Friday, November 28, 2014

New book: Peter Kwasniewski, Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis

Peter Kwasniewski, Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis: Sacred Liturgy, the Traditional Latin Mass, and Renewal in the Church(Angelico Press, 2014):
SINCE THE TIME OF THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL, the Catholic Church has experienced an unprecedented crisis of identity, symbolized and propelled by the corruption of the greatest treasure of her tradition: the sacred liturgy. The result has been confusion, dismay, devastation. To the surprise of some, however, the same half-century has witnessed a growing counter-movement of Catholics who find in the Church’s traditional liturgy a perennial witness to the orthodox faith, a solid foundation for the interior life, an ever-flowing source of missionary charity, and a living embodiment of the true Catholic spirit.
In this book, Peter Kwasniewski presents a fearless critique of the path of liturgical novelty and a ­detailed apologia for liturgical tradition in all its beauty, richness, and profundity, addressing such topics as ­solemnity, sacredness, the language of symbols, contemplation, participation, the symbiosis of lex orandi and lex credendi, silence, music, worship in Latin, and Gregorian chant. He confronts the humanism, rationalism, utilitarianism, and modernism so prevalent in the liturgical reform, assesses the prospects and limitations of a “Reform of the Reform,” and reflects on the great gift of Summorum Pontificum. In the end, Kwasniewski argues for a zealous recommitment to Catholic Tradition in its fullness, starting with divine worship and embracing the whole realm of faith and morals, including integral Catholic social teaching.
Evidently, there is an all-encompassing crisis in the Church, which the Extraordinary Synod unveiled to a global audience. Unexpectedly a resurgence is taking place, with the usus antiquior or classical Roman Rite at the very heart of it. To those who have loved the traditional Mass all their lives, those who have newly come to it, or those who simply wish to learn more about the issues, this book offers abundant matter for reflection.

Praise for Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis:

“I heartily recommend Peter Kwasniewski’s new book for those struggling to come to terms not only with what happened to the liturgy of the Catholic Church, but with why those changes have had such disastrous consequences. As he shows in one aspect after another of the Mass, the changes have taken us further away from that inner transformation of the worshipper which is a secondary purpose of the liturgy, after the worship of God.”
— JOSEPH SHAW, President of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales
“To come out of the present crisis we need to restore the liturgy in all its sacredness. Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis is a very important work that leads us to meditate in depth on the permanent value, theological centrality, and beauty of the traditional liturgy of the Church.”
— MSGR. IGNACIO BARREIRO, Executive Director of HLI’s Rome Office
“Peter Kwasniewski is one of a handful of 21st-century Catholic authors really in touch with our tradition who can, at the same time, carefully explain what is at stake in both the Catholic intellectual world and the culture as a whole. He is devastating in delivering his points, which he makes without wasting a word.”
— ROGER A. MCCAFFREY, President of Roman Catholic Books
“Combining deeply human insight with supernatural faith, Prof. Kwasniewski presents a compelling case for the continuing necessity of the traditional Latin Mass for the Church’s life and mission. Without questioning the validity of the modern rite, he illuminates in many ways how the older liturgy more clearly expresses the Faith and more richly nourishes the faithful.”
— FR. THOMAS KOCIK, author of Reform of the Reform? A Liturgical Debate: Reform or Return
“The topics of these essays are all of vital importance to our appre­ciation of the Church’s liturgy. With an abundance of wit and learning, Dr. Kwasniewski offers invaluable encouragement towards a greater love and greater understanding of our liturgical tradition.”
— GREGORY DIPIPPO, managing editor of New Liturgical Movement
“The author presents a well-argued, documented case that the present crisis in the Church will not be overcome until there is a return to the traditional Latin liturgy, a revival of the true social teaching of the Church, and a restoration of the study of St. Thomas Aquinas in our seminaries and colleges.”
— FR. KENNETH BAKER, Editor Emeritus, Homiletic & Pastoral Review

About the Author

PETER KWASNIEWSKI has taught and written on a wide variety of subjects, especially the thought of Saint Thomas Aquinas, sacramental and liturgical theology, the history and aesthetics of music, and the social doctrine of the Church. After teaching at the International Theological Institute in Austria, he joined the founding team of Wyoming Catholic College, where he currently serves as Professor of Theology and Choirmaster. For twenty-five years Dr. Kwasniewski has also been a director of choirs and scholas, a cantor, and a composer. He writes regularly for The Latin Mass and several popular Catholic weblogs.

New book on Archbishop Fulton Sheen highlights his character

A post by Francis Phillips on the Catholic Herald "Books Blog" (October 30, 2014) reviews a "revelatory new book [that] will please those anxious to see Archbishop Sheen's canonisation," Mgr Hilary C Franco's Bishop Sheen: Mentor and Friend(New Hope Publications, 2014). Excerpts:
... in the 1950s, when Sheen was making his memorable TV series, Life is Worth Living, he was criticised by a famous American psychiatrist, Karl Menninger, for stating that “beneath a complex is a sin.” Fulton Sheen would have no truck with any ideology that ignored fundamental Christian teaching: that we are sinners and to be truly healed we require God’s mercy.

... Franco repeats one well-known story of an incident when Sheen was spending some time at St Patrick’s, Soho Square. He was praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament (as he did for an hour, every day of his priestly life) when he heard the sound of someone vomiting outside the church. It turned out to be a young, very drunk female model – a lapsed Catholic. Overcoming her reluctance to talk by promising he wouldn’t ask her to go to confession, Sheen invited her into the church and helped her to become more presentable. Then he took her round the church, pointing out its devotional features.

As they went down one aisle they passed a confessional and Sheen, without speaking, gently but firmly propelled the young woman inside. That moment became the significant encounter of her life; she made a full confession, mended her ways and finally became a nun. What priest in today’s atmosphere of suspicion of the cloth coupled with insistence on individual rights would dare do as Sheen did?

Mgr Franco’s book is also revelatory of what happened to the Church in the US after Vatican II. When Sheen became Bishop of Rochester, New York, between the years 1966-1969, he saw at first hand the malaise within the Church: mass defections from the priesthood and religious life and defective seminary selection and training. Indeed, he once refused to ordain several young men whom he saw were not suited to the priesthood. He realised that, if ordained, they would only cause trouble in the Church at a later date. Franco also relates that Sheen was deeply troubled by the calibre of his fellow-bishops: “He saw the weaknesses of a good number of bishops, weaknesses which undermined their authority as successors of Christ’s apostles. At this critical time [1970], he found bishops who were avoiding problems and difficult decisions, delegating their authority to others, failing to teach and discipline, listening to bad advisors and demonstrating apathy. “So many are afraid of being unloved” he told me.” It sounds a prophetic comment on the Church today.
[Hat tip to JM]

Pope's new appointee to pontifical council for Christian unity sees papacy as obstacle to ecumenical progress

Sandro Magister, "Ecumenism Rewritten by Enzo Bianchi and Alberto Melloni" (www.chiesa, November 3, 2014): "The leaders of the 'school of Bologna' have a very ambitious new project in the works: a history of the movement for Christian unity aimed at a thorough reform of the Catholic Church, starting with the dismantling of the papacy in its current form. They believe they have an ally in Pope Francis."

Friar Enzo Bianchi, effectively the undisputed leader of the "school of Bologna," is founder and prior of the inter-confessional monastery of Bose, and was appointed adviser of the pontifical council for Christian unity by Pope Francis on July 22, 2014.

[Hat tip to N.C.]

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

2012 Rite of Canonization discarded

For the record: interesting details HERE.

Thanksgiving: Catholics did it first (facing East, no lest)

Christine Niles, "Catholics Did It First" (Laudem Gloriae, November 16, 2011):
If you're anything like me and don't take kindly to celebrating a holiday commemorating a group of Calvinists who set up a Puritan theocracy in New England known for persecuting Catholics, then you can rest easy; the protestants were not the first to celebrate Thanksgiving in this country--Catholics were.

Saint Augustine, Florida is the oldest settlement in the United States, founded in 1565 by Spanish Catholic explorers. On first sighting land on August 28, the feast of St. Augustine, they named the city after him. On September 8, the Nativity of Mary, they came ashore with great fanfare--to the astonishment of the natives. A Mass of Thanksgiving was held, after which a communal feast was celebrated with the local Seloy tribe. It was the first communal thanksgiving celebration in the first permanently settled European colony on American soil.

Others say the date of April 30, 1598, is also significant: Spanish settlers from Mexico set up camp in the American Southwest, held a Mass of thanksgiving, and named the land New Mexico in honor of God and of their king, Philip II. A feast was held, with Franciscan priests blessing the food before everyone ate their fill. At the end of the meal, plays were enacted depicting scenes of Native Americans upon first hearing the Catholic faith.

But what about Plymouth Rock and Pilgrims, etc?

Queen Elizabeth had little patience for Catholics, but even less for Calvinists, who complained the Church of England remained too papist. In their desire to complete the Reformation and "purify" religion of popish trumperies, the Puritans broke from the Anglican Church, rejected the Book of Common Prayer, and preferred the anti-royalist Geneva Bible to the King James version. They instituted an independent congregationalist ideal that upheld the notion of the common priesthood of all believers, and thus granted an equal say among congregants in the election of the minister (some claim the roots of American democracy lie here). All of this naturally brought down on them the wrath of the Crown, and persecution commenced. A number of Puritans fled England and sought refuge in Holland, where they lived for a dozen years, before deciding to leave for the New World. After meeting another group of Puritans in Southampton, all boarded the Mayflower on September 16, 1620. Sixty-five days later, they sighted Cape Cod. The communal meal we know of as "Thanksgiving" took place in 1621 with about ninety Native Americans, and lasted three days.

After the Catholic Spanish were defeated by the British and driven out of the (largely Protestant) colonies, it became more expedient and attractive to focus on the 1621 date marking the arrival of the Pilgrims to celebrate this national holiday of thanksgiving--and Americans have done so ever since, entirely obliterating from national memory any influence from earlier Spanish Catholic settlers.

But don't let such revisionist history fool you; Catholics have as much claim to this celebration as anyone, if not more. And as all good Catholics know, eucharistia is Greek for "thanksgiving"--so be sure to leg it to Mass that day and pay your respects to the Giver of all good gifts.

Multicultural Christmas gifts for the Co-exist crowd

Matthew Archbold, "Multicultural Christmas Sweater for the Co-exist Crowd" (Creative Minority Report, November 21, 2014) relates the following item from The Daily Mail:
A spokesperson for the company said: 'For us, the festive season is a time for celebration and togetherness. And we think that now more than ever, the world could use a little more unity.

'Which is why this year, British Christmas Jumpers has made the Multicultural Christmas Jumper.

'It is a Christmas jumper for modern Britain.'
Further, he quotes Weasel Zippers as saying that it's perfect for those who have Coexist bumper stickers.

Then, of course, there are come-backs like this one making use of the logos of firearm manufacturers that might make a nice complement.

[Hat tip to JM in part]

Pope Francis appoints strong conservative to head CDW

As indicated in yesterday's Vatican bulletin, Pope Francis has appointed Robert Cardinal Sarah as the new Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

As noted by Rorate Caeli, Cardinal Sarah had "distinguished himself as one of the strongest conservative voices at the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops this year. 

Read more>>

In other news, as Christine Niles noted yesterday, Archbishop Bruno Forte remains a synod organizer for next year: 
"The traitor bishop who did untold damage by inserting those scandalous pro-gay paragraphs in the Midterm Relatio will be a synod organizer--along with the rest of the same crew, plus Cdl Napier (a good man).

"Not demoted, kicked out, or disciplined for his betrayal, but instead left in a position of power and prestige--while the great Cdl Burke gets a public smackdown."
Perhaps, though I remain open to the possibility that the "God of surprises" may have a propitious surprise for us in the offing in this regard.

In any case, par for the course at the moment seems to be something like "one step forward, one step back."

Monday, November 24, 2014

Another prayer request

Please pray for a 43-year-old pregnant mother who has been married 18 years, has no children, and has had two miscarriages.  She is not five weeks pregnant and dearly hopes and prays for a "miraculous" safe and healthy delivery.  Thank you in advance for your intercessions for her.  Her name is Kelly.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

"Pope Benedict's Big Edit."

Old news, for the record: Dale Price, "Pope Benedict's Big Edit" (Dyspeptic Mutterings, November 18, 2014):
It appears that Pope Benedict XVI did not care at all for Cardinal Kasper's attempt to press-gang him into supporting the latter's assault on indissolubility. 

How do we know that? According to the largest newspaper in his homeland, the Pope Emeritus has removed his previous (1972) support for giving communion to civilly-remarried divorcees from the official collection of his theological works. Instead, he now favors a revised annulment process. The editorial framing notes this development with disapproval, calling it "political."

For those who have made politics a substitute religion, I imagine it is.

For those who care about the Catholic teaching on marriage, this is big news. And a most welcome note of support.

[Update, 11/19/2014: Father Zuhlsdorf has more detail about the story, including the fact Pope Benedict addresses his change of mind in the introduction.]

Never go full osterich, son

Dale Price, "The problem with letting a smile be your umbrella?" (Dyspeptic Mutterings, November 13, 2014). After a brief discussion of Cardinals Burke, Müller, Pell in the context of Vatican politics, Price asks:
Still, why should you care?

Number 1, "Vatican politics" gives you your bishop. Cupich, remember. In other words, "Personnel is policy." If it's "clericalism" to worry about who your shepherd is going to be, then we should all be clericalists.

Second, there's a trend here, and it's pretty much all bad:

Pope Francis has made statements against the two tendencies of progressivism and traditionalism, without however clarifying what these two labels encompassed. Yet, if by words he distances himself from the two poles which confront each other in the Church today, by facts all tolerance is reserved for “progressivism”, while the axe falls upon what he defines as “traditionalism”.

Precisely. If you're a solid progressive, you get high-profile invites to significant Church events even if you're a coddler of abusive priests. [Read more about the dreadful Danneels in the reliably rad-trad Tablet.] Sadly, it appears that mercy is only for those of confirmed progressive bona fides. Whereas demotions, removals and defenestrations of entire orders are reserved only for those with the odor of Tradition.

But I'm sure none of that would ever percolate down to the local level, right?

[Hat tip to JM]

"Jesus, Girls, and Marcus Mariota"

Carl E. Olson, "A walk on the lighter side: 'Jesus, girls, and Marcus Mariota...'" (Catholic World Report, November 22, 2014), for what it's worth.

[Hat tip to JM]

Bernard Chazelle on the "Cosmology" of Bach's music

Bernard Chazelle, "Discovering the Cosmology of Bach" (On Being, November 13, 2014):
Bernard Chazelle is Eugene Higgins Professor of Computer Science at Princeton University,  a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and a member of the European Academy of Sciences. He's authored an extensive collection of essays on music for A Tiny Revolution.
Chazelle has an original take on what music works in us — especially the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Just as mathematicians talk about discovering rather than inventing great equations, so, he says, Bach set out to “discover” the musical rules behind the universe. After hearing this conversation, you may never listen to any piece of music — whether Bach or Jay-Z — in quite the same way again.
[Hat tip to M.W.]

The ends of impurity

Fr. Eduard Perrone, "A Pastor's Descant" (Assumption Grotto News, November 23, 2014):

Hard to believe it. I drove past a Catholic Church last week and Behold! there on the front lawn were life-size plastic nativity figures set in place. While I annually rail against preempting Christmas in the commercial world, this act, by a church no less, arouses wonderment that can’t be matched by the secularists. Has the whole world gone mad? Our thoughts at this time of the end of the Church Year ought to be on the Four Last Things: death, judgment, heaven and hell. Advent opens next Sunday, but it is not the Christmas season.

I find myself becoming ever more upset over the loss of souls in the deluge of impurity that’s squeezing the spiritual life out of more and more people. I’m beginning to wonder whether chastity even has a chance in our world. The media, the entertainments, the internet abuse, the conversations of people, their immodest manner of dress and filthy speech–these are becoming suffused with sex to the point that its normal and only permissible expression, in valid marriage, is almost not even referenced. The relentless push of the gay agenda (as it’s been called) makes me believe that perversion is becoming the accepted norm in the USA. I wonder how this could possibly be so since human nature itself is so obstinate in asserting normality and since conscience is an inescapable reality for everybody. The idea then hit me that there must be a line, a trajectory of sexual expression which begins with normalcy but which moves downward, from lesser sins of impurity (though all of them are mortal sins) to the stranger ones, and then on to the perverse, and finally to violence and even murder, perhaps with demonic worship (and possession) being the end of the line. All along the way there would be as a result, a progressive madness–literally speaking, that would begin to take over the person. This hunch–too primitive to call a theory–is that anyone is potentially capable of moving along this line of sin, from normalcy to beastly brutality and to ultimate irrationality. According to this view, it would not then be a question of whatever tendencies one claims to have gotten from birth which determine his life’s direction, but rather of the degree of willful daring that one has to venture down this ‘road’ away from uprightness. In other words, I challenge the claims that are often made about abnormal tendencies as inherited from birth. I’m proposing rather that everyone’s nature can incline him to venture away from the norms of goodness towards sin, more and more, depending on his boldness to transgress the just limits imposed by nature. This is another way of asserting the condition of fallen human nature due to original sin. Anyone could be a potential pervert if he would only let himself go far down enough, that is, to abandon right reason to be bold and wicked enough to experiment with evils’ fascination. If I am right about this, there would be no such thing as a sexual compulsion or a proclivity to sinful activity but only the absence of the moderating and restricting regulation of one’s will to develop virtue. This hypothesis takes away the call for us to pity those whose proclivities are wayward and the demand for us to be accepting of any forms of deviancy as permissible, and even legally protected. No one has the right to transgress the laws of nature that God implanted in our souls, and therefore no one should cultivate a false compassion for those who choose to sin. The only right attitude towards sinners is regret over their deliberate sinfulness and the hope that God may give them the actual grace to see the error of their ways and to reform their thinking and their conduct. 

Without the development of the virtues from our youthful years which curb sinful tendencies of all kinds, we are all prone to be sinners–prone, I say, not destined by an irresistible force. But because family life is fast eroding and because Catholic teaching and practice is dwindling away, and because education in morals is not well imparted, the result is that more and more people will be traveling down this ‘line’ from normality to depravity, coming to a stop at whatever place he would dare not venture further. Surely, I hope this will not happen to everybody, but I see that it’s happening more and more–the ever increasing usage of pornography propelling the movement along.
We must make up our minds to be very good Catholic people–with the help of God.

Fr. Perrone

Prayer request

Please pray for my Japanese "sister," Noriko, who is suffering from cancer, undergoing radical chemo therapy and expecting surgery thereafter. She is the sister of my deceased adopted Japanese brother, Yoshiro ("Thomas"), whom we met for the first time during my sabbatical in Japan last September, with her brother and other sister.

There is no Christian faith in her family background. Like most Japanese, their lives are largely secularized, with bits of Buddhism and Shintoism in their ancestry. I see an opportunity for God's grace here, and I've told her and her family that we will be praying for her healing. Please of your kindness, assist me in these intercessions.

Extraordinary Community News - EF priest training in Alabama, De Profundis, Mass times

"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News (November 23, 2014):
Extraordinary Faith Priest Training in Alabama

The priest training side mission of the Extraordinary Faith television show project continues to bear fruit: The week of November 10, we partnered with Nick Hosford and Joseph Cheney of Una Voce Northern Alabama and Fr. Bryan Jerabek of Holy Rosary Church in Birmingham for our largest Tridentine Mass class yet:

An amazing seven priests from the Diocese of Birmingham took us up on our offer of training in the Extraordinary Form, including the Vicar General and Chancellor of the diocese. Some came with no experience, others to round up knowledge they already had. Despite the large number of students, we were able to have many dry run Masses and one actual First Mass.

If one diocese in Alabama could assemble this many priests, imagine how much clergy interest could be drummed up in other dioceses, too. Clearly there are many opportunities for additional classes elsewhere; the challenge is primarily to invest the time to organize such efforts. [Pictured is Fr. Tom Woods preparing for a practice Mass]

De Profúndis

The Offertory Antiphon that is repeated on the concluding Sundays of the Liturgical Year is the De Profúndis, taken from Psalm 129. This selection is associated with the penitential season of Lent as well as with the month of November, the month of prayer for the Souls in Purgatory.

One of the more memorable selections in our choir’s repertoire is Antonio Salieri’s setting of the De Profúndis [YouTube]. The piece begins softly, then gradually builds towards a crescendo in the concluding Glória Patri. This increasingly insistent tone, reminiscent of the buildup in Ravel’s Bolero, compellingly conveys man’s utter dependency upon God’s Mercy.

Holy Mother Church has enriched the praying of the De Profúndis with a Partial Indulgence when said as an Act of Contrition, especially in preparation for Confession. The text is as follows:
De profúndis clamávi ad te, Dómine:
Dómine, exáudi vocem meam.
Fiant aures tuæ intendéntes,
in vocem deprecatiónis meæ.
Si iniquitátes observáveris, Dómine:
Dómine, quis sustinébit?
Quia apud te propitiátio est:
et propter legem tuam sustínui te, Dómine.
Sustínuit ánima mea in verbo ejus:
sperávit ánima mea in Dómino.
A custódia matutína usque ad noctem,
speret Israël in Dómino.
Quia apud Dóminum misericórdia,
et copiósa apud eum redémptio.
Et ipse rédimet Israël
ex ómnibus iniquitátibus ejus.
Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spirítui Sancto.
Sicut erat in princípio, et nunc, et semper,
et in saécula sæculórum. Amen.

Out of the depths I have cried to Thee, O Lord!
Lord, hear my voice.
Let Thine ears be attentive
to the voice of my supplication.
If Thou, O Lord, shalt mark our iniquities:
O Lord, who shall abide it?
For with Thee there is merciful forgiveness;
and by reason of Thy law I have waited for Thee, O Lord.
My soul hath relied on His word:
my soul hath hoped in the Lord.
From the morning watch even unto night,
let Israel hope in the Lord.
Because with the Lord there is mercy:
and with Him plenteous redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel
from all his iniquities.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.
Christmas Day Mass

Through the kind permission of Sr. Bridget Bearss, RSCJ, Head of School at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Bloomfield Hills, we will have Christmas Day High Mass in the Extraordinary Form at the Academy Chapel at the usual time of 9:45 AM.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 11/24 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Joseph (St. John of the Cross, Confessor & Deacon)
  • Tue. 11/25 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Benedict/Holy Name of Mary (St. Catherine, Virgin & Martyr)
  • Sun. 11/30 2:00 PM: High Mass at St. Hyacinth (First Sunday of Advent) – Celebrant: Fr. Joe Tuskiewicz
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and Assumption (Windsor) bulletin inserts for November 23, 2014. Hat tip to A.B., author of the column.]