Chris Ferrara vs. Pope Benedict XVI (The New Mass)

Chris Ferrara vs. Pope Benedict XVI (The New Mass) December 18, 2015


Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (later, Pope Benedict XVI), on 12 May 2001. Upside-down version of photograph by Manfredo Ferrari [Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license]

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Sure enough, in the combox of my post, Trad Misuse of Ratzinger “Banal” Quote, notorious radical Catholic reactionary leader Chris Ferrara (of “Remnant” fame) showed up to misrepresent him again (thus illustrating my very point before our eyes)!:

Let’s see you explain away POPE Ratzinger’s declaration, at the end of his pontificate, that the liturgy has been “banalized” (banalizatta). Good luck!

My reply was swift:

As always, here we see Pope Benedict enthusiastically advocating the Pauline Mass:

Let us begin with the first theme. After the First World War, Central and Western Europe had seen the growth of the liturgical movement, a rediscovery of the richness and depth of the liturgy, which until then had remained, as it were, locked within the priest’s Roman Missal, while the people prayed with their own prayer books, prepared in accordance with the heart of the people, seeking to translate the lofty content, the elevated language of classical liturgy into more emotional words, closer to the hearts of the people. But it was as if there were two parallel liturgies: the priest with the altar-servers, who celebrated Mass according to the Missal, and the laity, who prayed during Mass using their own prayer books, at the same time, while knowing substantially what was happening on the altar. But now there was a rediscovery of the beauty, the profundity, the historical, human, and spiritual riches of the Missal and it became clear that it should not be merely a representative of the people, a young altar-server, saying “Et cum spiritu tuo”, and so on, but that there should truly be a dialogue between priest and people: truly the liturgy of the altar and the liturgy of the people should form one single liturgy, an active participation, such that the riches reach the people. And in this way, the liturgy was rediscovered and renewed.

Alongside that, he recognized that many fail to properly understand the Pauline Mass (which no one who knows anything disagrees with) [my bolding]:

Then there were the principles: intelligibility, instead of being locked up in an unknown language that is no longer spoken, and also active participation. Unfortunately, these principles have also been misunderstood. Intelligibility does not mean banality, because the great texts of the liturgy – even when, thanks be to God, they are spoken in our mother tongue – are not easily intelligible, they demand ongoing formation on the part of the Christian if he is to grow and enter ever more deeply into the mystery and so arrive at understanding.

So, consistent with his previous thought and the opinions I expressed, the pope loves the New Mass, and detests (as I also do) the abuses and misunderstandings and incorrect application of it; whereas reactionaries like yourself throw the baby out with the bathwater: utterly the opposite of Pope Benedict’s perspective.

I’m shocked to see you here, seeing that under the post of yours at The Remnant that I critiqued, you and your cronies allow the following comment (which has sat there now for six months):

Dave Armstrong, if there in entire Universe be a mindset more contemptible and monstrous, that would of people like yourself: sterile and nice.I’d rather have devil worshiper and scorpions for companions,than people like you who stand for nothing. I didn’t intend to comment, but I won’t have Mr. Ferrara insulted by some drones. Dave, your honey sweet sterility is off chart. Not even Mirus is as basal.

Then there is a charming video of Kermit the Frog typing furiously, that is supposed to represent my reply to you. The real one can be read here.

Contrast the pope’s glowing endorsement with your pathetic words from 19 days ago:

Certainly the Novus Ordo as an ideology—that the Church was made new at Vatican II, that the old ways must pass, etc. as we see with Bergoglianism—is not Catholic. But within the Novus Ordo establishment as a visible institution we find the Faith much in the manner we find functioning brain cells in someone suffering from a disease like spongiform encephalopathy. The brain is still a brain, but subject to a disease process that causes its decay, with areas here and there that function more or less normally.

Yet you fancy yourself in Pope Benedict’s camp in this respect, whereas I supposedly distort what he says, huh?

You would have done Luther and Calvin very proud. You argue almost precisely as they did regarding the “antichrist” papacy of their time. I used to be a Protestant: and was far more respectful of popes then than you are now. I could recommend some relatively good denominations for you to consider if you’re shopping around (having almost despaired of Holy Mother Church and definitely of her Holy Father).

Presumably, however, you yourself don’t concur that I am “contemptible and monstrous” and worse than a “devil worshiper and scorpions” (or you wouldn’t bother with me at all). For you, I am on a much more exalted level: spiritually equivalent to “someone suffering from a disease like spongiform encephalopathy.” You reactionaries are quite imaginative and entertaining in your metaphorical word-pictures, if nothing else. Credit where credit is due.

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