Saturday, 22 May 2010

Ad Liturgiae amorem...

Welcome, readers, to my new blog! Liturgiae Causa is a personal endeavour in the cause of the Liturgy. I believe that there has been a near-irretrievable loss of a sense of Liturgy in the Western Church, for a variety of complex and interpenetrating reasons. This blog aims to raise awareness about these reasons, and possible remedies, by means of reflections, short essays etc, and even perhaps the organisation of real Liturgy. As a classicist, and a Tolkien reader, I shall also endeavour to post about these things.

Liturgiae Causa is not another ''traditionalist'' blog - I believe that Catholic ''traditionalism'', especially in a post-Summorum Pontificum world, is wholly repugnant to the real Tradition of the Church, and ''traditionalist'' organisations, such as Una Voce, the Latin Mass Society and the Society of St Pius X, whose pseudo-traditional doctrinal and liturgical stances I repudiate utterly, more often than not just wilfully keep the Faithful in the dark about Liturgy and Tradition, blind guides (Matthew 23:24). The celebration of the Sacred Liturgy, which ought to be the sole ultimate focus and the direction of all loves of the Christian man, ought to exclude all minimalism, and so any attempt to ''enrich'' the Novus Ordo of Paul VI, or to ''remedy'' existing liturgical abuses (and they are, alas, many and commonplace) by making recourse to the liturgical books of 1962 is just palliative at best.

This blog is dedicated to the memory of the late J.R.R Tolkien (1892-1973), a faithful Catholic who in his last years saw the rapid collapse of the Sacred Liturgy.

Laus Deo semper.


  1. Congratulations on a new blog Patricius.

    There is a dearth of truly liturgical (Western Rite) blogs. Most of the 'Traddie' blogs are boring beyond belief and pretend the 1962 edition of the Missale Romanum is somehow 'traditional' despite being in use for three years (or two if one wants to be really strict about Nove hisce temporibus) before its derogation by Inter Oecumenici and Tres abhinc annos and its abrogation by Missale Romanum.

  2. Many congratulations, Patricius, on this splendid new Blog. Welcome back to the Blogosphere.

  3. Good to see you back in the blogosphere. Why not disagree on some areas with Una Voce, LMS etc, instead of repudiating them utterly? None of the organisations you mention has any interest in enriching the Missal of Paul VI.

    I entirely agree with you (and Rubricarius) on the deficiencies of the 1962 Missal but they are mainly to do with the Calendar and with Holy Week. The Ordinary of the Mass is very largely the traditional Roman rite and therefore vastly superior to the Novus Ordo.

  4. Patricius:

    Maybe you could enlighten me, and explain what Una Voce's "pseudo-traditional doctrinal and liturgical stances" are? Citations, please. ;-p

  5. Mark, many thanks for your comment. Yes you can ''safely unsubscribe'' to Singulare Ingenium if you wish - it won't be used anymore, save as a source or occasional reference.

    As regards Una Voce, the LMS et al, I'll tell you my situation. I ''converted'' to Catholic ''traditionalism'' about six years ago. I read the works of Michael Davies, Archbishop Lefebvre, publications of the SSPX and LMS and was deceived by them all. Their sole ultimate focus, it seems, is to deride the Second Vatican Council. They all think that everything pre-Vatican II was perfect, everything post-Vatican II is at fault. They seem to think that the Fathers of the Council were caught completely by surprise by this wholly novel idea of liturgical reform and that all liturgy before the Council was ever ancient, going back unchanged to the time of St Gregory and all that romantic nonsense. Do you seriously think that the Fathers, most of them of Tolkien's generation, actually believed that? Of course not! Many of the liturgical ''periti'' at the Council, Bugnini, Antonelli et al, were the ones responsible for the liturgical reforms under Pius XII.

    I went above and beyond Traditionalism in the short time preceeding Summorum Pontificum. Initially I greeted it with the same enthusiasm as most Trad Catholics - you know, ''Oh the most Holy Father has liberated the 'traditional' Latin Mass!'' Of course he did nothing of the sort. Summorum Pontificum says nothing whatsoever about the Old Rite (except in passing), and it just represents more Papal tampering with Liturgy, just as useful as Urban VIII's silly hymns and Pius X's ''levelling'' out of the Psalter 100 years ago. I have often heard that the chief point of Summorum Pontificum is ''numquam abrogatum'' - but this refers to the 1962 Missale Romanum, which, as Rubricarius says, was abrogated by Paul VI in Missale Romanum.

    Summorum Pontificum, the 1962 liturgical books and traditionalist organisations are a cancer of the Church.

  6. Welcome back, Patricie.

    This blog is obviously intended to provoke debate over the 'traditional' Liturgy and already seems to be succeeding in this purpose!

    I must, however, say that I agree with Fr. Tim concerning the 1962 Missal, which is essentially the classical form of the Mass, with a number of experimental simplifications which make it deficient in a few specific areas (most notably Holy Week), which, had it not been for the wholesale rewriting of the Liturgy post V-II, would probably have been 'ironed out' by now. (Unfortunately the task of 'reform of the reform' is now much bigger than might have otherwise been the case).

    Proposing the most polar positions in debate is often a good thing, even if there is sometimes (probably quite often) something of the advocatus diaboli about it. It does, at least, ensure everything is discussed and not glossed over quickly.

    Good luck with the blog - I look forward to some lively posts, and think I shall leave you with my old college motto, which seems to have some apt nuances -

    Luce et labore.


  7. Summorum Pontificum, the 1962 liturgical books and traditionalist organisations are a cancer of the Church...

    Talk about not seeing the woods for the trees. While all the above may not be perfect, there are far more repugnant things going on in the church. Of course, those who are imbibed in "liturgical causes" exclusively usually fail to see this - and they do no good to their own cause too.

  8. Patricius:
    I would disagree that people in Una Voce, etc., think that everything pre-Vatican II is perfect. It's clear that it was not.

    Something I also was very interested to read - and I'll have to refer to my notes from when I heard it at a lecture - was that the very people who agreed Sacrosanctum Concilium were deliberately barred from its interpretation. I think a lot can be levelled at Bugnini specifically, to be honest.

    I really think you need to temper your words, though: SP and the '62 Missale cannot be a cancer on the Church; this is daft. Would you rather they did not exist and your only option was the Novus Ordo Missae?

  9. Patricius;
    I'm sorry; but I already have two quite serious concerns.

    'The celebration of the Sacred Liturgy, which ought to be the sole ultimate focus and the direction of all loves of the Christian man . . .' (emphasis added)

    I'd be interested to know how you justify that position.

    Also, I'm interested to know who is allowed to 'tamper' with the liturgy, if the Pope is not ? Presumably not oecumenical councils, as that would leave us with Novus Ordo !

  10. How encouraging to see such interesting comments. There is clearly a need for intelligent debate on this most interesting of subjects.

    @Matthaeus - the problem with that hypothesis is that the next few stages of reform after the 1962 MR had clearly been in preparation for several years before its publication. Look at the summary of the Congresses at Maria-Laach, Ste. Odile and Lugano in 'Worship' Vol. 28, 4 (particularly pp. 157 - 167). The majority of changes from 1955 to 1969 are apparent from the discussions held by 'experts' from that period. This was hardly 'top secret' stuff and reported in the liturgical periodicals of the period like 'Worship', Ephemerides Liturgicae etc.

    Questions concerning, initially problems, with the Roman Canon and later - as a consequence of those problems - alternatives began at Maria-Laach with a paper delivered by Fr. Jungmann. By the 1960 Congress held at Munich discussions were taken place on Antiochean models of anaphorae. (See Schmitt's Die internationalen liturgischen Studientreffen 1951-1960 for an account of papers)

    The 1962 MR was never intended as anything but other than a convenience that incorporated the various changes of the 1950s and those required by Rubricarum instructum and the 1961 changes. It's declaration of being a 'typical edition' never appeared in the AAS in contrast to the 1965 Ordo Missae and Missale Romanum. Of course the next phase of changes came very quickly with even a semi-vernacular edition of the 1962 MR being printed by Benziger in the USA in early 1964. I believe it is fairly clear that Vatican II had very little to do with these changes in reality - the Council Fathers were not particularly concerned with specific detailed changes.

    Indeed I would be controversial and suggest that if anything Vatican II was a modifying influence on the pace and direction of the reform.

    @ Dominic Mary - I rather doubt the Council Father's views on reform have ever been put into place, that is part of the problem.

    As to the 1962 MR its calendar is certainly problematic largely as a consequence of the principle of Cum nostra of simplying and excising to enable the existing books to still be useable until the work of reform had taken place. The result was a calendar which, substantially, is not really that different from the current Roman one with the riches of so many Octaves, Vigils etc suppressed.

    As to the revised Holy Week that is too depressing to even think about about on a lovely sunny day..