Restore the Church

Saturday, September 06, 2003

Time to Strike a Chord for Tradition 

Much of what makes up the awe-inspiring power of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass comes from its Divine poetry, seeing how the simple movements of the ministers, even at a low Mass, indicate something special is happening in our midst. Even more so at more solemn liturgical functions.

I had the opportunity on Laetare Sunday two years back to experience probably the most solemn and reverential Mass I have ever seen, a Solemn Pontifical Mass at the Throne. This is where the Bishop reads much of the Mass, not at the altar but at the throne set-up for him, and the ceremony needs not only the usual three ministers (Priest/Bishop, Deacon and Subdeacon) but also an Assistant Priest, dressed in his cope who acts as the Master of Ceremonies. This bishop is clad in both a dalmatic and chauasble and wears his mitre throughout much of the ceremony. The shear number of altar servers at such a solemn event is astounding.

Yet with all of this majestic pomp, directed to the singular greatest sacrament, the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, without a schola cantorum, or choir -- that is without music -- the ceremony would hardly have that level of decorum.

Sacred Music is perhaps the singular greatest artistic treasure the Church has in her vast collection, thanks to the simple, yet grandiose Gregorian Chant, but also to the beautiful polyphony that which reaches its pinnacle with the likes of William Byrd, Orlando di Lasso, Arcadelt, Brummel, Josquin des Prez, Thomas Tallis and particularly of the Roman School, with its greatest master: Giovanni Perluigi da Palestrina.

One of the greatest things we have lost today, even in among those still faithful to the ancient and august Holy Sacrifice (and even more so of the atrocitry of the Novus Ordo) is that beautiful and devout music. Very often the Mass offered, sung by a schola of Men, but so very rare is the polyphonic Mass settings and Motets to which many of the greatest composers ever to have lived devoted decades of their lives.

Palestrina has been called the "man who saved Sacred Polyphony" during the Council of Trent with his Missa Papae Marcelli, and some of his other Masses rival even this setting. His settings and even motets bring many to their knees and soften the hardest of hearts. We see a great procession with Organ Fanfare and pomp, yet it that all ends in silence, followed by the simple sound of a Gregorian schola, and then by a rich, and beautiful setting of the Kyrie, which make you feel in your hear "Lord, have Mercy!"

William Byrd, perhaps a close second to Palestrina, composed a number of hauntingly beautiful Motets, many of which were in response to the horrific persecutions of Catholics in England. Motets with titles such as Ne Irascaris Domine (Be not angry with us O Lord) where the Secundus Pars of the hymn is Civitas Sancti Tui (Thy Holy City), which laments on the desolation of Jerusalem (England). Much of his music is built for smaller choirs of less than 10 voices, as it was difficult often to obtain that number during such persecution. Poignant as well is his Vide Domine Afflictionem (See, Lord, our Affliction) which starts out with a brilliant choral fanfare and quickly moves to a minor tone and a lament. It is frightening how appropriate his music would be in today's Church.

Thomas Tallis was a friend and mentor to Byrd, and is probably most well known for his massive and gorgeous 40-Voice Motet Spem in Alium. The motet requires at least 40 independent voices, and he composed this without the aid of computer software to test how it would sound, and such a massive piece could certainly never be played on an Organ or Piano (which had just been invented). Such scholarly efforts among these and countless other composers make up the treasure of Sacred Polyphony that is too often relegated to the "It's too hard" category.

It is certainly a far cry from music which has permeated the Novus Ordo, much of which is written by non-Catholics and some of which has been, according to its authors, been written thanks to inspiration from illicit hallucinogenic drugs. There is nothing trancendant about most Modern Music in the Catholic Church, though there are still a few composers who will write an occasional piece deserving wide-publication.

Despite this, we too often ignore the proper place of this Sacred Polyphony, as even Pope St. Pius X wrote in his Moto Proprio on Sacred Music, Tra le Sollicitudine:

"The above-mentioned qualities [that the music be holy, devout, true Art and Universal] are also possessed in an excellent degree by Classic Polyphony, especially of the Roman School, which reached its greatest perfection in the fifteenth century, owing to the works of Pierluigi da Palestrina, and continued subsequently to produce compositions of excellent quality from a liturgical and musical standpoint. Classic Polyphony agrees admirably with Gregorian Chant, the supreme model of all sacred music, and hence it has been found worthy of a place side by side with Gregorian Chant, in the more solemn functions of the Church, such as those of the Pontifical Chapel. This, too, must therefore be restored largely in ecclesiastical functions, especially in the more important basilicas, in cathedrals, and in the churches and chapels of seminaries and other ecclesiastical institutions in which the necessary means are usually not lacking."

The Modern Churchmen rely on profane music by Marty Haugen and many others that is hardly Catholic, universalist, nearly, if not completely, heretical in its meanings and lyrics and just plain bad. It was this kind of music, in large measure, that convinced me to never again attend the New mass.

Still, I believe in large part the restoration of the Catholic Church, and therefore society, relies in large part on the restoration of true Catholic Art, especially music. Traditional Catholic need to study music, and listen to Sacred Music, especially Palestrina, Byrd, Tallis, Tomas Luis da Victoria, Crystobal de Morales and the numerous other Masters, and then aim to sing such beautiful hymns, Masses and Motets when that special occasion allows. Why should every Traditional Mass not have for Christmas or Easter or Penetcost a Polyphonic Mass?

Why not, instead of that Eminem CD you were thinking of buying, pick up a CD of one of these composers, or if you have a few extra bucks, buy it in addition to that Swing CD you were planning on buying. Play a bit of quiet Sacred Music in the background while saying a Rosary or evening prayers, or even while you fall asleep at night. Who knows, you might just like it, I know I did. Start a small choir, or join the Choir in your Church. That is probably one of the best ways to tithe to the Church, especially if you are not able to contribute monetarily. Take those talents God gave you, and use them as He intended, for His Praise and Glorification, and we'll be one step closer to Restoring the Church. It's time to strike a Chord for Tradition and ressurect that ancient and beautiful Art and procaim loud and clear that this is Catholic Art, and we'll have none of that awful happy-go-lucky sap.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

All we really need is more "spirituality?" 

Catholic-Orthodox Dialogue Needs a Deep Spirituality, Pope Says

Perhaps I may say that the dialogue either needs teeth, or be scrapped. These inter-religous dialogues launched by the Holy Father are no doubt well intentioned, given his deep admiration for the ways of the East, but in application, I would suggest they have been a waste of time. Let's look at the facts. The Eastern Orthodox, as a whole, all the Churches, are nowhere near closer to reunion with Rome then when they started. The Russian Orthodox case is a good case to look at.

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, after all these years of dialogue, doesn't seem to be improving his relations to His Holiness. As a matter of fact, They sent Interpol after the Vatican, to recover an image that they claim is theirs! Sending interpol in the middle of the night to steal something, yeah, that's really something we should be concerned with "Dialoguing" on. They team up with Putin to persecute loyal Catholics in Russia, and we hear absolute silence. A good amount of Russian Orthodox leaders had ties to the KGB during the days of the Soviet Union! During this entire dialogue, now only 1% of Russia's population attends Church.

Meanwhile, we consistently are willing to bend over backwards just so our prelates can VISIT Russia! Whatever happened to telling them that they run the risk of losing salvation since they are not within the fold of the Catholic Church? What about fighting for the rights of our Catholics who are in desparate danger? You don't hear too much about this. We really need to give a re-evaluation of the entire "dialogue" process. Why won't Neo-Catholics allow this to happen? Why are we told "The dialogue is going great" when in reality, there is no evidence that even remotely suggests this? For the Orthodox it is going great. many times they are told conversion isn't really neccessary anymore! Heck, their liturgies would put a Novus Ordo liturgy to shame! What business do they want with that, since admittedly, they take their liturgy quite seriously?

I don't think we simply need to try a different approach in the dialogue, we need brand new ground rules for such dialogues to even occur.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Rules for "Neo-Catholics" 

In my daily visiting of my resources, I stumbled across the Lidless Eye Inquisition. I see "Rules for Radical Traditionalists." I'll admit, had to make your humble journalist chuckle. Chuckle because it is obvious certain members of the Inquisition care more about trashing their opponents, rather than engaging in humble dialogue.

Yet I couldn't let this one go. So therefore, before I post, remember, this is a satire! It is a satire based on broad generalizations I have encountered in my numerous dialogues with Neo-Catholics or anti-Traditionalists. It is well true certain opponents do not fit these descriptions, so those, do not take offense.

1.) Be sure to quote only Post-Vatican II works. The Church did not start before John XXIII. (I.E. the compenduim of Catholic social teaching released on the internet awhile back acts this way.)

2.) Please make sure you demonize the likes of Pius V as tyrannical, Pius IX as onesided, Pius X as overreacting against modernism, also make sure he state one of the greatest Popes was groslly ineffective against modernism, since he didn't wield the excommunication axe left and right. (as if that's the only penalty he had to employ.)

3.)On the reverse side, every Pope after Pius XII must be viewed as absolutely great, nothing they ever did was wrong. Their optimism was correct, or they were employing reverse psychology. Even then, this should be excused as tactical genius.

4.) Constantly remind us we shouldn't condemn errors, we should just be patient and "Dialogue", eventually they'll come around.

5.) Always talk about how Traditionalists are "prophets of doom" and "things aren't as bad as they seem, the end of this crisis is just around the corner." Furthermore, always state if anyone can do it, John Paul II can.

6.) Talk about the Novus Ordo as the greatest thing the Church ever did, bringing us out of "Liturigcal formalism" to return to antiquarian times. Of course, do not mention the ending of liturigcal formalism and a full return to antiquarianism was condemned by Pius XII. (See Rule one, Pius XII wasn't a true Pope!)

7.) Please explain how the concilliar Popes refusal to condemn Russia is seen as a stroke of genius, since Russia was expecting condemnation. The Pact of Metz never really happened.

8.) Be sure to tell us just how much insight those Protestant and schismatic "ministers" gave us during Vatican II.

9.) Be sure to constantly remind us something that is well over 1500 years old is not actually a liturgical tradition.

10.) Remind us the Novus Ordo is a legitimate Newmanian Development, even though it looks nothing like the Traditional Mass, conatins almost none of it's prayers, and is entirely in the vernacular.

11.) Mention John Paul II as "John Paul the Great" and anyone who disagrees is just a stupid schismatic. Never mention any scandal he has done.

12.) Condemn priests, Bishops and cardinals for the same thing the Pope does, yet don't mention the Pope did the same thing.

13.) Never mention the fact what EWTN reported on Assisi 2002 and what the rest of the world saw are two completely different things!

14.) Show us how Russia has been consecrated without Russia being the object of that consecration, how Russia has converted even though there are 2 abortions for every birth and the Catholic Church is almost outlawed. (Make sure to say while you believe the Fatima Message, Sr. Lucia was a liar about the consecration of Russia. Also explain why if the consecration is done, she isn't allowed to speak.)

15.) Archbishop Lefevbrve is a schismatic. The "patriarch" of the Russian Orthodox and the head of the Chinese Patriotic Association(The "Bishop" of the Communist Chinese Church") are members of the Church.

16.) Fr. Gruhner is suspended, even though noone can produce the canonical declaration against him. (A press statement is not a canonical declaration. If there is one, please document, and every traditionalist will shut up.)

17.) Constantly Condemn The Remnant as a schismatic organization, even though you have never read the periodical.

18.) Save Special Venom for "We Resist you to the Face" and misquote them to make them sede vacantists.

19.) Remind us traditionalists that while we agree John Paul II is a valid Pope, and appeal to his authority, we're actually liars, and believe he is an anti-Pope, since all traditionalists are in reality sede vacantists.

20.) The Ecumenical project is going good. Us Traditionalists are stupid for asking for any evidence that it is working.

21.) Protestants and Jews misunderstood Dominus Iesus.

There are numerous more I can think of, but being I tripled the LEI's original list, I think I'm good with this.


Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Iceman's Random Thoughts is back! 

Many used to like my "Iceman's Random Thoughts" weblog, where I provided musings on Traditional Catholicism and politics. Well, that blog will now be converted solely to politics. I've finally decided to start blogging again, and I waste no time going after targets. My first target is Justice Roy Moore, and conservatives who demonized Attorney General Pryor during the entire 10 comandments issue. Most Conservatives just jumped on the bandwagon, not realizing what damage they did.

Well, it can be read at www.catholicwolf.blogspot.com. I'll be posting regularly, so do check it out. (And I have to give Michael Brendan some competition! :-) )

Should I Reply or Should I Not? 

This question is lingering in my mind now. Should I even bother to respond to Apolonio's latest? Or, perhaps as a compromise, only on SOME of it? I don't know. YOU TELL ME. If anyone thinks there's anything that should receive a response, let me know. Email me: mario@cathinsight.com. This way, I'm saving myself a lot of time and energy, if in fact anyone who's not already a hard-core Neocatholic even reads what Apolonio writes on the doomed Lidless Eye blogspot.

I suppose that anyone with half a brain will be smart enough to read through such nonsense put forth by Apolonio as that putting Karl Marx in purgatory demonstrated "spiritual maturity" or that it shows the "greatness of Catholicism" (my! I imagine a lot of pre-V2 Popes were spiritually immature!). Really, I have no time for such nonsense. --Or the nonsense that I supposedly believe the Catholic Encyclopedia was infallible or whatever else. Really, I don't think I have to interact with such things. We all know the Catholic Encyclopedia isn't infallible. Only Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange is ;-) (apparently, Apolonio believes that).

Then there's a sentence that doesn't even make sense to me: "Right...but if Mario would have written 'Socrates Meets Marx', he would put Marx in hell. He wants to put him in purgatory or even heaven [???]...but let's not. Let's put him in hell." That Apolonio should show surprise at my requesting only pre-Vatican II proof for his position is another one of those things that just leave you wondering.... hello, if the issue we're debating is precisely about orthodoxy after 1958, you obviously can't use post-1958 material in your defense! It's like disputing the validity of knowledge and making knowlede claims in the process.

I think that's enough. Again, if anyone has a serious problem with something I wrote that Apolonion critiqued, please email me, and then I will defend myself.

Some Love for the Papacy! 

Whether or not Neo-Catholics realize it, they cause more damage to the Holy Father then Traditionalists, and they do it under the guise of "Loyalty." Traditionalists are loyal to the Pope, yet we are loyal to the office of the Papacy, regardless of who is in it. Therefore, if a Pope causes scandal, we follow what Tradition teaches us, and Neo-Catholics refuse to look at, that a Pope may be resisted, and doing such is actually a work of charity and respect, not of malice and arrogance.

Yet Neo-Catholics, searching in vain to justify the unjustifiable, end up condemning the Pope harder than we ever could. One issue regards to the unheard of optimism of John XXIII around the time of the Council lauding the efforts of the modern world, and speaking of it so greatly. The fact that Pius XII right before him saw the dark days of the world looming on the horizon meant nothing. All those Popes before John XXIII were prophets of doom according to the Neo-Catholics. Faced with something that is quite striking, the Neo-Catholic calls John XXIII's optimism a stroke of genius. Everyone was feeling down in the world with 2 world wars and the spread of communism. According to them, John XXIII did some reverse psychology, trying to convince people how great things really were, when they weren't in reality. He wanted to get people to think the world was ok, therefore it was ok. First, this discounts the issue of original sin, which has a very big impact on the world. Second, according to the Neo-Catholic, John XXIII was essentially delusional, refusing to see reality. A Traditionalist is nowhere near that harsh.

Another issue is with the United Nations. There are those Neo-Catholics, who in defending the Vatican's astonshing work with a Godless secular globalist organization, claim the United Nations wasn't like this originally. It was originally a good organization, but the globalists took it over. I of course reject that assertion, but let's follow that one. Now that godless globalist liberals promoting the culture of death have taken over, why are we still working with them. They claim the UN wasn't always like this to excuse John XXIII's work with them, but the globalist movement was now firmly in control of the UN(according to their standards) when Paul VI took over, and the culture of death was full steam ahead when John Paul II came to the papal throne. So what "let's John XXIII off the hook" cannot be so for Paul VI and John Paul II. By their own standards, the Neo-Catholics condemn their own Popes, something that cannot be done in their book, and in even harsher ways than us "radical traditionalists" do!

Yet another example of the bankruptcy of the Neo-Catholic position by our friends at the Lidless Eye Inquisition, the Wanderer, etc. I had a friend who served on a jury, and when asked about the performance of the defending attorney he replied "She did an excellent job given the evidence stacked against her client." These Neo-Catholics are brave, and they are willing to fight, and they are doing an excellent job, considering they are playing with a stacked deck. Everything is against them, they just refuse to recognize the "ecclesial realities of today." It is our hope at Restore the Church eventually they will, and come home to the the fullness of Catholic truth, and help us win this war against the liberals.

"Gay Pride Parades" and the Novus Ordo 

Novus Ordo presbyters at Gay Pride Parade

Readers of this blog will recognize the quickening auto-demolition of the Novus Ordo Novelty Regime, enacted by the implementation of Vatican II. At times, one has to keep a sense of humor in all of this. The Novus Ordo goes further and further down the downward spiral, while the Neo-Catholics keep screaming "New Springtime", "John Paul The Great" and "Here's what that prelate REALLY said", it becomes humorous just how out of touch with reality so many Neo-Catholics are.

A little while ago, His Holiness John Paul II and his Eminence Josef Cardinal Ratzinger came out with a strong document against homosexuality and gay marriages, restating the Traditional position that homosexuality is incompatible with The Deposit of Faith, and advised politicans who are Catholic that they need to follow the "Catholic party line" when enacting legislation, upholding traditional family values. As good as this was, traditionalists had seen this before. We saw it with Ecclesia Dei, we saw it when the liturgical abuses were decried, only to have them ignored, everytime the Vatican releases some document, it's nowadays just a mere ratings show, it isn't really enacted. We want teeth behind the documents, just merely ask that they rule like a Pope. (Indeed, lately Catholic World News ran an article that stated just that, since Pius XII, we haven't had a Pope who knows how to rule. Get that schismatic!) Same with Dominus Iesus, it states the obvious, and everyone starts whining, so it isn't enforced.

We see this happen with homosexuality. Now we see gay pride parades happening in San Francisco, and some of the marchers are none other than Novus Ordo Catholics, giving their parishes endorsement to the event by marching in it. What point do they have marching in an event that is advancing the cause for gay marriages, that their leaders just spoke against? This is way to common too dismiss this as a mere abberation. No, this is a symptom of a much larger problem within the Novus Ordo, of essentially the entire Church being too afraid to actually act like Bishops and Popes. They will issue document after document, but refuse to take action, unless of course you are a traditionalist. Of course, there aren't many traditionalists, so they can't put up a fight. We have a Vatican who even though they may be right, as they surely are on the manner of homosexuality, they refuse to tell everyone they are right with their actions. Anyone can write a document. It takes leadership and courage to follow through on that, something I believe the current Vatican, and it's aging, ailing Pope are lacking. Of course, the same can be said for the New Order the Post-Vatican II pontiffs worked so hard to launch, it's aging, and ailing. Let's just hope too many souls aren't wrecked in it's destruction.

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