Saturday, 14 May 2011

Mind sets

Two points in preparation for further comment on Universae Ecclesiae.

In the discussions of a "guild" of Catholic bloggers, there seems to have been an anxiety that everything should be loyal to the magisterium. This for example is part of a post at A Reluctant Sinner on this subject (my emphasis added):
Of course, such a blog / group would need to be committed and faithful to the magisterium, and would strive to be a positive and charitable space. It would not engage in controversy, but would seek to defend the Church and witness to the joys of our Catholic faith. But individual members and bloggers would, of course, still be able to post controversial and / or independent opinions on their own blogs.
This appears to me (from the outside) to be an "anxiety" of those concerned, rather than just something that is lived in a natural way in the Christian life. I don't happen to share this "anxiety" as an anxiety, and am rather put off by it.

In discussions of Summorum Pontificum, before the publication of Universae Ecclesiae, there has been comment from those attached to the Extraordinary Form about the "wishes of the Holy Father". This sometimes takes the line that, with Summorum Pontificum, Pope Benedict XVI wanted to see the Extraordinary Form celebrated in every parish (my own view to the contrary can be discerned in this post). Herewith one example:
Three years on and the availability of the Latin Mass across Wales is pitiful! As I understand it the same picture is true in most dioceses, with some better than others - but nowehere coming closed to "every parish" especially for Sunday Mass.

Why are the Pope's wishes being ignored? Why is this wonderful Liturgical treasury of Heaven's Graces being denied to the Faithful? Why are the Faithful being treated like obstinate children when many of us simply want to do what the Holy Father wants, for the benefit of the Church, the faithful, our priests and our parishes?
The claim by those attached to the Extraordinary Form to have some kind of unique "ownership" of the wishes of the Holy Father with regard to the liturgy has two aspects that I find off putting. Again, there appears to be an "anxiety" about the universal jurisdiction of the Holy See with regard to the life of the Church, rather than just a natural experiencing of that jurisdiction in the life of the local Church. In a previous era and historical context this kind of attitude might have attracted the label "ultramontanism" but there is only one element of such a label that would be appropriate here, the element of playing off the jurisdiction of the local Bishop against that of the Holy See. The second aspect is the rather simple one that what is claimed as being the "wishes of the Holy Father" is not actually the wishes of the Holy Father and that there is in any case a certain selectivity in what is being discerned as the wishes of the Holy Father and what is not being so discerned.

After the publication of Summorum Pontificum I attempted on this blog to define what the term "traditional Catholicism" meant since my view is that, after Summorum Pontificum, traditional Catholicism can no longer be defined on the basis of attachment to the Extraordinary Form. I am not sure that I was able to come to a clear conclusion. Is traditional Catholicism now, not as a matter of definition or charism but as a matter of phenomenology, to be discerned by the above "anxieties" or "mind sets"?

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