At Fishwrap (aka National Schismatic Reporter) there is a reaction to the plea made by His Eminence Robert Card. Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship to priests around the world to say Mass ad orientem beginning with Advent.
Here is something that caught my interest:
[Fr. Andrew Menke, associate director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ divine worship office] said that as new editions of the Roman Missal are released, liturgical law is bound to shift, but he doubts anything would happen regarding the direction the priest faces, except perhaps more encouragement of “ad orientem” Masses in future missal editions.
Other experts agreed, saying neither bishops nor Sarah have the right to force priests to celebrate Mass “facing East” until there is an official change to the missal, the official liturgical law. [Who brought up “force”? Not Card. Sarah.]
Jesuit Fr. Bruce Morrill, professor of Catholic studies at Vanderbilt University, said the cardinal’s office could issue a directive mandating “ad orientem” Masses without changing the whole missal.
A directive, he said, would require approval from the Vatican and would be released in an official statement from the Congregation for Divine Worship.
“This is not official; he was speaking to an annual meeting of an erratic conservative group. [So, by insinuation, what does that make Card. Sarah?] … Those directives don’t happen in speeches and interviews” like those Sarah has given, Morrill said.
I entirely agree. “Directives… don’t happen in speeches and interviews.”
Speaking of “erratic groups, are Morrill and his Jesuit brethren quick to point out to the press that the Pope doesn’t issue directives or change laws or mutate doctrine in off-the-cuff remarks given in interviews or pressers with newsies or in his daily fervorini?
What immediately popped into my head is a certain remark made by Card. Kasper about what African bishops should or shouldn’t be allowed to tell us what to do.
Read it and then place in the balance His Eminence’s comments about prayer with the reactions about Sarah from the Fishwrapers and sundry Jesuits.
Here is something from Card. Sarah’s book:
The almost constant underground struggle with the political authorities, from the dictatorship of Sékou Touré to the military regime of Lansana Conté, was undoubtedly trying. But these external difficulties were not what was gnawing away at my courage and determination to serve the Lord. Instead, it was the internal struggles that I had to face, that shattered me by showing me with increasing clarity that I was objectively incapable of leading the Church of Conakry.
In order to address the situation, I established a program of regular spiritual retreats. Every two months, I would leave, alone, for a completely isolated spot. I would subject myself to an absolute fast, with no food or water for three days. I wanted to be with God, to speak with him in private. When I left Conakry, I would take nothing with me except a Bible, a small traveling Mass kit, and a book of spiritual reading. The Eucharist was my only food and my sole companion. This life of solitude and prayer helped me to recharge and to return to battle. I think that a bishop, in order to fulfill his role, must do penance, fast, listen to the Lord, and pray for long periods of time in silence and solitude. Christ withdrew for forty days in the desert; the successors to the apostles must imitate Christ as faithfully as possible.
THIS, my friends, is the man who asks priests to say Mass ad orientem.
Get a copy for your parish priests along with copies of Turning Towards the Lord: Orientation in Liturgical Prayer UK HERE
Moderation queue is ON.