Friday, January 20, 2012
TO STIR THE EF POT AND CONTROVERSY EVEN MORE, READ THIS
From the interview granted by Prof. Roberto de Mattei, author of Il Concilio Vaticano II: una storia mai scritta (The Second Vatican Council – a never before written history), to Austrian Catholic website Kath.net:
[Kath.net]There is no renewal of the Church without a true liturgical renewal. What is the meaning, in your view, of the liturgy in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite which, with the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, once again enjoys full right of citizenship in the Church? Is it truly "a twofold use of the save and only Rite" (Benedict XVI, Letter on the publication of "Summorum Pontificum", July 7, 2007) or should the "form" that today is "ordinary" be considered a "phase" of that return to the origins in which the true future is found?
[De Mattei] The Holy Sacrifice is truly one, but the "Novus ordo" of Paul VI is, it seems to me, profoundly different, in spirit and in form, from the ancient Roman Rite. In this last Rite, I see not the past, but the future of the Church. Traditional liturgy is in fact the most efficacious response to the challenge of secularism, that attacks us.
Benedict XVI gave full citizenship back to the ancient Roman Rite. I am certain that it will go through a new development and a new splendor in the Church and in society. The "Reform of the Reform" which is mentioned makes sense and is worthy only as a "transition" of the "novus ordo" towards the traditional rite, and not as a pretext for the abandonment of the latter, that must be kept in its integrity and purity.
The essential question seems to me, though, that of recovering a theological and ecclesiological vision founded upon the dimension of transcendent and the holy. This means that it is necessary to reconquer the fundamental principles of Catholic theology, beginning with a precise view of the holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
It is further necessary that the idea of sacrifice shall permeate society in the shape, quite forgotten today, of a spirit of sacrifice and penance. This, and not anything else, is the "experience of sacredness" of which our society has urgent need. Without it, it is hard to imagine a return to an authentic Liturgy that has at its center the adoration owed to the one true God.
PRESS THIS TO READ FROM THE BLOG CHIESA ON "BENEDICT THE REFORMER" FOR A DIFFERENT SLANT ON ALL OF THIS AND THE CAMP THAT I WOULD MOST LIKELY ENDORSE, SINCE I'M A PAPIST AND ULTRAMONTANE!
MY COMMENTS: "The correct understanding of the Council – the instructions for the Year of Faith specify – is not what is called the "hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture," but what Benedict XVI has called "the hermeneutic of reform, of renewal in the continuity of the one subject-Church."
The Catholic Church prior to the Second Vatican Council was in need of reform and updating as it confronted and ministered to a very different world than that of the period of the Council of Trent which had dramatically shaped the Catholic Church of the 500 year period, in addition to the Church's reaction to the Protestant Reformation and anti-Catholic ideologies.
But what many now say the Second Vatican Council never intended is what has led to an even more urgent reform of the Post Vatican II Church but again going back to the Council of Trent, The First Vatican Council and yes, and most importantly The Second Vatican Council.
In reality the "Spirit of the Second Vatican Council" a spirit of rupture with the past not only in liturgy, but in the understanding of the Catholic Church herself, her priesthood, her laity and her spirituality and piety that flowed from a Catholic Culture that in many ways was universal in all the Catholic world although with variation in piety and devotions, was totally dismantled, torn down and only a remnant of her former self remained.
There has been rebuilding to be sure, but the new edifice is a shadow of her former self and glory.
One of the things that reformers lambasted about the Pre-Vatican II Church was her triumphalism. That may have been true, but it evolved from a very high Christology and the worship due to Christ and our unworthiness in His presence that led to silence in Churches, and a humble piety that was self-deprecating. All that changed with the 1960's and a jamboree attitude toward the Church, the Liturgy and her devotions and spirituality.
As well the great discipline of the Church in terms of prayer, fasting and almsgiving was nearly tossed out the window. Gone were meatless Fridays, Ember Days and a rigid Lenten season that only the strong could survive. Gone were indulgences, harsh penances and a strict Catholic piety at home, the praying of the Rosary was ridiculed as were all other devotions. The Mass became a mere shadow of its former self and church buildings were raped and reconfigured according to a flimsy theology and new churches looked cold and empty.
All this must be reformed and older and more time-tested forms of Mass and spirituality must be recovered and is being recovered, but it will take another 50 years or more.