Wednesday, February 13, 2008

No Soap Box Today

I'll let Rich do the blogging:

Populist scrutiny: "Fr. George Rutler's 'acerbic' review of Archbishop Marini's new book, a nostalgic treatment of the heady days of liturgical experimentation in the aftermath of Vatican II, has been making the rounds on St. Blog's:

Considerable erudition was at work in those years, but too often did its populism overrule the people. It was like Le Corbusier sketching a new metallic Paris. Marini complains about ' a certain nostalgia for the old rites. ' In doing so he contradicts Pope Benedict's distinction between rites and uses, but he also fails to explain why nostalgia for the 1560's is inferior to nostalgia for the 1960's, except for dentistry. This book's editors want to 'keep alive' the 'vision' of the Consilium, but their diction is a voice in the bunker embittered by many ungrateful people. If an organism is truly healthy, it does not need a life support system. In his preface to 'The Reform of the Roman Liturgy' by Klaus Gamber, Cardinal Ratzinger said plainly: 'We abandoned the organic living process of growth and development over the centuries, and replaced it, as in a manufacturing process, with a process, with a fabrication, a banal on-the-spot product.' In consequence, the fragile construction must be pumped up by multiple Gnostic-Docetic innovations such as dancing, referred to in a prescriptive text as 'pious undulations.' Hula dancers at the beatification of Father Damien in 1995 hardly gave a sense of verisimilitude in Brussels. Having eliminated the papal flabella and burning flax as the detritus of imperial Rome, it was even more anachronistic to trumpet the Great Jubilee in modern Rome with costumed men affecting familiarity with the art of blowing elephant tusks.

Nowhere does one feel like 'populism overrules the people' than when liturgists unleash the Lenten 'scrutinies' on unsuspecting worshipers this time of year. These optional rites showcase a handful of engaged would-be converts who've been coaxed into RCIA by their cohabiting Catholic fiances. Anyone who has been trying to engage in lectio divina during Lent by reading ahead in the Sunday lectionary is faced with an inexplicable alternate set of readings. The highlight is a slow-motion procession of candidates up the main aisle of the church led by their oh-so-serious-looking program director. All told, it's about as organic as a three-pack of Zingers.

(Also, you can read Fr. Alcuin Reid's review of Archbishop Marini's book here.)"

(Via Ten Reasons.)

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