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An insight into the mind of the new Pope, and an Anglican parallel?
Prydain ^ | 4/23/2005 | Will

Posted on 04/24/2005 2:35:03 PM PDT by sionnsar

From the journal First Things, we have this article by Rev. Richard John Neuhaus that gives some insights into the mind of Benedict XVI. This article appeared in January 1999, but is still relevant today. I found these paragraphs most interesting:

From his childhood to the present, the Church is exemplified, above all, in her liturgy. This, his memoir suggests, is what has gone most seriously wrong since the Second Vatican Council. As a young boy, "It was a riveting adventure to move by degrees into the mysterious world of the liturgy which was being enacted before us and for us there on the altar. It was becoming more and more clear to me that here I was encountering a reality that no one had simply thought up, a reality that no official authority or great individual had created. This mysterious fabric of texts and actions had grown from the faith of the Church over the centuries. It bore the whole weight of history within itself and yet, at the same time, it was much more than the product of human history." As a seminarian and young priest he was a great proponent of the liturgical movement, and was later gratified to see its principles embodied in the Council’s constitution on the liturgy. "I was not able to foresee that the negative sides of the liturgical movement would later reemerge with redoubled strength, almost to the point of pushing the liturgy toward its own self–destruction."

What happened is that the liturgy suddenly became something other than the lived experience of the Church through the centuries. The "new liturgy" of Paul VI was the product of liturgical experts imposed by official authority. Within half a year, the old Missal, which had its roots in "the sacramentaries of the ancient Church and had known continuous growth over the centuries," was almost totally prohibited. This "introduced a breach into the history of the liturgy whose consequences could only be tragic." The liturgy appeared "no longer as a living development but as the product of erudite work and juridical authority"; it became something "made," something within our own power of decision rather than something received as a gift. "I am convinced that the crisis in the Church that we are experiencing today largely derives from the disintegration of the liturgy. . . . This is why we need a new liturgical movement which will call to life the real heritage of the Council."
Could we not also say this has happened in Anglicanism as well, with the revisions to the Prayer Book that have occurred in several countries, particularly the United States with the 1979 BCP? While the parallels are not exact, it seems to me that this "breach" has taken place in Anglicanism as surely as it did in Roman Catholicism, and any future revisions of the Prayer Book should be striving to return to the heritage of Anglicanism rather than trying to introduce further innovations in the name of modernity.

TOPICS: Catholic; Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: angpost5; ecusa

1 posted on 04/24/2005 2:35:05 PM PDT by sionnsar
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2 posted on 04/24/2005 2:35:46 PM PDT by sionnsar (†† || Iran Azadi || Where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket?)
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To: sionnsar

but my understanding is that there have been changes, tweaks, reforms of the Church, based on the decisions of men who claimed to be learned and scholars of the Church, ecumenical councils since the early days of the church, the Church today is not the Church of 200 AD, nor the Church of 1000 AD or the Church of 1500 AD etc

so are all those reforms and changes open to question?

married priests were banned in 1139 AD, was that wrong? this was after several centuries of discussion and debate

do you go back to post Vatican II or do you go back right to the Nicene Creed of 300 ADish

the reality is religions are not static nor will they ever be....there will be certain core principles but there will always be discussion and debate on more procedural notions and perhaps even doctrinial notions because even doctrine is based on scriptures which can be open to interpretation

the finding of the Dead Sea scrolls was quite a revelation, I'm reading a book now, called The Bible as History, which is charting all the major archaoelogy finds that relate to the Bible, either as confirming parts of the Bible like they have excavated the Tower of Babel which was/is as tall as the Statue of Liberty apparently]or providing more details to certain sections of the Bible, I don't know if there are any tidbits that might disagree with the Bible however - who is to say some document or artifact might not pop up whose authenticity can be verified, aye there's the rub, but something like the Dead Sea scrolls which might shake up a portion of the church's doctrine

now Pope Benedict might be right, maybe the changes to the liturgy have taken the mystery, the fun if you will out of the liturgy, but my understanding is that the reasoning behind most of the Vatican II councils was to reach out to a broader audience and not exclude people by virtue of the Latin mass etc, I am presuming that is what the Pope is referring to in the liturgy having lost its magic....... given the Catholic Church has exploded in other areas of the world, was not Vatican II right in their decision, the reasons the Church has failed in North America has less to do with Latin masses but as we've all discussed, the Me generation wants a Me church and the church, even under Vatican II, cannot provide that or it ceases to be, however as someone else on the forum noted, Catholics are so ingrained with a sense they will go to hell if they leave the Church, almost as effective as Islam's hold on its adherents, that this is why we have all these Catholics wanting the church to liberalize, they still want to stay within the Church and not feel guilty

if you are Protestant, it's no big whoop, you can find the Protestant denomination that meets your needs and can still feel comfortable about your salvation.....and in fact most Protestants believe when you get right down to it, you don't need an intermediary, if you pray to God and believe in Jesus as your saviour you have a relationship with God wherever you ask God directly for forgiveness and guidance....

3 posted on 04/24/2005 3:24:05 PM PDT by littlelilac
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To: littlelilac; Kolokotronis
"the reality is religions are not static nor will they ever be..."

I don't think that is the issue of concern here. It's not that there are tweaks, additions and reforms, it's that an entirely brand new liturgy has been created to replace the old.

One can probably argue at length to what degree this thing is substitution, or that thing evolution, but the complaint I hear from outside (I'm Anglican, not RC) is that Vatican II was the former.

From my Anglican perspective, I saw first-hand the substitution of the 1979 liturgy for the 1928. I didn't know it for that at the time; I accepted that they were updating the language because some folks didn't understand the "Thees and Thous" -- even though I heard my father's complaint that they were changing the theology. (The kind of statement that most PKs quickly learn not to have explained.)

And even when I saw firsthand the trouble in ECUSA and left, abandoning 1979 BCP and all, a couple decades back (and discovering the majesty of the 1928 BCP in the process), I still didn't put it all together.

The first point came with Robinson's consecration. When I looked it up I discovered that he could be consecrated per the '79 but not the '28!

There've been other points, which I have not recorded anywhere -- but I just remembered that at a former parishioner's memorial a week ago (in an ECUSA church), we recited one of the creeds that was on some point quite different from the 1928 (which hewed to its predecessors).

My experience now is that any and all changes need to be carefully evaluated, though no doubt some will be good and even needed, but a liturgy de novo should be considered extremely suspect.

Modernize the English? I'll go along (but I will complain *\;-).
Translate it into the local language? Absolutely (thereby nullifying my complaint *\;-).
Submit your theology to the culture? (In order to "survive" as the size of the church you are?) Sheer death! What would become of a church that adapted to, accomodated, even embraced the local popular culture a few decades back best known by the acronym of its predominant party affiliation: Nazi?

If the culture walks away from the church, so be it: there is much work to be done. But if the church runs after the culture seeking acceptance, we'll all know who's really in charge. Of the church.

Catholics are so ingrained with a sense they will go to hell if they leave the Church, almost as effective as Islam's hold on its adherents, that this is why we have all these Catholics wanting the church to liberalize

Interesting; I had not known this. The desire of Anglicans to remain in the worldwide Anglican Communion is, by my observation, almost (though not quite) as strong. We are not committed to hell by leaving, though it may feel that way for a while.

4 posted on 04/24/2005 6:13:17 PM PDT by sionnsar (†† || Iran Azadi || Where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket?)
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To: sionnsar

I can agree with everything you have said but I want to stress what you father said...they changed the theology. The maxim lex orandi, lex credendi is a maxim for a reason. For us humans, its simply true! The Liturgies and devotions of the Church are in great measure didactic, while more importantly being the source of nourishment and spiritual healing as we work out our theosis. Our Liturgies have had a certain organic developement over the centuries, even in Orthodoxy, though most of that, other than in Russia, stopped by the late 1600s. Nevertheless, when a wholesale change in the liturgy is imposed on the clergy and the laity, it is likely because whoever was in charge of those things wanted to either a)emphasize a point of theology which it was believed was being lost or, more ominously, misinterpreted or b)actually change theology, or both. Consequently, if one believes that the Litugies and devotions of the Church express its theology, one has to be particularly wary of any changes whatsoever, especially wholesale changes which almost always, some Orthodox would simply say always, means a change in theology. The very early Liturgies of The Church were changed, sometimes substantially, as conciliar dogmas were promulgated and accepted, the Nicene Constantinopolitan Creed being a good example of that. Nevertheless, even small and well intentioned changes can have massive and destructive consequences. The addition of the filioque in the Creed, well intentioned as a response to Arianism, became one of the prime reasons for the Great Schism. At any rate, it seems to me incumbent upon the laity to always be vigilant concerning even small changes in the Liturgy, even to the extent of making sure that when a Liturg is translated into the vernacular, that translation is as faithful as possible to the original language of the Liturgy.

5 posted on 04/24/2005 6:58:36 PM PDT by Kolokotronis ("Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips!" (Psalm 141:3))
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To: littlelilac

Its the difference between renovating, remodeling or adding a wing on to an old house on the one hand and bulldozing the whole thing down and building high rise concrete urban redevelopment housing.

6 posted on 04/24/2005 7:59:38 PM PDT by Unam Sanctam
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To: sionnsar

Cramber's Prayerbook was "made" in the same way as the English version of the new mass. The difference is that Cranmer was a literary genius.

7 posted on 04/24/2005 8:47:51 PM PDT by RobbyS (JMJ)
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To: RobbyS

Well, that is a very generous thing to say about Abp Cranmer, but isn't it also true that the new Eucharist in the vernaculars was put together by a committee, subject to editorial revision and 'clarification'? It seems to me that the signal difference is that Cranmer was one man doing the job in sincere faith while the new Mass is the result of a lot of men doing the same job.

Now, be clear I'm not accusing the new version of being done in any kind of false piety. What I'm saying is that committee work will ALWAYS produce a blander, more variegated and less sensible result, simply by having been put through a verbal meatgrinder process. There would be no unity of thought or expression and anything particular would likely have been smoothed away, which could mean basically removing anything stark.

I noticed the last when I compared the actual 1928 BCP Canon with that in the Anglican Use Liturgy being promoted on these boards. The latter is clearly some of the former, but much of the 1979 as well, the both interleaved and then washed out doctrinally. It's a very weak prayer overall, and is not as orthodox as the 1928 BCP is. I'd have to say that if I really did ever become part of a communion with Rome in Anglican terms, I would have to insist on using the 1928 BCP rather than the Anglican Use Liturgy, which simply does not cut it liturgically for me (it's too weak and pusillanimous).

In Christ,
Deacon Paul+

8 posted on 04/25/2005 6:11:13 AM PDT by BelegStrongbow (I think, therefore I vote Republican)
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To: Kolokotronis
"Consequently, if one believes that the Litugies and devotions of the Church express its theology"

I'm worn out tonight... but... how could it be otherwise, unless the liturgies and devotions are empty rituals?

9 posted on 04/25/2005 7:19:09 PM PDT by sionnsar (†† || Iran Azadi || Where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket?)
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To: sionnsar
Pretty good for a worn out guy! :) Actually it appears that change for the sake of the world is the theme in much of Western Christianity these days, which is, as I said, something to be wary of. On the other hand, if one really thinks that the way things have been done or believed for hundreds of years is wrong, that the Fathers were not inspired but merely products of their times and that the Holy Spirit is really doing a new thing in the small 1st World, then it would be quite appropriate to change liturgies and doctrines wholesale. I suggest, however, that it isn't Christian. Get some rest, friend.
10 posted on 04/25/2005 7:25:52 PM PDT by Kolokotronis ("Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips!" (Psalm 141:3))
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