Tuesday, August 25, 2009

We're not reforming the reform...

Apparently there are sufficient rumors circulating that Pope Benedict XVI wants to "turn back the clock" on the liturgical reforms of Vatican II that the Vatican felt compelled to issue a statement denying those rumors. Story here. One such rumor is reported here.
I suppose such speculation is to be expected in light of the issuance of the Apostolic Letter "Summorum Pontificum" in July, 2007 which made the "extraordinary form" of the Roman Mass following the following the Roman Missal of 1962 (Tridentine Mass) more readily available to the people. However, Pope Benedict has made clear that he considers the Mass of Paul VI to be "...the ordinary expression of the 'Lex orandi' (Law of prayer) of the Catholic Church of the Latin rite." It is apparently little noted that both forms of the Mass are generally available and the existence of one form is not particularly threatened by the other.
As the Church is facing attacks for its stances on sexuality, a male priesthood, opposition to abortion, support of basic human rights, etc., there is no need for one more thing to muddy the waters. One extreme would apparently like to declare everything that came out of Vatican II null and void, while another extreme wants to use the "spirit of Vatican II" (which apparently has little to do with the actual documents of the council) as a license to pursue personal agendas. People like me can only try to remain faithful to the actual teachings of the church and continue to pray "Lord, teach me your ways."

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