Saturday, 28 April 2007

Motu proprio (again)

Latin Mass may offend Jews is the headline of the latest version (in today's [London] Daily Telegraph) of what is surely the reddest of red herrings in the present long-running motu proprio saga. And I'm afraid many so-called 'traditionalist' Roman Catholics are to blame. Why? By referring, as they frequently do, to the pre-Vatican II eucharistic rite in the Catholic West as if it were a phenomenon that has remained unchanged for the best part of 400 years. In reality of course, the version set, as it were, in aspic in 1962 was but the point reached in a centuries-long process of liturgical evolution that was replaced by the rather different processes inaugurated by the Second Vatican Council.

A couple of months ago I bought a copy of the Baronius Press's 2004 edition of the The Daily Missal and Liturgical Manual from the Editio Typica of The Roman Missal and Breviary 1962. In the Foreword one reads that, 'while this volume is essentially a reprint of the edition published in 1962, certain elements of it have been updated to reflect modifications and additions that have taken place since that time, such as the norms contained in the Enchiridion of Indulgences promulgated by Pope Paul VI and the inclusion of the Mysteries of Light of the Holy Rosary recently proposed by Pope John Paul II. While the changes are few, they reflect an important fact, i.e. that the traditional rites are not antiques frozen in 1962, but are very much alive and continue to bear spiritual fruit in the Mystical Body of Christ in the 21st Century.'

Just so.

My 2004 edition replaced a (genuine) 1962 edition as well as one dated 1947. All three differ from one another and the changes between 1947 and 1962 are quite substantial. Given the present Pope's unquestioned liturgical literacy, I am perfectly certain that an officially sanctioned 2007 edition could at the very least address the sensibilities of our Jewish brothers and sisters and those in the English and French hierachies who would appear to be somewhat pre-occupied by such matters.

Of course I write as a mere Anglican who is pleased to record that the Litany in the Book of Common Prayer no longer requests divine deliverance 'From the Bishop of Rome and all his detestable enormities.'

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