Interesting article on Father Bouyer’s take on the liturgy

Most interesting.


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Fascinating article by Rev. Louis Bouyer

Rorate-Caeli published a new English translation of a 1978 article by Rev. Louis Bouyer, a former Lutheran, and co-founder of Communio that gives a fascinating look at Archbishop Lefebvre and the after-effects of the Second Vatican Council.

The whole thing is worth reading, probably several times, because it is extremely rich in its observations.  (My emphases)

 Once the story-making faculty has been unleashed like this, when it is kept alive by too obvious a chain of scandals that pass unseen, tolerated, or even encouraged by the very ones who increasingly dig their heels against those who, on their end of things, lose all sound judgment because they’re persuaded—not without some semblance of good reason—of being the only ones “defending the truth,” well then there is no extreme to which this now delirious faculty won’t go . . . .  Hence the deplorable or rather grotesque situation into which Archbishop Lefebvre has allowed himself and his followers to be cornered. It turns a champion of pontifical authority into a die-hard rebel and dyed-in-the-wool traditionalists into mere blind defenders of the routines that have in fact proven to be the inevitable ruin of all genuine tradition, since they harden it for themselves before giving their adversaries the best excuse for liquidating it . . . .


But clearly this is not where Archbishop Lefebvre himself or even the most mediocre of his henchmen see or place their core demands, even if they are not entirely free from that sort of hang-up. The great majority of those who listen to them, who respond to their fund drives, and who are evidently more and more numerous to place their hope for the faith and the Church in them, are all the more inclined to go to them because they believe that this is the way, and the only way, to preserve for themselves and for their children the Christian faith pure and simple, the Gospel’s moral and religious ideals, and sacraments that have not been voided of their content. . . .

Also keep in mind that besides a small handful of fanatics, it isn’t just simpletons bereft of critical judgment who come to this. And even if it were so, that would be, or should be, a matter of concern for those who keep repeating that the Church must give herself to the poorest of the poor in all aspects. What is getting to be worrisome, especially over the last year, is seeing unquestionably “adult,” “well-formed,” “responsible” (to use fashionable clerical language) Christians, whom just yesterday no one would have suspected of being able to fall into such aberrations or what must be termed puerile illogic, get to the point—albeit moaning and groaning—of saying what I heard someone say to one of the greatest French scholars, to one of the highest magistrates in our country, to famous professors of our great universities, not to mention members of the Academy Française (not all of whom deserve to appear in L’Habit Vert)[20]: “Besides Lefebvre, what bishop in our country still dares to stick out his neck for the Catholic faith?” . . . .

Very interesting!

At the end of the day, our bishops, who endlessly whine about Archbishop Lefebvre and his “Lefebvrists,” do just what is needed to insure his recruitment and prestige . . . simply by doing nothing at all of what the good People of God expects of its bishops. And they do nothing of the sort because they were formed (?) and chosen for precisely that purpose . . . .


But for that one mustn’t be afraid of the truth, especially of the truth whose guardian one is supposed to be. No one ever “possesses” the truth, above all the truth of the Gospel, if any. On the contrary, one has to allow himself to be possessed by it.

Very interesting.  How much more now, 50 years after the Council, do we need to be possessed by the truth of the Gospel, to have that mind in us which was in Christ Jesus and not falling into extremes, based on our own personal judgments or speculation due to worry.



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The influence of Romano Guardini on Laudato Si

First Things Magazine’s deputy editor Matthew Schmitz over at the Washington Post  and Fr. Robert Barron at Catholic World Report both explore the influence German theologian and philosopher Romano Guardini on Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si.  Here are some excerpts, first from Fr. Barron:

It is only against this Guardinian background that we can properly read the Pope’s latest encyclical. Whatever his views on global warming, they are situated within the far greater context of a theology of nature that stands athwart the typically modern point of view. That the earth has become “piled with filth,” that pollution adversely affects the health of millions of the poor, that we live in a “throwaway” culture, that the unborn are treated with indifference, that huge populations have little access to clean drinking water, that thousands of animal species are permitted to fall into extinction, and yes even that we live in housing that bears no organic relation to the natural environment – all of it flows from the alienated Cartesian subject going about his work of mastering nature.

In the spirit of the author of the book of Genesis, the Biblical prophets, Irenaeus, Thomas Aquinas, Francis of Assisi – indeed of any great pre-modern figure – Pope Francis wants to recover a properly cosmological sensibility, whereby the human being and her projects are in vibrant, integrated relation with the world that surrounds her.

And from Matthew Schmitz:

Given how much Francis draws on Guardini, it is worth noting their disagreements. Whereas Francis is optimistic about the possibility of erecting a global bureaucracy to battle our current crisis, Guardini recoils at the idea of “universal planning.” What actually motivates calls for managing resources according to “statistics” and “theory” is not a practical concern for the best outcome so much as a spiritual desire to impose one’s will on others.

The two men also envision different roles for the church. Whereas Francis believes that the church can express universal desires and lead all men of goodwill in healing the planet, Guardini predicts that Christianity “will be forced to distinguish itself more sharply from a dominantly non-Christian Ethos.” Francis expects cooperation; Guardini, conflict.

Lying behind these political and ecclesial differences is a philosophical one. Guardini believes that our future will be an illiberal one — either humanely under a Christian consensus or inhumanely under a technocratic one.

As for me, I am sorry the encyclical’s mention of global warming and negative view of markets have dominated news coverage and reaction.  I think there is so much interesting, though-provoking and convicting (in a good way) about Laudato Si that will be ignored because of this.

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Cardinal Kasper and German idealism

This is an interesting and informative philosophical look at the underpinnings of Cardinal Kasper’s theology by Prof. Thomas Heinrich Stark over at Catholic World Report, now a daily stop for me.

Since the middle of last century, we have encountered in certain currents within the theology of the Western industrialized countries, however, a decidedly optimistic attitude with respect to the world or—we can formulate it more accurately—with respect to the form that the world has assumed in modern times. One of the characteristics of this form of the world is modernity’s optimistic assessment of its own future prospects. Although in recent decades, a change in mentality with respect to history has taken place in secular culture, leading to a sharp decline in world-affirming optimism, nevertheless within the Church theological movements are again prominent which remain trapped in the optimistic paradigms of the middle of the last century.

The recent Synod of Bishops, which was concerned with Catholic teaching on marriage and the family, and therefore also with sexual morality, provides a striking example of this fact. One of the key opinion leaders in this Synod was Walter Cardinal Kasper, one of the most influential theologians of the second half of the last century. In order to understand and evaluate the positions taken by Kasper at the Synod and also in the run-up to the Synod, it is necessary to familiarize oneself with the basic themes of his theology and the principles and axioms on which his theology is based. This presentation will try to contribute to an understanding of Kasper’s principles from a philosophical point of view.


And, if you did not catch Raymond Arroyo’s excellent interview with Cardinal Kasper on The World Over on EWTN last week, do listen to it.  In it, Cardinal Kasper backtracks considerably from the position he had taken previously that Pope Francis supports his proposal.

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Cardinal Burke in Ottawa

Here’s a link to my article about Cardinal Raymond Burke’s  visit to Ottawa last week.

Cardinal Raymond Burke visited Ottawa June 2 to speak at the June 4 20th anniversary gala of NET Canada (National Evangelization Teams).

On June 3, the Cardinal Patron of the Sovereign Order of Malta, and until late last year the highest-ranking American cardinal in the Roman Curia, attended Question Period. When House Speaker Andrew Scheer acknowledged the cardinal’s presence in the gallery, Members of Parliament on both sides of the House rose to give him a standing ovation.

Later that day, however, NDP MP Pierre Dionne LaBelle, from Quebec, the Official Opposition National Revenue critic, protested to the Speaker, saying the cardinal “is known for spreading homophobia and for his anti-gay campaigns.”

The visit was also protested by Father Andre Samson, a professor at the University of Ottawa, who said as a gay man and Ottawa priest he was upset by the visit.

Cardinal Burke has often been criticized for his liturgical dress because from time to time he celebrates the Traditional Latin Mass, wearing traditional vestments which sometimes have lace, and wearing the cappa magna. This is the metres-long red cape meant to signify the willingness of a cardinal to shed his blood for Christ and His Church.

During last October’s extraordinary synod on the family, Cardinal Burke emerged as the most outspoken opponent of the synod’s midterm relatio, an interim report on the discussion, that news media painted as a pastoral “earthquake” because of its welcoming language towards homosexuals and homosexual unions.

Though the cardinal did not give interviews while in Ottawa, he has said of the midterm relatio: “That was not a relatio; it was a manifesto.”

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Corpus Christi Procession in Ottawa with St. George’s

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More Cardinal Burke in Ottawa

Alas, I only had my phone for pictures so some of these are blurry.   Fr. Vincent gave Cardinal Burke a gift of an Inuit carving.

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Cardinal Raymond Burke is in Ottawa

Cardinal Raymond Burke is in Ottawa for a couple of days. He visited the House of Commons today and watched Question Period from the Speaker’s Gallery.  At the end of QP, the Speaker of the House recognized the cardinal’s presence, and all the MPs stood up and applauded.

Tonight he celebrated Mass at St. Theresa of the Child Jesus parish.  The pastor, Fr. Vincent Perreira studied under then Msgr. Burke when he was working on a doctorate in Rome in canon law.


Fr. Vincent Pereira and his canon law mentor Cardinal Raymond Burke after the Mass

Fr. Vincent Pereira and his canon law mentor Cardinal Raymond Burke after the Mass

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What does it mean that “All are welcome!” in the Catholic Church

Fr. Dwight Longenecker has a great piece in Patheos today about what a liberal progressive Catholic means when he or she says “All are welcome!” in the Catholic Church

Here’s an excerpt, but do go  on over and read the whole thing:

Are people welcome to the Catholic Church? What kind of Catholic Church? Why should anyone want to join the Catholic Church anyway? What would a liberal Catholic answer? Is it for their soul’s salvation? Is it to escape the fires of hell? Is it to worship and serve the Lord Jesus Christ King of the Universe? Is it to learn how to love God and his Son Jesus Christ, to venerate and love his Blessed Mother and worship in the communion of all the saints and angels?

It’s funny, but I don’t hear that sort of thing coming from this sort of Catholic.

Instead all we hear is the mantra, “All Are Welcome”.

See, without a full blooded, historic Catholic faith which preaches the need for repentance and seeking the face of the Lord for eternal salvation what are you welcoming people to? A luncheon club where they sing hymns and carry banners with trite slogans? A soup kitchen and shower facility where they hold Bible studies? A rehab center where they find their inner goddess? People aren’t dumb. They’ll soon ask, “Why bother with all that religious-spiritual stuff? We can do soup kitchens, rehab centers and shower facilities without all those dreary hymns, bad Christian pop music and dull homilies delivered by a fat, middle class half educated minister.

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Pentecost at Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

What a glorious celebration of Pentecost today at Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Ottawa, where Fr. Doug Hayman welcomed three new adult members into the Catholic Church—Jonathan, Nancy and Daniel—and two children, Noa and Michael received their First Holy Communion.

Our tiny church was packed with visitors and well-wishers this morning, many from the Augustine College community, a good representation from Communion and Liberation as well, from the Eastern Catholic Church, from the Anglican Network in Canada.

Zachary our thurifer chanted the lesson for the first time and did a wonderful job.  Father Kipling Cooper delivered the homily, which was simple and beautiful.

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