Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cardinal Burke's Thoughts on Mutual Enrichment

Yesterday, the National Catholic Register ran an article on Raymond Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Burke Talks About Rome, the Mass, Canon Law and U.S. Culture.

Here are the excerpts on matters liturgical:

The tribunal prefect also exercises care for the Church’s liturgy as a member of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship.

He is grateful to Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI for giving the Church “a font of solid direction” regarding worship, based on the Second Vatican Council’s vision of a “God-centered liturgy and not a man-centered liturgy.”

That intention was not always realized, he said, since the Council’s call for liturgical reform coincided with a “cultural revolution.”

Many congregations lost their “fundamental sense that the liturgy is Jesus Christ himself acting, God himself acting in our midst to sanctify us.”

Cardinal Burke said greater access to the traditional Latin Mass, now known as the “extraordinary form” of the Roman rite, has helped to correct the problem.

“The celebration of the Mass in the extraordinary form is now less and less contested,” he noted, “and people are seeing the great beauty of the rite as it was celebrated practically since the time of Pope Gregory the Great” in the sixth century.

Many Catholics now see that the Church’s “ordinary form” of Mass, celebrated in modern languages, “could be enriched by elements of that long tradition.”

In time, Cardinal Burke expects the Western Church’s ancient and modern forms of Mass to be combined in one normative rite, a move he suggests the Pope also favors.

“It seems, to me, that what he has in mind is that this mutual enrichment would seem to naturally produce a new form of the Roman rite — the ‘reform of the reform,’ if we may — all of which I would welcome and look forward to its advent.”

Of course, all of this is going to raise a natural (and necessary) point of discussion (and no doubt debate): how indeed might mutual enrichment be manifest? What might that entail?

These surely are now central questions for the new liturgical movement as it seeks to recover and revive the genuine gains and goods of the 20th century Liturgical Movement, but now set within the present context of two forms of the Roman liturgy and sitting now 50 years out from the Second Vatican Council.

As part of this, pertinent and earnest questions surely need to be asked; questions which will consider both those things which (to put a spin on Chesterton) have been tried and found wanting and those which have simply been found difficult and left untried; open and honest questions about the positives and the negatives, the successes and the failures, what was lacking and what is now lacked -- and I speak here of both the pre and post conciliar periods.

In so doing, we must seek to avoid either a spirit of novelty or the spirit of immobilism, regaining once again a healthy admiration for and respect of our tradition; one excised of any reductionisms, rooted in a deep reverence of our liturgical history and grounded on sound Catholic liturgical theology.

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