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..