Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Archbishop Raymond Burke on Pope Benedict's Reform of the Reform

Archbishop Raymond Burke, the Prefect of the Apsotolic Signatura, has granted an interview to Inside the Vatican magazine. In it, he has some interesting insights on Summorum Pontificum and its effect on the Ordinary Form, and confirms that an actual Reform of the Reform, i.e. a reform of the liturgical books of the Ordinary Form themselves, not only of the way of celebrating according to their present norms, is the goal of the Holy Father (see highlighted parts).

I am sure that Archbishop Burke's statement that "the Ordinary Form developed organically from what is now the Extraordinary Form" will at first surprise and irk some of you, particularly given what so many respected liturgical scholars of today — not to mention Joseph Ratzinger himself — have noted. But for one thing, one must be careful about jumping to conclusions, particularly given that this is coming in the context of an interview — which is never the greatest venue to get out the intricacies of one's thought. Then, it has to be taken into account that this is said, as pointed out above, in the context of proposing an enrichment to the Ordinary Form from the Extraordinary form, and further still, the longer-term view of deeper reforms to the missal itself. In that light, this statement might be read less as a statement of historical fact on Burke's part, and rather as a description of what the Ordinary Form should be in the mind of the Church, and as a rejection of the hermeneutic of rupture. As such, asserting the necessity of an organic relationship can be a very effective tool of countering the spirit of opposition between the two forms which is still invoked by many "modern" liturgists to prevent an interpretation and supplementation of the rubrics of the Ordinary Form in the light of liturgical tradition represented by the Extraordinary Form.

Question: You were also very supportive of groups in St Louis, wishing to make use of Summorum Pontificum. With the looser restrictions in the celebration of the Old Mass, is the movement for tradition likely to grow, and what effect is this likely to have on the liturgical reform?

Archbishop Burke: Pope Benedict XVI has made clear his reasons for the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum, among which is the enrichment of the Ordinary Form of the Latin Rite through the celebration of the Extraordinary Form. Such enrichment will be natural, since the Ordinary Form developed organically from what is now the Extraordinary Form. The more that the faithful come to appreciate the Extraordinary Form, the more they will also come to understand the profound reality of every celebration of the Holy Mass, whether in the Extraordinary or Ordinary Form. If I understand the Holy Father correctly, with time, a further reform of the Sacred Liturgy may take place, which more fully draws upon the richness of the Extraordinary Form. The legislation given in Summorum Pontificum, I am convinced, will foster greatly the liturgical reform which was the goal of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council.

(Quoted as per Saint Louis Catholic.)

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