The Power of Papal Example Redux: Will the Reform of the Reform Wither?

I usually do not like commenting on the doings of other blogs, since I figure that people can run their blogs howsoever they choose and I have little interest in igniting a blog-war. But Anthony’s reposting of my post of a year ago prompts me to comment on something I noticed over on the New Liturgical Movement blog. For some time I have noticed a waning of interest there with regard to the Ordinary Form of the Mass. Indeed, since the resignation of Pope Benedict one rarely finds photos there of OF Masses, unless they were being celebrated ad orientem. It seems to have become primarily an Extraordinary Form blog (for example, a recent post of photos of Candlemas celebrations from various places all seem to be either EF or Ordinariate usage). Which is fine; like I said, people can run their blogs howsoever they choose.

But the concurrence of two recent posts struck me as worth noting.

Fr. Thomas Kocik’s post “Reforming the Irreformable”, if I read it correctly, announces that he is more or less giving up on the Reform of the Reform project, since he considers the reformed liturgy as beyond repair, being a “hack-job inflicted by Pope Paul VI’s Consilium on the whole liturgical edifice of the Latin Church.” He counsels, rather, a “reset” of the liturgy that goes back before the Novus Ordo Missae but incorporates the changes mandated by Vatican II — more or less the 1965 Missal.

Dr. Peter Kwasniewski’s post, “Is It Fitting for the Priest to Recite All the Texts of the Mass?” raises the stakes on Fr. Kocik by calling into question not just the Novus Ordo Missae and the other post-Conciliar reforms, but even such pre-conciliar desiderata of the Liturgical Movement as the priest singing/reciting the proper and ordinary along with the schola/assembly. Without going into the details of Dr. Kwasniewski’s argument (while at the same time noting the gentle dissent from some of his points by Fr. Augustine Thompson), I find it interesting how the ground has shifted: the Reform of the Reform is for some no longer the “middle ground” in the debate but rather not an option at all. The middle ground now seems to be a moderate reform of the 1962 Missal, but even that is questionable for some.

Which brings me back to the issue of Papal example. It seems to be that the wind has been taken out of the sails of the Reform of the Reform movement by two things. First, the election of Pope Francis has made it seem unlikely that some of the reforms of the OF so desired by some — mandatory communion on the tongue and kneeling, exclusive use of the Roman Canon on Sundays, restoration (at least as an option) of the prayers at the foot of the altar and the old offertory prayers, mandatory ad orientem posture for the celebrant or at least the “Benedictine arrangement” — are unlikely to come to pass (the new Anglican Ordinariate liturgy, rather than being a harbinger of the furute, seems to be more of a last hurrah). Indeed, the wild enthusiasm in many quarters for Francis’s “low church” style make it seem that such things are not only not going to be mandated from on high, but are also not likely to garner much grassroots support.

Second, Summorum Pontificum has also taken the wind out of the sails of the Reform of the Reform. The posts by Fr. Kocik and Dr. Kwasniewski, though at different points along the spectrum, both seem to be saying, if we can have the real thing (i.e. the EF), why bother with the ersatz (i.e. the OF)? Some, like Dr. Kwasniewski, might think that the EF is perfect as it is and others, like Fr. Kocik, might want to tweak it a bit, but since Summorum Pontificum the EF has become the standard for many former proponents of the Reform of the Reform.

All of which is to say that I continue to wonder what future there is for the Reform of the Reform. Its most ardent proponents seem to be abandoning it for the EF. Is it attracting new proponents among those who continue to be inspired by the example of Benedict XVI, or will the example of Francis inspire a new generation, which is content with a fairly plain celebration of the OF and uninterested in recovering aspects of the pre-Conciliar liturgy? As usual, only time will tell.



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72 responses to “The Power of Papal Example Redux: Will the Reform of the Reform Wither?”

  1. Karl Liam Saur Avatar
    Karl Liam Saur

    I’ve certainly noticed this. Very much reminds me of what happened to radical Catholic intentional communities that hardened as they got strove for great purity of vision, however defined. For some of the writers you mention, the energy is now in trying to delegitmate the reformist impluse from even before the Council. Some might end up with the folks who are upset with Pius X’s sacramental and liturgical revolution, though for now that remains an ultimate fringe.

    It’s a danger of the academic mindset talking among the like-minded.

  2. Fritz Bauerschmidt Avatar

    Pius X: the thin edge of the liberal wedge.

    1. Karl Liam Saur Avatar
      Karl Liam Saur

      @Fritz Bauerschmidt – comment #2:
      Indeed. Frequent communion for the faithful in general was more of a rupture than Vatican II. And an excellent rupture, whose implications are still being worked out. (And, what’s most interesting, is that it was the final implementation of something envisioned by the Council of *Trent*. Councils can take a long time to get fully implemented….)

  3. Jim Pauwels Avatar
    Jim Pauwels

    Fritz, very interesting way of looking at this.

    If the reform-the-reform movement more or less fades into the EF woodwork, and a period of liturgical peace ensues, that may not be such a bad thing. On the other hand, unless we think the liturgical reform mandated by Vatican II is complete, then we might need to invent a new reform the reform movement. Preferably, the new one would be committed to charitable and respectful rhetoric and discourse, and would wish to work within established church structures and processes to improve the quality of our worship.

    (I see charitable, respectful reform behavior modeled here at PrayTell, as when translation principles are discussed.)

  4. Stanislaus Kosala Avatar
    Stanislaus Kosala


    I think that the reform of the reform has many supporters (including Pope Francis) when it comes to rubrical precision and a certain degree of sobriety and solemnity. I get the sense that younger priests are trained to have greater sensitivity towards rubrics. Things like latin, communion received kneeling and ad orientem won’t become the norm again, but won’t be treated as taboo either. (Again, Francis usually celebrates versus populum, but from what he says he seems to favor keeping a crucifix on top of the altar, and does not treat Mass with priest and people facing the same direction as taboo._

  5. Brian Palmer Avatar
    Brian Palmer

    In an old parish I visited recently the Benedictine altar arrangement has been dropped. The altar looks more Anglican with a frontal and just two big candlesticks on it. The poorly attended 1962 Mass there has also been discontinued.

    The pastor threw a few sops to the traddies by introducing Latin common parts, the prayers at the foot of the altar as an option, the hymns were dropped for sung propers in the vernacular, but there is still a sung Roman canon in the vernacular and Latin together with the other EPs. Mass facing the people is retained and the eucharist under both forms standing or kneeling remains a regular practice at all Masses. The old testament reading and Gospel were sung–very nice too.

    Vespers (English and Latin) and Benediction each Sunday and with a good turnout. This may be a sign of a reconciliation taking place between the all or nothing crowd. Traddies seem to sense a return to a 62 or earlier form of the Mass as the one and only form of the Mass is a non-starter under Pope Francis. So, they’re learning to accept a quarter or half a loaf when it’s offered to them.

    The Novus Ordo devotees may be realizing times they are a changing as well.

  6. Rita Ferrone Avatar
    Rita Ferrone

    I appreciate Fritz’s reportage and analysis.

    There is I think a deep issue at stake here, however, that needs to be named clearly and held up to the light of theological scrutiny.

    Whenever anyone (Fr. Kocik today, the SSPX yesterday) deems the reformed liturgy “beyond repair” and “a hack job” and regards the pre-reformed liturgy (1570, 1963-65, whatever) as the only worthy bearer of the Catholic liturgical tradition — when in fact the reformed liturgy was produced completely legitimately, with the approval of pope and bishops and at the behest of an ecumenical council — that person is clearly not thinking with the Church. Indeed, that person is actively rejecting the Church’s teaching embodied in the lex orandi. The reformed rites are not an “extra” that one can affirm or reject at will and still remain Catholic. Summorum Pontificum never licensed anybody to pour contempt on the reformed liturgy or argue for its abandonment.

    The negotiations with the SSPX failed. All the ins and outs of that are not available for public inspection, but I am sure that one of the issues was acceptance of the legitimacy of the rites as they were reformed after Vatican II. The SSPX did not accept this, most evidently, and they are not reconciled with the Catholic Church.

    Summorum Pontificum is not a hideout for people who refuse to acknowledge the spiritual power, efficacy and grace of the reformed rites of the Church. If anyone tries to use SP as a base from which to malign the reformed rites from within the Catholic Church and deem them unworthy, they should be censured and called out for it.

    This is more than a kerfuffle calling for pastoral indulgence. It’s a serious doctrinal matter.

    1. Elisabeth Ahn Avatar
      Elisabeth Ahn

      @Rita Ferrone – comment #7:

      “If anyone tries to use SP as a base from which to malign the reformed rites from within the Catholic Church and deem them unworthy, they should be censured and called out for it.”

      And then they will scream, Persecution!

      Come to think of it, I think they already have. I bet Pope Emeritus B16 didn’t see that coming.

      1. Karl Liam Saur Avatar
        Karl Liam Saur

        @Elisabeth Ahn – comment #8:
        “I bet Pope Emeritus B16 didn’t see that coming.”

        Wouldn’t be the first or last time a Pope was overinterpreted by his fans. (And, of course, it’s a commonplace among Curial folks, though Pope Francis seems to keep his cards closer to his chest to make that thing less credible.)

    2. Matthew Morelli Avatar
      Matthew Morelli

      @Rita Ferrone – comment #7:

      You oversimplify the issue at hand.

      If you were to read Fr. Kocik’s article, you would realize that this is not a conclusion he came to lightly. Yet, while he declares the reformed rites in some ways broken — even deformed — by the work of the Consilium, he does not deny that the changes that were made were licit.

      The question is not one of licety — the question is one of fruitfulness. Certainly, the great number of reforms that happened beyond the norms of SC were promulgated licitly, including the Mass of Paul VI — but that does not mean that they necessarily fit the norm laid out in SC 23 — that innovations should only be carried out if “the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them” and that even these should occur organically. While the Bishops speaking as a college in an Ecumenical Council are infallible about doctrine, they are not infallible about discipline, of which the norms of SC (and all disciplinary reforms after) are a part.

      If any reader of this blog should know one thing, it is that liturgical rites are not beyond analysis and even criticism — plenty is directed toward the Usus antiquior with virtually no complaint, even going so far as to claim that the older rites were “beyond repair” to fit the Conciliar mandate (of which a whole new liturgy was most certainly not an explicit part).

      This is where an important aspect of Summorum Pontificum comes into play — one which separates those who remain with the Church (like Fr. Kocik) and those who remain separate from it (like the SSPX) — that aspect being the complementarity of the two forms of the Roman Rite. From the letter to the bishops that accompanied SP:

      What 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. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place.

      Now, fifty years after SC, this statement cuts both ways. It is no small matter for one to lay down a critique about liturgy — whether we are making it against the Usus recentior or the Usus antiquior, and now BOTH forms are “what earlier generations held as sacred”. It means that traditionalists thould not use SP as a hideout to malign the reformed rites NOR should progressives use SC as a hideout to malign the ancient rites. But, again, that does not mean that one pointing out the weaknesses in one form or the other is somehow “not thinking with the Church”.

      If we are going to be serious about carrying out discussions about liturgy, then we need to be able to dialogue about what is fruitful in EITHER of those forms of the lex orandi that express one lex credendi — and we need to be able to do so in a manner that is candid, but also truthful and respectful.

      1. Karl Liam Saur Avatar
        Karl Liam Saur

        @Matthew Morelli – comment #11:
        The organic development theme is a red herring. Once the liturgy became relatively fixed and bureaucratized (courtesy of centralization, rationalism and printing in the early Modern era) organic development became a unicorn. Also, it’s mentioned but once, compared to other principles that are far more emphasized. It’s not a crutch that will bear all the weight that is sought to be placed on it.

      2. Matthew Morelli Avatar
        Matthew Morelli

        @Karl Liam Saur – comment #12:

        I think you found a good illustration of the point I made above: Disciplinary norms, even of an Ecumenical Council, are not infallible, nor are they immutable.

        And you are right: That criticism alone won’t bear the weight that some want to place upon it — it neither invalidates the reformed rites nor makes them illicit. Kocik isn’t trying to do that, nor am I.

      3. Rita Ferrone Avatar
        Rita Ferrone

        @Matthew Morelli – comment #11:
        You are side-stepping the question.

        I am not simply talking about whether the rites are licit, but about the explicit claims contained in the General Instruction in the articles named concerning continuity with tradition.

        There is a difference.

        The theological question is not able to be collapsed into the question of infallibility or “mere” legal status.

        Neither can you hide this behind a sort of “free speech” and freedom to criticize argument. The theological question, and the question of assent to Church teaching regarding the liturgy, does not go away.

        The issue of “thinking with the Church” does not go away either, because in this case the Church has spoken. Definitively, and repeatedly, the Church has spoken in favor of, in support of, and in defense of, its liturgical reform. The claim that the reformed rites do not enjoy continuity with tradition is the repudiation of the Church’s position. It goes beyond “criticism.”

      4. Matthew Morelli Avatar
        Matthew Morelli

        @Rita Ferrone – comment #13:

        Re: Continuity:

        Definitively, and repeatedly, the Church has spoken in favor of, in support of, and in defense of, its liturgical reform. The claim that the reformed rites do not enjoy continuity with tradition is the repudiation of the Church’s position. It goes beyond “criticism.”

        Continuity between the Missals of 1570-[..]-1920-1955-1962-1965 as well as continuity between the Missals of 1970-1975-2002 is evident, BUT it is hard to defend that continuity between the Missals of 1965 and of 1970 for the reasons that Fr. Kocik states. One could certainly call the Usus recentior Missal a “Latin Rite” Missal (in the great tradition of the other Latin Rites, particularly the Ambrosian Rite), even a “Romish” Missal, in the sense that it is closer to the Roman Missal than any other.

        But the Consilium really did do what some would call a “hack-job” in that interim period — the (quite literal) rearrangements and restructurings, as well as the prunings and new (even novel) additions were significant. The continuity that existed between the Missals before 1965 was not present in 1970, This discontinuity is underscored further when one one factors in the changes to the Calendar, the Breviary, and the de benedictionibus.

        For the Usus recentior, the assertion of continuity that exists in the GIRM (as well as the assertion of continuity when Paul VI promulgated the New Missal) is precisely what makes that continuity so — by the Law, it IS the Roman Missal, and an expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite — not merely a Latin Rite Missal or a “Romish” Missal.

        Even Pope Benedict in Summorum Pontificum defends this notion of continuity between the ancient Roman Rite and the Usus recentior — declaring that it, alongside the Usus antiquior, is an expression of the Lex orandi that underlies the Church’s Lex credendi.

        I must go for now… but I will address how this relates to reform in both the Uses later.

    3. Jordan Zarembo Avatar
      Jordan Zarembo

      @Rita Ferrone – comment #7:

      If anyone tries to use SP as a base from which to malign the reformed rites from within the Catholic Church and deem them unworthy, they should be censured and called out for it.

      Rita, perhaps I should be “censured and called out for it”.

      I do not view SP as a trench from which to lob rhetorical bombs against the reformed rite. Rather, SP is a guaranty that those who draw a great reserve of grace and spiritual fortitude from Tridentine liturgy will no longer live a tenuous life, furtively hearing low Masses in cemetery chapels and from side altars. No, SP is not a “right to exist”, as the letter is not a papal bull. The bull establishing the reformed rite, Missale Romanum intentionally drew upon the words and tone of Quo Primum.

      I affirm that the reformed rites are grace-filled and sacramental. Still, I cannot but think that the Church blinked when it handed down the reformed rites. The relatively short time between Paris, May 1968 and Italy, Advent I 1970 epitomizes the haste with which the Church tried with all might available to respond to deconstructionist-reconstructionist discourse. What the Church has found, I believe, is that no liturgy can enter this intellectual process given the light-year speed of deconstruction and reconstruction on internet and in academy conference rooms. The reformed liturgy has been caught flat footed in an intellectual world of which it cannot keep abreast, simply because of the intrinsic nature of promulgation (how can a liturgical text and rubrics be deemed discrete and static when no text is ever discrete and static — what is text?).

      So then, perhaps I am a hostile Catholic for questioning the lasting power of the reformed rites — its “intellectual mortar”, so to say. Is mere submission to the authority of a papal bull sufficient, or must a thoroughgoing intellectual assent, despite any doubts, be present?

  7. Rita Ferrone Avatar
    Rita Ferrone

    To press the matter a little further, look at what one of the leading voices at Rorate Coeli says about this.

    Richard Cipolla, commenting on Kocik’s remarks ( ) not only declares the Reform of the Reform ended but actually says:

    “Just as Tract 90 marked the end of Newman’s attempt to find a Catholic continuity and a Via Media in Anglicanism, so does Fr. Kocik’s public articulation of the abandonment of his attempt to find a liturgical and theological continuity between the Novus Ordo and the Traditional Roman rite mark the end of the Reform of the Reform movement. What must be done now—and this will require much laborandum et orandum—is to make the Extraordinary–ordinary.”

    The denial of “liturgical and theological continuity” is a direct denial of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 2-15.

    If someone does not accept what the GIRM says about unaltered faith and uninterrupted tradition in the liturgical reform… how is that any different from the SSPX? How is it in any sense Catholic?

    If this is not what Fr. Kocik intended to convey, he had better take a look at how those interpreters who are friendly to his position are interpreting it. Clearly, Fr. Cipolla finds nothing objectionable about this formulation, but it would be hard to overstate how wrong that assessment is. I say it again: it’s a doctrinal matter.

    1. Jeffrey Pinyan Avatar

      @Rita Ferrone – comment #9:
      “If someone does not accept what the GIRM says about unaltered faith and uninterrupted tradition in the liturgical reform…”

      What if that part of the GIRM is appeasement-speak or compromise-speak? Or, what if it is perceived as such?

  8. Bill deHaas Avatar
    Bill deHaas

    M. Morelli – you state:
    “Now, fifty years after SC, this statement cuts both ways. It is no small matter for one to lay down a critique about liturgy — whether we are making it against the Usus recentior or the Usus antiquior, and now BOTH forms are “what earlier generations held as sacred”. It means that traditionalists thould not use SP as a hideout to malign the reformed rites NOR should progressives use SC as a hideout to malign the ancient rites. But, again, that does not mean that one pointing out the weaknesses in one form or the other is somehow “not thinking with the Church”.

    Sorry, don’t agree with your interpretation. This is an interpretation that takes Benedict’s SP beyond what he intended. It puts into stone that we have one Roman Rite with two forms – don’t think that this will continue to be an avenue of study or thought (no matter how you spin it). This is the old Allan approach – that both forms can somehow *inform* each other – it ignores basic liturgical principles; it ignores ecclssiology; it ignores what VII and Paul VI promuolgated (talk about a rupture via Benedict). It is predicated upon one pope’s MP in the face of a council of the church and against the advice and recommendation of most of the church’s episcopal conferences.

  9. Ian Coleman Avatar
    Ian Coleman

    I must say that it is intriguing when the ‘liberals’ start to invoke ‘thinking with the Church’ and ‘Catholicity’ as touchstones of what the fundamental issues of the liturgical Reform (or Reform of the Reform) actually are. This does rather smack of authoritarianism (rather like the, doubtless apocryphal congressman’s annotation to his speech, “argument weak here – shout!”). There are genuine questions at issue, to do with continuity and rupture, and to do with the authority of the Church to remake and re-designate, and such issues are not resolved by diktat, one way or the other. The primacy of Eucharistic Prayer I in the Roman Rite, the status of the so-called Anaphora of Hippolytus, the relevance of the Responsorial Psalm a a normative liturgical element are issues, among others, upon which the scholarship has changed since Vatican II. How the Church decides to engage with these changes is a complex issue, not best solved by a knee-jerk invocation of GIRM (or even, dare I say, Sacrosanctum Concilium…?)

    1. Anthony Ruff, OSB Avatar
      Anthony Ruff, OSB

      @Ian Coleman – comment #17:
      But when you boil it down, it keeps coming back to the same issue. “Continuity and rupture, the authority of the Church to remake and re-designate” – these are all different ways of fighting that same old issue: do we accept Vatican II or not? Of course we can talk about this detail or that, but the fundamental issue is whether one accepts the vision of liturgical reform. As I read things like what you wrote, I can’t rid myself of the impression that something less than acceptance of Vatican II is at work behind the chipping away at larger and smaller issues.

      In effect, acceptance of Vatican gets labeled as ‘knee jerk’ and ‘resolution by diktat.’

      I don’t know of any scholarship on EP1 or Hippolytus (whatever its precise origin and date – it’s still a tradition!) or the Responsorial Psalm which has changed in such a way that the liturgical reform of Vatican II should be re-thought. Rather, some people just plain still don’t accept it. I’m sorry, but it really does come down to that.


      1. Scott Smith Avatar
        Scott Smith

        @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #18:


        Fr Tim Finigan, a few years ago, posted a reasonable high level summary of what scholarship people are talking about in relation to Hippolytus (

        In terms of the new scholarship requiring a rethink of VII, well, your mileage may vary.

      2. Anthony Ruff, OSB Avatar
        Anthony Ruff, OSB

        @Scott Smith – comment #32:
        I’m all for scholarship that keeps revising earlier conclusions. That’s the way scholarship works.

        But I really don’t see how the provenance of Hippolytus says much about whether it should be our EP II. The argument you quote really isn’t persuasive at all. It’s not like the ONLY reason Hippolytus was used as a model is because it was thought to be ancient Roman. They liked the theology of it. Suppose they discover it’s really from India in the 8th century (they won’t – just go with my argument). So? It still says what it says, and that was still judged to be a good Eucharistic text. The church gets to make these decisions, and they don’t depend on historical accuracy in the way being claimed. For one thing, our EP II is quite a revision of any historic Hippolytus text, so it can rightly be called a text of the 20th century. And that too is fine – a Eucharistic prayer doesn’t have to be 4th century to be legit. Our EP 3 is newly-written too.

        Here’s what I think is going on: people who don’t like the liturgy reform, don’t accept it, or barely accept it (eg concede that at least it’s valid and licit) will use any hammer available to push their agenda. Thus the nitpicking about Hippolytus and the crowing that one of the earlier 1960s arguments for it no longer holds up. So? The other 10 arguments for it still do.

        If you wanted to apply this nitpicking standard of historical scholarly accuracy to every official statement, I hope you realize that you would topple a good chunk of what popes have said down through the ages. Which shows that the methodology doesn’t hold water.


      3. Scott Smith Avatar
        Scott Smith

        @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #34:


        I agree with you regarding Hippolytus and EPII in particular, and more generally about nitpicking historical scholarly accuracy being a flawed methodology.

        But the scholarship cited is interesting and real, and I thought it worthwhile to reinforce that point. However, as you rightly point out, not much actually turns on it (except perhaps to remind us that it is a bad idea to base the faith of the Church on current fashions in scholarship).

        In terms of acceptance of the Council, I think we need to distinguish that from acceptance of the liturgy reform as is.

        For example Dr Clare Johnson, one of the speakers at the Australian Lift Up Your Hearts 2014 conference reported here, last night on Australian radio indicated her belief that the liturgy reform as is does not fully receive SC (her comments were about lay participation still being generally spoken, not sung, and related matters).

        If people have not accepted the Council, their views need be accorded no weight. If people accept the Council, but consider it could be better implemented, their views cannot be automatically dismissed.

    2. Rita Ferrone Avatar
      Rita Ferrone

      @Ian Coleman – comment #17:
      It was the prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Church who started invoking “thinking with the Church” concerning the liturgical reform.

      The knee that seems to be jerking is your own.

      When did I lose the right to talk about or to quote the GIRM? Or to think with the Church? Or to say so? The notion that anyone who vigorously supports the Roman Rite as it was reformed is to be a labeled “liberal” and therefore presumed to have no concern for either doctrine or ecclesial communion misjudges the case very badly.

      1. Ben Dunlap Avatar
        Ben Dunlap

        @Rita Ferrone – comment #24:
        Rita, what is the magisterial status of the GIRM and what claim in it, specifically, are you saying that Kocik et al. have denied? I’ve just read paragraphs 2-15 (somewhat hastily) and see only the rather broad claim that the postconciliar liturgy safeguards the deposit of faith (and in particular that the Eucharistic Prayers express the Eucharistic theology of Trent).

        I’m somewhat mystified by Abp. Muller’s comments, particularly “developments such as having the priest say the prayers of the Mass audibly and in the vernacular were not so much a break as a normalization”: I just find it odd that the two concrete examples he chose are, relatively speaking, simple rubrical changes that, at least to some extent, were already in effect by 1965. They have nothing whatsoever to do with the content of the missal, which is what Kocik’s essay is concerned with.

      2. Bill deHaas Avatar
        Bill deHaas

        @Ben Dunlap – comment #28:
        Mr. Dunlap – don’t have the documentation handy but Mueller is referring to numerous documented liturgical practices and proposals that German priests and some episcopal German conferences had been making and doing since the late 1940s e.g. facing the community; using the vernacular, etc. Thus, specific to Germany, it was a *normalization*.

      3. Scott Smith Avatar
        Scott Smith

        @Rita Ferrone – comment #24:


        As a supporter of a reform of the reform type outlook, let me say what is good for the goose is indeed good for the gander, and thus you have every right to rely on magisterial documents.

        There is an unfortunate tendency in “orthodox” circles to think rules should only apply to, well, heretics and all is pure to the pure. So we get people who say do the red in the OF, unless you are importing from the EF, in which case the red can take a flying leap

        This thinking is however nonsense, and you are right to call it out.

  10. Ed Highberger Avatar
    Ed Highberger


    You are a contributor to dotCommonweal. How many blog posts on that website have expressed an opinion sympathetic with the “repudiation of the Church’s position” on certain hot button social issues? This blog itself from time to time seems to express support for a more flexible approach on similar issues.

    What’s wrong with critics of the Novus Ordo just saying that the competent Church authority got it wrong on this matter? You indicate that someone couldn’t “still remain Catholic” and take that position. Do you hold a similar position for well-meaning Catholics of good conscience who disagree with the Church’s explicit doctrinal teaching on contraceptives? The ordination of woman to the diaconate or other orders? Communion for the divorced and remarried?

    For the record, I’m not arguing for the position Kocik et al. are taking, I’m just always amazed by the sudden appreciation for a cavalier application of canonical norms and Church teaching (of non-dogma character) on liturgical matters among a subset of Catholics who seem to be anything but in almost every other field of controversy.

    1. Karl Liam Saur Avatar
      Karl Liam Saur

      @Ed Highberger – comment #19:
      Rather, that cavalier application is more opportunistically intended to skewer people who tend to present themselves as docile, Orthodox, Real Catholics(TM).

    2. Rita Ferrone Avatar
      Rita Ferrone

      @Ed Highberger – comment #19:
      This begs the question, Ed.

      Manifestly there have been any number of people in the Church who have been called out and censured for publicly promoting dissent on the very issues you mention. There have been excommunications, removal of faculties to teach, loss of employment, books condemned, and a whole host of lesser penalties by bishops who refuse to allow such people to speak, teach, or appear in public in their dioceses.

      There have also been cases where communion is refused, individuals are shamed, and participation in religious orders also curtailed or called into question. This extends down to the grassroots level unevenly, but it is certainly the case with priests and religious, and we could list numerous cases.

      Therefore, I would say the more obvious question is not whether lay Catholics “get away with disagreeing with the hierarchy” on a blog, but rather: Why is rejection of the Church’s teaching with regard to liturgy, on a matter that is clearly the outcome of an ecumenical Council, tolerated so easily by comparison?

      And the people in question here are priests, who are cultivating a following through their public work, are they not? I actually think there isn’t carte blanche for tolerating all liturgical dissent from the consistent teaching of the Church, and that we shall see some blowback over extreme positions on either end of the spectrum. It will take time, but it will come.

      Finally, I am in no way ashamed of my contributions to dotCommonweal or of my association with that forum. But like any magazine or blog, one’s views are one’s own. To be held accountable for everybody else who blogs or comments would be unfair, and so I’m sure you wouldn’t suggest that. 😉

  11. Dale R. Rodrigue Avatar
    Dale R. Rodrigue

    The church is proceeding in a different direction since Francis took the helm. Latin and lace no longer the news out of the Vatican.
    IMO Reform of the Reform is DOA.
    As far as the EF, despite the protestations against the OF, the number of EF adherents are so small that it is a relatively insignificant group. It is interesting, almost laughable, that they thought they could influence the OF without B16 at the helm. It is good that they finally gave up that ghost and the malcontents have now retreated to the EF. Good place for them. What will they do if Francis tires of them and jettisons SP? Oh, the horrors!

    1. Karl Liam Saur Avatar
      Karl Liam Saur

      @Dale R. Rodrigue – comment #21:
      I have no expectation or particular wish for Pope Francis to devote any energy to jettisoning SP.

  12. Jonathan Day Avatar
    Jonathan Day

    Reading the essays of Reid, Kwasniewski and Kocik is like standing in an echo chamber.

    Each quotes the others; each dismisses any differing view, generally attributing any disagreement to spiritual or psychic defects in the other party.

    Each makes one big claim after another: the liturgical reformers, says Kwasniewki, were “hellbent … to overthrow this natural and supernatural hierarchy.” Ask the source of his psychic insight into the souls of the reformers, and he replies that “My argument is founded on objective facts about the very nature of the liturgy and the priesthood.” Who could question that? Except that his argument is founded primarily on loud assertions.

    Reid airily attributes the damage to “the historical reality of the expectation of change and the devaluing of authority that was part of the 1960’s.” Edmund Waldenstein, cited with approval by Kwasniewski, explains that “the pre-’47 promotion of versus populum had to do with an anti-individualist, anti-subjectivist, reactionary politics that fit with the authoritarian and totalitarian political movements of the times; the post-conciliar promotion of the same liturgical posture was on the contrary tied to an anti-authoritarian, egalitarian ideology that reflected the egalitarian/fraternalist movements of the 1960s.” There you have it.

    Kocik informs us that Lauren Pristas has “opened my eyes to the hack-job inflicted by … Consilium on the whole liturgical edifice of the Latin Church: the Mass; the Divine Office; the rites of the sacraments, sacramentals, blessings and other services of the Roman Ritual; and so forth.”

    But Pristas is careful, in her articles and especially in her recent book, not to go beyond observing the changes; she makes only rare comments on whether they were a good thing or a bad thing, and would certainly not speak of a “hack-job”. Augustine Thompson simply comments on the structure of the Dominican rite. At least in Pristas and Thompson we have some scholarship.

    The rest? A self-referential circle, unwilling to engage with any differing view, other than to dismiss it with sarcasm.

    1. Brian Palmer Avatar
      Brian Palmer

      @Jonathan Day – comment #23:
      “A self-referential circle, unwilling to engage with any differing view, other than to dismiss it with sarcasm.”

      Isn’t this what the NLM has pretty much turned into since Shawn Tribe departed?

    2. Ben Dunlap Avatar
      Ben Dunlap

      @Jonathan Day – comment #23:
      I don’t think the ‘echo chamber’ analysis is quite on the mark. Reid and Kocik are both published scholars of the liturgy who have been on opposite sides of a fundamental question for many years.

      The recent essay by Kocik is his first on this topic in over two years and describes how his continued study of several scholars, whom he cites extensively in the lengthy footnotes (Reid is just one among them) has left him unable to defend his former position. Not quite the elements of a self-referential circle.

  13. Jack Rakosky Avatar
    Jack Rakosky

    To get back to Fritz : I continue to wonder what future there is for the Reform of the Reform. Its most ardent proponents seem to be abandoning it for the EF I take this post as an attempt to understand rather than to judge.

    This is easy to understand if we look at the resources available to the RofR movement under B16, and what they are now. I will list them in the order of potential that I would assign them.

    1. EF as a convenient summary of the culture of “reformers” still exists: it contains many items that “reformers” want: Latin, Chant, Ad Orientem, etc.

    2. EF as a convenient marker of the” reformers” still exists; it points out cardinals, bishops, priests, parishes etc. who could be said to be sympatric to the RofR movement much better than alternative markers.

    3. Papal initiatives that supported RofR, e.g. New Missal, Anglican Rite, etc. Well these are now mostly in the past although some may continue bear fruit here and there. But these will be difficult to label as a movement without B16.

    4. Papal appointments of persons likely to support RofR; again mostly in the past although some may continue to bear fruit. Certainly some cardinals and bishops will continue to be sympathetic to the RofR without using the EF but it will be more difficult to label and track them and their intitatives as a movement.

    5. SP ” right” of any priest to celebrate the EF. This continues and will rise in importance as means of fostering the RofR given the lessened support from Papal appointments and initiatives. So recruiting priests and people to the EF will become increasing important

    6. Younger generation of “cultic model” priests supported by JP2 and B16. These priests will experience less support from higher ups and will likely look to the EF as a way to recruit local support for themselves. As this generation ages it may find itself challenged by an even younger generation of “servant leader” priests inspired by Francis.

    7. Younger generations of Catholics seekers will also likely head toward Francis service of the poor, etc. However some of them may still be attracted by bishops and priests who favor the cultic model of the priesthood and the EF.

    It seems to be obvious that the Reform of the Reform will increasing rely upon, and thereby be reduced to the EF. It will take a new Pope or some particularly powerful alternative movement, e.g. one focused on Latin, or on chant to give the Reform of the Reform an alternative base and shift it toward the OF as a locus of reform.

    1. Jack Wayne Avatar
      Jack Wayne

      @Jack Rakosky – comment #26:
      Wouldn’t a generation of servant leader priests be open to providing the EF rather than be opposed to it?

      I think the ROTR will shift focus towards the EF, probably towards reforming it with SC in mind. No longer a reform of the reform so much as an alternate reform that rightly acknowledges that the OF is not the only possible liturgical reform that can be interpreted from Vatican II. I don’t see SP or the EF being in any danger because the arguments against them are incredebly weak. The EF is here to stay, but it can’t stay frozen at 1962 forever. It promises far more to the ROTR crowd than constantly fighting for a tiny victory here and there in the OF.

      1. Bill deHaas Avatar
        Bill deHaas

        @Jack Wayne – comment #60:
        Suggest that a *servant leader* does more than just respond to any request…servant leadership involves analysis, meditation, listening to the church (not a small group), etc. and then using wisdom to respond. Just saying or doing anything is not servant leadership – sometimes, leadership means educating, reforming, directing and even saying no.
        EF is here to stay – and you know this how? And the arguments against them are incredibly weak – oh please? Same old same old.

  14. Fr. Richard Cipolla Avatar
    Fr. Richard Cipolla

    Rita Ferrone compares me to a member of the SSPX because of my assertion that the Novus Ordo Mass is not continuous with the Roman rite. This makes me very sad, for I am a priest of good standing and just celebrated my 30th anniversary to the priesthood. I say the Novus Ordo Mass in my parish as well as the Traditional Mass. And I say them knowing that they are both licit and confer grace. That is not at all the question. The question is: given the historical evidence that has come to light in the past twenty years about the workings of the Consilium after the Council that clearly shows a deliberate departure from the theology and form of the Roman rite, does not one have the right and duty to question what happened and what was the result of the post-Conciliar liturgical reform? As Blessed John Henry Newman said, “When I became a Catholic I did not leave my mind at the door.” There are real questions of papal authority vis a vis changing the liturgy as radically as was done in the Paul VI Missal. According to Joseph Ratzinger in a number of places in his writings, it is not at all clear whether Paul VI had this power. The Pope is the guardian of the Liturgy. He is does not own it and cannot do whatever he wants to it. Has Rita Ferrone studied the texts of the two forms of the Roman rite? Has she participated in both forms of the Roman rite? If not, how can she make these absolute judgments? The whole positivist attitude that if something is done and happens in the Church that it is the will of God is against reason. If this were true, then the Arian heresy would have become the orthodoxy of the Church. The deepest part of my sadness is that Rita Ferrone attacks me without knowing who I am and without understanding the arguments I offered in my article on Rorate Caeli. Her legalistic attitudes with regard to using the GIRM as the trump card in ending any discussion about the post-Conciliar liturgy is exactly what was wrong in the years before the Second Vatican Council. Come let us reason…

    1. Karl Liam Saur Avatar
      Karl Liam Saur

      @Fr. Richard Cipolla – comment #33:
      “There are real questions of papal authority vis a vis changing the liturgy as radically as was done in the Paul VI Missal. According to Joseph Ratzinger in a number of places in his writings, it is not at all clear whether Paul VI had this power.”

      Well, those private, unofficial musings of his went nowhere during his pontificate And there are lots of “real” questions about many things that have no chance of going anywhere. Let’s put it this way: the entire drift of Second Millennium positivism about papal authority is an enormous wall against which your “real” questions hit. And I serious doubt liturgy is the area where that wall will find any chance of being dismantled brick by brick.

      I do question the wisdom and prudence of your commentary at NLM. I think it serves more to whip up unrealistic intramural expectations among the like-minded, rather than to actually forward discussion. As a pastoral matter, I am struck how priests (and, worse, pastors) do not seem to fully realize how they can take on additional pastoral responsibilities in their Internet conduct. If they develop a following, they earn burdens regarding that following.

      1. Elisabeth Ahn Avatar
        Elisabeth Ahn

        @Karl Liam Saur – comment #39:

        “I do question the wisdom and prudence of your commentary at NLM.”

        Thank you.

        Were I a member of his parish, blissfully participating in the OF of the Roman rite, I would find some of Fr. Cipolla’s words (e.g., “the Novus Ordo Mass is not continuous with the Roman rite”) curiously confusing.

      2. Karl Liam Saur Avatar
        Karl Liam Saur

        @Elisabeth Ahn – comment #40:
        Exactly. It guarantees that a lot (but not all) people will just avoid discussing things with a priest (the like-minded will happily, a few hearty gadflies will parry, but it acts as a dog-whistle to the bulk of parishioners that Dear Father Has His Mind Made Up About X So Don’t Discuss It With Him) – and Dear Father will never know how many people he’s signalled this way.

        Now, it’s a more egregious situation where the priest’s style is combative and self-referential. That’s not the issue here, but it is in other situations that brought my initial comment to mind. I think of other websites where there was fevered speculation, not tamped down even gently by the priest-bloggers, that was almost certain that someone like Cdl Ranjith or Burke would be elected Pope at the last conclave. It was kinda what happened to folks who listened only to Fox in October 2012; there was a strange disorientation after reality set in. The priest bloggers, however, betrayed not a whiff of sense that they had any responsibility to their fan-readers to discourage such a set-up for disappointment. (I am sensitive to this because I’ve seen exactly this dynamic play out on the opposite end of the fringe, FWIW.)

    2. Elisabeth Ahn Avatar
      Elisabeth Ahn

      @Fr. Richard Cipolla – comment #33:

      But Father, If your mind really thinks this:

      “the Novus Ordo Mass is not continuous with the Roman rite…”

      and this:

      “the historical evidence… clearly shows a deliberate departure from the theology and form of the Roman rite…”

      then, how can you in good conscience celebrate the NO mass? Wouldn’t your mind constantly be saying, no, no, no at this, that or the other during the liturgy?

      I don’t really understand, and admittedly, this bothers me more than it probably should.

  15. Paul Inwood Avatar
    Paul Inwood

    I am very tired of hearing the same old mantra about the supposed discontinuity, if not outright rupture, between the Missals of 1965 and 1970. It should be obvious to anyone of the meanest intelligence that not only are the main structures of the rite identical but much of the content of those structures remains the same. What planet are the opponents living on?

    There was no rupture, and no discontinuity, merely a somewhat drastic reform which for historical reasons had been delayed for several hundred years. If that had not been the case and the liturgy had continued post-Trent in the steady evolution and development it had enjoyed up to that time we would not be having this debate now; but the introduction of several centuries’ worth of reforms all in one go is what gave the illusion of discontinuity.

    I also think that some of the objections derive from a lack of knowledge of the broader history of the liturgy. For, example, we have a number of options for the Eucharistic Prayer. So what? There have always been many different EPs in the life of the Church, and even in the Roman Rite there was at one time a tradition of improvising on a known structure. The introduction of options is an enrichment to compensate for the perceived impoverishment of the Roman Canon. Then the Responsorial Psalm is held up for ridicule, despite the fact that it reintroduced something that had been absent for some 1500 years. One would have thought that those in favour of tradition would have rejoiced at its new lease of life. Similarly with the General Intercessions, whose heritage goes back to the earliest Christian times.

    I am afraid that the only thing driving the “discontinuity” argument is an inability to embrace change; and the debates that we are now seeing between different strands of those who support a preconciliar liturgy reflect nothing more than different tolerances of change.

    1. Fr Larry Regynski Avatar
      Fr Larry Regynski

      @Paul Inwood – comment #37:
      Amen! ++++1

    2. Dale R. Rodrigue Avatar
      Dale R. Rodrigue

      @Paul Inwood – comment #37:
      Paul Inwood, exactly correct!!!
      Can you imagine what would have happened if these individuals had been around in the late 7th/8th centuries when the reforms of Pope Gregory I were made (adding an Introductory Rite, addition of Gloria, moving the Kyrie, restructuring the communion rite where the Lords Prayer came after the canon, then fraction rite, the movement of the Creed to where it is today, and on and on….). Their heads would spin!

      Actually, I wouldn’t wish that on him for anything!

    3. Bill deHaas Avatar
      Bill deHaas

      @Dan McKernan – comment #49:
      Here is an interesting definition of some of what describes the behaviors of the ROTR:

      Key Points:
      – The stronger the ideology, the more people resist change, or the more they struggle to keep up with or accept the change.
      One way to try to insure against ideological change is to form a tribe.
      – One of the things the tribe has also done well and truly is to divide the universe into US and THEM.
      – Leaders of ideologies rely on people having too little information or even the wrong information.

  16. Father Anthony Cekada Avatar

    A very perceptive original post by Fr. Bauerschmidt.
    Those of us who had participated in Latin or “Tridentine-ized” celebrations of the Mass of Paul VI suspected that once Benedict allowed the old Mass to be celebrated alongside it, conservatives would abandon Tridentine-ized versions of the OF in favor of the old rite. It seems that this is exactly what happened.
    Regarding the comments on rolling back the work of the pre-V2 Liturgical Movement, it is interesting to note that there is a growing interest in trad circles in returning to the pre-55 rites for the Mass, and especially Holy Week.
    A few days ago, in fact, I received a notice that a new traditionalist publisher, Roman Catholic Archive, is planning on reprinting the pre-55 altar Missal this year.

    1. Karl Liam Saur Avatar
      Karl Liam Saur

      @Father Anthony Cekada – comment #44:
      Of course, SP only applies to the 1962 Missal…

    2. Jim Pauwels Avatar
      Jim Pauwels

      @Father Anthony Cekada – comment #44:
      ” it is interesting to note that there is a growing interest in trad circles in returning to the pre-55 rites for the Mass, and especially Holy Week.”

      There be dragons.

  17. Brian Duffy Avatar
    Brian Duffy

    Since Fr. Cekada mentions the pre-55 rites, as a total non-sequitur I thought I’d take the opportunity to put in a good word for the Carthusian Holy Week services which appeal to my austere tastes.

  18. Dan McKernan Avatar
    Dan McKernan

    One evident post V2 teaching must be that one is not thinking with the mind of the Church if one presumes the reformed rites themselves to be un-reformable. Certainly any Catholic can prefer a recognized liturgical alternative because all the Church’s rites are a treasure (see SC). Interesting to see Rita reach to the General Instruction in an appeal to authority when we’ve seen many here describe it as a compromise document requiring prudent and pastoral judgment re. many of its dictates.
    Undoubtedly the RoR is here to stay as is the EF but many Catholics find the continuity between the OF and EF, now more evident in the new translation, to be a source of much comfort.

  19. Brendan McInerny Avatar
    Brendan McInerny

    I think Deacon Bauerschmidt’s original post, and many comments thus far indicate that the real weakness in the reform of the reform position is the weight it has given to organic development.
    The term indicates at best an abstract description of liturgical development over a long period of time. As such, it cannot serve as a norm of concrete changes if only because concrete changes (especially large scale liturgical reforms) generally include deliberate choice.
    I think Fr. Kocik’s original post makes this weakness clear. From the post, I cannot see how any reform can be both an organic development AND a reform. Likewise, as Fr. Cekada notes above, now a possible rejection of the ’62, and no doubt the ’55 will eventually come under greater scrutiny and fail to live up to the demands of organic development and so on and so forth in perpetuity.

    What is needed, I think, for the reform of the reform to avoid a definite slide into simple traditionalism is to articulate a different norm that does not refer to the manner/mechanism of liturgical change (organic or whatever), but refers to liturgical ethos that is sufficiently broad to apply to a variety of historical and contemporary rites, but fine enough to identify historical and contemporary practices that obscure this ethos.
    Such a shift, would, I think, allow reform2 to uphold without duplicity both the reforms of V2 (or Trent, etc.) and the historical continuity of the Church’s liturgy as well as a critical stance to certain liturgical practices today.
    Additionally, as a helpful act of clarification, those advocates of V2 might try to indicate where the line is between legitimate criticism of concrete liturgical practices and (legitimate/illegitimate?) criticism of the work of Consilium and (wholly illegitimate?) criticism of SC. In short, I’m asking for clarification in just what “acceptance of Vatican II” means. I don’t want to accidentally step out of the bounds of Church doctrine because I think inculturation has gone awry at my local parish…

  20. David Jaronowski Avatar
    David Jaronowski

    In some senses, the reform of the reform is moving powerfully forward. It just isn’t doing so in dramatic, “hot-button issue” ways.

    Yes, elaborate lace vestments and all of the fancy exteriors are losing ground. There is no longer such a sense of urgency for Latin to take over the whole mass and for piety to be the hallmark of liturgies. But I see liturgical practices moving towards reform of the reform ideals.

    There IS a resurgence of interest in chant and that keeps growing. Some prefer it in English, some in Latin, but there seems to be more chant being used. The caricatures of what many call “bad liturgy” from the 80’s and 90’s have all but disappeared. Everywhere I go, I see parishes “reining in” musical or liturgical practice in one way or another. Some might say “No, that’s not true, praise bands are growing.” Yes, that is right, but I’ve been hearing an awful lot about policing the TEXTS that those bands sing. Five years ago, the text could be banal, non-liturgical. Today, I hear that these bands are trying to keep the style but sing liturgical texts.

    Another example – the propers. NPM is pushing them, the publishers are publishing more resources for singing them. Not the Graduale Romanum propers, in Latin, but some type of musical settings of them. This is a hallmark of the reform of the reform movement.

    So, no, I don’t think the reform of the reform is dead. I think it just doesn’t bare much resemblance to its caricatures.

    1. Anthony Ruff, OSB Avatar
      Anthony Ruff, OSB

      @David Jaronowski – comment #51:
      Thanks much for your comment, I appreciate your observations.
      But what you write sounds to me more like “implementing Vatican II” than “Reform of the Reform.” I know the boundaries are porous and there is overlap, but more chant and more propers sounds like part of what Msgr. Mannion long ago called “Re-Catholicization” of the liturgy (a problematic term, as he was the first to admit). In his mind, this was part of advancing the official reform.
      “Reform of the Reform” as I understand is more about correcting what went wrong, not only in style but also in official books and policies and reformed rituals.

      1. Brendan McInerny Avatar
        Brendan McInerny

        @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #52:
        That’s interesting. I too had shared David’s opinion that many of those elements were part and parcel of the “reform of the reform”. I had also thought that at least initially (in Ratzinger’s outlook) the “reform” of the reform was strictly speaking a reform of on-the-ground practices and a critique of the (supposedly faulty) interpretation of V2 that was being used to justify them (e.g. the large if not complete absence of latin, even on major feasts in many parishes, etc.). Outright, or implicitly rejected was a sense that the Church should go through another re-examination and reform of the rites themselves. So I had thought it was imagined by its initial proponents as “implementing Vatican II,” in deed, not just in ‘spirit’. My mistake.

      2. Karl Liam Saur Avatar
        Karl Liam Saur

        @Brendan McInerny – comment #53:
        Though at times I got strong whiffs of a bait-and-switch.

      3. Scott Smith Avatar
        Scott Smith

        If the Reform of the Reform develops into “implementing Vatican II”, with an emphasis on ensuring no babies are throw out with the bath water, that would be a good consensus building thing.

        Indeed, I have an increasing hope that our current Holy Father will effectively end the liturgy wars, just by reducing focus on it. That is, more people will start accepting the Church’s rites as a given, and express their preferences and creativity out in the margins of the world where it might actually provide evangelical witness, rather than more opportunities for infighting (Advice I should really take to heart myself – The log in my own eye is coming into focus as I write).

      4. Jack Rakosky Avatar
        Jack Rakosky

        @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #52:

        “Re-Catholicization” Conceptualizing an Alternative to Reform of the Reform

        The EF, SP and Reform of the Reform are all dead ends as ways of improving the Liturgy but the Vibrant Parish Life Study tells us people think our liturgies are not well done. How do we go about getting a grassroots movement to improve the Liturgy?

        Begin with Francis principle for building community that REALITIES ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN IDEAS and begin to identify at the parish level what people in the pews think are “best practices.”.

        My own sample list of best practices: 1. Sung Eucharistic Prayer, sung Creed, sung Lord’s Prayer. 2. Fewer and better known settings and hymns. 3 Liturgies that are very predictable and well done. 4 Some chant. 5. Some Latin. How much I would advocate any of these as best practices would depend very much on what other people thought of them. For example if 10% of people in a parish wanted chant I would probably advocate for having chant 10% of the time.

        We should also employ Francis community building principle that TIME IS GREATER THAN SPACE. This principle enables us to work slowly but surely, without being obsessed with immediate results.

        Spend a lot of time gathering information from people and understanding that information.

        Start on the periphery rather than with the Weekend Masses, e.g. Week day Masses, the Liturgy of the Hours, bible services, concerts. Figure out what attracts people and who is attracted.

        Avoid the program sales pitch “this is the greatest thing, it is for everybody” which generates a lot of attention that quickly fades. More like “give this a chance, tell us what you like and dislike, how we can improve.”

        Another Francis community principle. THE WHOLE IS GREATER THAN THE PART. We need to pay attention to the global so as to avoid narrowness and banality. Yet we also need to look to the local, which keeps our feet on the ground. I would have a diocesan liturgy network of people in the pews which meets regularly where people can share, observe, and critique what parishes are doing and learn from them. Very peer to peer, little top down

      5. David Jaronowski Avatar
        David Jaronowski

        @Jack Rakosky – comment #58:

        Here is where we differ – and I believe that Pope Benedict said something like this once: Everything is not up for a popular vote. Why use chant only 10% of the time because only 10% of the people in a parish want it? Why would those with no theological or liturgical training get a vote equal to that of someone who has extensive theological or liturgical training?

        To see what I mean, turn on the TV next time some horrible event happens, like a SWAT standoff, or whatever; Wait for the “man on the street” interviews, where people who have never been police officers nor have served in the military, nor are lawyers or have any legal training opine up and down about how the situation should have been tactically handled, what should have been done differently, etc. And almost everyone in the community may agree (or the news reporters will make it appear that way). Do the authorities suddenly change protocol because a vote was taken? Not usually, and I’m glad they don’t. I don’t want people with no training dictating how emergencies are handled.

        Why is liturgy so different?

      6. Todd Flowerday Avatar

        @David Jaronowski – comment #65:
        “Why is liturgy so different?”

        Easy. Because this level of discussion is not the media in the street interviews. It is the review board. The police captain in the neighboring precinct who indeed did a better job.

        The question isn’t the difference in theological training, but in the pastoral applicability of theology. And quite often a theology that resonates better with the mind of the Church.

      7. Karl Liam Saur Avatar
        Karl Liam Saur

        @David Jaronowski – comment #65:
        And the reality on the ground is, as much as the Catholic people in the pews don’t have any formal power, they do have crude instruments at their disposal: not bothering to show up and not giving money. Interestingly, the two metrics that chanceries use to determine the viability of a parish.

      8. David Jaronowski Avatar
        David Jaronowski

        @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #52:

        Well, yes, we agree totally on the actual vision of Vatican II.

        I think this was in large part what Pope Benedict actually meant. Remember, “reform of the reform” was a phrase that Pope Benedict uttered once, I believe rather off handedly within some other comments at some audience. It certainly was not HIS phrase that he uttered again and again. People mostly started using that phrase as a rallying cry.

        So in my opinion, perhaps the Pope Emeritus spoke on that occasion without really thinking fully about the meaning of those words, in terms of “reform of the reform” vs. “Actually implementing Vatican II as it was called for.”

  21. Scott Pluff Avatar
    Scott Pluff

    Many of the liberal/progressive liturgists who strongly represented that end of the spectrum were silenced, marginalized, or simply chose to leave over the last 10-15 years. A good many of the bishops sympathetic to that point of view have retired or died, what a certain blogger refers to as the “biological solution.” As those Catholic liturgists who were on the left have moved on, the moderates of yesterday have become the de facto progressives of today. The whole affair has shifted.

    Wouldn’t it be interesting if, inspired by Pope Francis’ openness to dialog, those liberal voices returned to the conversation? Perhaps in the same way that many have rallied around the Reform of the Reform, new movements might come together over such issues as lay preaching, inclusive language, flexibility in interpreting rubrics, and the role of liturgical creativity? I don’t know where they would find episcopal support, perhaps that’s the rub.

    For starters, perhaps as the R2 folks were granted SP by Pope Benedict, Pope Francis might now grant an indult for the 1998 Sacramentary?

    1. Karl Liam Saur Avatar
      Karl Liam Saur

      @Scott Pluff – comment #55:
      I just don’t see Pope Francis as someone who would want to encourage spending time revisiting old liturgical decisions; that would be too much energy focused intramurally. That said, I could see him changing how the rest of the liturgical books are translated, gradually shifting the locus of final substantive decision-making, and laying the groundwork for Liturgicam Authenticam to be, um, updated. Everyone with a vested interest would be frustrated to a greater or less extent by the lack of consistency, and I wonder if Pope Francis might view that as a feature rather than as a bug.

      1. Elisabeth Ahn Avatar
        Elisabeth Ahn

        @Karl Liam Saur – comment #57:

        “… that would be too much energy focused intramurally.”

        Which reminds me of these famous words spoken by then Cardinal Bergoglio during the pre-conclave General Congregation meetings:

        “When the Church is self-referential, inadvertently, she believes she has her own light; she ceases to be the mysterium lunae, and gives way to that very serious evil, spiritual worldliness… It lives to give glory only to one another.”

        From where I sit (i.e., the pews in the back), all these talks about “liturgical discontinuity+rupture=need for reform of the reform” sound just too self-referential.

  22. Fr. Pat Barkey Avatar
    Fr. Pat Barkey

    It’s sometimes sad in my diocese. We have a Latin Mass Community, where the EF of the Mass is celebrated each week. It’s been there for ~10 years.

    I have had various parishioners over the years go there out of curiosity. Sadly, when they are discovered as someone “new,” they are mobbed, not with “welcomes” or “I’m glad you can pray with us.” Rather, the first questions are more along the lines of “Do you support the ‘New Mass’?” Anybody that says “yes” are shunned and ignored.

    Naturally, it gets back to me. Can they be welcoming and inviting? Probably, but I don’t hear from those parishioners. I, myself, have been been criticized and “written off” by some of my former parishioners because I have no interest in using the EF.

  23. Pierre Fonty Avatar
    Pierre Fonty

    I wonder whether traditionalists have shot themselves in the foot with their inflexibility going way back to before Summorum Pontificum. If they had been more willing to embrace the positive of the Vatican II reforms and the legitimacy of the OF, while requesting that traditional forms be retained as another valid – and, with some reforms of its own, also very positive – expression of the Catholic faith, things could have been very different. We might have had the authorization long ago of celebration of an EF dialogue Mass, in the vernacular, with an added third reading from Scripture and Prayers of the Faithful, celebrant reciting the Roman Canon and some other prayers audibly, etc. Now that that option is finally permitted in some sense in the Anglican Use, it seems like a sideshow for Pharisaical types who only feel comfortable in their perfect little corner of the Church and might leave if it is disturbed. (Note: I said “seems” – I am not trying to get into the minds of people in the Ordinariates or EF-enthusiasts, many of whom may not be at all like I am describing.)

    I’ll be honest. I’m 29 and not conservative at all but I really do not understand why the prayers at the foot of the altar, offertory prayers, mandatory use of propers, last gospel, option of a solemn Mass, etc., were not retained in the reformed Rite. I think that the whole idea of returning to some idealized “pure” Liturgy from early Christianity before all of the accretions and repetitions added over later centuries is misguided. Liturgy is supposed to be redundant – actually, repetition makes it easier for the faithful to understand and to actively participate in it in my opinion. In vernacular Eastern Liturgies and even in Anglican Liturgies using older editions of the Book of Common Prayer I have been struck by how much more repetition (even in a given sentence) there is than in the OF. When a theological concept is glossed over quickly in one or two prayers, as it often seems in the OF, I as a congregant am not able to notice it…

    1. Todd Flowerday Avatar

      @Pierre Fonty – comment #68:
      ” I really do not understand why the prayers at the foot of the altar, offertory prayers, mandatory use of propers, last gospel, option of a solemn Mass, etc., were not retained in the reformed Rite.”

      For numbers 1, 2, and 4, they were peripheral to a lean, streamlined, and essentially Roman approach to liturgy. For the prayers at the foot of the altar, why would the beginning of Mass need to continue two separate tracks of prayer life in the local community: one for the priest and a different one for the laity. Psalm 122, Let us go rejoicing, is a far better text than an individual lament of Psalm 43, I go to the altar of God. Sometimes, one needs to step back from long practice, be it liturgical, pastoral, or a personal spirituality, and ask: What does this mean? I suspect the reformers prioritized the people united with their priest above fine psalms and Scripture passages and liturgical prayers that did not further either the worship of God (because alternate prayers could easily be used, or even crafted) or the sanctification of the people. The Mass is not about the sanctification of the priest, except insofar as he is part of the faithful of God.

      As for the propers, they were never reformed in alignment with the Lectionary, especially in ordinary time. Thanks to vernacular composers like Deiss, Foley, and others, the words of the psalms are now on the lips of people, even in parishes with limited resources, and even when good music is done poorly. Far better than the propers, which were never a post-conciliar priority from traditional-leaning composers. Ted Marier was a beacon few people followed. He didn’t pout, fuss, and take his toys home in 1965-70, but continued to labor and create. He’s the model to consider, not reform2 gurus who can’t get their story straight.

      No question many reform2 people can and do create marvelous music with polyphony and chant. It belongs in a concert setting. And we all know the difference between attendance at a parish concert and Sunday Mass.

  24. Mark Praigg Avatar
    Mark Praigg

    I’m wondering if the seeming abandonment of the Reform of the Reform has something to do with sacred music. The rubrics of the Novus Ordo cannot be easily reconciled with the choir singing a polyphonic setting of the Ordinary and rendering alone the propers according to the Graduale Romanum. The Council clearly envisioned more participation by the faithful. Admittedly, this is just one aspect of the overall RoR/EF discussion.

  25. David Jaronowski Avatar
    David Jaronowski

    Well, first of all, lest anyone think that I feel that people should be disregarded, I did not mean that their opinions are invalid and are not to be taken into consideration.

    Rather, I question slavishly boiling the amount of chant, in Jack’s example, down to 10% because 10% of the people want it. That seems a bit more democratic to me than the Church should ever be, that’s all.

    Re: Polyphony and chant “belonging” in a concert setting – I feel that this is one of the great lies that has done so much destruction since Vatican II. Please note: I’m not calling Todd a liar. I believe that Todd is sincere and wants good liturgy that edifies. But this overriding falsehood told again and again that for the people to be participating, their mouths need to be moving and that this music of the ages doesn’t belong in the mass is destructive and I wish that we could get over these notions once and for all.

    1. Todd Flowerday Avatar

      @David Jaronowski – comment #71:
      David, I’d say that if you’re going to trot out the term “falsehood,” you have Pius XII in Mediator Dei 192, 194, and 199 to contend with. Not to mention the rubrics of the Mass.

      As for the musical heritage of the Church, please do not put words in my mouth. It can belong in the Mass. But much of it may no longer be liturgical.

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