Thursday, November 10, 2005

Liberalize the Old Rite? The Struggle Continues

Don Capisco at MusicaSacra offers a report on the status of the preconconciliar Roman Rite against the backdrop of the recent Synod. It seems that the Congregation for Divine Worship has prepared a document that further restricted the use of the 1962 Missal rather than liberalize it further, as many have hoped would happen under this Pontificate. As for the document's current status, a report in a Milanese newspaper "stresses that the Congregation's text is not to be taken as an official statement of the dicastery, but is rather intended as a mere expression of opinion."

In the past, a fierce debate has taken place between those who insist on the 1962 Missal only and those who hope for a reform of the reform--but my impression of late is that the consensus has emerged. A reform of the new Missal needs a liberated older missal to provide a model for the future: in text, style, rubrics, decorum, and in order to provide a greater degree of organic unity with the past.

And those who hope for a wider application of the 1962 Missal have come to understand that there needs to be some basis for transitioning people from current practice to more solemn alternatives--an insight that stems from the reality that some 98% of Roman Rite Catholics attend the new rite (that's an esttimate; if someone has evidence of a different figure let me know). Aside from all other considerations--and the post linked above makes excellent points about the unprecedented action of suppressing previously valid rites--a liberated old Mass is something everyone should hope for.

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