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 Pius XII Reforms: A Principle & A Challenge - Fr. Cekada 
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Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 9:44 am
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New post Pius XII Reforms: A Principle & A Challenge - Fr. Cekada
The following is an new article by Father Cekada on the Pius XII reforms that he recently circulated to priests and seminarians on his mailing list.

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THE PIUS XII REFORMS:

A PRINCIPLE AND A CHALLENGE


By Rev. Anthony Cekada

My recent articles on the “legal status” of the Pius XII liturgical legislation occasioned a number of posts on the Bellarmine Forum, a traditionalist internet discussion site. Here are some additional comments on this issue:

1. WHAT PRINCIPLE MUST GOVERN OUR LITURGICAL PRACTICE DURING THE CURRENT CRISIS?

Identifying this principle is in fact the REAL question behind the pre-1955 vs. Pius XII discussion.

Do not assume that the “last true pope” principle automatically leads to the Pius XII legislation. One must first demonstrate that John XXIII and Paul VI (from the beginning of his pontificate until the promulgation of those Vatican II teachings we regard as heretical) were not true popes.

In other words, having made the legislation of the “last true pope” the operating principle, consistency requires that one convincingly demonstrate that John XXIII and Paul VI LACKED the power to promulgate such legislation.

It does no good, moreover, to say that one personally considers them “doubtful popes” and their legislation therefore “doubtful,” because one must then meet the following criterion:

"A doubtful pope is to be understood not negatively, but positively doubtful, i.e., after a diligent examination of the fact, qualified men in the Catholic Church openly declare: 'The validity of the canonical election of this Roman Pontiff does not stand firm [non constat]'. " Wernz-Vidal, Jus Canonicum 2:454.

Where is such a "non constat" for the elections of John XXIII and Paul VI?

Absent such a demonstration, consistency dictates that one follow:

(1) That little book of horrors, the John XXIII Missal. (Rubrics compiled by Fr. Carlo Braga CM, who later wrote the 1969 General Instruction on the New Mass, with its heretical “Mass=assembly” definition in Article 7.)

(2) ALL the Paul VI changes introduced in early 1964, including the following gems:

(a) At Mass the priest never recites texts that the choir sings.
(b) Bits of the Ordinary are sung or recited in English.
(c) The Secret is said aloud.
(d) The “Per Ipsum” at the end of the Canon is recited aloud.
(e) The “Libera Nos” is recited aloud.
(f) “Corpus Christi/Amen” is used for the people’s communion.
(g) The Last Gospel is suppressed.
(h) Scripture readings are proclaimed in the vernacular alone and facing the people.
(i) Lay lectors/commentators assist the priest.
(j) The “Pater Noster” is recited in English.
(k) Etc., etc.

To avoid these absurdities and inconsistencies, the answer that I propose to the question “What principle must govern our liturgical practice during the current crisis” is this:

Traditionalists should follow and preserve those liturgical rites (Missal, Breviary, Calendar, rubrics, etc.) that existed before the modernists started to implement their gradated program of destroying the liturgy.

To my way of thinking, it makes no sense whatsoever to preserve the liturgical “tradition” of Bugnini-esque Holy Week ceremonies invented in 1955, transitional Breviary rubrics, and “reforms” that lasted for all of five years.


2. “HARMLESS” REFORMS? A CHALLENGE.

In my article “The Pius XII Reforms: More on the Legal Issue,” I cited fourteen principles and precedents introduced in the Pius XII liturgical changes (1951–58) that were subsequently incorporated across the board into the New Mass:

(1) Liturgy must follow the “pastoral” principle to educate the faithful.
(2) Vernacular may be an integral part of the liturgy.
(3) Reduction of the priest’s role.
(4) Lay participation must ideally be vocal.
(5) New liturgical roles may be introduced.
(6) Prayers and ceremonies may be changed to accommodate modern “needs.”
(7) “Needless duplications” must be eliminated.
(8) The Ordo Missae itself may be changed, or parts eliminated.
(9) The Creed need not be recited on more solemn occasions.
(10) The priest “presides” passively at the bench when Scripture is read.
(11) Certain liturgical functions must be conducted “facing the people.”
(12) Emphasis on the saints must be reduced.
(13) Liturgical texts or practices that could offend heretics, schismatics or Jews should be modified.
(14) Liturgical expressions of reverence for the Blessed Sacrament may be “simplified” or reduced.

I arrived at this list as a result of nearly thirty years of research, study and writing on matters liturgical in general, as well as fifteen years of teaching seminary liturgy courses, including a year-long course on the pre- and post-Vatican II liturgical changes. (Some of this material I plan to incorporate into a book.)

Many correspondents felt free to assert that continued use of the Pius XII reforms was NOT harmful. But no one who did so betrayed any actual knowledge of the specialized factual material one needs to master before presuming to offer an opinion about any one of these points.

The fact of the matter is that most traditionalists, lay and clerical, base their liturgical preferences not upon research, study and recognizable principles, but rather upon what they’re used to, what’s easiest, or — the odds-on favorite — whatever is shortest.

To any layman who maintains that applying the Pius XII liturgical legislation has not become “harmful,” I therefore issue the following challenge:

Approach your local traditionalist priest and volunteer to implement some of the provisions of the September 3, 1958 Instruction on Sacred Music, approved by Pius XII.

Tell Father that you want to lead the congregation at Mass every Sunday in reciting the following parts of the traditional Mass with the priest:

• Prayers at the Foot of the Altar
• Confiteor
• Introit
• Kyrie
• Gloria
• All the short responses.
• Gradual
• Alleluia Verse
• Tract
• Credo
• Offertory verse
• Suscipiat
• Sanctus
• Pater Noster
• Agnus Dei
• Domine non sum dignus
• Communion verse.

If Father objects, tell him that ¶31 of the Instruction calls this the “most perfect form” of congregational participation.

It’ll be a busy Sunday for the man in the pew at your chapel. (“All together now: ‘Buccinate in Neomenia tuba, in insigni die solemnitatis vestrae…”)

The following Sunday, you can begin your career as a lay "lector," as provided for in ¶14 of the Instruction. This authorizes you to read the Epistle and Gospel in English to the congregation as the priest reads them in Latin.

If you are willing to go this far, this will surely demonstrate that you are a "layman of good character." ¶96 of the Instruction would therefore authorize you to read vernacular "comments" on the Mass to the congregation while the priest is saying the prayers quietly in Latin. (I can even loan you a commentator's book composed to implement to the 1958 Instruction.)

And when the knives come out for you at the post-Mass coffee-and-doughnuts hour — indignant objections that you’ve made the traditional Mass in your chapel look like a Novus Ordo — you can try pacifying everyone with a passage from the concluding paragraph of the Instruction: “This instruction on sacred music, and the sacred liturgy was submitted to His Holiness Pope Pius XII by the undersigned Cardinal Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of Rites. His Holiness deigned to give his special approval and authority to all its prescriptions.”

Can’t do any harm applying it now — or can it?

We await word from your fellow chapel members about the harmlessness of following the liturgical legislation of "the last true pope."

* * *

The arguments based on either (1) lack of stability or (2) cessation due to harm should adequately put to rest worries that adhering to the pre-1955 Missal is somehow “illegal.”

But I emphasize once again, the real question is NOT “What is legal?” but rather “What PRINCIPLE must govern our liturgical practice during the current crisis?”

The “last true pope” principle, I have demonstrated, cannot be applied consistently and leads to absurdities. The principle I propose, instead, is this:

Traditionalists should follow and preserve those liturgical rites (Missal, Breviary, Calendar, rubrics, etc.) that existed before the modernists started to implement their gradated program of destroying the liturgy.

Bugnini-created interim rites that pre-intoned and led to the Novus Ordo can hardly be regarded now — especially with benefit of hindsight — as obligatory, “harmless,” or the golden norm for a liturgical restoration.

And finally, to the layman who still insists that observing the Pius XII liturgical legislation has not become “harmful,” I say:

Put your money where your mouth is — or rather, put your mouth where the lay lector/commentator’s microphone is.

Speak up! And remember to maintain eye contact…


Thu Jul 27, 2006 1:07 pm
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Joined: Thu May 25, 2006 7:13 pm
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New post Re: Pius XII Reforms: A Principle & A Challenge - Fr. Ce
Great read! Thank's for posting that. :D


Thu Jul 27, 2006 5:24 pm
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Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4333
New post A couple of comments
Dear Sacerdos,

Thank you for posting this - most interesting and instructive.

A couple of things occur to me which I thought may stimulate further comment from Fr. Cekada.

1. What is his theory about the state of sede vacante - when it began and how?
2. It is possible of course to maintain that we are bound by Pope Pius XII's mandatory changes, without being bound to take advantage of the permissions of the 1958 document. In that point Fr. Cekada has not addressed the objection.
3. I would like to hear how Fr. Cekada reconciles the 1958 permissions with the infallibility of the Church in disciplinary matters. It is evidently necessary to make such a reconciliation.
4. It seems to me that it might be possible to question the truth of the claim that Pope Pius XII approved the '58 document at all. If I recall, by September '58 he was already on what was to become his death-bed.
5. I agree that we need to identify the relevant principles, and not just set an arbitrary date (October '58) after which all novelties are rejected. But I am not convinced we have found that one great principle yet, or even that it is unitary. Part of the confusion of this era is precisely the numerous applicable principles one must take into account in many grave questions. As a test of this principle of Fr. Cekada's, what would we do with the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker? Some priests don't recognise it as a binding change, taking it to be a kind of "pro-Communist ecumenism."
6. The quote from Wernz-Vidal is interesting. I would like to see their entire treatement of the point. I am wondering if we must exclude as grounds for "objective doubt" the behaviour of the men apparently elected. In other words, the approval of V2 seems to be an act which is impossible for a true pope to perform. This constitutes objective doubt about Montini's claim. His claim, thus rendered objectively doubtful, cannot constitute a certain law and therefore does not oblige.

_________________
In Christ our King.


Thu Jul 27, 2006 10:38 pm
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Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 11:46 pm
Posts: 728
Location: Western Washington, USA
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Pax Christi!,

Quote:
Liturgy must follow the “pastoral” principle to educate the faithful.
(2) Vernacular may be an integral part of the liturgy.
(3) Reduction of the priest’s role.
(4) Lay participation must ideally be vocal.
(5) New liturgical roles may be introduced.
(6) Prayers and ceremonies may be changed to accommodate modern “needs.”
(7) “Needless duplications” must be eliminated.
(8) The Ordo Missae itself may be changed, or parts eliminated.
(9) The Creed need not be recited on more solemn occasions.
(10) The priest “presides” passively at the bench when Scripture is read.
(11) Certain liturgical functions must be conducted “facing the people.”
(12) Emphasis on the saints must be reduced.
(13) Liturgical texts or practices that could offend heretics, schismatics or Jews should be modified.
(14) Liturgical expressions of reverence for the Blessed Sacrament may be “simplified” or reduced.



I don’t see any of these in the Pope Pius XII rubrics of 1955 Holy Week, or the ordo Missea of 1958. Even thou the Pre -1955 Catholics spout some or most of these listed....But I am rather stupid at times. However I do recall number 9 is real.

In Addition, and I will research this, but May 1st ( I am told) was picked to " counter" the May 1st communist day of celebration. Not to be a ' communist ecumenical " feast"....

The 1955 Liturgy has 2 Great Feasts for St. Joseph..... the original March 19th, which could rarely be celebrated with " solemnity" given it normally fell during lent. And the universal Feast of St. Joseph the worker May 1st. which is celebrated as ' the Solemnity of St. Joseph" with great pomp for our humble Patron of the Universal Church.

In Christ our King


Fri Jul 28, 2006 12:33 am
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