Sunday, August 8, 2010
VATICAN II ALLOWED FOR TWO FORMS OF THE ROMAN RITE TO BE CELEBRATED, THE REFORMED RITE AND THE MORE ANCIENT RITE!
As Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and as Pope Benedict XVI, the former Cardinal, now Holy Father, has always taught that Vatican II never abolished the older form of the Mass, now known as the Extraordinary Form of the one Roman Rite. Vatican II did not reform the now known Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite either, it simply put forth principles which would guide the proper authorities to reform the Mass, but under the authority of the pope. In this sense, Vatican II ushered in an era where there could co-exist the two forms of the one Roman Rite which at the time and even today is considered a "novelty of renewal" brought about by Vatican II as a gift to the Church with little precedence in Church history.
This is what Cardinal Ratzinger said:
It is of course possible that in this area there are reasons which are anterior to any theology and which have their origin in the individual characters of people or in the conflict between different characters, or even in other entirely exterior circumstances. But it is certain that there are also deeper reasons which explain these problems. The two reasons one most often hears are: the lack of obedience to the Council, which is said to have reformed the liturgical books; and the disruption of Church unity, which is said to follow necessarily if one allows the use of different liturgical forms.
It is in theory relatively easy to refute these two arguments. First, the Council did not itself reform the liturgical books; it ordered their revision and, to that end, set forth certain fundamental rules. Above all, the Council gave a definition of what the liturgy is, and this definition gives a criterion which holds for every liturgical celebration. If one wished to hold these essential rules in disdain and if one wished to set to one side the "normae generales" found in paragraphs 34-36 of the Constitution De Sacra Liturgia -- then yes, one would be violating the obedience due to the Council. It is therefore in accordance with these criteria that one must judge liturgical celebrations, whether they be according to the old books or according to the new.
The following is what Cardinal Ratzinger noted are pertinent for Catholics to accept concerning the Ecumenical Council of Vatican II:
ON THE SACRED LITURGY
SOLEMNLY PROMULGATED BY
POPE PAUL VI
ON DECEMBER 4, 1963
III. The Reform of the Sacred Liturgy
21. In order that the Christian people may more certainly derive an abundance of graces from the sacred liturgy, holy Mother Church desires to undertake with great care a general restoration of the liturgy itself. For the liturgy is made up of immutable elements divinely instituted, and of elements subject to change. These not only may but ought to be changed with the passage of time if they have suffered from the intrusion of anything out of harmony with the inner nature of the liturgy or have become unsuited to it.
In this restoration, both texts and rites should be drawn up so that they express more clearly the holy things which they signify; the Christian people, so far as possible, should be enabled to understand them with ease and to take part in them fully, actively, and as befits a community.
Wherefore the sacred Council establishes the following general norms:
A) General norms
22. 1. Regulation of the sacred liturgy depends solely on the authority of the Church, that is, on the Apostolic See and, as laws may determine, on the bishop.
2. In virtue of power conceded by the law, the regulation of the liturgy within certain defined limits belongs also to various kinds of competent territorial bodies of bishops legitimately established.
3. Therefore no other person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority.
23. That sound tradition may be retained, and yet the way remain open to legitimate progress Careful investigation is always to be made into each part of the liturgy which is to be revised. This investigation should be theological, historical, and pastoral. Also the general laws governing the structure and meaning of the liturgy must be studied in conjunction with the experience derived from recent liturgical reforms and from the indults conceded to various places. Finally, there must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them; and care must be taken that any new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing.
As far as possible, notable differences between the rites used in adjacent regions must be carefully avoided.
24. Sacred scripture is of the greatest importance in the celebration of the liturgy. For it is from scripture that lessons are read and explained in the homily, and psalms are sung; the prayers, collects, and liturgical songs are scriptural in their inspiration and their force, and it is from the scriptures that actions and signs derive their meaning. Thus to achieve the restoration, progress, and adaptation of the sacred liturgy, it is essential to promote that warm and living love for scripture to which the venerable tradition of both eastern and western rites gives testimony.
25. The liturgical books are to be revised as soon as possible; experts are to be employed on the task, and bishops are to be consulted, from various parts of the world.
B) Norms drawn from the hierarchic and communal nature of the Liturgy
26. Liturgical services are not private functions, but are celebrations of the Church, which is the "sacrament of unity," namely, the holy people united and ordered under their bishops 
Therefore liturgical services pertain to the whole body of the Church; they manifest it and have effects upon it; but they concern the individual members of the Church in different ways, according to their differing rank, office, and actual participation.
27. It is to be stressed that whenever rites, according to their specific nature, make provision for communal celebration involving the presence and active participation of the faithful, this way of celebrating them is to be preferred, so far as possible, to a celebration that is individual and quasi-private.
This applies with especial force to the celebration of Mass and the administration of the sacraments, even though every Mass has of itself a public and social nature.
28. In liturgical celebrations each person, minister or layman, who has an office to perform, should do all of, but only, those parts which pertain to his office by the nature of the rite and the principles of liturgy.
29. Servers, lectors commentators, and members of the choir also exercise a genuine liturgical function. They ought, therefore, to discharge their office with the sincere piety and decorum demanded by so exalted a ministry and rightly expected of them by God's people.
Consequently they must all be deeply imbued with the spirit of the liturgy, each in his own measure, and they must be trained to perform their functions in a correct and orderly manner.
30. To promote active participation, the people should be encouraged to take part by means of acclamations, responses, psalmody, antiphons, and songs, as well as by actions, gestures, and bodily attitudes. And at the proper times all should observe a reverent silence.
31. The revision of the liturgical books must carefully attend to the provision of rubrics also for the people's parts.
32. The liturgy makes distinctions between persons according to their liturgical function and sacred Orders, and there are liturgical laws providing for due honors to be given to civil authorities. Apart from these instances, no special honors are to be paid in the liturgy to any private persons or classes of persons, whether in the ceremonies or by external display.
C) Norms based upon the didactic and pastoral nature of the Liturgy
33. Although the sacred liturgy is above all things the worship of the divine Majesty, it likewise contains much instruction for the faithful . For in the liturgy God speaks to His people and Christ is still proclaiming His gospel. And the people reply to God both by song and prayer.
Moreover, the prayers addressed to God by the priest who presides over the assembly in the person of Christ are said in the name of the entire holy people and of all present. And the visible signs used by the liturgy to signify invisible divine things have been chosen by Christ or the Church. Thus not only when things are read "which were written for our instruction" (Rom. 15:4), but also when the Church prays or sings or acts, the faith of those taking part is nourished and their minds are raised to God, so that they may offer Him their rational service and more abundantly receive His grace.
Wherefore, in the revision of the liturgy, the following general norms should be observed:
34. The rites should be distinguished by a noble simplicity; they should be short, clear, and unencumbered by useless repetitions; they should be within the people's powers of comprehension, and normally should not require much explanation.
35. That the intimate connection between words and rites may be apparent in the liturgy:
1) In sacred celebrations there is to be more reading from holy scripture, and it is to be more varied and suitable.
2) Because the sermon is part of the liturgical service, the best place for it is to be indicated even in the rubrics, as far as the nature of the rite will allow; the ministry of preaching is to be fulfilled with exactitude and fidelity. The sermon, moreover, should draw its content mainly from scriptural and liturgical sources, and its character should be that of a proclamation of God's wonderful works in the history of salvation, the mystery of Christ, ever made present and active within us, especially in the celebration of the liturgy.
3) Instruction which is more explicitly liturgical should also be given in a variety of ways; if necessary, short directives to be spoken by the priest or proper minister should be provided within the rites themselves. But they should occur only at the more suitable moments, and be in prescribed or similar words.
4) Bible services should be encouraged, especially on the vigils of the more solemn feasts, on some weekdays in Advent and Lent, and on Sundays and feast days. They are particularly to be commended in places where no priest is available; when this is so, a deacon or some other person authorized by the bishop should preside over the celebration.
36. 1. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.
2. But since the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, frequently may be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended. This will apply in the first place to the readings and directives, and to some of the prayers and chants, according to the regulations on this matter to be laid down separately in subsequent chapters.
3. These norms being observed, it is for the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art. 22, 2, to decide whether, and to what extent, the vernacular language is to be used; their decrees are to be approved, that is, confirmed, by the Apostolic See. And, whenever it seems to be called for, this authority is to consult with bishops of neighboring regions which have the same language.
4. Translations from the Latin text into the mother tongue intended for use in the liturgy must be approved by the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned above.