Francis says “Reform of the Reform” is “mistaken”. “Traditionalist” seminarians criticized, Pope says their “imbalances” are manifested in their celebration of the liturgy

Again, we must thank Rorate for bringing this worrying news from Rome to wider attention.  http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2015/02

Most media attention on Pope Francis’ annual meeting with the clergy of Rome (held yesterday, February 19) has been focused on his remarks on married clergy. Of equal and possibly more immediate importance were his remarks on the liturgy, which have now been published by the ZENIT news agency.
The Pope could not have been any clearer in his view of the “Reform of the Reform”. He speaks of the need for a more respectful ars celebrandi but anyone who has actually followed the liturgical debates of the last 20 years will know that this is not the same as the “Reform of the Reform”. We sincerely hope that the “usual suspects” in the blogging world and in the social networks will neither ignore this talk completely, nor try to explain this away by constructing elaborate explanations as to why the Pope “really meant” something else, or that this whole thing is really a hoax, a fabrication, or whatever. Anything that will allow them to keep their heads in the sand!
Remarkably the Pope criticizes the “Reform of the Reform” outright but he did not say anything negative about Summorum Pontificum itself, quite the opposite. Nevertheless, his apparently condemning and contemptuous words about “traditionalist” diocesan seminarians cannot and should not be explained away as simply referring to the immoral behavior of some such seminarians — behavior that can also be found, empirically much more frequently, among non-traditionalist seminarians. By specifically naming the (“Reform of the Reform”?) “liturgies” celebrated by “traditionalist” seminarians, once ordained, as the manifestation of their “moral and psychological” “imbalances”, it is clear that the Pope’s target is the traditional-friendly views on the sacred liturgy of many young priests and seminarians. By mentioning that the Congregation of Bishops is conducting interventions in this regard, the message is sent out loud and clear: bishops accept “traditionalist”-leaning seminarians at their peril. By declaring outright that moral and pyschological problems “happen often” in traditionalist “environments” a broad bush, apparently lacking in mercy, may now henceforth be used to tar these young men. 

The relevent passage from the Zenit report is reproduced below, with our emphases.

However, some excerpts of the Pope’s discourse were released thanks in part to several priests who spoke to the press following the meeting. Some even managed to record the Pope’s words. In addition to several phrases reported by a few Italian news agencies this morning, the 78 year old Pontiff touched upon the theme, for example, on the “traditional rite” with which Benedict XVI granted to celebrate Mass. Through the Motu Propio Summorum Pontificum, published in 2007, the now Pope Emeritus allowed the possibility of celebrating the Mass according the liturgical books edited by John XXIII in 1962, notwithstanding that the “ordinary” form of celebration in the Catholic Church would always remain that established by Paul VI in 1970.

Pope Francis explained that this gesture by his predecessor, “a man of communion”, was meant to offer “a courageous hand to Lefebvrians and traditionalists”, as well as to those who wished to celebrate the Mass according to the ancient rites. The so-called “Tridentine” Mass – the Pope said – is an “extraordinary form of the Roman Rite”, one that was approved following the Second Vatican Council. Thus, it is not deemed a distinct rite, but rather a “different form of the same right”. (sic)

However, the Pope noted that there are priests and bishops who speak of a “reform of the reform.” Some of them are “saints” and speak “in good faith.” But this “is mistaken”, the Holy Father said. He then referred to the case of some bishops who accepted “traditionalist” seminarians who were kicked out of other dioceses, without finding out information on them, because “they presented themselves very well, very devout.” They were then ordained, but these were later revealed to have “psychological and moral problems.”

It is not a practice, but it “happens often” in these environments, the Pope stressed, and to ordain these types of seminarians is like placing a “mortgage on the Church.” The underlying problem is that some bishops are sometimes overwhelmed by “the need for new priests in the diocese.” Therefore, an adequate discernment among candidates is not made, among whom some can hide certain “imbalances” that are then manifested in liturgies. In fact, the Congregation of Bishops – the Pontiff went on to say – had to intervene with three bishops on three of these cases, although they didn’t occur in Italy.
During the beginning of his address, Francis, spoke on homiletics and the Ars celebrandi, calling on the priests to not fall into the temptation of wanting to be a “showman” on the pulpit, perhaps even by speaking in a “sophisticated manner” or “overt gestures.”

However, priests shouldn’t also be “boring” to the point that people “will go outside to smoke a cigarette” during the homily.

(Source: Pope Holds Two Hour Meeting with Roman Clergy)

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Francis says “Reform of the Reform” is “mistaken”. “Traditionalist” seminarians criticized, Pope says their “imbalances” are manifested in their celebration of the liturgy

  1. JabbaPapa says:

    I do get so sick and tired of Rorate Caeli‘s endless posturing …

    Nevertheless, his apparently condemning and contemptuous words about “traditionalist” diocesan seminarians cannot and should not be explained away as simply referring to the immoral behavior of some such seminarians

    … which is to accuse the Pope of meaning the diametric opposite of what he actually said.

    He condemned the behaviour of some seminarians — which causes the typical knee-jerk reaction (and I use the word “knee” to remain polite) of the usual suspects at Rorate to claim that it was some kind of imaginary blanket condemnation of all such seminarians.

    — behavior that can also be found, empirically much more frequently, among non-traditionalist seminarians

    This is to just invent “statistics” regarding some unspecified problems that the Pope only vaguely alluded to.

    But they seem to think that this is “empirically” true ?

    Stuff and nonsense !!!

    By specifically naming the (“Reform of the Reform”?) “liturgies” celebrated by “traditionalist” seminarians, once ordained, as the manifestation of their “moral and psychological” “imbalances”,

    Specifically, no such accusation can be found in what the Pope said — except via a process of maliciously willfull misreading.

    it is clear that the Pope’s target is the traditional-friendly views on the sacred liturgy of many young priests and seminarians

    It’s clear as mud.

    Far more conservatively, the Pope was however pointing out that the TLM is not the be-all and end-all of a proper liturgical reverence.

    This does not amount to being such a blanket condemnation of all and everything related to the so-called “reform of the reform”, Particularly not when he describes many among the priests and Bishops who are ardent supporters thereof as being “santi” (holy) and “in buona fede” (in good Faith).

  2. Tom Fisher says:

    A reform of the reform of the reform seems on the cards

  3. Giovanni A. Cattaneo says:

    I agree with Jabba there is definitely a disconect between the headline the editorialized parts and the actual quotes .

  4. geoffkiernan says:

    JABBA: your angst regarding the so called posturing by Rorate Caeli would be easily sated if directed at the posturing by Our Holy Father.
    We pray for our Holy Father and the Church

  5. Frere Rabit says:

    For any who are suspicious about this piece because they have a thing about Rorate (and I have been often disappointed by Rorate’s spin on things in the past), I suggest you simply leave Rorate out of the loop and go straight to the report from Zenit: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-holds-two-hour-meeting-with-roman-clergy

    There you will find more or less the same text and you will be able to make your mind up about it without getting in a tizz about Rorate. The first thing to note is the Zenit report is not a verified or recorded verbatim account of Pope Francis’ own words, but “excerpts of the Pope’s discourse” which “were released thanks in part to several priests who spoke to the press following the meeting.” Several priests. Plenty of room for interpretations there: what priests? what liturgical allegiances? what intentions in reporting the words of Francis? etc.

    After months and months of the soap opera of Big Bad Volpi and the Franciscans of the Immaculate, I am quite fed up with hearing everyone’s spin on the details of every pronouncement made by Francis concerning the traditional Latin Mass. It is clear enough, and has been from the very start, that Bergolio was not going to be Ratzinger, and the Church was changing direction. It has changed direction. Anyone who still thinks otherwise is in denial. I don’t need to analyse the small print or try to tease out the subtext of every statement that Francis makes putting down the work of his predecessor, because I haven’t got either the time or the interest in such parlour games any more. What is very clear to me, coming from an Anglican background into the Catholic Church, is that all the party politics and gender agenda that wrecked the CofE in the 1980s/1990s, to the point where is became a dysfunctional institution: all of that is now centre stage in the Catholic Church.

    The pro-Francis and anti-Francis spin doctors can all go to hell, as far as I’m concerned. And if literally, so much the better. They are all as bad as each other.

    Belatedly following the example of those who left social media for Lent, a few days ago, I think Rabit should follow them into the desert. So see you after Easter. That’s quite enough from me…
    🙂

  6. johnhenrycn says:

    I was one of those “who left social media for Lent” and will be again (tomorrow…sigh), but I’m glad, as always, to be entertained by Frere Rabit’s splenomegaly. A well written philippic against all concerned. Not that I agree they “can all go to hell [or that] they are all as bad as each other”. I fear that FR spent too much time at Benedict Carter’s Chernobyl dacha back in 2010 when they had their famous falling out, and his said enlarged organ has caused him pain ever since:
    http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/uncyclopedia/images/4/49/Funnybunny.gif/revision/latest?cb=20081107221018

  7. Michael says:

    I can’t say whether or not people are misinterpreting this. Really, it seems to me that Pope Francis could mean anything, as on other occasions. But I, and all of us, can go this route: “Oremus pro Pontifice nostro…”

  8. johnhenrycn says:

    Indeed, Michael, we should all do so, and we do at every Sunday Mass.

    Mod Squad: any chance of a close italics just before “I fear” supra??

  9. Maggie says:

    This pope has no love for traditional Catholics and has shown that pretty much from day one. He also showed it when in Argentina. Remember he stopped the FFI from offering the TLM when every priest in the world should have that right.

  10. JabbaPapa says:

    when every priest in the world should have that right

    I looked into the “fine print” ofSummorum Pontificum — and that’s actually only true for diocesan clergy.

    Priests who belong to a religious order may only give the TLM publicly under the condition that their Order has provided them with the authorisation to do so.

  11. Tom Fisher says:

    The pro-Francis and anti-Francis spin doctors can all go to hell, as far as I’m concerned. And if literally, so much the better. They are all as bad as each other.

    It’s not exactly helpful to be so intemperate. If you believe in damnation then you shouldn’t use it as a rhetorical flourish. There was a reason why, long ago, “damn” could be used as a genuinely offensive term

  12. geoffkiernan says:

    Frere Rabit 1002, 21/2
    “….Bergolio was not going to be a Ratzinger…the Church has changes direction. Anyone who thinks otherwise is in denial ”
    The direction of the Church was set 2015 years ago. ( give or take) Have a guess who set that direction?
    If Christ, having set a direction, now feels a new direction is necessary, suggests to me that he erred in the initial direction he had set. If he erred, then what we have is a God who is capable of error and that is absurd.
    To suggest that ‘Bergolio’ or ‘Ratzinger’ are in the business of ‘setting a direction’ is equally absurd.

    Am I the only one who senses the exasperation/frustration in Frere’ comments?

    The cause of that is the confusion that reigns supreme in the Church today, are the events of 50 years ago. Those that saw fit to ‘change the direction’ of the Church 50 odd years ago, are responsible for that confusion.
    A top commentator on another site recently made the observation that a ‘sense of history’ is a vital ingredient missing from the Church today.
    As someone who witnessed things pre VII and post VII, I confirm that element is missing in the opinions, conclusions and summations made by those that have only experienced the post VII Church.
    Only someone of my position (old enough) can know in a genuine and meaningful sense ( born of that Sense of History) what it means to the Church, when Priests were abundant. vocations to the Priesthood were through the roof. Male and Female Religious were everywhere. Every Parish school was staffed exclusively by religious/Religious who made no bones about displaying their consecration to their founder including a visible Crucifix.
    80% of Catholics attended Mass every Sunday ( Now it’s more like 15/20%)

    Gee I wonder if the Holy Latin Rite of Mass was the reason for that.

    The Mass was, ‘The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.’ The consecrated bread and wine was universally known and respected as being the real and corporeal presence of Jesus Christ.(even by non practicing Catholics)
    And CONFUSION was non existent.
    If I had my way it would be compulsory for everyone to disclose his/her age when making a comment. It would at least explain some of the more bizarre comments.

  13. kathleen says:

    Fantastic comment Geoff! You get right to the heart of the matter. These last 50 years have been a disaster for Our Holy Church, however hard well-meaning Catholics desperately search for the hermeneutic of continuity in the VII documents, New Mass, post-VII papal pronouncements, etc. So few remaining now (no offense meant😉 ) remember the time beforehand and have a clear idea of what was lost after the Council. Why was this so? Who was behind the destruction of so much beauty, reverence, piety? Will we ever manage to recover it again?

    Frere Rabit says the Church “has changed direction” !!

    But you say: “The direction of the Church was set 2015 years ago.”

    That’s the truth. It certainly appears that there are those who are trying to put a new “spin” on the Church’s direction, but it is the Holy Spirit Who is in charge, and He will protect Her from the Devil and its minions. Though confusion and even some heretical (or semi-heretical) members of the hierarchy may be attempting to impose their own direction of Christ’s Holy Bride in the opposite direction (e.g. today’s new post on CP&S), they will never finally succeed. Traditional – and hence faithful – Catholics are growing in numbers, here in the West and worldwide; many who were once swept along in the tide of ‘modern Catholic’ (Protestant ? Secular ?) madness are waking up to reality that this was a false path, and are now turning back to traditional Catholic teachings and sentiments.

    We must remain faithful ourselves through prayer and sacrifice. And never fear to preach the Truth. God bless all those, like David Domet (Vox Cantoris) who stand for Christ and His Church.

  14. toadspittle says:

    “If he erred, then what we have is a God who is capable of error and that is absurd.”
    ‘Course it is, Geoff. ….Never heard the like. Makes no sense, do it?

    “Why was this so? Who was behind the destruction of so much beauty, reverence, piety? Will we ever manage to recover it again?”
    Nice to hear someone else ask a question once in a while, round here.

    Rogebert has the answer, I suspect: “It’s all the fault of the Jews and Masons.”

  15. toadspittle says:

    ..although WordPress might have a hand in it somewhere.

  16. Tom Fisher says:

    I have no idea whatsoever , but this article seems a bit paranoid to me. It certainly doesn’t reflect the views actually expressed by the Pope.

  17. Tom Fisher says:

    80% of Catholics attended Mass every Sunday ( Now it’s more like 15/20%)
    Gee I wonder if the Holy Latin Rite of Mass was the reason for that

    No, we can dismiss that possibility, the collapse in Church attendance which took place in the Catholic Church after VII was perfectly mirrored by the collapse in attendance in mainline protestant churches. It was part of a general collapse in traditional Christianity in the West and can’t be blamed on the post-VII liturgy.

  18. geoffkiernan says:

    Kathleen:
    Thanks Kathleen

    “….but it is the Holy Spirit that is in charge…he will protect Her ( the Church) from the devil and his minions”
    You refer here to the Our Lords promise that the gates of hell will never prevail. ( a great consolation for the faithful Church)
    But sadly that does not mean that he will protect those who are in error and stubbornly remain at odds with the teachings of His Church. The Church will prevail but that is of little solace to those that detach themselves from Her teachings and the ‘direction’ set Her 2015 years ago….

    Let me say also that after VII, I embraced every novelty introduced, including the Novus Ordo Missea with gusto. It took 40 years before I rediscovered that Great and incomparable Rite, the Latin Mass. What I am saying is that there were not many that endorsed VII more that I did. It took 40 years of accepting every abuse in the belief that everyone was at least going in the right ‘Direction’

  19. geoffkiernan says:

    Tom: re your 2nd paragraph.
    A noted theologian one once said that the World continues to exist for no other reason than the continued Offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to the Father, its creator.
    It is a small step to chaos and degradation when that Holy Sacrifice is distorted in its essence.
    We can make all the excuses and invent all the reasons in the world The fact is it is not just a coincidence that the decimation of the Church commenced at the same time we altered that Sacred Rite.
    Is this the ‘sense of history’, the ‘hermeneutic of continuity’ (or the lack thereof) I mentioned earlier???
    In this part of the World most NOM are not seen as a sacrifice. Its described as the Lord Supper, or a Eucharistic meal and the Blessed Sacrament is referred to as the Holy Bread of Jesus. It is not considered to be the Body Blood Soul and Divinity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, as evidenced by the lack of reverence(e.g. very few including Priests even genuflect) before the Blessed Sacrament. People are berated by their priests and Bishops if they dare kneel to received the Body of Christ at Holy Communion.
    The sheer arrogance of man, in not bowing before his creator, has had devastating consequences for all of mankind including Protestants. The drop in church attendances is a consequence not a cause.

  20. toadspittle says:

    “People are berated by their priests and Bishops if they dare kneel to received the Body of Christ at Holy Communion.”
    “Berated”?
    I find that hard to believe, Geoff.
    But, then, many things are. So perhaps I’m wrong. But do you actually know of such an instance?

    (If I knelt for Communion, in my church I would not be berated. Nor would anybody else.)

  21. geoffkiernan says:

    Toad:
    “Do you actually know of such an instance?”
    Your joking with me aren’t you?
    I speak only of what I know about in this part of the World.
    Yes I have been refused Holy Communion personally for no other reason than wishing to receive by the mouth. I have heard priest speak from the sanctuary just prior to H/C. telling everyone not to kneel because it interferes with the flow of people.
    In my Parish (1948-2006) recently at the behest of several parishioners the priest was asked if some kneelers could be supplied. He declined saying it was too dangerous.
    When my daughter told my grand daughter’ teacher that she wanted her children to kneel and received H/C on the tongue, se was told it was not an hygienic method and because the School chaplain disapproved permission was refused.
    I have personal experience with 12 different Parishes ( during my attempts to find a parish where there was a semblance of reverence) in my immediate area where kneeling and the reception on the tongue is banned.
    complaints to the Archbishop go unanswered. When I have complained directly to a priest, all you get is a sheepish grin and they walk away. They know they are wrong but nobody of any authority is going to castigate them so they just keep on with their behaviour.
    Do you want me to go on???…. .I have first hand knowledge of Bishops in the Eastern States of Australia , Queensland, Victoria and South Australia….
    And don’t tell me it doesn’t happen in your part of the world. I am surprised Toad. You obviously go around with your eyes closed and fingers firmly in your ears. Or maybe you just get out much…..
    Then again maybe I was right the first time …you are having a joke at my expense.

  22. toadspittle says:

    I wasn’t having a joke, Geoff, (this time at least) I promise.
    I’m clearly out of the loop.
    It’s amazingly undemocratic. Why should putting the host in someone’s mouth be any more or less sanitary than putting it in their hand? There should be an option.
    You have a sound complaint, it strikes me.
    In my local church Communion is regularly given in the hand,* but I’ve seen many a “foreign” pilgrim come and kneel and receive the host in the mouth, no problem at all.

    * We are very “Liberal,” here. Scratch any of us with your fingernail, and you’ll find a Franco Fascist.
    Jabba will confirm this. (If you slap him around a bit first.)

  23. Tom Fisher says:

    At my parish there are several people who receive on the tongue and not in the hand. They don’t kneel however, generally they simply approach and make their preference clear. The priest places the host on their tongue and no one bats an eyelid. It’s possible that in New Zealand these things are less “politicised” (for want of a better term) than in some countries

  24. I read his remarks about the seminarians in Rorate Caeli, and I can’t help but think of a similarity to the certain US President’s desire to bypass part of the Bill of Rights by banning bullets instead of the guns.

    Don’t ban the Tridentine Mass; just ban those that love our Lord enough to want to do it from their vocations.

  25. geoffkiernan says:

    Tom:
    “Politicised (for want of a better word) ”
    Yes you could have chosen a better word (or words)… Try Diabolical disorientation, try a Lack of the sense of the Sacred and what about the absence of a sense of History. Tom I will bet London to a brick you have no perception of things pre VII and as a consequence any perception you have of the Church is flawed. I don’t mean that as a criticism. It just a fact of life.
    The problem is world wide, to a greater or lesser degree….
    Something else about things pre VII… It was not unusual to see just as many people NOTt receive Holy Communion as there were receiving. Now almost 100% of those at Mass ( that is 100% of the 20% that actually attend Mass) go up to receive.
    Is the Sacrament of Penance used more frequently? …. The answer to that is NO and nobody bats an eye…

  26. Tom Fisher says:

    Geoff you seem to have taken offense at my saying that people receive communion on the tongue in my parish without it being a problem. Why?

  27. geoffkiernan says:

    No Tom I haven’t taken offence… I have read and re-read my comment…. However did you reach that conclusion?. God bless ’em for receiving H/C on the tongue. I baulk however at the many acts of sacrilege that occur daily when people adopt an apparent cavalier manner when receiving the BBSD ( Body Blood Soul and Divinity) of their Creator. and before anyone gives me that chestnut about not knowing the mind of the receiver, let me say that the internal forum is ( should be ) reflected in the external Forum .
    The old saying…. ‘Justice must not only be done it must be seen to be done….’…’ Reverence/respect should not only be given it must be seen to be given.’ The absence of that vital criteria causes scandal and degrades belief in the real and corporeal of our Lord in the B/ Sacrament….. It is part of that ‘diabolical disorientation’ spoken of earlier.

    Again Catholics pre VII would have rather cut of their hand than touch the Sacred Species with their hand… But this is old ground.
    All Catholics, the whole 80 odd % that used to attend Mass Sundays pre VII would be horrified at the thought.
    BTW I have obviously won the wager. And that is not a criticism

  28. Tom Fisher says:

    No problem Geoff, I just gt the wrong end of the stick when I first read your comment!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s