Let's get subversive: Fr Tom Elich complains about the republication of early Liturgical Renewal texts

Fr Tom Elich of the Liturgical Commission has written an article called “Claiming our history” complaining that “right-wing Catholic publishers” are being “subversive” by publishing the texts of the early pioneers of liturgical reform.

I rather like the idea that the “progressives” are now calling the “conservatives” subversive. The boot being on the other foot for a change! There is a fair bit of dummy-spitting in Fr Elich’s article.

You can usually tell the age of a bloke or blokette by the way they view the Church as being divided into good guys and bad guys. The great thing about Pope Benedict is that he is moving the Church beyond these tired old ways of looking at things.

We could do without language like “right-wing revisionists” and “mainstream Church” (one gets the impression that the mainstream Church is always on MY side).

Interesting too how Fr Elich continually asserts that the reformed liturgy we ended up with was the work of the Second Vatican Council. Everyone knows that this is a myth. It was the combined work of the Curial committees and ICEL years after the Council ended. You can’t find anything (for eg.) about celebrating facing the people in the text of the Council documents.

A little anecdote passed down through oral tradition. Apparently Pope Paul VI was getting ready to celebrate the mass for the Monday after Pentecost (which used to be an extension of the Pentecost feast) after the reform of the Church Year, and expressed surprise to find green vestments rather than the traditional red ones laid out for him. “Why Green?” he asked the sacristan. “Its ordinary time, your Holiness”. “Since when?” “Since it was changed, your Holiness.” “Who authorised that?” “Why, YOU did, your Holiness!”

So much for everything being done “with the full knowledge, support and encouragement of the Holy See”!

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