"Dost thou think to escape that which no mortal ever could avoid? What Saint was ever in the world without his cross and tribulation? For even our Lord Jesus Christ Himself was not for one hour of His life without the anguish of His Passion. 'It behooved,' said He, 'that Christ should suffer and rise from the dead and so enter into His glory.' And how dost thou seek another way than this royal way, which is the way of the holy cross?"
(This is part 6 of 14 from Book II, Chapter 12, "The Royal Road of the Holy Cross," of The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A'Kempis.)
Father Bethel's Visit
"...any Catholic priest can celebrate the traditional Latin Mass without first seeking the permission of his bishop...."
courtesy Clerical Whispers, blogspot
A high-profile Vatican office has ordered Bishop John Fleming to make provision for the traditional Latin Mass in his Killala diocese.
The move, from the powerful 'Ecclesia Dei' Commission comes after the Killala Council of Priests decided that no provision should be made for the celebration of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form.In July 2007, Pope Benedict's letter, Summorum Pontificum, eased restrictions on the pre-Vatican II Mass, the so-called Tridentine Rite and established that any Catholic priest can celebrate the traditional Latin Mass without first seeking the permission of his bishop.
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New Oxford Review Archives, 1995
By P.M. Aliazzi
P.M. Aliazzi is the Director of the Wean Research Library, at University School, a prep school in suburban Cleveland.
What do you say to a white-haired old man in a black "bathrobe" toting a matching briefcase? "Court's in session in the cabana, Your Honor"? It was the first time I had ever seen a Jesuit, and I was both spooked and fascinated. I was used to kindly, comfortable parish priests in suits, but this guy -- these guys -- were something different: brisk, no-nonsense, "in-your-face" drill sergeants in insignia-free uniforms and far from slow to say that they had been given charge of some terribly unpromising raw recruits. Soon there'd be much more to worry about than how that wrap-around, buttonless, zipperless cassock stayed put; there was no time for idleness -- or student wisecracks -- in the Latin class of Arthur Walter, S.J.
From the second day until the end of the year, you began by passing forward your homework, in ink with no scratch-outs, never in pencil or without the obligatory heading of name, date, and A.M.D.G. (ad maiorem Dei gloriam, for the greater glory of God). Into the aged briefcase it went, exercises in Latin to English, English to Latin. From the third day on, and without fail, you came to class and found the previous night's work waiting for you face down on the desk every error (down to vowel length marks) corrected in a meticulous hand, and a percentage grade written at the top. He did that every day, for five classes of 35 to 40 students each, for I never learned how many years, in a demonstration of dedication hard to match apart from Inspector Javert in Les Miserables.
There was one escape, however. It was called an "exemption," and you earned one by besting the kids in your row in the sudden oral quizzes that were more like a cross between a gladiatorial show and a police line-up, with Father as Emperor Joe Friday seeking "just the facts" and determined to get them. After he chose a timekeeper from among the (temporary) spectators, the first group of combatants slunk forward, each to be participially probed, declensionally decimated, and generally found wanting -- within 10 seconds:
"That they may have been praised," came the pitch.
"Huh?" And down went Casey at the bat.
"Was that 'praised'?" stalled another.
"Sit down," intoned Father, ignoring his timekeeper and briskly throwing his change-up to the next batter. "Bob Feller pitched...the camp."
"Ut laudati sint," chirped Chaffee, answering not that question but the previous question out of some time-warp delay, clearly a victim of what today would be diagnosed as post-conjugational stress disorder.
On it went. To be left standing in what everyone knew was a smart row gained one a stature comparable to surviving the Bataan Death March. And the reward? Not a medal, but something even more coveted: the right to skip a single homework assignment of one's choice.
If it sounds mean, if he sounds mean, nothing, not even Casey, could be more wrong. It was just that Father had the seriousness, the weightiness, the dignity prized by the Romans he taught about. Here was someone who, you sensed from the very start, had no time for trivialities, and who wanted you to have no time for them either. Accordingly, his remarkably comprehensive written tests always had exactly 50 questions -- one per minute -- which he somehow always managed to cram onto a single side of one mimeographed sheet. Invariably smudged, the things came out of the machine looking rather like a 50-lobed purple Rohrschach. But they revealed in short order whether you knew the stuff or not. There was (literally) no room for fakery.
Nor for hiding from Roman history and culture, which we learned, somewhat like ancient kids must have done, through stories. Mucius "Lefty" Scaevola, Manlius & the Gauls, and the Horatii & Curiatii all made their appearance in Latin, and before the term was out, became the subject of oral questions and answers in Latin as well. And of course, there was always "Explication de texte meets Groucho":
"Anseres clamabant...," read the anthology of stories.
"The geese [pause] were shouting," construed the hapless Casey.
At that, Father's white eyebrows arched so high over his rimless spectacles that his usually impassive, even granite, face took on the look of an affronted Colosseum.
"Cackled," shouted Father.
"Shouted?" cackled the class.
The overmatched linguist, desperate to change the topic, looked up in mingled exasperation and wonder, and spluttered, "Father, who taught you Latin?"
"Caesar," boomed the reply, uttered with such finality that for a moment we thought the old guy and Julius had been budds.
In that instant, I knew what it was to be initiated into a tradition; not just the classics (which were automatically assumed to include the Vulgate, St. Augustine, Prudentius, and St. Gregory), but into what I can only call the tradition of Christian humanism: It was from Fr. Walter that I learned neither to fear nor to idolize intellect; to take responsibility for my own education; to link self-respect to objective achievement, not to sugary compliment; to respect persons but not necessarily the ideas they hold; to expect to have what one says taken seriously and, as need be, seriously taken apart; to see that human dignity is grounded in the gift of an immortal soul, not the growth of an inflated self, and, above all, to understand that the doing of however humble a task can truly be A.M.D.G.
Self-esteem panderers might cringe at all this. Let them! A quarter century later, I shudder to think at the whiny, undisciplined, anarchic creature I could have become but for that gruff old priest. Turns out he was as good at construing boys as sentences. Requiescas in pace, Pater et magister.
Not Erroneous Promotion of Bossy Lay People
Pope Benedict XVI has dealt a well-aimed blow to the Futurechurch model of Catholicism, in which power is wielded by finger-wagging lay people instead of priests.
Tabletistas are terrified of orthodox seminarians
Father Z has translated parts of the Holy Father's address to the Congregation for Clergy yesterday, in which he attacks the idea of "new structures" that replace the ordained ministry. Magic Circle bishops and their lay sycophants will be livid, because they actually like the idea of running out of orthodox priests who might impede the development of Futurechurch. Here is the relevant passage from the Pope's speech:
As a Church and as priests we proclaim Jesus of Nazareth is Lord and Christ, crucifed and risen, King of time and history, in the happy certainty that such a truth coincides with the deepest desires of man's heart. In the ministry of the incarnation of the Word, in that fact that God became man like us, there is situated both the content and the method of the Christian message. The mission has here its true driving core: namely, in Jesus Christ. The centrality of Christ brings with itself the proper evaluation of the priestly ministry, without which there would be no Eucharist, nor, much less, the mission of the same Church. In this sense it is necessary to be vigilant that "new structures" or pastoral organizations are not considered for a time which one must "do without" ordained ministry, starting from the erroneous interpretation of a right promotion of the laity, for in such a case presuppositions would be advanced for the further dilution of the priestly ministry and the eventual presumed "solutions" would come dramatically to coincide with the real causes of the present challenges bound up with ministry.
"The erroneous interpretation of a right promotion of the laity." That is pretty much the mission statement of The Tablet: I'll never forget Elena Dis-Curti-ous telling Cardinal Castrillon last year that "we are priests, prophets and kings", to which the answer of any decent PP ought to be: "Not in my parish, you aren't."
I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but I can't help noticing that certain dioceses produce virtually no vocations. These tend to be the same dioceses in which there is a cult of the bishop and a cult of parish "ministers", which join together to bypass any inconveniently traditional priests.
Some bishops have nightmares about the shortage of vocations - that is, they have nightmares that the shortage of vocations might be coming to an end. There they are, blathering away about how "the Holy Spirit is calling us towards a new model of being Church", when they're suddenly confronted by the sight of young seminarians in soutanes, learning to say Mass in both forms of the Roman Rite. Aaaargh!!!
One of the reasons we desperately need a good leader of the Church in England and Wales is that we could be on the verge of a growth in vocations. Just imagine the horror of local Tabletistas if they learn that an orthodox curate has been appointed to help their tamed and terrified old parish priest. It makes me think that ... hahahaha... they'll have to ... hahahahaha ... I'm sorry, I can't go on.
A Generation of Narcissists
Warning over narcissistic pupils By Katherine Sellgren BBC News, at the ASCL conference
The growing expectation placed on schools and parents to boost pupils' self-esteem is breeding a generation of narcissists, an expert has warned.
Dr Carol Craig said children were being over-praised and were developing an "all about me" mentality.
She said teachers increasingly faced complaints from parents if their child failed a spelling test or did not get a good part in the school pantomime.
Schools needed to reclaim their role as educators, not psychologists, she said.
Dr Craig, who is chief executive of the centre for confidence and well-being in Scotland, was speaking at the Association of School and College Leaders conference in Birmingham.
She told head teachers the self-esteem agenda, imported from the United States, was a "a big fashionable idea" that had gone too far.
She said an obsession with boosting children's self-esteem was encouraging a narcissistic generation who focussed on themselves and felt "entitled".
“ They (schools) are not surrogate psychologists or mental health professionals ” Dr Carol Craig
"Narcissists make terrible relationship partners, parents and employees. It's not a positive characteristic. We are in danger of encouraging this," she said.
"And we are kidding ourselves if we think that we aren't going to undermine learning if we restrict criticism.
"Parents no longer want to hear if their children have done anything wrong. This is the downside of the self-esteem agenda. "I'm not saying it's of no value… but you get unintentional consequences."
Since 2007, there has been a statutory responsibility on schools in England to improve pupils' well-being and primary and secondary schools are increasingly teaching social and emotional skills.
Indeed it is possible that Ofsted inspectors will soon appraise schools' performance in this area; and well-being could be one of the measures used in the school report card system that the government wants to introduce.
But Dr Craig told head teachers that this was not the role of schools.
"Schools have to hold out that they are educational establishments," she said.
"They are not surrogate psychologists or mental health professionals."
Learning about feelings from a professional in a classroom did not send out a positive message, she added. And she warned there was a danger the more schools taught emotional well-being, the less parents would take responsibility.
"We run the risk of undermining the family as the principal agent of sociability," she said.
Story from BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/education/7943906.stmPublished: 2009/03/14 16:56:31 GMT© BBC MMIX
South Africa Protest Over New Catholic Mass Translation
By Michelle Faul
Associated Press Hosted by Google
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A new translation of the Roman Catholic Mass that is to be introduced worldwide in a few years is getting an accidental trial run in South Africa, where some parishioners are complaining it's too hard to understand.
The controversy comes as Pope Benedict XVI travels Tuesday to Cameroon on his first papal pilgrimage to the continent that has the fastest growing congregation of Catholics.
Critics say the new, more literal word-for-word translation is part of an attempt to roll back the progress made decades ago when the church halted its insistence on Latin.
Before Communion, for example, the prayer "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you" becomes "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof." "One in being with the Father" becomes "consubstantial with the Father" in the Nicene creed.
And the congregation's response to the greeting that opens Mass with the priest saying "The Lord be with you," changes from "And also with you" to "And with your spirit."
In a misunderstanding, some South African church leaders started using the new version prematurely in some parishes, even though the English-language prayers won't be approved for global use for at least a couple of years. But instead of pulling back in the face of their mistake, they are continuing to use the liturgy.
Distribution of the prayers has fueled debate over whether the new translation — meant to more closely follow the original Latin text — will help deepen parishioners' prayer life or alienate them from the church.
"I think the church has been very lucky that the South Africans jumped the gun because it's showing the Vatican that there is going to be a worldwide problem when these new translations are put into effect," said Thomas Reese, a Jesuit priest and senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University.
"Once again the Vatican isn't listening to the critics, and we're going to have another major embarrassment to the pope when these translations are put into effect and are forced on the people in the pews," he said.
Vatican II, the 1962-1965 meetings that inspired liberalizing reforms of the Roman Catholic Church, led to changes such as Mass being celebrated in local languages. Reese said prior to that, Mass was said in Latin and parishioners followed along in a missal that had an English translation.
The new Mass translation now is being used in some parishes of the Southern African Church, which also includes Botswana and Swaziland and serves some 3.2 million Catholics. The premature use, which began in late November, is being blamed on a misplaced letter advising that the texts weren't to be used immediately.
Bishop Edward Risi, in charge of the local bishops' liturgical department, said the new translation is "a more faithful rendering ... an echo of the scriptures. What the original Latin has done uses the scriptures and English must also reflect that."
The debate over translating the latest edition of the Roman Missal, the ritual text for celebrating Mass, began years ago.
In 2000, Pope John Paul II issued a third edition of the "Missale Romanum," followed by a Vatican document a year later that insisted translations should stay close to the Latin and adhere to church doctrine. An international panel representing English-speaking bishops began tackling the job of translating the new liturgy.
But Clement Armstrong of Bryanston, South Africa, said some of the changes in wording are "simply nonsense." While his home parish has not yet adopted the changes, a church where he attended Mass over the holidays has.
"I am resistant to change and I think the older community in my parish will feel the same," he said. "I can accept change when there is a good reason but I cannot see one."
His daughter-in-law, Anne Armstrong agrees: "We are all familiar with the liturgy we have used since we were children. Why is there the need to say Mass differently?"
The Rev. Efrem Tresoldi warned in The Southern Cross, a regional Catholic weekly: "I've heard it said that younger people are leaving the Church because, among other things, the language used in our liturgy sounds foreign to them. I think this new version of the order of the Mass is even more alienating."
Lay leader Paddy Kearney also points to the theological implications in the "mea culpa." The new translation reverts to repeated pronunciations of guilt emphasized by beatings on the breast reflected in the Latin Mass: "Through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault."
Under Vatican II, the breast-beating was abandoned and people pronounced only once on grievous sinning.
"I think this is because some feel we need to have more emphasis on our guiltiness and sinfulness, because the feeling is that we have lost our sense of guilt," Kearney said.
There's a feeling, Kearney said, "that Vatican II was a mistake, that a lot has gone wrong as a result of its decrees and that we need to get back in line, get knocked into shape, that we need to inch back to where we were before."
In an article in The Southern Cross, Bishop Kevin Dowling agreed.
"I am concerned that this latest decision from the Vatican may be interpreted as another example of what is perceived to be a systematic and well-managed dismantling of the vision, theology and ecclesiology of Vatican II."
The Rev. Russell Pollitt also questioned whether nonnative English speakers in South Africa, where there are 11 official languages, would understand the more abstract concepts.
"The new text seems almost to imply that there is something inherently holy about Latin and inherently unholy about proper English," English Professor Colin Gardner said.