Unlike Catholic moral norms, eh?
Francis declares “with Magisterial Authority” that Novus Ordo Liturgical Changes are “Irreversible”
Yesterday, Aug. 24, “Pope” Francis sent shockwaves throughout conservative and semi-traditionalist Novus Ordo Land as he declared “with magisterial authority that the [Novus Ordo] liturgical reform is irreversible”. Such are rather harsh and unmistakble words for someone who at other times — especially when it comes to irreversible moral norms given by God Himself — loves to speak ambiguously, use metaphors, and blast “rigid” black-and-white thinking under the guise of “mercy” and “compassion”.
At a special audience for participants in the 68th National Italian Liturgical Week, the Jesuit Antipope lauded the Modernist liturgical circus as the glorious fruit of a long process of reform begun roughly 100 years ago, while warning, of course, of “practices that disfigure it”. (Apparently, featuring a post-communion Tango during “Mass” as he himself once did is not one such disfiguring practice.)
The full text of Francis’ address has been released in English translation and is available here:
The full paragraph in which Francis made this somewhat unexpected pronouncement reads as follows:
And there is still work to do today in this direction, in particular, rediscovering the reasons for the decisions taken with the liturgical reform, surmounting unfounded and superficial readings, partial reception and practices that disfigure it. It’s not about rethinking the reform by looking again at the choices, but of knowing better the underlying reasons, also through historical documentation, as well as to internalize the inspirational principles and observing the discipline that regulate it. After this magisterium, after this long journey we can affirm with certainty and with magisterial authority that the liturgical reform is irreversible.
(“Pope’s Address to the 68th National Italian Liturgical Week”, Zenit, Aug. 24, 2017; underlining added.)
The Novus Ordo web site Rome Reports has posted a brief video clip about this story:
We are excitedly monitorning the “Catholic” blogosphere and Twitterverse for reactions from various popular bloggers and journalists. So far, we can offer the following links to initial coverage and commentary:
- Pope invokes ‘magisterial authority’ to declare liturgy changes ‘irreversible’ (Crux)
- Pope Francis says with magisterial authority: the Vatican II liturgical reform is ‘irreversible’ (America)
- For Pope Francis, ‘the liturgical reform is irreversible’ (Catholic News Agency)
- Let Me See If I Understand Francis’ Remarks on the Irreversibility of Liturgical Reform Correctly (St. Louis Catholic)
- The Dead Hand: Francis Invokes Magisterium to Make “Liturgical Reform Irreversible” (St. Corbinian’s Bear)
- Pope Francis Endorses Felt Banners, Guitars, Carol King “Hymns”, Church in the Round (Bellarmine Forum)
- The Novus Ordo is “irreversible?” Sorry Jorge, you do not get the last word! (Vox Cantoris)
- “IRREVERSIBLE”? (Mr. Hunwicke)
- What does Pope Francis mean by ‘irreversible’ liturgical reform? (Phil Lawler)
- First thoughts on Pope Francis’ address to Italian liturgists (Mr. Zuhlsdorf)
Our own commentary will follow in a separate post shortly.
Meanwhile, we are also eagerly awaiting reactions from the usual semi-traditionalist suspects — you know, the self-appointed “Magisterium sifters” who filter everything that comes from the “Holy See” to tell everyone what is and isn’t Catholic, what is and isn’t binding, what Francis can and cannot tell you, etc., lest people be infected by the “papal” apostasy. First and foremost, that would be Christopher Ferrara, the semi-trads’ chief rhetorician and spinmeister extraordinaire, who, being a lawyer by profession, is particularly skilled at tendentious argumentation that selectively spins facts and truths according to the needs of his position (for two concrete examples, see here and here).
We’ll take a risk now and go on record predicting that Chris Ferrara’s response to Francis’ pronouncement will include some or all of the following points, custom-tailored to allowing him to dismiss the latest declaration from his “Holy Father”, who never utters anything that is binding unless, of course, Mr. Ferrara already agrees with it:
- What Francis said is wrong and absurd, especially in light of Amoris Laetitia, where Francis effectively reverses the divine prohibition against adultery
- What Francis said does not make sense because if the traditional Roman Catholic liturgy, over 1,000 years old and solemnly codified by Pope St. Pius V “in perpetuity” can be reversed, why should the liturgical changes of the 1960s not be reversible?
- What Francis said is non-binding because he was only addressing a bunch of national liturgists, not the Universal Church
- What Francis said is non-binding because he only said that we “can” say this with certainty and authority, not that we must do so, and no Catholic is obliged to agree with the Pope saying that something can be said if it doesn’t have to be said
- What Francis said is non-binding because the reasoning he used to arrive at his conclusion about “us” being able to assert with “magisterial authority” that the Novus Ordo liturgical reform is irreversible is incorrect (that is, it does not follow)
- What Francis said is non-binding because he has a different concept of “Magisterium” than the Church did traditionally
- What Francis said is non-binding because the Sacred Liturgy is a matter of Church discipline and not of the Magisterium. Therefore, he can invoke his “magisterial authority” all he wants — it won’t mean anything
- It is not clear what Francis even meant, because
- the words are somewhat obscure — just what does he mean by “after this Magisterium”?
- he said “we” can affirm this with certainty and magisterial authority — but who is “we”? Do the people now possess magisterial authority? Or is he using the papal “we” that he has never used in the past and is giving no indication of using here?
In short, where Francis says that “we can affirm with certainty and with magisterial authority that the liturgical reform is irreversible”, we predict that Ferrara will simply respond with, “No, we can’t!” — and that’ll be the end of it for him and his readers.
Make no mistake about it: Ferrara and his friends at The Remnant and the Society of St. Pius X will not be swayed or impressed by Francis’ invocation of his supposed “magisterial authority” here, and they most certainly will not allow him to tell them anything at variance with their firmly-held position. Remember, these people have long rejected the Catholic notion of submission to the Roman Pontiff. Because Francis and the other Vatican II pretend-popes are the square pegs that will not fit into the round hole of the Papacy, they have long decided that the hole needs continual modification until the peg will more or less fit. The results are visible in the recognize-and-resist position which we have refuted on this web site again and again, demonstrating that it is most certainly not reconcilable with Catholic teaching.
The late John Vennari, purportedly relying on something said by “Fr.” Nicholas Gruner, once summed up the ultimate criterion the semi-trads truly go by: “It’s not magisterial if it’s wrong.” Absolutely brilliant! And how do they determine Catholic truth apart from the Magisterium?
Of course they like to bring up the “taught always and everywhere” argument, but that is the same phony reasoning by which the so-called “Old Catholics” of the 19th century rejected papal infallibility, and it actually rests on a misunderstanding of the teaching of St. Vincent of Lerins, as exposed by Cardinal Johann Baptist Franzelin. Besides, if the Magisterium of the Church can be dismissed by one’s opinion that it is “wrong”, why then should anyone adhere to the (supposed but actually misrepresented) teaching of St. Vincent?
The semi-trads’ theology is a colossal travesty. Indeed, by their logic, even a Protestant pastor could be considered magisterial and infallible — because whenever he goofs up, it just doesn’t count. That is the nature and depth of the semi-trads’ (false) understanding of the Papacy. It is absolutely deplorable.
Our own scathing commentary on Francis’ liturgical pronouncement of Aug. 24 is now available and posted here.
Image source: shutterstock.com
“It’s not magisterial if it’s wrong” is precisely your own argument that John XXIII wasn’t Pope.
That’s a different argument altogether. I wouldn’t have blamed John Vennari if he had concluded that since the Catholic Magisterium cannot do what the Novus Ordo Magisterium has done, then this is proof that the Novus Ordo Magisterium isn’t the Catholic Magisterium. That makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is to hold that no matter how much the criteria for an exercise of the Magisterium are met, they are trumped by a final “unless what it teaches is false” test.
Awesome: just the news was watching for looks as though my dear Sisters of Carmel in Boulder, who make beautiful rosaries and chaplets and live entirely traditionally and are wonderful all around, may before too long see the boom lowered on the fact that they still are una cum even though ‘ we know there are problems with the pope.’
In general I view the posts of Father Hunwicke as being those of a man of considerable intelligence unfortunately let down by errors concerning certain vital fundamentals.
But have a look at his post for the 23rd August 2017.
Witty, thought-provoking and slightly shocking.
I”m guessing that he’s preparing the way for rescinding or seriously restricting Summorum Pontificum. It’s been a complete failure in terms of the goal Benedict had for it. It was supposed to bring stubborn trads back into the fold so they could be eased into the Novus Ordo. Instead, it’s grown and attracted young people who didn’t have any “attachment” to the old rite in the first place. Why keep something that’s proven to be so counter-productive?
This annoucement crushes the hopes of the R&Rs for a reform-of-the-reform, so they will have to accept the endless validity of the Novus Ordo, instead of a temporary maybe-until-we-fix-it validity. Once they’ve accepted that, what right do they have to cling to a different rite? Their only reason for keeping the TLM will be personal preference, but if he takes that away, they won’t have a right to complain.
The issue is not the Mass. That’s a part of it, but not all of it. The issue is the Faith, or rather the abandoning of the Faith, and the usurpation of Church offices and property.
It started with the rigging of the conclave of October 1958 (with suspicious heart failures of Pius XII, Cardinal Constantini, and Cardinal Mooney, as well as other suspicious events) to elect a man OFFICIALLY suspected of being a Modernist; who continually praised and admired his friend, the defrocked and excommunicated, unrepentant modernist Ernesto Bonaiuti; who was a worldly glutton; who chummed around with Freemasons (and may very well have been one); who assisted the communists, who taught and supported the idea of the guiltlessness of the Jews; who promoted ecumenism; who showed reverence for schismatics; who taught Liberalism: religious freedom, and freedom of conscience; who showed respect for Protestants; who supported Liberation Theology, who would convoke an unnecessary ecumenical council, and would throw out the Catholic schemas, and replace them with Liberal and Modernist schemas; who called himself the “seat warmer” for Montini, the homo, whom he called the “first Fruit of our pontificate;” who sacrilegiously bugged Padre Pio’s confessional, who hated anything concerning the defense of the Catholic Faith; who had a hatred of the Holy Office; who reversed Beatifications (e.g. Blessed Andrea da Rinn of Tyrol); who de-canonized St. Philomena, who was canonized by Pope Gregory XVI.
Thereafter, the entire Catholic Church (Dogmas, Morals, Worship – including matter and form of some sacraments) was taken over by Her enemies.
The Catholic Faith was being replaced at Vatican II, and it was obvious. Cardinal Ottaviani was reported to have prayed that he die before the end of the council, because he wanted to die a Catholic. He did not get his wish.
Wake up people! What do you think Gregory XVI or St. Pius X would have done to a cleric who puts beach balls on altars, and has tango dances in the sanctuary after a ceremony which, at best, looks like a parody of the Mass?
What Jorge says about the New Order Meal or even the Traditional Latin Mass makes no difference. He is most evidently a non-Catholic who is inimical to the Roman Catholic Church.
My only question on Bergoglio will his place in Hell be deeper them Wojtyla or will it be equal to Roncalli’s reward. One can only know for sure that upon death if you encounter one of them then you know you lost the race.
Who can say. I can only guess ANGELO RONCALLI is deepest, in that he had to most insidiously work for the destruction of the Church, while the bulk of the Church offices and the Papacy were still in Catholic hands. Thus, he had to avoid excommunication for Modernism, and using Duschene’s teachings at the Lateran; he had to keep is freemasonic activities secret (for the most part); and he had to rise through the ranks, despite his heretical notion that the Catholic Church was NOT the exclusive One, True, Church of Christ, outside of which there is no salvation. His illegitimate “election,” and his evil machinations, were exactly what was needed to give enough impetus for the apparent destruction of Catholicism. He went against the grain the most, and he did it without getting defrocked. He was the worst (in my opinion).
I’ve noticed on some Vatican II websites that they believe that Padre Pio was in favor of the heretical Novus Ordo Missae . It seems that the Vat II cult must hijack God’s elect to get their heretical message to stick to the spiritual blinded.
Yep…indeed! They’re parading/touring the pious Padre remains/casket as though he was one of theirs.
Oh, the VII proponents, supporters, mascots and sect seem to have conveniently forgotten about that one!
God’s hand has been held back these many long years but heresy always has a price. It seems that Rome may soon find that Islam does not worship the same God that Catholics do. The Italian media has been buzzing with stories of terror attacks on the Vatican. Sadly Bergoglio probably will dismiss it .
The reason for your error is that you’re not making precise enough distinctions. The issue is not one of mere logic but of compatibility with Catholic doctrine. The Catholic Church tells you what constitutes her Magisterium. That is, she determines the a priori conditions which, if verified, constitute a teaching a part of her Magisterium. John Vennari’s error is to say that even when those conditions are verified, then it is STILL not magisterial — despite appearances — if it contradicts prior Church teaching. Thus the very content of the teaching (a posteriori) determines whether it is part of the Magisterium, which defeats the whole point of having a priori conditions.
The sedevacantist recognizes that such would be entirely absurd, because it would mean that the Church is incapable of guaranteeing the binding nature of her Magisterium. In fact, a Magisterium that can contradict itself is not credible. Therefore, Vennari’s position is detrimental to the teaching office of the Church and not reconcilable with the very traditional doctrine he always meant to uphold.
On the other hand, the sedevacantist position holds that IF something fulfills the a priori conditions of what constitutes magisterial teaching, then it binds the Catholic conscience. That is the whole reason why Tradition is binding in the first place. You can’t say the Magisterium is binding until 1958 but not afterwards. That’s absurd. Realize that that is what Vennari’s position essentially is, however. You will say that the sedevacantist does the same thing, but that is not true: The sedevacantist, recognizing that the Magisterium cannot attempt to require you to both affirm and deny the same proposition, draws the only possible conclusion that is reconcilable with Catholic teaching: The putative authority which promulgated the absurdity is not a genuine Catholic authority.
Thus, while both positions have to deal with the same given data (the errors of the Vatican II “Magisterium”), only one of these positions is compatible with Catholic teaching on the Magisterium.
Canon George Smith explained all this quite wonderfully in his essay “Must I believe it?” from the 1930s: http://www.sedevacantist.com/believe.html
As far as I am aware, no Pope or magisterium instituted the “new mass”. Paul VI merely gave a nod of recognition to that which the robbers council of outsiders and traitors drew up.