What is the harm in making the extraordinary form of the Roman rite accessible to all?

I have read in the newspapers quite worrying news about possible restrictions to the celebration of the Tridentine Mass (what we now call the extraordinary form of the Roman rite).

I want to make it clear that I cannot be considered an extremist of this liturgical form and that I have worked actively, as a priest and as a bishop, for the liturgical reform after Vatican II, also trying to curb excesses and abuses, which unfortunately have not been lacking in my diocese. So I will not be accused of factiousness. But I cannot deny, in my experience in Hong Kong, the much good that has come from the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum and from the celebration of the Tridentine Mass. There is a faithful group here that for decades has participated in this form that comes to us from the liturgical riches of our Tradition, a group that has never created problems for the diocese and whose participants have never questioned the legitimacy of the renewed Mass. In the community that participates in the extraordinary form in Hong Kong, many young people have passed through, who through this Mass have rediscovered the sense of adoration and reverence that we owe to God, our Creator.

I have worked for liturgical reform, as I have said, but I cannot forget the Mass of my childhood, I cannot forget when as a child in Shanghai my father, a devout Catholic, took me to Mass every day and on Sundays he made me attend five Masses! I felt such reverence, I was so fascinated (and still am!) by the beauty of Gregorian chant, that I think that experience nourished my vocation to the priesthood, as it did for so many others. I remember the many Chinese faithful (and I don’t think all of them knew Latin…) participating in these liturgical ceremonies with great enthusiasm, just as I can now witness in the community that participates in the Tridentine Mass in Hong Kong.

The Tridentine Mass is not divisive; on the contrary, it unites us to our brothers and sisters of all ages, to the saints and martyrs of every time, to those who have fought for their faith and who have found in it inexhaustible spiritual nourishment.

(Translation by Bree A. Dail)

Che Male C’è a rendere accessibile a tutti la forma straordinaria del rito romano?

Ho letto sui giornali notizie abbastanza preoccupanti su possibili restrizioni alla celebrazione della Messa Tridentina (quella che ora chiamiamo forma straordinaria del rito romano). Voglio dire chiaramente che io non sono considerabile come estremista di questa forma liturgica e che ho lavorato attivamente, come sacerdote e come vescovo, per la riforma liturgica dopo il Vaticano II, anche cercando di frenare gli eccessi e gli abusi, che purtroppo non sono mancati anche nella mia diocesi. Quindi non mi si accuserà di faziosità. Ma non posso negare, nella mia esperienza di Hong Kong, il tanto di buono che è venuto dal motu proprio Summorum Pontificum e dalla celebrazione della Messa Tridentina. C’è qui un gruppo fedele che da decenni partecipa a questa forma che ci viene dalle ricchezze liturgiche della nostra Tradizione, un gruppo che non ha mai creato problemi alla diocesi e i cui partecipanti non hanno mai messo in dubbio la legittimità della Messa rinnovata. Nella comunità che partecipa alla forma straordinaria in Hong Kong sono passati tanti giovani, che attraverso questa Messa hanno riscoperto il senso dell’adorazione e della reverenza che dobbiamo a Dio, nostro Creatore.

Io ho lavorato per la riforma liturgica, come ho detto, ma non posso dimenticare la Messa della mia fanciullezza, non posso dimenticare quando da bambino in Shanghai mio padre, devotissimo cattolico, mi portava a Messa tutti i giorni e alla domenica mi faceva partecipare a cinque Messe! Sentivo una tale reverenza, ero così affascinato (e lo sono ancora!) dalla bellezza del canto gregoriano, che penso quell’esperienza abbia nutrito la mia vocazione al sacerdozio, come per tanti altri. Ricordo i tanti fedeli cinesi (e non penso tutti sapessero il latino…) partecipare con grande trasporto a queste cerimonie liturgiche, così come ora posso testimoniare nella comunità che partecipa alla Messa Tridentina di Hong Kong.

La Messa Tridentina non è divisiva, essa anzi ci unisce ai nostri fratelli e sorelle di tutte le epoche, ai santi e ai martiri di ogni tempo, a coloro che hanno lottato per la loro fede e che hanno trovato in essa un nutrimento spirituale inesauribile.

We Don’t Forget. We Don’t Lose Hope

(Homily for the June 4th Memorial Mass)

It has been 32 years from 1989 to 2021. I was 57 years old, a young old man, that year. Those 57 and 60-year-old this year were young people in their twenties then. I believe they have a deep recollection of what happened on May 35th that year. But young people in their twenties this year can only listen to other people’s recounting a period of history that is about to be obfuscated by the passing of years.

Tonight, brothers and sisters of 90, 60 and below 30 years of age gathered here to participate in this Holy Mass because we belong to the same family, the family of Hong Kong people, the family of Hong Kong Catholics, as well as the family of the Chinese people and the family of humanity. We do not know how tomorrow’s newspapers will label our get-together this evening. For us, it is a memorial Mass.

Let us first remember what a memorial Mass is. We Catholics believe that when a person dies, his life will be judged definitively. We hope that everyone will be invited to enter Heaven and enjoy eternal glory. But we cannot rule out that some people will lose such blessing because they exclude themselves. Even those who are qualified to go to Heaven may still need to go through a purification process. This is our Catholic faith. Because of penitence, the sins committed in the past had been forgiven. But there still might be some stains and defects that had not been completely remedied through good deeds. They must be purified in painful expectation after death before they can enter the true blessing.

In this purification process, they get help from the whole Church because the Church is a mystic body. We share the treasure of this mystic body, we can contribute our prayers and virtuous deeds to this treasury and we can draw graces from it to help our brothers and sisters in completing this painful purification process.

The function of prayer and virtuous deeds is not limited by time. We are convinced that those brothers and sisters are already in Heaven, our offering and prayer today have already helped them the moment they needed it. Of course, such help is not limited to those who were baptized because any honest people with kind hearts belong to God’s people.

We dedicate this memorial Mass to remember the brothers and sisters who sacrificed their lives for our freedom and democracy in Tiananmen Square and the nearby alleys 32 years ago. What they demanded at that time was a clean government. What they longed for was a truly strong China. Unfortunately, they left the world bearing the stigma of being rioteers. Their sacrifice was for us, and we embrace their unfulfilled hope: a just and peaceful society, a people respected by the regime, and a truly great China respected by the world.

Some people will say: “The martyrs are already in Heaven. They have been remembered for 32 years. It is enough!” No, we really respect and love the patriotic martyrs, we do love our country, our hopes never die.

We read the Book of Tobit in the Masses this week. Tobit in his captive land learned one day that one his compatriot was killed, and his body was thrown in the marketplace. He immediately carried him home and buried him after the sun went down. He knew that by doing so he was risking his life. His neighbors also mocked him: “Is it worth betting on the life of a living person because of the respect for a dead corpse?” But Tobit could not let the human corpse become the food of the wild dogs. Similarly, we cannot let the names of the martyrs be shamed forever.

The Cultural Revolution has got an official evaluation. In 1981, the Sixth Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China resolved that the Cultural Revolution was an “internal upheaval initiated by the misguided leader…which brought catastrophic damage to the Party, the State and the whole people” and “the chief responsibility for the grave ‘Leftist’ error…does indeed lie with Comrade Mao Zedong.” So, wouldn’t it be easier to make a fair assessment also for June 4th?

If they still not listen to the voice of the people for 32 years, does it not make us fear that those in power still believe that the regime is justified to kill unarmed young people who love their country “for the sake of a so called “general interest?” Then, the June 4th tragedy is not slowly leaving us, but rather it will gradually appear before our eyes again.

We refuse pessimism. We will not lose hope. While remembering our dead, our prayer is also to ask the Lord to lead our rulers on the path of justice and peace.

May the Blessed Virgin Mary, All Saints, and the Chinese Martyr-Saints deliver our prayers to the altar of God.

我們不遺忘,我們不失望

(6月4日追思亡者彌撒講道)

從1989到2021已是32年,我那年57歲,一位年輕的老人;而今年57歲、60歲的年輕老人,那年還只是二十多歲的青年,我想他們對那年5月35日發生的事會有一個深刻的回憶;但今年二十多歲的青年祇能聽別人講述那即將被歷史沖淡的往事。

今晚90、60和30歲以下的兄弟姊妹卻共聚在這裡參與這台彌撒聖祭,因為我們屬於同一個家庭、香港人的家庭、香港天主教教友的家庭,亦是中國人民的大家庭,人類的大家庭。

明天的報紙不知會怎樣定位我們今晚的聚會,為我們這是一台追思彌撒

先讓我們再温習一下什麼是追思彌撒。我們天主教徒相信,人死亡時他的一生就決定性地受審判,我們希望大家都會被邀請進入天庭永享榮福,但也不能排除有一些自我排除的人會喪失那福份。就算合格升天堂的,也可能還需要經歷一個淨煉的過程,這是我們天主教的信仰。過去犯了的罪已因痛悔而被寬恕了,但還可能留下一些污點、缺陷未有澈底地用善功彌補,死後要在痛苦的期待中淨化了,才能進入真福。在這淨化的過程中,他們能得到整個教會的幫助,因為教會是一個奧體,我們共享這奧體的財富,我們可以奉獻我們的祈禱和善功,而從這奧體的財富汲取恩寵,這些恩寵可幫助淨煉中的兄弟姊妹完成這痛苦的淨煉過程。

祈禱和善功的功能是不受時間限制的,我們深信那些兄弟姊妹早已在天堂,但我們今天的奉獻和祈禱能在他們需要的那刻已幫助了他們,這樣的幫助當然不限於領了洗的教友,因為善良的人都是天主的子民。

我們奉獻這追思彌撒是為追念32年前在天安門廣場及附近的街巷為我們的民主、我們的自由犠牲了他們生命的兄弟姊妹。他們那時要求的是一個廉潔的政府(反貪污、反官倒),他們希望的是一個真正強盛的祖國,但可惜,他們卻要帶着暴徒的烙印離開人間。

他們的犠牲是為了我們,我們擁抱他們未見成功的希望:就是一個正義和平的社會,一個受政權尊重的人民,一個受世界尊重的我們的強大祖國。

有人會說:烈士們已在天堂了;追念也追念了32年了,夠了吧!不,我們太敬愛愛國的烈士,我們太愛我們的祖國,我們的希望不死。

這星期在彌撒中我們讀了《多俾亞傳》。多俾亞在充軍之地知道有同胞被殺而屍體被拋在市場上,他立刻把他們抬回家,太陽西落後把他們安葬,雖然他知道這樣做是冒生命的危險,鄰居也譏諷他:為尊敬死者的肉軀把活人的生命作賭注,值得嗎?但多俾亞不忍心讓那屍體作野狗的糧食;同樣地,我們不能讓烈士們的名字永遠蒙羞。

文化大革命也得到一個評估,1981中共十一屆六中全會將文革定性為「領導者錯誤發動⋯⋯給黨、國家和各族人民帶來嚴重災難的內亂」,毛澤東「應為這一局性的、長時間的左傾嚴重錯誤負主要責任」。

那麼,為六四做一個公道的評估不是更容易嗎?

32年還不聽人民的聲音,豈不使人害怕?有權者還相信:為「顧全大局」政權可以殘殺手無寸鐵、熱愛祖國的青年?那末六四慘劇不是漸漸遠離我們,而是漸漸又會再出現在我們眼前。

我們拒絕悲觀,我們不會失望。在追思亡者時,我們的祈禱也是求上主帶領執政者走上正義和平的道路。

願進教之佑聖母瑪利亞、諸聖宗徒及中華殉道聖人,將我們的祈禱送到天主台前。

Open letter to Rev. Fr. Matthew Josekutty, CMF

Deputy Editor-in-chief of the Sunday Examiner

I gave you the dead-line 16 May, some kind person asked me to move it to 23 May, but what I find now is no apology at all.

Please, you can ignore me, but don’t take me for a fool.

You say: the two articles were neither the official stand of the Church nor of the Sunday Examiner, and you apologize for the confusion created.

What confusion? Have you made them to appear as the official stand of the Church? Have you made them to appear as the official stand of Sunday Examiner? No, you did not.

What you did and for which you have to apologize is the fact that you have willfully chosen to publish those two articles, one of which is an arrogant and preposterous insult to the two popes we so deeply venerate and love, and the other is a biased and untruthful criticism of a CDF statement, which is faithful to Catholic moral teaching that homosexual partnership can not be blessed as marriage, but in the same time (as you were forced to admit in your following piece of news) it calls the Christian community to welcome with respect and sensitivity persons with homosexual inclinations, because no one can be excluded from the care and love of the Church.

I am justified to say that you did it willfully and not as a casual overlook, because you had thousand possibilities of choice, but you chose those two poisonous pieces.

It betrays a seriously wrong mindset, for which you (or the one who has to take the responsibility for you) are to be considered as a dangerous person and unfit for the job, which is to give healthy food to the faithful who read this our paper.

Either you resign or I should warn the faithful to avoid reading the paper.

An enraged old man

Cardinal Joseph Zen

有人還需出來解釋和道歉!

在三月廿八日的Sunday Examiner(英文公教報)(第十二頁全頁)一篇從UCAN(天亞社)轉載的文章使我又震驚,又忿怒。他們怎麼可以把那篇高傲地侮辱我們兩位教宗(若望保祿二世和本篤十六世)的文章登在我們的Sunday Examiner上?!

在四月四日、四月十一日的Sunday Examiner,我不見有人出來抗議,四月十六日我就在我博客上作了一次抗議。

接着來的Sunday Examiner(四月十八日)(第十二頁全頁)一篇,又是由UCAN / La Croix International轉載的,非常偏激的文章使我更害怕Sunday Examiner根本是有計劃用這些文章來毒害我們的教友(各位兄弟姊妹要知道,現在的天亞社不是以前的天亞社,La Croix International和La Croix也不是同一件事)。

今期(四月廿五日)的Sunday Examiner轉載了一篇報告,看來是為改正前一篇文章的偏激言論。大概是「堅道十六號」的權貴看了我的博客吧!

但還有人應該出來解釋發生了的是什麼事,是誰讓那兩篇文章被登出在我們的Sunday Examiner上?是那副總編輯Fr. Josekutty Mathew?是總編輯何嘉麗女士?是蔡神父?是……?應該有人出來解釋並道歉,否則我們就接受一切,繼續吞下藏毒的Sunday Examiner?

Somebody still owes us an explanation and apology!

I could not believe my eyes when I spotted on Sunday Examiner (28 March, page 12) a full page article copied form UCAN, in which the author was incredibly arrogant in insulting our beloved and highly respected Pope J.P. II and Benedict XVI. Seeing no protest appearing on the following two issues (4 April, 11 April) I posted one on my blog on 16 April.

The following issue of Sunday Examiner (18 April, page 12) reproduced  another full page article from UCAN / La Croix (for those who do not know the facts, this UCAN is no more the old UCAN, and the La Croix is La Croix International, two rather different entities). It only confirmed my fear that our Sunday Examiner has a plan of feeding our readers with similar poisonous rubbish.

Today’s issue of Sunday Examiner (25 April, page 12) reports a piece of “news” from Vatican CNS which seems to be a very much needed correction of the previous article. Maybe the people at 16 Caine Road have visited my blog.

But they still owe us an explanation of who were those responsible for the articles on issues 28 March and 18 April (Fr. Josekutty Mathew? Ms. Susanne Ho? Fr. Choy? ….) Somebody must take the responsibility and apologize! Otherwise should our faithful still support Sunday Examiner?

真太過份了。有人該出來道歉!

奇怪的事太多了,奇怪的言論也日日傳播,但我們可以習以為常,不必理會嗎?

在三月廿八日的 Sunday Examiner(英文公教報),12頁,有一篇文章這樣開始:「我們很多人記得在教宗聖若望保祿二世在任時及教宗本篤退休前那些日子,我們怎樣生活在壓迫下。那兩位教宗束縛教會,嚴厲禁止言論自由並阻止實行梵二大公會議的某些決議。」

真不可思議,太過份了!他們難道以為香港教友會忍聲吞下這類高傲而侮辱性的胡說嗎?

我實在很忙碌,希望有人會出來在同一媒體上作一個強烈的抗議,但並沒發生。難道現在祇有菲籍姊妹們看 Sunday Examiner 嗎?

但我知道以前也有許多別處的教友對我們的 Sunday Examiner 很有信心,而 Sunday Examiner 那時對 UCA News(天亞社)也可以很有信心,但現在情形很不同了。

那末我不能不大聲疾呼:有人該出來解釋,該道歉!

那篇整頁文章的作者是孟買的一位神父,但文章刊於 UCA News 而 UCA News 卻作出聲明:「此文純屬作者看法,未必代表 UCAN 的官方立場」。

那是謊言!

粗略看看Sunday Examiner主編為讀者選擇的文章,我怕本港這刊物已附屬於 UCAN(今日的UCAN)及 La Croix International(十字架報)了。

其實影響這一切的是「今日之星」Fr. Michael Kelly, SJ,天亞社的總裁也是「曾」很有名的 La Civiltà Cattolica(公教文明雜誌)英文版的主編。他是教宗方濟各「密友」Fr. Spadaro的朋友!

UCAN 那聲明不是真話,那篇文章十足代表上述兩刊物的官方立場,作者祇是比較率直、放縱地把那些九流謬論高調播放了出來。

他以為識得把 orthodoxy 和 orthopraxis 對立起來真了不起了(其實教宗本篤不是說過:「一個沒有以真理為基礎的愛是一個空殼,你能把任何什麼東西放入去」)。

他似乎說一切問題是因着天主教神父的獨身制(連教宗方濟各也沒有這麼果斷地說過)。

還有那 “Sinodality”,我們在聖經和傳統裡都找不到這件東西,多謝 Fr. Myron J. Pereira的指示,才知道原來那就是今天在德國教會正開始實行的(但這並不來自梵二大公會議〔難道梵二已是過時的了嗎?〕)。

教友們!是時候我們聲明我們選擇屬於哪個教會!

 

原文:http://www.examiner.org.hk/2021/03/26/whats-coming-next-from-a-man-from-a-far-country/features/

 

That’s too much. Somebody owes us an apology!

Incredible things keep happening today in the world; incredible things are being said and written, but should we just let everything go, as if all this was normal?

I read on page 12 of Sunday Examiner 28 March 2021: “Many of us still remember how depressed we all were during the last days of the Pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI. Both he and his predecessor Pope St. John Paul II had fettered the Church, clamping down harshly on freedom of expression and sabotaging several Vatican Council initiatives.”

How incredible, how outrageous! Do they expect the Hong Kong readers to swallow such arrogant and insulting nonsense?

Being very busy, I left to others to make some strong protest on the following issues of the paper. But nothing appeared! Maybe nobody today, except our Philippino sisters, read the S.E. anymore?!

But there used to be many foreign readers who used to trust S.E., which could (for a long time) trust UCAN.

So I feel my duty of conscience to sound the alarm and call the people responsible for explaining and apologizing.

The full-page article is signed by a certain priest in Mumbai, but the article appeared on UCAN, with the declaration that “the views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official editorial position of UCAN.”

Lie, Lie, Lie!

A cursory glance at the articles, chosen by our Sunday Examiner’s Deputy Editor in Chief to feed its readers, makes me suspect that our weekly paper is going to be a subsidiary of UCAN (today’s UCAN) and of La Croix International.

Behind all this is our new star Fr. Michael Kelly SJ, executive director of UCA News and editor of the English edition of the (once) prestigious “La Civiltà Cattolica,” so a friend of the friend of Pope Francis, Fr. Spadaro.

UCAN’s disclaimer is a lie. The article is perfectly faithful to the spirit of today’s UCAN and La Croix International. The author of the article is only a candid messenger, blatantly shouting some common places.

He is proud to oppose orthopraxis (compassion) to orthodoxy (faith) [Pope Benedict says that “love” without foundation on “truth” is an empty shell you can fill with anything!].

He seems to be putting all the blames on the “celibacy” of the clergy [But even Pope Francis abstained from doing that].

And the “Sinodality,” a word we don’t find in the Holy Scripture, neither in the Tradition, but thanks to Fr. Myron J. Pereira, SJ, we know it to mean what we see being practiced nowadays in Germany [but this is not in continuity with the Vatican II (which should belong already to the past?)].

Dear brothers and sisters living in Hong Kong, it is time we declare to which Church we want to belong!

 

Original text: http://www.examiner.org.hk/2021/03/26/whats-coming-next-from-a-man-from-a-far-country/features/

多謝教廷國務院秘書長

他講了一些難得的真話,講了一些明顯不符事實的話,又講了一些自我矛盾的話。

教廷國務院秘書長(也就是教廷外長)在接受《America》訪問時額外坦誠地說了一些使我們更有理由堅持我們立場的話。

(1). 他說:“the Holy See actually negotiate with a very, very small group of people from that (huge) structure (of chinese republic). So it is quite difficult to understand what the impact is, or what they take back to Beijing or what we bring to Beijing.”(恐怕他想說 “what we bring to Rome”?)中梵談判祇「在某一等級」。

也就是說並不到政府最高層,那末那2018年的秘密協議是誰簽的?不是兩方外交部的副外長代表兩方政府簽的嗎?如果不是,那末祇在哪個層面生效?這是非常嚴重的聲明,秘書長是否犯了大錯,說了真話?又問:那歷史性的「兩外長握手禮」又代表什麼?並不真有什麼重要了?

(2). 他說:“The Holy See does not have a policy, a diplomatic policy, of denunciation almost anywhere in the world.” 教廷並沒有外交原則為世界任何冒犯人權的國家提出指摘

但教宗多次也作了嚴厲的指摘。秘書長難道忘記了比約十一世反納粹政府的 “mit brennender Sorge”,反法西斯政府的 “non abbiamo bisogno” 及比約十二世的 “Humani generis”?

還有那些教宗比約十二世指摘中國無神政府的 Cupimus in primis(1952)Ad Sinarum gentes(1954)。

直至極溫和慈祥的本篤十六世,在他2007年致中國內的天主教子民的信中,也清澈而決斷地說:「與合法的政權持續衝突並不能解決現存的問題。但同時,當政權不恰當地干涉教會的信仰和教律時,我們也不能就此屈從。」(第四章第七節)

(3). 他說:“you have to ask what effect a statement is going to have. I don’t think that grandstanding statements can be terribly effective.” 你作一聲明時該問這聲明會有什麼效果。我不以為一些大聲指摘的言論會有什麼了不起的效果

但(一)教廷不還是作了這樣的「言論」嗎?(見上)

    (二)如果要期望有好效果才作出聲明,那末教廷真的幾乎什麼也不該說了。

    (三)而且:什麼是好效果,什麼是壞效果?按信德的角度還是按世俗的利害?

    (四)聖經不是說真理常該宣講的嗎(不論合時不合時 opportune et importune)?!

    (五)對緬甸政府的指摘未必會見效,但對中國和香港的緘默卻重重傷了無數忠誠信友的心!

(4). 他說:“democracy has different forms…democracy gets into difficulties if that culture is very superficial.” 民主能有不同方式,如果某地方的文化膚淺,民主會有問題

難道他以為香港還不配有民主??

(5). 他說:“Catholic community (in H.K.) in itself is significantly divided” 教廷不易任命香港主教,因為香港內部也分裂

(一)那末,一直分裂存在,教廷什麼也不能做了?新主教也無限期不會有了?

(二)分裂是勢均力敵嗎?其實人民都站在抗爭民主自由的一邊,而親中的也是為了服從教區當局,而教區當局莫非為服從 Parolin?

(6). 他說:“the responsibility (for the appointment of the Bishop) is with the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.” 他不知香港幾時有新主教,因為任命香港主教是傳信部處理的

謝謝你,Archbishop Gallagher 現在我們知道向誰寫信了。

教友們,快寫信給 Cardinal Tagle