8 March 2018

Mary Mother of the church (2)

Apparently Pope Francis asked for this addition to the Calendar of the Ordinary Form because this Memoria was familiar to him, having been granted by indult to Argentina. In Magisterial terms, it goes back to the Allocution to the Council Fathers which Blessed Pope Paul VI made at the conclusion of the Third Session of Vatican II, when he formally proclaimed Mother of the Church as a title of our Blessed Lady (he did this after Conciliar liberals had shown recalcitrance towards this title*). The new propers now promulgated for this Memoria have, in the Office of Readings, part of Blessed Pope Paul's Allocution. Legem credendi lex statuat orandi. It's now Big Magisterium!

PF apparently likes this particular title of our Lady because he has used it several times since his election. But on 2 June 2013, when this pontificate had hardly started, a clerical columnist in one of our English Catholic Newspapers got in pre-emptively with his criticism and wrote "Pope Paul VI cheated and referred to Mary as Mother of the Church during one of his private documents during the Council" ... an engagingly cheerful and dashing dismissal of an act of Papal Primacy in the midst of an Ecumenical Council! But perhaps we should indeed follow this relaxed lead in our treatment of papal utterances. Is there anything wrong with light-heartedly calling a Pope a cheat? Surely not. This is just the sort of happy, friendly banter we need in a Church which has learned to avoid Rigidity. Lighten up, folks! And why on earth should we not dismiss a papal Allocution to an Ecumenical Council as a "private document"? I'm sure the time will soon come when "private documents" such as Laudato si and Amoris laetitia will have disappeared completely from Catholic consciousness.

Probably Vatican II itself will then be as highly regarded as, say, the Council of Vienne is now. Sub specie aeternitatis ...

Happily, Pope Benedict XVI (unknowingly) provided ways ahead for clergy who, like that columnist, intransigently dislike this title of our Lady or the important place PF has now given it in the Novus Ordo Calendar. On the Monday after Pentecost, blow the dust off your old pre-conciliar Altar Book and just celebrate the Extraordinary Form! Or ... if you have Ordinariate chums who, in the absence of an Ordinariate priest, ask you for an Ordinariate Mass on that day ... Bob's your Uncle!

I will publish the final part of this in a couple of days' time, and only then consider Comments.

*Over at NLM, the admirable Matthew Hazell has given illuminating extracts from the reactions of contemporary conciliar observers. Goodness me, HOW the poor sweet things did fume!


Jean-Luc said...

Dear Father,

Concerning the first reading of the Mass published by the Holy See to celebrate "Mary Mother of the Church", we are reminded that "versus 15 b interpretari debet secundum hebraicam veritatem ut in Nova Vulgata".

Could you, please, let us know your thought about "ipsa conteret caput tuum"? Can we defend St Jerome's translation and consider that it is Our Lady who will crash the devil's head or should we believe that only "her seed" will do so?

In Xto et Maria,

Jean-Luc Dalmasso

Fr John Hunwicke said...

There is an amusing paradox here. According to Liturgiam authenticam, a fine and learned document, in making textcrit decisions one does indeed go with the reading preferred by the Neo-Vulgate. But LA has always been very unpopular among heterodox illiterates, and is sneered at in Magnum principium. So, Jean-luc, if you want to be up-to-the-minute in Bergoglianist modernism, sneer at LA and go back to the older Vulgate!

Many modern textcrit people are dubious about the old belief in "an original text", in principle recoverable; they believe that in the last resort there are only mss and editions capturing in writing the tip of the iceberg of the rich variety that existed in a fundamentally oral culture which had not become subject to the rigid control of printed unitextuality.

In terms of old-style textcrit, the Vulgate reading here would, I fear, be weakened by the fact that it is not shared by the Septuagint. But ...

Be free!!! Be a happy relaxed Traditional Catholic, wandering at liberty in the broad pleasurable pluriform forests of the Great Tradition! It's your birthright!

P.S. I wonder if Margaret Barker would have a view on this ...

Pastor in Monte said...

Given the number of courageous women in the early books of the OT who crush evil men’s heads (Jael, Judith, the woman with the millstone who killed Abimelech, I expect that it indeed She who crushes the serpent’s head, whatever the Masoretes said.