17 September 2021


 Foreign readers may need to "bone up" upon what is meant by "Cockney Rhyming Slang". It is our demotic equivalent of that propensity to slip into Latin which used to be common among our educated classes in the time when ... goodness, how I do woffle.

The first and fundamental Porkie in Traditionis custodes is that Benedict XVI permitted the Usus Authenticus as a kindly concession to those who felt the need for it.

This is untrue. Benedict revealed the verdict of a canonical commission which had found that the 1570 Rite had never been properly abolished in proper canonical form. 

The Old Rite was never abolished! 

Any reworking of Summorum Pontificum clearly needs to begin conceptually from that remarkable revelation.

In addition to that canonical fact, Papa Ratzinger added a dogmatic assertion. He did not say that his successors ought not to abolish the Old Rite: he asserted that it cannot be abolished or forbidden. In other words, that an attempt to abolish it would be ultra vires. 

"CANNOT".  Pope Benedict really did mean what he said. When he was Cardinal Ratzinger, he had launched a scathing attack on the impression "that the pope really could do anything in liturgical matters, especially if he were acting on the mandate of an ecumenical council." And, before that, he had reminded us "that the Church, throughout her history, has never abolished nor forbidden orthodox liturgical forms, which would be quite alien to the Spirit of the Church."

I suppose it is hardly surprising that PF fails to understand the simple proposition that the pope cannot do anything.

But, surely, even he must see that, if he can so disdain the doctrinal teaching of his predecessor, he is sawing off the branch upon which he is himself so precariously balancing.



frjustin said...

On the day that this post was published, the bishop of Rome would have heard this reading at the NO Mass for Friday, September 17 (1Tim 6:2-12):

"This is what you are to teach the brothers to believe and persuade them to do. Anyone who teaches anything different, and does not keep to the sound teaching which is that of our Lord Jesus Christ, the doctrine which is in accordance with true religion, is simply ignorant and must be full of self-conceit - with a craze for questioning everything and arguing about words. All that can come of this is jealousy, contention, abuse and wicked mistrust of one another; and unending disputes".

Zephyrinus said...

Dear Reverend Fr. Hunwicke.

An excellent Post. Deo Gratias.

It is obvious that his Holiness has, in Cockney Rhyming Slang, got himself into a “Right Two-and-Eight”.

Many people probably feel that, in everybody's interest, he should now “Scapa”.

Jonathan said...

If he saw that then surely he would't saw it!

Perhaps he doesn't see himself sitting on that branch. I suspect he sees things in a more matter of fact way - the papacy exists and has power in practice so why worry about where that power comes from in theory.

Archimandrite Gregory said...

The moto of this pope is hagan lio! So what do you expect?

E sapelion said...

By the Old Rite most people seem to mean the 1962 Missal, since that was the use BXVI specifically authorised. But that had clearly and canonically had revised rubrics in 1965, published in an editio typica (including elements of vernacularisation). Furthermore SCR had pubilshed, with authority, an Instruction in 1967 with further, and more drastic, revisions. If the Old Rite cannot be abolished, it assuredly was not the unmodified 1962 Missal (I would welcome this vernacular form).
I would be prepared to say that BXVI was at least being economical with the truth by giving the impression that a move intended to placate the SSPX was fully in line with the canonical situation. He was course 'merely' giving a juridical cloak of respectability to extending the indults of Quattuor abhinc annos and Ecclesia Dei, which were explicitly intended to address adherents of SSPX.
When S Paul VI permitted an indult for the Old Rite it was explicitly 'as in 1967'.

Albrecht von Brandenburg said...

We Australians use rhyming slang as much as the Cockneys, e.g., Dog (dog and bone = phone; Captain (Captain Cook = look). Examples could be multiplied.


armyarty said...

I am always somewhat perplexed when I hear people refer to "S" Paul VI. I do not doubt that he is in heaven. But it is perplexing how anyone could thing that he was any kind of good example, or that he ever had any spiritual clients, seeking his intercession. I am told, however, that there was a miracle. Apparently, somewhere in America, some priest actually preached an entire sermon on Humanae Vitae!