Louis Bouyer

Passover Seder, Once More

The intention of the previous post was clear. Or so I thought. It was meant as an uncomplicated statement of fidelity to the male priesthood. The presence or absence of women at the Last Supper is not the critical issue. My allegiance is what it is because Jesus of Nazareth is Who He is: male, in body and bearing. Yet a surprising number of readers leap-frogged over the point and headed for the word seder. Some questioned the appropriateness of it in terms of days of the week and the Jewish calendar. Continue Reading

To paraphrase Degas: There is blogging and there is life; and we have but one heart. In a hurry yesterday, I neglected to say that Bouyer’s The Decomposition of Catholicism is not particularly representative of his writing. It is a brief, highly personal howl of dismay at the results of the Second Vatican Council, in which he himself played a significant role. The polemical energy of it appeals to me but polemics, I know, is not everyone’s cup of Twinings. So perhaps it is a book to meet later, after engaging the tenor of his mind and flavor of his scholarship in his many works on spirituality, the sacraments, the liturgy and Church history. Continue Reading

  Father Richard Neuhaus kept on his shelves several books by Louis Bouyer, a priest of the French Oratory. Like Fr. Neuhaus, Père Bouyer (1913-2004) had been a Lutheran minister before his conversion to Catholicism and ordination to the priesthood. In the Vatican II era, Fr. Bouyer would have needed no introduction. Professor of Church History and Spiritual Theology at the Institut Catholique in Paris, he published books on liturgy and patristic theology that are classics in their field. Influential at the Second Vatican Council, he was quick to express dismay at post-conciliar interpretations of the Council’s statements on liturgy. Continue Reading