Sunday 23 January 2011

Why do trendy clerics hate the Ordinariate?

Is this type of liturgy the reason for discomfort among some Catholic clerics?

Catholic reaction to the new Ordinariate has been mixed to say the least. From those like myself who consider this a wonderful moment in the life of the Church in these lands, to an almost visceral hatred for the new Ordinariate expressed by some priests. Some people have questioned the idea that those joining the Ordinariate have anything to bring to the Catholic Church. Cardinal Levada addressed this very question in March of last year:

Those "entering into communion do indeed transform the Catholic Church by way of enrichment. Let me add right away that when I say enrichment I am referring not to any addition of essential elements of sanctification and truth to the Catholic Church. Christ has endowed her with all the essential elements. I am referring to the addition of modes of expression of these essential elements, modes which enhance everyone’s appreciation of the inexhaustible treasures bestowed on the Church by her divine founder."

He explained "what is new is that perennial truths and elements of holiness already found in the Catholic Church are given new focus, or a different stress by the way they are lived by various groups of the faithful who are called by Christ to come together in perfect communion with one another, enjoying the bonds of creed, code, cult and charity, in diverse ways that blend harmoniously."

The Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith went on to say that it can be fully expected that "while we may accurately know what can be truthfully said, the full knowledge of what that means is enhanced by the contemplation of many groups of people on the same mystery."

Needless to say this is exactly what we find in Anglicanorum Coetibus:

This single Church of Christ, which we profess in the Creed as one, holy, catholic and apostolic “subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him. Nevertheless, many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside her visible confines. Since these are gifts properly belonging to the Church of Christ, they are forces impelling towards Catholic unity."
(§5 III) Without excluding liturgical celebrations according to the Roman Rite, the Ordinariate has the faculty to celebrate the Holy Eucharist and the other Sacraments, the Liturgy of the Hours and other liturgical celebrations according to the liturgical books proper to the Anglican tradition, which have been approved by the Holy See, so as to maintain the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions of the Anglican Communion within the Catholic Church, as a precious gift nourishing the faith of the members of the Ordinariate and as a treasure to be shared.

Cardinal Levada proposed: "We sometimes do not know the value of what we possess and we need the spirit-filled insights of others to recognize the treasures we have." I think this is especially true when it comes to liturgy. I believe that Summorum Pontificum and Anglicanorum Coetibus are milestones on the road to reform - truly Catholic reform, that is ! Perhaps that is what makes the aging trendy clerics so livid!


An English Pastor said...

I don't think trendy clerics would be concerned by such a liturgy. After all, the Assistant Priest (in cope) seems to run up and down the altar steps with crozier and Mitre rather than move with decorum; Deacons were sitting talking during the Entrance Procession (which unlike the recessional is part of the Mass); the celebrant is people-facing, the vernacular is used and there seems to be several concelebrants. Nothing to worry the trendies there.

Sixupman said...

Anglo-Catholicism is not what it once was, there are now degrees of conformity. Originally, in my experience [b.1935] they tended to use our own Missal and, indeed, published an entirely English version, a copy of the St. Andrew's, with only the imprimatur absent and reference to the pope as "pastor inter pares".

Come Vatican II, some of 'Trad' leaning began to call themselves "Fr." and their services "Mass" - but strictly Vat II.

I remember, 1980s, waiting for a TLM at The Station Hotel, Newcastle, going in to Newcastle [CofE] Cathedral where a service was being held and mused if only we celebrated the NOM with such decorum and reverence, the changers might have got away with it.

When I first went to London, my grandmother warned me not to be confused with churches in every respect, including services, mass, confessionals and bendiction, with Catholic churches - and so I found such to be the case.

RJ said...

I believe it will be an enrichment. Edifying words from Cardinal Levada.
But there is nothing good that people cannot find fault with: "It is a cavilling age", as today's saint wrote.

RJ said...

Come to think of it, the preface to the Introduction to the Devout Life, though referring to the saint's writings, may be apposite for the Ordinariate:

The flower-girl Glycera was so skilled in varying the arrangement and combination of her flowers, that out of the same kinds she produced a great variety of bouquets; so that the painter Pausias, who sought to rival the diversity of her art, was brought to a standstill, for he could not vary his painting so endlessly as Glycera varied her bouquets. Even so the Holy Spirit of God disposes and arranges the devout teaching which He imparts through the lips and pen of His servants with such endless variety, that, although the doctrine is ever one and the same, their treatment of it is different, according to the varying minds whence that treatment flows. Assuredly I neither desire, nor ought to write in this book anything but what has been already said by others before me. I offer you the same flowers, dear reader, but the bouquet will be somewhat different from theirs, because it is differently made up.