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 rÃƒÂ©ellement si nombreux ?
R.: Chaque jour, nous recevons tellement de lettres, signÃƒÂ©es, où les gens se lamentent des nombreux abus : des prêtres qui font ce qu’ils veulent, des ÃƒÂ©vêques 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 responsabilitÃƒÂ© d’être vigilants. Car, à la fin, les gens vont assister à la messe tridentine et nos ÃƒÂ©glises se vident. La messe tridentine n’appartient pas aux Lefebvristes. C’est le moment de cesser les affrontements et de voir si nous avons ÃƒÂ©tÃƒÂ© 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 indiquÃƒÂ©es 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!