Friday, 30 July 2010

My advice to bloggers...

On average I get about 130-140 visitors to this blog a day. In the last week this has dropped (due to the lack of regular, and decent, posting - I also lost two ''followers'' after putting up that recent post about Pius XII and his haircut), but I sometimes wonder just how famous this small blog really is. I am convinced (from viewing some of my Sitemeter statistics, and one or two other things) that there are a number of readers who are quite famous in blogdom and think that this blog is like the pearl of great price, but sadly don't link to me because I am the only Catholic out there who talks any sense about Liturgy, especially about Summorum Pontificum, and they are just so beaten down with trivial things like politics, and keeping up the façade that Benedict XVI has made a quick-fix solution to a huge problem (by administering a small plaster to an enormous gash created by popes), that they just can't be seen to be in any way controversial...why bother? Speak your mind! I do! If you think that the Pope is an idiot, then go ahead and say so (I don't think that the present Pope is an idiot, just most of his 20th century predecessors). If you think that the Bishops are a host of spineless (even heretical!) morons, say so! If you think that the liturgical books of 1962 are a grotesque diabolical travesty of Liturgy which no-one in their right mind would admire, or think represents 2000 years of Catholic Tradition, then say so! I personally think that the liturgical books of 1962 were composed by Satan himself. If only people would face the facts and didn't make unnecessary compromises...

I don't like people who beat about the bush.


  1. "I sometimes wonder just how famous this small blog really is"

    Does it matter? Do you write to attract readers and find fame, or do you write because you have something you want to say? If the latter, then the number of visitors, and how famous the blog is, is totally immaterial.

    "I am convinced ... that there are a number of readers who ... think that this blog is like the pearl of great price, but sadly don't link to me because I am the only Catholic out there who talks any sense about Liturgy"

    Maybe they don't link to you because they think your views are too extreme, and you appear to dismiss everyone else as an idiot? There are lots of reasons why a person might chose not to link to you (or any other blog.) They may, for example, just have no interest in your views on Liturgy.

    "...they are just so beaten down with trivial things like politics, and keeping up the façade that Benedict XVI has made a quick-fix solution to a huge problem ... that they just can't be seen to be in any way controversial"

    Not everyone agrees that politics is trivial, and just because someone is in favour of Benedict XVI's liturgical reforms doesn't mean that they are deliberately avoiding controversy.

    I don't want to seem harsh, but if you really are worried about falling readership, perhaps you might want to stop insulting everyone who doesn't subscribe to your own world view. If you aren't worried, and wish to continue to say exactly what you think (not necessarily a bad thing) then don't complain that people who get tired of being insulted stop reading your posts...

  2. I think that while many people will agree with your basic ideas; they may not share your views on the horns of Pope Pius XII or on the Satanic Verses, you claim are in the 1962 versions of the Liturgy. Many traditional Catholics are worn down, battle tired and find this Papacy so confusing, that they just want to get to a Good Mass and hear good teaching and know that their children's R.E. teaching has something to do with the Catholic faith. Some of us will find manhy of your insights valuable,stimulating and interesting, but will certainly not share your opinions and judgements of those you criticise. We need to get to Mass on Sunday and the Best is sometimes the enemy of the good, and we have to put up with the Good, even if it was produced in 1962, because we can't get the Best. Alan Robinson

  3. Dear Patricius. Why don't you stop sitting on the fence and say what you mean ?

  4. Well said warrior300, you summed up the way I feel, the Catholic Faith and its liturgy are in such an abyss of desolation that it is impossible for even the most honest Catholic believers to enjoy a true Catholic liturgy. 100 years and more of liturgical disorientation, are a lot for most of us, the pride of man has led to this abyss. I do agree on most things on this blog(except the post on Pius XII), and the reality is awful, Catholics have lost the faith, most of them live in formal heresy, few live in material heresy, and the liturgy? Don't begin about it, I get irritated to see how much was destroyed in 100 years!!!

  5. Patricius,

    I would not worry about numbers, truth is far more important. Most people in the world are rather stupid when it comes to matters of religion anyway and when it comes to liturgy very few indeed have any intrinsic understanding of the subject.

    As to speaking one's mind, here goes:

    1) I think Benedict XVI had a 'guilt trip' about his involvement with Lefebvre rejecting the May 5th 1988 Protocol. I think he is fundamentally misguided in his approach towards the $$PX and liturgy in general. I believe the assertion in Summorum Pontificum that the missal of 1962 was 'never juridically abrogated' to be fallacious, at worst a downright lie. No supporter has yet given a coherent explanation of the claim whilst scholars of repute such as Cameron-Mowat, Baldovin, Sodi, Huels, Grillo etc have admirably demonstrated that the 1962 missal was abrogated according to the canonical meaning of the word 'abrogation'.

    2) I think many of the bishops are, alas, idiots. This is because they are no more than papal stooges. A return to bishops being elected by the clergy and people of their dioceses is needed and a two-fingered gesture made to the Roman appointment of the same. Since Rome took control of the appointment of bishops (barely over 100 years ago) look at the mediocrity of most of them!

    3) Most of the twentieth century popes were appalling individuals. Pius XII and Pius X being the worst of them all by far.

    4) Yes, I most certainly believe that the liturgical books of 1962 are 'a grotesque diabolical travesty of Liturgy which no-one in their right mind would admire, or think represents 2000 years of Catholic Tradition'. I regard them as pernicious rubbish and their only possible use if one has forgotten to shop for Andrex. I would rather be butchered on the scaffold than willingly assist at any celebration according to the 1962 books. No one is forced to attend such celebrations, we have a choice.

    5) As to Pius XII he was undoubtedley in the category of the most revolting, pernicious and disgusting men who have ever lived. The damage he inflicted to the Liturgy, particularly that of Holy Week was horrendous and quite malicious. He has a 'Teflon' quality that modern politicians like Tony BLiar should be truly envious of. A veritable 'Traddieland' industry exists to rewrite liturgical history to make Pacelli into some sort of hero of tradition whilst the reality is quite the reverse.

  6. I agree with Mac.

    I thought I would resubscribe to your blog again today. Disappointed when I read this:
    "I personally think that the liturgical books of 1962 were composed by Satan himself".

    Do you REALLY believe this? If so, shame on you.

  7. Rubricarius. You (and Patricius) would do well to remember that, in the spiritual life, the moral virtue of religion, and the moral virtues generally, are subordinate to the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity. So, if your zeal for right worship causes you to describe Pius XII as among “the most revolting, pernicious and disgusting men who have ever lived”, you have not only missed the whole point but are no better than in conspectu Dei than “æs sonans, aut cymbalum tinniens”.

    But I get the impression that this won’t worry you too much. As long as you can maintain that your own prudential judgement and sense of tradition is superior to that of Pope St Pius X and the Ven Pius XII.

  8. Auriculus,

    Do I take it you don’t agree with me? I find your shallow misperceptions rather boring to be frank and how you can claim to have the sight of the Almighty is quite astonishing. However, let’s forget the rhetoric and confine ourselves to simple, historical, facts of what has actually happened to the liturgy with these two popes named Pius.

    Let’s take an example from Pius XII reign first. The commission of experts appointed by Pius XII to undertake a general reform of the liturgy in 1948 considered, quite erroneously, that the Vigil of the Epiphany (5th January) considered the Vigil to be simply the Office of the Sunday following the Epiphany – ‘…la vigilia ha semplicemente la liturgia della dominica dopo il Natale..’ (Memoria sulla riforma liturgica, 1948, #48, 3, p.47.) Subsequently, on the basis of the commission’s work the Vigil was abolished with the decree Cum nostra (23 March 1955) Tit II, # 9. The essential argument was that the Sunday had merely been displaced by the development of the Comites Christi octave days, i.e. under the ‘Tridentine’ rules the first day the Office and Mass of the Sunday could be celebrated was January 5th. Using the intellect Almighty God has given us even someone with very little specialist knowledge can soon see this is an entirely fallacious argument. Anyone attending the Dominican liturgy would have known that there were texts of both the Sunday and the Vigil. The Dominican liturgy in many ways is a quick reference point to a considerable amount of pre-Tridentine praxis as it was a variant of the Old Roman rite as opposed to the liturgy of the papal court (indeed the parallels between the Dominican rite and Sarum are very strong). When we examine pre-Tridentine sources we find both the Sunday (with the collect Omnipotens – as found in the Roman books prior to 1956) and the real Vigil with the collect Corda nostra. Now most people of even moderate intelligence would quickly work out that the displaced Sunday in the Roman rite had eclipsed the Vigil and a sensible reform would have been to restore both to their former pre-eminence. Interestingly this is precisely what has happened in the 2004 Missale Romanum. Corda nostra has returned as the collect proper to the Vigil of the Epiphany – a good example of the better level of scholarship now in evidence rather than that of the 1950s.

    As to the earlier reforms of 1911 etc this really was rushed committee work with a vengeance. Anton Baumstark made the famous and very eloquent comment on the abolition of the Laudate psalms, Pss. 148, 149 &150, which had given Lauds its very name: ‘Hence to the reformers of the Psalterium Romanum belongs the distinction of having brought to an end the universal observance of a liturgical practice which was followed, one can say, by the Divine Redeemer Himself during His life on earth.’ Again, common sense could have preserved the ancient cursus and two lines of rubrics prescribed the ferial cursus on all but doubles of the second class and above.

    Of course, if you like, we could go through scores of examples where a common sense view, and the view of contemporary scholarship, would be absolutely critical of many of the 1911-13 changes and those of Pius XII, but I suspect you would not be interested in bringing the debate to a factual basis.

    I would far rather trust the ‘providential judgement’ of someone exhibiting only a modicum of common sense and integrity rather than the appalling contempt for liturgical tradition exhibited by these twentieth century popes. You may consider the twentieth century dismantling of major aspects of the liturgy that have Apostolic origins of no consequence, but I cannot share your Ultramontanist outlook and have to openly and unequivocally condemn such changes and the men responsible for them.

  9. I left the Roman communion several years ago and converted to Orthodoxy because I no longer found the claims of the Holy See credible. I was born in 1961 and none of the popes of my lifetime has done his job, which is to defend Tradition. Furthermore, as I enter advanced middle age, it becomes less and less likely that I will live to see the glorious Catholic restoration that Paul Johnson wrote about so confidently in 1980(!). Say what you will about the Orthodox church, the liturgy (and therefore Orthodox tradition) is safe and intact. Most of the good conservative Catholic folks I know devote a great deal of time to either defending the indefensible (e.g., Vatican II) or praising the emperor's new clothes (the reform of the reform, the new evangelization, etc etc). But neither of those defense mechanisms is really an option for the traditionalist Catholic who recognizes Vatican II for the catastrophe it was. So how do you hold on to your faith in the papal office? I don't mean to be provocative. I just don't understand. The liturgy is in ruins. Most of the bishops either loathe the traditional Mass or are indifferent to it. In the vast majority of Catholic parishes, including the "conservative" ones,the religion that goes by the name Roman Catholicism is manifestly not the same as the one going by that name fifty years ago. So what is the attraction? What is there left to hold onto once you recognize that the emperor is buck naked and ugly?

  10. Rubricarius, very well argued.

    Tawser, interesting. I am still in the Roman Communion for personal reasons, although I haven't really taken the Church seriously for many years (purely because of what the Church has done to the Liturgy, at official level that is - although Trads are terribly fond of arguing that the Church's authority is continually subverted by ''modernists''). I am yet to meet a living bishop whom I respect, and I respect few Catholic priests (most of these being scholars of Liturgy and Church history).

    Popes are the guardians of Tradition - at least this is the ideal. There have been many great Popes who lived up to their divinely-instituted ministry - St Leo the Great is an obvious example. However, in my humble opinion, even popes such as John XII, who sold episcopal consecrations to finance his many mistresses, do not come close to Pius X and Pius XII. The personal lives and moralities of Popes do not matter one jot - but when Popes use their ''supreme authority'' to destroy the Liturgy, then we have a huge problem and I repudiate this supposed authority. Vatican II is not the problem - I have very little problem with it, it did much good for the Church and restored many ancient customs and traditions older than the Missal of Pius V. The real problem facing the Church is the problem of the Liturgy, which you cannot rectify by recourse to the much-reformed liturgical books of 1962. That is essentially what this blog is about.

  11. Thank you for responding to my question without once referring to me as an apostate or telling me to go to hell by promising to pray for my return to the one true church. The comboxes in traditional blogs are not places for thin skinned people, and I hate for anyone to see me crying at work. If I understood your response to my question, you wrote that you don't take the church seriously, but you do take the liturgy seriously. How do you separate the two? The liturgy is the liturgy of the church. And at the risk of being impertinent, I was wondering if attended Mass and what form of the liturgy was in use at the parish you attend.

  12. Tawser, the Orthodox are not apostate (although many, if not most, Orthodox would consider me to be apostate - the Filioque and all that), and I do not damn people to Hell (at least I hope not). In fact, a sizeable amount of my readership are Orthodox or Anglican. Most Catholics aren't interested in real Liturgy.

    My parish church has Masses in both the New Rite (which accounts for most Liturgy in the week) and (mostly) the Old Rite (although there have been exceptions to this rule). I am fortunate that this church is a 15 minute walk from my house, so I do not need to travel far afield for adequate liturgy.

    With regard to my not taking the Church seriously - do you marvel at this? Something radical needs to happen in the Catholic Church, and not along the Summorum Pontificum lines, for me to be the least bit interested. I am now only interested in good Liturgy, wherever this may be found (in or outside the ecclesial confines of the Roman Catholic Church).

  13. Rubricarius

    Your post represents a perfect example of eisegesis rather than exegesis. I was reacting to your description of Pius X and Pius XII as “appalling individuals” rather than expressing a judgement on the liturgical reforms for which they were responsible. Even if you were right on the substantive point, you have no right to calumniate them.

    And I did not claim to have sight of the Almighty. I was merely seeking to make the point that if the liturgy becomes a substitute for the love of God, rather than an expression of it, then something is fundamentally wrong. The point about the primacy of the theological over the moral virtues can be found in any standard modern work on spiritual theology, as well as in Sacred Scripture and the spiritual classics.

    Curiously, you remind me of Bugnini. Both of you share an absolute conviction that you are right and everyone else is wrong, and a condescending and patronising view of those whose pastoral experience leads them to have reservations about the practical solutions you propose.

  14. Gentlemen, this discussion is quite interesting, as most traditional Catholics will never go this far as to think about the almost 100 years of liturgical destruction of Catholic Liturgy. I do not doubt the personal sanctity of Pope St Pius X, or his followers until Pius XII. But it is difficult to ignore their approval of something which destroyed Catholicism for good. If you destroy Tradition at its summit(the Divine Liturgy), then you destroy the way tradition transmits itself to following generations. It is may be understandable that the Catholic Church defined many Dogma's(against many heresies), but without an ancient liturgy, full of the ineffable Divine mysteries, the faith will never be transmitted. This is one of the reasons Orthodoxy is alive today, a far more vigorous faith than modern Catholicism, It safeguarded its divine liturgy and understood very well how to transmit the faith by the celebrating of divine mysteries. As a soon-to-be Catholic seminarian, I will exclusively celebrate the old Mass, but If one looks closely to the problems of the Catholic Church, one can seldom offer remedies for this nefarious disease, the liturgical disease of liturgical development. This disease led to the Catholic Faith of the moderns: a faith left in an abyss of misery and sin, as Catholics are unable to see that they are in an abyss, and having very little force to climb out of the abyss. All of this, more or less tolerated en even encouraged by the popes. I personally do not think that Catholicism will survive this, few faithfuls might remain with an ancient Catholic Faith, but the majority will certainly follow modern errors an heresies. I have been very strongly attracted to Orthodoxy, for a few months now, as I see orthodoxy as the eastern part of the Holy Faith founded by our Saviour, and yes Orthodox faithfuls can be saved. A very important distinction which must be made about the great schism: this great schism is not of the heretical type of schism like the one of the heretical protestants, it was a moderately dogmatical schism(Filioque), a doctrinal schism(I think that the Catholic Church failed in this aspect), and it soon became a liturgical schism(no need to comment here), while any other heresy like modernism is simply condemnable. Pride of man is the cause of all of this, a pride which is diabolical, a pride which made men think that they could change the divine liturgy. God almighty already punished this pride, while the effects of this punishment are beginning to be felt. It was St John Eudes who said that the sure sign that God is displeased with its people is when He sends them bad priests, bishops and shepherds who will lead them to the abyss of Hell. Well I do not doubt that this has actually happened!

  15. Auricularius,

    It strikes me as what you are trying to say is that you believe that you are entitled to hold an opinion about certain popes yet I am not if it does not concur with your own.

    The blog owner stated in his post that he did not like people who ‘beat about the bush’. In response to this I spoke my mind, inter alia, stating that in my opinion two of the worst popes in the twentieth century were Pius X and Pius XII and then giving my further, less than complimentary, opinion about the latter.

    "And I did not claim to have sight of the Almighty."

    Really? You wrote “but [you] are no better than in conspectu Dei than “æs sonans, aut cymbalum tinniens.” Last time I looked a translation of in conspectu Dei was 'in the sight of God' which you claimed to know.

    The Liturgy is of primary importance before all else, it is primary theology, and the locus of our meeting with the Almighty. To love the Liturgy is to love God. We worship the Almighty with orthopraxis and give Him the very best we can offer.

    I understand Annibale Bugnini was much admired as a pastor by those he served. I’ll take it as a compliment to be compared to him. It is fascinating how Mons. Bugnini is demonised by ‘Traddieland’ (as of course is Paul VI whose passing we remember tomorrow) yet the man who hired Bugnini for a specific task i.e. to be secretary of a Commission to plan an overall reform of the liturgy, and who also mentored G.B. Montini escapes your, and so many others, criticism – back to the ‘Teflon’ coating I referred to earlier.

    So much for opinion, which I hope we can agree to differ on, and of course is by definition not a matter of fact. As I suggested before it is much easier to keep to historical facts. So what are you saying about the Vigil of the Epiphany? Do you disagree with my delineation of the issues? Do you think breaking up the order of the Psalterium over 1500 years old was a good thing?

    Let’s try another couple of examples of statements of simple facts.

    1) The 19th March feast of St. Joseph. In modern times Pius IX raised this to a double of the first class in 1870. Pius X gave the feast an octave and moved its celebration from the 19th March to the Sunday following that date on 2 July 1911. Obviously later realising that this would cause problems, i.e. with the Sundays of Lent, twenty-two days later the date for the celebration of the feast was moved back to the original date of 19th March and the octave removed. In October 1913 Pius X reduced the feast to a double of the second class. Two years later his successor Benedict XV restored it back to a double of the first class.

    Auricularius, please explain to us why between 1911 and 1919 there had to be so many changes? What was the supposed edification of the faithful ? How was the worship of Almighty God increased by this petty tinkering? All that happened is the feast ended up being on the same date and being of the same rank as it was eight years earlier. What am I missing?

    2) Moving to the other Pius that I criticised, in 1955 Pius XII removed most of the octaves from the Kalendar (some very ancient) including that of the Sacred Heart (not ancient) that had been granted by Pacelli’s predecessor, Pius IX, on 26 June 1929. So which pope was right? Was the worship of Almighty God and the sanctification of the Christian people aided by Pius XI or Pius XII? As these are contradictory acts surely they both cannot be right?

    (cont'd) - apologies Patricius

  16. (continued from above)

    In contrast to Auricularius' comments those of 'mairedecortichon1' are both measured and highly perceptive. I don’t, I must say agree with his assessment of personal sanctity for some of these popes, but his points are most pertinent.

    The liturgical problems are not the result of the Second Vatican Council but are far deeper and much older. Modern Catholicism, I would suggest, is very seriously, if not terminally ill. The rejection of the primacy of the celebration of the Liturgy has been catastrophic for Western Christianity.

    As 'mairedecorticho1' points out Eastern Christianity, and particularly Orthodoxy is vibrant and growing. The reason for this, I would suggest, is that Orthodoxy takes Liturgy seriously.

    Action, if it is not too late for action, needs to be radical in the extreme I would suggest. The responses to the crisis have all been far too conservative and ineffectual.

    “It was St John Eudes who said that the sure sign that God is displeased with its people is when He sends them bad priests, bishops and shepherds who will lead them to the abyss of Hell. Well I do not doubt that this has actually happened!”

    The only thing I would add to that is, most importantly, also atrociously bad popes!