Latin mass severely restricted in Chi-town. Cardinal Cupich to the liturgical-war barricades. But there’s a rub or two . . .

. . .  In fact quite a few when we look at what two popes and one ecumenical council had to say about Latin in the mass.

Take Pius XII in 1947 with his Mediator Dei.

Regarding the use of Latin within the Mass, Venerable Pius XII wrote:

“The use of the Latin language, customary in a considerable portion of the Church, is a manifest and beautiful sign of unity, as well as an effective antidote for any corruption of doctrinal truth.” (MD 60)

While the Holy Father recognized that “the use of the mother tongue in connection with several of the rites” may be of advantage to the faithful, nowhere did he advocate for the removal of Latin from the Holy Mass.

Much less call it a disrupter of unity to be treated as a fly in the ointment.

That’s not all. Nothing is more revered and given star treatment among all the councils than Vatican 2, where Latin picked up noteworthy support.

“In Masses which are celebrated with the people, a suitable place may be allotted to their mother tongue [the vernacular]. This is to apply in the first place to the readings and “the common prayer,” but also, as local conditions may warrant, to those parts which pertain to the people…

Nevertheless steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them.” (SC 54)


Lastly (for now), there is what Benedict XVI had to say in 2007.

“[P]articularly of celebrations at international gatherings, which nowadays are held with greater frequency…In order to express more clearly the unity and universality of the Church…with the exception of the readings, the homily and the prayer of the faithful, it is fitting that such liturgies be celebrated in Latin. Similarly, the better-known prayers of the Church’s tradition should be recited in Latin and, if possible, selections of Gregorian chant should be sung.

Speaking more generally, I ask that future priests, from their time in the seminary, receive the preparation needed to understand and to celebrate Mass in Latin, and also to use Latin texts and execute Gregorian chant; nor should we forget that the faithful can be taught to recite the more common prayers in Latin, and also to sing parts of the liturgy to Gregorian chant.” (SC 62)

We are to presume, of course, that Cardinal Cupich read these texts carefully and took them into consideration this time around. Yes, we are.

The hammer drops. Latin mass under wraps in Chi-town. Cardinal Cupich makes his move.

Cardinal Cupich issues new restrictions on Traditional Latin Masses

Cardinal Blase Cupich has issued a new policy for the Archdiocese of Chicago that curtails the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass and other sacraments in Latin using liturgical books that pre-date Vatican II.

Under the policy, which takes effect Jan. 25, priests, deacons, and ordained ministers who wish to use the “old rite” must submit their requests to Cupich in writing and agree to abide by the new norms.

Those rules specify that the Traditional Latin Masses must incorporate scripture readings in the vernacular, using the official translation of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

In addition, such Masses cannot take place in a parish church unless both the archbishop and the Vatican agree to grant an exemption.

The new policy also prohibits the celebration of Traditional Latin Masses on the first Sunday of every month, Christmas, the Triduum, Easter Sunday, and Pentecost Sunday.

Down with the old.

Pope Francis on the war path towards abolishing Latin mass and sacraments

Hard words for a hard (holy) father as regards his draconian measures in re: Traditional Latin Mass (TLM).

A few years ago a friend said that he believed Pope Francis was a spiritually abusive father. I instinctively cringed. To my innate Catholic sense, such language was inappropriate to be directed at the Holy Father. But I can’t see how his actions regarding the old Rite can be seen as anything other than abusive.

An abusive father is a master at manipulation. He makes his children think they are the problem. He warps reality so that they think they “deserve” their abuse, and if they dare challenge it, he casts them as unloving and divisive family members. His children live in a constant state of self-doubt and confusion.

This is how the Holy Father treats those of his children who are attached to the old ways. If they find their spiritual life enriched by attending the TLM, he suggests they have schismatic tendencies. If they find their parish Mass to be unfulfilling in its entrenched mediocracy, he accuses them of rejecting Vatican II. When they complain at his unjust treatment of them, he says that proves they need further correction. It’s spiritual abuse, plain and simple.

More here . . .

Church is “the house of prayer” from which “preaching may be left out” but never “the house of preaching” from which “prayer may be left out” . . .

That is, you can do without the sermon but never without the prayer.

That’s from a John Donne sermon, 17th century, found in Prayers, selected and edited by Peter Washington, Everyman’s Library, Pocket Poets (Knopf), 1995.

Not to downgrade the sermon, but this I found helpful. The Mass has both prayer and sermon, or homily, of course, with its essence the Eucharistic Prayer serving as climactic. It has the moments of consecration, when everything shuts down, except the bell-ringer, and the priest says the sacramental words — formula, if you will — and people have nothing to do but watch. And pray.

Before and after these solemn moments, however, there is lots going on, intended to foster prayer and prayerfulness but sometimes, I think, preventing it. These are busy moments, serving to keep people on their toes — and successful in that, in large part anyhow.

My own experience, which I generously share with you, gives the lie to that scenario. I have written about kneeling for the canon, for instance, that crucial part of the whole event, remember, and waking up for the Our Father, when all rise to say or sing the words. And I with nothing to account for from the previous ten minutes.

An hour or so in the day of the fumbling, stumbling worshiper . . .

Getting there: Traffic on way to church slowed down for one car pushing another down Balmoral. It was an old-fashioned mine-won’t-start-get-me-going, bumper-to-bumper affair. To the credit of Western Civilization, honks were a scattered few along the block-long line of rush-hour vehicles. The other pair peeled off at Broadway, and the rest of us moved along.

At mass: I sit on the side under a light with my New Testament by Msgr. Ronald Knox. It’s Mark 15, about Jesus questioned by Pilate, who’s amazed at his not answering to the charges that Pilate knew were trumped up by priests and others of the established religion, that which Jesus had been challenging.

Pilate tells the crowd Jesus is not guilty. Stirred up by priests and the rest, they roar disapproval. He gives in, not looking for trouble at headquarters about rioting in his province.

He hands Jesus over to be crucified and scourged and then famously crowned with thorns because soldiers did that kind of thing. The guy was a nothing, some fun could be had. Pilate ignored his wife, who had dreamed that Jesus was a just man and told him. Both were nervous about it.

Meanwhile, Father is preaching and speaking of Elizabeth. Yes, but which one? Later about that.

I sit, as noted, outside the main stream and besides don’t always hear so well, am reading Mark and writing things down and wondering some times, Is this worship? Well if it isn’t, I have to settle for it often enough.

Otherwise I am trying to get with every prayer and holy thought emanating from the “presider” (interesting Vatican 2 terminology some times replacing “celebrant,” with effect of changing the priest’s role). Failing to do so, often instead I am thrashing about with memories of every darn thing that consoles or bothers me, making me mad or sad. I become the worried man singing the worried song.

To avoid such wasters of prayer time, more accurately meditation, I read and reflect on my man Mark, the gospel-writer, who came late to the scene but signed on for the Jesus movement heart and soul and interviewed those who were there, especially his guiding star Peter, and put it down for us to know what happened in these earth-shaking years.

Diary of a worshiper 1


In the spring of 2006, our parish collapsed the Sunday mass schedule from 8:30 and 10:30 to only 9:30, for reasons evident to anyone familiar with our shortage of priests and reduced mass attendance.

“Some of us will groan” at this, our pastor said in the bulletin, making the best of it: “Some have been going to [one or other of these masses] for years and don’t know the parishioners at the other masses!” The change provides a chance for us “to see each other and know each other.”

There’s merit to that. The change would be an exercise in habit-changing for the sake of “unity.” The one-mass celebration will be “joyful,” he predicted, and will “remind us of our oneness in Christ.” A stick drawing had a crew in rowing shell and the words “Pull together.”

Prudent parish management for logistical reasons. At the same time, exemplifying the community-building priority of the mass to which Catholic churchgoers had become accustomed, or inured as the case may be. Our pastor was operating in the main flow of Catholic thinking and practice. In that role, he was doing his duty as he saw it.

He also was substituting one aspect of Catholic worship for the whole. At least he was leaving it out of the equation. Nation-building was for the U.S. President for much of this century. Community-building was for the Catholic pastor. He didn’t celebrate mass, for instance, he presided. He didn’t lead people to Christ, he organized them on the premise of leading them to Him in that way. What better purpose for the mass than being crucial to that process?

It took a while for this to dawn on me. The new normal, not so new, of course, was to find God in your neighbor. The other, to find Him in prayer and meditation, though never denied — hardly, that would have given away the show — was de-emphasized or reformulated as extracurricular, something auxiliary which you can also do, while the mass was turned over almost entirely to community-building. Moments of silence were dropped in here and there — the consecration, which always got its due, the brief time for adding one’s petitions in silence, and usually a smidgen of inactivity post-communion.

Otherwise, the air was filled. If radio performers can’t permit dead air, neither can today’s priests, bishops. organists, solo singers, choruses, commentators, hey, even ushers, who on their way to usher people out of the pews for joining the line for communion stop along the way to shake hands with all on-the-aisle pewsitters. It’s gangbusters, and for what? Not, surely to enhance worship as divinely directed but to build community.

Shake hands with all the neighbors, but do not kiss the colleens all unless you know them very well. You will know you’re as welcome as the flowers in May, as if you were newly returned to dear old Donegal — playing off an Irish melody I learned from my brothers decades ago.

Whence came such a wonder, so dramatically different from a few generations ago? How happened those revolutionary changes of the 1970s and later? Who did it? Why did they do it? How did they pull it off? A little book like this can shed some light, drawing on what happened, who decreed it or opposed it, what critics said about it.

Take the all-church changeover from Latin to English after Vatican II, not just suggested or strongly urged but enforced — centralized planning and enforcement to make a statist weep with envy. The world over, Catholics got used to mass in the everyday language of each. Social engineering on a world scale, change by design of a few, not by natural influences.

Vatican II celebrated freedom for the children of God — grand phrase! — but not in liturgy. Latin had to go. Latin went. Rebels were marginalized. Only recently has Latin returned with church authority’s blessings. (And by now in limbo at best in a new regime.)

more more more later . . .

Canadian mass-going for vaccinated only. Like or lump it.

Hey, my people stopped in this area on their way to Chi-town, long time ago.

A Catholic diocese in Canada will be requiring proof of vaccination and identity verification for anyone age 12 or older to attend Mass or other events held at parishes. “Effective October 22, 2021, it will be mandatory for all persons 12 and older wishing to attend Masses or Services in our churches to demonstrate proof of vaccination by using the Vaccine Passport: NLVaxPass or by showing proof of vaccination by presenting their QR code before entering our churches,” said an Oct. 15 letter from Bishop Robert Anthony Daniels of Grand Falls to the priests and pastoral leaders of the diocese.

The Diocese of Grand Falls is located in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Its territory is approximately half of the island of Newfoundland.

As I say, I have a remote stake in this, but remote or not, I CARE!!

Indigenous prayers, dancing in San Bernardino CA Synod Mass . . .

. . . pick up rave review and defense from the diocese for their multiculturalism and helping people reflect on creation, a la the Pope’s “Laudato Si” encyclical.

A Denver liturgist thought otherwise.

“There is a danger,” said Fr. Daniel Cardó, Benedict XVI Chair of Liturgical Studies at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver, that cultural expressions during the Mass can distract from the proper focus on the Eucharist,

“There are many occasions in the life of a diocese or a parish for cultural and self-expression, but the Mass is not the place for these,” Cardó wrote in an email to CNA.

“True and lasting ecclesial unity comes from the Eucharist, not from our well-intentioned human experiments,” he stated. “Celebrating the sacraments according to the rubrics and their spirit is the ordinary and simple path for genuine participation in the graces God offers through them.”

Spiritual reading your cup of tea? Try the great Ronald Knox

Ronald Knox as Spiritual MasterBy David Deavel|October 4th, 2021|

He addresses us where we are in ordinary life.His sermons and pastoral writings have lived on quite well, for he was a master of profound but ordinary Christian spirituality. 

The Belief of Catholics, his comprehensive apologetic text, is published by Ignatius Press, as are a number of other classic works like The Hidden StreamIn Soft GarmentsA Retreat for Lay People, Knox’s wonderful translation of Thomas A Kempis’s Imitation of Christ, and a one-volume edition of Knox’s Pastoral and Occasional Sermons

The Belief of Catholics, in particular, is one volume that has played a large role in a number of contemporary conversions to Catholicism, including that of a friend who was a former Methodist minister.

 The Mass in Slow Motion and The Creed in Slow Motion, originally given as talks to schoolgirls, keep repaying examination. I know one director of religious education at a parish who uses pages from these books to teach both children and adults.

While some of Knox’s books are difficult to read because of the classical learning in them, the prose is clear as crystal and still readable today. His apologetics and sermons, moreover, are written without the heavy adornment of Latin and Greek.

Knox spoke to the ordinary Catholic in a way that informed him, but did not overwhelm him; spoke to him without speaking down to him; and aided him on the Christian pilgrimage as a friend who spoke of things he knew about from experience.

Rather than seeing Knox as a time-bound figure from an unrecoverable past, I see him as one who spoke of eternal things in a way that was perhaps more popular in his day, but no less profound in our own. . . . 

What is greatest about Knox, in my view, is his spiritual writing. It is here that the wisdom and the timelessness of Knox are to be found, a wisdom that I believe should be shared with Catholic parishes but also non-Catholic Christians who will recognize a preacher who is careful and sometimes clever, but who always puts the emphasis on substance over showiness. . . . 

Knox’s retreat addresses—in A Retreat for Beginners, A Retreat for Priests, and A Retreat for Lay People are indeed quiet and perhaps didactic, but they sparkle all the same if one gives them room. In “Alive to God,” one of the conferences given in A Retreat for Laypeople, Knox talks about practicing the “presence of God.”

The thought of God is not one which can satisfactorily occupy the central focus of the mind. When we try to think about him, our intellect beats about the bush, takes refuge in inferences and analogies; the thought itself escapes us.

Insofar as we try to make God the direct object of our attention we are always, aren’t we, in reality trying to substitute an inferior image in place of him. We think of him as a King, but he doesn’t really wear a gold crown; we think of him as up in the air, but he isn’t really up in the air more than anywhere else. 

Being alive to God means something a little more complicated; it means that the thought of God is at the very apex of our unconscious minds all the time, overflowing all the time into our conscious thoughts, our conscious acts.

It is like a taste in the mouth, a perfume in the nostrils, that conditions for the time being the whole of your experience, without your noticing that it is there.

Not God in the very center of the picture; that is not possible in this life, even for the Saints; but God only just out of the very center of the picture so that he dominates the grouping of the whole. Alive to God, every thought of yours haunted—let us not be afraid to use that word for it—haunted by the Divine Presence.

This is vintage Knox, dispelling the illusions and disappointments that will follow from believing that we can experience in our consciousness and our emotional lives the fullness of heaven here on earth. Knox is superb at dispelling the illusions we have about what seeking God is and how we experience it.

In his sermon “A Better Country,” he addresses very well the one who has been at faith for a while and feels at a standstill—how is it that we feel so dry and languishing, how is it that we don’t seem to make much progress?

It is natural, it is right that we should sometimes ask ourselves these questions, but I think it is a mistake to be always feeling one’s own pulse, always watching one’s own symptoms. Let us be content, instead, to think of the Blessed Sacrament not as the medicine but as the food of our souls; acting on us as material food does, without our knowing it, yet all the time sufficing for the day’s needs, carrying us along on our journey, though we seem to make such a weary business of it, dragging foot after foot. The invalid who refuses food because it has so little relish for him becomes a worse invalid yet.

That word “refuses” gets at the heart of what is so often wrong. “The trouble, you know, about you and me,” he writes, “is not that we aren’t saints, but that we don’t want to be saints.” The reason we don’t really want to be saints is so often because we don’t treat the unseen reality as more real than what we can see. Knox points out that Jesus’ analogies don’t say that the Church is like a vine or divine life is like water, but instead “treats all the earthly things with which we are familiar in this world of sense as if they were mere shadows, mere inferior copies of the reality which awaits us in heaven.” Knox consistently wants us to have faith in the unseen so that it may transform our behavior in the seen world.

The products that we want in ourselves are quantifiable things—tears, feelings, and other reactions. Yet, Knox reminds us:

All those feelings of ours are a mere echo, a mere by-product of divine grace; they are no more to be confused with grace itself than the humming of the wheels is to be confused with the work the machine is doing. The growth of grace in us through holy communion is something as secret, as silent, as the restoration of tissues which natural food brings to our bodies. Only over a long space of time, as a rule, can the effects of it be observed; and even then, probably, not by ourselves.

There is something gentle yet hard-edged here—Knox encourages us not to be taken in by desires to experience the effects of God’s grace; we should instead want to experience God. And as it is in the small arenas of our lives, so it is as we experience the large things of society and life.

In a 1952 sermon “On Divine Providence,” Knox observes, “The cry of the saints, ‘How long?’, goes unanswered; and some of us will find their faith endangered by that subtle unexpressed wish we all have to be on the winning side—the faith isn’t always on the winning side.” Yet we have to understand that it is God who will provide for all our needs. Saints don’t get overly concerned about the outcomes of this world since “for the saint, you see, the essential facts are those of the next world, rather than those of this. God, your soul, eternity, sin, judgment, those are the essential facts; and the simplicity of the saints is to distinguish those facts all the time, without effort, from the unessential facts that do not matter, although human vanity and snobbishness and worldliness think they do.”

Knox understood that suffering and dying was the way in which Jesus came to us, that Providence works through our weakness and our failures, and that it could work even better if we gave up on the illusions that we could do better if we were in some other situation or were somebody else. If we were to calmly accept our failures, both our frailties and our sins, we could make so much more progress. We too often excuse our own failures by “running around in circles and complaining that the world is treating [us] badly” when we should be “taking things as [we] find them, making the best of things, as we find them.” This is the humility we need. Instead, too often, we misjudge ourselves and forget that “we shall be judged, not by what we might have done if we had been somebody different, but by what we did, being what we were.”

When we do take our sins seriously, we too often get angry. Says Knox, “[T]hat never did anybody any good.” We are not to be surprised or dismayed by our sins, for as Knox puts it so well: “God doesn’t want us to feel humiliated, he wants us to feel humbled. And that’s a very different thing.”

What we need to pray for, says Knox, is grace in the moment of our needs. And that is a very simple thing. In a sermon titled “Sins of the Tongue,” Knox advises us to remember that what we often need to ask God for is “the grace to shut up.”

“The grace to shut up.” This is about as wild and flowery as Knox gets. His preaching is not the sort of verbal fireworks show that will wow you. It is the sort of thing that is utterly useful to one attempting to live Christian life. In his introduction to the Occasional Sermons, Philip Caraman observes that in all Knox’s preaching, “There is always a sternly practical core in what he says.” But, says Caraman, Knox preaches not at “you” but to “we.” And this “‘we’ of his sermons is not the cliché of the orator; it is the unobtrusive link binding priest to people. When he gives an admonition he makes no distinction between himself and his hearers.”

People often ask me about “spiritual reading.” I recommend Monsignor Knox. He gives us no visions or holy weirdness, which are themselves not necessary. Instead, he addresses us where we are in ordinary life. Read those retreats or those Pastoral and Occasional Sermons. I think you will find what I have. It is the same thing that Fr. Thomas Corbishley wrote about him in his little book, Ronald Knox, The Priest: “No one who listened to him as he preached could doubt that here was a man who was setting out an ideal not just for his listeners, but for himself. His capacity for affecting others, by probing into the secret places where we try to hide from ourselves, arose from his own self-knowledge, from his own genuine humility. His effectiveness as a preacher came in the end, not from his skill in language but from his knowledge of the human heart.”
The Imaginative Conservative [from which this it taken] applies the principle of appreciation to the discussion of culture and politics—we approach dialogue with magnanimity rather than with mere civility. 
Source:  Imaginative Conservative Thursday, Oct 14 2021.

What To Do When You Don’t Like Your Priest

What GIL MICHELINI told his friend.

1) Bring a journal to Mass. I have done this for years to help me stay focused and to capture inspirations from the Holy Spirit. I got this idea from business philosopher Jim Rohn. Catholic apologist Matthew Kelly also recommends having a journal at Mass. Yes, people are going to look at you while taking notes because they are thinking they should be doing the same. I know this because they have said that to me.

2) Prayerfully read the readings before going to Mass. A great way to do this is with the ancient tool of Lectio Divina. There are at least three reasons to study the readings before hearing them at Mass.

  • First, it is possible that God is going to say something to you during your study that you might not have heard in Mass.
  • Second, God is also going to speak to you through your priest during the homily.
  • Finally, time is never wasted studying Scripture.

3) Arrive before Mass and pray for the priest. He is about to do THE most important duty in the world, and he needs our prayers. Offering your priest up to Jesus at each Mass helps you develop a love for him.

The truth is, the problem is not with priest, it’s with you. To love as Jesus loves, you need to ask Him to help change your heart to love your priest with all of his failings.

4) IGNORE which priest is presiding at Mass and focus on meeting Jesus during the Mass. If you feel frustration when seeing the priest you don’t like, ask Jesus why you are reacting this way. Put the answer in your journal to help you learn from this. In reading about the early Church, you will see that not all the apostles liked each other but through the love they shared in Jesus, they changed the world.

5) During the Liturgy of the Word, [write down] thoughts that come to mind while the readings are being proclaimed (not always easy to do during the Gospel). I have found this is the Spirit pointing out something important. During the homily, do the same thing. Listen for something that you connect with. DO NOT focus on the quality of his delivery; listen for what is being said.

6) Make an effort to get to know the priest. This could be as simple as meeting for coffee during the day or having him to your house for dinner. He is still going to have his quirks that rub you the wrong way but at least you can get to know him better, which will help you pray better for him.

7) Get to confession. Of course, if you have missed Mass but also for some direction in overcoming your struggle with the priest. Obviously, it would be good to talk to a different priest about your struggles.

This might be a surprise to you but priest don’t always like each other, their bishop, or their parishioners. They have been given some skills — as well as some gifts from the Holy Spirit — to help them overcome their humanness. Your confessor will be glad to share these with you.