Thursday, September 14, 2017

HOW THE SECULAR PRESS, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, SEES THE FANS OF THE EXTRAORDINARY FORM OF THE MASS AND POPE FRANCIS AND THE LITURGY WARS OF THE 1970'S BEING REIGNITED

My comments first: This secular article is a sad commentary and so opposed to the inner-healing of the Church that Pope Benedict desired with his Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum. But as popes come and go, Pope Francis as recovered for future more traditional minded popes, the power to wield authority to get what popes want, something Pope Benedict was reluctant to do as His Holiness preferred to "propose" rather than "impose."  This is not Pope Francis way of operating. He imposes a post Vatican II ideology in the most pre-Vatican II sort of way. More traditional minded future popes will have Pope Francis' example to undo a previous pope's vision and style in the same authoritarian way. 

Latin Mass fans celebrate 10-year anniversary _ without pope

Cardinals Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, left, and Robert Saraha ttend a conference on the Latin Mass at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)The Associated Press
Cardinals Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, left, and Robert Saraha ttend a conference on the Latin Mass at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)more +

Ten years after Pope Benedict XVI passed a law allowing greater use of the Latin Mass, Francis seems to be doing everything possible to roll it back or simply pretend it never happened.

In recent weeks, he has affirmed with "magisterial authority" that the reforms of the 1960s allowing for Mass to be celebrated in the vernacular rather than Latin were "irreversible." Last week he gave local bishops conferences authority to oversee those translations, rather than the Vatican.

The moves underscored that the age-old liturgy wars in the Catholic Church are very much alive and provide a microcosm view of the battle lines that have been drawn between conservative, traditionalist Catholics and Francis ever since he declined to wear the traditional, ermine-trimmed red mozzetta cape for his first public appearance as pontiff in 2013.

The indifference seems reciprocal.

At a conference Thursday marking the 10th anniversary of Benedict's decree liberalizing use of the Latin Mass, the meeting organizer, the Rev. Vincenzo Nuara, didn't even mention Francis in his opening remarks. The current pope was mentioned in passing by the second speaker, and ignored entirely by the third.

The front-row participants honoring retired pope Benedict and his 2007 decree were also telling: Cardinal Raymond Burke, a leading critic of the current pope whom Francis removed as the Vatican's supreme court judge in 2014; Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, recently axed by Francis as the Vatican's doctrine chief, and Cardinal Robert Sarah, appointed by Francis as head of the Vatican's liturgy office but effectively sidelined by his deputy.

In fact, it was Sarah's deputy, Archbishop Arthur Roche, who signed the explanatory note to Francis' new law allowing bishops conferences, rather than Sarah's office, to have final say on Mass translations.

Francis' new law is a "pretty clear course correction from Pope Benedict's line," said the Rev. Anthony Ruff, associate professor of theology at St. John's University in Minnesota and moderator of the progressive liturgical blog, Pray Tell.

Despite the sense of belonging to a previous era, the conference was nevertheless upbeat about the future of the Latin Mass even under a pope who has openly questioned why any young person would seek out the old rite and disparaged traditionalists as rigid and insecure navel-gazers.

Monsignor Guido Pozzo, in charge of negotiations with breakaway traditionalist groups, said more Latin Masses are celebrated each Sunday in some countries: France has seen a doubling in the number of weekly Latin Masses, to 221 from 104, in the past 10 years. The U.S. has seen a similar increase over the same period, from 230 in 2007 to 480 today.

"The old liturgy must not be interpreted as a threat to the unity of church, but rather a gift," he said. 

He called for it to continue to be spread "without ideological interference from any part."

The program for the 10-year anniversary pilgrimage began with chanted hymn at the start of the conference and ended with vespers Thursday evening celebrated by Benedict's longtime secretary, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein. Also on tap were a religious procession through the streets of Rome and multiple Masses. Conspicuously absent from the four-day program was an audience with Francis.

The current pope, though, let his thoughts known during a recent speech to an Italian liturgical society. He said there was no need to rethink the decisions that led to the liturgy reforms from the Second Vatican Council, the 1962-65 meetings that modernized the Catholic Church.

"We can affirm with security and magisterial authority that the liturgical reforms are irreversible," he said in one of his longest and most articulate speeches to date on the liturgy. It made no mention, in either the text or the footnotes, of Benedict's liturgical decree on the Latin Mass.

Nuara, the conference organizer, denied sensing any resistance to traditionalists from Francis, saying in an interview that the current pope "is a respectful man, so he recognizes all the good that the old liturgy has given the church."

"We are also absolutely respectful of Pope Francis," he added.

Timothy O'Malley, director of the University of Notre Dame's Center for Liturgy, said Francis' main beef with Latin Mass afficionados is with those "who see that this form of the liturgy must win at the expense of" the Mass in the vernacular.

But he said he saw no indication that Francis would do away with Benedict's decree liberalizing use of the old rite, known by its Latin name Summorum Pontificum.

"He'll continue to rail against those who think the (vernacular) Mass is invalid, but I don't see him taking away Summorum Pontificum," he said.

3 comments:

John Nolan said...

Cardinal Caffarra was going to celebrate the Pontifical Mass in St Peter's as part of the SP pilgrimage. His loss will be deeply felt, but he inspired by his example. Gerhard Müller's presence is highly significant.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone at this point really believe that even if Francis revoked SP, that anyone would listen to him? I don't know of one priest who says the Traditional Mass of the Roman Rite who would stop just because Bergoglio said to stop. He wanted a mess, so he has one.

TJM said...

Winfield is not worth reading