Saturday, April 23, 2005
John Paul the Great was very good when he had a prepared statement to read in English, but his conversational English, based on the report of William F. Buckley, Jr. when he, Malcolm Muggeridge and David Niven had an audience back in the early 1980s, was much more limited.
It would be interesting to see if Pope Benedict's spontaneous English is as good as his reading of a prepared text.
So I honor his memory triply today.
April 23rd is also both the birthday and anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare.
Friday, April 22, 2005
Meanwile, over at The Weekly Standard, Jonathan Last does a nice job rounding up the progressive "Catholic" response to Pope Benedict's selection, and asking Andrew Sullivan, et al., "Would you like some cheese with that whine?"
I also like Christopher Levenick's take on our new Holy Father.
Unsurprisingly, Pope Benedict is a cat person. I'm both a cat and dog person, so it would have been OK either way.
Send your congratulations and prayers.
Thursday, April 21, 2005
But will it happen again? And what about the sale of relics of the saints?
Too cool for words.
So items like this, where our new Pope speaks with dismay about the restrictions on the use of the 1962 Missal are of great interest to me, and probably are to you, as well.
I think there is a lot of hope out there for how His Holiness will deal with traditionalists and the traditional Latin Mass. But. Before we get our expectations too high, don't expect him to step in personally to save Holy Trinity, Boston's endangered Indult Mass parish. Don't expect him to wipe out the 1970 Missal and order a restoration of the 1962 Missal.
What is the most we can expect? More pressure from Rome on every ordinary to permit the Traditional Latin Mass. More openess to negotiation with groups like the Pius X Society. Maybe a new move that creates a personal prelature for Tridentine Rite Catholics, similar to that which protects Opus Dei. Pressure on recalcitrant bishops to allow the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter and other similar orders to operate in their dioceses. A growth in such orders, as well as an opening to the traditional Liturgy of the Hours that will grow up alongside the Traditional Latin Mass. Making the choice of whether to attend an approved Tridentine Mass a consumer choice, rather than the whim of a bishop.
At the same time, I think there will be continued, perhaps increased pressure from Rome to wipe out the abuses in how the Mass of the 1970 Missal is said, making that Mass more palatable to those who favor traditional forms. Though I think the Traditional Latin Mass is the most beautiful expression of Catholic liturgy (and the highest expression of the culture of the West), I see nothing wrong with the normative Novus Ordo Mass when it is celebrated simply, reverently, utilizing traditional music, and according to the rubrics. I fully expect it will remain the normative liturgy for Latin Rite Catholics.
I expect to see both greater openess to the Traditional Latin Mass, and an improvement in reverence in the celebration of the Novus Ordo Mass. All Catholics should welcome both development. It will be for the traditionalists to earn their share in the marketplace of Catholic liturgy, through the excellence of the Tridentine liturgy. I think they will, with a playing field that is anything like level.
His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI Has Done Something In the Not-So-Distant Past That Our Beloved Late Holy Father Could Not Lay Claim To
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Maybe I ought to put Catholic in quotation marks, and leave progressive alone, since they are certainly progressive, though their Catholicism is in serious doubt.
Too much hand-wringing to digest conveniently. Besides, close readers of my blog will know that Wednesday is my painting day, and blogging tends to suffer due to lack of time on Wednesday anyway.
So I'll leave the dissection of the illogic of Stephen Pope, Charles Curran, Hans Kung, Andrew Greeley, Richard McBrien, Frances Kissling, Andrew Sullivan, and the (half-protestant) current students at the seminary our Holy Father taught at back in the 1960s to the more skilled hands of others, while I try to master the art of the illuminated page.
Viva Il Papa!!!
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Slowly but surely, I'm getting used to calling him that.
Lesson: don't judge all the cardinals of the world by our own sorry lot who worry more about what they will have to explain to VOTF and people like Charles Curran and Richard McBrien and how it will look from a PR standpoint than about what is right.
Wow. I was sitting with a friend having lunch and listening to the radio on headphones when the news was announced. There were tears in my eyes as it dawned on me that our new Holy Father was none other than the former Cardinal Ratzinger, and that he was taking the name Benedict.
Chris Blosser's server has been overwhelmed. But that is a good problem to have.
What does the choice of Benedict XVI as his name mean? I am sure that the paid pundits have been all over this question., but I'm giving it a stab myself.
It is a safe name. There has not been a Benedict since 1922. The name signals a desire to end the sturm und drang of the last 70 years (no, it didn't start with Vatican II) and return the Church to normalcy.
Why not Pius XIII? Well, not choosing that name sidesteps the whole problem of Pius XII and the hatred of many secularists and other enemies of the Faith for that holy pope.
Why not John XXIV, Paul VII, or John Paul III? I think that of those names, the only one with attraction would have been John Paul III. Given what has happened to the Church in the last 50 years, and the fact that they set in motion or presided over what has turned out to be at least an undeniable demographic disaster, there is little reason to honor John or Paul by such imitation. John Paul II chose that name at least as much to honor John Paul I, whose papacy was shockingly short, than to honor John and Paul. The fact that our new Holy Father worked as the right hand man of John Paul II is enough of an assurance that the ways of that saint will be adhered to.
Well, I've caught my breath, but still am shocked with joy.
I know there are many who are not joyful at this news. But they will have to come to understand that the agendas of feminism and the ual revolution are not only not that of the Church, but are fundementally hostile to the teachings of the Church and incompatible with Catholicism. We will have to pray that they will see the error of their ways and return willingly, humbly, and in submission to the flock that is the Church. And I think we have a Pope who will not hesitate to explain to them the errors of their ways.
You know, it is kind of funny to see the horror of "progressives" over the election of Pope Benedict. Before he was a bishop, he was a bright young priest who was tapped by a German cardinal to advise him at the Second Vatican Council. His thought was instrumental in forming some of the decrees of Vatican II. Now those people who prattle on about the "Spirit of Vatican II," (which means to them whatever the liberal zeigeist wants next) are horrified that he should become Pope.
It is the same as with Ronald Reagan. In his youth, he was a New Deal Democrat. But he came to understand that the New Deal and the follow-ups to it were a disaster for not just the economy, but American society. So our new Holy Father has come to understand the abuses which have followed after Vatican II, "In the Spirit of Vatican II." And because a conservative is a liberal who was once mugged, when that former liberal comes to power, he is more d by liberals who have not seen their errors than someone like me who always was conservative, is conservative, and always will be conservative. They the ones most who understand their errors.
Pray for our new Holy Father. There are many who wish him and the Faith ill, and not all of them are outside the Church.
Beneath the apostle's crowning Throne
From pilgrims' lips that kiss the ground
Breathes in all tongues one only sound
"God bless our Pope, God bless our Pope
God Bless our Pope the great the good"
His rule is over space and time His throne the hearts of men
All hail the Shepherd King of Rome The theme of loving song
Let all the earth is glory sing And heav'n the strain prelong.
Let all the earth is glory sing And heav'n the strain prolong.
Beleaguered by the foes of earth Be set by hosts of hell.
He guards the loyal flock of Christ A watchful sentinel
And yet amid the din and strife The clash of mace and sword
He bears alone the shepherd staff This champion of the Lord
He bears alone the shepherd staff This champion of the Lord
It is not so much that the American Church is in such dismal shape. Compared to Europe, it is much healthier.
But the American cardinals themselves are a sorry lot, with the exception of Cardinal George, and maybe the new Cardinal Rigali. Not much to brag about among the others, with Law, Mahony, Egan, and McCarrick as outright embarrassments to all American Catholics.
The 75 caliber business end of a Brown Bess
I think the conventional wisdom was that, if Cardinal Ratzinger was going to be the choice, he would have sewn it up in the first couple of ballots. The longer it goes on, the more likely that a compromise candidate ends up as pope.
I think the only scenario that puts Cardinal Ratzinger in the Seat of Peter now is that he has a solid majority of the cardinals deeply committed, but shy of the 2/3, and they are willing to hang with him through the 26 or 28 ballots needed for the next pontiff to be chosen by simple majority. And given that the cardinals are all ambitious men with their own agendas, I don't see a majority of them sticking with Ratzinger that long and that determinedly.