Archbishop of Glasgow Calls For “New Era of Reverence” – Rediscover Mass…

ARCHBISHOP Tartaglia has issued a clarion call to Catholics everywhere to rediscover the Mass. In a heartfelt message, the Archbishop calls for a new era of reverence for the Blessed Sacrament, a deeper appreciation of the Mass and a new effort to encourage the lapsed to come back to Sunday Mass.

The Archbishop’s plea has been circulated to every parish in the diocese. It is a summary of the Church’s teaching on what the Eucharist is, how it should be received and why it needs to be rediscovered. In it he warns against “casual or banal” reception of Holy Communion, emphasises the need for care in taking communion in the hand and encourages a new appreciation of silence.

Speaking to Flourish, the Archbishop said: “This is what I long for people to read and understand and act upon. To receive communion is everything. The Eucharist is truly the source and the summit of our Catholic faith and we can never marvel enough at this miracle of God’s love.” 

To read the full text of the Archbishop’s message scroll to pages 6 and 11 here.

Comment: 

It’s certainly laudable that the Archbishop is seeking to restore reverence for the Blessed Sacrament, calling for “a new era of reverence… a new appreciation of silence [and] a deeper appreciation of the Mass”. Who could argue with those noble words?   However, it is certainly questionable whether or not any of these goals are achievable while we see lay people receiving in the hand, and the continued rejection of the traditional Latin Mass in favour of the Novus Ordo Missae. 

Shouldn’t the archbishop be pushing a root and branch reform, a restoration of the ancient Mass along with the discipline of receiving Communion on the tongue, kneeling, in the traditional gesture of adoration? Wouldn’t that be more likely to encourage the lapsed to return to Sunday Mass, rather than some noble sounding words which, sorry to say, are likely to be ignored, given that lack of reverence resulting from widespread diminution of belief in the Real Presence is now endemic in Scottish parishes? 

10 March: Feast of St John Ogilvie…

A LETTER FROM FR JOHN OGILVIE SJ

On 9 March 2015 an ecumenical vespers was held at St Aloysius church in Glasgow, on the eve of the 400th anniversary of the martyrdom of St John Ogilvie SJ.

Fr Dermot Preston gave the homily, that you can listen to [here]… in which he read this letter: [extracts follow – click here to read the entire letter] 

St John OgilvieDear Fr Preston,

My name is Fr John Ogilvie. I understand that you will be preaching this evening as part of the celebrations of my 400 years. I’m sorry not to be there – well, I’m not actually… I’m in a far better place. And the weather is much better.

I hear that you are the Provincial of the British Jesuits. As a Scot in those days, having left Leith, I found myself entering the Jesuits in what you would now called the Czech Republic – ‘Bohemia’, as it then was. I came to London just once, but it was only a short visit. There was great persecution in England in those days and, as I was being trained, I met many brave English and Welsh Jesuit priests and brothers on the continent awaiting their mission. Impressive men; but like me, many of them didn’t live to old age.

As I look back I have been reflecting and, for what it is worth, I offer you a few thoughts for your homily tonight.

Firstly I am delighted that so many people and ministers of so many Christian denominations can come together for such an occasion. At the end of my trial, after I had been condemned to death, I made a point of going to shake the hands of all the judges: this was not some stunt – I sincerely meant it. Certainly some annoyed me greatly by their petty mindedness, and some were so caught-up in their own issues they couldn’t see beyond the skin of their own noses, but despite our formidable differences, I quite liked a lot of them and held them all as beloved children of the living God. It fills my heart with great joy that companionship is possible in your day…

Secondly, I would hope that in your homily you do not dwell on the past and please do not focus on me. I have a name and you know some things about me and my life – perhaps not as much as you think, as actually not one of you is certain of the year in which I was born! – but through the 2000 years of the history of the Church, I am just a single raindrop in a Glaswegian thunderstorm. Thousands, perhaps millions of human beings have died violently in Christ’s name over two millennia. Many of these people have never been named; for some, their story of martyrdom is forgotten by history and known only to the heart of God. They are the heroes of the Church.

In your own time there has been an unprecedented upsurge of persecution of Christians across the world. According to one secular Human Rights group based in  Germany, 80% of all acts of religious discrimination in your world today are directed at Christians. Statistically speaking, that makes Christians by far the most persecuted religious body on the planet.

Notice I don’t say ‘Catholics’ because now the struggle has changed: if truth be told, the complex discussions about the differences in Christian theology which brought about my death are a luxury which is irrelevant for many people of your day. Look around you, Father Provincial: in Africa, in Asia, the Middle East, parts of Europe and central America, just to stand in the Shadow of the Cross automatically marks you out for torture and death. Faith and belief are distilled to the very basics; Presbyterians, Methodists, Salvation Army Pentecostalists, Baptists, Anglicans, Orthodox and others stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Catholics in announcing their faith not with any complex declaration of creed, but merely by indicating that Christ, the Son of God came down upon this earth for the salvation of humankind, and they have styled their life on that belief. It is important to emphasise what unites Christians rather than focussing on what divides.

Finally, perhaps it would be important to tell the people tonight about what it means to be a martyr. This is especially true when the word itself might be used to describe a man or woman who wraps himself or herself in explosives and devastates a Church or a Synagogue or a Mosque. A Christian can never be someone who brings destruction on others in the name of Christ. A Christian martyr is someone who acts as a witness – a person who gives up their life, that others might live…

There is so much fear and uncertainty and greed in people’s daily lives that it is so tempting to lash out at other people – to inflict fear on others, to use physical violence or the deadly weapon of a gossipy tongue to drag them down. It can give a moment of pleasure, but ultimately it is a futile action. The cycle of vendetta and recrimination which you can see spiralling-down through families and nations through the centuries, draws the life-blood from all that is human.

In my own small way, I tried to do as Jesus did. I did not trade insult for insult. Instead I looked at Jesus before his persecutors and took him as my example; he absorbed their hatred, he absorbed their anger, he absorbed their misunderstanding and somehow – shockingly – he stopped it dead in its tracks.

Every act of human kindness, every fragment of LOVE contributes to this redemption of the world, whether it is a hand of friendship or a bitten-tongue holding back an insult. No act of witness goes to waste.

So, work for the time when people might come to you and ask you to show them a martyr, a faithful witness to the faith; work for that time when you no longer need to point to my painting or shrine – but you can point to yourself and the congregation that surrounds you.

Your devoted Jesuit Brother in Christ,

John
Firstborn son of Walter Ogilvie of Drum-na-Keith. 

Comment:

A Happy Feast Day to one and all! 

But, hang on…That’s not REMOTELY the letter that St John Ogilvie would be writing, were he to communicate with us today.   He would begin, no question about it, by lamenting the fact that the Mass for which he had sacrificed his life’s blood was no longer in “ordinary” use, but dubbed “extraordinary”, with those who love it, as he had loved it, treated like village idiots, even at the highest level in the Church.  That’s one topic which St John Ogilvie would certainly include in his letter today – can you think of any others?

As well as spending some time discussing “that letter”, however, we are also invited to  post our favourite prayers, poems and hymns  in honour of the Saint, and –  in the interest of enjoying some Good Clean Fun – we may post jokes and comical stories, as well. Just go easy on the mean Scots jokes… Athanasius tends to take those personally.  He once wrote a letter to an English newspaper where he said:  “If you print any more jokes about mean Scotsmen I shall stop borrowing your paper.” And he took to the streets a few weeks ago there, with an empty glass in each hand when the weather forecaster said there would be a nip in the air…

Happy Feast of  St John Ogilvie! 

Restoring Tradition: Reasons For Hope…

Image

That today there are Catholics denominated “traditionalist” is a development unexampled in the entire previous history of the Catholic Church. Even at the height of the Arian crisis—the closest analogue to our situation—the Church was not divided between traditionalists and non-traditionalists, but rather between those who had not embraced the heresy of Arius and those who had.

But what exactly is a traditionalist? A look back at the way things once were might convey the meaning of the term more effectively than the usual attempts at a formal definition:  Click here or on the picture to read more – also, if you find that you experience any difficulty in opening the link, it is reproduced in first comment below.

Comment

I was deeply saddened yesterday to learn of one of our staunchest supporters, a long time reader of Catholic Truth, who is so deeply upset by all that is happening in the Church, crunch time being the recent “canonisations” , that he is now wondering if he should question the very existence of God.

What can we say to help him?  I told him that what keeps me going is (a) that this diabolical disorientation was foretold (Quito and Fatima = diabolical disorientation) and (b) that we must cultivate the mindset that we are, in fact, privileged souls to have the opportunity to exercise real faith in this time of crisis, and, hopefully, play some part in restoring Catholic Tradition.  What would you say to encourage him not to lose heart and faith?

The New Mass – A Lethal Weapon?

Image

The Tabernacle of the Catholic Church in Doha, Qatar (Arabian Gulf)
behind the new style altar.

Blogger, Benedict Carter has submitted an article on the Mass which will be published in full in our newsletter, in the near future. In the meantime, he’s kindly agreed to allow us to discuss an extract here – share your thoughts…

Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci (‘The Ottaviani Intervention’, 1969) to Pope Paul:   “The Novus Ordo Missae, even when said with piety and respect for the liturgical rules… is impregnated with the spirit of Protestantism. It bears within it a poison harmful to the faith.”

“We have limited ourselves to a summary evaluation of the Novus Ordo where it deviates most seriously from the theology of the Catholic Mass and our observations touch only those deviations that are typical. A complete evaluation of all the pitfalls, the dangers, the spiritually and psychologically destructive elements contained in the document—whether in text, rubrics or instructions – would be a vast undertaking.”

Cardinal Alfons Stickler, November 27, 2004:   “The analysis of the Novus Ordo made by these two cardinals has lost none of its value nor, unfortunately, of its relevance …. the results of the reform are considered by many today to be devastating. It was to the credit of Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci that they discovered very quickly that the change of the rites led to a fundamental change of doctrine.”

Pope Paul VI, October 13, 1977:   “The tail of the devil is functioning in the disintegration of the Catholic world. The darkness of Satan has entered and spread throughout the Catholic Church even to its summit. Apostasy, the loss of the faith, is spreading throughout the world and into the highest levels within the Church.”

“I sometimes read the Gospel passage of the end times, and I attest that, at this time, some signs of this end are emerging”

Pope John Paul II, visit to the USA in 1979:   “We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. … We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine Providence; it is a trial which the whole Church … must take up.” ————–

What has happened to our Catholic Church since the mid-1960’s? A healthy Church (at the level of the laity at least) has collapsed. Indeed, the collapse was more or less complete by the mid-1970’s: all since then has been a series of stases before further lurches downwards.

We have seen everything change, but nothing has affected us so much as the changes in the Mass. What follows are my own thoughts and observations on this matter since my return to the Church in 2005. In this essay I will seek to show that the Novus Ordo is, even in the hands of an orthodox priest, a lethal weapon against the Catholic Faith. I will not enter into a discussion of whether the Novus Ordo is a valid Sacrament per se or not: this essay assumes that it is (although many hundreds of thousands of individual Novus Ordo Masses have undoubtedly been invalid for want of valid matter or form over the last decades). But valid is the very, very least it should be. There should be so much more.

The Mass, as the centre of our Holy Faith, should:

1. Reinforce the entire Catholic Faith in every aspect. The way in which we worship contains within itself not only what we believe but the spirit of that belief; 2. It should raise up the individual reverently to the majesty and glory of God; 3. It should present to the individual (sic) soul the starkness and finality of the moral choices we have to make as Catholics in order to inherit Eternal Life; 4. It should keep us in safe continuity with the two thousand years of organic (and in fact miniscule) development of the Church’s main western liturgy, so that we can be Catholics hearing the same words and seeing the same gestures as an Italian of the 4th century, a Portuguese of the 9th century, a Swede of the 14th century, an Englishman hearing a recusant Mass in the 17th century; as any Catholic at all until the late 1960’s. Communion in worship is also communion in belief not only with one’s fellow Catholics throughout the world, but with all Catholics throughout the centuries back to the time of Christ Himself.

The Novus Ordo does not fulfill any of these functions of worship. It is a terrible charge to lay on the Novus Ordo that it represents a non-Catholic religion, but I believe that fundamentally the charge is justified.

That there has been a gigantic rupture in the Church these past fifty years cannot be denied. Those who do deny it are either stupid, have a vested interest in the rupture or (even worse) are quite happy that it occurred, whatever the damage done; or have been formed by it and don’t know anything else.

I was born in 1963 so came to self-consciousness with the changes already made. I count myself extremely lucky to be the child of parents whose whole lives and characters were formed by and steeped in the Catholic Faith of their parents, people of the First World War generation. So prayers were said, our home was full of Catholic pictures, statues, music, books and conversation, going to Mass was a serious event and the whole world of Catholicism was in our home constantly. I remember my mother would cross herself and bow to the Tabernacle at the door to the church porch after Mass. She would not speak until she had physically left the building altogether. I never forgot it. The next time I saw someone do the same was thirty-five years later, in Moscow – a Russian Orthodox believer leaving an Orthodox church. What we have lost! The entire Catholic intimacy with the divine!

The rupture has caused conflict within families, civil war in the Church, and apostasy on a scale not seen since the 16th century and before that, in the time of Arius; and has lost countless souls. That the changes have cost many, many souls must be true: if people stop going to Confession and to Mass, how can they receive the Grace necessary to conquer concupiscence and stay free of mortal sin? At the heart of the rupture is the Novus Ordo: quite understandable, as the Mass is the centre and summit of the Catholic Faith. So what is the nature of the rupture, seen most vividly in this New Mass?

At its bottom-most level, it must be a loss of faith in the existence of God and the invisible world, which for any authentic Catholic should be the world that has most pull on his mentality, thoughts, conduct, and whole life. (This basic loss of faith in Christ involves too the loss of a sense of sin and of its seriousness. And so of course the Confessionals are mostly empty.) END OF EXTRACT…

Bishop Fellay: Restore Mass, End Crisis…

If you would prefer to read the text of Bishop Fellay’s interview, rather than view the video, click here.

There are people who believe that the way to end the crisis in the Church is to improve Catholic schools. Others want a reform of the reformed liturgy – to make it, in other words, a “permanent workshop” which is the dream of dissenters.

The entire interview with Bishop Fellay is of much interest to those open minded enough to accept his down to earth assessment of the pontificate of Pope Francis to date. So, your thoughts on any aspect of the interview will be welcome. Bishop Fellay’s key point, however, is that there must be a restoration of the Mass before the crisis in the Church can be ended. Is he right?

Tradition: Was Pope Pius XII Wrong?

Tradition: Was Pope Pius XII Wrong?

Following some comments on another thread, sparked by the question of whether or not Jesus prayed in Latin at the first Mass, Petrus offered the following article to allow us to debate the legitimacy of seeking to restore the Mass to its original, very earliest form. Those who want to do this, claim that they are the true defenders of “Tradition”. Pope Pius XII disagreed.

Read on and then tell us if you agree with Petrus. Or, rather, if you agree with Pope Pius XII. You can check the pontiff’s own words on the topic by clicking on his photo.

Petrus writes…

Time and time again we hear from Modernist voices, “What did the early Christians do?” They direct their poisonous venom at various old chestnuts. Usually, these haters of tradition save their fiercest criticism for the Traditional Latin Mass, such is their hatred for the traditional liturgy.

What these Modernists don’t realise is that their attacks on Catholic Tradition are nothing new. The last pope truly faithful to Catholic Tradition, Pope Pius XII, condemned their arguments as heresy in his encyclical letter “Mediator Dei”. Let’s take a look at how this great pope torpedoes the arguments of liberals.

“The liturgy of the early ages is most certainly worthy of all veneration. But ancient usage must not be esteemed more suitable and proper, either in its own right or in its significance for later times and new situations, on the simple ground that it carries the savor and aroma of antiquity.” The liturgy is organic and has always evolved. Just because the early Church did something a certain way is not a good enough reason for doing it now.

The Latin language is usually a target. “Did Jesus pray in Latin?”. Well, he certainly didn’t attend liturgical worship in the vernacular. Hebrew was the liturgical language of the time – used to protect the liturgies of the Jewish people. Pope Pius XII condemns this attack on the official language of the Church:

“It has pained Us grievously to note, Venerable Brethren, that such innovations are actually being introduced, not merely in minor details but in matters of major importance as well. We instance, in point of fact, those who make use of the vernacular in the celebration of the august eucharistic.”

So, the argument that Our Lord didn’t use Latin just does not wash. It’s an attack on the Sacred Liturgy and an attack on Sacred Tradition.

These attacks on the Holy Mass are nothing new. So important is the Mass to Catholics that the Church’s enemies have always tried to attack it. Martin Luther attacked the Mass. The innovators who attempted to destroy the Roman Rite after Second Vatican Council used the antiquarian heresy that Pope Pius XII condemned just a few short years before the Council. These proponents of innovation are the heirs of Martin Luther. Indeed, one of the six Protestant advisers who helped Archbishop Bugnini concoct the New Mass declared triumphantly, “We have finished what Luther started”.

So, for the Modernists out there who think they are being clever writing to Catholic Truth, or submitting a comment on the blog, asking sarcastically “What did the early Church do?”, I suggest you ponder the words of Pope Pius XII before you lift the pen or hit the keyboard. You are supporting, intentionally or unintentionally, a diabolical attempt to destroy the Mass.