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quinta-feira, 21 de julho de 2011

DIETRICH VON HILDEBRAND :Case for the Latin Mass. The post-conciliar spirit, by Dietrich von Hildebrand...

Dietrich von Hildebrand, was one of the world's most eminent Christian philosophers. A professor at Fordham University, Pope Pius XII called him "the 20th Century Doctor of the Church." He is the author of many books, including Transformation in Christ and Liturgy and Personality.

[Reprinted from the October 1966 issue of TRIUMPH]

THE ARGUMENTS for the New Liturgy have been neatly packaged, and may now be learned by rote. The new form of the Mass is designed to engage the celebrant and the faithful in a communal activity. In the past the faithful attended mass in personal isolation, each worshipper making his private devotions, or at best following the proceedings in his missal. Today the faithful can grasp the social character of the celebration; they are learning to appreciate it as a community meal. Formerly, the priest mumbled in a dead language, which created a barrier between priest and people. Now everyone speaks in English, which tends to unite priest and people with one another. In the past the priest said mass with his back to the people, which created the mood of an esoteric rite. Today, because the priest faces the people, the mass is a more fraternal occasion. In the past the priest intoned strange medieval chants. Today the entire assembly sings songs with easy tunes and familiar lyrics, and is even experimenting with folk music. The case for the new mass, then, comes down to this: it is making the faithful more at home in the house of God.

Moreover, these innovations are said to have the sanction of Authority: they are represented as an obedient response to the spirit of the Second Vatican Council. This is said notwithstanding that the Council's Constitution on the Liturgy goes no further than to permit the vernacular mass in cases where the local bishop believes it desirable; the Constitution plainly insists on the retention of the Latin mass, and emphatically approves the Gregorian chant. But the liturgical "progressives" are not impressed by the difference between permitting and commanding. Nor do they hesitate to authorize changes, such as standing to receive Holy Communion, which the Constitution does not mention at all. The progressives argue that these liberties may be taken because the Constitution is, after all, only the first step in an evolutionary process. And they seem to be having their way. It is difficult to find a Latin mass anywhere today, and in the United States they are practically non-existent. Even the conventual mass in monasteries is said in the vernacular, and the glorious Gregorian is replaced by insignificant melodies.CONTINUE TO READ...

The post-conciliar spirit, by Dietrich von Hildebrand... 
Dietrich von Hildebrand, called by Pope Pius XII "the 20th Century Doctor of the Church,” was one of the world's most eminent Catholic philosophers. Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict) wrote about Dietrich von Hildebrand in the year 2000: "I am firmly convinced that, when at some time in the future, the intellectual history of the Catholic Church in the 20th century is written, the name of Dietrich von Hildebrand will be most prominent among the figures of our time."  No other Catholic writer has so thoroughly echoed the message of Our Lady of the Roses than Dietrich von Hildebrand:
The professional avant-gardists in the Church today never tire of telling us of the Christian faith in the post-conciliar epoch—of the changes called for by the "post-conciliar spirit." These vague slogans conceal a tendency to replace the infallible magisterium and unchanging faith of the Church with something else, something new. I am reminded of the famous program of the German National Socialist Party, which in paragraph 17 declared that it accepted Christianity insofar as it corresponded to the "Nordic ethos." In that case too the divinely revealed doctrine of the Church was supposed to subordinate itself to an extremely vague and, moreover, purely natural norm.

But does not the expression "post-conciliar spirit" refer to the "spirit of Vatican II"? And is it not, therefore, something precise and Christian? But even if this were the intended meaning, the effect would be to represent the Second Vatican Council (the "spirit" of its decrees) as an ultimate norm that is played off against the former Councils—above all, against the Council of Trent. Now, the moment one implies that one council has rendered others outmoded, irrelevant, the question immediately arises: Whence does one derive the conviction that the truth of the Holy Spirit is to be found more in this council than in others? In the first place, even if a council could err in its dogmatic definitions, there is no reason to suppose that the latest council is less exposed to error than former ones.

But, of course, any contradiction in defined dogma is incompatible with the infallible magisterium of the Church. Any implication, therefore, that Vatican II has in any way abrogated dogmatic expositions of former councils calls into question the divine institution and perpetual guarantee of the Catholic faith. Furthermore, the Second Vatican Council made no dogmatic definitions: Its purpose was strictly pastoral in nature. And Vatican II declared expressis verbis the continuity of the "spirit" of its utterances with that of former councils. The Holy Father gave a clear answer to those who wish to treat Vatican II as a kind of beginning of the authentic Christian revelation, as a new norm against which the teachings of former Councils must be measured: "The teachings of the Council do not constitute a complete, organic system of Catholic doctrine. Doctrine is much more extensive, as everyone knows, and it is not called into question by the Council nor substantively modified" (Address of Pope Paul VI, Jan. 12, 1966). CONTINUE TO READ...