Below is an extract from the column by Mgr Basil Loftus (of “there’s no physical resurrection and no physical real presence” fame) published in the Scottish Catholic Observer dated Friday 13/12/13. There is no direct link to the piece online, so the relevant portion is copied below. The fact that he gets away with the rubbish he regularly publishes in both the Catholic Times (sold UK wide) and the Scottish Catholic Observer, speaks volumes about the lack of Catholicity of both editors. Well, that’s what I think – what about you? And it’s just so easy to pick holes in the Monsignor’s writings that I’m almost ashamed to invite bloggers so to do 🙂
The work of liturgical reform has been a serve to the people as a re-reading of the Gospel from a concrete historical situation.
Those words of Pope Francis are a guide for the whole Church, and a tribute to Archbishop Bugnini and all who have since struggled to keep alive the spirit of liturgical reform. But they differ from the ‘spirit of the times’ for the last 50 years.
In that early interview with La Civiltà Cattolica Francis very carefully reined in previous wide interpretations of what Pope Benedict XVI had called the need ‘to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place.’ Pope Benedict had been speaking in the context of his presentation of the concession made in favour of the Tridentine-rite Mass (Summorum Pontificum.) Francis specified that, other impressions not withstanding, the faculty of celebrating in that rite is just that – a ‘concession’ to “people who have this sensitivity.” He warned against stirring up this kind of nostalgia in the Church as a whole, cautioning the young people in Brazil against ‘a process of regression, seeking to recover the past.’
Now, in his first Apostolic Exhortation, a true watershed in his Papacy, Francis has strengthened these words further, criticising those who ‘feel superior to others’ because ‘they remain intransigently faithful to a particular Catholic style from the past,’ with ‘an ostentatious preoccupation for the liturgy, for doctrine and for the Church’s prestige…a tremendous corruption disguised as a good…God save us from a worldly Church with superficial spiritual and pastoral trappings.
As the Church now tries through continuing liturgical reform to re-read the Gospels from today’s concrete historical situation, rather than in the light of the past, provision will continue to be made, as it was always intended to be by Pope Paul VI, for ‘concessions’ in favour of those whose spiritual ‘sensitivity’ is a mark of their special needs. But while they may be allowed to circle the wagons around the Tridentine-rite Masses or the Personal Prelacy dedicated to former Anglican priests and their followers, the Church as a whole is relentlessly set on a course of re-reading the Gospel in the light of today’s world. Effectively, this calls especially for ever greater-Liturgical simplification.
Pope Francis is also sensitive to today’s need for short-span concentration – cutting down on the readings where he feels Mass is oing on too long, and famously limiting his homilies to a few ‘sound-bites’.
[There follows a paragraph on the Pope’s comments on homilies concluding: “The homily can actually be an intense and happy experience of the Spirit, a consoling encounter with God’s word, a constant source of renewal and growth.”]
Liturgy is the articulation of our Faith. If we strangle our liturgical life with ‘outdated manners and forms, which even on the cultural level are no longer meaningful,’ then we also abort the growth of the life of Faith. (Mgr Basil Loftus: This is a watershed moment in the Pontificate of Pope Francis, Scottish Catholic Observer, 13/12/13)