Monday, January 30, 2012

IT IS NOW BEING PROVEN THAT I AM CLAIRVOYANT WHEN IT COMES TO THE LITURGY

Or maybe I'm like "The Mentalist" on CBS--I pay attention to what I see and hear in high places.



Fr. Anthony Ruff, OSB translates and adds some editorial reflection questions to an interview that Cardinal Koch gave very recently in Austria and the good Cardinal seems to indicate what I've been saying for how many years now?

Cardinal Kurt Koch is president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, but he has a habit of speaking out on liturgical questions. He did so again this weekend in Breisgau, as reported by the Religion department of Austrian public broadcasting. The occasion was a conference on the theology of Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI).

In Koch’s view, the readmission of the celebration of Mass in the preconciliar form is “only the first step,” but “the time is not yet ripe” for further steps. Rome can take further actions only when there is readiness among Catholics to consider new forms of liturgy “in service of the Church.”

According to Koch, “the pope suffers from accusations” that he wishes to go back on the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). On the contrary, the pope wishes to take up statements of the Council on liturgy which have not yet been implemented.

Koch maintains that not everything in today’s liturgical praxis can be justified by the texts of the Council. He named as an example the priest facing the people during the celebration of the Eucharist, about which the Council said nothing.

In Koch’s opinion, further development of liturgical forms is necessary for an inner renewal of the church. “If the crisis of church life today is above all a crisis of liturgy, then the renewal of the church must begin with a renewal of the liturgy,” he said. MY COMMENT: ISN'T THIS LAST SENTENCE THE CORE OF THE PROBLEMS WE'VE HAD IN THE CHURCH, THE ACCELERATION OF SECULARISM AND SECULARIST ATTITUDES AMONGST LUKEWARM CATHOLICS WHO HAVE LOST THEIR CATHOLIC IDENTITY AND THUS THEIR WAY? ISN'T THIS TIED INTO THE OBAMA'S ADMINISTRATION THINKING IT CAN REMOVE THE RELIGIOUS LIBERTY AND FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE OF CATHOLICS AND EVEN HAVE CATHOLICS ASSIST HIM IN BETRAYING THEIR CATHOLICISM--LIKE JUDAS BETRAYED JESUS?

The cardinal’s remarks provoke several reflections.

It is not the case that the Second Vatican Council exhaustively defined the parameters of liturgical reform. Much of this was left to the Consilium to carry out after the Council closed. The Council never mandated versus populum (priest facing the people), nor has any Church document since the Council, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that the practice an illegitimate development. Scholars such as Fr. John O’Malley have demonstrated that there is a “spirit of Vatican II” opening up new vistas for the Church. It is to be expected that responsible and creative implementation of the Council would lead to possibilities not yet foreseen at the Council itself. Whether versus populum is one of these can remain an open question. Which is to say, the fact that it isn’t mentioned by the Council doesn’t really answer the question.

5 comments:

Bill Meyer said...

Having read Sacrosanctum concilium a few times, I note that it called for Latin in the liturgy, and for plain chant to remain the first choice in music. Not only did it not call for versus populum, nor for the vernacular, it only discussed the vernacular in the context of mission lands.

It is deeply ironic that those most heavily committed to the radical changes made post Vatican II seem honestly to believe that they were prescribed by the Council. I cling to the belief that they are sincere, the alternative would require believing them to be acting with evil intent.

Templar said...

I wish they'd hurry up and fulfill your visions Father. They'll be no one left to witness it if they take much longer :)

The versus populum issue should be less about what was called for, and more about it's theological implications. Some one well versed in Liturgy would understand the Priest's role regardless of the direction he faces, but that person would also likely be able to explain why it's impart that he face the fsame direction as the congregation. Someone unknowledgeable about Liturgy wouldn't know the difference, and is therefore most likely to be confused by the versus populum position, believing erroneous that the Priest to offering his prayers to the congregation. I think the majority of Catholics today are of the later type, hence why I advocate ad orientum.

USMaleSF said...

http://lookin4ahero.blogspot.com/2012/01/experimenttum.html

Santayana Lite said...

I have made the mistake of reading the PrayTell blog. That's how I found yours.

I don't practice your Faith but I respect it. Sorta like George Santayana. It's disheartening to see so much childish populist resentment among many --not all-- of the comments.

I guess it shows why a church has to be run by (more or less!) competent authorities. A lot of times the vox populi is just a lot of yammering.

Charles Culbreth said...

I think there is much wisdom and insight in Santayana's cursory impression of the learned "wise" over at PTB; It's amazing how much of the usual suspects (some exempt such as this bloghost) resemble the former slate of candidates for the GOP presidential nomination-the puffery, indignation, recriminations, self-excommunication, etc. What an irony; and I am gleeful that those same nabobs would be indignant at the comparison! They'd have more credibility in any public forum if they'd join the idiots in the Oakland CA Occupy "movement." I digress.
I should simply have said they see and quote "lex orandi, lex credendi" with a chicken or egg qualfication. Witness the idiocy of a statement "the liturgy doesn't reflect the Jesus of the Gospels." And AWR is ever so tolerant as he rides his fence mostly, coming down to lobby the occasional grenade at his own homestead from the sanctity of a Call to Action plenum. What witness can be next?
My friend Scelata claims to have inspired the saying "Save the Liturgy, save the world" before Fr. Zed spread it far and wide. Neither are kidding, same for Fr. McDonald.
"If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts" we sang yesterday. To the folks at PTB, what part of "if" don't you get?
Or is it more satisfying to go all Bubba Clinton and challenge the nuanced definition of the word "if?" Unless, of course, they gots tin ears in their lecture halls.
God bless 'em, they're going to need Him.