Encyclical review: Lumen Fidei by Pope Francis

It is always refreshing to read encyclicals of popes. And the  encyclical Lumen Fidei is essentially that of Pope Benedict XVI with a few additions by Pope Francis, though we cannot distinguish them anymore, as Elves like Lindir cannot dissect the poem on Earendil made by two mortals Bilbo and Aragorn, and determine who wrote what.  As Pope Francis wrote in the Encyclical:

7. These considerations on faith — in continuity with all that the Church’s magisterium has pronounced on this theological virtue — are meant to supplement what Benedict XVI had written in his encyclical letters on charity and hope. He himself had almost completed a first draft of an encyclical on faith. For this I am deeply grateful to him, and as his brother in Christ I have taken up his fine work and added a few contributions of my own. The Successor of Peter, yesterday, today and tomorrow, is always called to strengthen his brothers and sisters in the priceless treasure of that faith which God has given as a light for humanity’s path.

What I like about the Encyclical is that it is easy to read. It is a retelling of the important points of the Christian Faith understandable in the level of a Freshmen college student: Salvation history, Ten Commandments, Our Father, Christ and the Church, the Sacraments, etc. Indeed, this year is the year of Faith and the Encyclical has affirmed what many of us already take for granted or have not studied really well: why we are Catholic. For the encyclical to go to the level of the basics, it simply means one thing: many have lost the Catholic Faith–even entire countries and continents such as Europe. As Our Lady of Fatima said, “In Portugal the Faith will always be preserved….” And from this we can deduce the most terrifying corollary: “Outside of Portugal, the Faith will not be preserved.”

The encyclical quotes many Philosophers like St. Augustine,  Wittgenstein, and Nietzsche. It seems I can see the hand of Pope Benedict XVI here. If Chesterton uses the statements and histories of heretics and paradoxically turn these on their heads to argue for the truth of the Catholic Faith–the testimony of the heretics technique, Benedict XVI, on the other hand, usually quotes Atheists as a backdrops or launching pads for discussing the Catholic Faith–the testimony of the atheists technique. The technique is akin to Kenshin Himura’s Hiten Mitsurugi Sou-ryu-sen (Paired Dragon Flash): to attack the opponent not by the first stroke of the katana sword, but by the second stroke using the sheath. Indeed, one cannot dialogue with atheists using the Word of God as a sword, even though “the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart. (Heb 4:12)” So instead, Benedict XVI uses Philosophy–the handmaiden of Theology–as a sheath for the second stroke.

If you are teaching Theology in college, I strongly recommend this encyclical as an assigned reading for the students. There is something for everyone here, especially for lovers:

27. The explanation of the connection between faith and certainty put forward by the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein is well known. For Wittgenstein, believing can be compared to the experience of falling in love: it is something subjective which cannot be proposed as a truth valid for everyone.[19] Indeed, most people nowadays would not consider love as related in any way to truth. Love is seen as an experience associated with the world of fleeting emotions, no longer with truth.
But is this an adequate description of love? Love cannot be reduced to an ephemeral emotion. True, it engages our affectivity, but in order to open it to the beloved and thus to blaze a trail leading away from self-centredness and towards another person, in order to build a lasting relationship; love aims at union with the beloved. Here we begin to see how love requires truth. Only to the extent that love is grounded in truth can it endure over time, can it transcend the passing moment and be sufficiently solid to sustain a shared journey. If love is not tied to truth, it falls prey to fickle emotions and cannot stand the test of time. True love, on the other hand, unifies all the elements of our person and becomes a new light pointing the way to a great and fulfilled life. Without truth, love is incapable of establishing a firm bond; it cannot liberate our isolated ego or redeem it from the fleeting moment in order to create life and bear fruit.

And also for scientists:

34. Nor is the light of faith, joined to the truth of love, extraneous to the material world, for love is always lived out in body and spirit; the light of faith is an incarnate light radiating from the luminous life of Jesus. It also illumines the material world, trusts its inherent order and knows that it calls us to an ever widening path of harmony and understanding. The gaze of science thus benefits from faith: faith encourages the scientist to remain constantly open to reality in all its inexhaustible richness. Faith awakens the critical sense by preventing research from being satisfied with its own formulae and helps it to realize that nature is always greater. By stimulating wonder before the profound mystery of creation, faith broadens the horizons of reason to shed greater light on the world which discloses itself to scientific investigation.

Read on and enjoy!

Question regarding Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation

Question by May:

I haven’t been in touch with what’s going on with pope benedict. so when i’ve known just the other day that he’s resigning as pope i googled why…then i came up with this article that said said something like at last he’s stepping down because he cant bear his guilt anymore of his hiding or not doing something with those priests, bishops and cardinals guilty f wrong doings (abuse of power and sexual abuse). so i’m pretty sure the writer isn’t catholic. and instead of reading further more of whatever comes up in google, i thought i might as well ask you..if there’s anything more that you can tell me unless it’s just but his age and strength that’s why the pope is resigning. of course i love pope benedict and his focus on evangelization.

Reply:

Regarding Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, your guess is as good as mine. As far as I know, he already stated about its possibility three years ago:

“Cardinal Ratzinger, in his 2010 book-length interview Light of the World, had told the German journalist Peter Seewald that if a pope “realizes that he is no longer physically, psychologically, and spiritually capable of handling the duties of his office, then he has a right and, under some circumstances, also an obligation to resign” (p. 30). ” (TFP)

The reasons that he stated for his resignation this year 2013 are the same:

“After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry…In today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of St. Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.” (Catholic News)

So I don’t think there is any surprise here. He is only being consistent.

For your comfort in these troubled times, you may like to read Don Bosco’s Vision of the Two Pillars.

 

 

Did Felix Manalo and Iglesia ni Cristo ministers receive the gift of the Holy Spirit?

Comment:  Ivan
January 18, 2012 at 12:29 pm

….My stand on the Bible is this, Mr. Sugon. The Bible, as we have it now, is complete, in the sense that it provides man the basis of his faith, including the understanding on who to worship as the true God, who the Lord Jesus Christ is, and His teachings. It is therefore not necessary for it to be supplemented with other things, including the so-called Catholic traditions. This is written in 1 Cor 4:6 —

” Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for you benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, ‘Do not go beyond what is written’…”

NOW, who must we seek to understand the Words of God in the Bible? Of course, a messenger or a preacher from God… That is why common members of the Iglesia ni Cristo are not encouraged to argue about their faith, although, we are expected that we know very well how to defend it. We are being taught to invite nonbelievers to attend various Bible expositions held by the INC; Or, we can accompany them to visit a church locale where they can ask questions to a minister.

In 2 Cor 5:18-21 — this we can read –

“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

In Romans 10:15, –

“And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!”

In seeking for the preachers or ministers of God’s Words, we must also be guided. In 1 John 4:1, this is written —

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

And, this, in John 14:26 –

“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

Response: Quirino M. Sugon Jr
January 21, 2012 at 8:28 pm

Ivan,

You mentioned the Holy Spirit, the Advocate in Jn 14:16. The Holy Spirit was sent by Christ to the Apostles during the Feast of the Pentecost:

“When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together.a 2And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind,* and it filled the entire house in which they were.b 3Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire,* which parted and came to rest on each one of them.c 4And they were all filled with the holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues,* as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.” (Acts 2:1-4)

In the upper room the following were present:

“When they entered the city they went to the upper room where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer, together with some women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.l”

Did you see the name of Felix Manalo there? No. The power of the Holy Spirit was given to another person through the laying of hands:

“Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, 15who went down and prayed for them, that they might receive the holy Spirit, 16for it had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.* 17Then they laid hands on them and they received the holy Spirit.g” (Acts 8:14-17)

“So Ananias went and entered the house; laying his hands on him, he said, “Saul, my brother, the Lord has sent me, Jesus who appeared to you on the way by which you came, that you may regain your sight and be filled with the holy Spirit.” 18Immediately things like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight. He got up and was baptized, 19and when he had eaten, he recovered his strength.*” (Acts 9:17-18)

“Do not neglect the gift you have, which was conferred on you through the prophetic word* with the imposition of hands of the presbyterate.i” (1 Tim 4:14)

For the case of the Catholic Church, this we are sure: Pope Benedict XVI is the 255th successor of Peter as Bishop of Rome http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_popes . Before he became Pope, Benedict XVI was first a priest, then a bishop and he received the gift of the Holy Spirit through the laying of hands by bishops before him.

So, did Manalo receive the gift of the Holy Spirit from the Protestant Ministers who laid hands on him? Then why does INC despise the Protestants? INC should honor its spiritual father. As Christ said,

“Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste, and no town or house divided against itself will stand.” ()

If no one ordained Manalo, then he was not sent, so therefore he could not preach:

“14* But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach?m 15And how can people preach unless they are sent? As it is written,n “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring [the] good news!”* 16But not everyone has heeded the good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what was heard from us?”o 17Thus faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.p” (Rom 10:14-17)

Why would you believe someone who has no authority to preach?

Fr. Timoteo Ofrasio, SJ: The New English Translation of the Roman Missal and Liturgical Renewal

Fr. Tim Ofrasio, SJ gives a talk at the Theological Hour of the Loyola School of Theology

Fr. Tim Ofrasio, SJ gives a talk at the Theological Hour of the Loyola School of Theology

by Fr. Tim Ofrasio, SJ

(This talk was given this January 11, 2012, 10:30-12:00 at the Cardinal Sin Center, Loyola House of Studies, Ateneo de Manila)

Introduction

Forty-seven years after Vatican II and 43 years after publication of the Roman Missal of Paul VI, a new English translation of the third typical edition of the Roman Missal is now in use in the English speaking world.  The role of the Roman Missal is vital in the ongoing liturgical renewal desired by Vatican II.  PCP II twenty years ago also listed ‘liturgical renewal’ as one of the tasks of the Church in the Philippines in its goal of renewed integral evangelization. It lists the Eucharist, particularly the Sunday celebration, as among the more vital areas of renewal.[1]

As early as 2009 when the new translation of the Ordinary of the Mass was made available on the web by the USCCB, voices of alarm were raised from all quarters.  Rumours of a reform of the reform had been circulating since Pope Benedict became pope in 2005 and the new English translation was seen as part of that alleged reform.  The issuance of the Instruction Summorum Pontificum issued motu propio in 2007 which allowed the more liberal use of the pre-VAtican II Tridentine Latin Mass further buttressed the belief in a perceived papal policing of the Roman liturgy.  There were fears of a return to the pre-Vatican II liturgy, and that the new English translation would revert the Church back to the old Latin Liturgy.  The truth of the matter, if we care to look back, is that Liturgicam Authenticam is a product of Pope John Paul II’s document Vigesimus quintus annus, marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of Sacrosanctum Concilium, which called for an opportune stock-taking, not least in the area of faithfulness in translation.  The editio typica of the Missale Romanum on which the new English translation is based, was published by the Holy See in 2002, when Blessed John Paul II was still gloriously reigning, and Liturgicam authenticam on which the new English translation was based, was published by the Holy See in 2001, again during the pontificate of Blessed John Paul II.  If anything, the present pope, Benedict XVI, is only implementing, and continuing, the changes set in motion by his predecessor.

On the other hand, the English translation of the editio typica of the Missale Romanum of 1969 and the editio typica altera of 1975 was based on the translation principle of dynamic or functional equivalence as elucidated in the document Comme le prevoit— On the Translation of Liturgical Texts for Clebrations with a Congregation issued by the Consilium for Implementing the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy on January 25, 1969.  Dynamic equivalence attempts to convey the thought expressed in a source text (if necessary, at the expense of literalness, orginal word order, the source text’s grammatical voice, etc.)

The new English translation of the third edition of the Roman Missal of 2002, is based on the principle of formal equivalence as explained in the Instruction Liturgiam authenticam issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on 28 March 2001 requiring that in translations of the liturgical texts from the official Latin originals, “the original text, insofar as possible, must be translated integrally and in the most exact manner, without omissions or additions in terms of their content, and without paraphrases or glosses.  Any adaptation to the characteristics or the nature of the various vernacular languages is to be sober and discreet.”

The two approaches represent emphasis, respectively, on readability and on literal fidelity  to the source text.  There is no sharp boundary between dynamic and formal equivalence.  All the polemics and reactions for and against the new English translation are based on these two principles of translation.

Bishop Arthur Roche of Leeds in England, and Chairman of ICEL, notes that objections to ICEL’s translation work are really objections to Liturgiam authenticam.  Stipulations of this instruction differ markedly from those of the earlier document, Comme le prevoit.  These two documents do not have the same status: the earlier document was issued by the Consilium, the latter by the Congregation.  At the heart of Comme le prevoit was the idea of “dynamic equivalence”, as achieved when a translator detaches the “content” of an utterance from the “form” in which it is expressed.

Bishop Roche cites, for example, the Third Eucharistic Prayer when we say ‘so that from east to west a perfect offering may be made,’ to translate the Latin ‘ut a solis ortu usque ad ocasum oblatio munda offeratur.’  The poponents of dynamic equivalence say that ‘from east to west’ conveys the same information as ‘from the rising of the sun to its setting’, which is how the new translation renders it.  But the meaning of this phrase is richer: it is an expression found in Malachi 1:11:

See from the rising of the sun to its settinbg all the nations revere my Name and everywhere incense is offered to my Name as well as a pure offering.

The expression is likewise found in the Psalms.  It has been said by those who did not understand the context of the expression that to complete it, it should be rendered as ‘from north to south, and from east to west…’ whcih is not exactly the point of the expression; certainly the original Latin text does not have that sense in the expression.

Another example cited by Bishop Roche is found in the Fourth Eucharistic Prayer in the phrase, ‘ex genimine vitis repletum’ rendered in the new translation as ‘the fruit of the vine’ in the Institution Narrative.  The present translation says, ‘He took the cup filled with wine.’ Some argue that ‘the fruit of the vine’ means the same as the single word ‘wine,’ and that the simpler expression should be preferred.  But the words ‘the fruit of the vine’ are said by the Lord Himself in all three synoptic Gospels–this phrase has a powerful salvific resonance because of the symbolic value accorded to the vine and the vineyard in Scripture, as recalled by  Jesus’ elaboration in John 15 of the image of Himself as the true vine, His Father as the vinedresser, and ourselves as the branches.  This echoes back an even earlier usage in Isaiah 5–the famous “Song of the Vineyard”–and the Lord’s lament at the degeneracy of his once choice vine in Jeremiah 2.  Of course, the word wine connects with this Scriptural patrimony, but it does so les evidently than does the phrase ‘fruit of the vine’ which, upon each hearing, encourages us in our imaginations to see the particular Eucharistic event as part o fthe unfolding of God’s universal plan within history to rescue us from the destruction and chaos occasioned by our sinfulness and bring us into communion with Himself and with each other in Christ.[2]

And so, the new English translation of the Roman Missal is not meant to revert the Churchback to the old Latin liturgy, as many fear.  Forty-eight years after Sacrosanctum Concilium, and thirty-eight years after the first publication of the English Sacaramentary, the Holy See through the new International Commision on English in the Liturgy (ICEL)[3] and Vox Clara Committee[4] thought that it was now time to revise the English translation of the Roman Missal which was published as the English Sacramentary.  ICEL and Vox Clara both felt that there was a need to make a new translation that would be more thorough, clearer and nearer to the Latin original text.  Why this preoccupation with fidelity of the vernacular translation to the original Latin text?  We will shortly answer this sensitive question.

As early as 1992 when the old ICEL issued a proposed new translation of the Ordinary of the Mass of the Missal of Paul VI (presumably that project is now moot and academic since the disbanding of the group) until the appearance of “semi-offcial” English translation in 2009 of the Ordo Missae of the Missale Romanum editio typica tertia, I was hopeful for the revision of the Missale Romanum editio typica of 1969, and the editio typica altera of 1975, both under the pontificate of Paul VI.  Both earlier typical editions appeared in English translation of the Roman Sacramentary published by the old ICEL, and in Tagalog and other vernacular translations published by various diocesan liturgical commissions.

Reasons to be Hopeful

Hopeful, because

  1. I thought that finally some needed corrections could be put into place in this latest edition of the Roman Missal, vis-a-vis the presidential prayers: the axiom lex orandi, lex credendi could be applied to the text of the prayers.  This is my response to the question I just posed concerning the fidelity of the vernacular translation to the Latin original.  With the present translations–in English, Tagalog and Cebuano–I somehow have the feeling that they were hurriedly done given the exigency in 1969 of coming up with a workable translation for use in Masses in the vernacular[5].  In the process, the truths of the Catholic fraith were watered down in paraphrases and generalizations, and the results are vague statements and platitudes that do not explicitly express the Catholic faith.  In other words, some truths were somehow “lost in translation.”
  2. I am also hopeful for the revision because I have always felt even before my priestly ordination in  1979 that the language of the Missal in the vernacular, since it is addressed to God, should be above the casual manner of human speech.  In other words, it should be elegant and dignified, respectful but not distant, nor detached, or cold.  With the new translation I thought that this situation could finally be remedied.

These are the two main reasons for my high hopes for the new Englsih translation of the third edition of the Roman Missal.  There is reason to hope that the postconciliar liturgical renewal will continue with, and be enhanced by, this new English Missal.

At the time I wrote this article, I had not yet seen the entire published Englsih Missal.  I have a soft copy of some parts of it which also includes the new Ordo Missae.  I have noted the verbal changes in various parts of the Ordinary of the Mass, and as a whole, I like them.  I have also read quite a number of articles pro and contra published in the web, and have noted the merits and demerits of the points they raised.

The Case of the Tagalog Missal: Aklat ng Pagmimisa sa Roma

It seems to me that the present situtation of the new English translation can be compared to the introduction in 1981 of the then new Tagalog translation of the Missal, the current Aklat ng Pagmimisa sa Roma spearheaded by my friend and classmate in the minor seminary, the late Monsignor Moises Andrade.  I was a young priest then, and I remember how fellow priests protested and created stir against the new translation which was so different fro the translation then in use, the Misal Romano of Monsignor Jose Abriol.  For one I questioned the quaint title of the book: Aklat ng Pagmimisa sa Roma.  I realized it was a literal translation of the Latin, Missale Romanum, which was formerly translated as Misal Romano (from the Spanish).  Then, too, I thought the language of the Aklat ng Pagmimisa was archaic and difficult to proclaim, the sentences/phrases of the orations were in many places convoluted, such that by the time one got to the end of the prayer, one did not know exactly what one prayed for.  The Aklat also used a somewhat stilted, poetic style–with measure and rhyme–which I felt was rather too contrived and artificial.  One of the disputed words in the Aklat was ‘hinawakan Niya ang tinapay’ for ‘He took the Bread’ in the Consecration formula, which many of us then thought would have been better translated as ‘kinuha Niya ang tinapay,’ which is the more accurate translation of the Latin accepit panem.  Another word that was disputed was ‘pagindapatin,’ for ‘to make worthy’ which we felt would be more naturally translated as ‘marapatin’.  These expressions and others like them might have sounded familiar and normal speech in Bulacan, but certainly not in all of the Tagalog-speaking regions.  When I asked Monsignor Andrade why the Tagalog translation did not undergo a trial period for corrections and reactions the way the old ICEL did with its green and gray books, he told me that the process was tedious and would take long.  Let the priests wrestle with it, he said; there is no other offical Tagalog translation approved by the Holy See.  Thjat was thirty years agao.  Today, the Aklat ng Pagmimisa is the standard liturgical book in all parishes in the Tagalog region, and while there are still occasional complaints about the Tagalog vernacular translation, all seems quiet on the pastoral front.

First-Hand Experience of the New Translation

Since Advent 2011, the whole English-speaking world-except the Philippines–has started to use the new English translation.  In the Diocese of Novaliches, where I serve as pastor in a subdivision parish, the Local Ordinary, Bishop Antonio Tobias, decided to have the new English translation used in English Masses in order to, in the bishop’s own words, “slowly acquaint the parishioners with the language of the new translation.”  Although I would have preferred the this were done more systematically withy proper catechesis, I plunged into it head-on, and the results were unexpected.

For one, the change was no big deal for the Mass-goers.  They responded to the dialogue without difficulty; there was no big deal about ‘And with your spirit…,’ no big deal about ‘through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault’ in the Confiteor, no big deal about ‘consubstantial,’ about ‘sending down your Spirit upon them like the dewfall‘ in the Eucharistic Prayer II, about ‘I am not worthy that you enter under my roof…’  They were quite attentive and conscientious in their responses.

What I myself found out was because I was so familiar with the old translation to the point of having committed to memory the Ordinary of the Mass–three of the Eucharistic Prayers included–realized that I could very easily trip on the words of the new translation for the simple reason that I thought I knew exactly what was coming, but o my surprise the phrasing was different from what I have gotten used to.  Hopefully this will eventually be remedied with constant use.

So how do I find the English of the new translation, particularly the presidential prayers?  The first thing I observed is that the translation has mostly retained the courtliness and stateliness of the Latin original.  Compared to the simple and direct language of the former translation, the language of the new translation bespeaks of a healthy recovery of formal language, the language we address to God.  There is in the prayers a rich theological density or complexity, a whole theology that makes us attuned to God and thus transfigures us, in contrast to the accessible, bland, flat and abstract language of the former translation.  Another obvious quality of the prayers is the poetry, the Biblical metaphor and concrete imagery they contain.

The Importance of Language in Worship

At this point the obvious argument in favour of the translation based on the principle of dynamic equivalence would be the use of simple, succinct and direct language which so appeals to our postmodern sensibilities.  Why use a language pattern in worship that is so estranged to the speech of the ordinary person?  Should not the language of worship reflect a speech pattern identical to that of the ordinary person’s in his communication?

In response to this, liturgical scholar Uwe Michael Lang comments that “[l]anguage is not only an instrument that serves to communicate facts, which it seeks to do in the most simple and efficient way, but it is also the means to express our mind in a way that involves the whole person.  Consequently, langauge is also the means by which we express thoughts and religious experiences.[6]

The use of the sacred language–and this rightly includes Latin–in the liturgical celebration is part of what St. Thomas Aquinas in the Summa Theologiae calls ‘solemnitas’.  The Angelic Doctor teaches: “What is found in the sacraments by human institution is not necessary to the validity of the sacrament, but confers a certain solemnity, useful in the sacraments to exercise devotion and reespect in those who receive it”[7].  Sacred language, being the means of expression not only of individuals, but rather of a community that follows its traditions, is conservative: it maintains the archaic linquistic forms with tenacity.  Moreover, introduced in it are external elements, in so far as associated to an ancient religious tradition.  A paradigmatic case is the Hebrew bibilical vocabulary in the Latin used by Christians (Amen, Alleluia, Hosanna, etc), as St. Augustine already observed.[8]

The Old and the New Prayers Compared

At the beginning of this talk, I said that there is much hope for the continuation of the postconciliar liturgical renewal with the new English translation of the third edition of the Roman Missal.  It attempts to capture concepts of the faith contained in the Latin text more accurately, and thus embodies the axiom lex orandi, lex credendi, specifically in the euchology of the Missal.  The prayers we pray at Mass ought to clearly express what we believe.  By way of example, let us take a look at the Collect Prayer for the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time.  This Collect was in the pre-conciliar 1962 MR, the so-called “Tridentine” Missal, for the 5th Sunday after Epiphany.

Collect–Latin text (2002 MR):

Familiam tuam, quaesumus, Domine, continua pieta custodi, ut quae in sola spe gratiae caelestis innititur, tua semper protectione muniatur.[9]

A quasi-literal English translation would render it as:

Guard your family, we beseech you, O Lord, with continual mercy, so that that (family) which is proppingt itself up upon the sole hope of heavenly grace may always be defended by your protection.

The Old ICEL, using the principle of dynamic equivalence in 1973, rendered it in English translation as:

Father, watch over your family and keep us safe in your care, for all our hope is in you.

The new, corrected version of the new Roman Missal, using the principle of formal equivalence, renders the prayer thus:

Keep your family safe, O Lord, with unfailing care, that, relying solely on the hope of heavenly grace, they may be defended always by your protection.

Comparing the two versions of the Collect prayer, it is quite obvious that the version used in the 3rd edition MR has more substance to it than the rather lame and bland rendition of the 1970 MR.  For one, the idea expressed in the ut-clause–reliance on the hope of heavenly grace–in the 3rd edition MR is absent from the 1970 MR.

In general, with the new translation of the third edition of the Roman Missal, the Liturgy will be more formal and theologically deeper, more evocative emotionally and intellectually.[10]

Conditions for the Continuation of Liturgical Renewal

For the liturgical renewal to continue, however, it will need more than just the third edition of the Roman Missal.  Several factors play an important role in achieving this renewal.  There may be others, but these are the more obvious ones:

  1. instill love and respect for the Liturgy, especially the Mass, in the seminary training of candidates for Orders–in the classroom, in the chapel and in the apostolate;
  2. review the ideas/concepts behind the ars celebrandi of priests when they celebrate the Mass;
  3. fidelity-not rigidity–to the directions or rubrics in the Roman Missal.
In terms of directions or rubrics, aside from the suggestion for adlibbing, as in “in these or similar words,” all three editions of the Roman Missal are clear and if adhered to by celebrants (“say the black, do the red,” as they say) can contribute to a reverent, God-centered celebration of Mass.
For postconciliar liturgical renewal to continue, the seminary formation of candidates for Orders will have to be seriously looked into, both in classes on sacraments and liturgy and in seminary community liturgical celebrations.  What is taught in the classroom must be practiced must be practiced in the seminary daily liturgical celebrations so that a tradition of ars celebrandi is established and imbibed by seminarians preparing for Holy Orders.  It is from the healthy interweaving of sound theologico-liturgical studies and praxis that we can produce priests who have a sense of the sacred, a sense of awe and wonder before the majesty of God, a sense of the mysterium tremendum in the liturgical action they carry out for God’s people in the Church.  If seminary liturgies are sloppily and carelessly celebrated; if seminarians are allowed to “tinker” with, and make unauthorized changes in the Mass, chances are, after ordination, they will repeat the same abuses in the parishes where they will be assigned.  Qualified professors of liturgy and sacraments who know Church Tradition and have a healthy respect for it, need to instill in the hearts of the candidates for Ordination a respect and love for the Liturgy, especially the Mass.

Conclusion

Ultimately, however–and this is my conclusion to this paper–the right direction for liturgical reform depends on the individual celbrant and how he celebrates the Mass: his belief, his attitude, his devotion or the lack of it.  A priest is a steward of the mysteries of God in the Church.  Aas steward (other than acting in persona Christi capitis), the Mass is a treasure entrusted to him by the Church which he must cherish, guard, and preserve.  It is not something he is free to tinker with and make changes to, depending on his understanding or the need of the moment that he perceives.  The Mass he celebrates is not “his” mass; it is the Church’s.

If the priest does not honestly beieve that through his agency simple bread and wine become the precious Body and Blood of the Lord both during Mass and after it; in other words, if he does not dvoutly believe in Transubstantiation and the REal Presence as transmitted to us by the Church and Sacred Tradition, and instead interprets it according to how he understands it; if he does not believe that the Mass is above all the making present of the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary in an unbloody manner, that it is also the sacrifice of the Church in union with that one sacrifice of Christ; if he sees the Mass solely as a community meal that memorializes the Last Supper; if he regards the Mass primarily as a feast, which celebrates the coming together of the community, and not as the highest form of worship that the Church can render to God under the headship of Jesus Christ the High Priest, then, no matter what revisions the Roman Missal undergoes, liturgical renewal as desired by Vatican II in Sacrosanctum concilium and as envisioned by PCP II will continue to be held hostage by pseudo-liturgists and celebrants who see the Liturgy and the Mass as their “property” and thus indulge in “creative” tinkering to entertain themselves and their audience.

References

[1] Secretariat, Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCP II), Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, 1992, Acts and Decrees, nn. 176-181, pp. 66-67.

[2] Cf. Bishop Arthur Roche of Leeds, Chairman of ICEL, Address to the USCCB, 15 June 2006.

[3] The International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) is a mixed commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences in countries where English is used in the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy according to the Roman Rite.  The purpose of the Commission is to prepare Englsih translation so the each of the Latin liturgical books and any individual liturgical texts in accord with the directives of the Holy See.

[4] Vox Clara is a committee of senior Bishops from Episcopal Conferences throughout the English-speaking world formed by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on July 19, 2001 in order to provide advice to the Holy See concerning English-language liturgical books and to strengthn efective cooperation with the Conferences of Bishops in this regard.

[5] The 1973 English translation of the Roman Missal was based on the principle of dynamic equivalence, which is the preferred model for translation in the Instruction Comme le prevoit.

[6] Uwe Michael Lang CO, “The Language of Celebration”

[7] Ibid, Summa Theologiae III, 64, 2; cf. 83, 4.

[8] Ibid., cf. “De doctrina Christiana” II, 34-35 [11-16].

[9] Custodio means “to watch, protect, keep, defend, guard.”  It is common in military language.  Innitor, a deponent verb, means “to learn or rest upon, to support one’s self by any thing.”  Innitor also has military overtones.  The thorough and replete “Lewis & Short Dictionary” provides examples from Caesar and Livy describing soldiers leaning on their spears and shields” cf. Caesar, De bello Gallico 2.27).  Munio is similarly military term for walling up something up, putting in a state of defense, fortifying so as to guard.  Are you sensing a theme?  We need a closer look.

We must make a distinction about pietas when applied to us and when applied to God.  When pietas is attributed to God, it means “mercy”.  Pietas gives us the English word “piety”.  L&S says pietas when applied to persons is “dutiful conduct toward the gods, one’s parents, relatives, benefactors, country, etc., sense of duty.”  It furthermore describes pietas in Jerome’s Vulgate in both Old and New Testament as “conscientiousness, scrupulousness regarding love and duty toward God.”   The heart of pietas is “duty.”  Pietas is also one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit (cf. CCC 733-36; Isaiah 11:2), by which we are duly affectionate and grateful toward our parents, relatives and country, as well as to all men living insofar as they belong to God or are godly, and especially  to the saints.  In loose or common parlance, “piety” indicates fulfilling the duties of religion.  Sometimes “pious” is used in a negative way, as when people take aim at external displays of religious dutifulness as opposed to what they is “genuine” practice (cf. Luke 18:9-14).  (Prayer analysis by Father John Zuhlsdorf, What Does the Prayer Really Say blog, 07 February 2011)

[10] Jerry Filteau, “Liturgy will be more formal, theologically deeper” in Roman Missal, website of the USCCB.

A visit to the Oratory of St. Ignatius of Loyola at the Loyola House of Studies

Main entrance of the Oratory of St. Ignatius of Loyola

Main entrance of the Oratory of St. Ignatius of Loyola at the Loyola House of Studies

I went to the Loyola House of Studies this afternoon to meet with Fr. Jose Quilongquilong, SJ. It was difficult to catch him. I went to LHS a few days ago and the porter told me that Fr. Joe will be back this Friday. So I prepared my letter of request and decided to meet him at about 5 pm. I waited at the lobby and sat on one of the sofas.

The porter called. He is not around in his office.

“Paging Fr. Quilongquilong.”

After a while Fr. Quilongquilong came. Fr. Quilongquilong is the Rector of the Loyola House of Studies. He was ordained priest in 1993 and finished his Doctorate in Spirituality in the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome. He worked as regional secretary for Asia-Pacific at the Jesuit General Curia. For his dissertation, he wrote about the grace of vocation in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola with Fr. Anton Witwer, S.J. as mentor. (Loyola School of Theology)

“Father, Dr. Sugon of the Latin Mass Society would like to meet you. Oh, there he is.”

So I stood up and went forward.

“Father, I am Dr. Quirino Sugon of the Ateneo Latin Mass Society.”

Fr. Quilongquilong signed me to sit down.

“Our priest is Fr. Tim Ofrasio, SJ.” I continued. “We would like to request the use of the Oratory of St. Ignatius of Loyola for a Traditional Latin Mass.”

“When would that be?” Fr. Quilongquilong asked.

“November 24, 6:30-8:00 p.m.”

“Do you have a letter?”

“Yes,” I said and I handed him my letter.

“Would you like to visit the oratory?” he asked.

“That would be great, Father.”

“How many are you in the mass?”

“About 20 to 30, Father.”

“The oratory is too big for you.”

“I think we can double the attendees.”

On the far end of the lobby is a spiral staircase. Beneath it is a white statue of our Lady. Behind the staircase is a glass wall with a view of a green field of grass with a statue of St. Ignatius looking at an empty pond. A corridor to the right leads to the Cardinal Sin Center where the LHS Theological Hour is usually held. In normal days the center functions as a cafeteria.

We went up the staircase. On the second floor is the Oratory. We genuflected upon passing by the altar.

Oratory of St. Ignatius of Loyola (North side) at the Loyola House of Studies

Oratory of St. Ignatius of Loyola (North side) at the Loyola House of Studies

It is an empty church, but unrivaled in architectural design. It is the most fitting for the Traditional Latin Mass. I think it can fit about 200 to 300 persons. There are still enough space at the overhanging second level. On the far side near the entrance is the choir loft–truly aloft. I can’t still make out of the Altar. It is dark. The sun is setting and light streamed through the stained glass windows. Then I recall the words of Pope Benedict XVI in his homily at St. Patrick’s Cathedral:

The first has to do with the stained glass windows, which flood the interior with mystic light. From the outside, those windows are dark, heavy, even dreary. But once one enters the church, they suddenly come alive; reflecting the light passing through them, they reveal all their splendor. Many writers — here in America we can think of Nathaniel Hawthorne — have used the image of stained glass to illustrate the mystery of the Church herself. It is only from the inside, from the experience of faith and ecclesial life, that we see the Church as she truly is: flooded with grace, resplendent in beauty, adorned by the manifold gifts of the Spirit. It follows that we, who live the life of grace within the Church’s communion, are called to draw all people into this mystery of light.

(New York Times)

We went farther to the main entrance. It’s the crossroads.

“That’s the refectory,” Fr. Quilongquilong said as he pointed towards the West. “People would be coming from there (the North wing) and pass by this corridor. I don’t want a religious activity going on while the community is having supper from 7:00-8:00 p.m.”

“Ok, Father. I understand.”

“I shall first check with the community.”

“Thank you, Father.” And I raised his fingers to my forehead for blessing. Then we parted.

When I arrived at my office at Manila Observatory, I received a text from Fr. Quilongquilong. He confirmed that there is no scheduled activity at the Oratory on the 24th of November. But he suggested that we move the time to 5:30-7:00 pm.

“If Latin Mass is earlier then I would like our Jesuit scholastics to attend it,” he said.

I replied that the schedule is ok with me, but I shall first confer with Fr. Tim and my group in ALMS.

God works in wondrous ways.

Please pray for the Philippine Jesuits and the Ateneo Latin Mass Society.

Jose Rizal’s statue of the Sacred Heart: a theological interpretation

RIZAL’S STATUETTE – MEANING

by Fr. Victor Badillo, S.J.

Jose Rizal's statue of the Sacred Heart

Jose Rizal's statue of the Sacred Heart

Attached is a picture of a statuette.  Jose Rizal carved it when he was a
student at the Ateneo.  He carved it from a piece of batuling, a hard word,
with a penknife.  He was then 14 years old.  The year, 1875.  *

In 1896, he died for his country, shot in the heart by an execution squad. He is now the national hero.  He is a national here who never bore arms.  No national hero has more public statues in other countries than he.  2011 is 150th anniversary of Rizal’s birth.

The statuette is that of a man whose left hand is hanging by his side with palm facing away from him.  His right hand is bent at the elbow with his fist high against his left chest where his heart was.  Held in that fist is a heart.  The heart is surmounted by flames, and a crown of thorns encircles it.  In the middle of the chest is an ugly jagged hole.

Jesus is offering his heart which he has torn from his chest.  In offering his heart he tells us, in deeds and not in words, that he loves us to the extent of giving his life for us.  This is the message of the crucified Jesus.  This is the message of the Heart of Jesus.  On the cross, blood and water flowed out.  By this he died.  By giving us his heart, he dies.

He is offering his heart not to be put beside our hearts.  No.  He is offering his heart to replace our hearts.  “I will take your heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh.”  I will take your human heart and replace it with the heart of God.  God work is not accomplished until he has replaced with his heart the hearts of every man.

He is not a giver until his gift is accepted.  Jesus did not redeem the world by his suffering and crucifixion until the Father accepted it, when he raised him from the dead.

He gives us his heart so that in turn we give our heart, his heart, to others.  To have his heart is to love as he does.  Greater love than this no man hath then that he lay down his life for his friend.  He loves us so that we become able to love him.  We cannot love him until we have his heart.

At the feeding of the multitude, he feeds them with his word and then feeds their bodies.  Later he tells them, “You come to eat bread.  Whoever chews my flesh and drinks my blood will live forever.”  In the feeding of the
multitude, he lets his disciples distribute the bread.  As they do, they tell the people, “This bread is the gift of Jesus.  At mass, the priest says, “This is the body of Jesus.”  At the Last Supper, Jesus takes, blesses, breaks and says, “Take this broken body and eat it.  Take this spilled blood and drink it.”

In 2005, Pope Benedict XVI wrote a letter to the Jesuits’ Fr Gen
Kolvenbach, S.J. on devotion to the Heart of Jesus.  Never in his latter
does he use the phrase Sacred Heart.  It is always Heart of Jesus, Heart of
Christ, or Heart of the Savior.  From the very beginning of the devotion,
the Holy See has forbidden the representation of just a heart.

Rizal’s representation of the Heart of Jesus as Jesus with his heart in his fist and with an Emptied Chest is not only unique, but dynamic and effective. Conventional representations show a symbolic heart adorning his chest, almost passive.

The Society of Jesus has accepted the responsibility to spread the devotion to the Heart of Jesus as a munus suavissimum (most sweet mission orders).

blog:  pedrocalungsod.blogspot.com
God bless you and all your efforts.  Victor Badillo SJ

Reply to Daily Tribune’s Frontline: RH Bill, divorce, and separation of Church and State

Below is my reply to the author of the Daily Tribune’s Frontline artile entitled “No Church Issue” published 05/27/2011.

Reply:

You cannot take religion and God out of the RH Bill because religion and God are not present in the RH Bill. In the place of God, you have in the RH bill the idols named “overpopulation”, “safe sex”, “reproductive health”, and “pro-choice”. Ancient Filipinos have fertility rituals–they pray for rain, abundant harvest, and many children. The RH bill, on the other hand, have infertility rituals: condoms, pills, and ligation–and abortion, if all these fail.

Separation of church and state means that churches have no business interfering with state matters, such as how and where to build roads, bridges, and buildings. At the same time, the state has no business interfering with morality which is the domain of the Church. The RH bill is in the domain of morality because it concerns human life and eternal salvation, so the Church has to intervene. As Christ said: “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” (Mt 22:21)

Italy is distinct from the and the Vatican City State where the Pope resides. So the government affairs of Italy is not the business of the Pope. But regarding condoms and pills, Pope Paul VI in his Encyclical Humanae Vitae (Art. 14) wrote: “it is a serious error to think that a whole married life of otherwise normal relations can justify sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive and so intrinsically wrong.” This encyclical is not only for Italy (whose Northern parts were known as the Papal States for more than a thousand years) but for the whole Catholics worldwide, including the Philippines.

There is a distinction between annulment and divorce in the Catholic Church. Divorce is the breaking up of a valid marriage. This is not possible, because Christ said:

“Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate. Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. I say to you, 7 whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery.” (Mt 19:4-10)

King Henry VIII of England asked the pope to allow him to divorce his wife and marry his mistress. The Pope refused, so King Henry broke from the Catholic Church and declared himself the Head of the Anglican Church. By the way, many Anglican bishops and entire parishes are now converting to the Catholic Church.

On the other hand, annulment in the Catholic Church means that there was no marriage in the first place, so the man and the woman whose marriage was annulled are free to marry.

I am glad that the author recognizes that some contraceptives are abortifacients. Concerning contraception, as I said before, the state has no authority to define what is morally good or not, only the Church does. The Catholic Faith has united the warring tribes of the Philippines into a single nation. So for the sake of the common good and the Filipino religious tradition, the Philippine State should recognize the teaching authority of the Catholic Church in matters of morality. If the state cannot promote good morals, it is better that it desist from promoting bad morals by not passing the RH Bill into a state law.

If the author cannot see that the world has become more promiscuous, she may like to watch a Hollywood films and TV 60 years ago and compare it with the Hollywood films and TV now. She may like to count the average number of times that the following words are mentioned: sex and fuck. She may like to classify the films according to the number of scenes nudity in various levels is shown. This would be a good research paper, and the author would be surprised at her results: “The world indeed has become more promiscuous!”

What the pope is saying regarding condoms is that in conscience darkened by sin, the use of condoms to protect the partner from sexual disease can be a sign of the slow awakening of the moral sense. Here is the quote in full:

“There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants. But it is not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection. That can really lie only in a humanization of sexuality.

“She of course does not regard it as a real or moral solution, but, in this or that case, there can be nonetheless, in the intention of reducing the risk of infection, a first step in a movement toward a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality.