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This is My Body

Traditionalist bishop Terrence Fulham has broken his silence an published an interesting article about the Motu Proprio and Rome. Since it deals with questions of liturgical change and the Novus Ordo Missae, I thought that I would point out several things contained therein.

In the course of his column, the bishop writes that the Novus Ordo must be accepted by schismatic clergy in order for them to be regularized. The Novus Ordo Missae is the Ordinary Rite of the Roman Catholic Church. Therefore, any priest or bishop received back into the Church must recognize its validity and the fact that it exists. For the most part, there are those bishops who refuse to see the matter in this light. Certain traditionalists such as the CMRI would see the Novus Ordo Missae as invalid and sinful because the words of the Consecration were changed. Therefore, they would flat out refuse to regularize with a Church in which the Novus Ordo is the main form of worship.

Another thing that the article points out in great detail is liturgical changes. According to Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI, the modernist mindset is constantly centered around ideas of change. Change must occur for the sake of change, so their reasoning goes. Therefore, Fulham says that there are many liturgical time bombs to be found within the Extraordinary Form. For example, the changes to the prayer for the Jews (mentioned in a previous article on ecumenism) can be the beginning of a great number of other changes to the 1962. I’m afraid that we are back to the days of Bugnini and his associates if this continues to occur.

Yet I am optimistic that the Mass will continue to be said according to the Missal that has been promoted by the Motu Proprio. As the Holy Father has stated, and as I have pointed out in numerous articles on this website, the Novus Ordo and the Extraordinary Form are to feed into each other so that the Church can breathe with both lungs. Obviously, changes are to be expected and yet I hope that no drastic changes will be made. 

The reason I say this is because the Church is a conservative institution by nature. As Dr. Pius Parsch points out so well in his book, The Liturgy of the Mass, the Mass has changed over the centuries. Certain things were thrown out like the Offertory procession, while other things were brought back in. Yet what we are seeing today and have seen during the last forty years is nothing short of revolutionary. Within a matter of years, the Mass and the Breviary were completely overhauled in favor of newer forms that were more appropriate for the times. One wonders, though, would this much change have occurred without the Second Vatican Council? Would the Latin Mass be able to survive into the 21st century?

Of course, I cannot answer these questions because I am neither a liturgist nor a theologian. However, it seems to me that Bishop Fulham’s article is worth reading because it shows that things may change in the future.

Our Lady of the Angels, pray for us!

St. Therese, pray for us!