Enemies on every side: the reform of the reform

Liturgy is a hot topic again. Cardinal Sarah’s opening address at the Sacra Liturgia 2016 conference in London in early July, with its advocacy of priestly orientation to the east rather than to the people when at the altar, has had the effect of bringing many to play their hands openly. However, that this reception can be neatly divided along the usual lines, into progressives as anti-Sarah facing off against conservatives—or “neo-Tridentinists” as they have inanely been called—has become impossible.

The “conservative” ranks might be conveniently, if not with absolute accuracy, divided into two columns when it comes to this liturgical debate: the reformers-of-the-reform and the traditionalists properly speaking (i.e. those who favour the 1962 Missal). The reformers-of-the-reform have embraced the cardinal’s appeal, because it accords with the rubrics of the new Mass even as it is, and because it is a feeling almost like liberation to hear such a senior pastor advocate the traditional orientation with equivocation. Continue reading “Enemies on every side: the reform of the reform”

What do they fear in facing East?

Meetings today, meetings tomorrow. The summary of the key teachings of Sacra Liturgia 2016 will have to wait another day. In the meantime it is hard not to wonder at the muted panic that seems to be spreading in some quarters at the prospect of a resurgence in ad orientem worship. Why such a need to stamp it out so quickly? What do they fear in facing God?

Are they afraid that people, having experienced ad orientem in their own churches might discover that it works far better for worship? Are they afraid people would come to love it, and prefer it? If so, why should that bother them? If it meant a more committed and satisfied congregation, that should surely be greeted with cheers. If it came to pass that the congregations increased in number, then surely we should dance for joy (non-liturgically!). Continue reading “What do they fear in facing East?”

The Fallout and Propaganda: Cardinal Sarah and Sacra Liturgia 2016

Anyone with even a passing knowledge of matters ecclesiastical knew it would come. The boat had been rocked so there was bound to be some shouting, mounting insecurity and a sense of control lost. Having lost the battle of the Missal certain forces would be certain to move quickly so as not to lose the battle of the Altar.

However it it is not going to work so well this time around. The young laity and the young clergy and seminarians, in whose hands lies the future of the Church on earth for the next few generations at least, are now far more up to speed on the issues, and connected to each other across the globe in ways never possible when I was a baby Jesuit, thanks to the internet. Moreover, when the forces seeking to put Cardinal Sarah’s genie back in its bottle use highly deficient arguments, the young will see it, and will spurn it, even scorn it. Continue reading “The Fallout and Propaganda: Cardinal Sarah and Sacra Liturgia 2016”

Cardinal Sarah’s Address to Sacra Liturgia 2016 in Full

Of course I should be in bed; but the text of Cardinal Sarah’s important opening address to the Sacra Liturgia conference has been released, including the parts he cut on the day due to time constraints. So you can all have a head start on me. Read, and savour!

Cardinal Sarah’s Address to Sacra Liturgia UK – London – 5 July 2016 – English – Final Text

The reaction against it has begun. Pray that wolves do not get Cardinal Sarah as well.

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Robert, Cardinal Sarah—London, 5 July 2016

Sacra Liturgia: Day 4, Hughlights 3

We enter here the last stretch to the finishing post of the conference.

Monsignor Andrew Burnham, former Anglican flying bishop of Ebbsfleet, and one of the three Anglican bishops whose conversion coincided with the erection of the Ordinariate in England, spoke to us about the Ordinariate’s proper liturgical books: Divine Worship: The Missal and “the liturgical books proper to the Anglican tradition” (Anglicanorum Coetibus, III). He was one of the committee that compiled the liturgical books for the Ordinariate Use (as were Fr Uwe Michael Lang and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, both present at the conference). Continue reading “Sacra Liturgia: Day 4, Hughlights 3”

Sacra Liturgia: Day 4, Hughlights 2

Next up is the 14th session of the four-day conference, given by Professor David Fagerberg of the University of Notre Dame in the USA. His paper, entitled Doing the Word Liturgically: Stewardship and Creation and Care for the Poor, was the third in a trilogy of more theologically demanding papers, though it was delivered in quite a light style.

He began by setting the context in terms of a question, or rather two questions: Is there a connection between liturgy and social justice, especially care of the poor and stewardship of creation? Could anyone actually object to such a connection? Continue reading “Sacra Liturgia: Day 4, Hughlights 2”

Sacra Liturgia: Day 4, Hughlights 1

Friday was Day 4 of Sacra Liturgia 2016, as full as the previous days which had taken their toll on many of us. It has been a densely packed programme, and London has been mercifully dry but unmercifully muggy. These highhughlights are a little late in coming as Friday ended with a stirring pontifical Mass in the Ordinariate Use at Warwick Street, after which Mgr and Mrs Newton kindly hosted a drinks’ reception. Then it was a lovely supper for me with a wonderful crew, all younger than me, many of whom provided such sterling service in the conference liturgies. While Lucas is already a seminarian for the diocese of Worcester in Massachusetts, from the other young chaps I expect to see a vocation or two in the next few years.

The first talk of the day was from Professor Dr Helmut Hoping, a permanent deacon, from the University of Freiburg im Breisgau. Continue reading “Sacra Liturgia: Day 4, Hughlights 1”