Paix Liturgique has published in Letter 40, an analysis of the German writer Martin Mosebach on the current situation of the Church, the efforts of Pope Benedict XVI. to have underestimated the liturgical renewal and its error, "how deeply the spirit of the anti-liturgical heresy had penetrated even into the high clergy."
The Church under Pope Francis has experienced a shift of center on the pastoral work and a new style in many ways. The liturgical advisers to the Pope have been already replaced. For the observers of the papal liturgies the growing sacredness of the last pontificate has already experienced noticeable changes. How does it now stand for the Benedict XVI. initiated "Reform of the Reform"? What about the Motu ProprioSummorum Pontificum? What can the followers of the Extraordinary Form expect in the future from the Pope? What about the future of the liturgy?
Martin Mosebach, award-winning German writer and renowned author (latest book: . The Ultramontane All Roads Lead to Rome ) has already, in his book which has been translated into many languages, the "Heresy of Formlessness", addressed accurately and with a sharp eye, without a mincing, plumbed to the kernel of the faults of the post-Conciliar development of the liturgy and thus deeply spoken of the soul the believers who particularly suffered from the widespread liturgical experimentation with all their loss of form of the Roman liturgy, the marginalization of the sacrificial nature and widespread reinterpretation of the Holy Mass at a community meeting. He describes his personal experiences there in different countries with literary brilliance and his consequent turning to traditional liturgy.
Today he commented shrewdly and exclusively for Paix Liturgique on the current situation after the change of pontificate and his assessment of the future
What do you think is the future of the liturgical reform of Pope Ratzinger? Can they still bear fruit or will we move into a blind alley?
Mosebach: Pope Benedict's main concern certainly has been the liturgical "reform of the reform". This project had barely begun; well you have to admit that Pope Benedict has given up with his resignation. Currently, it would have no chance to be pursued, especially as the Congregation of Rites is reportedly appointed by the new pope with the declared enemies of a "reform of the reform". The more important is the legacy that Pope Benedict has left in the form of Summorom Pontificum for the reintegration of the Old Rite in the rites of the Church.
But this should be the last positive word at least for the time of the pontificate of Pope Francis, we get to hear from Rome in general not only about the Old Rite, but about liturgy. Pope Benedict has obviously completely misjudged the situation. He obviously has not seen how deeply the spirit of the anti-liturgical heresy had penetrated even into the high clergy.
In his interview with the Jesuits, Pope Francis said that Summorum Pontificum a wise gesture by Benedict XVI. to provide some believers that were attached to the Vetus Ordo. The traditional world, however, keeps it firmly, - drawing on the statements of Cardinal Cañizares and Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos - that it is a treasure to the universal Church that will be revealed: Who is right?
Mosebach: The only chance Summorum Pontificum has in the future is through the influence of Pope Benedict XVI. The "reform of the reform" was probably a hopeless project from the beginning. In the general liturgical ignorance and lack of understanding of the clergy it was hopeless to promote the return of some sacramental forms that received their meaning and significance only from the entire corpus of the sacramental. Pope Benedict's failure in this matter is stated in that the maximum program for the "unrepentant" and "prepared to compromise," the most realistic was: the unconditional return to tradition.
On the 24th to 27th of October, a pilgrimage took place in Rome Summorum Pontificum Coetus. After to Cardinal Cañizares, Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos celebrated in St. Peter's Basilica this year: How important was it for the Church that the faithful who adhere to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, have testified their proximity to the traditional liturgy at this event? Can they also get to know the new pope that he might learn a small bit of this reality?
Mosebach: We as Catholics are experiencing the depressing spectacle of a pope, who takes the path of least resistance is to the public and how everyone who follows the mainstream, hails him as "brave". We must believe Pope Benedict, when he looked at the great tradition of the liturgy as the Church's treasure. It was not a clever diplomatic gesture from him again to secure a place in the tradition of the Church. That Francis Pope might disagree, unfortunately, fits all too well into the picture.
Finally, if one thinks of the resistance to the liturgical restoration of Pope Benedict, and on the other hand the failure of the unity of Rome and Ecône is aware: Do we have fear of a new liturgical outbreak of war?
Mosebach: It is very important that the pilgrimage of Coetus Summorum Pontificum leads many people to Rome. For a populist minded Pope an impressive participation like it might contain even a small positive argument, but the adherents of the Old Rite should be quite determined now to set not to look in the years to Rome and to be fixed on Rome, but to secure the newfound freedom at each location and to expand and to set up hope completely on a new generation of priests. Let us not forget the worst thing that is truly unimaginable is already behind us: a Roman Pope, Paul VI, who destroyed the liturgy..
Six months after the election of Pope Francis' it seems that there is not much left of the liturgical reform of Pope Benedict: Is it so?
Mosebach: Basically this is conceivable. We see, for example, the intervention of the Vatican in the religious life of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, that every traditional religious community in which there is not one unbroken common will uniting all members, is endangered in its existence. On the other hand, of course, we can say that the official church in Western Europe has become much weaker and therefore does not have the total strength to readily with which they could operate in the 70s and 80s, for their work of destruction. And the tradition of groups on the other hand have become stronger, they can no longer simply be intimidated and swept away, as so many bishops were "in the spirit of the Council".
The chances for tradition are not so bad, if it focuses on staying hard inside and not to get bogged down in arguments, especially to gain young people, young priests for themselves. We had a short vacation, and now it needs to proceed without Rome again; but we know that already.
Text: Paix Liturgique
Image: Paix Liturgique
Image: Paix Liturgique
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