2 November 2018

Antisemitisms in the Novus Ordo

All Saints; and that marvellous Reading from the Apocalypse [Chapter 7] of S John the Divine. Except that ...

 ... you have to go to the Old Mass if you want to hear it unbowdlerised. If you go to Hannibal Bugnini's Mass on All Saints' Day, you will find that the superb drum-roll of the Twelve Tribes of the people of Israel, each tribe mentioned by name with the reassurance that their Twelve Thousand will be, are being, have been, sealed ... is missed out [verses 5-8]. Indeed, if you are unwise enough to worship only ever according the corrupted liturgy of the 1960s, you will never hear these verses ... not even on a weekday. You will never hear the emphatic thump ... thump ... thump as the importance of the People of the Twelve Tribes is maintained. Often, in the decatholicised rites of the 1960s and 1970s, we are offered a shorter and a longer version of a reading; but here, not even that choice is permitted.

Different as the two books are, there is a striking identity of teaching between the Apocalypse and S Paul's Epistle to the Romans. In both you find the eschatological conviction that both Jew and Gentile, on the Day, will be redeemed. In both you will hear the biblical theme of the Faithful Remnant, reminding us of the importance of those Jews who have received the Gospel or will do so. They are a living, visible guarantee that God is faithful; that what he promises, he will fulfill.

Even if one does not share a naive conviction that 'Liturgical Reform' implies returning to a tabula rasa and then starting all over again, one can see why the revisers of the 1960s decided to introduce Romans, which is not much heard in the Old Mass, to the Catholic Sunday congregation (once every three years). But this is pretty pointless if crucial doctrines are deliberately excised ... such as the Faithful Remnant (11:5) and the Deliverance of Israel (11:25-28).

There are times when More is Less.

Not, I suppose, that all this matters. My impression of the preaching in the Mainstream Church is that very few clergy have or communicate any interest in Scripture. The readings are got, unenthusiastically, out of the way.  One never senses that sudden stir as if of a congregation that has just heard something startling.

They might as well be read in Latin or Swahili.

14 comments:

Pete said...

The 1928 Deposited Prayer Book also omits the tribes and whole chunks of psalmody.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Father Luke 21:24-27 teaches no mass end times conversion of the Jews and so it is difficult to understand how such a thing can be expected as one can not be saved unless he accepts Jesus Christ as His Saviour.

How is Saint Luke to be reconciled with the putative teaching of Saint Matthew?

As for the all of Israel being saved, they are being saved and will be saved individually but not all those descended from Abraham in the flesh are considered part of Israel.


Romans 9:6-8 For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his descendants; but “Through Isaac shall your descendants be named.” This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are reckoned as descendants.

ABS knows the argument Israel will be saved en masse is in the trilogy of Bishop Emeritus Ratzinger and that he cited St Bernard of Clairvaux and an obscure Nun as authorities that convinced him the Catholic Church should not preach the Gospel to the Jews but to not preach the Gospel is a mortal sin according to Catholic Tradition and the New Testament.

1 Corinth 9 Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel....

Cornelius a Lapide's Great Commentary avers that to not preach the Gospel is a mortal sin

Banshee said...

I think a lot of priests are interested in Scripture and know something about it, but they are insecure about what the congregation will absorb, and what to say.

As for readings... I think we missed out on how to do it. People do not get the beauty of chanting the readings (in the overwhelming number of places), but they also do not get reading with expression. Sometimes you do not even get competent reading by native English speakers, because the U.S. education system does not include much reading out loud after second grade, and most people do not take Speech or Drama. And then, just to increase difficulty, readers are recruited from people with adenoids, physical speech problems, and thick foreign accents.

I like doing the readings, because they have something sacred to say and an interesting way to say it. It is a prophetic office, but with only a smidgen of the possibility of getting the pushback that the prophets got. So without too much drama or mannerism, it is ridiculously easy to rivet the congregation's attention to the Word.

The more one learns about Scripture, the more pleasure one can get from putting the meaning across, and the more it unfolds to one while reading it. Same thing with singing the Psalms. I am a little sad that we do not have an all-new rule for readers, but I think I do a good job in these historically weird times, despite being a woman and sort of a liturgical anomaly.

But I do not think I will ever again be allowed to read Abraham's negotiations with God. (I did not get theatrical! I just read the story like I was conscious, instead of droning along in a monotone! People listened!)

(And why do they want readers to stare at individuals in the congregation? Creepy! It is not a speech, and I don't have any knowledge or right to give individuals the eye. It is just as weird as the idea that psalmists have to use arm gestures to bring people in on the chorus! Sigh. Nobody needs overt gestures to pull in an audience's attention, even outside church.)

That said, I think that there is something to be said for reading the readings in a sort of gentle, soothing narration style, as long as people do not actually drone along in a monotone without distinguishable words. If it is early in the morning and nobody has had coffee, the brain is only going to engage so far. People want a little bit to chew on, but not to be startled like somebody slapped them with a wet fish.

The readings are inspired so that the readers do not have to be.

Banshee said...

Forgot to say -- the main problem is that nobody ever preaches the Psalms. And why? Because every priest knows that every music minister is prone to changing the proper psalm to a random seasonal psalm. Every time Father has tried to include the Psalms in his homily, he ends up having to leave that out, or read the psalm himself.

So nobody really thinks of the Psalms as part of the readings. Which stinks.

Fr John Hunwicke said...

S Luke's text has the phrase "Until times of the Gentiles are fulfilled". That deserves thinking about.

The 1928 BCP allows those verses OPTIONALLY to be omitted Incidentally, in its abbreviation of the Solemn Prayers on Good Friday, 1928 still prays: "Have mercy upon thine ancient people the Jews ... take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of thy Word; and so fetch them home, blessed Lord, to thy flock, that they may be made one flock under one shepherd, Jesu Christ ..."

1662 also prayed for Islam ("Turks"), but 1928 omitted these!

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Banshee. You do not belong in the Sanctuary reading the lessons.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Father. Regarding the end times, the Synoptic Gospels do not record a mass conversion of the Jews

Matthew 24: 29-31

Mark 13:24-27

Luke 21:23-30

and the exegesis of Catena Aurea does not note it either and while ABS is aware that the old premillennialism of some of the Early Church Fathers was for them a concomitant and fertile ground for the idea of the mass conversion of the Jews, the Church abandoned premillennialism but the idea that Enoch and Elias would come to preach to the Jews has remained but there is no time for that to happen in, say, Luke’s Gospel for once the time of the nations is fulfilled the end comes immediately.

And they shall fall by the edge of the sword; and shall be led away captives into all nations; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the Gentiles; till the times of the nations be fulfilled.

In any event, Father, you have been gracious with space and patient with ABS so he could present a different view and he thanks you

Fr Bede Rowe said...

The Fathers from the Holy Land during the II Vatican Council called for the feasts of the Patriarchs and the Old Testament prophets to be extended to the whole Church. This was not granted and the reason given was that in every Mass Abraham was mentioned "et sacrificium Patriarchae nostri Abrahae". If the Jewish Patriarch was mentioned at every Mass, what need was there to extent the permissions to the universal Church?

Except, of course, that now the Roman Canon is seldom said, and Abraham is entirely missing from most Catholic's liturgical lives.

How can we be antisemitic if we say "Patriarchae nostri Abrahae" at every Mass?

Except... wait... no...

The New Rite expunged him.

steelikat said...

I happened to be at an Extraordinary Form mass and I knew that I had never before heard the tribes enumerated at Mass. The readings were actually in English, which I didn’t know was allowed; I assumed the readings would be translated at the beginning of the sermon. It was my first EF mass and I know I would have heard the thump thump thump quite distinctly and clearly even in the Latin.

Confitebor said...

The Holy Evangelists Matthew, Mark, and Luke agree that Our Lord affirmed, "Amen, I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all these things be fulfilled." (Matt. 24:34, Mark 13:30, Luke 21:32)

In the Catena Aurea of St. Thomas Aquinas, we read that the crown of Catholic Anglo-Saxondom St. Bede the Venerable offered this commentary on that prophecy and promise of Jesus:

"By generation He either means the whole race of mankind, or specially the Jews."

If the latter, that declaration that the "generation" or nation of the Jews would perdure until the end of the world would certainly agree with St. Paul's divinely inspired declarations to the Romans that God has not forsaken the Jews and that all Israel shall be saved. How many Jews have converted to the Catholic faith over the past two millennia God alone can number -- but St. John's vision of the 144,000 redeemed Israelites joined by the innumerable multitude of redeemed Gentiles gives us confidence that God has reserved for Himself a faithful remnant of Jewish Catholics. Whether or not there will be a general conversion of Jews just before or during the reign of Antichrist as many of the Fathers taught (and as perhaps suggested by Christ's own words in Matt. 23:39), Catholics can rejoice that God has been true to His word, that He has not forsaken the people of the Old Covenant, that He 'has again chosen Jerusalem'(Zech. 2:12) as He said.

Confitebor said...

ABS said, "the old premillennialism of some of the Early Church Fathers was for them a concomitant and fertile ground for the idea of the mass conversion of the Jews . . ."

But most of the early Fathers were not Chiliasts, and yet most of them held that God would intervene to redeem non-Catholic Jews during the end times. There is nothing in Scripture that contradicts that patristic teaching, much that meshes well with it, and Nicaea II enjoins on all the faithful never to reject any ecclesial tradition.

Joshua said...

At the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, I noticed that the order of service followed the 1928 BCP in omitting all the Old Testament allusions present in the 1662 BCP. This sort of thing is perilously near to Marcionism.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Confitebor. Thanks for the St Bede correction. ABS must have skipped right over that without it registering which doesn't say much for his diligence.

Dom Ochard's "A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture" was reviewed this morning and there was no mention of Enoch/Elias (as there is in Haydock's Douay commentary) but the Truth of God's omniscience is stressed and so who is ABS to contest what Bishop Emeritus Ratzinger has claimed?

Well, the objection is that The Church has stopped preaching the Gospel to the Jews whereas The Great Commission is a COMMAND.

One can (and who doesn't like to do this?) speculate about this or that biblical passage and what it means but no individual, of whatever station, can claim the Church ought not preach the Gospel to The Jews.

IF a Pope visited a Synagogue and preached the Gospel - and they should - that would be the end of the anthropocentric peace between us and the Jews but we desire their salvation not a political agreement, right?

Truth divides; Jesus divides and it is He who we must be about.

Confitebor said...

Years ago when I first read Sts. Irenaeus and Hippolytus, and even some later non-Chiliast Fathers, I learned of the patristic tradition that Enoch and Elias will be the Two Martyrs of the Apocalypse through whom God will effect a general conversion of the Jews to the Catholic Faith during the reign of Antichrist. I don't know if that specific interpretation of St. John's vision of the Two Martyrs is something binding on the faithful, but I do find the belief in an endtimes conversion of the Jews to be pretty common in the Fathers, so I think we cannot reject that belief.

Even my 1940 St. Andrew Daily Missal references the commentary of St. Jerome for last Sunday's Gospel (Matt. 9:18026), in which the great Doctor said Christ's healing of the two women in that pericope was an allegorical prophecy. The Missal says, "The one with an issue of blood is first restored to health, and the daughter of the prince of the synagogue afterwards, for the Apostle [Paul] has said: 'When the fullness of the Gentiles shall have entered, then shall all Israel be saved.'"

You and I are in absolute agreement that it is a sin and a heresy to refuse to evangelise the Jews. God is calling all men to penance today -- we don't abandon the Jews and leave Enoch and Elias to do the job for us. The Church's mission is "to the Jew first and also to the Greek." All this "we must never proselytise" talk is in fact abandoning souls to damnation.