Friday, January 22, 2010

Conciliar renewal a tremendous success in Holland


Because from where Melancholicus stands, he can see only devastation.

Perhaps the feverish apostles of aggiornamento will continue to claim that the renewal has been a great success, but that more time is needed for the good fruits to shine through.

To which Melancholicus replies that forty-five years is more than time enough, and that the fruits were incomparably better before the ‘renewal’ than after it.

Is it not a scandal, for instance, that the Mahometan holy month of Ramadan rings more bells among Dutch Catholics than does our own Christmas?

Or that the Dutch province of the Dominican Order promotes—in all seriousness—the celebration of ‘Masses’ by non-ordained persons of all genders and sexual orientations?

Adrianus Cardinal Simonis, Archbishop-Emeritus of Utrecht, has given an interview to the Italian newspaper Avvenire, which may be read here (scroll down).

The interview is titled Two generations have been lost, which itself is telling.

The whole may be summed up in the following quote: “It is a matter of starting over from the beginning, and within a culture that is indifferent to Christianity, among less than friendly media.

The comparison drawn by C. S. Lewis between the virgin and the divorcee comes to mind.

Was this what Vatican II intended?

How could they have got it all so horrendously wrong?

It is encouraging to hear that there are now 45 students at the seminary in Haarlem. But what are they being taught, and who is teaching them? Melancholicus cannot imagine that Dutch seminaries (perhaps Haarlem is the only one left functioning in the country, as Maynooth is the only seminary still open in Ireland) are in much better shape than similar institutions in the United States, Great Britain, and Ireland.

The Netherlands, which until the catastrophe was (with Ireland) one of the foremost sources of vocations and missionaries, is now itself mission territory.

Ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

How the election result went down in Berlin

Melancholicus is not normally given to much of an interest in American politics, but now that he lives in the U.S. he may as well bestir himself from his customary apathy and pass the occasional comment.

As most will know by now, the late Edward Kennedy’s seat in the Senate has gone to the Republican Scott Brown instead of the favourite, Democrat Martha Coakley.

Here’s how Herr Hitler took the news of the Democrats’ defeat. This is just too funny.

H/T to the St. Louis Catholic.

When the shepherd becomes a wolf...

...the flock has a right to defend itself.

Actually, according to Dom Prosper Gueranger, that right is more of a duty. Gueranger was referring to the protest registered by the layman Eusebius against the heresy of Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople, who in his Christmas Day sermon in the year 428 denied the Divine Maternity of our Blessed Lady before the entire congregation.

In the recent brouhaha in the church of Saint-Taurin, Thiberville, in the French diocese of Evreux, we see the lay faithful doing just what Eusebius did nearly sixteen centuries ago by rising up in wrath against their perfidious bishop and ejecting him from their church.

The bishop of Evreux, Mgr. Christian Nourrichard, removed the orthodox and traditionally-minded pastor, Abbé Francis Michel, and re-assigned him to a ministry among liberals. The faithful of Saint-Taurin were doubly upset since not only did they lose their priest thereby, but his traditional sacerdotal ministry was to be replaced, in true modernist fashion, by that of a ‘team’.

It might be objected that Mgr. Nourrichard’s crime was not of the same order as that of Nestorius; it cannot be claimed, for instance, that he openly denied a defined doctrine of the Church, and he violated no law, either civil or ecclesiastical.

Nonetheless, what the bishop was doing amounted to taking away the people’s bread in order to feed them with stones instead, a move in which we cannot help but discern ideological partiality in the post-conciliar religious wars within the Church.

“Or what man is there among you, of whom if his son shall ask bread, will he reach him a stone? Or if he shall ask him a fish, will he reach him a serpent?”—Mt. 7:9-10.

Mgr. Nourrichard’s contempt for the faithful of Saint-Taurin is emblazoned forth on the silly chasuble he chose for the occasion—rainbow colours more suited to a children’s birthday party than to the most holy sacrifice of the Mass. Furthermore, he cannot have been ignorant of the significance of the rainbow to the homosexualist movement, and the consequent scandal to the faithful on that account. What kind of statement was he attempting to make with such provocative gestures? The faithful of Saint-Taurin seem to have been in no doubt as to their bishop’s intentions.

Happily, the flock would not meekly submit to this wolf in sheep’s clothing. Their resistance was offered immediately and with great heat, as may be seen in the remarkable video footage below:

And this:

And this, courtesy of the French network TFI:

After a meeting with the Apostolic Nuncio, we are informed that Mgr. Nourrichard has “changed his mind”, and that Abbé Francis Michel is to remain in charge of Saint-Taurin, at least for the foreseeable future.

Concern has been expressed in certain quarters of the blogosphere regarding the reaction of the congregation to Mgr. Nourrichard’s behaviour. Some commentators were unhappy that the bishop was booed and heckled in the sanctuary, and that voices were raised in anger before the very altar of God. Likewise, concerns have been raised regarding obedience to legitimate authority. It is a difficult question, and we must not lightly toss aside the obedience and filial respect we owe to our spiritual shepherds. Melancholicus has considered the matter carefully over several days but in the end must come down on the side of the congregation of Saint-Taurin. For Mgr. Nourrichard’s actions do not constitute the exercise of lawful authority so much as the abuse of it. Recalling Dom Gueranger, when the shepherd becomes a wolf, the flock has a right to defend itself. The flock likewise has a right to bread rather than stones, and fish rather than serpents. We have scriptural precedents for dramatic, even violent, resistance to attempts to weaken or destroy the sacredness of holy religion: Mattathias slaying the apostate Jew on the altar of sacrifice (I Macc. 2:23-4), and the Lord Jesus driving forth the moneychangers from the Temple (Mt. 21:12-13), to recall but two such.

What the faithful of Saint-Taurin did was necessary. It may indeed be regrettable; but what is most regrettable is that they had to do it in the first place—for which Mgr. Nourrichard, and he alone, bears the responsibility.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The ranks are thinning

Each passing year reduces the roll of notoriety still further, for which we give thanks unto almighty God.

We shall never be entirely free from the baleful influence of the partisans of error, for there shall never lack those whom the devil shall excite with evil rage against the servants of the Lord.

But lately we have been informed of the repose of three whose names were hateful to the saints:

  • Alfred Hrdlicka, pornographer, blasphemer, ‘artist’ and self-described Stalinist, who went to his reward on 5 December 2009. He received a Catholic funeral courtesy of his good friend Christoph Cardinal Schönborn;
  • Theologian and conciliar peritus Edward Schillebeeckx, the mastermind behind the confusion of Lumen Gentium and the heresies of the Dutch Catechism (among sundry other notorieties), who fell asleep on 23 December 2009; and
  • Mary Daly, the bitter and fanatical feminist ‘theologian’ whose anti-Christian and neo-pagan courses (at the Jesuit-run Boston college!) were off-limits to male students, and whom the Almighty mercifully took from our midst on 3 Jan 2010.

All three had an impact either upon the Church or upon contemporary culture (sometimes both), and this impact was less than beneficial to the health of the body politic.

Liberal blogs and websites are teeming with fulsome tributes to these purported ‘giants’ of theology; check out some of the obituaries here.

Fr. Schillebeeckx may have been more subtle and less stridently revolutionary than the other two, but his theology places him firmly in their camp. Furthermore, 95 years is far too long a time for such a dissident to be stuck in the craw of the Mystical Body; he certainly overstayed his welcome.

May God have mercy on their souls, but Melancholicus does not mourn their passing.

Step by step, people.

Step by step.


Someone (preferably a figure of authority in the Congregation for Divine Worship) should inform this man that yellow is not a liturgical colour, nor is blue; and that the use of kiddie balloons is not prescribed by the rubrics of any liturgical ceremony, past or present, known to the Catholic Church.

This is the same Schönborn who only a few weeks ago granted a Catholic funeral to the perverted artist and self-described Stalinist Alfred Hrdlicka, who undertook a visit to Medjugorje without taking the trouble to inform the local ordinary, Mgr. Ratko Peric, thereby lending that nest of racketeers a boost of credibility at precisely the time that the Holy See is preparing the Church to distance herself from what is undoubtedly a manifest hoax, and who at home has presided over some decidedly gruesome liturgical atrocities, at precisely the same time as our Holy Father is attempting to restore a modicum of dignity and solemnity to the post-conciliar Mass. Each step taken by the Holy See to repair the damage wrought by the ‘Spirit of Vatican II’ is countered by a step in the opposite direction by Schönborn and that with the most remarkable if not coincidental timing. Perhaps the man is merely prone to making the most unfortunate gaffes, but it looks more as though his words and actions indicate an ideological agenda at variance with the Benedictine restoration of the Church. Astonishingly, not a few Catholics seem to think that this man is solidly on our side, God knoweth how. There is even a website devoted to him which, although not quite in the same league as the former Cardinal Ratzinger Fan Club, is nonetheless a worrying testament to the esteem in which he is held. During the latter years of John Paul II, Schönborn was described as papabile by innumerable publications, and the aura of misplaced mystique surrounding this vastly overrated prelate has still not been extinguished.

Christoph Schönborn was born in 1945. As of this January 22, he is 65 years old—still young and vigorous enough, and popular enough, to be a threat at the conclave which shall choose the successor to Benedict XVI. Despite his chances having been talked up by both Catholic and secular sources in advance of the 2005 conclave, he seems never to have been in the running, and in the end the Church was blessed with Papa Ratzinger instead. But what of the future? A few years ago Milan’s Tettamanzi was touted by conservative sources as a great catch, and what wonders wouldn’t he do for the Church were he raised to the throne of Peter! He might not be a screaming liberal in the vein of his predecessor Carlo Maria Martini, but fortunately the man’s open ambition as well as his questionable views on homosexuality were sufficient to prevent the scandal of a Tettamanzi pontificate. We need the same thing to happen again in the case of Christoph Schönborn, because the election of a pope is as much about keeping the wrong man out as it is about getting the right man in.

If Schönborn were elected, we would have a John Paul III, even if this were not the name chosen by the new pope. Like his namesake he would be generally orthodox, especially on issues pertaining to life and the family. But he would be politically confused, and inclined for some ill-thought-out idealism to favour the Left. He might be given to making regrettable concessions on that account. He might be as ecumenically unfortunate as his namesake, and prone to making the most inopportune overtures to liberal protestants, to secular Jews, to Muslims and even to pagans. His liturgical sense would be non-existent, at least if his track record in the Archdiocese of Vienna is anything to go by. And since he is young (relatively speaking), we could expect his pontificate to be a long one. His rule over the Church would be lenient to the point of negligence. Time perhaps for the Benedictine reform of the Church and of the liturgy to be put on hold for a while; time for a new breath of life to be breathed into the ailing revolution. Holy God forfend.

The only difference Melancholicus can see between John Paul II and this putative ‘John Paul III’ is that in the pontificate of the former, the revolutionaries were both more vigorous and more numerous. As of this writing, death and retirement have—Deo gratias—removed a good many of them from the scene. But the Mystical Body must be built up by example, exhortation and action; while the house lies in ruins it is not sufficient to be content that the wreckers are fewer in number than hitherto.

Melancholicus does not wish to shove his oar in in electing the next pope, so he shall propose no ideal candidate. That is a matter for the Holy Ghost and for the Cardinal electors.

But we can do better than Christoph Schönborn.

A great deal better.

UPDATE: a much fuller and even more depressing summary of Cardinal Schönborn’s trespasses is provided here.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Answered prayers

The Old Mass comes to Bremerton... sort of.

Recovering from his vexation at the awfulness of the ars celebrandi of this morning’s parish Mass, Melancholicus found the following nugget of good news in the St. Charles parish bulletin, dated 17 January 2010:

Traditional Latin Mass: Fr. Derek Lappe will offer a Tridentine or Traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Rite) at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church, in Bremerton, on Tuesday, January 19th at 7:00 PM. The Mass will use the 1962 Roman Missal; Missals with Latin and English, and Mass Propers, will be provided for use at the Mass. Everyone is invited to experience the meaning and spirituality of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The Church is located at 500 Veneta Ave in Bremerton. Street parking is available around the Church.

After January 19th, the Tridentine Latin Mass will be celebrated the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 7:00 PM.

Hurrah and hurrah! This is indeed a tender green shoot thrusting gingerly up through the frozen crust of the post-conciliar earth. Melancholicus will not be able to attend, alas. Bremerton is hardly any closer to Tacoma than Seattle, and as he does not yet have a Washington driver’s licence, he is confined to the immediate locality. But it is nonetheless a cause for great rejoicing that even in the God-forsaken hell-hole that is the Seattle Archdiocese, life seems to be returning by degrees. Let us give thanks to almighty God, and pray for Fr. Lappe and for Archbishop Brunett.

Melancholicus has no idea whose initiative this is, whether that of Fr. Lappe himself, or of his parishioners. Significantly, Fr. Lappe is the pastor of Our Lady Star of the Sea, where the Mass is to be held. He was born in 1972, hence is the same age as Melancholicus. Through vigorous young priests like this, who have no investment in the ideological baggage of the 1960s, the Church will be restored in the twenty-first century to something of the shape she had before the catastrophe.

There is as yet no mention of the Mass on the website of Una Voce Western Washington (which does not seem to have been updated since 2008). Even though this is not a Sunday Mass and is to be celebrated only on the third Tuesday of each month (requiring careful time-keeping by those who wish to assist at it), it is a beginning; it is a step in the right direction. We note in passing that as a result of this celebration “Everyone is invited to experience the meaning and spirituality of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass”, which is tantamount to conceding that the meaning and spirituality of the Holy Sacrifice are obscured in the modern rite! As the late Michael Davies remarked on more than one occasion, “No one who attends a Mass celebrated in one of the traditional rites of the Catholic Church could doubt that he was present at a solemn sacrifice. But no one who attends Mass as it is said in a typical parish church today could know that he was at a solemn sacrifice unless he had been informed of the fact beforehand”.

Kudos to St. Charles Borromeo parish for publicizing this Mass. There is as yet no celebration of the old rite in Tacoma. Shortly after his arrival, Melancholicus was told of a Traditional Mass in St. Mary’s on 138th st, which caused him great excitement. Upon investigating further, he was disappointed to discover this is not a licit Mass offered by priests in communion with the Catholic Church, but the local base of CMRI, a sedevacantist outfit headed by a Thuc-line bishop (whose orders may or may not be valid). Bally heck, one may as well go worship with the Anglicans.

The Bug

The Bugnini died in 1982, and—happily for those of us who seek some measure of beauty and solemnity in public worship—is still dead.

Long may he remain so.

Now all we need do is wait for his disciples to join him.

How long, O Lord, how long?

An Ode

One would rather—à la Keats—expound on a Grecian urn, but the subject of the present composition is Bugnini’s liturgy.

So here goes:

[clears throat]

Bugnini’s Mass
Sucks ass!

Do not be scandalized, gentle reader; this wee couplet is a fitting tribute to its subject, for it is to poetry what Bugnini’s ordo is to liturgy. And the object of our opprobrium is not of course the Holy Sacrifice itself (that would be blasphemy), but the horizontal and inferior rite whereby that Sacrifice is manifested on our altars.

Ordinary Time

So, this is it.

The dreaded green season.

Ordinary TimeTM has returned to the parish of St. Charles Borromeo.

Christmastide and Epiphanytide have gone, and with them has gone the (reasonably) solemn or at least tolerable hymnody that OCP’s ‘heritage’ missal provides for those occasions.

The preening songstress seems to be delighted that such solemn festivals are now over, and that we are back into ‘ordinary’ time, which in turn calls for ‘ordinary’ music, for this morning she assaulted the ‘gathered assembly’ with a barrage of the hippest and most happenin’ dreck from the 1970s and 1980s.

Guess who held the copyright to the pieces of ‘music’ selected?

Yes, gentle reader, it was our good friends at OCP.

Not one of the selections was singable. Not one! Furthermore, all of them were about “us”.

Melancholicus declined to join in the singing, since not only does he abhor bad taste, but he does not go to church on Sunday morning to celebrate himself.

An heretical thought

...passed through Melancholicus’ mind this morning, him having been dragged from his bed to attend 8am Mass on a cold and rainy morning, and as he settled himself painfully into his pew among the wretched ‘heritage’ missals and ‘gather’ hymnals and listened aghast to the execrable plinkety-plonk of the church piano hammering out some happenin’ ditty courtesy of OCP, he suddenly thought

“I wish this was Episcopalian”.

Meaning not the presidency of a half-lesbian, half-Muslim bishoppess, but the traditional piety and decorum of the Book of Common Prayer (1928), for in the latter case, the liturgy would at least be decent.

There is a Continuing Anglican church within walking distance of Melancholicus’ house. He has not yet checked it out, and so far has resisted the temptation to do so.

But there is no Traditional Latin Mass within easy reach, and the Amchurch version of the Novus Ordo is a parody of itself and often beyond endurance. Melancholicus has never seen a religious rite as degraded and horizontal.

How long, O Lord, how long?

Monday, January 11, 2010

New year, new title, new look


The winter is past... sort of.

The dawn is chilly, with lingering traces of night, but it is dawn nonetheless. The LORD God is still in His heaven after all, and all things are in His hand.

There is much fighting to do before we take possession of the promised land. We cannot lay down our arms yet. Our foes are still numerous, and powerful. At this critical moment we must storm heaven with our prayers, and set to the combat with every means at our disposal. This is not the time for softness, or for the taking of prisoners.

But our battle-cry shall not be a self-pitying Infelix Ego, but instead a cry of confidence in the power of almighty God, and His power to save us from our enemies, and the hand of all that hate us.

Lux Fulgebit! as the introit from the dawn Mass of Christmas day has us sing: The Light shall shine upon us today, for unto us the Lord is born! And His Name shall be called Wonderful, Mighty God, the Prince of peace, Father of the world to come, of whose kingdom there shall be no end!

Deo gratias! Let us rejoice. God is with us. We shall go forward with faith, hope and confidence in Him who is all our hope. We shall fight always, and not grow weary; we shall renew our failing strength with unceasing prayer; we shall never tire or grow faint in the face of the enemy, but harry and pursue them, giving them no rest until we have overcome them at the last. Victory belongs to us at the last, for our Lord JESUS CHRIST has already overcome the world. There remains to us only the battle, which we wage in His name against the prince of this world and his minions. We shall fight them everywhere: in the schools, in the courts of law, in government departments, in senate and parliament, in the newspapers, in the broadcast media, and in the very sanctuary of the holy Catholic Church.

We shall not let them have the easy victory they desire, for we are servants of the LORD.

Lauda, Jerusalem, Dominum; lauda Deum tuum, Sion.
Quoniam confortavit seras portarum tuarum; benedixit filiis tuis in te.
Qui posuit fines tuos pacem, et adipe frumenti satiat te
— psalm 147:1-3

Sunday, January 10, 2010

What the people really, really want

Melancholicus was at Holy Cross parish, Tacoma, for Sunday Mass today.

The pastor, Fr. John Renggli, announced to the congregation that the questionnaires distributed to the parishioners in 2009 had been returned and the responses had been studied carefully.

The results were interesting and, from the perspective of one who seeks the authentic renewal of the Church as opposed to its continued post-conciliar deformation, a source of much-needed hope.

Those who submitted their views requested the setting up of a welcoming committee to help new members of the parish feel at home, which is a most wholesome work of charity. They also recommended the inauguration of home visits for the elderly and housebound. This is also a most worthy and wholesome work of mercy, very edifying and pleasing to almighty God. A particularly interesting request was that, since there are so many ‘women’s groups’ (of varying fidelity) in the Archdiocese, Holy Cross should establish such a group for Catholic men. In order to be successful, of course, this men’s group would have to be manly and orthodox, not liberal and limp-wristed; and there was no doubt as to which was wanted at Holy Cross parish.

Melancholicus was thrilled.

Now let us consider some demands, frequently voiced by the denizens of the conciliar church, that were conspicuous by their absence from the submissions made by the parishioners of Holy Cross:

They did not want celebrations of buggery and abortion, or the marriage of clergy, or ‘inclusive language’, or ‘inclusive liturgies’, or the ordination of wymynprysts, or the communion of the divorced and remarried, or lay ‘eucharistic presidency’, or even the tedious and predictable dissent from Humanae Vitae.

Absent also were calls for ‘relevance’, ‘meaningfulness’ and for holy Church to conform herself to the secular world.

Vox populi.

If the people had indeed made such demands, the result of the survey would have been blazed forth in every paper, in every bulletin and on every website available to the conciliar mafia ensconced in the chancery of this Archdiocese.

But because the survey yielded no ‘prophetic’ voices clamouring for ‘change’, the response of officialdom thereto shall be a discreet (if not actually sullen) silence.

One can hear a pin drop!