Saturday, February 15, 2014

Lovers of Latin (Latin lovers?) have more fun

Not many out there in the J.Q. public would get this humour. But Latin lovers (lovers of Latin) would. At least those who frequent the beautiful traditional Latin Mass.

Here is what the reader who sent me this photo said [Disclaimer]:
Everyone is completely at peace with Latin dying.

No one is seems even interested in the fact the Vatican has an ATM with Latin instructions. I love that! What is wrong with people? And Catholics are eager to embrace the ... Norvus Ord-uh ... ok, new rite in the vernacular, or something like that, since, heck, who understands Latin, you know?!!

Meanwhile, does absolutley ANYONE think that anyone would be nearly as impressed with the most recent run-on, socio-theological babble of Evangelii Gaudium* if encyclicals weren't automatically given Latin titles?

I didn't think so.

It's all as disingenuous as Obama invoking Ronald Reagan, even if neither of them will ever be canonized as civic saints.

Back to Latin, I'm just saying.... Kill Latin, and you essentially kill everything that makes Catholicism dynamically unique in a theological sense. You are washing away CENTURIES of God-blessed growth. Funny thing: people, even seculars, think it's cool.1 It attracts curiosity. It lends distinction. It suggests legacy. Um, just like... older architecture.... also scrapped by eager-to-please ecclesiastics. Maybe there is a pattern.

LATIN shouldn't be an impediment to the New Evangelization. It should be a GIFT.

*(Hey, I love co-author Joseph Ratzinger as much as the next "I Wish the Church Were More Conservative" Catholic. No, I do! Even if his Introduction to Christianity is WAY over-rated!)
  1. The first indult granted for the celebration of the traditional Latin Mass after the promulgation of the New Mass in 1969 was popularly called the "Agatha Christie Indult" because the mystery writer, along with some fifty other secular artists, musicians, and writers had signed a petition asking Pope Paul VI to save the Latin Mass, because of their high regard for it simply from a historical, cultural, and literary point of view; and what reportedly won over the pope was the fact that he was an Agatha Christie fan and she was among the signatories. -- PP [back]
The late great Msgr. Ronald Knox, when asked to perform a baptism in the vernacular English, responded: "The baby does not understand English and the Devil knows Latin."

Which brings us to the title of a great little book by E. Christian Kopff, The Devil Knows Latin: Why America Needs the Classical Tradition(Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2001).

And while we're at it, here's a little gem from A. D. Godley, entitled "Motor Bus":
WHAT is this that roareth thus?
Can it be a Motor Bus?
Yes, the smell and hideous hum
Indicat Motorem Bum!
Implet in the Corn and High
Terror me Motoris Bi:
Bo Motori clamitabo
Ne Motore caedar a Bo--
Dative be or Ablative
So thou only let us live:
Whither shall thy victims flee?
Spare us, spare us, Motor Be!
Thus I sang; and still anigh
Came in hordes Motores Bi,
Et complebat omne forum
Copia Motorum Borum.
How shall wretches live like us
Cincti Bis Motoribus?
Domine, defende nos
Contra hos Motores Bos!
[Hat tip to G.N.]


Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

I imagine the same sort of complaints were heard when the Church changed her language from Greek to Latin.

And even before that, I imagine that there existed The SSPP ( Society of Saint Peter, Pope) that refused to adopt the language of the crummy Greeks who were lording it over everyone - no, I imagine the SSPP stuck with the original Aramaic that the first Pope used in his Mass.

Now that is tradition :)

JM said...

"...what reportedly won over the pope was the fact that he was an Agatha Christie fan and she was among the signatories."

I may have to start lobbying for sainthood for Inspector Poirot.

Sheldon said...

"I imagine the same sort of complaints were heard when the Church changed her language from Greek to Latin."

Large portions of the Catholic Church have retained Greek as the language of their liturgy. "THE CHURCH" didn't change her language. One portion of it, the Latin rite, did.

Besides, this misses entirely the point made by Geoffrey Hull in The Banished Heart, that no matter what the culture, every traditional culture has always celebrated Mass in a language that it considered the nobles expression of its patrimony, and whether that was Hebrew among Aramaic-speaking people, or an ancient form of eastern European language, or Latin, it was never the language of the market place and vaudeville until 1969.

Mass man today has lost all sense of the remoteness, separateness, the holiness, of that which is consecrated and set aside. That's why we have Life Teen Masses with teenagers standing around the altar chewing gum as the priest ad libs the liturgy in lingo he thinks the kids will find 'hip'. As IF!

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Sheldon. The first Pope offered Mass in Aramaic as did the the Bishops in union with him. And that was the language Jesus spoke when He instituted the Eucharist, right?

So, there has already been massive change; including the Canon of the early Church which was completely altered if not eviscerated.

Now, there is nothing sacred about a particular language - least of all a corrupted form of classical Latin - whether it be Aramaic, Greek, Latin, Spanish, Gaelic, or English; and the Council of Trent considered approving the vernacular but did not think the time was ripe for it; it did not hold that the vernacular language was an abuse or untoward.

How did it profit the Gaelic-speaking native Irish to have the Mass in Latin?

I do think it was a boon to them at all. They didn't know what was being said and that, in a very large part, contributed to them sitting silently in their pews ( a protestantising novelty) telling their beads while the Clergy did something they had little or no understanding of.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Sheldon. Just a few more crucial quotes from Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI

Lest there be any misunderstanding, let me add that as far as its content is concerned (apart from a few criticisms), I am very grateful for the new Missal, for the way it has enriched the treasury of prayers and prefaces, for the new eucharistic prayers and the increased number of texts for use on weekdays, etc., quite apart from the availability of the vernacular. But I do regard it as unfortunate that we have been presented with the idea of a new book rather than with that of continuity within a single liturgical history.

In my view, a new edition will need to make it quite clear that the so-called Missal of Paul VI is nothing other than a renewed form of the same Missal to which Pius X, urban VIII, Pius V and their predecessors have contributed, right from the Church’s earliest history.”

The rise of the online trad machine has resulted in a discernible chasm from Holy Mother CHurch and in which chasm echo the same time-bound claims as though all that went before Trent was rendered nugatory and anything post Pope Pius XII is protestantised worship and the Church is, apparently, to be concretised forever in a post-reformation/fortress framework.

Sheldon said...

Bornacatholic/IANS/Whoever you are, you say:

"... a new edition will need to make it quite clear that the so-called Missal of Paul VI is nothing other than a renewed form of the same Missal to which Pius X, urban VIII, Pius V ..."

It will take more than a new edition of the Novus Ordo Missal with an explanatory preface making such claims to "make it quite clear" that this is the case. The Mass itself will have to be changed. It's arguable whether it can be bended sufficiently to conform to liturgical tradition without snapping it entirely. There are fundamental problems with it.

You also say:

"The rise of the online trad machine has resulted in a discernible chasm from Holy Mother CHurch ..."

How is this not a proverbial case of blaming the victim? It was the massive perception of the faithful that the new Mass represented a complete rupture with liturgical tradition. In fact, this was also the perception of the majority of the Council Fathers and other clerics in Rome who were invited to witness the first performance of this "on-the-spot fabrication" (Ratzinger's words) of the Consilium. And you want to blame a so-called "trad machine" for this "discernable chasm" from Mother Church and her liturgical tradition???

Sheldon said...


First, you miss my point, which is not that one language is any holier than another (although I know linguists who know the major language groups that would argue for the superiority of Latin hands down; have you ever tried studying Chinese?). My point is that the language of liturgy has always been a language that sets apart, that consecrates, that makes holy and special and reverential what is done in the liturgy.

There is a second and related problem I did not yet address. The whole thrust of the Bugnini liturgy is to pull the Mass out of its consecrated, otherworldly transcendent sphere and drag it out into the public market place. This is reflected not only in the wholesale switch to the vernacular and overthrow of Latin (nowhere mandated in Sacrosanctum Concilium), the wholesale abandonment of Gregorian Chant (overtly mandated for pride of place by V2), the adaption of secular music styles in bad taste for service in the liturgy, the insistence on queue-lines for the reception of Communion standing and typically in the hand, etc., etc. All of this has the effect of overturning traditional belief in the Real Presence. Paul VI himself worried about this, and this is exactly what has happened.

And the underlying assumption is that the proper audience for the words spoken by the priest in the liturgy is the "gathered community." This, too, is bunk. The words are meant for God. We are there to be present at the Eucharistic Sacrifice. It's not merely that it didn't matter than the congregation could not hear the words of consecration; rather it mattered exactly because they were always intended for God, which is why the priest uttered them soto voce, in effect, inaudibly to the "gathered community." Bugnini turned the Mass into a dog and pony show for the purpose of entertaining an "audience," and viewed thusly, it is such poor entertainment, it's little wonder people have fled the doors of Catholic churches.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Sheldon. That description of he Mass as a show - profane or sacred depending on the writer - has a long pedigree.

During the Gothic period, Mass was seen as a ... holy drama, a play performed before the eyes of the particicpantss... and there was even a time when Mass was rarely, if ever, thought of as a sacrifice (St Gregory's Mass, Middle Ages) and there was even the Mass at a Monastery where the boy-abbot was shoved out of his chair during Mass on the Feast Of Holy Innocents as shown by Joseph A Jungmann, S.J. The Mass of the Roman Rite

Apparently long-gone is the idea that The Mass is The Mass is The Mass; that is, the action of Jesus, priest and victim, offering Himself to God as an act of propitiation on our behalf as we redeemed Christians offer our, prayers, petitions, adoration, reparations that are swept-up in the pluperfect sacrifice of Jesus made sacramentally present in our midst and , thus, made acceptable to God, then we Christians partake of the Sacred Banquet/New Covenant Meal; long gone is the truth that the Mass of Pope Saint Peter is the same Mass of Pope Saint Leo the Great, is the same Mass of Pope Saint Pius V, is the same Mass of Pope Saint Pius Xth, is the same Mass of Pope Saint John Paul II.

That is, the Mass is the same today as it was in the nascent church and while it is, of course, that in treating of anything sacred, it ought be done with solemnity, seriousness, dignity etc the Rise of the Online Trad Machine has eroded that fundamental truth if not eviscerated it with all of its captious commentary about Rite, Custom, Law, Rubrics, Music etc.

Those are all, like it or not, secondary matters when it comes to the Mass.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

In fact, this was also the perception of the majority of the Council Fathers and other clerics in Rome who were invited to witness the first performance of this "on-the-spot fabrication" (Ratzinger's words) of the Consilium

Rev Anthony Cekada kocked-out the teeth of that mythical dragon created by the Rise of the Online Trad Machine.

It was a false claim made by Mons Lefebvre (one of many). The first public celebration (Bugnini was the Priest celebrating) of the Missa Normativa was accepted by a majority of the Fathers who saw it in the Sistine Chapel.

I'll go chase down the citation of the real facts if you desire to see it

Dark Horse said...

Wikipedia says:

"By October 1967, the Consilium had produced a complete draft revision of the liturgy, and this revision was presented to the Synod of Bishops that met in Rome in that month. The bishops attended the first public celebration of the revised rite in the Sistine Chapel. When asked to vote on the new liturgy, 71 bishops voted placet (approved), 43 voted non placet (not approved) and 62 voted placet iuxta modum (approved with reservations)"

This was bfore the intrvention by Carnals Ottaviani and Baci

A.B. said...


What's gotten into you, man? You're flip-floppin' like a Mackerel slipped out of NCR fishwrap.

I can respect your desire to be obedient, but I'm not sure you've given much thought to what's being "obedient" is going to mean here. So you gonna start to start going exclusively to the "Li'l Licit Ligurgy" and receive from extraordinary ministers standing at the front of the line in your hand, and dancing the Electric Slide with Pope Francis?

The Mass is the Mass is the Mass and action of Jesus, etc.? Gimme a break, man. Of course Jesus is there. That's not the point. The point is whether the actions of the liturgy and the theological expression of the nouvelles highlights and reverences or hides and marginalizes Him. We could spend all day stringing together nothing but quotations from IANS and expose the silliness of his over-extended enthusiasm of late.

RFGA, Ph.D. said...

I also must say that IANS's comments as of late have me scratching my head. Whereto the once staunch defender of Holy Tradition?

JM said...

"The rise of the online trad machine has resulted in a discernible chasm from Holy Mother Church..."

ROFLOL. Yes, THAT's what has created a chasm. Really, you have to drink your share of post-conciliar shooters to believe the chasm was not caused by the plain-as-day left turns at Vatican II. The online trad machine simply marks the first time the clergy has not been able to keep all the loose ends under wraps. By the grace of God, I might add. Denying this will only cause our head to implode later on. The changes are undeniable.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Dark Horse. The so-called Oytaviani Intervention was written 9/ 25/69 mainly penned by Guerard des Lauriers O.P. who was illicitly consecrated a Bishop by Thuc and both were excommunicated (The Pope, Council, Mass" Likoudis and Whitehead) and Pope Paul VI answered the criticisms 11/19/69 and issued the 1970 Latin edition of Roman Missal with an undeniable orthodox exposition included (up until the so-called Otaviani Intervention, he prolly thought everybody assumed a Pope would not promulgate a defective rite).

After the responses by the Pope, Ottaviani and Bacci were jake with the reformed Mass and Ottaviaini lived until 1979 without breathing a single objection to the Missa Normativa; same is true for Bacci

But unless one became an autodidact and pursued the facts to a solid, orthodox, conclusion, one was susceptible to the lies and distortions generated since the Rise of the Online Trad Machine which has poisoned the orthodox oasis.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

What's gotten into you, man? You're flip-floppin' like a Mackerel slipped out of NCR fishwrap.

Dear AB. Ain't that the truth. I could write a lengthy summary of the metanoia I have recently experienced but suffice it to say that what happened to me is similar to what the John Cleese character said in "Holy Grail"

She turned me into a Newt

(Quizzical stares from crowd)

I got better

It was not so long ago in here - I am sure Barbara remembers because she asked me about it - that I wrote I was this close to sedevacantism...

That realisation struck me as hard as Totie Fields used to hit the desert table at a free buffet and I began to go back and ask my own self some questions.

I began rereading Denziger, the New Testament, and I began going to daily Mass (The SSCS, Society of Saint Christopher Standing) so I could receive Communion standing, etc and I got better.

I could not deny the obvious promises Jesus made about His Church. It can't fail.

In any event, I don't mind have my former words quoted back to me (I do like my writing) and if they make me look like a fool - so much the better - it would cast me in a more favorable light than the way I saw myself only a short time ago.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

The Mass is the Mass is the Mass and action of Jesus, etc.? Gimme a break, man. Of course Jesus is there. That's not the point

Dear AB. But, that is the essential point and the captious quarrels over secondary matters has obscured that truth.

Try doing this - ask anyone you know who is a soi disant traditionalist if they can -like I did a few posts ago on the spur of the moment- describe what the Mass is off the top of their head.

The vast majority can't.

Charles said...


* Joseph A Jungmann's The Mass of the Roman Rite is scholarly but tendentious and, at points, revisionist.

* You reject Cardinal Ratzinger's view of the Missa Normativa as a "banal fabrication," rather than a product of organic development.

* In The Pope, Council, Mass, Likoudis and Whitehead twisted themselves in contorted knots trying to justify the "changes." It was a valiant but comical effort.

* If you've read Rev Anthony Cekada's Work of Human Hands: A Theological Critique of the Mass of Paul VI, then you know he kocked-out the teeth of the conceit that the New Mass is above theological criticism.

* Captious quarrels about what anti-traditionalists consider "essential" in the Mass can also obscure the multitude of impediments to the required dispositions for receiving the graces available in the Sacrifice of the Mass.

* I have no quarrel with your desire to be faithful. I commend you for that. I do have a quarrel if you persist in denying that Cardinal Ratzinger, Msgr. Klaus Gamber, Roberto de Mattei, Alcuin Reid, Romano Amerio, Michael Davies, Abbe Georges de Nantes, Dietrich von Hildebrand, Uwe Michael Lang, Atila Sinke Guimaraes, yes, and Abp Marcel Lefebvre, and even Rev. Anthony Cekada have had some legitimate criticisms of the New Mass, because I would consider that disingenuous of anyone who has read as much as you apparently have.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Charles. All good history is revisionist or it ain't history.

Raztiner/Benedict XVI can be cited both in support of the Missa Normativa and against same.

Dear Charles. After I have completed posting the series on The Relatio on Infallibility, I wil post a piece claiming that Pope Paul Vi could, legitimately, been considered a restorationist.

I ought note that I attempted such a thing on the blog of the good Father Hunwicke but the posts were never accepted; the posts did cause him to go all Rumpelstiltskin on me though - rhetorically stamping his feet and screaming.

It is true that I have read many books in my days as an autodidact and the fact that I am a tiger who has changed its spots is testimony to the truth of the observation made about men like me by the old timers in the hills of Vermont;

He is educated beyond his intelligence.