Thursday, March 21, 2013

Francis's Holy Thursday Mass

Fr. Zuhlsdorf has a very insightful article on the decision to celebrate the Mass of the Lord's Supper in a juvenile prison. That can be found HERE.

I support his views fully. It's less about what Francis is committed to. We know little about that. It is more about his public presentation and the way it is spun in the incredibly ridiculous and exhausting 24 hours, seven days a week media cycle. He will from here on out always be expected to buck papal and liturgical traditions....that's not good for us in the ordinary parish churches, where the reform of the reform looks a whole lot harder. It's less about what he does or wants than what people think of him.

Another item alluded to in Father's introduction was those pilgrims who have planned to visit Rome. I think it's really wrong to rob them of the traditional opportunity to assist at Holy Mass celebrated on Holy Thursday by the Holy Father in Saint John Lateran. Rumor has it that they were specifically planning to give tickets to the poor of Rome; if that has any truth, then I think the prison Mass is a mistake. Even if it's not, it's an idea worth considering.

We Latins have got to get it together with the holy liturgy. We are so close to bringing together East and West permanently. I can feel it. The East cannot survive without the West, nor the West without the East. The doctrinal issues from the Western perspective are settled, or are up for debate as to the best expression of the doctrine. But, if we cannot reassert the authentic Roman liturgical identity that stood in such contrast and harmony to Constantinople for 2,000 years, then I fear it is all for naught. It starts with the Holy Father, even if he initiates a bottom-up effort. Again, I am not blaming Francis or suggesting he do anything. This post started out as one on the liturgy, and I simply think it is an issue we Catholics need to keep in mind as we trudge on in the Master's vineyard.

Finally, Francis is older than the pundits predicted. He clearly has trouble with his knees as Mgr. Marini and the deacon are very close to him, and he has stumbled a little bit. It's well-known now that he only has one lung; Rome is an oppressive area...but, I cannot see him using the sedia even though it will preserve his knees. I hope that the Vatileaks files and other matters entrusted only to the Roman Pontiff don't overwhelm him. It is said that after a month of being the Smiling Pope, John Paul I was utterly exhausted by the curial work and was called to his reward. I fear the predecessors of the current wolves-and while not many, and certainly not a majority by any stretch in the Curia-were there in 1978. Let us hope and pray for his health and strength, and that we might be lifted of the worries and confusion surrounding these events (hey, some humility too while we're at it.).

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