Guitar Music at Mass

101 posts in this topic

5 hours ago, KnightofChrist said:

It's a matter of cause and effect. Cause, the EF was suppressed priests and faithful were forbidden from offering or attending it, effect, it's numbers were greatly reduced. I don't believe you're being reasonable.

Well if by reasonable you mean not accepting what you have to say merely because you said it, I will admit that I am guilty of that.

If I said to you "Police shootings of unarmed African American men are the cause of greatly lower life expectancy among African American men in the United States" the first question you would ask is "How many unarmed African American men were shot last year?" would you not?

We know the result - that the EF has been greatly reduced.  What we do not know is the cause of that result. That is what you would like to prove.

Let me give you another example. There are roughly 5000 Catholic Bishops in the world. Let's say that 50 of them were guilty of "unlawfully suppressing" the TLM from January to June 1973 (however it is that you might define "unlawfully suppress"). Given that the other 4950 Catholic Bishops did not "unlawfully suppress" the TLM, it would not be reasonable to conclude that the "unlawful suppression" by the 50 for a period of 6 months was the cause of the TLM being greatly reduced. You could just as easily chalk up those results to other factors such as lack of interest, and that would not be an unreasonable conclusion given that it has been 10 years since Summorum and interest in the TLM is still rather minimal.

As I stated previously, if you want to prove your "novel theory" you would need a showing of what specific actions constitute "unlawful suppression" and of the extent to which those actions occurred.


Well I take Cardinal Stickler at his word, which he again repeated in a 1995 Q&A interview.

This whole thing with the alleged Cardinal Stickler statements is really grasping at straws.

1) The statements appear to be an act of disobedience to the pope who called for the commission, and willed that the findings (if there were indeed any) of the commission not be made public. Those alleged statements cannot be given anywhere near the same weight as an official document (even if we were to assume that the statements were made in good faith, despite that they were made against the desires to the pope having authority over the commission).

2) Apparently at the time of the first interview there was a dispute over the truthfulness of its contents, and the accuracy of the reporting.

Not that any of these various links are very reliable.

3) Even assuming that the Cardinal was acting in good faith, there is no way to confirm whether he accurately remembered the specific findings of the commission at the time he was asked about them. We have no way of verifying their accuracy because they have never been officially released.

4) The alleged statements, even if taken as true on face value, do not support the assertion that a bishop did not have authority to forbid the TLM in his diocese, if he chose to do so. In fact, Cardinal Stickler's own words  indicate that he himself believes that a bishop had the right to forbid the TLM in his own diocese. This is explained at the link below.


Indeed what the Society does not tell you in their snippet is that there is a missing ellipse and also a key word which they edit out. Here is Cardinal Stickler's statements from Latin Mass Magazine. The words quoted by the SSPX will be in nine point type in the next citation. The words "conveniently" edited out of their citation will be in twelve point type with points which directly refute their misrepresentation of His Eminence either bolded or underlined.


Did Pope Paul actually forbid the old rite?

Pope John Paul II, in 1986, asked a commission of nine cardinals two questions. Firstly, did Pope Paul VI, or any other competent authority legally forbid the widespread celebration of the Tridentine Mass in the present day? No. He asked Benelli explicitly, "Did Paul VI forbid the old mass?" He never answered - never yes, never no.

Why? He couldn't say "Yes he forbade it." He couldn't forbid a mass which was from the beginning valid and was the Mass of thousands of saints and faithful. The difficulty for him was he couldn't forbid it, but at the same time he wanted the new Mass to be said, to be accepted. And so he could only say, "I want that the new Mass should be said." This was the answer all the princes gave to the question asked. They said: the Holy Father wished that all follow the new Mass.

The answer given by eight of the cardinals in '86 was that, no, the Mass of Saint Pius V has never been suppressed. I can say this, I was one of the cardinals. Only one was against. All the others were for the free permission: that everyone could choose the old Mass. That answer the Pope accepted, I think; but again when some bishops' conferences became aware of the danger of this permission, they came to the Pope and said, "This absolutely should not be allowed because it will be the occasion, even the cause, of controversy amongst the faithful." And informed of this argument, I think, the Pope abstained from signing this permission. Yet, as for the commission -I can report from my own experience- the answer of the great majority was positive.

There was another question, very interesting. 'Can any bishop forbid any priest in good standing from celebrating a Tridentine Mass again?' The nine cardinals unanimously agreed that no bishop may forbid a Catholic priest from saying the Tridentine Mass. The nine cardinals unanimously agreed that no bishop may forbid a Catholic priest from saying the Tridentine Mass. We have no official prohibition and I think that the Pope would never establish an official prohibition not because of the words of Pius V, who said this was a Mass forever. Those words of Pius V were common for an important decision of the Pope. He always said, "This is valid forever." But this was not a theological, it was not a dogmatic statement, this decree of the Pope promulgating his Tridentine Mass order. And so it could be changed by his successors....

In Italian, they say that one pope gives the bull and another takes the bull again, that is, he can change the disposition of his predecessor...

So what about a bishop forbidding the Mass in the case of a priest or a whole dioceses? You must realize that a bishop is the only one who has responsibility for his dioceses....Bishops have no jurisdiction over their colleagues. A bishop in his dioceses, for his dioceses and his subjects, can find the arguments to forbid it. He can say, "This is disturbing to the peace in the dioceses."

It is necessary to notice that the privilege is given to the bishops, not the faithful. So a bishop can use the privilege or not. [7]

So it is clear when one reads more of the Cardinal's statements that he clearly states that (i) the words of Quo Primum do not indicate that the rite of mass could not be changed or even set aside (ii) the Cardinal makes it clear that the Cardinal consulted by Pope John Paul II were simply giving an opinion for His Holiness' consideration. Further still, (iii) despite this opinion, the pope did not ratify the permission that the Cardinals stated was possible in light of Pope Paul not intending to forbid the old mass. (In the sense of not wanting it to be said under any circumstances.) Cardinal Stickler substantiates this by noting that (iv) bishops are the only ones given this privilege by the pope (via the Indult) and therefore they can approve or disapprove of it as they see fit.

And finally, (v) as Cardinal Stickler noted that the bishop "is the only one who has responsibility for his dioceses" and thus "[a] bishop in his dioceses, for his dioceses and his subjects, can find the arguments to forbid [in his dioceses the Indult.] In short, Cardinal Stickler also is not an ally for the SSPX's cause or indeed the cause of anyone who supports priests celebrating the Tridentine mass in a diocese where either (i) the diocesan bishop does not allow it or (ii) with organizations which do not have the approval of the diocesan bishop. (Even if the diocesan bishop approves of the Indult in his dioceses.)

So you may want to consider finding another source, considering that the one your are currently attempting to use directly contradicts the very point that you desire to make.


It isn't a coincidence that Pope Benedict XVI in Summorum Pontificum mirrored the results of the 1986 commission.

 1) You do not know what the results of the 1986 commission are, because they have never been released. 2) Summorum states that the TLM was never juridically abrogated, but it does not state that a bishop does not have the power to forbid it in his diocese, should he desire to do so. That is only how people who have a strong preference for the EF interpret the document, but the document itself does not say that.


That the EF was never lawfully abrogated and priests and faithful did not need permission for bishops to offer or attend it. Which Ecclesia Dei reinforced in its answer to the two so-called 'dubia' posted earlier in the thread.

Well for one Summorum is clear that priests do not need permission to celebrate the EF "without a congregation". But the answer to the dubia does not indicate that a bishop cannot forbid celebration of the EF outside of the circumstances provided for in Art 2. or 3.B.

You should write the commission and ask them the right question (which I would image was purposefully not asked): Does a bishop have authority to prohibit celebration of the EF within his diocese? Apparently Cardinal Stickler believed that bishops had that authority before Summorum as noted above, and apparently Pope Benedict believed that the bishops retained that authority after Summorum:


In conclusion, dear Brothers, I very much wish to stress that these new norms do not in any way lessen your own authority and responsibility, either for the liturgy or for the pastoral care of your faithful.  Each Bishop, in fact, is the moderator of the liturgy in his own Diocese (cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, 22: “Sacrae Liturgiae moderatio ab Ecclesiae auctoritate unice pendet quae quidem est apud Apostolicam Sedem et, ad normam iuris, apud Episcopum”).

Nothing is taken away, then, from the authority of the Bishop, whose role remains that of being watchful that all is done in peace and serenity.  Should some problem arise which the parish priest cannot resolve, the local Ordinary will always be able to intervene, in full harmony, however, with all that has been laid down by the new norms of the Motu Proprio.

I already quoted that above but perhaps you did not notice it.

But for the sake of argument I will assume that the Summorum means that a Bishop cannot forbid a pastor from performing a public, regularly scheduled EF.  This would only make any such prohibition unlawful from the year 2007. It would not mean that bishops could not lawfully prohibit the EF before Summorum.


There was no legal basis for bishops to forbid priests and faithful from offering and attending the EF.

Uh. Yes there was (and there still remains). Please see the portion of Pope Benedict's letter and Sacrosanctum Concilium recited above.

Catholic bishops are successors of the apostles and have authority over the faithful in their diocese that comes from none other than Jesus Christ himself. But they cannot regulate the circumstances under which a priest says various forms of the rite within his own diocese? Now who is being unreasonable?


If police forbid members of the public from gathering in a certain place but if there is no law that states members of the public are not allowed to gather in that place the actions of the police are unlawful. Bishops had no legal basis in forbidding the EF.

I honestly thought that you were going to start repeating the SSPX interpretation of Quo Primium as support for your argument.

But if this is the analogy that you desire to use, you seem to have the characters wrong. Police would be more akin to parish priests or deacons. Bishops would be more akin to State Legislatures that have the authority to regulate citizens within the boundaries of their respective states, and the Pope (or perhaps Sacred Scripture) would be more akin to the US Constitution. The states can regulate as long as they do not violate the constitution, and similarly a Bishop can regulate as long as he does not violate orders from the Pope or Sacred Scripture.

So what you need to prove is that either Scripture or a Papal Bull prohibited a bishop from limiting the form of the rite to the NO within his diocese. The SSPX folks have a novel interpretation of Quo Primium to attempt to make such an argument - but it is not a persuasive argument (at least according to Cardinal Stickler).


Again, bishops that suppressed or forbid the EF had no legal basis for doing so.

 You have not proven this, as demonstrated above.


It would take more time that I wish to spend going through the 50 so years of abuse against the EF.

This is entirely understandable, and I would not spend your time on it either.  If for no other reason my response here should indicate to you some of the various flaws in your argument and the futility of going down this path.


Again, same answer no legal basis. No law to stand on for suppression of the EF.

 I hear you. I just do not agree.


I'm sure you will be unsatisfied with my answers but I don't believe it would be a productive use of my time to give highly detailed answers to your questions. It would at least take an hour if not hours and I'm extremely concerned all I would receive for that time in reply are gems like "its been X years since Y, so that excuse won't fly." or similar dismissing one liners you've given in this thread to others.

 That is perfectly fine by me pal.  We can agree to disagree on it.


Question 4 is proof for me that you are being unreasonable. You want me to prove a what if.

No. I would want to you prove that if there were "unlawful suppression" the extent of that "unlawful suppression" was so great that it had a significant impact on the availability of the EF. In other words, I am asking you to demonstrate causation. If you should ever find yourself subject to a criminal or civil tort proceeding, one of the parties will have to prove the same.


There was push back against the suppression from the beginning. For the lack of a better word the OF and EF were not allowed to 'compete' for the attention of the faithful. The suppression of the EF clearly had great negative effects on the numbers of EF in the world. Based on the passion of those attached to the EF over the last 50 years it seems unlikely its numbers would have reduced to the numbers it has today had it not been aggressively suppressed. I believe any reasonable person understands this.

Duly noted. I just do not find your argument to be very persuasive. If that makes me unreasonable then I suppose I am guilty of being unreasonable.


Lastly my purpose for posting in this thread was more to the benefit of others. You were attempting to make the argument that the OF has a type of pride of place over the EF and other odd/erroneous positions. The OF and EF are the same thing the Latin Rite, both are the same prayer one is not better than the other. The same cannot be said of Chant which has pride of place and Guitar music which does not have pride of place.

Heh. Well this is news to me. Plenty of the so-called "traditionalists" seemed to think that the EF is better than the NO. But I stand corrected.

But regardless, I think that VII makes it abundantly clear that the NO is better for our times.  Let's take a look at the word "reform":


a :  to put or change into an improved form or condition

b :  to amend or improve by change of form or removal of faults or abuses

Now. Since the EF was "reformed" (Sacrosanctum Concilium) wouldn't it be reasonable to conclude that the Church considers the "reformed" form of the rite to be an improvement over the prior form of the rite?

Sacrosanctum also has the following to say:


III. The Reform of the Sacred Liturgy

21. In order that the Christian people may more certainly derive an abundance of graces from the sacred liturgy, holy Mother Church desires to undertake with great care a general restoration of the liturgy itself. For the liturgy is made up of immutable elements divinely instituted, and of elements subject to change. These not only may but ought to be changed with the passage of time if they have suffered from the intrusion of anything out of harmony with the inner nature of the liturgy or have become unsuited to it.

In this restoration, both texts and rites should be drawn up so that they express more clearly the holy things which they signify; the Christian people, so far as possible, should be enabled to understand them with ease and to take part in them fully, actively, and as befits a community.



II. The Promotion of Liturgical Instruction and Active Participation

14. Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that fully conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy. Such participation by the Christian people as "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people (1 Pet. 2:9; cf. 2:4-5), is their right and duty by reason of their baptism.

In the restoration and promotion of the sacred liturgy, this full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else; for it is the primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive the true Christian spirit; and therefore pastors of souls must zealously strive to achieve it, by means of the necessary instruction, in all their pastoral work.

So I am sorry, but I do not think that you are on solid ground here either.  The Church reformed the form of the rite, and She did so with the aim of improving areas where the EF lacks. I know that you guys prefer the EF and I can certainly appreciate and respect that. And I think it is great that we can celebrate both forms of the rite, and that people who have a particular inclination for the EF can participate in that form of the rite. But the Church has made the NO the ordinary form of the rite for a reason, and it is rather clear that the current living Magisterium prefers it over the EF.

I do not mean any ill will towards you or traditionalists, even though I happen to strongly disagree with you on the points above.

Have a good night.

Edited by Peace
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