Skip to comments.The Remnant vs Archbishop Ranjith
Posted on 11/02/2006 8:42:54 AM PST by NYer
If there were ever a concrete demonstration that the traditionalist dimension of the Church tends, as I often say, to attract the sort of person who is happy only when he is unhappy, (but not exclusively, thanks be to God) it would be the The Remnant, a newspaper which is quite literally related to the paper for which I write each week, The Wanderer. As we can say with any paper, sometimes The Remnant gets it right and their articles are pretty insightful. Often, well…
In another entry on this blog a commentor said something about an article by Christopher A. Ferrara in The Remnant:
However, in The Remnant (July 31), in the same I Media interview with Archbishop Ranjith, it was reported: “In the end, the people will assist at [attend] the Tridentine Mass and our churches [the New Mass] will empty,” this according to Archbishop Ranjith himself. That quote was not mentioned in CWR. Wonder why?
The Remnant made a big deal out of this. Indeed, it is an amazing thing to read and there is sharped steel within it.
However, in a millisecond, you will very correctly wonder if that could really have been what Archbishop Ranjith, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments actually said.
The answer: yes and no.
The source for the quote was an interview I-Media did with Archbishop Ranjith, in French. Here is a LINK to the whole text. Here is the part in question:
Q.: Les abus liturgiques sont-ils réellement si nombreux ?
R.: Chaque jour, nous recevons tellement de lettres, signées, où les gens se lamentent des nombreux abus : des prêtres qui font ce qu’ils veulent, des évêques qui ferment les yeux ou, même, justifient ce que font leurs prêtres au nom du ‘renouveau’… Nous ne pouvons pas nous taire. Il est de notre responsabilité d’être vigilants. Car, à la fin, les gens vont assister à la messe tridentine et nos églises se vident. La messe tridentine n’appartient pas aux Lefebvristes. C’est le moment de cesser les affrontements et de voir si nous avons été fidèles aux instructions de la Constitution conciliaire Sacrosanctum Concilium . C’est pourquoi il faut de la discipline pour ce que nous faisons sur l’autel. Les règles sont bien indiquées dans le Missel romain et les documents de l’Eglise.
Q:. Are liturgical abuses really so numerous?
A: Everyday we get signed letters in which people complain about numerous abuses: by priests who do whatever they want, about bishops who close their eyes to them or, similarly, justify what their priests do in the name of "renewal"... We can’t be silent. It is our responsibility to be vigilant. Because, in the end, people will go to attend the Tridentine Mass and our churches will empty. The Tridentine Mass does not belong to Lefebvrites. It is high time to stop confrontations and to see if we have been faithful to the instructions of the conciliar Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium. This is why what we do at the altar takes discipline. The rules are clearly indicated in the Roman Missal and the documents of the Church.
So, what does Archbishop really say? He is pointing to liturgical ABUSES.
Abuses are by definition not part of the Novus Ordo. Abuses are violations of the rubrics.
Ranjith is saying that if we continue to have violations of the Novus Ordo, violations and abuses of the rite as it is laid down in the rubrics and documents of the Church, then people will drift away from the Church. They could even go to others who are disobedient in a different way: Lefebvrites.
From what Ranjith is saying, if there are celebrations of the Tridentine Mass those celebrations should also follow the proper rubrics. His stong point here is that for the unity of the Church and the good of the people, we have to obey the Church especially in the observance of the rubrics. What is harmful to the Church is not the Novus Ordo as such, but rather the priests and bishops who are not doing their jobs, fulfilling their liturgical responsibilities.
I think it is safe to say that had the Novus Ordo been implemented as it ought to have been, according to the texts and the mind of the Council Fathers, few if any people today would have continued over time to desire the older form of Mass. That is supposition, of course, but it is borne out by personal experience of places which don’t have wacky things going on and the books are followed closely and with an eye to the Roman tradition. Still, far and wide things are wacky and few eyes are turned to tradition. Therefore, we need some corrections. We need to reenvision the Novus Ordo and, especially, how it is to be celebrated through the lens of the older form of Mass.
Bring on the new indult and bring it now!
God help Pope Benedict and Archbishop Ranjith with their burdens.
Fr. Zuhlsdorf is a good read. He comes across as a well balanced and reasonable person.
Fr. Z is a good read! And he's right about the Remnant...they are sadly marginalizing themselves and definitely fit the bill of trads "who are only happy when they are unhappy."
I was wondering today exactly how some of us will start to complain once the document comes out. I'm predicting in some quarters a quick grudging approval followed by endless, endless diatribes about how it didn't go far enough and was lacking in this or that. And considering the Remnant, I *DO* mean endless! ;)
One of the problems with the NO is actually that it is a rather flat, unpoetic and a-historical creation that cries out for "improvements." I have seen even well-meaning, orthodox priests who are not leaning toward clown masses add a few little "touches" here and there, and that really shouldn't happen.
I also question the possibility of "restoring" something that has never existed. The author himself says that the Mass envisaged by Vatican II was never really implemented, so how can it now be "restored"? Of course, the problem is also that in liturgy as in just about everything else, the documents of Vatican II themselves tended towards a vagueness that left the way open for all sorts of interpretations, and little possibility of determining which interpretation was correct.
In addition, the fact remains that there are two very different orientations: the NO is most definitely horizontal, and the Old Mass is vertical. Is there some meeting point? Should there be? Or should we choose, based if nothing else on the fruits borne by each tree?
As for Archibishop Ranjith's words, he is obviously speaking about abuses of the NO; but at the same time, he is stating that if they are uncorrected, people will want to return to the Tridentine Rite, which he specifically points out is not the posession of the SSPX folks. So I'd say the statement is ambiguous.
He is both of these and a gourmet cook to boot. He us very intelligent and well read and profecient in several languages, Latin especially. It was his love of Latin and music that God used to lure him away from Luthernism to Catholicism and finally to his vocation in the priesthood.
You have a good point, I have always felt the best solution would be something akin to the 1962 Missal (Priest Ad Orientum, High Altar, only male Altar Boys, more Elaborate Vestments, no extraordinary Ministers, Communion Kneeling etc), with some of the better parts of the modern Liturgy integrated such as the two readings and Gospel in the Vernacular coupled with Congregational singing (orthodox hymns of course) and encouraging of Congregational response.
All the while maintaining the regular order of the Mass in Latin.
I myself love the High Mass, but prefer a reverent NO to the average Low Mass.
Now wouldn't he make a good Bishop....
Well, one of the reasons there was any excuse at all for the NO was that the Latin Low Mass was seriously degraded, or at any rate, in the way it was done at that time. The low mass, done correctly, audibly and slowly, is fine; prior to VatII, I used to go to a parish where it was done exactly like that at daily masses (and they read the readings in English, as well as in Latin). But I suspect those were few and far between, although there was definitely a reform movement underway even before VatII, and younger priests celebrated much more reverently.
It will be interesting to see what happens. I don't know if the NO and the Tridentine Rite can be sort of mixed, or whether we will eventually end up with a new revision of the Tridentine Rite (incorporating some of the things you have mentioned, which as I said were actually in the works 45 years ago), or none of the above! Interesting times, but sometimes I wish they weren't quite so "interesting." It means that the average layman practically has to turn into an expert on liturgy, just to be able to attend Mass without being seriously upset.
I am a post Vatican II child, but my Uncle who was ordained in '62 has told me that there was a movement to encourage greater participation dating back to the '40s and Pius XII.
I just merely hope that by the time I have kids to raise that these issues will be resolved.
When he is the celebrant of Holy Mass you cannot help but feel a closer taste of heaven.
*Interesting ideas, brother.
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger: The Feast of Faith: Approaches to a Theology of the Liturgy
Lest there be any misunderstanding, let me add that as far as its contents in concerned (apart from a few criticisms), I am very grateful for the new Missal, for the way it has enriched the treasury of prayers and prefaces, for the new eucharistic prayers and the increased number of texts for use on weekdays, etc., quite apart from the availability of the vernacular. But I do regard it as unfortunate that we have been presented with the idea of a new book rather with that of continuity within a single liturgical history.
In my view, a new edition will need to make it quite clear that the so-called Missal of Paul VI is nothing other than a renewed form of the same Missal to which Pius X, Urban VIII, Pius V and their predecessors have contributed, right from the Church's earliest history. It is of the very essence of the Church that she should be aware of her unbroken continuity throughout the history of faith, expressed in an ever-present unity of prayer.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- THE MASS IS THE SAME
Pope Paul VI
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Address to a General Audience, November 19, 1969 Our Dear Sons and Daughters: 1. We wish to draw your attention to an event about to occur in the Latin Catholic Church: the introduction of the liturgy of the new rite of the Mass. It will become obligatory in Italian dioceses from the First Sunday of Advent, which this year falls on November 30. The Mass will be celebrated in a rather different manner from that in which we have been accustomed to celebrate it in the last four centuries, from the reign of St. Pius V, after the Council of Trent, down to the present.
2. This change has something astonishing about it, something extraordinary. This is because the Mass is regarded as the traditional and untouchable expression of our religious worship and the authenticity of our faith. We ask ourselves, how could such a change be made? What effect will it have on those who attend Holy Mass? Answers will be given to these questions, and to others like them, arising from this innovation. You will hear the answers in all the Churches. They will be amply repeated there and in all religious publications, in all schools where Christian doctrine is taught. We exhort you to pay attention to them. In that way you will be able to get a clearer and deeper idea of the stupendous and mysterious notion of the Mass.
3. But in this brief and simple discourse We will try only to relieve your minds of the first, spontaneous difficulties which this change arouses. We will do so in relation to the first three questions which immediately occur to mind because of it.
4. How could such a change be made? Answer: It is due to the will expressed by the Ecumenical Council held not long ago. The Council decreed: "The rite of the Mass is to be revised in such a way that the intrinsic nature and purpose of its several parts, as also the connection between them, can be more clearly manifested, and that devout and active participation by the faithful can be more easily accomplished.
5. "For this purpose the rites are to be simplified, while due care is taken to preserve their substance. Elements which, with the passage of time, came to be duplicated, or were added with but little advantage, are now to be discarded. Where opportunity allows or necessity demands, other elements which have suffered injury through accidents of history are now to be restored to the earlier norm of the Holy Fathers" (Sacrosanctum Concilium #50).
6. The reform which is about to be brought into being is therefore a response to an authoritative mandate from the Church. It is an act of obedience. It is an act of coherence of the Church with herself. It is a step forward for her authentic tradition. It is a demonstration of fidelity and vitality, to which we all must give prompt assent.
7. It is not an arbitrary act. It is not a transitory or optional experiment. It is not some dilettante's improvisation. It is a law. It has been thought out by authoritative experts of sacred Liturgy; it has been discussed and meditated upon for a long time. We shall do well to accept it with joyful interest and put it into practice punctually, unanimously and carefully.
8. This reform puts an end to uncertainties, to discussions, to arbitrary abuses. It calls us back to that uniformity of rites and feeling proper to the Catholic Church, the heir and continuation of that first Christian community, which was all "one single heart and a single soul" (Acts 4:32). The choral character of the Church's prayer is one of the strengths of her unity and her catholicity. The change about to be made must not break up that choral character or disturb it. It ought to confirm it and make it resound with a new spirit, the spirit of her youth.
9. The second question is: What exactly are the changes?
10. You will see for yourselves that they consist of many new directions for celebrating the rites. Especially at the beginning, these will call for a certain amount of attention and care. Personal devotion and community sense will make it easy and pleasant to observe these new rules. But keep this clearly in mind: Nothing has been changed of the substance of our traditional Mass. Perhaps some may allow themselves to be carried away by the impression made by some particular ceremony or additional rubric, and thus think that they conceal some alteration or diminution of truths which were acquired by the Catholic faith for ever, and are sanctioned by it. They might come to believe that the equation between the law of prayer, lex orandi and the law of faith, lex credendi, is compromised as a result.
11. It is not so. Absolutely not. Above all, because the rite and the relative rubric are not in themselves a dogmatic definition. Their theological qualification may vary in different degrees according to the liturgical context to which they refer. They are gestures and terms relating to a religious actionexperienced and livingof an indescribable mystery of divine presence, not always expressed in a universal way. Only theological criticism can analyze this action and express it in logically satisfying doctrinal formulas. The Mass of the new rite is and remains the same Mass we have always had. If anything,its sameness has been brought out more clearly in some respects.
12. The unity of the Lord's Supper, of the Sacrifice on the cross of the re-presentation and the renewal of both in the Mass, is inviolably affirmed and celebrated in the new rite just as they were in the old. The Mass is and remains the memorial of Christ's Last Supper. At that Supper the Lord changed the bread and wine into His Body and His Blood, and instituted the Sacrifice of the New Testament. He willed that the Sacrifice should be identically renewed by the power of His Priesthood, conferred on the Apostles. Only the manner of offering is different, namely, an unbloody and sacramental manner; and it is offered in perennial memory of Himself, until His final return (cf. De la Taille, Mysterium Fidei, Elucd. IX).
13. In the new rite you will find the relationship between the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, strictly so called, brought out more clearly, as if the latter were the practical response to the former (cf. Bonyer). You will find how much the assembly of the faithful is called upon to participate in the celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice, and how in the Mass they are and fully feel themselves "the Church." You will also see other marvelous features of our Mass. But do not think that these things are aimed at altering its genuine and traditional essence.
14. Rather try to see how the Church desires to give greater efficacy to her liturgical message through this new and more expansive liturgical language; how she wishes to bring home the message to each of her faithful, and to the whole body of the People of God, in a more direct and pastoral way.
15. In like manner We reply to the third question: What will be the results of this innovation? The results expected, or rather desired, are that the faithful will participate in the liturgical mystery with more understanding, in a more practical, a more enjoyable and a more sanctifying way. That is, they will hear the Word of God, which lives and echoes down the centuries and in our individual souls; and they will likewise share in the mystical reality of Christ's sacramental and propitiatory sacrifice.
16. So do not let us talk about "the new Mass." Let us rather speak of the "new epoch" in the Church's life.
With Our Apostolic Benediction.
*Well, by gosh and by golly, we seem to have a difference of opinion. We have some laymen asserting their private judgement as to thus and such, claiming one thing, all negative btw, and we have a former Pope and the Current Pope teaching another.
Gee, I wonder, as a Christian Catholic, whom should I believe and put my trust in?
Maybe I ought to wait for the collective schismatic lay magisterium as codified in the FatCrusadingRemCathFamNews.
BTW, when ARE they gonna merge? All together they have two owners.
The Mass is the Mass is the Mass. We have always had one Mass. We have had different Rites, Liturgues etc. But we have always had one Eucharist/Mass ever since the Last Supper/First Mass
*The Wanderer is headed for the kookdom of the Remnant. They will renew their vows soon.
Aside from WDTPRS, it isn't worth reading.
Did you know the whole Lebanon - Israel thingy was really the fruition of a long conspiracy plotted by the Jews? It is true. I read it in the Wanderer. Long ago Israel plotted to steal Lebanon's water. Yep, Israel is attacked by Iran's Henchmen and the Wanderer blames it on a Jewish Conspiracy.
I hope the Wnadering Remnant chooses Fr. Fellay to officiate at the renewal of their vows. It would be so appropriate :)
Liturgy in itself is a discipline, and we as Catholics are obligied to view any mass/rite/use approved by the Vatican and celebrated with the proper intent is valid. That said, because liturgy is a discipline, we as laity can also point out various shortcomings, rather than close our eyes and shout our mouths in the name of "OBIDIENCE", since again, liturgy is not doctrine or dogma, but discipline.
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