I was distressed to learn a couple of weeks ago that only one priest in my diocese knows how to say the traditional requiem Mass — and he’s around 80 years old. Perhaps that situation will be rectified by the time I am called out of this world, but if it isn’t, I have made my wife promise that I wouldn’t receive a Novus Ordo Canonization for my funeral service. As I told her, “I don’t need people celebrating my entrance into Heaven when I clearly need to be prayed out of Purgatory.” Maybe a kind Eastern Catholic priest will be available to give me a proper sendoff or, absent that, a fine cleric from the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). I have published articles in their flagship magazine, so maybe they’ll take pity on my predicament. Of course, I am sure if I announced on Facebook and/or Twitter my intention to have an SSPX priest say my funeral Mass, at least a few people would chime in that it would automatically damn my soul to hell before turning back to their hefty tome of Rahner or von Balthasar.
Speaking of Facebook, someone suggested that the emergence of Catholic Social Teaching (CST) was due in no small part to the elimination of Catholic monarchies/states from the 18th C. onward. I suppose one could say that the rise in stature of papal encyclicals as a whole was a response to the loss of temporal papal power. None of this is to say that CST is superfluous or that its tenets are not binding. People ignore the truth all of the time. And besides, what good would jettisoning CST do? All it would do is open the door further to clerics, intoxicated with liberalism, trying to graft free-market ideology onto Christian principles. Consider, for example, Fr. Gregory Jensen’s open dissent from Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s recent encyclical on the environment. Jensen, a priest of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), is part of the Acton Institute’s latest project of manufacturing Orthodox social teaching — a relatively easy task given the fact Orthodoxy lacks a firm and centralized magisterium. The boutique liberal posturing of the Orthodox e-journal Red Egg Review isn’t really my cup of tea, but I am sympathetic toward their unease with Acton’s recent incursions into American Orthodoxy.
Traditional Catholics recognize today as Ember Wednesday post Crucem, or not. The delightful Fr. John Hunwicke explains the confusion over when the September Ember Days fall here. It’s a needless confusion, one that crept in during the “prudent adjustments” made to the liturgy in 1962. While I have defended the 1962 liturgical books in the past (see here and here), I do agree with Fr. Hunwicke that “1962 should be regarded as an interim stop-gap. Circa-1939ish should be the starting point for a measured, sensible reconstruction of the Vetus Ordo.”
Since the 1962 books are going to be here for awhile, why not make your liturgical life a little easier by ordering a copy (or two) of the 2015 Papa Stronsay Calendar, produced by the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer? I have their 2014 calendar and it is uniformly excellent. Not only does it take you through the Roman liturgical year, it also highlights local and Redemptorist feast days along with other important anniversaries commemorations every Catholic should know.
I apologize about the sparse posting as of late. If you have e-mailed or messaged me recently, rest assured that I will get back to you shortly. It’s been a busy week and I am a bit under the weather.