Friday, May 7, 2010

Cardinal Caffarra Celebrates Traditional Mass

This Mass was done following the Rubrics for a Missa Cantata
(something the Rubrics do not envision as something possible for Higher Prelates)
Video of Mass

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Saint Pius V

"Pray that the blind may see and the wicked be confounded. Pray the True Faith may enlighten those numberless souls that call error truth and darkness light."
[Taken from THE LITURGICAL YEAR of Abbot Gueranger]
The whole life of Pius V was a combat. His pontificate fell during those troubled times when Protestantism was leading whole countries into apostasy... Even before he was raised to the Papal Throne he frequently exposed his life by his zeal in opposing the preaching of false doctrines. Like Peter the Martyr, he braved every danger and was the dread of the emissaries of heresy. When seated on the Chair of Peter, he kept the innovators in check by fear, roused the sovereigns of Italy to energy and by measures of moderate severity drove back beyond the Alps the torrent that would have swept Christianity from Europe had not the Southern States thus opposed it. From that time forward, Protestantism has never made any further progress: it has been wearing itself out by doctrinal anarchy. We repeat it: this heresy would have laid all Europe waste, had it not been for the vigilance of the pastor who animated the defenders of truth to resist it where it already existed, and who set himself as a wall of brass against its invasion in the country where he himself was the master.

Another enemy, taking advantage of the confusion caused in the West by Protestantism, organized an expedition against Europe. The Ottoman fleet started from the Bosphorus. This again would have meant the ruin of Christendom but for the energy of the Roman Pontiff, our Saint. He gave the alarm, and called the Christian Princes to arms. Germany and France, torn by domestic factions that had been caused by heresy, turned a deaf ear to the call. Spain alone, together with Venice and the little Papal fleet, answered the summons of the Pontiff. The Cross and Crescent were soon face to face in the Gulf of Lepanto. The prayers of Pius V decided the victory in favour of the Christians, whose forces were much inferior to those of the Turks. But we cannot omit to mention to-day the prediction uttered by the holy Pope, on the evening of the great day of October 7, 1571. The battle between the Christian and Turkish fleets lasted from six o'clock in the morning till late in the afternoon. Towards evening, the Pontiff suddenly looked up towards heaven, and gazed upon it in silence for a few seconds. Then turning to his attendants, he exclaimed: “Let us give thanks to God! The Christians have gained victory!” The news soon arrived at Rome; and thus, Europe once more owed her salvation to a Pope! The defeat at Lepanto was a blow from which the Ottoman Empire has never recovered: its fall dates from that glorious day.
The zeal of this holy Pope for the reformation of Christian morals, his establishment of the observance of the laws of discipline prescribed by the Council of Trent and his publication of the new Breviary and Missal have made his six years' pontificate to be one of the richest periods of the Church's history. Protestants themselves have frequently expressed their admiration of this vigorous opponent of the so-called Reformation. “I am surprised,” said Bacon, “that the Church of Rome has not yet canonized this great man.” Pius V did not receive this honour till about a hundred and thirty years after his death; so impartial is the Church, when she has to adjudicate this highest of earthly honours even to her most revered Pastors!

Of the many miracles which attested the merits of this holy Pontiff, even during his life, we select the two following: As he was one day crossing the Vatican piazza, which is on the site of the ancient Circus of Nero, he was overcome with a sentiment of enthusiasm for the glory and courage of the martyrs who had suffered on that very spot in the first persecution. Stooping down, he took up a handful of dust from the hallowed ground which had been trodden by so many generations of the Christian people since the peace of Constantine. He put the dust into a cloth which the Ambassador of Poland, who was with him, held out to receive it. When the Ambassador opened the cloth, after returning to his house, he found it all saturated with blood, as fresh as though it had been that moment shed: the dust had disappeared. The faith of the Pontiff had evoked the blood of the martyrs, which thus gave testimony against the heretics that the Roman Church, in the sixteenth century, was identically the same as that for which those brave heroes and heroines laid down their lives in the days of Nero.

The heretics attempted more than once to destroy a life which baffled all their hopes of perverting the faith of Italy. By a base and sacrilegious stratagem, aided by treachery, they put a deadly poison on the feet of the crucifix which the Saint kept in his Oratory, and which he was frequently seen to kiss with great devotion. In the fervour of prayer, Pius was about to give his mark of love to the image of his crucified Master, when suddenly the feet of the crucifix detached themselves from the Cross and eluded the proffered kiss of the venerable old man. The Pontiff at once saw through the plot whereby his enemies would fain have turned the life-giving Tree into an instrument of death.
In order to encourage the faithful to follow the sacred Liturgy, we will select another interesting example from the life of the great Saint. When lying on his bed of death, and just before breathing his last, he took a parting look at the Church on earth, which he was leaving for that of heaven, he wished to make a final prayer for the flock which he knew was surrounded by danger; he therefore recited, but with a voice that was scarcely audible, the following stanza of the Paschal hymn: “We beseech thee, O Creator of all things that in these days of Paschal joy, thou defend thy people from every assault of death!”

Pontiff of the living God, thou wast, whilst on earth, the pillar of iron and wall of brass, spoken of by the prophet (Jer I,18). Thine unflinching firmness preserved the flock entrusted to thee from the violence and snares of its many enemies. Far from desponding at the sight of the dangers thou didst redouble thy courage just as men raise the embankments higher when they see the torrent swell. By thee was the spread of heresy checked; by thee was the Mussulman (webmaster: that is, Muslim) invasion repelled, and the haughty Crescent humbled. God honoured thee by choosing thee as the avenger of his glory and the deliverer of Christian people: receive our thanks and the homage of our humble praise! By thee were repaired the injuries done to the Church during a period of unusual trial. The true reform - the reform that is wrought by authority - was vigorously applied by thy strong and holy hand. To thee is due the restoration of the Divine Service by the publication of the books of holy Liturgy. And all these glorious deeds were done in the six short years of thy laborious pontificate!
Hear now the prayers addressed to thee by the Church Militant, whose destinies were once in thy hands. When dying, thou didst beseech our Risen Jesus to grant her protection against the dangers which were then threatening her: Oh! See the state to which licentious error has now reduced almost the whole Christian world! The Church has nothing left to here wherewith to make head against her countless enemies, save the promises of her divine Founder; all visible support is withdrawn from her; she has been deprived of everything except the merit of suffering and the power of prayer. Unite, O holy Pontiff, thy prayers to hers, and show how unchanged is thy love for the flock of Christ. Protect in Rome the Chair of thy successor attacked by open violence and astute hypocrisy. Princes and peoples seem to have conspired against God and his Christ: disconcert the schemes of sacrilegious ambition, and the plots of impiety which would fain give the lie to the word of God. Avert, by thine intercession, the scourges which are threatening those nations that have become ungrateful to the Church and indifferent to the attempts made against her to whom they owe all they possess. Pray that the blind may see and the wicked be confounded. Pray the True Faith may enlighten those numberless souls that call error truth and darkness light.
In the midst of this dark and menacing night, thine eyes, O holy Pontiff, discern them that are the faithful sheep of Christ: bless them, aid them, increase their number. Graft them on the venerable Tree which dieth not, that they may not be carried away by the storm. Obtain for them docility to the Faith and traditions of Holy Church; it is their only stay amidst the tide of error which is now threatening to deluge the whole world. Preserve to the Church the holy Order in which thou wast trained for the high mission destined for thee; maintain within her that race of men, powerful in work and word, zealous for the faith and sanctification of souls, of which we read in her Annals, and which has yielded saints such as thyself. And lastly, O Pius, remember that thou wast once the Father of the faithful: continue to be so, by thy powerful intercession, till the number of the elect be filled up !

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Today, blogger Carlos Palad from Rorate Caeli asked readers for an English translation of a letter by Cardinal Ottaviani (Holy Office) on July 24, 1966.

An English translation can be found here. Below is a Spanish translation that was found on En Garde (in Portuguese).


Carta sobre algunas opiniones erróneas en la interpretación de los decretos del Concilio Vaticano II

[Epistula ad Venerabiles Praesules Conferentiarum Episcopalium et ad Superiores Religionum: De nonnullis sententiis et erroribus ex falsa interpretatione decretorum Concilii Vaticani II insurgentibus]

Habiendo promulgado el Concilio Ecuménico Vaticano II, felizmente concluido en fecha reciente, sapientísimos documentos, tanto sobre cuestiones doctrinales, como sobre cuestiones disciplinares, para promover eficazmente la vida de la Iglesia, incumbe a todo el Pueblo de Dios la grave obligación de luchar con todo empeño para que se realice todo lo que, con la inspiración del Espíritu Santo, fue solemnemente propuesto o decretado en aquel amplísimo sínodo de Obispos, presidido por el Romano Pontífice.

A la Jerarquía compete el derecho y el deber de vigilar, dirigir y promover el movimiento de renovación que el Concilio ha comenzado, de modo que los Documentos y Decretos del referido Concilio reciban una recta interpretación y se lleven a efecto con exactitud según la fuerza y el sentido de los mismos. Por tanto, esta doctrina ha de ser defendida por los Obispos, ya que, como tales, gozan de la potestad de enseñar estando unidos con la cabeza de Pedro. Es encomiable que muchos Pastores del Concilio ya hayan tornado sobre si la obligación de explicarla convenientemente. Sentimos, sin embargo, el que desde diversas partes nos hayan llegado desagradables noticias de como no solo van pululando los abusos en la interpretación de la doctrina del Concilio, sino también de como aquí y allí van surgiendo opiniones peregrinas y audaces, que perturban no poco las almas de muchos fieles. Hemos de encomiar los trabajos o intentos de penetrar más profundamente la verdad, distinguiendo rectamente entre lo que ha de ser creído y lo que es opinable; pero, por los documentos examinados en esta Sagrada Congregación, consta que existen no pocas sentencias que, pasando por alto con facilidad los limites de la simple opinión, parecen afectar un tanto al mismo dogma y a los fundamentos de la fe.

Conviene que expresemos, a modo de ejemplo, algunas de estas sentencias y errores, tal como son conocidas a través de las relaciones de los doctores y de las publicaciones escritas.

1) En primer lugar, nos referimos a la misma Sagrada Revelación: hay quienes recurren a la Sagrada Escritura, dejando a un lado intencionadamente la Tradición, pero coartan el ámbitoo y la fuerza de la inspiración y de la inerrancia, a la vez que piensan equivocadamente acerca del valor de los textos históricos.
2) En lo que se refiere a la doctrina de la Fe, se dice que las formulas dogmáticas han de estar sometidas a la evolución histórica, de tal manera que el sentido objetivo de las mismas queda expuesto a cambios.
3) Se olvida o se subestima el Magisterio ordinario de la Iglesia, principalmente del Romano Pontífice, de tal manera que se relega al plano de las cosas opinables.
4) Algunos casi no reconocen la verdad objetiva absoluta, firme e inmutable, y todo lo exponen a un cierto relativismo, aduciendo el falaz argumento de que cualquier verdad ha de seguir necesariamente el ritmo de evolución de la conciencia y de la historia.
5) Es atacada la misma adorable Persona de Nuestro Señor Jesucristo, cuando, al reflexionar sobre la cristología, se utilizan tales conceptos de naturaleza y de persona, que apenas pueden conciliarse con las definiciones dogmáticas. Se insistía un cierto humanismo por el que Cristo es reducido a la condición de simple hombre, que fue adquiriendo poco a poco conciencia de su filiación divina. Su concepción virginal, sus milagros y su misma Resurrección se conceden de palabra, pero a menudo se reducen a un mero orden natural.
6) Igualmente, al tratar de la teología de los Sacramentos, algunos elementos son ignorados o no se les presta la suficiente atención; sobre todo, en lo que se refiere a la Santísima Eucaristía. No faltan quienes discuten acerca de la presencia real de Cristo bajo las especies de pan y de vino, defendiendo un exacerbado simbolismo, como si el pan y el vino no se convirtiesen en el Cuerpo y la Sangre de Nuestro Señor Jesucristo por la transubstanciación, sino que simplemente fuesen empleados como cierta significación. Hay quien insiste más en el concepto de agape con respecto a la Misa, que en el de Sacrificio.
7) Algunos desean explicar el Sacramento de la Penitencia como un medio de reconciliación con la Iglesia, sin explicar suficientemente la reconciliación con Dios ofendido. Pretenden que, al celebrar este Sacramento, no sea necesaria la personal confesión de los pecados, sino que solo se preocupan de expresar la función social de reconciliación con la Iglesia.
8) No faltan quienes menosprecian la doctrina del Concilio de Trento acerca del pecado original o quienes la interpretan oscureciendo la culpa original de Adán, o, al menos, la transmisión del pecado.
9) No son menores los errores que se hacen circular en el ámbito de la teología moral. En efecto, no pocos se atreven a rechazar la razón objetiva de la moralidad; otros no aceptan la ley natural y defienden, en cambio, la legitimidad de la llamada moral de situación. Se propagan opiniones perniciosas acerca de la moralidad y de la responsabilidad en materia sexual y matrimonial.
10) A todos estos temas hemos de añadir una nota sobre el Ecumenismo. La Sede Apostólica, ciertamente, alaba a todos los que en el espíritu del Decreto Conciliar sobre el ecumenismo promueven iniciativas para fomentar la caridad con los hermanos separados y atraerlos a la unidad de la Iglesia; pero lamenta que no faltan quienes, interpretando a su modo el Decreto Conciliar, exigen una acción ecuménica que va contra la verdad, así como contra la unidad de la Fe y de la Iglesia, fomentando un peligroso irenismo e indiferentismo, que es totalmente ajeno a la mente del Concilio.

Esparcidos por aquí y por allá esta clase de errores y peligros, los presentamos recogidos sumariamente en esta carta a los Ordinarios de lugar, para que cada uno, según su cargo y oficio, cuide de frenarlos y prevenirlos.

Este Sagrado Dicasterio ruega encarecidamente que los Ordinarios del lugar traten de ellos en las reuniones de sus Conferencias Episcopales y envíen relaciones a la Santa Sede, aconsejando lo que crean oportuno, antes de la fiesta da la Navidad de Nuestro Señor Jesucristo del año en curso.

Esta Carta, que una obvia razón de prudencia nos impide hacer del dominio público, ha de ser guardada bajo estricto secreto por los Ordinarios y por todos aquellos a los que con justa causa la enseñen.

Roma, 24 de julio de 1966.A. Card. Ottaviani


Note: I wonder why Cardinal Ottaviani, at the very end of the letter, requests from the Bishops that they keep this letter under strict secrecy.