|"Obey me, obey my music..."|
As the LMS Chairman today tells us on his blog, Paul has taken individuals enthused by the TLM to task over their "disobedience". You naughty Priests, you! Don't you remember Summorum Pontificum, in which the Holy Father explicitly asked you to submit to the will of Paul Inwood and to play his music in your parish!?
Over to you, Chairman...
'Paul Inwood, Director of Liturgy for the diocese of Portsmouth, rarely lets a chance to attack traditionalists go to waste; here he remarks artlessly 'Summorum Pontificum was a reward for disobedience: Discuss'.
Very well. The first thing to note is that if SP was a reward for disobedience, it would have plenty of company. Famously, Paul VI's Memoriale Domini, which gave permission for communion in the hand, was a reward for disobedience; as the document says explicitly, the practice was permitted only because, and where, it had become established by disobedience.
But more generally it is clear that the permission for altar girls, communion under both kinds, Mass celebrated facing the people, etc. etc. were rewards for disobedience, since all these practices were instituted disobediently either during the chaotic period after the Second Vatican Council or before it. Indeed, Paul Inwood might like to consider the permission for parts of the liturgy to be in the vernacular, in Sacrosanctam Concilium itself, to be a reward for disobedience, since disobedient priests had been experimenting with vernacular liturgy since the early decades of the 20th Century, not to say the 16th Century. The practice of breaking rules in the hope of getting them changed was so established among liberals after the Council they even had a special phrase for it: 'anticipatory obedience'.
There is a great difference between SP and many of these other documents, however. In Memoriale Domini Paul VI takes the opportunity to issue what is in effect a final condemnation of the practice he is reluctantly permitting, and urges Catholics to continue to receive on the tongue. The permissions for many other abusive practices take a similar form. Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, for example, were permitted only in restrictive circumstances; so was communion under both kinds and altar girls. It is easy to forget these restrictions but there they are. By contrast, there is nothing reluctant about the freeing of the Traditional Mass in SP: it is described (in the accompanying Letter to Bishops) as constituting 'riches' for the Church; even back in 1988, John-Paul II told bishops to be 'generous' in allowing the Traditional Mass, not a word he used in relation to their right to permit altar girls or EMHCs.
But there is something altogether missing from the parallel, and that is the disobedience which SP is supposed to be rewarding. Presumably Paul Inwood means disobedience by priests who were saying the Traditional Mass before 2007. But according to SP, they weren't being disobedient: the Traditional Mass had never been forbidden. Even on the more restrictive interpretation common before SP, they had permission under Ecclesia Dei Adflicta to say the TLM.
Now here is something for Paul Inwood to ponder. The Latin Mass Society and the whole Una Voce movement argued from the very beginning that the TLM had never been abrogated. Anyone can read the argument in Michael Davies' book 'Pope Paul's New Mass' (1981). Our opponents argued that, no, it was only permissible by indult, that is, by special permission. So what was the practical policy of the LMS? We continued to make the argument for the less restrictive position, but acted on the more restrictive one. We always got permissions for the Masses we organised, even though we thought permission was not necessary. This was not disobedience, not anticipatory obedience, but obedience of a heroic, supererogatory kind.
So during the long years of the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, what was Paul Inwood doing? Was he obeying the Church's liturgical laws? When he was Music Director of Portsmouth Cathedral (1995-1999) and now he is Director of Liturgy for Portsmouth Diocese (since 2000), did he implement the Council's decree that Gregorian Chant have pride of place in the liturgy, or that Latin be retained? Did he ensure that the rules of successive editions of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, forbidding all manner of abuses, were strictly obeyed? Did he enforce the norms of the Instruction Regarding Certain Questions on the Collaboration of the Non-Ordained Faithful, in 1997, or Redemptionis Sacramentum in 2004, each of which again condemned countless abusive practices?
Well, not exactly. A culture of disobedience has in fact become endemic across the entire Church since the Council, and it has often been observed that the only people expected to obey the rules are those who want the Traditional Mass - at least this was so when the rules were restrictive. But we now see a new generation of priests coming up who are rebelling against this culture. And what does Paul Inwood say?
He says they are disobedient.'
|Perfect and exemplary obedience|
In one, I saw the 'one-armed bandit' consecration of the Host which Fr Ray Blake discusses in his blog today that makes it appear as if the Priest is holding Our Lord up for auction ("Do I hear 'My Lord and my God!'? No? Higher?") while in the other the Priest held the Host up to about his eyes and paraded it from left to right just to make sure everyone could see.
The music was absolutely awful and I could barely hear myself think, let alone think about praying. I believe the music was of the Inwoodian era (1969 - Present). The really awful bit was at the Offertory when the children came back from children's liturgy in the hall next door, all lined up and the Priest came down from the Sanctuary and held up each child's coloured-in picture to the congregation for the congregation to clap each child (there must have been 15 to 20 of them, which, as you can imagine, is a lot of applause to take place in the middle of Mass). Then, finally, he turned around and went back onto the Sanctuary for the Canon. I was gobsmacked. Little doubt that the children will find it hard when they are adults to go to Mass and not think that the Mass is all about them, but then, it seemed like the Priest, the Deacon and the rest of the throng of adults joining him on the Sanctuary to form an extraordinary number of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, thought the Mass was about us anyway, so perhaps the kids might never quite cotton onto the 'Mass is about Our Lord Jesus Christ' thing, but in that respect they'll be no different to the adults. Then again, more likely, they'll lapse. There must, after all, be other youth centres in that part of Sussex.
Nearly everyone held hands during the 'Our Father', including the Priest, with the Deacon and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, though, in my row (thanks be to God), the holding hands thing was not so popular. Were the Altar girls holding hands too? I forget. Anyway, I guess that I was a little bit "disobedient" in kneeling to receive Our Blessed Lord while, as far as I could see, I might have been the only one in the congregation who did, but then isn't "disobedience" nowadays just so relative, Paul?
It seems to be relative to whether the parish in question places God at the centre of the liturgy, or the congregation. It seems to be relative to whether the Priest takes seriously the theology and expressed wishes of the Successor of St Peter, that'll be Pope Benedict XVI, or not. It seems to be relative to whether the Priest fosters respect for the Blessed Sacrament, or not. It seems to be relative to whether liturgy and music during worship are arranged to give glory to God, or copyright fees for nauseatingly trite ditties, to you and your ilk.
Paul might be incensed by the Priests showing obedience to Pope Benedict XVI in liberating the Latin Mass with generosity and exposing their congregations to it, but, sadly, there was no incense for Our Blessed Lord on Sunday at the children's art show Mass on Sunday.