A Grassroots View

Over the weekend I had a chance to talk about the new missal with some priests and sisters in parish ministry in the New Ulm diocese in southern Minnesota. This is farming country. The towns and parishes are small. Priests have care of three or four parishes.

I was in my hometown for the annual Catfish Days celebration. Alas, the parish wasn’t able to secure a polka band for the Mass this year. Usually the timing is just right: I teach a Gregorian Chant class at Saint John’s School of Theology·Seminary summer session, right after which I go to Franklin to celebrate the Polka Mass!

I asked about the new translation. Will the people accept it? Of course, what else would they do? It’s what the Church says. Will any priests resist or refuse to use the new missal? Heavens no, what priest would pull a thing like that? A while back there was one loose cannon priest who might have rebelled, but he’s retired by now. And it’d be hard to tell which missal he’s using or refusing anyway, since he made up his own Eucharistic Prayer and orations.

Not everyone likes the change, not by any means. I noted that my friendly interlocutors were rolling their eyes at “new translation” even before my question was fully formed. They’re disappointed in Church leadership and frustrated at the poor pastoral sense of the Vatican and the bishops. The US bishops don’t stand up for anything – maybe the Canadian bishops can still stop this thing?

Priests and ministers will do their very best, but the whole thing is a mistake. It’s a waste of time and money. There’s no good reason for it. Will farmers and town folk struggle to pronounce “consubstantial,” much less make some sense of it? Will they get less out of the Eucharistic Prayer? Then this from a priest: The orations such as the collect won’t be a problem because people don’t pay attention to them anyway.

Will any folks make a connection to the scandals? (“The pope should take care of his real problems and not waste time on this.”) Oh yes, some might come around to that, especially at first when they’re frustrated by the unfamiliar responses. But it won’t last, especially among the older, more traditional folks. (As I heard my father say maybe a thousand times when growing up, “We’re not ones to go against what the Church says.”) Not a lot of philosophizing about the exercise of authority or the meaning of Vatican II from these people. It will be a practical issue: this is a hassle and we don’t like, but we’ll get used to it. And that will be that.

awr

55 comments

  1. We laity are not in the mood to pray, pay, and “obey” simple-mindedly anymore…obedience defined as absolute kowtowing to the commands of the hierarchy is passé. Will there be some who have no real personal spiritual relationship with God & believe that their “going to heaven to reap their reward” depends solely on following everything the hierarchy says? Sure…But there are too many of us with mature spiritual lives & informed consciences (along with a real education…some even in theology!) who refuse to blindly follow the current whimsy of the hierarchy…and then to be told we need to be “catechized” so we can understand our own language (which was approved by far too many who don’t even understand English…or that there are various forms of English used throughout the world)?

    No…this has gotten far too silly…and, no, I can’t think of a better word than “silly” to describe this fiasco. It’s time we let the emperors (at least in their own minds) know that they are naked, despite 20′ foot long cappa magnas!

    The hierarchy needs to re-study what Jesus said and what Jesus did…they don’t seem to understand that it’s how we live that counts (it’s why the first “Christians” called following Jesus “The Way”)…not which rubric we follow. Jesus described the Pharisees as “hypocrites”…what else are we to call a hierarchy who has little to no pastoral sense, simply a wish to impose rubrics & rules?

    1. Ms. Gonzalez,

      I am fully prepared to “pray, pay, and obey”, (but “not simple-mindedly”) because I believe in this Church despite her flaws. I’ll pay, because one of the precepts is to contribute to the support of the Church. I’ll obey, because humility is a virtue. And, with the new translations of the Mass, I am confident that I will pray in a manner more suited to the worship of almighty God.

      Perhaps it is the “simple-minded” who are more comfortable with the simple, plain language of our current translation?

      1. Oh, I pray…I pray a lot.

        Do I pay? I contribute to charities that do the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

        Will I obey? Not blindly…

        New translation? No…it is sexist, it is flowery language that doesn’t do a thing other than make one FEEL holy, whether or not they are…it’s a farce…it’s bad translating (Sister Lilian would’ve flunked me in freshman Latin had I translated so badly)…

        Simple is not a bad word…we are to live “simple” lives…not grasp at what makes us feel as though we are better than others. I would rather pray in simple words (the two best prayers are said to be “Why!” and “Wow”)…do you really think God needs convoluted language to hear our prayers? How about straightforward declarations of love?

      2. John – O come on, I’m sure you already know. Some people think that “man” refers to males and females and is not sexist; other people think that it is sexist and excludes females. I’m not taking either view here, just noting that it is in flux in our culture today. There are widely differing opinions and reactions today, unlike 50 years ago.
        Eucharistic Prayer 4 in the (as of 2008) recognitio text uses language such as the above. Of course there are many other examples, but this is one of the most striking.
        awr

  2. Amen. We are dealing with a Vatican and Bishops who are totally out of touch with the people they serve and shepherd. Obviously, many good things come from Rome, but this is just “nuts”.

    1. “… out of touch with Rome and the rest of the Church…”

      Please define what the Church is, vis-a-vis the laity. In other words, how can the People of God be out of touch with themselves?

      1. “The People of God” is composed of more than just the laity. It is possible for the laity (or, more likely, a group of the laity) to be out of touch with the rest of the People of God (meaning the clergy, the religious, and other laity).

      2. As in, a majority of the laity failing to recognize Tradition, authority, the faith, and God’s plan. Merely being a member of the Catholic Church does not give weight to your opinion, you know….

      3. “Merely being a member of the Church” sounds like an insult – is this how you intended it?

        Tradition, authority, faith, God’s plan – are these four identitical in your mind? And shall we add “Mark’s opinion” to the list?

        awr

      4. I think the bigger issue here is that the Church is the laity — the laos tou theou, the whole people of God, clergy and hierarchs included. We’ve yet to find a way of speaking about the non-ordained majority other than by negation, while including the ordained minority (numerically speaking) within the category “laity”. And all are “Church”. Period.

        As for who’s in or out of touch with whom, especially as regards how people will react to the new translation, I think Fr. Anthony is right. There will be no revolt, no real vocal opposition from the majority of people who attend church weekly. That doesn’t mean there won’t be reaction, it will simply take less obvious forms. I foresee three potentially negative reactions: one from those who will just roll with it due to indifference. Polka mass, clown mass, chant mass, new English, old English, Latin: they don’t care, so long as they’ve fulfilled their end of the Sunday obligation. Then there will be those who grumble and mutter, maybe complain a bit to the parish priest, but who will hold it in, never quite get over it, add it to the list of things they resentfully tolerate about the institution. And then there will be those who vote with their feet.

        Taken together these might well be a majority, but for the most part, they won’t be recognized… and (in the case of those who leave) probably won’t be missed either (unless, of course, they’ve got a track record of high-end giving.)

  3. This is remarkably-condescending. Let’s go through it:

    “I teach a Gregorian Chant class at St. John’s School of Theology summer session, right after which I go to Franklin to celebrate the Polka Mass!”

    Sure, because a responsible person should be making these equivalent. The Church has been clear that profane music is to be avoided in liturgy.

    “They’re disappointed in Church leadership and frustrated at the poor pastoral sense of the Vatican and the bishops.”

    And who asked the traditionalists their opinion in the 1970s? Nobody. It was imposed by leftists against the will of millions. This back in the “pastoral” days.

    “Priests and ministers will do their very best, but the whole thing is a mistake. It’s a waste of time and money. ”

    We owe our best to the Lord. What was that gospel about Martha and Mary last week…? Boomer priests might gripe, sure.

    “Will farmers and town folk struggle to pronounce “consubstantial,” much less make some sense of it? Will they get less out of the Eucharistic Prayer? Then this from a priest: The orations such as the collect won’t be a problem because people don’t pay attention to them anyway.”

    People are not as dumb as you think they are.

    “Will any folks make a connection to the scandals? (“The pope should take care of his real problems and not waste time on this.”) Oh yes, some might come around to that, especially at first when they’re frustrated by the unfamiliar responses…

    1. Dear Ryan,
      Why do you assume the worst in others, and impute motives in the absence of evidence? It’s not helping the conversation.
      Polka: nowhere did I say or suggest that chant and polka are equivalent. If anything, I was bordering on mocking polka by putting it next to chant. Mostly I was smiling at the absurdity of it all – one might as well, since being a crab doesn’t help anything.
      “And who asked the traditionalists their opinion in the 1970s?” I think your point is that two wrongs make a right. Are you even delighting in getting even? If so, it’s not helping your cause look very credible.
      “We owe our best to the Lord.” Sure. But what does ‘the best’ have to do with the text we’re about to get?!
      “People are not as dumb as you think they are.” I’m reporting what others said, not my own opinions. I would suggest that perhaps the sister knows her people in this parish better than you do. So do I. My father finished high school – but plenty of farmers in my home parish only completed 8th grade, or 6th grade, or 4th grade in one case I recall. I have the distinct impression that this sister is very compassionate and truly cares about people and respects them. I don’t find this condescending.
      BTW, the overarching point of my post was this: If you’re hoping for ordinary people to rise up in rebellion against the new translation, my conversation suggests it isn’t going to happen – at least not in places like the New Ulm diocese. I expected you would have liked this report.
      awr

  4. It will be fascinating to witness how this translation is received by various population groups across the country and how factors such as age, education (both religious and otherwise), gender, ethnicity, geographic location (e.g., urban, suburban, exurban, and rural), political disposition, personal history, parish history, and local ecclesial leadership (ordained and non-ordained) all influence the reception.

  5. Father, you ask Ryan “Why do you assume the worst in others, and impute motives in the absence of evidence?” It might be helpful to ask Lynne Gonzalez the same thing.

    She suggests that those who accept the new translation without complaint are immature, “pray, pay and obey” Catholics blindly following whatever commands the hierarchy hand down as if their salvation depended on it. The cliches were coming so thick and fact I had a hard time keeping up (right down to the emperor’s new clothes and the cappa magna!) Of course the hierarchy couldn’t possible be concerned about the liturgy, let alone the people – it’s all about rules and rubrics. There’s even the classic false dichotomy: “it’s how we live that counts . . . not which rubric we follow.”

    May I suggest that her comments are not “not helping [her] cause look very credible”?

    1. Sam,

      I agree – assuming the worst and imputing motives does not help anyone’s credibility, from the right or from the left.

      I hope your point is not that you’re defending this behavior on the right because those on the left do it. That doesn’t hold up.

      awr

      1. No, Fr. Ruff, I just thought it was interesting that you responded to Ryan when it seemed to me that Lynne deserved a response just as much.

  6. I am not a religious. I am, I believe, a typical parishioner.
    The people that I come in contact with (weekly church attendees) have difficulty with anything new and different. The majority will go along with whatever we are asked to change. Some will say they are “leaving” and we will pray that they “return” to worship with our family. It’s all we can do. We don’t have the authority to do otherwise. There are more pressing issues than can you say “consubstantial”….if nothing else we will get a refresher course on all the Mass parts. I just want it to be taught right the first time we are given the “change”. It is too difficult to re-teach and re-learn because it wasn’t correct. (Yes, I am awaiting a new cross to bear when people complain – be careful what you wish for, it could be worse.)

  7. Ryan, thank you for your cogent thoughts. Sam, very perceptive.

    Fr. said to Ryan: “I would suggest that perhaps the sister knows her people in this parish better than you do.”

    That may be true but so much may be going on behind the scenes that may impact what parish leaders say and how they interpret parishioners needs, there is a hermeneutic to consider. For example, the good Sister may belong to a religious community that is begrudgingly going through an apostolic visitation. The LCWR communities are not all that warm to Rome just now and if so, my experience would suggest she probably does not have a great deal of association with more traditional parishioners and would not be expected to reflect their views. Parish leaders often fail to realize how selective they are in their associations within the parish. If the sister belongs to an CMSRW community that would make her observations much more noteworthy because the hermeneutic of suspicion toward Rome is not typical from them. All I am saying is that we need to know the background. A CMSRW sister rolling her eyes to the new translation is news. A women religious from a LCWR community rolling her eyes toward the new translation is expected.

    1. Wow, lots of amazing speculation here about what might *really* be going on in the parish – especially since, as far as I know, you’ve never been there, haven’t met any of the people, and don’t know what congregation the sister belongs to. The parish has about 45 families – I suspect she knows everyone pretty well, as do I.

      Again, the point of the post was that there’s really no planned resistance to the new translation in this parish – including from the sister. I’m amazed that the more traditional folks at this blog – whom I expected to be the first to welcome the post – are so intent at chipping away at anything they can find wrong in it.

      Oh well.

      awr

  8. Fr. Anthony said:
    Not everyone likes the change, not by any means. I noted that my friendly interlocutors were rolling their eyes at “new translation” even before my question was fully formed. They’re disappointed in Church leadership and frustrated at the poor pastoral sense of the Vatican and the bishops. The US bishops don’t stand up for anything – maybe the Canadian bishops can still stop this thing?
    I point out:
    No, because the Vatican sets the liturgical norms, not any territorial conference of bishops. The Roman Catholic liturgy is bigger than any territorial conference of bishops. The tradition of the liturgy which goes back thousands of years is bigger than any ecumenical council or even the Vatican.
    Fr. Anthony asked:
    Will farmers and town folk struggle to pronounce “consubstantial,” much less make some sense of it?
    They will if the parishes provide proper catechesis on the meaning of the term. I note that CCC #241and 242 explains this whole thing, and there is a footnote at the bottom differentiating the term that is currently used “homosoousios”means one in being with the father, or consubtantialis, which is what “consubstantial” comes from. Farmers may not have the CCC , and that is why it is up to the pastors, and catechetical people to properly teach the faithful more than “From this week forward, we are using these words , follow along in your misalletes.”

  9. Fr. Anthony pointed out:
    “Priests and ministers will do their very best, but the whole thing is a mistake. It’s a waste of time and money. There’s no good reason for it.”

    Yes there is-Liturgiam Authenticam says so.

    Fr Anthony also said:

    (As I heard my father say maybe a thousand times when growing up, “We’re not ones to go against what the Church says.”) Not a lot of philosophizing about the exercise of authority or the meaning of Vatican II from these people.”

    Nor should there any debate with us either. Lumen Gentium addressed this question, in particular, Paragraph 25. As far as the meaning of Vatican II, it isn’t up to us faithful to debate the meaning of Vatican II. The only people that should be debating this are the clergy,bishops and the Vatican. We should be followers. The sheep follow the lead of the shepherd, regardless of the direction the sheep leads us. We are the sheep, and the clergy, bishops and the Vatican are the shepherd. We shouldn’t be like the sheep as in All We Like Sheep from the Messiah Chorus, “Each of us to his own way have gone astray.”

    1. Your response assumes the validity of the notion that there was a good reason for Liturgiam Authenticam. But since those of us who’ve studied Latin beyond Caesar can smell the amateurish effort that “LA” supposedly requires, we can only fall back upon primary source material to evaluate “LA”, in Matthew 7:16: “By their fruits you will know them …”

      1. Quod litteras Latinas (et Graecas) necnon et commentarios Caesarianos doceo, facere non possum quin a tuis verbis haud exquisitis dissentiam.

      2. So… you and your Latin-studying friends are now the last word, above the Roman pontiff? Hmm… I think I understand the liberal point of view now.

      3. Mark, they offered an opinion, which is anyone’s right, not “the last word.” Would you kindly stop insulting others?
        awr

    2. Tim, you really need to study the history of liturgy, and the basics of ecclesiology, so that you don’t make such inaccurate generalizations and sweeping statements. Proof-texting doesn’t establish your case either.

      In 1,500 characters I’ll simply say this. The history of liturgy shows a complex interplay between local authority and central authority, with greater centralism coming rather recently in our history (since Trent, or since Vatican I in 1870, or since Liturgiam authenticam). The current documents and teachings of the Church establish an interplay of authority at many levels. Although there is still much centralism, it is not absolute. And alongside the many statements calling for obedience are other statements saying that the laity have the right and the duty to express their concerns to the hierarchy.

      Your top-down model of Church – I don’t know how else to say it – isn’t quite Catholic or what the Church teaches. The reality is much more complex, ambiguous, creative, and interesting than your writings suggest.

      awr

      1. More particularly, the dominance of the current Roman-centric model of choosing bishops is a modern development, a transformation essentially dating to the constitutional arrangements in the founding of Belgium in the 1830s, the pattern for which was eventually copied and pasted elsewhere, as it were.

    3. Is it just me, or is this the first time ever that someone has quoted Liturgiam Authenticam and Lumen Gentium in the same argument?!

      I think anyone reading Lumen Gentium, and understanding how it was put together, would have to admit that those who authored, signered and promulgated it would never have conceived of a document like Liturgiam Authenticam!

  10. My experience thus far: My liturgy committee has had the ordinary in hand now for some months. We have been systemically studying the differences in between the present translation and the forthcoming one. I have been surprised at the lack of rebellion and resistance. While some have said “Another change from Rome…” and the accompanying litany of grumbling, it has been a chance to look in depth at the texts we pray. Even those who grumbled at the beginning have noticed have taken to notice the what the new texts might have to offer. And this parish might be considered a bastion of “left” thinking. While I am making plans to review and teach about the new translation to the larger community, if my small group of folks involved in the liturgy is any indicator, we will pick it up and go when it is promulgated. Yes, it is more work for me, but also a chance to ask people to pay attention to what they pray. Not a bad thing in my opinion.

    1. Kevin, if (you think) you’ve ‘had the ordinary in hand now for some months’ you’re in for a surprise: what you’ve got is NOT what is going to be ‘promulgated’!

      Of course it’s ALWAYS good to pay attention to what we pray: I don’t think anyone would disagree with you there – but that’s not the point.

      Surely we don’t need to provide a new translation (especially by the underhanded means which have – nearly – given us this effort) every time we want to pay attnetion to what we pray?!

  11. I very much appreciate this original post, and share Anthony’s perplexity at the reactions it has provoked. It raises an interesting question about the instinctive deference of good Catholics. Is it healthy or not? Surely there’s a prior issue here about whether the trust informing such deference has or has not been violated? I suspect that Anthony is right in his prediction that such communities will just get on with life. But my hope–though always secondary to the hope that they’ll even now draw back from the outrage that is the new translation– is that eventually such abusive measures as its imposition will eventually provoke a salutary revolution, the deep corporate conversion that the Council was calling us to.

  12. I can’t help but wonder why the supposed Rigid Heirarchy (TM) that gave us vernacular masses in the first place has now had its entire basis for centralized authority questioned by those who welcomed the vernacular masses in the first place. Interesting. Sort of like being for states’ rights all of a sudden when you feel like the federal government or judge has made a wrong decision…

  13. Mark: my reading of the history of it shows that it was NOT any ‘Rigid Hierarchy’ but the voices of the Council Fathers which brought about the use of the vernacular in the liturgy – even Marcel Lefebrve signed Sacrosanctum Concilium. Summorum Pontificum however was the work of one (to borrow your terminology) Rigid Hierarch.

    1. How can you claim that a “Rigid Heirarch” could open up the extraordinary form of the mass to traditional-minded faithful around the world while also maintaining the ordinary form for everyone else? That seems a little contradictory in my opinion. If one person in control can listen to a growing demographic of people who want the extraordinary form…and he issues Summorum Pontificum in response, can we really claim that his efforts portray a rigid hierarchy?

      1. Yes – but on the other hand: the bishops of the world begged the Pope not to do this; several conferences implored him. He did it anyway. While his act might seem generous, it is a generosity that cannot possibly be reconciled with the directives of the Second Vatican Council. Vatican II never intended that an unreformed rite would be existence alongside a reformed one. There is no way that the 1962 Mass meets the reformist requirements of the Council This is a serious problem, in my view. And it is a problem that will compound as the anamoly continues in coming years and decades. How will they ever phase out 1962, as obedience to the Council would require?
        awr

      2. Fr. Anthony, what were those bishops and conferences doing to care for the souls of those hurting (or even just curious) Catholics in their flocks? Maybe some of them begged the Pope not to liberate the E.F. because it would mean they would be compelled to respond to this “fringe” need of some of their faithful.

        I think the 1962 Missal will be “phased out” by slowly but surely applying the reforms clearly expressed in Sacrosanctum Concilium to it. I don’t know how long it will take, I don’t know if I’ll live to see it, but I think the Pope believes that the E.F. and the O.F. are both in need of reform to a “middle way”. The E.F. was not intended to exist indefinitely without being reformed, and the O.F. — and perhaps I’m being wild here — was not the intended result of the reform.

        (No, I’m not calling the O.F. invalid or heretical or any of that. I wouldn’t attend it weekly or daily if I thought so. I’m just saying it’s possible it’s not what the Council Fathers intended, and that it, like other liturgical reforms of history, may eventually be undone to some degree.)

        By the way, is there any sort of movement to bring about some tribunal against Pope Benedict for “crimes against the Second Vatican Council”, including (but not limited to) “unreconcilable generosity”? 😉

  14. “How will they ever phase out 1962, as obedience to the Council would require?”

    It’s not required. The practical decrees of a Council bind only as long as the Church says they do and when it seems opportune, they can be changed.

    After all, we’re not still bound by the Council of Trent: “Although the mass contains great instruction for the faithful people, nevertheless, it has not seemed expedient to the Fathers, that it should be every where celebrated in the vulgar tongue.”

  15. “Vatican II never intended that an unreformed rite would be existence alongside a reformed one. There is no way that the 1962 Mass meets the reformist requirements of the Council This is a serious problem, in my view.”

    I have to agree with Jeffrey. Vatican II also never intended for the O.F. to be celebrated in the manner it is today (where’s the latin, where’s the chant?). How can we place our full reliance on the directives of Vatican II if the direct result of it isn’t what was intended to begin with? And if that is the case, then who’s to say that freeing up the use of the E.F. is a mistake according to those same directives?

    I think Vatican II accomplished many great things, but it also left a lot in need of fixing. The O.F. speaks to some people, the E.F. speaks to others. Why is it so bad that they coexist and compliment eachother? I think each form can ultimately adopt positive aspects from the other form to really create a spirit-filled liturgy. And I think this is exactly what Pope Benedict has in mind.

    1. As much as I support chant (I teach and direct it), I think the strong V2 statements about chant are encouragements, not structural demands. The structural demands for reform (eg., more Scripture, simplification of rites) have been carried out in the missal of Paul VI. That is, lawful authority produced a reformed missal which is the lawful, legitimate rite of the Church now. That the missal of Paul VI went beyond what V2 explicitly said does not make it illegitimate, because lawful authority approved it.

      Misimplementation of this reformed missal, eg not following the strong encouragement to preserve chant, is not (imho) a justification for allowing a pre-Vatican II, unreformed missal which clearly does not meet the structural demands of Vatican II. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

      But I’m not the Pope! I guess when you’re Pope you can do anything, even against many bishops. You can make it binding in areas where the bishops’ conference has begged you not to do so. So, the decision to allow the pre-V2 unreformed rite is also legal and legit.

      But I fear it disastrously allows attitudes to take root. The attachment to the pre-V2 form, we all know, is bordering on idolatrous for many. Will those folks accept reforms to 1962? Will it be possible to phase out 1962 in the future? It is hard to imagine a peaceful resolution.

      I think it’s disastrous for a Pope to go against a Council. But I’m not the Pope. Nor do I know what God has in mind for the future.

      awr

      1. Fr. Anthony–

        I think you make some very valid points here… I would add that with the addition of AC, we potentially now have 3 “forms” of the one Roman Rite. Many speculate, I am inclined to agree, that this will not and can not last indefinitely. Perhaps the “mutual enrichment” is intended between the OF and EF as a short term goal (5-50 years?), whereas with AC, the Anglo-Catholic expression of the Roman Rite will only last a few generations before being completely incorporated in to the one Roman Rite.

        Again, I hate to speculate, but I think there is some logic to that… in the end, I think the one thing we can do is pray and trust the Holy Spirit’s guidance. By the end of my life, it will be around the centennial of the Council– please God, my requiem Mass will be a unified, deeply prayerful, and most true expression of the Roman Rite to date.

      2. Chris –
        Thanks – both for bringing up the AC and reminding me to think more about my Requiem! I’m quite amenable in principle to a different rite such as Sarum being part of our Church. I rather hope that Roman centralism doesn’t stomp it out or compromise it, as happened with most of the Western non-Roman Latin rites and with the Eastern rites in our Church. I won’t get into the ecumenical problems with AC for now.
        awr

      3. +JMJ+

        Fr. Anthony, is the case against chant (and whatever else has gone by the wayside since V2) that it simply did not appear early enough and frequently enough in Sac. Conc. to warrant a serious consideration?

        How about Latin? The use of Latin by the faithful (SC 54) was one of the explicit “decrees” (SC 49) of reform to the sacrifice of the Mass. Why would the Council Fathers use the sort of language they did if they did not intend to be so forceful?

        I stand by the statement I made some time ago on this blog, that when the Council Fathers wrote about fostering true participation in the liturgy, and also about Latin, chant, and all these other “expendable” issues, they were not making mere suggestions or even “strong encouragement[s]”, they were establishing the course by which their desire for renewed participation in the liturgy should come about.

  16. Don’t forget that the great enabler of the the Consilium’s (excessive) reforms, Paul VI of happy memory, also granted the first (“Agatha Christie”) indult allowing the use of the “Tridentine” Mass in England and Wales in November of 1971, just two short years after the introduction of the Novus Ordo. It seems clear that both Paul VI and his successors appreciated the need for such a generous pastoral approach for those attached to that form of Mass. There are those who feel that, had the “reforms” not been so completely disruptive to and dismantling of tradition that we would not now have the two forms co-existing.

    Aren’t unintended consequences fun!?

  17. I’m filing this under the “If I were Pope” category…

    I’m OK with an indult. It makes it clear that this is an exceptional permission for those who aren’t (yet) able to follow the intended way of the Church. I find this pastorally responsible, and much more defensible than a universal permission. The latter tends to undermine, however slightly, the legitimate (reformed) liturgy of the Church.

    awr

  18. “Yet”? I had 43 years of the OF and (mea maxima culpa) never bothered taking it too seriously – the EF brought me back 2 years ago and I now can appreciate both forms but prefer the EF. The problem with an indult is that hostile bishops only allowed it on the 6th Sunday of a month at 4am in an old folks’ home. Our EF now is full, mostly with young people, not fearful or nostalgic, but who want to genuflect and kneel and do all the other things some other Catholics no longer wish to do -or allow others to do. Fine, let them do their thing (a Teen Life Mass is not for me but great if it keeps some person engaged in Church) but please don’t stop us doing ours. That is neither liberal nor tolerant. Summorum Pontificum in large measure finally inspired my wife to be baptised this year – she had attended the OF before but the EF convinced her to convert and no I don’t need to be condescended to and told she or I are idolising a form of Mass – and we are en route to Rome as I type to give thanks to His Holiness for it.

  19. “Vatican II never intended that an unreformed rite would be existence alongside a reformed one.”

    Sure it did…the Byzantine rite comes to mind. V2’s SC also does not demand any “rigid uniformity” (SC 37). Additionally, V2 never produced a new rite, the consilium did that later. V2 impacts the Byzantine rite without modifying their liturgy. A good argument can be made that the 1965 RM responded to all the specifics directed to the liturgy of the Latin rite in SC. The exciting truth is that we can be good V2 Catholics without the OF as it now exists: the Eastern rites prove this to be true as does the provision for the Anglican use and the EF. Praise be to Jesus Christ!

    1. Robert, sorry if I wasn’t clear enough. I meant unreformed ROMAN alongside reformed ROMAN.
      awr

  20. I think I am beginning to get your picture, Fr…

    Although there is no problem with the historical “Latin Rites” (so currently that would also include the Carmelite or Dominican Roman Rite), the fact that we have a reformed Roman Rite should mean that we should stick with one Rite, rather than it being a funny amalgamation of several different ones under the guise of a common heritage?

    With regard to AC– the current legal means being put forward is that it becomes a part of the “Roman Rite,” with different liturgical laws and canonical governance. Would I be correct in your preference being that it simply be a revival of the Sarum, rather than a funny grouping of liturgies under the heading “Roman Rite”?

    This, I think, makes sense to me.

    1. Chris,

      Let me try again to make my point, and let me know whether I’ve answered your question.

      I’m fine with all these other rites – Sarum, Anglican, Dominican, whatever. I don’t want to get into a taxonomic nightmare in trying to distinguish what constitutes a separate rite or what doesn’t. In each case, folks celebrate a particular rite along with their Ordinary, and I’m happy to let them. All of this can be put to one side for the point I’m making, which concerns the Roman rite.

      My point about the Roman rite is this: it is an utterly unprecedented innovation in the history of the Roman rite that people under the SAME Ordinary ( = the same Bishop within a diocese) have two different forms of a rite, one of which is a previous, unreformed (one would think, superseded) version. As far as I know, whenever the Roman rite has been reformed, everyone under the same Ordinary celebrates the same version of that rite.

      Note that within a given Roman diocese, some folks are under another Ordinary (a Dominican superior, for example) and they follow the same (eg Dominican) rite as everyone else under that Ordinary. Again, I’m only speak of the Roman rite; I’m leaving any liturgical diversity in the West out of the narrower claim I’m making.

      awr

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