Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Secular Humbuggery

Those who say the Church should not tell people how to act are actually presuming to tell the Church how to act. Shall we call it secular humbuggery, a key to the contradictions of "the age of reason."

Indeed, the age of reason has proven quite irrational in it's sundry supposedly foundationless dogmatisms. That is why every man needs the Pope! That is why the Pope is called "Peter" (Rock); he provides the only sure foundation in the world: Christ.

The Widow of Zarephath's Wealth

The moral of today's first reading (1Kings 17:7-16) is that God will take care of His faithful prophets/priests through others and He will care also for those who generously provide for His prophets/priests in his name.

Noone is too poor to share nor too rich to need to share.

Everyone needs to share with God in providing for those whom He sends.

Faith is the greatest wealth.
As Abraham said to Isaac: Deus providebit.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Heretical Lauda Sion Translation

The official Mexican translation of the Corpus Christi sequence makes several references to bread an wine which are absent in the original Latin of Saint Thomas.

Stanza 3
Laudis thema specialis,
panis vivus et vitalis
hodie proponitur.

Special theme for glad thanksgiving,
Is the quick'ning and the living
Bread today before you set.
(From the official English translation, which does not have the inaccurate content of the Spanish)

Gustosos hoy aclamamos
a Cristo, que es nuestro pan,
pues el es el pan de vida,
que nos da vida inmortal.

In this verse, in addition to the text's reference to the living and life-giving bread (pan de vida que nos da vida inmortal [both scriptural terms]) it adds, Christ is our bread (Cristo, que es nuestro pan). That expression is unfamiliar to the Christian tradition and confuses the truth about the Eucharist. Christ is not "our bread!" He is "the living bread come down from heaven" and "the bread of life" both in a metaphorical sense. But never "our bread." Why? Well, the Eucharist is not bread at all!

Stanza 14
Caro cibus, sanguis potus:
manet tamen Christus totus,
sub utraque specie.
The flesh food, the blood drink:
Yet under each species
what remains is all Christ.
(My own translation, the official English being very loose.)

Su sangre es nuestra bebida;
su carne, nuestro alimento;
pero en el pan o en el vio
Cristo esta todo completo.

The Latin does not mention the bread and the wine explicitly but just the word specie (a clear doctrinal term referring specifically to the accidents of bread and wine as opposed to the substance which is completely Christ. The point being made is that, while the flesh is food and the blood is drink under the appearances of bread and wine, none of their reality is present but only Christ, Who fully replaces the bread and the wine with his flesh and blood self: Christus totus. The totus is in reference to the filling of the reality of the species of bread and wine. They are fully taken over by Christ. They are entirely Christ! And that it is the complete Christ present under either of the forms.

The Spanish text should read, instead of "pero en el pan o en el vino" (a heretical statement: Christ is in the bread and the wine) "pero bajo cada forma".

Stanza 21
Ecce panis angelorum,
factus cibus viatorum:
vere panis filiorum,
non mittendus canibus.

El pan que del cielo baja
es comida de viajeros.
Es un pan para los hijos.
No hay que tirarlo a los perros!

Panis angelorum is "the bread of angels", not simply "the bread which descends from heaven," which could be confused with the manna of the desert. The "bread of angels" is a distinctive Thomistic term for the Eucharist and should be translated literally and presented to the faithful as part of this extraordinary hymn.

Stanza 22
In figuris praesignatur,
cum Isaac immolatur,
agnus Paschae deputatur,
datur manna patribus.

Isaac el inocente,
es figura de este pan,
con el cordero de Pascua
y el misterioso mana.

The Latin does not mention "this bread" (este pan) at all!!! The implicit subject of the sentence is panis angelorum, "the bread of angels!"

This is a casual observation by a parish priest who over the past decade has seen a gradual but sure deviation from doctrinal clarity in the texts being published for Spanish worship music, especially in the eucharistic hymns. They often sing the praises of bread and wine!!! We do not adore bread and wine. We do not worship bread and wine. The Eucharist is not bread and wine at all! And that is what we need to sing, worship and adore, the absence of bread and wine!

May the worshipper beware of bread and wine idolatry which is being pushed down the throat of the hispanics in America, in place of the worship of the Flesh and Blood of the living God. Behold one of the insidious snares of vernacular worship. If we simply used Saint Thomas' Latin text we would all be better off.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Symbolism of the New Pastoral Staff

There is a blog on papal clothing which tells the significance of the new staff.

A New Year a New Pastoral staff – Alleluia!
11/28/09 01:18:38

At last Pope Benedict has his own pastoral staff which has been donated by the Circolo San Pietro. It will be used during the First Vespers of Advent in the Vatican Basilica on Saturday evening, the service which marks the beginning of the new liturgical year.

Monsignor Guido Marini made the announcement on Friday in L'Osservatore Romano. He said it is similar in shape to the staff of Pius IX, which the Pope currently uses, and this can be considered the papal staff of Pope Benedict XVI. It is 184 centimetres high, weighs about 2.5 kilos and is easier to handle than the staff of Pius IX, because of its smaller size. It is also lighter by 140 grams than the silver staff with a crucifix made by Lello Scorzelli, which was used by Pope Paul VI, and later by Pope John Paul I and John Paul II. It was also used by Pope Benedict for the first three years of his papacy.

From Palm Sunday 2008, he began to use the gold Greek cross, which belonged to Pius IX, also donated to the Pope by St. Peter's Circle in 1877. This ancient Roman association now renews its tradition of loyalty to the Pope since its foundation in 1869.

On the front of the new staff there is a paschal lamb at the centre and at the four points of the cross symbols of four evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The gold is etched with the pattern of a net -a reference to St Peter the fisherman. Engraved on the back in the middle is the Chi Rho, the first two Greek letters for the word Christos, which is the monogram of Christ. At the four points are the faces of the fathers of the Eastern and Western Church, Augustine and Ambrose, Athanasius and John Chrysostom. His coat of arms is on the top of the cross. "The lamb and the monogram of Christ at the centre - says Monsignor Marini - reflect the unity of the paschal mystery: the cross and resurrection."

Thank goodness the Pope will no longer have to wrestle with the Pius IX staff which was always far too big and unwieldy for him. It is a pity that he did not go immediately from using the Scorzelli staff - so deeply associated with Papa Wojtyla, and which was a potent symbol of the transition from one great Pope to another - to his own staff. Using the staff of Pius IX gave the impression that the Scorzelli staff was being "abandoned" and that this abandonment signified something far more than a mere change in style. For those who vividly recalled the way the Scorzelli staff served as a visible support for Papa Wojtyla during his years of suffering, it was hurtful to see it replaced by the brash and brassy staff of Pius IX.

Now at last Papa Ratzinger has his own staff. I hope he lives many long years so that it becomes indelibly associated with him.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The New Papal Cross

Here is a fine photo of Pope Benedict with his third papal crosier. It seems to fit his character and liturgical bent most appropriately because it is elegant, traditional and subtle (of a rich simplicity).

I got the picture from a Spanish traditional liturgical website:


Giovannipaulomagno blog has some closer observations on the subject, viz. that his first papal staff was passed down to him from Paul VI, JPI and JPII; and his second (used from 16 March 2008 until 28 November 2009) was previously used by Pius IX and Pius XII. As far as we can tell this one is finally uniquely his own.

Here is an article from the Bulletin of the Circolo San Pietro, the official journal of the organization which has been the benefactor of all the papal crosses.

Il Santo Padre ha inaugurato l’anno liturgico utilizzando un nuovo
pastorale, simile a quello che usava il Beato Pio IX. La particolarità è
insita nel fatto che entrambi i pastorali sono un omaggio del Circolo S.
Pietro: il primo fu donato dallo storico Sodalizio a Papa Mastai nel
1877, in occasione del cinquantesimo anniversario della Sua ordinazione
sacerdotale. Papa Ratzinger lo aveva ricominciato ad utilizzare in
occasione della domenica delle Palme del 2008. Il Circolo rinnova così
la tradizionale fedeltà al Successore di Pietro, testimoniata in tutti i 140
anni della sua storia.

“Sabato pomeriggio, durante i primi vespri di Avvento nella basilica Vaticana, il Papa userà un nuovo pastorale”.

Lo annuncia monsignor Guido Marini, alla vigilia della celebrazione con cui si apre l’anno liturgico.

“Simile nelle fattezze alla ferula di Pio IX finora in uso - aggiunge il maestro delle Celebrazioni liturgiche pontificie - questo può essere considerato a tutti gli effetti il pastorale di Benedetto

Donato dal Circolo San Pietro, è alto 184 centimetri, pesa 2 chili e 530 grammi e ha una miglior
maneggevolezza rispetto a quello di Papa Mastai Ferretti, grazie alle più ridotte dimensioni del
bastone e della croce. Ed è anche più leggero di 140 grammi, addirittura di 590 rispetto a quello di Giovanni Paolo II.

Va infatti ricordato che Papa Ratzinger ha utilizzato inizialmente il pastorale argenteo ormontato dal crocifisso – realizzato da Lello Scorzelli – introdotto da Paolo VI e poi usato anche da Giovanni Paolo I e da Papa Wojtyla. Successivamente, dalla domenica delle Palme del 2008, ha cominciato ad adoperare la ferula dorata a forma di croce greca, appartenuta a Pio IX, anch’essa donata al Pontefice dal Circolo San Pietro nel 1877. L’antico sodalizio romano rinnova così la propria tradizione di fedeltà al Papa, testimoniata sin dalla fondazione risalente a 140 anni fa, nel lontano 1869.
Nella parte anteriore del nuovo pastorale di Benedetto XVI sono raffigurati al centro l’agnello pasquale e ai lati della croce i simboli dei quattro evangelisti Matteo, Marco, Luca e Giovanni. Il motivo della rete riprodotto sui bracci della croce richiama quella di Pietro il pescatore di Galilea. Sul retro sono incisi: al centro, il monogramma di Cristo – formato dalle prime due lettere della parola Christòs in greco, la X e la P intrecciate insieme – e alle quattro estremità, i volti dei
padri della Chiesa di Occidente e di Oriente: Agostino e Ambrogio, Atanasio e Giovanni Crisostomo. “L’agnello e il monogramma di Cristo posti al centro – commenta monsignor Marini – riflettono l’unità del mistero pasquale: croce e risurrezione”.
Soffermando lo sguardo sull’anello sottostante la croce, si notano: nella parte superiore, il nome di Benedetto XVI “che lo personalizza e lo rende suo” spiega il maestro; in quella inferiore, quello dei donatori, cioè il Circolo San Pietro. Un ultimo elemento significativo, infine, si ritrova nella parte alta del bastone, dov’è impresso lo stemma di Papa

Here is the original article is from the Vatican announcing the introduction of the new pastoral staff at the beginning of last Advent.
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