13 July 2015

600 of them!

I have been extremely cheered to find, on returning to the blogocosmos, an interview with Bishop Fellay in which His Excellency speaks very favourably about the desire of Cardinal Sarah to see the old Offertory Prayers of the Roman Rite incorporated into a future edition of the Missal of B Paul VI.

As the Bishop observes, His Eminence's proposal has been circulating in Rome for some time now. Its enactment would be a superb and authoritative repudiation of the notion, equally favoured (although for precisely opposite reasons) by extreme traditionalists and extreme liberals, that the Novus Ordo represented a formal rupture in Eucharistic doctrine within the Catholic Church, and a significant apostasy from the teaching of Trent.

Of course, His Excellency is not advocating that such an 'improved' version of the Novus Ordo should displace the older form of the Roman Rite which, in his important clarification, the previous Roman Pontiff as the Church's Supreme Legislator and Judge made clear had never been canonically abrogated. That form will necessarily remain available, not only in the canonically erected groups to whose charism it is integral, but to every presbyter of the Roman Rite, according to the prescriptions of Summorum Pontificum and Universalis Ecclesiae.

But, among some traditionalists, there has sometimes been a tendency to believe in 'all or nothing'; that overnight the Novus Ordo should be abolished and the liturgical life of the Western Church be thereby returned to the state it was in before 1962. What may be highly attractive as a fantasy is hardly a sensible practical policy for the reconstruction in Catholic orthodoxy of the worship of Latin Christendom. 'All or nothing' is also an agenda which would see the Usus Antiquior confined to neatly tended ghettoes outside the walls of which the weeds of heteropraxy would grow ever more luxuriant.

The welcome implication of Bishop Fellay's words is that the enrichment of the Ordinary Form is one important element in the long and laborious struggle to reverse those errors which followed (but were not mandated by) the Council. In other words, we have here a welcome glimpse of a SSPX which can be, not a defensive and heavily fortified military strongpoint, but an open source of God's grace to all the Latin Church. At a time when the Society is justifiably thanking God for the Ordination of its 600th priest, and rejoicing in its growing strength and vibrancy, His Excellency's words are a very good sign. They demonstrate a new self-confidence within the Society; a greater willingness to accept that things can happen in 'the Conciliar Church' which merit approval.

A final point. I wonder if Bishop Fellay is aware that the Tridentine Offertory Prayers (and Praeparatio and Last Gospel) are to be found in the Ordinariate Use. Indeed (it sometimes appears that Rome is a place in which the left hand is not always entirely sure what the right hand is doing) I wonder if the staff of His Eminence Cardinal Sarah are all aware of what the CDF sanctioned for Anglicans.

Precedents are precedents!

1 comment:

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

ABS was born into a Perfect Society in 1948 but that Perfect Society became a Purloined Society owing to the revolution within the form of Catholicism stealing Tradition away from the flummoxed faithful and so any attempt to take back lost ground is good news.