HE ARCHDIOCESE OF LOS ANGELES makes it clear—on its official website—that Mass is celebrated in forty-two (42) different languages. But the Diocese of Hamilton seems quite different. Starting on 6 March 2022, Most Rev’d Wayne Lobsinger is attempting to “crack down” on priests who use languages such as Spanish and French for the Last Rites (“extreme unction”) and even for the Sacrament of Penance (“confession”). How can those not fluent in English go to confession in Bishop Lobsinger’s diocese? I have no idea.
From a liturgical standpoint, Bishop Lobsinger’s decree (2/09/2022) strikes me as truly bizarre:
* PDF Download • BISHOP LOBSINGER’S DECREE
—Bishop Wayne Lobsinger (Diocese of Hamilton).
Too Many Errors: In that letter, Bishop Lobsinger attempts to limit and/or regulate Mass ad orientem. How is such a thing possible, bearing in mind what Cardinal Sarah proclaimed so explicitly? Until recently, Cardinal Sarah was the top liturgist (selected by Pope Francis). Furthermore, Bishop Lobsinger also attempts to enforce “rules” which are not mentioned by Traditionis Custodes. Indeed, Bishop Lobsinger even tries to deny Catholics their dying wish—in spite of everything Pope Saint John Paul II (and others) wrote about “legitimate aspirations”—and such a decree for Catholics who are already dead comes across as sadistic. All these items will have to be sorted out at some point.
Moving Forward: To my knowledge, Bishop Lobsinger has not taken a single step to implement the unambiguous mandates of Vatican II. Why is that? I wish I knew the answer. Will Bishop Lobsinger write another letter reminding priests to follow the Vatican II mandates? Here are some unequivocal Vatican II mandates:
Liturgy Of The Hours:
Vatican II said “the Latin language is to be retained by clerics in the divine office” (SC §101). Even a small child can understand this unambiguous directive.
Vatican II said Gregorian Chant was to be given “first place in liturgical services” (SC §116). There is no confusion whatsoever as to the meaning of Cantus Gregorianus. Does Bishop Lobsinger care about such mandates? Or does Bishop Lobsinger say we can ignore such mandates? If so, why?
Choirs Diligently Promoted:
Vatican II said “choirs must be diligently promoted” (SC §114). Needless to say, choirs must sing music for choirs. Choral music has nothing to do with goofy Broadway songs or Missa Back-To-The-Future, promoted by companies like OCP.
More (!) about the Liturgy of the Hours:
Vatican II said: “By the venerable tradition of the universal Church, Lauds as morning prayer and Vespers as evening prayer are the two hinges on which the daily office turns; hence they are to be considered as the chief hours and are to be celebrated as such” (SC §89a). Vatican II said: “It is, moreover, fitting that the office, both in choir and in common, be sung when possible. Pastors of souls should see to it that the chief hours, especially Vespers, are celebrated in common in church on Sundays and the more solemn feasts. And the laity, too, are encouraged to recite the divine office, either with the priests, or among themselves, or even individually” (SC §100). As far as I know, only Extraordinary Form parishes are doing this!
Greater Than Any Other Art:
Sculptors and painters get angry about this one, but Vatican II said: “The musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art” (SC §112). Only a brain-dead person would claim that Vatican II made such a declaration in order to encourage Catholics to destroy, denigrate, and make “illegal” this great treasure.
Vatican II specifically recommended polyphony (SC §116) for liturgical celebrations. No sane person disputes the meaning of polyphony. No sane person would claim that tunes by Marty Haugen, David Haas, or Rory Cooney constitute polyphony.
Congregations Must Learn Some Latin:
Vatican II said: “steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them” (SC §54). Father Louis Bouyer—one of the most important reformers and a close friend of Pope Paul VI—said these are the parts “which everybody can learn by heart and sing: Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei.”
Latin Not Optional:
Some people really hate this, but Vatican II said “the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites” (SC §36). The wording of the document makes it clear this was a command, not a suggestion.
More About Latin!
Vatican II said the local bishop can “decide whether, and to what extent, the vernacular language is to be used” (SC §36). Notice the document specifically says the local bishop can decide whether the vernacular can be used. Yet dishonest people pretend that Vatican II somehow eliminated the use of Latin!
After Vatican II, the question arose whether priests were allowed to say private Masses in the vernacular. That’s because when it comes to the vernacular, Vatican II said “the limits of its employment may be extended” for Masses with the people (SC §36). That is one reason why an important document called Inter Oecumenici—which was promulgated on the feast of Saint Jean de Brébeuf in 1964—specifically said: “Missals to be used in the liturgy, however, shall contain besides the vernacular version the Latin text as well.” To my knowledge, the question of whether priests are allowed to say private Mass in the vernacular was never officially resolved.
Vatican II said: “In the Latin Church the pipe organ is to be held in high esteem, for it is the traditional musical instrument which adds a wonderful splendor to the Church’s ceremonies and powerfully lifts up man’s mind to God and to higher things” (SC §120).
Preserved AND Fostered:
Vatican II said “the treasure of sacred music is to be preserved and fostered with great care” (SC §101). Dishonest liturgists often act as though preserved and fostered with great care actually means “forbidden and made illegal.”
I have been told by people all over the country that this letter was probably ghost-written, although it appears under Bishop Lobsinger’s name and authority. If that’s true, I invite Bishop Lobsinger to reach out to me; there is much I would like to ask him. I can be reached through the “CONTACT” button at the top of the page.