Selective readings, ruptures in ritual, artificial impositions, reclaiming continuity

CNA/EWTN had a piece about the pilgrimage to Rome in thanksgiving for Summorum Pontificum.  The undersigned was happy to be quoted.

Pilgrims arrive in Rome to celebrate Latin Mass permission
By Matthew A. Rarey

Vatican City, Nov 2, 2012 / 12:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In honor of the fifth anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s announcement that any priest can celebrate the Mass according to the pre-Vatican II rite in Latin, a number of pilgrims have come to Rome to offer thanks and celebrate.

“I gladly accepted to celebrate (tomorrow’s) Mass for pilgrims who came to thank the Pope for the gift of the motu proprio ‘Summorum Pontificum’ because it is a way to make others understand that it is normal to use the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite,” said Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship.

He will say Mass in the extraordinary form on Nov. 3 in St. Peter’s Basilica.

This is significant because liturgical reforms do not do away with traditional forms of the liturgy.

American priest Father John Zuhlsdorf came to Rome to participate in the pilgrimage, which includes liturgical rites as well as talks about the importance of the Mass which was universally used before the Second Vatican Council.

Fr. Zuhlsdorf, better known as “Fr. Z,” engages in the New Evangelization via his award-winning blog, which reaches Catholics around the world.

Speaking of the Pope’s 2007 document on the extraordinary form of the Mass, he told CNA on Nov. 2 that it aids the Church in embracing a form of liturgical worship wrongly neglected after the Second Vatican Council.

“The Holy Father … is bringing us back into continuity with the way that Catholics have worshiped for centuries,” Fr. Zuhlsdorf said.

“After the Second Vatican Council there was a rupture in ritual, of our worship of Almighty God. There was an artificial imposition of the liturgy after the mandates of the Second Vatican Council. We didn’t actually get what the Second Vatican Council mandated. And it caused a rupture in how we worship as Catholics.”

Fr. Zuhlsdorf noted that liturgical innovations applied by “selective readings of the council documents” led to certain aspects of them being “de-emphasized while very important aspects were entirely ignored.

The way liturgical rites, particularly the Mass, were re-interpreted following the council did not take into account the natural life of the faithful’s worship.

Before he was elected Pope, said Fr. Zuhlsdorf, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger described certain liturgical reforms after the council “as an artificial thing” in that they didn’t “grow organically out of previous forms. Instead, they were artificial developments that grew more out of scholars at their desktop rather than something that grew out of the praying Church.”

This, in turn, caused a rupture in the Church’s worship that jarred many Catholics.

Fr. Zuhlsdorf noted that in contrast, Pope Benedict’s mandate allowing worldwide use of the extraordinary form encourages the faithful to embrace the faith of their forefathers, lending a “continuity of tradition.”

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Benedict XVI, Brick by Brick, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, New Evangelization, Our Catholic Identity, Priests and Priesthood, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM, The future and our choices, Year of Faith and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. acardnal says:

    I’d like to see CNS will make one of those high quality video interviews of Fr. Z, too, while he is in Rome.

  2. Maltese says:

    Sacrosanctum Concilium mandated nothing, but also didn’t restrict anything, basically leaving the door wide-open for liturgical abuse!

    It only mandated that Gregorian Chant would have “pride of place”; yeah, right!

  3. BaedaBenedictus says:

    Good for them for not cutting down your comments! The hard truth must he heard.

  4. Sid Cundiff in NC says:

    Fr. Z is quite right. The MOF is not what Sacrosanctum Concilium called for. SC, to my reading, calls for only two new things: a reformed lectionary and the Prayers of the Faithful. (The former turned out very well, the latter did not.)

    If the rest of SC be ambiguous, then it need be only interpreted according to the tradition, the “hermeneutic of continuity” as Holy Father calls it.

  5. lucy says:

    Wouldn’t it go a long way in nudging the clergy if the Holy Father would celebrate a traditional Mass now and then? I still hear people say, “the Pope doesn’t really like it, he’s just cow-towing to small groups.” If he’s all for it, why doesn’t he celebrate it publicly?

    Long live the Holy Father!

  6. AnnAsher says:

    “Continuity of Tradition” nice!

  7. mvhcpa says:

    “Before he was elected Pope, said Fr. Zuhlsdorf”

    The first time I read that, I thought Fr. Z had bigger news to share than a Sunday supper! :-)

    Michael Val
    (who loves fun with dangling modifiers)

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