Rorate Caeli

A new book on the Benedictine Reform

Two great names come together to present to a wider audience the Benedictine liturgical reform. Father Nicola Bux is the author of La Riforma di Benedetto XVI - La Liturgia tra Innovazione e Tradizione (The Reform of Benedict XVI - Liturgy between Innovation and Tradition) - the book is published by Piemme, and the preface is written by the most famous religious journalist in the world, Vittorio Messori.

The reform of Benedict XVI
(by Nicola Bux)

[Presentation of the publisher:]

When, in July 2007, the motu proprio of Benedict XVI restored the celebration of the Latin Mass, loud voices of protest rose from several places.

The widespread fear was - and is - that Pope Ratzinger had at last thrown away his mask, revealing that reactionary defender of Tradition that many accused him of being since the days in which he was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, that is, the former Holy Office. Benedict XVI replied by showing how the recovery of the Latin Rite was not a "step backwards", a return to days prior to the Second Vatican Council, but rather forward-looking, retaining from past Tradition all that it may offer of what is most beautiful and significant to the current life of the Church.

What Pope Ratzinger wishes to do in his patient work of reform is to renew the life of the Christian faithful - the gestures, the words, the time of everyday- restoring to the liturgy a wise balance between innovation and Tradition. Thus arises the image of Church always on her path, capable of reflecting upon itself and to value the riches of which its millennial treasury is full.

Update (October 12): With a review of Father Bux's book, Vaticanist Andrea Tornielli also reports on the probable indication of Cardinal Cañizares, of Toledo, as new Prefect of Divine Worship, before Christmas or early next January - and a possible indication, several months afterwards, of Archbishop Ranjith (current secretary of Divine Worship) as the new Archbishop of Colombo, Sri Lanka. [We reported on this matter last April.]


  1. Anonymous7:25 AM

    ... a wise balance between innovation and Tradition.

    I wonder, is there anything wise about seeking "innovation" in the liturgy? Is not Tradition irreconcilable with innovation?

  2. Anonymous1:19 PM

    Is not Tradition irreconcilable with innovation?

    Let's hope not, because the Novus Ordo will require lots of innovation to reconcile it with Tradition.

  3. If it's irreconcilable, then traditionalist Catholics had better stop praying the Leonine Prayers or praying the Fatima Prayer during the rosary, and Mass should only be celebrated in Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek.

  4. Anonymous3:33 PM


    Organic is the word you are looking for, and the novus ordo is absolutely inorganic.

    God bless you.

  5. Anonymous3:45 PM

    and Mass should only be celebrated in Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek.

    Which would be a marked improvement over the current mess.

  6. Organic is the word you are looking for, and the novus ordo is absolutely inorganic.

    I wasn't looking for any word, just responding to Confiteor's question, was in turn was a response to the Father Bux's publisher's comment.

    But it's true that the reformed Missal is not merely innovative, but an example of inorganic liturgical development.

    Which would be a marked improvement over the current mess.


  7. Anonymous6:53 PM

    Dan Hunter:

    Is is fair to say that the Novus Ordo is per se an inorganic development? True, it MAY and IS MOST OF THE TIME celebrated in a manner inorganic with tradition, but it NEED not be so.

    I would argue that a well-celebrated Novus Ordo, with primacy given to Latin , Gregorian chant, polyphony, and traditional sacred music, celebrated ad orientem, and with the celebrant always availing himself of the most traditional of the several options resembles, and with well-translated liturgical texts, DOES represent a liturgy that is organically continuous with the Tridentine Missal.

  8. Eric, the post-Vatican II liturgical reform was simply too sweeping, in a fashion unprecedented in the Church's history, to be organic liturgical development. That doesn't mean there is no continuity at all between the reformed liturgy and what went before, but it stretches credulity past the breaking point to call that organic development.

  9. Anonymous6:44 AM


    We are not talking about smell and bells, but about the text itself. And the intention of its creator.

    Pope Benedict has himself written that never before in Church history had a committee of experts rewritten the liturgy (according to their whims). Msgr Klaus Gamber is even harsher - in a book with a preface by... Cardinal Ratzinger. Why not read László Dobszay´s book, "The Bugnini-Liturgy and the reform of the Reform"? One finds it for free on the internet.

    If the Novus Ordo is organically developed, well then everything is and that word has no meaning.

    Pope Paul VI also saw the Novus Ordo as very much new.

    I might add that the Lutheran Mass also has kept certain features of the traditional Latin rites. This in itself is not enough.

  10. Anonymous7:08 PM

    Any word on whether the book will be available in English?

  11. Anonymous3:24 PM

    I don't see the Novus Ordo even being traditional, much less organic. How many Novus Ordo prayers and responses do you have to go through before you find one that was ever used by the whole church for at least a century, much less the three centuries criteria of Quo Primum? Other than the "third option" TLM Canon, my guess is not one in twenty.

    We had tradition. Now you want tradition? Just not too much tradition. Sort of one foot on each side of the divide.

  12. Anonymous8:02 PM

    Perhaps one message in appointing a Cardinal from Toledo, is that Toledo is the seat of the other Ancient liturgy of the West, the Mozarabic, and as such, the Pope by appointing him wants to indicate that there is room on the Church for other forms of the Latin liturgy....

  13. Anonymous8:13 PM

    I just with that the Benedict liturgical reform would reach the Dallas Diocese.

    Does the Pope know that many dioceses and parishes are not even close to following his lead in liturgical matters?

    The Church needs the Holy Father to MANDATE liturgical changes.

    The Pope's gentle..."you may follow my lead"...isn't working.

    We need strong action from Rome...commands.

  14. Anonymous10:42 AM

    I would like to see this work in English... available in the US.

  15. Anonymous9:04 PM

    To Ericg:

    A Missal includes all the options, not just those used at any time. Moreover, the New Offertory is a wild innovation grounded in nothing; and the entire Lectionary and all three of the penitential rites are innovations, not to mention the Consecration formula imposed on all Eucharistic Prayers. Then there are the innovative omissions, such as the omission of the Placeat Tibi. But there's no need to catalogue the obvious.

    Liturgiologists categorise alterations as omissions, recasting, substitutions, additions, and re-orderings. In every single category (for re-orderings, consider the moving of prayers in the Communion Rite), the N.O. is innovative. It is truly a human invention, concocted in committee by a probably Freemason, some liberal assistants, and six heretic advisors.

    The Holy and Venerable Mass of Tradition is the Work of the Holy Ghost through the inspiration of the humblest of the fathers; it is the product of organic change; it is therefore traditional.

    One closing remark: tradition [transmission is from the same root] is that which is handed down, not that which is ancient (although, the longer something is transmitted, the more traditional it is). It is tradition that is opposed to innovation. Archæologism (generally a return to long-dead practices) and primitivism (specifically a supposed return to the practices of the Primitive Church) are forms of innovation condemned by Pope Pius XII in Mediator Dei, 1947.



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