Monday, July 19, 2021

Cdl. Mueller vs. Pp. Francis. It Ain't Pretty

Whoa.  

Cdl. Mueller fires the heavy artillery in an essay decrying Francis' move against the Extraordinary Form.  Mueller, as you recall, was the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith--until Francis tossed him to the curb.  His credentials are not to be taken lightly.

Writing about the Pope's legislation and letter:

...The clear intent is to condemn the Extraordinary Form to extinction in the long run....Beyond the presentation of his subjective reactions, however, a stringent and logically comprehensible theological argumentation would also have been appropriate. For papal authority does not consist in superficially demanding from the faithful mere obedience, i.e., a formal submission of the will, but, much more essentially, in enabling the faithful also to be convinced with consent of the mind....

...The quotation from St. Augustine about membership in the Church “according to the body” and “according to the heart” (Lumen Gentium 14) refers to the full Church membership of the Catholic faith. It consists in the visible incorporation into the body of Christ (creedal, sacramental, ecclesiastical-hierarchical communion) as well as in the union of the heart, i.e. in the Holy Spirit. What this means, however, is not obedience to the pope and the bishops in the discipline of the sacraments, but sanctifying grace, which fully involves us in the invisible Church as communion with the Triune God....

...For the unity in the confession of the revealed faith and the celebration of the mysteries of grace in the seven sacraments by no means require sterile uniformity in the external liturgical form, as if the Church were like one of the international hotel chains with their homogenous design. The unity of believers with one another is rooted in unity in God through faith, hope, and love and has nothing to do with uniformity in appearance, the lockstep of a military formation, or the groupthink of the big-tech age....

The Cardinal is a bit agitated, no?

He states the reasoning behind the Tridentine Missal (which was NOT homogenization) recalling that after Trent there remained all sorts of diversity in the celebration of the Mass.  He also defends the Missal of Paul VI (the Ordinary Form) as a means to avoid 'mechanical' celebration through the options afforded.

Then he gets specific about the current 'spirit' in the Vatican.  It ain't pretty.

 ...The Roman Church must not pass on its responsibility for unity in cult to the Bishops’ Conferences. Rome must oversee translation of the normative texts of the Missal of Paul VI, and even of the biblical texts, that might obscure the contents of the faith. Presumptions that one may “improve” the verba domini (e.g. pro multis – “for many” – at the consecration, the et ne nos inducas in tentationem – “and lead us not into temptation” – in the Our Father), contradict the truth of the faith and the unity of the Church much more than celebrating Mass according to the Missal of John XXIII....The key to a Catholic understanding of the liturgy lies in the insight that the substance of the sacraments is given to the Church as a visible sign and means of the invisible grace by virtue of divine law, but that it is up to the Apostolic See and, in accordance with the law, to the bishops to order the external form of the liturgy (insofar as it has not already existed since apostolic times)....

 Mueller makes it clear that 'resistance' to the OF or to Vatican II is NOT desirable, by the way.

...In Traditionis Custodes, the pope rightly insists on the unconditional recognition of Vatican II. Nobody can call himself a Catholic who either wants to go back behind Vatican II (or any other council recognized by the pope) as the time of the “true” Church or wants to leave that Church behind as an intermediate step towards a “new Church.”...

Then Mueller contrasts Francis' smackdown of the 'deplorables' against his apparent tolerance of other--even more grave--problems in worship, theology, and morality.

 

...One may measure Pope Francis’ will to return to unity the deplored so-called “traditionalists” (i.e., those opposed to the Missal of Paul VI) against the degree of his determination to put an end to the innumerable “progressivist” abuses of the liturgy (renewed in accordance with Vatican II) that are tantamount to blasphemy. The paganization of the Catholic liturgy – which is in its essence nothing other than the worship of the One and Triune God – through the mythologization of nature, the idolatry of environment and climate, as well as the Pachamama spectacle, were rather counterproductive for the restoration and renewal of a dignified and orthodox liturgy reflective of the fulness of the Catholic faith.

Nobody can turn a blind eye to the fact that even those priests and laypeople who celebrate Mass according to the order of the Missal of St. Paul VI are now being widely decried as traditionalist. The teachings of Vatican II on the uniqueness of redemption in Christ, the full realization of the Church of Christ in the Catholic Church, the inner essence of the Catholic liturgy as adoration of God and mediation of grace, Revelation and its presence in Scripture and Apostolic Tradition, the infallibility of the magisterium, the primacy of the pope, the sacramentality of the Church, the dignity of the priesthood, the holiness and indissolubility of marriage – all these are being heretically denied in open contradiction to Vatican II by a majority of German bishops and lay functionaries (even if disguised under pastoral phrases).

And despite all the apparent enthusiasm they express for Pope Francis, they are flatly denying the authority conferred on him by Christ as the successor of Peter. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s document about the impossibility of legitimizing same-sex and extramarital sexual contacts through a blessing is ridiculed by German (and not only German) bishops, priests, and theologians as merely the opinion of under-qualified curial officials. Here we have a threat to the unity of the Church in revealed faith, reminiscent of the size of the Protestant secession from Rome in the sixteenth century. Given the disproportion between the relatively modest response to the massive attacks on the unity of the church in the German “Synodal Way” (as well as in other pseudo-reforms) and the harsh disciplining of the old ritual minority, the image of the misguided fire brigade comes to mind, which – instead of saving the blazing house – instead first saves the small barn next to it.

 Bang.

 ...Without the slightest empathy, one ignores the religious feelings of the (often young) participants in the Masses according to the Missal John XXIII. (1962) Instead of appreciating the smell of the sheep, the shepherd here hits them hard with his crook. It also seems simply unjust to abolish celebrations of the “old” rite just because it attracts some problematic people: abusus non tollit usum....

Bang-slam-boom!! 

 ...What deserves special attention in Traditionis Custodes is the use of the axiom lex orandi-lex credendi (“Rule of prayer – rule of faith”). This phrase appears first in the anti-Pelagian Indiculus (“Against superstitions and paganism”) which spoke about “the sacraments of priestly prayers, handed down by the apostles to be celebrated uniformly all over the world and in the entire Catholic Church, so that the rule of prayer is the rule of faith.” (Denzinger H√ľnermann, Enchiridion symbolorum 3) This refers to the substance of the sacraments (in signs and words) but not the liturgical rite, of which there were several (with different variants) in the patristic era....

Whack! 

As to the Bishops now given responsibility for 'policing the proles'.....

... A little more knowledge of Catholic dogmatics and the history of the liturgy could counteract the unfortunate formation of opposing parties and also save the bishops from the temptation to act in an authoritarian, loveless, and narrow-minded manner against the supporters of the “old” Mass. The bishops are appointed as shepherds by the Holy Spirit: “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.” (Acts 20, 28) They are not merely representatives of a central office – with opportunities for advancement. The good shepherd can be recognized by the fact that he worries more about the salvation of souls than recommending himself to a higher authority by subservient “good behavior.”...

See, e.g., Puerto Rico and Little Rock, AR--so far.

Finally:

...Let us hope that the Congregations for Religious and for Divine Worship, with their new authority, do not become inebriated by power and think they have to wage a campaign of destruction against the communities of the old rite – in the foolish belief that by doing so they are rendering a service to the Church and promoting Vatican II.

If Traditionis Custodes is to serve the unity of the church, that can only mean a unity in faith, which enables us to “come to the perfect knowledge of the Son of God,” which is to say unity in truth and love. (cf. Eph 4, 12-15)....

Oremus.

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