Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Pope Francis and Liturgy: Post-JMJ and the FFI Crisis

Robert Moynihan, the prominent Vatican journalist, has written about comments the Holy Father gave in an interview on Shepherd One  while returning from World Youth Day. Letter 78 is not yet online at his blog, and these comments got missed in the hubbub over the remarks on homosexual priests.

Aside: no matter my misgivings, it is cool that it abbreviates in several Romance languages to JMJ, the first 'J;'being day, the 'M' world or global, and the second 'J' being the word for youth derived from the Latin Juventutem.

Apparently, the reporter noted recent visible ecumenical strides with the Roman Church and the Orthodox Churches, such as the attendance of Bartholomew, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople at the Mass for the Papal Inauguration. This is also in the context of the 1,025th anniversary of the baptism of the Rus, being celebrated by the Church, both Eastern and Western, in those lands of Russia, the Ukraine, and Belarus. Remember, Francis is bi-ritual, not only as Pope, but as Fr. Bergoglio; he was entrusted with the pastoral care of Ukrainian Greek Catholics in Argentina. So he is familiar with the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom as a pastor, and not just an enthusiastic observer.
"They have conserved that pristine liturgy, no?" Pope Francis says. "So beautiful. We [i.e., the Latin Christians] have lost a bit the sense of adoration, they conserve it, they praise God, they adore God, they sing, time does not count. The center is God and that is a richness that I would like to emphasize on this occasion as you ask me this question." 
This is what confuses me. Blessed John Paul II and Francis both have given us wonderful teachings on the liturgy: what it is, and how we should offer it to God. But, the actual situation is different from the words they give us. Why?

Us faithful Catholics clamoring for the celebration of the Holy Mass that will help us to reveal the love of Our Lord hidden in the Eucharist in the manner most expressive of  Beauty, Goodness, and Truth wonder this.

This is not about ragging on the Novus Ordo. It is about the Holy Mass and its celebration, one that must take us vertically towards Our Lord in Heaven. I will not say the EF is more efficacious. It's not. The Novus Ordo  is not a break from Tradition, as the some in the SSPX claim, but it's not a great channel of it either, because many priests did not understand-or did, and worked against it- what Tradition is and how it relates to liturgical action.

Also, we are not for restoring a time and a place that we think is perfect. That is antiquarianism. We are about restoring all things to Christ, something only possible at the end of the world and the Second Coming I think, but a noble and necessary task nonetheless.

Also, it is all about winning souls for Christ, and leading our own souls to Christ in a manner given to us by the Church that is best for us.

I do not doubt the sincerity of most of the priests who say the Ordinary Form. I hope they believe the same. I do not also doubt the sincerity of most priests who say the TLM. I hope they also believe the same.  There are very rotten apples in both bunches, by the way.

But please Fathers, give us the Extraordinary Form daily. We won't take away your daily Mass and Office in the Ordinary Form, or even ask you to celebrate the older form although we hope you do and we want you to love it as much as we do.

Split the work. Ask for things. We shall find the money. But please, say the Mass in the traditional rites!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this. It is the first page I have yet seen recognition of Pope Francis as capable of celebrating Greek Catholic liturgy!
    I am afraid that he is greatly discredited for showing too little enthusiasm for the Latin Rite. In reality, though, he celebrates whatever liturgy is fitting w/o partiality. I believe the Lord is pleased with his servant in this regard--despite the push back from traditionalists.