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Organic Development or Not

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Organic Development or Not

Post  columba on Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:28 pm

This term “Organic Development,” if it means anything at all, must mean that the product of (organic) development remains the same entity as that from which it developed; for example, a lamb when it develops becomes a sheep, a boy becomes a man, a girl becomes a woman etc etc, but in all cases a new entity does not come into being (i.e, as in the lamb and sheep existing together at the same time or likewise with the boy and man or the girl and woman). The transformation takes place by way of the mature replacing the immature or the earlier form being superseded by the later form; the earlier form disappearing and being incorporated into the new form.

How is it then that if the new form of Mass is an organic development from the older form, the two still exist together side by side? Should not the old form have been incorporated into the new “mature” form thus existing only in what it has become through this organic development?
Thus, it would make more sense if (what was first thought) the old form had been abrogated and become (through the process of organic development) the new form.

The fact that Benedict XVI declared that the old form had never been abrogated, would suggest that the new form was NOT an organic development from the old but instead a completely different entity. This would be in accord with his statement when he was Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith, where he described the new Mass as, “A fabricated liturgy...a banal on-the-spot product, which has divorced itself from the proper organic, living process of growth and development that takes place over centuries."

It would be fair to say then that the new form has not in fact developed from the old but is in fact something completely different (another entity), a man-made counterfeit of he old form which to this day remains in its fully developed state as promulgated by St Pope Pius V.

Will wait to see who agrees or disagrees with the above before asking some important questions.

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Re: Organic Development or Not

Post  MRyan on Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:15 pm

The fact that two forms of the same rite cannot both be the product of organic development is a logical fallacy.

In other words, “organic development” does not mean that a given form must follow only one prescribed path for substantial continuity to be maintained.

In his review of “The Organic Development of the Liturgy” by Alcuin Reid OSB, 2004, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger wrote:

The author has made a wise decision, in stopping on the threshold of the Second Vatican Council. He thus avoids entering into the controversy associated with the interpretation and the reception of the Council, and can nonetheless show its place in history, and show us the interplay of various tendencies, on which questions as to the standards for reform must be based.

At the end of his book, the author enumerates some principles for proper reform: this should keep being open to development, and continuity with the Tradition, in a proper balance; it includes awareness of an objective liturgical tradition, and therefore takes care to ensure a substantial continuity. The author then agrees with the Catechism of the Catholic Church in emphasizing that "even the supreme authority in the Church may not change the Liturgy arbitrarily, but only in the obedience of faith and with religious respect for the mystery of the Liturgy". (CCC No. 1125, p. 258) As subsidiary criteria we then encounter the legitimacy of local traditions and the concern for pastoral effectiveness.

Criteria for Liturgical Renewal

From my own personal point of view I should like to give further particular emphasis to some of the criteria for liturgical renewal thus briefly indicated. I will begin with those last two main criteria.

It seems to me most important that the Catechism, in mentioning the limitation of the powers of the supreme authority in the Church with regard to reform, recalls to mind what is the essence of the primacy as outlined by the First and Second Vatican Councils: The pope is not an absolute monarch whose will is law, but is the guardian of the authentic Tradition, and thereby the premier guarantor of obedience. He cannot do as he likes, and is thereby able to oppose those people who for their part want to do what has come into their head. His rule is not that of arbitrary power, but that of obedience in faith. That is why, with respect to the Liturgy, he has the task of a gardener, not that of a technician who builds new machines and throws the old ones on the junk-pile. The "rite", that form of celebration and prayer which has ripened in the faith and the life of the Church, is a condensed form of living tradition in which the sphere which uses that rite expresses the whole of its faith and its prayer, and thus at the same time the fellowship of generations one with another becomes something we can experience, fellowship with the people who pray before us and after us. Thus the rite is something of benefit which is given to the Church, a living form of paradosis -- the handing-on of tradition.

It is important, in this connection, to interpret the "substantial continuity" correctly.
The author expressly warns us against the wrong path up which we might be led by a neo-scholastic sacramental theology which is disconnected from the living form of the Liturgy. On that basis, people might reduce the "substance" to the material and form of the sacrament, and say: Bread and wine are the material of the sacrament, the words of institution are its form. Only these two things are really necessary, everything else is changeable.

At this point Modernists and Traditionalists are in agreement: As long as the material gifts are there, and the words of institution are spoken, then everything else is freely disposable. Many priests today, unfortunately, act in accordance with this motto; and the theories of many liturgists are unfortunately moving in the same direction. They want to overcome the limits of the rite, as being something fixed and immovable, and construct the products of their fantasy, which are supposedly "pastoral", around this remnant, this core which has been spared, and which is thus either relegated to the realm of magic, or loses any meaning whatever. The Liturgical Movement had in fact been attempting to overcome this reductionism, the product of an abstract sacramental theology, and to teach us to understand the Liturgy as a living network of tradition which had taken concrete form, which cannot be torn apart into little pieces, but has to be seen and experienced as a living whole. Anyone like myself, who was moved by this perception in the time of the Liturgical Movement on the eve of the Second Vatican Council, can only stand, deeply sorrowing, before the ruins of the very things they were concerned for. (http://www.adoremus.org/1104OrganicLiturgy.html)
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Re: Organic Development or Not

Post  columba on Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:31 pm

MRyan wrote:
The fact that two forms of the same rite cannot both be the product of organic development is a logical fallacy.

In other words, “organic development” does not mean that a given form must follow only one prescribed path for substantial continuity to be maintained.

I can't see the logical fallacy.

You would be correct, and I would agree, that if initially we had started with two forms, each could be subject to organic development and each within its own form.
The product of the development would therefore not be another form but the same form modified.

The fact that we only had one form to begin with and ended up with two, begs the question, where did the second form come from? It obviously didn't develop from the first as the first is still in existence.



Some comments on Joseph Cardinal Ratzingers review of “The Organic Development of the Liturgy.” I'll place my own comments inside quote boxes as I read through the review:

"The author has made a wise decision, in stopping on the threshold of the Second Vatican Council. He thus avoids entering into the controversy
or acknowledging the contraversy
associated with the interpretation and the reception of the Council, and can nonetheless show its place in history, and show us the interplay of various tendencies, on which questions
and also answers
as to the standards for reform must be based.

At the end of his book, the author enumerates some principles for proper reform: this should keep being open to development, and continuity with the Tradition, in a proper balance; it includes awareness of an objective liturgical tradition, and therefore takes care to ensure a substantial continuity.
depending on who's at the helm
The author then agrees with the Catechism of the Catholic Church
Did he think there were grounds for disagreement.
in emphasizing that "even the supreme authority in the Church may not change the Liturgy arbitrarily, but only in the obedience of faith and with religious respect for the mystery of the Liturgy". (CCC No. 1125, p. 258) As subsidiary criteria we then encounter the legitimacy of local traditions and the concern for pastoral effectiveness.

Criteria for Liturgical Renewal

From my own personal point of view I should like to give further particular emphasis to some of the criteria for liturgical renewal thus briefly indicated. I will begin with those last two main criteria.

It seems to me most important that the Catechism, in mentioning the limitation of the powers of the supreme authority in the Church with regard to reform, recalls to mind what is the essence of the primacy as outlined by the First and Second Vatican Councils: The pope is not an absolute monarch whose will is law, but is the guardian of the authentic Tradition, and thereby the premier guarantor of obedience. He cannot do as he likes, and is thereby able to oppose those people who for their part want to do what has come into their head. His rule is not that of arbitrary power, but that of obedience in faith. That is why, with respect to the Liturgy, he has the task of a gardener,
Do gardeners commonly use bulldozers?
not that of a technician who builds new machines and throws the old ones on the junk-pile. The "rite", that form of celebration and prayer which has ripened in the faith and the life of the Church, is a condensed form of living tradition in which the sphere which uses that rite expresses the whole of its faith and its prayer,
I agree. The sphere which uses the NO form expresses its faith, but a faith different from that of universal sphere.
which they and thus at the same time the fellowship of generations one with another becomes something we can experience,
So if we are not experiencing that fellowship with the past there's something amiss
. fellowship with the people who pray before us and after us. Thus the rite
but not every form of the rite
is something of benefit which is given to the Church, a living form of paradosis -- the handing-on of tradition.

It is important, in this connection, to interpret the "substantial continuity" correctly. The author expressly warns us against the wrong path up which we might be led by a neo-scholastic sacramental theology which is disconnected from the living form of the Liturgy. On that basis, people might reduce the "substance" to the material and form of the sacrament, and say: Bread and wine are the material of the sacrament, the words of institution are its form. Only these two things are really necessary, everything else is changeable.

At this point Modernists and Traditionalists are in agreement: As long as the material gifts are there, and the words of institution are spoken, then everything else is freely disposable. Many priests today, unfortunately, act in accordance with this motto; and the theories of many liturgists are unfortunately moving in the same direction. They want to overcome the limits of the rite, as being something fixed and immovable, and construct the products of their fantasy, which are supposedly "pastoral", around this remnant, this core which has been spared, and which is thus either relegated to the realm of magic, or loses any meaning whatever. The Liturgical Movement had in fact been attempting to overcome this reductionism,
Really?
the product of an abstract sacramental theology, and to teach us to understand the Liturgy as a living network of tradition which had taken concrete form, which cannot be torn apart into little pieces, but has to be seen and experienced as a living whole. Anyone like myself, who was moved by this perception in the time of the Liturgical Movement on the eve of the Second Vatican Council, can only stand, deeply sorrowing, before the ruins of the very things they were concerned for.
The Liturgical Movement obviously failed then
(http://www.adoremus.org/1104OrganicLiturgy.html)

Mike, that extract doesn't actually address whether the NO form is the product of organic development or not. If anything it would seem to suggest that it's not.
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Re: Organic Development or Not

Post  MRyan on Fri May 04, 2012 3:40 pm

The Future of the Roman Rite: Reading Benedict in the Light of Ratzinger

David G. Bonagura, Jr.

http://www.praytellblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/13.3Bonagura1.pdf

Excerpts:

“In the preface to the first published volume of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI’s “opera omnia,” the Pope says that “the Church’s liturgy has been the central activity of my life, and it also became… the center of my theological work.” In this work, “I was not interested in the specific problems of liturgical study, but in the anchoring of the liturgy in the fundamental act of our faith, and therefore also its place in our entire human existence.” His deep knowledge and love of the sacred liturgy is evident from a glancing survey of his liturgical writings, all of which are capped by his comprehensive “vision of the whole,” The Spirit of the Liturgy (Ignatius, 2000).

Nevertheless, Cardinal Ratzinger did discuss specific liturgical questions on many occasions. But with his election to the papacy in 2005, his opinions on the Church’s liturgical life since the Second Vatican Council have acquired considerably more weight since as Supreme Pontiff he has authority to regulate the liturgy. So far Pope Benedict has exercised his supreme authority only twice with respect to the liturgy. With his motu proprio Summorum pontificum of 2007, he has placed the 1962 Missal in full parity with that of 1970, designating them as, respectively, the “extraordinary” and “ordinary” forms of the one Roman Rite. The other exercise of papal authority involves an alteration to the Ordo Missae in the ordinary form: Benedict has approved three alternatives to the dismissal Ite, missa est.

In his apostolic exhortation on the Eucharist, Sacramentum caritatis of 2007 (henceforth S.Car.), Benedict expresses his magisterial vision for a proper ars celebrandi of the reformed liturgical rites. In that same document he notes his willingness to consider moving the sign of peace to another place in the Mass.

The writings of Joseph Ratzinger and the liturgical decisions of Pope Benedict leave no doubt about the Pope’s commitment to the fundamental liturgical principles of Vatican II. What are the emerging directions of the ongoing renewal of the Roman liturgy? By reading Benedict in the light of the strong opinions of Ratzinger, it seems that a large-scale juridical “reform of the reform” is not likely to take place soon. For Benedict, the first priority is renewing the “spirit” rather than the structure of the liturgy. This requires a vigorous deepening of liturgical spirituality, of an ability to be drawn by the holy rites into spiritual conversion to Christ.

I. Joseph Ratzinger and Sacrosanctum Concilium

Joseph Ratzinger had a profound love for the twentieth-century liturgical movement and its culmination in the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Liturgy Sacrosanctum concilium of 1963. The influences of Josef Pascher and Romano Guardini led the young Ratzinger, as a seminarian, to embrace the liturgical movement, with its call “to rediscover the liturgy in all its beauty, hidden wealth, and time-transcending grandeur, to see it as the animating center of the Church, the very center of Christian life.” The essential principles of that movement are enshrined in Sacrosanctum concilium. As a peritus at the Council, Father Ratzinger greeted the liturgy constitution “with enthusiasm,” seeing it as “a marvelous point of departure for this assembly of the whole Church….” Now, as pope, he frankly acknowledges the “difficulties and even occasional abuses” in the liturgical renewal begun by Vatican II but holds that these “cannot overshadow the benefits and the validity of the liturgical renewal, whose riches are yet to be fully explored” (S.Car. 3).

As a son of the liturgical movement, Ratzinger saw reform as necessary for reawakening the faithful to the splendor of the liturgy. In his preface to The Spirit of the Liturgy, he compared the traditional liturgy to a fresco that “had been preserved from damage” but

had been almost completely overlaid with whitewash by later generations. In the Missal from which the priest celebrated, the form of the liturgy that had grown from its earliest beginnings was still present, but, as far as the faithful were concerned, it was largely concealed beneath instructions for and forms of private prayer.
For this reason, Ratzinger embraced the reforms called for by Sacrosanctum concilium because they enabled “a return to the heart of Christian worship.” Writing after the Council’s first session, he expressed his approval of many proposed reforms: the primacy of Sundays over saints’ days, the simplification of forms to express more clearly the essence of the faith, the revised Lectionary and the greater emphasis on the proclamation of the Word, more active participation by the faithful and the use of the vernacular, to name only a few. He has not ceased to support these reforms.

II. The Novus Ordo Missae: Praises and Criticisms

The Missal of Paul VI sought to put into practice the Council’s recommendations, but in the years following its promulgation, Ratzinger repeatedly questioned the manner in which the new missal was composed and the liturgical practice that stemmed from it. It is to be noted that he has never questioned the validity or legitimacy of that missal, nor has he second-guessed the liturgical theology of the liturgical movement or Sacrosanctum concilium. In fact, as Aidan Nichols suggests, the criticisms that Ratzinger and others have raised concerning the new missal show their continued commitment to the spirit of the liturgy that brought about the Council and their desire, forty years later, to see these goals finally realized in liturgical worship. For this reason, Ratzinger hoped his book The Spirit of the Liturgy would inspire a new liturgical movement. Yet the question of how these goals might still be realized depends on an adequate understanding of the manner in which the changes in the liturgy were made and what they signify.

Thomas Woods outlines three main criticisms that Ratzinger had concerning the Missal of Paul VI. “First, he contended that the new missal gave rise to excessive creativity in liturgical celebration, which in turn undermined the very essence of liturgy and cut Catholics off not only from their past but even from the parish down the street, where Mass was celebrated differently.” As an example, Woods cites the following observation from The Feast of Faith: “Today we might ask: Is there a Latin Rite at all anymore? Certainly there is no awareness of it. To most people the liturgy seems to be rather something for the individual congregation to arrange.” In several places, Ratzinger criticized this creativity; but he acknowledged that its specific catalyst lies in the new missal itself, for therein

we quite often find formulae such as: sacerdos dicit sic vel simili modo…or, Hic sacerdos potest dicere... These formulae of the Missal in fact give official sanction to creativity; the priest feels almost obliged to change the wording.
Significantly, as pope he raised this same concern in the letter that accompanied Summorum pontificum, noting that “in many places celebrations were not faithful to the prescriptions of the new missal, but the latter actually was understood as authorizing or even requiring creativity, which frequently led to deformations of the liturgy which were hard to bear.”

In Woods’ summary, “A second major theme in Ratzinger’s corpus of liturgical writing is what he called desacralization.” Desacralization emerged from a disproportionate emphasis on the liturgy as “a simple, human, everyday meal…. In the same way the demand emerged to do away with liturgical forms and vestments and the call to get back to the way we look in ordinary daily life.” Much of Ratzinger’s writing on sacred music, church architecture, liturgical posture, and even active participation sought to remedy this situation. In the same manner, as pope the first issue discussed in Sacramentum caritatis under the section “Ars Celebrandi” is beauty (S.Car. 35), a subject that will be examined later.

Finally, “Ratzinger’s third major criticism of the liturgical reform was that whatever its virtues, the new missal, both in particular sections and in its entirety, leaves the impression of a rupture with the past, and in some ways seems contrived.” This question whether the novus ordo developed organically from the usus antiquior lies at the heart of the assessment of the reforms. Ratzinger raised this issue whenever he discussed liturgical rites, and several of his comments are now well known. Nevertheless, it is important to look at the issue of organic development in more detail, for it will shed more light on Benedict’s current and future liturgical vision.

Woods cites The Feast of Faith as illustrative: “Even the official new books, which are excellent in many ways, occasionally show far too many signs of being drawn up by academics and reinforce the notion that a liturgical book can be ‘made’ like any other book.”The new books produced by the Consilium charged with implementing Sacrosanctum concilium “happened far too quickly and abruptly, with the result that many of the faithful could not see the inner continuity with what had gone before.” Implicitly, Ratzinger here affirmed continuity between the two missals, despite their visual disparity owing to the hasty production of the new books and the de facto suppression of the old. Nevertheless, two statements in particular seriously question the legitimacy of the development of the new books. First, in his preface to the French edition of Msgr Klaus Gamber’s The Reform of the Roman Liturgy, Ratzinger wrote:

What happened after the Council was something else entirely: in the place of liturgy as the fruit of organic development came fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over centuries, and replaced it – as in a manufactured process – with a fabrication, a banal on-the-spot product.
Second, in The Feast of Faith, he stated that

the way in which the renewed Missal was presented is open to much criticism…. Yet, with all its advantages, the new Missal was published as if it were a work put together by professors, not a phase in a continual growth process. Such a thing never happened before. It is absolutely contrary to the laws of liturgical growth, and it has resulted in the nonsensical notion that Trent and Pius V had “produced” a Missal four hundred years ago. The Catholic liturgy was thus reduced to the level of a mere product of modern times…. [L]iturgy cannot be the result of Church regulation, let alone professional erudition, but, to be true to itself, must be the fruit of the Church’s life and vitality.
One might easily think Ratzinger had entirely rejected the new Mass but for this clarification:

Lest there be any misunderstanding, let me add that as far as its content is concerned (apart from a few criticisms), I am very grateful for the new Missal, for the way it has enriched the treasury of prayers and prefaces, for the new eucharistic prayers and the increased number of texts for use on weekdays, etc., quite apart from the availability of the vernacular. But I do regard it as unfortunate that we have been presented with the idea of a new book rather than with that of continuity within a single liturgical history.
Ratzinger’s ultimate criticism, then, is not the novus ordo itself but the unprecedented manner and speed of its appearance
. For him,

liturgy goes beyond the realm of what can be made and manipulated; it introduces us to the realm of given, living reality, which communicates itself to us. That is why, at all times and in all religions, the fundamental law of liturgy has been the law of organic growth within the universality of the common tradition.
Even with these reservations, in Sacramentum caritatis Benedict affirmed the legitimacy of the Missal of Paul VI and the innovations found therein, such as the allowance for introductory comments , the presentation of the gifts, the new eucharistic prayers, and the congregational sharing of the sign of peace. Moreover, he stated in his explanatory letter accompanying Summorum pontificum that he found “no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress but no rupture.”

III. Summorum Pontificum: The Key to Continuity

The status of the 1962 Missal after the promulgation of the novus ordo was another facet of Ratzinger’s criticisms of the liturgical reforms. He recalled in Milestones, “I was dismayed by the prohibition of the old missal, since nothing of the sort had ever happened in the entire history of the liturgy.” This prohibition “introduced a breach into the history of the liturgy whose consequences could only be tragic.”

For this reason Ratzinger was a strong proponent of lifting the prohibition of the old Missal, for in this prohibition “we are despising and proscribing the Church’s whole past.” He supported the 1962 Missal for the same reason he questioned the manufacturing process of the 1970 Missal: continuity with the “Christian identity” expressed in the rites received from the Jews, from Jesus himself, from the Apostles and Church Fathers, from the Middle Ages to the present day must be maintained in liturgical worship.

As was noted, Ratzinger loved the liturgical movement and Sacrosanctum concilium because they exalted the liturgy as the heart and expression of genuine Christian life. As cardinal, he often spoke in defense of the traditional missal because its prohibition undermined the Church’s highest form of self-expression that had animated Christian life for centuries. Furthermore, he believed that prohibiting the old missal, ironically enough, undermined the new:

It seems to me essential, the basic step, to recognise that both Missals are Missals of the Church, and belong to the Church which remains the same as ever. The preface of Paul VI’s Missal says explicitly that it is a Missal of the same Church, and acknowledges its continuity. And in order to emphasise that there is no essential break, that there is continuity in the Church, which retains its identity, it seems to me indispensible to continue to offer the opportunity to celebrate according to the old Missal, as a sign of the enduring identity of the Church. This is for me the basic reason: what was up until 1969 the Liturgy of the Church, for all of us the most holy thing there was, can not become after 1969 – with incredibly positivistic decision – the most unacceptable thing. If we want to be credible, even with being modern as a slogan, we absolutely have to recognise that what was fundamental before 1969 remains fundamental afterwards: the realm of the sacral is the same, the Liturgy is the same.
Clearly Ratzinger’s esteem for the old missal is not simply a reaction against abuses in the celebration of the new, but rather springs from his fidelity to the Church and to the liturgical expression of her authentic Tradition.

Thus for the sake of continuity between past and present, a continuity that ensures the identity of the Church’s essence, Benedict issued Summorum pontificum, his only juridical document on the liturgy to date. In this light, article 1 is critical because it juridically establishes the permissibility of celebrating Mass “following the typical edition of the Roman Missal promulgated by Blessed John XXIII and never abrogated [et numquam abrogatam], as an extraordinary form of the Liturgy of the Church” (emphasis added).

IV. Using the Past to Guide the Present

If the central theme of Summorum pontificum and its accompanying letter is reconciliation with the past, what can be said of the future of the Roman Rite? In 2001 Ratzinger proposed that “the old missal is a point of reference, a criterion” for the use of the new. “The goal we are all aiming for in the end,” he went on to say, “is liturgical reconciliation.” Hence,

I am not in favor of uniformity; but we should of course be opposed to chaos, to the fragmentation of the Liturgy, and in that sense we should also be in favour of observing unity in the use of Paul VI’s Missal. That seems to me a problem to be faced as a priority: how can we return to a common rite, reformed (if you like) but not fragmented, nor left to the arbitrary devices of local congregations, nor that of a few commissions, or groups of experts? Thus, the “reform of the reform” is something which concerns the Missal of Paul VI, always with this aim of achieving reconciliation within the Church, since for the moment there exists rather a painful opposition, and we are still a long way from reconciliation....
If the Missal of Paul VI is to express the Church’s identity and continuity with the past, it must be faithfully celebrated in accordance with the liturgical norms. This will help overcome the “painful opposition” of which Ratzinger speaks.

Pope Benedict has expressed his hope that “the two forms of the usage of the Roman rite can be mutually enriching.” After suggesting the insertion into the 1962 Missal of new prefaces and celebrations for some new saints, he goes on to say that through the coexistence of the two forms “the celebration of the Mass according to the Missal of Paul VI will be able to demonstrate, more powerfully than has been the case hitherto, the sacrality that attracts many people to the former usage.” The first step in reforming the reform, then, concerns the spirit in which the revised liturgical forms are celebrated, not the texts and rites which constitute them.

V. Reforming the Spirit

One can infer from Ratzinger’s repeated statements in favor of liturgical pluralism that the ordinary and extraordinary forms will continue to coexist. He has written approvingly of rites other than the Roman within the Latin Church and elsewhere expressed his willingness to support “a return to the ancient situation, i.e., to a certain liturgical pluralism.” If there is to be a reform of the revised missal under Benedict’s pontificate, it will surely be done with a view to “reconciling” the older and newer forms of the Mass. Ratzinger’s most explicit statement in this regard is found in The Feast of Faith: “In my view, a new edition will need to make it quite clear that the so-called Missal of Paul VI is nothing other than a renewed form of the same Missal to which Pius X, Urban VIII, Pius V and their predecessors have contributed, right from the Church’s earliest history.” Such an undertaking must proceed with caution, so as not to repeat past mistakes:

We do at least need a new liturgical consciousness, to be rid of this spirit of arbitrary fabrication….

The most important thing today is that we should regain respect for the liturgy and for the fact that it is not to be manipulated. That we learn to know it again as the living entity that has grown up and has been given us, in which we take part in the heavenly liturgy….

That, I believe is the first thing we need, so that this peculiar or unauthorized fabrication may vanish again, and the inner sense for holiness be reawakened. In the second stage we will be able to see in what area, so to speak, too much was pruned away, so that the connection with the whole of history may become clearer and more alive again. I myself have talked in this sense of a “reform of the reform.” But in my opinion this ought in the first place to be above all an educative process, which would put a stop to this trampling all over the liturgy with one’s own inventions.
A rubrical reform of the new missal must follow, not precede, the revitalization of a Catholic liturgical ethos, in which worshippers are joined to the fellowship of countless generations before them and (mysteriously) yet to come. Although Summorum pontificum is a legislative document, its application of the principle of the hermeneutic of continuity exemplifies Benedict’s prioritization of the spirit of the liturgy. Two other examples include the apostolic exhortation Sacramentum caritatis on the Eucharist and the manner in which Benedict celebrates Mass.

[…] In The Spirit of the Liturgy Ratzinger argued that, contrary to popular opinion, papal authority was bound by the liturgy:

After the Second Vatican Council, the impression arose that the pope really could do anything in liturgical matters, especially if he were acting on the mandate of an ecumenical council. Eventually, the idea of the givenness of the liturgy, the fact that one cannot do with it what one will, faded from the public consciousness of the West…. The pope’s authority is bound to the Tradition of faith, and that also applies to the liturgy. It is not “manufactured” by the authorities. Even the pope can only be a humble servant of its lawful development and abiding integrity and identity.
… In addition to writing on the limits of papal authority vis-à-vis the liturgy, Ratzinger also expressed sensitivity to the fact that liturgical change can cause harm to the faithful. Regarding the reform of the liturgical calendar, for example, he chastised the reformers because they “simply did not realize how much the various annual feasts had influenced Christian people’s relation to time.” Additionally, his advocacy of ad orientem worship was tempered by pastoral and architectural concerns, as mentioned above, for “Nothing is more harmful to the liturgy than a constant activism, even if it seems to be for the sake of genuine renewal.” In a similar manner, Pope Benedict wrote in his letter accompanying Summorum pontificum, “And I have seen how arbitrary deformations of the liturgy caused deep pain to individuals totally rooted in the faith of the church.”

How, then, does Benedict as Sovereign Pontiff understand his relationship to the liturgy? As Cardinal Ratzinger, he wrote often of the organic development of the liturgy and the importance of understanding liturgy historically, since, like the Church herself, liturgy grows with time, even though its essential elements remain unchanged. While liturgical growth over the centuries occurred in various places, “Rome kept watch on this and pruned back any overgrowth.” Thus Ratzinger compared the role of the Holy See to that of a gardener:

Just as a gardener cares for a living plant as it develops, with due attention to the power of growth and life within the plant and the rules it obeys, so the Church ought to give reverent care to the Liturgy through the ages, distinguishing actions that are helpful and healing from those that are violent and destructive.
… As pope, then, Benedict seems very interested in restoring the original meaning of the sign of peace by placing it before the offertory, despite a fifteen-centuries-long tradition of the peace occurring just before Communion. Significantly, Ratzinger expressed an analogous propensity for the original meaning of the offertory and its expression in the first millennium of worship. In God Is Near Us he recalled the original meaning of the word “offertory” as “preparation.” What began as a silent and practical preparation for celebrating the Eucharist was changed in the tenth century with the incorporation of the offertory prayers of the traditional Missal that have a profound sacrificial dimension. While he acknowledged these prayers are “beautiful and profound,” nevertheless

we have to admit that they carried within them the seeds of a certain misunderstanding. The way they were formulated always looked forward to the actual matter of the Canon. Both elements, the preparation and the actual sacrifice of Christ, were intertwined in these words.
Ratzinger’s preference for the earlier practice and its original meaning independent of the forthcoming sacrifice coincides with his understanding of the restored sign of peace: with the faithful exchanging the peace in the new liturgy, Benedict prefers the original meaning of this ritual expression in its original location.

VII. Organic Development and Liturgical Regulation

The question can be raised in light of this issue whether there is a tension between Ratzinger’s deference toward liturgical tradition and its relation to Petrine authority on the one hand, and his understanding of the Holy See as “gardener” of the liturgy on the other hand. What exactly constitutes the liturgical “Tradition of faith” within the liturgy for which “the pope can only be a humble servant of its lawful development and abiding integrity and identity”? The present location of the peace predates the Gregorian reforms, and since then a distinctive theology has arisen from it. But Ratzinger’s comments on the offertory prayers and the sign of peace convey a strong preference for the earliest meaning of these rituals. How, then, does he understand “lawful development” and organic growth in light of two millennia of Christian worship?

In the first place, Ratzinger was very critical of “archaeological enthusiasm” that sought the oldest known form of the liturgy, deeming this the “pure” form of the rite and all subsequent growths “the Product of misunderstandings and ignorance of the past.” While he acknowledged that “[a] great deal of this was right,” he cautioned that “liturgical reform is something different from archaeological excavation, and not all the developments of a living thing have to be logical in accordance with a rationalistic or historical standard.”

This thinking harmonizes with what has been examined thus far: Ratzinger clearly was attracted to the original meanings of specific liturgical rituals, but he desired them within the context of careful, organic growth in light of a genuine understanding of the liturgy as the Church’s self-expression, and not as the forced product of a historicism and liturgical rigorism that seeks the ancient for its own sake.

Ratzinger acknowledged this contemporary archaizing trend and its consequent dismissal of the liturgical inheritance of the Middle Ages as a danger latent within the liturgical movement before the Council. At Fontgombault he rejected this approach in defense of “genuinely legitimate developments” of the medieval period, and proposed a “return to an exegesis rooted in the living reality of the Church, of the Church of all ages” so that “within the limitations which are certainly to be found in the texts of Trent, Trent remains the norm, as re-read with our greater knowledge and deeper understanding of the Fathers and of the New Testament, as read with the Fathers and with the Church of all ages.” This return is to be done, he asserted, in harmony with the Church and her pastors and not led by specialists, as was the case with the reforms following the Council.

There seems to exist a tension, then, between Ratzinger’s preference – and now Benedict’s preference concerning the sign of peace – for original liturgical rituals and organic development in relation to Petrine authority. Even if a potential change in liturgical rite or potential growth harmonizes with the Church and her pastors, such as in Benedict’s collegial consultation with the bishops on moving the sign of peace, does the Pope have the authority to change a part of the liturgy that existed legitimately and grew in its own right over the course of fifteen hundred years? If so, then it seems the liturgical norm is not Trent, or even the reform of St Gregory the Great, but rather the first few centuries of liturgical worship; yet Ratzinger cautioned against establishing such a rational and historical standard. On the other hand, it is noted that Ratzinger did not advocate reintroducing further ancient practices into the reformed liturgy; his comments on the offertory and the peace follow from initiations made by others. But within these two specific rituals, the question remains as to what should be the standard for proper organic growth following their initiations, even when they stand to benefit the whole Church.

Nevertheless, despite this difficulty, there is no tension between liturgical epochs for the theologian Joseph Ratzinger, and now Pope Benedict XVI, because his standard is the genuine spirit of the liturgy that has permeated the Church for two millennia and found its most recent expression in the liturgical movement and Sacrosanctum concilium. As a theologian, Ratzinger reminded his readers that “the Liturgy is not about us, but about God.” Now as Roman Pontiff, Benedict has already implemented his reform of the spirit of the liturgy through Sacramentum caritatis, Summorum pontificum, and his own manner of celebrating the liturgy. Even moving the sign of peace is aimed primarily at fostering this same spirit. Thus a large-scale rubrical reform of the reform does not seem to be in the works; any such initiative must wait until the “new liturgical movement” desired by Ratzinger in The Spirit of the Liturgy and put in motion since Benedict’s election takes hold. As he told Peter Seewald, only then can a proper assessment of rubrics occur, an assessment that may still be decades away. For the interim, Benedict’s concluding comment in his preface to his “opera omnia” succinctly captures his early achievements and future vision for liturgical reform as pope: “I would be happy if this new edition of my liturgical writings could contribute to displaying the great perspectives of our liturgy, and putting certain frivolous controversies about external forms in the right place.”’
[End of Excerpt]
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Re: Organic Development or Not

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The glory of the Liturgy: Pope Benedict's vision

By Bishop Peter J. Elliott

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/resource.php?n=1542

The following was the keynote address at TIME DRAWN INTO ETERNITY: Sacred Time and the Liturgical Calendar, a conference held by the Te Deum Institute of Sacred Liturgy, Diocese of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

I wish to express my gratitude to Bishop Slattery for inviting me to give the keynote address at this historic event in the Diocese of Tulsa, the conference inaugurating the Te Deum Institute of Sacred Liturgy. I suppose you get tired of visitors, at least from my generation, who go on about the delightful musical named after your State. But that is the reason I have always wanted to visit Oklahoma. Many years ago as a small child I sat enraptured when the stage of Her Majesty’s Theatre Melbourne glowed with light and a tenor voice rang out with “Oh what at beautiful morning”. But I wondered how your corn could grow higher than our Australian wheat. Therefore my presentation on the glory of the liturgy, Pope Benedict’s vision, may appropriately begin in the innocent, but luminous, world of childhood.

* * *
In Milestones, Memoirs 1927-1977, the short autobiography that covers the first fifty years of his life, our Holy Father Pope Benedict explains how his love of the liturgy began when he was a boy. “Naturally the child I then was did not grasp every aspect of this, but I started down the road of the liturgy, and this became a continuous process of growth into a grand reality transcending all particular individuals and generations, a reality that became an occasion for me of ever-new amazement and discovery. The incredible reality of the Catholic liturgy has accompanied me through all phases of life, and so I shall have to speak of it time and again.”

The child sensed the glory and scope of the “grand reality”. Children approach the mysteries of Christian worship with a sense of awe and wonder. Thus the glorious Corpus Christi processions of Bavaria spoke to the young Josef Ratzinger. He could later observe: “Liturgy is not the private hobby of a particular group; it is about the bond which holds heaven and earth together, it is about the human race and the entire created world. In the Corpus Christi procession, faith’s link with the earth, with the whole of reality, is represented ‘in bodily form’ by the act of walking, of treading the ground, our ground.”

How We Understand Time

A procession moves forward, as does time itself. The theme chosen for this inaugural conference of the Te Deum Institute is sacred time, that is, how we celebrate salvation history in Christian worship. But as Cardinal Ratzinger put it: “Time is first of all a cosmic phenomenon. Man lives with the stars. The course of the sun and the moon leaves it mark on his life.” I will reflect briefly on time, because other speakers from a range of Christian traditions will deal with it in finer detail.

The cycles of creation reflect the glory of the Creator, including time measured at different levels of being among plants and animals. However, the dominant Christian understanding of time is teleological not cyclic. Teleology means that we are all moving towards an end, a telos, a goal, “the consummation of the ages”, the coming of the Kingdom or parousia. This is “eschatological” time, all creation moving to the eschaton, the end as a fulfillment.

On the other hand, a cyclic understanding of time means that we are constantly returning to the beginning and starting all over again. This is a characteristic of Hinduism and Buddhism, where even gods are part of the endless cycles. However in the Judeo-Christian tradition, as Cardinal Ratzinger affirmed, “All time is God’s time.”

Even the measuring of time is a divine work, created by God (cf. Genesis 1:14-18).

The sun and moon are not divine, rather the sun is God’s “marvelous instrument” and “He made the moon also to serve in its season to mark the times…” (Sirach 43:2,6). God the Creator is not subject to time. God transcends time.

Time is experienced both as the history of a people and the history of individuals.
Salvation history is guided by the Lord of time. Reflecting on the human lifetime we pray that “Lord, my time is in your hands….”

In Christianity these contrasting understandings of time complement one another. While we see time, indeed life itself, as a pilgrimage to the Kingdom of Heaven, we celebrate this “history of salvation” through the cycle of seasons and feast days. We celebrate the past, the present and the future. In these three states of time we find that that each Year of Grace celebrates the work of our redemption. The liturgical year recapitulates the teleology, the meaning of all time and space, through a cycle.

This pilgrimage of each of our lives is lived in faith in the Lord Jesus, at the same time it is the procession of the whole Pilgrim People treading the ground of our planet on the way to eternity. The Church is ever moving towards the Parousia, towards “the glory”. But Cardinal Ratzinger, reminds us that this present time of the Church is a kind of “between time”, what has also been called the “not yet” dimension of our lives.

Cosmos and Incarnation

Time opens a door into the cosmic dimension of liturgy. The Pope, as Cardinal Ratzinger, expounded a cosmological vision of worship. He insisted that the liturgy of the Church is not just the product of human cultures. Rather, liturgy intersects time and space, history and the cosmos, because creation is healed through the redeeming love of Christ. The Paschal Mystery of our Lord and Savior can never be separated from his Body, worshiping in this material universe through the liturgy yet worshiping in the glory of eternity, magnificently expressed at the Second Vatican Council in Sacrosanctum Concilium 8: “In the earthly liturgy we take part in a foretaste of the heavenly liturgy….”

By taking our flesh, God subjected himself to time, at least for the duration of Our Lord’s earthly life. Just as we believe with St John that “the Word became flesh” so, in a sense, the Word became time. Therefore, because of the Incarnation liturgy can never be some “other worldly” activity. The Holy Father insists that Liturgy is always incarnational, grounded in our concrete material world where the Logos became flesh. He says: “The body has a place within the divine worship of the Word made flesh, and it is expressed liturgically in a certain discipline of the body, in gestures that have developed out of the liturgy’s inner demands and that make the essence of the liturgy, as it were bodily visible.”

The sacred cycle of liturgical time marks and celebrates the Incarnation through two solemnities: the Annunciation, March 25 and the Nativity of the Lord, December 25, which in turn rest on the Marian solemnity of December 8, the Immaculate Conception, and the Feast of the birth of Our Lady, September 8th. Every year, the earthly lives of Jesus Christ, God Incarnate, and his Virgin Mother shape our lives. This is not merely sacred biography but sacred memory, that is, Eucharistic memory or anamnesis. In sacrifice and sacrament the Church remembers the saving acts of God in Christ, the work of our redemption. This focuses around the Paschal Mystery, hence the primacy of Easter, Queen of Feasts, and Sundays, the weekly Easter in the calendars of the East and West.

Within every liturgy the cosmic dimension is celebrated. The new translation of the Third Eucharistic Prayer takes up the words of the prophet “from the rising of the sun to its setting a pure sacrifice may be offered to your name” (cf. Malachi 1:11). The cosmic liturgy of Christ’s perfect sacrifice spans not merely space (“from east to west”, from New York to Los Angeles) but all time and all the movements of the universe.

“Turning Towards the Lord”

His cosmological vision of the Eucharist explains the Pope’s appreciation for celebrating the Eucharist ad orientem, that is, towards the East. Led by the priest, the pilgrim people turn towards the Light of the risen Lord, reigning in his cosmos and coming again in his parousia. As cardinal he was well aware of the cultural difficulty of appreciating this ancient universal Christian symbolism in the secularized Western World. But he did not even consider that ignorant expression we still hear, celebrating Mass “with his back to the people”. That misses the whole point of the priest who is leading a worship procession towards the Lord.

As a cardinal he was not popular for putting that view. He partly challenged the most obvious and prevalent post-conciliar change, the almost universal practice of moving altars and celebrating Mass facing the people. As I shall explain, at the same time he gives us a way to enrich Mass facing the people by focusing on the Lord.

Moreover while he integrates the sacrificial dimension and the meal dimension of the Mass, he rejects the meal as the paradigm for the Eucharistic liturgy. The term “meal” in German and English cannot convey the depth of the liturgical action and its Passover roots. Nor does he accept “sacrificial meal” – which still gives the meal priority. He favors a deeper understanding of the priority of Sacrifice through a Hebrew concept of sacrifice, personalized and internalized in the self-immolation of Christ crucified and risen.

Our Pope invites us to see the glory of Christ Priest and Victim in the liturgy. He leads us into this glory, above all by his own example of a priest humbly entering the divine mysteries of the altar. By word and demeanor he reminds us that liturgy is a gift to be received in humility, not something we construct for ourselves, not a fabrication. Here he strongly rejects a decadent style of liturgy that set in soon after Vatican II. That style was contrived to be a deliberate break with the past.

Organic development

Cardinal Ratzinger’s critique of liturgical discontinuity rested on the conviction that authentic liturgical development is always organic. This understanding was favored by the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council in Sacrosanctum Concilium. But changes that followed the Council were not always organic. As he bluntly put it, organic growth was replaced, “…as in a manufacturing process, with a fabrication, an on the spot banal product.

Change in liturgy should not be concocted by committees or individuals or produced by experiments. That undermines the foundation of liturgical continuity - that liturgy is a gift, from God, through the Church. Yet he is frank about past problems, comparing the liturgy to an endangered fresco preserved by whitewash, which was stripped away, only to be “endangered by climatic conditions as well as by various restorations and reconstructions”.

While Catholic liturgy develops, it is a treasure handed on to us, entrusted to us by the Church. Therefore he applies to liturgy what he applies to the interpretation of the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, a “hermeneutic of continuity”, understanding the Council in the context of all preceding Councils and papal teachings. By sharp contrast, the “hermeneutic of discontinuity” breaks with the past and interprets liturgy as our creation, what “we do”, or as we hear in some quarters, what we do when “we gather”, adorned with such inventions as “gathering hymns” and a “gathering rite”.


However, the Holy Father reminds us that it is God who gathers us, just as He gathered his chosen people by calling them out of Egypt into the wilderness. Moses told Pharaoh to let his people go to offer sacrifice to God in the desert (Cf. Exodus 7:16). There, God would teach them to worship Him in the way He prescribed and give them the covenant Law that made them his chosen People.

At the Last Supper Christ would prescribe the worship of those he called and gathered to be his new People. He commanded a new covenant sacrifice: “Do this in memory of me”. For this sublime action, the Father assembles us at every Mass. As the Third Eucharistic Prayer puts it: “you never cease to gather a people to yourself”, later describing the gathered people as “this family whom you have summoned before you”.

We note how our Holy Father reminds us that in worship we are meant to focus on God, to give God the glory, not to glorify ourselves. He criticized a self-centered over-emphasis on ourselves that has damaged the quality of worship. When the liturgical community turns in on itself, it ends up worshiping itself. Self-centric worship is supposed to “build up community”, but in practice it undermines community. “Only when the sacrament retains its unconditional character and its absolute priority over all communal purposes and all spiritually edifying intentions does it build community and edify humans.”

The Glory of the Altar

He directs us away from ourselves and back to God by focusing on the Christian altar, the great sign of Christ among us. In Feast of Faith and The Spirit of the Liturgy he argued that the altar is not a setting to display a man (a Pope, bishop or priest). One might add that the altar is not a lectern or pulpit. Rather, during the action of the liturgy, the altar itself should draw us around Jesus Christ crucified and risen. This breaks down that self-centric community tendency.

Therefore he shows us a way that helps us “turn to the Lord” whenever Mass is celebrated facing the people. At all papal Masses, the crucifix now stands at the center, no longer to one side. It is flanked by candles, of a significant size. This arrangement is being called the “Benedictine Altar”. It restores glory to our altars, especially when ornaments of fine quality are used and the altar is vested in a noble antependium.

Having made this change in the parish where I live, I learnt that once the crucifix is the center of the altar, it becomes visually “an altar”, the great sign of Christ. No longer is it a kind of dining table adorned with candles and flowers. Placing the crucifix at the center of the altar has also involved the recovery of the pontifical altar at his Masses in St Peter’s Basilica and elsewhere, that is, using the seven candles required by Roman tradition and the General Instruction whenever the Diocesan Bishop solemnly celebrates the Eucharist.

The Eucharist at the Center

His liturgical project is deeply Eucharistic because it rests on the work of the Venerable John Paul II. Again we find continuity. Our beloved John Paul II devoted the last years of his pontificate to the Eucharist – and in that context he defended good liturgy, as in the disciplinary instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum (2004).

Pope Benedict presided over the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist, 2005, a project inherited from his predecessor. I was an auditor at that Synod. In his Apostolic Exhortation in response to the Synod, Sacramentum Caritatis, the Holy Father introduces the paragraphs on the ars celebrandi (the art of celebrating) with an emphasis on the beauty of the liturgy. In divine worship we see the glory that the apostles beheld in Jesus Christ. “Beauty, then is not mere decoration, but rather an essential element of the liturgical action, since it is an attribute of God himself and his revelation.”

Glory and Beauty

He calls us by his word and example to set aside the banal. To use what is beautiful, be it old or new: the best vessels, fine vestments, good design and architecture, gracious ceremonial, excellent music. This is not mere aestheticism because is derived from the God who is beautiful, the Lord of the Eucharist.

The Holy Eucharist, sacrifice and sacrament, shapes liturgy and evokes human creativity in art and music. Just consider the glory expressed in the best cathedrals and churches of the East and West. Last year, the Holy Father celebrated such creativity when he dedicated Gaudi’s magnificent basilica, the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

Therefore, as cardinal and later as Pope, he affirms that Catholic worship should reflect the cosmic order and harmony of the divine Logos, creation stamped with reflections of the Triune God. St Augustine’s understanding of God as beautiful is a major influence here, for he is deeply attached to the great Doctor of the West.

By contrast, as anyone can see, a feature of the hermeneutic of discontinuity or rupture is a tendency towards ugliness, or at least promoting a modernist aesthetic, often dull, cold or minimalist - ugly churches, vestments, vessels etc, and all bereft of mystery. But the God we worship and praise is beautiful, to be worshiped in the beauty of holiness, worshiped “in spirit and in truth”. That is why Catholic liturgy in all its forms, simple or solemn, Eastern or Western, captures something of the glory of God.

However the Divine Liturgy is always the Great Prayer of Christ in his Church, human prayer in time taken up into Christ’s eternal prayer. Therefore the Holy Father’s offers us not just a richer theology of liturgy but a spirituality of liturgy. His spiritual vision of worship inspires and animates what is already being called “the new liturgical movement”.


The Two Forms of the Roman Rite

Cardinal Ratzinger accepted the post-conciliar liturgical reforms. At the same time, he never concealed his abiding love for the venerable pre-conciliar liturgy, the Missale Romanun of Blessed. John XXIII, 1962. This was not just nostalgia for majestic celebrations of the pre-conciliar liturgy in Bavaria, rather a view informed by the hermeneutic of continuity. As cardinal he did not hesitate to associate himself with those who, often by making many sacrifices, worked hard to maintain and promote the pre-conciliar rite.

Reverence for God and love of the mystery of liturgy, informed his Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum (2007) which established the pre-conciliar liturgy, the Missale Romanum of Blessed John XXIII, as the “extraordinary” form of the Roman Rite, parallel to the “ordinary” form, the Missale Romanum of Pope Paul VI. These are “two expressions of the Church’s Lex orandi” and “two usages of the one Roman Rite”. A distinction is made between the “ordinary” form, the Mass we use in the missal of 1970, and the “extraordinary” form, the pre-concilicar rite. This play on words, “ordinary” and “extraordinary” seems preferable to speaking divisively of the “Novus Ordo” and the “usus antiquior”. It presents two ways of celebrating the one Mass of the Roman Rite, two ways meant to be complementary, meant to inform and enrich one another. When both forms are celebrated reverently and prayerfully, the glory of God can be seen in our world.

[END]

Note: The Titular Bishop of Manaccenser and Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne, Most Rev. Peter J. Elliott, MA Oxon, MA Melb, STD, is the author of Ceremonies of the Modern Roman Rite, Ceremonies of the Liturgical Year, Liturgical Question Box (Ignatius Press, San Francisco) and Prayers of the Faithful (Catholic Book Publishing NJ). From 2005 to 2010 he was a Consulter to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. He is currently assisting with the liturgical project of the new personal ordinariates for former Anglicans.

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