Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Press release of the SACBC, concerning the current political situation


Media Statement by Archbishop Buti Tlhagale OMI,
President of the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference (SACBC).

"Politics and politicians are meant to serve the wider interests of the whole community.

There is no doubt that rivalry and discord in the governing party have hindered its ability to serve the whole community in recent months. It is now time for the new leaders to focus on the urgent needs and demands of our people, especially the poor.

No matter what people may feel about the changes that have taken place in our country’s political leadership and about the various personalities involved, the fact that such changes are possible is a very positive reflection of the growth of a democratic culture. In particular, we commend President Mbeki for the dignified and statesmanlike manner in which he has acceded to the wishes of the majority in his party’s leadership.

When the time comes for the new leadership of the ANC, whoever they may be, to step aside, we trust that they will do so with the same humility and accountability that President Mbeki has shown.

We welcome indications that mature leaders are exerting a calming influence on some of their more impetuous colleagues. Threats or predictions of violence, insulting personal attacks, and the use of intemperate language, cannot serve the national interest.

Similarly, those in the governing party who have seen fit to manipulate or undermine the Courts, the Constitution, and the independent organs of State, such as the National Prosecuting Authority, must realize that they are attacking the very fabric of our young democracy.

We urge our new political office-bearers to work towards re-building confidence in the leadership of our country, by going beyond the divisions that have become evident over the last months. A new unity must be established, and to achieve this there must be no ‘witch-hunts’ and settling of scores.

Corruption, nepotism, and self-advancement have no place in a democracy; we hope and trust that government will demonstrate a renewed commitment to eradicate these evils, which have seriously diverted us from our national struggle to build a better life for our people. To this end, we add our voice to the calls for a judicial commission of enquiry into all aspects of the arms deal, which has rightly been described as a ‘cancer’ eating away at our society.

The people of South Africa should not be unduly worried about these developments, even though change of any kind is often unsettling. The general election that will be held less than a year from now will allow us all the opportunity of expressing our approval or disapproval of these changes. It is the duty of every citizen to think carefully about the political situation and to vote in a way that promotes the common good of all.

Finally, we wish President Mbeki well and assure him that his many achievements, especially in placing the concerns and hopes of our continent firmly on the world’s agenda, will not be forgotten."

Issued on behalf of Archbishop Buti Tlhagale OMI, President of the SACBC, by Fr Chris Townsend, Information Officer of the SACBC. For more information or Media enquiries, Please contact Fr Chris Townsend

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in Zimbabwe

Rev.Fr. Gendron SSPX, celebrates the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass last year on the Feast of Corpus Christi.

Latin formation in African Seminary

Article taken from " Rorate Caeli"

"And in Africa...

The following is from a report which appears on the blog of Fr. Bernard Pellabeuf who has just taken a position as a professor of Latin for the seminary at Natitingou in the north of Benin.

At the minor seminary of Saint Pierre there are seventy-eight seminarians (who from their earliest years have) been introduced to Latin. The Mass in Latin is offered every Thursday. In all the seminaries of Benin, there is a Mass in Latin offered every week. I will ensure 19 hours of Latin per week.

Monsignor N'koué, the bishop of Natitingou, is very committed to the promotion of the liturgy in Latin. He has, for example, had the opportunity to celebrate Mass according to the Tridentine missal in Rome during one of the recent CIEL conventions. He invited the Sisters of the Benedictine Abbey of Joucques (diocese of Aix en Provence) who have their liturgy in Latin, to establish a community in his diocese. And he is particularly keen on ensuring that seminarians are learning Latin in accordance with canon law.

He created a personal parish for the faithful who wish to have Mass in the pre-counciliar Missal. The pastor, Father Denis Le Pivain, who built Saint Jean-Baptiste Church, consulted with Monsignor N'Koué about the orientation of the altar which he wanted to position so that Mass could be said on either side. The Bishop asked that the altar be constructed all the way against the wall.

In short, the Diocese of Natitingou is a laboratory where one can see the accuracy of Benedict XVI’s positions - especially in terms of liturgy.

Merci à Gatien, Le Forum Catholique "

Yet another quiet victory for Summorum Pontificum and the "Reform of the Reform"

"One Parish's Progress in Implementing the Reform of the Reform

by Deborah Morlani

Parish priests are often found wondering what sort of steps they might make in their parishes in the context of a new liturgical movement. This will vary depending upon the particular circumstances, but one parish in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, has given us an inspiring example of putting the reform of the reform into action.

There are really four points to focus upon in what Our Lady of Perpetual Help has accomplished, and very much in the spirit of Pope Benedict XVI, it involves both the older and new forms of the Roman liturgy. A former pastor began the liturgical restorations in the 1990's and it continues on by the current parish priest, Fr. Clyde Timberlake Meares.

The first, completed in the 1990's, is the restoration of the former high altar and reredos that sadly, like so many North American parishes, had been removed following the Second Vatican Council. Fortunately, rather than being destroyed, the altar was merely stored in the basement. The altar and reredos were pulled out of the dusty basement of the church and restored to its historical place within the sanctuary of the church.

The second, is the restoration of historical vestments from the pre-conciliar era that were displayed behind glass as pieces of parish history. Thankfully, these too were restored to proper liturgical use.

It strikes me that there is something allegorical in these restorations, very much related to the mind of the Pope as expressed in his motu proprio. Namely that these elements of our tradition are not to be pushed aside as though they are museum pieces and no longer relevant, but that these things have a place within liturgical worship today and very much ought to be a part of the lived liturgical experience, for there ought to be no rupture in this regard. Their reclamation at this parish to divine use in the liturgy is a great inspiration and source of joy.

Further, not only were these elements of sacred art restored to this parish, but also a third and very important step that has been taken is the restoration of the usus antiquior to parish life on a weekly basis. (On a related note, this past week the parish also celebrated, for the first time in 4 decades, a Requiem Mass according to the 1962 Missale Romanum.)

Finally, a fourth endeavour, which is still ongoing, is the project of restoring traditional forms of sacred music including Gregorian chant to the modern Roman liturgy. To accomplish this a new music director, Penny Silvers (known from the blog Argent of the Tiber), was hired with the specific intent of helping to implement the reform of the reform at the parish. Amongst other things, she has formed a schola and has begun to introduce chant into both the Ordinary and the Propers of the Mass.

Overall, there has been an encouraging and positive response from the faithful at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish. The efforts of this parish can hopefully serve as a source of inspiration to others in actively pursuing the necessary work of re-enchanting parish liturgical life."

Article taken from "The New Liturgical Movement"

Friday, September 19, 2008

Benedict XVI on Pius XII, the Pastor Angelicus

Article Courtesy of "Rorate Caeli"

"Pope Benedict XVI received today representatives of the "Pave the Way Foundation", an interreligious organization which has recently held a symposium on the papacy of Pius XII, of most glorious memory. These are Pope Benedict's words:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am happy to meet with you at the conclusion of the important symposium organized by the Pave the Way Foundation. I know that many eminent scholars have participated in this reflection on the numerous works of my beloved predecessor - the Servant of God Pope Pius XII - accomplished during the difficult period around the time of the second world war. I warmly welcome each of you especially Mr Gary Krupp, President of the Foundation, whom I thank for the kind words expressed on your behalf. I am grateful to him for informing me how your work has been undertaken during the symposium. You have analyzed without bias the events of history and concerned yourselves only with seeking the truth. I also greet those accompanying you on this visit, as well as your family members and loved ones at home.

The focus of your study has been the person and the tireless pastoral and humanitarian work of Pius XII, Pastor Angelicus. Fifty years have passed since his pious death here at Castel Gandolfo early on the ninth of October 1958, after a debilitating disease. This anniversary provides an important opportunity to deepen our knowledge of him, to meditate on his rich teaching and to analyze thoroughly his activities. So much has been written and said of him during these last five decades and not all of the genuine facets of his diverse pastoral activity have been examined in a just light. The aim of your symposium has been precisely to address some of these deficiencies, conducting a careful and documented examination of many of his interventions, especially those in favour of the Jews who in those years were being targeted all over Europe, in accordance with the criminal plan of those who wanted to eliminate them from the face of the earth. When one draws close to this noble Pope, free from ideological prejudices, in addition to being struck by his lofty spiritual and human character one is also captivated by the example of his life and the extraordinary richness of his teaching. One can also come to appreciate the human wisdom and pastoral intensity which guided him in his long years of ministry, especially in providing organized assistance to the Jewish people.

Thanks to the vast quantity of documented material which you have gathered, supported by many authoritative testimonies, your symposium offers to the public forum the possibility of knowing more fully what Pius XII achieved for the Jews persecuted by the Nazi and fascist regimes. One understands, then, that wherever possible he spared no effort in intervening in their favour either directly or through instructions given to other individuals or to institutions of the Catholic Church. In the proceedings of your convention you have also drawn attention to his many interventions, made secretly and silently, precisely because, given the concrete situation of that difficult historical moment, only in this way was it possible to avoid the worst and save the greatest number of Jews.

This courageous and paternal dedication was recognized and appreciated during and after the terrible world conflict by Jewish communities and individuals who showed their gratitude for what the Pope had done for them. One need only recall Pius XII’s meeting on the 29th of November 1945 with eighty delegates of German concentration camps who during a special Audience granted to them at the Vatican, wished to thank him personally for his generosity to them during the terrible period of Nazi-fascist persecution.

Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for your visit and for the research you have undertaken. Thanks also to the Pave the Way Foundation for its ongoing activity in promoting relationships and dialogue between religions, as witnesses of peace, charity and reconciliation. It is my great hope that this year, which marks the fiftieth-anniversary of my venerated predecessor’s death, will provide the opportunity to promote in-depth studies of various aspects of his life and his works in order to come to know the historical truth, overcoming every remaining prejudice. With these sentiments I invoke upon you and the proceedings of your symposium an abundance of divine blessings.
Benedict XVI
Meeting with the participants of the "Pave the Way Foundation" symposium
September 18, 2008

Another great South African Blog, on the Tridentine Mass!

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Here you will find the web address for the newly added blog.


Deatails can be seen in the links column if you scroll down the page.

Many Thanks

Calvin James Montgomery

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Ancient Roman Rite and Secularization

From "The New Liturgical Movement"

Article by: Roberto de Mattei

"The ritual dimension is a constituent dimension of the birth and development of the European and Christian society of the first centuries. The word traditio, in its original sense, refers to the handing over of the symbola fidei, that is those verbal formulas, confirmed by the ecclesiastical Authority, or-dained for the public profession of the Faith. The traditio is expressed in the handing over of the truths destined to form the depositum fidei, but is also a searching for ways in which these truths are trans-mitted, a searching for symbols and rites that effectively express these truths. Every truth in fact trans-lates into a liturgy, according to the well-known formula of Prosper of Aquitaine, lex orandi, lex cre-dendi (or legem credendi lex statuat supplicandi; De Vocation omnium gentium, 1, 12).

The description of the Eucharist on Sunday bequeathed to us by St. Justin (Justin, Apologia, 61-62, 65-67) attests to us, even before the year 165, the ritual practices of the Roman Church, "in which - as Saint Irenaeus wrote - the tradition come down from the apostles was faithfully kept "(Adversus hae-reses, ii, 3).

In this sense, Europe was born also around a liturgical tradition. Christopher Dawson notes, not wrongly, that after the fall of the Roman Empire of the West, the sacred order of the liturgy remained intact in the chaos and the liturgy constituted the principal link of interior unity of the society.

The liturgy was at the same time the seat of Tradition and the seat of Faith, because within it Faith and Tradition met and reconciled with each other. To Pope Damasus, elected Bishop of Rome in 366, we owe the first exposition of the concept of Petrinitas, as a principle of ecclesiastical hierarchical order. But the assertion of the Roman primacy, under Damasus and his successors, runs, as one can say, par-allel to the assertion of the Roman liturgical order, the definitive configuration of which occurred be-tween the fourth and the sixth century, culminating in the creation of the Liber Sacramentorum of Gregory the Great.

The Damaso-Gregorian liturgy - as Monsignor Klaus Gamber recalls - was imposing itself progressively in the West, and it is that which now Benedict XVI proposes and offers anew to the Church."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

From Paris and Lourdes, the Lesson of the "Liturgist" Pope

"From Paris and Lourdes, the Lesson of the "Liturgist" Pope
On his trip to France, Benedict XVI did not only defend the ancient rite of the Mass. He also explained and demonstrated repeatedly what he believes to be the authentic meaning of the Catholic liturgy of today and always. And, about sacred music, he said...

by Sandro Magister

ROMA, September 16, 2008 – In the three Masses celebrated during his trip to Paris and Lourdes, Benedict XVI followed the post-conciliar rite. But he intentionally enriched it with elements characteristic of the old rite: the cross at the center of the altar, communion given to the faithful on the tongue, while kneeling, the sacredness of the whole.

The reciprocal "enrichment" between the two rites is the main objective that impelled Benedict XVI to promulgate, in 2007, the motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum," which liberalized the use of the ancient rite of the Mass, according to the Roman missal of 1962.

The opponents of the motu proprio maintain, instead, that the use of the ancient rite does not enrich, but rather cancels out the achievements of Vatican Council II as a whole. The French bishops have been among those most critical of the pope's initiative, before and after the promulgation of the motu proprio.

On Sunday, September 14, meeting the bishops of France in Lourdes, Pope Joseph Ratzinger did not fail to urge them to be pastors welcoming of all, including the faithful who feel themselves most "at home" with the ancient rite.

The pope had anticipated these ideas about the two rites of the Mass in responding to journalists during his flight to France, on Friday, September 12.

But Benedict XVI said much more on the subject during the four days of his trip to Paris and Lourdes.

In his lecture on September 12, at the Collége des Bernardins, he explained the emergence of great Western music, in the monasteries of the Middle Ages, in terms that require reflection on the diminishing quality of today's liturgical music, and on the necessity of revitalizing it in keeping with its original meaning.

In his homily for vespers at the cathedral of Notre-Dame, he called for a "beauty" in the earthly liturgies that will bring them closer to the liturgies of heaven. And he exhorted priests to be faithful to the daily prayer of the liturgy of the hours.

In the homily for the Mass on the Esplanade des Invalides, on September 13, he addressed the doctrine of the Eucharist and of the "real presence" of the body and blood of Christ in very demanding words, requiring that the Mass be celebrated with a sense of sacredness that has been largely missing in recent decades.

And Benedict XVI again returned to this "real presence" in the concluding meditation of the Eucharistic procession in Lourdes, on the evening of September 14. With a passage dedicated to those who "cannot – or cannot yet – receive Jesus in the Sacrament, but can contemplate Him with faith and love and express our desire finally to be united with Him." Among these can be counted the divorced and remarried Catholics, to whom the Church does not give communion. But their "desire," the pope said, "has great value in God’s presence."

To these calls to return to the authentic spirit of the liturgy, Benedict XVI also added, on September 14 in Lourdes, an illustration of the profound meaning of the Angelus Domini, the Marian prayer that he recites in public every Sunday at midday.

Here is what Benedict XVI said day by day, on each one of these points:

On the Mass in the ancient rite

From the press conference on the papal plane, September 12, 2008

Q: What do you say to those in France who are worried that the motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum" is a step backward with regards to the great institutions of the Second Vatican Council?

A: It is baseless fear; because this motu proprio is simply an act of tolerance, with a pastoral objective, for people who have been formed in this liturgy, who love it, who know it, who want to live with this liturgy. It is a small group, because it supposes an education in Latin, a formation in a certain type of culture. But it seems to me a normal requirement of faith and pastoral practice for a bishop of our Church to have love and forbearance for these people and allow them to live with this liturgy.

There is no opposition between the liturgy renewed by Vatican II and this liturgy. Every day, the council Fathers celebrated the Mass following the old rite and at the same time they conceived a natural development for the liturgy throughout this century, since the liturgy is a living reality, which develops and keeps its identity within its development. So there is certainly a difference of emphasis, but a single fundamental identity that excludes any contradiction or antagonism between a renewed liturgy and the preceding liturgy.

I believe there is a possibility for both types to be enriched. On the one hand, the friends of the old liturgy can and should know the new saints, the new prefaces of the liturgy, etc. But on the other hand, the new liturgy emphasizes the common participation, but it is not just the assembly of a particular community, but rather it is always an act of the universal Church, in communion with all the believers of all time, an act of adoration. In this sense, it seems to me that there is a mutual enrichment, and it is clear that the renewed liturgy is the ordinary liturgy of our time.

On the emergence of great Western music

From the lecture at the Collège des Bernardins, Paris, September 12, 2008

The psalms also contain frequent instructions about how they should be sung and accompanied by instruments. For prayer that issues from the word of God, speech is not enough: music is required. Two chants from the Christian liturgy come from biblical texts in which they are placed on the lips of angels: the "Gloria", which is sung by the angels at the birth of Jesus, and the "Sanctus", which according to Isaiah 6 is the cry of the seraphim who stand directly before God. Christian worship is therefore an invitation to sing with the angels, and thus to lead the word to its highest destination. Once again, Jean Leclercq says on this subject: “The monks had to find melodies which translate into music the acceptance by redeemed man of the mysteries that he celebrates. The few surviving capitula from Cluny thus show the Christological symbols of the individual modes” (cf. ibid. p. 229).

For Benedict, the words of the Psalm: "coram angelis psallam Tibi, Domine" – in the presence of the angels, I will sing your praise (cf. 138:1) – are the decisive rule governing the prayer and chant of the monks. What this expresses is the awareness that in communal prayer one is singing in the presence of the entire heavenly court, and is thereby measured according to the very highest standards: that one is praying and singing in such a way as to harmonize with the music of the noble spirits who were considered the originators of the harmony of the cosmos, the music of the spheres.

From this perspective one can understand the seriousness of a remark by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, who used an expression from the Platonic tradition handed down by Augustine, to pass judgement on the poor singing of monks, which for him was evidently very far from being a mishap of only minor importance. He describes the confusion resulting from a poorly executed chant as a falling into the “zone of dissimilarity” – the "regio dissimilitudinis". Augustine had borrowed this phrase from Platonic philosophy, in order to designate his condition prior to conversion (cf. Confessions, VII, 10.16): man, who is created in God’s likeness, falls in his godforsakenness into the “zone of dissimilarity” – into a remoteness from God, in which he no longer reflects him, and so has become dissimilar not only to God, but to himself, to what being human truly is. Bernard is certainly putting it strongly when he uses this phrase, which indicates man’s falling away from himself, to describe bad singing by monks. But it shows how seriously he viewed the matter. It shows that the culture of singing is also the culture of being, and that the monks have to pray and sing in a manner commensurate with the grandeur of the word handed down to them, with its claim on true beauty.

This intrinsic requirement of speaking with God and singing of him with words he himself has given, is what gave rise to the great tradition of Western music. It was not a form of private “creativity”, in which the individual leaves a memorial to himself and makes self-representation his essential criterion. Rather it is about vigilantly recognizing with the “ears of the heart” the inner laws of the music of creation, the archetypes of music that the Creator built into his world and into men, and thus discovering music that is worthy of God, and at the same time truly worthy of man, music whose worthiness resounds in purity.

On the liturgy of the hours

From the homily for vespers at the cathedral of Notre-Dame, Paris, September 12, 2008

The Son of God took flesh in the womb of a woman, a virgin. Your cathedral is a living hymn of stone and light in praise of that act, unique in the annals of human history: the eternal Word of God entering our history in the fulness of time to redeem us by his self-offering in the sacrifice of the Cross. Our earthly liturgies, entirely ordered to the celebration of this unique act within history, will never fully express its infinite meaning. Certainly, the beauty of our celebrations can never be sufficiently cultivated, fostered and refined, for nothing can be too beautiful for God, who is himself infinite Beauty. Yet our earthly liturgies will never be more than a pale reflection of the liturgy celebrated in the Jerusalem on high, the goal of our pilgrimage on earth. May our own celebrations nonetheless resemble that liturgy as closely as possible and grant us a foretaste of it!

Even now the word of God is given to us as the soul of our apostolate, the soul of our priestly life. Each morning the word awakens us. Each morning the Lord himself "opens our ear" (cf. Is 50:5) through the psalms in the Office of Readings and Morning Prayer. Throughout the day, the word of God becomes the substance of the prayer of the whole Church, as she bears witness in this way to her fidelity to Christ. In the celebrated phrase of Saint Jerome, to be taken up in the XII Assembly of the Synod of Bishops next month: "Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ" (Prol. in Is.). Dear brother priests, do not be afraid to spend much time reading and meditating on the Scriptures and praying the Divine Office! Almost without your knowing it, God’s word, read and pondered in the Church, acts upon you and transforms you. As the manifestation of divine Wisdom, if that word becomes your life "companion", it will be your "good counsellor" and an "encouragement in cares and grief" (Wis 8:9).

On the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist

From the homily for the Mass on the Esplanade des Invalides, Paris, September 13, 2008

How do we reach God? How do we manage to discover or rediscover him whom man seeks at the deepest core of himself, even though he so often forgets him? Saint Paul asks us to make use not only of our reason, but above all our faith in order to discover him. Now, what does faith say to us? The bread that we break is a communion with the Body of Christ. The cup of blessing which we bless is a communion with the Blood of Christ. This extraordinary revelation comes to us from Christ and has been transmitted to us by the Apostles and by the whole Church for almost two thousand years: Christ instituted the sacrament of the Eucharist on the evening of Holy Thursday. He wanted his sacrifice to be presented anew, in an unbloody manner, every time a priest repeats the words of consecration over the bread and wine. Millions of times over the last twenty centuries, in the humblest chapels and in the most magnificent basilicas and cathedrals, the risen Lord has given himself to his people, thus becoming, in the famous expression of Saint Augustine, "more intimate to us than we are to ourselves" (cf. Confessions, III, 6, 11).

Brothers and sisters, let us give the greatest veneration to the sacrament of the Body and Blood of the Lord, the Blessed Sacrament of the real presence of the Lord to his Church and to all humanity. Let us take every opportunity to show him our respect and our love! Let us give him the greatest marks of honour! Through our words, our silences, and our gestures, let us never allow our faith in the risen Christ, present in the Eucharist, to lose its savour in us or around us! As Saint John Chrysostom said magnificently, "Let us behold the ineffable generosity of God and all the good things that he enables us to enjoy, when we offer him this cup, when we receive communion, thanking him for having delivered the human race from error, for having brought close to him those who were far away, for having made, out of those who were without hope and without God in the world, a people of brothers, fellow heirs with the Son of God" (Homily 24 on the First Letter to the Corinthians, 1). "In fact", he continues, "what is in the cup is precisely what flowed from his side, and it is of this that we partake" (ibid.). There is not only partaking and sharing, there is "union", says the Doctor whose name means "golden mouth".

The Mass is the sacrifice of thanksgiving par excellence, the one which allows us to unite our own thanksgiving to that of the Saviour, the Eternal Son of the Father. It also makes its own appeal to us to shun idols, for, as Saint Paul insists, "you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons" (1 Cor 10:21). The Mass invites us to discern what, in ourselves, is obedient to the Spirit of God and what, in ourselves, is attuned to the spirit of evil. In the Mass, we want to belong only to Christ and we take up with gratitude – with thanksgiving – the cry of the psalmist: "How shall I repay the Lord for his goodness to me?" (Ps 116:12). Yes, how can I give thanks to the Lord for the life he has given me? The answer to the psalmist’s question is found in the psalm itself, since the word of God responds graciously to its own questions. How else could we render thanks to the Lord for all his goodness to us if not by attending to his own words: "I will raise the cup of salvation, I will call on the name of the Lord" (Ps 116:13)?

To raise the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord, is that not the very best way of "shunning idols", as Saint Paul asks us to do? Every time the Mass is celebrated, every time Christ makes himself sacramentally present in his Church, the work of our salvation is accomplished. Hence to celebrate the Eucharist means to recognize that God alone has the power to grant us the fullness of joy and teach us true values, eternal values that will never pass away. God is present on the altar, but he is also present on the altar of our heart when, as we receive communion, we receive him in the sacrament of the Eucharist. He alone teaches us to shun idols, the illusions of our minds.

Now, dear brothers and sisters, who can raise the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord in the name of the entire people of God, except the priest, ordained for this purpose by his Bishop? At this point, dear inhabitants of Paris and the outlying regions, but also those of you who have come from the rest of France and from neighbouring countries, allow me to issue an appeal, confident in the faith and generosity of the young people who are considering a religious or priestly vocation: do not be afraid! Do not be afraid to give your life to Christ! Nothing will ever replace the ministry of priests at the heart of the Church! Nothing will ever replace a Mass for the salvation of the world!

On the prayer of the Angelus Domini

From the midday Angelus message, Lourdes, September 14, 2008

Every day, praying the Angelus gives us the opportunity to meditate for a few moments, in the midst of all our activities, on the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God. At noon, when the first hours of the day are already beginning to weigh us down with fatigue, our availability and our generosity are renewed by the contemplation of Mary’s "yes". This clear and unreserved "yes" is rooted in the mystery of Mary’s freedom, a total and entire freedom before God, completely separated from any complicity with sin, thanks to the privilege of her Immaculate Conception.

This privilege given to Mary, which sets her apart from our common condition, does not distance her from us, but on the contrary, it brings her closer. While sin divides, separating us from one another, Mary’s purity makes her infinitely close to our hearts, attentive to each of us and desirous of our true good. You see it here in Lourdes, as in all Marian shrines; immense crowds come thronging to Mary’s feet to entrust to her their most intimate thoughts, their most heartfelt wishes. That which many, either because of embarrassment or modesty, do not confide to their nearest and dearest, they confide to her who is all pure, to her Immaculate Heart: with simplicity, without frills, in truth. Before Mary, by virtue of her very purity, man does not hesitate to reveal his weakness, to express his questions and his doubts, to formulate his most secret hopes and desires. The Virgin Mary’s maternal love disarms all pride; it renders man capable of seeing himself as he is, and it inspires in him the desire to be converted so as to give glory to God.

Thus, Mary shows us the right way to come to the Lord. She teaches us to approach him in truth and simplicity. Thanks to her, we discover that the Christian faith is not a burden: it is like a wing which enables us to fly higher, so as to take refuge in God’s embrace.

The life and faith of believers make it clear that the grace of the Immaculate Conception given to Mary is not merely a personal grace, but a grace for all, a grace given to the entire people of God. In Mary, the Church can already contemplate what she is called to become. Every believer can contemplate, here and now, the perfect fulfilment of his or her own vocation. May each of you always remain full of thanksgiving for what the Lord has chosen to reveal of his plan of salvation through the mystery of Mary: a mystery in which we are involved most intimately since, from the height of the Cross which we celebrate and exalt today, it is revealed to us through the words of Jesus himself that his Mother is our Mother. Inasmuch as we are sons and daughters of Mary, we can profit from all the graces given to her; the incomparable dignity that came to her through her Immaculate Conception shines brightly over us, her children.

More on the Mass in the ancient rite

From the address to the bishops of France, Lourdes, September 14, 2008

Liturgical worship is the supreme expression of priestly and episcopal life, just as it is of catechetical teaching. Your duty to sanctify the faithful people, dear brothers, is indispensable for the growth of the Church. In the motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum”, I was led to set out the conditions in which this duty is to be exercised, with regard to the possibility of using the missal of Blessed John XXIII (1962) in addition to that of Pope Paul VI (1970). Some fruits of these new arrangements have already been seen, and I hope that, thanks be to God, the necessary pacification of spirits is already taking place. I am aware of your difficulties, but I do not doubt that, within a reasonable time, you can find solutions satisfactory for all, lest the seamless tunic of Christ be further torn. Everyone has a place in the Church. Every person, without exception, should be able to feel at home, and never rejected. God, who loves all men and women and wishes none to be lost, entrusts us with this mission by appointing us shepherds of his sheep. We can only thank him for the honour and the trust that he has placed in us. Let us therefore strive always to be servants of unity.

More on the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist

From the concluding meditation for the Eucharistic procession, Lourdes, September 14, 2008

The sacred host is the living, efficacious and real sacrament of the eternal presence of the saviour of mankind to his Church. [...] An immense crowd of witnesses is invisibly present beside us, very close to this blessed grotto and in front of this church that the Virgin Mary wanted to be built; the crowd of all those men and women who have contemplated, venerated, adored the real presence of him who gave himself to us even to the last drop of blood; the crowd of all those men and women who have spent hours in adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar. [...] Saint Pierre-Julien Eymard tells us everything when he cries out: "The holy Eucharist is Jesus Christ, past, present and future."

Jesus Christ, past, in the historical truth of the evening in the Upper Room, to which every celebration of holy Mass leads us back.

Jesus Christ, present, because he said to us: "Take and eat of this, all of you, this is my body, this is my blood." "This is", in the present, here and now, as in every here and now throughout human history. The real presence, the presence which surpasses our poor lips, our poor hearts, our poor thoughts. The presence offered for us to gaze upon as we do here, this evening, close to the grotto where Mary revealed herself as the Immaculate Conception.

The Eucharist is also Jesus Christ, future, Jesus Christ to come. When we contemplate the sacred host, his glorious transfigured and risen Body, we contemplate what we shall contemplate in eternity, where we shall discover that the whole world has been carried by its Creator during every second of its history. Each time we consume him, but also each time we contemplate him, we proclaim him until he comes again, "donec veniat". That is why we receive him with infinite respect.

Some of us cannot – or cannot yet – receive Him in the Sacrament, but we can contemplate Him with faith and love and express our desire finally to be united with Him. This desire has great value in God’s presence: such people await his return more ardently; they await Jesus Christ who must come again.


The itinerary and speeches of Benedict XVI's trip to Paris and Lourdes, on the Vatican website:

> Apostolic Journey to France, september 12-15, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

More South Africans joining the cause!

At long last, there are others out ther like me! I need not feel so alone in this quest. I can only pray with the help of our Blessed Mother, we may begin again 'to restore all things in Christ'.

Here are their links:

In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary


Friday, September 12, 2008

Message from the FSSPX - District of France

On the occasion of the Supreme Pontiff’s visit to our country, we pledge our unwavering commitment to the Apostolic See. We are pleased that Pope Benedict XVI comes before the Grotto on the one hundred-fiftieth anniversary of the apparitions of Lourdes - so dear to the heart of the French and indeed to all Catholics. With Chaplet and Rosary let us pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary that the successor of Peter, in this era when the government of the Church is incredibly difficult to ensure, can find in Lourdes enlightenment and strength to recognize, denounce, and eradicate conciliar errors which are in essence the cause of the crisis of the Church.

Pray that the Catholic Faith, outside which no one can be saved, be given to souls and that Christ the King reign once again over countries and societies.

Abbot Régis de Cacqueray-Valménier
Superior of the District of France

Catholics to petition the SACBC, on wider use of the Tridentine Mass

Dear Friends,

I have just read and signed the online petition: "Wider provision of the Tridentine Latin Mass in South Africa" hosted on the web by PetitionOnline.com, the free online petitionservice, at:


I personally agree with what this petition says, and I think you might agree, too. If you can spare a moment, please take a look, and considersigning yourself.

Best wishes,

Calvin James Montgomery

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

On the Holy Fathers upcoming visit to France

(Translated Article, taken from the 'New Liturgical Movement')

Why the Pope Renews With the Traditional Liturgy

By Jean-Marie Guénois, special envoy to Rome

Catholics will discover Saturday at Les Invalides the Return of Forgotten Practices.

In the sacristy, it is he who watches over the vestments of Benedict XVI. The pope enters, they exchange a smile, already focused on the Mass which the Successor of Peter is preparing to celebrate. Monsignor Guido Marini, a young Italian prelate of 43 years, is the Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations. His childlike face shows a very precise look. No detail seems to escape him. Thin, tall, he respectfully assists the pope in putting on his vestments. Then come a time of prayer. The Mass can begin.

Saturday morning, behind the altar installed on the Esplanade des Invalides, Monsignor Guido Marini in the same way will help Pope Benedict XVI. In October 2007 he himself appointed the young prelate to this more than sensitive position. He is in charge to order, down to the second, the Masses of the Pope: from the choice of vestments and liturgical accessories to the singing, not forgetting the choice of chalices and through to postures of the body. It is the formal style of the celebration of the Eucharist which rests in his hands. When one knows the commitment of Benedict XVI to beautiful liturgy, he could not have randomly selected the one who has replaced another Marini, Piero Marini, whose face is better known as he was the Master of Celebrations of John Paul II for two decades. Indeed, the master of ceremonies is always within two steps of the Pope during major celebrations.

A Cross at the Centre of the Altar

An exposed position, therefore, media-wise and even more so ecclesially. The young Guido Marini knows something about that. In recent months, he concentrates on him praise but also criticism. He embodies the return of tradition. The reason are the liturgical "innovations" for the Mass of the Pope, which are all resumptions of elements forgotten in recent years. But it is true that in matters of liturgy the smallest symbol is fraught with meaning.

So Parisians, Saturday morning, and those who follow the Mass in Lourdes, Sunday and Monday morning, will not be surprised to see that the Pope will give Communion in the mouth of the faithful kneeling, except of course if the person is physically prevented. That Benedict XVI, another example, no longer systematically carries the famous silver pastoral staff of John Paul II, a Christ on the Cross, a work by Lello Scorzelli made in the 1960s for Paul VI, but a Greek cross [note: not actually correct, it really is a Latin cross] without a corpus which was in the hands of Pius IX (pope from 1846 to 1878). That a stately cross will return to the centre of the altar from which it had been withdrawn, under Pope John Paul II, for a matter of television images. That the thousands of consecrated hosts will be contained in ciboria of precious metals and not in clay ones. One should also mention the use, for the great Feasts, of old papal mitres, richly decorated and which had lain sleeping among the treasures of the Vatican. And the use, in certain circumstances, of the papal throne…

So many "novelties" which reassure some, but trouble part of the Church, or even annoy those who denounce this as "a step backwards". It is said that certain people were somewhat shocked by these requests, when Monsignor Guido Marini came to prepare, in mid-June, the Pope's voyage this week. Regarding, in particular, the question of communion in the mouth kneeling.

If Monsignor Guido Marini is not for nothing in these developments, it would betry poor knowledge of the operation of the Holy See to imagine that he is the sole person responsible for this. Particularly since there is in the Catholic Church a "ministry" in charge of these issues: the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. If he advises, the Pope decides. It is therefore Benedict XVI himself who wishes this new course. The choice of this master of papal liturgical celebrations has been recommended to him by his Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the number 2 of the Holy See, whose master of ceremonies Monsignor Guido Marini was when he was archbishop of Genoa, a priest noticed there for his pastoral charisma, of a mild temperament and attentive to everyone, qualities he has not lost apparently in the Vatican. He holds a double doctorate in law, civil and canonical, and a litentiate degree in psychology of communication.

In his bright office at the Vatican, at the corner of St. Peter's Square, Msgr. Marini explains: "Benedict XVI wants to emphasize that the norms for distributing Communion in the Catholic Church are still in force. One has indeed forgotten that the distribution of Holy Communion in the hand is due to an indult, an exception, one might say, given by the Holy See to the episcopal conferences that request it." He recognizes that Benedict XVI has a "preference" for communion in the mouth but that "the use of this modality does not detract from the other modality, to receive the host in hand." However, he observes, "to receive the host in the mouth highlights the truth of the Real Presence in the Eucharist, it helps the devotion of the faithful and introduces more easily into the sense of mystery. So many aspects it is important to stress today and urgent to recover." Nothing, therefore, of a papal fantasy. These changes in liturgical forms are part of a clear vision of Benedict XVI and explicitly expressed in Rome by several interlocutors close to him: "To achieve, ultimately, a liturgical synthesis between the Mass of Paul VI and that which tradition can contribute to it as enrichment."

As for the method to get there, it refuses the trails of a new liturgical war, but it intends to rely on "teaching" and "patience". Still according to the proponents of this issue, the Pope intends to counterpoise "by example" the "deficiencies" that he has always denounced since the 1970s: the lack of "recollectedness" and "silence"; the loss of the "sense of the sacred", which he also calls the "cosmic" sense of the liturgical celebration where, according to Catholic theology, and also Orthodox by the way, "God Himself, through the Incarnation of the Son, makes Himself really present in the consecrated host."

"Serving the Sense of the Sacred"

Monsignor Guido Marini is formal: "It is not a battle between the old and the modern, much less between the preconciliar and the conciliar ones. This kind of problematical ideology is today outdated. The old and new belong to the same liturgical treasure of the Church. The liturgical celebration must be the celebration of the sacred mystery, of the crucified and risen Lord. It is our task to find, in the heritage of the liturgy, a continuity to serve this sense of the sacred." And he points out, in passing, that many focus on the four or five developments of recent months without seeing that he works just as much with the "legacy" of his predecessors, among whom Archbishop Piero Marini. "There is no break with what was being done before," he assures. As for the use of the papal throne or old mitres, it is not systematic [in the sense of "exclusive"]: they are used "only on some solemnities."

No rupture, certainly, but this movement of gentle reform of the liturgy, as symbolic as it may be in its appearances, is firmly rooted in the thought of Benedict XVI. He has never hidden anything before becoming pope. In his memoirs, My Life, Memoirs 1927-1977 [published in English as "Milestones"], published ten years ago in France at Fayard, Joseph Ratzinger showed his colours regarding the liturgical reform of the Second Vatican Council which he had lived at the age of 40: "I was dismayed," he wrote, "at the ban on the old Missal, since such a development had never been seen in the history of liturgy. (…) A renewal of liturgical awareness, a liturgical reconciliation that again recognizes the unity of the history of the liturgy and that understands Vatican II, not as a breach, but as a stage of development: these things are urgently needed for the life of the Church. I am convinced that the crisis in the Church that we are experiencing today is to a large extent due to the disintegration of the liturgy (…) This is why we need a new liturgical movement which will call to life the real heritage of the Council." As a fine connoisseur of Roman life says, Fr. Federico Lombardi, an experienced Jesuit who heads Vatican Radio and the Press Office, one must be wary of "interpretations" that would lead to consider these developments as a revolution. But everything suggests that this "new liturgical movement" is well and truly launched. Benedict XVI does not envisage disseminating it by way of regulations, but by the force of example.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Chapel of Marist Brothers , Marian College Linmeyer Johannesburg

This Chapel, was and still is one of my favorite places of Sanctuary. It is the School chapel of Marist Brothers College in Linmeyer, South of Johannesburg. I attended the school for both my primary and secondary education.

The School itself 'prides' itself in the fact that the Alar seen here, was that same one used in and by the original Marist Brothers Sacred Heart College in Koch St. Johannesburg Central. The Koch st Marist Brothers were the first all Boys school in the City, and were situated in Kock St up to 1965, when the old school closed its doors and re- opened them the following yearin Linmeyer futher south of the city.

I am proud and indeed honoured to have spent my Schooling here, an have become part of the Marist tradition within my family , my paternal grandfather having attended St. Aloysios in Cape Town, both my Father and my Uncle later attending at Marist Brothers College Limeyer.

The Altar is Marble and bears the carvings of the Sacred Heart and two Doves which flank it.

It is a dream to see the Traditional liturgy, or the Benedictine styled Novous Ordo celebrated here.

St. Marcellin Champagnat, founder of the Marist Brothers
Pray for Us!

Pope finally launches crackdown on world's largest illicit Catholic shrine and suspends 'dubious' priest

"By Simon Caldwell
Last updated at 10:03 PM on 03rd September 2008

Crackdown: Pope Benedict XVI has authorised 'severe cautionary and disciplinary measures' against Father Tomislav Vlasic
The Pope has begun a crackdown on the world’s largest illicit Catholic shrine – by suspending the priest at the centre of claims that the Virgin Mary has appeared more than 40,000 times.

Benedict XVI has authorised ‘severe cautionary and disciplinary measures’ against Father Tomislav Vlasic, the former ‘spiritual director’ to six children who said Our Lady was appearing to them at Medjugorje in Bosnia.

The Franciscan priest has been suspended after he refused to cooperate into claims of scandalous sexual immorality ‘aggravated by mystical motivations’.

He has also been accused of ‘the diffusion of dubious doctrine, manipulation of consciences, suspected mysticism and disobedience towards legitimately issued orders’, and is suspected of heresy and schism.

Father Vlasic was a central figure in promoting the apparitions that allegedly began in 1981 and continue to this day.

In 1984 he boasted to Pope John Paul II that he was the one ‘who through divine providence guides the seers of Medjugorje’ and the visionaries even said that the Virgin had told them he was a living saint.

But the Bosnian cleric later took a back seat when it emerged that he had fathered a child with a nun called Sister Rufina, and that he refused to leave his order to marry her but instead begged her not to expose him.

Father Vlasic then moved to Parma, Italy, where he set up a mixed male and female religious community, called Queen of Peace, which was dedicated to the Medjugorje apparitions.

As Cardinal Newman approaches sainthood, Vatican hits back at gay activists' accusations of homophobia
Medjugorje has grown to become the most visited unauthorised Catholic shrine in the world, attracting hundreds of thousands of pilgrims a year, including many from the UK and Ireland.

Manipulated? pilgrims pray in Medjugorje, Bosnia

But the local bishops are convinced the claims are bogus and in 2006 complained directly to Pope Benedict.

This led to a Vatican investigation which turned the spotlight on the role of Father Vlasic.

The priest has now been suspended by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith after he refused to cooperate with the inquiry into his conduct, instead ‘justifying himself by citing his zealous activity’ in initiating religious communities and building churches the Medjugorje area.

The decree confirming his suspension was signed with the Pope’s approval by Cardinal William Levada, head of CDF, and Father Jose Carballo, the Minister General of the Franciscan Minor Order.

It confines Father Vlasic to a Francisan monastery in Italy and bans him from contact with the Queen of Peace community, or with his lawyers without permission from his superior.

He is banned from making public appearances, preaching and hearing confessions and he will be required to make a solemn profession of the Catholic faith.

The Vatican has warned Father Vlasic that he will be excommunicated if he violates any of the prohibitions.

The action was taken earlier this year but was made public this week by the Bishop of Mostar, Ratko Peric, at the request of the Vatican, to make local people to be aware of the priest’s status.

Father Vlasic is the second spiritual adviser to the seers to be suspended from his ministry. The other, Father Jozo Zovko, was suspended by Bishop Peric in 2004.

Strong belief: About 20,000 pilgrims at Medjugorje in 2001 celebrating the twentieth anniversary of when six children said they had seen the virgin there

It represents a massive blow to millions of Medjugorje followers worldwide who were hoping that the Vatican investigation would legitimise the shrine.

Earlier this year, Italian Bishop Andrea Gemma denounced the Medjugorje claims as the ‘work of the Demon’ and predicted that ‘soon the Vatican will intervene with something explosive to unmask once and for all who is behind this deceit’.

The phenomenon began on 25 June 1981 when six children – Mirjana Dragićević, Marija Pavlović, Vicka Ivanković, Ivan Dragićević, Ivanka Ivanković and Jakov Colo – told a priest they had seen the Virgin on a hillside near their town.

Three Church commissions failed to find evidence to support their claims and the bishops of the former Yugoslavia finally declared that ‘it cannot be affirmed that these matters concern supernatural apparitions or revelations’.

In 1985 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger – now Pope Benedict – banned pilgrimages to the site, but this has been widely ignored.

Instead the seers have grown wealthy as a result of their claims – and so has their town, which has boomed as a result of the ‘Madonna gold rush’.

Some today own smart executive houses with immaculate gardens, double garages and security gates, and one has a tennis court.

They also own expensive cars and have married – one of them, Ivan Dragicevic, to an American former beauty queen"
Atricle taken from 'Mail Online'