Sunday 15 November 2015

The Clericalism of Bugnini

In my recent review of the new LMS booklet, I wrote, inter alia:  'traditionally, the Faithful were not told how they had to pray the Mass: there was licence for many different ways, allowing for the Catholicity of the Church. It is a recent (post-Vatican II) innovation to require us to behave and pray in the way Bugnini and his confrères thought we should.'

(As an aside: I was interested, as I was drafting this post, to notice that Ttony makes a reference to the same point here "...if you wanted to follow the bizarrely mid-twentieth century idea that you should be reading the words the priest was saying, rather than praying the Mass.  [snip...] The age of literacy has been used by the Devil to tempt us into trying to understand Mass on our own terms, instead of praying it on God's."  And his post reminded me of an earlier one of mine, on the heresy of understanding. We do go on about the same things over and over, we traditionally-minded people...)

A few sentences later in my review, I wrote: 'also line drawings (by Steffano Mazzeo) showing the posture of priest (and server where appropriate) at different points in the Mass.'

Putting these two facts together, I realise with renewed clarity the incredible clericalism of Bugnini's approach.

Formerly, the priest was tightly bound by the rubrics: he had to do just what he had to do: nothing more and nothing less. The congregation were free to pray as the Spirit moved them.

In the new rite, that has been reversed: the priest seems able to take incredible liberties with the Mass, in both word and gesture; the congregation are marshalled into a single way of praying, and indeed behaving (there are local variations, but within any particular parish, the peer pressure to do it the way we do it here is enormous).

That seems to me to be both the worst sort of clericalism and a very poor way to treat the Mass - and the Faithful.

It also reminds me, I should get back to reading Bugnini - perhaps a suitably penitential resolution for Advent...


Ttony said...

"We do go on about the same things over and over, we traditionally-minded people..."

Well yes, we do, and the reason why is that the same things need to be said over and over if people are going to realise that they are important.

We can see the problem, and we, ie people like us, can see the solution, but we have neither the voice nor the authority. If we were a political party, how would we court the "traditionally-minded" vote?

Ben Trovato said...

I see what you mean, but given my profound antipathy for political parties of all stripes, your question is not one I would venture to answer...