One of the things that those who prefer the Ancient Roman Missal Mass is that it is the same from priest to priest, congregation to congregation, diocese to diocese and national to nation. It is not like a box of chocolates, you know what you are going to get. It does not tolerate the individualism of our modern culture.
Because of highly individualistic the Modern Roman Missal Masses are celebrated, it is precisely that box of chocolates: you never know what you are going to get and what you get makes you want to put the bitten into chocolate back in the box and look for another.
But I fear, that the article below might misunderstand Archbishop Roche and the pope. They are obsessed with the very small minority of Catholics who prefer the older liturgies of the Church and more than likely are accusing them of liturgical individualism.
But we all know and can see now with live streamed Masses all over the world, that that individualism is endemic to the Modern Roman Missal and it is on steroids there!
Copied from The New Liturgical Movement. Press the title for the full story:
Friday, May 13, 2022
Via CatholicCulture.org, I read today on the website of the Spanish Catholic magazine Omnes an interview which it published on Mondaywith Abp Arthur Roche, the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, which contains this rather surprising statement.
“At this moment, the liberalism, the individualism that exists in this society are a challenge for the Church. ... It is easy to think of my personal preference, of a specific type of liturgy, of a particular expression of celebration, of this priest rather than this other priest; but this individualism is not of the character of the Church.”
Obviously, this cannot refer to that Form of the Roman Rite that takes such pains to safeguard the faithful from the individual preferences of the celebrant and his chosen collaborators. We must therefore assume that it refers rather to that Form which was deliberately designed to be perpetually the creation and re-creation of the celebrant’s “personal preference, of a specific type of liturgy, of a particular expression of celebration, of this priest rather than this other priest”; in short, of, um, individualism...
Here is a Google Translate translation of
the Spanish interview:
Almost a year ago, "Traditionis Custodes" limited the possibilities of using the liturgy prior to the reform of the Council. The document explained that its objective was "to seek ecclesial communion." Has progress been made towards that goal?
– We must begin by saying that the reason behind this decision is the unity of the Church, and that is what has moved the Pope. The previous Popes, John Paul II or Benedict XVI, had never thought that the existing possibilities had the objective of promoting the Tridentine rite, but only serving people who have difficulty with the new form of prayer of the Church.
But, in the end, we are formed by the liturgy, because the liturgy carries within it the faith and doctrine of the Church. Lex orandi, lex credendi. I think that, in reality, this is not only a difficulty for the liturgy, but a difficulty for ecclesiology, for doctrine. For the first time in history, since the Second Vatican Council, we have in the magisterium an insertion of the nature of the Church, since it is the first time after two thousand years that we have a dogmatic constitution such as the "Lumen Gentium". "Lumen Gentium" implies that it is not only the priest who celebrates the mass, but all the baptized. Obviously, it is not possible for everyone to do what is related to the consecration of the Eucharistic species without the priest; but all the baptized, like the priest, have a position to celebrate. Everyone participates in the priesthood of Jesus Christ and for this reason, as "Sacrosanctum concilium" reminds us, they have the right and the duty to participate in the liturgy. This is in contrast to the rite in the 1962 missal, where the priest was seen as the representative of all the others who are present at the celebration of the mass. This is the great difference between the two forms: the Church as it is understood in today's ecclesiology, and the nature of the Church as it was conceived by earlier ecclesiology.
At the same time, Traditionis Custodes highlights the continuity between the current rite and the old one: it states that the new Roman Missal “contains all the elements of the Roman rite, especially the Roman canon, which is one of the most characteristic elements”.
– Of course, we must also underline the continuity. The liturgy is a living gift that the Church has received. But we must not canonize the old for old, otherwise we would find people who want to go back to things simply because they are older, and that could mean going back to liturgical expressions even before the Tridentine ones, for example. Actually, the point at which we are now, with the new missal of Paul VI, means that we have had the opportunity to study all the most fundamental elements, to take advantage of the sources of the liturgy, which were not known during the Tridentine Council in the years 1545-1563.
Pope Francis has said that he is "hurt by the abuses" of some current celebrations. What do you think?
– I think that at this moment there is a lack of liturgical formation. It is very interesting to remember that in the years prior to the Council there was a liturgical movement, with a patristic, biblical and ecumenical foundation; and the Council offered the possibility of a renewal of the Church, also in relation to the liturgy.
I think that at this moment the aim is only to comply with the rubrics of the Liturgy, and that seems a bit poor to me. Theologically, the reason was the celebration of the Mystery.
For this reason, two years ago the Holy Father asked this Congregation to hold a plenary meeting of all its members to discuss liturgical formation throughout the Church: from bishops to priests and laity. And indeed, a document on this matter is currently being prepared. Possibly it will materialize in a letter to the Church on the importance of formation. What do we do when we meet every Sunday for this celebration? What is the point of that assembly? Not just an obligation to do something every week, but what do we do? What do we celebrate at that time?
Will it be easy to get the content of that letter to the laity, to the people in a broad sense?
– As you know, on the occasion of the publication of the motu proprio “Traditionis Custodes” Pope Francis wrote a letter only to the bishops explaining what they should do. I think that, at this time, we in the Congregation have a responsibility to think about how to reach a larger audience.
The “mystagogical” catechesis, which introduces the celebrated mysteries, is one of the instruments of liturgical formation. A special occasion are sacraments such as baptism, communion or marriage. Do they fulfill that role?
– Mystagogical catechesis is very important. There is a paragraph in "Sacrosanctum Concilium", number 16, which says that liturgical formation is among the most important subjects in the formation of seminarians, and that teachers of other subjects must take it into account when teaching biblical subjects, patristic, dogmatic, etc.
There is an abbey in America, Mount Angel, next to Portland, where all the subjects of theological formation in the seminary period always have the focus on the liturgy of the day. Everything is oriented according to the great tenses of the liturgy, of the liturgical calendar. We must also consider this in relation to formation: that it is about celebration. It is not just about doing things or participating in some parts of the celebration, but about celebrating worthily with a deep, active participation as the Council recalled. Through words and gestures we reach the mystery. More than carrying out activities, such as reading the readings or other things, we must seek a deep, quasi-mystical participation in the contemplation of the liturgy. It is about identifying ourselves with Christ through the words and gestures of the celebration.
The sacrament of Penance is a benchmark of this pontificate. Francis has spoken of mercy and forgiveness from the beginning; he has invited confession celebrations, and has shown similar gestures. How to revalue this sacrament?
– I think that obviously the sacrament of Penance is, in a certain sense, in a period of crisis at the moment, because there is a loss of the sense of sin. Sins are not less today than they were before, but the knowledge of individual sin is lacking; I think it's a challenge for so many people. The Pope as a great pastor, before his election as Pope, has evidenced this in his diocese, in the parishes and in his pastoral care.
I will tell you about an interesting experience: a few years ago I received an invitation from the Sacred Penitentiary to give a conference for deacons preparing to receive priestly ordination. When I arrived and saw that there were 500 people, I asked Cardinal Piacenza: are there that many to be ordained this year? It was not like that, but almost two thirds of the attendees were already ordained priests and had come to that course, in some cases after many years of ordination, to learn again how to celebrate the sacrament of penance. This speaks to us of a lack of training for priests. In particular, for the sacrament of confession, the availability of the priest is important, but not only in terms of dedication of time, but also as the availability of a person who welcomes penitents, who speaks of mercy, who speaks as a father to a person in need of reconciliation with God. All these elements are very important, but they are also integral elements of training.
How does the catechist ministry that was established on May 10 of last year evolve, in its first steps?
– At this time, the most important thing is for the Episcopal Conference to define who the catechists are. It is a ministry, and not just a participation in the ministry like we have in all the parishes in the world, where some people prepare the boys for first communion, confession, etc. This is a more important ministry, but one that needs to be defined. The person who receives this ministry is a point of reference in the diocese, for the organization of programs, levels, etc., but it depends on how the bishop makes the definition: this is now the responsibility of the episcopal conferences.
There are, for example, some religious who carry out their apostolate as catechists... but this ministry is not planned for them. Even more important: it is also not intended for seminarians, who are preparing for the priesthood. They receive the acolyte, the readership, and then the diaconate, but this ministry of catechist is not intended for them: it is only for the baptized in general. For the Church it is a sign of the importance of the laity announcing the Gospel and forming young people.
Let's talk about other aspects of the work of the Congregation for the Liturgy. The Constitution "Praedicate Evangelium" emphasizes that it promotes the liturgy "according to the renewal undertaken by the Second Vatican Council."
– Certainly, one of your tasks is to promote the liturgy. At the same time, it must also become a point of reference for all the bishops of the world in their relationship with the Petrine ministry. The Congregation (in the future, the Dicastery) is to serve not only the Supreme Pontiff, but also all the bishops of the world, in the liturgical field. And this is a dimension that we must carefully consider. This is an opening of the Roman Curia, which should not be understood as a bureaucratic structure, but as a service to the universal Church.
How do you collaborate with other Dicasteries?
– Regarding its powers, it collaborates with all the bodies of the Curia, from the Doctrine of the Faith, to the Clergy or almost all the others. Also the new evangelization, the missions, the practice of charity, and all other actions have a liturgical aspect. Because the liturgy is the life of the whole Church; it is the soul of the Church.
The second aspect is beauty, particularly in sacred architecture. The Pope says “the Church evangelizes and evangelizes herself with the beauty of the liturgy” (“Evangelii Gaudium”, 24).
– Beauty is a part of God's nature, and a part of human existence. It is very important for man, because he is attracted to him: we are attracted by beauty. And it speaks to us not only in a unique way, but also individually.
This aspect of the liturgy, also in relation to the temples, was foreseen by the documents issued as soon as the "Sacrosanctum Concilium" was approved and also supported by the bishops participating in the Council. Those texts pointed out what must be taken into account in the configuration of the temple in a way that helps the celebration, and the meaning and importance of the various elements. I am thinking, for example, of the altar, which means the Body of Christ; for the Orthodox it is the tomb, from where the resurrection belongs to the celebration of the Eucharist. Or in the importance of the ambo, by itself and in relation to the altar. In our celebrations we have two “tables”: the Holy Scripture and the Holy Eucharist; but without Sacred Scripture we do not do the Eucharist. The two are in balance, and both are the same thing. The Word leads to the Eucharist and this is deepened and understood with the Word.
Do you want to add something else?
– Yes. I think it is very important that at this moment we think once again about the voice of the Council to the whole world, a prophetic voice for the future of the Church. That we delve into what "Sacrosanctum Concilium" contains, and also the other documents, but above all "Lumen Gentium", about the holiness of the Church and our vocation, because without holiness we will lack an authentic voice to preach the Gospel.