Saturday, July 17, 2010

Liturgy and the limits to authority

Patricius on the delicate topic of liturgical tinkering by those in authority...
...The history of the Old Ritualists [the Orthodox] just goes to show the fine balance which ought to exist between authority and tradition. Authority should conform to Tradition not the other way around. If only juridical hermeneutics of ecclesiology could be shaken off by Catholics and we could return to the simplicity of St Ignatius of Antioch's famous, and self-evidently liturgical, formula: Where the Bishop is there let the multitude of believers be, even as where Jesus is there is the Catholic Church. I don't see why we should accept, as Catholics, what the Church does with the Sacred Liturgy as acceptable when it so obviously is not acceptable. This is why I hate the liturgical books of 1962 and think that Summorum Pontificum is not so great as people make it out to be. Summorum Pontificum only exists because of a false understanding of the Petrine ministry. Pope Benedict has just as little authority to create a distinction between the so-called ''extraordinary'' and ''ordinary'' forms of the Roman Rite as Pius XII has to do away with folded chasubles. That authority simply does not exist. Popes are the guardians of Tradition, not the lords thereof, and 20th century Popes have failed, failed spectacularly, at their jobs. In 1957 (in the immediate aftermath of the new ''restored'' Holy Week) Tolkien wrote to his grandson Michael, and said quite rightly that God ''won't be dictated to by high ecclesiastics whom he himself has appointed.'' Of course he said this in the context of his translation of Jonah, who fled into Ninevah from the face of the Lord.
Read the rest here.

2 comments:

Patricius said...

Thanks for the kind link John, Dominus tecum <:)))><

rick allen said...

The thing is, unless Jesus handed the apostles the eucharistic liturgies whole and entire, which I doubt, obviously someone else put them together. And if someone then had authority to do so, why has no one now?