Thursday, November 18, 2010


Fr. Sean Finnegan of the blog Valle Adurni presently has a post up which was spawned by an interview with Abbé Claude Barthe, which in turn pertained to his new book on the new liturgical movement. We have posted a translation of this interview here before, and so while that interview, like the book, remains of interest, that was of less interest for the purposes of this post than Fr. Finnegan's own reflections on what he perceives as a growing rapprochement between those dedicated to the re-enchantment of the Pauline liturgy, and those dedicated to the usus antiquior. He sets the stage accordingly:

Going back a mere handful of years—well within the lifetime of this blog, at least in its earlier incarnation—the lines of battle were well drawn between those faithful Catholics who thought we should adhere faithfully to the liturgical books of Paul VI, and 'those attached to the former books', as Pope John Paul put it.

Now, of course, it is not a case of 'former books', for Pope Benedict has made both forms of the Roman Rite perfectly current, hoping, it is said, to recreate the Roman Rite anew without legislation or coercion. It will take time, but it is beginning to work.

Continuing, Father notes:

A few days ago, I met a brother priest at the seminary whom I had not seen for some time. He is, shall we say, not unknown in Catholic media circles... In passing he happened to mention to me that he was starting to celebrate the traditional Mass from time to time. I was taken aback, because although I am aware that this priest is on the more orthodox side of things, I had never associated him in any way with traddydom. He saw my surprise, and said quietly 'yes, well, it's the future, isn't it?'

He's not the only one. In one southern English diocese, about twenty per cent of the priests now celebrate the traditional Mass at least from time to time. Most of these are in their forties or younger. They haven't stopped celebrating the Ordinary form as the norm, but, one might say that the Missa Normativa is no longer the Missa Formativa in their life or the life of their parish. I mean that behind their celebration of the Mass of Paul VI lies a positive experience of the Mass of Pius V...

Of course, there are really two points here that Fr. Finnegan is pointing to. One is the growing softening of the lines which sees priests open to the use of both forms, and the other, a manifestation of mutual enrichment which can flow from that.

Visit Fr. Finnegan's blog to read the entire post.

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: