16 April 2019

Fire and the Baalim UPDATE

Having just heard yesterday afternoon of the fire in Paris, I took up my Breviarium Romanum to say Mattins of the following day (today) and found myself reading Jeremiah 11: 15-20:

Olivam uberem, pulchram, fructiferam, speciosam vocavit Dominus nomen tuum: ad vocem loquelae, grandis exarsit ignis in ea, et combusta sunt fruteta eius. Et Dominus exercituum, qui plantavit te, locutus est super te malum: pro malis domus Israel et domus Iuda, quae fecerunt sibi ad irritandum me, libantes Baalim.

I couldn't help thinking of PF's syncretistic Abu Dhabi statement. How could anybody?

Later, one Macron appeared  on the TV, talking in long syllables about the rebuilding which would follow. I thought: Nisi Dominus aedificaverit domum ....

Apparently, the use of public money would not offend against laicite because Notre Dame is, culturally, so much bigger a thing than mere Christianity. So that's all right, then. Some arty person, interviewed this morning, explained that the rebuilt Cathedral will of course be disentangled from the (Christian) myths which led to its building. More or less back to the Revolution, and the Goddess Reason. Since first writing this piece, I still feel cold about the emotions 

I shall not contribute one sou to the construction of a new High Place to the Baalim. If there were to be a specific proposal to restore the High Altar to its pre1989, pre-Conciliar, state, I might be tempted to shell out a libre or two for that.

33 comments:

Tom Broughton said...

Could you please say in simple terms what you really think and feel about the situation? I do not understand what you are trying to communicate. Please pardon my obtuseness.

Richard Duncan said...

I have, respectfully, to disagree. The following video was taken only three days before the fire. It shows the seminarians of the Institute of the Good Shepherd attending a Traditional Mass at Notre Dame, and people venerating the relic of the Crown of Thorns. It is almost unbearable to watch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXVUgEHiQSk

Banshee said...

First off, it is not gone. It is in better shape than a lot of churches after WWII. So obviously the Lord is sparing His French from any full fury, and it is a warning. The standard prophetic LaSalette warning is that if the French really screw up, you will see Paris burning. (Which makes sense of a lot of WWII worries.)


It's a French church, and the French seem to be donating already. So are a lot of other people. I do not think anybody is going to press you to donate sous.

Of course, if the UK does not leave the EU, you will be paying tax for it.

Ambrose said...

Lovely how these things bring people together. Except, of course, for the usual, thoroughly predictable asses amongst us...

Paul-A. Hardy said...

Congratulations! I feel the same way.

Paul-A. Hardy said...

To Tom Borughton: I was simply agreeing with Father Hunwicke that I would not financially contribute to the effort to restore this landmark. I recall the Notre Dame of my youth as well as the Church of my youth. India practices a religions which are 1000's of years old and have seen no need of an aggiornamento as we see in the pujas carried out in temples throughout the country. We have an almost 2000 year old tradition which we have sought to update. Notre Dame became the centre of that updating. Those of us who attended the capitular rites there prior to the Council have a difficult time stomaching the innovations that have crept in: the idolatrous altar constructing at the crossing, where incidentally the damage from the fire was most pronounced.Secondly, Notre Dame, since 1905 is the property of the regicidal 1789 state. To contribute to its reconstruction is to support a government guily of sacrilege due to the sacring of King Louis XVI, which he in fact insisted upon as if aware of what might happen, namley his martyrdom and that of his Queen a member of the imperial family, who had protected Europe from the ravages of the protestant revolt as much as it could. No! I will not endorse financially or otherwise the new Frankish religion supported by the universalist claims of the present pontiff. I'm sorry if this sounds old fashioned. I will not suffer the novus ordo, since I have experienced the blessings of the ordo antiqua. To do so seems to me ungrateful.

Paul-A. Hardy said...

To Robert Duncan: I feel great sympathy for you. But what you are seeing I witnessed in my youth on a daily basis. I have been unable to bear the sorrow of entering Notre Dame for almost half a century. To me it was finished long ago as a house of worship.

Paul-A. Hardy said...

Banshee: What you say is true. But Father Hunwicke was voicing a sentiment. To me if Notre Dame was truly a house of worship, its even partial destruction would be sad at least for me. But I am unable to regard it as such. For one the church buildings of France do not belong to the Church but to the 1789 government, an abomination which as worked consistently worked against the Catholic Church. As my spiritual father once preached on 14 July, 1989, that year was the darkest in human history, which witnessed the desacration of Notre Dame's altar. That was the first act of idolatry. Its been downhill ever sense!

Victor said...

As all the historic churches in France (except those in Lorraine and Alsace which at that time were part of the German Empire), Notre-Dame de Paris since 1905 is owned by the state. Leviathan wanted to possess these churches - let him pay for their repair, upkeeping and (if necessary) reconstruction. The Catholic Church should not give a sou for this, and neither should the French citizens who already pay their taxes so the state can fulfill its duties...

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Father. AMEN!!!!!

For those with eyes to see, God is dispensing His Justice (formal cause) as punishment to His hierarchy which has turned its back on Him.

The proper response is for the Pope and Hierarchy to publicly repent of its turning away from Him (From Theocentrism to Anthropocentrism when the V2 rocket exploded).

Of course, the Hierarchy speaks only of God's Mercy, and not Mercy and Justice, and so they will not repent or restore the Holy Holocaust/Mass, the only action on earth that keeps live alive on this planet for only with the spilling of blood is there remission for sins.

Notre Dame was built in the ages of Faith and there is no Faith in France and so Macron's Folly will be an indifferentist fantasy - prolly designed by the United Nations because peace. How can a man who looks like a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman inspire the Faithful to build a worthy cathedral?

Yesterday was a day for tears and wine but today is a day for prayer with the firm resolution that not one dime of ours will help to rebuild anything unless the Hierarchy publicly relents and turns back to The Lord.

Unless the Holy Holocaust/Mass is restored to its rightful prominence - the normative Mass - and the Lil' Licit Liturgy is allowed to become like the figless tree, more of this will happen to France (and other places - like England which will have a civil war.

Catholic Prophecy clearly foresees a civil war in France (and Italy) which will lead to the restoration of The French Monarchy which will, with the aid of a great Catholic Pope, free France and help defeat the Russian and Prussian armies in Germany (at Cologne, and then , finally Westphalia)

The Great French Monarch will then chase the invading Mahometan armies back into the Holy Land.

In the meantime, aint we got Faith.

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Dear Father Duncan

I do see your point. Perhaps my piece was hasty and impressionistic ... normally I leave a draft for a couple of days before toning down and publishing!

But I have just heard a journalist say that the only 'loss' inside has been the 1989 (therefore Novus Ordo???) altar, which took a direct hit from the fleche.

I don't know what to think!

Kathleen1031 said...

Fr. Hunwicke, I appreciated your initial comment. Thank you for it.
There is a great deal of angst and upset in today's comments which does not negate the spiritual food and encouragement also found here today. Catholics are hurting, not just about Notre Dame, but about the abandonment of the faith by the faithless men who run things.
Except the Lord build the house indeed. These charlatans wish to rebuild without being mindful of what Notre Dame burning really means. They will rebuild a mockery of Notre Dame, a soulless, ecumenical, humanist, hideous, shell, no matter who they consult and how they build it. It will touch all the progressive points necessary today, specs designed to conform to monstrous "green" requirements probably including solar panels on the roof and recycled beams. It will include prayer spaces for the new chosen citizens of France, and lots of welcoming "inclusiveness".

Richard Duncan said...

I thought the NO altar had just escaped damage from the collapsing spire. Pity. Still, not as annoying as Macron using the fire as an excuse to divert attention from his political woes. I can't imagine any of our politicians doing that:)

I had better make sure the Oratory's fire insurance is up to date. We don't have any NO altars to dispose of!

Colin Spinks said...

I am rather saddened by some of the comments here, which give the impression that ND and other great Cathedrals should not be welcoming to those of other faiths and none. Of course all churches are primarily "temples to house Our Lord" but they are also witnesses to the outside world of His Presence and play their part in drawing others into the family of the Church. For those of us who work in Church music, ND has been an inspiration in how to "do" music within the Liturgy and we are heartened by reports that the Grande Orgue has miraculously survived intact. And perhaps someone more theologically literate than I could explain what exactly is wrong in respect of the theology of buildings with the use of solar panels and recycled material?

Rubricarius said...

I must say I think the post is a tad on mean side. I think it is wrong to underestimate the power of seeing a national symbol maimed by disaster. What has been interesting is the reaction of Parisians with the various news reports of the singing of hymns and prayers etc. I suspect church attendance will be up this weekend.

The 'coffee table' was hit by the stone from a bay of the vaulting that collapsed due to spire falling on it. The choir altar was unscathed as, it appears, was most of the nave and transepts.

The scandal has to be why it happened at all as there is a large water tank behind the towers built with the aim of protecting the roof timbers in the event of fire. Modern fire security measures surely would have a proper sprinkler system installed - was it turned off for the restoration one has to wonder?

Paul-A. Hardy said...

To RIchard Duncan: Now you see why the 1789 government is worthy of our contempt. Macron represents the breed of politician generated by this profane republican regime and this includes the post-WW II governement. Pére Jean-Marie Charles-Roux (RIP) sought refuge in London from this regime, where he worked to advance the cause of the Royal New Martyrs Louis XVI and his queen Marie Antoinette. He also never participated in the Novus Ordo hoax just like the late Father Mark Taylor of the Brompton Oratory. Pére Charles-Roux never returned to his native France, after he saw the Republican government's betrayal of the House of France and retired in Rome. We should rejoice that the Republicanism is failing both in France and the United States despite the strong support shown it by Pope Benedict XVI in his famous speech to the Roman Curia in December 2005. This was not the first time Pope's have betrayed the anointed heads of European royal houses but that's another story.

Paul-A. Hardy said...

To Kathleen: Your comment is a real gift. Thank you so much!

Brindet said...

Father, your opinion on funding reconstruction is straight. Nevertheless two circumstances should help to moderate and reinforce your point of view:
1 / The archdiocese of Paris is by far one of the least distant from authentic faith. The dean of the cathedral is the Vicar of the Archbishop in charge of the liturgy of extraordinary form which has relatively space in Paris;
2 / Like most tourist sites, the cathedral has been invaded for twenty years so that the cult is deeply embarrassed. But, because of the French Revolution and what followed, the building belongs to the atheistic state which maintains there a worship with the Goddess "Tourism". It is for her that money is collected with such speed.

John Patrick said...

ABS I think you just insulted vacuum cleaner salesmen everywhere my comparing them to Macron. At least your local Kirby man is out there making an honest living pounding the pavement, his pay directly proportional to the effort he puts out, unlike your politician who feeds at the public trough while telling lies to his people to insure his future election.

I have mixed feelings. At first I thought the government with all its faults might be more trustworthy to rebuild Notre Dame tastefully and in keeping with its history, which I would not trust the Church hierarchy to do (they would probably subcontract the job to the Jesuits) but now I'm not so sure, given the rumblings I have heard.

Donna Bethell (formerly known as Rose Marie) said...

I rewatched the video of the falling spire. It could have fallen in any direction, but it lined up exactly with the nave and fell to the west, rotating 180° in the vertical plane to fall straight down, impaling the NO "altar" most decisively. Take heed.

Paul-A. Hardy said...

To Colin Spinks: The doctrine of the Incarnation per se prohibits exclusivity. Yet, the mysteries carried out in temples are not open to all. It used to be a time and still is, in certain orthodox monasteries found on Mt. Athos and even in the US, that the unbaptized are asked to retire to the narthex of the temple, when the mysteries are celebrated. This prevents the profanation of the sacrament by its being received by non-Xtians, a phenomenon all to frequent today. In Paris at a universtity parish a pries would communicate Muslims but reserved a chalice of grape juice to be taken along with the consecrated hosts. The music of which you speak in ND is not the music one found there before the accursed Council. When I was young the music, chanted by the canons during the daily capitular high mass was Gregorian chant. The organist Pierre Cochereay improvised frequently throughout the mass. When the celebrant continued a canon who stood closest to the high altar, the one untouched by falling debris in the recent conflagration would bow towards M. Cocehereau who would immediately bring his improvisation to an end, having modulated to the key, which the celebrant then intoned. After the Council, the novus ordo made music only for entertainment as an attraction for music lovers. Music in the liturgy is no longer understood. Its purpose is to resonate the Verbum Dei being made present in the mass. Our bodies thus reverbarate with that same flesh, which was that of our Lord in all ways save sin. That reverberation includes all that are present. However, it excludes the final point of actual communion where we become at one with Jesus as saviour thru his body and intoxicated with love through the intervention of the Holy Trinity. These are the graces of the New Covenant, essentially different in kind from the uncovenanted graces reeived by non-Christians.

Colin Spinks said...

Paul-A Hardy: Although like you I would prefer ND to employ Gregorian Chant to a greater extent, the use of the Grande Orgue during High Mass remains much the same as in Cochereau's time, except it is no longer played during the Canon of the Mass. Having observed at first hand M Phillipe Lefebvre, in the opinion of many musical experts the finest liturgical improviser in the world, officiate (I use the term quite deliberately) at the Grande Orgue I can categorically state that he and his colleagues, and those of us who try to emulate them, do NOT regard music as an entertaining attraction but as the humble handmaiden to the liturgy. Having spent many hours studying the liturgical improvisations of Cochereau under the expert guidance of David Briggs, my own feeling is that Cochereau's very brilliance created (through no fault of his own) something of a "personality cult" which is now quite absent in the Cathedral's music. Incidentally, a couple of phrases in your comment puzzle me: "daily..High Mass" Surely "High" or "Solemn" Mass takes place only on Sundays or Feast Days, and I know for a fact that Cochereau did not play every day! Secondly the phrase "bring his improvisation to an end, having modulated to the key, which the celebrant then intoned" is quite simply gobbledegook and I'm afraid betrays a complete lack of musical knowledge and terminology.

Paul-A. Hardy said...

To Colin Spinks: In Notre Dame high mass was sung everyday at the mass of the cathedral chapter. Sometimes Pierre Cochereau played at this mass. I shouldn't be surprised that you do not know these things but before the Council this was the routine also at Westminster Cathedral, where a capitular high mass was sung everyday with full choir. The difference with Notre Dame is that the canons there chanted the mass themselves unaided by the choir which sung mostly on Sundays. The office incumbent on all priests was chanted in the choirs of Notre Dame and Westminster everyday.
Only at Westminster, the boys and gentlemen of the choir would assist the canons in carrying out their office. Everyday at Westminster a sung or solemn mass was sung. In the evening vespers was sung in choir followed by simple benediction chanted by the canons who would process to the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, after which they would process to the Lady Chapel and chant the evening antiphon. Perhaps this still goes on. I do not live in London anymore.
Music is neverr accidental to the liturgy but is essential. For our earthly liturgies symbolize the heavenly liturgy, which being of a totally spiritual character is totally silent. That silence used to appear at the canon. At that point the organ plays so as to support the angelic voices, we cannot hear. In France this was the reason that at the office, usually vespers, the antiphon before each psalm was chanted aloud only once. The second time, the organist would play to accompany the angelic choir, which he or she heard by virtue of the inspiration vouchsafed through the Incarnation. In-spiration in musicians occur silently like the movement of the lungs in inhalation and exhalation. The organist to express that movement uses the prosthesis of the organ. Thus the organ symbolizes the breathing out of the Logos, the Second Person of the Trinity. Without a breathing out the vowels, unrepresented in the Hebrew and Aramaic alphabets cannot be articulated. That is why the Trinity is not three gods but One Lord. I hope that you can understand this, since you did not understand me when I said the organist frequently has to modulate back to the tonic, from which his or her improvisation began. The chant is modal and is in the range of the chanters and priest. However, when the organist improvises he or she may temporarily leave the key corresponding to that mode as the spirit guides him or her. This is why improvisation is uplifting. For those who accept that all things are possible with God, it exposes us to those possibilities musically and restores our hope as well as our faith. To the extent that we vibrate with those sounds, it also conditions our love, first for the musician, whose inspiration we are following, then for each other. Thus we are enabled to experience a grace-filled holy communion, resulting from God's supreme act of love.
I am sorry that space does not allow me to express myself and I shame my music teachers by betraying a "complete lack of musical knowledge and terminology." This is a fault as you indicate. I apologize.

Albrecht von Brandenburg said...

The church should be restored according to Violet-le-Duc's drawings of the choir. The current chancel furnishings (including, I'm sorry, the "traditional" high altar) are products of the decadence, effeminacy and neo-paganism of the post-mediaeval remodelling of the 17thC. AvB.

Here is Violet-le-Duc's drawing: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/520939881881764655/?lp=true

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Ah, how Mr Pugin would have agreed with you!!!

Adrian said...

May I second A von Brandenburg's comment? There is much that is beautiful in Notre Dame, but the sanctuary and its statuary are not among it.

Albrecht von Brandenburg said...

Actually, the liturgical revolution didn't bein in the 60s, the 50s, with the perverse aspects of the liturgical movement, or the so-called "enlightenment" - it began in the Italian so-called "renaisssnce", a reversion to paganism, when Sigismondo Malatesta built a church designed on the basis of pagan art. "Gothic", better described as The International Style, is the true indigenous art-form of Latin Christendom.

AvB.

Donna Bethell (formerly known as Rose Marie) said...

Bravo, AvB!

Donna Bethell (formerly known as Rose Marie) said...

Perhaps the exchange between Messrs. Hardy and Spinks reveals a confusion that is wide-spread among English speaking Catholics. What is meant by "high" Mass? Is it a Solemn Mass, with the celebrant assisted by a deacon and subdeacon? Or is it simply a Missa Cantata, in which the celebrant and choir sing the parts? And what could a "solemn high" Mass be, other than a solemn Mass, the "high" being at best redundant? I hope our host can resolve this difficulty.

Paul-A. Hardy said...

To Donna Bethell: What I understand by high mass is simply a Missa Cantata or sung mass. A solemn mass, I was made to understand required 3 sacred ministers: priest, deacon and sub-deacon. After Vatican Council II, these distinctions were not made in the Paul VI novus ordo. In speaking of Notre Dame prior to the Council and slightly after, what I experienced during the week was a Missa Cantata or High Mass. It was as I said, the mass of the canons of the Cathedral. In most cathedrals, especially those of primatial sees there was a body known as canons, headed by a dean or in Notre Dame, an archpriest. The US, being regarded as a mission territory had no primatial see, although Baltimore was sometimes spoken of as such. Hence, in the US the cathedrals did not have anything like a daily capitular high massI At least, this is what I was taught. Father Hunwicke is an authority on such matters. But the point is that in the US the high mass or solemn mass was mainly a Sunday event unless there was a holy day of obligation or a patronal festival that fell during the week. lt. Music, if it occurred at all consisted of hymns sung during the course of a low mass with some doodling on the organ. There were exceptions to this, notably in St. Louis MO under Archbishop Ritter. In the in the historically German north Saint Louis neighborhood of Baden, there was Msgr. Martin Hellriegel, the composer of various liturgical hymns including, "To Jesus Christ Our Sovereign King." He along with Archbishop Ritter were keen to implement of the Motu Proprio of Saint Pius X. Hence, the dialogue mass and high mass, sung with Gregorian chant was quite prevalent as I noticed when visiting my grandparents.In their parish, the Lady Mass on Saturday was sung. Many in the congregation became familiar with this mass as well as the requiem mass. The German and French influence was noticeable because when my father brought us to France, where he was working, parish life there seemed similar to what we found in St. Louis. New York, where we lived was largely Irish. True at the French churches, like St. Jean Baptiste, music and chant were a regular part of the liturgy. But at St. Patricks Cathedral music was present but not always of the highest quality, although on Sundays, as I recall a high mass was celebrated and vespers were sung in the afternoon followed by benediction. After the Council, New York was one of the most backward cities. Even today the regular mass is said at more than one church in the Archdiocese. Vespers are sung every Sunday but no longer at St. Patricks but at Holy Innocents. The organist there is a lover of the French Baroque. Hence, sometimes I imagine myself back in the Paris of my youth at St.Gervais, e.g. Check out https://youtu.be/L6sCnTse33o where there is a video of the mass beginning the 40 hours devotion.

Paul-A. Hardy said...

Again to Donna Bethell, the audio clip referenced gives an idea of what I saw duing the week at Notre Dame prior to the Council. This is not a solemn but a high mass or missa cantata, although again Father Hunwicke would know best. The choir at Notre Dame except on Sundays was the canons and master of the chapel.

Donna Bethell (formerly known as Rose Marie) said...

Paul-A. Hardy. You certainly had a rich and well-traveled liturgical experience growing up. Thank you for your recollections. They confirm that much has been lost and that matters were not so rigidly and dully uniform as the "reformers" claimed. I still dislike the term "high" as I now hear it used because it is ambiguous (is a High Mass a Missa Cantata or a Solemn Mass?) or superfluous (a "Solemn High Mass").

I am sure I never saw a Solemn Mass as a child and teenager, before the Novus Ordo was published. When I first saw and heard one about 15 years ago, I was in awe. Fortunately, I have been blessed with many since and my parish has a Missa Cantata twice a month, not just Easter and Christmas, as of old. Slowly, very slowly, matters are improving.

Albrecht von Brandenburg said...

Back to restorations of chancels/choirs of French cathedrals - Here is Jean-Claude Golvin's drawing of the choir of Rheims, during the Sacre of the KIng of France, in cut-away. You will note that the mediaeval high altar has already been replaced by a renaissance one, the process of liturgical degeneration having been begun: https://jeanclaudegolvin.com/en/reims/france-reims-choeur-jc-golvin-2-2/

The scene depicted is probably some time in the early 17th century, the canons already sporting ridiculous pom-poms, but the superiority of the mediaeval choir or chancel arrangement with screens, etc., is patent.

AvB