Friday, August 08, 2014

The Novus Ordo Is Not Responsible For Liberalism In The Church

In fact, if you attend a Mass in the Ordinary Form, it is very likely that it is rife with abuses--yes, abuses--that the Council fathers of Vatican II did not intend. There is no such thing as a "Communion hymn". A hymn after Communion is permitted, but not required. In most of the places where hymns are sung, we're supposed to have antiphons read or chanted. The "Sanctus" just prior to the preface dialogue for the Eucharist is supposed to be in Latin. In fact, most of the faithful's responses can and should be. This is the Novus Ordo. You wouldn't even recognize it, were it done properly.

The bishops had envisioned that what we know now as the Extraordinary Form would grow organically together with the Mass of Paul VI, to produce great spiritual fruit, not this concocted battle between traditionalists and alleged "neo-Catholics." (Many American bishops had already erred in making "TLM" exceedingly hard to celebrate, which again, was never intended by the Council.)

The Church does have wayward children (and theologians!) who used the occasion of the Council to introduce error, which brings about a false sense of "pastoral" sensitivity, and things like altar girls become an allowance, on account of the original error, which is a misunderstanding of what the Council meant by "active participation." It is not a hill I'm going to die on, but it does undermine theologically the sacrificial aspects of the Mass, and in consequence, the awareness of the necessity of the all-male priesthood. Same with lectors. Unless you have an instituted lector, anyone else can be temporarily deputed to fill that role, but they are not lectors. It seems that some use the pastoral provisions for emergencies to introduce an odd egalitarianism, more born of feminism than considered theological reflection.

All that said, many hotbeds of "traditionalist" sentiment are equally lacking in theological care, blaming the Council for what is in reality our own profound lack of conversion. We are foolish to believe that simply returning to "the old ways" either indicates that conversion, or can substitute for it. Yet good liturgy is the God-ordained response to what has been revealed, so we should all be ready to be shaken out of complacency if God asks it of us, even if what is sub-standard has become comfortable.

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