Monday, October 17, 2016


I found two interesting articles on Praytell this morning. (I returned to Rome from Israel last night, only a three hour or so flight and one hour difference, ahead of us).

Both are balanced articles on the liturgy and the sort of the "reform of the reform" or what I prefer, mutual enrichment of the contrived liturgy Pope Paul VI gave us in 1970.

One writer comments on interpreting Cardinal Sarah correctly. This is what he writes:

But it is worth it to read accurately what drives him, and not let oneself be scared away by ecclesio-political geography that divides everything into “right” and “left.” Sarah critiques a liturgy that is too wordy, too explanatory, too rational, and yet is too sensitive. “We risk reducing the holy mystery to good feelings,” he says in an interview with the French traditionalist monthly magazine La Nef.
One need not share Sarah’s enthusiasm for eastward liturgical orientation [ad orientem] to find this critique plausible: Worship services in which every step is explained because one does not trust the worshiping community to celebrate actively and responsibly. Worship services that trust the liturgy so little that symbolic rituals are invented. Worship services that trust Scripture so little that touchy-feely children’s books, from “The Little Prince” to “Rainbow Fish,” are lifted up to be readings.

The other is a good progressive deacon who sometimes comments here, Deacon Fritz, who writes:
Many of the liturgical reformers of the post-conciliar period were not particularly attentive to these liturgical neighborhood people. Tending to be cosmopolitans themselves, the reformers seemed not to understand how a tacky shrine or some badly warbled chant from the Requiem Mass or saccharine devotions to Our Lady of Wherever could actually be central to the religious life of the neighborhood people. The anthropologists Mary Douglas and Victor Turner were voices crying in the wilderness in the post-conciliar period, warning against the vandalism being carried out by the cosmopolitan reformers against the religious sensibilities of the neighborhood people.
I do not think, however, that what the liturgical neighborhood people of today want or need is for someone to come along an put things back “the way it was.” First, because such a thing is not really possible; unless the liturgy is thought of as a zone hermetically sealed off from the rest of life, we cannot recreated the liturgical experience of the immigrant Church of the first half of the twentieth century. But, second, the neighborhood people have moved on. Some, alas, have moved on out of the Church. But others have adapted, willy-nilly, and have made themselves a home in the reformed liturgy, and love it as “the particular patch where they were raised” spiritually. 
In an odd twist—the sort that history so often provides—it is now those who would replace Eagles Wings or Amazing Grace with the chants of the traditional Requiem who are the cosmopolitans that seem unaware of or unconcerned with how deeply these songs have sunk their roots into the lives of the liturgical neighborhood people. The neighborhood people are offended when Mrs. Murphy, who has served as a “Eucharistic Minister” (as they ignorantly call the Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion) for thirty years and brought communion to Pop when he was in the nursing home, is told by the new pastor that now only he and the deacon will be distributing Holy Communion at Mass, because this is more traditional. They feel shunned when the new young priest, fresh from the seminary, turns his back on them during Mass to pray the Eucharistic prayer, not only making them feel cut off from what is going on, but also blocking their view of the consecrated elements. They don’t care if this is the recovery of a very ancient practice; it is not a practice that they have ever experienced.

We should keep in mind that the good deacon is mixing apples and oranges. The progressives were vicious in attacking all things Catholic, not just liturgy, to make the Church an ecumenical marshmallow, more Protestant than Catholic. They almost succeeded if not for St. Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict. Any return to the 1970's that we are experiencing now I firmly believe is the final battle between those represented by Pope Benedict (of his age I mean) and those of Pope Francis' age. They represent the two schools of thought of the 1970's, one of rupture and seeing rupture as moving forward and the other of continuity and seeing continuity as remaining faithful to the Deposit of Faith and even the culture of Roman Catholicism which includes the patrimony of the Liturgy that begins before 1970.
Progressives were vicious in destroying the devotional and doctrinal faith of the neighborhood people, meaning those who weren't as smart as they (academic clericalism which I so often express to you). 
And now the academic clericalists are crying crocodile tears because they know better than the new cosmopolitans but don't have the same control over them they once had in their arrogance. 

They don't want to have happen to them what they did to the Faith of the Church. They want their corrupted views and practices to be protected. 

Time is running out on the two schools of the age I speak of above. Somehow common sense tells me that Catholic identity in its fullness as represented by Pope Benedict will win the day in the very near future. 


Rood Screen said...

Well, Mrs. Murphy can still visit, even without administering a sacrament, but the "Eucharistic elements" inside a chalice or ciborium are not visible to the congregation in either orientation. At any rate, I'm glad that a couple of our Modernist brethren are finally prepared to allow for the possibility that the sentiments of some of us common Catholics are of some small value, however pitiable. I have no problem with them gathering in their old folks homes as they preserve their cherished memories of distortion and destruction. Live and let live.

Anonymous said...

I believe "liberalism or Progessive-ism" is a spent force in Catholicism. They built nothing, so they leave nothing. The destruction they wrought is slowly, but steadily being repaired by faithful Catholics and the younger clergy.

John Nolan said...

Although it is true that use cannot validate abuse, Deacon Fritz has a point. The minority who still attend their parish church week in, week out, generally like what they find. Father cracks jokes from the altar and ignores the rubrics - he is admired for his 'pastoral' informality. They sing 'I the Lord of sea and sky' because it has a catchy and familiar tune and don't care much about the words.

Two weeks ago I was told of a quite elderly lady who recently attended Mass at the FSSP church in Warrington and her only complaint was being unable to see the celebrants face: 'The priest is acting "in persona Christi" and when he says the words of Consecration I need to gaze on the face of Christ.'

It would take no small measure of transfiguration to turn Father O'Bubblegum's ugly mug into the Divine Countenance.

rcg said...

John, dang. I wonder what she thought he was holding at the elevation?