Father Raniero Cantalamessa’s Good Friday Homily to the Pope and Curia,
…We must do everything possible so that the Church may never look like that complicated and cluttered castle described by Kafka, and the message may come out of it as free and joyous as when the messenger began his run. We know what the impediments are that can restrain the messenger: dividing walls, starting with those that separate the various Christian churches from one another, the excess of bureaucracy, the residue of past ceremonials, laws and disputes, now only debris.
In Revelation, Jesus says that He stands at the door and knocks (Rev 3:20). Sometimes, as noted by our Pope Francis, he does not knock to enter, but knocks from within to go out. To reach out to the “existential suburbs of sin, suffering, injustice, religious ignorance and indifference, and of all forms of misery.”
As happens with certain old buildings. Over the centuries, to adapt to the needs of the moment, they become filled with partitions, staircases, rooms and closets. The time comes when we realize that all these adjustments no longer meet the current needs, but rather are an obstacle, so we must have the courage to knock them down and return the building to the simplicity and linearity of its origins. This was the mission that was received one day by a man who prayed before the Crucifix of San Damiano: “Go, Francis, and repair my Church”.
“Who could ever be up to this task?” wondered aghast the Apostle before the superhuman task of being in the world “the fragrance of Christ”; and here is his reply, that still applies today: “We’re not ourselves able to think something as if it came from us; our ability comes from God. He has made us to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; because the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life”(2 Cor 2:16; 3:5-6).
I had no idea that when the wrecking ball was taken to the Church just 40 years ago, that the little remaining residue of past ceremonials and laws that were left when the dust settled were sufficient to drive millions away from the Church. But this time, this time if we can just get rid of every last bit of all that came before, then, then everything will be alright.
You know the definition of insanity, right? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
April 1, 2013 at 1:15 pm
These people won't be happy until there is no one left in the Church and the Magisterium and Tradition nullified, and Scripture says that whatever you want to do or not do is right.
April 1, 2013 at 2:32 pm
"If you do not live what you believe, you will end up believing what you live." — Ven. Fulton J Sheen.
April 1, 2013 at 2:57 pm
"But this time, this time if we can just get rid of every last bit of all that came before, then, then everything will be alright." Good Lord, that's precisely what his words seem to imply. The devastation begun during and after VII isn't enough and more must be done? Truly insane. And scarey. All ye holy Saints and Angels, pray for us and the Church of Christ.
April 1, 2013 at 4:07 pm
First of all, for full disclosure, it is no secret that my preference it Traditional Liturgy, with all of the appropriate pomp and circumstance. I want silk, and gold, Latin hymns, and chanted propers. I want every priest able to celebrate the Ordinary and Extraordinary Form of the Mass flawlessly and reverently. I attend a parish where, with my 4children under 7, we have a "small family" compared to most of the others. I am in a tie every week and my wife in a chapel veil.
However, we need to seriously ponder the impact these things have on evangelization, both initial and on-going. For my experience, there is a very real reality that the mission territory we're working in (i.e. the post-Christian West) for the New Evangelization is often so confused and/or turned off by many of our symbolic liturgical gestures, that these lost souls never even get the opportunity to know the beautiful reasons why we do what we do.
This does not of course mean we should somehow just scrap them, or not desire to elevate the knowledge of those we evangelize or help their attentiveness to Objective Beauty, but to merely write off those who don't get it is a failure of the Church in Her duty to evangelize the world. We do not need to strip every statue and remove every woman from a habit (for the record, Fr. Cantelemessa always wears his habit) to be able to better "relate to the world", but to try and pretend like some people, and dare I say most people, don't get turned away from the Church before they ever get started in engaging Her more fully by many of our outward gestures is to be cling to the love of Liturgical pomp and ignore the plight of souls screaming for the Gospel of Christ and His Church.
April 1, 2013 at 4:42 pm
If you follow the Link and read the full text of the homily, you see Cantalamessa's appreciation of our Caholic tradition, citing many sources in said tradition. Certainly, his words, especially those quoted above in bold, can be read as a call to a return to the failed ideals of the 1970's, but they also can be read as calling for an end of the divisions between Christians (not by ignoring the real differences but by evangelizing those outside the Church), eliminating EXCESS of bureaucracy (who would be against that?), and clearing away, not our Sacred Tradition, but those historical small "t" traditions (eg the tiara, the sedia gestoria) that hinder the New Evangelization. We need to remember to apply the Hermeneutic of Continuity to this Papacy.
April 1, 2013 at 6:29 pm
The use of the Tiara and the sedia gestoria have not been in use for almost 40 years so what else would he have meant but to get rid of the "reform of the reform" that the Previous Pope the Pope Emeritus has called for. The Continuity with the 2000 year old Tradition? Forget it. We have to be more SIMPLE less Beautiful. Why? Because of the "needs" of "Modern Men" Pope Paul used this when he mandated the New Mass in 1969.
April 2, 2013 at 12:12 am
I love you Archbolds. I really do. I read your posts everyday and find them enriching. But I am starting to get the feeling that Patrick is applying the Hermeneutic of Chicken Little.
April 2, 2013 at 1:51 am
We cant give up our traditions to satisy a culture that is warped and will never accept Christ. The protestants have done this and it hasnt worked.
April 2, 2013 at 2:43 am
I seem to remember the amazing good will that came from laying down the tiara and the sedia gestoria, everyone all of the sudden wanted to be Catholic and they then understood all the teachings of the church….wait they didnt and we threw everything overboard in an attempt to reach out. Maybe not being afraid to proclaim all the Church stands for and not running from the symbols that help externalize the faith is the key. Ie read the catechism, help the poor, build the Gothic Cathedrals, be with the Lord an hour a week outside of Mass…just an idea (oh and restore the tiara because the authority is granted from Christ and make that clear)
April 2, 2013 at 8:02 am
I completely agree with Fr. Cantalamessa. I worked closely with a mid-size southern Catholic diocese for almost a decade and in that time I saw a massive amount of dead weight. I saw senior diocesan employees who were in open dissent to the Church and the Pope. I saw chancery officials who demanded submission to their far left political views. I saw the most useless of offices given prime status and recognition. I saw huge amounts of money being spent in the most alarming of ways. This was not the 70's or the 80's. This was the late 2000's. These structures, for the most part, need to be destroyed if they are going to help evangelization rather than stunt it. Traditionalists should try to comprehend that not everything the Vatican says or does has only to do with them and them only. Enough already!
I completely agree. Let the destruction begin today!
April 2, 2013 at 6:37 pm
What you describe is the infiltration of the Church by dissenters who politicise the organisation in an attempt to overthrow Tradition, Scripture and Magisterium. They are enemies of the Faith and the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church that they feed off. They use the language of revolution, iconoclasm and social justice to get people to abandon the Faith, which the majority have since the 1960s.
April 2, 2013 at 2:34 pm
I agree with Fr. Cantalamessa and Andrew! From what I've seen in Fr. Raniero's sermons to the Papal household, he is not one to destroy the Sacred Tradition. He is one to desire the transformational power of Christ to change this tired, institutional, secularized Church, a Church dominated by a professional Catholicism into a force of life change to those first within and then the world. You trads are so reactive! You've been fighting the fight of liturgical purity and Catholic identity for so long, you have reduced the Catholic life to just that!
We have the graces of the sacraments, liturgy, prayer and the Word of God to FREE us to become like Christ, to be the dynamic force of nature Jesus was, who collided with the religious purists of his day with mercy, forgiveness, power to confront evil, in essence, the very life and work of the Father. You people need to expand your vision to the "WHY" of what you do. Tell me, how many of you who have been so reactive, how many people have you influenced to become Christian, to convert? How many? Is this even a priority with you? How do you engage the unbeliever with the Gospel? What do you say to him or her?
From what I have seen, too many Catholics, satisfied with their proper, rubric-guided Masses, go home and relish their faithfulness to true Catholicism by a private piety while their neighbor has no clue as to the infinite graces available to humankind…