Rorate Caeli

"Reform of the reform": Tornielli reaffirms his report

Italian religious journalist Andrea Tornielli defends himself today from those inside the Vatican who have tried in the past few days to discredit his explosive report on the ongoing bureaucratic steps of the reform of the new Mass of Paul VI. We first mentioned Tornielli's report last week.

In a comment posted in his blog today, Tornielli reaffirms the content of his article (translation by Father T. Finigan, of the great "The hermeneutic of continuity"); excerpts:

The "reform of the reform" and non-denial denials

My dear friends, I return to the subject matter of the post which, on 22 August last, I devoted to the questions discussed by the plenary session of the Congregation for Divine Worship regarding the recovery of a greater sense of sacrality in the liturgy. As you know, and as has already been noted, in the afternoon of Monday 24 August, the vice-director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Fr Ciro Benedittini (whom I greatly esteem) put out by means of Vatican Radio a verbal declaration regarding the subject of my article. These are his carefully measured and considered words: “At the moment, there do not exist institutional proposals regarding a modification of the liturgical books currently in use”.

This supposed denial has made the rounds of the blogs: more than a few have not hidden a tinge of satisfaction for the fact that the undersigned has been caught in the act. ...

First of all, in my article, I never spoke of imminent reforms or of documents already prepared, and at the conclusion I said clearly that it was a matter of the beginning of a work. A long work which does not want to send things down from above by imposition, but to involve the episcopates. I spoke of the voting that had taken place at the plenary session of the Congregation, of the fact that Cardinal Canizares had taken the results to the Pope, of the fact that study had begun, not on “institutional proposals regarding a modification of the liturgical books currently in use” but rather on more precise and rigorous indications regarding the manner of celebration with the existing books and in some cases those just published. All of this is to tell you not to believe those who today write that nothing is happening, that the Pope and the Congregation for Worship are not thinking of anything, that the “reform of the reform” and its recovery of a greater sacrality of the liturgy is a piece of news falsely published by the undersigned.

Since I have been a vaticanista, I have committed many errors – and I will commit many in the future: but the article in question, believe me, is not among these. Moreover, the fact that “at the moment” there are not “institutional proposals” for reform, does not deny that already today there are proposals for study that have not yet become “institutional”. ...
Tornielli has been the great Vaticanist of the Ratzinger pontificate; his record is not flawless, as he himself admits, but he is far more trustworthy than most - even those inside the Vatican.


Jordanes said...

And here is the latest non-denial denial, from Cardinal Bertone, published in a story by Catholic New Service, the new service of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops:

Mark said...

"I never spoke of imminent reforms or of documents already prepared, and at the conclusion I said clearly that it was a matter of the beginning of a work. A long work which does not want to send things down from above by imposition, but to involve the episcopates."

Exactly. I for one, when I read Tornielli's original report, was not under the impression - unlike many other commentators that there would be some Papal fiat to change everything overnight. Unfortunately, many others seemed to read it this way, and then, given later statements, maligned Signore Tornielli.

Jordanes said...

Anonymous: I approved your comment, which must be around somewhere, though I don't know which was the blogpost under which you posted your comment. It could not have been this blogpost, which had not yet been published at the time you submitted your comment. The only thing your comment and mine have in common is the link to the CNS story about Cardinal Bertone's non-denial denial.

Anonymous said...

Benedict XVI if he were smart would sack Bertone when he turns 75.

He's a Judas in disguise.

Iakovos said...

The famous Greek theologian, Anonymous wrote:

"Benedict XVI if he were smart would sack Bertone when he turns 75.

He's a Judas in disguise."

Thus, the need for the great pastoral Council of Vatican II to dissuade such folks of thinking of the role of the Papacy as a kick-butt Action Hero, however not as a smart as Anonymous who says if Benedict XVI was smart. Judas was smart. Peter loved.

Anonymous said...

Is this the same Tornielli that told us the document clarifying the Motu Proprio was set for January 2008 ? Or was that 2009 ? 2010 ? ....

Anonymous said...

There is a link between Fr Lombardi team in "communication" and the Secretariate of State.
Cardinal Bertone has been consistent in putting a BRAKE on anything aiming at "Tradition" in the past years. He has always been very tepid in the contacts with SSPX and was never very vocal as advocate of the Ratzingerian reform of liturgy.
This attitude is another indication that Abp Ranjith leave was not as "idyllic" as some forced themselves to think. Especially when a mute Abp di Noia is the successor. This non-speaking new secretary of CDW is maybe another sign that unanimity is far from presiding at Curian life.
[a blogger said in a previous thread, wrongly, that silence prevails during Summer. Abp Ranjith gave some trumpeting interviews in Summer when he was in charge]

Cardinal Bertone's words are very interesting. It is indeed a "non-denial denial" because nothing specific to liturgy is mentioned in the various examples he is giving. Tornielli never spoke of the topics Bertone is adressing : ecumenism, dialogue with Judaism and interfaith relationship or collegiality.

But he is denying any document as "going back" and Tornielli was exclusively talking about liturgy. Which means that for the secretary of State, the Ratzingerian reforms in liturgy are "going back" ? Is there a big discrepancy between pope Benedict XVI and cardinal Bertone in the liturgical field ?
In Genoa, when he was archbishop, Bertone showed NO FAVOR at all for TLM ... on the contrary.
The strong opposition of several epsicopates to these Ratzingerian reforms is well known and cardinal Bertone can become the "spokesman" of this opposition. Or is he paving the way in the coming uproar of a Roman argumentation, the pope is not going backward, don't be afraid good people ?
nb. Vatican II never supported directly versus populum and certainly not receiving communion in the hands. So portraiting the studied reforms as "going back" before Vatican II is intrinsically odd. Bertone is mute on this.

Tornielli is quite well informed and a good vaticanist. But he is very often wrong in the "timing", a point he is acknowledging. Freedom for TLM was to be announced in October 2005 for Tornielli and in fact, we had to wait until July 2007. So this is indicative of 2 questions :
- struggle inside the Curia includes liturgy
- something is certainly in the drawers of CDW but it can take one or two years or more for these schemes to become "institutional". If it is not crushed down by the mighty Bugninist lobby within the Curia and in the episcopates.

Last remark : the talks between Rome and SSPX are set to start in Fall. The fear of the "going back" before Vatican II is certainly nurtured by this.


LeonG said...

Reform of the reform = paradox

Why attempt to heap the responsibility for the systemic resistance on Bertone. Rehabilitating the debilitated modernist liturgical service has nothing to do with tradition. To believe this is to submit to the continuity illusion. In any case, most bishops will do everything they can to delay and scupper efforts. The recent English retranslation of the third edition took nearly a decade to be published. This act of English linguistic imperialism is just another attempt to impose what is essentially the unacceptable vernacular face of the protestant-type liturgy. Furthermore, Fr Ratzinger went along with Bugnini's novus ordo service for many years without much criticism. To imagine that he is trying to implement a traditionalist counter-revolution as some appear to be doing is a rather over-exaggerated.

There is certainly freedom for The Holy Mass in Latin but it is now open to hybridisation and any other novel treatment modernist intentions may have in mind. That is most probably what is in the offing. Presbyters trained to say The Holy Mass of All Time by DVD and The Latin Mass for Dummies does not bode well for the future. Nor does the policy of trying to reform an already disastrous reform.

Anonymous said...

Would it be such a disaster were the Catholic Church to "go back before Vatican II?"

I don't think so!!

I think the good fruit of such a move would be very swift in coming.

Jordanes said...