4 June 2022

Pope Francis attacks Saint John Henry Newman

 Proclaiming the Scriptures in a non-vernacular language is, according to our Holy Father, "like laughing at the Word of God".

I find this a remarkable insult to hurl at S John Henry, especially in view of the fact that PF himself canonised him only a few years previously. But the solution to this conundrum is to be found in the writings of this great Saint and Teacher himself; he wrote about the Suspense of the function of the Ecclesia docens. Having carefully, a few years ago, read what he wrote, I concluded that we must now be in precisely just such a period of Suspense. I cannot see how else one can fit PF into any sort of Catholic ecclesiology.

I have had the privilege of standing in the divided room where, at one end, Newman's books are shelved, and, at the other, is the little chapel where he so often offered up the Holy Sacrifice. I found it immensely moving. I recalled his words " ... nothing is so consoling, so piercing, so thrilling, so overcoming, as the Mass, said as it is among us. I could attend Masses for ever, and not be tired. It is not a mere form of words--it is a great action, the greatest action that can be on earth. It is not the invocation merely, but, if I dare use the word, the evocation of the Eternal ..."

I need hardly point out that, in the England of the 1840s, the lections at Mass were not proclaimed in English.

I had not realised that, in fact, each morning Newman was "laughing at the Word of God".


Joshua said...

Perhaps the Holy Father was instead intending to praise laughing at the word of God - that is, by equating the reading of the Old and New Testaments in a non-vernacular version (which even he is aware of as a common occurrence down the ages) to mocking (in a sophisticated, dare I say Germanic way) the moral and doctrinal teachings of Sacred Scripture as outmoded, unbelievable, impossible, suitable only for pious fools, deserving of the world's disapprobation, etc.

Matthew F Kluk said...

My various theories are 1) either the Pope does not look at his speeches before he reads them, 2) it is a form of ecclesiastical schizophrenia. 3) being a Peronist he tells everyone what he thinks they need to hear from him at that moment, or 4) the Suspense of Ecclesia Docens, as you have explained. I truly believe it is Number 4. What a horrible thing.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

There is more than one form of Indifferentism and perhaps the worst form is an attitude of Indifferentism towards the Roman Rite insofar as it is thought by most Catholics that the Lil' Licit Liturgy is equivalent to the Real Mass - Both forms are essentially the same

But, of course, such an attitude is literally insane for all one has to do is observe the ahistorical putative reason for blowing up the Offertory


The Holy Holocaust/Holy Sacrifice is the most important action taking place on earth at any moment in time but the Hierarchy appears to spend such little time in thinking about this action or taking steps to improve it or to eliminate abuses or to restore that which was wrongly suppressed/changed/eliminated in its celebration that one gets the idea that The Holy Holocaust is much to do about nothing and what really matters to The Hierarchy is Ecumenism and Climate Change.

To be sure, the Bishop of Rome actualises his role as rearguard of the revolution vis a vis the Lil' Licit liturgy but that is not the same things as valuing it as the most important action on earth.

Marco da Vinha said...

I have even heard from the mouth of priests that the Scriptures should not be sung at Mass as it makes them unintelligible. These men think themselves so learned, and yet with every utterance they show the depth of their ignorance.

Pax--Tecum said...

I was recently able to buy a four-volume set of the "Liturgia Horarum". Does Pope Francis believe that I laughed at the Word of God when I read the scripture lesson from the book of Joshua this morning at the Office of Readings, according to the post-conciliar books? Perhaps he would have preferred me to say the pre-conciliar office in Dutch? Or would he prefer it if I buy the Dutch translation of the lessons for the Office of Readings? But then, he should know the Dutch translations are sold as separate paperback booklets, the full set of which costs €190, whereas the full set of "Liturgia Horarum" in Latin cost me less than half of that price. Therefore, Pope Francis needs to decide which he thinks is more important: money for the poor, or money for Dutch translations.