Friday, April 20, 2018

Lithuanian Pilgrims' experience in Malta

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A couple of Lithuanian pilgrims, Vita and Darius Andziulė, visited Malta and expressed their wish to attend Mass in the Extraordinary Form.  This platform informed them about Mass in Birkirkara and they attend Mass there on 21 January 2018. They shared their experience with us and we are now sharing it with our readers, as agreed with our Lithuanian friends. (Note: minor editing from us)

"Oh, yes, we’ve been there in Birkirkara the Sunday before (21st of January). It was so nice experience to be there, we were really inspired about the homily! Actually, that’s one of the best things about the Traditional Mass - it’s the same familiar order everywhere, and we felt like home:)

To be honest, only one thing we find not so nice - it was chanting. It’s a pity that chants are only one man thing - we usually have schola cantorum there in Lithuania. So we like to hear calm, semi-professional schola chanting this best liturgical music - Gregorian chant. And it’s not the problem to chant alone, but I really like when chants flows, but the last Sunday in Malta it was a little bit struggling somehow... 

But, we have the best memories about Malta, and it’s absolutely fantastic that you have TLM there!"

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Pro Tridentina (Malta) proven right again!

The rupture, as Pro Tridentina (Malta) had written, exists ...
It is not something to be happy about - but Pro Tridentina (Malta) was proven correct again after some months ago we had posted this article.

This was shown by none other Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI ...
 
After being accused of spreading “fake news,” the Vatican last Saturday released the complete letter by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI about Pope Francis. The previously hidden part of the letter provided the full explanation why Benedict XVI has refused to write a commentary on a new Vatican-published compilation of books about Francis’ theological and philosophical background.
 
"Nonetheless, I do not feel that I can write a brief and dense theological page about them because for my whole life it has always been clear that I would write and express myself only on books that I had also truly read. Unfortunately, even if only for physical reasons, I am not able to read the eleven little volumes in the near future, all the more so in that I am under other obligations to which I have already agreed."
Not only did he say that he did not have time, Benedict noted that one of the authors involved in the project had launched “virulent,” ‘’anti-papist” attacks against his teaching and that of St. John Paul II. He said he was “surprised” the Vatican had chosen the theologian to be included in the 11-volume “The Theology of Pope Francis.”

“I’m certain you can understand why I am declining”

 
One must remember that the photojournalism industry standards forbid such manipulation of a photo, especially if it alters the content and meaning of the image, as it did.

When the prefect of the communications office, Monsignor Dario Vigano, read part of Benedict’s letter aloud at the book presentation, he gave the impression that Benedict confirmed that Francis has a solid theological and philosophical training and he praised the book initiative for showing the “interior continuity” between the two papacies. He wrote it was “foolish prejudice” to paint Francis as only a practical man devoid of theology and Benedict as a mere academic who knew nothing of the lives of ordinary faithful.

However, Vigano’s effort to show papal continuity effectively backfired. Benedict’s harsh criticism of German theologian Peter Huenermann,  showed the evident differences in theological approaches of the two popes.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Was the Tridentine Mass ever abolished?

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/lSu7zuAQTjc/maxresdefault.jpg 

Although Benedict XVI in Summorum Pontificum declares that the Tridentine Mass was never abolished, iscourse to twenty new cardinals, nominated in a 1976 consistory, Paul VI explicitly declared otherwise, during his discourse to new cardinals nominated in a 1976 consistory, as reproduced below:

Concistoro Segreto del Santo Padre Paolo VI per la Nomina di Venti Cardinali

"It is in the name of Tradition that we ask all our children, all Catholic communities, to celebrate, in dignity and with fervor, the renewed Liturgy. The adoption of the new "Ordo Missae" is certainly not left to the will of the priests or of the faithful: and the Instruction of 14 June, 1971 provided for the celebration of Mass in the ancient form, with the authorization of the ordinary, only for elderly or infirm priests who offer the Divine Sacrifice sine populo.

"The Novus Ordo was promulgated to replace the old, after mature deliberation, following the requests of the Second Vatican Council. Similarly, our holy predecessor Pius V had made mandatory the Missal reformed under his authority, following the Council of Trent."

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

UPDATE: Massive liturgical changes - Benedict XVI's reaction

A weak Pope Emeritus fights for the liturgy he loves so much.

 
Four months ago, this Blog had revealed that this year the Novus Ordo Lectionary and Calendar are to be imposed upon the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Mass. However, there is increasing opposition within the Roman Curia to such changes - led by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. A man of integrity and a towering intellect whose theological writings will endure, Benedict XVI, albeit very frail, does not want the dismantling of the work done that culminated in Summorum Pontificum.
 
Benedict XVI's letter to the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, published on 7 February 2018, gives a hint of where the Pope Emeritus' heart lies.
 
“Dear Dott. Franco, 
I was moved that so many readers of your newspaper would like to know how I am spending this last period of my life. I can only say that with the slow decline of my physical forces, interiorly, I am on a pilgrimage towards Home. It is a great grace for me to be surrounded in this last, sometimes a little tiring, piece of road, by such love and goodness that I could not have imagined. In this sense, I also consider the question of your readers as an accompaniment along a stretch. This is why I cannot but be grateful, assuring all of you of my prayers. Best regards.” (Emphasis ours)
However, the modernist wing continues the implementation of its task unabated. The so-called 'reform of the reform' will be further weakened, at the expense of the pre-Conciliar liturgy as much as possible. More on this to follow...

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Profession of the immutable truths about sacramental marriage




After the publication of the Apostolic Exhortation "Amoris Laetitia" (2016) various bishops issued at local, regional, and national levels applicable norms regarding the sacramental discipline of those faithful, called "divorced and remarried," who having still a living spouse to whom they are united with a valid sacramental matrimonial bond, have nevertheless begun a stable cohabitation more uxorio with a person who is not their legitimate spouse.

The aforementioned rules provide inter alia that in individual cases the persons, called "divorced and remarried," may receive the sacrament of Penance and Holy Communion, while continuing to live habitually and intentionally more uxorio with a person who is not their legitimate spouse. These pastoral norms have received approval from various hierarchical authorities. Some of these norms have received approval even from the supreme authority of the Church.
The spread of these ecclesiastically approved pastoral norms has caused a considerable and ever increasing confusion among the faithful and the clergy, a confusion that touches the central manifestations of the life of the Church, such as sacramental marriage with the family, the domestic church, and the sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist.

According to the doctrine of the Church, only the sacramental matrimonial bond constitutes a domestic church (see Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, 11). The admission of so-called "divorced and remarried" faithful to Holy Communion, which is the highest expression of the unity of Christ the Spouse with His Church, means in practice a way of approving or legitimizing divorce, and in this meaning a kind of introduction of divorce in the life of the Church.

The mentioned pastoral norms are revealed in practice and in time as a means of spreading the "plague of divorce" (an expression used by the Second Vatican Council, see Gaudium et spes, 47). It is a matter of spreading the "plague of divorce" even in the life of the Church, when the Church, instead, because of her unconditional fidelity to the doctrine of Christ, should be a bulwark and an unmistakable sign of contradiction against the plague of divorce which is every day more rampant in civil society.
Unequivocally and without admitting any exception Our Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ solemnly reaffirmed God's will regarding the absolute prohibition of divorce. An approval or legitimation of the violation of the sacredness of the marriage bond, even indirectly through the mentioned new sacramental discipline, seriously contradicts God's express will and His commandment. This practice therefore represents a substantial alteration of the two thousand-year-old sacramental discipline of the Church. Furthermore, a substantially altered discipline will eventually lead to an alteration in the corresponding doctrine.

The constant Magisterium of the Church, beginning with the teachings of the Apostles and of all the Supreme Pontiffs, has preserved and faithfully transmitted both in the doctrine (in theory) and in the sacramental discipline (in practice) in an unequivocal way, without any shadow of doubt and always in the same sense and in the same meaning (eodem sensu eademque sententia), the crystalline teaching of Christ concerning the indissolubility of marriage.
Because of its Divinely established nature, the discipline of the sacraments must never contradict the revealed word of God and the faith of the Church in the absolute indissolubility of a ratified and consummated marriage. "The sacraments not only presuppose faith, but by words and objects they also nourish, strengthen, and express it; that is why they are called "sacraments of faith." (Second Vatican Council, Sacrosanctum Concilium, 59). "Even the supreme authority in the Church may not change the liturgy arbitrarily, but only in the obedience of faith and with religious respect for the mystery of the liturgy" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1125).

The Catholic faith by its nature excludes a formal contradiction between the faith professed on the one hand and the life and practice of the sacraments on the other. In this sense we can also understand the following affirmation of the Magisterium: "This split between the faith which many profess and their daily lives deserves to be counted among the more serious errors of our age." (Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes, 43) and "Accordingly, the concrete pedagogy of the Church must always remain linked with her doctrine and never be separated from it" (John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, 33).
In view of the vital importance that the doctrine and discipline of marriage and the Eucharist constitute, the Church is obliged to speak with the same voice. The pastoral norms regarding the indissolubility of marriage must not, therefore, be contradicted between one diocese and another, between one country and another. Since the time of the Apostles, the Church has observed this principle as St. Irenaeus of Lyons testifies: "The Church, though spread throughout the world to the ends of the earth, having received the faith from the Apostles and their disciples, preserves this preaching and this faith with care and, as if she inhabits a single house, believes in the same identical way, as if she had only one soul and only one heart, and preaches the truth of the faith, teaches it and transmits it in a unanimous voice, as if she had only one mouth"(Adversus haereses, I, 10, 2). Saint Thomas Aquinas transmits to us the same perennial principle of the life of the Church: "There is one and the same faith of the ancients and the moderns, otherwise there would not be one and the same Church" (Questiones Disputatae de Veritate, q. 14, a. 12c).

The following warning from Pope John Paul II remains current and valid: "The confusion, created in the conscience of many faithful by the differences of opinions and teachings in theology, in preaching, in catechesis, in spiritual direction, about serious and delicate questions of Christian morals, ends up by diminishing the true sense of sin almost to the point of eliminating it" (Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et Paenitenia, 18).
The meaning of the following statements of the Magisterium of the Church is fully applicable to the doctrine and sacramental discipline concerning the indissolubility of a ratified and consummated marriage:

• "For the Church of Christ, watchful guardian that she is, and defender of the dogmas deposited with her, never changes anything, never diminishes anything, never adds anything to them; but with all diligence she treats the ancient doctrines faithfully and wisely, which the faith of the Fathers has transmitted. She strives to investigate and explain them in such a way that the ancient dogmas of heavenly doctrine will be made evident and clear, but will retain their full, integral, and proper nature, and will grow only within their own genus — that is, within the same dogma, in the same sense and the same meaning” (Pius IX, Dogmatic Bull Ineffabilis Deus)
• "With regard to the very substance of truth, the Church has before God and men the sacred duty to announce it, to teach it without any attenuation, as Christ revealed it, and there is no condition of time that can reduce the rigor of this obligation. It binds in conscience every priest who is entrusted with the care of teaching, admonishing, and guiding the faithful "(Pius XII, Discourse to parish priests and Lenten preachers, March 23, 1949).

• "The Church does not historicize, does not relativize to the metamorphoses of profane culture the nature of the Church that is always equal and faithful to itself, as Christ wanted it and authentic tradition perfected it" (Paul VI, Homily from October 28, 1965).
• "Now it is an outstanding manifestation of charity toward souls to omit nothing from the saving doctrine of Christ" (Paul VI, Encyclical Humanae Vitae, 29).

• "Any conjugal difficulties are resolved without ever falsifying and compromising the truth" (John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, 33).
• "The Church is in no way the author or the arbiter of this norm [of the Divine moral law]. In obedience to the truth which is Christ, whose image is reflected in the nature and dignity of the human person, the Church interprets the moral norm and proposes it to all people of good will, without concealing its demands of radicalness and perfection" (John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, 33).

• “The other principle is that of truth and consistency, whereby the church does not agree to call good evil and evil good. Basing herself on these two complementary principles, the church can only invite her children who find themselves in these painful situations to approach the divine mercy by other ways, not however through the sacraments of penance and the eucharist until such time as they have attained the required dispositions” (John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, 34).
• "The Church's firmness in defending the universal and unchanging moral norms is not demeaning at all. Its only purpose is to serve man's true freedom. Because there can be no freedom apart from or in opposition to the truth"(John Paul II, Encyclical Veritatis Splendor, 96).

• “When it is a matter of the moral norms prohibiting intrinsic evil, there are no privileges or exceptions for anyone. It makes no difference whether one is the master of the world or the "poorest of the poor" on the face of the earth. Before the demands of morality we are all absolutely equal" (emphasis in original) (John Paul II, Encyclical Veritatis Splendor, 96).
• "The obligation of reiterating this impossibility of admission to the Eucharist is required for genuine pastoral care and for an authentic concern for the well-being of these faithful and of the whole Church, as it indicates the conditions necessary for the fullness of that conversion to which all are always invited by the Lord“ (Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Declaration on the admissibility to the Holy Communion of the divorced and remarried, 24 June 2000, n. 5).

As Catholic bishops, who - according to the teaching of the Second Vatican Council - must defend the unity of faith and the common discipline of the Church, and take care that the light of the full truth should arise for all men (see Lumen Gentium, 23) we are forced in conscience to profess in the face of the current rampant confusion the unchanging truth and the equally immutable sacramental discipline regarding the indissolubility of marriage according to the bimillennial and unaltered teaching of the Magisterium of the Church. In this spirit we reiterate:


• Sexual relationships between people who are not in the bond to one another of a valid marriage - which occurs in the case of the so-called "divorced and remarried" - are always contrary to God's will and constitute a grave offense against God.
• No circumstance or finality, not even a possible imputability or diminished guilt, can make such sexual relations a positive moral reality and pleasing to God. The same applies to the other negative precepts of the Ten Commandments of God. Since “there exist acts which, per se and in themselves, independently of circumstances, are always seriously wrong by reason of their object" (John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, 17).

• The Church does not possess the infallible charism of judging the internal state of grace of a member of the faithful (see Council of Trent, session 24, chapter 1). The non-admission to Holy Communion of the so-called "divorced and remarried" does not therefore mean a judgment on their state of grace before God, but a judgment on the visible, public, and objective character of their situation. Because of the visible nature of the sacraments and of the Church herself, the reception of the sacraments necessarily depends on the corresponding visible and objective situation of the faithful.
• It is not morally licit to engage in sexual relations with a person who is not one’s legitimate spouse supposedly to avoid another sin. Since the Word of God teaches us, it is not lawful "to do evil so that good may come" (Romans 3, 8).

• The admission of such persons to Holy Communion may be permitted only when they with the help of God's grace and a patient and individual pastoral accompaniment make a sincere intention to cease from now on the habit of such sexual relations and to avoid scandal. It is in this way that true discernment and authentic pastoral accompaniment were always expressed in the Church.
• People who have habitual non-marital sexual relations violate their indissoluble sacramental nuptial bond with their life style in relation to their legitimate spouse. For this reason they are not able to participate "in Spirit and in Truth" (see John 4, 23) at the Eucharistic wedding supper of Christ, also taking into account the words of the rite of Holy Communion: "Blessed are the guests at the wedding supper of the Lamb!" (Revelation 19, 9).

• The fulfillment of God's will, revealed in His Ten Commandments and in His explicit and absolute prohibition of divorce, constitutes the true spiritual good of the people here on earth and will lead them to the true joy of love in the salvation of eternal life.
Being bishops in the pastoral office those, who promote the Catholic and Apostolic faith ("cultores catholicae et apostolicae fidei", see Missale Romanum, Canon Romanus), we are aware of this grave responsibility and our duty before the faithful who await from us a public and unequivocal profession of the truth and the immutable discipline of the Church regarding the indissolubility of marriage. For this reason we are not allowed to be silent.

We affirm therefore in the spirit of St. John the Baptist, of St. John Fisher, of St. Thomas More, of Blessed Laura Vicuña and of numerous known and unknown confessors and martyrs of the indissolubility of marriage:
It is not licit (non licet) to justify, approve, or legitimize either directly or indirectly divorce and a non-conjugal stable sexual relationship through the sacramental discipline of the admission of so-called "divorced and remarried" to Holy Communion, in this case a discipline alien to the entire Tradition of the Catholic and Apostolic faith.

By making this public profession before our conscience and before God who will judge us, we are sincerely convinced that we have provided a service of charity in truth to the Church of our day and to the Supreme Pontiff, Successor of Saint Peter and Vicar of Christ on earth .
31 December 2017, the Feast of the Holy Family, in the year of the centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima.

+ Tomash Peta, Archbishop Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana

+ Jan Pawel Lenga, Archbishop-Bishop of Karaganda

+ Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana

Monday, January 15, 2018

Pro Tridentina (Malta) on LinkedIn.

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Pro Tridentina (Malta) is now on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a business- and employment-oriented social networking service that operates via websites and mobile apps. The aim is to use this medium to organise Tridentine Masses on a regular basis, in particular in the South of Malta and Gozo. Contact us on:

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Maltese bishop who loved the Tridentine Mass dies

 

 
With sadness we announce the death of  Bishop Francis George Adeodatus Micallef, O.C.D., Vicar Apostolic Emeritus of Kuwait, in Malta, who died yesterday, aged 89. As Pro Tridentina (Malta) had reported some years ago, Bishop Micallef was one of the 2 Maltese bishops who have said the Tridentine Mass since Summorum Pontificum. Following is a short biography of this great man, taken from Dictionary of Maltese Biographies, by Michael J. Schiavone:
 
Micallef was born at Birkirkara and studied at the Lyceum. At the age of 18 he joined the Discalced Carmelites. Between 1950 and 1955 Micallef studied theology in Rome and obtained his licentiate in theology. In 1970 Micallef was elected provincial of the Maltese Discalced Carmelites. In 1973 he served as superior of an international community in Rome until November 1981, when he was appointed apostolic vicar for Kuwait.
 
Micallef was consecrated bishop by John Paul II at St Peter's Basilica on 6 January 1982. Micallef was the only Catholic bishop in Kuwait during the invasion by Iraq in August 1990, and he was the sole link with the Holy See during this period.
 

Monday, January 1, 2018

The Dangers of Traditional Catholic Isolation in Malta

Messa-in-latino 2
Holy Mass is not for the elite but for all people of good will.
After the promulgation of Pope Benedict XVI’s Summorum Pontificum, many in Malta began to re-discover, not only the traditional Latin Mass, but also pre-Vatican II morals and teachings.  And they wanted more of it.  Pro Tridentina (Malta) was a catalyst in all this, and its efforts were emulated by other individuals. Some seminarians also approached the group but wanted to remain 'in hiding' so to speak, for fear of harassment by the Church. 

People began to go to the Tridentine Mass when it was available, or to the Novus Ordo Mass that retained a vestige of traditional Catholicism. Women began to wear a veil at Church and began to dress a little more modest when they went to Holy Mass. Men went well dressed, not in their t-shirts and shorts.

Afterwards, some began to just go to the Tridentine Mass because they had experienced the liturgical abuse and were tired of it.  They wanted something deeper and more reverent.  They studied how the Catholic Church was before and after Vatican II and were saddened by the ‘disorientation’ of most Catholics.  Then they discovered that the Novus Ordo Mass was made up, unlike all the other Rites in the history or the Catholic Church.

So far so good. But then, isolation came in.  Contrary to what Pro Tridentina (Malta) had worked for, some former members began to see themselves as the fortunate Catholics who now know the truth about the Mass and Vatican II.  They now perceive all the Novus Ordo Catholics as ignorant and wrong.

Another group now encourages these people to stop talking with Novus Ordo Catholics, or going to their events, because of all the evil activities that go along with these gatherings, (bad music, drinking, dressing scantly and dancing).  They do not want to support their perceived immoral lifestyles by hanging around these people.  They also see Novus Ordo people as extremist and fanatics. 

This can be a dangerous isolation.  This has already happened in Malta, as is the case with the St. Athanasius ICC or when one becomes a sedevacantist. The Catholic Church in Malta has to monitor such groups - even those that pretend to obey the Archbishop of Malta -  and alert the faithful accordingly. Why are we urging such a course of action, when Pro Tridentina (Malta) and many of its members suffered directly by the actions of the Maltese Curia?

Because almost every sedevacantist, and member of these groups, feel that all people in the institutional Catholic Church are bad, and even some say that they going to hell. Heading towards the sedevacantist position is a very perilous path that could end in complete isolation without a Mass to attend or a priest to administer sacraments.
    Pro Tridentina (Malta) believes in staying in the canonical Catholic Church, no matter how bad the Pope, bishops, priests, religious may be.  Since its founding in 2007, it believes in reforming the Church from within, as extremely difficult as that may be. And it will continue to criticise where it sees wrongdoing by people in the Church.

    Pro Tridentina (Malta) does not feel superior to Novus Ordo Catholics. Its former first President used to say in fact that we should rather think that God led us to tradition because we are so wicked that we otherwise might not be able to save our souls. Still,  as well as there being traditional Catholics who tend towards isolationism, there are also modernist Catholics who tend towards rejection, demonisation and mockery of traditional Catholics.

    Friday, December 29, 2017

    Recalling the liturgical changes of the 1960s

    The changes in the liturgy began in the 1950s, with the revision of Holy Week and the first simplification of the rubrics in 1955. A further simplification occurred in 1961, leading to the publication of the 1962 Missal. Those changes set the stage for what was to follow, especially after Sacrosanctum Concilium.
     
    The imprudence with Sacrosanctum Concilium which called for “noble simplicity” and for the rites to be “simplified”, without specifying what exactly that should entail, in my opinion, ensured that chaos was to follow. The transitional period before the implementation of the so-called Missa Normativa, which became the Novus Ordo Missae, had in fact many revisions.


    Mass around 1965.
     
    The 1962 Missal, still in use to this day by traditional Catholics, started being changed almost immediately. In 1963, changes eliminated the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, and eliminated the Last Gospel.

    Massive changes occurred on Advent Sunday of 1965 in several places around the globe, including:
     
    • portable altars were put up in front of high altars.
    • Introits, collects, the entire ordinary, and the Lord’s Prayer switched to the vernacular. From the Preface through the Canon, things remained in Latin.
    • the Offertory Procession was inserted into the Mass.
    • the Prayers of the Faithful were also.
    • Sacred music started being supplanted.
    In 1967, the Canon, that most untranslatable prayer, which was expected to be retained in Latin was put in the vernacular.

    Concurrent with the changes in liturgy came a lessening in discipline. Many priests in many churches told people not to worry if they missed Mass, supposedly because the Spirit of the Vatican Council II was throwing off the past rigidity.

    The changes continued as more came into the liturgy. Communion in the hand, standing for Communion and the demolition of sanctuaries followed, along with anticipatory Masses on Saturday. A new set of variations to the order of Mass was issued in May 1967, following those implemented in March 1965. 

    Although Sacrosanctum Concilium insisted to “let the use of the Latin language be preserved... Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy ... should be given pride of place in liturgical services” was now de facto almost entirely thrown off.
     
    Pro Tridentina (Malta), on the eve of 2018, will anxiously be waiting for the changes aimed at the 1962 Roman Missal, which this Blog had exclusively brought to the attention of the traditional Catholics worldwide some months ago.

    Sunday, November 26, 2017

    Another Augustinian blunder...




    Following what was an apparent liturgical abuse by the Augustinians in Valletta (although this Blog received a clarification from the parish priest) we thought that - perhaps - the Augustinians in Malta were traditional when compared to other orders.

    Alas, we were wrong. A reader sent us this blasphemous video which shows models dressed as "colourful nuns" dancing and messing inside a church and a convent.

    It transpires that this video was shot in the Augustinian Church and convent in Rabat, Malta. The musical group itself thanked  "The Augustinan Cloister" (sic. - whoever they may be).

    It seems therefore that the Church in Malta is indulging more and more in a consumeristic way of life, as we outlined earlier this year.
    Pseudo-dancing nuns used in a Maltese musical video by the band The Travellers.

    Wednesday, November 15, 2017

    The Church in Malta's tacit approval of post Amoris Laetitia society


     
    According to the Times of Malta of last Friday, former Maltese priest Vanni Xuereb stated that:
     
    "I had mixed feelings when Archbishop Charles Scicluna asked me to form part of a national delegation that would be taking part in the (Re)Thinking Europe dialogue organised at the Vatican by the Commission of Bishops’ Conferences of the EU (COMECE) and the Holy See to mark the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome which established the European Economic Community."
     
    Further on, he said:
     
    "Undoubtedly, the highlight of the dialogue was the address by Pope Francis who, after his speech, greeted all participants individually. It was my first-ever close personal encounter with him. I have also had the privilege to meet both his immediate predecessors, however, on a personal note, this was the most meaningful since it is thanks to Pope Francis that I can still somehow identify with the Catholic Church.
    At a moment in time when I felt I was drifting away because of what I was perceiving as an increasing irrelevance of the Church, this Pope has shown that there is a different way of being Church – one that is inclusive rather than exclusive."
    According to slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, the former Fr Vanni Xuereb now lives with another person who has a son. This would explain his comment concerning Pope Francis but also his perceived distaste of Benedict XVI and Saint John Paul II.
     
    One hopes that the Catholic Church in Malta is not going to step any further in the post-Amoris Laetitia world. Already enough damage is being done by the easy granting of Catholic 'divorces' nowadays. So why would a former priest be considered as the best person that the Catholic Church in Malta could choose to represent it? No doubt that Xuereb is very knowledgeable about the EU but such a choice still seems inappropriate in our point of view.

    Friday, November 10, 2017

    A sustained attack in Malta on those in favour of the Tridentine Mass - 4

    Original Sunday Times of Malta

    Poor translations of the liturgy

    The essence of the liturgy is the meeting of God’s People with God without barriers, to communicate with Him… and not through a dead language, or tortuous or anachronistic translations of it.
     
    The essence of the liturgy is the meeting of God’s People with God without barriers, to communicate with Him… and not through a dead language, or tortuous or anachronistic translations of it.
     
    On March 28, 2001, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments issued the fifth instruction “for the right implementation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council” on the use of vernacular languages in the publication of the books of the Roman liturgy.
     
    The document was given the awesome title of Liturgiam Authenticam, that is, authentic liturgy.
     
    While the title is awesome, the rest is very disappointing; it smells of an ideology rather the “odour of the sheep”. Rather than spelling out what should be done in the liturgy so that the People of God could fully participate – in mind, heart and soul – in the highest act of adoration, Liturgiam Authenticam gave directives on how liturgical texts should be translated (or transliterated) from the Latin to local languages.
     
    ‘Mind your language’ would have been a more apt title for the document! In my view, LA has sidelined the express word of Vatican II, that “since the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, frequently may be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended. This will apply in the first place to the readings and directives, and to some of the prayers and chants, according to the regulations on this matter to be laid down separately in subsequent chapters”. (Sacrosanctum Concilium, art. 36).
     
    And this is what happened in the Church in the early decades after Vatican II: the usage of local languages was extended. The anti-pastoral results of the directives given by LA can be clearly seen in the Congregation’s imposition of the English translation of the Mass.
     
    Six years had been spent by US bishops to revise the Lectionary, the Scripture readings used in Mass, but a Vatican-appointed committee intervened to short-circuit those efforts.
     
    Pope Francis’s correction of Cardinal Sarah shows that Vatican II is his ‘sure compass’.
     
    Isn’t it mind-boggling that years before Vatican II, bishops had the authority to approve a translation of the Bible – the inspired Word of God – but did not have the final authority in approving the translation of the liturgical text, which, apart from the quotations from the Scriptures, cannot be called inspired books.
     
    In an interview, Pope Francis openly articulated his misgivings about liturgical traditionalists: “I always try to understand what’s behind the people who are too young to have lived the pre-conciliar liturgy but who want it.
     
    Sometimes I’ve found myself in front of people who are too strict, who have a rigid attitude. And I wonder: How come such rigidity? Dig, dig, this rigidity always hides something: insecurity, sometimes even more... Rigidity is defensive. True love is not rigid.”
     
    The essence of the liturgy is the meeting of God’s People with God without barriers, to communicate with Him “through Him, and with Him, and in Him… in the unity of the Holy Spirit”, and not through a dead (even if classical and perhaps ecclesiastical) language, or tortuous or anachronistic translations of it.
     
    In 2014, Georgetown University’s Centre for Applied Research in the Apostolate released a study that found 75 per cent of leaders at American churches said that the new translation is “awkward and distracting”, 50 per cent said it “urgently needs to be revised” and the clergy widely rejected the new translations.
     
    In keeping with the medieval axiom Sacramenta sunt propter hominess (‘Sacraments are for the people’), logically one ought to stress the supremacy of people over rites, rituals and languages. This is why Pope Francis recently issued the motu proprio Magnum Principium (‘The Great Principle’) giving more control to national bishops’ conferences over the translation of liturgical texts, thus bringing a realignment with Vatican II’s intent.
     
    The importance of Magnum Principium can be evidenced by the unprecedented letter by Pope Francis which publicly corrects an article by Cardinal Robert Sarah about the changes the Magnum Principium introduced as to how the Catholic Church’s liturgies are to be translated from the original Latin into local languages.
     
    The Pope had, in fact, revised some of the translation norms established by LA. Pope Francis’s correction of Cardinal Sarah shows that Vatican II is his ‘sure compass’. So should it be for all bishops, clergy and faithful.
     
    Fr Joe Inguanez, a sociologist, is executive director of Discern.

    Friday, October 20, 2017

    How the ordinary form of the Mass can “enrich” the extraordinary form

    Following our scoop on liturgical changes expected in 2018, the post was given a wide publicity, most of which agreed that the possibility exits. Others, in particular Rorate Caeli (see here and here) and Fr Z tried to mock this Blog.

     

    We do not recall any outcry to this article that is being reproduced hereunder. This shows that 'preparation' has been already in the pipeline for some months, at least. We all know the way things are done ... first an innocuous article appears and afterwards, provided there are no reactions the reform starts taking place...

     

    How the ordinary form of the Mass can “enrich” the extraordinary form

    In Summorum Pontificum, Pope Benedict hoped the celebration of the extraordinary and ordinary forms of the Mass would be “mutually enriching.” So what healthier elements of the ordinary form might benefit the extraordinary?
     

     
    In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI issued his motu proprio Summorum Pontificum (SP), in which he gave broader scope to the earlier permissions of Pope John Paul II regarding the celebration of Holy Mass according to the Missale Romanum of 1962. In the Pope’s accompanying letter to the bishops of the Catholic world, he expressed the conviction that the availability of the older rite (now to be called the “extraordinary form”) would be “mutually enriching” for the extraordinary form and for the “ordinary” form of the Mass. It would appear that the Pontiff was looking toward an organic process, whereby a “new and improved” form of the Roman Mass would result. Many priests and liturgists have identified various elements of the extraordinary form (EF) which would be helpful in shoring up the “sacrality” of the ordinary form (OF). When the conversation turns to how the OF could provide a positive influence on the EF, it is not uncommon to hear serious doubts raised that this could be the case. That response puts me in mind of the famous rhetorical (and probably sarcastic) question of Tertullian when pressed to consider the value of philosophy to theology: “What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?”
     
    Since the promulgation of SP, when I celebrate according to the EF, thoughts about useful adaptations surface. I suspect that many of these thoughts of mine were likewise in the minds of the Fathers of Vatican II, whose very first document was their Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium (SC). That document provided a theological framework for liturgical renewal, born of the liturgical movement spanning almost a century in the lead-up to Vatican II. In addition to the theological basis, the bishops also identified areas where modification and development were needed; it should be noted that SC obtained near-unanimous approval (including that of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre). To be sure, much of what emerged in 1970 (and beyond) was not in the least envisioned by the Council Fathers.
     
     
    With all that said, how might the EF benefit from some of the healthier aspects of the OF?
     
    Adoption of the revised lectionary
     
    Many people do not realize that prior to Vatican II, not only did we have only a one-year Sunday cycle of readings, but we did not have any lectionary for weekdays at all! As a result, either the Sunday readings were repeated or those from the “commons” of the saints were employed. Hence, SC clearly calls for an expansion of the lectionary, putting it in the context of providing the People of God with a greater exposure to the Word of God.
     
    The proclamation of most of the New Testament and vast segments of the Old Testament in the current lectionary is one of the most positive achievements of the post-conciliar liturgical reform—so much so that most mainline Protestant denominations have adopted our lectionary.
     
    Incorporation of additional Mass formularies
     
    The Missal of 1970 (and subsequent editions) contains a rich collection of euchological texts, culled from the vast liturgical storehouse of the Church. Many of the orations have pedigrees dating to the fourth century. Pope Benedict in SP actually suggested the possibility of integrating those prayers into the 1962 Missal, highlighting in particular the array of beautiful prefaces that comprise the OF Missal (in contrast to the very limited number in the EF Missal).
     
    Expand possibilities for solemnity
     
    The EF has clearly defined categories for the celebration of Mass: Low Mass, Missa Cantata, Solemn Mass. The normative form is the Solemn Mass, wherein a full complement of ministers functions, along with incense and chant. The Low Mass (which, in the United States, unfortunately, was the most familiar and common liturgical experience) had none of those components. The Missa Cantata is an attempt to have at least some of the solemnity, even without all the desired ministers.
     
    The OF does not have such mutually exclusive categories, thus allowing for as much solemnity to be incorporated as possible. And so, even at a daily Mass with a single priest-celebrant, one can chant any and all the prayers and use incense. Regrettably, that opening is not taken advantage of very often—even on Sundays. However, it would be a good element to add to the liturgical menu of the EF.
     
    Elimination of duplicate recitations
     
    In sung Masses of the EF, the celebrant is required to recite quietly texts which are chanted by the choir and/or congregation (e.g., Introit, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus). In the celebration of Holy Mass, the priest moves in and out of various modes: at times, he prays as one of the faithful; at other times, he prays in persona Christi Capitis (“in the person of Christ the Head”). When he operates in the former mode, there is no theological reason for him not to pray the text in union with the whole assembly. Those who attend the EF will know the awkwardness of the current rubrical practice, especially when a text calls for a gesture on the part of the priest (e.g., the Sign of the Cross to end the Gloria or the genuflection during the Credo) which is not “in sync” with what is being sung because the schola/congregation have not gotten there yet.
     
    Restoration of Offertory Procession and Prayer of the Faithful
     
    Both of these rituals were specifically identified by SC as elements to be restored. The emphasis here is on “restored”; unlike some other rites introduced into the post-Vatican II liturgy, these two have a venerable tradition to them. Indeed, the intercessory prayers of the Good Friday liturgy are a witness to the antiquity of the Prayer of the Faithful. Justin Martyr is an even more ancient witness to the offertory procession.
     
    Re-order the dismissal rite
     
    The EF dismissal rite is anti-climactic, inasmuch as the priest dismisses the congregation and then bestows the blessing, followed by the Last Gospel. The OF has a more logical conclusion, in that the “Ite, missa est” is truly the last word. Perhaps the Last Gospel could be retained as an optional text, given its historical value.
     
    Move the “fractio”
     
    In the OF, the “breaking of the bread” occurs during the Agnus Dei, which is the quintessential hymn to the “Lamb who was slain.” The action and the text for this rite in the EF do not correspond to each other as well.
     
    Make clear that the homily is a true part of the Sacred Liturgy
     
    Removing the maniple and donning the biretta during the homily (along with the opening and closing Sign of the Cross) declare that the homily does not form part of the Mass; indeed, that is an “interrupter.” On the contrary, the homily is an essential part of the Sacred Liturgy. Furthermore, if it is not such, then any baptized Christian should be able to deliver it!
     
    Maintain the integrity of the Sanctus
     
    When polyphonic Masses are sung, it is not unusual for the Benedictus to be separated from the rest of the Sanctus, being sung after the Consecration. This is an obvious accommodation to the problem of a musical offering that so overshadows the liturgy itself that it cannot be performed without creating an undue delay in the celebration. If a musical composition would have that effect, it certainly comes under the condemnation of Pope Pius X’s Tra le Sollecitudini. Beyond that, if it is being used as a “filler” for the silence after the Consecration, it flies in the face of the whole rationale for an inaudible Canon, evoking a deeper sense of mystery.
     
    Adopt the rubrics of the OF for the Communion Rite
     
    If the Pater Noster is the prayer of the family of the Church to her heavenly Father, why should not the entire congregation pray it together? Of course, Pope Benedict’s norms in SP already allow for that, however, I have rarely seen the option taken. It would also make sense to have the other prayers of the Communion Rite recited audibly or chanted aloud (as in the OF), with the priest’s private preparation prayers done sotto voce (again, as in the OF).
     
    Face the people when addressing the people; face God when addressing God.
     
    We have used this formula to justify celebrating Mass ad orientem in the OF, that is, to face liturgical east from the Liturgy of the Eucharist forward. The converse is also true: when proclaiming the Scripture readings, face those to whom those texts are addressed. Whatever the historical origins of facing east for the Epistle and facing north for the Gospel at Solemn Mass, they are not truly communicative of the significance of the rite being celebrated.
     
    Unite the calendars of the OF and EF
     
    For the EF to be unable to commemorate the saints canonized since 1962 is an impoverishment—a point also raised by Pope Benedict in SP. Certain calendar changes were good (e.g., making the Solemnity of Christ the King the last Sunday of the liturgical year), while others were destructive of long-standing traditions (e.g., Epiphany, Ascension). Regardless of what one thinks of either calendar (and no calendar will ever be perfect), operating with a dual-calendar system bespeaks division, the very antithesis of what good liturgy should be.
     
    Modify the rubrics
     
    SC calls for the modification of signs and symbols that are duplicative or arcane. One thinks immediately of the multiple Signs of the Cross during the Canon. Just as the OF admits of a certain laxity, the EF can lean toward an unhealthy rigidity or rubricism. In medio stat virtus! (“Virtue stands in the middle”).
     
    Rename the two principal parts of the Mass
     
    To continue to call the first part of the Mass the “Mass of the Catechumens” is a form of the antiquarianism pilloried by Pope Pius XII in Mediator Dei. We have not been dismissing catechumens (or penitents) for centuries (except in silly parishes where baptized Christians preparing for reception into full communion are “dismissed”). The post-conciliar nomenclature is quite accurate: Liturgy of the Word/Liturgy of the Eucharist.
     
    These are my recommendations for “mutual enrichment” as gifts of the ordinary form to the extraordinary form. I hope this helps answer the contemporary liturgical version of Tertullian’s question.

    Wednesday, October 11, 2017

    Mind your language Fr. Z!!

    Image result for Father Zuhlsdorf

    A reader informed us about a so-called Fr. Z (photo above) who used nice language as a way of convincing people (piffle = ****). So it seems that this Blog is causing interest, which is not our raison d’être. Our aim remains that of ensuring the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite in Malta and Gozo.  Having just one Tridentine Mass every Sunday evening in a small chapel in a town - Birkirkara - prone to flooding in winter is not enough. There is a huge demand but the supply is not made available. Maltese Catholics deserve better.

    Turning to "Fr. Z" (and why use a stage-name?), we reproduce his message below.

    I have had some questions about a rumor going around that dramatic changes are going to be imposed on the older, traditional Form of Roman Rite.  Someone thinks that the new Lectionary and calendar will be imposed on the 1962 Missale sometime in 2018.
    I respond: Piffle.   Even, bull piffle!
    No.  Won’t happen.
    In addition, I checked with my various peeps.  No.  Won’t happen.  Can’t happen.
    So, you can relax and stop sending me mail about this.
    The moderation queue is ON."
    This is the same character who posted this very Catholic teaching some years ago. We leave to our readers any further comments.
     
    Fr Z’s 2014 New Year Resolutions
    1) Do even more to support the advancement of Summorum Pontificum.
    2) Drink (sell) even more Mystic Monk Coffee.
    3) Post even more on my blog.
    4) Practice even more at the shooting range.
    5) Offer even more of my services as a preacher and lecturer.
    6) Read even more good books.
    7) Travel even more to the UK and Rome.
    8) Exercise even more.
    9) Pray even more for my benefactors.
    10) Cause even more “chaos” … as Pope Francis asked me to. ¡Vaya Lío!
    As a corollary to #4 I am going to build an AR-15 from scratch.
    (“Fr Z’s 2014 New Year’s Resolutions”Fr. Z’s Blog, Jan. 3, 2014)

    Rorate - Who is insulting who?

    Image result for rorate caeli

    The latest Tweet from Rorate states:

    "Now, being insulted because we try to prevent Fake News from being spread. Fine. Those followers who like Fake News: just don't follow us."

    For ease of reference, we are reproducing the previous post from this Blog. We leave to the readers to decide who is insulting who.

    ________________________________________________________________________________


    One of the best sources on the internet for traditional Catholic news has debunked our previous post. They tweeted:
     
    "We don't believe in this, period. Let all who know sources in Rome check it with them, but it seems fishy to us: http://pro-tridentina-malta.blogspot.com.mt/2017/10/breaking-news-massive-liturgical.html?m=1 "

    Later on, they re-tweeted:

    "Ok, checked with our main Roman sources, and our suspicions were founded -- the best called it "hogwash" and "not true at all"."
     
    Our sources are reliable and Rorate Caeli should know better before trying to denigrate what is after all true.  The funny thing is that one of their "main sources" contacted us this morning, telling us that he was surprised by Rorate's message and his paternalistic tone. Apparently this person from Rorate is a British national.

    But, on one thing we agree with Rorate, check your sources in Rome and you will get confirmation, sooner or later. It would be better if traditional Catholics co-operate together, rather than trying to denigrate other websites, just because sometimes news are published before they obtain them.