I notice on NCR the piece in which Papal Liturgist Msgr Guido Marini comes out as a reform2 advocate.
I purposefully use the word continuity, a word very dear to our present Holy Father. He has made it the only authoritative criterion whereby one can correctly interpret the life of the church.
Count me a doubter on the emphasis in continuity. It may well be a buzz word for obstruction in some circles. I think we’ve seem the fruits of the hermenteutic of obstruction in the post-conciliar era: a retirement of Reconciliation form III, the deep-sixing of the English translation of Roman Missal II. Hopefully Msgr Marini was just taking the pope’s words out of context. I see it as more of a matter of priorities. The liturgy must be malleable to well-discerned pastoral needs, especially those discerned by large bodies of bishops. Continuity is also a pastoral principle, not an excuse to retain subjective favorite aspects of liturgy.
Marini suggested that continuity is a potential unifying force in the liturgy. I can’t agree.
The liturgy cannot and must not be an opportunity for conflict between those who find good only in that which came before us, and those who, on the contrary, almost always find wrong in what came before.
That liturgy is the opportunity for conflict is unavoidable. It was so in the immediate post-conciliar period. It may be more heated today.
Liturgy also involves sacrifice. It may be that much-loved aspects of the Roman liturgy: the Last Gospel, the offertory prayers, and the concession of the Low Mass must be permanently let go. Are reform2 advocates prepared to live the notion of sacrifice that many of them believe is absent from the modern Roman Rite? Are they prepared to concede the undeniable benefits of certain aspects of the reformed liturgy: the lectionary, the permanent diaconate, and yes, even the vernacular?
The way to resolve conflict is not by avoidance. Like it or not, resolution doesn’t happen by splitting the difference or by counting up mutual concessions (We give up clown Masses in return for your fiddlebacks.) It’s going to take a much wider discussion than the pope and his liturgist hitting and sometimes missing on contemporary liturgical problems.