Another Backward-Looking “Mistake”? The Extraordinary Story of the Extraordinary Form in Albany

Father Z had reported this earlier this week, that Bishop Edward Scharfenberger, appointed a year ago, celebrated a Mass in the Extraordinary Form last week in the Albany Cathedral.


For those unfamiliar with the Albany Diocese, the diocese was presided over by Bishop Hubbard, a progressive and allegedly homosexual fruit-loop, for nearly forty years.  Albany is the capital of New York State and during the reign of “Mother” Hubbard, the present governor, an adulterous, abortion-supporting, gay marriage passing heretic claiming to be Catholic, Andrew Cuomo, was sworn in.  In this same cathedral, a Mass was celebrated for the occasion with Hubbard as the celebrant.  Not only did he declare the new governor to be the savior for the people of the state, but he also personally gave the “Communion cookie” to Cuomo and his concubine.

The diocese has been a wasteland as far as vocations and attending Mass was hit-or-miss as to whether you’d get a real Catholic Mass or a spirit of ’68 mess.  In 2010, it was big news when the diocese ordained five men as priests, the largest number in 28 years!  “The drop in vocations goes back 30 years, Walsh said. ‘A lot of people connect it to the sexual abuse scandal but having a vocation shortage was long before that. It’s not a major issue in terms of people not coming forward. It’s almost a motivating factor for these guys, quite the opposite of what a lot of people think.’  In other words, the vocations crisis has existed there as long as Hubbard was the bishop.  Quite frankly, Hubbard is the epitome of everything wrong in the Church for the last forty years and his track record is shameful.  How this man was left there for so long is incomprehensible.  Yet, this is what Pope Francis seems to want to bring back as seen by his recent appointments in Chicago and San Diego, and let’s not forget the people in Chile with their new exemplar of a man set to take over in a few days.

Here is a report of the Mass from the Musings of A Capital Region Catholic blog:

Bishop Celebrates the 1962 Mass at the Cathedral in Albany

The Cathedral was filled nearly to the brim as the Bishop of Albany, installed just less than a year ago, celebrated the Latin Mass according to the 1962 Missal.

Bishop Edward Scharfenberger, installed as Bishop of Albany on April 10th, 2014, celebrated a High Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite on Saturday morning, March 14th at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Fr.s Michael Flannery and William Pape of the Diocese of Albany and Fr. Jeffery Larche, MS served at the Mass, as well as 10 altar boys, including 2 MCs. A choir of sixteen singers was led by Brian Gurley, the Director of Music for the Cathedral .

This event was publicized on Fr. Z’s WDTPRSPatheos, and Cleansing Fire.

The Mass was particularly special to this Diocese because it was the first Mass in the Extraordinary Form to be celebrated at the Diocese’s Cathedral in nearly 50 years, and it is especially notable because it was celebrated by the Bishop of Albany. Historic, indeed.

As previously mentioned, the Cathedral was nearly full for this event. Attendance estimates range from 350 to nearly 600. I helped to hand out worship aids (with the Propers and Prayers) before Mass, and we extinguished all 300 of them before 15 minutes prior to the event. The Priests and MCs had to scramble before Mass to make sure that enough hosts would be consecrated because of the unexpected large number of people that were pouring into the Cathedral. The parking lot was nearly full with more than a half-hour to spare before the beginning of Mass.

Take a look at the rest of the post for the photos and for the audio of the bishop’s homily.
This is really extraordinary news.  The Extraordinary Form has likely not been celebrated in the cathedral for forty years.  It is another example of the resurgence of the Mass of the ages, a Mass that was supposed to fade away into history after herculean efforts were made to bury it.  No doubt planned well before Pope Francis took his slap recently at those who prefer the “inauthentic” liturgy last week, I wonder if Bishop Scharfenberger will now be penalized for his celebration of this “mistaken” form of the liturgy.
Father Z has also posted today a follow-up wherein he makes the connection between vocations and the Extraordinary Form, a connection that is hard and stupid to ignore:

I received a note from a friend of mine in New York state who is well situated to hear all manner of news.

The vocations office in Albany has gone from zero to 120 inquiries from young men of the area.

My first reaction is to say, with Henry, “Let there be sung Non nobis and Te Deum“.

Next, I say, “Yep.  This isn’t rocket science.”

Then, I say, “What do you want to bet that none of these men have subscriptions to the National Schismatic Reporter?”

. . .

Let’s be clear.  I am not suggesting that there is an immediate connection between saying a Pontifical Mass and a sudden increase in vocations, though I think that the fact of the Mass will be helpful for prompting vocations in the future.  I think that, if the numbers are accurate, men are reacting to a new style, a new vision which the new bishop has brought in.   Part of that new style and vision now includes willingness to celebrate Holy Mass also in the Extraordinary Form.   He is a both/and bishop.

See here for more pictures of the Mass from the New Liturgical Movement blog.

Posted in Faith, Family, Parish Life, Pope Francis the Muddle-Headed?, Profaning the Eucharist or Trying To, The Mass, The Point of The Blog, The Priesthood
12 comments on “Another Backward-Looking “Mistake”? The Extraordinary Story of the Extraordinary Form in Albany
  1. Margaret Antonas says:

    God bless this Bishop.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] Today, we have a sighting on the EX MAGNA SILENTIUM blog via the Fr. Z blog. Immemorial Mass of All Ages returns to the Albany Cathedral. (see here). […]

    Liked by 1 person

  3. S. Armaticus says:

    Someone should buy the archbishop some new vestments. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • kpkspinelli says:

      Hello! I’m Kylie Spinelli (Author of Capital Region Catholic). I agree. However, the vestments pictured in this article are not the vestments that +Scharfenberger wore for the EF last week. They are part of a (hideous) set owned by the Diocese for ordinations and such. The above photo is from his Episcopal ordination. If you look on my blog there are photos of the vestments he wore for the Mass. They were beautiful, and they are property of the Bishop.
      God bless you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • steveesq says:

        Thanks for your post of the Mass and your blog. And thanks for clarifying the vestments question.


      • S. Armaticus says:

        Dear Kylie:

        Thank you for your kind message and blessing.

        The reason that I used that article with that picture is for the effect. Visitors who read my blog are primarily Catholics who returned to the Immemorial Mass of All Ages. When they see a picture like that, they understand that it is not just a matter of “taste” or “preference” that is the underlying issue with respect to returning back to the Sacred Liturgy. It is in fact an issue of seriousness. And when you see a man in an outfit like that, he can’t be taken seriously.

        On an aside, if you happen to watch the Godfather I, there is a scene in the beginning where the Godfathers attorney is speaking to the movie producer. And the movie producer is explaining to the attorney why he can’t allow the Godfather’s godson to be the star in his new movie. The reasoning is that “a man in my position can’t be made to look ridiculous”.

        As to the other visitors to my blog, they happen to read it and are from NO rite. When they look through the old posts and see the Catholic hierarchy in their Sunday best, and then run across a photo like this one, they get the same message.

        Closing, I must admit that I do feel sorry for making a point at the expense of Bp. Scharfenberger since he is the kind of bishop that this blog tries to support and defend. And since you were so kind to write me and share your views, I will update my post with a link to your blog as well to demonstrate the contrast so to speak.

        Once again, thank you for your kind message.

        Pax Christi


        Liked by 1 person

  4. stevephoenix72 says:

    Well, we greet all good news, such as this, gladly..

    However, I agree with Armaticus about the modern(ist) chasuble as not-right; also, it is a matter of grief that the altar-“table” has replaced the high altar, lowered and “horizontalized” as well as now zoomed-forward to the crossing of the Cathedral nave and wings. It would make Cranmer glad to see it of course (he had a lot of English cathedral high altars wacked of course), and this cathedral now looks very much like Grace Cathedral (US Episcopal) here in San Fran-Babylon: we must “‘bring down’ the sacrifice (oops! that word) to man.”

    But we all know that Scharfenburger has the Augean stables to clean out: it takes more than a pro-forma exhibition to (yes) turn-the-clock-back to a true worship, a true clergy, and an unblemished sacrifice of expiation daily for the sins of the living and the dead (Suscipe Sancte Pater prayer, Traditional Latin Mass). Let us hope he is inspired, against all odds, to go the distance. Sometimes we find the truth in strange places.


    • steveesq says:

      Well said, Steve. It’s always easier to destroy things than to build or rebuild, and there’s a lot of rebuilding to do in Albany and in the diocese. I take this as a good stone in the foundation. But the 80s garb must go!


      • MC says:

        I too enjoy the Roman fiddleback, but the Gothic chasuble is certainly a licit option and did not detract from this liturgy in anyway.


  5. MC says:

    I was one of the benefactors of those vestments commissioned for that mass. Bishop Scharfenberger has a preference for the gothic chasuble and we honored that. It was handmade for the occasion, the symbol of the pelican on the back couldn’t be more traditional; feeding her young with her own flesh.
    With the Cathedral filled with 400, I wondered how long it would take before people started to form the circular firing squad.
    The mass was beautiful, the choir was outstanding, the Cathedral staff was gracious and hospitable, and Bishop celebrating the EF speaks for itself.


    • steveesq says:

      The comments about the chasuble were made about what he wore in the photo from his ordination, not what he wore at the Mass last Saturday. Sorry for the confusion and perceived slight at the vestments. You are very blessed to be involved there and to have been present. It truly is a beautiful moment for the diocese.


  6. stevephoenix72 says:

    MC: Thank you for your support of the TLM.

    However, I am tired of the “circular firing squad” put-down.

    Please read what I said and the observation is valid based on the objective facts in the photo. Also, please note the issue with the high altar — of course, no where authorized in
    Sacro. Concilium. My point is: a step in the right direction, but it is a journey of a thousand miles to go back to where we were in 1962 as a Church.

    Again: Thank you for your support of the TLM and for your explanation: I too have supported with $$$ the re-institution of the authentic legacy of the Church. However, we have a long way to go, and there are those who would like to “satisfy us with a few crumbs” to keep us and our checkbooks in the fold. You certainly must know what I mean. Also, the Church of England also reverted for a time to imitating the Roman Mass after its history of revolution against Rome: however, we know it is form without content.


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