I was traveling for work earlier this week, so I am a little late in linking to this post from Rorate Caeli about diocesan priests who choose to celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Mass exclusively. It is part testimony, part invitation.
The post begins by referring to three diocesan priests in Italy to began, in the wake of the motu proprio in 2007, to begin to celebrate exclusively the Extraordinary Form. The Mass that our Holy Father reaffirmed “was never juridically abrogated and, consequently, in principle, was always permitted.”
And yet to dare to celebrate this Mass of great antiquity–to follow the explicit legislation of the Vicar of Christ– is for a priest to invite persecution. And to celebrate it, and it alone, well, that takes courage.
There are many approaches to encouraging liturgical restoration, and with it, the restoration of the Catholic faith within the Church. Some belong to religious communities that are dedicated to the traditional form, some try to incorporate the Extraordinary Form into the life of the parish alongside the Ordinary Form. I do not criticize the good faith effort of any such priest, bishop or faithful. What I do sincerely believe is that over time, one Form will achieve the principal place and the other will greatly recede. I won’t spoil the ending for readers by telling you which one I think will win out. Time will tell, of course, but without the traditional Mass of the Church gaining strength there is not much chance that the Church (and I speak here of the temporal side only) will regain the vitality of faith so desperately needed as we (in the words of a holy priest) “descend into a new age of persecution.”
The post and the links therein are worth reading. Take some time to do so. As
a provocation an invitation, I post this short excerpt from an interview with one of these priests:
A. I shall be brief. I find the obligation of biritualism absurd. If one has found that which is authentic, which is best, that which expresses the Catholic Faith more completely, without dangerous ambiguities, why would there be the need to celebrate something much less? With biritualism, in actual fact, one rite dies and the other stays. With biritualism, the priest gets weary, with the sadness of a sort of schizophrenia, and the people are not edified, instructed, consoled in the beauty of God. I shall avoid discussing the theological liturgical aspects – an interview is not the place for that. I will say only that whoever stays with biritualism sooner or later abandons the Old Rite and manufactures reasons to stay in the world of the reform, lived perhaps in a conservative way, but with an interior sadness, like one who has betrayed the love of God since his youth. I have to add that it was very helpful for me to read “The Anglican Liturgical Reform” by Michael Davies – a fundamental text which is very clear: the ambiguity of the rite leads to heresy in fact. Is it not this that has happened?