My question is when will we learn? Isn't it time all Catholics started to challenge blanket statements when they don't jive with Catholic truths? I know many will think how can you challenge the periti and bishops of the Church. The fact we haven't over the past three decades is one reason we're in the mess we're in today. We have an excellent crib sheet to compare notes in the past Papal pronouncements and the great Deposit of the Faith. It's called research. The more who do will realize that much of what we're being fed today contradicts the teachings of one thousand, nine hundred and sixty years.
Paragraph 25 of GIRM reads as follows:
"Over and above this, certain adaptations indicated appropriately in the Mass of each place pertain, according to the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, either to the diocesan Bishop or the Conference of Bishops, respectively."
Comment and Analysis:
Now there's a soothing thought for you, huh? Does anyone have any doubt as to what Paragraph 25 means? Well, it means that the same liturgical revolutionaries who have been advising the bishops in the past will be able to recommend the effective gutting of liturgical norms in the name of diversity and inculturation, as will be noted below.
One of the great benefits which will accrue to the Church if the Holy See does come to a formal agreement with the Society of Pope Saint Pius X is that more and more of the faithful will be spared efforts to impress upon the Sacred Mysteries the stamp of liturgists and national episcopal conferences. Remember, the American bishops tried for years to rid the "liturgy" of "gender exclusive" language. Thus, Paragraph 25 really means, "Heaven knows, anything goes."
Paragraph 26 of GIRM reads as follows:
"As far as variations and more profound adaptations are concerned which aim to take account of the traditions and mentality of peoples and regions which are to be introduced according to article forty of the Constitution of the Sacred Liturgy, what is set out in the guidelines found within the instruction, Inculturation and the Roman Liturgy and here below (see nos. 395-399) should be observed."
Comment and Analysis:
More profound adaptations? That's right, folks. In addition to the garden variety adaptations to be found in one's local parish, actual experimentation can receive the blessings of the Church in the name of inculturation. Face it: there is nothing permanently fixed in the Novus Ordo Missae.
For example, consider Paragraph 395 of GIRM (which at this present rate I will get to in thirty-nine issues from now; only joking, well, maybe, sort of, perhaps):
"Finally, should the participation of the faithful and their spiritual good call for variants and points of deeper adaptation in order that the sacred celebration respond to the genius and customs of the different peoples, the Conferences of Bishops may propose to the Apostolic See, in accordance with article 40 of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, with a view to introducing them with the Apostolic See's consent, especially in favor of peoples to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed in more recent times. The special norms determined by the instruction, Inculturation and the Roman Liturgy, shall be attentively observed. As to the way of proceeding in this matter, the following shall be respected: In the first place, a detailed prior project should be forwarded to the Apostolic See, so that after the necessary authorization has been given, the precise points of adaptation may be worked out. Once these proposals have been duly approved by the Holy See, experiments should be carried out at specific times and places. If appropriate, once the period of experimentation is concluded, the Conference of Bishops shall decided upon carrying forward the adaptation and shall make a mature proposal to the Apostolic See for its decision."
As is evident, the permanency and universality which remain the hallmarks of the Traditional Latin Mass are lacking in the Novus Ordo. The new General Instruction of the Roman Missal is a ratification of impermanency and parochialism in the worship of the Blessed Trinity in the Church's Sacred Liturgy.
We can now see with great clarity the wisdom of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who pointed out all of this in the 1970s as the Faith was unraveling as a result of a fascination with novelty and a narcissistic worship of man's ability to make of the Mass whatever he wants.
Thomas A. Droleskey, Ph.D.
Editor's Note: This series will be on hiatus for a short while as Dr. Droleskey continues to write we will bring them to you as they become available. His regular column will continue each Friday.
For past columns in The DAILY CATHOLIC by Dr. Droleskey, see Archives