Monday, July 09, 2007

Liturgical revisionism

I just can't pass this up, from Summorum Ponitificum, which, incidentally, the Vatican website has not made available in English:

I just can't pass this up, from Summorum Ponitificum, which, incidentally, the Vatican website has not made available in English:

"In more recent times, the Second Vatican Council expressed a desire that the respectful reverence due to divine worship should be renewed and adapted to the needs of our time. Moved by this desire our predecessor, the Supreme Pontiff Paul VI, approved, in 1970, reformed and partly renewed liturgical books for the Latin Church. These, translated into the various languages of the world, were willingly accepted by bishops, priests and faithful. John Paul II amended the third typical edition of the Roman Missal. Thus Roman Pontiffs have operated to ensure that "this kind of liturgical edifice ... should again appear resplendent for its dignity and harmony."[4]"

What a bunch of nonsense! Vatican II did not "express a desire"; in a near-unanimous vote, the bishops ordered a "general reform" of the liturgy. And nowhere does the phrase "respectful reverence" appear; their phrases were "full, conscious, and active," and "right and duty of the baptized." B16 makes it sound like Paul VI issued the new liturgical books on a whim.

This is an amazing piece of papalizing theology, and an amazing exercise of papal power. The repudiation of the council is not only liturgical but ecclesiological as well. Collegiality has flown right out the window.

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At 11:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you're correct to see the ecclesiological dimension of this. Not only has collegiality not been modeled or respected, but what's up with the whole return to the "private mass" with mere laity being admitted to it? I find the implications of that to be stunning, for what does Summorum pontificum's encouragement of the "private mass" mean but a return of the view of eucharist (all liturgy, really) as clerical property, and the erosion of liturgy as the collaborative work of the body. This is a complete repudiation of the direction of the universal church's still-current Constitution on the Liturgy that emphasized that rites that are meant to be celebrated in common, with the faithful present and actively participating, should be celebrated in that way rather than by an individual and quasi-privately!

Reintroducing liturgy as a private affair of the cleric, with laity being admitted to it as spectators cannot not be hoped to serve as a template for Christian life. Since liturgy really does effect what it signifies, then it must be that B16 wants to effect (that is, cause, bring about) a preconciliar ecclesiology. To think otherwise is to say B16 is ignorant of liturgy's formative energy, which would be an odd thing to say of a bishop of Rome.

At 4:36 PM, Blogger CtotheL said...

I think the pope is fully aware of liturgy's formative energy, which is precisely why he has issued this permission, which, mind you, allows all of the sacraments (save orders, it seems) to be celebrated according to the Tridentine form.


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