I Agree: Excitement Over Card. Sarah’s “Ad Orientem” Remarks Misplaced July 7, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Liturgy, Restoration, the struggle for the Church, Tradition.
Many folks have been expressing a great deal of excitement that Cardinal Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, made an exhortation calling for the Novus Ordo to be offered Ad Orientem. I agree with Rorate Caeli in finding this excitement badly misplaced. That is to say, his words, while nice and comforting to conservative/traditional ears, perhaps, are meaningless in any real, effective sense. Nothing will change, as they did not change after Cardinal Arinze many times called for Latin in the Mass and Communion received on the tongue. The fundamental issue, as Rorate notes, is that modernists/progressives do not respond to exhortations, even pronouncements of solemn law barely move a few to stop blocking the open offering of the TLM as per Summorum Pontificum.
As for exhortations and blandishments, they just laugh them off and continue secularizing and de-sacralizing the Mass:
Cardinal Sarah in a speech to the Sacra Liturgia conference in London yesterday invited priests to start celebrating (the New Mass of Paul VI) facing the liturgical east (versus Deum), that is, facing the altar.His words, by way of the Catholic Herald:“It is very important that we return as soon as possible to a common orientation, of priests and the faithful turned together in the same direction – eastwards or at least towards the apse – to the Lord who comes.” … “I ask you to implement this practice wherever possible.”He said that “prudence” and catechesis would be necessary, but told pastors to have “confidence that this is something good for the Church, something good for our people”.“Your own pastoral judgement will determine how and when this is possible, but perhaps beginning this on the first Sunday of Advent this year, when we attend ‘the Lord who will come’ and ‘who will not delay’.”
There have been enthusiastic reactions to these words…unseen since the Prefect of Divine Worship was Cardinal Arinze in the early 2000s…and Cardinal Cañizares!
In the end, it is not for a lack of good words from the Prefects of Divine Worship that the liturgical situation worldwide has remained a mess (we emphasize “worldwide” — it is not because there are interesting celebrations, usually imitating the Traditional Mass, in very specific parishes in Britain, the occasional American haven, or one or other place that the global situation has improved at all).In the end, especially in our age of over-centralization of liturgical decisions, only liturgical Law really matters. A Cardinalatial suggestion will remain a mere unheard suggestion. In the end, the only act that made a difference was the act of law called “Summorum Pontificum”.
I used to get all excited when an Arinze or a Burke would call for some more orthodox liturgical practice, but even distant observation revealed that nothing ever changed as a result of these. Even more, over time, I became increasingly convinced, to the point today of absolute metaphysical certitude, that the Novus Ordo is fundamentally disordered and cannot be fixed by even major changes. The whole thing has to be abandoned, eventually, and a total return made to the Mass of Ages. Or, I could put it another, more gentle way: to fix the Novus Ordo completely would be to so change it that it would be indistinguishable from the TLM. So why not just stick with what God, through revelation and the long effort of Saints and holy souls, gave us?