Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Renewal of the reform

Bishop Blase Cupich of Rapid City, said to be among those being considered for appointment as Archbishop of Milwaukee, spoke at a September 30, 2009 meeting of the priests of our Archdiocese on the new translation of the liturgy currently in progress. As reported in the Milwaukee Catholic Herald,
“We need a coordinated, massive, comprehensive introduction to the Roman Missal within the church in this country, and presented in a way that allows Catholics throughout the country to understand what is happening and to use it as an opportunity to renew the liturgy,” he said.

We've needed that since the Second Vatican Council, so it's unclear why we should expect it now.
Bishop Cupich cautioned, “This is not ‘reform of the reform’ – all that language we’re hearing from people who have an axe to grind or who are trying to cause trouble for the church;

At least he managed to avoid using the word "divisive". If raising issues that a bishop would rather not deal with is going to be equated with causing trouble for the Church, I caution that they might as well just bring Archbishop Weakland out of retirement.

Whether Pope Benedict XVI is one of Bishop Cupich's axe-grinding trouble-makers appears to turn on what the meaning of "reform of the reform" is. Here's the Oriens Journal report on a paper delivered by Cardinal Ratzinger at a conference at Fontgombault in July 2001,
As to the "Reform of the Reform", Cardinal Ratzinger himself raised it during some concluding remarks which he addressed to the conference guests about their discussions. Responding to themes in the [Dom Cassian] Folsom and [Professor Robert] Spaemann papers, Cardinal Ratzinger emphasized that a "Reform of the Reform" means a reform of the new Missal.

In other words, the starting point for a "Reform of the Reform" is the new liturgy as it actually stands in the Church today. The Cardinal seems to have ruled out, by implication, the view advocated by some conservative liturgists that a "Reform of Reform" means going back to the 1962 Missal and starting all over again in the light of what Vatican II, supposedly, was really all about.

The objectives of a "Reform of the Reform", the Cardinal proposed, were to effect a liturgical reconciliation within the Church. To achieve this would require an end to a certain kind of liturgical creativity; better translations; a restoration of at least some Latin to the liturgy as a link to the tradition of the universal Church, and a renewed focus on the altar, representing Our Lord, as the physical point of reference of the liturgy.

Later in Bishop Cupich's remarks,
He told the priests not to “be pulled between the NCR (National Catholic Reporter) and the Wanderer (newspapers),” but to learn as much as they could about the changes, to “defuse hot wires by engaging in intelligent discussion” and helping people answer the question, “What is this translation offering us in the renewal of liturgy?”

Sounds like he's calling for a renewal of the renewal. In the absence of any indication that proposed changes are being tested in the field to see if they produce the desired results, this latest round of changes will likely join the rest of the post-conciliar liturgical reforms on the "it should have worked" pile.
“Just think in your imagination what we could create in this country if the bishops together decided that the catechesis for this new Roman Missal would be done within the same period of time at every parish in the country,” Bishop Cupich said.

Didn't the bishops long ago decide together that catechesis on every aspect of Church teaching would be done at every parish in the country? Whatever might be in the imagination, in reality former Catholics now make up a tenth of the nation and only a minority of the remaining Catholics are at Sunday Mass.



Blogger Dad29 said...

“This is not ‘reform of the reform’ – all that language we’re hearing from people who have an axe to grind or who are trying to cause trouble for the church

Resembling Weakland's "polacks" remark and generating just as much goodwill from the sheep.....

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found some info on the new mass from a link on an archdioces blog. Sounds like we are going backwards to me.

6:02 AM  
Blogger GOR said...

"Bishop Blase Cupich...spoke at a...meeting of the priests of our Archdiocese..."

Sounds like Bishop Cupich knew his audience and was 'preaching to the choir'. However we need a bishop who won't just preach to the choir...but will reform the choir!

2:19 PM  
Blogger Dad29 said...

Hear, Hear, GOR!

2:25 PM  

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