Out of the question: Rome’s ‘one rite, two forms’

13 October 2009

Write, if you have any answers to the questions listed at the end of this section, or would like to add to the answers below.

Your answers

Liturgical reform seems to be going into reverse in the Roman Catholic Church. What are the implications for Anglo-Catholics? [Answers, 2 October]

I was disappointed by Christopher Haffner’s explanation of the current liturgical reforms in the Roman Catholic Church. Not only is it dis­ingenuous to state that the imple­mentation of the liturgical books of 1962 is a “reversal”: it is also untrue that this is a “reintro­duction”, since the books have never been abrogated (as Pope Benedict XVI states in his motu proprio Sum­morum Ponti­ficum, Art. 1).

There are also, it is insisted, not “two Roman rites”. There are two expressions of one rite — hence the terms Ordinary Form (Missal of Paul VI) and Extraordinary Form (Missal of Bl. John XXIII). Pope Benedict states this in his motu proprio: “[There] are, in fact two usages of the one Roman rite.”

The prediction that the new translation of the Missale Romanum (Ordinary Form) will “reverse efforts to achieve common wording with other denominations” will be seen to be false when you recall that the com­pilers of Common Worship largely ignored vernacular transla­tions already in existence in both this country and the United States. The new translation will, in fact, bring to our Roman sisters and brothers the flow of language and beauty of tone which we have appreciated since our first efforts in English liturgy.

All this is to say nothing of the erroneous claims that there has already been “a largely successful reconciliation with the Lefebvrists” (but await further developments); that there is “no real prospect of reintroduction of the full Tridentine rite in Latin in our churches” (I know at least two parishes where it happens already); or that there has been a complete exodus of “‘Anglo-Papal­ists’ to Rome over the ordina­tion of women” (as you can tell — although, again, there may be further developments).

What really remains to be seen is whether Catholic-minded Anglicans will keep up with the rest of the Church — or are we heading for a polyester-clad eternity?
James Bradley
Old Basing, Hampshire

It ought to be restated that the recent reforms of the liturgy in the Roman Catholic Church are in keep­ing with the liturgical prin­ciples enshrined in the Second Vatican Council’s docu­ment Sacrosanctum Concilium. . .
Leonard Franchi
Alexandria, West Dunbartonshire

Your questions

After reports of experimental wedding services incorporating the baptism of children to the couple, can anyone guide me to appro­priate material that has been used satis­factorily in worship? J. R.

Address: Out of the Question, Church Times, 13-17 Long Lane, London EC1A 9PN.


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