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mutual enrichment

In May, with the approval of Pope Benedict XVI, the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei published Universae Ecclesiae (“To the Universal Church”), “on the application of the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum.” Summorum Pontificum, by Pope Benedict XVI, restored the pre-Vatican II Latin Mass. Clearly, the “extraordinary form” and the “ordinary form” are to live more like siblings (sorry, I mean brothers) within the Latin Rite. Priests must have a sufficient knowledge of Latin and know the rite to be celebrated.

A symposium at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome discussed how this will move forward. Monsignor Guido Pozzo described the two forms as “an example of reciprocal increase and enrichment”. Cardinal Koch similarly, saw them “as mutual enrichment.” The pope speaks of “a reform of the reform of the liturgy.”

What, I think, is particularly noteworthy is Cardinal Koch’s statement, “Benedict XVI knows well that in the long term we cannot remain with a coexistence between the ordinary and extraordinary forms in the Roman rite, but that the Church will again need in the future a common rite.” Within this discussion there has not been mention of two other “forms”, the Book of Divine Worship, which is an adaptation of the American Book of Common Prayer (BCP) by the Roman Catholic Church used primarily by former members of the Episcopal Church within RC “Anglican Use” parishes. There will also be a liturgy used within the Anglican Ordinariates. So, any future “common rite” will need to combine all these traditions in the Latin Rite.

ps. Cardinal Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (sic), also states that “Summorum Pontificum could be a really solid ecumenical bridge if it is perceived and received as a hope for the whole Church.”

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8 thoughts on “mutual enrichment”

  1. Not to sure how this all works in with the fact it has been reported that females cannot be servers as the extra-ordinary rite.

    Reverting to pre-Vatican 2 in that respect. A Priest in Cambridge is in trouble with the church for refusing to observe this particular rule.

    I remember the Latin rite from childhood. I can’t say that I missed it when it went, although it had its uses attending churches in Europe during army service, meant I could follow the service. When it moved to the vernacular, I struggled until I became proficient enough in the language to follow the mass.

    Still, not really an issue for me as a member of the CofE.

    1. Ernie, do you have a link to your Cambridge story? It seems an unusual story for a priest to be happy to use the pre-Vatican II rite, but refuse to follow its customs. There has been some online discussion about how it is a problem in a 21st century context – but hello, it’s not immediately a 21st century concept. Blessings.

      1. I know the priest in question in Cambridge, Bosco. The conservative Catholic liturgical blogosphere has been very “interested” in his innovations. He’s a very fine fellow, and an unprejudiced lover of “good” liturgy in whatever form it takes, ordinary or extraordinary.

        Summorum pontificum has already, I gather, been yielding ecumenical fruit in the Roman Catholic Church’s relations with the Eastern churches, which didn’t think much of the idea that a pope could summarily do away with an immemorially ancient liturgy. If I were a Catholic, I’d probably be a liturgical “traddie”. But as an Anglican, I’m forced to concede that newfangled novelties (i.e. everything after 1548) can occasionally contain something useful! 🙂

  2. Brother David

    states that “Summorum Pontificum could be a really solid ecumenical bridge if it is perceived and received as a hope for the whole Church.

    Do they use cannabis in the Vatican’s incense?

  3. Why only go back to Vatican I or Anglican Liturgy? Why not go back to the Fathers? The Orthodox are still using the Liturgy of John Chrysostom. He must have written the original in Greek. Though, of course, it’s done in the vernacular among the Orthodox, who early on concluded that translation into the vernacular was important in both Liturgy and the Gospels (at the very least).

    There’s also the Liturgy of St. Basil on special feast days.

    Just about every word of these liturgies is taken from scripture.

    I’m sure you knew all this. But it’s amusing, in a sense, to see this big promotion of tradition, when the oldest Christian traditions of Eastern Orthodoxy seem to have managed this so much more effectively. And beautifully, to my mind.

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