I was able to attend the talk by Dr. Peter Kwasniewski the other night in Minneapolis but so many hands were going up I was not able to ask my question. Do you think at some point the 1962 Missal will be revised, even if in another century? Just thinking it’d be good to add some saints like St. Theresa of Kolkata. Your opinion on this please.
Ah, the nearly-ubiquitous Dr. K in my native place. I’m sure that was engaging.
To the question.
YES and the sooner the better. The traditional Missal can and ought to be updated in respect to the “Sanctoral Cycle”, the Propers for Saints. This would be an obvious element of “mutual enrichment” from the newer to the older form in a way that the older form would be left stable and unsullied.
This sort of change is simultaneously extremely easy and normal, and also very thorny and difficult.
It is easy and normal in that the Missal was constantly updated as new saints were canonized and feasts were introduced into the calendar. Pius V issued the Roman Missal in 1570. Already in 1571 Pius introduced the new Feast of Our Lady of Victory. This is what we do: we adjust and adapt those things which can shift according to time and trends. Devotion to particular saints rises and falls off over time, depending on the needs of the time. We have always adjusted the calendar and our Missal in accord with the times, in respect to the sanctoral cycle.
It is thorny and difficult in that we have two active calendars right now in the Roman Rite. The Novus Ordo calendar has been massively changed around, eliminating seasons and octaves, moving feasts of saints around, etc. New saints have been introduced all along the way in the Novus Ordo. There is, therefore, a big disconnect with the older, traditional calendar, which froze at 1962.
So, changes like introducing new saints into the traditional calendar is both easy and not easy at all. It is easy, because we have always done it. It is hard, because it opens the can of worms which is the task of harmonizing two calendars which are hard to harmonize.
I don’t think it is impossible to do this, but it won’t be easy. One reason why it won’t be easy is that some few people will completely freak out at the idea of changing one tittle or jot on any page of the 1962 Missal. I can sympathize, because we need a long period of stability in the use of the Roman Rite in the older, traditional form. However, we can maintain that stability and introduce the feasts of new saints with their own propers.
It seems to me entirely appropriate that we have available for the traditional Latin Mass, a Feast of St. Gianna Beretta Molla with her own proper, rather than use the generic Common. We should have propers for saints who are important for our time, such as Sts. Maximilian Kolbe, Josephine Bakhita, Charles Lwanga, the Martyrs of Otranto, etc.
Happily, I know that some of these issues are being studied in Rome. I don’t know what effect the transformation or suppression of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” might have on the project. It seems to me that it won’t be wholly positive.