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  • Long Live Pope Benedict: The Motu Proprio, One Year Later

    by Thomas E. Woods Jr.

     


    For nearly 20 years,
    those who supported the return of the old liturgy (now the “Extraordinary Form” of the Roman rite) scoured the news for the rare bishop who used the 1962 Missal on such-and-such occasion, favorable comments by someone — anyone — about the traditional liturgy, or indeed any reference to the old Mass at all. The single year since the release of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum last July 7, on the other hand, has been so full of firsts and about-faces that one can hardly keep track of them all.
    This is all to the good. For as Pope Benedict XVI says, the Extraordinary Form is a great treasure of the Church, and “must be given due honor for its ancient and venerable usage.” Even non-Catholics once understood this: Nearly four decades ago, when it looked as if the traditional Mass would be permanently supplanted by the new, a petition drawn up by Catholic and non-Catholic cultural luminaries in England and Wales declared,
    The signatories of this appeal, which is entirely ecumenical and nonpolitical, have been drawn from every branch of modern culture in Europe and elsewhere. They wish to call to the attention of the Holy See, the appalling responsibility it would incur in the history of the human spirit were it to refuse to allow the traditional Mass to survive.

    The pope’s initiative has already borne much fruit, and interest in the Extraordinary Form continues to grow despite the cold if predictable indifference of so much of the episcopate. The Fraternity of St. Peter, the first of the orders of priests established by Pope John Paul II to offer the traditional liturgy, has been offering well-attended training seminars for priests interested in learning the Extraordinary Form. Word is that one thousand priests have requested the training DVD that the Fraternity prepared with EWTN.

    Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, secretary of the Congregation for Worship, has said that those bishops who obstruct the implementation of the motu proprio are allowing themselves to be used as instruments of the devil. And reaction among the bishops has indeed been mixed: Some have been cooperative, aware of how intent Benedict is on seeing this through. Others have attempted to block Benedict’s move by tendentious interpretations of certain phrases in the relevant documents. The pope’s observation that the celebrating priest should have some competence in Latin has been used as the basis for making priests take Latin exams prior to receiving authorization (the very concept of episcopal authorization being at odds with the document’s intent) to offer the Extraordinary Form. The Latin original suggests only that priests, at a minimum, be able to pronounce the words — though, naturally, the more Latin they can learn, the better.
    Summorum Pontificum‘s reference to a “stable group” of faithful making a request for the Extraordinary Form has been transformed in some dioceses into a requirement (in terms of numbers of faithful, etc.) that is extremely difficult to satisfy and that has disqualified countless lay inquiries. On the other hand, we learn from Castrillón Cardinal Hoyos, president of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei and former prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, that a “stable group” may consist of as few as three or four people, who need not even be from the same parish. With a clarifying note on Summorum Pontificum expected from the Holy See at any time, some observers are convinced that Cardinal Hoyos’s comments reflect the contents of that forthcoming document.
    Although the pope was gentle where possible in his fraternal letter to the bishops, he was extremely bold where it counted, both in the letter and in the motu proprio itself. For example, Benedict officially declared — as some had argued in vain for decades — that the old liturgy was “never juridically abrogated and, consequently, in principle, was always permitted.”
    That’s not what those who specialize in divining the innermost thoughts of the popes told us all these years: A well-known 1982 book by two authors at pains to refute traditionalists declared, “We cannot conclude other than that the celebration of the Tridentine Mass is forbidden except where ecclesiastical law specifically allows it (aged or infirm priests celebrating sine populo) or under special circumstances where a papal indult applies (as in England and Wales under special circumstances).” According to Benedict, that conclusion is dead wrong, but such baseless theorizing was routinely used to marginalize and demonize Catholics in good standing.
    The Catholic world has changed so much since July 7, 2007, that it is almost hard to believe that people devoted to the Faith were once relegated to the margins of the Church (when their opponents were feeling generous) for saying precisely what Benedict has made a career out of saying. Benedict has not merely declared his sympathies for the old Missal — that would be one thing. He has said that it is not normal for a brand new liturgical book to be introduced into the life of the Church, and that such a rupture (1) had never been seen before in Church history, and (2) is “absolutely contrary to the laws of liturgical growth.” He has criticized not merely the abuses we associate with the new liturgy but even the new liturgical books themselves, which “occasionally show far too many signs of being drawn up by academics and reinforce the notion that a liturgical book can be ‘made’ like any other book.” The new Missal, he says, “was published as if it were a book put together by professors, not a phase in a continual growth process.”
    He goes on to say that the
    formulae of the [new] Missal in fact give official sanction to creativity; the priest feels almost obliged to change the wording, to show that he is creative, that he is giving this Liturgy immediacy, making it present for his congregation; and with this false creativity, which transforms the Liturgy into a catechetical exercise for this congregation, the liturgical unity and the ecclesiality of the Liturgy [are] being destroyed.
    I’ve written in much greater detail on this very site about Benedict’s liturgical thought. No longer must the faithful walk on eggshells: With such a man as pope we can at last speak frankly about the liturgical crisis in the Church. And, as I’ve discovered many times over the past year or more, it has now become possible on Catholic radio to make commonsensical observations about liturgical issues that in the old days they would have hung up on you for.
    In recent weeks, Cardinal Hoyos has made clear just how ambitious Benedict’s expectations are. The cardinal made headlines when, in response to a journalist’s inquiry as to whether the pope wanted to see the Extraordinary Form in “many ordinary parishes,” he replied, “All the parishes. Not many — all the parishes, because this is a gift of God.” “This kind of worship is so noble, so beautiful,” he said.
    According to Cardinal Hoyos, the Ecclesia Dei Commission is instructing seminaries to teach seminarians not only the Extraordinary Form itself but also the theology and language of the old Missal. He suggests that parishes hold classes to prepare their people for the traditional liturgy, so they might “appreciate the power of the silence, the power of the sacred way in front of God, the deep theology, to discover how and why the priest represents the person of Christ and to pray with the priest.”
    I never expected to live to see this. 

     

    The traditional liturgy is of great pedagogical value to a world that knows nothing of reverence or of respect for tradition, and that takes for granted that all institutions of whatever provenance or antiquity are to be adapted and updated to suit modern man. That modern man might not in fact be the apogee of human civilization, and could perhaps stand to conform his own behavior to something outside himself instead of thoughtlessly vandalizing everything around him, is a message the modern West just might need to hear. Long live Pope Benedict.
    The views expressed by the authors and editorial staff are not necessarily the views of
    Sophia Institute, Holy Spirit College, or the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts.

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    • Steve Skojec

      Dr. Woods wrote: The traditional liturgy is of great pedagogical value to a world that knows nothing of reverence or of respect for tradition, and that takes for granted that all institutions of whatever provenance or antiquity are to be adapted and updated to suit modern man. That modern man might not in fact be the apogee of human civilization, and could perhaps stand to conform his own behavior to something outside himself instead of thoughtlessly vandalizing everything around him, is a message the modern West just might need to hear. Long live Pope Benedict.

      Excellent. This is at the heart of the problem, and why this change in course is so vital.

      I think that what is perhaps most significant in what the pope has done is that the pope has done it. For those who feared that the declaration of the doctrine of Papal Infallibility would lead to a dangerous ultramontanism, they were at least partially right. The cult of personality and the sense of near-infallibility of every prudential judgment of the past few popes has been, in some cases, disastrous – especially for friends of tradition.

      Countless times since my discovery of the beauty of the traditional liturgy and sacraments I have heard arguments based solely on the example of the pope. “The pope doesn’t say the old Mass,” or “The pope convened the ecumenical gathering at Assisi, so it must have been OK”, etc.

      Now, finally, the pope has said what we’ve been saying all along – that tradition can’t be abandoned, shanghaied on the shores of history and forgotten as we move into a glorious new age of modern sensibilities. That the Mass of old is a treasure, and that all Catholics should experience its richness.

      And because he’s said it, and hopefully will soon be doing it (celebrating the EF), Catholics who may have been interested in it in the past, and some who might never even have considered it, feel that it’s OK to follow.

      The silence before now was deafening. How wonderful it has been to hear the Holy Father’s voice on this!

    • Tom Woods

      Well said, Steve. My thoughts exactly. Incidentally, I think I tried emailing you some time ago and I had an old address for you. In any case, glad to see you blogging here.

    • Steve Skojec

      Tom Woods wrote: Well said, Steve. My thoughts exactly. Incidentally, I think I tried emailing you some time ago and I had an old address for you. In any case, glad to see you blogging here.

      Thanks! It’s nice to be writing in such good company here.

      [As to your aside: I did switch e-mail addresses a couple of years ago. If you (or any other readers here) would like to e-mail me, I can be contacted at:

      skojec at gmail dot com.]

    • Michael

      That looks like Bishop Finn of Kansas City assisted by a couple of Institute Priests at the Cathedral in Kansas City in the photo.

    • Miguel Miramon

      Tom,
      I always copy and distribute your articles to as many people as I can. What a wonderful thing our Holy Father did for us and the Church last year. It has been like water for a man dying of thirst.
      I’m not sure why I love the “old” Mass so much. Maybe it’s that I’m an ultramontanist, counterrevolutionary, libertarian, monarchical Catholic myself.
      I think the last straw for me was when I attended the funeral Mass of a friend in a venerable, ancient Spanish Catholic church here in NM and they processed out to “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”. I nearly started crying!

    • John Reading

      “That modern man might not in fact be the apogee of human civilization, and could perhaps stand to conform his own behavior to something outside himself instead of thoughtlessly vandalizing everything around him, is a message the modern West just might need to hear.”

      That traditional man and his ancient superstitions might not in fact be the apogee of human civilization is also a fine possibility.

      The entire concept of tradition being a value is nonsense. So too is the concept of the original being a value. A value is not a value because of its antiquity nor because of its modernity.

      This entire debate, like catholicism itself, is silliness on stilts. Condescending intellectual bullies like Dr. Woods love this sort of debate and the “isn’t man a lowly, foolish creature” type of rhetoric that thrills their snide little misanthropic souls as they advise lowly man to awaken to something outside of himself – such as the glory of Dr. Woods’ superstitious habits.

      There is no god. Just frauds preacing faith and sacrifice to the unwary – as always throughout history. Best to keep it dressed up in latin so it sounds more like medicine and its silliness is less obvious.

    • Michael Woods

      John,

      It must be refreshing for you to know the absolute truth on matters theological and spiritual that have troubled man for thousands of years. I am amazed that your “there is no god” conclusion has not yet been accepted by the 90% of the global population that disagrees with you.

      But surely the rest of us mere mortals will one day reach your level of intellectual superiority. Until then, I humbly beseech you to be patient with us simpletons as we discuss our “silliness on stilts.”

      And do keep up the ad hominem attacks on Dr. Woods and his “snide little misanthropic soul.” Lord knows graduating from Harvard University, getting a PHD from Columbia, being a senior faculty member of the Ludwig Von Mises Institute, raising a lovely family and publishing eight highly regarded and challenging books can do that to a person’s soul. We’re not all as blessed as you are John, so pray (no pun intended), be indulgent.

    • Tom Woods

      Thanks, Michael — though for the record, there’s no relation between us! Heh.

      How I know the John Reading types, who are the real intellectual bullies — thousands of years of philosophy and theology are dismissed with half a sentence backed up by no argument at all.

      What I actually said, as opposed to what he says I said, is that modern man may not be the apogee of human civilization.

      Can someone — atheist or no — observe modern art and architecture, or popular culture today, and actually draw another conclusion?

    • Spirit of Vatican II

      A stable group can be as few as three people, not even from the same parish. This is rather absurd. Clearly there is no substantial demand for the TLM when one has to resort to such sleights.

      Paul VI abrogated the TLM following the normal procedures for doing so. The Indults offered to older priests and to the Lefebvrites were predicated on the juridical basis that the old rite had been abrogated. To claim that it was never abrogated and that it can enjoy parity with the new rite is a canonical monstrosity, which calls in question the canonical validity of the MP.

      Insofar as the lex credendi of the TLM is a conscious step back from the fuller vision of orthodox truth attained by the universal episcopate at the last Council it is a step into heterodoxy.

      Only a Council can make radical alterations to what a Council has decided. The bishops of the world are well aware of what a dodgy exercise the MP is, and that is why, led by the German and Polish episcopal conferences they are ensuring that the MP remains a dead letter.

    • Spirit of Vatican II

      A stable group can be as few as three people, not even from the same parish. This is rather absurd. Clearly there is no substantial demand for the TLM when one has to resort to such sleights.

      Paul VI abrogated the TLM following the normal procedures for doing so. The Indults offered to older priests and to the Lefebvrites were predicated on the juridical basis that the old rite had been abrogated. To claim that it was never abrogated and that it can enjoy parity with the new rite is a canonical monstrosity, which calls in question the canonical validity of the MP.

      Insofar as the lex credendi of the TLM is a conscious step back from the fuller vision of orthodox truth attained by the universal episcopate at the last Council it is a step into heterodoxy.

      Only a Council can make radical alterations to what a Council has decided. The bishops of the world are well aware of what a dodgy exercise the MP is, and that is why, led by the German and Polish episcopal conferences they are ensuring that the MP remains a dead letter.

    • Steve Skojec

      Let’s play the matching game:

      On the question of “stable groups”:

      Spirit of Vatican II wrote: A stable group can be as few as three people, not even from the same parish.

      [quote=Cardinal Hoyos, The Guy In Charge of Implementing Summorum Pontificum]The Catholic Hearald: What about the “stable group”?

      Cardinal Hoyos: It’s a matter of common sense

    • Mary Rose

      I can’t comment on what has gone on in the past since I was away from the Catholic church for 25 years. All I know is when I came back, I wasn’t coming back for a Mass with a bunch of puppets doing liturgical jigs.

      The Extraordinary Form brought me back. And I find it fascinating that my parish has a solid 300 people attend the EFM every week and we are growing. I keep noticing new people every time I attend Mass. And you know what? Most of them are under 30.

      Apparently it makes no difference to some that Pope Benedict XVI has not only given the green light on this beautiful rite, but encouraged all churches to be more welcoming to the “Gregorian Rite.” Sounds like a bunch of bratty kids to me. Why is it so bothersome to have this rite be given some respect? Go to your NO Masses, no one is stopping you. But I think it’s only fair to allow Catholics who never experienced the EFM growing up to have the opportunity to attend one.

      I think there is more of a change in the winds than the naysayers would want to admit.

    • daniel

      It is so sad to see comments here that disparage what our Holy Father has been trying to do. The propagation of the Tridentine Mass will shower on us immeasurable graces that we have missed for so long.

    • Kenneth J. Hendrickson

      I am not a Roman Catholic, but I am Catholic, and a convert to the Catholic Church. When I converted, I selected the Byzantine Rite, in part because of the extreme beauty of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, in part because of the horribly banal (and theologically erroneous) English translation of the Novus Ordo, and in part because it was not possible to attend what is now called the Extraordinary Form.

      Every time I am not able to attend my own eastern Divine Liturgy, and I must attend the Novus Ordo instead, it grieves me.

      To all Latin Rite bishops: please obey papa! Implement the Extraordinary Form in every Latin Rite parish. Make it common!! It is an extraordinarily beautiful Liturgy. Please obey papa!!

      Kenneth J. Hendrickson

    • Margaret Cabaniss

      Michael, it is indeed Bishop Finn. Good eye.

    • Tony Flood

      The Pope recently announced that he strongly prefers that communicants receive the Host (1) kneeling and (2) on the tongue, especially at any Mass he celebrates. He reminded the faithful that this practice is the norm, and that the practice of receiving the Host in one’s hands has only been permitted by indult at the request of national episcopal conferences.

      I wish he had followed this logic when promulgating his Motu Proprio a year ago.

      Tom, I follow your celebratory argument, but regret your omitting to comment on the significance of _extraordinarius_ as it applies to the traditional “form” of the Roman Rite. As you know, “extraordinary” means one thing in colloquial English (e.g., “super-duper”) and another in ecclesiastical Latin. In the latter it means: “outside the _ordinarius_, not the rule.” (One may be an “ordinary” Catholic, but one’s bishop is the Ordinary of his diocese, i.e., the one who keeps order therein). Despite all that Benedict has said against liturgical mayhem, which you have so compactly recounted, it remains that the _novus_, not the _vetus_, _ordo_ is the _regula_. To be sure, the _vetus_ is to be given all due honor (as in “honorary doctorate”?), but the _novus_ will retain its standing as the norm of worship for Catholics. And the liturgical revolutionaries know it.

      If I may be permitted to express another private opinion in public: there is something fishy, in a lawyerly sort of way, in the alleged distinction between two “forms” of a rite. A rite logically _is_ a form of worship; a different “form of a form” can only be, well, a different form and therefore a different rite. As a form of worship, the Roman Rite was suppressed in favor of another form of worship, to which the designation “Roman Rite” was also applied, illogically in my opinion. Canonically unable simply to replace the old rite with the new, to expunge the old, lawyers finessed the problem with the notion of “two forms of one rite.” As SNL’s Jon Lovitz used to say, “Yeah, that’s the ticket!” Unique in the history of religions, I think.

      I now yield to others who may be able to show me that I don’t know what I’m talking about.

      Tony

    • Elizabeth Mauro

      I’ve asked this question of all sorts of Catholics and no one has ever seemed to know the answer…in the image accompanying the article, we see the Elevation, and one of the acolytes lifting the back of the chausible…

      WHY is the acolyte lifting the back of the chausible? What is that about? to me it seems so needlessly fussy – I’m sure if I understood it I would be less annoyed by it. Can anyone tell me?

    • John Reading

      In comment 6, I quoted from Dr. Woods’ article, and stated that there is no God.

      In comment 7, we are treated to good old snide, condescending sarcasm, and the good old argumentum ad populum, including a listing of Dr Woods’ qualifications to be taken seriously.

      In comment 8, Dr Woods manages to imply that I misquoted him, though I accurately copied and pasted the quote from his article. He claims to know my mind, deploys the argumentum ad populum like a good little Catholic and manages to insult modern man because his artistic and architectural choices are not those of the good Doctor himself.

      I understand that logic is not a strong suit of the deeply faithful, but surely people pretending to grasp all of history and the origins of the universe should be able to avoid arguing that something is true simply because it is popular and traditional, or demanding that someone prove a negative.

    • Steve Skojec

      John,

      I’ll take a crack at what you’re saying:

      John Reading wrote: That traditional man and his ancient superstitions might not in fact be the apogee of human civilization is also a fine possibility.

      Dr. Woods did not argue that traditional man nor his “ancient superstitions” were the apogee of human civilizations – rather that modern man has lost the ability to see in the universe anything greater than himself, and so desires that all things, including liturgy, conform to him.

      Traditional man, if we understand him to be a traditional man in the Catholic sense of the word, had very much instilled in him the notion that he was very small before the largeness of God and King. Whether you agree or disagree with this notion is irrelevant to the question of what was being asserted in the first place.

      In that sense, you contradiction missed the mark, and widely at that.

      John Reading wrote: The entire concept of tradition being a value is nonsense. So too is the concept of the original being a value. A value is not a value because of its antiquity nor because of its modernity.

      Tradition as value is only a nonsense concept if you are a solipsist. (If you are, why are we having this discussion?) Otherwise, even the most staunch atheist can recognize – if he is logical – that tradition is the accumulation of experience at the hands of those who came before us. Or, as Chesterton so aptly put it:

      G.K. Chesterton; Orthodoxy wrote: Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about.

      John Reading wrote: This entire debate, like catholicism itself, is silliness on stilts.

      So you say. Where is the vaunted logical argument that no one is responding to?

      John Reading wrote: Condescending intellectual bullies like Dr. Woods love this sort of debate and the “isn’t man a lowly, foolish creature” type of rhetoric that thrills their snide little misanthropic souls as they advise lowly man to awaken to something outside of himself – such as the glory of Dr. Woods’ superstitious habits.

      This is attack is ad hominem, not intellectualy precise or rhetorically convincing. Sometimes people get these approaches mixed up. Might want to double-check your assumptions vs. your facts, here.

      John Reading wrote: There is no god. Just frauds preacing faith and sacrifice to the unwary – as always throughout history. Best to keep it dressed up in latin so it sounds more like medicine and its silliness is less obvious.

      Again, quite a brilliant syllogism you’ve constructed here. The way you’ve moved effortlessly from your premises to your conclusion…oh wait. You didn’t. You just asserted that something was true (or in this case, not true – itself an assertion of some truth), and expected assent.

      I suppose that means you don’t really have a problem with blind faith, doesn’t it?

      Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, John. Do a bit of legwork. You want to see some logic? You first.

    • Jeff Pinyan

      Spirit of Vatican II wrote: “Only a Council can make radical alterations to what a Council has decided.”

      Really? Then why did the “Consilium” (whose job it was to IMPLEMENT Sacrosanctum Concilium) do, in some cases, the OPPOSITE of what the Council had actually decided on, as found in the document?

      SC said Latin should be retained and Gregorian chant should have pride of place. Yet, the reformed liturgy that the Consilium produced led Pope Paul VI to say, in November of 1969, that, sadly, we would be losing both Latin and chant from our liturgy!

      Something did not add up. Someday, SC will be implemented for real. Then we will have only one form of the one Roman Rite. An organic development, as it should have been!

    • Jeff Pinyan

      Elizabeth Mauro wrote: I’ve asked this question of all sorts of Catholics and no one has ever seemed to know the answer…in the image accompanying the article, we see the Elevation, and one of the acolytes lifting the back of the chausible…

      WHY? What is that about?

      I will provide two reasons: one functional, one not.

      The functional purpose is to give the priest greater movement of his arms. Some chasubles are heavy, for example; others are fitted in such a way that raising the arms (for the elevation) becomes difficult. The lifting of the back of the chasuble helps bear the weight.

      The non-functional purpose is a spiritual meaning attached to the gesture: it is an allusion to the woman who grasped the garment of Jesus and was thus healed of her bleeding; in the context of the elevation of the just-consecrated Host and Chalice, then, it is a symbol of our desire to be in contact with even the hem of his garment and so receive graces.

    • Jeff Pinyan

      Spirit of Vatican II wrote: Insofar as the lex credendi of the TLM is a conscious step back from the fuller vision of orthodox truth attained by the universal episcopate at the last Council it is a step into heterodoxy.

      What does the Extraordinary Form of the Mass outright deny that the Ordinary Form professes clearly?

      I find that the Ordinary Form, in omitting several prayers from the Extraordinary Form, masks or removes a great deal of sacrificial language. It never once mentions that the Eucharist is offered to God for the living and the dead. It rarely (if ever) mentions the propitiatory nature of the Eucharistic sacrifice.

    • Elizabeth Mauro

      Thank you for that answer, sir.

    • Spirit of Vatican II

      Points of Vatican II contradicted or not recognized adequately by the TLM are those concerning ecumenism (the TLM refers to the other Christian Churches as heretics and schismatics); the orientation of the Church to the Kingdom, conceived not just as the heavenly last day but as being built up here and now, in attention to the signs of the times and to justice and peace; the communal nature of worship as expressed in the exchange of peace; the higher status of the laity as the priestly people of God; the centrality of Scripture — as the word proclaimed to and heard by the community.

      In no sense was Paul VI’s implementation of the liturgical reform mandated at Vatican II a betrayal of Vatican II. Those who rejected the reform at the time also rejected Vatican II. The idea that there was some free mason plot to subvert Vatican II is a recent talking point.

      True, the Council and John XXIII wanted Latin to be retained even as the vernacular was introduced (and note that Vatican too did introduced the vernacular and that Paul VI celebrated in the vernacular while the Council was still in progress). The vernacular swept Latin away with the force of an avalanche, and it is absurd to imagine that in Japan or Indonesia priests will go back to Latin. Meanwhile there is nothing to prevent Mass being celebrated totally in Latin in the Novus Ordo form — I have done so often — but there is no demand for this from the faithful.

      Three of the four Eucharistic Prayers currently in use strongly affirm the sacrificial nature of the Mass; the Second is less explicit but it does refer to Mass as celebrating the death and resurrection of Christ. The offering of the Mass for the living and the dead is implicit in all four EPs in that they contain prayers for the living and the dead. There is nothing theologically wrong with the Novus Ordo, but its language in English is drab, thanks in large part to the entrustment of translation to bureaucrats rather than masters of language, and thanks also to the discouragement of creativity and inculturation.

      Another talking point is “abuses” — a codeword for further discouragement of creativity. When challenged to name abuses, Cardinal Castrillon Hojos gave a bizarre list — priests dressed in miniskirts or introducing their children at the altar — those sort of eccentricities could happen with any rite, and they are not at all typical. The real abuse is to make the Mass drab and boring.

    • Jeff Pinyan

      Spirit of Vatican II wrote: Three of the four Eucharistic Prayers currently in use strongly affirm the sacrificial nature of the Mass; the Second is less explicit but it does refer to Mass as celebrating the death and resurrection of Christ. The offering of the Mass for the living and the dead is implicit in all four EPs in that they contain prayers for the living and the dead.

      The other Eucharistic Prayers (or, in the case of E.P. I, its ICEL translation) do not come close to the specificity of the Roman Canon.

      I did an analysis of the 13 Eucharistic Prayers here: http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=249333

    • Andy K.

      …it’s probably a sign that you’re on the right track.

      God Bless Pope Benedict XVI!

    • Geoff

      Ugh, stop calling that person “Spirit of Vatican II”, they probably haven’t read it, they don’t speak for its “spirit”, and wait, oh yeah, the council didn’t produce a spirit, it produced documents.