During the public fiasco of opposition that followed and preceded Pope Benedict's publication of Summorum Pontificum in 2007 which allowed priests celebrate the EF without permission of the local bishop, Cardinal Aviz, along with others in Germany, was one of the more vocal opponents, and also one of Francis' closer friends…along with Cardinal Hummes.
On to my personal thoughts. We do not know enough about the motivations for the decision about the EF but can only speculate. There is a reason for it, and I hope we will find out in the future, and I hope it is not that Francis would like to 'undo' Benedict's work of Summorum Pontificum and that this is the first step. He has stated previously that tradition should live alongside innovation. Only time will tell.
This basically appears as a form of restorationism. In dealing with the Church’s problems, a purely disciplinary solution is sought, through the restoration of outdated manners and forms which, even on the cultural level, are no longer meaningful. In Latin America it is usually to be found in small groups, in some new religious congregations [FFI?], in tendencies to doctrinal or disciplinary “safety”. Basically it is static, although it is capable of inversion, in a process of regression. It seeks to “recover” the lost past.
“In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture. What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too [even if it be meaningless to others], and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place. Letter to the Bishops on the Occasion…
Francis may, unlike Benedict, believe that the EF was relevant for those in a certain time, but not [likely] in our time. But will he undo Summorum Pontificum? I doubt it because it would be an outright contradiction with Pope Benedict's bulletproof logic in the document. What is more likely is that he will go after an ideology which accompanies it, and try to change the traditional communities themselves from Pelagian tendencies. Whether that is done by teaching or by suppression…that remains to be seen as well. Suppression didn't work very well last time for helping people keep the faith in general. I think that Francis sees the beauty of the EF. Why? Well, he sees the beauty of the Eastern rites as he remarked on the plane ride from Rio…why wouldn't he see the same good things?
In the Orthodox Churches they have kept that pristine liturgy, so beautiful. We have lost a bit the sense of adoration. They keep, they praise God, they adore God, they sing, time doesn’t count. God is the center, and this is a richness that I would like to say on this occasion in which you ask me this question. Once, speaking of the Western Church, of Western Europe, especially the Church that has grown most, they said this phrase to me: “Lux ex oriente, ex occidente luxus.” Consumerism, wellbeing, have done us so much harm. Instead you keep this beauty of God at the center, the reference.
…but I think he does not believe most of the people who claim they find the EF meaningful actually do find it meaningful and are therefore holding onto a discipline of liturgy to save them rather than Christ.
Plausible, but sensitive.
The very thesis of Pope Benedict's “Spirit of the Liturgy” is that “Acts (disciplines) are crystalizations of belief. Lex orandi, lex credendi–the way you pray is the way you believe.” We should be careful and thoughtful in our manner of teaching, whether it be in teaching the meanings of the disciplines used by prior generations (tradition) to a people “slow to update” or for teaching against Pelagian ideology.
Nov 07, 2012 0