Monday, September 13, 2021

Update from the Valencia family!

 UPDATE:

So today was a BIG DAY for us!!! I finally got to see & hold our son Michael David for the very first time!!! Yesterday was my Birthday so it was Extra Special to see him today, it is a most welcome gift!!! I am not ashamed to admit that I cried like a baby. There are not many things in life that make your heart skip a beat and well up tears of euphoria in your eyes…holding your newborn child in your arms is certainly one of them. Our Lord is So Very Good!!!

Baby Michael David continues to fight his infection. His weight was a bit down today but we are hoping that turns around soon.

He is so tiny! The pictures really don’t do him justice on how small he is. I got to sing to him and just talk about how much he is Loved. On how so many of you have prayed for him and helped us. He said to say Thank You to you all.

He also heard about his siblings and how they can’t wait to meet him in person and play with him!

We can’t wait to take him home and October 19th can’t come soon enough!

Once again, Thank you for all the continuing prayers, well wishes and help you have so generously Blessed us with. We couldn’t be doing this all without your prayers and help.

May God Bless & Protect us and our families.
πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡




Monday, September 6, 2021

Michael David, born at 32 weeks - Update

 Mark and Eva Valencia's son was born early by c-section, and Eva tested positive for Covid. Baby Michael David, in NICU, has been fighting a bacterial infection, but is holding his own. 

The family is grateful for the help received from TVLMS patrons. For those not on the email list, the family has a GoFundMe site where you can help out or just follow the progress. https://gofund.me/90f0b19c 

Your prayers for the family are appreciated! The road is still very bumpy!

Mark and his family moved here from California recently. They chose Boise in part because of the availability of the TLM, which was been an important part of the relocation decision making process. 





Tuesday, August 10, 2021

From Bishop Peter Christensen

https://www.catholicidaho.org/post/pope-francis-bishop-peter-liturgy-should-unite-not-divide

Updated 8/13/2021


Pope Francis, Bishop Peter: Liturgy should unite, not divide
The following is a letter sent to the priests of the Diocese on August 6, 2021:



Dear Brothers in Christ: 

As you are most likely aware, on July 16, 2021 Pope Francis released his apostolic letter, motu proprio, Traditionis Custodes: On the Use of the Roman Liturgy Prior to the Reform of 1970. As the name of the document indicates, its focus is the use of the pre-Vatican II Missal, commonly called the Tridentine Mass. 

In Traditionis Custodes, Pope Francis reimposes the limits on the public celebration of this form of the Mass, permission for which was expanded under St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. Most important, he restores the diocesan bishop as the exclusive authority over the celebration of this Mass in his own diocese: "It belongs to the diocesan bishop, as moderator, promoter, and guardian of the whole liturgical life of the particular Church entrusted to him, to regulate the liturgical celebrations of his diocese. Therefore, it is his exclusive competence to authorize the use of the 1962 Roman Missal in his diocese, according to the guidelines of the Apostolic See." 

There has been much conversation- and some consternation- following the release of this document. As we prepare to implement the motu proprio in Idaho, it will be helpful to keep in mind my own concerns and actions with regard to the integrity of the liturgy as celebrated in our Diocese leading up to this moment, as well as the concerns that Pope Francis found necessary to highlight in releasing this document. 

It is important to understand that before Pope Francis wrote his apostolic letter, he consulted with all the bishops from around the world regarding the fruits of Benedict XVI' s expansion of the use of the 1962 Missal. I personally responded to this questionnaire sent by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as did most of my brother bishops. It was in response to these questionnaires that the document Traditionis Custodes was written. That is, Pope Francis was not operating solely under his own initiative in the creation of this document, but only after "having considered the wishes expressed by the Episcopate and having heard the opinion of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith." 

Notably, Pope Francis reiterated the pronouncement Pope Benedict made in Summorum Pontificum. Both Popes, in each of their apostolic letters on the topic of the use of the 1962 Missal, declared the liturgical rites' books promulgated after the Second Vatican Council to be the "law of worship" of the Roman Rite. Furthermore, Pope Francis, echoing the experience of the bishops around the world, voiced dismay for the divisiveness that has resulted from Pope Benedict's efforts saying, "An opportunity offered by St. John Paul II and, with even greater magnanimity, by Benedict XVI, intended to recover the unity of an ecclesial body with diverse liturgical sensibilities, was exploited to widen the gaps, reinforce the divergences, and encourage disagreements that injure the Church, block her path, and expose her to the peril of division." 

My brother priests, these are not new concerns for me. I have also been troubled by a divisive energy rising from those who seek to "restore" the Church to the Tridentine Liturgy. Efforts I have made to provide the Extraordinary Form for those who wish it have often been met by greater demands and an expressed intention to attend churches that are in schism with the Catholic Church, such as the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), rather than attending a Novus Ordo Mass. 

Of the concerns expressed by Pope Francis in Traditionis Custodes are in a letter to bishops that accompanied the motu proprio is(1) the proper celebration of the Novus Ordo, as well as the subsequent abuses of a narrowly interpreted understanding of the Tridentine Mass: 

At the same time, I am saddened by abuses in the celebration of the liturgy on all sides. In common with Benedict XVI, I deplore the fact that "in many places the prescriptions of the new Missal are not observed in celebration, but indeed come to be interpreted as an authorization for or even a requirement of creativity, which leads to almost unbearable distortions." But I am nonetheless saddened that the instrumental use of Missale Romanum of 1962 is often characterized by a rejection not only of the liturgical reform, but of the Vatican Council II itself, claiming, with unfounded and unsustainable assertions, that it betrayed the Tradition and the "true Church." The path of the Church must be seen within the dynamic of Tradition "which originates from the Apostles and progresses in the Church with the assistance of the Holy Spirit." A recent stage of this dynamic was constituted by Vatican Council II where the Catholic episcopate came together to listen and to discern the path for the Church indicated by the Holy Spirit. To doubt the Council is to doubt the intentions of those very Fathers who exercised their collegial power in a solemn manner cum Petro et sub Petro in an ecumenical council, and, in the final analysis, to doubt the Holy Spirit himself who guides the Church. 

As Pope Francis has strongly alluded to in the above quote, there has been a tendency of some to depict the pre-Vatican II liturgy as being more reverent and "truly" Catholic than the Novus Ordo, and to imply that the liturgy as ordinarily celebrated in our parishes is irreverent and somehow less pure than the Extraordinary Form. I can assure you that as I travel through the state, I recognize that our liturgies are far from irreverent. Rather, by and large, our priests and the people of Idaho are themselves trustworthy custodians of our sacred liturgy, celebrating their public worship with attentive care and faithfully nurturing the Body of Christ. However, that being said, the motu proprio is a good opportunity for all of us to pay renewed attention to our celebrations, and to do all we can to ensure that our public worship is in accord with the current Roman Missal. 

My concern has been, and remains, the unity of the Catholic Church in Idaho - particularly with regard to Her sacramental life. Much of what I have done since being named Bishop has been to that end: always after careful consideration, always with the good of the faithful in mind, and often in direct response to an expressed concern by them. 

As you may recall, I restored the posture of kneeling at the Lamb of God. I have encouraged locating the tabernacle in our churches to a place of prominence. I issued an instruction in February of 2020, clarifying confusing practices that had been introduced into the liturgy in our Diocese. I have emphasized the integrity of our liturgies as celebrated at the Cathedral, as the model of liturgical excellence for all our parishes. I consecrated the Diocese to the care of Our Blessed Mother and have established initiatives to safeguard the spiritual life of our families, including the Marriage for Life movement and vigorous support for anti­abortion and pro-religious education legislation. 

Pope Francis ended his letter to the bishops by invoking the Spirit of the Risen Lord, that 

"He may make you strong and firm in your service to the People of God entrusted to you by the Lord, so that your care and vigilance express communion even in the unity of one, single Rite, in which is preserved the great richness of the Roman liturgical tradition." 

With this in mind, in accordance with Traditionis Custodes and Canon 381, 1, I decree that, effective immediately: 

It is determined that the priests of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, in situ at St. Joan of Arc Parish in Coeur d'Alene, do not deny the validity and legitimacy of the liturgical reform as dictated by Vatican Council II and therefore may continue to use the 1962 Roman Missal in that parish solely;

It is determined that the St. Paul's Treasure Valley Latin Mass Society, which exists as an apostolate of St. Paul's Catholic Community in Nampa, is effective for the spiritual growth of the faithful and may therefore continue its current practice, solely under the conditions set forth in my memo to their pastor dated March 8, 2019, and again in my memo of April 6, 2021. As Pope Francis has also stated, the readings must be proclaimed in the vernacular language, using translations of the Sacred Scripture approved for current liturgical use by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; 

Priests in this Diocese who are currently celebrating Mass according to the Roman Missal of 1962 and wish to continue must request permission from me in writing; and

All priests who wish to celebrate any Mass, other than a private Mass, according to the Roman Missal of 1962, must request permission from me in writing.



(1) Revision of posted document dated 8/13/2021

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Traditional Latin Mass, Sunday August 8, 2021

 We have received word from Fr Brady that the Traditional Latin Mass for the 11th Sunday after Pentecost will be held this Sunday, August 8, at 3PM, at the New St. Paul’s Church, 510 W. Roosevelt, Nampa, ID 83686.

 Please come, encourage others to attend, and bring a friend!   Attendance will be noticed!

 Some letters in support of the Traditional Latin Mass have come in, but more  are needed! If you would like to write one to our dear Bishop to express support for the traditional Mass, you can still mail it or bring it to Sunday's TLM where there will be someone to collect them.

 St. Joseph, pray for the increase of the Traditional Latin Mass in the Treasure Valley and the establishment of an FSSP Parish. We pray also for Fr Brady, Fr Vogel, and Bishop Christensen.

 

 "The ancient liturgy, with its poignant symbols and innumerable subtleties, is a prolonged courtship of the soul, enticing and drawing it onwards, leading it along a path to the mystical marriage, the wedding feast of heaven."  Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis: Sacred Liturgy, the Traditional Latin Mass, and Renewal in the Church, Peter Kwasniewski

Traditionis Custodes vs. St John XXIII: Guest Article by Dr Nancy Llewellyn

 

Traditionis Custodes vs. St John XXIII: Guest Article by Dr Nancy Llewellyn

We are profoundly grateful to Dr Nancy Llewellyn for sharing with us these reflections on Pope St John XXIII’s Apostolic Constitution Veterum Sapientia, and its relevance to the recent motu proprio. Dr Llewellyn teaches Latin at St Joseph College Seminary and at Belmont Abbey College in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is the Vice-President of the Veterum Sapientia Institute, which works to promote the study of Latin in accordance with the tradition and law of the Church as outlined in the aforementioned document.

Pope Francis’ new motu proprio Traditionis Custodes repeatedly appeals to two objective goods as justifications for the measures it imposes: the unity of the Church, and the preservation in Church practice of the Second Vatican Council’s reforms. A number of commentators have already addressed the first issue, with more opinions coming out by the hour. I am concerned only with the second.
Traditionis Custodes imposes an immediate return to the liturgical climate that existed before Benedict XVI’s 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. It states that this return is urgently necessary to preserve the heritage of Vatican II. By inescapable implication, to make such an assertion is to state that the status quo ante prior to 2007 was in accord with the Second Council’s reforms. It was not so.
Indeed, the prevailing condition of Latin liturgy and Latin culture in the Church between the end of the Second Council in 1965 and the 2007 publication of Summorum Pontificum was utterly at odds with the will of St John XXIII, Vatican II’s creator. By extension, it was also contrary to the will of the Council itself, for the Council Fathers never invalidated, altered, or restricted Pope John’s directives on this particular topic, even though they continued in session for more than two years after his death. Logically, then, if the pre-2007 status rerum was not in accord with Vatican II, no one can justify a forcible return to it in the name of the Council.
Even the most basic outline of modern Church history highlights John XXIII and the Second Vatican Council as gargantuan figures: a portentous reformer and his signature accomplishment. But that is only part of the picture, though it has nearly universally been taken to be the whole. Pope John sought also to be a preserver and a rebuilder of Church tradition, particularly with regard to the use of Latin.
His authoritative 1962 document Veterum Sapientia [1] envisioned and required a broad restoration of Latin culture throughout the Universal Church, and provided an arrestingly concrete and detailed plan to make it happen. This document consists of a six-page Constitutio Apostolica – a statement of general goals and principles – followed by twenty-five pages of practical instructions which reach a granular level of detail – even listing the specific authors to be studied year by year over the course of a seven-year compulsory Latin curriculum for seminarians.

It would be difficult to exaggerate the solemnity with which Pope John signed his Constitution. He did so on the High Altar of St. Peter’s Basilica, on February 22, 1962, the feast of the Chair of Peter, second only to the Keys as a symbol of papal authority. As he signed, that very Chair’s earthly relics loomed behind him, enshrined in Bernini’s famous cathedra, while before him lay a packed basilica, a sea of faces including those of two hundred bishops and forty cardinals. One struggles to imagine what more he could have done to emphasize the importance of the document he was signing: hire arc lights, perhaps, and set them up in the Piazza San Pietro?

Pope John’s Constitution contained, in its sixth and final page, an order for the immediate writing of regulations to ensure it would be implemented speedily and properly. These regulations, called in Latin the Ordinationes (English “Ordinances” or “Statutes”) were finished and published just two months later by the Sacred Congregation for Seminaries and Universities. [2] The Ordinationes were slated to come into legal force in every Catholic university and seminary on earth in October of 1963 [3]; had they done so, we would today be living in an utterly different world. The death of Pope John on June third of that year appears to be the major reason why the Ordinationes were not put into effect on schedule, even though, on the day of his death, the preparations had already been underway for thirteen months – the last eight of those months with the Second Vatican Council in session. [4]
Image from Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0
It is harder to account for the near-total oblivion to which Veterum Sapientia has been consigned in the decades since Pope John’s death. It was duly published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis. [5] Decades later, the Constitution alone was included on the Vatican website’s document archive, in its Latin original, and only one vernacular version, in Spanish. The Ordinationes, by contrast, were virtually impossible to find anywhere online outside the AAS, nor was any full translation into a modern language published until early this year. [6]

And yet it is essential to note that no document of the Second Vatican Council, nor any subsequent papal document, has ever abrogated or even modified Veterum Sapientia. If one defines law as valid statute rather than simply what people happen to be doing, then Veterum Sapientia has been the law and policy of the Universal Church since it was signed, and remains so today.

What, then, did this law and policy require? What would be our situation now if Pope John’s vision had been respected in practice? It is a matter of bitter irony, at this writing, that the primary reason John XXIII advanced for restoring Latin to its place of honor in the Church was for the sake of Her unity, across space and through time. For Latin, he wrote, “does not favor any one nation, but presents itself with equal impartiality to all… while the Church, precisely because it embraces all nations and is destined to endure to the end of time … of its very nature requires a language which is universal, immutable, and non-vernacular.” [7]

The elevated language and rhetorical vistas of the Constitution might have tempted cynical Modernists to dismiss it as mere lip-service to a distant cultural ideal. But no one could maintain this opinion for long who went on to read the Ordinationes. They are concrete, remarkably detailed, and equipped with sharp statutory “teeth.” Some sample passages: [8]
  • Instructors who are found to be ineffective for whatever reason, and especially those who are hostile to this language [Latin] are to be removed immediately, lest corrosive indulgence or reprehensible neglect compromise their young students’ first instruction, perhaps irreparably. (II, 7)
  • Latin language studies in high schools for clerics [major seminaries] have this principal goal: that aspirants to Holy Orders should be able to go to the sources of Sacred Tradition understand the documents of the popes and the councils, and likewise the liturgy. The goal is to make [seminarians] able to use this language [Latin] to learn their major academic disciplines, to write Church documents and letters, and to correspond with their brother clergy of other nations. Finally, at the highest levels, the objective is to make them able to take part in the sort of ecclesiastical debates on articles of Catholic faith and discipline which occur in councils and meetings… (II.i.§2)
  • This curriculum is to last at least seven years, for young people beginning their Latin classes in seminaries. They are to have no fewer than six hours per week in the first five years, and no fewer than five hours weekly in the remaining two. (II.ii.§1.1)
  • … the other academic disciplines will have to be sequenced and abridged (and some perhaps cut entirely or left for later), so that Our mandate concerning the time to be given to Latin language study may be obeyed in every respect. (II.ii.§2)
  • Latin language teaching method ought to cause students to acquire the ability to use it. For this reason, the overflowing philological pot-au-feu which makes up nearly the entire menu in schools of the Humanities, especially graduate schools, will have to be thrown out, since it does not give the nourishment one would reasonably expect from such study. (II.iv.§2)
  • Any textbook used for teaching Latin syntax shall itself be written in Latin. (II.iv.§7)
  • The academic disciplines to be taught in Latin are: Theoretical Philosophy; General, Dogmatic and Moral Theology; General and Specialized Introduction to Sacred Scripture, and Canon Law. (II. §2)
  • The professors by whom the major ecclesiastical academic disciplines are to be taught in Latin must 1. Prepare everything carefully in Latin; the Latin must be clear and correct, as the dignity of these disciplines requires. They are not to rely on extempore speaking as a form of discourse. 2. Be selected for this task with an eye not merely to their expertise in their own discipline, even if it be unique; it must also be ascertained that they possess the requisite knowledge of Latin and ability to use it. 3. Be informed of this requirement in a timely way so that they may prepare themselves to meet it; appropriate support shall be provided to them so that they may prepare. 4. Be removed from their positions if they neglect and hold in contempt the requirement given here for using Latin in their teaching, lest by their instruction and example they harm their students. (III. ii. §6).
An exhaustive study of Pope John’s vision is beyond the scope of these remarks. But these sample passages make it unavoidably clear that the father of the Second Vatican Council firmly intended the post-Conciliar Church to enjoy a robust intellectual and spiritual culture based on Latin and lived through Latin, as it had done through all its prior history. The Mass itself, which went into the Second Council in Latin and came out of it still in Latin, was to have flourished like the Tree of Life in the middle of a lush garden of letters. How different is this vision from the reality in which we live today!
To what extent the Council Fathers shared the vision of Veterum Sapientia is an investigable question, especially given what actually happened in the years and decades following the Council’s conclusion. It yet remains a matter of fact that neither the Fathers, nor any subsequent synod, nor indeed any of John’s successors ever abridged or abrogated it. Paul VI, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI, in fact, were careful to cite it in initiatives of their own.

Traditionis Custodes aims now to marginalize and, after a generation or two, eliminate, what has become de facto the only surviving Latin Mass of the Roman Church: the Extraordinary Form. It is true that the original Novus Ordo was, and is still, a Latin-language liturgy. But to my knowledge at least, there is not a single “Novus Ordo Latin Community” anywhere on the face of Earth. Perhaps there should be.

Someone might protest that Traditionis Custodes’ restrictions apply only to the Mass and not to other forms of Latin liturgy, still less to Catholic Latin literature or to the language itself. But the ominous directive against further Vatican printing of pre-Conciliar liturgical books suggests a much broader prohibitive intent. The stated goal of guided obsolescence of the EF Mass means hollowing out that center of gravity around which all “Ecclesiastical Latin” ultimately revolves. What becomes of planets when a black hole swallows their star?

And as far as concerns the language itself, if twenty-second-century Catholics, entirely ignorant of their Mother Tongue, cannot hear the voices of their ancestors in the faith, then what does this mean for the communion of the Church Militant with the Church Suffering and the Church Triumphant?
Whatever the fortunes of Traditionis Custodes may be, it should be clear that it is ordered toward the shaping of a future Church which will be, in its liturgical and cultural features, not consonant with but rather a break from the unitive vision and hopes of St John XXIII. His name, therefore, and that of his epochal Council, ought not to be invoked in its support.

NOTES:
[1] As a document type, the Apostolic Constitution is ranked either in first or second place for importance, depending on the source. Rankings of papal documents place the Apostolic Constitution between one and five steps above the Motu Proprio in magisterial authority. One place where its text can be accessed is here: https://www.vatican.va/content/john-xxiii/la/apost_constitutions/1962/documents/hf_j-xxiii_apc_19620222_veterum-sapientia.html
[2] https://www.vatican.va/archive/aas/documents/AAS-54-1962-ocr.pdf, p. 339 et seq. Accessed 22 July 2021.
[3] Catholic institutions in the southern hemisphere were ordered to begin implementation in the first academic term of 1964, as October 1963 would have fallen at mid-term
[4] John XXIII convened the Council on October 11, 1962.
[5] Apostolic Constitution: https://www.vatican.va/archive/aas/documents/AAS-54-1962-ocr.pdf p. 129 et seq. Accessed 22 July 2021.
[6] https://veterumsapientia.org/resources/; 1) the Acta Apostolicae Sedis (AAS) is the Vatican equivalent of the US Congressional Record, containing a written record of all official papal communications; 2) numerous secular websites of various kinds, providentially, have preserved online the Latin original text of Veterum Sapientia and offer translations into various languages.

Monday, August 2, 2021

An Apostolic Constitution trumps a Motu Proprio.

 

Veterum Sapientia

On the Promotion of the Study of Latin

On the Promotion of the Study of Latin

Apostolic Constitution

The wisdom of the ancient world, enshrined in Greek and Roman literature, and the truly memorable teaching of ancient peoples, served, surely, to herald the dawn of the Gospel which Gods Son, “the judge and teacher of grace and truth, the light and guide of the human race,”1 proclaimed on earth.

Such was the view of the Church Fathers and Doctors. In these outstanding literary monuments of antiquity, they recognized man’s spiritual preparation for the supernatural riches which Jesus Christ communicated to mankind “to give history its fulfillment.”2

Thus the inauguration of Christianity did not mean the obliteration of man’s past achievements. Nothing was lost that was in any way true, just, noble and beautiful.

Venerable languages

The Church has ever held the literary evidences of this wisdom in the highest esteem. She values especially the Greek and Latin languages in which wisdom itself is cloaked, as it were, in a vesture of gold. She has likewise welcomed the use of other venerable languages, which flourished in the East. For these too have had no little influence on the progress of humanity and civilization. By their use in sacred liturgies and in versions of Holy Scripture, they have remained in force in certain regions even to the present day, bearing constant witness to the living voice of antiquity.

A primary place

But amid this variety of languages a primary place must surely be given to that language which had its origins in Latium, and later proved so admirable a means for the spreading of Christianity throughout the West.

And since in God’s special Providence this language united so many nations together under the authority of the Roman Empire — and that for so many centuries — it also became the rightful language of the Apostolic See.3 Preserved for posterity, it proved to be a bond of unity for the Christian peoples of Europe.

The nature of Latin

Of its very nature Latin is most suitable for promoting every form of culture among peoples. It gives rise to no jealousies. It does not favor any one nation, but presents itself with equal impartiality to all and is equally acceptable to all.

Nor must we overlook the characteristic nobility of Latin for mal structure. Its “concise, varied and harmonious style, full of majesty and dignity”4 makes for singular clarity and impressiveness of expression.

Preservation of Latin by the Holy See

For these reasons the Apostolic See has always been at pains to preserve Latin, deeming it worthy of being used in the exercise of her teaching authority “as the splendid vesture of her heavenly doctrine and sacred laws.”5 She further requires her sacred ministers to use it, for by so doing they are the better able, wherever they may be, to acquaint themselves with the mind of the Holy See on any matter, and communicate the more easily with Rome and with one another.

Thus the “knowledge and use of this language,” so intimately bound up with the Church’s life, “is important not so much on cultural or literary grounds, as for religious reasons.”6 These are the words of Our Predecessor Pius XI, who conducted a scientific inquiry into this whole subject, and indicated three qualities of the Latin language which harmonize to a remarkable degree with the Church’s nature. “For the Church, precisely because it embraces all nations and is destined to endure to the end of time … of its very nature requires a language which is universal, immutable, and non-vernacular.”7

Universal

Since “every Church must assemble round the Roman Church,”8 and since the Supreme Pontiffs have “true episcopal power, ordinary and immediate, over each and every Church and each and every Pastor, as well as over the faithful”9 of every rite and language, it seems particularly desirable that the instrument of mutual communication be uniform and universal, especially between the Apostolic See and the Churches which use the same Latin rite.

When, therefore, the Roman Pontiffs wish to instruct the Catholic world, or when the Congregations of the Roman Curia handle matters or draw up decrees which concern the whole body of the faithful, they invariably make use of Latin, for this is a maternal voice acceptable to countless nations.

Immutable

Furthermore, the Church’s language must be not only universal but also immutable. Modern languages are liable to change, and no single one of them is superior to the others in authority. Thus if the truths of the Catholic Church were entrusted to an unspecified number of them, the meaning of these truths, varied as they are, would not be manifested to everyone with sufficient clarity and precision. There would, moreover, be no language which could serve as a common and constant norm by which to gauge the exact meaning of other renderings.

But Latin is indeed such a language. It is set and unchanging. it has long since ceased to be affected by those alterations in the meaning of words which are the normal result of daily, popular use. Certain Latin words, it is true, acquired new meanings as Christian teaching developed and needed to be explained and defended, but these new meanings have long since become accepted and firmly established.

Non-vernacular

Finally, the Catholic Church has a dignity far surpassing that of every merely human society, for it was founded by Christ the Lord. It is altogether fitting, therefore, that the language it uses should be noble, majestic, and non-vernacular.

In addition, the Latin language “can be called truly catholic.”10 It has been consecrated through constant use by the Apostolic See, the mother and teacher of all Churches, and must be esteemed “a treasure … of incomparable worth.”11. It is a general passport to the proper understanding of the Christian writers of antiquity and the documents of the Church’s teaching.12 It is also a most effective bond, binding the Church of today with that of the past and of the future in wonderful continuity.

Educational value of Latin

There can be no doubt as to the formative and educational value either of the language of the Romans or of great literature generally. It is a most effective training for the pliant minds of youth. It exercises, matures and perfects the principal faculties of mind and spirit. It sharpens the wits and gives keenness of judgment. It helps the young mind to grasp things accurately and develop a true sense of values. It is also a means for teaching highly intelligent thought and speech.

A natural result

It will be quite clear from these considerations why the Roman Pontiffs have so often extolled the excellence and importance of Latin, and why they have prescribed its study and use by the secular and regular clergy, forecasting the dangers that would result from its neglect.

A resolve to uphold Latin

And We also, impelled by the weightiest of reasons — the same as those which prompted Our Predecessors and provincial synods 13 — are fully determined to restore this language to its position of honor, and to do all We can to promote its study and use. The employment of Latin has recently been contested in many quarters, and many are asking what the mind of the Apostolic See is in this matter. We have therefore decided to issue the timely directives contained in this document, so as to ensure that the ancient and uninterrupted use of Latin be maintained and, where necessary, restored.

We believe that We made Our own views on this subject sufficiently clear when We said to a number of eminent Latin scholars:

“It is a matter of regret that so many people, unaccountably dazzled by the marvelous progress of science, are taking it upon themselves to oust or restrict the study of Latin and other kindred subjects…. Yet, in spite of the urgent need for science, Our own view is that the very contrary policy should be followed. The greatest impression is made on the mind by those things which correspond more closely to man’s nature and dignity. And therefore the greatest zeal should be shown in the acquisition of whatever educates and ennobles the mind. Otherwise poor mortal creatures may well become like the machines they build — cold, hard, and devoid of love.”14

Provisions for the Promotion of Latin Studies

With the foregoing considerations in mind, to which We have given careful thought, We now, in the full consciousness of Our Office and in virtue of Our authority, decree and command the following:

Responsibility for enforcement

  1. Bishops and superiors-general of religious orders shall take pains to ensure that in their seminaries and in their schools where adolescents are trained for the priesthood, all shall studiously observe the Apostolic See’s decision in this matter and obey these Our prescriptions most carefully.
  2. In the exercise of their paternal care they shall be on their guard lest anyone under their jurisdiction, eager for revolutionary changes, writes against the use of Latin in the teaching of the higher sacred studies or in the Liturgy, or through prejudice makes light of the Holy See’s will in this regard or interprets it falsely.

Study of Latin as a prerequisite

  1. As is laid down in Canon Law (can. 1364) or commanded by Our Predecessors, before Church students begin their ecclesiastical studies proper they shall be given a sufficiently lengthy course of instruction in Latin by highly competent masters, following a method designed to teach them the language with the utmost accuracy. “And that too for this reason: lest later on, when they begin their major studies . . . they are unable by reason of their ignorance of the language to gain a full understanding of the doctrines or take part in those scholastic disputations which constitute so excellent an intellectual training for young men in the defense of the faith.” 15

We wish the same rule to apply to those whom God calls to the priesthood at a more advanced age, and whose classical studies have either been neglected or conducted too superficially. No one is to be admitted to the study of philosophy or theology except he be thoroughly grounded in this language and capable of using it.

Traditional curriculum to be restored

  1. Wherever the study of Latin has suffered partial eclipse through the assimilation of the academic program to that which obtains in State public schools, with the result that the instruction given is no longer so thorough and well-grounded as formerly, there the traditional method of teaching this language shall be completely restored. Such is Our will, and there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind about the necessity of keeping a strict watch over the course of studies followed by Church students; and that not only as regards the number and kinds of subjects they study, but also as regards the length of time devoted to the teaching of these subjects.

Should circumstances of time and place demand the addition of other subjects to the curriculum besides the usual ones, then either the course of studies must be lengthened, or these additional subjects must be condensed or their study relegated to another time.

Sacred sciences to be taught in Latin

  1. In accordance with numerous previous instructions, the major sacred sciences shall be taught in Latin, which, as we know from many centuries of use, “must be considered most suitable for explaining with the utmost facility and clarity the most difficult and profound ideas and concepts.”16 For apart from the fact that it has long since been enriched with a vocabulary of appropriate and unequivocal terms, best calculated to safeguard the integrity of the Catholic faith, it also serves in no slight measure to prune away useless verbiage.

Hence professors of these sciences in universities or seminaries are required to speak Latin and to make use of textbooks written in Latin. If ignorance of Latin makes it difficult for some to obey these instructions, they shall gradually be replaced by professors who are suited to this task. Any difficulties that may be advanced by students or professors must be overcome by the patient insistence of the bishops or religious superiors, and the good will of the professors.

A Latin Academy

  1. Since Latin is the Church’s living language, it must be adequate to daily increasing linguistic requirements. It must be furnished with new words that are apt and suitable for expressing modern things, words that will be uniform and universal in their application. and constructed in conformity with the genius of the ancient Latin tongue. Such was the method followed by the sacred Fathers and the best writers among the scholastics.

To this end, therefore, We commission the Sacred Congregation of Seminaries and Universities to set up a Latin Academy staffed by an international body of Latin and Greek professors. The principal aim of this Academy — like the national academies founded to promote their respective languages — will be to superintend the proper development of Latin, augmenting the Latin lexicon where necessary with words which conform to the particular character and color of the language.

It will also conduct schools for the study of Latin of every era, particularly the Christian one. The aim of these schools will be to impart a fuller understanding of Latin and the ability to use it and to write it with proper elegance. They will exist for those who are destined to teach Latin in seminaries and ecclesiastical colleges, or to write decrees and judgments or conduct correspondence in the ministries of the Holy See, diocesan curias, and the offices of religious orders.

The teaching of Greek

  1. Latin is closely allied to Greek both in formal structure and in the importance of its extant writings. Hence — as Our Predecessors have frequently ordained — future ministers of the altar must be instructed in Greek in the lower and middle schools. Thus when they come to study the higher sciences — and especially if they are aiming for a degree in Sacred Scripture or theology — they will be enabled to follow the Greek sources of scholastic philosophy and understand them correctly; and not only these, but also the original texts of Sacred Scripture, the Liturgy, and the sacred Fathers.17

A syllabus for the teaching of Latin

  1. We further commission the Sacred Congregation of Seminaries and Universities to prepare a syllabus for the teaching of Latin which all shall faithfully observe. The syllabus will be designed to give those who follow it an adequate understanding of the language and its use. Episcopal boards may indeed rearrange this syllabus if circumstances warrant, but they must never curtail it or alter its nature. Ordinaries may not take it upon themselves to put their own proposals into effect until these have been examined and approved by the Sacred Congregation.

Finally, in virtue of Our apostolic authority, We will and command that all the decisions, decrees, proclamations and recommendations of this Our Constitution remain firmly established and ratified, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, however worthy of special note.

Given at Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on the feast of Saint Peter’s Throne on the 22nd day of February in the year 1962, the fourth of Our pontificate.

END NOTES:
1. Tertullian, Apol. 21: Migne, FL 1, 294.
2. Ephesians 1, 10.
3. Epist. S. Cong. Stud. Vehementer sane, ad Ep. universos, July 1, 1908: Ench. Cler., N. 820. Cf. also Epist. Ap. Pius XI, Unigenitus Dei Filius, Mar. 19, 1924: AAS 16 (1924), 141.
4. Pius XI, Epist. Ap. Officiorum omnium, Aug. 1, 1922: AAS 14 (1922), 452-453.
5. Pius XI, Motu proprio Litterarum latinarum, Oct. 20, 1924: AAS 16 (1924), 417.
6. Pius XI, Epist. Ap. Officiorum omnium, Aug. 1, 1922: AAS 14 (1922), 452.
7. Ibid.
8. Saint Iren., Adv. Haer. 3, 3, 2: Migne PG 7, 848.
9. Cf. CIC, can. 218, pars. 2.
10. Cf. Pius XI, Epist. Ap. Officiorum omnium, Aug. 1, 1922: AAS 14 (1922), 453.
11. Pius XII, Al. Magis quam, Nov. 23, 1951: AAS 43 (1951), 737.
12. Leo XIII, Epist. Encycl. Depuis le jour, Sept. 8, 1899: Acta Leonis XIII, 19 (1899), 166.
13. Cf. Collectio Lacensis, espec. vol. III, 1018s. ( Cone. Prov. Westmonasteriense, a (1859); Vol. IV, 29 (Conc. Prov. Parisiense, a 1849); Vol. IV, 149, 153 (Cone. Prov. Rhemense, a 1849); Vol. IV, 359, 861 (Conc. Prov. Avenionense, a 1849); Vol. IV, 394, 396 (Cone. Prov. Burdigalense, a 1850); Vol. V, 61 (Cone. Strigoniense, a 1858); Vol. V. 664 (Conc. Prov. Colocense, a 1863); Vol. VI, 619 (Synod. Vicariatus Suchnensis, a 1803).
14. International Convention for the Promotion of Ciceronian Studies, Sept. 7, 1959, in Discorsi Messaggi Colloqui del Santo Padre Giovanni XXIII, I, pp. 234-235. [English translation in TPS, V, 421.] Cf. also Address to Roman Pilgrims of the Diocese of Piacenza, April 15, 1959, in L’Osservatore Romano April 16, 1959; Epist. Pater misericordiarum, Aug. 22, 1961, in A.4S 53 (1961), 677; Address given on the occasion of the solemn inauguration of the College of the Philippine Islands at Rome, Oct. 7, 1961, in L’Osservatore Romano, Oct. 9-10, 1961; Epist. lucunda laudatio, Dec. 8, 1961: AAS 53 (1961), 812 [English summary in TPS, VII, 367-8.]
15. Pius XII, Epist. Ap. Officiorum omnium, Aug. 1, 1922: AAS 14 (1922), 453.
16. Epist. S. C. Stud., Vehementer sane, July 1, 1908: Ench. Cler., N. 821.
17. Leo XIII. Lit. Encyci. Providentissimus Deus, Nov. 18, 1893: Acta Leonis XIII 13 (1893), 342; Epist. Plane quidem intelligis, May 20, 1885, Acta, 5, 63-64; Pius XII, Alloc. Magis quam, Sept. 23, 1951: AAS 43 (1951), 737.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Official Statement of the FΕ“deratio Internationalis Una Voce regarding the Motu Proprio «Traditionis Custodes»

  Monday, 19 July 2021

Official Statement of the FΕ“deratio Internationalis Una Voce regarding the Motu Proprio «Traditionis Custodes»

The International Federation Una Voce (FIUV) is the worldwide organization of lay faithful attached to the celebration of the Mass according to the Editio Typica 1962 of the Roman Missal, known until now as the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, Usus Antiquior, or simply the Traditional Latin Mass.

Since its foundation in 1965, the FIUV has developed its activities in obedience to and in harmony with the Holy See, where we have always been received with cordiality and openness.

On 16th July 2021, Pope Francis published an Apostolic Letter given motu proprio, Traditionis Custodes, which establishes tight restrictions and limitations on the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass.

The International Federation cannot fail to note that the motivation for the new Apostolic Letter, as stated in the accompanying letter of the Reigning Pontiff derives from the alleged attitudes and words of those of us who choose the Traditional Mass, as reported by some Bishops to the Holy See, which involve a «rejection of the Church and her institutions in the name of what they consider the "true Church."» In addition to an «instrumental use of the Missale Romanum of 1962, which is increasingly characterized by a growing rejection not only of the liturgical reform but of the Second Vatican Council, with the unfounded and unsustainable claim that it has betrayed Tradition and the "true Church."»

Both the characterization of Catholics attached to the Traditional Mass, and the harsh new restrictions on it, sadden us greatly. It is our experience, as representatives of groups of the faithful, that what primarily attract people to the spirituality of the Traditional Mass are not the theological or pastoral discussions of the past, but respect for the Sacred, and the sense of the continuity of Tradition, which does not remain as a mere aspiration, but is lived daily in the venerable rite that has developed slowly through centuries and has never been abrogated.

Certainly, as with other groups of the Faithful, there is no absolute homogeneity in the opinions and attitudes of those attached to the former Missal. But precisely in their desire to assist at this Mass within the framework of their Dioceses and parishes, these Catholics implicitly express their recognition of the true Church, cum Petro et sub Petro.

Finally, as sons and daughters of the Church we wish to express our sadness over the restrictions on our ability to continue to nourish our spiritual lives using parish churches, as any Catholic would like to do. If there is one thing we fervently desire, it is to be able to live a normal life without being forced to use hidden or inaccessible spaces.

We believe that the beautiful spiritual fruits of this Missal should be shared, and we pray that we can be instruments of God inside and outside the Church.

The International Federation is deeply grateful to each of the Bishops who are generously providing for the faithful attached to the ancient Mass in their dioceses and to the Priests entrusted with the care of their souls.

Una Voce groups all over the world are united in prayer, as always, with their bishops and with the Pope.

Many of the faithful look to us to make their desires known, particularly in Rome, in a way which combines a sincere respect for the Universal Church and the Holy Father, with a love of the Traditions which are ultimately inseparable from them. We are committed to this task, which we and our predecessors have undertaken for more than half a century. 

Felipe Alanis Suarez

President

18 of July 2021


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Saturday, July 24, 2021

New movie to be released soon!


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The MASS OF THE AGES team is thrilled to share Episode I with you in just a few weeks! With your support and prayers, and a lot of dedication from our team, we have put together a powerful and stunning film.

 

MASS OF THE AGES will inspire many Catholics to attend the Latin Mass, thousands of priests to say it, and it is now our hope that bishops all over the world will see this film and be moved to ensure it lives on in their dioceses.