Thursday, August 24, 2017

BOMBSHELL????

Pope Francis: Liturgical reform is irreversible

Pope Francis addresses participants in Italy's National Liturgical Week. - AP
Pope Francis addresses participants in Italy's National Liturgical Week. - AP
24/08/2017 14:29

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis gave an important address on the liturgical reform on Thursday, speaking to participants of the 68th Italian National Liturgical Week.

The liturgical reform, he said, did not “flourish suddenly,” but was the result of a long preparation. It was brought to maturity by the Second Vatican Council with the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, “whose lines of general reform respond to real needs and to the concrete hope of a renewal; it desired a living liturgy for a Church completely vivified by the mysteries celebrated.”

The direction marked out by the Council, the Pope continued, found expression in the revised liturgical books promulgated by Blessed Paul VI. 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” on the part first of the ordained ministers, but also of the other ministers, and indeed, of all who take part in the liturgy.

Today, Pope Francis said, “there is still work to do in this direction, in particular rediscovering the reasons for the decisions made with the liturgical reform, overcoming unfounded and superficial readings, partial receptions, and practices that disfigure it.” He said that this is not a question “of rethinking the reform by reviewing its choices, but of knowing better the underlying reasons [for it]… [and] of internalizing its inspirational principles and of observing the discipline that governs it.”

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

Reflecting on the theme of this year’s Liturgy Week – “A living Liturgy for a living Church” – Pope Francis dwelt on three points:

1)The liturgy is “living” in virtue of the living presence of Christ; Christ is at the heart of the liturgical action.

2)The liturgy is life through the whole people of God. By its nature, the liturgy is “popular” rather than clerical; it is an action for the people, but also by the people.

3) The liturgy is life, and not an idea to be understood. It brings us to live an initiatory experience, a transformative experience that changes how we think and act; it is not simply a means of enriching our own set of ideas about God.

The Church, Pope Francis said, “is truly living if, forming one single living being with Christ, it is a bearer of life, it is maternal, it is missionary, going out to encounter the neighbour, careful to serve without pursuing worldly powers that render it sterile.”

The Holy Father concluded his reflection by noting that the Church in prayer, insofar as it is catholic, “goes beyond the Roman Rite” which, although it is the largest, is by no means the only Rite within the Church. “The harmony of the ritual traditions, of the East and of the West,” by means of the same Spirit, gives voice to the one only Church praying through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ, to the glory of the Father, and for the salvation of the world.”

16 comments:

TJM said...

And Catholics fleeing from the Liturgical Reform is irreversible, should have been included in Santita's comments

Unknown said...

I find this interesting, considering that Pius V reversed a lot of living liturgical trends, only allowing for potential maintenance of liturgies at least 200 years old. In the long-run, I doubt that this liturgical reform of only 50+ years would be objectively seen as irreversible.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I wrote the post below this one prior to seeing what the pope had said. Of course, his style of communicating is not clear and open to "discernment" as to what is he saying?

For example:

Today, Pope Francis said, “there is still work to do in this direction, in particular rediscovering the reasons for the decisions made with the liturgical reform, overcoming unfounded and superficial readings, partial receptions, and practices that disfigure it.” He said that this is not a question “of rethinking the reform by reviewing its choices, but of knowing better the underlying reasons [for it]… [and] of internalizing its inspirational principles and of observing the discipline that governs it.”

My comment: I have been writing on this blog that the current OF Roman Missal is fine as it is but with some adaptations such as what the Ordinariate's Roman Missal allows which Pope Francis promulgated. One could take the current missal in English, mandate the propers, prayers at the Foot of the altar, the older form of the Offertory prayers, and Holy Communion kneeling and the Precious Blood by intinction and still do what Pope Francis says in the paragraph above.

ByzRC said...

The Roman Church: Vatican II Centered Worship.

ByzRC said...

Fr. AJM

As much as I would like PAFOTA etc, I don't see that coming to be during this papacy. Fortunately, the Ruthenian Church isn't burdened with these distractions and believe me, it makes a tremendous difference.

RSC+ said...

I'll admit I wasn't around before the Reforms, but my impression of the laity's attitude before then was something to the effect of: "I may not quite know what is being said up there, but I know it's the most important thing I do every week, and so I'll be there, come hell or high water."

Is that still the case? Have the people been reformed for the better? Is the reform of the congregation irreversible, too?

Fr Martin Fox said...

It's not irreversible. All his comments really tell us is how he will approach the question.

Mark Thomas said...

TJM said..."And Catholics fleeing from the Liturgical Reform is irreversible, should have been included in Santita's comments."

In Asia and Africa, the Church is booming. "Novus Ordoism" is alive and well in those places.

Just prior to Vatican II, in parts of Europe when the TLM was in place, the Western Church was in decline.

Although I favor the TLM, I am aware that pro-Novus Ordo Catholics offer arguments to support their claims that the liturgical reform is not responsible for the collapse of the Church.

Perhaps then-Cardinal Ratzinger's middle way between the two extreme arguments (pro-TLM forces versus pro-Novus Ordo forces) is valid. That is, Cardinal Ratzinger insisted that the "legitimate" liturgical reform was not the problem...

...rather, the ***manner*** in which the liturgical reform was implemented proved destructive.

Anyway, as Popes Blessed Paul VI, Saint John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis have made clear, the Novus Ordo is here to stay.

That is reality.

Once upon a time, I may have believed the pipe-dream that the Novus Ordo would be abolished or give way to the TLM. I may have believed that if the TLM were only "freed," that the majority of Latin Church Catholics would flock to the TLM.

Now, I am realistic about the Novus Ordo...it's not going away.

Among Latin Catholics who assist at Mass regularly, the overwhelming majority would not prefer the TLM over the Novus Ordo.
=================================================

In 2007 A.D., none other than Pope Benedict XVI noted the following via his letter to bishops that accompanied Summorum Pontificum.

"...it is clearly seen that the new Missal will certainly remain the ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, not only on account of the juridical norms, but also because of the actual situation of the communities of the faithful."

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Henry said...

On the other hand, it's surely irreversible in that no one could anticipate that the liturgy of the Church will be to its former glory within the lifetime of anyone now living.

Henry said...

On still another hand, it's hard to deny that most every thing the current pope says reeks of reversibility (if not worse).

rcg said...

If liturgical reform were irreversable then the claim that the NO restores some ancient form is absurd.

Joe Potillor said...

Indeed, it's quite nice being Eastern, and not worrying about the Liturgy.....

That said, the whole attitude that Liturgy is treated needs to change in the West.

TJM said...

Mark Thomas, unfortunately for the Novus Ordo, its adherents continue to shrink, at least in the Western nations. Come to Chicago if you want to see the devastation. Over 100 parishes have closed since I have lived here. The only parishes that have any real religious vitality are the ones that have the OF in Latin or the EF. A Jewish pyschologlist predicted this in the 1960s when the changes began. He stated in the Roman Church the religious vitality comes from the use of the Latin language. I thought he was spot on then, and it is even more true today.The Novus Ordo Church in the US is on the verge of collapse. In my territorial parish there are virtually no young families or children attending Mass, on stark contrast to the parishes with Latin liturgies. You only have to see what has happened in Europe to see what will catch up with the US in the next 10 years or so. So they can "jolly olly" all they like. Unless serious reform of the reform occurs, things will only get worse.

John Nolan said...

Interesting to speculate what would have happened if Summorum Pontificum had been issued thirty years earlier. In 1977 all Catholics over the age of 25 would have been brought up with the traditional Mass, and most priests would have been able to celebrate it.

I suspect it might have gone some way to stem the haemorrhage of Catholics from the practice of their faith. Michael Davies wrote at the time: 'All we ask is that the Old Rite be granted parity of esteem with the New.'

This is of course now the case, although the damage done is in Pope Francis's words 'irreversible'. Still, we may take comfort in the fact that Summorum Pontificum, by the same criteria, is also 'irreversible'.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I hope there is parallel time in heaven to see the outcome of various historical factors. If in 1965 Pope Paul allowed the ancient Mass to coexist with the revised Mass, what would the landscape look like now?

TJM said...

I suspect many would have lost interest in the revised Mass