Rocco Palmo has received and digested–and now reports on–the Motu Proprio.
It is, he says, “a decisive compromise.” Benedict expresses his frustration with all the speculation over the last many months, on all sides.
As stated in recent reports, the pope says the old mass was “never abrogated,” and that it will continue as an “extraordinary” form of the “one Roman Rite.” A priest doesn’t have to request permission to celebrate it privately, and those lay members “who spontaneously request” to attend may do so. Where there is a strong desire in a parish for a public celebration, pastors should “willingly” accommodate, but there should be no more than one such mass a Sunday. The bishop’s role is to be “watchful that all is done in peace and serenity.” (He doesn’t have to approve?)
Here’s the guiding principle:
In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture. What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place.
Read the rest at Rocco’s–or wait for Saturday. Canonists and liturgists will all soon be adding their comments.
There should be no great surprises here for those who have read Ratzinger’s theological works. This is the “hermeneutic of continuity” in action. In the church’s history there is “growth and progress, but no rupture. What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too.”
And there should be broader implications for areas other than liturgy.