apr 262020
 

Sandro Magister skriver om pave Frans’ ambivalente forhold til elektroniske (streamede) messer, bl.a.:

On March 12, Pope Francis had all the churches of his diocese of Rome closed, on account of the coronavirus pandemic. But he immediately regretted it, and the day after he had them reopened. But the ban has stayed in place, in Rome and Italy, on celebrating Masses with the faithful present. …

… The pope’s Masses are broadcast electronically. Those of Francis with the highest viewership levels, never reached in the past. Each of his Masses at Santa Marta, at 7 in the morning, is seen by about 1.7 million viewers.

Even on this, however, serious fears have now arisen in Francis. The apparent success of these televised Masses conceals a danger that many Catholics have already denounced. It is the danger that the sacrament may decay from real to virtual, and therefore dissolve. The cry of alarm has come not only from the currents most attached to tradition, but also from prominent exponents of the progressive wing, in Italy from the founder of the monastery of Bose Enzo Bianchi, from Church historian Alberto Melloni, from the founder of the Community of Sant’Egidio Andrea Riccardi.

Well then, in the homily for the Mass at Santa Marta on April 17, Friday of the octave of Easter, Francis didn’t hold back anymore and explained that a “viralized” Church is no longer the true Church, made up of people and sacraments. Woe – he warned – if when the pandemic ends there remains alive the “gnostic” idea of a Church electronic rather than real.

The pope’s homily is reproduced below. But first it may be useful to note that also in the past, when epidemics were raging, great pastors of the Catholic Church were aware of the need to keep the reality of the sacraments alive.

One can recall in this regard the great plague of Milan in 1576. Saint Charles Borromeo, the bishop, obtained from the Spanish governor of the city the obligation for all citizens to stay home for forty days. But he sent his priests to celebrate the Sunday Masses on the street corners, with the faithful looking on from doorways and windows.

Saint Charles also led processions, but with the foresight to arrange them in two single rows on the sides of the streets and with 3 meters of distance between each penitent. The chronicles of the time recall his continual visits to plague victims, but always with careful precautions. He changed very often and had his clothing boiled, purified everything he touched with fire and vinegar, kept his interlocutors at a distance with a wooden stick. It was calculated that in Milan there were 17,000 dead, compared with 70,000 in Venice. …

Her er et sitat fra pavens preken denne dagen, 17. april:

… This familiarity with the Lord, of Christians, is always communal. Yes, it is intimate, it is personal, but in community. A familiarity without community, a familiarity without the Bread, a familiarity without the Church, without the people, without the sacraments is dangerous. It can become a familiarity – let’s say – that is gnostic, a familiarity for me alone, detached from the people of God. The familiarity of the apostles with the Lord was always communal, was always at the table, a sign of community. It was always with the Sacrament, with the Bread.

I say this because someone made me reflect on the danger that we are living through at this time, this pandemic that has gotten all of us communicate, even religiously, through the media, through the channels of communication, even this Mass, we are all communicating, but not together, spiritually together. The people is small. There is a great people: we are together, but not together. Even the Sacrament: today you have it, the Eucharist, but the people who are connected with us, only spiritual communion. And this is not the Church: this is the Church of a difficult situation, which the Lord allows, but the ideal of the Church is always with the people and with the sacraments. Always. …

apr 252020
 

Bildet over er av Rogier van der Weyden, Kristus viser seg for sin mor, ca. 1445

Jeg må innrømme at jeg ikke har vært klar over, eller ikke tenkt på, denne tradisjonen (eller husker å ha sett de aktuelle bildene) som vi kan lese om her, bl.a.:

… there is one other subject (concerning the resurrection), of which several interpretations exist, that has a non-Biblical derivation. This is the image of Christ Appearing to His Mother after the Resurrection.

To say that the image has a non-Biblical derivation is not to say that it in any way contradicts the Bible. Indeed, it does not. The Bible tells us, specifically, that there were many people to whom the Risen Jesus appeared. That one of these should be His mother is a logical conclusion. She was the means through which He entered the physical world (Luke 1:38); He performed his first miracle in response to her plea at the wedding in Cana (John 2:1-11); she was present at the Crucifixion (John 19:25-27). She had been a witness to the most important events in His life and mission. It is quite logical that she should be a witness to His resurrection, principal among those unnamed persons to whom the Bible says Christ appeared after His resurrection. Therefore, the idea of the Virgin Mary as a witness to the resurrection has a long history in Christianity.

It was already established by the time of St. Ambrose (340–397). In his treatise on virginity (Liber de Virginitate) he says “Vidit ergo Maria resurretionem Domini: et prima vidit, et credidit” …

Albrect Dürer har også et bilde med samme motiv – kilde her.

apr 212020
 

I ettermiddag skulle vi ha sittet på flyet på vei til Aten, og deretter skulle vi kjøre bil til og rundt hele Peloponnes. Vi hadde planlagt en flott tur som naturlig nok måtte avlyses, siden fly til utlandet ikke går i disse dager etc.

Reiseruta var:
Aten – 3 netter der vi bl.a. skulle se det nye Akpropolis-museet
Nafplio – deretter skulle vi bo flere dager i Naflio der vi også skulle besøke Korint, Mykene, Epidauros
Sparta – en dag i Sparta, deretter en fjellvei over til
Kalamata – for oss er dette verdens olivenhovedstad
Kyparissia – et par rolige dager på vestkysten av Peloponnes
Olympia – et besøk til oplympiadenes opphavssted var planlagt
Kourouta (ved Amaliada) – enda noe rolige dager ved kysten
Delfi – et besøk til Delfi hører med
Aten – siste natt i Aten før returen til Oslo

Muligens kan turen gjennomføres våren 2021, slik at den grundige forberedelsen til årets tur ikke var helt forgjeves.

apr 172020
 

Jeg hørte for et par dager siden intervjuet med kardinal Pell som ble laget av Andrew Bolt hos Sky News Australia. De skriver om det interessant intervjuet bl.a.:

After spending 405 days in prison following an initial ruling that found him guilty in 2018, Cardinal Pell’s conviction was quashed by the High Court last week.

In an exclusive interview with Sky News host Andrew Bolt, the Cardinal said he was “wounded” by the ordeal but turned to his faith to get him through. “If you can’t pray when you’re in trouble, your faith is very weak indeed,” he said.

When questioned by Andrew Bolt how he had survived through the ordeal, Cardinal Pell said, “because I knew I was innocent”.

Se hele intervjuet under på youtube.

apr 122020
 

Jeg fikk i dag et spørsmål fra en leser angående påskevigiliens liturgi: “Iår fulgte jeg triduum på to nettsteder: FSSP fra Fribourg og SSPX fra Zaitkofen, og ble forundret over at mens man i SSPX fulgte Pius XIIs “nye” litugi for påskenatt, feiret man i FSSP den gamle fra før 1955. Vet moderator noe om bakgrunnen herfor? Lesningene i den eldste variant tok fryktelig lang tid, så i pedagogisk henseende må den “nye” være mye bedre egnet i en sognekirke – men hvilken er den den historisk sett mest “korrekte”?”

Jeg kan gi to korte svar på dette spørsmålet: 1) Det opprinnelige tidspunktet for å feire påskevigilien var utvilsom kvelden/natten før påskedag, og så ble dette gradvis flyttet til lørdag formiddag – den ble feiret så tidlig i flere hundre år før 1955. (Liturgien var også så lang at det i liten grad passet for hele menigheten, som det blir påpekt.) Catholic Encyclopedia skriver om dette, bl.a.

In the primitive Church Holy Saturday was known as Great, or Grand, Saturday, Holy Saturday, the Angelic Night, the Vigil of Easter, etc. It is no longer, like Maundy Thursday, a day of joy, but one of joy and sadness intermingled; it is the close of the season of Lent and penance, and the beginning of paschal time, which is one of rejoicing.

By a noteworthy exception, in the early Church this was the only Saturday on which fasting was permitted (Constit. Apost., VII, 23), and the fast was one of special severity. Dating from the time of St. Irenaeus, an absolute fast from every kind of food was observed for the forty hours preceding the feast of Easter, and although the moment assigned for breaking the fast at dawn on Sunday varied according to time and country, the abstinence from food on Holy Saturday was general.

The night of the vigil of Easter has undergone a strange displacement. During the first six or seven centuries, ceremonies were in progress throughout the entire night, so that the Alleluia coincided with the day and moment of the Resurrection. In the eighth century these same ceremonies were held on Saturday afternoon and, by a singular anachronism, were later on conducted on Saturday morning, thus the time for carrying out the solemnity was advanced almost a whole day. Thanks to this change, special services were now assigned to Holy Saturday whereas, beforehand, it had had none until the late hour of the vigil.

2) Om innholdet i påskevigilien fra 1955 eller 1969 er særlig opprinnelig er et annet spørsmål; sannsynligvis er den ikke det, den er vel heller et uttrykk for den liturgiske bevegelses arkeologisme (reformen i 1955 er første eksempel på dette).

New Liturgical Movedment har flere artikler om hvordan påskevigilien ble gjennomført før reformen i 1955; se nr. 1 HER og nr. 2 HER, skrevet av Gregory DiPippo.

Peter Kwasniewski har skrevet om sitt første møte med den stille ukes gamle [før 1955] seremonier (i 2019) og han oppsummerer sin opplevelse av påskevigilien slik:

The whole Vigil liturgy — one vast hymn of praise to the might of God revealed in the creation of the world, the creation of the old Israel, and the creation of the new Israel — possessed a cosmic sweep, a historical rootedness, and an immersion into mystery that I have never seen before, in a seamless interconnection that had none of those embarrassing modular joints or ceremonial caesuras typical of the work of Vatican committees from 1948 onward.

There is no doubt in my mind that the pre-1955 Easter Vigil is the crown jewel of the Tridentine rite and that we must do everything we can to recover it. I am also, again as with Palm Sunday, speechless that any reformers could dare to take away something like this.

A priest who has celebrated both forms of Holy Week (the pre-’55 and the ’55) told me recently: “The old liturgical rites drive home the integral and essential connection between the sacrifice of the Cross and the Eucharistic sacrifice. The new [Pacellian] versions systematically downplay this. The old liturgies are coherent in what they contain and when they present it; the new versions are piecemeal and chaotic. In fact, some of the same people who worked on the ‘renewed’ Holy Week later worked on the Novus Ordo, and when they got around to fixing some of the problems they themselves had introduced, they blamed the problems not on their bungling of the work, but on the ‘old liturgy’! How’s that for mendacious?” …

3) Til slutt kan jeg ikke si noe annet om hvorfor SSPX brukte 1962-liturgien og FSSP brukte liturgien fra før 1955, enn at det i de aller siste årene gradvis har vokst frem en interesse for liturgien før 1962 – og den stille ukes liturgi var egentlig det eneste som hadde blitt reformert før 1962. Kanskje andre kan svare bedre på dette spørsmålet?

apr 072020
 

I dag tidlig så jeg nyheten om at den australske kardinalen George Pell var blitt frikjent og satt fri av australsk høyesterett. Han hadde sittet 400 dager i fengsel (fått en dom på 6 år) etter å ha blitt anklaget for seksuelt misbruk av én person. Det fantes ingen ting som støttet denne anklagen, mens mange hadde vitnet om at handlingen aldri kunne ha skjedd slik den var beskrevet. Raymund de Susa skriver i National Catholic Register om dette og er ikke nådig når han beskriver det australske rettsvesenet. Han starter sin artikkel slik:

The unanimous decision by Australia’s High Court — equivalent to the Supreme Court — to quash the convictions of Cardinal George Pell is momentous for both Australian justice and for the Church, both in Australia and universally. About the Church, another column.

The acquittal of Cardinal Pell restores to an innocent man his freedom. There was no doubt at the High Court that a massive miscarriage of justice had occurred. Returning the verdict less than a month after hearing arguments, the seven justices eviscerated the judgment of the Court of Appeal, which 2-1 upheld the jury convictions on five counts of sexual abuse of a minor.

“The [Court of Appeal’s] analysis failed to engage with whether, against this body of evidence, it was reasonably possible that [the alleged victim’s] account was not correct, such that there was a reasonable doubt as to the applicant’s guilt,” the unanimous High Court wrote.

Which is to say, in plain English, that the Court of Appeal did not bother to ask whether the evidence was sufficient for conviction. “It failed to engage” the critical question: Did the mountain of evidence against the sole, uncorroborated account of the alleged victim require an acquittal on the grounds of reasonable doubt? It was, without a single dissenting voice, a devastating rebuke of the majority in the Court of Appeal, which ruled against Cardinal Pell.

The High Court Takes Extraordinary Measures

The High Court was so convinced of the wrongful conviction of Cardinal Pell — termed an “unsafe” verdict in Australian judicial parlance — that it handled his case in three unusual ways.

1) The High Court reversed a jury verdict. They did not find the process flawed and send the whole matter back for another trial. They determined that the only reasonable verdict was acquittal. Appellate courts are greatly deferential to juries. To flat out rule that the jury got it grievously wrong is rare.

2) The High Court did not limit itself to determining whether the Court of Appeal acted properly in applying the law. Rather, it gave itself the scope to examine all of the evidence from the original jury trials. Indeed, the High Court judgment reviewed in comprehensive detail the key evidence, step by step, from the trial. That is not usually what supreme courts do, but it did so in this case to demonstrate that it was simply impossible to convict “safely,” namely beyond a reasonable doubt.

3) The High Court moved with great speed. It was three weeks — lightning fast for a supreme court — from hearing the case to announcing that the judgment was ready. There is urgency when an innocent man is in prison, to be sure. But the speed of the verdict reflected the view of all seven justices that there simply was no case against Pell.

…. ….

apr 042020
 

I videoen over (fra i går kveld) hilser pave Frans alle mennesker i Italia og i resten av verden. Videoen er tekstet til engelsk, men katolsk.no har også lagt ut videoen med en norsk oversettelse, og den har til overskrift: Vit at paven er nær og ber om at Herren snart skal frelse oss alle fra det onde

Jeg har ofte ikke vært veldig fornøyd med pave Frans (og lengtet tilbake til pave Benedikts tid), men jeg syns han har klart disse siste ukene under denne alvorlige pandemien.