UPDATE: Beyond Pius V – Andrea Grillo and Alcuin Reid

For those of you new to this story, check out our post a few days ago “Beyond Pius V – Andrea Grillo and Alcuin Reid.” On Saturday Alcuin Reid responded to Grillo’s critique of Reid’s original review of Grillo’s book “Beyond Pius V.” (It’s like watching a tennis match.) Reid’s response can be found at New Liturgical Movement. Grillo has written a second response to Reid, which we are providing below.

npc

 

“The Reform of the Liturgy through Actuosa Participatio, Necessarily beyond Pius V”

by Andrea Grillo, translated by Barry Hudock

A. Reid’s counter-reply to my reply following his review of Beyond Pius V offers an opportunity for a conversation about different readings of the recent liturgical tradition. Sometimes one begins a dialogue and ends up with an argument. At other times one begins with a conflict and ends up with a conversation. I won’t rule out that this second case is still possible here. But the necessary condition is absolute clarity. Reviewing Reid’s reply point by point, I respond to each of them below.

– A professor who works at a pontifical university can and sometimes must adopt an extraordinary attitude and tone, when he sees basic truths of the tradition denied and key points of historical development ignored. In recent years, I have found myself taking this extraordinary tone rather often, most often in Italian, but also in French and German. This is the first time that I have taken it in English. On the other hand, not even pontifical universities live only on repetition and patience, but also on novelty and audacity, as even the Instruction on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian, Donum Veritatis (1990), teaches. It would be quite strange for the pontifical universities to fail to faithfully follow this instruction. To me, this is what has happened: failing to find the Roman Rite’s extraordinary use to be well-founded theologically and historically, I have often had to assume an extraordinary use of theological and academic language. And I have felt compelled to do so.

– As I have already said, though with great irony, in my first reply, I am in full agreement with a reading of the liturgical movement as being concerned above all with the “formation/initiation [of the faithful] into the liturgy.” (See my book, La nascita della liturgia nel XX secolo. Saggio sul rapporto tra Movimento Liturgico e post-modernità, [Assisi: Cittadella, 2003]). What I contest, though, is an “archaic” reading of the movement, which is no longer justified and against which there is a need today for the development of a new historiographical categorization of the movement (as has also been argued by A. Angenendt [Liturgik und Historik, 2002]) that recognizes in it an initial phase (until 1947), a phase of reform (from 1947 to 1988), and a phase of reception (1988-2???) that still continues today. But it is not legitimate to insert jumps, breaks, and ruptures into this history. The Council and the reform, in this perspective, would be the second phase of the liturgical movement! Here I am fighting for a true hermeneutic of continuity, while it seems to me that Reid suggests a dangerous rupture. The fact that he attributes the “rupture” even to Bugnini is perhaps the result of a lack of confidence in the Italian language.

– Reid says he is not a traditionalist, but a Catholic. Very well. But why, then, assume all the common traditionalist points of departure for his research? I offer a single example. To suggest that the essentiality of the rites of Paul VI and the achievement of actuosa participatio are only “idols” and the fruit of a naïve reading of history seems to me to be a very grave and ideological affirmation. It seems to me that this irremediably undermines a correct and scholarly understanding of the Second Vatican Council and the liturgical reform. With this as a starting point, developed with a mindset that negatively reacts to the Council, it becomes impossible to interpret correctly the Council, what followed it, and also what preceded it.

– It is therefore pointless for Reid to say that these considerations of his are based on a “profound respect for the solemn deliberations of an Ecumenical Council” while at the same time accusing the reform of not having respect for the Council. These traditionalist sophisms – introduced by M. Lefebvre himself – are false arguments, nostalgia with an academic varnish, and they stand in the way of a scholarly approach to the object of study.

– When Reid reiterates that this “conciliar” vision is typically Italian, he confirms two things. Reid evidently does not know Italy very well. Above all, he does not know how profoundly and with what power Vatican II was received in the Italian church and culture. I would advise him not to confuse the Roman Curia with Italy, and that accusing the Italian theological culture of “idolatry of the new rites” is simply a stupid thing to be avoided tout-court. Also with regard to Italy, Reid gives greater voice to the bias than to good judgment [a play on words: più al pregiudizio che al giudizio – Tr.].

– To speak of “active participation” in the usus antiquior is a ghost not because Grillo says so, but by intrinsic necessity; it is the fruit of a contradiction in terms. If Reid had carefully read my Beyond Pius V – and I would also refer him to Introduzione alla teologia liturgica. Approccio teorico alla liturgia e ai sacramenti cristiani (Padova: EMP – Abbazia S. Giustina, 2011) – he would understand that his “ghosts” derive from a mistaken understanding of actuosa participatio. It is no coincidence that in his book, The Organic Development of the Liturgy, he proposes a theory of actuosa participatio that is clearly based on Mediator Dei, not on Sacrosanctum Concilium. This is an irremediable error that compromises everything else. The new meaning of actuosa participatio considers the “ritus et preces” as a language of the entire assembly, and for this reason necessarily calls for a liturgical reform. It is, necessarily, “beyond the usus antiquior.” When this is not understood, the conclusions that result are risky and easily uncontrollable.

Permit me to conclude with a citation of a great “Italian prelate,” who interpreted in July 2007 what Reid – this time truly in a surprisingly naïve way – understands as a “new flowering.” Carlo Maria Martini, having evoked his long ecclesial and cultural experience with the Latin language, wrote:

I have the credentials to take advantage of the recent Motu Proprio and return to celebrating Mass in the ancient rite. But I don’t, and this is for three reasons.

First, because I am convinced that the Second Vatican Council brought us a beautiful step forward in our understanding of the liturgy and its capacity to nourish us with the Word of God, which it offers us much more abundantly than before. There have certainly been some abuses in the practice of the reformed liturgy, but this it does not seem to me to be many of us. As for the rest, I would say for those who understand Latin, abusus non tollit usum [the abuse does not preclude the proper use]. In fact, it is necessary to recognize that for many people the renewed liturgy constitutes a source of interior rejuvenation and spiritual nourishment.

Second, I cannot be unaffected by that sense of being closed off that emanated in a general way from the kind of Christian life as it was generally lived then, when only with effort could the faithful find that breath of freedom and responsibility that comes from living in first person, which Saint Paul speaks of, for example, in Galatians 5: 1-17. I am very grateful for the Second Vatican Council, because it opened doors and windows to a more joyful and humanly more livable Christian life. Certainly, even then there were saints, and I knew them. But overall, Christian existence lacked that little bit of a mustard that gave more flavor to everyday living, which one could perhaps live without, but which brings more color and life to things.

Third, while admiring the great benevolence of the Pope who wants to allow everyone to praise God with both old and new forms, I have seen as a bishop the importance of communion even in the forms of a liturgical prayer that expresses in a single language the adherence of all to the highest mystery. And here I trust in the traditional good sense of our people, who understand how hard it can be for the bishop to provide the Eucharist for all and that he cannot easily multiply the celebrations or conjure out of nowhere ordained ministers able to respond to all the individual needs. (Il Sole 24 Ore)

The meaning of my Beyond Pius V is only a small variation on this basic melody, which is so free of idolatry and full of good sense. And it is in this spirit that the book can be understood and evaluated.

 

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48 comments

  1. The quote from Cardinal Martini seems rather like it would be more acceptable to traditional leaning types than Andrea Grillo own rhetoric, but it also demands rather less from Grillo’s opponents.

    Based on the Cardinal’s quote, the EF would seem to be fine, as long as the people attending understand latin and can provide the priests / resources needed (i.e. without disadvantaging others).

    That seems a fair way from the EF being, well unusable, because it has not been reformed. Though given VII pretty explictly decided being reformed on the lines of SC was not required for the eastern rites, the good Cardinal was likely much closer to the truth than is Andrea Grillo anyway.

    1. @Scott Smith – comment #1:
      No, you’re misreading Martini egregiously. His point is that he does not support Summorum Pontificum (he gives his reasons) and will not be making use of it to celebrate the EF.
      SC 3 says that all rites (including Eastern) are to be reformed, while taking care not to impose Western specificities upon Easter rites.
      awr

      1. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #11:

        It does not cut both ways equally.

        Look, if I were God for a day, there are plenty of things in the Church I would change.

        However there is no new revelation, and tradition (including liturgy) is not just a competing view of God’s desires, but also part of our evidence for them (together with scripture and reason).

        Now, as I have said, that does not mean we never change anything. It certainly does not mean that recent “traditions” can not be junked, as we refine our understandings.

        But a material rupture is hard to justify.

        @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #22:

        Martini gave practical, not ideological, reasons (unlikely Andrea Grillo). You know, the difference between SP not being helpful, and it being somehow being illegitimate. That is a real difference.

        In terms of SC3 I suppose my point is we are in danger of trying to convert modern latin specificities into universal theological requirements (keeping in mind Orientalium Ecclesiarum).

        However if your view is that the eastern rites are in need to further reform on the lines of SC, rather than just the de-latinising which has occurred, you are at least being consistent.

  2. Sound, helpful, and thoughtful response. And without resorting to adolescent insult.

    I will also repeat my argument that “rupture” is not necessarily a bad thing in the life of faith. Even if some believers experienced rupture, it would certainly be vexing and difficult, but it is not a sign of error. Saul’s experience on the road to Damascus is a classic conversion story. And even among people already solidly situated in the Church, when religious orders receive postulants, they immerse them in new lives. They don’t give them regular weekend passes to go to bars or clubs or flash mobs. Or home.

    Sometimes Christ demands a complete break from a former life. Why, as believers, would some of us not expect this to be part of an orthodox Christianity?

    1. @Todd Flowerday – comment #2:

      Todd,

      The experience of rupture is, I would think, more like a divine requirement in the lives of many Catholics (it has been in mine). It is just we would more generally call it conversion or repentance etc.

      This can also be true in the life of the Church, which we see in respect of the horrors of child sexual abuse.

      Rupture in the belief of the Church is, well, different*. It would suggest our faith comes not from what has been revealed and passed on to us, but from our reason (or preferences) first. From ourselves, and not from God.

      * Noting there can be change, reform and development without rupture.

      1. @Scott Smith – comment #3:
        You write:
        “Rupture in the belief of the Church is, well, different*. It would suggest our faith comes not from what has been revealed and passed on to us, but from our reason (or preferences) first. From ourselves, and not from God.”

        But your logic doesn’t hold. Rupture could just as easily come about because we’re convinced it is God’s will and we have to do it whether we like it or not. The sincere conviction could be that we must move beyond past practice (tradition) because it is not in accord with the authentic message of revelation from God. Conversely, clinging to recent tradition could be based on personal preference rather than openness to God’s will.

        Any position, conservative or liberal, advocating continuity or rupture, could well be selfish preference or it could be openness to God. It cuts both ways. Don’t assume that selfish preference is only on the side you don’t like.

        awr

      2. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #11:
        I would like to add another dimension to the excellent point that Anthony has raised about rupture in the Church, namely that the tradition of prophecy in ancient Israel — which is exactly the tradition in which the preaching of Jesus takes its place — is very affirming of the freedom of God to break into our received wisdom and reveal the divine will in ways that disrupt the status quo.

        The role of the Holy Spirit in the Church is not limited to affirming longstanding institutional responses, but continues to be the place in our theology where we acknowledge God’s freedom to “break in” and direct us to that future consummation which may not be at all what we are expecting.

        To understand the Christian “tradition” we must not make the mistake of confusing tradition with the argument that the Church cannot change. It also embraces an understand that the ability to reform is linked to the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, which is in turn linked to prophecy as practiced by Jesus in the tradition of the great prophets of Israel. This is why the Spirit language that surrounded the Council, and why the opening prayer to the Holy Spirit, which began every session of the Council, is aptly recalled here.

  3. IMHO the EF is like a Model T Ford. Worked well back then to get people places they needed to go, no one can deny that. It served it’s purpose well “for that time period” but is wholly inadequate for today. There is no “break” in the fact that it was a method of transportation and we wouldn’t be where we are today without it but modern vehicles are so different and function so much better that there is a “break” in appearance, function and suitability. The Model T like the EF is obsolete. As such it belongs in a museum for all the reasons given here and on other postings. Just my opinion.

    1. @Dale R. Rodrigue – comment #4:

      What then is your opinion of the eastern rites? Are they also obsolete? If not, why are they different to the old latin rite in this regard?

      Mind you, holding that the eastern rites need to be reformed is potentially an intellectually defensible Catholic position. Just interested to see if it is your position.

    2. @Dale R. Rodrigue – comment #4:
      Dale,

      Your analogy doesn’t work because no one is saying that if someone today drives a model t then he or she is “not really driving, but watching a movie of what it’s like to drive,” that two people riding together in a model t aren’t really “riding together, they just happen to occupy the same enclosed space and maybe they share something emotionally but they’re not really riding in a car together.” Model Ts you see, are not communal in form.
      If the EF is just like a model T, then what’s wrong with some people using a model T if they want to?

    3. @Dale R. Rodrigue – comment #4:
      One of the aspects of the liturgy is that it is not like a machine that become technologically obsolete. The problem that happened in the late 20th century was that the liturgy did start to become to be seen as a machine in need of repair. However, a religion as ancient as ours does not change that easily. Liturgy has a connection with our collective consciousness, and that is why the EF has never disappeared nor is it likely to. That said, in terms of the need to evangelise society, I believe that the EF is more limited in being able to evangelise (although it has strengths in other areas) , and the OF is needed in our time.

      To declare my position I attend both the OF and EF masses 50/50.

  4. It is getting quite tiring to see the either/or arguments being litigated time and time again. The Ordinary Form was a great gift the the church. The reception of the older form as an Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite also a great gift to the church. This is the going beyond Pius V and Paul VI.

  5. “the liturgy is that it is not like a machine” (no.7)

    True…and yet I rather like the metaphor of the EF as a Ford Model T.

    Unto what, then, shall we liken the OF? A De Lorean: sleek and trendy in its time, but now cliché and outdated? Or a Trabant: it’s cheap, ugly, and just doesn’t work, but it’s all that was made available to the people?

    Really, we all need to stop telling each other how to pray. We need to give up the desire to control others. As D.R.Rodruguez asks, what’s wrong with someone using a Model T if they want to? If it helps them, who am I to judge?

    1. @Tony Phillips – comment #10:
      The issue, we must repeat over and over, is Vatican II. It really does come down to whether we accept Vatican II or not.

      The carefully-wrought argument of Grillo is that the EF is not compatible with Vatican II. This is the point we must not lose. Then it will be clearer that the “tolerant” folks are really saying, “Can’t people reject Vatican II if they want to? Why not let some Catholics accept the Council and others not, why the narrowness?”

      Arguments for tolerance are distracting us here from Grillo’s central point.

      And let me try to prevent another useless side argument, lest we get distracted. The highest authority in the Church, Benedict XVI, took a different position. (And of course it was different also from the position of Pope Paul VI.) Grillo knows that. Let’s argue the issue itself, and not the authority question. That Benedict XVI thought the EF is compatible with Vatican II is known by all of us. Let’s not pretend that an argument from authority settles the issue. The question is whether Benedict XVI was correct on the compatibility question. (Or, rather, whether Paul VI was.)

      awr

      1. @Anthony Ruff, OSB (#12): The issue, we must repeat over and over, is Vatican II. It really does come down to whether we accept Vatican II or not.

        This line of thinking comes very close to equating the Concilium with the Consilium.

        I cannot speak for others here, but my position is this: I accept Vatican II, and I accept that it calls for reforms in the liturgy. What I do not accept is that the reforms we ended up with were the only possible reforms, or the best possible ones. I happen to think that the post-conciliar rites, though valid, are deficient in many ways, and the best chance of repairing them lies in the mutual enrichment the Pope emeritus called for in his covering letter to SP.

        The Council asked for certain reforms; those responsible for them in the immediate post-conciliar period went far beyond the Council’s mandate. Where, for example, did the Council call for multiple anaphoras? Or a complete overhaul of the propers of the Mass? Or the stripping out of almost all apotropaic elements in the Rituale? I would argue that these are things not compatible with Vatican II (cf. SC 23); they are the decisions of the Consilium, and, as such, themselves changeable and reformable.

        Todd Flowerday (#24): The 1570/1962 Missal is simply incapable of bearing the weight needed to inspire the mission.

        In your opinion. For the record, I vehemently disagree. My experience is that those who are attached to the usus antiquior do not lack fervour in their missionary outreach.

      2. @Matthew Hazell – comment #26:

        Matthew: “The Council asked for certain reforms; those responsible for them in the immediate post-conciliar period went far beyond the Council’s mandate. […] Or the stripping out of almost all apotropaic elements in the Rituale?

        The “old Ritual” contains contradictory actions. For example, almost any time a priest sprinkles holy water, he must say or sing asperges me. This is apparent in other rites, e.g. the EF requiem on the day of burial. Some of these blessings might have to do with baptism or baptismal imagery (arguably, this is the case with the EF requiem). Many blessings in the old Ritual, though, simply presume the use of the asperges me. It’s as if the sprinkling has been reduced to a pro forma act which has lost its primary link with baptismal imagery.

        I won’t question that many exorcisms were removed for the reformed Book of Blessings. However, it’s important to view these changes in the light of the asperges example. Maybe some exorcisms were said not because they pertained to the blessings, but because time, accretion, and textual error placed exorcisms where they were not theologically or pastorally appropriate.

        It’s a good idea to give the Consilium and later revisers some credit. It’s hard to find a balance between preserving what is valuable from the past, and at the same time maintaining a balance with historical criticism. The old Ritual is available for any priest to use as an alternative to newer rituals. This choice, however, does not solve the many questions which surround the differences between the old and new Rituals.

      3. @Matthew Hazell – comment #26:
        “My experience is that those who are attached to the usus antiquior do not lack fervour in their missionary outreach.”

        But are they missionary disciples? We are far past the motto of “Some go by giving; some give by going.” Are all called to the mandatum of Mark 16:15 and Matthew 28:19-20. The age of specialization is passing.

      4. @Matthew Hazell – comment #26:

        The Council asked for certain reforms; those responsible for them in the immediate post-conciliar period went far beyond the Council’s mandate. [snip] they are the decisions of the Consilium, and, as such, themselves changeable and reformable.

        We really need to stop hearing this argument. It is built on sand.

        Those responsible for the reforms were — wait for it — the bishops. The things Matthew objects to were not decisions of the Consilium but requests of the bishops of the world, who were swift and vocal in making their demands which, yes, do go beyond what SC had foreseen (but so what? — it was a natural and rapid evolution as things developed).

        This phantom of the Consilium as some kind of monster with Bugnini at the centre as the Great Satan is simply imaginary, and needs to be abandoned. Much of the Consilium’s work was in direct response to the requests of the bishops and the pope. This is all well documented in Piero Marini’s A Challenging Reform.

    2. @Tony Phillips – comment #10:

      “what’s wrong with someone using a Model T if they want to?”

      Nothing.

      One could still wonder, however, if that old car might break down in the middle of the road, ergo block traffic, ergo hinder the journey of God’s people on the road. 😀

  6. “The issue, we must repeat over and over, is Vatican II. It really does come down to whether we accept Vatican II or not.”

    What does it mean, I think it’s fair to ask, to ‘accept’ Vatican II? It’s one of the OEcumenical Councils of the church, but it ended nearly fifty years ago, and three years before I was born. I accept Lateran IV as well, which ordered various things that no one would dream of attempting to enforce today. What makes Vatican II any different at this point?

    1. @Paul Goings – comment #14:

      What does it mean, I think it’s fair to ask, to ‘accept’ Vatican II? It’s one of the OEcumenical Councils of the church, but it ended nearly fifty years ago, and three years before I was born. I accept Lateran IV as well, which ordered various things that no one would dream of attempting to enforce today. What makes Vatican II any different at this point?

      This point is crucial in a discussion such as this. When we speak of “accepting” a Council, we are really speaking of accepting the teaching of the Church’s Magisterium both in the Council and in subsequent explanations and decisions — if one fails to accept the speculations or theological opinions that Grillo (or that Reid) makes, that does not constitute failing to accept the Council.

      Yet Grillo, who is quite familiar with Donum veritatis draws dangerously near a type of “parallel magisterium” like DV cautions against when he makes assertion that Reid’s statement “irremediably undermines a correct and scholarly understanding of [Vatican II]” — as though only Grillo’s understanding (shared by Fr. Anthony and others here) can be the “correct and scholarly understanding” of the Council. (Besides this, a reading of Reid’s initial review demonstrates that Grillo is factually wrong about what Reid was asserting — making a straw man out of another straw man).

      To this point, the distinction between the types of “active participation” of Mediator Dei and that of Sacrosanctum Concilium (which Fr. Anthony described as “Participation 1” and “Participation 2”) could be a useful distinction but it is not a criterion as to whether or not one “accepts Vatican II”, because the Magisterium never made such a distinction, even in SC.

      It may well turn out to be a distinction that is both true and useful, but it isn’t one that one MUST hold (just as one must not hold to be true the three “historical phases” that Grillo proposes).

      That said, I do find it a useful distinction…I would propose that they make up two complementary “Models of Active Participation”. Distinguishing between them gives helps clarify the development in liturgical theology introduced by Pope Benedict in Summorum Pontificum. The two complementary “Models of Participation” help to flesh out the nature of the two expressions of Lex orandi that express the one Lex credendi.

      Liturgical theology has continued to develop since SC (and not only by the promulgation of SP). We are past the time when we can judge liturgy solely on what SC says.

  7. It depends on which side of the fence you find yourself.
    In my opinion, and many may not like it, Vatican II ‘reformed and restored” the liturgy just as it said it did. There are not two but rather the one was reformed and restored. Period.
    The older form is no longer but rather has evolved into the newer form. Same as a model T.
    Having said that, B16 reinstated the pre evolved form so it is CONTRARY to the constitution.
    In my opinion because this is contrary to the constitution it is illegitimate. Yes, it was valid and legal at one time but because of a Church Council it is now illegal, the sacraments may be valid but illegal. It was a great mistake to reinstate and like many I feel it should be reversed.

    Furthermore,
    Fr AWR states: “The question is whether Benedict XVI was correct on the compatibility question. (Or, rather, whether Paul VI was.)”

    I will go out on a limb here, albeit a short one, in stating that when B16 was asked why he was resigned he said and I quote: “God told me to”. What a rebuke to Benedict and everything he stood for. If God told him to leave I conclude, to answer Fr. AWR’s question, yes Benedict was WRONG. Now I can hear the howls from the traddies and the personal attacks against me but either God did tell B16 to resign, or B16 lied or B16 suffers from delusions. Regardless, it doesn’t bode well for what he tried to accomplish.
    Just saying.

  8. As regards the acceptance of Vatican II, here are some contrasts.
    Should baptism be sought for infants so they may be rescued from Limbo, or so they may begin their initiation into Christ’s priestly people? Does baptism just confer an indelible mark on their souls or does it empower them to be active participants in worship and in the mission of the church? Is the Mass to be revered because we are able to witness the priest’s transubstantion of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, or is it the source and summit of Christian life because in it we consciously and actively unite ourselves with Christ in offering to God his paschal mystery? Is the pope an absolute monarch who rules directly over each diocese and the bishops his branch managers marching in lockstep to the beat of the Roman Curia, or is the pope a servant leader in the very image of Christ who as Peter’s successor confirms his brother bishops who as successors of the apostles shepherd the local and universal church? I can think of dozens of similar questions but surely so can you.
    To reader O’Keefe: The old rite has all but vanished. It’s principal proponents are the Lefebvrists who think of themselves as the keepers of THE TRADITION as the remnant flock of True Catholics. They reject Vatican II out of hand and are schismatics. If you wish to follow them, best of luck.

    1. @Jack Feehily – comment #17:
      What Jack Feehily has outlined here is an excellent list of ways in which the Council changed our ways of thinking about basic elements of church life.

      I would only add that the liturgy had to be reformed in order to express these realities more clearly. And that is what happened. We are still in the process of realizing the depth of what took place, and yes, there is unevenness in the way it is experienced on the ground. But the older rites are not going to answer the question of how to implement these newer ways of thinking. Rather, we need to continually improve and build on our practice of celebrating the new rites well.

    2. @Jack Feehily – comment #17:

      In every example you have suggested, the answer is “BOTH x AND y”. We would be just as wrong to deny the latter as to deny the former.

      Also, you bear false witness against traditionalists when you use the same tired trope of traditionalists==schismatics that Grillo has used. An increasingly large number of proponents of the Usus antiquior are neither followers of Lefebvre nor the loyal-but-hurt-and-poor-mannered traditionalists that made up much of the movement in previous decades.

      In fact, many are those newer and younger proponents are being formed in the spirit of Summorum Pontificum, which is to be nourished by BOTH forms — two forms of the Church’s lex orandi which both express one lex credendi.

    3. @Jack Feehily – comment #17:
      I am a liberal Catholic who is attracted to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and attend it regularly. I don’t think you understand that post SP, some parishes are offering the EF as an alternative choice.

      I will have nothing to do with the schismatic sect of the Lefebrists. You sound as if you are telling me to leave the church.

      I am a Vatican II Catholic although sometimes I question some of the decisions that the Consilium made and certainly question some of the practices that came to force later on.

      1. @Brendan O’Keeffe – comment #30:
        I’m a liberal Catholic, too. One who also found a number of reforms questionable, and a very few outright bad. But I’m not impressed with the older Missal. Far better, I think, to work within the Roman Rite, exemplify the positives and argue for continued reform. Not reform2.

      2. @Todd Flowerday – comment #31:
        I don’t know, Todd. From those I’ve engaged with, and from my own views, it seems to me that what you’ve said is exactly what reform2 is: exemplifying the positive and arguing for continued reform.

        I’m not a liberal Catholic, by the way.

      3. @Gerry Davila – comment #32:
        I agree both with Gerry and Todd. The Ordinary Form does not need reform,. We just need to draw from its richness. Issues that are considered “reform” such as signing of the propers, ad-orientem celebration and communion on the tongue are all existing practices that are available as options.

  9. “The old rite has all but vanished. It’s principal proponents are the Lefebvrists who think of themselves as the keepers of THE TRADITION as the remnant flock of True Catholics. ”

    It’s true that Paul VI did his best to kill the old rite, but somehow it keeps coming back. There are many Catholics who, while respecting the courage of Lefebvre and deploring the cowardice of his brother bishops, chooose to remain unequivocally within the visible church in spite of, not because of, the new liturgy (which, incidentally, they do not equate with Vatican 2).

    The basic problem here seems to me that the more zealous ‘reformers’ do not want to listen to those who have other opinions. (Case in point–this blog has gained the reputation of being quick to censor and delete.) Or are they afraid?

    1. @Tony Phillips – comment #19:
      I suppose I would be considered in the camp of the “zealous,” and yet I’m more than willing to listen and to dialogue with people in my parishes who have other opinions. I’ve done it for 30 years. If I were a total subjectivist, I’d ask, “Where have *you* been?”

      On the internet, I’d say I’ve been more subjected to “Why are you even Catholic?”

      Things that keep coming back aren’t always a sign of grace. Sinners from Saint Paul down to me find a lot of things keep coming back in our lives. But we strive to improve, reform, and with God’s help, renew.

      Jack’s questions at post #17 are not just both-and. To which stance are Catholics called to be most effective at missionary evangelization? Missionary evangelization is more important than preservation today. The crisis is not that lace and mantillas and facing East are under the gun. The crisis is that people, believers and not, are under the gun. We need priestly people, active missionaries, union with Christ, and servant leaders. Salvation from limbo, supernatural marks, host-gazing, and branch managers not so much.

      Both-and is really out the window. There’s a mission to accomplish, and a mandatum just as sure as John 13:15 to be found in Matt 28:19-20. The 1570/1962 Missal is simply incapable of bearing the weight needed to inspire the mission.

    1. @Alan Johnson – comment #27:

      Too true. Eventually I believe we will see the majority of parishes’ signs outside look like the mainline American denominations: “Traditional Worship 08:30, Contemporary Worship 10:30, coffee and donuts after every Mass.”

      And rightly so.

      Infighting over whose interpretation of Vatican II’s liturgical documents (or whatever the goalposts are this week: Vatican II + Consilium? or Vatican II + Consilium + post-conciliar magisterium (+/- Summorum Pontificum)?, etc.) is correct is the most self-defeating thing imaginable if evangelization is our mission (as indeed it is) and not mutually-assured destruction. Each group already has what it wants–unless its wants are the extermination of the other side, which isn’t happening as neither party is going away–so let each group reach out and evangelize as best it can!

      E.g., I attend the EF Mass but would never dream of taking my non-Catholic parents there, who love the OF at our local parish when they visit.

  10. Alan Johnson : For me the quite extraordinary thing is that we now have a la carte worship in our Church. Something for everyone.

    Thanks to all for a very provocative topic and thread. I think Mr. Johnson’s observation above sums up a number of points I’d like to amplify. As we ritually say, “As it was in the beginning, is now, and….” So, I think it’s somewhat incongruous to claim that the event, upshot and concilium outcome speaks of “restoration” (of what, Dale, exactly?) and an unfulfilled “reform” that not only presumes true fruition by advocating the total abandonment of the revised Johanine 23 Missal, but also links the ritual content and forms themselves to practical Christianity and behaviors outside of the formal liturgies. It seems as if my brother Todd and others believe there is another “added” sinew of muscle that, as if never before, that binds and compels RC Christians towards fulfilling missio after they have ritually given thanks, received the Living God and then instructed to go forth under commission.
    I fail to see that necessity of form at the expense of Mr Johnson’s sensible realism. Empirical or anecdotal “evidence” cannot prove any of such conjecture of the relationship of the reformed Missal in the evangelistic, charitable and moral leadership efforts of the post conciliar Church. And has been hashed and rehashed here, there and everywhere, (yeah, yeah, yeah Beatles!) the faithful trad/R2 opposition has no qualms about claiming V2/Consilium/Bugnini culpability for every malady that inflicts the contemporary Church to this very moment. I don’t buy that either.
    Vatican II enable me to recognize the Church founded by Christ. But, in and of itself, it is and never will be some sort of new Pentecost event, not that we couldn’t use one right about now.

    1. @Charles Culbreth – comment #35:
      ” So, I think it’s somewhat incongruous to claim that the event, upshot and concilium outcome speaks of “restoration” (of what, Dale, exactly?)”

      Restoration of what you ask mon ami?
      Restoration of the liturgy, the Roman Rite of course.

      (Sacred Constitution, Part II.
      The Promotion of Liturgical Instruction and Active Participation, para 14:
      “In the restoration and promotion of the sacred liturgy, this full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else”)

      Interestingly, now I read (#27) that we have ‘a la carte” worship.
      Was a time when “cafeteria catholic” was thrown at us progressive catholics as an insult. Now we have cafeteria worship or a la carte worship. I don’t see anything like that in the sacred constitution.

      I guess foodie catholicism is in now vogue.

      I’ll take the Aboense Mass of 1330 from the see of Turku, Finland and a side of fries with that to go.

  11. I’m intrigued by Brendan who describes himself as a liberal Catholic attracted to the EF. I simply have no idea what that means. Please enlighten me.

    1. @Jack Feehily – comment #37:
      I call myself a liberal Catholic because my personal beliefs are informed also by the 18th century enlightenment, not just a narrow puritan version of Catholicism

  12. Alcuin Reid has now written another article on NLM (part of a new series) in which he directly quotes and criticises AWR’s reference to Participation 1 & 2. He appears to deflecting the attention away from Grilllo!

    1. @Andrew rex – comment #39:

      Interesting that Reid “whose scholarship on the liturgical reform needs no introduction” [sic] should adduce errors of fact and interpretation.

      He objects to “the requirement that Mass only be celebrated versus populum, the introduction of a responsorial psalm after the first Scripture reading, of multiple Eucharistic prayers, etc.” all of which he brands as “contingent elements imposed in the name of Vatican II or of post-conciliar liturgical ideologies, but [which] are in fact not of the Council itself.” This is total nonsense. Where has Reid been all these years? Is he not familiar with the Liturgical Movement? Does he not know that all these things (and many others) were in discussion by scholars long before the Council was even dreamed of? Does he not recognize that the liturgical reforms initiated by the Council had all been prepared for many years previously, and that SC was simply an important stage in an ongoing process?

      The accusation of a “fantasy proposing a revisionist history” is likely to rebound on him.

      1. @Paul Inwood (#41): Is [Reid] not familiar with the Liturgical Movement? Does he not know that all these things (and many others) were in discussion by scholars long before the Council was even dreamed of? Does he not recognize that the liturgical reforms initiated by the Council had all been prepared for many years previously, and that SC was simply an important stage in an ongoing process?

        You seemingly fail to realise that you yourself are expressing the very tendency Reid criticises!

        You seem to be claiming some sort of Conciliar mandate for multiple anaphoras, celebration versus populum, responsorial psalm, etc., when these and other things are nowhere to be found in the documents nor (as far as I am aware) in the Council Fathers’ discussions on SC.

        No doubt these (and other) things were being proposed by scholars before the Council. But these things are not part of the Council, and neither are they necessary to the liturgical reform the Council asked for!

  13. Paul, are you suggesting that some should abandon the black hats vs. white hats analysis of all things Vatican II. If the reform is not going as they believe it should then it must be because that awful Bugnini and the members of the Consilium hijacked SC. It seems to be clear to me that those who belong to this school of thought are more comfortable with a church leadership that lays down the law to preserve all things “sacred”. I guess many of them may be thinking that if we would just make the OF look and feel more like the EF, all would be well in the world. That’s certainly a pious thought.
    Happy to learn that Brendan is a nineteenth century liberal who simply has a preference for the EF. I’m a 21st century priest struggling to be a faithful follower of the little old winemaker at Cana. I love “All Are Welcome” and “Gather us in” along with “Where Charity and Love Prevail” and “Alleluia, Sing to Jesus”. Incense and crisply folded hands with fingers aimed towards heaven, no so much.

  14. Fr. Jack Feehily : I’m a 21st century priest struggling to be a faithful follower of the little old winemaker at Cana. I love “All Are Welcome” and “Gather us in” along with “Where Charity and Love Prevail” and “Alleluia, Sing to Jesus”. Incense and crisply folded hands with fingers aimed towards heaven, no so much.

    Father, the quaint Gallo Wine quip, the populist sentiment for certain songs, the eschewing of antiquated mannerism, all of that has a certain ironic resonance today being the 50th anniversary of America’s initiation into Beatlemania. Not saying that’s a bad thing, just making a correlation for fun.

  15. And I admit I have been a huge Beatles fan. “Mother Mary, come to me, whisper words of wisdom, let it be, let it be.”

  16. Paul Inwood (#40): The things Matthew objects to were not decisions of the Consilium but requests of the bishops of the world

    Well, if we were to adjust your sentence to “a few of the bishops of the world”, that would be closer to the truth.

    Bugnini’s own recollections of the reforms in his book The Reform of the Liturgy 1948-75 (sadly not easily obtainable – Liturgical Press, please reprint it!) make for interesting reading in this regard. For instance, in the section dealing with the debut of the normative Mass at the 1967 Synod of Bishops (pp. 346-59), after summing up the results of the votes of the 197 bishops present, Bugnini notes that:

    All these details show how disagreeable many of the Fathers found the path of reform. It is not easy to cut one’s ties with age-old practices, open oneself to new horizons, and force oneself to accept the demands expressed in the signs of the times. (p. 356)

    This and other portions of his book are quite revealing, and give the lie to the reform being led by the bishops of the Council. It is also worth noting that the Consilium itself at that point was comprised of 47 bishops and 180 other ‘experts’ (only 18 of whom were parish priests!).

    No doubt there were some Council Fathers who asked the Consilium to implement certain things, but there were plenty of changes made and proposed by the Consilium on its own initiative. For instance, Pope Paul VI had to step in when they proposed abolishing Ash Wednesday (cf. Bugnini, Reform, p. 307 and p. 310 n. 15)!

    I imagine the majority of Council Fathers felt the way that Archbishop Dwyer of Birmingham did when he addressed the 1967 Synod: It seems to us that we dare not reject what has been so carefully put forward by the Consilium, especially since the meeting of the hierarchy lasts only a few days, while the work of the Consilium has lasted for months and even years (cf. Bugnini, Reform, p. 357 n. 19).

    1. @Matthew Hazell – comment #46:

      So, some of the 197 bishops present at that trial run (out of the thousands of Council Fathers) found reform disagreeable? Scarcely surprising. There are always some who find change and progress difficult. And George Patrick Dwyer was a well-known crusty old beggar, so to find him expostulating in this way was not a surprise either.

      And the composition of the Consilium is irrelevant to this argument. It’s the composition of those who asked the Consilium for further reforms, and in short order, that matters. They were numerous bishops’ conferences from around the world, not “a few of the bishops” as you appear to think. Read Marini’s book and other sources.

      And (post #47), you haven’t understood my point. Those things may not have been explicitly “part of the Council”, but the Council was part of the continuum which contained them. I’m not claiming a conciliar mandate for individual reforms, certainly, but rather a conciliar mandate for reform in general in the context of the progress of liturgical scholarship over the decades and centuries preceding.

      It’s very easy to manipulate and interpret statistics to one’s own purposes, but in the end a perspective including the broader context will indicate where the truth lies.

      The fact is that the Council Fathers did not mandate or envisage certain specific reforms and developments. No one denies that. Of course they didn’t — they were not liturgical scholars who knew the way the wind was blowing. But the evidence is very clear that once they saw the pastoral benefits of the initial reforms (which they did very quickly) they clamoured for more and more, including things that they had never previously thought of. That is what the naysayers have not yet grasped.

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