It's official. The Catholic Knight is retired. I'm hanging up the helmet and passing the torch. There will be no more articles, no more commentaries, no more calls to action. THIS BLOG IS CLOSED. I've spent a very long time thinking about this, I believe the time has come, and is a bit overdue. I want to thank my readers for everything, but most especially for your encouragement and your willingness to go out there and fight the good fight. So, that being the case, I've spend the last several weeks looking for bloggers who are fairly active, and best represent something akin to the way I think and what I believe. I recommend the following blogs for my readers to bookmark and check on regularly. Pick one as your favourite, or pick them all. They are all great.....
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Incomming Anglicans To Assist Traditional Catholic Renewal
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The pope's plan for renewal of the Catholic Church in English-speaking nations is about to begin. Let me share with you some insight into the Holy Father's apparent strategy. Of course the pope is working toward liturgical renewal of the entire Catholic Church, as liturgical renewal often assists spiritual and moral renewal (Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi), however it is the English-speaking world that presents a particular challenge to the Holy Father, as the post-conciliar spirit of Modernism has taken such deep root in these nations. Many people see the pope's creation of Summorum Pontificam and Anglicanorum Coetibus as two completely separate and unrelated documents. Not so! They are intimately related on a worldwide level, in multiple languages and regions, but most particularly in relation to the English-speaking Church. Summorum Pontificum, decreed on July 7, 2007, was the pope's first step in this liturgical renewal, as it was designed to reintroduce the worldwide Church to it's pre-conciliar roots in the traditional Latin mass. The reason for this motu proprio was twofold. First, it was because of the continual call of some faithful for it's return on a mainstream level, combined with second, the refusal of many Catholic bishops to provide for this need despite Pope John Paul II's call for "wide and generous" implementation of the traditional Latin mass back in 1988. The call of the faithful, combined with the deaf ear of many bishops, resulted in Summorum Pontificum. (This is the Holy Father's explanation not mine. Look it up if you like.)
The liturgical renewal of the English mass has been underway for almost two decades now, particularly as it relates to the revision of the English translation of the post-conciliar ordinary form of the mass. Previous English translations were very poor, and after two decades of episcopal infighting, a new version of the English mass is about to be released this year (Advent 2011) which has been fully approved by the Vatican. However, a new and improved English translation is not enough to reform the deeply ingrained Modernism in the English-speaking Church. Since the beginning of his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI has been privately working on a reform of the entire ordinary form mass behind closed doors. Nobody outside the Vatican knows what the extent of these reforms will be, nor does anyone outside the Vatican know if they will ever see the light of day, but what we do know is that they are being worked on and they are top secret for now. Beyond that, the Holy Father has been leading the Church by example, administering communion only on the tongue while the communicant kneels, arranging altars in the most traditional ways, insisting on Gregorian chant, praying the preface and canon of the mass in Latin, etc. However, not even this is enough to uproot entrenched Modernist influences in the Western Church, particularly in English-speaking countries, which for the most part have completely ignored the pope's lead.
Simultaneously, over the last two decades, something else has emerged. Fairly large groups of Traditional Anglicans, disaffected with the Modernist trends in the Protestant Church of England and the Worldwide Protestant Anglican Communion, have consistently and repeatedly petitioned the Catholic Church for corporate reconciliation with Rome. In effect, these Anglicans were the offspring of the 19th century Oxford Movement which sought to restore English Christianity to it's ancient Catholic roots. Some of the leaders of this movement went on to become Roman Catholics themselves, most notably the Venerable Cardinal Henry Newman. These modern descendants of the Oxford Movement, like Cardinal Newman's example, sought return to the Catholic Church, while simultaneously preserving their highly traditional Anglo-Catholic traditions, liturgy and customs. These Traditional Anglicans are staunchly conservative both liturgically and morally. They've already signed on to the Catechism of the Catholic Church issued by Rome in 1994. Their petition to the Catholic Church, officially made in finality back in 2007, provided a grand opportunity for Pope Benedict XVI. The introduction of thousands of Anglicans back into the Catholic Church might create some healthy competition for the general Roman Rite. Though the ordinary form of the mass already must compete with the traditional Latin extraordinary form (thanks to Summorum Pontificum) this competition is far from universal. The extraordinary form Latin mass was never officially translated into vernacular languages, and for the time being anyway, there is no demand for such translations as most traditional Catholics have no interested in using them. So what to do with millions of Catholics in the English-speaking world who long for a return to tradition, but have no interest in Latin and are trapped under the thumb of Modernist bishops and priests with no intent of ever changing their Modernist ways? Oh sure, the pope could "crack the whip" so to speak, and demand their grudging compliance, but this pope knows that such methods will not result in lasting change and could unintentionally produce a rebellion. So why not use some "friendly German thumb wrestling" (Holy Father's words not mine) to produce the desired ends. By allowing the Traditional Anglicans to return to the Church, while retaining their traditional Catholic rites in Old English, not only would traditional Anglicans benefit, but so would traditionally-minded Catholics who don't care for Latin. The disaffected Catholic, tired of the happy-clappy watered-down mass at St. Joseph's Catholic Parish (Roman diocese) could simply hop over to St. Bede's Catholic Parish (Anglican ordinariate) on the other side of town. Both parishes would offer valid sacraments under Canon Law, and Catholics from either parish could receive these sacraments at the other. The result? Just let nature take it's course! Traditional English masses will be offered at the ordinariate parishes, while Traditional Latin masses will be offered at some diocesan parishes. Ideally, the average Catholic, in any major city, will have three choices to pick from on any given Sunday morning. Those choices being Traditional Latin, Traditional English, or contemporary happy-clappy English. The pope, knowing what the underlying trends of the Church are, understands that Traditional liturgies will prosper in the years ahead, while contemporary Modernist liturgies will continue to suffer and lose parishioners. The introduction of Traditional Latin liturgies, and Traditional English liturgies is der Panzer Pope's pincer move on the Modernist Catholic Church in English-speaking nations.
This is the pope's strategy, as it is playing out, and regardless if we like it or not, the time has come to put down our differences and unite behind the Holy Father's "Reform of the Reform." Therefore it is incumbent upon every Traditional Catholic, and every practicing Catholic of good will, to assist the Holy Father, in every way possible, to make sure this plan for the Anglican ordinariates gets underway without a hitch. This can begin with generous lending of chapels, vestments and liturgical instruments. It can continue with all the help possible for networking, and the distribution of Vatican approved Anglican Catholic liturgies once available. Anglican Catholics will be in particular need for good traditional-friendly printing presses, and computer programmers that can create native iPhone and iPad applications for Anglican Catholic liturgies - particularly Anglican Catholic breviaries, missals and prayerbooks. I say "native" or "resident" applications, as opposed to "Internet based" applications, to help insure wide propagation of the text. The more copies in circulation you have of something, the more likely it is to be preserved. In other words, don't keep "all your eggs in one basket." Generous use of traditional Catholic seminaries will also be a boost - so the time for marketing that is now! In effect, the traditional Anglicans will need all the help traditional Catholics can bring to bear, to make the Holy Father's strategy work well. The time has come. This is the moment in history we've been waiting for! Do not hesitate. ACT NOW!