Christina, one of our regular bloggers from south of the border, submitted the following short article for comment:
Although I firmly believe that Summorum Pontificum was a great blessing for the Church and it has clearly produced much good fruit, yet the inclusion of those words of Pope Benedict – that he envisaged that …the two Forms of the usage of the Roman Rite (should) be mutually enriching were truly ominous. To one familiar with the ancient rite who has also attended the new, it seems insane, if not blasphemous, to suggest that the latter contains anything whatsoever with which it can ‘enrich’ the former.
Predictably, those whose teeth were gnashing at the issuance of Summorum Pontificum were quick to use this clause to their advantage. In May 2012, Cardinal Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said:-
The pope’s long-term aim is not simply to allow the old and new rites to coexist, but to move toward a “common rite” that is shaped by the mutual enrichment of the two Mass forms. In effect, the Pope is launching a new liturgical reform movement, the Cardinal said. Those who resist it, including “rigid” progressives, mistakenly view the Second Vatican Council as a rupture with the Church’s liturgical tradition.
So it was hardly surprising that the modernists would begin, sooner or later, to chip away in earnest, and so we have the current call, by the heretical/would-be schismatic German hierarchy, ably assisted by the English bishops (read Cardinal Vincent Nicholls) re the Good Friday prayer for the conversion of the Jews. But I must admit that I was surprised and very disappointed to read a piece on the subject in the current LMS magazine Mass of Ages by Fr. Bede Rowe. The International Federation Una Voce does not support Fr. Rowe’s opinion, and as a member of that Federation, one wonders why the LMS has chosen to publish it, especially since the current issue also contains a splendid interview with Cardinal Burke.
Fr. Rowe begins:-
In the past few months there has been much said about the call of the English and German Bishops for a change in the Old Rite Good Friday prayers asking that the veil be lifted from the eyes of the Jews and they recognise Christ as their Sviour.
In doing so, it questions the fundamental Christian calling of announcing the Good News to all the world, as was Our Lord’s clear command. If this announcement is what we should do, and I think that this is clear, are there any exceptions? Are we to preach to the whole world or are we not? Is Christ the only way to salvation, or is there another way?
After this apparently promising start there follow several paragraphs of Vatican II-inspired waffle and then this conclusion:-
Let me make this clear. It is eminently possible, and I would say desirable, that there is no proselytism (deliberate preaching with the aim of conversion) of the Jews. This is not a principle, so I am not saying that they occupy a new theological place in the scheme of salvation, as many Church theologians seem to want to do. Rather I would say that it should not happen because we cannot effectively preach the message of Christ because of recent, and not so recent history and our share in it. Today, preaching the conversion of the Jews is so clouded by the evil of the last century, that the message of Christ becomes too severely distorted to be honest, effective or even kind..
I think that the new statements can be read in this way – in theory ‘yes’, in practice ‘no’. The Church cannot preach conversion in this present age, but we, you and I, can pray for it and yearn for it.
This sounds rather like the recent Synod’s ‘we’re not changing doctrine, but only practice’, and I would like someone to enlighten me as to what was my and our share in ‘recent and not so recent history’ that makes it impossible for us to openly pray for the conversion of the Jews in the Mass. For that matter, what part did the Church play in ‘the evil of the last century’. What is this collective guilt all about? Surely if the Jews of Jerusalem crying ‘Crucifige, crucifige eum’ bore no guilt, then why am I to bear guilt for the Holocaust and because of it refuse to pray for the conversion of all men?