Thursday, May 08, 2008

...and furthermore

I had to put aside my blogging this week to attend to some urgent matters in the temporal sphere.

The other interesting thing about the small changes to the Roman Rite is how they were presented. I dont know about other parishes, but in our parish the emphasis was that these were very small changes, they wont hurt anybody, and that there was a counselling service available. Obviously local Church authorities have perceived that there is some risk that some people will be psychologically damaged by the greater reverence. This is backed up by the rubbish that I read in the Catholica group of heretics (I havent bothered to even link it - you can find for yourself)

This is in enormous contrast to the 1960s when the heart was ripped out of people's belief and practices, with no explanation except that these were old practices and people need to be re-educated. This certainly had an impact on people (certainly not me as it all happened before my time tho I remember Communion in the hand being introduced). The greater impact was that to the "collective unconciousness" (to use a Jungian concept) where the shock waves are still reverberating across the planet.

This brings me to the conclusion that liturgical change in the local Church is almost impossible, and will probably only happen over generations. It can only happen from the top as was seen from the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum.

In the local Church I certainly cannot see the Reform-of-the-Reform being implemented as people seem to have a totally different (and largely protestant) view of the Eucharist. Liturgies of the Extraordinary Form and the Reform-of-the-Reform variety do attract strong and vibrant faith communities as is seen in Brisbane, but these communities will remain largely small. What happens in the wider suburban parishes of St Nowwhere's of Calamvale when the older generation dies off and support for these local churches fizzles to a few of the our generation I do not know. Some will survive and some will fold I suppose.

This too is the reason why people shop around for parishes (as I do). They are looking for a parish that matches their cultural view of faith and where their faith journey is at that particular time. The time in which people were anchored to their parish church by proximity are over. If there is change to how the church is organised I think that this will be the most immediate trend in the future baecause it has already started. The establishment of a "personal parish" at Ss Trinita' dei Pellegrini in Rome run by the FSSP is an example. It is interesting tha tht eFSSP are actually proving to be trend setters rather than followers.


Terra said...

I agree with you about the potential importance of personal parishes, but I'm not so sure that change will take generations, or need to come from the top.

The reality is that a large proportion of the EF communities around the world up til now have been driven by groups of laypeople who went shopping for a priest rather than the reverse.

Now that there is an imprimatur though, that is swapping around as 'missionary' TLM priests teach it to other priests who might previously have seen it as suspect. There is a good example of that happening in the latest AD 2000, in Victoria.

And once the EF is more widely available, I think the kind of parish shopping you describe will mean that liturgically strong parishes, informed by the EF even if it isn't the normal form they celebrate, will drive out the others.

Of course, the resistance will be stronger in some places then others....

Stephen said...

I think that over time the resistance will fold because of aging and attrition of the Vatican II generation. Some younger priests are interested in learning the EF Mass and this is where the FSSP can really do some "leavening" in dioceses around Australia.

But one scenario is this; given that the church will be transformed over time by the new movements (Neo-cats, regnum Christi, Opus Dei etc), how resistant or open are these groups to the EF Mass. Some will be welcoming but I suspect others, the Neo-cats primarily, may be resitant.

overall we are moving into really exciting times in the Church, but I would really like the 1970s Vatican II crowd who control the agenda to fade away sooner than later.