Thursday, April 13, 2006

Not an Indult

What say we never, any of us, let this phrase "universal indult" slip past our lips again?

An indult of any scope is not what we want or need. An indult is a special permission and it can be revoked as much as it can be granted. An indult for the Mass is meaningless, except for politics.

Let us be clear then: it is not within the proper exercise of the papacy to forbid that which has been central to Catholic life for as many generations as anyone can remember.

The traditional Mass never was forbidden because it never could be. Ratzinger even said as much in Spirit of the Liturgy.

Keep the quote handy:

"The liturgy can be compared, therefore, not to a piece of technical equipment, something manufactured, but to a plant, something organic that grows and whose laws of growth determine the possibilities of further development. In the West there was, of course, another factor. With his Petrine authority, the pope more and more clearly took over responsibility for liturgical legislation, thus providing a juridical authority for the continuing formation of the liturgy. The more vigorously the primacy was displayed, the more the question came up about the extent and limits of this authority, which, of course, as such had never been considered. After the Second Vatican Council, the impression arose that the pope really could do anything in liturgical matters, especially if he were acting on the mandate of an ecumenical council. Eventually, the idea of the given-ness of the liturgy, the fact that one cannot do with it what one will, faded from the public consciousness of the West. In fact, the First Vatican Council had in no way defined the pope as an absolute monarch. On the contrary, it presented him as the guarantor of obedience to the revealed Word. The pope’s authority is bound to the Tradition of faith, and that also applies to the liturgy. It is not “manufactured” by the authorities. Even the pope can only be a humble servant of its lawful development and abiding integrity and identity."

The Spirit of the Liturgy pp165-166 2000 Ignatius Press

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