Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Why I never took 'the tablet's


As usual the Tablet [14/07/07] resorted to its 'progressive' [sic!?]
agenda when countering the 'Motu proprio' issued by his Holiness
regarding the 'Extraordinary Rite'.
I lost my temper somewhat and wrote a hasty ill-composed letter; obviously there is more chance of Bishop Trautman of Erie performing a Latin High Mass than anything contrary to the spirit of the Tablet being published; so I thought I should record for posterity what I wrote:
I should like Mark Francis S.J. to inform me why the Extraordinary rite's evangelical attitude to Judaism is so problematic ? and which part of Nostra Aetate #4 directly contradicts prayers for the conversion of Jews ?
Does the document not state :

"...the Church awaits that day, known to God alone, on which all peoples will address the Lord in a single voice and "serve him shoulder to shoulder" (Soph. 3:9).(12)"

and

"All should see to it, then, that in catechetical work or in the preaching of the word of God they do not teach anything that does not conform to the truth of the Gospel and the spirit of Christ." ?

I should also love to know how such an expert of liturgy; even, he assures us, more informed than His Holiness on such issues, could suggest that the 'Tridentine Rite' is theologically incomplete due to its alleged 'anaemic
pneumatology' . Surely he must be aware that even the Orthodox Churches acknowledge the congruency of epiklesis with 'supplices te rogamus'; and even then he seems to to be suspiciously ill-informed regarding the teachings of Irenaeus, Ss Cyril of Jerusalem, John Chrysostom & Robert Bellarmine ; let alone the council of Florence on such an issue. Is Fr Francis daring to imply that the Extraordinary Rite is invalid?

Fr Francis finds latin a bone of contention; and wishes us to adhere to the liturgical rites mandated by Vatican II - Might I remind him of The constitution on sacred liturgy #36.1 which commands '[impero' ] the retention of Latin - Surely any priestly formation which deprives any seminarian of liturgical training in the 'Lingua Prima' must be considered in deficit ?

He suggests that The Holy Father has resorted to relativism and that rather than discern in a conciliar way wih his fellow Bishops he has listened to those close to the papal throne and submerged himself in personal piety. Well perhaps I could offer a remedy in one small arena of contention I have had regarding conciliarity ? On the 29th May 1969 One person [the liturgist par excellence - Bugnini of blessed memory] did exactly what Fr Francis accuses His Holiness of doing - going against two-thirds of the Bishops present at vatican II's express wishes to retain the distribution of communion upon the tongue.
Perhaps His Holiness could oblige by revoking this ?

Fr Francis continues that references to members of other 'christian churches' within the missal of '62 as heretics and schismatics is hardly conducive to oecumenism. Perhaps it would be preferable to refer to them as 'separated brethren' but the question arises 'separated by what?' could it be heresy and schism ? To be truthful the Missal does not refer to them as christians at all - it was forbidden to - as [technically] are we ! - by decrees of Leo XIII and Pius XI. None of us would wish ourselves left open to accusations of Indifferentism ?

There is one thing I have to agree with both Fr Francis and the Tablet Editorial - their accusation that the Holy Father has denied that Vatican II marked a radical change in the history of the Church.
Absolutely !
Significant ? Yes.
Beneficial/detrimental ? Debatable
Radical ? No.
There was no radical change. We are the same Church. It has not changed in either dogma or essential praxes or morality. Blessed Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI said as much. Furthermore, to avoid any ambiguity, every Pope has told us that the old Mass was not abrogated; and Benedict XVI has made an unequivocal statement to such ends. Now, it is authoritatively clarified that "subsistit" did not mean that the Catholic Church was not the one true Church. What's left to say ?Finally Two corrections: Fr Francis states that the indult under John Paul II was allowed to those who found themselves spiritually unable
to adapt themselves to the new rite. This is untrue - the indult was granted irrespective of questioning into anything other than the Priest's desire for it - without any adjudication !!! . He also states that historical precedent would axiomatically abrogate the 1962 missal in 1970 - this is again untrue - and every Pope - the actual Legislators and the ultimate possessors of precedent by The primacy of Peter have said it is not the case.

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