Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Cdl Sarah: Fallout and the Real Battle

I posted this comment on Fr Hugh's excellent blog, and on a thought provoking piece he published today entitled: The Fallout and Propaganda: Cardinal Sarah and Sacra Liturgia 2016. Fr Hugh speaks of the enthusiastic reception of the Cardinal's invitation to begin ad orientem celebration in Advent, I remember being at another conference when another CDW official made a similar statement, with a similar reaction from the floor, a few of us actually did re-orientate our worship. In recent years, after Pope Benedict's papacy, the urgency of the situation has gathered momentum.
Thank you again Fr Hugh, your accounts have been invaluable for those us unable to the conference.

The real issue here, with the Missal, is the same as with the Council itself: how should it be read?
It is either in the hermeneutic of 'rupture': meaning forget what the documents themselves actually say, forget what scholarship says, forget what the competent authorities say, or else it is 'continuity', which means a return to a strict reading of the text, listening to what scholars are saying, and listening to competent authorities.
In this skirmish the whole battle of the VII is being played out, including the rather shameful and not quite truthful bullying by the advocates the hermaneutic rupture of those who uphold the hermeneutic of continuity.
My personal fear is that despite what the texts clearly say and is open to everyone to read, that some 'experts' really hold an arcane truth revealed only to them, it is really about de-democratising the Church, and placing control into the hands of an elite and arcane oligarchy, who despite clear evidence insist they alone have authority to make a 'correct' interpretation.
This is not just about the preference of the priest as Cdl Nichols suggests, it is about how we read and implement the Church's teaching. In the case of Cdl Nichols email to his clergy it also seems about arrogating a power to himself that properly belongs to priests.


Francis said...

This is pure pre-conclave maneouvring. All the more so as Benedict's resignation has created a precedent and Francis could step aside at any time.

The "stop Ratzinger" types in the episcopate now regard Cardinal Sarah as the leading orthodox hopeful for the next conclave and they are busy trying to undermine him.

These types are absolutely desperate to preserve the Francis legacy/direction and the skirmishing has already started.

Was Cardinal Sarah wise to stick his head above the parapet so blatantly?

Ana Milan said...

Politics never had any place in the CC until the Modernists took over. They must be cast out. It has been suggested that PF is a puppet of the St. Gallen Group (Mafia) & will be dismissed as soon as he has fulfilled the job description given him. Watch for whoever takes his place.

Cardinal Sarah is in tune with Christ which they are not, and is giving true leadership. Naivety is a sign of godliness not cowardice. Priests & Laity should come out in force to support him.

Fr Ray Blake said...

The Borgias and Rovera were a tad political don't you think?

Solitary Sojourning said...

Cardinal Sarah has to be my favorite person in the Church. After reading "God or Nothing" I could honestly say that I was profoundly changed. A strong and brave leader who does not accept bs from anyone.

If the enemies want to attach him, they will be confounded in short time.

DJR said...

Fr Ray Blake said... The Borgias and Rovera were a tad political don't you think?

And let's not forget the "cadaver synod."

Robert said...

So what is Cardinal Sarah and his position really there for, if his suggestions are meaningless to his "so called" brother Bishops, and the Pope!. Makes no sense at all!!. Not one!!. Why do we need a prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, if he is plainly IGNORED and REBUKED!. Apart from Cardinal Nichols being a closet Protestant!. And the Pope a puppet to his fellow Protestant clergy, dressed up in Roman vestments!. You know!. The ones from the sixties, who control the Chair of St. Peter and Christs church. Not the Pope!. Or God for that matter!!.

Jacobi said...

Ad orientem is the norm for the Roman Mass. Several rites are and were allowed such as the Dominican and now the Ordinariate Rite and of course the also new Pauline Rite. The Tridentine rite however as defined by St Pius V remains the norm, and anyone who must for whatever reason attend the valid Pauline Mass may also reserve to themselves aspects of the Normal Catholic Mass, the Tridentine - including, on the part of the priest, orientation!

Pelerin said...

Robert has a good point in that Cardinal Sarah has a position of authority and yet our own Cardinal sees fit to contradict him and worse insists all the Priests of his diocese do so as well. I still respect Cardinal Nicholls' office as I must but am at a loss to know why he has made this latest move.

JARay said...

I can remember being an Altar Boy and serving Mass. This was in the days before anyone had any ideas of changing the liturgy or even the language in which Mass was said. I served Mass in various locations be they at the high altar in a church or out in a field. No one then worried about the the direction in which the altar was placed. In my own parish I think that the altar rather faced the East but that was simply because Wentworth Terrace in Wakefield runs in a West/East direction but the Lady Chapel faces North and Mass was said facing East and also said facing North if said in the Lady Chapel. Both were used! It all depended upon the direction in which the architect was able to position the church when he came to build it! It is only of recent invention that any concern is expressed about the direction in which a priest says Mass! Now, it is all a big deal! Hmmmm!

JARay said...

I feel that I must also add to my previous posting that I have, long in the past, flown in aircraft of Royal Brunai. Each time, before take-off, the pilot had to post a message of prayer in Arabic and then, all the way throughout the flight, the direction towards Mecca had to be shown. We are not in that condition, within the Church, are we?!

thomas tucker said...

I think the "liberals" are afraid of emphasizing the sacrificial nature of the Mass.

John Vasc said...

As this confrontation grows, let us not allow ourselves to be sidetracked from our need and duty to pray, pray, pray, for Cardinal Sarah, and for all holy priests who stand up for orthodoxy and liturgical traditions.

John Vasc said...

JARay: "It is only of recent invention that any concern is expressed about the direction in which a priest says Mass!"
On the contrary, it has been the basis of Catholic and Christian liturgical worship from the beginnings of the Church: Mass facing the East as the direction from which the Lord is to come, and the building of a church with the High Altar in the east is mandatory wherever physically possible. This has never been changed (and not by Vatican II either.) The only notable alteration is this principle was by Martin Luther in the Protestant Reformation - a deliberate attempt to emphasize the rejection of the Real Presence in the Tabernacle by having the minister turn his back on it.
In churches where the location does not architecturally allow the High Altar to be constructed at the literal east, the Tabernacle and the Cross on the High Altar mark the liturgical East.

Anonymous said...

As ever, I come late, but not too late I hope.

Thank you, Father, for your kind comments. Your point is well made, and is relevant in so many ways. It is reasonable to argue, for example, that since the new Mass involves such radical change from the previous Missals as to be a new creation, this inevitably means it is smack-bang in the middle of the hermeneutic of rupture. If so, as Dr Shaw would argue, a reform of it will bear little fruit, if any, because organic growth cannot come from rupture. I am little more sanguine about it, and can see enough of the tradition in the Paul VI Missal, at least latently, that it might be possible to re-work it according to the Council's actual teachings. Thus the reform of the reform is possible, and essential, since it is in the reform that most Catholics find themselves.

Some of the comments here raise valid points. What does it say of a dicastery head that he is publicly cut down to size by a Vatican spokesman? I suspect it reveals that Pope Francis is far more hands-on in Church governance than previous popes, and will overrule his subordinates as he sees need to. Rarely, if ever, has papal power been this centralised.

The east-west vs north-south question is hardly new, and raised no problems. Pope Benedict reminded us that absolute east is not an absolute necessity, but that liturgical east is the key. Even when facing the people, he set up candles and crucifix in such a way as to represent the east liturgically. The essential thing is that we do not focus on each other but at Christ.

Indeed the question of orientation has become an issue only recently, because until recently it was accepted as a given. Turning to the Lord was liturgical natural, second nature indeed, so no thought on it was needed.


Fr Ray Blake said...

Dom Hugh,
I have very much enjoyed your recent posts, and your response to Dr Shaw.

The liturgical project of Joseph Ratzinger seems to me to be about 'giving legs' to a liturgy conceived as rupture. I admit it is difficult to make organic that which is not, and yet there seems to be a rumoured document under the care of the past three Prefects of the CDW to do precisely that; to extend the established options to include everything in the 1962 Missal from prayers at the foot of the altar, offertory rites etc, part of it is to stress the option of orientation.
What is intended for Lectionary I have not heard' could the vernacular or the three year cycle be regarded as an 'organic' development.
There has been a remarkable change in the OF since the revised and more accurate translations, and there has been a gradual but significant change in the style of Catholic music, and our understanding of participatio actuosa.

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