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November 12, 2012

Comments

me

I do not know a single person who left the church on account of the new prayers. I do not see how this is a disaster. Your language once again is grossly hyperbolic.

Spirit of Vatican II

I don't personally know anyone who left the church for this reason either; but if 25 percent of those interviewed do, that is quite a troubling sign. Bishop Trautmann prophesied a "pastoral disaster" and his prophecy seems to be coming true: http://catholicreview.org/article/faith/bishop-criticizes-slavishly-literal-english-translation-of-missal

Robt Brown

I don't know how many left the Church because of the new translations--I personally know of no one. I do know, however, that the number is insignificant compared to how many left the Church when Latin was dropped and vernacular versus populum celebration was adopted.

Robt Brown

Bishop Trautmann would know about pastoral disasters. A quick glance at Erie during his 22 years as ordinary tells us why. The number of Catholics increased from 213,749 to 221,508, but the number of priests decreased from 241 to 182.

And unlike the clowns who ran ENRON, the good bishop was unable to use mark to market accounting to fictionalize vocational stats.

Spirit of Vatican II

Priests have dropped in number in pretty much all western dioceses, largely because of the new valorization of marriage in Catholicism. Since gay men have now got a life and can even marry, the number of priests is falling through the floor.

The vernacular liturgy was necessary in the judgment of Paul VI and the bishops who attended Vatican II. Latin liturgy in the novus ordo is there for anyone who wants it. If the mass had remained as it was in the 1950s perhaps the expansion of Catholic population in the third world would not be what it is now. Who can say? In the 1950s the church lived by devotions, especially Marian (Pius XII was fanatical about Fatima) whereas now the church is much more eucharist centered. Of course we have much to learn from our Anglican sisters and brothers about beauty, dignity, community and other liturgical virtues.

Robt Brown

Historically false.

1. During the papacy of Paul VI, 50,000 priests left the active ministry. And it was not due to new considerations of marriage.

2. There was no mandate in Vat II that the mass be completely vernacularized. There was permission that there be some vernacular liturgy, but it is disingenuous to say that the current situation was mandated by the Council. Further, Sacrosanctum Concilium is clear that clerics say the Office in Latin.

3. The Council made no mention of mass versus populum.

4. There are US dioceses and religious orders that are getting vocations. The FSSP seminary in the US has had 25 first year men in each of the past two years. The East Coast Dominicans have a large novitiate this year. The diocese of Lincoln, NE, has no priest shortage. Further, a Discalced Carmelite monastery of nuns(with Latin liturgy) was established there a few years ago and has already made a foundation. And the Abbey of Clear Creek, a Fontgombault foundation, is growing.

5. I agree about the devotion centered pre Vat II Church, which of course was a consequence of the Devotio Moderna promoted by the Jesuits. The "Eucharist oriented" Church you mention is unfortunately based on the false Mass as Meal notion.

6. IMHO, the 1962 Missal is superior for High Mass and Private Low Mass. The weakness was the Public Low Mass, which lacked participatio actuosa. Into that lacuna came the Protestantized vernacular versus populum mass that has proven a pastoral failure in promoting Catholic life (cf SC no 10).

7. Pius XII's Fatima devotion was because he understood the threat of Communism.

Spirit of Vatican II

1. Most priests left in order to marry, as far as I know, not because of the vernacular or Vatican II; the deep appreciation of married love and the respect for individual choice in modern church and society aided this.

2. I did not say fully vernacular liturgies were explicitly mandated by the Council but it soon became apparent in the implementation of the Council by the very Pope and Bishops who had carried out the Council that this was necessary to implement the council vision. The Latin Mass was not abolished nor was the use of Latin in vernacular masses. There has been no widespread call for a devernacularization of the liturgy.

3. The Council did not go into fine detail about much. Mass versus populum is accepted as in line with the general reform of the liturgy and there has been no widespread demand for it to change.

5. The Mass is of course a meal, the Last Supper or the Lord's Supper (the New Testament designations). The category of meal-event is found in all respectable Catholic eucharistic theology. It is true that Ratzinger has attacked an exclusive stress on this aspect, tried to dissociate the eucharist from the meals of Jesus with tax collectors and sinners, and stated that even though the Last Supper is the basis of the eucharist it is not itself a Christian event.

7. Yes he was obsessed with Communism (and with the idea of a communist invasion of Rome, as I see from Congar's Council diaries) and with the idea that Fatima would defend the West against it.

Romanus

According to http://www.revue-kephas.org/03/2/Richard37-48.html based on data published in Revue Missi, the statistics of religious orders (worldwide, I guess, as it is said that the "Indian Carmelites" is an exception) were nearly all on the rise until 1964 and started declining then. This suggests that what happened, whatever it is, happened earlier than the new mass, and earlier than the May 1968 events. In France, diocesan priest ordination figures declined slowly from 1003 in 1950 to 656 in 1965, then more quickly between 1965 and 1975, and then became somewhat stable at around 150. In 2012 the number of diocesan priest ordinations is expected to be 97.

Romanus

One causal factor could be the changes in the educational system. Going through the seminary was one among not so many other, secular options for families who wanted their children to have a higher education. In some areas, you would go through the seminary even if you didn't want to become a priest. As time went, secular education options became more widespread.

Robt Brown

Sorry for the delay. I am in the process of moving.

1.That might explain the mass exodus in the 60's and 70's, but it doesn't address the present problem of men leaving or deciding against ordination.

Marital life is a wonderful thing, and men and women will opt for celibacy only when they perceive that it's oriented to something better. The sad truth is that the priesthood has been so trivialized in the past 40 years that many have perceived it as not worth the price of celibacy. That meant that in many cases only homosexuals and social misfits agreed to celibacy.

Having taught in the FSSP seminary (with all Latin liturgy), I know first hand that their seminarians are high quality. All seemed normal, and some were professionals (among my students was a lawyer, physician, and chemical engineer). All seemed to lack the Weltschmerz that infects so many SSPX members.

2.You're saying that the vision of the Council contradicts the texts themselves: When SC says that Latin is to be retained, it actually means it is to be eliminated. That doesn't make much sense.

3.The truth is that the Consilium was taken over by Community of Man ideologues who had been able to get certain phrases into SC. They promised that radical changes to the liturgy (incl. eliminating Latin) would bring forth a renewal. After their project proved a pastoral flop, they pointed fingers at everyone else.

5. To say that the mass is a meal concept is found in all respectable Eucharistic theology is wildly incorrect. St Thomas in the Summa Theologiae makes no mention of it as a meal. And J. Ratzinger wrote against it. The more accurate phrase is to say that the Eucharist was instituted at the Last Supper, but it is a memorial of Christ's Passion and Death.

I do admit, however, that there were theologians who were popular when you were in studies who promoted the idea. Most are now dead, and their theology had all the staying power of disco music.

Further, it contradicts Scripture to say that the mass is a meal.

a. Only one of the narratives does not mention that the meal was over before the consecration of the wine.

b. At the Passover they ate the lamb that already had been sacrificed. At the institution of the Eucharist, however, the Lamb had not yet been sacrificed. Further, the matter of the Eucharist to be consecrated is matzo, not meat. My guess is that when Christ breaks the bread, it is the breaking of the middle of the three matzo, which occurs before the eating of the meat. Passover tradition is changed, however, when both halves are consumed, rather than one half being saved for the end of the meal. This proclaims that Passover will no longer be celebrated. It will not be Christianized, morphing into the Eucharist, but rather the meal will be ended altogether. What remains is the pre-meal bread and post-meal wine.

7. Of course, as we all know. It was the United States that defeated Communism.

Spirit of Vatican II

1. A senior clergyman assures me that the recent stark decline in vocations is largely due to the fact that gays can now "have a life".

2. Latin has not been eliminated, but the Pope and bishops (the same ones who held the Council) did decide that entirely vernacular liturgies must be allowed. Nothing excludes the use of Latin and nothing excludes have Novus Ordo masses entirely in Latin.

5. "St Thomas in the Summa Theologiae makes no mention of it as a meal." For a critique of Thomas see Fitzpatrick; In Breaking of Bread. In any case his most famous eucharistic utterance does refer to the meal-event: In supremae nocte cenae
Recum bens cum fratribus,
Observata lege plene
Cibis in legalibus,
Cibum turbae duodenae
Se dat suis manibus

Verbum caro, panem verum
Verbo carnem efficit:
Fitque sanguis Christi merum,
Et si sensus deficit,
Ad firmandum cor sincerum
Sola fides sufficit.

"And J. Ratzinger wrote against it." Quite false. He wrote against an exclusive stress on the meal dimension.

You say I was misled by my teachers, but in reality the only course I followed on the Eucharist was given by Joseph Ratzinger, Gregorian University, Spring 1973. He began with the Lukan narrations of the Last Supper and my memory is that the meal dimension figured prominently.

Spirit of Vatican II

"Further, it contradicts Scripture to say that the mass is a meal." No, the early Christians called the mass the Lord's Supper and from all indications in Paul it bore a much more vivid meal-character than it does now.

"a. Only one of the narratives does not mention that the meal was over before the consecration of the wine."

A distinction between the meal and a subsequent "drink event" is farfetched. The Last Supper of Jesus is the basis on which the Lord's Supper of the early communities is built. See the Anchor Bible Dictionary entries on both.

"b. At the Passover they ate the lamb that already had been sacrificed. At the institution of the Eucharist, however, the Lamb had not yet been sacrificed."

The Lamb would have been sacrificed in the Temple, I understand, and would have been eaten at the Last Supper. But Jesus uses classical sacrificial language in regard to the bread and wine (cf. the blood of the covenant, Exodus 24:8)

"it is the breaking of the middle of the three matzo," interesting

"Passover tradition is changed, however, when both halves are consumed, rather than one half being saved for the end of the meal." interesting

"This proclaims that Passover will no longer be celebrated. It will not be Christianized, morphing into the Eucharist, but rather the meal will be ended altogether. What remains is the pre-meal bread and post-meal wine." Paul calls Christ our Pasch, and Christ calls the bread and wine his body and blood, so the paschal symbolism has firm anchorage.

Please see http://www.typepad.com/site/blogs/6a00d8341c071453ef00e550859f958834/post/6a00d8341c071453ef01538e6abd8c970b/edit

evagrius

It seems to me that the Eucharist is both sacrifice and meal. After all, most sacrificial rituals also involved meals. The Eucharist is "cooked" food, bread and "cooked-fermented" juice of the grape. Those are meal items not just isolated elements.

However, a common meal can imply that the community is the celebrant including the priest, ( which is why the Eucharist is never celebrated alone just by the priest in Orthodox practice). The sacrifice is within the meal so to speak.

A sacrifice can imply just the action of the priest is necessary, ( hence the tradition of priests celebrating the Eucharist alone in the West). There is no need for a community.

The recent attempt to return the Eucharist to solely a sacrifice has to do with clerical "power" and not a correct understanding of the Eucharist.

.

Robt Brown

"A distinction between the meal and a subsequent "drink event" is farfetched."

As I noted above, the distinction is found in all but one Scriptural account of the institution of the Eucharist.

"The Last Supper of Jesus is the basis on which the Lord's Supper of the early communities is built. See the Anchor Bible Dictionary entries on both."

See below.

"The Lamb would have been sacrificed in the Temple, I understand, and would have been eaten at the Last Supper. But Jesus uses classical sacrificial language in regard to the bread and wine (cf. the blood of the covenant, Exodus 24:8)"

That's exactly my point. Blood always indicates sacrifice. Paul's famous "Christ Our Pasch is immolated" is more a reference to the events of the history of Israel commemorated by celebration (and the prior sacrifice in the Temple) of Passover than the meal itself. NB: These events are also the antetype of the future sacrifice--Christ's victory over death.

IMHO, had Christ instituted the Eucharist after His Resurrection, it would be a meal.

Adena Livingstone

I don't know how many left the Church because of the new translations--I personally know of no one. I do know, however, that the number is insignificant compared to how many left the Church when Latin was dropped and vernacular versus populum celebration was adopted.

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