The Future of the Catholic Truth Blog 

From the Editor…

Some time ago, I announced that I had decided to close the blog. Being the official administrator I had the casting vote, so that was that.   There were a number of reasons for this decision, chief among them that I felt there were not enough people signing up and contributing to the discussions.   Following my announcement, I received a number of representations, by phone and email, both from individual bloggers and from readers who sought to change my mind.  I appreciated all the arguments in favour of keeping the blog open, but I remained resolute in my decision. Right up to the moment when our hard-working blogger, Petrus, put some points to me that really did take me by surprise.   In short, it was his story, which he emailed to me only yesterday and which is published below, that made me change my mind.  As a trusted adviser said when I told her, “we’ll never know how many other ‘Peters’ are out there, to whom the blog has, similarly, made a huge difference in their lives.”  So, read on and tell me if you think I’m right to reverse the original decision to close, instead keeping the blog open… OR am I a Scots version of  Theresa May, dithering and changing my mind at every turn?  Don’t answer that!   Anyway, below, read Peter’s pitch to keep the blog open – and tell us if you think he has a point.  Also, feel free to offer ideas for future topics or suggest any improvements you’d like to see;  if it’s within our power, we’ll be glad to oblige. Just don’t suggest sacking Petrus – that’s out of the question! 

From Petrus… 

At the Catholic Truth Conference of June 2012, I gave a keynote address outlining my journey from Modernist Catholic, to Church of Scotland elder, back to Modernist Catholic and finally to the Traditional Catholic faith. In this address, I outlined the role the Catholic Truth apostolate played in that process. In this article, I want to specifically focus on the role the Catholic Truth Blog has played in that journey and my subsequent eleven years attending the Traditional Latin Mass exclusively.

Back in 2008, the blog wasn’t the first contact I had had with Catholic Truth. I had already subscribed to the newsletter for over eight years. Not only did I subscribe to the newsletter, I had a couple of letters published and exchanged emails with the editor – the first occasion being when I read criticism of Catholic education in the newsletter. I’d just qualified as a teacher in a Catholic school and was livid that a Catholic publication would slate Catholic education. In this email, I took great pleasure in telling the editor that those involved with Catholic Truth were excommunicated because they denied the authority of an Ecumenical Council!

Despite my initial condemnation of Catholic Truth, and my Modernism, I volunteered to meet with the editor. However, a priest put me off by defaming the professionalism of the editor, telling me that she had a “failed teaching career” (nothing could be further from the truth). So, I pulled out. In fact, I just didn’t turn up!

During my three years as a Protestant, I lost interest in the newsletter and subsequently missed the launch of the blog. It was only when I returned to the Faith that I returned to reading Catholic Truth. By this time the blog was up and running. I took this as an opportunity to prove my re-found fidelity to the Catholic Faith and set out to put these schismatics to rights!

However, it didn’t quite work out as I planned. The clarity of the comments, alongside the charity of the bloggers had a profound effect on me. I began to wonder what went wrong with my Catholic formation and made a decision that I wouldn’t allow this to happen to my children. The bloggers exercised tremendous patience with me. The best piece of advice I received was to attend the Traditional Latin Mass exclusively for six weeks and I was assured that I would never want to return to the Novus Ordo Missae. This advice changed my life.

Not only has it changed my life, it’s changed the life of my wife, who, whilst not contributing to the blog, is a regular reader. Its coverage of issues in education was instrumental in our decision to home educate our children. Thanks to the blog, only our oldest child has been to a Novus Ordo Mass, but thankfully he has no recollection of it. So, the influence of the blog extends beyond me personally.

I became a regular blogger because it was the only place I could receive support and guidance as a Catholic, outside of the Mass and the Sacrament of Confession. Eleven years later, I am still there, perhaps not as much as I once was due to family and work commitments. It’s not all been plain sailing, I’ve had more arguments and fallings out with the editor than I’ve had hot dinners! [Ed: always his fault 😀 ) However, if I’m honest, I have to say that without the Catholic Truth Blog I might not be where I am now. Without the friendship of the editor and the extended Catholic Truth team, family life in our household would be vastly different… and not for the better. I wouldn’t hesitate in saying that the Catholic Truth Blog has been the most important contribution to authentic Catholic life, both in Scotland and far beyond, in the last twelve years. Please, God, long may it continue!

 

Comments invited…   

Even Newer Mass(es) Coming Soon!

Text of the Apostolic Letter Motu Proprio “Magnum Principium” Quibus nonnulla in can.
838 Codicis Iuris Canonici immutantur


APOSTOLIC LETTER
ISSUED MOTU PROPRIO
OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF
FRANCIS
MAGNUM PRINCIPIUM
BY WHICH CAN. 838 OF THE CODE OF CANON LAW IS MODIFIED 

The great principle, established by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, according to which liturgical prayer be accommodated to the comprehension of the people so that it might be understood, required the weighty task of introducing the vernacular language into the liturgy and of preparing and approving the versions of the liturgical books, a charge that was entrusted to the Bishops.

The Latin Church was aware of the attendant sacrifice involved in the partial loss of liturgical Latin, which had been in use throughout the world over the course of centuries. However it willingly opened the door so that these versions, as part of the rites themselves, might become the voice of the Church celebrating the divine mysteries along with the Latin language.

At the same time, especially given the various clearly expressed views of the Council Fathers with regard to the use of the vernacular language in the liturgy, the Church was aware of the difficulties that might present themselves in this regard. On the one hand it was necessary to unite the good of the faithful of a given time and culture and their right to a conscious and active participation in liturgical celebrations with the substantial unity of the Roman Rite. On the other hand the vernacular languages themselves, often only in a progressive manner, would be able to become liturgical languages, standing out in a not dissimilar way to liturgical Latin for their elegance of style and the profundity of their concepts with the aim of nourishing the faith.

This was the aim of various Liturgical Laws, Instructions, Circular Letters, indications and confirmations of liturgical books in the various vernacular languages issued by the Apostolic See from the time of the Council which was true both before as well as after the laws established by the Code of Canon Law.

The criteria indicated were and remain at the level of general guidelines and, as far as possible, must be followed by Liturgical Commissions as the most suitable instruments so that, across the great variety of languages, the liturgical community can arrive at an expressive style suitable and appropriate to the individual parts, maintaining integrity and accurate faithfulness especially in translating some texts of major importance in each liturgical book.

Because the liturgical text is a ritual sign it is a means of oral communication. However, for the believers who celebrate the sacred rites the word is also a mystery. Indeed when words are uttered, in particular when the Sacred Scriptures are read, God speaks to us. In the Gospel Christ himself speaks to his people who respond either themselves or through the celebrant by prayer to the Lord in the Holy Spirit.

The goal of the translation of liturgical texts and of biblical texts for the Liturgy of the Word is to announce the word of salvation to the faithful in obedience to the faith and to express the prayer of the Church to the Lord. For this purpose it is necessary to communicate to a given people using its own language all that the Church intended to communicate to other people through the Latin language. While fidelity cannot always be judged by individual words but must be sought in the context of the whole communicative act and according to its literary genre, nevertheless some particular terms must also be considered in the context of the entire Catholic faith because each translation of texts must be congruent with sound doctrine.

It is no surprise that difficulties have arisen between the Episcopal Conferences and the Apostolic See in the course of this long passage of work. In order that the decisions of the Council about the use of vernacular languages in the liturgy can also be of value in the future a vigilant and creative collaboration full of reciprocal trust between the Episcopal Conferences and the Dicastery of the Apostolic See that exercises the task of promoting the Sacred Liturgy, i.e. the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, is absolutely necessary. For this reason, in order that the renewal of the whole liturgical life might continue, it seemed opportune that some principles handed on since the time of the Council should be more clearly reaffirmed and put into practice.
Without doubt, attention must be paid to the benefit and good of the faithful, nor must the right and duty of Episcopal Conferences be forgotten who, together with Episcopal Conferences from regions sharing the same language and with the Apostolic See, must ensure and establish that, while the character of each language is safeguarded, the sense of the original text is fully and faithfully rendered and that even after adaptations the translated liturgical books always illuminate the unity of the Roman Rite.

To make collaboration in this service to the faithful between the Apostolic See and Episcopal Conferences easier and more fruitful, and having listened to the advice of the Commission of Bishops and Experts that I established, I order, with the authority entrusted to me, that the canonical discipline currently in force in can. 838 of the C.I.C. be made clearer so that, according to what is stated in the Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, in particular in articles 36 §§3.4, 40 and 63, and in the Apostolic Letter Motu Proprio Sacram Liturgiam, n. IX, the competency of the Apostolic See surrounding the translation of liturgical books and the more radical adaptations established and approved by Episcopal Conferences be made clearer, among which can also be numbered eventual new texts to be inserted into these books.

Therefore, in the future can. 838 will read as follows:

Can. 838 – §1. The ordering and guidance of the sacred liturgy depends solely upon the authority of the Church, namely, that of the Apostolic See and, as provided by law, that of the diocesan Bishop.

§2. It is for the Apostolic See to order the sacred liturgy of the universal Church, publish liturgical books, recognise adaptations approved by the Episcopal Conference according to the norm of law, and exercise vigilance that liturgical regulations are observed faithfully everywhere.

§3. It pertains to the Episcopal Conferences to faithfully prepare versions of the liturgical books in vernacular languages, suitably accommodated within defined limits, and to approve and publish the liturgical books for the regions for which they are responsible after the confirmation of the Apostolic See.

§4. Within the limits of his competence, it belongs to the diocesan Bishop to lay down in the Church entrusted to his care, liturgical regulations which are binding on all. Consequently this is how art. 64 §3 of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus as well as other laws are to be interpreted, particularly those contained in the liturgical books concerning their revision. Likewise I order that the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments modify its own “Regulations” on the basis of the new discipline and help the Episcopal Conferences to fulfil their task as well as working to promote ever more the liturgical life of the Latin Church.

Everything that I have decreed in this Apostolic Letter issued Motu Proprio must be observed in all its parts, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, even if it be worthy of particular mention, and I hereby set forth and I dispose that it be promulgated by publication in the daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, that it enter into force on 1 October 2017, and thereafter be published in Acta Apostolicae Sedis.

Given in Rome, at St. Peter’s, on 3 September of the year 2017, the fifth of my Pontificate
FRANCISCUS P.P.   

Note:  [at source, read also the Comment on the Motu Proprio by the secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments]

Comment:

The Catholic Herald sees no problem with the above – indeed, some might argue that the Herald’s assessment is somewhat naïve since few informed Catholics today have any confidence in the bishops, not to mention Pope Francis, not to damage the Mass even more than has already been achieved by the Bugnini revolution.  

The Remnant is closer to the truth:  Paragraph §4 makes it clear that the pope has now given bishops the power to determine much of the Church’s liturgical direction. “Within the limits of his competence, it belongs to the diocesan bishop to lay down in the Church entrusted to his care, liturgical regulations which are binding on all.”

This opens the door, not only to greater liberty in translating liturgical texts, but to creativity in drafting their own texts and rules. The bishops of an episcopal conference can now decide that if the faithful kneel to receive Communion, receive only on the tongue, or fail to participate in the hand shake of peace, this could be grounds to refuse them Communion.

The new motu proprio also supersedes Pope Benedict’s Summorum Pontificum, which dispensed priests from the need to obtain episcopal permission to say the Traditional Latin Mass. With the new ruling, an episcopal conference can now rule that the offering of the Latin Mass is forbidden in a given diocese, or in an entire country, so that traditional Catholics no longer have the option of appealing to Rome for help. The episcopal ruling is now Church law.” [emphasis added]

What we are seeing is a further attempt to pull the Catholic world away from the Church’s centralized authority and have a whimsical free-for-all. Francis himself, on October 17, 2015, called for a “healthy decentralization” of power in the Roman Catholic Church, including changes in the papacy and greater decision-making authority for local bishops, so this latest motu proprio is part of his plan to execute this decentralization.  END

Which commentator, in your opinion, has got it right – the English Catholic Herald or the American Remnant? (The Scottish Catholic Observer is too busy reporting on the Women’s Guild latest coffee morning to worry about incidentals like the liturgy.)   Comments invited…  

Traditional-Leaning Priests Mentally Ill… Mgr Loftus (Echoing Papa Francis)

funny-mental-illness-cartoonfamily-sufferIt’s been a while since we’ve reported on the dreadful writings of Monsignor Basil Loftus, whom we dubbed “Mgr Leftus” because he has, without doubt, abandoned the Catholic Faith of 2,000 years for the newer, if manifestly fewer, modernist version. I haven’t read his column for ages, but this morning, Sunday, 22nd January, a reader insisted that I take a copy of  his latest offering, because it really is, literally, a very nasty piece of work.  Having read today’s claptrap, I thought I’d post some extracts for discussion, knowing full well that there’s no point in writing to his bishop (Diocese of Aberdeen and Diocese of Leeds – as if we don’t have enough heretics of our own up here, they brought him up from England) because both bishops totally ignored the Open Letter we sent to them, some years ago.  True to type, they have allowed him to continue, unchallenged, to attack Catholic Faith and Morals, to the great scandal of many of the faithful. Shame on them. 

You’d think, wouldn’t you, that at a time when society is emphasising that we must de-stigmatise mental illness, the Pope and Mgr Leftus would think twice about using it as a term of abuse. Wouldn’t you? But no. Far from it. 

The good Monsignor spends most of today’s column citing, with obvious approval, Pope Francis’ assertion that young men who apply for seminary “with the intention of adhering to a pre-Vatican II liturgy” (i.e. the traditional Mass) are undesirables (if not deplorables!)

Stretching back to 2015, Mgr quotes the Pope addressing a meeting of priests in the Diocese of Rome: “to ordain these types of seminarians is like placing a mortgage on the Church”  and cites the Pope’s warning to bishops a short time later that they must “think twice” when a young man is ‘too confident, rigid and fundamentalist’ telling them to beware when admitting candidates to the seminary, because ‘there are mentally ill boys who seek strong structures that can protect them, such as the police, the army and the clergy.’ [All quotes taken from Francis’ concern over liturgical young fogeys, The Catholic Times, 20 January, 2017] 

Speaking to bishops, says Mgr L, Pope Francis opined that “Tridentine-rite liturgies celebrated by priests who had never known the Church under the old rite were ‘a manifestation of moral and psychological imbalances.’  And, a delighted Mgr L goes on, the Pope warned newly appointed bishops in 2015:  “Be careful when a seminarian seeks refuge in rigidity – because underneath this there is always something bad.”

cartoonhearingvoices

The traditional Mass is described as “its own shop window” in today’s savage attack,  not to be”reinforced”  in seminaries “or by the use of outdated episcopal carnival-costumes” (that is this terrible priest’s standard way of describing the sacred vestments). 

The entire article exudes evil. As one American bishop said (and I quoted him, with source, in our newsletter at the time) “To be indifferent to the old rite is one thing; to hate it comes straight from Hell”. 

Now, there’s a thought for the good Monsignor.  Instead of blethering on about “rigid fundamentalism” he ought to try it sometime. Would make much more interesting reading that the baloney he churns out week after week in the Anything-But-Catholic Times.  

Comments invited… 

Teenager Issues Challenge: Don’t Change The Mass – Let The Mass Change you…

Award-winning American author Dan Graham’s article Words That Count first appeared in our newsletter, Issue No. 51, September, 2008….Dan’s original article was easily one of the most popular we’ve ever published, as was the updated version published in the newsletter in 2010. In recent weeks I’ve been approached for copies of it (available on our website) so it might be worth airing it on the blog at this time.  American spellings prevail. 

Dan Graham, Award winning author

Dan Graham, Award winning author

This paper methodically compares the texts of the Tridentine Mass 1945 (TM) and the Novus Ordo Mass 1973 (NOM) so Catholics can better understand differences. The method is simple: off-the-shelf software WordListCreator™ alphabetizes and counts words in a text. I used the English translations. I simply compare the words and counts from both masses and ask: what does the NOM remove or add? My operating principle comes from St. Thomas Aquinas: whatever is objectively real is objectively true. This method helps avoid the acrimony that often derails fruitful discussions about the two masses. I present my two conclusions, then my supporting findings by working through a comparison of the words in the TM and NOM. Readers can review the data and come to their own conclusions. The first conclusion is that the two masses differ profoundly. Some argue that the differences in the two missals are trifling, a mere preference of style, but a close examination of the text proves otherwise.  Click here to read the entire article and then share your thoughts in the comments section below. 

 

Comment: 

For those Catholics who believe that the only change to the Mass has been the switch from Latin to the vernacular, this article will (or should) come as a shock.  However, the Catholic sense has been dulled to the point of extinction, so for a lot of Catholics, probably the majority, the “shock” will be nothing more than a mild surprise accompanied by a shrug of the shoulders and a “well, so what?”   Still, there’s been an increase in Catholics showing an interest in the Traditional Mass recently – at least, that’s been my personal experience. What about you? And what about the teenager who quoted a friend of his to me, a girl who had summed up the problems in the Church today with the words I’ve used in the headline above (may it not occur to her to sue me for copyright): “Don’t change the Mass” she reportedly said: “Let the Mass change you…”   Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings, thou hast perfected praise. (Matthew 21:16)

 

“Do you realize that Jesus is there in the tabernacle expressly for you - for you alone?” St.Thérèse of Lisieux

“Do you realize
that Jesus
is there in the
tabernacle
expressly for
you – for you
alone?”
St. Thérèse of Lisieux 

Pope Francis Meets Bishop Fellay…

Image

Rorate Exclusive: Pope Francis received Bp. Fellay, SSPX Superior General, sometime in the past few months.

Rorate has learned and can exclusively confirm that Bishop Bernard Fellay, the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X (Fraternité Sacerdotale Saint-Pie X – FSSPX / SSPX), was received by Pope Francis in the Domus Sanctae Marthae sometime in the past few months. In order to protect our sources, we cannot detail the date and persons involved in the meeting, but only generally locate it in time – if the current pontificate so far can be divided into two halves, the meeting took place in the second half.  

We can also add as part of this exclusive information that it was not a merely fortuitous event – that is to say, many off-the-record meetings with His Holiness have taken place since his election precisely because his being at Saint Martha’s House make him much more accessible and available than many previous pontiffs. No, that was not the case at all – the pope was previously duly informed and duly met Bishop Fellay. The meeting was apparently short and cordial.  

The Pope has a true interest in resolving this situation, it seems to be understood by our sources.  Original Source

Comment

We have no way of knowing whether Pope Francis made one of his famous (or infamous) telephone calls to Bishop Fellay, but, however the meeting came about, is it to be welcomed? Is it a hopeful sign?