28 March 2022

Popes, Liturgy, and Authority (2): A SINGLE (unicus) FORM OF THE ROMAN RITE?

 So what did the Emperor Charlemagne do, given the impossible situation he was landed in by Pope Hadrian's lack of interest in Liturgical Uniformity? And the by fact that the book the pope had eventually sent him seemed unusable?

He got his scholars to provide an Appendix to Pope Hadrian's book. You see, that book didn't even contain liturgical provision for what we would call the 'Green Sundays' of the year! Or the Exsultet!

And this Appendix was mightily long! In the HBS edition, the basic papal part of the book runs to 143 pages; but the Appendix is considerably longer, with 177 pages! The two parts are divided by a Praefatiuncula usually referred to (from its first word) as the Praefatiuncula hucusque. In this, the Editors explain that 'we' velut flores pratorum vernantes had plucked, brought together, corrected ... etc.. the material in the Appendix from other sources.

They go on to make clear that they expect there to be two classes of user: those (si cui placent  ... suscipere) who will use the Appendix; and (Si vero superflua vel non necessaria sibi illa iudicaverit) those who will use only the first section and will ignore the Appendix.

If this doesn't mean that there were to be two forms of the Rite, I don't know what would!

The two categories of users were expected to behave "placabiliter"1


Ever since Summorum Pontificum, there have been pompous know-alls who have paraded around ridiculing the canonical determination of Benedict XVI that there could be two 'Forms' of the Roman Rite.

In fact, there always have been plural forms of the Roman Rite ... Archbishop Cranmer listed what there was in England alone: "some folowyng Salisbury use, some Herford use, some the use of Bangor, some of Yorke, and some of Lincolne". When I was an undergraduate, one could go to Blackfriars for the Dominican Rite, or to the (then nearly extinct) Jesuits of Alyoggers for the edition of S Pius V. 

It was Pope Francis himself who actually promulgated the Ordinariate Missal as being a lawful use of the Roman Rite.

The present, 'momentous'  'discovery' of PF that there can only be an unicus usus of the Roman Rite is as unhistorical as it is unpastoral.

It is ridiculous. It is ultra vires. Barmy.


DePicchi said...

Reverend Father, I admire your very sharp observations. I know that you regularly speak of a "usus deterior", but, in my humble opinion, the fundamental problem, the underlying ambiguity is that the Novus Ordo, on closer inspection, cannot possibly be considered as a form of the Roman rite, for the simple reason that it is altogether another rite. There is no familiarity between the two. It is something new and unrelated (as you well know, I am neither the first nor the only one advancing this notion).

Whether or not a Roman Pontiff has the power to create ex nihilo a new rite and impose it in good measure on the entire Latin Rite Church, well, that's another kettle of fish.

But this much should be clear: if it is true that the history of the Church has known - especially before the invention of printing - many different varieties and uses of the Roman/Latin rite, the Pauline/Vatican rite on the other hand cannot be included in this list.

Thus Traditionis Custodes is wrong in its stated premise, namely that of liturgical uniformity as the goal of common good it allegedly pursues.

But it is right insofar as, between the lines, it asserts the irreducibility or at least the formal unrelatedness of the two rites.
And in this sense, again, it is wrong when it affirms that the NOM is the only expression of the Roman rite: for, on a sincere historical-liturgical analysis, it is not an expression of it at all.
To say otherwise is to embrace a purely nominalist notion of the liturgy - and of reality: an invented rite cannot be "the Roman rite" just because the pope says so, just as the Arno cannot be a Roman river just because the pope says so.

The only "solution" to this mess can be, I believe, and only temporarily, the creation of a Church sui iuris in which the Roman Rite can be serenely practiced, while the Latin Rite Church as a whole continues to celebrate a rite that, more honestly, should be called "Vatican".

Evangeline said...

How frustrating that is not common knowledge. We live in such a muddled time! If that is so, then what we have makes no sense at all, because there is no doubt, they try hard to make it a binary choice, Vetus Ordo vs Novus Ordo, and there are no variations. Our time is like a people trying to live under a dense fog, you can hardly see reality and you're just struggling to find your way around, there's so little truth you can find, and you can't trust anything.
But one thing is perfectly clear, there is not and has not, been one single, valid reason to attack and try to ban, the Vetus Ordo. This is true even if we did not have clown Masses where the most outrageous disrespect and sacrileges were not taking place at various altars.

Josephus Muris Saliensis said...

It is right and worthy, as a blogger, that you should use may words, and formulate learned arguments, for the edification of your readers.

But for me this battle is won and lost on one detail. Anyone (and its writer and translator were very closely connected, if not one and the same) who can translate 'unicus' as 'unique' deserves neither hearing nor respect.

John Vasc said...

Given the ad lib four alternatives of the Novus Ordo canon, it's in any case ridiculous to claim the NO is a single form.

Pulex said...

Dear Father, I find very interesting your idea that Hucusque established a coexistence of two forms of Roman rite. It seems that the appendix was (a variety of) Gelasian sacramentary while the book sent by Pope Hadrian belonged to the family of sacramentaries known as Gregorian and represented the use of papal household.

Regarding the Charlemagnes efforts at unity (cf. your previous post), we should remember that he also attempted to eradicate the Ambrosian rite in Milan, even using letal force, and secured approval from the Pope. Thus the survival of their rite the Milanese owe to a single-man crusade of a Roman rite (sic!) bishop who obtained a reversal of the papal decision (see https://sicutincensum.wordpress.com/2021/07/23/repost-mysterium-mysteriorum-how-the-ambrosian-rite-survived-charlemagne/).

PM said...

Moreover, Traditionis Custodes is so ill-informed and cack-handed that, by referring only to the liturgical books of the Roman Rite from 1962, it leaves the Ambrosian, Dominican, Carmelite and other rites untouched. As any canonist will confirm, it is a basic principle of canon law that prohibitions are to be read strictly and permissions broadly.

John Patrick said...

"Given the ad lib four alternatives of the Novus Ordo canon, it's in any case ridiculous to claim the NO is a single form."

Although it should be noted that many rites have multiple anaphorae or canons, for example the Maronite Qurobo which has 72 possible anaphorae, or the Byzantine Rite which can use either the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom or St. Basil.

I don't think it is the multiplicity of canons that is the problem; it is the fact that 3 of them were newly created (allegedly in a cafe in Trastevere) with no continuity to past tradition, downplaying the sacrificial nature of the Mass, and introducing the epiclesis a concept foreign to the Roman Canon before then.