Tuesday, April 18, 2017


I am convinced that Pope Benedict's liturgical legacy will bear fruit in the future. Although Pope Francis does not focus so much on Liturgical renewal in continuity, for his part he does encourages renewal in popular devotions and frequent confessions. This is an important recovery as well because modern anarchist  liturgists of the 1960/70's tried to destroy both, the liturgies of the Church and her popular devotions to include the cult of the Blessed Virgin Mary, not to mention the Sacrament of Confession! Of course this iconoclasm destroyed Catholic identity in order to align Catholicism with Protestantism and form a sort of Tower of Babel kind of church of human construction.

Benedict XVI
[Corriere della Sera, April 15, 2017]

Nihil Operi Dei praeponatur - "Let nothing be set before the Divine Worship." With these words, Saint Benedict, in his Rule (43,3), established the absolute priority of Divine Worship in relation with any other task of monastic life. This, even in monastic life, was not necessarily obvious, because for monks the work in agriculture and in knowledge was also an essential task.

In agriculture, as also in crafts, and in the work of formation, there could be temporal emergencies that might appear more important than the liturgy. Faced with all this, Benedict, with the priority given to the liturgy, puts in unequivocal relief the priority of God himself in our life. "At the hour for the Divine Office, as soon as the signal is heard, let them abandon whatever they may have in hand and hasten with the greatest speed." (43, 1)

In the conscience of the men of today, the things of God, and with this the liturgy, do not appear urgent in fact. There is urgency for every possible thing. The things of God do not ever seem urgent. Well, it could be affirmed that monastic life is,  in any event, something different from the lives of men of the world, and that is undoubtedly fair. Nevertheless, the priority of God which we have forgotten is valid for all. If God is no longer important, the criteria to establish what is important are changed. Man, by setting God aside, submits his own self to constraints that render him a slave to material forces and that are therefore opposed to his dignity.

In the years that followed Vatican II, I became once again aware of the priority of God and of the divine liturgy. The misunderstanding of the liturgical reform that has spread widely in the Catholic Church led to putting ever more in first place the aspect of instruction and that of one's own activity and creativity. The action of men led almost to forgetting of the presence of God. In such a situation, it becomes ever clearer that the existence of the Church lives on the just celebration of the liturgy, and that the Church is in danger when the primacy of God does not appear anymore in the liturgy, and therefore in life. The deepest cause of the crisis that has subverted the Church is located in the effacing of the priority of God in the liturgy. All this led me to dedicate myself to the theme of the liturgy more widely than in the past because I knew that the true renewal of the liturgy is a fundamental condition for the renewal of the Church. 

The studies collected in this volume 11 of the Opera Omnia are based on this conviction. But in the end, despite all the differences, the essence of the liturgy in East and West is one and the same. And therefore I hope that this book may aid also the Christians of Russia to understand in a new and better way the great gift that is given to us in the Sacred Liturgy.

Vatican City, on the feast of Saint Benedict
July 11, 2015 - See more at: http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2017/04/exclusive-text-by-benedict-xvi-crisis.html#more


Marc said...

I'm fairly certain that Benedict's abdicating and leaving the Church with the worst pope in history while he remained silent will overshadow whatever liturgical gains he might have made. He could've done so much, but then he abandoned us. May God be merciful to him -- I'm sure there is much to his story that we don't know.

I have no respect for him, though. He could end all of this Bergoglio mess today with a simple statement, but he chooses. It to.

Marc said...

The last phrase of my comment should've said, "... but he chooses not to."

My fingers are too fat for my phone!

Dialogue said...

In his recent book interview, Pope Emeritus Benedict said there was nothing he could do as pope to force liturgical reverence. Parish priests are unable to introduce this reverence due to the organized mobs of abusive parishioners and the hostility of the local bishop. The laity can go to an EF Mass, but this is not always practical. So, no one can do anything about the problems with the sacred liturgy.

Dialogue said...

Except comment about it on blogs.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Marc, I'm trusting the Holy Spirit on this one. We have a resigned or emeritus Pope, a traditionalist but within continuity of Vatican II implemented correctly with the hermeneutic of continuity with the Church of Tradition and tradition who as pope was healing the divisions caused by the progress/heterodox of the 1960's, many of whom are of the same era as the 90 year old pontiff. But how many Catholics my age and younger remember the havoc that progressives wrought upon the Church that caused religious orders to collapse, seminaries to close and Catholic dioceses and parishes to become hopelessly divided that engendered a complete loss of Catholic identity? Not to many.

Now, Pope Francis, who calls Pope Benedict a grandfather (never mind that Francis is only 10 years younger) has recreated the divisiveness of the 1960's and 70's and is showing the Church, young and old just who is responsible for this divisiveness. It is the 1960's all over again and we know who is the blame, the same generation as Pope Benedict but the ones who did not see the light or the handwriting on the wall and did not come to their senses as Pope Benedict and his generation's allies did.

Both of these generations are dying out. The Pope Saint John Paul generation is coming into its inheritance. Pope John Paul had Pope Benedict as the power behind the chair of Peter.

This generational battle is about to end with it becoming quite obvious which side needs to win for the very life of the Church as Pope Benedict wrote in my post above!!!!

Thus while I wish that Pope Benedict had not resigned, there is indeed the hand in Divine Providence, always mysterious, at work.

Victor said...

There is no question that "participatio actuoso" became an idol after the Council,and continues to be. The loss of Latin, the banal and pedestrian music, the loss ceremonial sacredness were about man, about his priority over the worship of the infinite God.

Anonymous said...

"...organized mobs of abusive parishioners and the hostility of the local bishop."

Completely without basis and slanderous to laity and bishops.

Dialogue said...


What priests do you know who have successfully introduced reverent worship into an irreverent parish without enduring parishioner abuse and episcopal hostility?