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The ‘rupture’ school responds – UPDATED! June 21, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, General Catholic, Latin Mass, North Deanery, sadness, scandals.
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I posted yesterday about the debate ongoing in L’ Osservatore Romano and other Italian publications concerning Vatican II, and whether it – and it’s corresponding ‘spirit’ – should be viewed a natural outgrowth in line with Tradition, or as a ‘rupture’ with the Doctrine of the Faith.  Yesterday I presented what I consider a very strong argument from those who feel it must be interpreted in the light of Tradition, and that certain portions of the Council must necessarily be clarified or perhaps even expunged.  Today, one of the supporters of ‘rupture,’ those who feel the Council did everything just about right and that radical departures from Tradition are A-OK. 

I wonder what my friend Steve B thinks of the below, from historian Enrico Morini of the hyper-progressive ‘Bologna’ school, with a few very mild, very moderate comments from me in red:

Having said this, I am ready to express to you my reflections in regard to the hermeneutic of the Council. So then, rupture or continuity? With respect to what – perhaps the Catholic tradition? I wonder whether tradition, even within the Church itself, is a univocal reality or if it is not instead a plurality of traditions in its more than millennial history. Now, in my personal but convinced hermeneutic of Vatican II, the Council was at the same time, intentionally, both continuity and rupture[This cannot be!]

Above all, this was founded, in my view, in the intent of both its blessed promoter John XXIII and the Fathers who constituted the “conciliar majority,” on the perspective of the most absolute continuity with the tradition of the first millennium, according to a periodization that is not purely mathematical but essential, the first millennium of Church history being that of the as yet undivided Church of the seven Councils. The desired aggiornamento was aimed precisely at this recovery, at this return to an age that was certainly turbulent, but happy, because it was nourished by reciprocal communion among the Churches. Note carefully that this does not mean the recovery – as, unfortunately, many have understood it – of an “ecclesiae primitivae forma,” which is a pure abstraction, an historiographical myth of extremely nebulous outlines that is thus unsuited to found, or refound, an ecclesial praxis, and perhaps precisely because of this has become a tenuous model for many heresies and, still today, for various ecclesiological heterodoxies.  [I believe that as this argument develops, what the author is calling for is completely artificial and ignores continuing Revelation.  It places some notion of ecumenism, a sort of ‘let’s pretend its AD1000 again and we’re all happy friends!, as the highest end of the Church.  But you cannot uninvent the last 1000 years, and trying to impose, from out of the blue, things out of practice for 1500 years, leads to an artificiality]. 

The ecclesial theory and praxis of the first millennium are, instead, anything but an abstraction and a myth, documented as they are by the writings of the Fathers and by the deliberations of the first Councils. [For many of these Councils, in fact, nearly all, the historical record is very spotty and much of what went on at them is highly speculative] It is very significant that the announcement of Vatican II was perceived in the beginning, in some sectors – including no less than the great Athenagoras, who also fell into what has been called an “ecumenical misunderstanding” – as expressly intended for the recomposition of unity among Christians: in essence, a Council of union. More significant still – even beyond the highly symbolic value of the gesture – is that the Council concluded its work, on December 7, 1965, with the epochal removal “from the memory and from the midst of the Church” of the reciprocal excommunications issued in 1054 between the patriarch of Constantinople and the Roman legates (the extraordinary ecclesiological value of this event was presented masterfully by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in an article in the magazine “Istina” in 1975).

This recovery, on the part of the Catholic Church, of the tradition of the first millennium implicitly involved a de facto rupture – I apologize for the excessive schematization – with the Catholic tradition of the second millennium. It is not true, in my view, that there are no ruptures in the tradition of the Church. There was one interruption, precisely at the passage from the first to the second millennium, with the transition imparted by the “Lorraine-Alsace” reformers (like Pope Leo IX, as also two of the three legates in Constantinople in the aforementioned 1054, Cardinal Umberto and Stefano di Lorena, a future pope) and by the “Gregorian” reform, and then by an eminently philosophical approach to theological truths and by the overwhelming interest in canon law (already lamented by Dante Alighieri), at the expense of Scripture and the Fathers, at the height of the Middle Ages. Not to mention the Tridentine reform, with the rigid dogmatization – even going beyond the presuppositions of the medieval Church – as well as the “confiscation” of Scripture from the ordinary faithful, up to the apotheosis of the pontifical “monarchy” in Vatican I, relegating even further to the background the profile of the undivided Church of the first millennium. This should not come as a surprise: precisely because the Church is a living organism, its tradition is subject to evolution, but also to involutions. [The sort of mini-history just presented is one that is ordered to produce a visceral reaction against the Church since Trent.  It is highly biased and I would argue inaccurate.  I think Dr. Carroll would just shake his head.  One thing it isn’t, is orthodox Catholic history.  Once again, we see a fetishizing of the first millenium Church at the expense of the 2nd millenium.  This ignores organic development and continuing Revelation.  It produces a construct.  Now, there could be many good practices to recover from the 1st millenium that could make sense as private devotions or to inform the Faith of many folks, or even to reflect in gradual reabsorption into the Liturgy.  It’s the artificiality and top-down imposition that causes the most problem]

That this return was truly the deepest intention of Vatican II can be grasped from a couple of examples. The most immediate is situated in the ecclesiological field, where the teaching of the Council in regard to episcopal collegiality is unmistakable. Now precisely the collegiality of bishops is a feature proper to the ecclesiology of the first millennium, also in the West, where it was perfectly conjoined with Roman primacy. It is indicative how in the first millennium, all the Roman dogmatic pronouncements that the papal legates brought to the ecumenical Councils in the East – relative to the questions debated in them – were preceded by a synodal pronouncement of all the bishops leading to the super-episcopal jurisdiction of Rome. Now if it is true that the greatest enemy of the Council was the post-council – with the rushing forward of some pastors of souls and groups of faithful who in the name of the “spirit of the Council” have introduced some subversive practices precisely in regard to the tradition of the undivided Church, or at least are insistently calling for their introduction – it seems that I can affirm that precisely the opposite has happened in ecclesiology: the applicative norms have been gravely reductive with respect to the conciliar deliberation, in that the purely consultative character attributed to the synod of bishops does not fully draw the appropriate consequences from the teaching of Vatican II on episcopal collegiality. And then – staying in the area of Church structure – was not the restoration of the diaconate as a permanent level of sacred orders also a recovery of the tradition of the first millennium?  [I would argue that this view of ‘episcopal collegiality’ was a bug, not a feature, of the 1st millenium Church.  Certainly, in the east, an exaggerated sense of ‘collegiality’ led to many heresies and led to the eventual split from Rome, which was blamed on the tyrannical Primacy of Rome but in reality was done for internal political motives in Constantinople.  Roman tyranny was nothing but a chimera at the times, communications were so bad that Rome rarely had a view as to what was going on on Constantinople, in the first place.  What ‘episcopal collegiality’ in practice has meant since the Council is lack of discipline and many dioceses being run as miniature churches, with varying degrees of adherence to that fuddy duddy institution in Rome.  Some like it this way, but it seems to ignore the organic development of a gradually more centralized and organized Church, culminating, as the author points out, in the First Vatican Council and the decree of Papal infallibility.]

The second area, in which the continuity of conciliar reform with the first millennium is even more evident – in that it is perceptible to all – is that of the liturgy, even if paradoxically this is a favorite subject used by the critics of Vatican II to accuse the Council of rupture with tradition. The hermeneutic criterion that I accept permits me to affirm exactly the contrary, always on the basis of the postulate of a diachronic [?? – two time periods?]  plurality of traditions. In this case as well, there has been an evident rupture with the pre-conciliar liturgy – which is commonly known to have been, in a series of interventions, a Tridentine creation – but precisely for the sake of recovering the grand tradition of the first millennium, that of the undivided Church. [This is hilarious.  The Eastern Orthodox  have greatly criticized the Novus Ordo and applaud the return of the Traditional Latin Mass.  So we’re going to ignore the last 1000 years of organic development and impose an artificial Liturgy imposed from above, all for the sake of ecumenism?  In practice, how has that worked out?  Ecumenism with the Orthodox made some gains after VII, but the greatest strides have come since Pope Benedict XVI Summorum Pontificum.  This author seems to put unity ahead of Truth.  We do want unity, but that Unity must mean Union with the See of Peter, and all that doctrinally implies, and not surrender to schismatic sects]  Perhaps we are not fully aware that the incriminated new missal contains the fantastic recuperation of prayers taken from the most ancient sacramentaries – dating back precisely to the first millennium – the Leonine, the Gelasian, and the Gregorian, as well as, for Advent, from the eucological patrimony of the ancient Scroll of Ravenna, treasures that for the most part remained outside of the Tridentine missal. The same goes for the recovery, in the context of an appropriate plurality of Eucharistic prayers, of the ancient anaphora of Hippolytus and of others taken from the Hispanic tradition. In this sense, the “conciliar” missal is much more “traditional” than the previous one. [Fans of the TLM are not fans because it is older than the NO, they are fans because it was the organic outgrowth of 2000 years of development, not something arbitrarily imposed of a sudden on a Church that wasn’t clamoring for it.  They are also fans because it is very reverent and focuses on the proper four ends of the Mass.  What the Council said regarding changes to the Liturgy, furthermore, is very different from what has resulted in practice.  Communion in the hand, facing the people….none of this was in the Council.  And I thought the Council was just pastoral, anyways…..]

I write this, posing to you as a corollary two observations which perhaps will not be shared by the “progressives.” The first is that, if we look at the current state of the “ordinary” rite of the Roman Church, precisely this continuity with the tradition of the first millennium, implicit in the conciliar reform, was partially obfuscated by quite different developments in the post-council: on the one hand, at the foundation level, the misunderstanding was produced that the Council promoted a disordered liturgical spontaneity, and on the other, it was preceded, on the part of the competent authority, by the promulgation of texts created for the occasion – relative to new anaphoras and new collects – that were visibly foreign, in a disastrously present-day language of modern existentialism, to the eucological style of the first millennium, profoundly inspired by the thought and terminology of the Fathers. [Translation – the translations into the vernacular were very badly done, resulting in uninspiring Liturgy – hopefully being addressed shortly, at least in English.  But why was this particular Council, so open to misinterpretation?  People did not have difficulty understanding Trent or Vatican I.]

The second observation is that the motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum” – which, as is known, authorizes the practice of the Tridentine missal as an “extraordinary” rite – a document considered by many as involutive with respect to the Council, instead has for me the unquestioned value of reestablishing in the Latin Church the liturgical pluralism proper, once again, to the first millennium. Even if this is a ritual plurality distinguished by the variable of time, and not by that of geographical space, it has the value of introducing into the Catholic Church as well – in a peaceful and painless way – that “old-ritualistic” presence which is a patrimony, although acquired in a violent and traumatic way, of the Orthodox tradition.

I feel instead that I share, with the “Bolognese school,” the possibility, or rather the fittingness, of an “accretive” interpretation of the council, consistent with its inspiring principles (the expression is from Alberto Melloni), which permits, or rather suggests, that the supreme magisterium now make decisions that Vatican II, in the historical climate of the moment, could not take into consideration. This inspiring principle – in what I maintain to be the correct hermeneutic of the council – is precisely the resumption of the tradition of the first millennium, as Cardinal Ratzinger implicitly emphasized when he wrote – in a passage that the current pontiff has never explicitly contradicted – that the Orthodox, in the physiognomy of a Church finally reunified, must not be required to believe anything more than they did during the first millennium of communion.

So it is absolutely not in the “spirit of the Council” to introduce into the Church reckless innovations, in doctrine and in the area of theology, like female priesthood or aberrant developments in ethics and bioethics. It would instead be perfectly in the “spirit of the Council” – again for the sake of example – to eliminate from the “Credo” the unilateral, unjustified, and offensive addition of the “Filioque” (without thereby implying a negation of the traditional doctrine of the Latin Fathers – who were also of the first millennium – on the procession of the Holy Spirit also from the Son, as from a single principle with the Father). [This is the crux of the argument, and it’s a disaster, in my view.  Virtually everything, perhaps totally everything, is subordinated to ecumenism.   There is profound theological basis for the Filioque.  It has been philosophically and theologically established as a core part of Catholic theology.  That it is offensive to the stagnant, antiquated? theology of the many separated Eastern Churches does not reflect an artificial imposition of a false doctrine inherited from the Franco-Germanic barbarians (nice cultural snobbery there, BTW), but the very stagnation of the Eastern Churches.  I have a great deal of respect for much of Eastern ‘Orthodoxy,’ especially their liturgy, but this is just silly – this guy is literally drawing a line in the sand at AD1000 and saying……anything beyond this should be scrapped.  Why?  Because it’s not Roman classical enough? ]This ill-fated addition represents the most evident fruit, highly pregnant with symbolism, of that process of theological and cultural Franco-Germanization of the Roman Church – begun by the Francophile popes of the end of the first millennium and by the Germanic ones of the beginning of the second – denounced in terms that were certainly exaggerated, but not entirely unfounded, by the deceased conservative Greek theologian Ioannis Romanidis. [So what if it was denounced by this guy?  He’s the official expert on Christianity, even more so than the Popes?  What about continuing Revelation?] And instead not only does the addition remain, but it has been reiterated even in texts of “postconciliar” composition, and on top of that – it seems to me – it is still shamefully imposed on a beautiful and flourishing Eastern Church united with Rome, the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church.

In short, to conclude with a summary formula these personal observations of mine, in promoting the renewal of the Church the Council did not intend to introduce something new – as progressives and conservatives respectively desire and fear – but to return to what had been lost. [And so, in order to return to what has been lost, much, much more must be dumped overboard?  For, our records of the ‘first millenium’ of the Church are spotty, at best.  There is very much we don’t know.  And this artificial return to some notion of how the Church was in the first millenium (as if it were possible to transmit, from 1500 years ago, some faithful representation of the Church into today’s Church) completely ignores organic development, the gradual accretion of Divine Revelation, and the steady guidance of the Holy Spirit.  It is, in short, a construct, a totally artificial construct imposed from above that chooses to ignore or, more so, intentionally disregard 1000 years of Church history and Tradition in favor of a different time period.  That is nonsensical, and the result has been chaos.  The 1st millenium Church was not necessarily more pure, more holy, and I will say it was not what Christ intended – not for now, not for today, with the intervention of centuries of Revelation.  Let’s throw out all the Saints and all the spiritual works that have come since AD 1000, while we’re at it!  No Acquinas – he’s too medieval, too philosophical, not classical enough!  Forget Carmelite Spirituality, it’s too severe, not sophisticated enough!  Bah!]

Apparently, the author needs to be reminded that the first millenium Church was not the pure creature of Light and Truth he makes it out to be.  Of all the major heresies, almost all came from that period.  Almost all came from his apparent heroes, the church in Constantinople, primarily as a result of imperial power plays and the general intrigues of a capitol city. 

If I could make one more point – many of the arguments about what the Council tried to achieve – the retention of notable first millenium prayers, for instance, were noble and fine.  But, the problem is with the implementation and the wording.  Since this was a ‘pastoral’ council, it didn’t define dogma or error.  But it has been viewed by many as having great dogmatic force.  It was also in many areas vaguely worded, which has allowed those who really want a rupture, who want to upend the Church, great latitude for their nefarious work.  This has opened the door for a whole panoply of abuse, with some even being given the appearance of ‘doctrine,’ like the USCCB issuing norms for ‘Communion in the hand’ that have no meaning whatsoever.  This is why many call for a clarification, a syllabus, precisely because the wording of the Council was so vague and, we are told, has been so abused.

I could write a book, but must go.  I pray this debate is settled, and soon, and in the right way.  I don’t think there is any question which side is rhetorically ascendent.

UPDATE:!!  I always wanted to write a book!  One more thought that I didn’t express yesterday, as I was pressed for time and huffin and puffin away as it was.  The author argues that the Council does represent a rupture with past Doctrine, but is also somehow in continuity.  That is in itself a very hard position to justify, but be that as it may, given that the Council represents rupture, to his mind, and given that he admits to ignoring organic development and imposing 1st millenial prayers and other aspects ‘back’ to the Mass (as meritorious as they may be, it is still an imposition separate from organic development) and argues for dumping large areas of Catholic Doctrine developed in the last 1000+ years (for the Filioque dates from back near the Council of Chalcedon in the 5th century), how can he arbitrarily argue that things like women’s ordination and collapsing moral standards are somehow verboten in his view of the Council?  If you’re going to have rupture, if you’re going to be arbitrary in your view of Tradition, elevating long forgotten prayers, for instance, as wonderful as they may be, over  others developed more recently, then why not scrap all the Tradition from before the Council?  That is the very problem with the rupture view – you either have rupture, or you don’t.  If you do, it will be total, there is no way to have just a bit of rupture, because the people who want to reduce the Faith to a cult of man will see the rupture as an opening with which to get all their crazy pet views incorporated into the Church.  That has been, in practice, what has happened to a great extent in the ‘progressive’ portions of the Church, with the ‘Bologna school’ leading the way.  Again, that is why there are many very smart Bishops, Cardinals, priests, theologians, historians, etc., arguing for a re-examination of the Council in light of Tradition, in order to clarify those areas where abuse has been most rampant due to the perceptions of ‘rupture.’  But, the good Pope Benedict XVI has made it plain that he sees no need to clarify or elaborate on the Conciliar documents.  But, the debate continues……perhaps laying the ground work for Cardinal Burke to consider such a re-examination when he becomes Pope.  OK….so I’m praying out loud……

Head of Vatican Bank – Obama policies disastrous June 21, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, foolishness, General Catholic, Interior Life, sickness, Society.
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OK, he didn’t point out Obama’s policies by name, but he did state that ridiculous levels of government spending leading to high debt actually decrease the potential for economic recovery, while also stating that Western nations need to increase their productivity in order to spur economic growth, which means, at a start, having more babies:

The head of the Vatican bank sees a bleak economic future for the world’s industrialized countries, unless they can reverse a decline in productivity.

Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, writing in L’Osservatore Romano, says that he expects economic growth in the developing world, and a decline in the West. “The law of economic gravity will progressively transfer investments to emerging countries,” says the chief Vatican banker. With capital flowing elsewhere, he says, the level of consumption in the Western world will be “unsustainable.” He suggested that the best way for Western countries to counteract the trend would be by increasing productivity and encouraging exports to the developing world.

Gotti Tedeschi argued that government efforts to revive the economy by public spending have actually worsened the problem. “Many think that individual States need to intervene in order to resolve economic problems,” he said. “But that happens with an increase in public debt. Countries that have chosen this path now regret it.”

Why babies?  Because human capital is the number one source of growth in productivity.  If you want to make more things, transact more business, having more people to support those activities is the first, crucial step.  You can argue for more automation or streamlined regulation and all kinds of other ways to increase productivity, but they are small potatos compared to growth in population.  Why is it that China, India, Vietnam, and other countries are experiencing explosive economic growth, while growth in the US and Europe is stagnant to declining?  Because they have vast and underutilized populations. 

High birthrates are a key player in economic boom times.  Low birth rates universally prefigure economic decline.  It’s not a zero sum game.  More babies do not take away resources from those already here.  They help create MORE resources, more jobs, and more growth. 

Foolishly generous welfare benefits (a never ending and always growing transfer of wealth), which, I must add, are frequently advocated for by the apparatchiks at the USCCB and in many chanceries, actually work to undermine economic growth – first by denying capital for private investment, and then by inducing a societal malaise, so in evidence in most of Europe, that leads to low birthrates and hence economic stagnation.  The false god of the social welfare state traps people in such a self-indulgent laziness that all available evidence (from Europe, Japan, Russia, etc) shows they can’t even bother to reproduce.  Not at any economically sustainable rate, anyway.

Want a strong culture and growing economy – reinforce traditional family life and have more babies.

The Corapi imbroglio gets weirder and weirder June 21, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, sickness.
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I almost don’t even want to talk about this, but the Corapi situation is going from the unfortunate to the bizaare in a hurry.  Yesterday, Corapi posted another audio file to his ‘blacksheepdog’ website, wherein he attacks the Church pretty stridently and continues to focus almost exclusively on himself.  That may make sense from his point of view, he may be wrangling with great internal conflict and really struggling to determine his future, but this new audio has given those who are perhaps eager to find openings with which to attack him a great deal to work with.   And, I think Corapi’s two statements thus far have even turned off many who would like to be supportive of him.  I can say that the general perception of this latest audio on faithful Catholic blogs has not been good – most see him as whining and failing to evidence any heroic virtue in the manner of great Saints and other Catholics of the past.  That may be expecting a bit much, but Corapi’s critics may have a point about the mentality being revealed on the ‘blacksheepdog’ site thus far. 

And now the crazy part: It appears that Fr. Corapi’s accuser was planning to sell his Rosary, one apparently given to Corapi by Blessed Pope John Paul II and which Corapi used for years, on E-bay.  The item appeared on E-bay last month and the ‘auction’ apparently ended on May 23rd without a sale. Ostensibly, the proceeds from this sale were go to support a Catholic ministry, but the E-bay account offering the ‘auction’ is a personal one, not a group one.  The seller maintains that Fr. Corapi gave this Rosary to her some time ago.  The starting bid was $5000.

Would you sell a Rosary that had been given to you by a figure like Corapi, and which had been blessed by Pope John Paul II and allegedly kissed by Mother Teresa?  This may point to the motives of Corapi’s accuser.  I think this is somewhat old news I’ve just come across (thanks, secret correspondent!), but it’s still bizaare. 

I pray for Corapi and all good priests struggling under temptation and the assaults of the devil.  I pray they may always have the strength to cooperate with the Grace which sustains them and their ministry, and always be obedient to God’s Holy Church. 

I know another priest who chose to give up an active ministry under obedience to his superior.  He has a quote on this blog, from then Cardinal Ratzinger: “Obedience is the essence of religion.”  We all must be obedient to Holy Mother Church.  We must obey her Doctrine, the wisdom given by the lives of the Saints, and those authorities who are properly constituted in the Church.  In my case, that is Bishop Farrell.  I probably push the bounds of obedience at times, but I pray I will never go into willful disobedience.  It is only Grace that keeps me from that, for my fallen nature surely rebels at much of what the Church calls me to be.  One last thing, and I’ve said it before, but fame and fortune are almost always fatal to the practice of the Faith.  Pride, too.  Many potential Saints have been derailed by this foul trio.

Use Masstimes.org to find Mass whenever traveling June 21, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, Eucharist, General Catholic, Interior Life, North Deanery.
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As I have related, we just finished a quick trip up to Kansas and back.  We like to look around and find different parishes to assist at when traveling, for a number of reasons.  I’m sure many of my readers are already aware, but for any who may come by who aren’t aware of some of the great resources available online for Catholics, you can use Masstimes.org to find Mass times at parishes around the country.  I have found that Masstimes.org is quite accurate and up to date, although on rare occasions there has been a change in a parish schedule and so it may make sense to check the parish website once you pick one out.  This is made easier since Masstimes.org provides links to all the parish websites (that have them – there are still some parishes that don’t).  It’s a really good resource!  Being on vacation is not a valid reason to miss one’s Sunday obligation!  Check it out!

Another good site is The Real Presence.  This site contains a comprehensive list of Adoration times at parishes around the country, listed by state.  Go and visit Jesus while traveling!  Many Graces are incurred from time spent in Adoration and prayerful devotion before the Blessed Sacrament!

Two Mass reports June 21, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, Latin Mass, North Deanery, Our Lady.
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The Latin Mass was great again last night.  Attendance was down a fair amount-  I don’t know if a number of folks came the first week just out of curiosity, and don’t plan to go back, or what.  I do know a few large families that have a strong interest in Latin Mass did not attend, but I know how things come up when you have a large family.

I’ve got to give some props to Kenton Kravig, music director at St. Mark, and the members of the Scola who have been providing the music at these Masses.  They are doing a really good job.  I love the hymn Adoro Te Devote, which they sang last night as the Communion hymn, but all of it has been very good.  I pray they get more people participating in the Scola at these Latin Masses! 

I think overall, things went even more smoothly.  With the assistance of my friends Steve B. and Larry B. (no relation!), we will have at least the English versions of the Proper prayers for next week’s Mass.  We hope to have both the Latin and English.  The Proper prayers – Introit, Collect, etc., are the variable prayers that change at each Mass.  They are not in the Latin-English Missal because to do so would make the Missal like a book.  If anyone has a Latin-English Missal for the Novus Ordo Mass, leave a comment and I’ll be in touch.

The other Mass I’d like to talk about was while we were on our trip.  We went to Mass in Hays, Kansas, on Sunday.  Around Hays, there are a number of very old and beautiful churches, like St. Fidelis in Victoria.  But, for various reasons, we didn’t make it to any of the older churches in the area, and instead went to one of the two main parishes in Hays, Immaculate Heart of Mary parish.  This Church just completed a major renovation, which is pretty nice but one can observe the very heavy influence of the ‘liturgical’ and ‘design’ committees of the Salina Diocese, which are in turn heavily informed by committees at the USCCB level.   The design is very similar to many new parishes built locally in the last few years, like St. Jude in Allen and St. Francis of Assisi in Frisco – sort of a classic church appearance from the outside, but with the altar well out into the nave and seating on 3 sides of the altar.  One can sense the very long reach of Don Fischer even in rural Kansas……These churches are a marked improvement of much of the modernist design which has gone before, but still are not very much to my taste, and are not well suited for celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass.  Ah, well….keep praying…..

One thing that was really good at this parish is that the priest seems very involved in catechesis at all levels.  He is teaching an adult catechesis class and even had good things to say about the Baltimore Catechism.  The Baltimore Catechism is frequently frowned upon by diocesan and parish formation staff, so hearing an endorsement was a welcome surprise!   I believe my wife is planning a surprise for this priest.