A reader alerted me to this article in the Catholic paper of the Archdiocese of Toronto. The author is the former edition of this paper. I am told he was also an associate of retired Bp. Remi do Roo, who celebrates puppet Masses for Call to Action.
Let’s have a look with my emphases and comments.
Don’t step back on Vatican II reforms
Friday, 28 March 2008
Written by Bernard Daly, Catholic Register Special,
Recently it would appear that top Vatican officials are joining the attack on liturgy changes approved by Pope Paul VI after the Second Vatican Council. [Right away we get the idea that these "Vatican officials" are probably "bad men".]
Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, challenges widespread use of the vernacular, priests facing the people and communion in the hand. [A may God give him health and length of days for that!]
In a June, 25, 2006, interview with La Croix daily newspaper in Paris, Ranjith’s target was the full use of the vernacular language at Mass and turned altars. More recently, in his preface to a book by Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan, Ranjith questions communion in the hand. [May God shine His light upon them.]
He argues that these changes are not approved by the Vatican II Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. This of course is true. The constitution deals with general principles. Paul VI slowly approved specific changes after the council closed in December 1965. [Okay... so if we are going to be faithful to the documents of the Church, we really should read them and then be faithful to them. No where will you find a document that abolishes Latin as the liturgical language of the Church. Furthermore, the Church permitted Communion in the hand as an aberration, a variation from the norm which is on the tongue. Also, altars ad orientem remain the standard, the norm, if you read the rubrics carefully. The author here seems to be saying "don't bother me with the facts, Archbp. Ranjith is ... is... is... doing something bad!]
Ranjith often notes [correctly] that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, made similar points in a foreword to a 2003 book by the English Oratorian U.M. Lang. [And not only there.] Then prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Ratzinger wrote: “To the ordinary churchgoer, the two most obvious effects of the liturgical reform of the Second Vatican Council seem to be the disappearance of Latin and the turning of the altars towards the people. Those who read the relevant texts will be astonished to learn that neither is in fact found in the decrees of the council.” [Unbelievable. He leaves aside entirely Ratzinger's reason for why ad orientem worship is important, or how the argument for versus populum altars was based on bad scholarship.]
Ranjith says “it is clear that despite certain ‘steps forward’ to make the liturgy the vehicle of a true ecclesial renewal, there have also been some ‘backward steps.’ These are especially those changes in the liturgy that were effected hastily without proper research or due reflection.”
This can only mean that Ranjith thinks Paul VI approved changes “hastily without proper research or due reflection.” [Ummm... yep. That's what it means.]
Unfortunately, most bishops who joined Paul VI in the slow renewal process, such as Bishop Albertus Martin and Cardinal Gerald Emmett Carter in Canada, are dead. [Let's look backwards, not forwards. Also, is this anything other than a slap at the last two Archbishops of Torontom Ambrozic and Collins?] We must pray that some of their successors will act vigourously to defend Paul VI and the liturgical renewal he approved. [If only they would defend the reforms as they are actually documented. That would mean the Novus Ordo in Latin, ad orientem with Gregorian chant and polyphony.]
Fr. Gilles Routhier of the Laval University theology department has made a career of researching how Vatican II was received in Canada. Regarding liturgical changes, he argues that any abuses that occurred locally happened mainly because changes, such as use of the vernacular, took so long to come into effect, and not because they were brought in too hastily or without due reflection. In Canada, by far the majority of Catholics welcome the renewal.
Of course, attempts to explain past events in absolute terms can never fully satisfy everyone.
As for the future of liturgical renewal, Archbishop Piero Marini, who recently ended long service as the head papal liturgist, [And now deserves a long and fruitful retirement.] makes a crucial point in his new book, A Challenging Reform: Realizing the Vision of the Liturgical Renewal. He points out that no place in Holy Scripture is God pictured standing behind His people, calling us to turn back to the past. [THAT is the great insight available from that book about this issue? I wonder if the author caught Archbp. Marini's comment that the reforms the Consilium were jamming down the Church's throat intended also to change the Church's doctrine? Go back and read the top of page 46 carefully.]
Even in calling us to abandon old sins, God is urging us forward to a new life. [Did the writer just draw a moral equivalence between traditional liturgy and sin?] Old liturgical forms and practices had their glorious days, and now is the time to keep the Vatican II renewal moving forward in the direction Paul VI approved.
(Daly, now living in Toronto, is publisher emeritus of The Catholic Register. He also worked for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops for 35 years.) [So I assume he was in part responsible for the Winnipeg statement?]