Friday, September 12, 2008

The Holy Father on Summorum Pontificum today...

I have two questions after reading the following response given by the Holy Father today:

"This 'motu proprio' is simply an act of tolerance, with a pastoral objective, for people who have been formed in this liturgy, who love it, know it and want to live with this liturgy," he said. "It is a small group, given that it presupposes a formation in Latin, a formation in a certain culture. But it seems to me a normal demand of faith and pastoral concern for a bishop of our Church to have love and tolerance for these people and permit them to live with this liturgy."

"There is no opposition whatsoever between the liturgy renewed by the Second Vatican Council and this liturgy," Benedict XVI continued. "Each day, the Council fathers celebrated Mass according to this old rite and, at the same time, have conceived a natural development for the liturgy in all of this century, since the liturgy is a living reality that develops and that conserves its identity in its development."

"Therefore, there are certainly distinct accents, but a fundamental identity that excludes a contradiction, an opposition between the renewed liturgy and the preceding liturgy," the Pope affirmed. "I think that there is the possibility of mutual enrichment. It's clear that the renewed liturgy is the ordinary liturgy of our times."

1. The first paragraph seems to not have explicitly in mind young people who did not exist before the Second Vatican Council and therefore I ask, does the Holy Father's response have, actually, in mind a community of people who by the very fact of their more elderly age were "formed" in a pre-Vatican II society? I know that 40 years is enough time to "form" even those in their teens or 20s, BUT, the Holy Father does seem to have the "older" crowd explicitly in mind when giving this response.

2. If indeed, as we read in the third paragraph, there exists the "possibility of mutual enrichment" by the two forms of the Roman Rite, what exactly are the points whereby the Missal of Paul VI enriches the '62 Missal? I'm quite aware of the points made by some whereby the usus antiquior enriches the Ordinary Form, but, in my opinion, there exists a grave lack of making prominent the points whereby the Ordinary Form enriches the Extraordinary Form. I suppose, however, it could be said that the very existence of a "reformed" rite (the ordinary form) is by its very self, an enrichment of the 1962 Missal. The reform took place for a reason(s), did it not?

One more thought, the Holy Father uses the word "small" in reference to a "small community" for whom Summorum Pontificum was intended. Now, he was not speaking ex cathedra with prepared texts, so let's not read too much into it (as people so often seem to do), BUT, it is certainly an interesting word choice, this "small".

It's late, and I have an early Mass at St. Peter's tomorrow. (That's a really really cool sentence to type, by the way!) Pax. mbw

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

M--glad that Rome is treating you well. B XVI answers your second question in the accompanying letter for Summorum, stating that the Paul VI enriches the old missal with the insertion of new saints and some of the new prefaces. Go back and look at that letter--he basically repeats that in his plane remarks. --nlb