Home > Tag Archives: Novus Ordo

Tag Archives: Novus Ordo

April 27th, 2015

Bishops in a Blue Funk Over Sodomistic Pseudogamy

I am beginning to suffer from ecclesial schizophrenia. I suppose that’s only to be expected if you attend the Novus Ordo on weekdays and the immemorial Mass on Sundays. Canadian journalist Hilary White insists that “Novus Ordoism Isn’t Catholicism” and while I wouldn’t go as far as that, I certainly  think she has a valid point.

At our local church last week the Novus Ordo cycle of readings included an account of the martyrdom of St Stephen. In his little homily before the offertory the celebrant referred  in general terms to present day martyrdoms  in the Middle East, lumping them  in for some obscure reason with the tragedy of the drownings in the Mediterranean. He then jumped to the subject of “change”, suggesting  that alterations to the liturgy after Vatican II had been difficult for some people who liked things as they were, and maybe had a love of Latin.  But, he reminded us, Cardinal Newman had written that to live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.

Then Father moved on to  the referendum to change the Constitution on marriage. Our bishops, he said, wanted us to reflect deeply on this matter. But mind you, they weren’t wagging their fingers at us and telling us how to vote!

The message I took from this is that it’s  OK to vote for sodomistic pseudogamy, as long as you have thought about it really seriously. This is quite in line with our bishops’ document  “Marriage Is Important: Reflect Before You Change It.”  In a recent interview Archbishop Éamonn Martin of Armagh said he was hoping for  “a deeper and more reflective debate” before polling day.

This is utterly pathetic, and it makes me ashamed to be a Catholic. Or it would do, if I hadn’t heard a spine-stiffening sermon at a Latin Mass in Dublin the previous Sunday.  The priest said simply that the bishops were in a blue funk,   when faced with a proposal to overturn the whole God-given idea  of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. St Kevin’s Church in Harrington Street is to have a an evening of prayer for the defeat of the referendum, including 15 decades of the rosary and Benediction.

Our shepherds should  be thundering their denunciations down on the heads of this execrable government. They don’t seem to grasp that sometimes, to keep any self-respect, one has to engage the enemy in battle even if there may not be that much hope of success.

What a contrast to the uncompromising action by three Baptist churches who took out a half-page ad. in our local paper, the Dun Laoghaire Gazette:

As Bible-believing Christians, it is our duty to point out that Jesus Christ defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman. ..There is much talk today about human rights, and equality. However, God as our creator, has rights over his creatures. God instituted marriage, not man. God makes the rules, and man has no right to change what God has set in place.

Marriage, as defined by God to be between a man and woman, has been universally accepted by all cultures from time immemorial. It is no longer marriage if it is redefined to mean two men or two women. No generation, until now, has dared to tamper with this definition.

This vote is not about valuing some people in our society. It is about devaluing God. This vote is not about equality, but is really about dethroning God as the ultimate authority in life…

This is why we urge you to vote NO at the forthcoming referendum on 22nd May.

Why can’t our shepherds say something as  simple and uncompromising as that, instead of bumbling on about “deep and reflective debates”.  Do they  think the media will respect them for broad-mindedness  or  despise them for their cowardice? All honour to  the Blanchardstown Baptist Church, the Lucan Gospel Baptist Church, and the Redemption Baptist Church, Athlone.

Michael Voris  of ChurchMilitant. TV was speaking of the situation in the US, but his remarks apply equally well to Ireland:

As you might imagine, saying it like it is, putting it out there, ruffles the feathers of the more genteel, the more ‘diplomatic’, the professional Catholic crowd.

Their lace-curtain approach, their ‘don’t upset people and make them feel uncomfortable’ tactics have accomplished nothing and actually are now standing in the way.

This whole tone of the Catholic Establishment must be defeated.  It’s worthless, wimpy, and whiny.  It inspires nothing—nothing except indifference.

The Church of Nice needs to get back to the gym and develop some muscles.  In the meantime, we need to get about the business of the work of great men like St. Francis de Sales and preach the hard truths—get in people’s faces, confront the evil in the Church, and all this despite being mocked and abandoned by the Establishment Church of Nice gang.

No one in the world listens to them with their pudding mouth approach. Why should we?


March 30th, 2015

Novus Ordo is a Penance

Excuse me while I vent a little…

This Lent, for my many sins, offences and negligences—and for the manifold needs of my family— I decided to try to go to Mass each day.  It’s difficult, because I’m not entirely happy going to the Pixies in Mounttown, and the Novus Ordo  as it is often celebrated constitutes a danger to one’s faith. Fortunately I have a choice of several churches without having to get into the car. But you never know quite what to expect.

I can just about bear the “Good morning, everybody!”, and the sycophantic response “Good morning, father”, which are now de rigueur almost everywhere. But at so many Masses  the ad libbing  and the altering of the text of the Mass (even the plain words of scripture) are becoming intolerable.   I find it very difficult to believe that the celebrant is  aware of the fact that he is offering the sacrifice of Calvary in an unbloody manner, changing bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ.  All too often, his manner indicates a belief that he is merely celebrating a memorial of the Last Supper.  He seems to think  his primary function is to entertain the congregation, and maybe to edify them a little as well. Sometimes he recites most of the Mass in a relaxed, conversational style. The rubrics are an optional extra: he thinks nothing of breaking the host before the Consecration;  and changes  “for many” (the actual words of Our Lord) into “for all”—presumably because he believes everyone is saved.

Recently Father, vested in just alb and stole,  told the mainly elderly congregation that they ought to  be happy, as there was nothing worse than a miserable old person; and so they shouldn’t be worrying about their children. I thought this was singularly unhelpful: of course all parents are concerned about their offspring—in these times more than ever.  He had a real opportunity to help stress the importance and the efficacy of prayer—and he muffed it. One lady in the congregation was so distressed by this tacky celebration that she didn’t go to Communion: she told me she would go to a later Mass.

The best  Novus Ordo I have been to in recent weeks was at Our Lady Queen of Peace on the Merrion Road.  When I arrived, a little early, Benediction was going on. The O Salutaris, the Tantum Ergo, the Divine Praises, Deus Qui Nobis,  Adoremus in Aeternum—the lot. The Mass itself was reverent, and the brief sermon workmanlike. Proof, if proof were needed, that even the Novus Ordo can be spiritually uplifting if priests would only just follow the rubrics: say the black, do the red.

Queen of Peace is run by Opus Dei. Wouldn’t you know?


November 6, 2014

Pope Francis Faces Civil War

Damian Thompson, formerly of the Daily Telegraph, now of the Spectator, has an interesting  take on that Synod.  I suspect he has got it about right, although  the civil war  between orthodox and modernist Catholics has surely been going on ever since the mods hijacked Vatican 2. Now it’s certainly hotting up, and Pope Francis doesn’t seem to know what to do. Thompson writes:

‘At this very critical moment, there is a strong sense that the church is like a ship without a rudder,’ said a prominent Catholic conservative last week. No big deal, you might think. Opponents of Pope Francis have been casting doubt on his leadership abilities for months—and especially since October’s Vatican Synod on the Family, at which liberal cardinals pre-emptively announced a softening of the church’s line on homosexuality and second marriages, only to have their proposals torn up by their colleagues.

But it is a big deal. The ‘rudderless’ comment came not from a mischievous traditionalist blogger but from Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Apostolic Signatura—that is, president of the Vatican’s supreme court. As it happens, Pope Francis intends to sack Burke, whose habit of dressing up like a Christmas tree at Latin Masses infuriates him. But he hasn’t got round to it yet. And thus we have the most senior American cardinal in Rome publicly questioning the stewardship of the Holy Father—possibly with the tacit approval of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

Nothing like this has happened since the backstabbing behind the scenes at the Second Vatican Council 50 years ago. It raises the question: is the Catholic church in the early stages of a civil war between liberals and conservatives, fought not over liturgical niceties (the source of relatively harmless squabbles under John Paul II and Benedict XVI) but fundamental issues of sexual morality?

The October synod was a disaster for Pope Francis. Before it started, he had successfully tweaked the Catholic mood music relating to divorcees and gay people. The line ‘Who am I to judge?’, delivered with an affable shrug on the papal plane, generated friendly headlines without committing the church to doctrinal change. Conservatives were alarmed but had to acknowledge Francis’s cunning. ‘Remember that he’s a Jesuit,’ they said.

Then Francis did something not very cunning. Opening the synod, which would normally be a fairly routine affair, he encouraged cardinals and bishops to ‘speak boldly’. Which they did, but not in the way he intended.

The Pope’s first mistake was to invite Cardinal Walter Kasper, the Vatican’s 81-year-old retired head of ecumenism, to set the agenda for the synod by addressing the world’s cardinals back in February. Kasper told them that the church should consider giving Holy Communion to remarried Catholics.

Even if Francis supports this notion—and nobody knows—his choice of Kasper was a blunder because the cardinal, in addition to being a genial and distinguished scholar, is leader of a German-led faction that represents, in Catholic terms, the far left of the theological spectrum. In 1993 Kasper, then Bishop of Rottenburg-Stuttgart, co-signed a letter by German bishops demanding that Catholics living ‘in a canonically invalid union’ should be allowed to decide for themselves whether to receive the Eucharist. The German church is a law unto itself: although its services are empty, it is rich, thanks to the country’s church tax, and arrogant. To cut a long story short, this faction — which had ruthlessly undermined Benedict XVI’s authority when he was pope –  tried to hijack the synod.

They messed it up. The synod’s ‘special secretary’, the Italian archbishop Bruno Forte wrote a mid-synod report suggesting that the participants wanted to recognise the virtuous aspects of gay unions. In doing so, Forte—an even more radical figure—overplayed his hand. Most synod fathers wanted no such thing. Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Cardinal George Pell, head of the Vatican’s finances, were horrified. They ensured that the final report kicked Communion for divorcees into the long grass and did not even mention homosexual relationships. ‘Synod rebuffs Francis on gays,’ reported the media—the last thing the Pope wanted to read.

To make matters worse, Kasper gave an interview in which he said that anti-gay African Catholics ‘should not tell us too much what we have to do’. At which point Cardinal Burke called him a racist. Kasper reacted furiously and is telling anyone who will listen that the church will soon drastically change its rules on access to Communion. This is wishful thinking.

And now another voice is being heard. The last pope is neither dead nor senile nor as silent as we thought he was going to be. In the last month Benedict XVI has written to the ex-Anglicans of the Ordinariate expressing delight that they now worship in the former Bavarian chapel in Warwick Street, London; to Rome’s Pontifical Urban University about the dangers of relativism; and, most significantly, to supporters of the old liturgy. ‘I am very glad that the usus antiquior [the traditional Latin Mass] now lives in full peace within the church, also among the young, supported and celebrated by great cardinals,’ he said. In fact, very few cardinals celebrate in the old rite. But one who does is Raymond Burke. ‘Benedict is well aware of that,’ says a Ratzinger loyalist. ‘He’s not under the illusion that he’s still pope, but he was appalled by the sight of Kasper trashing his legacy and he is making his displeasure clear.’

Where does this leave Francis? Looking a bit like ‘the Hamlet Pope’, Paul VI, whom he has beatified. He supports some sort of reform, but uncertainty is breaking the church into factions reminiscent of the Anglican Communion. Old enemies of Benedict XVI reckon they can persuade Francis to stack the college of cardinals in their favour. Meanwhile, Burke has emerged as leader of the hardline traditionalists. ‘He did not want this role but perhaps he sees himself as a St John Fisher figure,’ says one Vatican source, a comparison that casts the successor of Peter in the role of Henry VIII.

What should worry Francis is that moderate conservative Catholics are losing confidence in him. The New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, who is no one’s idea of an extremist, believes that ‘this pope may be preserved from error only if the church itself resists him’. Cristina Odone, former editor of the Catholic Herald, says that ‘Francis achieved miracles with his compassionate, off-the-cuff comments that detoxified the Catholic brand. He personifies optimism—but when he tries to turn this into policy he isn’t in command of the procedures or the details. The result is confusion.’

All of which suggests a far closer analogy than with Henry VIII. There is another world leader, elected amid huge excitement, who has surprised and disappointed the faithful by appearing disengaged and even helpless in moments of crisis. This is an awful thing to say, but we could be watching Jorge Bergoglio turn into Barack Obama.

Cardinal Burke will be in Limerick on November 15-16, for the Catholic Voice Conference on marriage. If you would like to attend,  contact http://www.catholicvoice.ie/index.php/shop – or  phone  05986 27268


The Novus Ordo Is No Joke

 I  just must get this one off my chest. I used to think Hilary White got it wrong when she stated in her blog Orwell’s Picnic that “Novus Ordoism isn’t Catholicism”, but now I’m an agnostic on that topic. Yes, yes, I know it is possible to celebrate the Novus Ordo  properly and reverently, doing the red and saying the black (Opus Dei priests and many others do it every day) but it does lend itself to the  most grotesque abuses.

This morning I went to Mass in a South Dublin chapel.  Father bumbled on to the altar, said his good morning everybody and welcome and then greeted a friend of his back from holidays in some sunny clime, where the temperature had been 26 degrees. It’s only 14 here, said Father, to amused titters. We had more off-the cuff- interjections from Father, who seemed to think a celebrant’s job was to goof around and imitate a fourth-rate television compere rather than to act in persona Christi.

 It was the feast of all the Saints of Ireland, and Father announced before the blessing that as we all hoped  to join them one day we would be singing as a final hymn “When the Saints Go Marching In. ” I thought he was joking. This time he wasn’t.  I got out as fast as I could, in  the foulest of tempers, even  though I had just received Holy Communion. Surely the Mass was never meant to be like this?

September 10, 2014

Flaky Masses ARE Valid

Are you  tempted, as I sometimes am, to feel that Novus Ordo  Masses celebrated by a Fr  McFlake  or a  Fr  O’Fudge can’t possibly be valid  because they don’t believe they are offering the Holy Sacrifice but merely presiding over  what I once heard  one such priest describe as a “family meal” ?  Over the past few years I have quite often fretted about this. After all, I have asked myself, if a priest does not intend to change bread and wine into the Body and Blood of our Lord, making truly present the one Sacrifice of Calvary,  then how he can he possibly be intending to do what the Church does ?   How he celebrate the Mass if he doesn’t even believe in it?

Now, thanks to that very wise priest of the Anglican Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham,  Fr John Hunwicke, my doubts on this score have been dissipated. In his blog Mutual Enrichment, he dealt with the very problem I have raised here, quoting the great Counter-Reformation theologian St Robert Bellarmine.  Fr Hunwicke writes:

This anxiety does deserve an answer. It deserves an answer based not upon modern or trendy theological speculation but upon the settled teaching of the Church, upon which she has for centuries acted when doubts or worries have arisen. And the locus classicus here is St Robert Bellarmine, de Sacramentis in Genere chapter 27 paragraph 8.  As you read it, remember that Bellarmine was not writing during a period of cosy and iffy ecumenism, but when the Reformation controversies were raging at their height. [Quotation from Bellarmine follows.]

“There is no need to intend what the Roman Church does; but what the true Church does, whatever that True Church is. Or what Christ instituted. Or what Christians do. Because these all amount to the same thing. You ask: What if someone intends to do what some particular and false church does, which he himself believes to be the true one – for example, the church of Geneva; and intends not to do what the Roman Church does? I answer, even that suffices. Because the man who intends to do what the church of Geneva does, intends to do what the universal Church does. For he intends to do what such-and-such a church does, because he believes it to be a member of the true Universal Church, granted that he is mistaken in recognising the True Church. For the error of the minister about the Church does not take away the efficacy of the Sacrament. Only defect of intention does that.” [End quotation from St Robert Bellarmine].

“Geneva”, of course is a reference to the stamping ground of the great heresiarch John Calvin. Bellarmine means that, provided the celebrant is a validly ordained priest and uses real wheaten bread and real wine, the only thing that invalidates his “Mass” is if he deliberately says to himself  “I do not intend to celebrate the Lord’s Supper”. And that is infinitely improbable. Father Daft is much more likely to think that his own totally wonderful understanding is closer to the mind of the Lord in his Supper than are the “views” of those boring “establishment” clergy. The more grossly misguided his opinions are about what the “Supper” really is, the more humanly certain it is that Fr Daft really does intend to celebrate it. And, says Bellarmine, that is a sufficient intention.

Phew! That’s a relief.  It does really make sense. After all, even a Moslem or other non-Christian  can baptise validly if he uses the right form (the words) and matter (water) when, say, he is asked to do so by a mother whose new-born baby is in danger of death.  He knows nothing about baptism except that it is something Christians do. His action is certainly valid, but if it depended on his personal beliefs, it wouldn’t be. And the same goes with Fr Daft and the Blessed Eucharist.  Fr Hunwicke concludes:

So if, by misjudgement, you were present at a Mass where (I imagine an improbably extreme case so as to put the point I’m making beyond doubt) the priest wore jeans and made up a lot of the prayers himself and Sister A strummed on a guitar and Sister B stood beside Father and pretended to concelebrate and the altar was a plywood coffee table and some floozies did a belly dance at the Offertory … then, wotta mistaka to maka by going there in the first place, but having done so you should kneel and worship the True Body and the True Blood of Christ, because they are truly present.  And do not be anxious about receiving Communion in a church where both forms of the Roman Rite are in use; do not bother about hosts consecrated at a Novus Ordo Mass having been mixed up in the Tabernacle with those consecrated at a Traditional Mass. Because THE BODY OF CHRIST IS THE BODY OF CHRIST.  And the Mass is the Mass, whatever the rite, however perverse its celebrant may be.


Allo Allo

Readers may be puzzled by “wotta mistaka to maka.”  I recognised it because it comes from one of my favourite television programmes Allo Allo , a take-off of war films about the French Resistance. It’s the catchphrase of the Italian Captain Alberto Bertorelli , who always uses it  when things go wrong.

Almost every character in the series is a stereotype carried to the nth degree. The two British airmen Carstairs and Fairfax are archetypal upper-class twits, who disguise themselves as onion-sellers and can’t understand why the French curse them when they cycle on the left-hand side of the road;  the Gestapo officer Herr  Flick wears a black leather overcoat and has an exaggerated limp;  Captain Bertorelli is a womaniser who often uses the phrase “Da Beautiful a-Liedy I kiss-a de ‘anda”.  All the French female characters are either tarts or aged crones.

The main character Rene Artois is a café owner who just wants a quiet life.  Although he’s not in the least good-looking, he’s reluctantly and fearfully deceiving  his  wife and having affairs with  his waitresses who are all in love with him.  Much to his embarrassment,  the effeminate German army lieutenant Hubert  Gruber fancies him as well. The Resistance mistakenly  consider him  a hero, and the Germans wrongly think he is a useful collaborator.

Fr Hunwicke’s  appreciation of Allo Allo is another reason why I approve of him.


Liturgical Contrast

I met Fr Hunwicke in July for the first time. He was one of the lecturers at the symposium we attend at Lake Garda, where he displayed a form of dry, wry wit which often reduced the (largely American) attendance to helpless laughter.

In the course of explaining what the Anglican Ordinariate was about, he compared the two shrines of Our Lady at Walsingham in Norfolk.  One, he said , was schismatic and their Masses  began with “I will go up to the altar of God, to God who giveth joy to my youth.” Or you could attend the  shrine of the One True Church, in which case the first, sublime, words you would hear were always : “Good morning, everybody!”