery?"

The cardinal said the Mass—in whatever language it is celebrated—must be a service motivated by love and "never a sword" used against other Christians.

By making it easier for priests to celebrate the older liturgy and for the faithful to have access to it, he said, "the vicar of Christ (the pope) was not just exercising his task of governing, but was exercising his task of sanctifying" the people of God.

"When we are before the greatest expression of love for humanity—the Eucharist—how can we fight?" Cardinal Castrillon asked. [While I agree entirely with that, it is not really too hard to grasp why people fight about it. It the Eucharist, the Sacrament and its celebration, are trully the fons et culmen as we have been told incessantly since Vatican II, then we shouldn’t be surprised that people get worked up over it, especially in climate where a venerable rite was virtually supressed, those who loved it were marginalized, and liturgical abuses reigned far and wide for years.]

I would be willing to bet that most of those writing to PCED (probably greater than 95%) have quite legitimate concerns, which have NOT been addressed over the 14 months that have passed since publication of Summorum Pontificum.


David L Alexander said...


I have to thank you for posting this. Since a segment of my continuing series immediately follows it when scrolling down, it makes the perfect lead-in to my work.

I owe ya, Doc. Next time I'm in Johnstown, I'm buying you a drink.

M. Anthony O'Brien said...

I found Fr. Z's response to Cardinal Hoyos' statment unsatisfactory. He is defensive of the Traditionalists' insolence towards ecclesiastical authority and extols American ethos over Christian virtues. And regarding those who get "worked up" over which rite of the Eucharist should be celebrated, my suspicion is that it is not the Eucharist as such but the mode of expression that is the object of such excitement. It's the same as confusing the Faith with the expression of the Faith.

Moreover, given the level of authority with which an Ecumenical Council is invested, I wonder why, over the last four decades, very little, if any, attempt was to be made to bring the Tridentine Rite into conformity with Sacrosanctum concilium. Let us not forget that even Marcel Lefebvre voted for it!

Prima said...

M. Anthony O'Brien,

Bringing the "Tridentine Rite" into "conformity" with Sacrosanctum concilium might have been feasible had Paul VI not jumped the gun and brought the NO into being. Once that happened, the TLM quickly became an artifact for many Catholics. The NO was "the Mass" and only a few traditional Catholics still kept up with the TLM.

As to your statement: "It's the same as confusing the Faith with the expression of the Faith," how do you square this with Pope Benedict's interest in de-restricting the TLM as well as his interest in reconfiguring the "mode of expression" of the Eucharist of the NO? Obviously, it must be of some importance; it's not simply contingent. If it were, Benedict would simply have accepted the principles of inculturation.

Brian Kopp said...

"He is defensive of the Traditionalists' insolence towards ecclesiastical authority"

Actually, no, he is simply sensitive to the victims of the insolent bishops who have, by various nefarious methods, undermined and stopped the implementation of Summorum Pontificum.

The problem is these intransigent bishops, not their victims who are crying out to PCED for relief from their bishops' insolence.

I hate using the terminology of victim hood and abuser, but it is most appropriate here. The bishops are liturgical abusers.

For years the Church successfully silenced the victims of clerical abuse by attacking the victims and their families in a fashion eerily similar to the recent attacks of Cardinal Hoyos.

But those days are over. The abuse -- sexual and liturgical -- is well known and recognized, and the victims will no longer be silenced.

And attacking the victims as if they were simply displaying "insolence towards ecclesiastical authority" just won't wash any longer.

M. Anthony O'Brien said...

Again, I'm seeing insolence against ecclesiastical authority. Prima's remark about H. H. +Pope Paul VI displays typically Traditionalist intellectual dimunition. If only he'd read The Liturgy Documents 1963-1979 and The Reform of the Liturgy 1948-1975 he would see how cautious His Holiness was with regards to the reformed Rite. And let us not forget his apostolic constitution Missale Romanum, which represents an more solemn level of theological certitude.

My point with respect to Sacrosanctum concilium and the liberal use of the Extraordinary Form is that I see no initiative taken by anyone to bring the 1962 Missal in conformity to the reforms of an Ecumenical Council. Nothing from ch. 3 of the dogmatic constitution is observed by those who celebrate according to the Extraordinary Form.

H.H. Pope +Benedict XVI's granting liberty for a wider use of the 1962 Missal was fully in keeping with his role as being the visible sign of ecclesial unity (cf. Lumen gentium, n. 23). In addition for his (rightful) admiration for so venerable a Rite, it was his responsibility to make a concession so that the Traditionalists do not fall into schism, and to bring back those who have forsaken Christ and his Church. It would be somewhat analogous to Rome's concession regarding girls to serve at the altar.

Leonard said...

So much for Fr Z's reference to "fons et culmen" vis-a-vis Eurcharistic celebration: "fons et culmen" is truly reserved for the Council itself since it is itself seen and regarded as the fons et culmen of the Church.

And which "four conditions" did Bishop Fellay "fail to meet"? There were five conditions reportedly set by the Cardinal.
The second condition is totally inapplicable to SSPX. They pray for the Holy Father. I stopped attending the local NO when the pp exceeded even his own hitherto brazen mocking of John Paul II and our Metropolitan, George Cardinal Pell. Sadly, by their conduct,the NO congregation supported the parish priest's weekly behaviour.

Anthony O'Brien's observations on lack of attempt to bring the Traditional Rite into conformity with Sacrosanctum Concilium belies his ignorance. He should read the document and afterwards attempt to find any trace of Sacrosanctum Concilium in the Novus Ordo Missae. The Anglican Communion Service of the 16th century is the fons et culmen of the NO.