Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


Insanae et Vanae Curae

February 9th, 2011, Promulgated by Gen

Insanae et vanae curae invadunt mentes nostras,
saepe furore replent corda, privata spe,
Quid prodest O mortalis conari pro mundanis,
si coelos negligas,
Sunt fausta tibi cuncta, si Deus est pro te.

Vain and raging cares invade our minds,
Madness often fills the heart, robbed of hope,
O mortal man, what does it profit to endeavour at worldly things,
if you should neglect the heavens?
If God is for you, all things are favorable for you.

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12 Responses to “Insanae et Vanae Curae”

  1. avatar Bill B. says:

    I see the humor in this. I roared when I realized that these were UK Protestants. The Protestants must like Latin. I don’t know why I thought of it this way. Makes perfect sense, can’t get it here, go there. Interesting.

  2. avatar Mike says:

    Thanks for the translation, Gen.

    My first take from the Latin was “Insane and Vain Curates.”

  3. avatar Gen says:

    I posted this because of the whole “Madness often fills the heart” bit. It explains certain recent com-box phenomena.

    @Bill – Many Protestant choirs do more Catholic music than Catholics do. Just look at Christ Church downtown, with their weekly Compline service. They use Catholic, not Anglican texts. Several local Presbyterian churches also have stellar music programs. And then look what we’ve got – a cathedral whose musical summit is the Dady Brother doing the Mass of Creation.

  4. avatar Gordon Barnes says:

    Gen: If the purpose of the Mass is to offer adoration to God, then why should you assume that the very same style of music will serve that purpose for every person in every parish? Why do you think that the particular style of music that you like facilitates the adoration of God just as well for every person in every parish? I don’t know where you get this idea that only medieval music is “Catholic music.”

    And by the way, why I am the only one around here (except for Ben Anderson) who isn’t hiding behind a pseudonym? Why doesn’t anyone else have at least enough courage to go by their real name?

  5. avatar Gen says:

    You’re putting words in my mouth, Dr. Barnes. First off, *I* don’t assume that a universal musical style serves the purpose of dignified liturgy in every parish. The Church does. Take a look at Sacrosanctum Concillium, which states:

    “113. Liturgical worship is given a more noble form when the divine offices are celebrated solemnly in song, with the assistance of sacred ministers and the active participation of the people.

    As regards the language to be used, the provisions of Art. 36 are to be observed; for the Mass, Art. 54; for the sacraments, Art. 63; for the divine office. Art. 101.

    114. The treasure of sacred music is to be preserved and fostered with great care. Choirs must be diligently promoted, especially in cathedral churches; but bishops and other pastors of souls must be at pains to ensure that, whenever the sacred action is to be celebrated with song, the whole body of the faithful may be able to contribute that active participation which is rightly theirs, as laid down in Art. 28 and 30.

    115. Great importance is to be attached to the teaching and practice of music in seminaries, in the novitiates and houses of study of religious of both sexes, and also in other Catholic institutions and schools. To impart this instruction, teachers are to be carefully trained and put in charge of the teaching of sacred music.

    It is desirable also to found higher institutes of sacred music whenever this can be done.

    Composers and singers, especially boys, must also be given a genuine liturgical training.

    116. The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services.

    But other kinds of sacred music, especially polyphony, are by no means excluded from liturgical celebrations, so long as they accord with the spirit of the liturgical action, as laid down in Art. 30.

    117. The typical edition of the books of Gregorian chant is to be completed; and a more critical edition is to be prepared of those books already published since the restoration by St. Pius X.

    It is desirable also that an edition be prepared containing simpler melodies, for use in small churches.

    118. Religious singing by the people is to be intelligently fostered so that in devotions and sacred exercises, as also during liturgical services, the voices of the faithful may ring out according to the norms and requirements of the rubrics.

    119. In certain parts of the world, especially mission lands, there are peoples who have their own musical traditions, and these play a great part in their religious and social life. For this reason due importance is to be attached to their music, and a suitable place is to be given to it, not only in forming their attitude toward religion, but also in adapting worship to their native genius, as indicated in Art. 39 and 40.

    Therefore, when missionaries are being given training in music, every effort should be made to see that they become competent in promoting the traditional music of these peoples, both in schools and in sacred services, as far as may be practicable.

    120. 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.

    But other instruments also may be admitted for use in divine worship, with the knowledge and consent of the competent territorial authority, as laid down in Art. 22, 52, 37, and 40. This may be done, however, only on condition that the instruments are suitable, or can be made suitable, for sacred use, accord with the dignity of the temple, and truly contribute to the edification of the faithful.

    121. Composers, filled with the Christian spirit, should feel that their vocation is to cultivate sacred music and increase its store of treasures.

    Let them produce compositions which have the qualities proper to genuine sacred music, not confining themselves to works which can be sung only by large choirs, but providing also for the needs of small choirs and for the active participation of the entire assembly of the faithful.

    The texts intended to be sung must always be in conformity with Catholic doctrine; indeed they should be drawn chiefly from holy scripture and from liturgical sources. ”

    The beauty of the Catholic Church has always rested in its catholicity, its universality. To see every parish do what it wants to, for good or ill, distorts this oneness, and creates the illusion of the Mass being something we can change at will. It isn’t. Nowhere did I say that only Medieval music is genuinely Catholic. If that were the case, why would I have posted Haydn’s Insanae et Vanae Curae, a piece written in the early 19th Century? The treasury of sacred music is vast, and not restricted to any one generation or century. Just look at some of the beautiful pieces written by contemporary composers, such as Kevin Allen:

    And, no, you are not the only one here using your real name. Other staff members include Bernie (whose real name is Bernie), Nerina (whose real name is Nerina), Nate (whose real name is Nate), Mike (whose real name is Mike). Those of us who don’t share our names do so because, if we did, our jobs, careers, and reputations would be at stake. There’s a difference between cowardice and self-preservation, and any implications to the contrary are not welcome, sir. Kindly remember that.

  6. avatar Gen says:

    The following article comes to us care of News Blaze. (

    “Pope Benedict XVI does not want the faithful receiving Communion in their hand nor does he want them standing to receive Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. According to Vatican liturgist, Monsignor Guido Marini, the pope is trying to set the stage for the whole church as to the proper norm for receiving Communion for which reason communicants at his papal Masses are now asked to kneel and receive on the tongue.

    The Holy Father’s reasoning is simple: “We Christians kneel before the Blessed Sacrament because, therein, we know and believe to be the presence of the One True God.”

    According to the pope the entire Church should kneel in adoration before God in the Eucharist. “Kneeling in adoration before the Eucharist is the most valid and radical remedy against the idolatries of yesterday and today”

    The pope’s action is in accord with the Church’s 2000 year tradition and is being done in order to foster a renewed love and respect for the Eucharist which presently is being mocked and treated with contempt. The various trends and innovations of our time (guitar liturgy, altar girls, lay ministers, Communion in the hand) have worked together to destroy our regard for the Eucharist, thus advancing the spiritual death of the church. After all, the Eucharist is the very life and heartbeat of the Mystical Body around which the entire Church must revolve.

    Kneeling also coincides with the Church’s centuries old ordinance that only the consecrated hands of a priest touch the Body of Christ in Holy Communion. “To priests alone has been given power to consecrate and administer to the faithful, the Holy Eucharist.” (Council of Trent) This teaching is beautifully expressed by St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica: “Because out of reverence towards this sacrament, nothing touches it, but what is consecrated; hence the corporal and the chalice are consecrated, and likewise the priest’s hands, for touching this sacrament.”

    It is for reason that Pope Paul VI in his May 1969 pastoral letter to the world’s bishops reaffirmed the Church’s teaching on the reception of Communion, stating that: “This method on the tongue must be retained.” (Memoriale Domini) This came in response to the bishops of Holland who started Communion in the hand in defiance of the centuries old decree from the Council of Rouen (650 A.D.) where this practice was condemned as sacrilegious. “Do not put the Eucharist in the hands of any layperson, but only in their mouths.” To date this prohibition has never been overturned legally.

    Today Communion in the hand is carried on illegally and has become a major tool of the enemy to destory the Faith throughout the world. For this practice serves no other purpose than to warp our conception of Jesus Christ and nourish a contempt for the sacred mysteries. It’s no wonder St. Basil referred to Communion in the hand as “a grave fault.”

    That is to say, Communion in the hand is not tied with Catholic tradition. This practice was first introduced to the Church by the heretical Arians of the 4th century as a means of expressing their belief that Christ was not divine. Unfortunately, it has served to express the same in our time and has been at the very heart of the present heresy and desecration that is rampant throughout the universal Church. If we have ‘abuse’ problems today it is because we’re abusing the Sacrament – it’s backfiring on us!

    Thanks to Communion in the hand, members of satanic cults are now given easy access to come into the Church and take the Host so that they bring it back to their covens where it is abused and brutalized in the ritualistic Black Mass to Satan. They crush the Host under their shoes as a mockery to the living God, and we assist it with our casual practice? Amongst themselves the satanists declare that Communion in the hand is the greatest thing that ever happened to them, and we do nothing to stop it?

    Hence, the Holy Father is doing his part to try to purge the Church of abuse and we as members of Christ are called upon to assist him. For your encouragement we include the following quotation from Cardinal Llovera, the new prefect for the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments speaking to Life Site News on July 22, 2009: “It is the mission of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Sacraments to work to promote Pope Benedict’s emphasis on the traditional practices of liturgy, such as reception of Communion on the tongue while kneeling.”

    Also worth considering is the recent decree from Cardinal Caffarra, the Archbishop of Bologna Italy, forbidding the practice of Communion in the hand: “Many cases of profanation of the Eucharist have occurred, profiting by the possibility to receive the consecrated Bread on one’s palm of the hand… Considering the frequency in which cases of irreverent behavior in the act of receiving the Eucharist have been reported, we dispose that starting from today in the Metropolitan Church of St. Peter, in the Basilica of St. Petronius and in the Shrine of the Holy Virgin of St. Luke in Bologna the faithful are to receive the consecrated Bread only from the hands of the Minister directly on the tongue.” (from his decree on the reception of the Eucharist, issued April 27, 2009)

    Technically all bishops and clergy are bound to follow the Holy Father’s directive on this issue, but in the meantime the faithful are not obliged to wait for the approval of their bishop in order to kneel for God. The directives of the Holy Father are not subject to the veto or scrutiny of the bishops and therefore all pastors and laity have a right and duty to put these directives into practice for the edification of their communities.”

  7. avatar Abaccio says:

    Think of it this way, Anon. When a parish decides to stand for the consecration, and a few folks still kneel, are they promoting disunity? Surely not! Congregationalism is not Catholicism. So too, when a Bishop or Conference of Bishops fails to follow the norms of the universal Church! Unity is not just within a parish, a diocese, a country, or even the world, but rather within the entire Church throughout the ages! Our prayers are in union with those of the Church triumphant and the Church suffering, as well.

  8. avatar Gordon Barnes says:

    Gen: I appreciate your taking the time to quote the relevant texts, and I have read them carefully. However, the problem is that they do not support your conclusion. For example, 120 says

    “But other instruments also may be admitted for use in divine worship, with the knowledge and consent of the competent territorial authority, as laid down in Art. 22, 52, 37, and 40.”

    However, you then proceed to say this:

    “To see every parish do what it wants to, for good or ill, distorts this oneness, and creates the illusion of the Mass being something we can change at will.”

    The texts that you cite clearly admit as permissible a variety of styles of music 119 makes this especially clear. So when you say that letting each parish do what it wants to do is inconsistent with the catholicity of the Church, you are contradicting the text that you just quoted. Now, it is true that these texts say that “pride of place” should be given to the pipe organ and the Gregorian Chant, but that does not exclude the use of other styles of music for sacred purposes. So your conclusion just doesn’t follow logically from these texts. The rest of these statements simply say that the music has to be appropriate for sacred purposes, but then you need some argument to show that some particular style of music is inappropriate for sacred purposes. And you don’t have any such convincing argument for any style of music that is actually being used in local parishes. So your conclusion just doesn’t follow here.

  9. avatar Gen says:


    Again, you’re putting words in my mouth. I have never said that ONLY the organ and ONLY Gregorian Chant are suitable. I’ve written about Masses in the Viennese choral tradition, as well as the Missa Luba.

    This being said, there is a line that is crossed by many parishes in Rochester and beyond. Guitars, bongos, banjos, tambourines, and rainsticks are not part of our liturgical tradition. Gregorian chant, falsobordone, sacred polyphony, hymnody, organ music, orchestral music, and boy’s choirs are.

  10. avatar Gordon Barnes says:

    The references to organ and Gregorian Chant are references to the texts that you cited, not anything that you said. You still haven’t supported your claim. Now that it’s clear, let’s take a look at it, and then I will ask you to show that Catholics are all bound by it. Your claim is this:

    “Guitars, bongos, banjos, tambourines, and rainsticks are not part of our liturgical tradition. Gregorian chant, falsobordone, sacred polyphony, hymnody, organ music, orchestral music, and boy’s choirs are.”

    Now here is the problem. As you yourself quoted, the Church teaches that

    “other instruments also may be admitted for use in divine worship, with the knowledge and consent of the competent territorial authority, as laid down in Art. 22, 52, 37, and 40.”

    So how do you justify excluding the instruments that you list above, when the Church’s own teaching clearly states that “other instruments can be used with the knowledge and consent of the competent territorial authority?

    You still have not justified your claim.

  11. avatar Gen says:

    “other instruments *****may***** be admitted”

    “principal place”

    Which one seems more binding to you? Which one seems like the one the Holy Father would support? Which one reflects the origins of Judeo-Christian worship in the Temple? Gregorian Chant has its basis in the psalmody of the Temple, and can trace certain melodies and modes back over 3,000 years. Marty Haugen can make no such claim.

  12. avatar Nerina says:

    And by the way, why I am the only one around here (except for Ben Anderson) who isn’t hiding behind a pseudonym? Why doesn’t anyone else have at least enough courage to go by their real name?

    Mr. Barnes,

    Nerina is my real name. There is absolutely no reason to put my surname since my first name is so unusual. I am sure that if anyone from the diocese reads this blog, they know who I am from the letters I write to the Catholic Courier and to the Bishop. Also, “Mike” has his real picture and “Mike” is his real name. Again, he is very well known in the diocese so no need for a surname.

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