Interviewing Liturgical Leaders: Robert Taft, S.J.

Pray Tell is starting a new series of interviews with liturgical leaders. It is loosely inspired by a series in Time Magazine. Each person was asked ten questions. They were told they could answer as many questions as they wanted and they could also pose their own questions. Here is what we received…

 

Lifetime in liturgy—any regrets?

None whatever. But indecisiveness or regrets are not my style. Had there been any regrets, I would not have had a “lifetime in liturgy,” but would have dropped it early on and turned to something else.

 

What are you most proud of in your liturgical work?

I am most proud of my students, and the fact that, except for a couple of glaring exceptions, most of them love me and carry on, often brilliantly, the work I taught them to do. What could give an old geezer now careening toward his dotage greater satisfaction than that?

 

Any book you wish you had written?

Well, I guess all of us authors have a list of great books we would like to have written. But as one with a bibliography of publications comprising over 800 titles, including thirty-four books, three of them coauthored, eight others edited or co-edited in collaboration with others, with two more in press, there is not much I have not written about, nor do I feel the need to be jealous of the publishing success of others but rejoice in it.

But if I had to choose books I would like to have written I would pick two not on liturgy: Robert Louis Wilken’s The First Thousand Years. A Global History of Christianity (New Haven & London: Yale U. Press 2012). And German Jesuit Klaus Schatz’s justly famous book: Papal Primacy from its Origins to the Present (Collegeville: Liturgical Press 1996) from the German original and available in several other languages.

Prof. Wilken shows how Christianity really developed, pace the view of history propagated in the classic Catholic myth that there was once one Church, founded by Christ on Peter, all Christians originally belonged to it until they broke off into schism, and the solution was to return to it where they belong.

That is like the Greek Orthodox publication “Nostalgia for Orthodoxy,” provoked by the western romance with the Christian East, which led its authors to think its propagators were nostalgic to “return” to an Orthodoxy to which they had never belonged in the first place.

These Mickey-Mouse views of how the Churches of East and West originated in the early centuries are neatly flushed away by Wilken’s demonstration that originally there evolved in East and West what one might liken to a federation of independent local Churches, each governed by a ruling hierarch called pope, patriarch, or some other title, or by a synod. All these Churches were in communion with, but not dependent on, one another, until later disruptions caused breaks in the communion leading to the situation we have now.

And Schatz shows how one such branch, the Church of Rome, evolved and propagated its own Walt-Disney view of its history. But it did not begin this way, since the Roman Primacy, like everything else on earth, has a history, and Schatz shows how it evolved into — but did not start as — what it is today.

 

Three things to fix the liturgy — what would they be?

The liturgy doesn’t need fixing. For starters it just needs a translation into something remotely resembling English. What needs fixing are the celebrating clergy. What I have often said of my own Jesuit confreres applies here too: all Jesuits have studied theology, but not all of them learned theology—i.e., learned how to think theologically. A classic instance is the question of the clergy’s refusal to cease giving communion from the reserved sacrament in the tabernacle despite the Church’s constant exhortations and orders to do so. That is not because the clergy are disobedient,but because they are theologically and liturgically ignorant, as I have tried to show in Worship 88/1 (pp. 2-22).

 

Pope Francis good for liturgical renewal or not?

Papa Francesco is good for everything, including liturgical renewal. When he first celebrated Mass in the Sistine Chapel he had them toss out the altar facing away from the congregation that his predecessor had installed, and thereby gave the signal indicating how he rated the reformed Vatican II liturgy vis-à-vis the restored pre-Vatican II Summorum Pontificum “extraordinary form.”

 

Is the Vatican II liturgical renewal secure or endangered?

I think it is secure, because I believe the vast majority of Catholic people throughout the world confirm it by voting with their feet and going to Mass in the reformed rite, showing thereby that despite the right-wing neo-con wackos (hereafter NCW’s), most Catholics prefer the reformed rite.

But that does not mean that the NCW’s are not a threat, since it is said that large numbers of them now control the terrain in our seminaries. As Professor Massimo Faggioli, the Catholic point-man on these issues has shown, the Vatican II Liturgical Constitution was the fundamental document that led the way to the rest of Vatican II, so an attack against that key document is an attack against the guiding spirit of the Vatican II Council.

 

Anything good coming out of Summorum Pontificum?

Nope, unless creating unnecessary divisions in the Church and driving crazy our harried bishops who have too few priests to start with and now have to try and accommodate the NCW’s is considered “good.”

 

Is liturgical ecumenism still alive?

It’s still alive as long as I’m still alive, and I was the last time I checked. I have spent my entire life, priestly and academic, building bridges to our sister Churches, especially those in the Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox East, but also not ignoring those of the Anglican and Reformation traditions. In fact, I have a new book in press entitled Beyond East and West 2: Problems in Ecumenical Understanding, which is an ecumenical clone of my highly popular and often reprinted Beyond East and West 1: Problems in Liturgical Understanding (Rome: Pontifical Oriental Institute 1997).

In the new, forthcoming book I develop my ecumenical theology already expressed in a conference still in press: “Communion, not Reunion: The Future Church of Sister Churches,” lecture at the 2013 Orientale Lumen XV Conference “Rome and the Communion of Churches,” Washington DC, June 20-23, 2013, to appear in the Congress Acta.

I outline there my ecumenical vision of how I conceive our future, which will not consist in any Churches becoming anything they are not already, but in their coming together freely in mutual respect, recognition, and ecclesial communion as Sister Churches.

Admittedly, this is more easily conceivable between the Catholic Church and the Churches of the East, which Rome already recognizes as “Sister Churches” possessing the full panoply of what for Rome constitutes a “Church” in the full sense of the term, with a valid apostolic episcopate and sacraments.

With regard to the Anglican and Reformation traditions the problem from the Catholic side remains more complicated, but not, in my view, insoluble, as I have already explained elsewhere in my writings. Among the outstanding ecumenical and liturgical priorities the Catholic Church could and should address to further the cause of ecumenism now would include the following:

First, I consider it both essential and urgent to revisit the question of the validity of Anglican orders. I have no pretense at being a specialist on this question. But now that the archives of the Catholic commission that studied the question are open, it is reported that half of the original Catholic commission members were in favor of recognizing validity. But it is said that the then Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster pleaded against doing so, lest Anglicans cease to convert to Catholicism. If that is true, then we are faced with the scandalously shameful manipulation of a serious religious cause regarding another Christian Church.

This question also involves a cluster of other issues that I believe need to be reconsidered:

[a] the whole question of conceiving apostolic succession via the “relay race pass the baton model” is questionable, since it is probably not provable with historical verisimilitude for any Church on earth, including that of Rome. It is not clear that Rome originally had a monarchical episcopate rather than some sort of collegial governing body, possibly presbyteral, in the earliest post-apostolic era.

[b] Besides, at least some reputable Catholic theologians today would agree that apostolic succession does not have to be validated via such a material process.

[c] In this context one might take a lesson from the Apostolic Sister Churches of the Orthodox East, for whom valid sacraments, including orders, are those recognized as such by the Church. Period. Now since the Orthodox have recognized Anglican orders,[1] where does that leave us Catholics, since we recognize the Apostolic Succession of Orthodox orders?

[d] Furthermore, the Catholic acceptance of a more nuanced view of apostolic succession would lead to considerable ecumenical progress with the classic communities of the Reformation traditions like the Lutherans, which could then be recognized as particular “Sister Churches,” something fully reputable Catholic theologians have already adumbrated, if I understand them correctly.[2]

[e] Finally, anyone who knows a little history of theology is aware that at the time of the Catholic decision denying the validity of Anglican orders there was in vogue in Catholicism a view of Christian presbyterate as “priesthood” overdeveloped from the time when the early (probably) African apologist Municius Felix (ca. 130-300 AD) could declare: “Aras non habemus — We [Christians] have no altars!” Here, as with all historical reality including religious phenomena, context is everything. And it is well documented that the theology of Christian ministry underwent a progressive “sacerdotalization” in the course of its evolution, once the need to resist recurrent Judaizing tendencies had abated.[3]

So that’s a few of the issues on my agenda for starters.

 

Among your many books do you have any favorites, and why would you pick the ones you list?

Well, topping the list would have to be my very first book, The Great Entrance. A History of the Transfer of Gifts and other Preanaphoral Rites of the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (OCA 200, Rome: Pontifical Oriental Institute 1975) xl + 485 pp., which has sold better than any book ever published by the Institute press, frequently sold out and had to be updated and reprinted again and again through the years, and has just now been translated into Italian and updated by Prof. Stefano Parenti in a huge tome about the the size of the Gutenberg Bible: Robert F. Taft, SJ and Stefano Parenti, Storia della Liturgia di San Giovanni Crisostomo, vol. II: Il Grande Ingresso. Edizione italiana rivista, ampliata e aggiornata (Analekta Kryptoferrys I0, Grottaferrata: Badia Greca 2014) 793 pp.

The first edition (1975) was immediately declared a classic, and I was dubbed “the Byzantine Jungmann” after the famous Austrian Jesuit liturgical scholar Josef Jungmann, author of Missarun Sollemnia, his classic history of the Roman Mass. Overnight I found myself famous, and nothing has been the same since, much to the chagrin of a couple of my confreres in Rome.

The Great Entrance became volume 1 of my by now massive multi-volume History of the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, of which four volumes have appeared (= OCA 200, 238, 261, 281,) and the last is in press.

If allowed a second choice I would choose my Liturgical Press book The Liturgy of the Hours in East and West (1986, 2nd ed. 1993) that received the First Place Award of the Catholic Press Association for “The Best Book in Theology in 1986” and has been translated into Italian (twice), French, and Ukrainian.

But among my many books the one I actually use and re-read more than any other represents the only delving I ever did into the realm of spirituality, a book that resulted from a liturgical retreat to Ukrainian Greek-Catholic seminarians that I continue to use for my own personal edification and prayer. It is entitled Liturgy: Model of Prayer — Icon of Life (Fairfax, VA: Eastern Christian Publications 2008). It has been reprinted numerous times, is still available from the publisher, and continues to nourish my spiritual life.

 

Is academic liturgical study relevant to the real world?

In the first place, ALL serious liturgical study is academic, and academic liturgiologists also reside in and pray and worship in “the real world.” Furthermore, their study is relevant to the real world since it is the only liturgical study that has impacted the liturgical renewal of the Churches, as should be evident from reading the flagship liturgical literature in the field like Worship. Ecclesia Orans, Jahrbuch (later) Archiv für Liturgiewissenschaft, Ephemerides Liturgicae, La Maison-Dieu, Studia Liturgica, etc.

 

What were the most important reference books on liturgy you were repeatedly forced to turn to in your scholarly research?

Jungmann’a classic Missarum Sollemnia on the Mass of the Roman Rite, André Jacob’s Histoire du formulaire grec de la Liturgie de Saint Jean Chrysostome. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Louvain 1968; Stefano Parenti & Elena Velkovska (eds.), L’Eucologio Barberini gr. 336. Seconda edizione riveduta con traduzione in lingua italiana (Biblioteca Ephemerides Liturgicae Subsidia 80, Rome 2000); Juan Mateos (ed.), Le Typicon de la Grande Église. Ms. Sainte-Croix n° 40, Xe siècle. Introduction, texte critique, traduction et notes, 2 vols. (OCA 165-166, Rome: Pontifical Oriental Institute 1962-1963).

 

Does that mean you consider those the best books you have read on liturgy?

By no means. Those books are a short list of the essential reference works I had to constantly consult on a daily basis, though innumerable other reference works and critical editions of liturgical ms sources were in frequent use too.

As for the best books I have read on liturgy, surely near the top of my list would be St. John’s Abbey Benedictine Monk Alan Bouley’s From Freedom to Formula. The Evolution of the Eucharistic Prayer from Oral Improvisation to Written Texts (CUASCA 21, Washington, DC: Catholic University of America 1981), a work of genius and an extraordinarily well-written read.

 

Do you advise young people to go into liturgical studies?

I think it fair to say that I have fostered the careers and future success of my graduate students in myriad ways. But I am generally reluctant to advise them in choosing a future career path. I prefer to explain the possibilities and problems as I see them, and let them decide.

 

What would you judge to be the best doctoral dissertations you directed in your professorial career?

I would not even dream of giving an answer to such a question! Some dissertations were more obviously landmark works of scholarship than others, but on my list of doctoral dissertation written under my direction they number thirty-four, to which one can add eight more in the direction of which I had a major role, though was not the official director. To that list one can add an additional twenty-one licentiate or MA level theses I directed. Those in the trade will recognize that as an enormous workload, but I was often asked to assume the direction of theses because the students knew I really directed them, despite my reputation for being exigent and even tough, or because the official director was seen to be inadequate for the task.

Many of these dissertations were eventually published and are now recognized works of scholarship in the field of Liturgiewissenschaft. Those who know how to read will know them already or can find them easily. For me as director to make the selection would be easy but odious and reprehensible in the extreme.

——-

[1] At least of male candidates, but I do not know if that recognition has been rescinded since the Anglicans began to ordain women presbyters, ordinations I presume no Orthodox recognize as valid.

[2] See, for example, Thomas P. Rausch, S.J., “Occasional Eucharistic Hospitality: Revisiting the Question,” TS 74/2 (June 2013) 399-419. I do not wish to imply that Fr. Rausch agrees with the broader conclusions I am drawing from his observations.

[3] For an excellent account of this evolution, see Nathan Mitchell, Mission and Ministry in the Sacrament of Order (Message of the Sacraments 6, Wilmington, Delaware: Michael Glazier 1982). See also the Grove Liturgical Studies (Grove Books, Bramcote Notts.) touching on the topic: Study No. 19: R.P.C. Hanson, Eucharistic Offering in the Early Church; No. 31: Rowan Williams, Eucharistic Sacrifice — The Roots of a Metaphor; No. 40: Colin Buchanan (ed.), Essays on Eucharistic Sacrifice.

 

Robert F. Taft, S.J., born in Providence, RI (USA) Jan. 9, 1932, is a Jesuit priest ordained in the Byzantine Slavonic (Russian) Rite in 1963. He is founder and editor-in-chief of Anaphorae Orientales, and Professor-emeritus of Oriental Liturgy at the Pontifical Oriental Institute, Rome, where he served as Vice-Rector from December 20, 1995-April 29, 2001. He received there his doctorate in 1970, followed in 1971-72 by postdoctoral studies in Oriental Philology at the University of Louvain, Belgium. He has also served as Visiting Professor in the Graduate School of the University of Notre Dame since 1974. A prolific writer, the bibliography of his publications and writings comprises over 800 titles, written in English, French, and Italian, mostly scholarly publications on Eastern Liturgy, including 34 books, 5 of them co-authored, plus 9 others edited or co-edited in collaboration with other authors. His writings have been translated into nineteen different languages.

Fr. Taft also serves as Consultor for Liturgy of the Vatican Congregation for the Oriental Churches, and is a member of several Vatican commissions and other editorial and advisory boards.

In recognition of his work, Fr. Taft has received numerous academic awards, including three honorary doctorates, and several ecclesiastical honors. In 2001, he was elected Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, the highest honor the Academy confers in recognition of scholarly distinction. He was the first and at that time only American Jesuit in history ever to be so honored.

In recent years, since the fall of Communism in 1989, Fr. Taft has been actively engaged in assisting in the restoration of the persecuted and suppressed Eastern Churches in the former Soviet East Bloc. On May 5, 1998, the Head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church elevated Fr. Taft to the dignity of Mitred Archimandrite in recognition of his services to the Eastern Churches. On November 11, 1999, Archbishop Vsevolod of Scopelos, of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA within the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, conferred on Fr. Taft, in the name of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, a second pectoral cross, with the right to wear the double pectoral insignia, in recognition of his scholarly research and writings on the Orthodox tradition.

On his recent visit to Rome, May 8, 2008, His Holiness Karekin II of Etchimiadzin, “Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians,” conferred on Fr. Taft a third pectoral cross in recognition of his studies on the Armenian liturgical tradition and his work for the education of their clergy.

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110 comments

  1. Though I share Fr. Taft’s enthusiasm for Pope Francis, it’s not exactly accurate to say that “he had them toss out the altar facing away from the congregation that his predecessor had installed.” Last I checked, Pope Benedict did not build the Sistine Chapel. Plus, he celebrated at that “tossed out” altar on the feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

    That said, I also share his enthusiasm for the Wilken and Bouley books. I ready the latter some 25 years ago at the recommendation of Aidan Kavanagh and found it fascinating. Unfortunately, it seems very hard to come by.

  2. I have a question: If Robert Taft were not a famous scholar with a good deal of influence or if he were in the reform of the reform camp would his type of rhetoric and imprecision be tolerated from him on this blog?

  3. Anything good coming out of Summorum Pontificum?
    Nope, unless creating unnecessary divisions in the Church and driving crazy our harried bishops who have too few priests to start with and now have to try and accommodate the NCW’s [neo-con wackos] is considered “good.”

    Well, I’m glad that’s all sorted out then! Really great to know that Right Rev. Archimandrite Taft’s evident preference for liturgical pluralism extends to those of us who are more spiritually nourished by the Mass used at Vatican II!

    What’s that? It doesn’t? Oh, well… erm… move along, nothing to see here…

    @Stanislaus Kosala (#2): of course not, and it’s one of the reasons this (supposed) “neo-con wacko” rarely comments on PrayTell any more.

  4. The thing about Taft, apart from him speaking his mind in a characteristically trenchant manner, is that all his opinions are based on deep and penetrating scholarship. Those who have not reached his academic level should read his articles and books in order to understand where he is coming from. If he doesn’t support SP, it’s because it and what it has led to are academically and historically indefensible, not because he is un-pastoral. It’s the same with other great liturgists of the past and present. Anyone who wants to debate with them needs to have damned good arguments lined up, rather than half-baked rants from the likes of Gamber. If the arguments are convincing, the claim of spiritual nourishment will be respected; if they’re not, it won’t be.

    1. @Paul Inwood – comment #4:
      Paul, are you arguing that if one disagrees with even the tone of Taft’s comments, that they are simply too stupid to understand him? It must take a great deal of learning to turn uncharitable insults into constructive arguments.

      I’m sorry, but this kowtow to a cult of the accomplished expert is simply another form of noxious clericalism/elitism, no matter if it comes from right, left, or centre.

      Taft would receive a better hearing if he used even a spoonful of honey rather than a barrel of gall. Ecumenism always works better when animated by charity.

    2. @Paul Inwood (#4): It is nice to know his name-calling is based in “deep and penetrating scholarship”. That should give everyone comfort. (!)

      Anyone who wants to debate with [Taft’s opinions] needs to have damned good arguments lined up, rather than half-baked rants from the likes of Gamber.

      One person’s half-baked rant is another person’s self-evident truth. Your description of certain elements of Taft’s rhetoric as “characteristically trenchant” rather than, as I would call them, rude and dismissive, is illustrative of that.

      Personally, I find Taft’s (and, for that matter, Gamber’s) opinions convincing in some areas, and deficient in others. For example, Taft’s Liturgy of the Hours in East and West is an excellent and very useful book, and I’m sure his work on the liturgy of St John Chrysostom is equally valuable. But his stated opinion above that In the first place, ALL serious liturgical study is academic is just not true, I’m afraid. As important as academic liturgical studies are, they are not the only “serious” types of study, nor even necessarily the most important when it comes down to it. And I have serious reservations about parts of Taft’s approach to ecumenism (but in that regard my reservations and criticisms go far wider than Taft’s work).

      @Christopher Queen (#5): I’m sorry, but this kowtow to a cult of the accomplished expert is simply another form of noxious clericalism/elitism, no matter if it comes from right, left, or centre.

      +1

    3. @Paul Inwood – comment #4:
      No one is denying Taft’s erudition and status as a world-class scholar. However, this is does not give him the right to substitute flippant remarks for arguments nor to tell falsehoods and half-truths.

      For example, he labels anyone who is pro-Summorum Pontificum as a “right wing neoconservative wacko.” That’s not a category of position, it’s just an insult aimed at dismissing a swath of people. It’s not even clear who these “NCWs” are. At one point, he gives the impression that these are people who advocate a wholesale return to 1962, but then he says that they have significant influence in seminaries. Now, I don’t know of anyone who has authority over seminaries in this country who openly advocates for a return to 1962. The term NCW has no precise extension and perhaps could be extended to all manner of people, including those who believe that Summorum Pontificum was pastorally prudent (Pope Francis would fall into this group). Taft doesn’t distinguish between these different ideologies. There’s a big difference between a Cekada,and a Ratzinger, so really NCW is a smear term.

      That’s not the only example of this in the interview. There are at least two more:
      1. Speaking of Pope Francis, his claim about the Sistine Chapel is outright false.

      2. Finally, he talks about the Orthodox recognizing Anglican Orders, when in fact it is a much debated issue among the Orthodox. The Russian Orthodox Church, for example, requires that Anglican priests who convert receive ordination again, but does not require the same for Roman Catholic priests who become Orthodox.

      The interview is crass and slipshod and I bet you wouldn’t accept it from someone of less authority or of someone in reform of the reform camp. Taft is better than this.

  5. Pray Tell interviewed Robert Taft and asked him to be witty, humorous and engaging. Taft delivered. We decided to post his responses in their unedited form due to the nature of the post, i.e. an interview in which we requested wit and humor.

    It is important to realize that many years of scholarship lie behind Taft’s responses, so they are not just flippant remarks. They are perhaps embellished by Taft’s characteristic wit, but not flippant. Instead of critiquing the tone of Taft’s interview, this thread should discuss the issues that Taft’s responses bring up.

    I.e. – keep the comments civil and about content, not style.

  6. Unfortunately, Nathan, even for this liturgical progressive, the tone of some of the passages comes across online as embarrassingly, well, snide. I do not believe it serves him or Pray Tell well. Dismissive rhetoric can be effective in one-on-one provocative discussion between people who know each other well, but the Ciceronian/classical adversarial approach registers negatively online unless your goal is simply to rally the troops (which the Internet is full of already). A more Rogerian (for lack of a better handle) approach can be more fruitful.

  7. @Nathan Chase (#8): Instead of critiquing the tone of Taft’s interview, this thread should discuss the issues that Taft’s responses bring up.

    With respect, you sound like you’re trying to have your cake and eat it. Critiquing the tone of the interview would have been a lot harder to do had Pray Tell not requested “wit” and “humour” in the first instance – or edited out some of the supposedly ‘wittier’ elements of the interview.

    It seems to me that all Taft’s “right-wing neo-con wackos” comment accomplishes is to confirm everybody in their prejudices and opposing camps, which is not a particularly great outcome.

    And this will be my final comment in this thread, precisely because the tone of parts of the interview is so off-putting, and the defence of said tone has already begun in earnest. I hope the future interviews in this series will at least be polite and respectful.

  8. Did not we have a long thread here not so long ago, where the consensus was tone was substance?

    That tone could not be seperated from the rest of a person’s approach?

    I don’t think Nathan commented on that thread, but certainly other moderators here did, including Fr Anthony and Rita.

  9. I am interested in what Fr. Taft said about Anglican orders, and the manipulation of the process by which they were declared invalid. This is archival material that really should occasion a second look at the whole question, from a more objective standpoint. That the Archbishop of Westminster could single-handedly have brought this about is a big revelation to me.

    The comments Fr. Taft makes about apostolic succession are very stimulating as well (especially a and d). Naturally, I’ve been schooled in the relay race view of apostolic succession, and I think most of us have. The possible implications for recognizing the Lutherans as a church, after the manner of how we recognize the Orthodox, is an intriguing one.

    I think he is on to something when he points toward communion among churches, not “re-union,” because of the mythic or wishful quality to the imagined state that existed before schism with the East or Reformation in the West. Certainly an “ecumenism of return” has been discredited in relation to the Orthodox.

    1. @Rita Ferrone – comment #13:

      Rita,

      There is very little point revisiting the archival material, as the decision at the time was a factual one, and the facts have significantly changed since.

      For example, the so called “Dutch Touch” on the plus side, and the ordination of women on the negative side.

      Therefore, if it was going to be relooked at, the review would need to be based on the current circumstances rather than the archives.

      1. @Scott Smith – comment #14:
        Oh but Scott, nothing is settled until it’s settled right. The original context does matter. Methinks you are wanting to sweep it under the rug. 🙂

        Even if the new circumstances alter the question, we need to have it said what reasons are correct and which ones are faulty. If one set of reasons is shown to be untrue, you don’t just take another set of reasons and plug them in, and say we were right all along.

      2. @Rita Ferrone – comment #15:

        Rita,

        Excuse me? You have lost me.

        I said nothing about the reasoning – I was talking about the facts.

        And the facts have changed, such that Pope Leo could have been absolutely right or wrong all those years ago, and it will still have no bearing on the answer given now (i.e. we can get a different answer applying the same tests).

        If we are talking about reasons, we still don’t need archival material. All the reasons we need to care about are already in the public document issued by Pope Leo. Alternatively, if we follow Robert Taft’s strange suggestions about Apostolic succession, we don’t need to the archival material because we would be applying an entirely new test.

        The archival material is just not relevant to the current validity of Anglican Orders.

      3. @Scott Smith – comment #17:
        You’re quibbling. Do you think I don’t know what a fact is?

        I stand by my comment. The sorting out of what happened when Anglican orders were declared invalid is a critical piece of history. Without opening that up, we will never get anywhere.

        Theological commissions in ecumenical affairs are charged with a task that is not fulfilled by simply asking people what they think. They have to look at all the facts, including those that you are so eager to sweep under the carpet, and get a well substantiated view of history. You seem to think they are just ticking off boxes in order to come to decisions as to the validity of orders. Not the case.

      4. @Rita Ferrone – comment #23:

        Rita,

        No, I don’t think I am quibbling. I am trying to establish what are relevant facts, and what are merely red herrings.

        My point is it is not a critical piece of history. Lets say Pope Leo was objectively wrong in 1896. So what? It does not make Anglican Orders valid now – The current facts on the ground will instead be determinative.

        And as an aside, what is with the accusation I want to “sweep things under the carpet”? For present purposes I don’t care if Pope Leo XIII was right or wrong – I am not looking to cover for him.

  10. God bless Good Fr. Taft! If only our US Bishops would grow a spine and start to actually lead God’s people…

  11. What I do not understand is why some of these Orientophiles are so down on the Extraordinary Form. Yet, pretty much any born and bred Easterners I ever come into contact with in person or reading, do not share that sentiment. Some can spit invectives at the Ordinary Form with the best rad-trads. The Russian Patriarch spoke about how SP was a positive development, in that the Catholic Church was recovering its tradition. This matter of “tradition” is something which I think Patriarch Alexei understands much better than some scholars.

    Yet, no love from Western transplants to the East. The shield of erudite scholarship cannot defend against good old fashion bias. When you were on the ground, in the trenches so to say, of course you never want to let go of an Eternal 1968.

  12. Rigorous scholarship is the name of the game, and rigorous scholarship is what those who feel threatened by what Taft says mostly don’t have. A wacko, as I understand it, is someone who opinions are so far off the wall that they are not rooted in any academic substance. I don’t think anyone commenting here comes into that category.

    However, those disagreeing about the Sistine Chapel have clearly never been in there (as I have) during the pre-Benedict era on occasions when there was no altar in there at all. Regarding seminaries, Taft’s actual words were it is said that large numbers of NCWs control the terrain in our seminaries. That is passing on someone else’s assessment, not making a definitive statement. And don’t assume that this is referring to seminary rectors: I am aware of US seminaries where the problem people are others on the faculty.

    As far as Anglican orders are concerned, yes, I think this should be revisited. Every self-respecting Anglican priest can trace his “apostolic succession” back to a Catholic bishop, if you accept the relay race analogy. The fact that Leo XIII tried to brush that inconvenient fact under the carpet is just as risible as Benedict trying to claim that Paul VI never abrogated the Missal of Pius V, or indeed Paul VI’s brushing under the carpet of the African bishops’ request that the Council seriously debate clerical celibacy “because it’s a dead letter in our continent”.

    1. @Paul Inwood – comment #18:

      Except Paul, I personally know a number of Anglican rectors in my neck of the woods (and one Bishop), who would tell you there is no unbiblical nonsense like priests or apostolic succession in their parish / diocese.

      Further, Anglicans often accept the orders of other denominations, which would not meet our requirements for valid orders. Not to mention ordained women.

      It is a fact that being licenced as an Anglian priest provides no assurance of valid orders in a Catholic understanding, though there are undoubtedly some so licenced who do have valid orders (if only because some are in fact ex-Catholic priests).

  13. You can take the boy out of Regent Avenue, but you can’t take Regent Avenue out of the boy. Gruff but forthright.

  14. Paul Inwood : However, those disagreeing about the Sistine Chapel have clearly never been in there (as I have) during the pre-Benedict era on occasions when there was no altar in there at all.

    I will admit that I have never been in the Sistine Chapel when no altar was there, though I was there during the pre-Benedict era and at that time there was what to all appearances a permanent stone altar against the wall. Just so I am clear as to what you are saying — was this in fact a temporary altar that was sometimes removed? Is the altar that is currently in place also temporary?

    As to Taft’s comments in general, the fact that someone is learned in a particular area does not mean that every opinion that have on that area is a well-considered product of one’s learning. Indeed, it’s hard to see how knowledge of the history of the Byzantine liturgy could lend authority to the judgment that those who support Summorum Pontificum are NCWs.

    I’m waiting for PrayTell to post a similarly witty, humorous and engaging interview with, say, Cassian Folsom.

    1. @Fritz Bauerschmidt – comment #21:

      Fritz, re the Sistine Chapel, take a look at the current state of affairs:

      http://www.vatican.va/various/cappelle/sistina_vr/index.html

      You can zoom in on the altar and see exactly what is there:

      (a) An L-shaped four-step tiled platform. The short arm of the L is not part of the original, but was added later, as can be seen from the tiling. More on this platform below.

      (b) On top of the long-arm of the platform. a stone two-step predella which is not permanent. It does not even sit centrally on the tiles.

      (c) A stone ‘shelf’ at the back (on which currently rest the six candles and crucifix which obscure Michaelangelo’s artwork). Its legs are not attached to the predella.

      (d) In front of the shelf an altar which was brought in from elsewhere and is not attached either to the predella or to the shelf behind.

      (e) In front of the altar on the top step of the predella, a wooden platform step: this is because the altar is in fact too high in its current Sistine location to celebrate at comfortably. For audiences and receptions, chairs are placed on this wooden platform with their backs to the altar.

      (f) At the foot of each of the four steps of the L-shaped platform you can see mountings for carpet rods at the foot of each step, for in earlier times the whole platform has been carpeted in red and neither predella nor shelf nor altar have been present. In place of the shelf, predella and altar, a papal throne has been placed on the carpeted platform.

      The Sistine Chapel has been the subject of many changes in interior furnishings and fittings. The last time I was in there, the restoration of the ceiling was not quite complete (although it had been advertised as complete, three years earlier) and works were still clearly in progress. There was a free-standing 2-manual-and-pedal tracker-action pipe organ (it has now disappeared) down the south side wall, on the floor below and to the left of where the choir gallery is let into the wall (that gallery, too, was covered over on my last visit and the choir sang from floor level). And on the L-shaped platform, there was nothing at all.

      On a previous occasion, the choir gallery was bare, with none of the wooden upper superstructure and music desk that it currently carries.

      Long wooden benches have been brought in, and of course for a conclave there are long covered tables running down each side with other chairs and furniture in the center.

      The candles and crucifix have frequently been removed on various occasions.

      Many of these variations can be seen in photos online.

      PS: I, too, would be greatly amused by a contribution from Cassian Folsom!

      1. @Paul Inwood – comment #30:
        Paul,

        I don’t doubt that the Sistine Chapel has undergone alterations over the years. I was only questioning Fr. Taft’s claim that Benedict put in a new altar and that Francis had “tossed it out.” This photo, clearly from before the time of Benedict XVI, seems to show the same altar that is there today.

        I’m presuming that Fr. Taft simply misspoke, and meant to say that what Francis had “tossed out” was Benedict’s practice of celebrating ad orientem at the permanent altar. But this year’s feast of the Baptism of the Lord seems to show that this, too, is not the case.

        It is, I’ll admit, a nit picky point.

        PS
        I must admit I have a hard time imagining Cassian Folsom being funny, but that is based solely on a couple of public lectures I have heard him give.

      2. @Fritz Bauerschmidt – comment #32:
        This photo, clearly from before the time of Benedict XVI, seems to show the same altar that is there today.

        Great photo, Fritz! It shows an extra stone predella on the short arm of the L, surmounted by a further wooden predella and a papal throne, a much smaller crucifix, actually placed on the altar instead of the shelf behind, and what appear to be one or more rows of choir stalls running down the south wall with something similar to a pulpit at the altar end. Oh, and a whopping great baldacchino over the altar, too narrow to encompass the entire width of it but masking a substantial quantity of Michaelangelo’s work all the same. The door between the papal throne and the altar is also different from how it is today.

        All fuel to the continual makeovers that the Chapel has undergone over the years. Thank you.

        Perhaps if Taft had said “the altar facing away from the congregation that his predecessor had re-installed” he would have been more accurate.

      3. @Fritz Bauerschmidt – comment #32:
        I think the reason chosen for celebrating ad orientem last January at the Baptism mass was more logistics than anything. There was a lot of setup in the space for the completion of the Baptisms that would have necessitated a lot of physical removal activity prior to beginning the Eucharist and then bringing in a freestanding altar. I think Francis was aware of having lots of hungry little ones and restive parents to want to cause that sort of delay. In no way from all I have seen and read of him would he prefer ad orientem except out of necessity.

      4. @Fritz Bauerschmidt – comment #32:
        Deacon – here you go….video of Cassian Folsom:

        http://southernorderspage.blogspot.com/2014/06/what-do-we-believe-hopefully-it-is-rule.html

        Sorry, not impressed. Reminded me of watching EWTN’s Faith 2.0 which has nothing to do with faith but lots to do with minor rules, interpretations, etc.
        Folsom…..everything is distilled (via careful picking and choosing various quotes to make his case) to *norms*. Fairly clear that the gospel imperatives are not *norms* but a call to conversion; love, relationships, invitation. Really does sound like a version of someone confusing law with faith. Isn’t the faith invite about Jesus Christ (not rules?)

        From any serious analysis of faith development, Folsom appeals and articulates a faith development around stage 3 or 4 (if you are using R. Fowler’s study). This is typically the faith stage of someone who is in 7th or 8th grade and whose understanding of religion is based upon fear, pleasing a vengeful God, etc.

        Can’t say that Taft’s interview outlined norms – if anything, his ecumenism and understanding of the Eastern half of our church are marks of a faith development that is more like stages 6 or 7.

  15. ‘The liturgy doesn’t need fixing.’
    Some people just don’t get it, do they? If the church were a business the board of directors would have been sacked years ago. Remember New Coke?

    And Summorum Pontificum is responsible for ‘creating unnecessary divisions in the Church’?
    Doesn’t he think that maybe Montini’s monarchical imposition of the Novus Ordo on the laity, and the craven obedience of so many bishops, created those divisions? Benedict at least had enough charity to reach out to those who treasure traditional forms of worship (Catholic or Anglican).

    1. @Tony Phillips – comment #23:

      It seems that “the changes” were imposed in a manner that made the creation of divisions almost inevitable. Get rid of this, that and the other thing and if you object, you’re standing in the way of progress. The manner of the imposition of the changes, to me at least, represents a less-than-desirable tradition in the Church.

    2. @Tony Phillips – comment #24:
      You say: “Doesn’t he think that maybe Montini’s monarchical imposition of the Novus Ordo on the laity, and the craven obedience of so many bishops, created those divisions?”

      Guess I understand your defensive response but your comments ignores history, makes allegations & judgments that only express some type of imaginary conspiracy theories.

      To compare Vatican II and Paul VI’s decision about liturgy to Benedict’s unilateral, non-conciliar, and over the opposition of 90% of his bishops is to stretch credibility and any attempt to arrive at objective analysis.

      *Monarchical imposition* – really? When more than 2700 bishops studied, discussed, and approved this; and by 1970 every episcopal conference and a large majority of bishops were demanding that Rome make even further revisions; grant exceptions, etc.
      But agree with your term – *monarchical imposition* is exactly what Benedict’s SP is (and a refutation of Paul VI and Vatican II – let’s talk about arrogance vs. your imagined *charity*.
      *Craven obedience* – see above; obviously, you can toss negative terms around as much as you want but don’t expect anyone to take you seriously. *Craven obedience* – probably best describes those who have been cheerleading SP while casting insults.

  16. Like Liam, I’m disappointed by the name-calling in the original. Communication experts tell us we’re only getting a fraction of the actual interview, since Nathan hasn’t posted a video of it, we’re lacking voice tone and body language. Even then …

    That said, there are a lot of Catholics with and without theological expertise disappointed, alarmed, or just concerned with the situation of unity. And by that I mean the sense of splintering that has gone on in the past decade or more. Not some false uniformity somewhere in the middle of it all, but really, really close to the TLM. Roman Catholics have managed for years to balance the charisms of various saints and cultural/religious traditions. Liturgical restorationists have managed to crank the divide wider than any battle between monks of two religious orders ever could.

    The best I can say about SP is that is was well-intentioned, but tragically imprudent. Theologically and morally, it is untenable. Has the Church found greater healing as a result of it? More serenity in the liturgy tussles? Any willingness to stop the name-calling which happens on just about every site? I don’t think so.

    And I think the assessment of SP has to be made on the basis of something a little more on the beauty of the music of the TLM or the number of happy campers (That’s not a name, that’s a generalization I’d plant on anyone) in one or the other camp. Aside from the theological considerations, SP required a pastoral depth B16 couldn’t give it. He tried with a foreword longer than the document itself. But that itself was telling.

    1. @Todd Flowerday – comment #26:
      You raise an interesting point about the effects of Summorum Pontificum. I think that as far as media is concerned, then the polemics have gotten stronger, but I wonder if that is the case on the ground. 83% or so of EF liturgies celebrated in the U.S. are in parishes that are primarily OF. Absence of evidence is certainly not any evidence of absence but there hasn’t been much reporting whether or not this coexistence of the missals in and of itself has caused discord. (It would be great to see an actual study on this)
      As far as harmony, there have been several religious communities that have reconciled with Rome as a result of Summorum Pontificum, that has to be worth something.
      Finally, many traditionalists feel very threatened, being worried that those in charge will use any excuse/opportunity to take away the EF mass from them. I think a lot of that kind of paranoia drives the most venomous polemics. Though, at the same time, reading sites such as this, it is hard to say that such paranoia is entirely unfounded.

      1. @Stanislaus Kosala – comment #29:
        Granted, I follow the blogosphere more than the media–I think this is a non-starter in the secular media. As for my local experience, the TLM is not on anybody’s radar. A bit of chant and Latin in the Mass–maybe.

        It would be great to see a study, but we all know the ideological climate is one of suspicion–see all the fuss about how many priests and laity don’t like MR2010. The Roman Church at large lacks a necessary openness to receive bad news. That is a far more important issue than the scruples about the details of how the Eucharist is celebrated.

        And yes, people feel threatened on all sides. That would seem to be a common ground for a lot of folks: sex abuse survivors, the LCWR, people in small parishes about to close, TLM advocates. Even the mafia and a few curialists are after Pope Francis. It seems no one is immune.

    2. @Todd Flowerday – comment #27:

      That said, there are a lot of Catholics with and without theological expertise disappointed, alarmed, or just concerned with the situation of unity. And by that I mean the sense of splintering that has gone on in the past decade or more.
      ,
      Nonconformists in Christendom have always existed. Perhaps it is even best to say that their retrograde actions are the leaven which awakens complacency and necessarily challenges social order. John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress is not only a masterpiece allegory of Reformed theology and a preeminent classic of the English language, but the novel-catechism is also the product of a slice of history when England forcefully conflated confession and civil state.

      This is pertinent: unity can never exist, if unity is interpreted as an organic and non-coerced agreement of believers. Compulsory attendance at a religious service one conscientiously disagrees with is not unity. So, why then should anyone pretend this is the case?

      I have always wondered what would have happened if Pope Paul VI’s bull Missale Romanum [1969] were not issued as an act of uniformity. Perhaps the constitution could have been an instruction on the implementation of an alternative and non-compulsory missal. I would not be surprised if a visible minority of priests continued to celebrate the Tridentine Mass, just as today now that the reformed liturgy is no longer compulsory. Paul VI’s harmartia (in the sense of a failure of judgment) resided in his implicit belief that unity could be imposed by decree. As we have seen, nonconformity cannot be suppressed. Why did Paul VI, and many liturgist in postconciliar era think otherwise?

      Summorum Pontificum is not designed to divide but correct a potemkin liturgical harmony. The motu is a proclamation that imposed “unity” is absolutely false. The dance between majority and majority strengthens both liturgies. In his motu, Pope Benedict XVI has merely recognized the value of constructive and generative disagreement under the Church institutional.

      1. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #40:
        I’m writing not of liturgy but dialogue and the lack of charity. Not to mention the official embrace of the Culture of Complaint. Suppose Fr Taft decides he can reinvent the Roman Rite. Maybe he picks up some followers. To what extent can nonconformity exist and everything still hold together?

        I think SP is pilloried less for those it coddled but more for whom it didn’t.

      2. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #40:
        “As we have seen, nonconformity cannot be suppressed. Why did Paul VI, and many liturgist in postconciliar era think otherwise?”

        I don’t think any of us can say precisely why Paul VI thought otherwise – I am not even sure he did think otherwise – but one reason that comes to my mind as to why he would issue a bull to that effect is that every Sunday we proclaim to believe “in the holy catholic [i.e., universal] Church”, and he might have thought it was important to emphasize that.

        And in my experience, the SP fans aren’t demonstrating an interest in a ‘dance between majority and majority’ (was that a typo?) so as to strengthen both liturgies. So far as I can tell, they want to ‘correct errors’ and cram the corrections down our throats. It’s a nice sales pitch, but I am not buying.

      3. @Charles Day – comment #42:

        And in my experience, the SP fans aren’t demonstrating an interest in a ‘dance between majority and majority’ (was that a typo?) so as to strengthen both liturgies. So far as I can tell, they want to ‘correct errors’ and cram the corrections down our throats. It’s a nice sales pitch, but I am not buying.

        —–
        Yes, ‘dance between majority and majority’ was a typo. Sorry. It should be “minority and majority” as you have figured. I’m very prone to typos.
        ——

        I would sincerely prefer if the “dance” between conformists and nonconformists were fully respectful of boundaries. Were this the case, I am convinced that the “mutual enrichment” which Pope Benedict desired would be possible. Pope Benedict’s misguided idealism has collided with history’s demonstration that collaboration between conformity and nonconformity is very difficult, at least in the early stages of reformation/destruction. Anathemata are always one-way, as the “other side’s” position is absolutely beyond the pale.

        I respect your frustration at the way SP partisans have attempted, often with cruelty, to stall or even reverse the progress of the reformed Mass. And yet, I cannot see a break on the battle front in a time when the reform/destruction is so recent. The generative possibility of conformity and nonconformity cannot be realized at all times and places, but is distinctly possible. Perhaps one way to quell this battle is to disavow Christianity altogether, as seen in postchristian Europe. The rejection of Christianity, or on a smaller scale an absolute barrier between liturgical traditions, is a false armistice, one which will inevitably give rise again to previous tensions.

      4. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #46:
        You make good points; there’s always some sort of tension as events evolve. It would be easier to deal with if everyone was as respectful as you.

      5. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #46:
        Jordan – you state: “disavow Christianity altogether, as seen in postchristian Europe. The rejection of Christianity………”

        This picks up the Benedict theme of *rabid secularism*……would suggest that what Europe may be experiencing is not the end of Christianity but an end to the institutional church’s monopoly/interpretation on what is and isn’t Christianity…..there is a big difference between this and Benedict’s approach (which, by the way, failed). A smaller, purer church has little to do with the gospel message except in the minds of a few.

        Would also suggest that the most significant threat to the European church is not secularism but rather fundamentalism and a narrow, almost cultic, view of who is and isn’t Christian.

        Sorry, but would also include Benedict’s *mutual enrichment* as another misguided and failed attempt to try to interpret and understand what inspires the people of God.

  17. Some more pictures: one from 1967 showing a free-standing altar placed in front of the altar against the wall. And here is one from what seems to be early in JPII’s pontificate (judging by his appearance), of him celebrating at the altar placed against the wall.

    Clearly a freestanding altar was often (though apparently not always) used after the Council. My only doubt about Taft’s statement was that the altar against the wall was ever removed (except, perhaps, for restoration of the frescoes) or that its use for celebration after the Council was without precedent prior to B16. Perhaps he was thinking of the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter’s.

    I’ve got to say, I find photographic records of the changes that liturgical spaces undergo over time fascinating and wish that more such records were available. I know that the photo archives from my parish tell an interesting and puzzling tale, showing such things as a priest celebrating seated behind what appears to be a coffee table that had been placed in front of the old high altar, and another celebration in which the altar (a normal-sized one at this point) seems only to have been moved into place after the Liturgy of the Word.

    1. @Fritz Bauerschmidt – comment #35:

      I’ve got to say, I find photographic records of the changes that liturgical spaces undergo over time fascinating and wish that more such records were available.

      I’m absolutely with you on that. And I’m fascinated by the way that your 1967 photo shows a complete artificial (presumably wooden) floor extending the platform out way beyond the temporary altar (in fact that altar is placed on top of where the original steps would be) to end flush with the short arm of the L.

      the altar against the wall was ever removed (except, perhaps, for restoration of the frescoes)

      That may or may not be true, but it was certainly in a removed state the last time I was there, which was four years (I erroneously previously said three) after the restoration of the frescoes had been supposedly finished. Perhaps it had not yet been put back, and Benedict was the one who did it.

      1. @Stanislaus Kosala – comment #37:

        Thank you, Stanislaus. Excellent link, with an even better view of the artificial floor that is now gone.

        The altar that is there in 2003 but was not in 1998 could perhaps have been replaced for the millennium, then? It is in fact not against the wall (the ‘shelf’ is behind it, and even that is not against the wall. One of Fritz’s photos shows that there is room to put the base of a baldacchino between shelf and wall.)

  18. In an age of rapid cultural change, many people feel radically insecure and view any change as a new threat. So it was perhaps unfortunate that Vatican II, happened at the same time as some other huge cultural changes. If VII had happened in the 1950’s perhaps the conservatives would not have been so frightened of the changes.

    As I remember, there had been a number of liturgical experiments well before VII, even in the 40’s, and nobody felt the least bit threatened. Sigh.

    1. @Ann Olivier – comment #43:
      It is an interesting counter-factual thought experiment to imagine VII occurring in 1952-1955. That would have been only two years after Humani Generis, so it is difficult to imagine that de Lubac, Congar, Chenu et al. would have exercised much influence. Perhaps curial officials would have retained control of the process and, if so, the documents would have undoubtedly looked very different. Perhaps the document on the liturgy, however, would have been similar, though only because I suspect that the folks in the Curia thought it an unimportant issue. Judging from the Holy Week reforms, I think we would have gotten some liturgical reforms, but nothing like what was produced by the Consilium. Maybe the Mass would have looked more like the “1965 Missal,” though I suspect use of the vernacular might have been more restricted, perhaps only to the readings and the prayer of the faithful.

      Though I sometimes lament the coincidence of VII and the cultural upheaval of the 1960s, I think VII and the 60s are probably inseparable.

  19. I think there is a burden of proof that needs to be met regarding whether or not SP has had a negative effect. Those who say it has caused division need to do more than just state an opinion over and over. The anti EF crowd cannot be taken seriously until they do the serious objective legwork required to support thier claims. The burden of proof is far greater for those who want to limit or take something away than for someone wanting to allow it.

    On a side note, I recently had an online discussion with some Orthodox, and they were shocked when I mentioned that people object to the EF since they regard it as more similar to their own liturgies. Even more surprised when I named a couple things people at blogs like this consider impoverishments since it pretty much implies their rites are seriously impoverished too.

    1. @Jack Wayne – comment #45:
      I’ve had similar discussions with my Orthodox friends, many of whom look on the *practice* of the reformed liturgy with considerable skepticism (I hold out hope that the point of comparison for them is in point of fact horrible instances of contemporary liturgical practice not the liturgy as SC envisions it). Indeed, I’ve always been curious at what I’ve perceived as something of a cognitive dissonance between Fr. Taft’s scholarship on and practice of the Byzantine liturgy and his dismissal of the ‘NCWs’. I’m sure someone will explain and it will all make sense soon enough. 🙂

      I’d also agree that the burden of proof is on those who reject it to show that SP has created more division. What has occurred, I suspect, is that the divisions we’re talking about are those which have existed since the late ’60s (whether the reform was monarchically imposed or collegially embraced). It might be demonstrated that it has caused more acrimony in places like PrayTell, but that’s not quite the same as ‘division,’ I think.

      As to attitudes toward SP, I think it’s worth those of us who are proponents of the reformed liturgy to ask ourselves whether or not we can admit the possibility that:
      1) Someone could look at the situation of the liturgy circa 1962 and reasonably hold that the reform of the liturgy was not necessary.
      2) Someone could look at the situation of the liturgy circa 1962, hold that reform was necessary, but reasonably hold that the reform envisioned was unnecessary/inadequate.
      3) Someone could look at the situation of the liturgy post-1970, hold that reforms were necessary, that the vision of SC is adequate, but reasonably hold that the practice of the liturgy today does not live up to SC and would somehow benefit from the continued practice of the ’62.

      If we can admit any of these, I think we can tolerate SP – whether we like the rhetoric of some of the ’62’s proponents or not.

      1. @Brendan McInerny – comment #51:
        The author of SP would not fall into the first or second of the options Brendan McInerny proposed in post #51, but the third sounds pretty much like what Benedict would say. The question is what “somehow benefit” means – and actually I think that’s something SP purposefully did not pre-determine (e.g., by legislating various specified “reforms of the reform”), but wanted to leave open to the experience, experimentation even, and judgment of the church (meaning everyone), through the process of mutual enrichment, which is open to anyone who wants to participate – and, it’s worth adding, required of no one who doesn’t.

  20. Since we are discussing SP, it is worth remembering:

    (1) That the English and French bishops, who were consulted before the document was promulgated, begged Benedict not to go ahead with it, foreseeing the problems it would cause. (And how right they were!)

    (2) The document was intended, as Benedict himself said, to accommodate that small number of people who only felt comfortable with the Tridentine Rite and unable to worship with the Missal of Paul VI. It was aimed at people who already had an attachment to the older form. It did not give them permission to proselytise, to try and draw in new adherents.

    Presumably Benedict thought that it was a short term measure, and that those affected by it would eventually die out.

    (3) It most certainly did not give adherents the right to state, often in a vitriolic fashion, that the older form was the only real form, and that all other celebrations were deficient. What they were allowed to use is an extra-ordinary (i.e. abnormal) form.

    (4) Most of the problems have arisen precisely because of the proselytism and more especially the intemperate condemnations of the “ordinary” (normal) form.

    (5) In fact practice does not appear to have increased dramatically in the wake of the Motu Proprio, which makes one ask why the previous indults were considered insufficient. In this part of the world, although the provision of extraordinary form celebrations has increased, it is the same small group of people who attend them, often travelling around to multiple locations and covering considerable distances to be present at them.

    (6) In some parishes a resident priest has “taken over” the parish liturgies and made the extraordinary into the ordinary, or a single parish has been designated as an extraordinary form church, thereby alienating substantial numbers of parishioners who then themselves have to travel in order to find an ordinary form celebration. It seems quite clear that this was not the intent of the Motu Proprio either.

    I see no real sign of either form having much influence on the other, something that Benedict thought (perhaps unrealistically) would be desirable. The real motivating force behind the Motu Proprio seems to have been an old man in his dotage who was looking to restore to liturgical celebration what he considered to be a reverence that was lacking. What he should have done was take a trip to Africa to witness the vitality and energy that characterises liturgical celebrations there. The whole concept of reverence is a very relative thing, conditioned by culture and experience.

    1. @Paul Inwood – comment #52:
      Your summary, Paul, I think is on the mark especially the final paragraph. The by-now well known 2003 letter of Joseph Ratzinger to Karl Lothar-Barth shows the thinking he brought to this question. His hope at that time was a limited reintroduction of the older rites that would catalyze fundamental alterations to the current Liturgy of the Church, bringing it closer to the pre-reformed ritual. We now know that hope is forlorn. Even the people in the so-called “reform of the reform” have scaled their expectations far back, once Benedict retired / resigned. The whole project depended too much on one man. Without him, it’s over except for the bishops and priests who were promoted to advance this agenda.

      Ratzinger was for a long time in a seat of power at the CDF, and then at the Chair of Peter. It’s not a mystery why he was the “great hope” of the people who wanted to overthrow the liturgical reform of Vatican II.

      http://www.summorum-pontificum.de/meinung/barth_brief.shtml

      What is sad to me in this letter is that he attributes the resistance to a return to the unreformed liturgy as, essentially, unreasoning bias. Benedict really did want to argue the whole liturgical reform over again because he thought he could do better. What a colossal vanity and waste of time and energy to try to back up and rewrite a liturgical reform that was produced by bishops and experts from around the world, at the behest of an ecumenical Council. This is not trying to “right a wrong” but to “rewrite history.” But of course this project was dear to a tiny minority, who never gave up their resistance to the Council itself, and Benedict was friendly to them.

      Adam is disappointed, clearly, but over the long run the Church is better served by the ordinary (I would say, also, normative) form of the Roman Rite which was produced by the Council, and so I cannot share his disappointment. I am looking forward to getting past this period.

      1. @Rita Ferrone – comment #55:
        >>Adam is disappointed, clearly

        Assumptions are a great way to say stupid things aren’t true.

        Disappointed in what, exactly?

        I have never been to an Extraordinary Form Mass. I’d like to try one, but I have no particular interest or desire in making that my primary Sunday worship experience. I’m pretty sure I would hate Low Mass, and I can’t imagine going to High Mass week after week.

        But I can hardly explain why the things that move me do so, so I hardly feel right in making judgements about people who prefer Low Mass in Latin instead of folk songs in English.

        What I rather think, in reference to Summorum Pontificam is that the Church should be more liberal and generous in providing to people what they need, in terms of spirituality and devotional preferences.

        I find it terribly illiberal and an exercise in vanity to deny the legitimate diversity within the Roman Rite (and the broader array of Catholic Rites).

        And I find the insults and invective directed at the Emeritus to be in particular bad taste.

      2. @Adam Wood – comment #56:
        Well, quite a few stupid things ARE true, so if I suggested they aren’t you’ll have to forgive me.

        I apologize if I imputed to you a disappointment you don’t have.

      3. @Rita Ferrone – comment #57:
        Yes, many stupid things ARE true.

        (BTW – my above was supposed to be say “things that aren’t”)

        Anyway- I don’t mind if people think I’m a Latin Mass traddie or not.

        I do find that there is a habit of categorizing people and then using that category to dismiss what they say. While this is a wrong thing to do, and I would hope that my above comments would stand regardless of whether I’m a Latin Mass enthusiast or not, in point of fact I am not in the category I believe you assigned me to.

      4. @Adam Wood – comment #58:

        An ecumencial council ABROGATED the old Mass. Never in the history of the Church has two forms existed side by side like this. It creates tension and two camps of Catholics. It is grave hubris that people have tried to re-write history for a personal agenda. Had we have moved on like we were supposed to, the demand for TLM would have faded into history.

      5. @Rita Ferrone – comment #55:
        Rita,

        Are you sure that Benedict was interested in restarting the reform? I get the impression that he was trying to undue what he perceived to be unfortunate and unintended effects of the reform, such as a tendency to see liturgical rites as merely human products capable of being manipulated at will by those in power and a loss of a proper understanding of the Eucharist.
        I think that where one comes down on those issues determines how one sees Benedict’s project.

        One of his main rationales behind Summorum Pontificum was the rejection of the notion that all of a sudden a liturgical form which had been approved for centuries can be, for all intents and purposes, anathematised. The Missal of Paul VI was seen not just as an improvement over the Missal of Pius V (and Ratzinger believed that it was an improvement) but it was seen as something on such a higher plane than the previous missal such that it repudiated it, causing the previous missal to become error-filled over night on tuesday when it was perfectly orthodox on monday. (A good example of Ratzinger’s approach would be how he dealt with the question of the validity of the anaphora of Addai and Mari which doesn’t have the words of institution. Even though the church determined at an ecumenical council that those words are part of the form of the sacrament, the fact that this anaphora is extremely ancient and has been used by a church that never lost true Eucharistic faith means that it is not invalidated by the church’s later determinations.)
        Also, while Francis certainly doesn’t share Benedict’s agenda when it comes to liturgical reforms, but he does reject this notion that all of a sudden practices that have nourished the faithful for centuries could be condemned and rejected based upon expert’s judgments. I believe that he would see this as a betrayal of the sensus fidelium.

  21. Paul, what problems did the English and French bishops forsee that turned out to be right? What studies back up your claims?

    Also, do you attend a lot of EF Masses to really know that they all service the same small amount of travelling parishioners? How is that even possible? Are the Mass times staggered so they can all attend many Masses in one day? What you claim sounds physically impossible – I’ve been to all the local EF Masses at least once (just like many people will attend the OF Masses at another parish once in a while), but that doesn’t mean I’m part of some small travelling group attending them all to boost the numbers.

    In the US, the only parishes converted to the exclusive use of the EF are ones that would have been closed otherwise. They often sit in what are considered bad neighborhoods. Parishioners are displaced, sure, but they would have been displaced no matter what.

  22. SO practice has not increased dramatically, even though they are drawing new adherants through their proselytism?

    And Extraordinary means abnormal and intended to be rare? Does that apply to Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, as well?

    And do those who prefer the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite have RIGHT to insult and denigrate those who prefer the older liturgy?

    And do you really think it is polite or Christian to insult Benedict, calling him “an old man in his dotage” with “unrealistic” expectations?

    Perhaps you want to correct his vocabulary too. I’m sure he’s over there in Rome calling some garment or other by its Anglican name.

  23. Paul Inwood (at #52): […] or a single parish has been designated as an extraordinary form church, thereby alienating substantial numbers of parishioners who then themselves have to travel in order to find an ordinary form celebration. It seems quite clear that this was not the intent of the Motu Proprio either. […]

    Some regions of the world have a predominantly Catholic population. In the United States, New York and New England are very Catholic. Within a ten mile radius of my house there are at least ten Catholic churches, whose ‘styles’ range from very liturgically progressive to EF. Most towns have two churches, so if one does not suit your tastes, another is less than a mile away (sometimes, yards away). Would this not also be the case in France, which has been Catholic for millennia?

    Paul, your statement is correct in many cases, but not all. The topography of the Catholic world is very uneven.

  24. Sean, could you please cite the document from Vatican II that abrogates the missal and provide an exact quote?

    Never in the history of the church did a liturgical form as ancient and venerable as the old Roman Rite get abrogated. Not even Quo Primum, which accompanied the promulgation of the Mass after Trent, did such a thing. So I suppose one unheard of action will beget another unheard of action – two forms of one rite.

    Also, it would be nice to see concrete examples of all the supposed division being caused by SP. Not just a few internet quotes or anecdotal (and implausible) stories. Again, there really is a burden of proof that needs to be met in order for these arguments to be taken seriously.

    1. @Jack Wayne – comment #63:
      A recent article in Worship makes the point that the preconciliar rite was abrogated, and the argumentation is very strong. It suggests that the contrary judgment of that committee of cardinals is based on weaker arguments.

      “Never in the history of the church…” – Exactly. Never was there an ecumenical council like Vatican II that called for a general reform of the liturgy in such strong terms.

      It all comes back – again and again – to whether we accept Vatican II or not. What Vatican II called for in liturgical reform has no historical precedent. But it’s what the Council said. You seem to be arguing that this is not legitimate because it has no precedent. At root, you’re arguing against Vatican II.

      awr

    2. @Jack Wayne – comment #63:

      Here’s an idea – you prove the positive. Where does one find evidence that the Church Fathers of Vatican II EVER planned on allowing both forms to coexist? The burden of proof is on you, not me.

      All this quibbling and rewriting of history is ridiculous, all taking us away from the goal of liturgy, at least of the V2 liturgy – to go forth and proclaim the Gospel. The old mass needs to be abrogated once and for all and any further councils of the Church make clear what is and isn’t abrogated.

      1. @Sean Whelan – comment #84:
        Not to add to the quibbling, but I was under the impression that as far as VII saw things, the liturgy was *the* goal of all the Church’s activity.

        But you’re right, all this quibbling and rewriting of history is ridiculous. The competent ecclesial authority has determined it is lawful to celebrate the liturgy according to the ’62 😉

  25. Sean is not quite accurate. No Vatican II document abrogates the Tridentine Rite, but Paul VI certainly did. He followed exactly the same procedure with his Missal as Pius V had with the Missal and Breviary in 1570, Clement VIII in 1595 with the Roman Pontifical, Pius X with the psalter of the Breviary in 1911, and Pius XII with the Holy Week rites in 1955. In all these cases, the previous usage was abrogated and replaced by the new. This is how the Church always does it. This is why indults were necessary to permit the EF to continue to exist after 1969. If it had not been abrogated, there would have been no need for indults. Benedict XVI was extremely badly advised when he attempted to say something different, because that then gave his critics the ammunition they needed: they could demonstrate without any shadow of doubt that the entire Motu Proprio was built on a fiction.

    And to those who have asked for concrete examples of what the bishops were apprehensive about in SP and what has in fact happened as a result of it, I already gave them: inappropriate proselytising, and vitriolic condemnations of the “Ordinary Form” as being at best “not the real Mass”, at worst invalid. Just look at the number of traditionalist blogs and websites around the place and read what you find there. No burden of proof required.

    One might have thought that all this would have subsided in the wake of the new permissions given by SP. Not a bit of it: the proselytising and condemnations still continue unabated today, just as if the proponents of EF are the only ones who have the fullness of the truth. There is no recognition that theirs is a very small splinter in the Barque of Peter.

    I find it interesting that such a very small minority of Catholics is behind such a large number of websites in comparison to its size. Non-traditionalist Catholics do not seem to see a need to do so on a commensurate scale. Pray Tell is one of the few international liturgical forums devoted to the Ordinary Form.

    Concerning parishes that become EF parishes, I have only heard of one in the UK that has been specifically designated in this way, but there are a number in the US, and they are by no means all in poor areas or churches that would otherwise have been closed. Conversely, in the UK there are quite a few cases where priests have hijacked the parish’s liturgies and changed them into EF or predominantly EF celebrations, but I have only heard of a handful of such instances in the US.

    1. @Paul Inwood – comment #63:
      Paul,

      What about the rites of the Carmelites and the Dominicans? They used pre-Trent versions of the Roman Rite yet were not affected by the decrees from Pius V onwards.

      Benedict wasn’t being badly advised, Cardinal Ratzinger was on the commision that John Paul II established to examine the juridical status of the 1962 missal in 1986, and he was one of the eight cardinals(out of 9 total) who judged that it wasn’t abrogated. I don’t have an opinion on this, but I think that neither position is obviously the right one.

      I wasn’t aware that there was such a liturgical revolution in the UK, could you estimate what percentage of parishes have been forced to become predominently EF? Could you do the same for the US?

      1. @Stanislaus Kosala – comment #65:

        I wasn’t aware that there was such a liturgical revolution in the UK, could you estimate what percentage of parishes have been forced to become predominently EF? Could you do the same for the US?

        I see that I need to clarify.

        A number of parishes had their liturgies hijacked by their priests. That number would be somewhere between 30 and 40 in England and Wales, where the number of dioceses is 22. The same number that I have heard about in the US is less than 5 across 195 dioceses. (There may be more that I have not heard about.)

        The number of parishes that I have heard have been designated as EF churches in England and Wales is 2. (There may be more that I have not heard about.) I think the same number in the US would be in the order of 50, but once again I am open to upward correction on that. In at least a proportion of the American instances that I have heard about, parishioners have been forced to look elsewhere for Ordinary Form celebrations.

        I was not describing a liturgical revolution, merely trying to indicate that there are apparently more renegade priests in England and Wales than in the US while at the same time there are more designated parishes in the US than in the UK.

  26. Again, both Wayne and Kosala veer a long way from facts and nudge into revisionist history.
    To begin with Paul’s list – “He followed exactly the same procedure with his Missal as Pius V had with the Missal and Breviary in 1570, Clement VIII in 1595 with the Roman Pontifical….”
    Comparison – both the Council of Trent and Vatican II left actual liturgical decisions to the popes to decide and implement. Thus, no council abrogated – but popes implementing the conciliar documents did so.
    Trent or more properly, Pius V – Trent did mandate a missal revision which Pius V and Cardinal Sirleto decided and implemented. This revision led to additional revisions such as the Pontifical under Clement VIII. Pius V’s Bull ordered the *universal* adaptation of this Roman Rite unless another rite had been in use in a given region or institution for more than two hundred years. It fulfilled the conciliar directive that imposed a blanket uniformity and rigidity on the Roman Rite. 18 years later Sixtus V established the Congregation of Rites to oversee this Roman Rite and its uniformity. Thus, began a new tradition that funneled all liturgical decisions through Rome/Pope (this had not been the historical pattern). As you can see, even after the Trent Council, liturgical reforms continued for more than 25 years and via three different popes. (not unlike VII and Paul VI)

    Kosala – you state: “…unfortunate and unintended effects of the reform, such as a tendency to see liturgical rites as merely human products capable of being manipulated at will by those in power and a loss of a proper understanding of the Eucharist.” Really, feels like an opinion based upon personal observation but nothing more….in fact, most VII Council Fathers came to believe that the Eucharist in the 1950s had lost its meaning among the people of God – thus, a push for reform. And, aren’t all liturgical rites human products – or do you ascribe to some theory that liturgy drops from the heavens? Thought the liturgy was made for us; not the other way around.
    You incorrectly cite the question of the validity of the anaphora of Addai and Mari which doesn’t have the words of institution – . http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/documents/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_20011025_chiesa-caldea-assira_en.html

    In fact, approval was given because it was regional for more than 1000 years, ecumenical to the Assyrian Church, and determined that it met the form for the institutional narrative (thus, the actual words were found in the complete Eucharistic prayer – not just in the anaphora).

    And this gets us to the final comparison – the Roman Rite has been reformed throughout our history (despite those who perpetuate thinking that Trent set things in concrete for 500 years). The exceptions were for local regions or religious institutions that had been in place for 200 years plus. But, the Roman Rite has only one form, it is universal (not a local region) and it does not pertain to a specific institution. Thus, guess one can make up new rules and say that the missal of Pius V somehow should be treated like Trent treated local regions or institutions that met the >200 year rule. But, we have a much longer tradition that clearly indicates that the one Roman Rite (with some exceptions) has been reformed many times and each time, the former Roman Rite was abrogated.

    You also ask about documentation/proof of EF issues. We have posted on this many times – Benedict’s SP also called upon the world’s bishops to complete a follow up questionnaire that detailed the impact of SP – so, there is your documentation but this has not been made public – guess we can speculate on why?
    One practical example of disunity: http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Blog/2969/bishop_of_fort_worth_draws_the_line.aspx

    1. @Bill deHaas – comment #65:

      About the issue of the history of the Roman Rite, my point is simply that:
      1. Many people on this blog say that Benedict created an unprecedented situation when he allowed two versions of the Roman Rite to exist side by side.
      2. I don’t believe that this is true since certain religious orders have used versions of the Roman rite other than the one released by Pius V which were immune to further revisions. Hence, I don’t see the post Summorum Pontificum situation as entirely unprecedented.

      When I mentioned the view that liturgy had become seen as something purely human and capable of being manipulated at will by those in power, I was referring to Ratzinger’s position. If you’re interested in seeing how Ratzinger would answer your questions and how he understands the nature of the liturgy and its development, I recommend reading his book, The Feast of Faith.

      1. @Stanislaus Kosala – comment #67:
        You’re confusing two different things. There is diversity and there is diversity.

        Multiple rites of religious orders and regions are examples of two living traditions that developed in varied ways in the course of history. But everyone within the rite follows the same form of the rite, the one and only form of the rite, used by their ordinaries.

        After Summorum Pontificum, by sharpest contrast, we have two rites (or two forms of the same rite) of the same tradition, one reformed and one un-reformed. We have an earlier and later form of the SAME rite. We have people using a different form of the rite than their own ordinary. We have two forms of rite under the same ordinary. We have people using a rite which has not undergone the revisions called for by the authorities for that rite. This is without precedent.

        awr

      2. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #72:
        I’m aware of Taft’s scholarship on this issue. I was however, only making a point about the manner in which antiquity and continued use played a role in the argumentation of the document that Ratzinger approved.

        I’m also aware of what you have said about diversity in the past. But you are ignoring the point that the Dominicans and the Carmelites used an older form of the ROMAN rite which was untouched by post-Trent revisions called for the ROMAN rite. Sure these older missals belonged to specific religious orders, but these orders ran parishes within diocesan bounds where the ordinary used a different rite.
        Are you saying that if a religious order decided to adopt the 1962 missal for itself, then that would be ok, and the problem is simply with diocesan priests using the 1962 missal?

        Finally, if you admit that the reform called for by Vatican II was without precedent, then why do you stress so much that Summorum Pontificum creates a situation without precedent? Why is that important if it’s ok for church authorities to do things without precedent?

      3. @Stanislaus Kosala – comment #75:

        I’m afraid introducing the Carmelite, Dominican, etc Rites is a complete red herring which, as Anthony has said, has nothing to do with what we are discussing.

    2. @Bill deHaas – comment #65:
      About Addai and Mari,

      My point is simply that:

      1. The Church has defined that the, explicit words “This is my Body” and “This is the Chalice of my Blood” are the form of the sacrament of the Eucharist.

      2. The Anaphora of Addai and Mari does not meet this requirement.

      3. Despite 2. Ratzinger argued that given the antiquity of the anaphora and of its continued use, that it should still be recognized as valid despite the fact that it does not meet the requirements declared by an ecumencial council (i.e. The Fifth Council of Florence). The fact that they are there implicitly, would not have made a difference if the anaphora were not ancient and used uninterruptedly by a particular church.

      1. @Stanislaus Kosala – comment #68:
        Fr. Taft made the point several times that, as far as we know, no Eucharistic prayer before the 4th century had the words of Christ “This is my Body,” “This is my Blood.” This provides a strong basis for the Church now acknowledging the validity of an anaphora without these words. This is a good example of how liturgical scholarship makes theological development possible. It also shows the problem with a quasi-fundamentalism that argues from what Church officials or an official council said at some earlier point in history.
        awr

  27. Paul Inwood : It did not give them permission to proselytise, to try and draw in new adherents.

    I’m unclear where in Summorum Pontificum, the accompanying letter from Pope Benedict, or Universae Ecclesiae this prohibition against proselytizing is stated, or even implied. Could you provide a reference to this supposed prohibition?

    1. @Paul Goings – comment #69:

      I’m unclear where in Summorum Pontificum, the accompanying letter from Pope Benedict, or Universae Ecclesiae this prohibition against proselytizing is stated, or even implied. Could you provide a reference to this supposed prohibition?

      I never said there was a prohibition. What I said, and you quoted, was that the document did not give permission for proselytizing. That’s not the same as a prohibition. It’s simply an absence of an explicit permission.

      In other words, SP didn’t prohibit proselytizing, but it didn’t permit it either.

      This is because, as we all know, SP was aimed at stable groups, left over from the previous era, who were still attached to the former rite. It did not say that such groups could now expand their adherents (in which case they would no longer be stable), merely that access to the rite to which they were attached would thenceforth be made easier.

  28. Benedict XVI cleared up some of the confusion here in the cover letter for Summorum Pontificum:

    “It is not appropriate to speak of these two versions of the Roman Missal as if they were “two Rites”. Rather, it is a matter of a twofold use of one and the same rite.”

    This “twofold use” is interesting because Pius V introduced the post Tridentine missal for the purpose of establishing a uniform single rite. In some ways, SP introduces an idea of “rite” that is very different from the concept of Pius V.

  29. There’s an old baseball joke:
    Three umpires are talking-
    The first one says, “You know – a lot of pitches come over that plate. Some are balls and some are strikes. I just call ’em like I see ’em.”
    The second one says, “Yeah- some of those pitches are strikes, and some of ’em are balls. But me? I call ’em like they are.”
    The third one says, “Yeah- I see a lot pitches come over that plate. Some are balls and some are strikes – but they ain’t nothin’ till I call ’em.”

    Two forms of the same Rite may be without precedent. The reforms called for by Vatican II may be without precedent. Neither lack of precedent means that either situation is illegitimate.

    If Benedict had the power to regulate the liturgy and the authority to interpret liturgical law, then his interpretation is the right one. This isn’t because he can infallibly determine the truth in this matter (like its an objective thing which needs to be discovered) but because law is whatever the lawmakers say it is.

    Now – that doesn’t make it wise or prudent. One can think that either the reform, or SP (or both) are unwise, imprudent, or just downright a bad idea. But arguing against their legal legitimacy seems (to me, at least) to be… let’s call it misguided.

    As to the charge that the Old Mass Enthusiasts are insulting and arguing against the legitimacy of the New Mass (and just a look at traddie blogs will tell you this is true!) – this is ridiculous.

    My mother regularly makes fun of women who wear mantillas (“doily-heads”). Should we shut down Folk Masses because clearly they are sowing division, as evidenced by I know someone who attends Folk Mass and insults other Catholics?

  30. But SP is clearly not just for existing stable communities.


    Art. 4. With due observance of law, even Christ’s faithful who spontaneously request it, may be admitted to celebrations of Holy Mass mentioned in art. 2 above.

    Art 10. It is lawful for the local Ordinary, if he judges it opportune, to erect a personal parish according to the norm of canon 518 for celebrations according to the older form of the Roman rite or appoint a rector or chaplain, with due observance of the requirements of law

  31. Nor is it the case that SP is directed at just old people who rememember the old Mass.

    From the accompanying letter:

    Immediately after the Second Vatican Council it was presumed that requests for the use of the 1962 Missal would be limited to the older generation which had grown up with it, but in the meantime it has clearly been demonstrated that young persons too have discovered this liturgical form, felt its attraction and found in it a form of encounter with the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist, particularly suited to them. Thus the need has arisen for a clearer juridical regulation which had not been foreseen at the time of the 1988 Motu Proprio.

    1. @Adam Wood – comment #79:

      Here’s BXVI giving an interview on a plane on his way to Paris on September 12 2008:

      This Motu Proprio is simply an act of tolerance, with a pastoral aim for people who were formed in this liturgy, love it, know it, and wish to live with this liturgy. It’s a small group because this presupposes a formation in Latin, a formation in a certain culture. [My emphasis] But for these people, having the love and the tolerance to allow them to live with this liturgy seems to me to be a normal requirement in faith and pastoral care for a bishop of our Church.

      None of this jives with drawing in more young people, it would seem, or indeed drawing in any people at all. Benedict was a describing a small remnant from the previous era. The fact that the remnant may have included young people is not the issue.

      I say again, a stable community that expands is no longer stable.

      1. @Paul Inwood – comment #81:
        Paul,

        How does what you say square with Universae Ecclesiae which says the following (the empahses are mine):

        “15. A coetus fidelium (“group of the faithful”) can be said to be stabiliter existens (“existing in a stable manner”), according to the sense of art. 5 § 1 of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, when it is constituted by some people of an individual parish who, EVEN AFTER the publication of the Motu Proprio, COME TOGETHER by REASON of their VENERATION [i.e. not by inability to participate in the Mass of Paul VI] for the Liturgy in the Usus Antiquior, and who ask that it might be celebrated in the parish church or in an oratory or chapel; such a coetus (“group”) can also be composed of persons coming from different parishes or dioceses, who gather together in a specific parish church or in an oratory or chapel for this purpose.”

        17 § 2. In cases of groups which are quite small, they may approach the Ordinary of the place to identify a church in which these faithful may be able to COME TOGETHER for such celebrations, in order to ensure easier participation and a more worthy celebration of the Holy Mass.”

        ” [Summorum Pontificum has the aim of] effectively guaranteeing and ensuring the use of the forma extraordinaria for ALL who ask for it, given that the use of the 1962 Roman Liturgy is a faculty generously granted for the good of the faithful and therefore is to be interpreted in a sense favourable to the faithful who are its principal addressees;” (emphasis mine)”

        Also if what you say is correct, then why is it that baptisms and confirmations, and ordinations are permitted in the EF if these groups are not permitted to grow?

        Finally, there is also the cover letter from Summorum Pontificum which states:

        “Immediately after the Second Vatican Council it was presumed that requests for the use of the 1962 Missal would be limited to the older generation which had grown up with it, but in the meantime it has clearly been demonstrated that young persons too have discovered this liturgical form, felt its attraction and found in it a form of encounter with the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist, particularly suited to them. Thus the need has arisen for a clearer juridical regulation which had not been foreseen at the time of the 1988 Motu Proprio”

      2. @Stanislaus Kosala – comment #82:

        I don’t see your point. An existing group coming together is fine, and no one disputes that. Proselytizing, however, isn’t the same thing at all.

      3. @Paul Inwood – comment #89:

        I have several points in fact:

        1. Show me where Universae Ecclesiae says that this has to be an existing group that comes together? It states that Summorum Pontificum has the the aim of “effectively guaranteeing and ensuring the use of the forma extraordinaria for ALL who ask for it.” It doesn’t say “all who have been asking for it before its promulgation,” it simply says “all who ask for it.” (i.e. present tense)

        2. Above(comment 52) you state “Summorum Pontificum was intended, as Benedict himself said, to accommodate that “small number of people who only felt comfortable with the Tridentine Rite and unable to worship with the Missal of Paul VI.” Yet Universae Ecclessiae states that the groups that ask for the EF may come to together because of their veneration for this form of liturgy, it does not mention that they must also be incapable of using the missal of Paul VI.

        3. In comment 76 you state that “SP was aimed at stable groups, left over from the previous era, who were still attached to the former rite.” Yet Benedict in the cover letter of SP states that:

        “Immediately after the Second Vatican Council it was presumed that requests for the use of the 1962 Missal would be limited to the older generation which had grown up with it, but in the meantime it has clearly been demonstrated that young persons too have discovered this liturgical form, felt its attraction and found in it a form of encounter with the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist, particularly suited to them. Thus the need has arisen for a clearer juridical regulation which had not been foreseen at the time of the 1988 Motu Proprio.”

        Notice how he says that the need arose after 1988, hence these young people could not have been around before Vatican II.

        4. You state that “a stable community that expands is no longer stable.” Yet SP and UE allow baptisms to take place in the EF. Are you also saying that religious orders that use the EF exclusively may not attract new vocations or have ordinations?

      4. @Stanislaus Kosala – comment #92:

        Show me where Universae Ecclesiae says that this has to be an existing group that comes together? It states that Summorum Pontificum has the the aim of “effectively guaranteeing and ensuring the use of the forma extraordinaria for ALL who ask for it.” It doesn’t say “all who have been asking for it before its promulgation,” it simply says “all who ask for it.” (i.e. present tense)

        I agree, but the assumption is that those who ask for it are those who have previously known and loved it, not people who wake up one day and suddenly think “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a Tridentine Mass today?”

        Yet Universae Ecclessiae states that the groups that ask for the EF may come to together because of their veneration for this form of liturgy, it does not mention that they must also be incapable of using the missal of Paul VI.

        I don’t see what an incapacity to use the Missal of Paul VI has to do with it. No one is incapable of using that Missal, but some choose not to. I have no problem with people asking for the older form because they venerate it.

        Notice how he says that the need arose after 1988, hence these young people could not have been around before Vatican II.

        Indeed. We are not talking about people who were necessarily around before Vatican II. The point you have failed to grasp is that SP was aimed at those groups that existed at the time it was promulgated, i.e. 2007. Of course by then there were some young people involved.

        You state that “a stable community that expands is no longer stable.” Yet SP and UE allow baptisms to take place in the EF. Are you also saying that religious orders that use the EF exclusively may not attract new vocations or have ordinations?

        I am saying that Benedict was quite clear that these groups were tiny hangovers from the previous regime, that they were formed in Latin and were part of a particular culture. For me, that means attracting new vocations or ordaining people who were not previously formed in Latin or were part of a “Tridentine culture” is not in tune with what SP purportedly was intended for, regardless of what rearguard-action documents might have subsequently tried to say.

      5. @Paul Inwood – comment #100:
        ” the assumption is that those who ask for it are those who have previously known and loved it, not people who wake up one day and suddenly think “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a Tridentine Mass today?””

        Sure, as long you agree that SP and UE do not explicitly exclude people who do happen to wake up and decide that they want the Tridentine Mass, or that someone formed in the OF decides he/she wants to join an FSSP parish after SP has been promulgated.

        “I don’t see what an incapacity to use the Missal of Paul VI has to do with it. No one is incapable of using that Missal, but some choose not to. I have no problem with people asking for the older form because they venerate it.”

        Great, thanks for clearing that up.

        “For me, that means attracting new vocations or ordaining people who were not previously formed in Latin or were part of a “Tridentine culture” is not in tune with what SP purportedly was intended for.”

        Certainly, I think it’s obvious that groups like the Fraternity of St. Peter would not accept people who had not already been attending the EF for a significant amount of time, though, of course, they wouldn’t care whether or not the person came to the EF before or after the appearance of SP.

    1. @Fritz Bauerschmidt – comment #90:
      That might be one point of needed reform with the Last Gospel in the TLM. What should be proclaimed at the end of Mass is Matthew 28:16-20. Or Mark 16:14-15.

      The TLM remains flawed, insufficient, unreformed, and for many (but not all) an indulgence that does not move them from belief into discipleship. It is authorized, certainly. But that doesn’t confer competence.

  32. Fritz Bauerschmidt :

    Adam Wood : >>the goal of liturgy, at least of the V2 liturgy – to go forth and proclaim the Gospel. [citation needed]

    ###

    V. Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord. R. Thanks be to God. (Roman Missal, Order of Mass, no. 144)

    ###

    So, out of four different options for something to do at the end – you are saying that one in particular is the best, truest, rightest one and then developing an entire philosophy about the goal of liturgy based on that one option?

    Geez, and I thought the Option-One-Proper-Antiphons-Only dogmatists over at CMAA were being extreme.

    1. @Adam Wood – comment #93:
      Here you go from Thomas Richstatter – of course, you have to accept VII reforms and ecclesiology:

      Theology of the Commissioning Rite

      1. Four Treasures in the Attic: The recovery of “The World” corresponds to the theological understanding of the Commissioning Rite. Review Chapter d28 Four Treasures in the Attic – http://www.tomrichstatter.org/dDocuments/d29treas.htm#The World

      2. Naming the rite: Concluding rite; dismissal; exit; commissioning.

      2. Primary and Secondary elements: The primary elements are the good-bye of the priest and the blessing. The other elements are secondary.

      3. Each of the Gospels has a “commissioning”. Mark: to preach the Gospel. Matthew: go, baptize, teach. Luke: preach forgiveness of sins. [Dr. Timothy Carmody: “In the context of the whole Gospel, ‘to preach forgiveness of sins’ is like saying, ‘make disciples and teach what I taught.’ The same power (the Spirit) that supported Jesus ministry will inspire the ministry of his disciples.”]

      5. The Role of the Presider: Formerly I was trying to bring God’s presence to the people; now I want to bring the people into God’s presence so that they are warmed and strengthened by that love and encouraged to be Christ’s Body. I want them to make a difference. This is the function of the eucharist: “See how they love one another; there is no one poor among them.”

  33. SACROSANCTUM CONCILIUM seems to suggest that the goal or purpose of liturgy is the glorification of God and the sanctification of God’s people.
    Of course, you have to accept Vatican II…

    >> this great work wherein God is perfectly glorified and men are sanctified

    >>In the liturgy the sanctification of the man is signified by signs perceptible to the senses, and is effected in a way which corresponds with each of these signs

    >> From the liturgy, therefore, and especially from the Eucharist, as from a font, grace is poured forth upon us; and the sanctification of men in Christ and the glorification of God, to which all other activities of the Church are directed as toward their end, is achieved in the most efficacious possible way.

    >> There is hardly any proper use of material things which cannot thus be directed toward the sanctification of men and the praise of God.

    >> the purpose of sacred music, which is the glory of God and the sanctification of the faithful

    1. @Adam Wood – comment #96:

      Chapter 2 of SC has what you requested:

      “While the liturgy daily builds up those who are within into a holy temple of the Lord, into a dwelling place for God in the Spirit [3], to the mature measure of the fullness of Christ [4], at the same time it marvelously strengthens their power to preach Christ, and thus shows forth the Church to those who are outside as a sign lifted up among the nations [5] under which the scattered children of God may be gathered together [6], until there is one sheepfold and one shepherd [7].”

      The first sentence says it better, but this sentence lays out the relationship between our sanctification and the preaching of the Gospel.

  34. Of course SC’s statement that the “goal” of the liturgy as the “glorification of God and the sanctification of the faithful” is taken from Pius X’s _Tra le sollecitudini_, with the modification that “edification” has been dropped as a distinct “goal” for the faithful as appeared in the original. But then you’d have to accept that an Ecumenical Council can modify the teaching of a Pope :-)…

  35. I would in no way whatsoever suggest that the preaching of the Gospel is not a central part of the ministry and life of every Christian believer.

    My issue with the statement above (“the goal of the liturgy”) is how reductive the whole thing is. One particular interpretation of one particular aspect of the Church’s mission, reduced to one particular set of actions, in order to say that one particular form of the Rite is the correct and best one.

    Since the Novus Ordo fulfills this ONE AND ONLY GOAL AND PURPOSE of the Mass in a way that the old Tridentine Rite does not and can not, it must also be the case that Eastern Rite Catholics celebrate degenerate and useless forms the liturgy.

    I have no particular interest in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. I agree with Benedict that if the post-V2 Mass was celebrated as intended, almost no one would care to find refuge in the old Mass. And, frankly, I don’t understand why or how so many seemingly otherwise normal people are so enamored with it.

    But at the same time I don’t understand why there is so much hostility towards it, especially from the (for a lack of a better word) “liberal” pro-diversity, pro-options, pro-liturgical-choices, pro-local-adaptations crowd. If people want to wear funny hats and ugly chasubles and sing in Latin, I can’t figure out how that’s damaging to the church.

  36. Here’s a contribution to this interesting SP discussion, by way of commentary on Paul Inwood’s helpful June 14 posting #52.

    On his (1): even more striking was John Paul II’s 1984 authorization of the 1962 Missal, when four years earlier a Vatican survey heard the world’s bishops clearly say doing so would be inadvisable and counterproductive.

    On (2): consider making a distinction between “proselytizing” for the EF and speaking well of it. The first suggests recruiting others into one’s camp, precisely over-against “the other.” Nothing in SP promotes this; rather, it was intended to foster reconciliation. But speaking well of the EF and inviting others to experience it for themselves is not ruled out, and is consistent with mutual enrichment which assumes multiple persons have sufficient experience of both forms to discuss their relative strengths and shortcomings intelligently – and with the mutual esteem, freedom, civility and charity advocated in Gaudium et Spes 92.

    On (3): right. Nothing in SP argues the older form is “the only real form.” Using SP to make that point, with vitriol or otherwise, misuses it. For, as Inwood says, SP designates the older form “extraordinary”; the revised liturgy is pointedly designated (even reaffirmed as) the “ordinary” form of Roman Catholic liturgy – Pope Benedict had no intention to change that status.

    On (4): “intemperate condemnations of the ‘ordinary’ (normal) form” are indeed problematic and unhelpful. Condemnations on both sides are unhelpful. But Catholics who value the EF encountering others voicing condemnation, disparagement or dismissal of it have a right to voice their own views, values, and experience – as those who value the OF can do when facing condemnation of that liturgy. Further, this discussion of SP on PrayTell is just what SP would appreciate – dialogue on the relative merits pro and con of both OF and EF and their respective places in the liturgical life of the church. (Though SP might wish it based on more personal experience…) To be cont’d.

  37. (Cont’d comments on #52) On (5): so far as I know, too, use of the EF hasn’t increased appreciably. But then Benedict was thinking in generations. We are only seven years after promulgation of SP. The 20th century liturgical movement was pretty much invisible seven years after Tra le sollecitudini in 1903; that didn’t gain traction until Beauduin’s Malines speech in 1909. The question is where things will stand fifty or a hundred years after SP.

    On (6): priests who on their own initiative turn a regular Catholic parish into an EF parish can make no appeal to SP; only the bishop can if he chooses designate an EF parish. As I read it, priests shouldn’t even introduce an EF elebration into the regular parish schedule of Masses on their own initiative. (Though there was an Ecclesia Dei Commission letter to one diocese that seemed to open the door in that direction.)

    As to whether much mutual enrichment has happened? No, not yet. For that we will need a certain critical mass of persons with preference for each form who have both enough experience of the other form and a sufficiently open mind to see and acknowledge what may be positive and what may want amending in both forms – and then be willing to talk about it with each other with that mutual esteem, freedom and charity – and then be willing to try some things out (possible “mutual enrichments”) in liturgical practice.

    If you will forgive a moment of self-promotion, I wrote a book on SP that has a chapter of speculation on mutual enrichment: Care for the Church and Its Liturgy: A Study of Summorum Pontificum and the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (Liturgical Press, 2013). I think that process is key to whatever possible positive effect SP may have. Aware that strong convictions and judgments (and even some temper) are to be found on both sides, the book tried its best to be as informed, balanced and reasonable as possible, and takes methodologically a predominantly appreciative and when needed critical and constructive approach to its subject.

    1. @Bill Johnston – comment #4:
      Hasn’t 400 years of practice been enough for TLM advocates to consider amendation, at least according to their views of the prescriptions of Vatican II?

      The TLM, by whatever Missal of choice one wishes, is unreformed and antiquated, unable to service the Church in the way we all must be serviced so as to elicit a response to the Gospel. One might ask: how much more navel-gazing must happen? Another 400 years?

      1. @Todd Flowerday – comment #5:
        The 1570 Missal was revised several times during its four centuries, including Pope John’s 1960 rubrics (which yielded the 1962 Missal). Something Ratzinger/Benedict disapproved of that was a common attitude of many Tridentine Mass proponents in the years after 1984 was the insistence that the 1962 Missal be preserved unchanged and unchangeable (as a bulwark, as they understood it, against the harmful effects of the reformed liturgy).
        He thought otherwise, and so SP changed the rules in place since 1984/1988, which kept the 1962 Missal unchanged. Now, under SP, the EF is open or subject to revision/renewal from the influence of the reformed liturgy – just as the OF is subject to the influence of the EF – in both cases to the degree desired and warranted in light of the church’s eventual best judgment in view of its/our perception of liturgical benefits based on the experience of celebrations of both forms.
        That the EF is unable to serve the good of the church is the experience of some, but not all. There are Catholics who find celebrating Mass in the EF a worthy form of worshiping God, a link with centuries of Catholic tradition and community, and for them a means of growth in holiness. There are those, it’s true, who use the EF as an ideological statement, almost as a weapon, in internal church battles. But there are also those – some of whom prefer it regularly, and some who may appreciate it occasionally, just mainly as a fruitful way to pray and worship.

  38. A thought on “proselytizing” for the EF (cf. Paul Inwood, #52, also #100): even when the 1962 missal was under indult and still somewhat underground in the 1990s, I was able to find where Tridentine Masses were being said locally. A few parishioners in my neighborhood parish told me where the closest legitimate Mass was. With a bit more footwork, I was able to find when Mass was said.

    What entails not proselytizing to persons who demonstrate an interest in the EF? Should my informants have withheld information on where Mass was being said out of a concern that I might defect from the normative Mass? Should someone have stood at the door of the indult chapel to dissuade me from hearing Tridentine Mass? This early period of EF attendance took place when I was a high school senior, so was easy to know that I was not alive before the Council.

    If a person is determined to attend the EF, he or she will likely find out where the EF is being said even if Mass times are not publicized. If a person loves the EF after a few encounters, he or she will seek it even to the ends of the earth. This desire to attend the EF will increase regardless of any barriers imposed by those who wish to thwart an increase in the number of people who attend the EF.

    1. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #7:
      There’s no support for “proselytism” in SP, if proselytism means either (a) promoting the EF by hard-sell methods, with an in-your-face style of approach, etc., or (b) cultivating the existence of a virtual counter-church (the “we don’t like Vatican II” Catholics vs. the Vatican II Catholics).

      As to (b), such a thing is clean contrary to what SP and its author intended. As to (a), while “no proselytism” is presumed, SP doesn’t say or, I think, intend that the EF be kept under wraps, its availability limited to those who already had a long-standing preference for it.

      SP wants the EF “to enjoy due honor on account of its venerable and ancient usage” (SP, Art. 1), and this from everyone. It wants it to be available for Catholics who seek it for legitimate reasons, and it wants pastors to respond positively to such requests if made by a “stable group” (SP, Art. 5.1), even if that group came to be after promulgation of SP (Universae Ecclesiae, no. 15). And if a priest plans on celebrating Mass “without the people” (SP, Art. 2 – what the GIRM calls “Mass at Which Only One Minister Participates,” GIRM, nos. 252-272), and people on their own initiative (that is, not prodded into it through some form of “proselytism”) want to attend, they can (SP, Art. 4).

      Bottom line – SP tries to arrange things so the EF is available for those who seriously seek it, neither hidden from nor forced upon anyone.

  39. “But there are also those – some of whom prefer it regularly, and some who may appreciate it occasionally, just mainly as a fruitful way to pray and worship.”

    Of this I have no doubt. I also have no doubt that many feminist-leaning people, not just women religious, would prefer to pray regularly with a Lectionary and Missal that did not perpetrate patriarchy as an idol and permit inclusive language. There are ample numbers of women scholars of Bible and liturgy that could produce superior translations to the ones now in use. Even more people would be served and edified. And maybe even a schism of the sexes could be avoided.

    My problem is that this one special sub-group has the institution in its pocket, as it were. And the reasoning and logic shifts depending on whom we are talking about.

    That is unreformed, unjust, imprudent, and a problem that is not going away. I have no problem letting TLM advocates pray with whatever serenity they can muster in a harsh and imposing world. But I’m n ot going to be bound by any conservative’s false view that progressives are supposed to somehow sit back and take it without comment.

    And please, other traditionalists, spare me the “you must be so angry” rhetoric. I’m disappointed, not angry. There’s a difference. There also must be a better way than a balkanization of the Roman Rite.

    Forward MR4!

  40. Glen Bowersock / DO Oral History / 2009
    Oral History Interview with Glen Bowersock, undertaken by Jeanne-Nicole Saint-Laurent at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study on July 13, 2009. At Dumbarton Oaks, Glen Bowersock was a member of the Board of Senior Fellows of Byzantine Studies (1984–1992) and the chair of the Board of Senior Fellows of Byzantine Studies (1991–1992).

    Or indeed, Robert Taft, from Rome, who came – who unlike Meyendorff who was a gentle and modest man – Taft was a distinctly immodest man and self-important person, but a very good scholar, and he contributed quite a lot to the brief periods – he didn’t come too often.

    Neil Moran from article on curtain rings in all four corners of the Hagia Sophia:
    Although ignored in previous studies the placement of the ceiling rings in the Hagia Sophia has revealed significant information about the liturgy of the Great Church. In his polemical review of my JÖB study Taft wrote: “In the absence of any confirmatory documentation, such fantasies can hardly be judged more reliable then science fiction”. As for my discussion of the rings in the ceiling he commented: “The final argument is just rhetoric. Could there have been another sacristy set off with curtains or rails? Of course there could have. There could have been a barbershop in the galleries, since there was just about everything else there”. According to Taft my conclusions are nothing more than “wishful thinking” and “guesswork” while Grabar’s criticisms of Mathews’ book are trivialized as “singularly ungenerous”. The data collected by my colleagues Ruth Dwyer and Şebnem Yavuz provides the “confirmatory documentation”. It is rather the Taft/Mathews thesis that the Great Entrance ceremony began in the skeuophylakion and then made its way out of the skeuophylakion and along the side of the church to a door on the east side that should be deemed a “fantasy”.

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