24 August 2017

Let Me See If I Understand Francis' Remarks on the Irreversibility of Liturgical Reform Correctly

So Francis just said some stuff today, which, as is often the case, seems self-contradictory. This time it involves the liturgy, a subject on which much depends and on which his track record is, shall we say, poor to dismal:


But “it is not enough to reform the liturgical books; the mentality of the people must be reformed as well.” The reformation of the liturgical books was the first step in a process, he said, “that requires time, faithful reception, practical obedience, wise implementation”.

“After this magisterial, and after this long journey, we can assert with certainty and magisterial authority that the liturgical reform is irreversible.”

OK, let me see if I can understand this correctly.  "We" can assert with certainty and "magisterial authority" that the "liturgical reform is irreversible"?  Is Francis using the royal "we" to be "magisterial"? Or perhaps he is indicating the whole people of God are speaking magisterially? Is this new doctrine, or is he employing the logical fallacy of argumentum ad populum-- of appealling to large numbers?

And magisterial? Please. Consider this passage from an actually promulgated Papal Bull, Quo Primum, which mandated the use of the so-called Tridentine Mass as the normative Roman Rite (my own emphases in bold):


Let all everywhere adopt and observe what has been handed down by the Holy Roman Church, the Mother and Teacher of the other churches, and let Masses not be sung or read according to any other formula than that of this Missal published by Us. This ordinance applies henceforth, now, and forever, throughout all the provinces of the Christian world, to all patriarchs, cathedral churches, collegiate and parish churches, be they secular or religious, both of men and of women – even of military orders – and of churches or chapels without a specific congregation in which conventual Masses are sung aloud in choir or read privately in accord with the rites and customs of the Roman Church. This Missal is to be used by all churches, even by those which in their authorization are made exempt, whether by Apostolic indult, custom, or privilege, or even if by oath or official confirmation of the Holy See, or have their rights and faculties guaranteed to them by any other manner whatsoever.

This new rite alone is to be used unless approval of the practice of saying Mass differently was given at the very time of the institution and confirmation of the church by Apostolic See at least 200 years ago, or unless there has prevailed a custom of a similar kind which has been continuously followed for a period of not less than 200 years, in which most cases We in no wise rescind their above-mentioned prerogative or custom. However, if this Missal, which we have seen fit to publish, be more agreeable to these latter, We grant them permission to celebrate Mass according to its rite, provided they have the consent of their bishop or prelate or of their whole Chapter, everything else to the contrary notwithstanding.


All other of the churches referred to above, however, are hereby denied the use of other missals, which are to be discontinued entirely and absolutely; whereas, by this present Constitution, which will be valid henceforth, now, and forever, We order and enjoin that nothing must be added to Our recently published Missal, nothing omitted from it, nor anything whatsoever be changed within it under the penalty of Our displeasure.

[...] Furthermore, by these presents [this law], in virtue of Our Apostolic authority, We grant and concede in perpetuity that, for the chanting or reading of the Mass in any church whatsoever, this Missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty, judgment, or censure, and may freely and lawfully be used. Nor are superiors, administrators, canons, chaplains, and other secular priests, or religious, of whatever title designated, obliged to celebrate the Mass otherwise than as enjoined by Us. We likewise declare and ordain that no one whosoever is forced or coerced to alter this Missal, and that this present document cannot be revoked or modified, but remain always valid and retain its full force notwithstanding the previous constitutions and decrees of the Holy See, as well as any general or special constitutions or edicts of provincial or synodal councils, and notwithstanding the practice and custom of the aforesaid churches, established by long and immemorial prescription – except, however, if more than two hundred years’ standing.

Pardon me, but THAT sounds magisterial to me. And I'll just boil down the sense of Francis' remarks today, considering the above, and our knowledge of the history of the Church for the last 450-- or even 50-- years:

"Attention, plebes: the bastardized liturgy foisted on the Church 48 years ago can never be done away with, even though that bastardized liturgy replaced a liturgy of antiquity, made mandatory by Papal Bull 447 years ago, because my personal whims and the whims of like-minded modernists constitute a super magisterium way better than any 1500+ year immemorial custom or 447 year old specific Papal prohibiton on said whims."

Doesn't sound so convincing to me. But don't worry. That's where the most ominous of Francis' words today stand out:

"it is not enough to reform the liturgical books; the mentality of the people must be reformed as well.” ... “that requires ... practical obedience...

That sounds a lot like, "We are going to make you do it, so shut up." 

I find this argument somewhat unpersuasive.

8 comments:

Lynne said...

This is why the SSPX remains a safe place.

Anonymous said...

Aren't you supposed to be getting ready for the Cardinals' Patronal Feast baseball game? Oh, wait that’s been suppressed this year in the new calendar, it’s “Baseball Game to Make Glorious Joy for People Confused About What Is In Their Pants” with a memorial of the guy so confused that he didn’t just not know what gender he was, but was unable to tell a SLPD officer from a pumpkin in late October.

I guess Matheny the Trans-Good Manager will be celebrated tonight as well.

Hotdogs will be half-off and Bud Light will be sold as beer tomorrow, too maybe.

Figuring out what a trans-whatever really is makes about as much sense as the Bishop in White's liturgical ramblings. Is that a Royal We, or just proof of demonic possession?

-BD

Anonymous said...

According to Francis --
it's okay to practice adultery,
but not okay to kneel for Communion.

Every Cardinal who voted for this relic-of-the-60s will to have to answer for his pastoral negligence.

JTLiuzza said...

Thanks for quoting Quo Primum.

Jorge's remarks about the frankenmass are at least some comic relief from this train wreck of a pontificate.

JBQ said...

"Summorum Pontificum" of Benedict XVI: "Whatever earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful". (Rorate Caeli, 8.24.17)

Anonymous said...

The idea that the reform is irreversible is of course a contradiction of terms. Reform means change. Irreversible means something that cannot be changed. So the phrase "reform is irreversible" means the change cannot be changed. But once something is changed that proves that it can be changed again.

Patricia said...

You have spoken what is Truth. I love what you write because you do not mince words but get right to the heart of the matter. Please take care of yourself. I want to have more emails such as this one! Thank you for sharing!

TLM-er said...

Fr. Z on new-Mass origins: http://wdtprs.com/blog/2017/08/eyewitness-account-of-struggle-over-post-conciliar-liturgical-reform-which-reversed-centuries/

If true, sheds some light on current topic?