Damian Thompson has rightly shared with us Robert Micken’s little trip to the zoo. Mr. Mickens, Rome correspondent for The Tablet (aka The Bitter Pill aka RU486), has taken exception to Pope Benedict and the provisions of Summorum Pontificum.
I’ll leave it to Damian to explain this.
Cardinal says Tridentine Mass at St Peter’s despite Robert Mickens’s doubts about legality of Pope’s decree
By Damian Thompson
How’s that for chutzpah? The video above shows Walter Cardinal Brandmüller celebrating Solemn Pontifical Mass in the Extraordinary Form at St Peter’s Basilica in Rome yesterday morning. Yes, that’s right – a Tridentine High Mass on a Sunday morning at the very heart of the Catholic Church, taking place DESPITE a ruling from the Tablet’s Rome correspondent Robert (Bobbie) Mickens that Summorum Pontificum is of “dubious validity”.
Bobbie has noted in the past that Pope Benedict XVI is not a trained liturgist. It may be this fatal lack of training that led Papa Ratzinger to issue Summorum Pontificum, subject of a major conference in Rome last week, and then to compound his error with Friday’s Universae Ecclesiae, which puts pressure on bishops to stop blocking access to the traditional liturgy.
Bobbie was, famously, moved to helpless tears when the cardinals – contrary to his advice – elected Joseph Ratzinger pope. This weekend, however, he was in rather more pugnacious mood, mercilessly exposing the Holy Father’s imperfect understanding of Vatican II on a thread for the Commonweal blog. Over to you, Bobbie:
Letting aside the dubious validity of Summorum Pontificum for a moment (I’m happy to debate that with anyone in another moment), par. 13 of the newly released Instruction says that diocesan bishops are to “monitor liturgical matters” in their sees “always in agreement with the MENS of the Holy Father clearly expressed by the Motu Proprio”.
The mentality/intention/spirit (you choose the best word) of the Holy Father? What of the “mens” of the Council?
The very fact that the Council Fathers, by overwhelming majority, voted to reform the Tridentine Rite certainly means that – regardless of how one today judges the final result of that reform – the bishops realized that the pre-conciliar liturgy (lex orandi) no longer responded to the ecclesiology (lex credendi) that had developed over the preceding century and came to fruition at Vatican Council II.
Thus, to return to the pre-reform Roman Rite does not correspond – indeed, it is a betrayal – of the “mens” of the Council.
Never in the history of the Church were there two forms of the one Roman Rite. There were various Latin and Western liturgies, which in the post-Trent reform were cobbled into the Tridentine Rite. The Mass of Gregory the Great? The Ancient Roman Rite? Not according to the historical facts. It was as post-Reformation or Counter Reformation liturgy. And it certainly has no place in an ecumenical post-Vatican II Church.
So there you have it. Presumably word of Mickens’s ex cathedra ruling failed to reach Cardinal Brandmüller in time, and he went ahead and celebrated the “cobbled-together” Tridentine Rite at the Altar of the Chair. Here’s a picture of the congregation (courtesy of the New Liturgical Movement):
The congregation: unaware of Mickens’s doubts
How could this happen? Quick, send for a trained liturgist!