Wednesday, February 01, 2012

The transvaluation of liturgical values

[Regarding the suppression of the traditional Mass by Paul VI]
"A community is calling its very being into question when it suddenly declares that what until now was its holiest and highest possession is strictly forbidden, and when it makes the longing for it seem downright indecent."

-- Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
Salt of the Earth, tr. Adrian Walker
(San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1997), p. 176.


Anonymous said...

Then why hasn't the Pope made the traditional Latin Mass mandatory?

Sheldon said...

As him. It's a bit inconsistent isn't it. Then again, the Holy Father has been a bit inconsistent about many subjects, hasn't he.

Ralph Roister-Doister said...

Without wishing to be too cynical about it, I think it is fair to observe that Joseph Ratzinger has never been lacking in political shrewdness. Over the past few decades he has tossed occasional remarks such as this one like crumbs of bacon to hungry traditionalist schnauzers, who proceed to do back flips of joy in anticipation of the second counter reformation.

But as pope, and in common with his post-V2 forebears (including Paul VI), he has never said the TLM in public, and probably never will. With Pope Ratzinger, trads are "always the bridesmaids."

It is a blessing that Benedict has left the door open, if only a crack, to the restoration of the TLM. But it ought also to be recognized that, in doing so, he has also put it into play as fair game for "reform" -- by descendants of the same bunch who have "reformed" the Novus Ordo into its current spiritually stultifying gumbo. After all, make no mistake about it, the world belongs to the nouvelles now. And Benedict is one of them.

"Cross fertilization" is now the red flag phrase. Watch out for it. Benedict offers the TLM as a way to breathe spiritual life into the NO. But cross fertilization is a two way street. Whether it is Benedict's intention is debatable, of course, but in any event the proposition remains -- if the TLM can be used to transform the NO, then the NO can be used to transform the TLM into a more welcoming, communitarian event. And voila, Certs is a candy mint, Certs is a breath mint -- distinction without difference.

Ralph Roister-Doister said...

I have to correct myself a bit for indicating that Paul VI never said the TLM in public as pope. He must have said the 1962 liturgy in public in the earliest days of his reign, and subsequently switched to the 1965 revision.