NEWS: February 27, 2008
Bird’s Eye View of the News
Atila Sinke Guimarães
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HEADING TO A HYBRID MASS - From mere rumor, it has become a printed hypothesis. Here is what the serious London weekly The Tablet published in its February 16 issue regarding prospectives for the Mass. In an alleged letter about the Mass to Prof. Heinz Lothar Barth written in June 2003, Cardinal Ratzinger affirmed:
“I believe that in the long term the Roman Church must have a single Roman Rite … The Roman Rite of the future should be a single rite, celebrated in Latin or in vernacular, but standing completely in the tradition of the rite that has been handed down…” (The Tablet, February 16, 2008, p. 36).
If someone wishes to contact Prof. Barth to check the veracity of this document, he teaches classics at the University of Bonn, Germany.
If this letter is true, which I believe it is, it gives us the leitmotif of the conservative initiatives of Benedict XVI. The two present day rites – the Tridentine and the Novus Ordo – would converge to become a single rite, which would essentially be the Novus Ordo, but would keep as many exteriorities of the past as possible.
Welcoming conservatives to lead them to a milder stage of Progressivism
This final goal of Benedict would explain why, on the one hand, he is opening doors to the Tridentine Rite, but in the actual text of Summorum Pontificum he establishes that the priests who say the Tridentine Mass must accept the Novus Ordo and say it once in a while. They also must accept Vatican II. After the Tridentine Liturgy was allowed, he liberalized it, as he just did by changing the prayer for the conversion of the Jews for the coming Good Friday
This goal also explains why, on the other hand, Pope Ratzinger is preparing to cut some of the many abuses in the Novus Ordo celebrations. The change in the papal master of ceremonies in the Holy See is a significant symptom of this. Archbishop Piero Marini, who held the post for 20 years, from 1987 to 2007, was recently replaced by the more conservative Fr. Guido Marini (not a relative), who is setting a more conventional tone in the papal ceremonies.
The outcry of radical progressivists who oppose these changes and pretend that Benedict “is returning to a phase previous to Vatican II reforms” works perfectly to please many conservatives eager to find another pretext to fit in the Conciliar Church. This seductive siren’s song is causing wreckages even among some traditionalist leaders – our colleagues yesterday in the position of Resistance – who are steering their ships to crash into the rocks of Progressivism.
What they don’t see – and this letter to Prof. Barth gives the tip – is that Pope Ratzinger is not returning to any authentic traditionalist or counter-revolutionary position. He plans to offer a hybrid Mass in which the progressivst conquests will be guaranteed by wrapping them in a conservative cover.
Traditional appearance to save the progressivist content of the Novus Ordo Mass
There is nothing new in this ruse. After the excesses of Arianism, the Church had to face the much more attractive Semi-Arianism. It is usually said that almost the whole Hierarchy apostatized under Arianism. This is not accurate. It happened under Semi-Arianism. It was against this second stage of the heresy that only St. Athanasius and St. Hillary of Poitiers stood heroically. Pope Liberius signed the Semi-Arian formula, not the one before it, already condemned in Niceae. So, the almost complete capitulation took place under a “more moderate” and “more conservative” version of Arianism.
This process of stepping back in appearances to save heretical conquests has been repeated time and time again: after Pelagianism came Semi-Pelagianism; after Protestantism came Jansenism; after Modernism, a moderate neo-Modernism called Progressivism began to surface in the 1930s. It only became a bold public movement after Vatican II.
So, the pattern continues. After a rough phase of Progressisvism under Paul VI and John Paul II, we are now witnessing a Semi-Progressivism meant to stop the growing reactions against the abuses of the former, solidify its conquests, and then try to continue its march forward.
Regarding this hybrid Mass of the future, it seems that Fr. Brian Harrison is right on target. Actually, he announced in his Christmas letter that he will be saying this new kind of Mass in St. Louis: “a regular old-style New-Order Mass, using both Latin and English, and resembling as closely as possible the liturgy contemplated by the Second Vatican Council.”
UNIVERSAL MEDIATRIX – Last month five Cardinals of the Holy Church sent all the Bishops an invitation to join them in asking Benedict XVI to proclaim the dogma of Our Lady Mediatrix of All Graces.
The five Cardinals are Telesphore Toppo, president of India’s Bishops’ conference, Luis Aponte, retired Archbishop of Puerto Rico, Varkey Vithayathil, Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabars in India, Ricardo Vidal, retired Archbishop of Cebu in the Philippines, and Ernesto Corrippio, retired Archbishop of Mexico City (The Tablet, February 16, 2008, p. 34).
These cardinals are appealing to all the Bishops to join them and pressure Benedict because their previous requests received no response.
In the early 1990s Prof. Mark Miravalle launched a popular petition to proclaim Mary Co-Redeemer
Actually, the postponement of declaring this dogma has a long history. Let me outline it here.
The truth of the Immaculate Conception of Mary proclaimed as a dogma by Pius IX in 1854 triggered a new fervor in devotion to Our Lady. This devotion continued to expand in the beginning of the 20th century, and reached its apex in this truth: Our Lady was Co-Redeemer in the Passion and Death of Our Lord and for this reason she is the Universal Mediatrix of All Graces.
A broad movement that took root in the Church at that time asked Pius XII to proclaim this dogma. It is said Pius XII, advised by his spiritual director, Fr. Augustin Bea, did not proclaim this dogma, which would have harmed the Vatican’s incipient ecumenism with heretics and schismatics. To placate those demands of countless Catholics, Pius XII proclaimed, instead, the dogma of the Assumption of Our Lady in 1950, leaving aside the one of Universal Mediatrix.
At Vatican II, the schema on Our Lady that was prepared to be a major document was accordingly boycotted by two leading theologians – Karl Rahner and his disciple Joseph Ratzinger – for similar reasons: it would harm ecumenism. The schema was shrunk, chopped and shoved into the last chapter of Lumen gentium. The two Marian truths, co-redemption and universal mediation, were carefully avoided in it.
In the 1990s, a new push from the faithful came – an enormous petition drive – requesting that the dogma of Mary Co-Redeemer be proclaimed. It encountered, however, the opposition of the then-Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Card. Ratzinger, who stopped the initiative.
So, we see that this new attempt of the five Cardinals, laudable from every point of view, does not seem to have the wind in its sails…
Related Topics of Interest
The Motu Proprio, After the Emotions
The Missal Crisis of '62
New Mass in Latin
Lifting the Ban on the Tridentine Mass
The Pope at the Mosque - A scandal
Benedict Practicing "Communicatio in Sacris"
The Progressivist Orientation of Pope Ratzinger
Inadmissable Concessions, Once Again
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