Friday, September 01, 2017

Irreversible reform? Me in the Catholic Herald this weekend

This weekend the Catholic Herald has a cover story about the Traditional Mass' appeal to young people, by Matthew Schmitz.

Accompanying this is a shorter piece by me on Pope Francis' remarks, made in a speech to a group of Italian liturgists, that the 'reform' is 'irreversible'.

It is not available online, so you'll need to look out for a paper edition. Here's a taster.

Pope Francis’s recent address on the liturgy – about which he has hitherto said little – was striking for its conventionality. In almost every respect, the Pope’s speech hews to the official,  post-Vatican II line. It emphasises the continuity of the post-conciliar reform with the efforts of Pius X and XII; it praises the reform for its “vitality”; it condemns liturgical abuses (“deformations”); and it calls for an end to liturgical conflict. 

But it has raised eyebrows for its rejection of the possibility of revisiting the “decisions” of the reform in light of its “inspirational principles: an explicit rejection of the “Reform of the Reform” project, which seeks to go back to the Council documents and do the reform again, better. This should be no surprise. In the official mindset, the reform was perfect and was marred only by liturgical abuses. Liturgical progressives should note that the account of the liturgy which follows is entirely traditional, focusing on the altar, the Sacrifice of the Mass, and the Priesthood of Jesus Christ, not even mentioning the Last Supper, the Mass as a shared meal or the liturgy as an affirmation of community. 

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1 comment:

  1. If the NO is indeed now set in concrete, and without any chance of reform, all the more chance for the young to notice that the concrete (like that of many 1970s urban buildings) is rather grey and depressing, and that cracks are now visible in its facade.

    Any NO reform would end up being merely cosmetic - and it might mislead the unwary into believing that there had been some genuine reform. Something the ageing diehard Bugnini fans would never allow. They would instead use any superficial alterations to the NO as an excuse to mutilate the TLM to make the two rites 'approach each other' as a quid pro quo of 'mutual enrichment'.
    When anyone freely offers to enrich me, I always find it wiser not to accept the offer.