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August 02, 2005

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RP Burke

For every St. Joan's that drives the self-proclaimed orthodox nuts, there's a St. Agnes that drives progressives nuts.

In fact, Pius X would have disapproved of the practice of using large-scale concert Mass music in the actual performance of the liturgy, as happens at St. Agnes's.

In media stat virtus, anyone?

Dale Price

RP:

Oh, please. You are capable of far better than this.

Equating St. Agnes with St. Joan's is absurd. The fact you have to deploy early 20th century rubrics to try to make your argument only highlights the disingenuity.

The difference is obvious--those at St. Agnes attempt to think with the Church, albeit in a decidedly traditional way. Those at St. Joan's are certain they are way smarter than that.

A much more accurate comparison would be between St. Joan's and some independent traditionalist chapel. They both have the same contempt for the Church as an institution and the same certitude in their own rightness and judgment.

Jason

"It is March 16, 1517, and the twelfth and last session of the Fifth Lateran Council is underway in the presence of the Pope. High above the august assembly, utterly alone in the great pulpit so unfamiliar to a layman, Gianfresco Pico della Mirandola faces the leadership of the Church, arrayed in all their panoply of splendor and authority in the hallowed Church of St. John Lateran. Most laymen so placed would have been awed into almost inarticulate subservience. But the fire of the Spirit is upon Gianfresco, and the thundering voice of the prophets is his. You have heard a great deal during this long and fruitless council, we may imagine him saying, about the politics of Italy and Europe, the future of the papal state, and the oft-discussed but little implemented crusade against the Turks who are swallowing up Eastern Europe. You have spoken of the laws of the Church, and you have defined and denounced heresy. But, as all Christendom knows, the Church is foul with corruption. You have done nothing about it, and this council will end with your having done nothing about it. An evil so pervasive, become so deeply rooted, can only be successfully fought by the heir across fifteen hundred years of Peter the fisherman, whom the great Church now rising on the Vatican hill across the Tiber will honor forevermore. Look to your duty, Vicar of Christ!

"Below the Pulpit, Leo X's rubicund moon face has lost its normally jovial expression, and gone pale like wax. Was he remembering that he had said, 'God has given us the Papacy; now let us enjoy it'? For Popes, too, come to judgement...

"The speaker's words roll out like a great slow bell...like Amos before the King of Israel, or Jeremiah before the kings of Judah...no presumption, no rebellion, but a solemn reminder, that He Who sent down the Assyrian 'like a wolf in the fold,' and commissioned Nebuchadnezzar to destroy His own Temple, and loosed the red Muslim whirlwind from the Arabian desert upon the feuding heresiarchs of the decadent Christian East and the cruel, small-minded kings and churchmen of later Visigothic Spain, neither slumbers nor sleeps...

"'If Leo leaves Crime any longer unpunished,
if he refuses to heal the wounds, it is to
be feared that God Himself will no longer
apply a slow remedy, but will cut off and
destroy the diseased members with fire and
sword.'"

(Warren H. Carroll, "The Glory of Christendom", pgs. 712-713)

I cite this long passage not to judge the Bishops or the Holy Father. I do not know Archbishop Flynn, nor the particulars of the situation he finds himself in, so I can't speak to it. But I think the time is coming when the Bishops will have a choice to make, to cut the diseased members from the Church, or to face the prospect of God doing it himself. My prayers are with the Bishops, as I cannot fathom the burden they bear.

DarwinCatholic

Wow. They don't write history books as purple as they used to...

Patrick Rothwell

"But I think the time is coming when the Bishops will have a choice to make, to cut the diseased members from the Church, or to face the prospect of God doing it himself."

The Protestant Reformation was, for the most part not an occasion for cutting off diseased members from the Church. Rather, for the most part, greedy princes and kings cut off non-diseased members from the Church for their own enrichment.

While St. Joan's is a loony bin that needs to be brought under control, I see no reason to cut St. Joan's parishioners off from the Church as "diseased members." Mass purges and witchhunts are not needed. What IS needed - and I've said this before - is a good faithful priest from the social justice wing of the Church to provide leadership and to channel the social justice energies of the parishioners towards activities that build the Church up rather than tearing her down. St. Joan's does NOT need a pious uneducated St. John Vianney type priest screaming at the top of his lungs from the pulpit about the wrath of God and the evils of dancing: the parishioners would eat him alive and he could not last in such a place.

Clayton

Patrick,

Sadly, I know a priest just as you describe, who was actually asked by the Archbishop to consider Saint Joan's this past spring. With some reluctance, he did consider the parish, and then applied.

But the parishioners at St. Joan of Arc were not happy with said priest. They were lobbying for the associate, Fr. Jim Cassidy, to become the pastor, which is something that the archdiocese will not do (I am not certain if this is a canonical requirement or simply a requirement of charity). Apparently they went so far as to canvas the windshields of all the parishioners with promotional materials advocating for Fr. Jim.

The priest who had considered this assignment would likely have been able to accomplish quite a bit of good at Saint Joan's. But he has taken an assignment elsewhere. In an e-mail he wrote to me this week, he said of Saint Joan's, "I have the zealous supporters of Fr Jim to thank for the fact that I was ultimately told to look elsewhere. It is not too late yet to tear her down and salt the earth."

Jason

"What IS needed - and I've said this before - is a good faithful priest from the social justice wing of the Church to provide leadership and to channel the social justice energies of the parishioners towards activities that build the Church up rather than tearing her down. St. Joan's does NOT need a pious uneducated St. John Vianney type priest screaming at the top of his lungs from the pulpit about the wrath of God and the evils of dancing: the parishioners would eat him alive and he could not last in such a place."

What they need is an educated priest to teach them the Catholic faith, and only the Catholic faith, and to shake the dust from his feet if they decide they don't like it and leave.

Patrick Rothwell

Clayton,

I'm saddened, but not surprised by your story. There must be a Michael Baxter or Sean O'Malley - type priest that would be acceptable to the parishioners. It sounds from your description that the loudmouths will accept no one but Jim Cassidy. If that true, then it's going to be ugly no matter who the Archbishop chooses.

Patrick Rothwell

"What they need is an educated priest to teach them the Catholic faith, and only the Catholic faith, and to shake the dust from his feet if they decide they don't like it and leave."

Oh, the teeming nets of men that will be caught, if only the Church would adopt your brave, uncompromising, yet winsome approach to spreading the gospel.

This pastoral approach reminds me of the ranting street preacher standing by the post office in my home town during Halloween festivities. He vociferously warned the young people of the hellfire they would face for the drinking, for the ladies dressed like witches and (in his mind) whores, and so on. Of course, people said lots of rude things to him as he ranted away. At one point, I heard him shout in an exasperated voice, "Y'all might as well drink, because y'all are predestined to Hell anyway!"

Touchy Tech

As I said on the "Weight of Glory" blog:

In my parish when my very good and holy pastor was beset by a click of CTA type "ministers" and folks that had been on the parish council forever, he simply dissolved the council, saying that the parish could do without it. He also cleaned up our school by replacing the teachers and principal. Sometimes you just have to bring in new blood. I think that if Abp Flynn appointed a good priest who simply did away with the incrustation of lay "ministries" saying that it was time to get back to basics at St. Joan, the whole thing would come to a screeching halt. Of course these pride driven folks who were ousted would wail and whine to the oh-so-sympathetic press and hire a lawyer, but if the Archbishop backs the pastor up, they will lose.

Souls are at stake here.

Jason

Patrick,

St. Joan of Arc's is beyond pastoral sensitivity.

When a parish is irksome because Father had to cancel a few apostolates, then it's time for "pastoral sensitivity".

When a parish is concerned about a recent tragedy, then it's time for "pastoral sensitivity".

When a parish has a few pockets of people who don't understand why Father started using a little Latin, then it's time for "pastoral sensitivity".

When a parish considers it normal and edifying to study John Shelby Spong (www.stjoan.com/er1/bible2/bible2.htm), that parish is beyond "pastoral sensitivity".

When your child is smoking crack, the least you can do is forbid it in your house. If he decides to go elsewhere, so be it. Let him know that you will always be there to receive him and to help him change his ways.

"Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you, go out into the streets and say,

'The dust of your town that clings to our feet, even that we shake off against you.' Yet know this: the kingdom of God is at hand.

I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day than for that town.

(Luke 10)

Just to emphasize, this is not a judgement of Archbishop Flynn, either way. He will answer to God for how he handles his diocese, not to me.

[Sorry for the multiple posts; this'll be my last]

RP Burke

Dale, my point is that when you crack down, you crack down on everybody.

DarwinCatholic

Given that the Catholic Church is broad enough to include people ranging from Dorothy Day to Chesteron it seems like there ought to be a faithful Catholic priest who would appear to the better aspects of St. Joan's worldview. Unless, of course, the parts they are most attached to are precisely those which are _not_ compatible with Catholic teaching.

Still, I can certainly understand why the bishop (as any good pastor would be) is reluctant to either cut them off or inspire open ideological combat with them. There are, after all, several thousand sons and daughters of the Church there who, if possible, must be helped to find their way into a more faithful relationship with the Church.

Clayton

Personally, I think St. John Vianney is getting a bad rap in this comments box. There is a reason that he is the patron saint of parish priests: he was an exemplary pastor.

A good biography of the saint is Fr. Rutler's.

You can bring in a priest who is educated, sensitive to social justice, clever, discreet, politic, etc., etc., but the one thing necessary is the very thing required of every Christian: holiness of life. St. John Vianney chose the better part, and it was not taken away from him. Of course there are a whole set of human qualities that will help a priest minister to a difficult congregation. But the fire of God's love, borne of an authentic contemplative life, is absolutely essential. See Fr. Thomas Dubay's classic Fire Within (especially chapter one, "A Question of Relevance") for more details.

Donald R. McClarey

"St. Joan's does NOT need a pious uneducated St. John Vianney type priest screaming at the top of his lungs from the pulpit about the wrath of God and the evils of dancing: the parishioners would eat him alive and he could not last in such a place. "

This reminds me of the time when a petition circulated among the fellow priests in his diocese asking that Saint John Vianney be replaced because he was ignorant and an embarrassment. The petition was accidentally sent to the Saint. He signed his name to the petition and sent it on. Would to God that all our priests were as ignorant and as much of an embarrassment as Saint John Vianney!

Ken

One option for dealing with St. Joan's is very simple, thought very difficult.

Start by telling them the truth: their parish isn't Catholic, and the dishonesty of calling themselves a Catholic parish will no longer be tolerated. If the parish needs to be suppressed (and that seems likely) an option would be to give the property to the congregation, with the stipulation that they in no way represent themselves as a Catholic community. If possible, retain the "St Joan" name (that shouldn't be a deal breaker) and re-found a parish in the area with the sort of socially conscious, but orthodox priest, mentioned above.

Now, having solved Abp. Flynn's problem, I will excuse myself and give thanks that I am not a bishop.

Liam

St Joan's need prayers.

What you need is a pastor who is familiar enough with the mindset -- and not contemptuous of those who are mired in it -- to be able to mirror back to them how they contradict themselves, and then lead them in triaging the hierarchy their principles in a more critical manner.

(For example, a great place to start is the whole issue of Catholic identity. Places like St Joan's often are mired in identity politics. But when confronted by the fact that some (actually many) parishoners may often feel a need to downplay or even conceal their love of their Catholic identity (including the tradition) -- call it coming out as Catholic, if you will -- and that the parish establishment may thus be oppressing authentic identity, well you should watch how that conversation will evolve, escalate and erupt. But you can also see how folks may catch sight of themselves in the mirror, as it were, with a shock of recognition. And *that* can be the start of marvelous things, as the heart opens.)

I have seen this done, and done well, and it can work.

Not for everyone, of course, and not without considerable wailing and knashing of teeth. But through this method, you can reach the open-hearted and open-minded who are naturally self-doubting and are thus willing to delve into their own self-contradictions when guided by a shepherd who demostrates unflagging and perseverant care and love and vigilance for them.

And who realizes that that while he may guide and protect, the ultimate change of heart is between each soul and God, and operates on God's schedule, not the pastor's or the bishop's.

By contrast, someone who simply bleats truths at such people will be taken by them as a sign of falsehood. I've seen that too. It fails. And the pastor usually gets wrapped up in a persecution or prophet complex. Which is the last thing a place like St Joan's needs, being afflicted with myriad self-anointed prophets.

One thing is see in common among many at St Blog's with folks like those at St Joan's is that both tend to have a visceral attachment to seeming prophetic witness. It's a revealing trait in common. And it should be a bit of a caution.

Mitchell Hadley

RP,

The problem with "cracking down on everybody," as you put it, is that it doesn't allow for gradations. Dale's spot on - you can't possibly compare St. Agnes and St. Joan. In a weak moment you might get me to allow as to how the orchestral masses can get a little long sometimes (especially Gounod's St. Cecelia Mass, which we do on St. Agnes Day - and which happens to be my favorite piece), and that the polyphony and chant are nice "breaks."

But I think Pius X would have had more problem with a piece like Verdi's Requium or Bach's Mass in B Minor, which because of their length and their obviously operatic overtones are clearly meant for secular, rather than liturgical, use.

The key is to approach the music at St. Agnes not as a concert piece, but as a part of the liturgy itself. I think the music speaks both to people who look for beauty in the liturgy, and those who are disciplined enough in their faith that they don't allow the music to become a distraction to their worship. Because of the sacred nature of these masses, I don't think most people look at them in this way.

Finally, although Pius X might have had concerns over orchestral music, I wonder how he'd judge it in comparison to what else goes on in the Church today. If the orchestral mass does not exactly meet the letter of the liturgical law, it is also true that very few masses nowadays do. To the extent that any mass diverges, I think we have to view it in context, and clearly any abuses that might exist at St. Agnes are not only miniscule in comparison to St. Joan, they also act to bring the beauty of the liturgy to the faithful, and are in the service of the glory of God.

Msgr. Schuler is one of the world's foremost authorities in sacred music, and I defer to his judgement in this case.

greg

Just out of curiosity, other than offering a large-scale concert Mass, what is St Agnes doing that is against the teachings of the Church?

Tim Ferguson

It's also important to note that, while the orchestral Masses as done at St. Agnes may violate St. Pius X's motu proprio, that motu proprio has itself been abrogated by later legislation. It may be news to Mr. Burke, but in the middle of the last century, there was an ecumenical council called Vatican II, and subsequent, sweeping liturgical reform. Pius X is no longer pope, Benedict XVI is - the same Benedict XVI who, in his earlier career as Prefect of the CDF, visited St. Agnes, and spoke highly of the liturgy as celebrated there. The "concert" Masses have been permitted - nay even encouraged - by Sacrosanctum Concilium, which called for the musical patrimony of the Church to be preserved.
Comparing St. Agnes to St. Joan of Arc is akin to comparing Martin Luther to Erasmus. You may not like Erasmus, but he was undeniably Catholic. We all may have our pet solutions to what Abp. Flynn should do with St. Joan's, but I'm inclined to agree with Clayton: we need to support Abp. Flynn (and thank God we've not been given his responsibility) and pray for St. Joan's.

Cornelius AMDG

I liked this, taken verbatim, from the latest St. Joan's bulletin on the website:

Rest In Peace

Penny
beloved dog of Fr. George Wertin
has passed on to eternal life.

Doesn't the dog even need our prayers in the afterlife? Must have been one saintly dog.

Ian

Amy,

Interesting article/post. I'd note that Archbishop Flynn's criticisms are far more extensive than the St. Joan's issue, most notably his own statements over the years regarding gays, and in particular his defiance of the Vatican regarding the Rainbox Sashers. I know we'd all like to give His Eminence the benefit of the doubt, but the time has passed for that.

Ray in MN

Is it the job of the Archbishop to drive out the sinners from the Church, or to convert them?

RP Burke

Tim, sorry to have to correct you, but the rules for worship since Vatican II also prohibit large-scale concert Masses, but for a different reason: because the Eucharistic Acclamations are for all the people to sing, not just the choir (cf. the new GIRM, 79b). The point is that concert Masses in the celebration of the liturgy have been forbidden for a long time, and Mass at St. Agnes's in part reveals a false nostalgia for things not experienced at first hand. Schuler is a well-known exponent of a particular view of church music, but his is not the last word.

I won't disagree for a second with the general issue that there are serious problems at St. Joan's, which is probably that diocese's Last Chance Saloon for disaffected Catholics in the way that the Paulist Center in Boston is. There are things that go on at St. Joan's that give me the willies: for instance, I would probably rather listen to fingernails on the blackboard than to their music.

Willy

I think all the parish needs is for the bishop to send in some orthodox layfolks to petition to start a pro-life group or Legion of Mary or eucharistic adoration. That would shake things up a little.

Willy

I think all the parish needs is for the bishop to send in some orthodox layfolks to petition to start a pro-life group or Legion of Mary or eucharistic adoration. That would shake things up a little.

Tim Ferguson

RP,

It's an interesting discussion, but while the new IGMR and the 75 GIRM both mandate that the acclamations be chanted by the congregation together with the priest, the law, such as Sacrosanctum Concilium, also mandate that the treasury of sacred music is to be preserved and kept alive - not as merely a museum piece. The simple matter of fact is that John Paul II has celebrated the Mass wherein the choir sang the Ordinary (such as Mozart's Coronation Mass: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/6302550491/104-1015589-0611928?v=glance) and it's hard to believe that the Legislator would violate the law he promulgated. Surely what is done at the 10:00 Mass at St. Agnes is not in violation of the ius vigens of the Church.
I think it's also a mistake to consider what is done at St. Agnes (or St. John Cantius in Chicago, or Assumption in Detroit, or...) as nostalgia - even false nostalgia. It's a forward-thinking expression of the faith that values the past but looks to the future - note that St. Agnes does not have the Tridentine Mass celebrated regularly, and Msgr. Schuler, while not the last word in liturgical music, is certainly an educated voice that ought not be lightly dismissed.

brendon

Perhaps I'm overly sensitive, but the page Jason links has an interesting line in the author's biography: "You may see him serving host or wine on Sundays". My intuition tells me this may be the heart of the problem.

bearing

I live and worship in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, too. One effect of parishes like St Joan of Arc---the ones that seem almost hopeless, they seem so far gone from Catholic teachings---is that smaller, but more pervasive liturgical abuses and doctrinal errors are allowed to persist.

It seems so minor in comparison, that a certain parish does away with the homily from time to time, in favor of informational lectures by lay parishioners. Or that the entire congregation present on a particular Sunday was declared to be Eucharistic Ministers, complete with a certificate handed to every man and woman over the age of 18. Or that parents bringing their child for baptism are instructed to invite their non-Catholic guests to take Communion.

We changed parishes (to the "St Agnes Of The West"---perhaps local people will know which one I mean) because of these abuses. I don't want to name the parish we left here, not in specific; but I will say that it has lost members both to my current parish and to St Joan's.

My letter to His Eminence Archbishop Flynn was answered; he did not think the abuses were serious or that the laity was endangered at the parish we used to attend. Needless to say, I disagree. I struggle still with whether to respectfully submit to the archbishop's authority or to report the infractions to the appropriate Congregation.

I honestly think it's because places like St Joan of Arc are still around, occupying the archbishop's attention, that hundreds of "minor" infractions go completely under the radar in parishes all over the archdiocese. Yet I suspect that these "minor" infractions may do more damage for being widespread.

Anthony B

Well, Archbishop Flynn has some difficult decisions to make, and I don't envy him. May God bless him and his deliberations.

Ya know, the Church here in America has survived some real parish battles over the years, even fisticuffs and brawls with bricks and bats in Philadelphia during the Trustee crisis in the early 1800s. We'll survive any potential battle at St. Joan's.

John Bianco


I will also agree with Tim Ferguson that parishes like St. Agnes, St John Cantius and the Grotto are hardly nostalgia, even a couple of similar parishes here in Columbus OH also express this, and that is they orthodox, and at the same time countercultural going against the ills of society that both progressives(relativisim) and neoconservatives(materialism) promote.

Todd

When I lived in Iowa, I had a good friend and parishioner who praised everything St Joan's. She expressed concern that we were missing out, somehow, on something good by not adopting their ways and means. I would say (in so many words), "What makes you sure we're not doing it better here?"

St Joan's parishioners have a right to complain, if anyone does.

And Liam's comment about similarities is something I had not considered, but it has a strong ring of truth to it. I wish St Joan's the best, and leave it at that.

B Knotts

I see a lot of hand wringing about possible "unpastoral" actions that could have been taken against this parish, or pastor.

But, I would note that Abp. Flynn did not seem to hesitate long before banning the Legionaries.

One might argue that the above action was necessary, but isn't the other at least as necessary?

reluctant penitent

RP,

There is nothing to 'crack down' on at St. Agnes. GIRM 79b asks tells us that "the whole congregation, joining with the heavenly powers, sings the Sanctus. This acclamation, which is part of the Eucharistic Prayer itself, is sung or said by all the people with the priest."

The congregation at the St. Agnes Mass are encouraged to say the Sanctus along with the priest. Everyone has their text of the liturgy in parallel latin and english. You don't need a greying hippy strumming a guitar and bellowing some reggae "hoooaly hoooaly hoooaly..." to be able to say the sanctus at the appropriate moment during the litrugy of the eucharist--at least I don't. In fact, I feel much better prepared to say the sanctus together with a Palestrina or Mozart sanctus because of the reverence of the music.

There is absolutely nothing that the Archbishop needs to 'crack down on' at St. Agnes. St. Joan, on the other hand is a Bingo parlor of heresies.

reluctant penitent

St. Joan's needs a priest who will patiently and lovingly explain and affirm the teachings of the church on all matters, including sexual morality. Some people will storm out. But the Church cannot change or hide its teaching for fear of offending people who might have been given the false impression that this teaching will change.

RP Burke

Reluctant, I'm sorry but we'll just have to disagree.

reluctant penitent

There's no room for disagreement RP. There is nothing at St. Agnes that violates what the GIRM has to say about the Sanctus. The Novus Ordo merely requires the congregation to participate in the Sanctus along with the Priest rather than the Priest saying it on behalf of the whole congregation.

At my own parish the sanctus is usually some haugen-haas composition. I never sing it--I always say it. The GIRM does not require me to sing the particular melody chosen by the parish for the sanctus. It does require me to say the sanctus along with the priest and the congregation, which is what I do.

Furthermore, as Tim Ferguson pointed out above, "John Paul II has celebrated the Mass wherein the choir sang the Ordinary." Was he in violation of the GIRM when he uttered the Sanctus silently as the choir sang it?

Mitchell Hadley

Reluctant and Tim have hit it on the head. Active participation does not require that the congregation join in song with the choir. Michael Millier, in a 2000 Pastoral & Homelitic Review article, summarizes Cardinal Ratzinger's thoughts on liturgical music, saying in part:

"Some, mistaking external busyness for 'active participation,' would veto the use of the choir as intruding between the congregation and the liturgical action. But the choir is part of the community and its singing legitimately represents the prayer assembly. The concept of representation, of standing in for another, affects all levels of religious reality, including worship, and is a fundamental category of the Christian faith."

Although specific mention is made in the article to chant and polyphony, there is nothing in there that prohibits orchestral music.

With all due respect to RP Burke, the 10:00 at St. Agnes is as interactive as any mass in terms of the congregation paritipating in the prayers contained in the ordinary. The fact that we don't audibly sing the Sanctus is a red herring. We can be civil in discussing this, but there's no reason to back down on the assertion.

Clayton

The implication that the "abuses" at St. Agnes are analagous to those at St. Joan of Arc is more than a little amusing. Be aware of what you are comparing: a concert Mass to a liturgy at which the congregation sings Peter, Paul and Mary ("Tell me why you are crying, my son") at communion time while an overhead screen displays this message: "All baptized Christians are welcome to come forward to receive communion." (I was present at such a liturgy).

RP Burke

Reluctant, I have plenty of grounds to disagree with you. The priest saying the Sanctus while the choir sings is a vestige of the old Mass, something condemned by the Congregation for Sacred Rites itself back in the early 1970s:

It must never be forgotten that the Missal of Pope Paul VI has, since 1970, supplanted the one called improperly "the Missal of St. Pius V," and completely so, in both texts and rubrics. When the rubrics of the Missal of Paul VI say nothing or say little on particulars in some places, it is not to be inferred that the former rite should be observed. (Notitiae 14 (1978) 301-302, no. 2.)

Here's another example of liturgical abuse at St. Agnes's. On their web site is a series of photos of a priest saying Mass in 'Roman style' vestments, the kind where the chasuble's front is in the shape of a large viol. (How the fiddle front got to be called a 'fiddleback' is beyond me.) He is also violating GIRM by wearing a vestment that is not included in the list in sections 336-337: viz., a maniple. The violation is of GIRM section 24, which reads:

Nevertheless, the priest must remember that he is the servant of the Sacred Liturgy and that he himself is not permitted, on his own initiative, to add, to remove, or to change anything in the celebration of Mass.

Look, I agree it's fair to expect that St. Joan's follow the rules. But just because St. Agnes's is 'conservative' doesn't give them a pass on the rules that they are violating.

Tim Ferguson

RP - the IGMR also says nothing about the priest wearing underwear. I'm sure you're similarly up in arms about the rampant liturgical abuse of those priests who would dare approach the altar of sacrifice with their naughty bits covered by Fruit of the Loom.

You still haven't answered the question of how St. Agnes can be accused of violating the law when the Supreme Legislator who imposed that law celebrated Mass in the same exact fashion - with regards to the choir singing an orchestral setting of the Proper. Obviously, he knew how the law was to be interpretted and to fault someone for interpretting it the same way as the one who promulgated it seems disingenuous.

RP Burke

Here's my answer to your question, Tim:

The pope was wrong to allow it. The rules were promulgated by a different pope than JPII.

Further, since underwear isn't (or shouldn't be) visible, it has no semiotic value in the celebration of the Mass. Visibly wearing suppressed vestments DOES have semiotic value. Big difference.

Tim Ferguson

But the maniple has not been supressed. To be supressed, it must be done so explicitly, according to our legal system (quod non prohibet EXPLICITER, licet). It's simply no longer required and no longer mentioned - just like the Missal stand (or pillow). It is not an abuse of any kind to wear a maniple.
Also, it matters not whether the rules were promulgated by the current pope or not (though, to be certain, the IGMR WAS promulgated by JP II in 2003) - the Pope is the Supreme Legislator, charged with issuing and interpreting the law.

bearing

It is blowing my mind that this thread has moved to whether _St Agnes_ is breaking the rules!

RP Burke

Tim, you didn't read the earlier post. A maniple is NOT listed among the vestments a priest wears to celebrate Mass, and a priest may not add anything on his own authority. Therefore a maniple may not be worn, since it is something a priest would add on his own authority. QED.

Tim Ferguson

I did read the earlier post, and I countered with the analogy of the missal stand - no longer mentioned in the rubrics but certainly not an abuse. Cardinal Arinze, when he was prefect of the CDWDS was asked if a priest may wear a maniple at Mass and he responded, "why not?" That's sufficient for me to determine that it's not an abuse.

All this goes back to your original post wherein you brought up St. Agnes as a counterbalance to St. Joan of Arc. We can argue about the minutiae of whether or not a maniple is a liturgical abuse, but to equate the putative "abuses" at St. Agnes to the insanity that goes on at St. Joan's is surely absurd.

Your point is well-taken though: the (to use your phrase) "self-proclaimed orthodox" are driven nuts by a parish that wallows in self-indulgent heterodoxy and wanton liturgical abuse. The "progressives" are driven nuts by a priest wearing a maniple and a choir singing Mozart. Whose more balanced?

Tim Ferguson

sorry - whose = who's

Todd

Not being a fan of either parish, I don't have an oar in this stream, however ...

It is a fallacy to think that there are no irregularities or abuses in conservative churches. Infallibility simply does not exist on the level of the parish. There are liturgical guidelines about singing, preaching, and tons of other things. They should be followed.

St Agnes and St Joan are each active parishes with (mostly) healthy and loyal parishioners. The Church would be better off with more, not fewer such parishes. I'd make this simpler than a headrolling contest, or even a basketball playoff to determine who stays and who goes. Assess each parish on how it lives up to the ideals set forth in church teaching. To the extent that people worship God and strive for holiness, each parish is successful in its own way. The room for improvement should be moved into and engaged in each case.

hieronymus

RP, nitpicking vestment styles and impugning orthodoxy based on them is petty beyond belief, and only reveals how absurd your original comparison was.

As for channeling the "social justice" energies of St. Joan's: I'm not surprised it didn't work. For dissident Catholics, "social justice" means "dissident Catholicism", nothing more and nothing less. It's just empty self-justifying rhetoric.

reluctant penitent

"The priest saying the Sanctus while the choir sings is a vestige of the old Mass, something condemned by the Congregation for Sacred Rites itself back in the early 1970s"

No. In the Tridentine Mass the Priest says the Sanctus on behalf of the congregation. In the Novus Ordo Mass the Priest and the congregation both say the Sanctus.

RP. There is no prohibition against a choir singing the Sanctus. Renaissance polyphony is explicitly encouraged and there's no expectation that the congregation will add their voices to a technically difficult motet.

It's curious that, in your effort to establish some kind of parity between St. Joan's and a 'conservative' parish, you have ended up claiming that St. Joan's is no more heterodox than JPII.

reluctant penitent

"To the extent that people worship God and strive for holiness, each parish is successful in its own way."

Not really Todd. If a parish sacrifices chickens at the altar during the Mass it's an invalid Mass and a heterodox parish no matter how the people 'worship God and strive for holiness.' There are people who 'worship God and strive for holiness' in the local Mormon temple. It doesn't make them an orthodox Catholic parish.

reluctant penitent

As far as the fiddleback is concerned, here are some photos of priests wearing fiddlebacks:

http://dappledphotos.blogspot.com/2005/03/fiddleback-chasuble-sightings.html

They include JPII, (then) Cardinal Ratzinger, and that infamous reactionary Cardinal Mohony.

Anne

Hehe, Reluctant Penitent posted what I was trying to link to (for some reason my post came up blank?!).

JPII, Benedict, Cdl. Arinze, Cdl Mahony... all in violation of the GIRM?

The fiddleback is not forbidden, RP.

Clayton

Todd,

I couldn't let your comment pass by when you said, St Agnes and St Joan are each active parishes with (mostly) healthy and loyal parishioners. The Church would be better off with more, not fewer such parishes. I'd make this simpler than a headrolling contest, or even a basketball playoff to determine who stays and who goes. Assess each parish on how it lives up to the ideals set forth in church teaching. To the extent that people worship God and strive for holiness, each parish is successful in its own way.

I think you're right to assess the parish by the witness they provide: "by their fruits you shall know them." It is just such a way that the abysmal failure of St. Joan's shows itself most clearly: I do not know of a single priestly vocation coming from that parish over the last decade. St. Agnes, on the other hand, has produced at least one a year, on average.

And it's very questionable whether they are worshipping God at St. Joan's. There are entire "homilies" (I mean "presentations") in which the name of God and the spiritual life are not mentioned. I went to a Sunday gathering at which the female speaker, a journalist from the Minneapolis StarTribune, gave a reflection called "Up with Kids" or some such thing. No relation to the Sunday reading, and no reference to the spiritual life or God.

Ray in MN

It's news to me that we are required to sing at Mass. Since less than a majority of the congregation sing at most Masses that I attend, does that make the Mass invalid?

Have we non-singers committed a Mortal Sin by not singing and thus invalidating our attempt at meeting our Sunday obligation?

Is the Music Director guilty of malpractice by not teaching us how to sing properly?

Is the Music Directory guilty of creating an Occasion of Sin by choosing unsingable music that most of the congregation can't or won't sing?

As an aside, it is reputed that there are 33,000 Protestant demonations.

My impression of Internet comments pages and the Catholic Answers Forums is that there are at least that there are at least that number of Catholic Liturgists, few of whom agree with each other.

reluctant penitent

"As an aside, it is reputed that there are 33,000 Protestant demonations. My impression of Internet comments pages and the Catholic Answers Forums is that there are at least that there are at least that number of Catholic Liturgists, few of whom agree with each other."

The difference is that whereas some of the liturgists are right and some wrong (because there are rules that one can consult and bishops with authority over such matters) all of the 33,000 denominations are equally right.

ken

Maybe they could recruit Pfleger from St. Sabina's in Chicago? Although he is probably over-qualified for the St. Joan's job. Oh, and there is less media coverage in the twin cities-forget it, he'd never take the demotion.

RP Burke

Anne, I never said the fiddleback was forbidden. The maniple is another story.

Tim, Cardinal Arinze needs to read his own rule book. Conservatives have dished it out to progressives for years over "adding" things to the Mass, and I fail to see why their own additions are above criticism.

Reluctant, all kinds of things may make the Mass unlawful but if the critical elements are present -- ordained, authorized priest; unleavened bread and wine; correctly stated words of institution, with the intent to perform a consecration -- the Mass is still valid. It may be awful enough to make me call the bishop about it (sacrificing chickens surely would), but it's still valid.

Clayton, an attempted homily as you describe is surely wrong and needs to be corrected.

Todd

Clayton, thanks for engaging.

I think there are better measuring sticks than priestly vocations, and the church teaches specifically which sticks those are. Lots of small rural parishes around the world lack priestly vocations, for lack of numbers or priestly examples, or education opportunities or whatever. And I wouldn't so easily toss aside what is likely a clear majority of Catholic parishes, even in this country. I suppose I'd be more concerned about the quality of vocations rather than the quantity. Vocations were bounteous in the past, and we ended up with far more sex offenders per capita, too.

"And it's very questionable whether they are worshipping God at St. Joan's."

No it's not. It's quite clear they are. It's uncharitable, if not sinful, to suggest Christians aren't Christians just because they worship in ways distasteful to you. The homily is not the only determining factor of what constitutes Catholic or even Christian worship. I've heard homilies that never mentioned God, too: they were about money or morals. Ultimately, Christ was made present in the Eucharist at these liturgies, just as He is made present at St Joan's.

As RP says, the homily you describe was wrong, but the homily does not determine Christianity; faith and actions do.

Sarahbellum

Thank goodness I worship God CORRECTLY, and not like THEM! Thank God I'm not like those people at St. Joan of Arc, a.k.a. tax collectors.

Time to give Like 18 another read, maybe?

Tim Ferguson

Sarah, how is your criticism of those criticizing St. Joan any less reprehensible?

And RP, I guess we're not ever going to agree on the maniple issue or the music issue. I take pleasure being in the company of John Paul II, Benedict XVI, Cardinal Arinze (who, despite your slander, has surely "read his own rule book") and Msgr. Schuler. But perhaps your background at Notre Dame does give you a greater insight to how the Church's law should be interpretted than that of those who actually wrote and promulgated the law.

pacetua

In the diocese of Dallas, Bishop Grahmann summarily moved Father Paul Weinberger from a parish he had served for about ten years and relocated him to a rural parish an hour away, far beyond the reach of many of Fr. Paul's former parishoners. Many speculate that his "crime" was saying the Mass in Latin without specific diocesan permission, even though he was saying the Novus Ordo in Latin, not the Tridentine, and therefore shouldn't have required special permission.

In the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, Archbishop Flynn permits St. Joan of Arc parish to continue despite examples of egregious liturgical abuse. Many of those who have posted so far on this thread seem to think that whatever the Archbishop does, he must be careful not to offend pastoral sensibilities.

I am extremely frustrated by this. Why is it assumed by members of the hierarchy that the sensibilities of some Catholics are more important than the sensibilites of others? Why is it okay to supress Latin but ignore lay "homilists?" Why is it okay to forbid kneeling but wink at clapping and hand-holding? Why is the singing of the Agnus Dei in Latin frowned upon, while versions of the Lamb of God which add words (e.g. "Jesus, Redeemer, have mercy on us...etc.) are not merely tolerated, but in some cases mandated? Why are parishoners who complain about heterodoxy called "narrow" and "rigid" and told they're the only ones who have complained, while parishoners who complain about orthodoxy are listed to, soothed, and told that the priest who "offended" them will be informed at once of their complaint?

I have no answer to these questions. All I have is a suspicion that in America, some Catholics are more equal than others.

reluctant penitent

Sarahbellum, are you toying with my cerebellum? Are you saying that because of Luke 18 a parish is permitted to preach that the portions of the Magisterium that they don't like (in this case the parts about sexual morality) are false? How on earth do you get that from Luke 18?

john c

She'd be toying with your cerebrum, not your cerebellum which is responsible for the coordination voluntary muscular movement and the maintenance of posture and balance.

julie b

Todd: There are thousands of Christian denominations who are indeed worshipping as they like. They are free to do so. St. Joan's is Catholic...one church within the Universal...and should BE Catholic in its teaching, worship, ect.

Also, Christ made present in the Eucharist can surely suffer at the hands of those he so graciously allows to partake of his very self...a moan of pain that echoes through time and space from the very cross he was pinned to.
It can happen at any mass and with every unworthy communion. Just because He is present does not mean He does not suffer.

Todd

"Sarah, how is your criticism of those criticizing St. Joan any less reprehensible?"

To begin with, St Joan critics have publicly accused Catholics of not worshipping God. Sarah chided Clayton, and appropriately so. Her calling out a commenter or two here is hardly reprehensible.

And pacetua, I think the distinction you're grasping at is this: nobody posting here worships at St Joan's, nor would they conceivably be forced to do so. RP has been crystal clear: all liturgical abuses, whether perpetrated by traditionalists or liberals, should be criticized and repressed.

Personally, if your parish was being overrun by maniples or lesbians, I think a legitimate beef might be raised. From within the parish. Neither St Joan's nor St Agnes is my cup of tea, but I have plenty enough to keep me busy without sticking my nose in places I'm liable to have striking little influence upon.

If you have a petition to drum up, fine; more power to you. Otherwise, this is a wasteful exercise in ... well ... Luke 18. Like Sarah said.

hieronymus

Todd, in what universe is a priest wearing a traditional strip of cloth over his left forearm comparable to promoting the normalization of mortal sin?

Seriously, if "they wear vestments that were once mandatory but now are neither encouraged not discouraged in the rubrics" is the worst criticism you can levy, you need to realize that you're arguing in desperation.

Todd

hiero,

"Todd, in what universe is a priest wearing a traditional strip of cloth over his left forearm comparable to promoting the normalization of mortal sin?"

Probably the same universe in which worshipping in the same building with SSA people makes them non-believers.

Somehow, I think you realize that both maniples and SSA people are morally neutral. It's only what is done with them and by them respectively, that involves sin.

Julie,

I appreciate your point. Mine involves this quote from you, "Just because He is present does not mean He does not suffer." interposed with this quote, "And it's very questionable whether they are worshipping God at St. Joan's."

Even as a liturgist, I must concede God is unlikely to be as offended by bits of clothing or by a lack of an explicit mention in a homily as he might be concerned about the eye saying to the foot, "I don't need you, and besides: it's quite likely you don't even belong attached to this body."

This is an interesting thread too full of the sensibility of gossip. We all have better things to do.

John Bianco


RP Burke, I am amused that you equate what could or could not be a minor liturgical abuse depending on how GIRM is interperted in the way St. Agnes celebrates mass(and by the way, its not all that different in how St. Patricks on our diocese of Columbus celebrates mass), with wholesale denial of dogmas and doctrines, not to mention the blatant liturgical abuses that St. Joan of Arc is known for.

RP Burke, as you mention conservatives dising out on progressives, all I can say is people get fustrated when there are BLATANT abuses and often dinale of key doctrines of the faith, yet nothing is done to correct these issues.

RP Burke

John, there are offenses of all kinds and levels. That some are more serious does not mean the lesser ones need not be corrected.

The semiotic value of wearing the maniple, for example, is that it's a sign of the heresy of, for lack of a better name, Angelicaism: i.e., that everything was better the way we think it used to be. Thus it's not insignificant. Is it as significant as, say, sponsoring a float in a Gay Pride Day parade? Perhaps not. It still doesn't make it right.

reluctant penitent

john c,

well i did feel quite dizzy reading the comment...

reluctant penitent

RP Burke,

So far only one of your allegations of rule-violation at St. Agnes has not been easily proven to be false, which does not mean that it's true. I'm quite confident that this final allegation will, in the end, turn out to be empty as well. St. Joan's, on the other hand, encourages clear and flagrant dissent from the Magisterium.

John Bianco


For one RP Burke, the current GIRM does not say "The wearing of a maiple is supressed", the best we can say is the GIRM can be interperted as saying it is supressed, but there is no specific language that it is.

On the other hand, a parish that skirts the line of core parts of doctrine and dogmas,l if not outright denies them, and ignore key parts of the liturgy such as having lay homilists, and not to mention its encouragment is mixing various religions in its "small faith communities", can be questioned if it is not in material schism, and a clear and present danger because it may lead many to stray from church teachings.

To break it down in real world equivlent, what St. Agnes does is the equivlent of someone going 26.5 MPH in a 25 MPH zone(and many states such as Ohio grant a 5 MPH leeway, called a no points violation) with a car that is 100% in code with all documents present to what St. Joan of Arc would be, and that is a car that is far out of code and unsafe, with no documents present, going 90MPH in a 25 MPH zone. There is no way a sane man can equate St. Agnes to St. Joan of Arc, NONE.

RP Burke

Reluctant, I in fact have proven that my allegations are true, not false.

reluctant penitent

Here's an explanation of the 'semiotic value' of the maniple:

'...the maniple (from the Latin manipulum, meaning towel.)...represents the towel Jesus used when washing the disciples' feet. It is the symbol of service and humility. John 13.'

This is from an ELCA website (http://www.atonementlutheranchurch.com/Data/history_txt.htm)

Are these Lutherans guilty of "Angelicaism"? Are they nostalgic about the pre-v2 days in the Catholic Church?

Brian Michael Page

Now, I have a question. Since when does a parish interview a priest for the job of pastor in a Catholic church? This should be, like in any other parish in any other (arch-)diocese, the appointment of the Ordinary. Then if the Archbishop sends someone to clean house at St. Joan's, good. People can accept being educated in Catholicism properly (and I hope and wish they would, believe me), or they can form one of those independent "National Catholic" parishes that you see around these days. Then they can do what they want, call themselves Catholic, just not Roman Catholic.

BMP

reluctant penitent

"I in fact have proven that my allegations are true"

Which one? That the Sanctus cannot be sung by a choir? That the fiddleback is prohibited? You have given no evidence for either claim, and we have given plenty of evidence against both. Anyone still reading can just scroll up and look at the evidence given.

reluctant penitent

"Since when does a parish interview a priest for the job of pastor in a Catholic church?"

I live in the same Archdiocese and our Parish interviewed candidates. I think that the Abp would say that he is doing it as a courtesy to the parishes. He retains the final word about who is assigned to the parish, though he probably goes with the decision of the parish unless there is some serious reason not to.

John Bianco


Please someone correct me if I am wrong here, but I remeber reading, and prehaps this is a remnant of the days of the prototype of an American Bishop who thumbs his nose at Rome and does little to correct heresies in his own Diocese, Abp. Ireland, that some of the parishes in the Archdiocese are effectively owned by a board of trustees, and not the archdiocese itself. St. Joan may be one of them.

reluctant penitent

John,

A parish may be owned by a board of trustees, but the Abp must still appoint a priest to a parish. Ownership of parish property does not affect Church law.

RP Burke

1. The Sanctus is to be sung by the priest and the people. GIRM says so. Quoted chapter and verse.

2. NO NO NO not the fiddleback. I said the MANIPLE. GIRM and the Congregation for the Rites quoted chapter and verse, along with a clear logical argument.

I have demonstrated the validity of my statements. Please read more carefully.

Tim Ferguson

RP, have you forwarded your complaints on to Rome? I'm sure they would be very interested to learn where their interpretation of the documents they wrote is flawed. It would be a great service to the Church.

But even if you're correct on this and the Pope, his predecessor, the Prefect of the Congregaton for Worship and his predecessor and a priest who's studied, written about and practiced liturgy for the past 60 years are wrong, (which I doubt) you still haven't demonstrated how the putative errors of maniples and Mozart balance out the errors of lay homilists, skipped scripture readings, open communion, encouraged contraception, encouraged fornication (of both hetero- and homo-sexual varieties), syncretism, anti-authoritarianism and pink electric guitars playing secular folk tunes as the presider concelebrates with a Lutheran bishop and consecrates raisin bread.

Liam

Late in the game about St. Agnes, which I did not treat earlier....

It should be remembered that extraordinary papal masses do not by themselves create or inform norms. The Roman way is simply to understand that there may be occasional exceptions depending on pastoral context or need or suitability, but without changing or informing a norm one iota. So, the bottom line is, don't read a practice at a given papal ceremony as adumbrating a liturgical norm per se.

On the same principle, the idea of using "concert" type settings of the entire ordinary on occasion would similarly be allowed without becoming a norm unto themselves in the reformed ritual.

As a chronic matter, I would have a harder time squaring that with the intent of the Council Fathers, who seemed quite insistent on the people gaining a fair measure of ownership, as it were, of the ordinary in particular. Of course, also in Latin: the Jubilate Deo collection of chant settings gathered by the Vatican in 1974 and available in pdf form in the public domain being a wonderful resource and example of conciliar intent.

All this being said, I have hard time simply equating the issue of maniples and excessive use of concert settings of the ordinary with the more substantive (and formal) problems at St Joan's.

I am not as sanguine as Todd about a live-and-let-live-unless-you-have-no-log-your-eye approach here (though the concerns about cheap judgment are not entirely inapposite), because I don't confine the desiderata of fruits perhaps as narrowly as he does.

For one big example: St. Joan's has evidently gotten addicted to charisma. It's not a good thing. I made the same comment with regard to our beloved late Pope, btw. But the Church has rightly viewed charisma with extreme caution, because it tends to encourage a spiritual hothouse that is unsustainable. St. Joan's is finding that out now, and the frantic efforts some there are taking to try to enlist the current curate there is a warning sign. They need to be weaned from that need. It will feel enormously deflating, and it will likely negatively affect apostolic works they are proud of.

But bubbles of all types -- financial, real estate, and spiritual -- are not healthy over the long term and need to be burst.

Beware charismatic prophets, especially those who do not empower their followers to do without them.

Interestingly, Jesus spent most of his ministry preparing his followers to do without him in the way they were familiar with.

That's the model the Church has wisely embraced.

Clayton

Todd,

I think you misunderstood me. You said:

It's uncharitable, if not sinful, to suggest Christians aren't Christians just because they worship in ways distasteful to you. The homily is not the only determining factor of what constitutes Catholic or even Christian worship. I've heard homilies that never mentioned God, too: they were about money or morals. Ultimately, Christ was made present in the Eucharist at these liturgies, just as He is made present at St Joan's.

I never suggested that the people at St. Joan's were not Christians. I never called into question the validity of their baptism. I merely questioned whether the carryings-on at St. Joan of Arc could be called worship of the Triune God.

At times the presider casually jettisoned titles of Father / Son / Holy Spirit in favor of things like Creator (or Mother) / Redeemer / Sanctifier. The Eucharistic prayer was sometimes an original composition (or improvised on the fly)... waxing poetic about the beauty of the universe, and sometimes it was unclear to whom the words were being addressed... It was unrecognizable as Christ's priestly prayer to the Father.

The words of institution were carefully preserved, but that was one of the only familiar moments in the Eucharistic prayer.

And, to return to the homily (which was actually preached by an ordained minister only about 50% of the time), there was frequently a lot of patting the congregation on the back, which I do not think constitutes worship of God, but self-worship. When you see the homily I post this weekend on my blog, you'll get some idea of what I'm talking about.

So, in short, there can be Christians who, sadly, are not fulfilling their mandate to worship God. And I never dogmatically stated that they weren't worshipping. I simply meant to communicate that it was a dubious matter... the evidence for divine worship is sketchy at best.

Clayton

Todd:

One more thing. It's not about what I find distasteful. It's a matter of being faithful to the prayers and the breaking of bread as passed down to us from the apostles. It's about living within the communion of the Church. These things transcend the taste of myself or anyone else. Otherwise, to borrow a notion from Cardinal Ratzinger, we risk dissolving the Church into an aggregate of mere clubs, gatherings of the like-minded. That is a poor reflection of the Church.

Todd

Clayton, I agree in letter and spirit with the facts you have presented about ideal worship. I think I was clear from my first post that I also have serious objections to charisma-driven parish life, as Liam accurately diagnoses, and as is specifically lived out at St Joan's.

I think raising the question of authentic divine worship is a losing and needless tussle. If St Joan's folks were tuning in to this thread, they might be rightly offended by your choice of words. That unauthorized EP's and non-clergy homilists and other irregular things are permitted there is undeniable. However, you do not have a window into the hearts and souls of the people there. But then again, neither do I and for all we know the place lapsed into paganism years ago. But charity demands another approach, at least what we say in public.

My objection to St Joan critics is independent of the validity of said criticisms. And those objections have also been well-documented.

RP Burke

Tim, I never said they were equal. But there are problems in both places, not just among the progressives. There is a double standard here and I know people resent when that is pointed out. Corrective action is necessary at both places.

Tim Ferguson

RP, I agree with you that there are excesses on both sides of the fence and corrective measures needed at both parishes - indeed at every parish. Yet, as pacetua pointed out at 1:19 above - the powers that be in this country seem more than willing to go after minor infractions (and in many cases, not even infractions) on the right and ignore, tolerate or encourage blatant abuses on the left.

Perhaps it's because those on the right tend to respond well to authority: the bishops know that if they invoke holy obedience then the orthodox will, for the most part accede (case in point - when the late Abp. Roach would visit St. Agnes, he would insist on saying Mass versus populo. A portable altar was provided for him in the sanctuary); if the bishops similarly invoked obedience on the left, they'd be met with marches, protests, disobedience and ridicule. It's easier to discipline the orthodox, but is it the right thing to do while ignoring the damage done on the left?
There is a double standard, a point I wholeheartedly agree with you on. Going after the heresy, heterodoxy and disobedience of places like St. Joan of Arc with the same fervor with which those who prefer Latin, polyphony and traditional catechesis have been pursued in nearly every diocese of this country would be a good start at eliminating that double standard.

jane M

Well, the Father Lasance missal says that cleaning up sweat was one reason for maniples so I wonder whether fussing about them is really worth it. The air conditioning was off in our "church" a few weeks ago and a maniple would have been a great thing to have for the poor priest sweating like a ...... up on the altar. (We meet in an auditorium so in addition to the no-air-conditioning problem there are huge lights beaming down on the stage. Really hot. I thought my altar boy son was going to faint.)

reluctant penitent

"extraordinary papal masses do not by themselves create or inform norms. The Roman way is simply to understand that there may be occasional exceptions depending on pastoral context or need or suitability, but without changing or informing a norm one iota."

Yes, but Papal Masses cannot violate norms. So while we do not look to Papal Masses to determine what every parish ought to do, if something occurs in a Papal Mass it is not prohibited. End of story.

An article already cited above from then Cardinal Ratzinger (entitled “‘In the Presence of the Angels I Will Sing Your Praise,' translated and summarized by Michael Miller at http://www.catholic.net/rcc/Periodicals/Homiletic/2000-07/miller.html) addresses the use of choirs in the liturgy:

"Some, mistaking external busyness for “active participation,” would veto the use of the choir as intruding between the congregation and the liturgical action. But the choir is part of the community and its singing legitimately represents the prayer assembly. The concept of representation, of standing in for another, affects all levels of religious reality, including worship, and is a fundamental category of the Christian faith."

This is brilliantly said. There's an important difference between active participation and 'external business.' When a congregation is swaying and clapping and singing 'hoooly hoooly hoooly...' loudly that congregation may be engaging in acts of external business without actively being involved in the liturgy at all. On the other hand, if the choir is singing a Palestrina Sanctus the song inspires deep spiritual participation by the congregation in the acclamation of the Sanctus.

Remember that the GIRM instructs not only the active participation of the congregation but also the use of Gregorian Chant. If liturgically 'conservative' congregations like St. Agnes that do not sing the Sanctus in unison (but say it in unison as the choir sings it) are in violation of the GIRM, then so are liturgically 'liberal' congregations that make no pretence of even trying to use Gregorian chant (=every parish that uses the Gather hymnal=every parish in the midwest but St. Agnes).

reluctant penitent

RP Burke said

On August 3, 2005 05:37 PM RP Burke posted the following:
"NO NO NO not the fiddleback. I said the MANIPLE.

But on August 3, 2005 07:50 AM RP Burke posted the following:
"Here's another example of liturgical abuse at St. Agnes's. On their web site is a series of photos of a priest saying Mass in 'Roman style' vestments, the kind where the chasuble's front is in the shape of a large viol. (How the fiddle front got to be called a 'fiddleback' is beyond me.)"

RP Burke, do you see now why I and a number of other readers took you to be saying that the fiddleback is prohibited?

Todd

"Yes, but Papal Masses cannot violate norms."

Huh? Where do you get that?

reluctant penitent

Todd,

You said 'bottom line is, don't read a practice at a given papal ceremony as adumbrating a liturgical norm per se.'

It's true that a Papal Mass does not establish norms in the sense that all Masses have to resemble a Papal Mass. But even if a Mass is Papal, it is bound by the liturgical norms. There's no exemption in the books that says 'Papal Masses do not have to conform to liturgical norms set out in the GIRM.'

RP Burke

Reluctant, what I see here is evidence that you stopped reading. That isn't even the end of the paragraph, where I specified where the error is.

reluctant penitent

The complete paragraph:

"Here's another example of liturgical abuse at St. Agnes's. On their web site is a series of photos of a priest saying Mass in 'Roman style' vestments, the kind where the chasuble's front is in the shape of a large viol. (How the fiddle front got to be called a 'fiddleback' is beyond me.) He is also violating GIRM by wearing a vestment that is not included in the list in sections 336-337: viz., a maniple."

ANALYSIS:

"Here's another example...a priest saying Mass in 'Roman style' vestments..." suggests that saying Mass in 'roman style' vestments is a violation. That you thought the former to be a violation in addition to the wearing of the maniple is indicated when you say he is "ALSO violating GIRM" by wearing the maniple.

RP Burke

Nope. I said he is wearing one thing and he is also violating by wearing another thing.

Mike Petrik

This may just be a case of ambiguous phrasing. The word "also" could just refer to the previously mentioned violations of St Joan's priest. I could easily understand RP's post that way, just as I could easily understand why rp and others could read the way rp explains above, which I think was rp's precise point in his 11:50 post where he asked, "do you see why ... prohibited?" Might I propose everyone just recognize the understandable miscommunication and call it a truce?

reluctant penitent

truce

RP Burke

Agreed.

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