RENQTC: An Undeniable Fact

The document known as Responses and Explanatory Notes to Questions on Traditionis Custodes discusses a simple reality from 1962-63:

One fact is undeniable: The Council Fathers perceived the urgent need for a reform so that the truth of the faith as celebrated might appear ever more in all its beauty, and the People of God might grow in full, active, conscious participation in the liturgical celebration (cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium n. 14) …

Archbishop Roche interprets liturgical reform as having that twofold purpose: clarity and participation. To some degree these two values suggest the twofold nature of good liturgy as banquet and sacrifice. As for the latter, every baptized person is grafted into the priesthood of Christ, and it seems more than fitting that a community of priests is actively engaged in that liturgical role. To one extent the ordained priest doesn’t do everything–only the parts of the liturgy assigned to the clergy, and certainly not the parts assigned to lay people.

As pastors we must not lend ourselves to sterile polemics, capable only of creating division, in which the ritual itself is often exploited by ideological viewpoints. Rather, we are all called to rediscover the value of the liturgical reform by preserving the truth and beauty of the Rite that it has given us.

I suppose we live in an era of particular vulnerability. There has been a worldwide skepticism on leadership of all kinds over the past century or two. At least. Questioning authority certainly intensified in many areas after the Second World War. Ideologies of all sorts have gained supporters during and since the Cold War. The advent of the so-called information age has reinforced ideological tribalism. Without the internet, the level of dissent would have likely been tamped down quite a bit.

For this to happen, we are aware that a renewed and continuous liturgical formation is necessary both for Priests and for the lay faithful.

The challenge with this last bit is likely that both clergy and laity see their one-time sacraments as graduation events. Once confirmed, once ordained … that’s it. Mission accomplished.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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