Author Archives: Jim Bowman

Jim Bowman covered religion 1968-78 for the Chicago Daily News, since then has written books, articles, etc., mostly on corporate history but also on religion (Company Man: My Jesuit Life, 1950-1968), and more recently on politics (Illinois Blues: How the Ruling Party Talks to Voters, — Lulu.com, Kindle). Longtime Oak Park, Illinois, resident, he lives now on Chicago’s North Side, where four of his and Winnie’s six children live close by.

Ecumenism a third rail for liturgical movement, but remains part and parcel of its mystique. Church politics at its finest . . .

The intriguing Beauduin led anti-German underground, mystified his superior, got banished for his trouble . . .

Dominus Vobiscum: Novus Ordo (re)considered

Ecumenism is the third rail of traditionalist criticism. The universal church prays for Christian unity, that all may be one, Father, etc. So what kind of Catholic would choose such a wary, un-Christian approach? A fool or a charlatan or an all-round mean person. That kind.

And yet traditionalists have been wary, boldly claiming to see a problem in the business of uniting somehow, some way, with the separated brethren, suspecting a watering-down of the true Church, its values and in the case of liturgical change, its everyday ways of praying and worshiping.

Be that as it may, as the liturgical movement flourished in the 1920s, it began to absorb this presumed given of contemporary Christian life that in the view of many seemed to undermine and contradict true Catholicism.

At the heart of this movement within a movement was a man whose penchant for activism led him during the…

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Mass priest facing people, communion in hand were not of ancient practice

Bishop Athanasius Schneider, 2/5/15, Wash DC:

In the early church, the altar and other sacred items were veiled out of respect for the sacred mystery in which they played a role. There was not, contrary to popular belief in our present time, a versus populum celebration of Mass or even a widespread practice of communion in the hand. The priest and the people faced together towards God in the liturgical East.

But those are good ideas, are they not? Not:

When we celebrate liturgy, it is God who must be at the center. The incarnate God. Christ. Nobody else. Not even the priest who acts in His place.

Bring Christ back to the mass:

It impoverishes the liturgy when we reduce the signs and gestures of adoration. Any liturgical renewal must therefore restore these and bring about a more Christocentric and transcendent character of the earthly liturgy which is more reminiscent of the angelic liturgy.

It’s there, for us to recognize and not play down.

Trump on Israel etc.

Four stars.

“A little over a year ago, President Donald Trump promised he would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and, six months later, he delivered on that promise by officially moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,” Alex Titus writes in The Hill.

“Standing up for Israel at the United Nations, confronting Iran, and empowering the Jewish state to defend its interests have been successful outcomes of [the Trump Administration’s] policy agenda.”

Even Dems have to credit him for that.

The early ’20s: Wonderful developments but with shadows of Euro-extremism

Halcyon days of early reform. Learning Gregorian chant in New York (and Chicago) Catholic schools. But trouble brewing in Europe.

Dominus Vobiscum: Novus Ordo (re)considered

The war over, the liturgical movement kept moving along. Special gatherings, “liturgical weeks” and days became common, as in the French cities Rouen and Lourdes and other cities. A Congress of Sacred Music in 1919 was attended by cardinals and bishops and “mitred [bishop-level] abbots.” Interest was building in high places.

Gregorian chant, approved vigorously by Pius X almost 20 years earlier, was being taught to children — a half million in New York City, to site a major effort. Lay people were being encouraged to receive communion at mass — another Pius X footprint — and were in some cases were reading Scripture at mass. Pius XI told of “lively satisfaction” at these developments.

In Holland, the best organized in these matters, every diocese clergy-staffed liturgical commissions established by their bishops.

The lights of the movement were beginning to shine — Dom Odo Casel (1886-1948), source in his Liturgy…

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In worship, who comes first, God or the faithful? More than a conundrum.

The movement gets legs from a Jesuit-Benedictine squabble. Major issue, worship vs. instruction and formation . . .

Dominus Vobiscum: Novus Ordo (re)considered

In 1889 at a Eucharistic Congress in Lieges, Belgium, Dom Gerard van Caloen, a trailblazing Benedictine monk, presenteda daring idea: reception of communion by worshipers at mass.

 Dom Gerard had already published a Missal for the Faithful in Latin and French and la much appreciated Little Missal for the Laity and started a publication and a study group.

 Participation was in the air. The new pope was to play catch-up.

He would be Pio Decimo, the tenth Pius, with a “Renew all things in Christ” motto –very much the parish priest from humble surroundings, a man of the people with a common touch but also a stern demeanor and willingness to take the battle to the enemy, in his case the moral (and cultural) evil as he saw it, of modernism.

He was to push frequent communion also.

As to worship in general, he was already…

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Mike Madigan’s ward site of wild, wild Southwest Side crimes and misedemeanors. Crimes anyhow, of giant proportions. John Kass has it all . . .

. . . and here it is, linked by Hawkeye Reynolds:

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: A college kid running for 13th Ward alderman gets a lesson in the Chicago Way.

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Sickening breakdown of law and order among FBI deep-staters

Sending this as is because in a hurry. But when Glenn Reynolds makes such a judgment, people listen, or should:

WELL, WELL: Even before Mueller was appointed, FBI opened investigation to “rein in” Trump. Note that they were planning an obstruction probe even before Comey was fired. Leaked to CNN because it’s friendly media, meaning they thought it was about to come out somewhere less friendly. This is huge, and people should go to jail.

Put this together with the collusion between the press and federal prosecutors and the “Deep State” narrative looks pretty solid.

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19th Century Rediscoveries: The Mass as Experience Not a lecture, not even a prayer meeting. Being moved by the Spirit

When the spirit moves you . . .

Dominus Vobiscum: Novus Ordo (re)considered

In 1840 the Benedicine monk Dom Prosper Gueranger published his Les Institutions liturgiques [“liturgical institutions”] , “a closely argued attack on the neo-Gallican liturgies and a wonderful demonstration of the antiquity and the beauties of the Roman liturgy,” says Bonnetere his 1980 book (Angelus Press, 2002), The Liturgical Movement: Gueranger to Beauduin to Bugnini, Roots, Radicals Results.

 Neo-Gallican refers to newly revived separatist liturgies in northern Europe, especially in France. Neo because Pius VI had struck a mighty blow to the separatist movement Gallicanism (French-ism) with his condemnation of the Synod of Pistoia in 1794 at a time when “the whole of Europe . . . was floundering in an “anti-liturgical heresy.” (Bonneterre)

 Gueranger was on the side of traditionalist angels, standing up for the wisdom of the ages, opposing changes meant to keep up with the times, etc.

 Primarily, he wanted to bring the clergy…

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Note to author of soon to be published Dominus Vobiscum . . .

Onward with the arts . . .

Dominus Vobiscum: Novus Ordo (re)considered

Dear Jim:

In your soon to be published book, do the anti-Novus Ordo (New Mass) part, interspersing it with with the pro. Can you do that, Jim? Keep it dry and detached? If you try, yes. But will you try?

Jim: Good question.

Note, continued:

Make your posts a foreshadowing of arguments to be fleshed out along the way.

And remember: keep it flat and noncommittal. It’s only right but it’s less you might have to apologize for.

Be not overly concerned with order and sequence, but be willing to test your readers for their ability to connect things. Does that mean not concerned at all? Hardly. That would be a slatternly procedure, to be sure.

Go rather for the lasting image or hit-home phrase, the (dare I?) poetic. Absolutely. Do not shrink from the poetic. Do you dare?

Don’t overdo the explanatory or saying where you got such and…

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The bishop who lost his way: Tuscany in the 1780s

More of book in progress . . .

Dominus Vobiscum: Novus Ordo (re)considered

Pius X (1903-1914) is best known for promoting frequent communion, seen by some at the time as making a sacred thing unduly common and therefore less highly regarded. 

This problem seems not to have risen until after Vatican 2, when communion became not only frequent but standard for mass-goers and everyone went — as I noted in a National Catholic Reporter essay in the 1970s, calling attention to an unsung achievement of the council, namely that it had abolished mortal sin.


In any case, this change of his and another, to teach catechism in the vernacular (!), are pretty tame stuff by today’s standards.


Let us, however, put a hold once more on this tenth Pius and his works, looking back a mere hundred or so years before him to the synod of Pistoia, a diocese in Tuscany, in 1786.


Liturgy was dying on the vine. Jansenists had made worship…

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