Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Good news

Today a couple of good news stories.  


Picture courtesy Melbourne Newman Community
(click link for more piccies)
The Australian Ordinariate continues to celebrate some key milestones, the latest being the ordination to the diaconate of Revs Stephen Gronow in Brisbane on Friday night by Bishop Oudeman, and  Richard Waddell on Saturday in Melbourne by Bishop Elliott.


Also, Luke Samy, formerly a member of the Canberra Latin Mass community, has made his simple profession with the Dominicans.  An economist by training (he has a doctorate from Oxford), he has joined the (US) Province of St Joseph.  

Please keep all these men in your prayers.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Latin Prayer of the Week: Actus Contritionis

This week in this Year of Faith series on the Common Prayers we should all know, I want to take a look at the Act of Contrition.

The necessity of repentance

One of the biggest problems for those who argue that salvation is possible outside the visible bounds of the Church has always seemed to me to be the necessity that we die in a state of grace.

For the Catholic, there is one sure means of achieving this, namely making proper use of the sacraments, especially of confession, that transforms our imperfect contrition into perfect.  For non-Catholic Christians, however, or for those claimed to have perhaps experienced an implicit or explicit 'baptism of desire', a state of perfect contrition, or sincere and complete remorse for all the sins we have committed for of love of God alone is also necessary.  That is surely no easy thing to achieve in the face of the erroneous views on the nature of contrition taught by Luther and other protestant theologians; and a culture that clouds our sense of the natural law and what is and isn't sinful, and indeed rejects the very notion of sinfulness.

One of the key weapons in combatting that false culture, then, is the knowledge of and frequent use of a good act of contrition, firstly for use in the context of the sacrament and secondly in order to cultivate a state of perfect contrition for our sins - which of course includes the desire to receive the sacrament of reconciliation - particularly whenever we may have committed a mortal sin.

An act of contrition

There are many variants on the act of contrition, but the one given in the Compendium of the Catechism is as follows:

Deus meus, ex toto corde pænitet me ómnium meórum peccatórum, éaque detéstor, quia peccándo, non solum pœnas a te iuste statútas proméritus sum, sed præsértim quia offéndi te, summum bonum, ac dignum qui super ómnia diligáris. Ídeo fírmiter propóno, adiuvánte grátia tua, de cétero me non peccatúrum peccandíque occasiónes próximas fugitúrum. Amen.

You can hear it read out loud here.

Or, in English:

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because of thy just punishments, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin. Amen.

Looking at the Latin

Here is a literal, word by word translation of it:

Deus (God) meus (my), ex (from/out of/with) toto (the whole) corde (heart) pænitet (he/she/it is sorry/causes to repent) me (me) ómnium (of all) meórum (my) peccatórum (sins), éaque (and them) detéstor (I detest/abominate), quia (because) peccándo (transgressing/sinning/offending) non (not) solum (only) pœnas (punishment) a (from) te (you) iuste (just) statútas (cause) proméritus sum (I have deserved), sed (but) præsértim (especially) quia (because) offéndi (I have offended/to have offended) te (you), summum (the sum) bonum ([of] good), ac (and) dignum (worthy) qui (who) super (above) ómnia (all) diligáris (you are loved/worthy). Ídeo (Therefore) fírmiter (firmly) propóno (I resolve), adiuvánte (helped by) grátia (grace) tua (your), de (from) cétero  (the rest, remainder) me (me) non (not) peccatúrum (sin) peccandíque (and of sins) occasiones (occasions/opportunities) próximas (near) fugitúrum (fleeing). Amen.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Election good news!

I've refrained from commenting on the Federal election campaign much because it really is just too depressing.

As normal the pork barrell is being rolled out across the nation, sad but not abnormal.

What is abnormal I think is the utter lack of vision and policy integrity on either side of politics.

The Libs

I'd like to vote for Tony Abbott, really I would.

But silly populist policies on boats and other such things aside, I also want an economy that doesn't go into recession generating massive unemployment.

And an excessive focus on Australia's relatively tiny deficit (particularly given our very low level of public debt)  makes no sense at all, as John Quiggin has explained in a series of posts (the latest points to some work on the failure of austerity measures in Europe).

Related to that, Tony Abbott's plan to sack a large chunk of the public service doesn't make much sense either - we went through that under Howard, and the consequent exit of expertise and excessive salary inflation when bodies had to be recruited again has undermined the quality of Government ever since.

Neither, given Australia's extremely low (and patently inadequate) tax base, does abolishing (rather than making work properly) the mining tax, cutting company tax even while imposing a new levy to fund maternity leave, and spending instead of taxing in order to achieve Greenhouse reduction targets.

By far the worst Coalition policy though is surely the gold-plated maternity leave scheme (albeit not quite as gold-plated as Mr Rudd apparently claimed the other night!) aimed at keeping rich and middle class women in the workforce.

The biggest problem with the Coalition though is just the vagueness, as Mike Stretekee has pointed out, about exactly what it is they plan to do.  No costing to be released until the last minute, when its too late to properly scrutinise them.  And very little real detail about anything in fact.

Does that man never stop...

On the other hand, how could one bring oneself to vote for @KRuddMP?

Well the good news is that it seems even his own electorate are turning on him!  According to a poll by The Guardian, Mr Rudd is danger of losing his safe Labor seat, trailing the Liberal candidate 48:52%.  Shades of John Howard indeed.

Other positive news so far in the campaign is the apparent implosion of the Wikileaks Party, and tracking on the collapse in support for the Greens.

Thanks goodness that the campaign agony will soon be over, even if the real pain is probably yet to come...

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Commenters - please give yourselves a name!

I currently have the comment setting open to anonymous posts as a number of people told me they were having trouble posting comments (mind you some still are even os, but...).

But please, do give yourself a name.  It doesn't have to be your own name (though that is preferable), but something to facilitate conversation.

Much as I love comments, I will henceforth reject any posts that fail to include a reference identifier!

Elysium and the failure of the refugee lobby

It is currently Migrant and Refugee Week, and in honour thereof, I saw the film Elysium (starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster) today.

Unfortunately, it's really atrociously bad.

And it kind of provides a paradigm of why, instead of this election presenting an opportunity for a change in direction on Australia's refugee and immigration policies, we instead have a race to the bottom on this, as (alas) for so many other issues.

Sci fi can work...but this one doesn't!

I'm normally a fan of sci-fi.  And it is a genre that is tailor-made for tackling tough policy issues. The latest Star Trek reboot, Into Darkness, for example, managed to be thoroughly enjoyable while also taking a firm aim at the US' appalling drone warfare and execution without trial policies.

Mind you, Star Trek had the advantage of a very strong ensemble cast plus fantastic villain (BBC Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch is a far more convincing blackguard than Jodie Foster), clever writing (involving actual character development, humour and at least some degree of subtlety, all of which are lacking in Elysium), and nice, very creative action sequences (Elysium's are all same old same old).

Elysium is set in a future where the rich live on a space station named Elysium while the poor live survive on a destroyed, polluted, crime-ridden, earth.  When our would-be hero suffers a fatal dose of radiation, he is prepared to do anything in order to get to Elysium and be cured, so goes to his local people-smuggler (whose success rate appears to be the equivalent of two boat sinkings and one boatload rendered to PNG) for help, willing to do anything to achieve his aims.

The story could have been an effective vehicle to make the case for immigration in the US and refugees here.  Unfortunately, the brickbat to the head approach to preaching rarely works, and I almost left the film early.

***Spoiler alert***(Skip the next bit if you plan to go see the film!)

It would have been better if I had, because the ending was predictably saccharine: it turns out our people-smuggler was really an ethical political activist just waiting for his moment; and our ex-crim 'hero', who had previously abandoned his ex-girlfriend and her dying child and pursue his own interests at the cost of the hopes of everyone else, suddenly decides to sacrifice himself for the greater good. And of course, all the main villains get what's coming to them.

**end spoilers***

It is this kind of simplistic, cardboard cutout approach, shared by the Greens and other prominent members of the refugee lobby here, that's probably the reason why the refugee lobby, far from making inroads in this election campaign, seems to be positively encouraging the race to the bottom.

Like the extremists in the refugee lobby, the film doesn't make the slightest pretence at understanding why nations have borders and want to exert some control over them.

The space station Elysium is a caricature of the rich West: not one citizen of Elysium is presented positively, instead all we have is power mad politicians, evil company magnates, and deranged government agents.

Worse, this paradise in the sky boasts magic healing beds can cure any disease, repair any wound.  But this technology is withheld from the slave labour population of earth for reasons that are never made clear.

Is there way forward on refugee policy?

On the vexed subject of refugees, there have been a few quite interesting analyses of late.  One is of data from the intriguing ABC Vote Compass.   It suggests that while Tony Abbott is playing to the views of his constituency, Labor continues to struggle because its supporters are split down the middle on this issue.

So there surely was an opportunity for Labor to take a different route, and potentially grab some Green votes in the process here.  That Rudd (or Gillard before him) didn't is certainly not from want of lobbying; indeed, the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office are holding a colloquium today on “Migration and Poverty: Exploring Ethical Solutions.”

But why have they utterly failed to make any inroads?

There have been at least some attempts to help us understand just what refugees are fleeing from, most notably in the SBS series last year Go Back to Where You came From.  But I suspect that approach still raises the issue for many of us of, why (other than it's economic attractiveness) Australia rather than a country closer geographically and culturally?

Another post over at The Drum recently suggested that advocates should instead make the case for the benefits accepting refugees will have for Australia.  But that's not actually an easy case to make either given our 'non-discriminatory' approach, particularly in the face of the impact of mass Muslim immigration in Europe, and the evidence of the same problems developing here.

A targeted policy?

My own view is that it is the non-discriminatory part of the policy that is the real problem.  Why, for example, should Australia take responsibility for solving the tensions over the Hazara people in Afghanistan that goes back centuries?  Yes, they are persecuted and at risk, but on the face of it we should be pushing for internal political solutions, not supporting yet another round of exile and return.

By contrast, a far stronger case can surely be made, for example, for giving refuge to Copts driven out of Egypt by the Muslim Brotherhood, an organisation we indirectly helped into power and that continues to gain aid from Australians even as it continues to burn down churches and Christian homes in retaliation for being ousted from office.

Alas, I rather suspect the ACBC sponsored forum will be far too politically correct to consider advocating for anything but an all-comers welcome approach.

Brisbane Oratory website goes live

Just to let interested readers know, I've been alerted that the website for the emerging Brisbane Oratory is now live.

Not much material there yet - some background material on the project; on Fr Paul Chandler, one of the three priests involved (the other names are being kept confidential at the moment, apparently so as not to undermine their pastoral effectiveness in their current roles); and some information on how to help.

But do take a look at the background material, and keep checking for updates as it moves towards a 2015 or 2016 start up date.

About the Brisbane Oratory in formation...

Here is an extract from the introduction on the site:

"In mid 2011 an inspiration to work towards establishing the first Australian Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri was conceived. This desire nurtured in prayer has begun to bear fruit. There remains much development and maturation to take place, but by the grace and providence of God we have made a solid beginning.

Our emerging community has been called together by the Lord under the patronage of Our Lady, St. Philip Neri, Blessed John Henry Newman and Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. We comprise Priests from different Australian Dioceses and one Seminarian who will begin his formation with a novitiate year at the Toronto Oratory this year. Our Seminarian is introduced to you elsewhere on this website. The three of us as Priests are grateful for the support and encouragement of our own Bishops....

The Lord’s providence has led us to the Archdiocese of Brisbane as our home or ‘Domus’. A permanent ‘home’ with all that it implies is integral to an Oratorian vocation, apostolate and rule of life...We seek to further the mission of the Church and give glory to almighty God through a focus on the Solemn Celebration of the Sacred Liturgy, the ministry of the Confessional and the formation of young people in the fullness of the Catholic faith. As Priests we seek to live an Oratorian community life, not for our own benefit, but that we may be better able to serve God’s people.

In many ways we are dealing with a ‘two speed’ Oratory formation process. In the case of us as Priests we are not able to actually begin our Community in formation in Brisbane until 2015 at the earliest and probably not until early 2016... At the same time, for our student, the Brisbane Oratory in formation will begin very soon as he prepares to leave for Toronto... 

We invite you to please prayerfully support this new initiative for the Church in Australia in every way you can... 

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

The winter of our discontent: is there no room for rapprochement between traddies and neo-cons?

There have been a number of posts of late from 'neo-conservatives' attacking traditionalists, for their alleged negativity, belligerence and attitude of disobedience.

And they raise for me a key issue that I think faces the traditionalist movement, namely whether we can't find a way of defusing some of this tension, and building alliances with those closest to us within the Church.

Making traditionalism a real force for reform

Here is the challenge as I see it.

For much of the history of the movement, traditionalists have, for good reasons, been more intent on preserving themselves and their families in the face of the forces of modernism and modernity than on trying to reform the whole of the Church from within.

However, with Pope Benedict's pontificate the ground changed fundamentally: Pope Benedict outright rejected the 'everything new is better' paradigm that has dominated recent decades, and pointed to the importance of the patrimony of the Church; he entrenched the right to the TLM; and he openly acknowledged, for the first time, the problems that the Church has experienced in the wake of Vatican II.

In doing so, he laid some necessary foundations for a genuine reform of the Church, a reform that offers at least the possibility of rebuilding the devastated Church of the First World West.

Are things getting better?

Yet for all that, the reform movement has yet to take off in any serious way.

There have been a few blog posts lately claiming things are on the improve.

And yes, there are some things one can point to as small but very positive changes for the better.

Traditional Benedictine monasteries seem to be thriving.

Two separate groups of US nuns have albums vying for places at the top of the charts.

Here in Australia, Cath News seems at last to have been reigned in from at least its worst excesses, not least through the apparent suppression of its ever dissenting 'Cath Blog'.

There was a nice vocation story featuring one of the Missionaries of God's Love sisters in the Canberra Times last week.

A new traditionalist personal parish was established in Sydney last week (although the news hasn't yet been featured in the archdiocesan news feed!).


The trouble is, when I go to a novus ordo Mass, it is not only "Gather us in", guitar twanging, and its like that I will likely have to grin and bear (and probably for some years yet, as Fr Adrian Sharp recently tweeted), but also really dreadful, bordering on blasphemous, abuses.

Indeed, just last week at a weekday Mass in my local parish the priest issued an invitation to 'help yourself to the chalice which I'll leave on the altar' - and several people did.

Nor was this an aberration: the last time I went there I left on discovering that what was on offer was not Mass but that other version of the smorgasbord approach to the Eucharist in the form of a 'communion service' (which I'm pretty sure our previous bishop had banned for weekday masses in a city where there are plenty of alternative mass locations) conducted by a layman.

So yes, a lot of very bad bishops have been removed from office; but unfortunately many still remain.

Yes, some tentative steps have been made in reassessing - and rejecting - the  theological legacy of the twentieth century.  But the emerging critiques of the work of von Balthasar, Rahner, Congar and friends, as well as of  the historico-critical approach to Scriptural interpretation, for example, are very far from being accepted into the mainstream as yet.

And when it comes to practical morality, most priests seem (unsurprisingly) confused or reluctant when it comes to confronting sin.

Traditionalism (and potential allies) as a force

I'm not by any means suggesting that the traditionalist movement is the perfect alternative to all this.

Too many traditionalists are, in my opinion, poorly educated theologically, and do engage in a reflexive rejection of every development past a certain date.  Too many have been badly bruised by the battles of recent years and lost a sense of perspective.  And too many individuals and communities have been infected by manifestations of the very ills the movement purports to reject.

Yet despite all of that, I do think it, rather than any other stream in the Church currently, offers the best way forward.

The problem is that, for all of the positive steps that have been made and all of their visibility on the internet, traditionalism remains a tiny minority within the Church, representing, according to most estimates, no more than 1 or 2% of Mass-goers worldwide.

History, together with experience in other areas, suggests that until a mass movement reaches something like the 10% mark, it will not be a significant force for change.

At the moment, though, the prospect of achieving that level of growth seems remote, not least due to the failure of the SSPX to reconcile, continuing attacks on 'rad trads' and 'Pelagians' from various quarters including the Pope, and the restrictions on the use of the TLM imposed on the Franciscans of the Immaculate.

To me that suggests the need to build alliances, to find what common ground we can with those who at least share some of our agenda.  And we do, in my view, share at least some common ground with both 'conservatives' and (please don't have a heart attack) charismatics.

Conservatives too are finding themselves on the outer at the moment, and this may indeed account for some of the anti-trad rhetoric we've seen of late.  But I do think we need to try and find a way to get past these flailing attempts at product differentiation, and join forces where possible.

Best guess is that neo-conservatives too are only a small minority in most places.  Certainly in my own diocese a handful of sympathetic and even committed priests notwithstanding, there are few if any parishes that could make any claim to be genuinely 'reform of the reform', actively pro-life and so forth.  I know some priests are trying: but there is a limit to how far they can go in the face of congregational resistance and an unsupportive hierarchy (please pray for a good new bishop for us, the seat has been vacant for well over a year now).

Even if you add in charismatics (and I'm inclined too: for all the problems with that movement, in many cases they are at least committed and at least open to tradition even if confused by how to approach it), I doubt whether we actually make up 10% between us in most dioceses.

The priest shortage: the real picture

The problem is that there are very real differences in starting points and perspectives that are hard to get past.

The latest post taking traditionalists to task is a relatively mild affair, from a blogger I greatly respect, Msgr Pope, who was stunned by the reaction to a post highlighting some research that suggested that in the US the number of priests per parish currently is actually more or less the same as it was in 1950.

Msgr Pope seems surprised that many interpreted this as an attempt to present the current state of devastation of the vineyard in a more positive light, and talks about his increasingly strained relations with traditionalists, despite his support for the TLM and the need for reform in the Church.

Alas, statistics are never neutral!

In fact Msgr Pope's post no doubt struck many readers as trying on a line taken not long back in the UK context by Catholic Voices, and subsequently retracted after being demonstrated to be just wrong.

Indeed, a quick look at the story for his own Archdiocese of Washington for example, quickly puts the research by CARA he was citing into a rather different perspective than that presented in his blog piece.

In 1950, Washington had, according to the ever useful Catholic Hierarchy website, some 83 parishes.  By 2010, the total population of the diocese had more than trebled.  Moreover, the proportion of Catholics increased from 14.3% to 22%.

Yet the number of parishes increased only to 140.  And the Catholics per priest ratio had risen from 253 in 1950 to (admittedly still very good by contemporary standards) 782.

Consider too that while I don't know what proportion of Catholics actually attend Mass in Washington today, I think its a safe bet that it was a lot higher in 1950 (approximately 75%?) than it is now (the US average is around 20% I believe).

Moreover, many modern parishes contain several churches, something that was rare in 1950.

The story is worse still if you look at the longer term trend: in most places around the world, Australia included, priestly vocation numbers rose steadily and steeply in both absolute and proportion of the population terms through the first half of the twentieth century, reaching a peak around the mid-60s.  They then crashed dramatically all the way back, and have continued to fall until very recently indeed, such that the current rise in Australia at least still looks like not much more than a blip against the long term trend.

Vatican II, bishop-bashing and the 'Church of the Wonderful'

Msgr Pope's latest post has a go at the outright rudeness of some who commented on his previous post.  There is no excuse for that: for some reason the internet brings out the worst in some people.  I'd observe, however, that while there is certainly a traditionalist fringe who regularly sin in this regard, combox nastiness is by no means peculiar to traddies, at least if my own experience is anything to go by.

The bigger problem he raises though, is one of perspectives on the Church, namely just how broke is (or isn't) it, and how do we approach the repair task.

Msgr Pope's post itself, I have to say, strikes me as typical of the denialism that seems to abound in the neo-con world.  For all of his commitment to the need for reform, I'm afraid that as a traditionalist I find it very hard indeed to see the Church in this country at least as anything but having gone very badly down the tubes given a Mass attendance rate of around 12%, plummeting rates of Church marriages, and low levels of commitment to Catholic teachings on pretty well any subject you can think of.

And I personally find it pretty hard to envisage the kind of 'help yourself to the chalice' abuse occurring in anything but a novus ordo context!

Would the collapse of the Church in the West have happened even if Vatican II had not taken place?  It is true that we can't know for sure one way or another.  But in the face of the devastation that we do see, the neo-con claim that Vatican II represents a 'great grace' for the Church seems pretty hard to sustain.

So too, the arguments of the extremist wing of the neo-conservative establishment such as those at Catholic Answers, who argue that any criticism of those in authority at all is counter to the cause of the salvation of souls.

A way forward?

I'm not sure it is really possible to implement a reform program or build support for it unless we confront where we really are honestly, and acknowledge just how big a problem we have.

Accordingly, I for one don't see much point in knocking on doors or otherwise engaging in the New Evangelism very actively until there is actually a Church near me I can safely take any potential converts or reverts to.

Of course one can pray and encourage people to see past the awful liturgies and lack of any communal spirit.  But in my view, what happens - or doesn't happen - in our parishes and communities is the reason why we need a new evangelization, not the cure for the mass defection from the Church of recent decades.

For that reason, I for one won't be backing away from criticising bishops and drawing attention to abuses and other problems when it seems appropriate to do so.

Still, I do acknowledge that some conservative bishops do seem to be actually genuinely confronting the issues: Bishop Fisher's diocesan planning process for Parramatta being a good example of that.

And while we may disagree on how we got here, traditionalists do, I think, share a lot of common ground on what needs to be done to fix things, on how to cure the disease.

Of course there will continue to be real differences.

But I suspect there is little to be gained by continued attempts to refight the battles of Vatican II when in many areas the real issues that confront us have moved on.  Traditionalists, I think, need to do some refocusing.  Where we agree on treatments for the symptoms we see in front of us, we need to make common cause to implement them.  And where we disagree, traditionalists need to engage directly and show why neo-con prescriptions are flawed or inadequate.

On the other side, though, it would really help if conservatives could drop the rose-tinted glasses: yes, the Church is the bride of Christ; yet that Church can be disfigured or altogether destroyed in particular places and times.

And too, those reflexive assertions that traditionalism is nothing more than nostalgia for a past that never really existed reflects a failure to understand what traditionalism is really trying to say, which is that we are an Apostolic Church rooted in tradition.

The world around us may change, the terms we use and the way we engage that world may need to adapt to fit the circumstances.  But what we believe, the way we worship, and the way we live: these are the things that define Catholic Christians and are at base unchanging.  Traditionalism will, in the end, always be at odds with a mentality that sees tradition as something that can be selectively taken up and modified at will.   Yet to the extent that there are some elements of that tradition that we can agree on, we should surely start from there and see what we can build.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Latin Prayer of the week: Rosarium**

This week Pope Francis urged Catholics to pray the rosary every day, so this seems an appropriate point in this Year of Faith series on the common prayers to learn how to say it in Latin!

For many years after Vatican II, the rosary was neglected or outright rejected by many as a diversion from the liturgy, and/or an example of vain repetitious prayer of the type that should be avoided (unless of course given the cloak of an import from the East!).   Fortunately, recent Popes have pointed to it as a means of meditating on Scripture, and a way of approaching Christ through Our Lady, leading the ultramontanists of the neo-conservative establishment to 'rediscover' its importance.

The rosary has long been regarded as one of the most efficacious prayers known, so its recitation is particularly urged, in the code of Canon Law, for seminarians.  But in order to encourage the rest of us to adopt also the practice, there is a plenary indulgence attached to it (for a third ie five decades) when said in a church, in a family, or other similar situations; and a partial indulgence at other times.


The tradition of praying a mix of Hail Mary's and Our Father's using beads is ancient indeed, and seems to have originally been a way for lay brothers and the laity to participate in the monastic office, with the number of Aves matching the number of psalms in the psalter.

The traditional set of mysteries as we know it, though, is the result of a vision granted to St Dominic (1170-1221).

The mysteries of the rosary were further modified in 2002 by Pope John Paul II, who added the 'Luminous Mysteries' as an option to be said on Thursdays.  Traditionalists (particularly those attached to the Dominican tradition) tend to be rather dismissive of this addition, as an inorganic development so typical of our times that breaks the link with the psalter (ie 3*50 Aves = 150 psalms).

However, these days the rosary is rarely said while listening to the Office or thought of as a substitute for it.  And in fact, most forms of the traditional Office involve the saying of considerably more than 150 psalms each week due to repetitions.  Accordingly, I do think the Pope's stated reasons for the addition, namely to highlight the mission of the proclamation of the Gospel, are worth at least considering:

"Moving on from the infancy and the hidden life in Nazareth to the public life of Jesus, our contemplation brings us to those mysteries which may be called in a special way “mysteries of light”. Certainly the whole mystery of Christ is a mystery of light. He is the “light of the world” (Jn 8:12). Yet this truth emerges in a special way during the years of his public life, when he proclaims the Gospel of the Kingdom....

Each of these mysteries is a revelation of the Kingdom now present in the very person of Jesus. The Baptism in the Jordan is first of all a mystery of light. Here, as Christ descends into the waters, the innocent one who became “sin” for our sake (cf. 2Cor 5:21), the heavens open wide and the voice of the Father declares him the beloved Son (cf. Mt 3:17 and parallels), while the Spirit descends on him to invest him with the mission which he is to carry out. Another mystery of light is the first of the signs, given at Cana (cf. Jn 2:1- 12), when Christ changes water into wine and opens the hearts of the disciples to faith, thanks to the intervention of Mary, the first among believers. Another mystery of light is the preaching by which Jesus proclaims the coming of the Kingdom of God, calls to conversion (cf. Mk 1:15) and forgives the sins of all who draw near to him in humble trust (cf. Mk 2:3-13; Lk 7:47- 48): the inauguration of that ministry of mercy which he continues to exercise until the end of the world, particularly through the Sacrament of Reconciliation which he has entrusted to his Church (cf. Jn 20:22-23). The mystery of light par excellence is the Transfiguration, traditionally believed to have taken place on Mount Tabor. The glory of the Godhead shines forth from the face of Christ as the Father commands the astonished Apostles to “listen to him” (cf. Lk 9:35 and parallels) and to prepare to experience with him the agony of the Passion, so as to come with him to the joy of the Resurrection and a life transfigured by the Holy Spirit. A final mystery of light is the institution of the Eucharist, in which Christ offers his body and blood as food under the signs of bread and wine, and testifies “to the end” his love for humanity (Jn 13:1), for whose salvation he will offer himself in sacrifice...."

The mysteries

Accordingly, the mysteries of the rosary as set out in the Compendium to the Catechism are as follows:

Mystéria gaudiósa (Joyful mysteries) 
(in feria secunda et sabbato; Monday and Saturday)

Annuntiátio (Annunciation).
Visitátio (Visitation).
Natívitas (Nativity).
Præsentátio (Presentation).
Invéntio in Templo (The Finding in the Temple).

Mystéria dolorósa (Sorrowful mysteries)
(in feria tertia et feria sexta; Tuesday and Friday)

Agonía in Hortu (Agony in the Garden).
Flagellátio (Scourging at the pillar).
Coronátio Spinis (Crowning with thorns).
Baiulátio Crucis (Carrying of the Cross).
Crucifíxio et Mors (Crucifixion and death).

Mystéria gloriósa
(in feria quarta et Dominica; Wednesday and Sunday)

Resurréctio (Resurrection).
Ascénsio (Ascension).
Descénsus Spíritus Sancti (Descent of the Holy Spirit/Pentecost).
Assúmptio (Assumption [of the BVM]).
Coronátio in Cælo (Coronation in heaven [of the BVM]).

Mystéria luminósa (Luminous Mysteries/Mysteries of Light)
(in feria quinta; Thursday)

Baptísma apud Iordánem (Baptism in the Jordan).
Autorevelátio apud Cananénse matrimónium  (Self-revelation at the wedding at Cana).
Regni Dei proclamátio coniúncta cum invitaménto ad conversiónem. (Proclamation of the Kingdom of God with the invitation to conversion)
Transfigurátio (Transfiguration).
Eucharístiæ Institútio (Institution of the Eucharist).

The prayers of the rosary

Curiously, the Compendium of the Catechism's collection of common prayers does not include either instructions on how to say the rosary, or even all of the necessary prayers.  That's a pity since because of the poor catechesis of recent times, and antagonism to the rosary even from those who should know better, not every Catholic is actually that familiar with this beautiful form of meditation!  But you can find an excellent guide to it over at New Advent.

**Update: Fr John Flynn has drawn my attention to a Vatican 'Mysteries of the Rosary' Site that also takes you through how to say the rosary, and provides some Scriptural and Catechetical material to meditate on for each mystery.

The key prayers you need for the rosary in Latin are:

1.  The Sign of the Cross (ie In nomine...).

2.  The Apostles' Creed (Credo)

3. Pater Noster (Our Father)

4.  Ave Maria (Hail Mary)

5. Gloria (Glory Be):

Glória Patri et Fílio et Spirítui Sancto. Sicut erat in princípio, et nunc et semper et in sæcula sæculórum. Amen.

(ie Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now, and ever shall be world without end. Amen.)

6.  The Fatima Prayer (added to counter the spread of communism; though these days Russia seems more a force for resisting the secularist imperative!):

Domine Iesu, dimitte nobis debita nostra, salva nos ab igne inferiori, perduc in caelum omnes animas, praesertim eas, quae misericordiae tuae maxime indigent.

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy.

7. Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen)

8.  Concluding prayer:

Déus, cújus Unigénitus per vítam, mórtem et resurrectiónem súam nóbis salútis ætérnæ præmia comparávit: concéde, quæsumus: ut hæc mystéria sacratíssimo beátæ Maríæ Vírginis Rosário recoléntes, et imitémur quod cóntinent, et quod promíttunt, assequámur. Per eúndem Chrístum Dóminum nóstrum. Amen.

O GOD, WHOSE only-begotten Son by His life, death and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life; grant, we beseech Thee, that by meditating upon these mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what
they promise, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

You can hear all of these read out in Latin here.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Assumption of Our Lady

c15th : La Mort de la Vierge Heures d'Étienne Chevalier,
enluminées par Jean Fouquet
Musée Condé, Chantilly,
The early tradition of the Church is that the apostles were all drawn to return to Jerusalem in time to attend the deathbed of Our Lady.

The belief that after her death she was bodily assumed into heaven was well established and celebrated in the liturgy by the fifth century, though her assumption was not formally defined as a dogma until 1950.

St John Chrysostom wrote:

"This day the holy and animated Ark of the living God, which had held within it its own Maker, is borne to rest in that Temple of the Lord, which is not made with hands. David, whence it sprang, leapeth before it, and in company with him the Angels dance, the Archangels sing aloud, the Virtues ascribe glory, the Princedoms shout for joy, the Powers make merry, the Lordships rejoice, the Thrones keep holiday, the Cherubim utter praise, and the Seraphim proclaim its glory. This day the Eden of the new Adam receiveth the living garden of delight, wherein the condemnation was annulled, wherein the Tree of Life was planted, wherein our nakedness was covered.

This day the stainless maiden, who had been defiled by no earthly lust, but ennobled by heavenly desires, returned not to dust, but, being herself a living heaven, took her place among the heavenly mansions. From her true life had flowed for all men, and how should she taste of death? But she yielded obedience to the law established by Him to Whom she had given birth, and, as the daughter of the old Adam, underwent the old sentence, which even her Son, Who is the very Life Itself, had not refused; but, as the Mother of the living God, she was worthily taken by Him unto Himself.

Eve, who had said yea to the proposals of the serpent, was condemned to the pains of travail and the punishment of death, and found her place in the bowels of the Netherworld. But this truly blessed being who had inclined her ears to the word of God, whose womb had been filled by the action of the Holy Ghost, who, as soon as she heard the spiritual salutation of the archangel, had conceived the Son of God without any sexual pleasure or carnal knowledge by a man, who had brought forth her Offspring without any the least pang, who had hallowed herself altogether for the service of God how was death ever to feed upon her? how was the grave ever to eat her up? how was corruption to break into that body into which Life had been welcomed? For her there was a straight, smooth, and easy way to heaven. For if Christ, Who is the Life and the Truth, hath said Where I am, there shall also My servant be how much more shall not rather His mother be with Him?"

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Why Catholic schools don't turn out actual Catholics...

In my mailbox today I found an advertisement for one of the local 'Catholic' (girls) schools, Merici College.

Well, I say Catholic, but in fact the word is not actually used in the flyer.

Instead, the advertising material spruiks its alleged academic excellence (for the record it ranked 10th out of 23 in the ACT in 2012 for Australian Tertiary Admission Rank scores), state of the art technology and a (greenie) "Sustainability Program").

Plus of course its "supportive vertical pastoral care program", whatever that might be.

The flyer does ask the question "What do students learn in religion at Merici College?"

But the answer, it seems, is anything but the Catholic faith.

Apparently Merici is a "values-based community inclusive of students from a diverse range of faiths".  And that means that:

"In our formal Religious Education program, our students learn about:
  • a variety of religious practices and how they fit into modern Australia
  • unity, diversity and ethics
  • social justice." 

Could someone remind me why we have Catholic schools again?

Let's pray that Canberra's new bishop (when he is appointed; it's been over a year!) will take suitable action.

**But apparently this is a legacy our last bishop, +Coleridge, is proud of:

Church in Aus: done many things badly, but done some things superbly well, and perhaps nothing quite as well as our schools.

Feast of St Mary of the Cross

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Latin Prayer of the week: Te Deum

Today in this Year of Faith series on prayers we should know in Latin, which is particularly focusing on the Common Prayers contained in the Compendium to the Catechism), I want to take a look at the Te Deum.

This is one of those prayers that it is perhaps more important to be able to sing than say, for you want to be able to break it out when something positive happens to give thanks for, such as at an ordination, or on the news of the appointment of a good bishop.

But it is appropriate in other contexts as well, and in the middle ages was also sung in times of calamity, a custom we might usefully revive.

In that vein I want particularly to draw your attention to the final section of the hymn, which the  paraphrase in the familiar hymn Holy God We Praise Thy Name gives a good flavour of:

SPARE Thy people, Lord, we pray,
by a thousand snares surrounded:
keep us without sin today,
never let us be confounded.
Lo, I put my trust in Thee;
never, Lord, abandon me (trans. Walworth)


The Te Deum Laudamus (We praise You O God, or under the more prosaic translation given in the current Handbook of Indulgences, You are God: We Praise You) is referred to in the Rule of St Benedict and other places as 'the Ambrosian Hymn', and was long attributed to St Ambrose.  There is a nice tradition that it was composed on the night of the baptism of St Augustine.

Alas, these days that view of its origins is now disputed and the most favoured theory appears to be that it was written by the fourth century Bishop Nicetas of Remesiana.

The last section (from Salvum Fac), which consists of verses from a number of psalms, was probably a later addition but fits particularly well.

In the Roman Office, the Te Deum  is sung at Matins (aka the Office of Readings) on Sundays (and on major feasts) but is omitted during penitential seasons.  But this is not a universal custom.  St Benedict instructed that it be sung on every Sunday at Matins, and in the Sarum Rite Office of Our Lady it was said daily throughout the year.

It is also used outside the liturgy on great occasions.  Said in thanksgiving, it comes with a partial indulgence; said publicly on New Year's Eve it has a plenary indulgence attached.

The text

Here is the version of the text given in the Compendium to the Catechism:

Te Deum laudámus:
te Dóminum confitémur.
Te ætérnum Patrem,
omnis terra venerátur.
tibi omnes ángeli,
tibi cæli et univérsæ potestátes:
tibi chérubim et séraphim
incessábili voce proclámant:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus,
Dóminus Deus Sábaoth.
Pleni sunt cæli et terra
maiestátis glóriæ tuæ.

Te gloriósus
apostolórum chorus,
te prophetárum
laudábilis númerus,
te mártyrum candidátus
laudat exércitus.
Te per orbem terrárum
sancta confitétur Ecclésia,
Patrem imménsæ maiestátis;
venerándum tuum verum
et únicum Fílium;
Sanctum quoque
Paráclitum Spíritum.

Tu rex glóriæ, Christe.
Tu Patris sempitérnus es Fílius.
Tu, ad liberándum susceptúrus
non horruísti Vírginis úterum.
Tu, devícto mortis acúleo,
aperuísti credéntibus regna cælórum.

Tu ad déxteram Dei sedes,
in glória Patris.
Iudex créderis esse ventúrus.
Te ergo quæsumus,
tuis fámulis súbveni,
quos pretióso sánguine redemísti.
Ætérna fac cum sanctis tuis
in glória numerári.

Salvum fac pópulum tuum, Dómine,
et bénedic hereditáti tuæ.
Et rege eos, et extólle illos
usque in ætérnum.
Per síngulos dies benedícimus te;
et laudámus nomen tuum
in sæculum, et in sæculum sæculi.

Dignáre, Dómine,
die isto sine peccáto nos custodíre.
Miserére nostri, Dómine, miserére nostri.
Fiat misericórdia tua,
Dómine, super nos,
quemádmodum sperávimus in te.
In te, Dómine, sperávi:
non confúndar in ætérnum.

You can hear it read aloud in Latin (helpfully broken down in small chunks) here.

The Compendium gives two alternate translations one for the US, one for the UK.  Here is the UK version:

We praise you, O God:
We acclaim you as Lord.
Everlasting Father,
All the world bows down before you.
All the angels sing your praise,
The hosts of heaven and all the angelic powers,
All the cherubim and seraphim
Call out to you in unending song:
Holy, Holy, Holy,
Is the Lord God of angel hosts!
The heavens and the earth are filled
With your majesty and glory.
The glorious band of apostles,
The noble company of prophets,
The white-robed army who shed their blood for Christ,
All sing your praise.
And to the ends of the earth
Your holy Church proclaims her faith in you:
Father, whose majesty is boundless,
Your true and only son, who is to be adored,
The Holy Spirit sent to be our Advocate.
You, Christ, are the king of glory,
Son of the eternal Father.
When you took our nature to save mankind
You did not shrink from birth in the Virgin’s womb.
You overcame the power of death
Opening the Father’s kingdom to all who believe in you.
Enthroned at God’s right hand in the glory of the Father,
You will come in judgement according to your promise.
You redeemed your people by your precious blood.
Coe, we implore you, to our aid.
Grant us with the saints
a place in eternal glory.
Lord, save your people
And bless your inheritance.
Rule them and uphold them
For ever and ever.
Day by day we praise you:
We acclaim you now and to all eternity.
In your goodness, Lord, keep us free from sin.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.
May your mercy always be with us, Lord,
For we have hoped in you.
In you, Lord, we put our trust:
We shall not be put to shame.

Looking at the Latin

I thought I would just provide notes on the final section of the hymn, so here is a word by word, literal translation:

Salvum (Safe/saved) fac (make) pópulum (people) tuum (your), Dómine (O Lord), et (and) bénedic (bless) hereditáti (the inheritance) tuæ (of you).

Et (and) rege (rule/be a shepherd/govern) eos (them), et (and) extólle (lift up/raise up/uphold) illos (them) usque (to/til) in ætérnum (forever).

Per síngulos (every) dies (day) benedícimus (we bless) te (you); et (and) laudámus (we praise) nomen (the name) tuum (yours) in sæculum (forever), et in sæculum sæculi (and forever).

Dignáre (Deign/vouchsafe), Dómine (O Lord), die (the day) isto (thither/therein) sine (without) peccáto (sin) nos (us) custodíre (to keep).

Miserére (have mercy) nostri (on us), Dómine (O Lord), miserére (have mercy) nostri (on us).

Fiat (Let it be done) misericórdia (mercy) tua (your), Dómine (O Lord), super (over/upon/with) nos (us), quemádmodum (in what manner/how) sperávimus (we have hoped) in (in) te (you).

In (in) te (you), Dómine (Lord), sperávi (I have hoped): non (not)confúndar (let me be put to shame/confounded) in ætérnum (forever).

Friday, 2 August 2013

FSSP news

The Australian FSSP website has (at last) been updated to reflect a number of changes, viz:
  • Fr Marko Rehak, who was based in Parramatta, has been appointed as Associate Pastor of St Clement, Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada;
  • Fr Wong becomes chaplain of Maternal Heart (the announcement that it is to be made a personal parish on August 15 is now up on the Community's bulletin);
  • Fr. Damonn Sypher has been appointed Assistant Priest to the Maternal Heart community;
  • Regional Superior Fr Blust is chaplain for Parramatta; and
  • New Zealand no longer has even a nominal FSSP presence.
Australians (and particularly those from his home town of Canberra) will want to keep Fr Rehak especially in their prayers - glad he was able to arrive in summer and get acclimated before he experiences a real winter (and I know whereof I speak having experienced a couple of years as a parishioner of St Clement's myself!).

On ritualism and the neocon vs traddie war

Today I want to draw your attention to two things to look at in order to understand the traddie vs neo-con war going on at the moment.

The first is Michael Voris' take, this week, on some of the issues at stake in the internal debate.  Personally I think there is a bit more than the debate over small T vs big T traditions, but his analysis is a nice starting point for those puzzled about the distinction between the two groups.

The second is what looks like a must-read blog (thanks to RC on twitter).  It is ostensibly about Anglicans, but will have a much wider appeal I think (in the interest of ecumenism of course)!  Entitled 'The Low Churchman's Guide to the Solemn Mass.  Keeping Loyal Anglican's Safe from Superstition since 2013', it contains a series of warnings on assorted ritualist assaults on the laity.

The latest is concerned about the move to reintroduce Compline.  Here are some extracts, as a taster to entice you to explore more over there:

"At the Reformation, the toiling English masses were freed from the crushing burden of the medieval “Daily Office," a round of eight services celebrated at regular intervals throughout the day. Medieval peasants lived at the mercy of lawless gangs of priests... From a young age, English children learned to fear the iron rule of the clergy, as each night they were plucked from their beds and forcibly marched to Matins to stand and listen to the grim, toneless droning of Gregorian chant... The traumatic memory of this experience is etched in the mind of every loyal churchman: he knows that the reduction of the Office to the twofold pattern of Morning and Evening Prayer is the fruit of a hard-fought struggle against theocratic oppression.

It is necessary to understand this historical background to appreciate the full horror of the ritualists’ reintroduction of the “Compline" service, a ceremony that loyal churchmen had fervently hoped was lost forever...Compline has become unaccountably popular with lay audiences, who are obviously unaware that every service of Compline strikes a symbolic blow against the foundations of democracy and English common law..."

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Liturgy and praxis: some common errors (traddie and otherwise!)

Over the last week or so the traddie vs neoconservative war has escalated considerably, as the stakes have gone up in the context of the intervention in the Franciscans of the Immaculate.

Inevitably, both sides (and some purporting to be in the middle) have made some shall we say 'interesting' claims.

So I thought it might be helpful to try and point out what, on the face of it, seem to me to be highly contestable or outright unsustainable claims, and put some suggestions as to what is and isn't open to debate.

1.  Claim: The Vatican intervention was justified because the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate were sipping the 'rad-trad cool aid'.

One of the claims made about the Vatican's intervention in the Franciscans of the Immaculate is that it was justified because the Sisters were coming under extreme traditionalist influence.  CNA/EWTN for example reported:

"Fr. Bruno pointed to a “small group in power” within the religious congregation that is being influenced by Mother Francesca Perillo, who is “very close” with Lefebvrist groups. He is worried that Mother Perillo, who is in charge of those sisters who live in hermitages, and her followers could fall into “heresy and disobedience.”

But here is the thing.  The Sisters are technically a separate Order with their own hierarchy, and the Vatican Decree, as far as I can see, does not apply to them.  Indeed, they have apparently indicated that if the Friars can't get permission to say the EF Mass for them, they will look for other priests who can.

Once upon a time of course there was such a thing as a double order, with one overall head of it.  Those days ended not long after Trent, and today, while male and female branches of a particular charism can be very closely associated with other (in ways recognised by canon law), they are legally separate entities.  So if the problem was the sisters (who appear to have gone over to the EF entirely!) why was the intervention only imposed on the friars?  Or is there more to come?

2.  Claim: Sipping the rad trad cool aid justifies Vatican intervention in the Order

Dr Taylor Marshall gives us a summary of alleged rad trad crimes that may have been at work here.

Frankly, if those are the things that really what prompted the Vatican intervention, we should all be very worried indeed, because an awful lot of his list are things that seem to be more about style and opinion than outright heresy or schism.

Several of the points he lists (Amish dress/isolationism, Rorate Caeli's rhetorical style, etc) are not features of traditionalism I like.  I do wish the fringe would move on from them.  But they are, in the main, legitimate positions open to hold (the views of members of the Patheos/Catholic Answers and friends neo-Inquisition notwithstanding).

Some seem to have been tossed in just because others make the claim.

Other points in his list (such as scepticism about the charismatic movement) are views that will be shared by many way beyond the 'rad trad' fringe.

And as far as I can gather the issue is not, in this particular case, as Dr Taylor suggests, outright denial of Vatican II's legitimacy, but rather the extent to which criticism of it is permissible.  There is a big difference.

3.  ClaimThe leadership of the Franciscans of the Immaculate were attempting to impose a form of the liturgy on its members that they didn't grow up with or want, causing division.

You need to read the whole thing, but here is a taster of an excellent response from Creative Minority Report:

"Imagine for a second that you are a priest or a religious or even a lay person attending mass. When you joined the order you has no idea whatsoever that the liturgy which you have used all your life would be suddenly changed. This wasn't the mass you had in mind when you signed up...

Where can you be heard?

So with no other recourse, you turn to the Vatican for a hearing. You turn to the Vatican in hopes that everyone can take a deep breath and not just impose this on everyone whether they want it or not...

Now imagine it is 1970..."

Yep, somehow or other it is OK to impose the fifty year old Novus Ordo on everyone - but not the far more ancient Traditional Mass that was used universally for centuries.  Explain that one to me.

4. Claim: Using different forms of the liturgy is divisive

The Roman Rite, whether in its Extraordinary or Ordinary Forms, is only one of many recognised as legitimate by the Church.

Before the Council of Trent, many dioceses and countries had their own rites and uses.  In order to counter the heretical liturgies that had strung up as a result of the Protestant Revolution, the Counter-Reformation Church, under Pope Pius V, made the Roman all but universal.

And despite claims to the contrary by some who should know better, there is no inherent requirement that we all use the same liturgy, whether the Tridentine Rite or Novus Ordo Roman, or any other legitimate rite, in order to justify our claim to be Catholic.

Indeed personally, being a devotee of the fourteenth century English mystical tradition,  I'm still hoping to see a full-blown revival of the Sarum Rite, which was used in most of England before the Henry VIII's break with Rome.

More to the point, as Pope Benedict XVI said in Summorum Pontificum, both the OF and EF are expressions of the Church's Lex orandi.

5.  Claim: The TLM is only permitted for Ecclesia Dei Orders, or those who have been through a 'testing' process for its use

Well no.  Summorum Pontificum specifically provided otherwise:

"Summorum Pontificum Art 1. The Roman Missal promulgated by Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the 'Lex orandi' (Law of prayer) of the Catholic Church of the Latin rite. Nonetheless, the Roman Missal promulgated by St. Pius V and reissued by Bl. John XXIII is to be considered as an extraordinary expression of that same 'Lex orandi,' and must be given due honour for its venerable and ancient usage...It is, therefore, permissible to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal promulgated by Bl. John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated, as an extraordinary form of the Liturgy of the Church....

Art. 3. Communities of Institutes of consecrated life and of Societies of apostolic life, of either pontifical or diocesan right, wishing to celebrate Mass in accordance with the edition of the Roman Missal promulgated in 1962, for conventual or "community" celebration in their oratories, may do so. If an individual community or an entire Institute or Society wishes to undertake such celebrations often, habitually or permanently, the decision must be taken by the Superiors Major, in accordance with the law and following their own specific decrees and statues."

6. Claim: The Extraordinary Form can never be abrogated

Pope Benedict's decree Summorum Pontificum makes it clear that the Extraordinary Form had not been abrogated:

"It is, therefore, permissible to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal promulgated by Bl. John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated..."

But could it be?  The answer remains unclear I think.

In SP, Pope Benedict traced the history of the Roman Rite, and the interventions of various Popes to conserve, and on and modify it, from Pope St Gregory the Great to Blessed John XXIII.  The implication was quite clearly that this is an area where Popes can legislate, albeit within limits.

What are those proper limits?  In a talk he gave back in 1998, the then Cardinal Ratzinger suggested the Church never forbids a rite outright, but can and does define and limit the use of them.  But that wasn't of course Ordinary Magisterium.  And how do you explain, then the Pius V's suppression of rites less than two hundred years old?  Moreover some of those subsequent 'limits on the use' looked awfully like outright suppression to those at the time, and to most historians!  Still, I think you'd probably have to say the  so the question remains open.

PS On the Jesuit inspired heresy of anti-liturgicalism!

And on the nature of the liturgy more generally, don't miss reading Fr Ray Blake's latest post on the Jesuit legacy when it comes to liturgy.