Friday, March 04, 2016

Disappointment with Louis Bouyer's Memoirs

I recently purchased Louis Bouyer's Memoirs, eager to read his perspective on the Vatican II liturgical reform. I was especially interested because of a certain ambivalence surrounding the figure of Bouyer.  On the one hand, he  was clearly disappointed by the direction the reform ultimately took; so disappointed with the whole direction of the Council and its aftermath, in fact, that he eventually wrote a booklet entitled La Décomposition du catholicisme (Paris: Aubier, 1968). On the other hand, Bouyer was also involved in some of the liturgical reforms that were themselves instrumental in undermining the integrity of the received form of the Mass, as in his shift from describing the Mass as a sacrifice to construing it as a 'communal meal'. This point is made with devastating clarity in Anthony Cekada's magisterial Work of Human Hands: A Theological Critique of the Mass of Paul VI (Philothea Press, 2010) [Advisory: Rules 7-9].  In fact, as is often the case with Protestant converts, it is sometimes difficult to tell how much his view of Catholicism is colored by the lens of his pre-Catholic Protestant commitments.

I haven't gotten around to reading Bouyer's Memoirs yet, but I was disappointed to read Amy Welborn's recent review, entitled "Bouyer's Memoirs" (Charlotte Was Both, January 14, 2016), not because of any defect in Welborn's analysis (on the contrary, it is penetrating and quite revealing), but because of her assessment that the Memoirs really don't tell us anything significantly new. In fact, her concluding sentence is almost damning: "It is almost as if what's more important in the telling is the personal slight to Bouyer in his desired direction being rejected rather than any concern for the Church as a whole."

Here's her review:
I finally got around to finishing Louis Bouyer’s memoirs – what an odd book.
Bouyer was a French scholar and priest – a convert from Protestantism – raised in some combined high church Reformed/Lutheran milieu, he was a Lutheran pastor. Two of his more well-known books that have been translated in English are Liturgical Piety and The Spirit and Forms of Protestantism.  I’ve read both, but don’t remember tons about them.
Bouyer’s memoir has been receiving some buzz mostly because of what he says about his work on commissions attached to the Second Vatican Council.  He was bitter.
I said the book was odd. Why?
Well, it is a memoir, but, in the end, a not terribly personal one.  The first few chapters which treat his childhood in and about Paris are quite lovely and evocative. But as he grows to adulthood, the book takes on the character of a list. Bouyer went here, studied these subjects with these people, got fed up or converted and then moved on.  Repeat.  Over and over again. In Europe, in the United States, encounters and friendships, a bit of teaching, some preaching….
Not, in the end, terribly interesting.
A couple of points struck me:
First, Bouyer was in Paris for most of World War II.  Perhaps he has written about that experience elsewhere in some depth, but here he does not.  You know the war is going on – he mentions it in sad terms a couple of times, but only as the faintest background to his writing and engagements with other scholars. It’s very strange – he was living in German-occupied Paris and he has nothing to say about that? I don’t care what he thought about some other Oratian in the house – I want to know what occupied Paris was like for these fellows.
And then, the Vatican II stuff.  To tell the truth there is not a lot more than what has been mentioned in reviews – his loathing of Bugnini, the composition of Eucharistic Prayer II in a Trestavere trattoria and Ratzinger’s aside about Rahner: “Another monologue about dialogue.”
Now, I do believe he did, indeed write about all of that in quite a bit more detail, so I can’t fault the memoir for only hitting the highlights (to him). But what I wondered about was not as much the content as the attitude.  Bouyer had a deeply negative assessment of the liturgical direction of Vatican II and makes clear that this direction was present long before the Council itself – for example, in the French context, there was some sort of conflict between liturgical groups in the 50’s, but so much was assumed in the telling, I found it very confusing and really never understood what was going on.  So yes, distress and even disgust – that’s clearly expressed. But what I found lacking was a consideration of the complexities of his own involvement or even distant responsibility, even the broadest sense for the direction of the post-Conciliar liturgical scene. It is this bad thing that happened, but why? It is almost as if what's more important in the telling is the personal slight to Bouyer in his desired direction being rejected rather than any concern for the Church as a whole.
[Hat tip to Guy Noir]


16 comments:








Catholic Mission

said...


On Vatican Council II
Excommunication of Archbishop Lefebvre
http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.it/2016/03/excommunication-of-archbishop-lefebvre.html


Deception in Dallas and Detroit
http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.it/2016/03/deceptions-in-dallas-and-detroit.html

SSPX must seek an agreement with the Vatican based on rationality
http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.it/2016/03/sspx-must-seek-agreement-with-vatican.html





Simon Reilly

said...

One comment Louis Bouyer made in his book The Decomposition of Catholicism (incidentally, often misquoted by Michael Davies) sheds a lot of light on his attitude towards, not only the liturgical changes, but also the pre-conciliar Church: "...the old Mass was a cadaver, the new Mass is a cadaver decomposed!" It is interesting comparing his book with Trojan Horse by Dietrich von Hildebrand in the City of God: both men perceived that a spiritual decay had taken hold of the Church before the Council but that the aftermath of the Council had seen the acceleration of that decay rather than its reversal. However, unlike von Hildebrand, Bouyer wrote in a supercilious and contemptuous tone, as though he had the solutions to all the problems and hadn't been listened to.





Amateur Brain Surgeon

said...

http://www.baptismofdesire.com





Catholic Mission

said...


SSPX ask the Vatican to apologise for the excommunication of Abp.Lefebvre and for interpreting Vatican Council II with Cushingism instead of Feeneyism
http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.it/2016/03/sspx-ask-vatican-to-apologise-for.html





Anonymous

said...

Sp. Welborn, Trastevere





Amateur Brain Surgeon

said...

http://www.catholicessentials.net/baptismofdesire.htm

Dear Catholic Mission. Pertinacity of error is not a virtue. Now ABS is done with you as we have been round the block on your personal heresy repeatedly





Catholic Mission

said...

ABS
In this link (http://www.catholicessentials.net/baptismofdesire.htm ?
there is not a single person who claims that the baptism of desire (BOD) is objectively visible to us human beings. This is all assumed by the owner of Catholic Essentials.

I accept BOD as being hypothetical and invisible.So it is not relevant or an exception to the dogma EENS (EENS).
So i affirm the strict interpretation of EENS along with BOD ( invisible).
So how can you say that I am in heresy.
Any way EENS is the defined teaching and I am affirming it.
________________________

What about you and the sedes at Catholic Essentials?
Can you affirm the Feeneyite interpretion of EENs? That is there are no known exceptions to the dogma EENS, there is no known salvation outside the Church, every one needs to be a 'card carrying member ' of the Church in 2016. No one in Boston 1949 saw someone saved outside the Church. There is not case in Catholic Church history of a cleric seeing someone saved in Heaven without the baptism of water and with the baptism of desire or blood. The proof is there on the Catholic Essential website.Not a single citation says there is a known exception to EENS. This has to be inferred by those who infer that BOD is objective in our reality.

So you cannot affirm EENS. You would probably have to use double speak and hope it makes sense.Since for you BOD is explicit, seen in the flesh and objectively visible in 2016. So it is an exception to traditional EENS. The dogma has 'developed' for you.
________________________

You may say that BOD is not explicit for you.
You may say this. But if there are explicit exceptions to EENS, then it means you know of someone exception. You can see or meet someone today who is in Heaven without the baptism of water in the Catholic Church or that you know someone who will be saved without the baptism of water in the Catholic Church.
This is irrational. How can you see someone in Heaven without the baptism of water, someone saved outside the Church. And how can you know of someone who will be saved tomorrow without the baptism of water in the Catholic Church ?
Aside from the irrationality, do you see 'traces' of heresy in the sedes, traditionalists and liberal position? It is simple there are no known exceptions and you all are inferring there are.
_____________________

How can the contemporary magisterium support this irrationality ? Is this not magisterial heresy of the present times ( after the Council of Trent) that you all are supporting and assuming that it is traditional because it is official ?
-Lionel





Catholic Mission

said...

The Baptism of Desire refers to invisible cases. This is common sense. If a pope or saint says otherwise it would be wrong
http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.it/2015/11/the-baptism-of-desire-refers-to.html





Amateur Brain Surgeon

said...

...there is not a single person who claims that the baptism of desire (BOD) is objectively visible to us human beings.

ABS knows not to attempt this but he will attempt it anyways (He's Irish and, thus, is attracted to lost causes)


Post for all of us to read anywhere the Magisterium defined as necessary for the Baptism of Desire that it be observed by you or anybody else.

This is a personal obsession of yours that has not one whit to do with Tradition

Saint Emerentiana is in Heaven. She was never Baptised with water. She was Baptised in blood





Amateur Brain Surgeon

said...

Rev. Francis Spirago THE CATECHISM EXPLAINED

If baptism by water is impossible, it may be replaced by the baptism of
desire, or by the baptism of blood, as in the case of those who suffer
martyrdom for the faith of Christ.

The Emperor Valentinian II was on the way to Milan to be baptized when he
was assassinated; St. Ambrose said of him that his desire had been the
means of his cleansing.
The patriarchs, prophets and holy men of the Old
Testament had the baptism of desire; their love of God was ardent, and
they wished to do all that He commands. God accepts the will for the deed;
in this He manifests His super-abundant loving kindness. But all the
temporal penalties of sin are not remitted by the baptism of desire.
Martyrdom for Christ's sake is the baptism of blodd. This the holy
innocents received, and the Church commemorates them as saints. All
unbaptized persons who suffer martyrdom for the Christian faith, for some
act of Christian virtue, or the fulfilment of a Christian duty, also
received the baptism of blood. Witness St. John Baptist; or St.
Emerentiana, who while yet a catechumen, was found by the pagans praying
at St. Agnes' tomb, and was put ton death by them. The Church does not
pray for the unbaptized who suffer death for Christ; for He Himself says,
"He that shall lose his life for Me, shall find it." (Matt. x. 39).

(Well, to be fair, Saint Ambrose is only a doctor of the church not a reader of the Dimond bros blog)





A.S.

said...

Fr. Bouyer was what we once called (before V2) an ecclesiastical free lance. These were priests not under the direct authority of a bishop or living on their own patrimony. Fr. Bouyer's last job was chaplain at ENS the pride of revolutionary France. Fr. Guardini for example taught at Berlin University and in his summers worked with the German youth group Quickenbush, which he managed to free from any episcopal control.

A detailed history of what happened to the French seminaries as a result of the Condemnation would be welcome. But far more damning is the work of Fr. Stanley Jaki, OSB. It is the universal boast of the nouvelle theologiens that they are carrying forward the work of
John Henry Newman. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The nouvelles obsess about integralism. For them it is the source of all evil. I must
confess I was astonished by two quotes from the article by Fr. Peter Bernardi, SJ on Action Francaise in the feteschrift for Fr. Komonchak:

"We are witnesses today of a new integralism that may seem to support what is strictly Catholic but in reality corrupts it."

"To be evenhanded there is also a political-ecclesiastical integralism of the left that also needs to be identified and diagnosed."





Amateur Brain Surgeon

said...

Indicting integralism as a serious problem is the rhetorical banner behind which the revolutionaries advanced signaling to faithful catholics that they repudiated them for Integralism IS the Catholic Faith.

Roberto de Mattei, The Second Vatican Council on page 64, quotes the great American, Monsignor Fenton twice, both in the context of Integralism existing as the expression of the Faith;

We must not forget the fact that modernism , as such, is a definite heresy or collection of heretical teachings, while integralism, as such, is nothing of the sort. The true Catholic teaching is not to be found at any half-way point between the teachings of such as Tyrrel and Loisey ...If, as is usual in our own country, the name of integralism is applied to this specifically anti-modernist teaching, then integralism is nothing more than a statement of Catholic truth, implied in a denial of errors which are incompatible with the divine message of the Catholic Church.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it you modernists revolutionaries





Catholic Mission

said...

...there is not a single person who claims that the baptism of desire (BOD) is objectively visible to us human beings.

ABS knows not to attempt this but he will attempt it anyways (He's Irish and, thus, is attracted to lost causes)
Lionel: Yes it is a lost cause to support the contemporart magisterium which supports an objective error, an error of observation.
_____________________

Post for all of us to read anywhere the Magisterium defined as necessary for the Baptism of Desire that it be observed by you or anybody else.
Lionel:
So then present magisterium is wrong since it contradicts the pre Council of Trent magisterium on exclusive salvation in the Church.
The present magisterium is wrong since it assumes there are known cases of the baptism of desire in the present times and so it is an exception to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus. There are no known cases in 201c.
The magisterium is wrong to assume St.XYZ is in Heaven over the centuries since no one could have see or known any case of someone saved without the baptism of water.
The magisteriuim is wrong to assume hypothetical cases( baptism of desire, invincible ignorance) are explicit and so are exceptions to EENS.
The magisterium is wrong in the Baltimore Catechism to assume there are known cases of a catechuman saved without the baptism of water and with the desire for the baptism of water before he dies.This is a theoretical case.
The magisterium is wrong in interpreting LG 16 (invincible ignorance) as referrring to an explicit case and so Vatican Council II becomes a break with EENS. I can choose to interpret LG 16 as being invisible instead of visible. Then Vatican Council II does not contradict EENS.This is a radical change in the interpretation and the magisterium was not aware of it.
___________________________


This is a personal obsession of yours that has not one whit to do with Tradition
Lionel:
I am responding to all these irrational suppositions and theories which are now considered 'traditional' but which is a break with the centuries old traditional teaching on salvation.The break comes with an irrational inference which is constantly being used by traditionalists to interpret Vatican Council II, the Letter of the Holy Office 1949 and the Baltimore Catechism.I am simply responding to all of you.
_____________________

Saint Emerentiana is in Heaven. She was never Baptised with water. She was Baptised in blood
Lionel:
Who was the person in the Church who saw her in Heaven without the baptism of water?
Does the Church say that someone had this gift to see people in Heaven with or without the baptism of water?
Are you going to name someone or are you going to continue with this speculation?
Then when I have to continuously respond to this irrationality you call it an obsession.
-Lionel Andrades





Catholic Mission

said...



Rev. Francis Spirago THE CATECHISM EXPLAINED

If baptism by water is impossible, it may be replaced by the baptism of
desire, or by the baptism of blood, as in the case of those who suffer
martyrdom for the faith of Christ.
Lionel:
Fine. This is speculation, it is referring to a theoretical unknown case with plenty of good will.No problem here. It has nothing to do with the strict interpretation of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.
__________________

The Emperor Valentinian II was on the way to Milan to be baptized when he
was assassinated; St. Ambrose said of him that his desire had been the
means of his cleansing.
Lionel:Fine.We can hope it was like this.Finally only God can judge. We do not know if the Emperor committed a mortal sin before death.
So we cannot say that the Emperor Valentinian II was an exception to the dogma EENS since St.Ambrose believed the emperor went to Heaven without the baptism of desire and without the baptism of water.
So we still do not have an objective exception to the dogma.
Yet upon this alleged 'objective exception to the dogma' there is a new theology promoted by the magisterium ( Cushingism) which was accepted by even Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and the traditionalits of his time. It is with this new irrational theology, which is not traditional, that SSPX priests interpret Vatican Council II as a break with EENS and think the fault is there with the Council .
________________

The patriarchs, prophets and holy men of the Old
Testament had the baptism of desire; their love of God was ardent, and
they wished to do all that He commands.

Lionel: O.K.
_______________

God accepts the will for the deed;
in this He manifests His super-abundant loving kindness. But all the
temporal penalties of sin are not remitted by the baptism of desire.
Martyrdom for Christ's sake is the baptism of blodd. This the holy
innocents received, and the Church commemorates them as saints. All
unbaptized persons who suffer martyrdom for the Christian faith, for some
act of Christian virtue, or the fulfilment of a Christian duty, also
received the baptism of blood.
Lionel:
O.K. Acceptable.However it is clear I hope that no one knew of any specific case of someone saved with the theoretical baptism of desire and allegedly without the baptism of water. There is also no specific case today.
It was the liberal theologians who made the wrong connection with the baptism of desire and the dogma EENS. There is no link.
__________________

Witness St. John Baptist; or St.
Emerentiana, who while yet a catechumen, was found by the pagans praying
at St. Agnes' tomb, and was put ton death by them. The Church does not
pray for the unbaptized who suffer death for Christ; for He Himself says,
"He that shall lose his life for Me, shall find it." (Matt. x. 39).
Lionel:
Do not mix up the possibility of being saved with the baptism of desire and actually knowing cases (past or present) of persons saved with the baptism of desire.
Do not mix up what is invisible as being visible. This was the error or deception of the theologians at Baltimore, Boston and then Vatican Council II.
Make the hypothetical-objective distinction.
Objectivly no one knows of any one saved with the baptism of desire and without the baptism of water in the Catholic Church. There are no known cases of salvation outside the Church.
_____________________


(Well, to be fair, Saint Ambrose is only a doctor of the church not a reader of the Dimond bros blog)
Lionel:
To be fair, St.Ambrose did not see or know of any one in Heaven without the baptism of water, including that of his friend.
__________________





Amateur Brain Surgeon

said...

Lionel. You substitute your personal opinion for the Magisterium. Even when the Magisterium (such as the letter to Boston, signed by the great Roman, Ottaviano) explicates the doctrine of EENS you protest with your odd objection about this or that being visible or not visible but you never - despite being repeatedly asked to - post anything from any Magisterial Document teaching that one has to see an example of baptism of desire, baptism of blood.

Now, you prolly think that St Emerentiana was baptised with water by an angel.

You, sir are a protestant and what you call breaks with tradition PRECEDED, (from a Doctor of the Church ;his is one of the four statutes on the Altar of the Chair of Peter inside St Peters but you think he is in error re Baptism of Desire) the definition you wildly misconstrue and do not understand.

OK, well, it is Lent and so there's that.

Adios Lionel





Catholic Mission

said...

Lionel. You substitute your personal opinion for the Magisterium.
Lionel:
That we human beings cannot physically see any one in Heaven or on earth saved without the baptism of water is not a personal opinion. It is a fact of life.
You have not answered how could some one see or know St. Emerentiana was in Heaven without the baptism of water.
_______________________

Even when the Magisterium (such as the letter to Boston, signed by the great Roman, Ottaviano) explicates the doctrine of EENS
Lionel: It supports the Feeneyite interpretation of EENS in the first part while the second part of the letter contradicts the first part. The second part assumes that the baptism of desire etc refer to visible cases and so is relevant and an exception to traditional EENS supported in the first part of the Letter.
The Magisterium then accepted the irrational reasoning in the second part of the Letter and then contradicted the centuries old magisterium of the Church. So at one time the magisterium had to be wrong.
____________________________

you protest with your odd objection about this or that being visible or not visible but you never
Lionel: It is when you say that St. Emerentiana is in Heaven without the baptism of water that you infer that you or someone else in the Church could physically see persons in Heaven or on earth without the baptism of water. It is you who infer that a category of people in Heaven are visible to you. So i am compelled to make the visible-invisible distinction but you keep repeating the same error.
__________________________


- despite being repeatedly asked to - post anything from any Magisterial Document teaching that one has to see an example of baptism of desire, baptism of blood.
Lionel: I affirm the traditional interpretation of EENS and also invisible for us; hypothetical baptism of desire. I am able to affirm the strict interpretation of extra ecclesiam nulla salus , with no exceptions. This is something you and the magisterium cannot do since the baptism of desire is explicit for you. It is an objectively seen exception to all needing to convert into the Catholic Church in the present times.This is rationality for you.
______________________________

Now, you prolly think that St Emerentiana was baptised with water by an angel.
Lionel: There are only Catholics in Heaven and they are there with 'faith and baptism'(AG 7, LG 14).
__________________________

You, sir are a protestant and what you call breaks with tradition PRECEDED, (from a Doctor of the Church ;his is one of the four statutes on the Altar of the Chair of Peter inside St Peters but you think he is in error re Baptism of Desire) the definition you wildly misconstrue and do not understand.
Lionel: If any one infers that we can physically see and indentify people in Heaven without the baptism of water he is making an error.It is a factual error. It is an objective error which can be noted even by non Catholics.None of the Doctors of the Church made this error.St. Thomas and St. Augustine affirmed the strict interpretation of the dogma EENS. If a pope or saint mentioned the desire of a catechuman to receive the baptism of water, but who dies before receiving it,that pope or saint ws still affirming the strict interpretation of EENS. Since this theoretical case of the catechuman is not relevant or an exception to EENS. Modern day liberal theologians wrongly made it relevant.
____________________________

OK, well, it is Lent and so there's that.
Lionel:
To imply that there are known exceptions to the dogma EENS ( even when you do not know of any ) is a lie, it is irrationality.It is heresy. It is a sin against the faith.Remember this in Lent.

__________________________

-Lionel