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Pope invokes 'magisterial authority' to declare liturgy changes 'irreversible'

Discussion in 'Church Critique' started by BrianK, Aug 24, 2017.

  1. sunburst

    sunburst Archangels

  2. padraig

    padraig New Member

    It is so difficult when you are not a theologian to comment. For instance I do not know when , where or or quite how a Pope can invoke Magisterial Authority. It just seems to me that by invoking such Authority for something like Liturgical Reform generally you kind of giving a blessing to something that is an ongoing process rather than a theological statement. It is kind of like saying that North Wind is always good. But the the North Wind is maybe not so good when it blows down buildings. To say that all Liturgical Reform is always good would be like saying that it is always good to drive an automobile . But it is not always good to drive an automobile if you are drunk.

    I have been attending the Tridentine Mass for several weeks now and for myself I see two drawbacks. Firstly I would love to hear the Gospel and reading in English because I cannot understand them in Latin.

    I think secondly I would like to receive under both species and regret very much that this does not happen.

    So I would be open to Liturgical Reform. I would not close the door to it. There have been many, many very destructive so called, 'reforms' and I think we have to acknowledge this.

    I wish I had easier answers but I don't.. Our Lady indicated that these would be times of confusion and I for one am certainly confused, so she got that right. :):);) One thing about being a little older I think is that I can be a little more comfortable with not having all the answers.

    One thing bothers me at the moment. The hospital chaplain is off for two weeks and so I have to attend mass every morning at Clonard Monastery. I love Clonard but they have this huge banner of Pope Francis right beside the altar. I don;t think it should be there and it seems so out of place and wrong

    I think to some extent to say that all Liturgical Reform is right is like trying to tie down the wind. I don;t think that is what the wind is for. To be tied down like this.

    But what do I know?
    gracia likes this.
  3. padraig

    padraig New Member

    But perhaps you could put it like this, 'Reform ', is good if it really is a Reform. Bad if it is not a 'Reform' but a Deform.
    I grow more lost. I would not mind discussing this with one of the Jesuits across the street.
  4. BrianK

    BrianK Resident Kook, Crank, Curmudgeon - & Mod Staff Member

    I'm sure I can dig up a spare old Latin-English missal around here somewhere. Do you want me to send you one? (Just promise to pray for the soul of the original owner when you use it.)
    gracia likes this.
  5. davidtlig

    davidtlig Powers

    The conciliar liturgical reform should not be “reformed”


    Pubblicato il 25/08/2017


    The significant speech delivered on the morning of August 24 by Pope Francis during the audience to the participants of the National Liturgical Week, 70 years after the birth of the Liturgical Action Center, is the second compelling intervention of the week after the message delivered for the Day of the Migrant and Refugee. While the first predictably generated interest, comments and controversy, the latter remained confined to the internal ecclesial debate, even though it is a document that contained some very important and fixed points.

    “With magisterial authority” Francis defines as “irreversible” the liturgical reform approved by Paul VI and implemented in the post-council. This does not mean that everything has worked out well in the last few decades, or that the reform has been fully implemented. In fact, Pope Bergoglio observes: “Today, there is so much work to do in this direction: we need to rediscover the reasons behind the decisions made with the liturgical reform, overcoming unfounded and superficial readings, partial revelations and practices that disfigure it.” Words that seem to refer to certain and not-uncommon liturgical abuses (“practices that disfigure”), and to unilateral traditionalist-inspired readings that would throw the baby out with the bath water and crystallize a stage of the Catholic liturgy (the missal before Pius XII’s reform in 1954) by defining it as “mass of all time” and considering it to be irreversible.

    Pope Francis was also clear about another point. He said, “It is not about rethinking the reform by reviewing its choices, but about knowing better the underlying reasons, even through historical documentation, how to internalize its inspirational principles and observe the discipline that governs it.” In this way, even without mentioning it directly, he is saying no to a liturgical “reform of the reform”, as some ecclesial branches have long been hoping for.

    The words “reform of the reform” had been used by then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who in the interview book God and the world. A conversation with Peter Seewald (2001) urged, “To defeat the temptation of a despotic practice, which sees liturgy as man’s property, and awake the inner sense of the sacred.The second step will be to assess where too cumbersome cuts have been made, to restore the connections with past history in a clear and organic way. I myself have spoken in this sense of a “reform of the reform”. But, in my opinion, all this must be preceded by an educational process able to stem the tendency to mortify the liturgy with personal inventions.” As we see, Cardinal Ratzinger, then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, hoped for a “Reform of the Reform,” but pointed out already 16 years ago that it should be preceded by an “educational process.”

    During his pontificate (2005-2013), Benedict XVI, however, dropped this expression, inviting also then-Prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship, the Spanish Cardinal who he had appointed, Antonio Cañizares Llovera, not to use it. Making new changes from above, by decree, without being preceded by an “educational process” from below, would have been useless if not counterproductive. For this reason, Pope Ratzinger chose to communicate by setting an example - emphasizing the centrality of Eucharist and adoration - but without imposing, since he himself had pointed out that new reforms and liturgical changes would have created confusion among the people of God.

    The most significant liturgical decision of his pontificate was to grant, with the motu proprio Summorum pontificum (2007), the liberalization of John XXIII’s missal, the one used before the Council and during the Second Vatican Council. Pope Ratzinger tried to prevent the obvious perplexity that his initiative could have awaken, by writing a letter to the bishops in which he explained that the new missal from the post-conciliar liturgical reform “is and remains the normal form” to celebrate Mass. That ancient one, Benedict XVI observed, is nothing more than an extraordinary form of the same Roman rite. The Pope’s liberalization intent was to serve as a mutual enrichment between the two forms of the rite, enhancing on the one hand the sacredness and the verticality of the pre-conciliar form, and on the other, highlighting the richness of the scriptures and the participation of the faithful of the post-conciliar form.

    It must be admitted that this has not happened, possibly because of closures and responsibilities coming from both sides. Also this area didn’t lack disagreements, abuses, and obsessions: there are those who have disregarded the pontiff’s indication by restricting if not opposing faithful who were still tied to the ancient ritual. And, on the other hand, others who bluntly disobeyed Benedict’s instructions, and instead of using the 1962 missal, reprinted and used the one in place before 1954, thus omitting Pius XII’s reforms. The same Pope Ratzinger, author of the liberalizing motu proprio, has never publicly celebrated according to the ancient missal.

    Today his successor Francis first recalls the profound and inseparable bond between the Second Vatican Council and the liturgical reform, explaining once again that the two events did not “bloom suddenly” but were the result of a long preparation” with a process that goes from St. Pius X, passes though Pius XII and arrives through the Council until Blessed Paul VI. A path confirmed and sealed by Pope Montini’s successors.

    Francis then recalls the first constitution approved by the fathers of Vatican II, the Sacrosanctum Concilium, “whose general lines of reform responded to real needs and to the concrete hope of renewal; it wanted a living liturgy for a Church made alive by the mysteries it celebrated”. It was about expressing in a renewed way the perennial vitality of the Church in prayer, so that faithful would not assist as outsiders and mute spectators to the mystery of Faith, but, by understanding it well through the rites and prayers, would participate in the sacred action consciously, spiritually, actively.”

    And recalls the post-conciliar liturgical reforms have not yet been fully received: “ The reformation of the liturgical books under the decrees of Vatican II have started a process that requires time, faithful reception, practical obedience, and wise implementation first on the part of the ordained ministers, but also of other ministers, singers and all those who participate in the liturgy. “Liturgical education of pastors and faithful” is therefore a “challenge” to be addressed “always and again”. Pope Bergoglio, using Paul VI’s words a year before his death, reiterates that, “The time has now come to let the disruptive ferments that are equally pernicious in one sense or the other, and to implement fully, according to its right inspiring criteria, the reform approved by us in application of the decisions [votes] of the council”. He then indicates the direction he intends to take during his pontificate, which is to rediscover the reasons of the decisions made, to “interiorize the principles that inspired them and to observe the discipline that regulates” the liturgical reform.

    Finally, by entering into the theme of the National Liturgical Week, Francis emphasized that “liturgy is “alive” because of the living presence of Him who “ has destroyed death with his own death and by resurrecting has given us life again.” Without the real presence of the mystery of Christ, there is no liturgical vitality. “Just as without a heartbeat there is no human life, so too without the pulsating heart of Christ there is no liturgical action.” What defines the liturgy is in fact the implementation, in the holy signs, of Jesus Christ’s priesthood, that is, the offering of his life until being nailed onto the cross. A constantly present priesthood through rites and prayers, especially in His Body and Blood, but also in the person of the priest, in the proclamation of the Word of God, in the assembly gathered in prayer in his name.” Sufficiently clear words about Eucharist’s central role.

    The Pontiff then expressed peculiar emphasis on the people of God: “by its nature the liturgy is in fact ‘popular’ and not clerical” because “it is an action for the people but also of the people.” As many liturgical prayers recall, it is God’s action in favor of his people, but also the action of the people who listen to God who speak and react by praising him, welcoming him, accepting the inexhaustible source of life and mercy that flows from the holy signs. The Church in prayer gathers all those whose hearts listen to the Gospel, without excluding anyone The small and the great are called, as are the rich and the poor, children and old people, the healthy and the sick, the just and sinners.The “popular” reach of Liturgy reminds us that it is inclusive and not exclusive... We must not forget, therefore, that liturgy is primarily to express the piety of the whole people of God that is prolonged then by pious exercises and devotions that we know by the name of popular religion, which should be valued and encouraged in harmony with the liturgy.” Even in this case, some crucial points have emerged given the re-emergence of a certain neo-clericalism with its formalism and attempts of accentuating the “separation between priest and people.

  6. BrianK

    BrianK Resident Kook, Crank, Curmudgeon - & Mod Staff Member

  7. padraig

    padraig New Member

    It is very kind of you Brian, I don;t want to put you to any toruble, I will get one next week.

    TO be honest I get a little lost in the Old Mass, I was not even sure if the missal had the readings in English. It shows how much I know.:)
    BrianK likes this.
  8. Dolours

    Dolours Powers

    So does this mean balloons can't be replaced with drones?

  9. BrianK

    BrianK Resident Kook, Crank, Curmudgeon - & Mod Staff Member

    gracia likes this.
  10. Fatima

    Fatima Powers

    Making sense of Pope Francis’ statement about “the liturgical reform”
    The Holy Father is focusing his (and our) attention on the rational substance of the reform process.
    August 25, 2017 Christopher R. Altieri
    Pope Francis arrives for his weekly audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican Aug. 23.

    (CNS/Alessandro Bianchi, Reuters)
    If you are an Anglophone and you follow the affairs of the Catholic Church, you likely heard something about Pope Francis’ remarks to a society of liturgical experts on Thursday. A good deal of hay has been made with the Pope’s words already, and much ink spilt in the effort to understand what it could possibly mean to say that “the liturgical reform is irreversible,” and more to understand what it could mean to say it, “with magisterial authority.”

    The really interesting thing about the Holy Father’s speech, though, is the light it sheds on the way he intends to use the powers of his office.

    One of the complaints we heard early and often about Pope Francis is that he had no real understanding of what Papal power really is, let alone how to use it.

    Anyone persisting in that opinion will need to account for the Pope’s actual use of that power, which has been – almost from day one – more frank and confident than such an opinion would appear to allow.

    After all, this is a Pope who has been perfectly happy to canonize his favorite confrère as a birthday present to himself: who is content to govern outside the constitutional structure provided him; who appears perfectly willing to let the men supposed to be his closest advisors say what they will about his leadership, while keeping his own counsel when it comes to decision-making; and who understands, without either a shadow of doubt or a smither of ambiguity, that he is in charge.

    In a word: Pope Francis is the decider.

    In any case, and in despite of the breathless claims that Pope Francis did, indeed, assert with magisterial authority the irreversibility of the liturgical reform, the plain fact of the matter is that an assertion of just such a thing is precisely what Pope Francis did not make. Rather, the Pope said that he can make such an assertion: that is a very different thing from actually asserting it.

    Make no mistake: the Pope’s precise formulation does tell us that he believes the reform to be in some sense irreversible, and that he is willing in principle to make that assertion with magisterial authority.

    Therefore, Francis’ assertion of magisterial authority to say that the post-Conciliar liturgical reform is irreversible – which actually calls attention to his not saying it – tells us more about his estimation of the scope of his powers as Pope and about the manner in which he intends to use the powers he does not doubt he has, than it does about his personal opinion regarding the state and direction of the Church’s liturgical life.

    At bottom, the Church’s “journey” of reform in the post-Conciliar era is a fact of history. History happens, and once it does happen, it cannot be undone. In this sense, the reform that has gone before us is irreversible. Nevertheless, we are still very much in the process – Francis often prefers to say that we are on the journey – of reform: a process “that requires time, faithful reception, practical obedience, wise implementation…” This reform, moreover, begins with the books, but ultimately must speak to “the mentality of the people” which “must be reformed as well.”

    Francis, in short, understands that he presides with direct, immediate, and supreme authority over the whole Church and all the faithful – in other words, that he is the Roman Pontiff – and that the purpose he has set for himself in the exercise of the powers that inhere in the office he holds is the precise direction of the process of reform.

    This is work – the work of reform, hence the work of directing it – the Holy Father believes far from finished.

    “There is still work to do in this direction,” Pope Francis said in his remarks on Thursday, “in particular,” the work of, “rediscovering the reasons for the decisions made with the liturgical reform, overcoming unfounded and superficial readings, partial receptions, and practices that disfigure it.”

    With the announcement of the common task of the Church – the hierarchical leadership and the faithful together – as one of seeking anew the reasons in view of which specific reforms have been undertaken, Pope Francis is focusing his (and our) attention on the rational substance of the reform process.

    The specific choices made along the way remain in place – including, presumably, the significant contributions of Benedict XVI, especially though by no means exclusively Benedict’s choice in Summorum Pontificum to liberalize the use of the 1962 liturgical books. Those choices, however, are to be understood in light of a common understanding of the animating principles of the Church’s whole liturgical life, which – again, presumably – are those so ably and eloquently outlined and detailed in Sacrosanctum Concilium.

    Here, it is worth our while to pause for a moment to reflect on the polyvalence of the word, “partial” which the Holy Father deployed to modify “receptions” in the remark quoted above.

    Even in English, but more so in Italian, “partial” can indicate something less than complete or perfect, and a commitment to or preference for one side of thing – say, an argument. If one is offered five propositions, and assents to three, one’s acceptance of the propositions may be said to be partial. Given a pair of options, one might say, “I am partial to the former,” or the latter.

    Pope Francis’ insistence on both the irreversibility of the reform, and the need for rediscovery of the reasons of the reform, itself, strongly suggest that he believes we must reject receptions that are partial in both senses: we cannot take the reform of the liturgy in a piecemeal fashion; nor can we use the process as an opportunity to hijack the institutional power of the Church at any level to impose our own liturgical preferences on those who do not share them.

    The Pope is willing to use his power to steer the course of the process, while leaving the question of substance open to free discussion and debate among all the faithful – and this is a potentially fruitful tack to take, albeit a risky one.

    The risk in such an approach is that an attempt to implement it might give new impetus to the so-called “liturgy wars” that ravaged the ecclesiastical landscape in the decades that immediately followed the close of the II Vatican Council, and that have given way for the moment to an often hard and bitter peace.

    Whatever his motivations, that is a risk Pope Francis appears willing to take: si pacem vis, paras bellum.

    Whether or not the Pope’s bid to establish a firm foundation for the peace of the Church does result in a renewal of hostilities will depend in large part on the generous and charitable response of all the faithful in every state of life.
  11. Fatima

    Fatima Powers

    Cardinal Burke: Pope Benedict restored the ‘correct order and beauty’ to the liturgy

    LA CROSSE, Wisconsin, August 29, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Raymond Burke said in a recent interview that Pope Emeritus Benedict’s “most splendid contribution” to the Catholic Church was his work of restoring the liturgy.

    “There is no question in my mind that the most splendid contribution of the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI was in the area of restoring the correct order and beauty to the Sacred Liturgy,” said Burke in an interview with The Wanderer published August 21.

    The interview was published three days before Pope Francis invoked “magisterial authority” to declare Vatican II liturgical reforms “irreversible.”

    Some liturgists are interpreting the declaration, according to Vatican expert Sandro Magister, as a “halt ordered” from Pope Francis to Pope Emeritus Benedict’s program of reviving authentic liturgy through a rediscovery of the Traditional Latin Mass.

    “And in effect, in the long speech delivered by Pope Francis there are abundant citations of Pius X, Pius XII, and Paul VI. But for Benedict XVI, a tremendous scholar of the liturgy, there is not so much as a nod,” said Magister.

    Notably absent from Pope Francis’ statement on the liturgy, pointed out Magister, is any mention of Benedict’s 2007 edict Summorum Pontificum, which allowed priest to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass and thereby “preserve the riches” found in it.

    Cardinal Burke said in his interview with The Wanderer that Pope Benedict XVI’s teaching on the liturgy was “so profound because he had the courage to issue Summorum Pontificum.”

    “The teaching contained in that document will certainly endure in its effects,” he said.

    Before becoming Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was a world-renowned liturgist who wrote some of the most revered books to this day on the subject, including The Feast of Faith and The Spirit of the Liturgy.

    In the preface to The Spirit of the Liturgy published in 2000, then-Cardinal Ratzinger wrote that the liturgy envisioned by the Vatican II Council Fathers was “endangered” and even “threatened with destruction” because of the introduction of novelties and innovations foreign to it.

    “In 1918 ... the (Roman Catholic) liturgy was rather like a fresco. It had been preserved from damage, but it had been almost completely overlaid with whitewash by later generations. ... The fresco was laid bare by the Liturgical Movement and, in a definitive way, by the Second Vatican Council (1962-65),” he wrote.

    “But since then the fresco has been endangered. ... In fact, it is threatened with destruction, if the necessary steps are not taken. ... What is imperative is a new reverence in the way we treat it, a new understanding of its message and its reality, so that rediscovery does not become the first stage of irreparable loss,” he added.

    Pope Benedict’s liturgical legacy includes:

    • Writing about the Eucharist as the “source and summit” of the Christian life in his 2007 Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis.
    • Supporting an authentic re-translation of the Roman Missal into English which came into effect in the U.S. in Advent, 2011.
    • Restoring the use of the Traditional Latin Mass in his 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, suggesting that the “two Forms of the usage of the Roman Rite can be mutually enriching.”
    Cardinal Burke said in The Wanderer interview that Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, has pointed Catholics in a “good direction” in implementing what Sarah has called a “reform of the reform.”

    “First, he encouraged offering the Mass with everyone facing the Lord [ad orientem]. This will help so much to restore the sense of worship and to show that the Mass is not some kind of social event between the priest and parishioners, or the parishioners among themselves. Rather, it is an action of the whole community with the priest at the head acting in the person of Christ [in persona Christi], of ‘worshiping the Father in spirit and truth’ (John 4:23) as our Lord said to the Samaritan woman at the well. I think this would be a very good place to begin,” said Burke.

    “Cardinal Sarah addressed a second area of reform at the 2017 Sacra Liturgia Conference in Milan when he asked once again for consideration of receiving Holy Communion kneeling and on the tongue. I think those are two areas to address that would be very effective,” Burke continued.

    “I think the matter of orientation of all towards the Lord with the priest at the head (toward the East if possible, unless it is physically impossible because of the geographical location of the church) and the manner of receiving Holy Communion reverently on one’s knees and on the tongue are important places to start,” he concluded.
  12. Don_D

    Don_D Powers

    Thank God for these men and their plain speaking.
    Fatima and HeavenlyHosts like this.
  13. sunburst

    sunburst Archangels

    "All roads do not need to go through Rome!" - Deligne

    Everything is clear for the former president of the Argentine Bishops Conference who has become pope. Decisions in the Church do not necessarily need to go through Rome.

    “Rather than assisting the Church, an excessive centralization complicated the life of the Church and its missionary dynamic,” he lamented in §32 of Evangelii gaudium, which can be regarded as the program for his pontificate.

    For several months, the C9, i.e. the nine cardinals who advise him on the reform of the Curia have tackled the question of the decentralization of the Church.
  14. Praetorian

    Praetorian Powers

    Centralization of authority has always been the strength of the Catholic Church, not it's weakness. The very word 'Catholic' means universal. United, one and universal in belief. A pyramid of authority set up by Christ Himself.

    The Anglican Communion tried decentralization. They are now in tatters. Their differences started out with more minor issues, but now different Anglican countries believe in different truths. Why don't we ask them how decentralization works for large religious organizations.
  15. Carol55

    Carol55 Powers

    "United We Stand Divided We Fall"!

    I think that one of Satan's greatest MO's is "Divide and Conquer" and we are seeing it ALL around us.
  16. AED

    AED Powers

    Absolutely. The root of diabolical means to tear apart. "In the end God wins" (Pope Benedict XVI)

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