Friday, January 10, 2014

Fr. Folsom on SP (3)

Fr. Karol Wojtyla
From pages 8 onwards, Fr. Folsom outlines the radical changes to the Ordo Missae, the lectionary, and the calendar. "An unbiased observer would have to conclude that there has been a breach or rupture in the
development of the Roman Missal." Indeed, I have been pondering this question, especially in light of the Franciscans of the Immaculate (on that I say, HERE).

He quotes Pope Benedict XVI's letter to the bishops of the world that accompanied the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, in which he outlines the expanded (nearly unlimited) use of the older liturgical books as a move for continuity and an "interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church."

It's now clear that the 1962 edition of the Missal was never abrogated, even if Pope Paul VI thought it had been or intended to do so. Cardinal Ratzinger's commission determined this in the 1980s, and it was established firmly in 2007. In fact, the situation was even broader before: priests or bishops could choose the edition to use within their territory from either form. The Diocese of Campos in Brazil is an example. Notice no one was penalized, even if the bishop was perhaps heavy-handed, since he didn't do anything wrong in using the older forms of worship over the modern rites. How could he be disobedient to a non-existent order?

St. Josemaria celebrating Mass
But how is this co-existence possible?  Each edition is supposed to abrogate the previous one, notwithstanding the expense of a new one, resulting in modifications to the older book. I offer a few solutions. Quo Primum sets the standard for protection under ecclesiastical law at two centuries, and the older form of the Roman Rite has been in use for much longer than that. At this point it's been developing for over 1500 years. I believe the Pope cannot exceed his predecessor's standard in suppressing a form of the liturgy. One passes down what has been handed on to him, and one cannot just throw it out overnight. Cardinal Ratzinger's comments in his memoir Feast of Faith, cited by Fr. Folsom on page 12, on the need for a new Missale Romanum are not to be taken lightly however.

I also wonder if the modern Roman Rite is only the Roman Rite juridically. It is a Roman Mass in its origins, by-and-large, and it can be said freely by any priest ordained in the Roman Rite. It is called the Roman Rite, for it is the liturgy said at Rome and issued by the Bishop of Rome for Roman Christians. But that doesn't mean it is the ancient Roman Rite. Fr. Folsom offers fascinating insight from Monsignor Klaus Gamber's book The Reform of the Roman Rite: Its Problems and Background:
The traditional ritus Romanus and the ritus modernus should both be accepted as legitimate forms of liturgical worship. The two rites are to exist as independent rites and must be kept separate and unique in such a way that the traditional Roman rite and the traditionally used Missale Romanum, together with all other liturgical texts (Rituale and Pontificale) be reinstated or be authorized for use in the form in which they existed prior to the Council. (91)
If we allow the traditional rite to continue unchanged and nurture it, alongside the new rite but allowing the traditional rite to exist as a living liturgy, not as a museum piece, it will manifest itself within the universe of the Church and among the different peoples as an important element: the unity of cult. (92-93).
Mass at the CMAA Colloquium, I believe 
 Pope Benedict's solution is well-known: they are two forms of the same Roman Rite. But I am not entirely certain that he actually ended debate on Gamber's question. He solved the problem through juridical measures which attempt to, and for the most part succeed in, highlighting the continuity between the two forms of the liturgy. This needs to be an open question for the 1962 Missal cannot remain in 1962 forever, nor can we have two forms of the same Roman Rite permanently. I'm not sure a fused liturgy is even possible. Once the vernacular is let in, it's here to stay, so an all-Latin liturgy as the norm is probably excessive. On the other hand, the older rituals tend for the most part to be superior in appearance (text, aesthetics, and so on) to their newer counterparts (if there is one...) and should not have been stricken so rapidly, so restoring them with a pen's stroke is perhaps too much as well. The council did call for rubrical modifications and changes to the lectionary. How do we implement those? How do we deal with concelebration? I shall save my thoughts on possible changes for another post.

I have been terribly moved to tears at Masses said in the Ordinary Form. But I think "dressing up" the Novus Ordo reveals its composition and the missal's nature as a "banal, on-the-spot product," to quote Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger.

I almost used "its" instead of the "missal's." It would be a grievous and heretical error to say that the newer form of Mass is in its nature something different. It is the re-presented Sacrifice of Calvary, no doubt. We must be careful not to say otherwise.

This concludes this series, and I will continue musing on the reforms.

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