Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Reform of Palm Sunday in the Roman Rite

NLM: Bugnini on the Reform of Palm Sunday (Part 1) by Gregory DiPippo

Modern Latin Devotion to St. Joseph

in the guise of a Roman document to the Church Universal.

Pope Leo XIII, Quamquam pluries

NLM: The Solemnity of St Joseph 2020 by Gregory DiPippo

The special reasons for which St Joseph is held to be Patron of the Church, and for the sake of which the Church has such great confidence in his protection and patronage, are that he was the spouse of Mary, and was reputed the father of Jesus Christ....

Now playing Rachel Fulton Brown: Bury St. Edmunds

Fr. Aquinas Guilbeau, O.P.: "Friendship and the Common Good"

Thomistic Institute:

To be live-streamed tomorrow at 5:00 PM EST>

Recent Synods of the Patriarch of Rome

The “Historic” Amazonian Synod, Revisited by George Weigl

Also published at CWR.

Weigel's purpose is to protect the true legacy of Vatican II and of the popes of Vatican II, and so he compares the Amazon Synod to previous synods called by the patriarch of Rome. We see the same pattern over and over ago, attempts at top-down reform using existing institutional practices, which are mostly bureaucratic in nature. I'll just comment upon a few of these synods that Weigel considers to be more "historic" than the Amazon Synod.

The 1974 Synod on evangelization was a donnybrook, reflecting the turbulence in the Church a decade after the Second Vatican Council. The synod fathers couldn’t agree on a final report, so they handed the synod’s materials to Pope Paul VI with the request that he do something. Pope Paul responded with the great apostolic exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi (Announcing the Gospel). It was Paul VI’s last pastoral testament to the Church and the first summons to what John Paul II would call the “New Evangelization”: the grand strategy that animates the living parts of the world Church today.
This is the same pope that failed to give any sort of modicum of leadership at a time when papal authority still carried some weight with bishops. This is also the same pope who created the turbulence with a disastrous liturgical reform. A pope who was wrongly canonized for the sake of institutional reasons. How can there be a "evangelization" by Christian peoples who cannot give credible witness with respect to their private lives, non-existent parish lives, and liturgical worship? The bishops failed to focus on the basics; if they had done so, they wouldn't need a document from Paul VI about evangelization.

The 1990 Synod debated priestly formation and seminary reform. The propositions adopted by the synod fathers helped shape John Paul II’s 1992 apostolic exhortation, Pastores Dabo Vobis (I Shall Give You Shepherds). Where it was taken seriously (as in the United States), that exhortation helped apply the brakes to the silly season in seminaries and laid the foundation for the reformed seminaries of today.
Assuming that seminaries, during a time of contracting local churches and budgets, would remain a viable option for educating future deacons and bishops was a mistake. Weigel's assessment of the current state of American seminaries, like his judgment of many other aspects of the patriarchate of Rome, is excessively positive. How many of these seminaries have implemented a program of scripture study even close to something like Pius X wanted? (What is the typical Latin seminarian's knowledge of Greek and Hebrew like?) How could Latins come to a new appreciation of the fundamental Kerygma without returning to the language of scripture, away from the jargon of neo-scholasticism?
And then there was the special Synod of 1985, which met on the 20th anniversary of Vatican II’s fourth and final session to explore what had gone right, and what had gone not-so-right, in implementing the Council. Its final report’s description of the Church as a communion of disciples in mission provided the thread that wove the 16 documents of Vatican II into a coherent, compelling tapestry of Catholic faith. Like Evangelii Nuntiandi, the special Synod of 1985 was a crucial moment in the journey from Vatican II—the council Pope John XXIII called to give the Church new missionary energy—to the New Evangelization.

Second Extraordinary General Assembly - The Twentieth Anniversary of the Conclusion of the Second Vatican Council (24 November-8 December 1985)

Vatican II remains the paradigmatic example of the use of an ecumenical council Latin synod to try to reform the patriarchate of Rome with respect to its theological outlook. (Even if one were to assume that the Ressourcement approach to theology and liturgy was the correct one, and this Latin traditionalists will still dispute.) It was the wrong instrument to accomplish this task, and could only fail. A Latin could argue that Vatican II was merely following Trent as a council of reform, but the Tridentine fathers had certain reforms in mind, which could be readily ascertained as to whether they were implemented or not. There was no questioning of the Latin ecclesial tradition at that time, but just a clarification of dogma in response to the Protestants (but really a solidification of scholastic theology as dogma), and how to reform the institutions of the Latin churches so that this dogma could be promoted. With respect to Vatican II, in contrast, a renewal of Latin theology and spirituality (which would necessarily involve an integration of the two), by its paradoxical combination of simplicity and complexity, could not simply be legislated into existence. It requires a true paradosis, and churches not acting as institutions but on a humane scale. Knowing the Gospel or Kerygma, witness, and the Christian life -- all touched upon in the synods after Vatican II, which did nothing permanent to arrest the decline of the Latin churches, as the same institutional practices remain in place.

Glorifying the Institution

CNA/CWR: Pope Francis creates foundation to promote John Paul I’s teachings

A pope who reigned for only 33 days... according to those who knew him, a gentle man. How many writings are there from his pontificate? Take a look.
According to a note signed by Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the foundation’s purpose “is to promote and disseminate awareness of the thought, works, and example of Pope John Paul I.”

Will the foundation also promote what he wrote and said as a bishop or as a theologian with private opinions? (Such writings must be evaluated according to their merits, and not elevated merely because the one who wrote them would later become pope, as if the Holy Spirit somehow guaranteed by his election that all of his previous writings were exemplary and free from error.) Why would it be necessary to promote the writings of an individual pope, except because of a maximalist view of the Roman papacy? All too often the private opinions of the man who was pope are confused with the "papal magisterium" and held to be on the same level.

There is one of his homilies as pope, in which he uses a proof-text from St. Ephrerm in support of Rome's claims about the scope of authority of the bishop of Rome: HOLY MASS FOR THE INAUGURATION OF THE PETRINE MINISTRY OF THE BISHOP OF ROME

Of course, the same sort of criticisms could be made about the establishment of a foundation for Benedict XVI/Joseph Ratzinger, even if Ratzinger's theological legacy is arguably greater than that of Albino Luciani.

Who was Albino Luciani, the 'smiling Pope'?
John Paul I: The September pope
The Unpublished Albino Luciani – Pope John Paul I, ‘the Smiling Pope’: Part I and Part II