I would like to point you to a very interesting link on the question of the reform of the reform, theme so dear to Pope Benedict XVI, and what we Anglicans have been doing with the Prayer Book for quite some time.
- The Growing Realization of the Irreparable Failure of the Liturgical Reform – from The New Liturgical Movement.
Would the solution be a wholesale return to the liturgy of Pius V with the various modifications between 1570 and 1965? The comments are worth looking at. In the early 1980’s I had a discussion with a young man whose opinion was that the Roman liturgy was broken to such a point that the only remaining legitimate liturgical tradition was the Byzantine rite. I cannot subscribe to such a narrow notion of liturgical tradition, but I can understand it in a perspective according to which any discontinuity entails the destruction of the rite.
I feel no longer qualified to say to Rome that it should get rid of its Novus Ordo. My own intuitions on the matter are known, that we need to “feed” the liturgical tradition with local uses and rites, even those that have been out of regular use for a few centuries and would be about as familiar as the Dominican rite. We find many similar ideas in the mind of Benedict XVI, even though he had to tow the party line with the so-called “ordinary form”.
There is also a very real problem with using versions of the old Roman liturgy with the first elements of the Bugnini reform, taken for granted by most traditionalists willing to two the party line sufficiently so as not to be taken for “extreme” traditionalists or cranks.
Time will tell. Benedict XVI was asking questions that just no longer seem to be on the agenda. Some might say that we have returned to the 1970’s. Forty years ago, there were people who remembered the 1950’s. People now no longer had the references they had in 1974. How much influence could the various traditionalist institutes and societies have? As a former member of the Institute of Christ the King, I would venture to say – precious little.
The conservative Roman Catholic media – paper and electronic – still try to maintain the myth of a conservative Pope. Benedict XVI was / is no conservative. He is very open as a theologian and interested in the liturgy for reasons different from that of many conservative traditionalists.
Two French articles are interesting. They are both by Fr Claude Barthe, a priest of vast intellectual stature for whom I have a great amount of esteem: