On May 7th, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York held its annual fundraising Gala. The event was centered upon the newly-opened exhibit “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and Catholic Imagination”, which, according to the museum, attempts to show “fashion’s ongoing engagement with the devotional practices and traditions of Catholicism.” In actuality, the event featured indecently dressed celebrities clad in outfits based upon the design of sacred vestments. Many Catholics expressed outrage at the sacrilege when photos of the Gala filled the New York newspapers the following day.
Unfortunately, not all Catholics were scandalized—including Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, who attended the Gala and happily had his picture taken with the celebrities. One priest of the Archdiocese of New York, Fr. Robert Repenning, in a letter to the New York Post, expressed outrage at Cardinal Dolan’s actions. Father Repenning wrote,
“What has become of the Catholic Church when it officially endorses self-hatred? The Archdiocese of New York was once the moral voice of Catholic America. Now it’s virtually silent about morality and has opened wide the doors to secularism and embraced the world of high finance. It is a scandal that any cleric would attend a $30,000-per-ticket event.
It’s even more scandalous to have our sacred vestments, art and figures mocked by the Hollywood elite. The good people of New York who can’t afford $30,000 dinners deserve an explanation why the hierarchy in the United States and abroad would embrace the worldliness of a Roman emperor instead of the poverty that Pope Francis proclaimed the Catholic Church must embrace.”
“Criticism of Cardinal Dolan’s presence at the Met Gala was not limited to some priests of the Archdiocese. Columnist Maureen Mullarkey, writing on the Free Republic website stated:
The question begs to be asked: What is the point of Cardinal Dolan? Whatever vocation he might once have espoused has dissolved in the acid of celebrity. He is an embarrassment to his office, and a disincentive to every serious-minded, diligent working priest in his archdiocese. Let him retire to the Hamptons, or South Beach, some glittering water hole where he can do what he is best at—glad-handing. He is an episcopal show-boater, the grinning face of a hierarchy desperate for the moment’s approval. The man lends himself to one mockery after another. His attendance at the Metropolitan Museum’s 2018 extravaganza “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” is only the latest. It disqualifies him for any role other than that of a merry-andrew. Bring in a cardinal for after-dinner entertainment. Hand him a craft beer and let him perform. Bonhomie all around.”
Although Cardinal Dolan was the ecclesiastical “face” at the Gala, it seems that he may simply have been representing the Vatican. In the week following the Gala, it was also revealed that the Pontifical Council for Culture, headed by Gianfranco Cardinal Ravasi, approved of the event and the exhibit, even loaning treasures from the Sistine Chapel sacristy to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It should be noted that Cardinal Ravasi has been the force behind a number of other scandalous exhibits in the past and was involved in the homoerotic Nativity Scene in St. Peter’s Square this past Christmas.
Dario Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos died on the 18th of May at the age of 88. A native of Columbia, he was consecrated a bishop in 1971 and became bishop of Pereira in 1976 and was then appointed Archbishop of Bucaramanga. During his time as bishop of Pereira, he worked tirelessly to end the drug trafficking which was destroying the lives of so many of his parishioners, even confronting Pablo Escobar whose house he entered disguised as a milk man.
Appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy in June of 1996, he left Columbia for Rome in order to take up his new position as head of the Curial office responsible for all the priests in the Church. He was elevated to the College of Cardinals in 1998 and in 2000 was appointed President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei while remaining Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy. He retired as Prefect in 2006 and as President of Ecclesia Dei in 2009.
It is probably in his role as President of Ecclesia Dei that the Cardinal will be most well remembered by traditional Catholics. He often celebrated the Traditional Mass and it was during his tenure as President that Pope Benedict XVI issued his 2007 Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, which gave every priest the right to celebrate the Traditional Mass without having to seek permission from his superiors. At the time it was issued, the cardinal made it clear that the desire of the pope was that there be a Traditional Mass offered in every parish throughout the world. Needless to say, this desire was thwarted by many bishops who continued to persecute any priest who began to celebrate the Traditional Mass.
In relations with the Society of Saint Pius X, Cardinal Castrillon was cordial and made it very clear that the SSPX was neither schismatic nor heretical. Additionally, it was under his Presidency that Rome stated unequivocally that Catholics fulfill their Sunday obligation by attending Holy Mass at any SSPX parish.
May he rest in peace.
Archbishop Gullickson, the American-born Papal Nuncio to Switzerland, mentioned in a previous Church in the World column, has posted a call for a return to the Traditional Mass and the abandonment of the Novus Ordo. The Archbishop wrote in his May 6th blog post:
Apart however from the existential, from our relations with family, friends and acquaintances, I am more concerned in sharing a thought or two about the reverential fear we owe to the Almighty, that is about the Fear of the Lord, that virtue listed among the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord…
You might say that I am going overboard in taking a more absolute stance in favor of the Vetus Ordo [Traditional Latin Mass] than do the most vocal of the prelates (bishops, archbishops and cardinals) who speak to the topic of the mutual enrichment of the two forms of the one Roman Rite. Why? Simply by reason of how I understand the notion of reverential fear and how it should animate our worship and our acting! I will limit myself to giving you two indicators: optional modes of expression and the preparation of the chalice.
What is wrong with the rubric: in these or similar words? In one sense nothing and in another, everything. Discretion in the context of programmed choices (options) may not be disrespectful, but it is neither awe inspired or awe inspiring. It is not conducive either to soliciting or to confirming reverential fear. Good! Well then just get rid of the options and establish one constant order of service. The question, of course, is whether (with the exception of Scripture reading) it is even possible knowing how most good priests go about celebrating Mass. How do you break priests of the habit of paraphrasing? Reverential fear demands no less.
Generally, in Novus Ordo (NO) celebrations in public we bishops have someone else, either a deacon or a priest concelebrant, prepare the chalice for us at the Offertory. Reverential fear would call for due diligence on their part in the addition of those few drops of water to the wine in the chalice...Sorry, but my usual distraction at that moment in the preparation of the gifts might be attributed to the careless or exuberant “glug, glug” of the water and the splashed up interior of the cup which is then handed me without remedy. Reverential fear? I think not. Is this behavior capable of reform, how and at what cost to all involved?
The premise is wrong for the needed reform of the NO, that is, for a recovery always and everywhere of the kind of reverence in public worship sought by people young and old. Tell me why therefore I should not conclude that the NO would seem to be incapable of reform. The alternative to cultivating the casual would be a contrite and convinced return to cultivating the sublime, and yes to do so out of a genuine fear. Love knows no less, if we are to be faithful, if we are to enter fully into His presence.
There’s no turning back, you say. Such a proposal of a radical reset to the pre-conciliar form of worship would be to deny over a half century of experimentation and practice. I cannot help but ask myself whether it might not be that which the Bridegroom awaits. Is that not what genuine love shot through with fear, reverential fear, demands of me? “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
The entire post of by Archbishop Gullickson is worth reading (as are many of his other posts) and may be found here: https://admontemmyrrhae.blogspot.com/2018/05/reverential-fear.html
The Swiss Guards will be getting new helmets as soon as a benefactor can be found to finance the purchase which cost $957 each, half the cost of the old ones. The original ceremonial plumed metal helmets are quite heavy and warm to wear, so the new ones will be made out of PVC plastic and created with a 3D printer yet will look like their metal predecessors. The Swiss Guards often stand at attention for three to four hours during long formal papal ceremonies and the lighter headgear will make this duty less onerous.
The new helmet was unveiled preceding the annual swearing in ceremony for the new Guards on May 6, 2018. The date for the annual ceremony commemorates the day in 1527 when 147 guardsmen died while protecting Pope Clement VII during the sack of Rome.
Although most famous for their colorful and billowy uniforms and plumed helmets, the daily uniform of the Swiss Guards is a more sedate navy blue with a navy blue beret. More information about the Swiss Guards, including their history in service of the popes, may be found here: http://www.guardiasvizzera.va/content/guardiasvizzera/en.html
The Pantheon, an historic pagan temple built under Emperor Hadrian in 32 B.C. and dedicated to “all the gods” of ancient Rome, was exorcized and consecrated as a Catholic church by Pope Boniface IV on May 13, 609 A.D. From that date, the church has remained largely untouched, even surviving the ravages of the liturgical revolution of 1969—that is, until now.
On May 13, 2018, 1409 years following the church’s consecration, a new permanent bronze “peoples’ altar” was installed in the Pantheon, directly in front of the original high altar. Aside from this new altar being of a modern design which clashes with the ancient beauty of the church, its position also makes use of the high altar very difficult, if not impossible. This may well have been the intent, since Pope Francis is on record as effectively condemning the offering of Mass “ad orientem” in the traditional manner.
It should be noted that in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (the Novus Ordo), there is a specific instruction that there should be only one consecrated altar in a church. Thus, in an effort to force the offering of Mass facing the people, the liturgical revolutionaries have no problem disregarding the very instruction which led to the removal of side altars in so many churches following the imposition of the Novus Ordo in 1969.