Priests praying the rosary on their knees. Models of piety!
Springtime fittingly describes the liturgical renewal before, during, and the twenty or so years after Vatican II. [More like a never ending autumn!] Firmly grounded on historical research, theological investigation, and pastoral consciousness, [*%$@#&!] the framers of the postconciliar liturgy [aka Bugnini and the Gang] set out to implement the decisions of the Council. Across the globe local churches experienced the flowering of liturgical worship. [and the flowers stink!] The noble simplicity of the revised rites and the use of the vernacular helped immensely to promote full, intelligent, active participation, which the Council had declared as the primary aim of the liturgical reform. [And we saw the emptying of churches and watering of our Catholic identity]
But even before we could, with satisfaction, gather the flowers and harvest the fruits of summer, a cold wind has begun to blow on the face of the postconciliar reform. [And how we loved that gentle breeze!] The autumn leaves are starting to fall. [wrong. more like a new springtime!] No less than the papal master of ceremonies, Msgr. Guido Marini, announced on January 6, 2010 that there is need for a new reform of the liturgy. He intimated that the postconciliar experts did not grasp fully the meaning and intention of the liturgy constitution, which they had drafted and presented to the council fathers. He claimed that as a result, the postconciliar reform has “not always in its practical implementation found a timely and happy fulfilment.” [He is sounding as if he all got it right and that the Pope and Msgr. Marini don't.]
What are the possible implications of a reform of the postconciliar reform? What remedy does it offer for a reform that according to some Catholics has gone bad? [That some is Pope Benedict, Father!] What agenda does it put forward so that liturgical worship could be more reverent and prayerful? [Hmm... Maybe less sales of his books?]
The agenda is, to all appearance, an attempt to put the clock back half a century. [More like righting the wrong.] It seems to conveniently forget that since Vatican II, the Church has been marching with the times, [towards perdition?] acknowledging the changes in social and religious culture, and adopting new pastoral strategies. [like empty seminaries, convents and churches.] Will Latinised English make the liturgy more awesome? [Bp. Trautman 2!] It will certainly sound mysterious, but will it be more prayerful? [Yeah! You should try it. Simply ineffable!] Will the silent recitation of the Eucharistic Prayer, preferably in Latin, evoke more vividly the Last Supper of Jesus? [So making it in the vernacular makes it all the more vivid? The Last Supper was in Aramaic. Can't wait to see him do it.] Is receiving Holy Communion on one’s knees and on the tongue more reverent than receiving it standing and in the hand? [Will saluting the President standing up be more respectful than doing it sitting down? Duh! See how this priest hates reverence?] Will the priestly role of mediation be reinforced by praying at the altar with the back to the assembly? [Oh yeah! No reverend showman!]
I have some serious doubts about the rhetoric of “reform-of-the-reform,” since I think it often masks a nostalgic restorationism. But I become a bit more sympathetic when I read someone saying (approvingly) that “since Vatican II, the Church has been marching with the times.” Of course I know that Fr. Chupungco is a more sophisticated thinker than this single quotation would indicate, but it is these sorts of statements that give the reform-of-the-reform rhetoric its traction. - by F C Bauerschmidt on January 25, 2010 - 11:17 am
Are we going to let the liturgical experts, i.e. elitists, tell us that our nearly 1500 years of Latin Rite heritage are nothing compared to what “they” say is the “spirit of Vatican II” which in only 45 years supposedly trumped as “new and improved” everything that preceded it? ? I prefer what Msgr. Marini speaks of, as it is in continuity with the Holy Father’s writings and example. The Holy Father is calling for “organic” development of the Liturgy, which an “elitist” committee in Rome foisted upon the universal Church after Vatican II. Vatican II was much more measured and nuanced about any future revisions compared to what a small body of so-called liturgists eventually imposed upon us with the help of Pope Paul VI. These revisions, while authoritative and yes valid, are in no way comparable to the liturgical document of Vatican II–therefore Vatican II actually must be the hermeneutic we must follow in the “reform of the reform.” We must go back to what Vatican II actually requested! The Holy Father is on to something. Liturgists still living in the pseudeo-euphoria of 1965 need to sober up–it’s 2010! We’re not trying to turn the clock back on Vatican II, only on the ill-advised post Vatican II revision of the Mass and lack of oversight on vernacular translations and just what inculturation means. Not everything in any one’s culture is good or should be dragged into the Latin Rite liturgy. Some things are good. The question is, who decides? I think our Roman Catholic Tradition and ecclessiology makes that quite clear. - by Fr. Allan McDonald on January 26, 2010 - 8:38 am
Fr. Allan, I live right in the thick of liturgical reform in Collegeville, and I honestly don’t know anyone who is “still living in the pseudo-euphoria of 1965.” I do know lots of sincere people of differing opinions who are doing their best to serve the Church. I’m finding some of your stereotyping and word choice to be divisive. Pax in Christo - by Anthony Ruff, OSB on January 26, 2010 - 8:46 am
“I’m finding some of your stereotyping and word choice to be divisive.”It may be divisive to conclude that many liturgists are “still living in the pseudo-euphoria of 1965”, but I think it’s largely true. To “march with the times”, was the governing principle then and is still as the preceding quote from Fr. Chupungco proves. That desire to bend the essentials of the Faith to suit modern sensibilities, which had been gaining strength since the beginning of the 20th century, was held back from spewing its poison largely by The Anti-Modernist Oath required of all clergy and professors in philosophical and theological seminaries. If some Catholics feel a little outrage at the junking of that oath and the seemingly consequent dismantling of the sensus Catholicus, perhaps a little understanding is in order.
Fr. McDonald’s disgust with modernists and “elitists” hijacking Vatican II in the name of the so-called “Spirit of Vatican II” is justified and Fr. Chupungco’s insistance that any Reform of the Reform requires “serious academic work” smacks of that modernist elitism. Just what does he think has been going on in Pope Benedict’s head? Oh, that’s right – he told us – “mere romantic attachments to the past that close the eyes to the reality of the present time”. His claim of finding “sound tradition” “precious” rings hollow. - by Robert Burns on January 26, 2010 - 7:31 pm
Here in this place, how could we not remember the Roman Jews who were snatched from their homes, before these very walls, and who with tremendous brutality were killed at Auschwitz? How could one ever forget their faces, their names, their tears, the desperation faced by these men, women and children? The extermination of the people of the Covenant of Moses, at first announced, then systematically programmed and put into practice in Europe under the Nazi regime, on that day tragically reached as far as Rome. Unfortunately, many remained indifferent, but many, including Italian Catholics, sustained by their faith and by Christian teaching, reacted with courage, often at risk of their lives, opening their arms to assist the Jewish fugitives who were being hunted down, and earning perennial gratitude. The Apostolic See itself provided assistance, often in a hidden and discreet way.