Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Ad sanitatem revertens

Fr Ray Blake poses the following questions in a piece about celebration versus populo:

So, why do we do it?
Does anyone know why it became almost universal?

Easy! Most of us are by now aware of the ideological history and discredited rationale behind this aberrant fad, but its present ubiquity boils down to a single factor: we do it because the Pope does it.

In the Latin Church of the modern era, it’s what the Pope does today, rather than what the Church did yesterday, that establishes in practice the operative norm. "I am Tradition!". A single, televised Papal Mass can therefore consign to oblivion an Apostolic tradition, or a mountain of dead-in-the-water paper exhortations.

Summorum Pontificum
does two things with startling economy: it rescues the Liturgy (facta non verba), and it restates the permanent force of objective Tradition. That’s why it’s the most important document in 150 years. The most significant act will be that first public, Papal celebration ad orientem.


Fr Ray Blake said...

Many thanks for the lesson, very kind of you

Oliver said...

Maybe not useless to mention that the daily papal mass in his little chapel isn't versus populum (but it is not mediatized, of course, so your point is right).

I'd object - to be exact - that ad orientem isn't exactly the opposite of versus populum : it depends on the orientation of the Church. To celebrate versus populum at the basilic of St. Peter is to celebrate ad orientem. (So the significant move would be to have a papal mediatized mass, not only ad orientem, but not versus populum)

Have a look here (and of course at the whole book of Fr. Lang) :

Especially : "Even if a priest celebrates versus populum, he should always be oriented versus Deum per Iesum Christum (towards God through Jesus Christ). [...] For this reason the Congregation warns against one-sided and rigid positions in this debate."
(I would say however that today having more celebrations not versus populum would be a good remedy to the ideology, or simply the sensation, of self-celebrating and self-creating religion - although of course that ideology or sensation isn't of course per se in celebrations versus populum, which are as immemorial as the other ones - as we learn in Fr. Lang's book.)