When Benedict XVI promulgated his “emancipation proclamation” for the older form of the Roman Rite, his Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, he wrote about a “mutual enrichment” between the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms which could take place. For that to happen, the Extraordinary Form must be established in many places. The “mutual enrichment” is what I have called a “gravitational pull”. This is a slow process which we may not see produce concrete fruits in our lifetimes.
The Church’s identity was dealt a massive blow with the sweeping changes to Holy Mass and other rites during and after the Second Vatican Council. Paul VI permitted the Consilium, the committee set up to execute the changes mandated by the Council Fathers, to go way beyond the Council’s mandates and make a staggering number of changes not actually called for by the Council. The result was the artificially constructed “Novus Ordo”. Making matters worse, the “spirit” of the times so deeply quaffed by liberals short-circuited even the faithful implementation of the artifically created Novus Ordo. The results were wide-spread liturgical abuses and illicit experimentation, a loss of continuity of worship from place to place and with our forebears, and a grave enervation of our Catholic identity. With the weakening of our Catholic identity, we also became weaker in the eyes of the world at large and therefore easier to drive from the public square.
A “mutual enrichment” is desired by Pope Benedict so that our liturgical worship, a foundational element for any sort of renewal of any aspect of our Catholic lives, can slowly reacquire the process of development which is slow, natural and organic, overcoming the abrupt, artificial and sterile impositions of the 60’s.
With that, I turn your attention now to a piece in the National Catholic Register (the good one), in which His Eminence Raymond Card. Burke speaks about the “mutual enrichment” element of Pope Benedict’s vision. His Eminence has been a cardinal now for one year.
He touches many topics of interest, but I restrict myself to this:
The tribunal prefect also exercises care for the Church’s liturgy as a member of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship.
He is grateful to Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI for giving the Church “a font of solid direction” regarding worship, based on the Second Vatican Council’s vision of a “God-centered liturgy and not a man-centered liturgy.”
That intention was not always realized, he said, since the Council’s call for liturgical reform coincided with a “cultural revolution.”
Many congregations lost their “fundamental sense that the liturgy is Jesus Christ himself acting, God himself acting in our midst to sanctify us.”
Cardinal Burke said greater access to the traditional Latin Mass, now known as the “extraordinary form” of the Roman rite, has helped to correct the problem.
“The celebration of the Mass in the extraordinary form is now less and less contested,” he noted, “and people are seeing the great beauty of the rite as it was celebrated practically since the time of Pope Gregory the Great” in the sixth century.
Many Catholics now see that the Church’s “ordinary form” of Mass, celebrated in modern languages, “could be enriched by elements of that long tradition.”
In time, Cardinal Burke expects the Western Church’s ancient and modern forms of Mass to be combined in one normative rite, a move he suggests the Pope also favors.
“It seems, to me, that what he has in mind is that this mutual enrichment would seem to naturally produce a new form of the Roman rite — the ‘reform of the reform,’ if we may — all of which I would welcome and look forward to its advent.”