The Remnant recently reported encouraging comments regarding Pope Francis and Summorum Pontificum as offered by the renowned theologian and liturgist Don Nicola Bux.
“The movement in favor of the traditional liturgy will certainly continue because the succession of Popes does not break the continuity of tradition and he who succeeds to a predecessor does not invent the Church again”, said don Bux, who is also a consultant to the Congregation for Divine Worship and well respected in tradition-minded circles. “Sometimes it is believed that the Pope, in his office, must make his personal views prevail, but this would be quite worrisome. It is clear that every Pontiff has his own temperament and history, and it is not these that are to prevail, but always the good of the Church. The Pope is a minister, but he is not the master, as was also reiterated by the current Pontiff.”
I would like to be able to say that my concerns have been duly allayed, but it’s as though Monsignor Bux is either employing a bit of reverse psychology or simply engaging in some very wishful thinking. In any case, his comments aren’t very well supported by the witness of recent experience.
For instance, of course it is true that a new pope “does not invent the Church again,” but who can deny that Pope Francis has most certainly seen to it that his “personal views have prevailed” in any number of ways, and to borrow a phrase from Msgr. Bux, it has been “quite worrisome” indeed.
Monsignor Bux went on to point to Cardinal Bergoglio’s time as Bishop of Buenos Aires from Summorum Pontificum forward saying, the future Pope Francis “did not hamper the application of the Motu Proprio.”
I suppose one could debate the exact meaning of “didn’t hamper,” but whatever that happens to be it certainly doesn’t mean promoted.
A detailed report on the reception of Summorum Pontificum is available at Rorate Caeli for those who are interested, but the bottom line is that when Cardinal Bergoglio was elected to the papacy, his archdiocese boasted a grand total of zero traditional Masses (other than the ones offered by the SSPX).
In any case, the recent decree issued by the Congregation for Religious, with the approval of Pope Francis, to the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate certainly doesn’t provide any evidence of an unwillingness to hamper; on the contrary.
With all of this said, it’s difficult to understand why Msgr. Bux would opine that “The movement in favor of the traditional liturgy will certainly continue.”
Movement in favor? As much as I’d like to believe it, I’m more inclined to emulate my friends in Missouri:
Bravo Louie. I couldn’t agree more.
It is always for the good , isn’t it. This is exactly the kind of talk I refered to in a previous post. It almost sounds like a polititian talking. Are all the changes following Vatican II really for the good? If so, how so? If traditional liturgy will surely continue, and we have nothing to be concerned about, then just how shall that tradition continue? Do they expect and want people to turn away from the modern Church? Why must traditionalist struggle for tradition within the Church? Popes might not break the continuity of tradition, but bishops and priests sure do, and get away with it. For that matter, so do Vatican counsels. Next time any of you go to a Catholic church (as I recently did in Austin) and see that the tabernacle has been removed from sight, just remember, it is for the good of the Church.
I think the more we study Vatican 2, the antecedents, it’s context and aftermath, it becomes more and more obvious that there was fracture with Tradition. It seems very torturous insisting on the continuity approach at every level, it just isn’t true. Yes, there is lots of sound Catholic teaching in the documents but there is also lots of ambiguity and departures from authoritative teaching, especially in the major areas of religious freedom, ecumenism, and ecclesiology, not to mention the hatchet job done on the mass, and other sacraments. In light of the evidence Don Bux’s statement is unconvincing, and the present Bishop of Rome’s record doesn’t inspire anything but concen that we are going to see further breakdown.
@ Robert Mann,
Were you aware that Pope Francis celebrates the eastern rite liturgy as well? In fact, there is more than just the Latin rite in the Catholic Church. Why not argue that the Latin rite should be changed to the eastern rite–which has remained unchanged since the days of St. John Chrysostom.
We don’t argue that, because reform of the liturgy is not the answer to the Church’s troubles! The answer is in union with Christ, in the liturgy and beyond. Catholics should be in union with Christ even before they come to liturgy.
Pope Francis is carrying on the ‘hermeneutic of continuity’ coined by BXVI, as is best evidenced by his collaboration with him on Lumen Fidei. He is very much interested in every Catholic’s union with Christ in the Holy Spirit and praying to the Father. We don’t need to worry about his track record–you combat liberation theology in latin america successfully and see if you turn out as well as Francis!
are we somehow ashamed of the Novus Ordo, even after the new translation?
I am not ashamed because the persons of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit are still present in the Liturgy.
Why not argue that the Latin rite should be changed to the eastern rite–which has remained unchanged since the days of St. John Chrysostom.
Dear Samwise, The Mass of the Latin Rite is older.
Yes, I’m deeply ashamed of the New Mass. It has nothing to do with the translation, it goes all the way back to the original Latin text.