FROM THE ARCHIVE: The Power of Papal Example: Whence and Whither the Reform of the Reform?

Editor’s note: this post was written February 11, 2013, the day Pope Benedict announced his resignation, and it was “sticky’ (topmost post on the page) on the anniversary on February 11, 2014.

Pope Benedict’s surprise (to me at lest) announcement of his resignation is interesting from all sorts of perspectives, of course. But since this is a liturgy blog, the question that comes to my mind is what this will mean for those who identify themselves as part of the “reform of the [liturgical] Reform.” To what degree was the personal example of Pope Benedict a source of that reforming movement and to what degree does its future depend upon a Pope who maintains the distinctive liturgical practices of this Pope?

Clearly RotR was a term in play prior to Benedict’s papacy. It does seem, however, to have gathered steam in the past few years. Was this a purely natural process, driven from below by younger Catholics seeking a ressourcement of tradition, or did the example of the Pope set the tone? Probably some combination of both.  Certainly things like the so-called “Benedictine arrangement” of the altar would not be found much of anywhere if it weren’t for the example of the Pope. Other things, such as facing liturgical East and kneeling for communion, certainly got a boost from the Pope’s example. Yet other things, such as an interest in chant or greater attention to texts and rubrics, seem to pre-date Benedict’s papacy.

With the newly widespread availability of videos of Papal liturgies, it is hard to underestimate the way in which the Pope’s personal liturgical preferences (or, to some, idiosyncrasies) have increased in influence. Prior to the 1960s, no one outside of Rome had any idea of how the Pope celebrated Mass. It is only relatively recently that we could have the idea that the Pope was showing us “how it should be done.”

So with the resignation of Benedict, what does this mean for our liturgical future? Will the next Pope keep the “Benedictine arrangement” of the altar? If not, does this mean that those priests and bishops who have adopted this arrangement will quietly drop it, or is it here to stay? If the next Pope adopts more the style of John Paul II, will the RotR loose the steam it seems to be gathering? Perhaps most importantly, should it matter so much, liturgically speaking, who is Pope?

131 comments

  1. Prior to the 1960s, no one outside of Rome had any idea of how the Pope celebrated Mass. It is only relatively recently that we could have the idea that the Pope was showing us “how it should be done.”

    Any of the liturgical manuals (Baldeschi, Dale, the Baltimore Ceremonial, Martinucci, Fortescue) or periodicals (American Ecclesiasical Review, etc.) from before the advent of film and video are highly interested in Roman custom. (As are diaries and travelers accounts all the way back to the middle ages, if not earlier.). There has been additional focus on the Pope’s liturgy over Roman liturgy generally, but this I think has to do with many other factors like the greatly enhanced frequency with which the Pope celebrates in public.

    1. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #1:
      Modern media has put papal liturgy before the whole world like never before.

      True, there are those liturgy manuals – but I doubt that they were known of by more than .0001 % of the church. I hadn’t heard of some of them until I read your comment – and I have spent just a bit of time thinking about things liturgical in my life!
      awr

    2. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #1:
      Samuel,

      I also suspect that those manuals gave an idealized picture of papal custom, not the “raw live feed” we get today. The practices of Rome have been of great interest since at least the time of Charlemagne,; the practice of this or that Pope, not so much.

  2. Oddly enough I took our pre-Lenten mission priest to lunch yesterday, Fr. Serge Propst and in my uncanny clairvoyant style asked him who would be Pope Benedict’s successor, yes, weird but true, cue The Twilight Zone music. Clearly his clairvoyance as mine says that the next vicar of Christ will continue the “reform in continuity” and kick it up a notch.
    I think we will know more about the new pope by his liturgical style, altar arrangement and certainly his history as bishop. Fasten your seat belts this holy season of Lent, Easter and Year of Faith!

    1. @Fr. Allan. McDonald – comment #4:
      I think you are correct, however, if you are not, those of us who are putting the reform into practice may have some difficulties to face. With that said, the Reform of the Reform is not going away. In 20 years or so +/-, it will have fulfilled it’s mission.

  3. B16 has unfortunately connected in the minds of many people the reform of the reform with the EF and the reconciliation of SPXX.

    Certainly now B16’s reign will end without the reconciliation of SPXX. Given the great problems that attempt caused for relationships with the Jewish people, it seems unlikely the Cardinals will choose someone who is interested in pursuing that reconciliation. The next Pope is likely to put it on the distant back burner.

    The EF may also be tainted by the failed reconciliation strategy, and so Cardinals may also be very reluctant to choose anyone who has any interest in the EF. Again the next Pope is likely to put the EF on the back burner. If I were an EF supporter I would be very worried about the next Pope being someone who has a history of suppressing the EF. The next Pope could easily get the message out that it is really up the local Bishop as to whether on not the EF is celebrated.

    If I were a supporter of the Reform of the Reform I think the best option would be a new Pope that has a strong record of supporting Latin and chant in the OF but who has kept his distance both from the EF and the SPXX initiative, and will not pursue that route in his pontificate.

    Personally I had hoped that B16 would have been such a Pope, and that we would have had by now a resurgence of Latin and chant in the OF without hitching it to the EF and the reconciliation of SPXX. I think it was a great mistake for him to do that, one that may set such a resurgence back.

    There are a lot of graying church liberals out there would like to see more Latin and chant in the OF liturgy but are turned off by the reform of the reform’s use of the Tridentine Liturgy as an ideal. They are also turned off by too much criticism of contemporary music by the reform of the reform. Most of the liberals that I know who like Latin and chant also like much of contemporary music. They would just like to see more of a balance between contemporary and traditional music.

  4. Thanks, Deacon. Would suggest that this moment will not be dominated by liturgical issues. Would suggest (borrowing from John O’Malley’s thinking) that we should watch the tension between the *center* (defined as Vatican, curia) and the *periphery* (defined as places where 2/3rds of catholics live).

    Another way of saying this symbolically and borrowing again from O’Malley – hope that we do not have a Vatican III; rather that we experience a Rio De Janeiro I or Singapore I.

    If the Church chooses a pope from the Third World, would expect that the current focus on the *old, dying* West & European Church will be changed dramatically. We are a pilgrim church and face issues that are much larger than the ROTR (a sideshow, at best; a misuse of the church’s energy and mission, at worst)

    Not as arrogant as to proclaim *clairoyancy* and hope that this significant and serious transition goes well beyond the usual chancery *who will be the next pope* games.

    Tongue in cheek – upon hearing this, Deacon, my initial thought was:
    The Ultimate Reform of the Reform.

    OR

    Hope for another moment such as the Jerusalem Council rather than a continuation of what feels like *moving the deck chairs on the Titanic*.

    Which will mark the church long after debates centered on minor and accidental things such as Benedictine style, kneeling, ad orientem, etc. are long past.

  5. In a rare disagreement with Bill, I think liturgy will be at the fore. It represents a deeper issue of expertise. JPII & BXVI were professors of theology (moral and systematic). The candidates might continue that trend, or be a Scripture Scholar, or dominantly a pastor, or some other expertise that will be most visible in liturgical style.

    This will be central to the choice being made, so it is hard to predict.

  6. Has the televising of papal Masses clouded the differences between the various ceremonials of the Roman Rite? Those in the order of presbyter preside at Eucharist using the norms of the GIRM. Bishops have a special ceremonial which adds to and, at times, supercedes the GIRM. The ceremonial of the papacy is neither for bishops nor presbyters to use.

    When Blessed John Paul II put the chanting of the Proclamation of Christmas into the introductory rites at the papal Christmas Midnight Mass, many presbyters wanted to, and some did, follow his example. But this (new) practice from papal ceremonial was not introduced into the 2000 edition of the Missale Romanum or its GIRM, despite its being requested by come conferences of bishops.

    If a pope wants to elevate the consecrated host and chalice two feet above his head after the words of institution, so be it. He’s free to do that. He is the maker of papal ceremonial. Presbyters and bishops should honor papal ceremonial but not imitate it when their ceremonials call for “showing” the eucharistic elements.

    Papal ceremonial comes and goes. Did Benedict 16 ever have the chanting of the Proclamation of Christmas in any of his papal Christmas Midnight Masses? Whether the next pope does or does not have the so-called Benedictine altar arrangement, does it really matter for presbyters, whose sole ceremonial is the GIRM?

    1. @Fr. Ron Krisman – comment #8:
      While the general point that just because the Pope does it doesn’t mean a bishop or priest can do it is a good one, it’s not at all true that the sole ceremonial of a priest is the GIRM. The Ceremonial of Bishops and the GIRM have always worked together mutatis mutandis to specify the parish ceremonial. The rites are incompletely worked out in the GIRM alone and reference to the Ceremonial is neccesary for many of the details.

  7. Hello Jack,

    The EF may also be tainted by the failed reconciliation strategy, and so Cardinals may also be very reluctant to choose anyone who has any interest in the EF.

    I just don’t see this as a concern. The traditional mass long predates the existence of the SSPX, to put it mildly. And interest in it is strong enough now among young clergy and seminarians (at least on this side of the Pond) that it occupies much more psychic space, to speak, than disputes with Econe. There are a lot more priests and laity involved with the EF in licit contexts than in the SSPX now. That was not true ten years ago.

    Again the next Pope is likely to put the EF on the back burner.

    That may be. Joseph Ratzinger was almost unique in his interest in liturgical tradition among the cardinals, and that has not changed much – perhaps a few new cardinals.

    But one also doesn’t expect that any of his initiatives will be overturned, either.

    There are a lot of graying church liberals out there would like to see more Latin and chant in the OF liturgy but are turned off by the reform of the reform’s use of the Tridentine Liturgy as an ideal.

    I see very few such people in that age cohort – but I concede that I simply may not be moving in the right circles.

    But I would like to point out that young priests and seminarians with whom I have talked about the TLM point to much more besides Latin or chant for their interest. It’s the prayers themselves, both in the ordinary of the mass and the collects/propers. It’s the lack of options and the more exacting rubrics, reducing the impulse to creativity.

    But there is nothing to prevent priests celebrating the Mass of Paul VI from adding in more Latin and chant. There’s a bit more of that happening of late. But even so it often causes blowback from parishioners who find it offputting.

  8. Jim McKay and to Fr. Krisman’s point – a contribution from Rev. Komonchak at dotCommonweal….this is about ecclesiology; not liturgy:

    http://www.commonwealmagazine.org/blog/?p=23190

    Money quotes:
    – “It could very well be that Pope Benedict’s greatest contribution to Catholic ecclesiology will be that he resigned the papal office. Everyone has known that it is possible for a pope to resign; the Code of Canon Law mentions it. But part of the very modern “mystique” of the papacy has been that it stands above and apart from all other offices in the Church, that by it the pope is so closely associated with Christ that for a pope to resign might almost feel like a betrayal of Christ. As Pope John Paul II was fading away–“like a melting snowman,” a friend described the sight–, one even heard people say that for him to resign would be like asking Christ to come down from the cross. John Paul himself is supposed to have said, with regard to a possible resignation, “To whom would I submit my resignation?” My answer was: “To the Church”…

    This part – *But part of the very modern “mystique” of the papacy has been that it stands above and apart from all other offices in the Church* can also apply to how some look upon papal liturgies. That type of papal centric liturgy approach needs to change.

  9. So many bishops are canon lawyers now. My suspicion/fear is that we will get some kind of a legal mind. Or at least a mind with a set of canon law letters after it.

    I hope we get a pope who can steer us back to a middle course, someone who can discourage “reform of the” and just set us back on the path of reform and renewal.

    1. @Todd Flowerday – comment #13:

      Todd, a good canon lawyer would not be bad at all. Such a learned canon lawyer would know that all the solemnities were observed when Paul IV abrogated the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal when he promulgated the 1969 edition.

      The problem with many bishops who have a degree in canon law is that they are not very good canonists, not even well versed in general norms.

    1. @Sean Whelan – comment #17:

      A liturgical progressivist triumphalism even before the next conclave strikes me as an open invitation to restart hostilities. Either the Roman rite lives together as one but liturgically divided, or we will lose the Church especially in the postchristian West.

      I am tempted to learn how to pronounce “I renounce the Immaculate Conception” in Arabic, Greek, or Slavonic. This is, I am saddened to say, what many progressive Catholics would rather have for the traditional faithful.

    2. @Sean Whelan – comment #17:
      This Catholic progressive agrees with your second sentence, but not the first. The “old Mass” is not a threat, and while there are enthusiasts who treat it as a shibboleth, we should not play that game. It’s time for us to move on. I believe Catholic progressives should embrace liturgical pluriformity, with a generous spirit.

  10. This liturgical plurality was never envisioned in the Church. You can justify it all you want, but it’s not true. It’s more damaging than unifying as is plain to see. Time to be left in the annals of history.

  11. Sean Whelan : (This) liturgical plurality was never envisioned in the Church. You can justify it all you want, but it’s not true. It’s more damaging than unifying as is plain to see. Time to be left in the annals of history.

    Removal of your qualifier, Sean, renders your declaration ludicrous through the lens and documentation of history and the Church herself. And what can be plainly seen and quantified is easily and undeniably found at FSSP parishes everywhere. Check your hyperbole to see if it aligns obviously with your enthusiasm quotient, please.

  12. You can hope that new pope expands the old Mass. I can hope that he re-abrogates it. Guess we’ll find out soon enough.

  13. In matters liturgical, I am very much a traditionalist. And while I am sad that Benedict, is leaving, I feel comfortable that his successor will be of like mind liturgically, and so I am not distressed. I do hope, however, that the next Pope, will understand that we are not a united Church as far as liturgy is concerned, and will work toward achieving as much unity as possible.

  14. Hello Sean,

    This liturgical plurality was never envisioned in the Church. You can justify it all you want, but it’s not true.

    No doubt. But then it seems very likely that the Apostles never envisioned dozens of liturgical rites across the East and West, either.

    It’s more damaging than unifying as is plain to see.

    At a guess, I’d say at least a couple million Catholics, and a couple thousand priests, attend or celebrate the TLM on a fairly regular basis or more. There are plenty of sui juris rites that cannot claim as much. What is more unifying than providing them with a ritual form in which they find the most spiritual fulfillment? Especially when dozens of generations of their forbears did likewise? What “damage” can justify yanking that away from them?

    Time to be left in the annals of history.

    It’s funny, but I have run into a few rad-trads who have expressed precisely those sentiments about the Mass of Paul VI. Perhaps you could get together and compare notes.

    But my guess is that the next Holy Father will be more generous than either of you.

  15. Perhaps the tension many Catholics sense is that traditionalists, even schismatic ones, seem to receive somewhat more consideration for their liturgical sensibilities than most other faithful ones.

    For example, communities of women religious who possess the theological and liturgical expertise to make appropriate adjustments in the Roman Rite for sexist language in their worship. Perhaps MR2 is another.

    Is there is a reasonable limit to what the Roman Rite can bear in terms of “variations on a theme.” Perhaps. Or maybe not.

    And there is the matter of an honest engagement with Sacrosanctum Concilium. Can traditionalists take the step, in unity, from 1962 to 1964? Can they engage a conciliar document on liturgy and reform the 1962 Missal however they see fit? Would it be just to give them ten years to arrive at a theologically appropriate solution satisfactory to their sens eof liturgy, and yet remain in step with the spirit of the council?

    Meanwhile, many Catholics that some traditionalists would heave out of the Church (feminists, ecumenists, and others) have been undeniably more faithful to the Church and its liturgical mind than they. This may just be a matter of Luke 15:11-32 playing out before us. But I suspect many believers would squirm at just who is the elder son and who is the prodigal in this light.

    1. I apologize for my snippy remark at #16. I recognize that this is an ideal time for angst to bloom on PTB. The Orthodox have their in-house quarrels as well. Constantinople or Moscow is no refuge.

      @Todd Flowerday – comment #26:

      And there is the matter of an honest engagement with Sacrosanctum Concilium. Can traditionalists take the step, in unity, from 1962 to 1964? Can they engage a conciliar document on liturgy and reform the 1962 Missal however they see fit? Would it be just to give them ten years to arrive at a theologically appropriate solution satisfactory to their sens eof liturgy, and yet remain in step with the spirit of the council?

      I do believe that at some point the 1964/5 rubrics will be made licit. Some traditional religious communities already celebrate Mass with the interim revisions. The more pressing modification to the EF, in my opinion, is revision according the directives of Nostra Aetate and Dignitatis Humanae. In my opinion, conformity to conciliar documents divides traditionalism more than the question of the use of interim missals.

      The Roman rite went through a profound liturgical reformation in just five years. For champions of the liturgical movements, this profound change was a watershed moment. For others, rapid change resembled more of an existential apocalypse. For EF adherents, liturgical change is slow because traditionalists are cognizant of the collateral damage of fast liturgical change. This spectre of another existential shock explains why many traditionalists approach postconciliar conclaves with apprehension.

      I also agree that the next Pope should “hear out” the entire spectrum of Catholicism, left, right, and center (Msgr. Fellay excluded). Let’s pray that the next Pont. Max. is a good listener but also wise and tactful.

    2. @Todd Flowerday – comment #26:
      And there is the matter of an honest engagement with Sacrosanctum Concilium.

      And then there is the matter of people refusing to acknowledge the ongoing honest engagement with Sacrosanctum Concilium.

      How long are you going to keep falsely accusing them of this?

    3. @Todd Flowerday – comment #26:

      Perhaps the tension many Catholics sense is that traditionalists, even schismatic ones, seem to receive somewhat more consideration for their liturgical sensibilities than most other faithful ones.

      Why do you think that is?

      And there is the matter of an honest engagement with Sacrosanctum Concilium.

      Now we get to the heart of the matter.

      We all know how much criticism has been leveled, especially by RotR’s, that progressive liturgists and priests have selectively ignored certain “restraining” passages in SC, the emphasis on Latin (36, 54) and chant (116) being the most obvious. The best response has been to point out that most of the bishops who signed off on dispensing with these things (and endorsing novelties not mentioned in SC) were also Fathers of the Council, which doesn’t really address the inconsistency but appeal to authority – but it is a point that RotR’s struggle to grapple with.

      But there is no question that SC calls for a reform, a “general restoration” of the liturgy. And not just a tweaking reform. While much that it says is ignored or argued away by progressives, there is no question that the Council majority contemplated a major overhaul of the liturgy, something well beyond anything done in the history of the Roman Rite. Even trimming out things in the N.O. not expressly urged in SC – for example, the three new Eucharistic Prayers (despite SC 50’s call for “due care being taken to preserve the substance of the rites” (probe servata eorum substantia )), you would still have a missal that had major changes from the 1962. No question about it. And I am sure that this is what you have in mind.

      I think that the candid answer must be that traditionalists – not just SSPX sorts, but a much broader range within the Church – reject some of the provisions of SC. Well intended, we might say, but ill-conceived. On certain points, SC must be rejected or revised, then. I do not see any way around it.

  16. Follow Gamaliel’s advice – “if it be of men, it will come to naught, but if it be of God, ye will not be able to overthrow it; lest perhaps ye be found even to fight against God”.

    Find the discussion to be ridiculous – there are 1.2 billion catholics in the world – probably 70% are in the southern hemisphere. The permission for the EF has little to no traction in this part of the church – now a world church. Not sure that I would agree that there are a few million plus thousands of priests? (way too optimistic) but, even granting this, the EF movement is relegated to the western/European church which is shrinking by the millions every year.
    Also, the chances of this conclave (made up of liked-minded JPII & B16 appointees) choosing someone who would alter the current liturgical pattern is remote, at best. LIke Mr. Whelan, this is sad because if does impact the unity of the church; diverts from the church’s mission; creates confusion; and impacts eccelsiology. Suggest a middle course – allow for a period of time in which the MP is allowed force (for specific reasons) but set a deadline for its eventual demise.
    There are much bigger issues confronting the church.

    1. @Bill deHaas – comment #27: Fr. Bill, I think that “sleeping giant in the southern hemisphere” will awaken with a quiet roar at this coming conclave and I await it with hope. And let’s include Asian members of the cardinalate above the line as well. Your observation about the EF not having traction in the third world majority is cannard worthy of Chesterton: “It has been tried and found wanting. No, actually it has not been tried.” Not in the post-conciliar sense in which we all agree that FACP is crucial. So, please avoid stereotypical conclusion about our third world brothers and sisters and their worship experiences and preferences would be my advice to you. And while we’re “there,” it might do all well to remind ourselves that: A. This college is comprised of JPII/B16 consistatories. B. The unity of the Church is hardly compromised by Summorum Pontificum and neither you nor Mr. Whelan can refute the growth of demographics in FSSP parishes; C. R2 people are quite happy to let a middle course continue to flow. Confusion is not profligated only by disgruntled Trads, you should acknowledge. In fact, quite a few “associations” recently founded and given credence and publicity at this website are the voices of dissension, be those concerns “right or wrong.” The Church perseveres and stands, and will advance the gospel; There is no bigger issue facing the Church than the measure of its worship of her Creator and God. Only by facing that truth and acknowledging that reality can we leave that worship and God’s houses of worship to see to those missios you, I presume, are citing.

      1. @Charles Culbreth – comment #28:
        Charles – guess we just disagree on two points:
        – EF does not have traction in the third world (if you want to refute this, some facts please?) and it is a sleeping giant. FACP is only one small part of this sleeping giant.
        – stereotypical – yes, my statement was a generalization – sure that you can find a slight % of third world folks who might have experienced the EF, but still stand by my stereotype
        – growth of demographics in FSSP parishes……again, we are talking about such small numbers that it does get ridiculous (or as the folks in QI and audits say, the results are not clinically significant)
        – not sure that all folks are happy about Summorum Pontificum….you appear to skip over the fact that every episcopal conference asked B16 not to do this; that, especially in places such as France, EF and links to SPPX have and continue to create headaches for bishops (speaking about unity). And these are conferences that most would agree are predominantly filled with conservative bishops liturgically

        You mention associations recently formed (given *credence* on PTB). Suspect you are mixing apples and oranges. Those associations are not pushing for their own form of the Western Rite. They were formed to provide feedback to their bishops (per canon law obligations. Can you imagine the outcry if the ACP decided to write their own missal; claim persecution because they could not have their own liturgy, decide to take the Celtic liturgy of the 17th century and claim that this is their liturgy?

        Again, calmer heads need to prevail on this question. VII/SC also laid down the principle of enculturation. But, maintaining an abrogated missal/ordo is not enculturation (in the sense of the council fathers). That distinction and defintion needs to be researched and studied. The rites that have been approved and accepted by the church originated from specific cultures – again, SP is not a culture except in some very distorted way.

      2. @Bill deHaas – comment #30:
        – EF does not have traction in the third world (if you want to refute this, some facts please?)

        Perhaps you should look into it before making declarations?

        Una Voce is active in Argentina, Belarus, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, India, Japan, Malta, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, and Ukraine, to name some of the smaller, less-western, former eastern bloc or unaligned countries.

        The FSSP has houses in Colombia, México, Nigeria, and Poland.

        The Institute of Christ the King Soveriegn Priest was canonically erected in Africa by the Bishop of Mouila and has maintained a constant presence in Gabon.

        The SSPX has been even more comitted to expanding its global reach and has done incredible circuit-riding work across Asia and Africa, has a substantial presence in India, and a substantial presence in South America and in the former Eastern Bloc countries.

      3. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #38:
        Mr. Howard – before you blow a gasket, here is what I stated exactly:

        “stereotypical – yes, my statement was a generalization – sure that you can find a slight % of third world folks who might have experienced the EF, but still stand by my stereotype”

        You have now confirmed my statement. You cite what – an association that has an office in your listed countries – which means what? FSSP has houses in four countries – as I stated later: mathematically insignificant

        But, thanks, for citing the Institute of Christ the King – good example of something that should never have been approved. Again, one church? Geez! And in Gabon…..that’s like saying presence in the state of Delaware is huge for the United States.

        Of course the SSPX is committed – and this is a good thing?

      4. @Bill deHaas – comment #39:
        Bill, that’s actually not what you stated exactly. You’ve left off half of it. The facts are that contra your actual complete statement, that the EF had no traction in the third world it has a substantive and growing presence there.

      5. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #42:
        Again, insignificant. And, if you ask their bishops, viewed as less than unifying; redirects energy and effort and resources from mission to an internal preoccupation with a subjective preference. Church is about mission; about conversion of heart – VII called us to this and yet, we have a tiny minority who doesn’t appear to grasp that call or invitation.

      6. @Bill deHaas – comment #43:
        And, if you ask their bishops, viewed as less than unifying;

        Really? Which bishops have complained about it’s less than unifying influence in their third world dioceses? I’ve already given you the contrary example of the Bishop of Mouila erecting the ICKSP on the condition that they keep a presence in Gabon.

        conversion of heart – VII called us to this and yet, we have a tiny minority who doesn’t appear to grasp that call or invitation.

        This is an outrageously offensive statement. Conversion of heart is hardly a new Vatican II concept.

      7. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #44:
        Not really – you again cite one instance – so insignficant!!

        Would highly recommend the two posts above from Mr. Malcolm – honest, fair, balanced, and provides a good conclusion/recommendation.

        Thanks, Mr. Malcolm.

  17. I pray the next pontiff will not be a canon lawyer or academic.

    What we need is a pastoral pope like the beloved John XXIII.

    Another European academic or a canon lawyer interested in enforcing the letter of the law will be another “nail in the coffin” in my opinion, the Church will continue hemorrhaging members and we will eventually lose our voice in the court of public opinion.

  18. “For EF adherents, liturgical change is slow because traditionalists are cognizant of the collateral damage of fast liturgical change.”

    I’ll point out, as I have in many other forums, that there are times when a fruitful discernment might be “fast reform.” We wouldn’t accept, for example, “slow” reform of promiscuous sexual behavior, child or spouse abusers, and so on. In fact, there might be something to be said for the hitting bottom and recovery experience of addicts.

    To be sure, I’m not suggesting traditionalist worshipers should be equated with addicts. But the spiritual principle of conversion was life-changing for many saints, even a person like Francis, who did not gradually accustom himself to lepers.

    We need not be enslaved to a principle like “organic development” when it can so easily be used as an excuse to avoid spiritual growth.

    1. @Todd Flowerday – comment #31:

      We need not be enslaved to a principle like “organic development” when it can so easily be used as an excuse to avoid spiritual growth.

      This is a well-put point, Todd. Not a few EF adherents, including myself at some point in the past, have viewed the 1962 Missal as a calcified idol or talisman which cannot be changed at any cost unless the faithful who were negatively impacted by the reforms of the 1960s experience the heartbreak again. This though-process displays a few faint similarities with addiction pathology: an inability to function without the “substance” (here, the 1962 Missal), the assignment of blame to anyone and everyone except the “addict” (i.e. conspiracy theories about the reforms), and an unwillingness to see that other liturgical or theological positions might be valid or even necessary.

      Jonathan’s excellent post at #51 illustrates that a revision of the 1962 Missal according to conciliar instructions involves both obvious and obscure examples. A comprehensive reconsideration of all the readings and propers of the 1962 Missal, I believe, is where the true conciliar reformation of the EF will take place. However, I do not interpret a desire to worship exclusively in Latin, for example, as an absolute rejection of SC. Indeed, if many in an assembly understand Latin, then the goal of active participation has been fulfilled. Vernacularization of some parts of the Mass was a certainly a goal of the Council bishops. I’d reckon that the theological teachings of the Council take precedence in the renewal of the EF. The question of translations must be considered only after the the 1962 typical text has been changed to reflect postconciliar teachings.

      1. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #55:

        Hello Jordan,

        Some valid points, but one niggle:

        Not a few EF adherents, including myself at some point in the past, have viewed the 1962 Missal as a calcified idol or talisman which cannot be changed at any cost unless the faithful who were negatively impacted by the reforms of the 1960s experience the heartbreak again…

        I would not deny that such attitudes can be encountered in traditionalist circles, but I think it possible to overstate them.

        Most responsible traditionalists, or even those merely sympathetic to its premises (such as,I think, Lauren Pristas) – especially those capable of talking at length without mentioning freemasons – do seem to recognize that the EF/TLM has indeed seen changes over time, even (yes) after Pius V. And this means recognizing the obvious corollary, that it could be validly and prudently changed again – that is to say, beyond merely adding new saints/collects to the calendar, which obviously went on over time.

        But I do think that there is a lack of trust in any such project at the present time, or even in the near future. Most don’t trust anyone in the Vatican to make such changes right now. Not because they might be masons or communists, but because too few in the curia seem to have the proper appreciation and theological posture to attempt such changes. If SC is used as a guide to such changes, I think that would beg the very question of just what theological principles should inform such changes. Things which are seen as mere incrustations or accidents of sorts quite often turn out to have real theological justifications. It would be quite a fight, and I don’t think anyone in Rome has the stomach for it right now.

      2. @Richard Malcolm – comment #62:

        Richard, if traditionalists fear external change from curial offices, then perhaps the EF community must seek reform from within itself. I don’t believe that PCED should be elevated to a curial level post, but that should not prohibit traditionalists from lobbying for reforms which are morally pressing.

        Certain areas of reform, such as the conformity of the Tridentine liturgical tradition to conciliar commands against anti-semitism (Nostra aetate) and the liberty of persons to believe and worship according to their consciences (Dignitatis humanae), are not mere options. A stance that morally imperative changes must wait because an attempt to correct what is not in keeping with conciliar teachings will also usher in another liturgical crisis fails to realize that risk is central to liturgical development. It’s difficult of any group of Catholics to say that they are committed to the teachings of the Church and then invent stalling tactics to avoid implementing these teachings. Most galling is the reality that many of the most intransigent are illiterate in Latin. How can one ardentily contend that a liturgical text does not require revision if he or she cannot read Latin?

        I know that many traditionalists do not consider me traditional because I believe that the Tridentine liturgy requires re-evaluation now. Still, to not act is to loudly assent to what is deficient or even not moral. I am losing patience with my traditional brothers and sisters who aren’t willing to take on the burden of discipleship because they fear that all will be lost if they go that extra mile.

      3. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #65:

        Hello Jordan,

        I’m a bit at sea here. I’m not sure what “reforms are morally pressing.”

        Unless you mean . . . “Certain areas of reform, such as the conformity of the Tridentine liturgical tradition to conciliar commands against anti-semitism (Nostra aetate) and the liberty of persons to believe and worship according to their consciences (Dignitatis humanae), are not mere options.” But my perplexity only deepens. The only prayer I have ever heard mentioned in connection with anti-semitism is the Good Friday Prayer. But Pope Benedict altered that himself in 2008, and plainly thought that his version was in conformity with Nostra Aetate. So what other prayers are we talking about in the 1962 Missal, as currently amended? Or are you referring to SSPX chapels where (at least if what I have heard is correct) the older version of the prayer is still used?

        And I am completely at sea as to how Dignitatis Humanae is relevant at all. Especially when DH itself declares that it “leaves untouched traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ.” (DH 1) What prayers would need to be changed to conform with Dignitatis Humanae?

        Most galling is the reality that many of the most intransigent are illiterate in Latin.

        Yes, I have run into that. But I have my hands full keeping up with the criticisms of those who are reasonably fluent.

      4. @Richard Malcolm – comment #66:

        While we’re on the topic of the 1962 Good Friday bidding prayers, consider the prayer pro conversione infidelium (“For the Conversion of Infidels”). This is an example of the way in which the 1962 Missal could be viewed as insufficiently reflective of Dignitatis humanae.

        Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui non mortem peccatorum, sed vitam semper inquiris: suscipe propitius orationem nostram, et libera eos ab idolorum cultura; et aggrega Ecclesise tuae sanctae, ad laudem et gloriam nominis tui. Per Dominum […] {my ellipsis)

        “Almighty and eternal God, who seeks not the death of sinners but eternal life: receive graciously our prayer, and deliver them from the worship of idols. Gather [them] to your holy Church, for the praise and glory of your name. Through our Lord Jesus Christ” […]
        (my eliipsis, addition, trans.)

        A number of questions readily appear even at first glance. What is “idolatry”? Are most religious believers of the world besides Christians and Jews idolators? One might get these impressions if he or she is not familiar with the Tridentine liturgy and reads this prayer in the greater context of the bidding prayers. I find it quite baffling that Shinto, which does not have an iconic tradition, is lumped together with Islam, which places a strong emphasis on non-iconic depictions and decorations. Buddhism views the veneration of statues differently across various ethnic traditions and religious schools. The 1962 prayer displays a peri-modern understanding of other world religions which is not consonant with present day scholarship of the religious and ritual practices of the diverse cultures of the world. Besides, aren’t Christians the worst “idolators”? 😉

        I have yet to find a traditionalist who is able to defend prayers like the aforementioned. Few are willing to leap through the anthropological, ritual, and theological questions which a 16th century liturgy will inevitably pose. The longer traditional/ist Catholicism stalls on addressing these questions, the faster its moral, ethical, and intellectual authority will fade.

      5. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #67:

        Hi Jordan,

        What is “idolatry”?

        Good question. How would you define it?

        Now, the old Catholic Encyclopedia defines it, in short, as follows: “Idolatry etymologically denotes Divine worship given to an image, but its signification has been extended to all Divine worship given to anyone or anything but the true God.” And that seems to square with how “idolatry” has been understood by the Church, certainly since the Middle Ages (see Aquinas, ST II-II, q.44).

        I think the definition you are hinting that, i.e., that physical idols are required, seems narrower than the way it has been traditionally understood. But it’s also true that word meanings in living languages shift over time.

        Are most religious believers of the world besides Christians and Jews idolators?

        Under the definition noted above? I think so.

        Muslims are trickier here. Nostra Aetate affirms that Muslims worship the same God, thought it notes that they “do not acknowledge Jesus as God.” Perhaps now we would rook them under the prayer for Heretics and Schismatics.

        I suppose, Jordan, that it comes down to this: Do you believe that other religions save souls? Nota Bene: I am not asking whether non-Christians or non-Catholics can be saved. I am asking whether these other religions actually offer salvation.

        If they don’t, we should desire their conversion (freely given, of course). We want them to be saved. Right?

        Few are willing to leap through the anthropological, ritual, and theological questions which a 16th century liturgy will inevitably pose.

        First, a quibble: The Good Friday Prayers for the Jews and the Unbelievers do not date to the 16th century, but come – word for word – from the Gelasian Sacramentary, which puts them as 7th century in origin, and likely a good deal earlier (5th c.). These are very ancient prayers.

        But I am happy to try to leap through these questions, if you want to pose them.

      6. @Richard Malcolm – comment #72:

        Good question. How would you define it [idolatry]?

        I am an idolater. No Catholic would need the all-sufficient atonement and the re-presentation of this atonement at the sacrifice of the Mass if he or she were not an idolater. Good Friday is not primarily, or even secondarily, concerned with the presumed defects of other religious groups or practices. Good Friday is a day for Christians to reflect on the unmerited eternal life given to us through the crucifixion and the paschal mystery.

        I am agnostic with regard to whether or not persons are saved through other religions. I have been chosen through infant baptism, and through conscious assent to Confirmation, to be a member of the Universal Church. Here I am convinced is salvation. If another person arrives at the same conclusion, he or she will join the Church. Coercive statements about other religions does not encourage conversions. Rather, such statements often fuel the opposite of charity: pogroms, exclusion, and dehumanization.

        It’s important to remember that the redactors of the 1570 missal did not include all of the propers of the preceding sacramentaries. This feat would be impossible given the number of sacramentaries. To claim that certain Good Friday bidding prayers must remain in the Tridentine liturgy simply because of the antiquity of the Gelasian sacramentary is nothing more than appeals to authority and antiquity, logical fallacies.

      7. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #79:

        Hello Jordan,

        Thanks kindly for the clarification. I think I understand your own position better.

        I understand your definition of “idolatry/idolator.” But I do think that the Church traditionally had a very different definition of the term, and I think that is where some of the difficulty comes in. An idol was understood to be a created thing, and therefore not to be worshiped. Christ had created flesh, but He Himself was fully God, and in that capacity we worship Him.

        I want to address your larger point about Good Friday by noting this comment: “It’s important to remember that the redactors of the 1570 missal did not include all of the propers of the preceding sacramentaries.> That is certainly true. But the Gelasian Sacramentary had been normative in the Roman Rite by time of Pius V’s commission. In this respect, there was not much picking and choosing to be done. They required what they chose to have a living tradition for over 200 years of actual use. As Alcuin Reid notes in The Organic Development of the Liturgy (p.41), Pius V actually rejected a standard of mere antiquity, such as that suggested by Cdl. Quignonez; a liturgical form had to have been in continuous use. And these prayers were widely and continuously used in the Roman Rite for that entire period. So this was more than an appeal to authority. And in that period, the Church plainly seems to have thought an ad extra impulse was not incompatible with ad intra – to convert others as well as ourselves.

        I am agnostic with regard to whether or not persons are saved through other religions. I appreciate the candor. I hope it’s clear, however, that this is not what the Church teaches.

        I do hope there’s a distinction between proselytization and coercion (like pogroms, etc.). I do not see what is coercive about these prayers. The prayers are clearly directed to *divine* action, not *ours.* That is a critical distinction, I think.

      8. @Richard Malcolm – comment #80:

        I appreciate the candor. I hope it’s clear, however, that this is not what the Church teaches.

        When I mention “agnosticism”, I refer to the fact that a person can be saved without baptism into the Church. Is this more “difficult”? That’s how that Baltimore Catechism portrays baptism by desire and by blood. My point is that no one knows who will be saved. There is neither a finite number or predestined number. Also, no one knows exactly in what way persons will be saved. I know beyond a doubt that salvation is in Christ’s grace and cooperation in the sacraments of the Church, but this does not absolutely exclude other possibilities. For all these reasons I am agnostic about the salvation. Surely you are familiar with Fr. Leonard Feeney? Is his theology a welcome alternative?

        The bidding prayers of Good Friday were revised, in my view, because petitions made to God are in fact also hidden indicators of human desire to segregate and define other human beings. For centuries, the Jewish people were labeled perfidis because liturgy served as a way to demarcate Christians from the Other, not to invite the Other on individual and wholly voluntary terms to join the Body of Christ. The older bidding prayers have, without any need for explanation, caused grave inhumanity for centuries. Is the occasion of inhumanity sanitized by antiquity?

        The 1970 bidding prayers in general express Christian hope and optimism about humanity without denying the centrality of Christ’s sacrifice. Is it not better to have hope in affirming Jesus as Christ without striking a demerit against every other group immediately?

  19. There would be no good reason to repeal SP, or otherwise limit the EF again. There’s no real evidence that it has caused division or any of the problems its detractors claim. Suppressing the old Mass would do nothing to move the Church forward in any meaningful way.

    Hopes that the pope will suppress the EF strike me as being some kind of strange revenge fantasy.

    The ROTR may lose a little steam if the next pope isn’t as interested in liturgy as Benedict is, but I doubt it will become a footnote in history. Interest in Latin chant was picking up steam prior to Benedict, and younger Catholics generally don’t have negative feelings about more traditional looking churches or vestments.

  20. A truce in the liturgy war is much to be desired. I wish I could be more optimistic about it happening.

    Triumphalism, self-attributed “clairvoyance” (how utterly arrogant that claim comes across, even made in jest) and “mind-reading” (claiming privileged knowledge of the motivations of others) on both sides of the divide isn’t going to go away.

    Does someone report a parish devoted to the Tridentine Mass that is lively and growing? Someone else says, “Obviously a case of nostalgia, escapism, longing for the 1950s. In fact it is a chilly tomb where the Latin Mass is celebrated with regimented perfection and everyone is deeply miserable.”

    Does someone report a parish devoted to the Novus Ordo that is lively and growing? Someone else says, “Obviously a case of using liturgical progressivism to disguise sexual immorality. In fact it is merely buzzing with chit-chat and left-wing social activity.”

    I continue to think Pope Benedict made serious errors in encouraging the use of the older rite, in allowing “derogation” from the current liturgical norms and especially in waiting to take a tougher line with the SSPX — something he was ultimately forced to do. But he has many gifts that I do not. The liturgical cat is out of the bag and it’s not going back in.

    “Re-abrogating” the older rite would be a pastoral disaster; as, in my view, would be forcing through tough legislation about things like communion in the hand, celebration facing the people, female altar servers and extraordinary ministers of holy communion.

    I hope that the planned manual for priests can now go quietly onto a shelf, until a new pope has been in office for a good while.

    I hope that the noisier prelates on both the “trad” and “prog” sides — not to mention the noisier bloggers — might observe a few months of silence, while the Church adjusts to the transition.

    I’m hopeful in all these things but not especially optimistic.

    1. @Jonathan Day – comment #34:
      It is “nice” (not a good word, but it will have to do since I am technically an outsider here) to see that divides, or what in our Lutheran circles is called “Worship Wars” exists in our Church of Origin.

      The sad part is that in both forms of the Mass (even with subclasses) are clearly recognizable as the Mass. In our Lutheran circles, my “high mass” is Novus Ordo, while our other side is difficult to differentiate from a Protestant Bible Church.

      Would that all of our contemporary worship folks wear vestments, have an altar in front instead of a band, and celebrate the Eucharist instead of having the Sacrament offered in a side room before the “Service” begins.

  21. Bill,
    Unfortunately, we’re still talking passed each other.
    1. I’m not disagreeing w/ you about the of EF in the non-European demographic. I’m just stating the obvious- there has yet to occur any comprehensive movement to implement a so-called FACP-focused reform of the usus antiquior rites in these lands as envisioned by the 1903 MP and ratified (stratified?) by the three predominant docs of VII. I’m thankfully not clairvoyant, but there seems to me a “need to experience” mandate before writing off the possibility that traction could occur, and one not glamorized by films such as “The Mission” nor imposed imperially by plopping Gothic cathedrals and total European immersion in the High Amazonian dioceses. But VII has been a mixed blessing as proved by the prolific number of polyglot, incoherent Masses witnessed during JPII’s many tours, and continued unmitigated at most World Youth Day event Masses during Benedict’s tenure. From one old hippy to presumably another, I’m kind of channeling my inner John Lennon with both an ecclesial “Imagine” and “Give reform a chance.” That’s all.
    2. FSSP. You want macro evidence. That’s not what I do, you know that. You and Jack, NCR and Pew can handle that for us all. But anecdotally, I can cite with absolute certainty the transformation of Cantius in Chicago, St. Stephen’s in Sacramento, St. Anne’s in San Diego from anecdotal evidence of friends who are in ministry there. I can state with certainty that when the weekly window for one FSSP celebrant is provided to Fresno that the attendance at the TLM there is steadily rising and the influence spreading beyond the 45-60” travel time for many who attend there. God grant that our new bishop consider “giving them a chance in our Central Valley as was done by Bsp.Em. Weigand in Sacto. This may not suffice as “significant” to you, but it sure as heck is to the many young families (hint hint) that attend these Masses in Fresno.
    For a boomer, I probably exhibit all the demonstrable qualities of a reform-oriented worshipper. Convert in late teens. Loved everything about the wide, wild West of the “new vernacular” liturgy. Saw within its skeleton and corpus the natural beauty of ritual. Grew in faith, knowledge and still hungered and thirst for more. (The musical knowledge was built in as an academic musician as well as schooled in pop/jazz et al.) Never really exposed to true liturgical abuse, save for the egotist antics of a few very clericalist celebrants, attributes and idiosyncrasies that covered the waterfront. Never exposed until the last decade to the depths of the architecture and cosmology of the TLM, and that didn’t take off immediately, but when it hit, it was the only “born again” moment in organized religion I’ve ever acknowledged as real. I’ll be fine with what we do at our parish, if that’s how it plays out. But, I KNOW there’s more at the door. That can no longer be denied. But I wonder if you and Jack, Todd and Sean and many others here are the voices singing back to that which is on the other side of the narthex doors “I hear you knocking but you can’t come in.” Advocating a reversal of SP is as illogical and hard headed/hearted a canard solution to ecclesial problems as I can think of in a “catholic” church.

    1. @Charles Culbreth – comment #35:
      Loved your trip down memory lane….well said. But, yes, we disagree and history will probably show us both to be wrong.

      Not advocating for a SP reversal – just putting it into a planned retirement that is not hard hearted or headed. And not repeating the process that forced the new translation upon the english speaking conferences. Will predict that the new translation will lose even more traction now with all of the other major language groups.

      Interesting graph today in some papers showing current catholic populations by continents and projections by 2020. Currently. NA has 77 mil; Asia has 120 mil; Europe has 283 mil; Africa has 135 mil; SA has 350 mil. Projections:
      NA – 110 mil; Europe – 250 mil (continues to die); Africa -350 mil; Asia – 207 mil; SA – 650 mil. As with many situations globally today, demographics alone will eventually force changes to the *Roman* Catholic church….when and how, only the Holy Spirit knows.

  22. Continued from Post 46:

    So far, however, this difficulty has been finessed. The thinking goes that there’s no *express* demand in SC that the old missal be abrogated. No doubt many Fathers assumed that it *would* be, but we have to go with what the text agreed upon actually says. And so, I think, Pope Benedict’s thinking has been: “We don’t have to get into Sacrosanctum Concilium here. We don’t have to worry about its application to the 1962 Missal. I am not going to open that can of worms.” And so we ended up instead with this arrangement – I have called it a potentially “polite juridical fiction” here once or twice – that the Roman Rite really has two forms, the OF and the EF.

    But I think that you are right, Todd, if I understand you correctly, that traditionalists favoring the EF/TLM really are engaging a liturgy that the Council Fathers – the great majority of them, at least – were trying to reform, and reform in a major way. Traditionalists can talk (as I might, indeed) all they want about how the EF actually creates more actuosa participatio, but that is merely dancing around the question of changes to the missal itself.

    And that is the point that I have reached. There are many good things in SC, but I think there are problematic propositions (like the lectionary reform), too. Yet SC, unlike the other dogmatic constitutions – or even documents like DH and Nostra Aetate – really is a *prescriptive* document. It is enunciating propositions about how the Roman Rite should be changed. And because these points are prescriptive, I think the time is coming when they must be examined and be open to revision or correction, and that urging the same is not tantamount to rejecting the Council per se, or Church authority. But now that we have reached the point that the Conciliar generation is mainly passed on now, it’s a question we ought to be able to examine objectively.

    Yes, I did try to say that last sentence with a straight face.

    1. @Richard Malcolm – comment #47:
      Richard, thank you for your candour. Now, perhaps, the discussion can advance beyond the “continuity” shibboleth.

      SC did make some fundamental changes, and those who followed its directions made changes that can’t be glossed over. Just one of many examples, the prayer over the gifts for the 3rd Sunday of Lent (Novus Ordo):

      His sacrificiis, Domine, concede placatus,
      ut, qui propriis oramus absolvi delictis,
      fraterna dimittere studeamus.

      “May these sacrifices be pleasing to you, Lord, and may we who ask pardon for our own faults be diligent in forgiving those of our brothers and sisters.”

      In the 1962 Missal, this is the “secret” for the Saturday of the 2nd week of Lent, But the last line is different: instead of “fraterna dimittere studeamus” we have “non gravemur externis”.

      This means, “May these sacrifices be pleasing to you, Lord, and may we who ask pardon for our own faults not be burdened by the sins of those outside the Church.”

      This comes from the work of Lauren Pristas, who notes that those outside the Church are “presumably pagans, heretics and so forth.” She has diligently tracked down and classified many such redactions in the Latin, not just of the prayers of 1962 but of more ancient sources. In many cases, the revisers quietly modified phrases like “do not allow the sheep that you have redeemed with the precious blood of your Son to be wounded by diabolical attack [incursione diabolica]”, or softened phrases about the rule of earthly kings, as in the collect for St Louis, which seemed anachronistic. “Rising from the death of the soul [a morte animae]” became “rising into the light of life [in lumine vitae]”. There are many other examples.

      Now I agree with Pristas that many of these changes had substantial theological impact, but where she finds them negative, I think they were mostly positive.

      Yes, as you say, there was change as a result of the Council, on all sorts of fronts. It was “development” not “rupture”, but we are not in the same place that we were in the late 1950s. And it was the Church doing this, acting on the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

      With the clarity you have introduced, the discussion might get somewhere. Thank you.

  23. Todd: Until they are practically congruent to the mind of the Council

    It’s a Council, it’s not a revelation from God. Its disciplinary norms are not infallible or irrefformable. Serious engagement can still be skeptical engagement and it’s not incongruent with the eventual rejection (where the law allows, as it does here) of these fallible and reformable provisions.

    It has nothing to do with me.

    You’re the one accusing your fellow Catholics of dishonesty for not agreeing with you on how to reform the liturgy. We have to be able to have disagreement without accusing the other side of dishonesty. Mostly this involves just agreeing not to accuse the other side of dishonesty because it serves no useful purpose to do so. It’s mostly about individuals refraining from such accusatory behavior. The Thomists and Molinists don’t try to excommunicate each other anymore, but that doesn’t mean they agree.

    Richard: I think that the candid answer must be that traditionalists – not just SSPX sorts, but a much broader range within the Church – reject some of the provisions of SC. Well intended, we might say, but ill-conceived. On certain points, SC must be rejected or revised, then. I do not see any way around it.

    And this is engagement.

  24. Not really – you again cite one instance – so insignficant!!

    Bill, I’ve cited one instance. Another would be Cardinal Ranjith’s attitude. Another would be Cardinal Zen’s. It’s strange that you suggest my examples of episcopal endorsement are “so insignifigant” because they are so few in number when you have not cited any instances where “if you ask their bishops, [they are] viewed as less than unifying.”

    provides a good conclusion/recommendation

    Do you realize that his recommendation is that Sacrosanctum Concilium “must be examined and be open to revision or correction”? I.E. the thing you are condemning those who follow the EF for doing?

    Also to return to one of your earlier points: “every episcopal conference asked B16 not to do this”

    I’m not aware of any such statements. Can you point some out?

    1. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #50:
      You just recyle the same old, same old. Yes, your citations are insignificant.

      Ranjith – had to be removed from authority over liturgy and exiled from Rome. Zen is th same.

      Would welcome an objective examination of SC – SP/EF were papal decisions; not collegial. See rest of comment below. Do you really think bishops from around the world, if objectively asked, would go back to the 1962 missal; to the EF form? Really?

      In terms of conferences asking B16 not to proceed, here you go from earlier PTB posts.

      http://www.praytellblog.com/index.php/2011/09/13/cardinal-winning-the-shepherd-who-refused-to-become-a-sheep/

      Money quote:

      “It would appear that our bishops have allowed themselves to be bullied by Vatican officials who are actually in post in order to serve them. They seem to be embarrassed, and with just cause. It is, after all, the passivity of those bishops who have been in post for the past ten years that has landed us with a new translation of the English sacramentary in a style which the vast majority of English-speaking bishops neither asked for nor wanted: indeed, which it appears virtually no one except the officials in the CDW actively sought. But surely our bishops need to get over their embarrassment and seek to begin to reclaim their rights. Power and control are addictive, and it seems fair to assume that unless they are forcefully confronted by the bishops, the CDW, and indeed much of the Curia, will continue to act in an imperious and high-handed manner.”

      http://www.praytellblog.com/index.php/2010/09/16/greater-divisions-than-ever-since-summorum-pontificum/

      Money quotes:

      “The letter of Pope Benedict accompanying SP called for “an interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church.” Augé writes, “In my opinion, at a distance of three years, not only has a reconciliation not been achieved, but the divisions have been deepened even more.” Augé refers to the Pope’s expressed wish that feast days of new saints and some of the new prefaces be inserted into the old missal. Thus far, the Holy See has not done this. How would it be done? Which texts, by what criteria, on what days? Augé thinks it would be a case of “pouring new wine into old wineskins.”

      “But one may wonder has SP contributed anything of substance to these positive developments, or whether, rather, these developments haven’t been fostered by responsible leaders of liturgical renewal since long before SP ever appeared.”

      “He is presently writing, though, about the multiplication on many blogs of traditionalist voices with “maximalist” interpretations since SP was issued. “In my opinion, they go beyond the letter and the spirit of [SP]. The extraordinary form is exalted as the Mass of all times, the true and sole expression of Roman and Catholic tradition, and so forth. At the same time, traditionalist quarters have not spared critique of every sort, sometimes weighty, against the reform of Paul VI, against Paul VI himself, and against his collaborators: Paul’s reform is alleged to be Masonic, influenced by Protestantism, and not free of heresy. As Augé notes, such voices thereby ignore that Pope Benedict wrote of the “‘spiritual richness and theological depth’ of the missal of Paul VI, richness and depth which are seen when this is celebrated ‘with great reverence in harmony with the liturgical directives’.” Augé observes that some traditionalists predict that the reforms of Paul VI will disappear within 20 or 25 years!” (Note, Allan!!)

      1. @Bill deHaas – comment #53:

        Yes, your citations are insignificant.

        Ranjith – had to be removed from authority over liturgy and exiled from Rome. Zen is th same.

        Again Bill, I have offered citations of Bishops from non-western, or third world, or Asian countries who have not criticized a division caused in their countries by SP, but welcomed the EF. You have not offered any citations of the opposite! My “insignifigant” facts are set against your silence on the topic.

        Would welcome an objective examination of SC – SP/EF were papal decisions; not collegial. See rest of comment below. Do you really think bishops from around the world, if objectively asked, would go back to the 1962 missal; to the EF form? Really?

        Maybe not, but our Church doesn’t work by polling the Bishops, Bill.

        In terms of conferences asking B16 not to proceed, here you go from earlier PTB posts.

        No, Bill, these posts don’t in fact say what you suggest. The first is about Liturgicam Authenticam, the second is about the opinions of Fr. Matias Augé, who is not a Bishop, much less a Bishops Conference.

        I asked you to prove this: “not sure that all folks are happy about Summorum Pontificum….you appear to skip over the fact that every episcopal conference asked B16 not to do this;”

        Your citations are not relevant to the point. You have to rely on the actual facts.

      2. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #69:
        Mr. Howard – would suggest reviewing Mr. Malcolm’s posts – balanced, insightful, and able to identify key areas and issues.

        Here is what I posted in response to your request:

        http://www.praytellblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Return-to-Tradition-Mickens-Tablet.pdf

        You can try to dismiss these findings (facts); you can say that this is a different time, etc.

        Interesting reading via *trad* blogs currently. The usual suspects are now listing how many of the *electors* have actually used the EF (less than 10 and some of these only once or twice).

        Here was Mr. Malcolm’s reply to your point and includes you (appears that you don’t agree):

        “Note, again, in the article by Mickens that 98% or more of bishops polled requested that there not be SP. To tell someone of a traditional bent that the great majority of bishops in the developed world have no love or interest in the traditional mass is akin to Shem telling Noah that he ought to put on rain slops before he goes out on deck. We could quibble about what the real numbers were – in 1980 or 2006 – but in reality, you’re pushing on an open door here. The great majority of bishops in 1980 were progressives of some sort, or at best, conflict averse. The situation had not greatly changed in France, England and Germany (where most bishops apparently opposed SP) by 2006, either. This is not news to me or, I suspect, Samuel.”

        You state: *our church doesn’t work by polling the bishops*. Okay, here is probably the key difference between my understanding and your approach. Vatican II documents repeatedly reinforced the ressourced concept of *collegiality* (check out LG and SC). SC went so far as to specifically spell out the role of episcopal conferences in liturgical decisions. Your approach ignores what the council did – and yes, unfortunately, this pattern was only reinforced by JPII and B16 in their decisions. But, in fact, our church works best when episcopal conferences are responsible and accountable for liturgical decisions.

        Mr. Malcolm – to your points about Benedict’s substance…..IMO, VII principle was collegiality. But, under pressure, both JPII & B16 made papal exceptions to the use of the 1962 missal (may have been well intentioned but have left the church with unintended consequences). What the record indicates is that these *permissions* were not collegial; not consensus; and their implementation has created disunity. Note that when the actual histories are told of SP’s implementation, you see a very tiny minority (essentially curial) asserting their power over liturgical decisions that impacted the church. (this rarely is for the good)
        Examples – JPII ignored his bishops; tried to go around them via later special commissions; pressure; etc. (As you say, even today most bishops would continue to advocate against SP)
        Both popes appointed non-liturgical curial officials to make changes – PTB has told the stories of Medina, Rajnith, Arinze, etc.

        You state that you are concerned about the majority and their failures citing mass attendance in France. Sorry, there are multiple reasons for why mass attendance is decreasing (to assume the reformed mass is not one of the top ones). That is a canard (to borrow your word). The French Catholic church has many internal issues that impact catholics – societal; leadership; largest country with SPPX presence.

        You ask: “And who has payed the price for this failed initiative? Well, I question whether it is “failed.” But *who* has paid *what* price? Please clarify.”
        – Can only summarize by saying, IMO, that a tiny minority have tried to subvert the VII decisions and documents….this story of the tiny minority versus the overwhelming majority just continues since the VII sessions and, unfortunately, is most visible in liturgical decisions. IMO, that is really the scandal. The SP initiative may have been well intentioned and taken for a number of reasons but the church has paid a price in terms of liturgy wars; division; internal debates that take away from resources, mission; exercises such as LA, new english translation; turning back some rubrics; etc. that have diminished the church’s liturgy (per VII, the summit).

      3. @Bill deHaas – comment #71:

        Hello Bill,

        1. What the record indicates is that these *permissions* were not collegial; not consensus.

        I don’t disagree with that.

        It’s plain that Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II overrode significant, even heavy opposition among some conferences of bishops (especially in Western Europe) to extend freedom to celebrate the 1962 Missal. No question about it.

        I agree with you that this is not an instance of collegiality. One wishes (well, I wish) that it could have been. But one cannot say that it is illegitimate, since Lumen Gentium 22 was very careful to affirm that “as Vicar of Christ and pastor of the whole Church, the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme and universal power over the Church. And he is always free to exercise this power.” Perhaps you wish to say that it was imprudent? I think that’s worth discussing.

        2. Sorry, there are multiple reasons for why mass attendance is decreasing (to assume the reformed mass is not one of the top ones). That is a canard (to borrow your word).

        And I don’t disagree with that. I’m limited by the character count here, so distinctions get dropped out. Traddies who think that Vatican II (or its implementation) caused all of the crises we have seen post-1965 are not being honest with themselves. Society has aggressively secularized, is more affluent, etc.

        But the reality remains: The implementation of the Council in places like France has been, fundamentally, progressive. Traditionalist bishops (or anything like) were essentially nonexistent. And the numbers across the board have been, well, catastrophic. Clearly *not* what the Council Fathers thought would happen. And, to be blunt, I think those defending that implementation carry the burden of proof if they want to insist that it had *nothing* to do with this collapse.

        3. I am still unclear what “price” has been paid. “[T]he church has paid a price in terms of liturgy wars.” But did these not exist before?

      4. @Richard Malcolm – comment #74:
        Mr. Malcolm – as you can see, Mr. Howard still aligns with the usual *ROTR* interpretation – now he wants proof that *every* conference was opposed *yesterday*?

        Popes can do whatever they want – as you say….whether this is prudent is another question? Sorry, a papal MP overriding a council is a significant issue – history is littered with papal MPs that have been nullified and contradicted by more recent papal/councils. So, if the next pope says that the 1962 missal is abrogated – what happens?

        Didn’t say the reform had *nothing* to do with the impact on French attendance – but it would be way down the list. And how is this consistent with the huge increase in the Southern Hemisphere?

        Interesting comments from B16’s Ash Wednesday Homily:

        “Benedict placed special emphasis on the importance of the church. Faith is not just an individual journey, he argued, but one that unfolds in the community founded by Christ.”
        “The communitarian dimension is an essential element in the faith and in the Christian life,” he said. “The ‘we’ of the church is the community in which Jesus gathers us together.” “The faith,” the pope said, “is necessarily ecclesial.”

        “This accent has long been a leitmotif of Benedict’s thought, who over the years has often lamented what he sees as a modern tendency to say “yes” to Jesus but “no” to the church. In contrast, Benedict has always insisted that saying “yes” to Jesus necessarily implies a “yes” to the church – and thus acceptance of its teachings and discipline.”

        “On another front, Benedict said that the church is supposed to lift up the face of Christ, but that this face is sometimes “disfigured” by “faults against unity” and by “divisions within the ecclesial body.”

        The reference to the importance of unity in the church may also carry significance in the context of Benedict’s repeated efforts to reach out to traditionalist.

        (Echoes Fr. Ruff’s constant reminder that this is about ecclesiology! On another note, find it interesting that B16 and Rome usually never responds to *popular* interventions, letters, etc. but he chose to listen this time in terms of SP…..contrast that with lack of response to major issues such as sexual abuse, celibacy, etc.)

      5. @Bill deHaas – comment #77:

        Hi Bill,

        Just a quick comment here on what Sam singles out:

        “- not sure that all folks are happy about Summorum Pontificum….you appear to skip over the fact that every episcopal conference asked B16 not to do this;

        I think the confusion here is the reference to the conferences. I can’t claim deep inside knowledge, but to my understanding there were not formal appeals by these conferences per se, or at least few of them.

        That said, it was plain at the time that many bishops had concerns about a liberation of the 1962 Missal, especially in France and Germany, where the Pope ran into strong opposition. Indeed, this was the main reason for the long delay in issuance of the SP document which, I understood at the time from one priest with CDW connections, was essentially complete in mid-2006 – the Pope wanted more time to talk, to persuade (apparently with mixed results).

        So I think that if you want to say that most bishops in certain conferences (I am aware of France, Germany and England, at least) expressed opposition, or at least concerns, to SP before-hand in *some* fashion, I would not dispute this. What I am not aware of, however, are formal expressions to this effect by actual conferences to the Pope. If you have some docs on that, I would be keen to see them.

        So, if the next pope says that the 1962 missal is abrogated – what happens?

        That would be quite a turn of events. There is nothing to stop the next Pope from doing so. But given the support for SP among a growing number of bishops and (most especially) young priests, I don’t think it would achieve the objective of greater unity and less division.

        The difficulty with “unity” is that it is a contingent good. I can’t imagine you are a fan of St. Pius X’s efforts to enforce doctrinal unity through the Anti-Modernist campaign. The question is what “unity” is actually directed to.

        I guess that was more than a quick comment. My apologies.

      6. @Richard Malcolm – comment #81:
        Thanks for your first clarification and agree. Interesting that he passed over much of what Mickens wrote about; for instance:
        – SP was promulgated and it iincluded a section that required Rome to follow up in three years with all conferences…..never done. why? Unfortunately to Mr. Howard’s point, in many ways we have a vacuum filled by opinions. Wonder if this was never done because of a fear of what might result? What if the results were as you suggest – the majority would have cited little interest, very small interest, or increased issues with disunity, etc.? But who knows?

        My 1962 abrogation line was a joke….but it gets to those whose approach completely relies upon papal announcements. Would suggest that B16’s resignation may actually enlighten folks on this — the papacy is an office/ministry that serves the church…it is not some type of HOLY ontological role that all but puts the pope and his every thought next to or above Jesus Christ.

        Fr. Ruff’s posting of the diocesan letter from Sample is a good example of the types of opinion driven policies that create liturgy wars, negative feedback towards liturgy, camp vs. camp milieu.

        But, thanks, for your reasoned approach and sorry if my impreciseness made things more difficult.

    2. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #50:
      Mr. Howard – at your request – survey authorized by JPII via CDW to all Latin Rite bishops; results published in Notitiae in 1981:

      http://www.praytellblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Return-to-Tradition-Mickens-Tablet.pdf

      Money quotes:

      “On the question of allowance for use of the old rite, less than 1.5% of the bishops said that their priests or people were in favour.”

      “The Tridentine Rite is by now out of date!”

      “It indicated that many of the bishops were also decisively opposed to an eventual concession for the use of the old rite because it would create more problems than it aimed to resolve.”

  25. Hello Jonathan,

    I must return the compliment: This is tremendously helpful clarity. In fact, you’ve saved me a great deal of trouble!

    It was Pristas’s work, in fact, that led me down the road I’ve traveled in grappling with Sacrosanctum. So when you say “Now I agree with Pristas that many of these changes had substantial theological impact, but where she finds them negative, I think they were mostly positive” this is engagement with these issues. As it happens (and you saw this coming, I am sure), I would say that these changes were mostly negative. But at least we agree on the essence of what was happening in the 1970 Missal. And we could, if we wanted, move onto discussing the value of these changes, and whether they are theologically desirable or not.

    I do think that a RotR mindset is going to have greater difficulty defending the retention of the 1962 Missal as an alternative form of the Roman Rite, because they’ve already conceded the premises needed to justify much, if not all, of the 1970 Missal.

    To some extent, I do think that SC was a document of . . . at the least, “innovation” if not outright rupture, though I find it harder and harder to defend it against the latter, even on a very traditional, (say) Joseph Fessio reading. The Fathers were plainly concerned – and rightly so! – about the low quality of lived liturgical life in much in the Church in 1962. And their solution was an unprecedented program of liturgical reform. You can yap about no warrant for moving altars, ditching all Latin, or versus populorum, or altar girls, or yanking out altar rails, or guitars . . . you are still left with a very different Missal, one largely justified by SC. Likewise, the same is true even if we tear out innovations not explicit, like EP’s 2-4.

    The situation we’re left with is not ideal: two missals with notably different theological postures. But until the Church is prepared to engage with these disagreements, pluralism seems to be the way to keep the peace.

  26. Postscript: I would flesh out the observation I made just now: I do think that a RotR mindset is going to have greater difficulty defending the retention of the 1962 Missal as an alternative form of the Roman Rite, because they’ve already conceded the premises needed to justify much, if not all, of the 1970 Missal. Because SC does more than provide a road map for much, if not all, of the Mass of Paul VI. It also stands as a clear criticism of the traditional Roman Rite, as it had existed up until that point. A majority of the Council fathers clearly saw the Mass as it existed as insufficient to the needs of the Church. I just don’t think there’s any getting around that.

    But that just begs these bigger questions that often get danced around, and ones which I wish that the Council had been willing to spell out in justifying this posture. But that is never easy with a committee document.

  27. Just two comments because of lack of time; this thread has at least the potential for a truly productive discussion, and I hope to re-engage very soon.

    First, and for the avoidance of doubt, I only cited the Latin texts to make it clear that, in this case at least, the issue is not one of translation but of the “source texts” themselves.

    Second, a minor but real quibble with Richard’s last comment: one reason I never use the term “TLM” to refer to the 1962 Mass is that this implies that this was a stable text — according to some extreme trads, going almost back to the Upper Room. Whereas I think the evidence would show that there were constant changes to the text of the “Tridentine” Mass, including 30 years after the publication of Quo Primum and again another 30 years after that. And, of course, many, many different sacramentaries, regional uses, uses specific to certain religious orders, etc., prior to the general standardisation enabled by the development of moveable-type printing. Pristas, by the way, provides many examples of this: she contrasts the Mass of Paul VI not only with the 1962 text, but also with various sacramentaries (Gelasian, etc.) that were prior to the 1962.

    In this sense the Novus Ordo Latin Mass I attend most every Sunday is every bit as much a “TLM” as the 1962 Mass celebrated a few km down the road.

    Yes, Pope Paul VI promulgated changes to the Roman rite he inherited. But it is not as though he was the first pope to do so. So the idea of a “traditional Roman rite” may not stand up to historical scrutiny; much less so “the Mass of all time”, “the Mass of ages”, etc.

  28. I think that Fritz may have opened a can of worms.
    Although he asked “Whence and Whither the Reform of the Reform?” he actually meant “Whence the Wither of the Reform of the Reform?”

  29. Hello Bill,

    It is always interesting (to me, at least) to go back and read Matias Augé’s letter, seeing how it jibes with my own perceptions over time. It’s relevant to post it here. His singling out of extreme voices (such as in the SSPX) is not really helpful, because it seems to create a ready squad of straw men to burn. But it is always worth examining how the proliferation of EF’s is received on the ground.

    But I also think that it is worth quoting Pope Benedict’s own, direct response to Matias Augé in 1999, when Auge wrote him on the subject:

    “3. I do not wish to enter into all the details of your letter, even if I would have no difficulties meeting your various criticisms against my arguments. However, I wish to comment on that what concerns the unity of the Roman rite. This unity is not threatened by small communities using the indult, who are often treated as lepers, as people doing something indecent, even immoral. No, the unity of the Roman rite is threatened by the wild creativity, often encouraged by liturgists (in Germany, for instance, there is propaganda for the project Missale 2000, which presumes that the Missal of Paul VI has already been superseded). I repeat that which was said in my speech: the difference between the Missal of 1962 and the Mass faithfully celebrated according to the Missal of Paul VI is much smaller than the difference between the various, so-called ”creative” applications of the Missal of Paul VI. In this situation, the presence of the earlier Missal may become a bulwark against the numerous alterations of the liturgy and thus act as a support of the authentic reform. To oppose the Indult of 1984 (1988) in the name of the unity of the Roman rite, is – in my experience – an attitude far removed from reality. Besides, I am sorry that you did not perceive in my speech the invitation to the ”traditionalists” to be open to the Council and to reconcile themselves to it in the hope of overcoming one day the split between the two Missals.”

    1. @Richard Malcolm – comment #60:
      Thanks, Mr. Malcolm…see my post on #59. Benedict’s own reponse (IMO) is not objective – it reveals his own personal feelings and cites a German initiative that may or may not have had the German episcopal conference approval. Sorry, his letter reminds me of those who continue to dismiss Paul VI’s reform liturgy because of *clown masses*.

      Note, again, in the article by Mickens that 98% or more of bishops polled requested that there not be SP. Reasons why are listed – to be honest, would have to say that those concerns have been borne out (read Allan’s blog as an example). JPII even formed a small internal committee made up of handpicked conservative cardinals – again, not very objective and the bishops still did not want SP. You may criticize Micken’s connecting SPPX and SP but it is a fact that Benedict saw SP as an overture to SPPX – and how has this worked out? And who has payed the price for this failed initiative and should the unity of the reformed mass been used as a tool for this initiative?

      To add to this, again, Benedict’s SP almost exclusively touches upon Europe and North America – less than 70% of catholics in the world. Mickens cites the fact that most requests for SP come from France and the US. And can you really say that SP and the EF have been a *bulwark against the numerous alterations of the liturgy*? In fact, would state that SP has led to the very concerns that the bishops expressed and as seen through arbitrary actions such as Vox Clara, LA, or worse.

      1. @Bill deHaas – comment #63:

        Hello Bill,

        1) I never claimed that Ratzinger’s letter didn’treveal his personal thoughts. But I don’t see why the same is not also true of Augé’s letter. You appear to prefer not to address the substance of Ratzinger’s concerns, but perhaps that is fair, since I did not do so with Augé, either.

        2) “Note, again, in the article by Mickens that 98% or more of bishops polled requested that there not be SP. To tell someone of a traditional bent that the great majority of bishops in the developed world have no love or interest in the traditional mass is akin to Shem telling Noah that he ought to put on rain slops before he goes out on deck. We could quibble about what the real numbers were – in 1980 or 2006 – but in reality, you’re pushing on an open door here. The great majority of bishops in 1980 were progressives of some sort, or at best, conflict averse. The situation had not greatly changed in France, England and Germany (where most bishops apparently opposed SP) by 2006, either. This is not news to me or, I suspect, Samuel.

        But I’m less troubled by being in the minority when the majority’s legacy is so troubled, and I suspect that informed both Popes’ thinking. In France, according to La Croix (2010) mass attendance has collapsed to just 4.5%; 63% of practicing Catholics think “all religions are the same.” Vocations (2006) were in even worse shape, with ordinations dropping below 100. Cardinal Barbarin: “When I ordain two priests per year, I bury twenty others…” According to Mickens, the bishops feared defiance toward the Council. With such a record of implementing that Council, one can perhaps understand why they might be defensive.

        3) I don’t doubt that the SSPX factored into the Pope’s thinking, but the evidence is that it was not the only reason.

        4) And who has payed the price for this failed initiative? Well, I question whether it is “failed.” But *who* has paid *what* price? Please clarify.

  30. Hello Jonathan,

    Second, a minor but real quibble with Richard’s last comment: one reason I never use the term “TLM” to refer to the 1962 Mass is that this implies that this was a stable text — according to some extreme trads, going almost back to the Upper Room.

    Well – in the first place, I have to call it *something*, preferably something abbreviated to save character space, and “TLM” remains the most common such. I can use “EF” if you like, even if that is not an “official” name, notwithstanding the Holy Father’s use of the term in SP.

    In the second place, I think that I must respectfully differ. I have some limited familiarity with the history of the Roman Rite which I would not want to inflate – my MA was focused on moral theology, not liturgy – but I do think that it is possible to overstate the fluidity of the Roman Rite pre-1965 (certainly 1955). The precise form of the Mass in the first two centuries is harder to sketch, but none of us, I think, should imagine that it was concretized as the 1962 Missal (though neither should we insist that it looked like many experiments or constructions we have seen in the liturgical academy in recent years, either). Nor can we insist that it cannot change again.

    But I do think that it is possible to assert that from the time of Gregory the Great, at the least, we have a stable, recognizable rite with remarkable continuity up to 1962. The ordinary was essentially in place; as was the lectionary (which has always been one year); most of our collects date back to that era. It was never frozen in amber, not even in the Tridentine period, but the fact is that it changed very slowly, and in very minor ways.

    Certainly there is no precedent for anything like the massive (though legal) reconstruction effort that took place in 1965-69, either in scope or in philosophy. I do not deny a real lineage between the two; but I do think that they are different enough, all in one blow, to say that they really are different rites.

    1. @Richard Malcolm – comment #61:
      Richard, I would never tell you or anyone here what to call the Mass of 1962; I’m just referring to my own dilemma in deciding how to name it.

      “TLM” doesn’t work for me, as I noted above, because the normative Latin Mass is also Latin, also Traditional, also a Mass.

      “EF” is problematic because, as you and I have both agreed, the notion of “two forms of one rite” is a sort of juridical fiction or sleight-of-hand. They really are different rites. Again, I applaud your candour and clarity on that issue.

      “Tridentine Mass” — which I have used in the past, lacking anything better — is inaccurate, because it has been modified since the Council of Trent. I do agree with you that “it changed slowly” and that it has not had huge changes, at least in word count percentages.

      Saying usus antiquior and usus recentior (the older and more recent uses) sounds fussy and in any event needs to be translated into English. And is “use” the right term here? As in “Anglican use”? “Sarum use”?

      Maybe the simplest, most neutral, non-ideological descriptors are “Mass of 1962” and “Mass of 2008”, referring to the date of promulgation of the editio typica. Oh, but Pope Benedict made some changes to the Mass of 1962!

      Not easy, this.

  31. Bill, just admit that you don’t have evidence for what you wrote about SP, “every episcopal conference asked B16 not to do this”.

    In fact, you have refused or been unable to offer evidence that any episcopal conference asked the Pope not to issue SP.

    A survey taken in the early 1980’s before Benedict was Pope, before there was any reasonable possibility of something like a “universal indult” coming about, is not “every episcopal conference ask[ing] B16 not to do this”.

    Here was Mr. Malcolm’s reply to your point and includes you (appears that you don’t agree):

    No. I do agree. And I’m confident he agrees with me as well that all the episcopal conferences didn’t ask Benedict not to issue SP.

    A poll of bishops is not a legislative act. It’s not a council, it’s not an action by a conference.

    SC went so far as to specifically spell out the role of episcopal conferences in liturgical decisions. Your approach ignores what the council did – and yes, unfortunately, this pattern was only reinforced by JPII and B16 in their decisions.

    Bishops conferences have an important role, but not an unlimited one. The way the rules were written by SC is reformable (and overridable in particular cases) by the action of the Holy Father motu proprio. This is the context in which SC must be read. It must be read in consort with Lumen Gentium 22 as Richard points out.

    But, in fact, our church works best when episcopal conferences are responsible and accountable…

    Sometimes it’s better to have a particular outcome outside the conference by a suboptimal process. Sometimes it’s better to let them adopt a suboptimal outcome but preserve the optimal process. But even the suboptimal process is a licit one. But that’s a matter of judgment in particular cases. It’s hard to discuss that with you when you insist on false facts.

  32. Mr. Malcolm – as you can see, Mr. Howard still aligns with the usual *ROTR* interpretation – now he wants proof that *every* conference was opposed *yesterday*?

    I’m not certain what this means? I don’t associate myself with “reform of the reform” and am opposed to that term as a description of the repair that the novus ordo needs.

    As for what I want proof of, I want proof of what you claimed:

    “- not sure that all folks are happy about Summorum Pontificum….you appear to skip over the fact that every episcopal conference asked B16 not to do this;

    This is false, yet you keep trying to present completely irrelevant facts about people being opposed to SP as evidence that it is true. We know that people, including many bishops were at various times opposed to SP, but you need to rely on actual facts. It is not the case that “every episcopal conference asked B16 not to do this” and you haven’t even been able to show that any did. We can’t have a productive discussion if you insist on using facts that are blatantly untrue.

    We had a similar discussion recently about the documents of Vatican II related to the general intercessions, where you complained that a number of practices had “neutered the VII idea of the *universal prayer*” when in fact they were explicitly found in the documents from the 60’s implementing “the Vatican II idea of the *universal prayer*”.

    Didn’t say the reform had *nothing* to do with the impact on French attendance …And how is this consistent with the huge increase in the Southern Hemisphere?

    Logically, it’s completely consistent. A small downward pressure a larger upward one.

    contrast that with lack of response to major issues such as sexual abuse, celibacy

    A response you don’t like is not lack of response. There are dozens of documents on priestly celibacy on the Vatican web site from Paul VI encyclical forward.

  33. Interesting that he passed over much of what Mickens wrote about;

    Not particularly. You offered Mickens article in response to my request for evidence of conference action (it doesn’t provide such evidence). I didn’t see why I would respond to every point in it.

    – SP was promulgated and it iincluded a section that required Rome to follow up in three years with all conferences…..never done. why?

    Bill, you have the facts wrong again. First of all, this is not in Summorum Pontificum, but in the covering letter. Second, it doesn’t require Rome to follow up, it “invite[s] [bishops] to send to the Holy See an account of [their] experiences, three years after this Motu Proprio has taken effect.” Third, the Holy See did follow up with the document Universae Ecclesiae, which notes that the Holy See did consult with the bishops and has issued the instruction in response:

    “Following upon the inquiry made among the Bishops of the world, and with the desire to guarantee the proper interpretation and the correct application of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, this Pontifical Commission, by virtue of the authority granted to it and the faculties which it enjoys, issues this Instruction…”

    Unfortunately to Mr. Howard’s point, in many ways we have a vacuum filled by opinions.

    There are many opinions, but there are also many, repeated mistatements of the facts.

    1. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #83:
      You state: “Bill, you have the facts wrong again. First of all, this is not in Summorum Pontificum, but in the covering letter. Second, it doesn’t require Rome to follow up, it “invite[s] [bishops] to send to the Holy See an account of [their] experiences, three years after this Motu Proprio has taken effect.” Third, the Holy See did follow up with the document Universae Ecclesiae, which notes that the Holy See did consult with the bishops and has issued the instruction in response”

      Your comment is tendentious. SP, like all motu proprios, was introduced by a letter – this was cited in Micken’s article. So what?
      “It invited” – guess we interpret this differently

      UE eventually followed this

      And stated:
      “The Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum was accompanied by a letter from the Holy Father to Bishops, with the same date as the Motu Proprio (7 July 2007). This letter gave further explanations regarding the appropriateness and the need for the Motu Proprio; it was a matter of overcoming a lacuna by providing new norms for the use of the Roman Liturgy of 1962. Such norms were needed particularly on account of the fact that, when the new Missal had been introduced under Pope Paul VI, it had not seemed necessary to issue guidelines regulating the use of the 1962 Liturgy. By reason of the increase in the number of those asking to be able to use the forma extraordinaria, it has become necessary to provide certain norms in this area.

      Among the statements of the Holy Father was the following: “There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the Liturgy growth and progress are found, but not a rupture. What was sacred for prior generations, remains sacred and great for us as well, and cannot be suddenly prohibited altogether or even judged harmful.”

      So, in fact UE reiterates and quotes from both SP and the letter – geez!!

      – yep, and if you are correct, it says it consulted the bishops. Well, let’s take that at face value – then, it promulgated UE. Is there any connection here? Do you assume that UE followed up on the consultation? Or merely clarified questions from various bishops/conferences asking for SP clarifications? Those are two very different types of communication!!! You appear to be assumiong tha UE took a poll or received feedback and then summarized this? Sorry, poor assumption and not a logical conclusion.

  34. This is going to be in two sequential comments, simply so that I can quote the prayers in Latin and English.

    The 1962 Missal isn’t terrible, in my view; it is just that the revised Missal is much better.

    Let me say before starting that what follows is personal opinion. I am well aware that my own sensibilities will be different from some readings of “what the Church teaches”.

    I would divide the changes in the Missal into three classes.

    The first contains material that – thank God – the Church has seen fit to remove from the authorised texts of the older rite. The example of the Jews, “pagans”, “schismatics” (Orthodox) and “heretics” (Protestants) has already been given.

    And then there is the “horresce” rubric in the rite of Baptism, before all this was taken out:

    Et si Catechechumenus venit de gentilitatis errore sive de ethnicis et idoloatris, sacerdos dicat: Horresce idola, respue simulacra.

    (If the catechumen comes from the error of the gentiles, of “ethnic people” or of idolaters, the priest says to him: Abhor idols and spurn images.)

    Si ex Hebraeis, dicat: Horresce Judaicam perfidiam, respue Hebraicam superstitionem

    (If he is “from the Hebrews”, the priest says: Abhor the Jewish treachery and reject Hebrew superstition)

    Si ex Mahumetanis, dicat: Horresce Mahumeticam perfidiam, respue pravam sectam infidelitatis

    (If “from the Muslims” the priest says: Abhor Muslim treachery and reject that evil sect of infidelity)

    Si ex Haereticis, et in ejus baptismo debita forma servata not sit, dicat: Horresce haereticam pravitatem, respue nefarias sectas impiorum N. exprimens proprio nomine sectam, da qua venit.

    (If the catechumen is “from the heretics” and has not received valid baptism from them, the priest says: Abhor heretical perverseness, and reject the abominable sect of the impious [name of sect]).

    (continued in next comment)

  35. The second class is of prayers that remain in the 1962 Missal but have been removed from the Novus Ordo, primarily prayers concerning damnation, hell, attacks of devils and the like. To be clear, the 1962 Missal is not overflowing with these, but it has a few – for example,from the “secret” for the 15th Sunday after Pentecost:

    Tua nos, Domine, sacramenta custodiant: et contra diabolicos semper tueantur incursus.

    (May your sacraments, Lord, protect us and ever defend us against the devil’s attacks)

    And the third is close to the second: prayers about our weakness, our sinfulness, and our deserving of God’s wrath. For example:

    Populum tuum, quaesumus, Domine, propitius respice: atque ab eo flagella tuae iracundiae clementer averte.

    Look kindly on your people, Lord, we pray, and in your mercy turn away from them the scourge of your wrath

    (Ember Saturday in Lent)
    –-

    Deus, qui conspicis omni nos virtute destitui: interius exteriiisque custodi; ut ab omnibus adversitatibus muniamur in corpore, et a pravis cogitationibus mundemur in mente.

    Lord, you can see that we are powerless on our own: protect us within and without, so that our bodies may be protected from all harm and our minds cleansed from evil thoughts.

    (Second Sunday in Lent)
    –-

    Preces populi tui, quaesumus, Domine, clementer exaudi: ut,qui iuste pro peccatis nostris affligimur, pro tui nominis gloria misericorditer liberemur.

    In your goodness hear the prayers of your people, Lord, we pray, so that, we who are are justly punished for our sins, may be mercifully delivered for the glory of your name.

    (Septuagesima Sunday)
    –-

    The Catholicism I knew as a child, just as Vatican II was unfolding, portrayed each of us as hanging by a thin thread over the gaping maw of hell. A single sinful thought, unconfessed, was enough to cause God to toss you into the fiery pit, there to be tormented by devils unceasingly and forever. Worse, God had allowed legions of powerful, evil spirits: invisible, untiring, able to read and influence minds, and dedicated to the corruption and hence the damnation of every human. As a result, hell was very crowded; virtually nobody made it directly to heaven, and only a few were sent to purgatory.

    Yes, I know about 1 Peter 5.8 (“Your enemy the devil”) and about CCC §391 (Satan and the demons). I have read and pondered Matthew 5.28 (“adultery in the heart”). And yes, I know that sin and evil are shockingly real; I don’t need Romans 7.15 to prove this, I have only to look in the mirror. I am well aware that the liturgy can drift to an “I’m OK and so are you” mode. Pristas covers that well enough.

    Nonetheless, I think the Church’s sensibilities have changed since the 1950s, and it is well that the revised liturgy matches these changes.

  36. Hello Jonathan,

    Interesting run-through. There’s food for discussion here.

    One question:

    The Catholicism I knew as a child, just as Vatican II was unfolding, portrayed each of us as hanging by a thin thread over the gaping maw of hell. A single sinful thought, unconfessed, was enough to cause God to toss you into the fiery pit, there to be tormented by devils unceasingly and forever.

    Let me grant for the sake of argument that this gloss is true. When would you say that this kind of presentation of Catholicism began?

  37. Mr. Malcolm and Jonathan – here is an excellent article by Fr. Komonchak on this issue:

    http://jakomonchak.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/atonement-love-not-suffering.pdf

    Would suggest that this type of *atonement* theology was articulated by Jansenism, various spiritualities and pieties (e.g. types of Irish Catholicism), Hans Urs von Balthasar.

    Highlights:

    – it is a doctrine that has no roots in NT, fathers of the church. Rather appears with John Calvin and is seen in evangelical Christians. Anselm tried to posit this approach by searching for reasons for the suffering and death.
    – this approach negates that the paschal mystery is a *mystery of love*

    It is also articulated well by folks such as Thomas Richstatter in defining the Vatican II shift in eucharistic theology. The pre-VII eucharistic theology was limited by a narrow concept of *sacrifice* – you see this type of explanation in many trad blogs (touches on canards such as over-emphasis on meal; or horizontal vs. vertical; sole focus on the clerical power to *institute the eucharist* vs. table of word and sacrament, etc.)

    1. @Bill deHaas – comment #89:

      Bill, I agree with you and von Balthasar that from an orthodox Catholic standpoint the atonement is a gift of love and not a penal substitution. However, the greatest legacy of Jansenism isn’t the doctrine of total depravity or limited election. My mother, who is devout and fully orthodox, still nevertheless subscribes to the idea that “idle hands are the devil’s handiwork”. Not a few Catholic cultures subconsciously subscribe to the remnant notion that the mark of election is an incessant charity or even gratitutious and mundane work done without complaint. I have never encountered this attitude in my “Slavic side”, which emphasizes a honest day’s work but also rest and recreation in moderation.

      I suspect that many trads reject a multi-faceted understanding of the Eucharist (sacrifice, paschal mystery, banquet) because of poor catechesis before and after the Council. Also, sadly, I suspect that some trads reject the “sacred banquet” aspect of the Mass because free standing altars look like tables. This is a rather facile or even ignorant understanding of the Mass, but take it as it is.

  38. Richard — I think Bill has it broadly right, although I wouldn’t put so much emphasis on “pre-VII”; these changes started long before the opening of the Council.

    The Catholicism that I experienced — I am not for a moment claiming it was “the official teaching of the Church” even at the time– had a lot to do with reaction: reaction in the counter-reformation to Protestant teaching, reaction to anti-Catholicism, reaction to social change.

    Many of the changes that Vatican II ratified and confirmed (very few of them were “made up” at the Council) were more of a return to older sources: a different relationship between clergy and laity, for instance, or between Church and state. And many of them were reflected in changes in liturgical text and practice.

    This is why I have a serious problem with “traditionalism” — or, as Pelikan called it, “the dead faith of the living”; he contrasted it with tradition, “the living faith of the dead”.

    Where do you start? Where does “archaeologism” (a Bad Thing) stop? Where does “traditionalism” (a Good Thing) begin? Did Tradition begin in 1570 and come to a grinding halt in 1962? I don’t think so.

    In the end, we are, every one of us, to some extent “cafeteria Catholics”. Better to acknowledge that and discuss our choices openly, rather than taking the stance that *I* accept the tradition, whole, complete, “continuous”, while *you* pick and choose.

    The candour with which you started this discussion suggests that you are open to conversation about these choices. I welcome that and look forward to it continuing.

    1. @Jonathan Day – comment #90:

      Hello Jonathan,

      Thanks, as always, for the thoughtful reply.

      I don’t disagree that a lot of Trent was “reaction,” so to speak. Sometimes that reaction was clarifying. Sometimes, well, sometimes it was more contingent. Having some part of the Mass in vernacular, for example, is not horrifically dangerous.

      There *is* one point I am perplexed about. You have discussed this vivid picture of the Catholicism you grew up with, gaping maws of hell and all that, but have added: “I am not for a moment claiming it was “the official teaching of the Church” even at the time.” Fair enough. Yet what spurred this whole discussion was not stern catechisms or hellfire homilies or scolding nuns (or many other pastoral “practice” issues we could think of), but the actual prayers of the Mass being changed by the Consilium [typo fixed]. Prayers that had been a normative part of the Roman Rite – and I am talking about more than just Good Friday prayers, since we both agree that Lauren Pristas has shown that this sort of shift happened in collects and propers across the board, to say nothing of the new EP’s – since the Middle Ages at the least, and in many cases the Early Church.

      The best case I can come up with is this: “Yes, these attitudes were something on top of, beyond these prayers, which we know are ancient. But they were so prevalent in the Church, and yet so alien to a secularizing society, that we had to change the prayers that were feeding these attitudes.”

      I am not suggesting that a collect must be graven in stone, like words of our Lord on the Mount or tablets given to Moses. We know the Roman Rite was not given intact by Christ at the Last Supper. But when they are this ancient, and, more to the point, congruent with what we know of the Church Fathers’ understanding and emphasis on the Four Last Things . . . the Church ought to have exercised more restraint.

      (Continued in next post)

      1. @Richard Malcolm – comment #92:
        Mr. Malcolm – as JFR reminds us:

        It is Consilium

        Concilium was something later via Ratzinger and his fellow thinkers.

        To your excellent questions to Jonathan – did you read the link to Fr. Komonchak’s paper. He addresses exactly what you ask about – example; he quotes from B. Lonergan and the *law of the cross*; a better and more comprehensive understanding of *paschal mystery* – both/and vs. focus on one extreme or the other.

      2. @Bill deHaas – comment #94:

        Hi Bill,

        That was indeed an unfortunate typo. I knew the difference; my fingers were too happy there.

        I had already read Fr. Komonchak’s paper. I did not agree with all of it – I prefer earlier Lonergan over later, in any event – but he raised good food for thought, as he often does.

    2. @Jonathan Day – comment #90:

      Continued:

      And this is my concern. If the Church of the 1950’s was the sort of hellfire presentation that you’ve given, what we have done since the Council is go to the other extreme: No one goes to hell (save perhaps Hitler and people who torture puppies), and no one really is pained by sin, and no one fears Judgment, because in their experience of parish life, no one talks about hell or sin or Judgment. Where once there was (in some places, at least) a kind of remnant mentality and sectarianism, now there is indifferentism. Where once there was a sense of a great danger of hell, now there is universalism, or something near enough. And a large part of the reason for that extreme pendulum swing is that the prayers were all changed. By design.

      If the prevalent attitudes and catechesis were indeed as you say – and I would blame that on Irish neo-puritanism and moral rigorism, not Jansenism – perhaps they really were excessive, but I humbly submit that they were closer to the prevalent understanding we find in the Fathers than the spirituality prevalent in most Catholic parishes in the West today. And that the old collects more accurately reflect in their emphasis and substance the teachings of Christ, who accounts in the Gospels for more of the references to hell and Judgment than any other source in Scripture.

      I close by quoting Piers Paul Read from Hell and Other Destinations: “There is a danger, it seems to me, that the shift among Catholics from a preoccupation with eternity to an engagement in the world has now gone so far that it effaces the very idea of an afterlife and so distorts the teaching of the gospel and endangers the coherence of the Christian religion. I would also suggest that neglect of the Four Last Things is one of the causes for the relative decline of the fortunes of the Catholic Church in the developed world.”

    3. @Jonathan Day – comment #91:

      One last point – I apologize for monopolizing the combox like this. Take it as a tribute to the many thoughtful issues you raise in this post.

      Many of the changes that Vatican II ratified and confirmed (very few of them were “made up” at the Council) were more of a return to older sources: a different relationship between clergy and laity, for instance, or between Church and state. And many of them were reflected in changes in liturgical text and practice.

      That was often the justification given – ressourcement! But we know enough that motives varied, and some of the reformist faction at the Council prized ressourcement (de Lubac, Ratzinger) more than others (Rahner, Kung). Which only stored up trouble for the future, as we all know.

      Just looking at the liturgy reform, my concern is that, whatever the justification, what was actually developed was not only quite different from the Tridentine experience, but also had much less in common with he liturgy of the Early Church than many like to think – a tertium quid, whose real formative matrix was Modern Man and his spiritual needs, not the Early Church. I do not say that all of it amounted to Pius XII’s archeologism, but I do think that a good deal of it really is vulnerable to that charge. And that is not only because we know so little of the ancient liturgy, especially pre-Nicaea, but also because this idea of a very malleable liturgy which can be constructed as an almost tabula rasa, would have been alien to the Early Church.

      I grant the dangers inherent in traditionalism, and Pelikan’s concern. But Pelikan also recognized, I think, the strong attachment to tradition in the East, and its great value. Some charity is called for here. If one can find instances of Pelikan’s “traditionalism” on the right, one shouldn’t assume it so readily. But the same call for charity goes both ways, I might add. And it is not always in evidence.

  39. P.S. I hope you don’t take any of my comments as mocking or disparaging the experience of spiritual life you had growing up, Jonathan. That is just my . . . informality at work.

    I myself grew up in the 80’s, and so my experience was vastly different, to put it mildly. Your presentation sounds a bit overwrought, I think, but also not all *that* far off what I have gathered from others who grew up in those days. I am very much open to the possibility that, in some places and times, there was a bit too much fear and not quite enough hope.

  40. Richard, it may be overwrought, I don’t know. I have referred before on PTB to David Lodge’s How Far Can You Go?, which presents a similar story in a different setting. And then there is A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Who knows if these novels have overly influenced my recollection? I don’t think the picture I have painted is directionally wrong.

    Let me challenge you on two fronts. First, it isn’t clear to me that the prayers of the 1962 Missal are uniformly congruent with patristic sources … especially not with some of the Greek fathers. I think an argument could be made that many of them were not, and that many of the revisions made by Consilium were about ressourcement rather than accommodation to the culture. I am not well read enough in the fathers to defend this point though, so feel free to dismiss it!

    Second, I find it a stretch to assert that, nowadays,

    No one goes to hell (save perhaps Hitler and people who torture puppies), and no one really is pained by sin, and no one fears Judgment, because in their experience of parish life, no one talks about hell or sin or Judgment.

    I am part of a parish that is resolutely Novus Ordo, in fact that refused to let Piers Paul Read lecture on his book on Hell.

    And yet — in retreats, in counselling, in the pulpit — themes of sin, judgement (crisis) and even hell come up all the time, not in the crude juridical way you can still find in some “trad” blogs or in Michael Voris’s internet TV rants, but as a way of making us aware of our freedom and the dangers of saying “no” to God.

    A few of the priests seem to sympathise with Origen, that God’s love will eventually triumph over our hate, leaving hell empty in the very long run. I have some empathy with this view!

    But I have seen no evidence of indifferentism. It is very clear that what we do has serious consequences, even eternal ones.

    A question for you: if you were elected pope in the next conclave, would you change any of the texts in the 1962 Missal?

    1. @Jonathan Day – comment #98:

      Hello Jonathan,

      I concede up front that I am a younger fellow. It is not for me to refute your experiences in that era. I hear so many things . . . and surely there was some variability.

      We may have to agree to disagree on patristic congruence – there is just no way that I can do justice to this in a combox post. I *do* concede that the Greek spirituality, as embodied in the Divine Liturgy and Orthos, has a thrust aimed a little more at divinization than on sin, and much of that, of course, stems from Eastern skepticism about St. Augustine’s doctrine of original sin. Let me set that rabbit hole aside for another discussion, however. I will content myself with observing that, even so, there is a much more present sense of Four Last Things in the DL than the N.O., by far, in my experience (which is largely Melkite).

      Interesting what you say about Mr. Read being refused by your parish. An interesting tale to be told there, if you wish . . .

      But I have seen no evidence of indifferentism. It is very clear that what we do has serious consequences, even eternal ones.

      I regret to say that I have seen it, and I am surprised, respectfully, that you have not; I suspect the difficulty is that we define it a bit differently. I point to that 2010 La Croix survey I noted earlier in my response to Bill, in which 63% of practicing Catholics think all religions are the same. http://www.osservatore-vaticano.org/article-la-france-se-dechristianise-a-vive-allure-42437953.html

      I think that striking because that’s self-proclaimed, Mass attending (I am sure that is exaggerated, of course) Catholics, not the ones who have not darkened a church door since Mitterand was president.

      A question for you: if you were elected pope in the next conclave, would you change any of the texts in the 1962 Missal?

      No, not now. We need a breather. Perhaps in 50 years. Open to it in theory, sure. But we have too little lived experience of the EF.

  41. Our comments crossed in the “post”, Richard.

    From my vantage point the “right” is much in the ascendancy, at least in the media. I see lots of negative comments made about The Tablet, for instance, or The National Catholic Reporter. Especially in the case of The Tablet, which is actually fairly balanced, many of these strike me as false, tendentious and certainly uncharitable. Do the “lefty” Catholic media use epithets similar to “The Bitter Pill”, or “Fishwrap”, or “Hell’s Bible”? Please enlighten me if they do. I don’t see it.

    The conservative bloggers and writers, in contrast, seem to get away with a lot. Perhaps the shoe is now on the other foot after many years of the liberal wing ruling the media.

    I’m not sure where the idea of the Consilium’s product as a tabula rasa comes from. Yes, they composed a few of the prayers in the Missal of 1970 “from scratch”, but really very few.

    Where would you place Congar on the spectrum you offer (Küng and Rahner on the left, de Lubac and Ratzinger on the right)?

    And didn’t Joseph Ratzinger shift to the “right” not at the Council but some years after, following his upset over the 1968 protests?

    This is proving one of the more interesting conversations in PTB — a high standard indeed.

    1. @Jonathan Day – comment #100:

      Hi Jonathan,

      Our comments crossed in the “post”, Richard.

      So they did!

      From my vantage point the “right” is much in the ascendancy, at least in the media.

      I think they have a higher profile than they did, say, 15-20 years ago. Sure.

      The older Catholic media still – to say nothing of most of Catholic academia – is mostly on the progressive side of the fence. The Tablet, I agree, is not quite the British NCReporter, but it is clearly more progressive, if more open to more conservative voices from time to time, but certainly generally hostile to most of the Benedictine program. The new media – blogs especially – does seem to tilt more traditional. I think that reflects the generation gap already visible, especially in the priesthood.

      I don’t dispute the harsh invective, such as that of Fr. Z, your obvious target. I do not mean to justify all of it, obviously, but I also think that it stems from the marginalization of such people in the Church in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s (thinking here of what Fr. Z relates of his seminary formation), as much as it does from the more caustic, polemical nature of the broader culture today. Treat people like outcasts for long enough, they start acting like outcasts. But that is not a justification for the polemics – only an explanation.

      Perhaps the shoe is now on the other foot after many years of the liberal wing ruling the media. Perhaps so.

      I’m not sure where the idea of the Consilium’s product as a tabula rasa comes from.

      I am not sure that, say, Lauren Pristas would use that term – Fr. Cekada certainly would! – but I do contend, and I think the record reflects, a high degree of willingness to construct anew. They did not merely borrow prayers from other sacramentaries, East or West.

      Where would you place Congar on the spectrum you offer?

      I am wary of “right” and “left” in this context, as I am sure you are. Congar was a complex man. I have not read as much of him as I ought to have. My sense is “on the left” of ressourcement thinking, but not aggiornamento.

  42. @Jonathan Day – comment #100:

    Continued:

    It is hard to imagine Karl Rahner, for example, writing a book like The Meaning of Tradition, even in his early years. Congar clearly took tradition as a going concern more seriously than did the more aggiornamento contingent at, say, Concilium (yes, I know Ratzinger and Congar wrote for Concilium in its early days). Congar ultimately seems closer to de Lubac, Ratzinger, Wojtyla, Balthasar, though there are always differences, yes? Ratzinger and Congar were enthusiastic for the emphasis on collegiality in Lumen Gentium, but it seems to me that Congar was more so, and Ratzinger, obviously, seems to have grown (you might say “shrunk?”) on this issue (though not so much as his progressive critics think). Congar is obviously viewed with strong skepticism in more traditional quarters, but the enthusiasm for him among, say, the Ignatius Press set (the English language publishers of Ratzinger’s work as well, thanks to Fr. Fessio’s happy foresight) is pronounced – they print his stuff enthusiastically. This is precisely the sort of dividing line that progressives tend to overlook.

    I see much more continuity in Ratzinger than rupture, though perhaps not quite so much as Ratzinger himself has insisted. 1968 certainly affected him; but one can see these strains even in his early work – he has always been a sincere Augustinian, and that flavors everything he says. Ratzinger clearly desired, and still desires, a genuinely reformed liturgy, as did Congar. He was *not* (and still is not, I think) content with the 1962 Missal. But he clearly was skeptical of how far the reform went in many respects, and this sense deepened over the years.

    But that is as much as I am willing to risk saying, without a deeper familiarity with Congar. I feel like I have only (barely) scratched the surface with him.

  43. Jordan said, “Also, sadly, I suspect that some trads reject the “sacred banquet” aspect of the Mass because free standing altars look like tables.”
    Should we be surprised that some altars look like tables? Meals have been taken from tables for quite some time now, but their forms have changed over time. Altars built against walls most often did not look like tables when eucharistic theology placed an exaggerated emphasis on “sacrifice” and almost no emphasis on “sacred banquet”. What goes on at Mass is not like what went on in the Jewish Temple. It is like what happened on calvary as prefigured and expressed in the Lord’s Supper. Medieval forms of the Mass were greatly influenced by the imperial grandeur of the Roman court rather than by the humbler images of what transpired in the upper room and in the house at Emmaus. Does anyone doubt that the architecture of the great European Cathedrals was not inspired by the desire to create something even greater for God than for Caesar? But this resulted in an image of God that was so transcendant as to render virtually imperceptible the presence of the one who poured himself out for our sakes. People confused the clergy with God and Saints which, of course, gave the clergy a state of importance not commensurate with that of the servanthood of Jesus. All of this contributed to the construction of marble slabs that served as the base of elaborate and beautiful reredos. They couldn’t very well look like tables since hardly anyone was thinking of them as a place from which was served the real food and real drink of Christ’s Body & Blood–infrequently consumed by anyone other than clergy. Rather the altar was the place at which the priest brought Christ down from heaven to earth so that as sacred bells signaled his sacred presence all could gaze upon Him in awe. As a priest I am always humbled by the role I have been called to play in the Mass. But I do so for the people that they might eat his flesh and drink his blood and be filled with Eternal Life.

  44. Point of interest: I have a point to address to Fr. Ruff, Jonathan, and the other regular contributors who run the PTB blog:

    Pope Benedict has made a quite remarkable address, only available in a commented version (so far) on the Vatican Radio website, which not only addresses his experience of the Council, but more specifically the liturgical reform:

    “. . . This was the case for the liturgy: there was no interest in the liturgy as an act of faith, but as a something to be made understandable, similar to a community activity, something profane. And we know that there was a trend, which was also historically based, that said: “Sacredness is a pagan thing, possibly even from the Old Testament. In the New Testament the only important thing is that Christ died outside: that is, outside the gates, that is, in the secular world”. Sacredness ended up as profanity even in worship: worship is not worship but an act that brings people together, communal participation and thus participation as activity. And these translations, trivializing the idea of ​​the Council, were virulent in the practice of implementing the liturgical reform, born in a vision of the Council outside of its own key vision of faith. And it was so, also in the matter of Scripture: Scripture is a book, historical, to treat historically and nothing else, and so on.

    http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/02/14/pope_benedict's_last_great_master_class:_vatican_ii,_as_i_saw_it_%5Bfull/en1-665030

    I do not mean to derail this ongoing (long) thread with this new item, but rather to suggest a new separate post, because it really is a remarkable statement (which I am not necessarily endorsing in all particulars) by this Pope, one which hits on so many points of discussion that have been had here at PTB over the years. In fact, I am not sure that he has ever spoken so candidly about this since becoming Pope. Before, perhaps; but not since.

  45. Mr. Macolm – need to keep in mind that any remarks at this point in time need to be taken with a grain of salt.

    Here is another interpretation of his comments today:

    http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/benedict-distinction-between-true-virtual-vatican-ii

    Allow me to highlight:
    – “But the real strength of the Council was present and slowly it has emerged and is becoming the real power which is also true reform, true renewal of the Church. It seems to me that 50 years after the Council, we see how this Virtual Council is breaking down, getting lost and the true Council is emerging with all its spiritual strength.”

    From the writer who added –

    “It may not be too much to say that some liturgists would take issue with the outgoing pope’s understanding of the council’s intentions.

    In one example, a recently deceased renowned liturgist took a starkly different tack in a 2011 speech.

    Identifying a movement some call the “reform of the reform,” or an intentional attempt by church leaders to revise the Council’s reforms, Benedictine Fr. Anscar Chupungco said then that such a movement “carries an agenda that can have a regrettable impact on the liturgical gains of the council.”

    “Dark clouds are forming ominously on the western horizon,” Chupungco, who died at age 73 in January 2013, said in 2011 while accepting the highest honor of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions of the United States of America.

    “They move hurriedly and decisively toward the direction of the sun that burns radiantly in the sky,” said Chupungco, who had once served as president of the Pontifical Liturgical Institute and as a consultor to the Vatican congregation tasked with first translating the Latin Mass into English.

    “[The clouds] cast upon it their somber shadows to hide it from view,” he said. “Suddenly it is dusk before the appointed time. In reality however the dimness is caused by the passing clouds. I am confident that these cannot put the clock back to yesterday’s evening hours.”

    Am concerned about his approach – blaming the media again. Remember, he tried that unsuccessfully with sexual abuse and cover-ups. Sorry, that is an easy and convenient out but not a very thoughtful or historical approach to a nuanced and complex process.

    1. @Bill deHaas – comment #6:

      Hello Bill,

      It may not be too much to say that some liturgists would take issue with the outgoing pope’s understanding of the council’s intentions.

      I don’t doubt that for a nanosecond!

      I also don’t doubt what Fr. Chupungco’s reaction would be!

      I want to hold off on a substantive commentary on this, because I would prefer to wait and see if a PTB blogger will make it its own thread. I do think it deserves such a thread. I will only add that if some quarters are cheering this speech on, it is drawing fire from the traditionalist right perhaps as much as from the progressive left, though in this case because they are concerned that it gives too much of the game away – that the problems are inherent in the texts themselves, and not just a “Council of the Media.”

      But I have said too much already.

    2. @Bill deHaas – comment #6:
      Bill deHaas:

      I don’t understand what you mean when you say of Father Anscar Chupungco that he was “a consultor to the Vatican congregation tasked with first translating the Latin Mass into English.” Is this a quote from someone? In any case, it makes no sense to me.

      1. @John Robert Francis – comment #14:
        Sorry for the confusion – it is a quote from an NCR writer. Historical error but the rest of his quote does faithfully capture Father’s comments.

        It is rich when B16 wants to allege that the *true* interpretation of VII was skewed by the media when it was his own caving to the trad complainers that led to SP, etc. Even over the objections of many of his bishops. But, don’t place much objectivity on *off the cuff* remarks walking down memory lane. It also ignores or whitewashes the reality that a minority set out to subvert and minimize the goals overwhelmingly voted on at Vatican II. As you are wont to say – B16’s actions were an insult to his predeccesor, Paul VI. Some day, that chapter of post Vatican II will be written.

  46. Richard, Jonathan and I have brought up more than a few examples of prayers and petitions in the Tridentine liturgy which refer to other religious in a derogatory way or are phrased to paint a hostile dichotomy between Catholics and persons of other religions. You have still yet to answer why you would prefer not to reform these prayers even if these prayers possibly do not conform to conciliar teachings. Perhaps these prayers are not deleterious or derogatory in your view. For this reason, they might not require review. Also, one might seek an ephemeral or even illusory stability for the EF liturgy through not changing the liturgy for an indeterminate period of time. In my opinion, an artificial long-term freeze on the development of the 1962 liturgy is not an authentic response to the challenges of an ecumenical council. I am convinced that the EF can be modified to reflect conciliar teachings without affecting its overall liturgical integrity. And yet, I suspect perhaps without justification, that you have hinted that the EF cannot withstand conformity with certain conciliar teachings without serious deformation. Would you risk some notable changes to the Tridentine propers if these changes were just and theologically congruent? What are the costs and benefits of change?

    Richard, I understand and share your concern about the overly therapeutic nature of some celebrations of the ordinary form. I often worship at ROTR/EF parishes precisely because I have found worship at some OF parishes to be excessively focused not on exegesis and the preaching of doctrine but rather pseudo-psychological, “self-help” sermons. Nevertheless, could one convincingly argue that the rise of therapeutic liturgy is an inherent consequence of the Pauline missal? Rather, I would suggest that our society is saturated with a therapeutic mindset. Contemporary liturgy, Catholic or not, reflects this societal movement.

    1. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #7:

      Hello Jordan,

      You have still yet to answer why you would prefer not to reform these prayers even if these prayers possibly do not conform to conciliar teachings. Perhaps these prayers are not deleterious or derogatory in your view.

      Well, I apologize for the delay in responding. Jonathan’s comments absorbed me. No intention was there to dodge your questions.

      The difficulty with your concerns about these conciliar text passages is that it begs the question of just *what*, if anything, was actually changed in Catholic doctrine, and if so, whether the Fathers of the Council intended that this should be reflected in the liturgy. Plainly, of course, those who participated in the subsequent reform *did* think so, I readily grant.

      Let me candid: I take on its face the Church’s longstanding insistence that salvation comes through Christ and His Church alone. Extra ecclesiam nulla salus. That said, I also accept that this is not understood in a Feeneyite sense, but that God’s salvific action is not necessarily limited to the formal, concrete, visible structures of the Church.

      I did ask you my question, however, and I am not sure you answered it clearly. Can salvation be found in other religions? That is, can a Hindu be saved by the very fact of being Hindu? Can a Muslim be saved by the very fact of being Muslim? I think we all accept that such a Muslim or Hundu *could* be saved, possibly, through Christ (and we all hope that they might be!).

      Because if these religions *cannot* offer salvation, I think we have a grave duty to say so. The Church Fathers plainly thought so; the Church, until very recently, has spoken in this way. Are these collects a way to do that? Are they too offensive for our age?

      My difficulty with the N.O. Good Friday Prayer for the Jews is that it expresses none of this at all. It can be most readily read as assuming that the Old Covenant is salvific. And it is not.

      1. @Richard Malcolm – comment #9:

        Because if these religions *cannot* offer salvation, I think we have a grave duty to say so. The Church Fathers plainly thought so; the Church, until very recently, has spoken in this way. Are these collects a way to do that? Are they too offensive for our age?

        All Christians must ask themselves if late antique/patristic/early medieval language of Christian proselytization, and especially bidding prayers, can be sustained after the violent witness of a history pockmarked with regimes where religion and state policy were indivisible. The anti-Jewish writings of John Chrysostom, for example, cannot be decontextualized from caesaropapism and the overall inability to separate religion from civil affairs in Byzantium. The forcible expulsion of Jews and Muslims from Castilian and Hapsburg Spain stemmed in great part from political machinations cloaked in religious hatred and violence. Again, I ask: is not an appeal to antiquity qua antiquity a willful blindness to the violent socioreligious and political economies of late antiquity and medieval Europe? It is said that when the Crusaders were finished with the sack of Jerusalem, the streets turned to rivers of blood. In our own day, one-third of the world Jewish population was murdered not by sword but by “showers”. Polemic against other religions and religious ethnicities certainly retain their virulence even after the historical context of the polemic disappears below the horizon of time.

        My difficulty with the N.O. Good Friday Prayer for the Jews is that it expresses none of this at all. It can be most readily read as assuming that the Old Covenant is salvific. And it is not.

        The 2008 Good Friday prayer is theologically sound. The prayer is deaf, however, to the profound lived experience of both Christians and Jews in the post-Shoah period. The salient question is this: must the emphasis that Christ is salvation always and everywhere require constant and explicit statement, even when it is callous to command this before brothers and sisters in humanity who are still trying to find a sense of community, a sense of existential relief? I would rather assent to years of ambiguous but nonviolent prayer than assent to years of perhaps scrupulously orthodox but potentially violent prayer.

      2. @jordan Zarembo – comment #11:

        Hello Jordan,

        All Christians must ask themselves if late antique/patristic/early medieval language of Christian proselytization, and especially bidding prayers, can be sustained…

        I agree that, after what has unfolded, we have to examine ourselves as a Church.

        The question I have is: How far must we go?

        You mentioned the Shoah, which provided the essential antecedent to Nostra Aetate. Many of us recoil at the charge that the Church must answer for that, answer for the crimes of a pagan regime with a quite unprecedented, horrific ambition, even as we recognize that many in its midst over the centuries had fed a current of anti-semitism (often condemned, but not always sufficiently checked, by the Church) that provided a background which the Nazis may have taken advantage of. But the other crimes more directly tied to Catholic or Orthodox regimes – the pogroms, Dreyfus, the Rhineland massacres, and so on – that is fair game for the Church’s self-examination.

        All right, then. We can say the Church ought to have said or done more after Mit Brennender Sorge. We go back further: The Spanish Church was too complicit in forced conversions of Jews in 1414. We go back further: we repudiate In Generali Concilio. We go further: we can’t defend our bidding prayers from the Gelasian Sacramentary, and we abandon them. We go further: we distance ourselves from Fathers who spoke against the Jews. Eventually we’re back at Scripture: Well, some of these passages on the Jews have to be understood in the context of the Jesus Movement’s struggle to differentiate itself from rabbinic Judaism. And so on.

        So at what point are we calling the entire Christian project into question? Will our entire existence as the Church be reduced to one long apology for our past? At what point do we compromise Christ’s saving message? You might be willing to live with ambiguity. But at what point does that result in indifferentism?

  47. Here is another from Massimo Faggioli:

    http://www.commonwealmagazine.org/exit-signs-1

    Money quote:
    “Benedict’s resignation sets an important precedent, but it also raises difficult questions. He plans to retire to a convent in the Vatican. How will the new pope handle having the previous pope as a neighbor? Will the next pope embrace Benedict’s interpretation of Vatican II as “discontinuity within continuity”? Will he continue Benedict’s efforts to stem the decline of European Catholicism? Will he share Benedict’s fondness for the pre–Vatican II liturgy? Finally, will the next pope close or continue negotiations with the Society of St. Pius X—a matter very close to Benedict’s heart? To a large extent, the next pope’s actions will serve as a comment on Benedict’s legacy. No one remembers the last time a pope had the chance to render judgment on his predecessor’s legacy while the man was still alive. But how Benedict’s successor discharges his office will tell us whether or not he considers the teachings of Vatican II negotiable.”

  48. “the next vicar of Christ will continue the “reform in continuity” and kick it up a notch. I think we will know more about the new pope by his liturgical style, altar arrangement and certainly his history as bishop. Fasten your seat belts this holy season of Lent, Easter and Year of Faith!”

    These games have nothing to do with gospel faith.

  49. More from Massimo Faggioli on B16’s radio address:

    “The relaxation of Benedict XVI speaks of the Second Vatican Council to the priests of the diocese of Rome, of which he is a bishop, is typical of a person who has taken a huge weight off. A pope visibly relieved – and apparently in good health, speaking for 50 minutes at arm and with admirable clarity – the Roman priests held a passionate and at times touching lesson on the Second Vatican Council. In his speech, Joseph Ratzinger has presented not only his vision of the Second Vatican Council, but also personal anecdotes, such as his relationship with John XXIII and Cardinal Frings during the Council, and references to the question of the responsibility of the church and of Christians in Holocaust .

    But the center of the discussion is the contrast between “the council of the fathers of the council, that of faith” and “the council of the media.” The paradox is that this lesson on the rift between the two interpretations of Vatican II is transmitted just by the media – from the Vatican Television Center, but then picked up by many other networks and newspapers. This contrast between theological council (of bishops, theologians, believers) and sociological council (the media and the “world” in its metaphysical sense) relates Ash Wednesday homily, in which the pope had put the resigning ‘index against Christians who want to please “the public” and not the Lord, who seek the applause and not the truth: also referred to the Roman Curia, as he did in his homily pre-conclave of 2005 that brought him to the papacy .
    Here we are at the core of Ratzinger’s thought: basically pessimistic Augustinian anthropology, a Weltanschauung which sees the world and the church as two forces in opposition and irreconcilable at the cost of the elimination of the “Christian character” of the church. The Second Vatican Council is a council of Ratzinger still valid in its theology, especially that relating to the interpretation of the Word of God in Scripture, theology of the Constitution Dei Verbum. But the council was unfortunately misguided interpretation interested interpreted by the media and – on this yesterday, Benedict XVI was merciful – from those theologians and Catholics believe that the council had finally reconciled to the Church and the World.

    This split echoes that of the most famous speech of Benedict XVI on the interpretation of the Council, that of Dec. 22, 2005, in which the pope made a distinction between the “hermeneutic of continuity and reform” and “hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture”. That speech was soon bent by the spin doctors of traditional Catholicism in a clear split between “continuity and discontinuity” (see this Interpreting Vatican II. History of a debate, EDB, 160 pages, just arrived in the library). Ratzinger’s thought is more refined than this, but among the errors of the papacy there is also that of not being able to moderate the reactionary instincts of many Ratzingerians much less refined Ratzinger.

    The Pope will not take part in the conclave, but this speech and those of the next two weeks will give important signals for the positioning of many cardinals who are preparing for the conclave. Just read the keynote of Cardinal Scola at the conference on the Roman council, held in October 2012: in that speech (best magazine published by The Kingdom of Bologna), Scola was Ratzinger’s reading of the council, but offered significant deviations from the official Vulgate the ratzingerismo blogs reactionaries. The Cardinals running must walk a fine line, the one between the interpretation of Vatican II by Benedict XVI and their own vision of the Council: on the ability to play between the already and the not yet Benedict XVI of his successor will be decided much of the conclave of 2013 and the future of the Catholic Church.”

    Underline reference to some of the give and take on PTB (take note Allan):

    “….pope made a distinction between the “hermeneutic of continuity and reform” and “hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture”. That speech was soon bent by the spin doctors of traditional Catholicism in a clear split between “continuity and discontinuity” (see this Interpreting Vatican II. History of a debate, EDB, 160 pages, just arrived in the library). Ratzinger’s thought is more refined than this, but among the errors of the papacy there is also that of not being able to moderate the reactionary instincts of many Ratzingerians much less refined Ratzinger.”

  50. Bill is usually diligent in providing links when he posts quotes like that, and it took me a bit of digging to track it down. It is a Google translate of an article in Europa:

    http://www.europaquotidiano.it/2013/02/15/il-concilio-di-ratzinger-e-quello-degli-spin-doctor

    The machine translation explains why the grammar and style reminds me of the new translation of the Mass. [Sorry, couldn’t resist. Mea culpa.]

    To be very clear, Faggioli (who has not been shy about criticising Pope Benedict) wrote, on his Twitter feed, that the pope had walked into the hall and given a “wonderful, 30+ mins lecture on Vatican II. Resignation is not about his health.”

    In another tweet, he noted that the lecture was “convincing and moving” (convincente e commovente).

    So he is fundamentally sympathetic to Pope Benedict and even to his overall project. But, he writes (this may be a central point of the article):

    …Among the errors of Benedict’s pontificate, there was his inability to moderate the reactionary instincts of many “Ratzingerians” who were much less refined in their thinking than Ratzinger himself.”

    (I have tried to improve the translation. Italian: tra gli errori del pontificato vi è anche quello di non essere riuscito a moderare gli istinti reazionari di molti ratzingeriani assai meno raffinati di Ratzinger.)

    1. @Jonathan Day – comment #18:

      Hello Jonathan,

      To be very clear, Faggioli (who has not been shy about criticising Pope Benedict) wrote, on his Twitter feed, that the pope had walked into the hall and given a “wonderful, 30+ mins lecture on Vatican II. Resignation is not about his health.”

      Perhaps not. But Faggioli is speculating here. One can think of a number ailments which might be terminal in the near term, but would not affect cognitive or vocal functions. And at the Holy Father’s age, well . . . you don’t buy the green bananas anyway.

      The fact is: None of us really know the state of the Pope’s health. He’s clearly deteriorated in looks and energy over the last year, yet still is capable of a performance like yesterday. That admits of a wide range of possibilities. All we can do is pray for him now.

      …Among the errors of Benedict’s pontificate, there was his inability to moderate the reactionary instincts of many “Ratzingerians” who were much less refined in their thinking than Ratzinger himself.”

      The Pope can’t even control his own butler! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

  51. at what point are we calling the entire Christian project into question? Will our entire existence as the Church be reduced to one long apology for our past? At what point do we compromise Christ’s saving message? You might be willing to live with ambiguity. But at what point does that result in indifferentism?

    These questions are not that difficult, especially regarding Judaism. The Jews are God’s chosen people. When we forget that, we are calling the entire Christian project into question. We compromise Christ’s saving message when we forget the Father’s irrevocable choices. When we are indifferent about what God has done, relying on social categories instead of God’s giving, we risk indifferent ism.

    The other question I quoted is of a different sort. The first word of Jesus, the theme of his ministry, is “Repent and believe the Good News.” We will always be doing that if we are true to Jesus. We will always examine ourselves for our fidelity to God, for how well we recognize God’s gifts to the people’s of our world, and how well God’s great glory shines through our humble lives.

    1. @Jim McKay – comment #19:

      Hello Jim,

      These questions are not that difficult, especially regarding Judaism. The Jews are God’s chosen people. When we forget that, we are calling the entire Christian project into question.

      Certainly – as far as that goes.

      But more must be said. The Jews are God’s chosen people. But Christ also came to fulfill the Old Law. Salvation, He insisted, comes through Him alone. In between these two points lies terrain still to be clarified.

      Jordan actually asked me a direct question that I really did not answer, and this seems like a good place to do so:

      The salient question is this: must the emphasis that Christ is salvation always and everywhere require constant and explicit statement, even when it is callous to command this before brothers and sisters in humanity who are still trying to find a sense of community, a sense of existential relief?

      And it is a good question.

      I go back to the traditional understanding, which has its roots in the very Early Church, a division between the Mass of the Catechumens and the Mass of the Faithful. In those days, catachumens, let alone outsiders, were not even permitted in the church for the second part of the Mass. This is no longer the case, obviously. But it helps highlight a critical reality: These are prayers by the faithful, in their own central act of worship. They are not things we say directly to, say, Jews or Hindus when we dialogue with them.

      So I am left to answer Jordan with my own question in answering his: if we are not going to insist in making explicit the “emphasis that Christ is salvation always and everywhere” in the propers of one of our most important liturgies of the liturgical year, when *are* we going to make it explicit?

      So: No, I would not say it needs to be “constant,” said at every turn, at least in such a bald way; but I do think there are occasions when it *does* need to be said (charitably). And one of those occasions is Good Friday.

  52. P.S. One further clarification I feel I need to make about the question of Church’s relationship with the Jews, and my background, because these are sensitive questions:

    I have not made much of a secret here, over time, of my traditional orientation in liturgical matters. I don’t intend to provide a full biography, but I will simply say that I currently worship and serve at an Ordinariate parish which uses a version of the BDW that’s close to the English Missal, and which has celebrated the TLM regularly. I am absolutely not SSPX, nor could I worship at their chapels in good conscience.

    And part of the problem is the well known strain of anti-Semitism in Society circles. This is by no means true of all (or perhaps most) SSPXers; but it’s there, beyond just the appalling Holocaust revisionism of Bishop Williamson and his closest followers. And there is a real irony that this is so in a Society whose founder’s father was dragged into a N*zi concentration camp. But the problems in this regard long bedeviled the Old French Right, of which the Society represents a certain strain, even as it also thrives outside of France.

    Jordan is right to suggest that sensitivity is called for in this regard, and an awareness of how some in the Church have acted over the centuries. I thought the Holy Father described this concern among the Council fathers and periti quite vividly when he was discussing the origins of Nostra Aetate. I agree: The Church had to speak on this. The Church was not responsible for the Holocaust, and indeed worked to save many from it; but it was time affirm the dignity and position of the Jewish people.

    My concern is not merely a reactionary unwillingness to tinker with ancient prayers (though we *should* be highly reluctant). I don’t think every prayer should be first and foremost an exercise in ecumenical sensitivity. We should be able, at some point, to pray our doctrine. Lex orandi, lex credendi. I thought the 2008 revision of the GFP was a good balance. Let it remain.

  53. Richard,

    Salvation, He insisted, comes through Him alone yes, but only as a child of God’s chosen people. Alienating Christ from God’s salvific choice of the Jews as the chosen people calls into question the “entire Christian project.”

    This is the starting point for interpreting something like the “mass of the catechumens” etc. Its roots are in Judaic reverence for the Word of God, and the use of the Hebrew scriptures, the psalms as well as the Torah and other writings, are a recognition of the beginnings of salvation that is present prior to Christ’s fulfillment of it.

    What you are claiming as the traditional view is a distortion. It played a role in ghettoizing the Jews and ultimately in the Shoah. That you can rationalize the mass of the catechumens as an expression of this does not mean this distortion is our faith. We need to start with what God has done, especially as it has been revealed in Scripture, and use that to understand our faith and prayer.

    We need to start with God’s choice of the Jews to understand how salvation is through Christ, not use our salvation in Christ to minimize the importance of God’s choice.

    1. @Jim McKay – comment #24:

      Hello Jim,

      What you are claiming as the traditional view is a distortion. It played a role in ghettoizing the Jews and ultimately in the Shoah.

      I think you’re begging the question I’m trying to get answered – and how far back in Church history we go to find it answered in the way that you find flawed.

      In any event, I find any attempt to blame the language in the Roman Missal to be responsible for the Shoah to be absolutely risible. I’m sorry. I just don’t see it. That’s not an accusation to make lightly.

      We need to start with God’s choice of the Jews to understand how salvation is through Christ, not use our salvation in Christ to minimize the importance of God’s choice.

      Now *this* is a fair point. And I think that Matthew Levering, among others, have done some interesting work in recent years in trying to come to grips with this problem.

      We do come back to what Christ said about salvation through him along, and the necessity of baptism. *Can* the Jews be saved without accepting Him – indeed, rejecting Him vehemently? If they can, what does that say about the need to evangelize in general (prescinding from whether Jews should be proselytized)?

      I’m asking because I hope it’s possible to consider these questions without accusations of anti-semitism – which, we all agree, has no place in the Church.

      1. @Richard Malcolm – comment #26:
        Mr. Malcolm and Jonathan – allow me to add two pieces of information/opinions.
        – ressourcement….you distinguish between deLubac and Rahner….guess you can do that but think it is more complicated than that. Rahner used ressourcement all the time but primarily in reframing Neo-Thomist theology. Not sure it is so cut and dry.
        – patristic sources – again, you can find patriarchs that actually contradict each other and their thoughts – again, a caution.

      2. @Richard Malcolm – comment #26:

        I don’t know how to answer any more clearly. We go back in history to God’s choice of the Jews, to Jacob, Isaac and Abraham. Without that irrevocable choice, theology is flawed.

        Then we can move to Christ’s statements about salvation through him alone. Can this really mean Christ apart from God’s choice of Israel? I think not. St Paul’s image in Romans of the Gentiles grafted into the trunk of Israel is a good one. God’s choice is the reality embodied in Christ, and you cannot set Christ in opposition to that reality. If Christ’s words seem to do that, you must not be understanding those words properly.

        I agree that these things have important implications for evangelization. That is the only reason I insist on this. We cannot set our salvation in Christ in opposition to God’s choice of the Jews. It undercuts the core message, God’s loving fidelity.

      3. @Jim McKay – comment #28:
        God’s choice of the Jews
        What is it that God chose Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and his descendants for?

        Christ apart from God’s choice of Israel
        Nor can it mean God’s choice of Israel apart from Christ (cf. Heb. 11:40).

        the Gentiles grafted into the trunk of Israel
        Romans 11:19-23 make it clear that “Israel” as an olive tree has some (many?) branches that were broken off “because of their unbelief” (in what?), but that, “if they do not persist in their unbelief,” could be “graft[ed] in again.”

        We cannot set our salvation in Christ in opposition to God’s choice of the Jews.
        I agree completely. The approach taken by Peter recorded in Acts is that he presented Jesus as the Messiah: “God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus” (Acts 2:36). We have to see Christ as the fulfillment of promises made to the chosen people Israel, rather than as another way or a new plan. And because of that continuity, Peter and Paul and others since then have preached the good news of Jesus Christ to Jews, because Israel cannot separate their election by God from Christ-who-is-God.

      4. @Jeffrey Pinyan – comment #29:

        “Israel” as an olive tree has some (many?) branches that were broken off

        Romans does not say that all of the branches were broken off. Following that metaphor, there may be faithful Jews that do not need to be grafted in again. Not that I would defend that inference, just pointing it out.

        The point is as you say, Israel cannot separate their election from Christ. Nor can Christians separate Christ from God’s choice of Israel. Any prayer that diverges from that is not true to Christ.

      5. @Jim McKay – comment #30:

        there may be faithful Jews that do not need to be grafted in again

        And what would a “faithful Jew” be, in that context? I would argue, from the perspective of Peter and Paul, that a “faithful Jew” is one who receives and accepts the Gospel (cf. Acts 2:38; 3:19; 5:31; Rom 11:14-15).

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