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The Worst of the Worst!

This one is special folks. This is literally one of the worst responses to the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum yet. Were I to put in my own comments, this might be my longest post ever. Further, I do not think that my comments are at all necessary, this piece speaks for itself. I will however emphasize a few items.

This piece comes to us Rev. Denis Dougherty OSB, Pastor of St. Josephs Church in Springfield MO. Read it and weep, yell, scream, cry, and sigh.

PASTOR’S REFLECTION by the Rev. Denis Dougherty

I think that Pope Benedict’s recent decree reviving the old Latin Mass was a step backwards in the implementation of the decrees of the Second Vatican Council, which were approved and promoted by Pope Paul VI. The Council never intended there to be two forms of the Roman rite existing simultaneously. Latin at Mass, yes, but the old rite stemming back to the 16th Century, clearly no. To keep a group of objectors in the Church, Pope John Paul gave permission to have the old Mass on a very limited scale in 1984 despite the nearly unanimous opposition of the bishops throughout the world. Now, Pope Benedict has given permission to go over the heads of the bishops as long as a “stably existing” community requests the old Mass and the pastors can prevent a disruption in their communities. The Council clearly wanted to give such power to the bishops, but in this too the Council’s teaching is being reversed.
I don’t anticipate having a Latin Mass problem in our parish [Surprise! Sorry, I couldn't help myself], although a group of people who formerly sought to introduce such a Mass here has sought to do so again. We will follow Pope Benedict’s instruction and not introduce the Latin Mass here because we do not have a stable (longstanding) group of active parish members requesting it. You are aware that to be an active member of our parish requires current registration, regular Mass attendance, and tithing to support the parish, as I have told you at least once a year. Very few of those suggesting the Latin Mass here are active members of the parish. The vast majority clearly do not qualify as a stable existing group of parishioners. I also perceive that the group would he disruptive if they came here with the idea of ‘gritting their teeth (as one described it) until they could dominate the parish again. Also, should we ever be required to introduce a Latin Mass in the future, such a Mass would fall under the supervision of the pastor and the appointed Liturgical Committee, like all other liturgical matters, not under the direction from some other group requesting it.
We should all ask ourselves questions like the following: Do we really want to introduce a liturgy emphasizing sin and its expiation in preference to the celebration of the paschal mystery centering on the death and resurrection of Christ. Do we really want to exclude women from the sanctuary, go back to the old lectionary, which had only a one year cycle of readings rather than the three year cycle we enjoy now; Do we really want to go back to the celebration of a Macs in which we do not understand the language in which the priest is praying and reading, and doing so with his back to us. Do you really want to reintroduce the disruption the parish previously experienced from some of the very people now requesting the old Latin Mass?
The old Mass has been called the “traditional” Mass but that is erroneous because the tradition of the Church from the most ancient times was to celebrate the Mass in the language understood by the people. That is the reason the Mass, probably first celebrated by Jesus in Aramaic, was soon celebrated in Greek, and then in the 4th or 5th Century celebrated in Latin in the Roman Church. The “tradition” of the fathers of the Church was to celebrate the Mass in the language of the people. The fathers of the Second Vatican Council were simply returning to this traditional Catholic practice in providing us with the Mass in the various languages which we understand.
So we at St. Joseph’s will follow the ancient tradition of the Church and continue to celebrate the Mass in the language of the people, as we follow the practice given us by Pope Paul VI and the Vatican Council and in doing so we will not be violating the decree of Pope Benedict because we do not have a request from of a “stably existing” community and our parish and because the pastor doesn’t feel we can do so in a non-disruptive way.
I just thought I would explain.
God bless you all!—Fr. Denis
So what do you think, do we have a winner?


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David said...

This statement is just plain malicious. At least the disobedient Bishops had the grace to pretend that they were submitting to the teaching of the Roman Pontiff. This man repeats all of the errors of those who preach the "party line", and then some. The lack of charity is appalling.

I've checked out the diocesan website, and there is no response to Summorum Pontificum, of whatever nature.

Perhaps readers from this turbulant priest's parish might bring the matter to the attention of his bishop?

John Michael said...

Wow! Talk about making someone feel uncomfortable and unwanted.

Tom said...

What a sad reflection upon a priest filled with so much contempt for souls entrusted to his care.

David L Alexander said...

One should remember that this essay is the work of only one parish priest, not a bishop. There are any number of priests whose reaction is this way. Perhaps the best analysis of this attitude came from one David Kubrick, in a combox discussion at NLM:

"[A]s someone who lived through the reforms as an intellectually inclined teenager and is now observing the behavior of my current bishop, who would have been a young priest during the Council, there seems to me one very large problem that will only be solved with generational change in the clergy. The 'Hermeneutic of Continuity' is a great intellectual paradigm which corresponds to proper theological orientation, but not at all to historical reality. The only -- I stress only -- way that every element of the Novus Ordo was explained to and urged on us at the time of the reforms was by contrast with a deficiency/deformity claimed for the old rite. Pope Paul himself gave allocutions along the same lines. To certain bishops and priests the meaning of the Eucharist underwent a radical change in the NO that makes for intolerable cognitive dissonance when they are now asked once again to love what they had been taught to repudiate. Where that is the case the Motu Proprio will not mean much..."

I am not sure I can vouch for what he attributes to Pope Paul, since there is evidence to the contrary. As to whatever one can make of this priest's attitude, it is one that is dying out. You just have to press on, and let God have the last word.

Anonymous said...

The idea that the liturgy was in the language of the people is a myth.

In the Early Church it was in Latin, Greek or Aramaic.

Amid the thousands of languages
and dialects this was the choice
people had. The Gallican Rite
used Greek and Latin, not local

The only exceptions to the rule
were the Slavs who were granted
an indult to have the liturgy
in their language in the 8th century, and the British and Irish Celts, who were cut off from Rome (and western civilization) after
430AD. Once St. Augustine, St. Wilfrid and other re-established
ties with Rome, the use of latin
once again came into practice.

Anonymous said...

...a second erroneous idea is that
the Jewish liturgy was in Aramaic-the "language of the people".

It was not...it was (and still is among orthodox and conservative Jews) in Hebrew which is as differnt from Aramaic as
Spanish is from Latin.

The ritual elements of the Last Supper was likely in Hebrew as well, taking place on the eve of Passover. The Psalms they recited would have been Hebrew not Aramaic.

The reason Greek, Latin and Hebrew/Aramaic were significant in the Early Church, was because of the mystical symbolism of them being the three languages written on the Cross itself.

As for the Roman liturgy, which ws limited to Rome the city and its immediate surrounding area, we know
little about its liturgical form before the 4th Century, (all those darn persecutions!) so conjecture that no latin was used is merely that conjecture. Having studied Roman culture and being in Rome, the Romans themselves were fiercely proud of their language so the likilihood of Latin being used in at least some of the liturgy is very high. For instance, the language on all Roman monuments was written in Latin, not Greek.

(Justin Martry and others are writting apologetical works in Greek because their audience was Greek speaking...so the Greek used in describing the liturgy is a non sequiter). Hippolytus, though he came to Rome, was a rigorist antipope from Egypt, so his writings on liturgy are not definitive either.

We do know Latin was already the norm in North Africa by the 3rd Century.

EDG said...

This is surely one of the worst ones yet. Last night I went to a meeting on the MP in the Diocese of St. Augustine, where the bishop and higher clergy are extremely opposed to the old use. The thing that amazed me was the number of rude, dismissive and blatantly disrespectful references made to Pope Benedict, both by the priest who is the liturgy director and by the laypeople who had showed up because they were opposed to the MP and were under the impression that this meeting was on how to stop its implementation. I really was a little shocked, but I think now some of these people, like this pastor, are feeling very free to taunt and insult the Pope and feel that they have cover for getting away with it.

Tony said...

C'mon, tell me the truth. This is a parody from some publication like The Onion, wasn't it.

I can't believe a Catholic priest can be so ignorant or malicious. If I were the Bishop, it would time for a short timeout. At a local monastery, where they only celebrated the Mass of Bl. John XXIII (which, by the way, was the Mass celebrated all during the second Vatican council).

Anonymous said...

"I think that Pope Benedict’s recent decree reviving the old Latin Mass was a step backwards in the implementation of the decrees of the Second Vatican Council, which were approved and promoted by Pope Paul VI."

Don't really care what you think. You are a priest and the Holy Spirit made Benedict the Pope. Do I have to show you an organizational chart, Father?

Richard T said...

"a group of people who formerly sought to introduce such a Mass here has sought to do so again. We will ... not introduce the Latin Mass here because we do not have a stable (longstanding) group of active parish members requesting it"

So they requested it in the past, they've requested it again now, but that doesn't make them a longstanding group requesting it? What would they have had to do - ask weekly for the last forty years?

Also a rather worrying claim that no-one counts unless they are "tithing" to the parish. Does he literally mean giving 10% of your income - and if so, is he going to do an audit if you ask for the extraordinary rite?

MinnesotaMan said...

I love these types who always clamor for a return to the early Church customs and rituals. I suggest a few more such as a willingness to be eaten by lions for our faith. A belief that the Catholic faith was the one faith and not merely one "custom" or "tradition." A public profession of our sins and reparation. Significant fast before reception of Communion. No "praise bands" "clowns" or similar absurdities to make the faith relevant to the age.

Anonymous said...

Did this priest skip class? ignore homework reading? use cliffsnotes instead?

If he is going to invoke V2, so can you! The Vatican website (http://www.vatican.va) has all the documents: click English, click Resource Library, click II Vatican Council. Start with Sacrosanctum Concilium. Plenty of juicy sentences ("Father I was looking at the V2 documents, and I was wondering about ...").

Maybe you can get him to lead a V2 class (format just like bible study class, sentence by sentence with discussion). My copy of "Vatican Council II The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents Study Edition" has a Preface by Cdl John Wright (1 oct 1974): "... A further limitation of some of the earlier translations is happily missing from the present work. In these first versions the Council documents were frequently accompanied by commentary or reactions usually friendly and helpful to further lines of independent thought, but frequently irrelevant and even confusing to one seeking to learn exactly what the Council said rather than what someone outside the Council thought about the matter. This new and extremely useful book suffers from no such obscurities or digressions ...". More than thirty years later, that statement is still accurate. Amazing.

Mr. Basso said...

clearly and O.S.B who is something of an S.O.B.!

No matter your personal liturgical taste, his tone is less than pastoral.

And if the TLM petitioners in his parish are really such a small group, then why not deal with them directly instead of taking up space in the parish bulletin with his pseudo-liturgical scholarship and smug "spirit of vatican ii" diatribe?
Pray for Father Denis.

Tanya said...

I guess we'll be seeing this "priest" out walking the countryside preaching the gospel to the natives any day now. He won't be needing any money either, so the tithing thing is out, right?

What a pathetic blind fool. Many prayers are needed.

Michael Kramer said...

guys...i just moved to the springfield area a few months ago..its too late for me to read all the posts and stuff..what many of you or all of you may not know....st josephs...the church in question..is the ONLY church in twon with a high altar...it also has 2 side altars...i just met with the priest....brielfly....hes not favorable to it obviously lol....luckily ive got the sspx and other priests that come into town on occasion...

feel free to email me for more m_kramer_2004@yahoo.com

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