15 March 2021

Grilloid aggression ... a new hero for Miss Jean Brodie?

When the CDF issued decrees strengthening the Forma Authentica of the Roman Rite about a year ago, a cosiddetto "Liturgist" called Andrea Grillo issued an angry open letter, to which he invited the addition of further signatures.

In this document, he argued that "it is inevitable that a dual, conflictual ritual form will lead to a significant division in the faith", and remarked upon "the disruptive effect this 'exception' will have on the ecclesial level, by immunising a part of the community from the 'school of prayer' that the Second Vatican Council and the liturgical reform have providentially given to the common ecclesial journey".

OK; Grillo is concerned with the internal affairs of 'the Roman Rite'. But the logic of his imperious  ecclesial-fascist demands for ritual uniformity inexorably applies well beyond the boundaries of the Roman Rite. The Ambrosian Rite survives in quite a number of areas in North Italy. Let us hope that, when the pandemic abates, Grillo stays well clear of Lombardy.

And I am surprised that even a cosiddetto liturgist should never have heard of the Dominican Rite. I used to attend it as a callow nineteen-year-old undergraduate back in the early Sixties. I never heard it then described as 'conflictual' or as likely to lead to 'significant division in the faith', although in the Thirties Mgr Ronald Knox had lightheartedly written "The bother is that the Dominicans insist on saying an odd kind of Mass, which needs a server accustomed to the rite". How disgraceful of Knox to allow Godz Dogz to galumph all over the Oxford Catholic Chaplaincy with their conflictual and divisive liturgy! And to allow a part of his congregation to be "immunised from the school of prayer that the Council of Trent and the liturgical reforms of S Pius V gave to the Common Ecclesial Journey"! Grillo would have kept them all on a tighter lead!

And there are, of course, the rites (and rights) of the sui iuris Catholic Churches. If 'dual, conflictual' ritual forms lead to significant division in the faith, should such diversity, such pluriformity, be allowed? (The papal liturgy at Baghdad recently must have raised this problem in an acute form for the Grilloids.) And the instruments of Union which brought these "Eastern" bodies back into regular communion with the Petrine See elaborately guaranteed the preservation of diversity. Thank God Grillo was not around to Put A Stop To All That Sort Of Thing.

Benedict XVI increased the diversity within the Church by granting a new 'form' of the Roman Rite to three Ordinariates. Praise be to God, it shows no signs whatsoever of Grilloid influences.

In the earlier years of the "Liturgical Movement", liturgists were rather interested in the 'Eastern Rites'. It was thought necessary to defend them against 'Latinisation'. It was believed that Holy Mother Church was adorned with variety, and that this variety gave her not only beauty but also strength. Unity, we used never to tire of saying, is not the same as Uniformity. The Grillo notion, that the entire Church Militant should be secured within the straightjacket of one single 'Common Ecclesial Journey', was anathema in informed circles.

Even within the narrower coinfines of the Latin Church, so an Anglican Report of 1947 enviously wrote, "the very vastness and richness of the organic life still possible in it, admitted of the existence of strong theological tensions within a single ecclesiastical body, with the spontaneity and vitality which such contained tensions always bring to theological and ecclesiastical thinking." (Grillo, happily, was not yet even a glint in his mother's eye.)

And, within the Catholic Church herself, there was recognition that different liturgical cultures did indeed accompany different forms of the Great Tradition. The Encyclical Orientale Lumen of 1995 made positive attempts to explain to Latin Christians some of the rich diversity preserved for us all by Eastern Christendom. Thank God, Grillo appears to have had no part in the drafting of it.

For the Grilloids ... poor wee timorous beasties, frightened little men cowering amid the vermin in their cobwebby bunkers ... rich liturgical diversity with its promise of equally rich theological diversity is clearly a danger which they are too terrified to risk.

Perhaps Grillo and his associates need themselves to make a Common Ecclesial Journey, preferably in company with the Owl and the Pussy Cat, to a blessed  realm without conflictual ritual forms, governed by the Dong with the Luminous Nose..


Paul in Melbourne, Australia said...

This diversity is brilliant. I must say I do not understand Knox's comment about the Dominican Rite. I have attended both the Low Mass at my alma mater on many occasions and the Missa Cantata. The servers, who were always university students, never had any difficulty. I guess this was Mgr Knox's sense of humour.

John Patrick said...

Hmm - "immunising a part of the community from the 'school of prayer' that the Second Vatican Council and the liturgical reform have providentially given to the common ecclesial journey".

I wouldn't mind getting this immunisation. Would be more worthwhile to me than the experimental anti China Virus vaccines made from aborted fetal tissue, rushed into production and now being foisted on us by the Authorities.

coradcorloquitur said...

How predictable these Modernists are (as are, usually, most liberals): he uses the straw man (in this case the "imperiled" ecclesial unity) to attack those who adhere to the theology and liturgy of the ages detested by his ilk: traditional, orthodox Catholics. If Grilloid gave a fig about ecclesial unity, he would be denouncing today the heterodox "synodal path" recently embarked upon by the German hierarchy as well as the Dutch Catechism of post-council years---not to speak of the daily affronts to liturgical decency and Biblical morality and magisterial dogma from the Modernist front over the past half century. Those have been, and continue to be, the lethal danger to what remains of ecclesial unity. But aside from the cynical gloss over the rich ritual diversity (both Eastern and Western) of the One, True Church under Peter---indeed a resplendent jewel on Holy Mother Church's crown---what annoys most in this cowardly attack is the apparent assumption on the part of Grilloid that his audience would fall for the ploy that his real concern is the unity of the Faith. These mendacious people have no shame---or fear of the Eternal Judge.

Pulex said...

But we, of course, understand, from the cited open letter, that it is not diversity of rites that Prof. Grillo is against. I am sure that he is perfectly satisfied with the existence of the Ambrosian rite, since it, too, like the Roman rite, has been reformed and thus become a "school of prayer" according to Bugnini's taste. The same has happened, to some degree, also with Carthusian rite, and, in different ways, also with some of the Oriental rites. Therefore, he is pleased with any diversity and variety provided that it is a product of the "renewal".

PM said...

There are quite a lot of differences, mostly small, between the Dominican and the classical Roman rites, Paul. But, except for the lack of a response to the 'Orate fratres', the congregation mostly wouldn't notice them.

A Dominican ordained in the late 1950s recounted that the servers would often become confused over some of those details when he and his brethren went to non-Dominican parishes to cover for the absence of the parish priest, those 'supplies' being an important means of support for their houses.

Fr Edward said...

If Gillo wasn't a member of the faculty at the liturgy place in Rome - Sant'Anselmo - I'd be tempted to say he was a very stupid man. So instead he must be... erm, well, I'm still thinking