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Today’s Liturgical Innovation,

Tomorrow’s Mass?

POSTED: 10/5/12

( In a general audience on October 3, Benedict XVI spoke on the liturgy.   He first discussed the nature of prayer in general before moving on to address liturgical prayer specifically.  One sentence of note has raised more than one Traditional eyebrow.  The Pope states:

It is not the individual - priest or layman - or the group that celebrates the liturgy, but it is primarily God's action through the Church, which has its own history, its rich tradition and creativity. This universality and fundamental openness, which is characteristic of the entire liturgy is one of the reasons why it cannot be created or amended by the individual community or by experts, but must be faithful to the forms of the universal Church.

The key thought here is that the liturgy cannot be created or amended by the individual community or by experts.  Here the Pope seems to be speaking of local liturgical experts who deviate from the liturgical laws of the Novus Ordo.  Otherwise, it is not clear how the Holy Father can, on the one hand, state the impossibility of a liturgy created by experts, yet on the other celebrate and defend the Novus Ordo Mass, which was itself created by a committee of experts. 

What the Pope seems to be saying is that any liturgies created by local experts are not “universal” in nature and thus not “open” to the entire Church.  However, the irony here is that the Novus Ordo Mass, created entirely by experts in contradiction to 2,000 years of liturgical tradition, is considered open and universal in nature only because it was approved and imposed upon all Catholics by the administrative powers of Paul VI.  

Therefore, the only difference between the liturgical innovations of local communities and experts and the Novus Ordo Mass is that the Novus Ordo was concocted by experts on a grander scale and was imposed on the entire Latin Church by the Pope.  Thus, what is considered impossible on the local level is treated as not only possible, but desired on a universal level. We are then put in a position where we are obligated to accept the arbitrary Mass of experts the current Vatican approves of, but at the same time we are forbidden to accept the arbitrary Masses of local experts or individual communities not in line with the “approved” arbitrary Mass.

The liberal Catholics of our day speak much about the liturgy of the “people.”  However, the great irony of the Novus Ordo is that it has always been a top down bureaucratic social experiment imposed upon the people by experts and a radical “individual community” of liturgical innovators. Even the later innovations of Communion in the hand and altar girls were imposed upon the people by the machinations of a small minority of liberal bishops. Indeed these practices began as illegitimate “amendments” of the Novus Ordo Mass by individual communities and experts.

Thus, according to the Pope’s words, these amendments are expressly impossible. However, what if those illicit amendments are later accepted by the Church bureaucracy? Well then, they must be, ipso facto, “in union with the Pope, the Bishops, with believers of all times and all places.”

The lesson here is that local innovators should not lose heart, as if they press their innovations long and hard enough, they just may become the new universal liturgical norm of the Church! Then these innovators can demand that other local liturgical innovators not deviate from what they themselves have created. After all, once “approved” their previous illicit amendments are now open and universal practices of Holy Mother Church.

The ironic fact sadly lost on Catholics today is that the true Mass of the people is the Traditional Mass which developed from the very customs and Traditions of early Christians guided over the years by the Holy Ghost and memorialized by St. Pius V.  Indeed the great repeated error of the Vatican II mindset is that any contrived rite or ceremony, with the approval of the pope or bishops, can become an authentically Catholic liturgy.


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