Rorate Caeli

Summorum Pontificum: A Hope for the Church

The following article was published this week in Riscossa Cristiana. The important piece, written by Piero Vassallo, was transcribed by Rorate's newest contributor, Fr. Richard G. Cipolla:

The progressive theologian Stefan Orth has asserted that, following the liturgical reform carried out in the tempestuous and wooly time after the Council,  “many Catholics shared the verdict and conclusion of Martin Luther, according to which to speak of the sacrifice of the Mass is the greatest and most horrible error of a damnable idolatry.  Because of this, we wish to get rid of all that reminds us of sacrifice together with the whole Canon and hold onto only what is pure and holy”.

The possibility, which is not remote, of a negation of the Catholic Mass as that in which the Sacrifice of the Cross is perpetuated in an unbloody manner, and the danger that the liturgy might fall into the errors spread by the woeful Lutheran reform, justify the apprehension of priests and lay who are faithful to the Tradition and make clear the reasons underlying the movement for the restoration of the Traditional Mass,  a movement made up of the faithful who felt heartened by the Motu Proprio of Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum. 

The danger that the promoters of the movement are working to avert is the desacralization of the Holy Mass, that is, the reduction of the Mass to the Lutheran form of a simple convivial banquet, “celebrated and consummated” by the community of the faithful at the feast.

In the introduction to the congress on the liturgy, held in Rome from June 13 to June 15, 2011, presided over by Cardinal Walter Brandmuller,  the proceedings of which have been published in Fede e Cultura, (Verona), the renowned and intrepid Fr. Vincenzo Nuara, O.P, the honorary president of the association “Giovani e Tradizione” (Youth and Tradition), addresses a thoughtful thanksgiving to Benedict XVI, as a wise and charitable Pontiff, who “has given back to the Universal Church the Latin-Gregorian Liturgy of the ages, a true treasure of the Church, giving her dignity back to her, after listening to the supplication of all those faithful that asked for this for such a long time and with so much faith, after years of derision, of battles, and even of persecution.”

In an appropriate way Cardinal Kurt Koch recalled that sentence in the Motu Proprio in defense of the Latin-Gregorian liturgy: “What was sacred for former generations remains sacred even for us and cannot be suddenly totally prohibited, or, even, judged as harmful.”  

From the report given by Monsignor Guido Pozzo, moreover, it is seen that the Motu Proprio of  Benedict XVI “has produced remarkable fruit, and that everything suggests that it may still be able to produce more in the future” In Msgr. Pozzo’s report it is noteworthy that he mentions “the fear of seeing two parallel churches formed”  as something  invented by the resistance to the Motu Proprio, given life by the progressive clergy,  unable to admit that liturgy and doctrine are inseparable.

The fear of those who oppose the Traditional Mass allow us to get a glimpse of the reason, never actually spoken, for the hostile resistance to the Motu Proprio of Benedict XVI:  the conviction of the “cutting-edge” theologians like Chenu and Rahner, according to whom Vatican II and the liturgical reform would have the effect of demolishing the adventitious structure of the Constantinian Church and would restore a postulated “Church at its beginnings”.

The aversion to the traditional Canon of the Mass (shown by those who oppose Summorum Pontificum) reveals the root of a hidden heresy, defined by Jean Madiran:  the willful desire to abolish the history of Catholicism, seen especially in the detested and hated compiliation of doctrinal statements known simply as “Denziger”, in the documents of the Councils before Vatican II and in the legitimate ecclesiastical authority.

The editorial staff of Riscossa Cristiana (Rescuing Christianity) therefore proposes the opening of a debate on the Sacred Liturgy and its future in the Christian communities that have embarked on false and illusory paths of Lutheranism and Modernism:  a debate including Catholics who are aware of the risk that the Church is running and, on account of this, are resistant to slippery accommodations and compromises.

Rorate note (New Catholic): We heartily welcome our newest contributor, Father Richard G. Cipolla, DPhil. Welcome to the team, Fr. Cipolla!