Yes, I admit it. I troll the katholik krazy sites for fun—and just to see what sort of mischief up to which they are. (How do you like that, Sister Mary Tarcisius who taught us never to end a sentence with a preposition. Honeychile, I’m no canon lawyer, but some rules are made to be broken—and, as much as I enjoy reading Edwardian prose, some things are just obsolete. And that pertains to Church too.) Most of the sights are semi-literate trash—my old friend Janet at Restore DC Catholicism, her evil twin in Boston at the
blog formerly known as Throw the Bums Out
in 2010 (when the Bums got reelected in 2010 and the Bum-in-Chief got
reelected in 2012, she changed it to The
Tenth Crusade and then it briefly became something like What the Pope Really Means but now it
seems to be nameless. And then there is Rorate Caeli which used to be fairly
intelligent reading but now has just devolved into a semi-sedevacantist
anti-Francis rave. But when I want to
read something on the extreme right wing that is usually intelligent and always
(well, almost always) well researched, I go to New Liturgical Movement. For
the most part they don’t qualify as krazies, though I would still consider them
among the effete savants I referred to in my previous post.
I found New Liturgical Movement somewhat by accident. A reader tipped me off to it’s having cited me. I felt deeply honored, even after I read the diatribe. It seems that Dom Antony Ruff OSB, a monk of Saint John’s Collegeville and manager of the PrayTell blog, initially referred to What Sister Never Knew and Father Never Told You. The particular reference had to do with my declaiming about one of my favorite bugaboos—the questionable “offertory rite” in the Missal of Pius V, the rite on which the current usus antiquior (aka Traditonal Latin Mass) is based. My problem with the rite in question is that it teaches the (false) doctrine that the Mass consists of two sacrifices: the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross at Calvary and a secondary and lesser sacrifice in which the priest offers in sacrifice the bread and the wine which will be used for the Eucharistic Sacrifice. Now I have no quibble that in the Sacrifice of the Mass the One Eternal Sacrifice of Christ, offered once and for all becomes mystically (i.e. sacramentally) present on the altar. In the Mass we participate in the One Eternal Sacrifice which Christ offered for the forgiveness of sins. Agree. 100% Sorry Martin Luther, sorry John Calvin, sorry Thomas Cranmer but you guys were wrong—but I don’t have to tell you that, you know it, now. Too bad you didn’t know it back in the day, but frankly too many of your Catholic contemporaries were making such outlandish claims about Christ being sacrificed over and over again each time Mass was offered that I can’t blame you for over-reacting. But the dust has settled—or in poor Archbishop Cranmer’s case, the ashes have settled, somewhere, and we all need to move on. But, no there is no sacrifice of bread and wine. Call it an oblatio all you want, or a hostia, or even refer to the gifts as a sacrificium—but they aren’t, and we shouldn’t say that they are. That is not the faith of the Church! Pius V’s faulty rite notwithstanding.
In any event, this comment on the faux offertory rite of the 1570 rite sent Gregory DiPippo who is the managing editor of New Liturgical Movement into a bustle of research and writing in which he produced an entire series of articles on the various late medieval offertory rites. (Of course, my objection is precisely this: that this exaggerated rite with its double sacrifice is a late medieval rite and varies from the ancient and patristic sources which would never have obscured the True Sacrifice with the imaginary devotionalisms of some medieval priests, more pious than orthodox, who thrilled at the thought that they were making a sacrifice of their very own with which to gild the solitary True Sacrifice of Christ by which we are redeemed.) In the event Mr. DiPippo has produced a remarkable study of the various offertory rites of the Mendicant and Monastic Religious Orders as well as of the variant English and French Rites. I understand that he has yet to finish this magnum opus by looking at the various Iberian Rites and I presume German, Scandinavian, and Western Slavic rites. And this only covers the usages of the Western Church—which is appropriate as there is little or actually no influence of the Eastern Rites on the Western Liturgy from probably the eighth century until the twentieth. But I am wandering from my objectives. As I said, I have great respect—as well as frequent disagreement—with the work of the New Liturgical Movement blog. My fundamental objection is their agenda of furthering the restoration of the pre-conciliar liturgy, an agenda to which I personally am totally opposed for a variety of historical, theological, and pastoral reasons. New Liturgical Movement recently published an article by Peter Kwasniewski entitled “Ten Reasons to Attend the Traditional Latin Mass.” It has led me to articulate my opposition to the revival of the pre-conciliar rite and so I will be doing a series of postings on Ten Reasons Why One Should Embrace the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite. Like Mr. Kwasniewski’s article, my series will be not so much a thoroughly thought out manifesto but more a work in process that at times will fall into redundancy and probably even circular argument but it will give me a chance—for my own sake—to investigate why I think the liturgical Reforms of the Second Vatican Council provide the spiritual foundation for the Church in our time to be faithful to its mission. Here are my ten reasons for embracing the liturgical changes of the Second Vatican Council. Any similarity to the reasons posed by Mr. Kwasniewski are co-incidental.
1. saints are formed by prayer that draws them into deep participation in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
2. The most valuable experience in our process of being catechized in the faith is our participation in Liturgical Prayer and thus the prayer must reflect fully the authentic Catholic Faith.
3. True prayer comes out of the depth of our graced experience and thus is rooted in the particulars of our own culture.
4. True and authentic prayer is intelligible
5. Because of its centrality in conforming us to Christ, the Liturgy must be a clear and unambiguous witness of our Trinitarian and Incarnational faith
6. The liturgy walks us through the cycle of Christ’s birth, life, teaching, suffering, death, resurrection and sending the Holy Spirit.
7. The Liturgy introduces us to the life of discipleship as we follow the saints through the Church year.
8. The Liturgy immerses us in the Word of God which is the nourishment of our life of discipleship
9. The Liturgy reveals to us the Full Mystery of the Body of Christ
10. The Liturgy is the means by which we are transformed into Christ and come to share in His Divine Nature.