The church of S Nicolas of Tolentino in the Diocese of Clifton hit the news with its LBGT mass a few weeks ago (see blog October 15). Watching the video, I had a resurgence of a feeling I have expressed before. Who actually wants the "Ordinary Form" of the Roman Rite?
In things big and small, the Tolentino Liturgy exemplified the disturbing fact that ... nobody wants it. The celebrant wore no chasuble, but a curiously drab stole with a tassle at the back. He didn't ever genuflect. OK; perhaps he is too old and weak to genuflect. Perhaps his church is too impoverished to afford a chasuble. But he also inserted a Creed on a weekday; a Creed, moreover, bearing no resemblance to any Creed the Church has ever authorised. The celebrant apparently performed the Fraction during the Institution Narrative, as if that Narrative were some sort of enactment of the Last Supper.
And I didn't actually watch the entire rite; I just flicked quickly through. But I saw enough to make clear that ... endless 'creativity' was the order of the day.
Earlier in the story of our Ordinariate, a distinguished lecturer told us that 'disobedience' was a part of the 'Anglican Patrimony' we needn't bring with us. The point (with its implied rebuke) was a fair one. But it fitted ill with the experiences which many formerly Anglican clergy were having at just that point.
As the newly 'resprayed' Anglican clergy spread out into Catholic parish life in the 'mainstream' Catholic Church, there was genuine amazement at the degree of liturgical disorder and rank disobedience which so widely prevailed among 'mainstream' clergy. Particularly, the incessant rewording of 'authorised' texts. So one continually got (even on Sundays) the pseudo-Hippolytan Eucharistic Prayer ... bad enough in itself ... in a form 'made more relevant' by Father. Clericalism galore! And there was the dreadful and heterodox music ... about which the bishops of the US have recently written a very telling and intelligent Letter.
There are indeed some churches where these condemnations of the Novus Ordo would be unfair; but they are largely churches where the clergy would prefer to be saying the Old Mass but for 'pastoral' reasons are unable to do so; they therefore say the new rite with greater or lesser amounts of the spirit and spirituality of the old.
As far as the Calendar is concerned, I wrote recently about a Scottish bishop for whom what is really exciting seems to be a succession of secular celebrations which, if they are not syncretistic, at least gesture more towards a didactic syncretism than towards the Truth that is in Christ alone.
Any re-appraisal of the liturgical situation in the Latin Church should begin with an honest acceptance that nobody ... almost absolutely nobody ... whether Traddy or Trendy ... actually wants the Novus Ordo ... either its Order or its Calendar..
On both sides, it is disliked, or regarded as of little relevance, and, very widely, largely set aside.
Much the same seems to be true of the current Roman Pontiff.
Bobby Mickens recently wrote: " ... it's not clear what Francis actually does want. And not just on his birthday, but on many things. ... Oh, he's written and said a lot. An awful lot. But that doesn't mean he always reveals what he's really thinking. And, at times, he says things that are hard to square with things he has said and done at oher times. In a word, Jorge Mario Bergoglio is somewhat of an enigma. He rails against clericalism, yet he can also be as clerical as anyone."