Liturgical Reform – Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

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Good evening, everyone. I actually have two introductions. One was given to me by John,
and the other by Kara O’Sullivan. So one is the truth, and the other one is– no. John
was actually very modest. John F. Baldovin is professor of historical and liturgical
theology here at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. He is a priest of the
Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus. He received his BA from the College of the
Holy Cross. That’s a school beyond Route 128 in this town called Worcester. We have some
distinguished alums in this crowd, and I’m not going to say anything more. It’s a very
good school. He has an MDiv from the Weston Jesuit School
of Theology in Cambridge, and then the MA, MPhil, and PhD from Yale University, known
as the BC of New Haven. Father Baldovin has taught at Fordham University, the Jesuit School
of Theology at Berkeley, and since 1999, at Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge,
and now at BC’s STM. He has also been a visiting professor at the
University of Notre Dame and St. John Vianney National Seminary in Pretoria, South Africa.
He served on the advisory committee for the Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy of the USCCB
from 1989 to ’93, as well as the advisory committee of the International Commission
on English in the Liturgy, ICEL, from 1994 to 2002. He is the past president of the North American
Academy of Liturgy and the International Ecumenical Societas Liturgica. He received the prestigious
Berakah Award for distinguished achievement from the North American Academy of Liturgy
in 2007. And he’s currently the president of the International Jungmann Society for
the Jesuits and the Liturgy. He has served on the Board of Trustees at
the College of the Holy Cross, and currently serves on the Board of Trustees at Fairfield
University. He’s also a member of the Board of Directors of the journal Theological Studies.
His fields of expertise are the history and theology of the liturgy, sacramental theology,
and the theology of ministry, ordained and lay. Father Baldovin also assists on weekends at
Catholic parishes in Cambridge and Lexington. He’s published on liturgy widely in journals,
including Worship, Theological Studies, The Tablet, America, and Commonweal. And his writings
have been translated into French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, and even Albanian. Father Baldovin has a number of presentations
with Now You Know media, the latest of which is The History of the Mass, which was recently
released as a DVD. His latest books are Living Bread, Saving Cup: Understanding the Mass,
published in 2003 by Rowman and Littlefield. Reforming the Liturgy: A Response to the Critics
published in 2008 by Liturgical Press, Collegeville. And Catholic Sacraments, edited with David
Turnbloom, published by Paulist Press in 2015. He’s also co-edited a commentary on the revised
order of mass with Mary Collins, Edward Foley, and Joanne Pierce in 2009. In closing, I would
also just like to comment, John and I are very close friends. And one of the things
I kind of appreciate, this is a guy whose taught for centers. He works very hard at
his teaching. He has not mailed it in. He’s always updating his classes and uses technology
in a very impressive way. And I would also be remiss if I didn’t personally
add, since I’ve taken on this new role, John has been a great support and personal confidant.
And I’m grateful for that. So without any further ado, let me introduce our speakers
tonight, Father John Baldovin, who’s going to be speaking on Reforming the Liturgy: Yesterday,
Today, and Tomorrow. [APPLAUSE]>>FATHER JOHN BALDOVIN, S.J.: You’re the best.
It’s always nice to be introduced by a friend. So reforming the liturgy: yesterday, today,
and tomorrow. I’m going to start with a little piece that you might find challenging. Near
the beginning of his rather dark, even apocalyptic 1971 novel satire, Love in the Ruins, Walker
Percy– Walker Percy has his protagonist and narrator, the psychiatrist, Dr. Thomas Moore,
described the following scene. So, quote, “just below me, abutting the deserted shopping
plaza, rises the yellow brick barn and silo of St. Michael’s. A surprisingly large parish
it was, big enough to rate a monsignor. But the church is empty now, abandoned five
years ago. The stained glass is broken out. Cliff swallows nest in the fenestrae of its
concrete screen. Our Catholic Church here split into three pieces, one, the American
Catholic Church whose new Rome is Cicero, Illinois, two, the Dutch Schismatics, who
believe in relevance but not God, three, the Roman Catholic remnant, a tiny scattered flock
with no place to go. The American Catholic Church, which emphasizes
property rights and the integrity of neighborhoods, retained the Latin mass and plays the “Star
Spangled Banner” at the elevation.” I told you it was dark. “The Dutch Schismatics in
this area comprised priests and nuns who left Rome to get married. They threw in their lot
with the Dutch Schismatic Catholics, now several divorced priests and nuns are importuning
the Dutch cardinal to allow them to remarry. The Roman Catholics hereabouts are scattered
and demoralized. The one priest, an obscure curate, who remained faithful to Rome, could
not support himself and had to hire out as a fire watcher,” end of the quote. Well, Percy
painted a dark picture, to be sure. But I think he seems to be somewhat prophetic of
our present state of affairs– this was 1971– both church-wise and society-wise. Now I’m not going to paint that dark– don’t
worry, this is not going to be that dark of a picture for the rest of the presentation.
But I’m not going to paint that dark a picture. But I do think we are at crossroads in the
Catholic Church. And that, in many ways, how we approach celebrating the liturgy can tell
us a good deal about a larger issue where we’re going as a church– where we are, as
a Church, and where we’re going as a Church. That’s the main objective of this presentation. I’ll come back to all of that in the third
part on the end of the lecture. But first, I want to trace the road to how we got there.
So this presentation will be in three parts. First, I’ll sketch the liturgical movement
as it developed from the mid 19th century up to the eve of Vatican II. Because of time,
I necessarily have to do that very briefly. Then I will describe the main theological
and practical elements of the Council’s liturgy constitution, Sacrosanctum Concilium of December
1963. And finally, I’ll survey the implementation of the reform and some of the major questions
that face us today. So that’s the tomorrow part of it. So first of all, how did we get here? Then,
where are we? And then, where are we going? So, prior to Vatican II, most people agree
that the founder of the liturgical movement was a diocesan priest turned Benedictine named
Prosper Gueranger, who founded a seminary– or re-founded not a seminary, a monastery
in France in 1833– so after the disastrous French Revolution and everything that had
happened to the Catholic Church in France during the Revolution. And his main idea was to return to the Roman
liturgy as it was, and to appreciate the beauties of medieval Roman liturgy. Because there was
a lot of debate about that in France, and a lot of different attitudes toward that in
France at the time– especially in the revival of, as I say, their Gregorian chant. I’m going to skip. This is very sketchy and
brief, but just to paint a picture for you. The next major figure is actually Pope Pius
X, who was elected pope in 2003 (1903). And within a few months of being elected pope, he came
out with something on the revival of Gregorian chant– once again, a long story about how
disastrous music was in the Catholic Church in the 18th and 19th centuries, and how chant
had really declined. But in the course of that, he says this. And
you’ll hear it again because we come back to this in the Council document on the liturgy.
“We deem it necessary–” he said, “–to provide before anything else for the sanctity and
dignity of the temple–” the Church, “–in which the faithful assemble for no other object
than that of acquiring this spirit–” the spirit, Christian spirit, “–from its foremost
and indispensable font–” you’ll hear that again in the Constitution of the liturgy,
“–which is the active participation–” active participation, “–in the most holy mysteries,
and in the public and solemn prayer of the Church.” So two ideas that have come up again in the
council that the Council took from Pius X, first and foremost, that this is the indispensable
font. The liturgy is the indispensable font of the Christian spirit. And secondly, that
active participation is extremely important. Pius X is also well-known for espousing frequent
communion from the 5th century till about 1950. Frequent communion was not really a practice.
And great Saints like St. Ignatius of Loyola was somewhat scandalous in wanting his scholastics–
at least, people who weren’t yet ordained priests– to receive communion once a week.
That was thought of as quite scandalous and bold. And most folk, of course, did not. I’ll skip on to the founder of what sometimes
is called the pastoral liturgical movement, another diocesan priest turned Benedictine,
Lambert Beauduin. In 1909 at a famous meeting in Brussels, he gave a talk called “The Piety
of the Church”, which launched what people think of as the pastoral liturgical movement,
in other words, getting the idea not only among specialists and chant specialists, et
cetera, but that the people themselves– think of what Pius X said about the indispensable
font, the spirit of the liturgy– that the people themselves should begin to appreciate
what the liturgy is, and how important it is for the Church. There were monastic foundations that were
at the center of this. One was done in Germany that became very important during the 1920s
and ’30s, Maria Laach. And then he, himself, founded two important monasteries, Mont César.
If you’re Flemish, you say Kaysersberg. But in Belgium, it’s in Leuven and Chevetogne,
which is a fascinating– and this is a picture of Chevetogne here. You can get some sense
of it by just looking at the picture, that there is– how am I doing with my pointer?
I’m not doing well. That side is a Byzantine side, and that side
is a Roman side. So it’s a biritual monastery. And they have services in both each day. It’s
a fascinating place. And Beauduin himself is buried there. Maria Laach is famous for having another Benedictine.
A lot of these people are Benedictines. Later, we’ll get Jesuits. But to begin with, we have
Benedictines. Dom Odo Casel, who is famous for something called mystery theology, which
went beyond scholastic theology. There was a lot of dissatisfaction with scholastic
theology by the end of the 19th century, and the beginning of the 20th century– how dry
and analytic it was– to go back to the sources– of course, the Bible. But then, the early
writings of the Church, in which he proposed that we can find that the mysteries of Christ
are played out in the liturgy. And that we experience– the liturgy is really about us
experiencing the mysteries of who Christ is, and what Christ has done for us today. So
Casel became an important source for the Council. Europe was not the only place in which the
reform started taking place. Here’s not a church of the 1930s or anything. This was
done around the time of the council. But St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota–
a Benedictine foundation, originally, a German foundation founded from St. Vincent’s in Latrobe,
Pennsylvania. But this became a famous place for liturgical
experimentation, especially with Dom Virgil Michel, who was the editor of a journal called
Worship, which is still a very robust journal of liturgy today. The great thing about Michel
was that he wasn’t just– and this is true of a lot of these people. They weren’t just
interested in liturgy for liturgy’s sake. Virgil Michel was very interested in liturgy
and its connection with what we, today, would call social justice– especially for the rights
of farm workers. There’s the Midwest, upper Midwest. He was deeply committed to that. And there’s a great connection, it seems to
me. We could talk about that, but I’m not going to focus on it much here. We can talk
about it maybe in the question and answer period. But there’s a great connection between
love of the liturgy, respect of the liturgy, understanding of the liturgy, and society–
a just and equitable society. This was true also of the Anglican liturgical pioneers in
the previous century. One more figure that I want to mention is
Romano Guardini, whose book, the Spirit of the Liturgy, was very important for the movement,
widely read– and who, himself, inspired a lot of student movements in Germany during
the early part and the middle part of the 20th century. He’s one of the first people
to experiment with masses facing the people, for example, in very spare and modern chapels.
I don’t have one of those pictures here. I told you we’d get to Jesuits. So why not?
Father Josef Jungmann, whose Mass of the Roman Rite, a two volume history that he wrote during
World War II without his library, because they closed our theologate at Innsbruck. And
he had to go live in a convent somewhere in Austria. So he didn’t have his books in his
library with him. But he wrote this– with incredible amount of footnotes– two volume
work on the mass the Roman rite, which was extremely influential on the fathers of Vatican
II. And also, he was an Austrian. Another Austrian named Pius Parsch, who was
an Augustinian who wrote a great deal about the liturgical year. Back to the official
liturgical movement, Pope Pius XII came out with an encyclical in 1947, entitled Mediator
Dei, the mediator of God– Christ, of course– which many people think of as the formal official
church launch of the liturgical movement, in which he used a number of the themes that
were later advanced by the Second Vatican Council. But one of the things he did, which– and
these were three important reforms that I don’t think we appreciate enough today because
of how striking the reforms of Vatican II were. He set up a commission. So often enough,
when a pope writes an encyclical, he’ll say, these are the main lines. But somebody else
has got to put flesh on these bones. So he doesn’t write the specific reforms or
applications of what he’s done. He says, I’ll set up a commission or give it over to a Vatican
office. So he set up a commission in 1948, the year after. And they started work– and
this is a lot of material I mentioned before, going back to the sources, a lot of material
that people had been working on for 100 years. This is the fruit of an immense amount of
scholarship, historical and theological. In 1953, they renewed the Easter Vigil. And
they actually put it in the evening. Now some people here probably can remember. I don’t
want to point them out. And I can– I can’t really remember. So I’m just on the cusp. Prior to 1953, the Easter Vigil was done in
the morning. So the Easter Vigil is, by definition, a nighttime event. But it was done in the
morning. Many of the orthodox still do it that way. And it was over by noon. I always
wondered why the church bells started ringing at noon on Holy Saturday. They started ringing
at noon on Holy Saturday because the fast ended with the end of the vigil. And then
people started delivering Easter foods to one another. That was a pious custom, right? And so the vigil had no relationship to something
that happened in the evening. And people were not expected to go. I mean, there were a couple
of pious lay people with the clergy that did these rites. So they restored the vigil to make it an evening,
full, robust evening liturgy, and then the rest of the Holy Week services in 1955. For
example, prior to 1955, on Good Friday, only the priest received Holy Communion, not the
people. That’s one of the major. The public washing of the feet did not take place in
the Holy Thursday liturgy prior to 1955. So there were some very major developments in
the liturgy during this period. And then I think– and that we could spend
a lot of time thinking and talking about this– I think one of the biggest, most important
changes was the reduction of the Eucharistic fast. Because it gave people no cover. What
do I mean by that? Some people probably get it without my even having to explain it. You
used to have to fast from midnight, right? Total fast from midnight. So High Mass was at 11 o’clock. Nobody went
to communion at High Mass. But people would go at nine to communion. But a lot of people
didn’t go to communion, you know where I said infrequent communion. Because you didn’t go
to communion because you hadn’t gone to confession the night before. And if you didn’t go to
confession the night before, you couldn’t possibly be prepared to go to communion. But if you didn’t keep the fast you see, then
you had a cover. So nobody was looking at you saying that must be a mortal sinner over
there. So I think it had more– I’d look for some psychologists and sociologists to delve
into this. Pope John the 23rd. 1959, a few months after
he’s elected pope, he decides to invoke the Second Vatican Council, which was the first
council in almost 100 years for the Catholic Church. The Council, in the second session–
so the first session was spent debating the draft of the liturgy constitution. In its
second session on December the 3rd 1963, promulgated the liturgy constitution. They had actually had the final vote on the
constitution on November the 22nd, a few weeks earlier. Now that did not make big news because,
you know, something else happened on November the 22nd 1963 that kind of took all the news.
For the undergraduates, it was the assassination of John Kennedy. So before I get into the details of the constitution,
let me talk a little bit about what I see as approaches to the Council, and to the interpretation
of the Council. First, what I’d call cautious acceptance with an emphasis on continuity.
And there, you find I think, of course, the major figure who does that is Benedict the
XVI, Joseph Ratzinger. But I think we could also put Avery Dulles– the late Avery Dulles–
into that category. So that’s an acceptance of the Council, but
in a very cautious way with a great emphasis on how it’s continuous with the past. Secondly,
there is outright rejection of the Council. So this started not too long after the Council,
Archbishop Lefebvre there. And I think that’s Bishop Williamson. I’m not sure if that’s
Bishop Williamson. It might be the current head of the Society of Pius X. I’m going to come back to that in a little
while, when I talk about the hermeneutics of the Council. But this is outright rejection
of the Council, especially of the liturgy. But it’s important to realize that it wasn’t
just of the Council’s Constitution on the Liturgy. It was of the Council, things like
religious liberty, interreligious dialogue, engagement with the modern world. And then, finally, another group. Of course,
you could subdivide these endlessly, right? Another group of scholars who would say that
the Council was really the beginning of a great further reform, and that the spirit
of the Council is what is carried on after the Council. The great historian of the Council is the
Italian Giuseppe Alberigo, sometimes his Bologna school is called the Alberigo School. He was
the editor of a big four volume history of the Vatican Council. Then John O’Malley, the
Jesuit of two Jesuits here. Father John O’Malley, very, very well-known for his history of the
Council, and for promoting this understanding of the Council. And then, finally, the canon
lawyer– another Jesuit– Father Ladislas Orsy. So here are the issues that are major overarching
issues when looking at the Council as a whole, but also are important for the understanding
what happened with the liturgy. First, the move to an ecclesiology, or theology of the
Church, to collegiality. We’re seeing this played out finally, now, 50 some years after
the Council. We’re seeing this played out more with the pontificate of the first Vatican
II pope, you could call him– the first pope who was ordained after Vatican II, ordained
to the priesthood, Pope Francis. So the emphasis on how the Church is not only ruled from the
top, but that the bishops themselves form a body that are responsible for the development
of the Church and its flourishing. Secondly, an acceptance of historicity is
a major aspect of the Council, that history actually happened– that things actually do
change, and that you can look at history in a critical way and try to figure out what
is continuous and discontinuous. This is an ongoing project. And it’s a very difficult
project. But I find more and more today, that people who do not recognize the value of the
Council are people who cannot understand that there actually is development in history.
And so they refuse to take a good hard look at history. And then finally, what I’m calling conciliar
hermeneutics, here I’ve got a picture of Massimo Faggioli, who is arguably, certainly, the
best commentator on Vatican II. Don’t tell this to Professor Gaillardetz, who is a very,
very fine commentator on Vatican II. But probably, the best commentator on Vatican II in the
country today is at Villanova, writes endlessly. I don’t think he sleeps. He’s young and a
very fine book, Vatican II: The Battle for Meaning. And he’s also got another book on
the liturgy constitution in general. But Vatican II: A Battle for Meaning is a
very good book, in the sense that it outlines what’s at stake in understanding that you
have to look at the Council as a whole, that each of the documents affects one another.
The liturgy document was number one. But you have to look at the Council as a whole to
understand. So you have to look at the Church in the Modern World, the Church, the document
on bishops and priests, the document on the laity. You have to look at them all together
to be able to understand the Council. And to reject one is really implicitly to reject
the others. There’s a picture of the Aula. Look at all
those bishops in St. Peter’s. So here’s the Constitution. Now, major theological principles,
so get to the heart of the matter here. Let me take out my watch to make sure. First, I’m going pretty much in the order
of the document. The liturgy as the manifestation of the Church. The liturgy is the manifestation
of the Church. The pope and the bishops are not the manifestation of the Church. The liturgy
is the manifestation of the Church. The liturgy “through which the work of our redemption
is accomplished” most of all in the divine sacrifice of the Eucharist is the outstanding
means whereby the faithful may express in their lives, and manifest to others, the mystery
of Christ and the real nature of the true Church. I think that when you step back and think
of what that means, it’s really quite astounding. It might sound almost trite to us today, but
even that prayer, that it is at the liturgy that the work of our redemption, is accomplished.
That’s the prayer over the gifts for Holy Thursday and the Second Sunday an ordinary
time. But if we took that, I say to my students
often, what would happen if we took that seriously? Secondly, about the presence of Christ in
paragraph 7. To accomplish so great a work, Christ is always present in His Church, especially
in her liturgical celebrations. Doesn’t mean exclusively, but especially. He is present
in the sacrifice of the Mass, not only in the person of his minister– priest– “the
same now offering through the Ministry of priests who formerly offered himself on the
cross” –they’re quoting the Council of Trent, but especially under the Eucharistic species. So at least right-thinking Catholics don’t
doubt that the Lord is present under the Eucharistic species, consecrated bread and wine. By His
power, he is present in the sacraments so that when a man– someone– baptizes, it is
really Christ Himself who baptizes. But they go on. He is present in his Word.
And the great thing is the script liturgy has always been scriptural. But the Council
promoted a new appreciation of the Word. After 400 years of battling with Protestants, we
decided that was enough, that we might even be able to recognize that of a lot of things,
they were right. He is present in his words, since it is he
himself who speaks when the Holy Scriptures are read in the Church. You may be familiar
with the prayer for special occasions. When now, as once for his disciples, breaks open
the Word. Christ opens the Word and breaks the bread. He is now doing this for us. It’s
a beautiful prayer. And he is present, lastly, when the Church
prays and sings. That is to say, the assembled Church. So the General Instruction on the
Roman Missal, which follows the Council, and also an encyclical by Pope Paul VI in the
course of the Council called the Mystery of Faith, says there are four presences of Christ,
in the assembly– in these people assembled– in the Word as it is proclaimed, in the person
of the minister, and it says in a particular and substantial way, in the consecrated bread
and wine. But Paul VI makes the point that the presence
in the assembly, the Word, and the minister is no less real. So it’s a challenge to a
lot of people, that the presence of Christ in the assembly is a real presence of Christ. And then, of course, they quote Matthew 18:20.
Then, I’m sure many people are familiar with this. The sacred liturgy does not exhaust
the entire activity of the Church, they could say, obviously. But they go on and they’ll
pretend to say, nevertheless, the liturgy is the summit towards which the activity of
the Church is directed. It’s a kind of a pinnacle, a peak. At the same time, it is the font from
which all her power flows. So there’s a kind of cyclical dimension to
the liturgy, that from our lives– from our Christian lives– say, God’s grace at work
in the world– very much picking up from the theology of Father Karl Rahner, the Jesuit
Karl Rahner– from God’s grace, which is omnipresent in the world, reaches a kind of focus– a
pinnacle, a summit in the liturgy. Because that’s the most focused visible ritual celebration
of our life as Christians. But at the same time, from that, we’re re-energized,
if you will, to go out and live the life of the Christian. So it’s a cycle that keeps
on going. We can call this a virtual circle. From the liturgy, therefore, and especially
from the Eucharist, as from a font, grace is poured forth upon us. That is to say, God’s
communication of God’s own self to us– and I’m using here, the translation that doesn’t
have men and women. And the sanctification of men, people in Christ, and the glorification
of God, to which all other activities of the Church are directed as toward their end is
achieved in the most efficacious possible way. Then, active participation, which you’re familiar
with. Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that fully
conscious and active participation in liturgical celebrations, which is demanded– I bolded
this, of course, because I want to emphasize it– demanded by the very nature of the liturgy
active participation. Full, conscious, and active participation is demanded by the very
nature of the liturgy. It’s not an add-on. It’s not a nice aspect of the liturgy. It’s
demanded by the liturgy itself. And then they go on to quote 1 Peter 2:9.
Such a participation by the Christian– such participation by the Christian people as a
chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people– you can also find that
in the first preface for Sundays in the Missal– is their right and duty by reason of their–
and this is a huge key– by reason of their baptism. I have a friend, Father Gerry Austin, a Dominican
now retired from Catholic University, who said that when he was ordained to priesthood,
I think, in 1964, he was sent to Paris to the Catholic Institute to study liturgy and
sacraments. And he had the great Father Yves Congar, the Dominican, a great theologian,
Yves Congar in his first semester there. And he said, I walked into Father Congar’s class
convinced that having just been ordained as a priest, priestly ordination, Holy Orders,
was the most important sacrament I had ever received. And I walked out of Father Congar’s
class convinced, now absolutely knowing, that Baptism was the most important sacrament I
had ever received. And if you get that, you get what the council
was getting at– that baptism, it’s our common baptism, that makes us into Christ’s priesthood.
And that’s the very heart of the liturgy reform. Whatever we do in terms of specific reforms,
the details of the reforms, they are nothing if they don’t have that spirit. I would say,
they’re nothing if they don’t have that understanding of the fact that it’s our baptism in Christ
that is being acted out. And it’s our right to do that in virtue of our own baptism. So they say– they go on to say, in the restoration
and promotion of the sacred liturgy, this full and active participation by all the people
is the aim to be considered before all else. Now I’d have to say, that’s a work in progress,
right? We’ll get to more of that later. I can tell from your reaction, that you think
it’s a work in progress. For it is– remember, Pius X– for it is the
primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive the true Christian
spirit. And then they say, of course, pastors need to do this, put it into practice. Now on the nature of the reform. So, somewhat
briefly, in order that the Christian people may more certainly derive an abundance of
graces from the sacred liturgy, holy Mother Church– this is very much document speak–
desires to undertake with great care a general restoration of the liturgy itself. For– I’m
sorry, these are– well, those are big enough on the screen. For the liturgy is made up of mutable elements
divinely instituted– immutable elements, sorry– divinely instituted and of elements
subject to change. Now here’s the $64 question. Which are which, right? There’s where we can
debate, right? These, the latter, not only may but ought to be changed with the passage
of time if they have suffered from the intrusion of anything out of harmony with the inner
nature of the liturgy, or have become unsuited to it. And this is where all of that scholarship
that I mentioned earlier– for example, Father Jungmann’s scholarship on the history of the
Mass– this is where that kicks in. In this restoration, both texts and rites should be
drawn up so that they express more clearly the holy things which they signify. The Christian
people, so far as possible, should be enabled to understand them with ease and to take part
in them fully actively and as befits a community. Now what understanding our liturgical acts–
which are the acts of Christ– means is another tricky issue, right? The great French theologian–
Catholic theologian– Father Louis-Marie Chauvet says in his book on the sacraments, OK, now
we understand given the vernacular– given the liturgy in our own language. Now we understand
that we don’t understand. Now we understand because there is that aspect of which we will
never understand. And if we think that we understand everything about God, we certainly
have got the wrong God. Then they go on to talk about– and I’m going
to skip through this fairly quickly– but that sound tradition may be retained. Now
you’ve got to realize, we’ve got 2,000 bishops voting here. And there’s a whole spectrum
of attitudes toward theology and practice. And so any document is going to have balance
in it, right? Issues that are balanced, so that everybody can– it’s like somebody presenting
a bill to Congress. That sound tradition may be retained, and
yet, the way remain open to legitimate progress– the balance– careful investigation is always
to be made into each part of the liturgy which is to be revised. This investigation should
be theological, historical, and pastoral– all three. Also, the general laws governing
the structure and meaning of liturgy must be studied in conjunction with the experience
derived from recent liturgical reforms– by which they mean especially the reforms of
the Easter Vigil and Holy Week that have been undertaken within the last decade before this–
from the indults conceded to various places. Indult is a permission, special permission.
And those were permissions that were given for things like the use of the vernacular
language in certain rituals like baptism, weddings, et cetera. Finally, they say, there must be no innovations
unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them. You can see how this
prepares for debates after the Council. And care must be taken that any new forms adopted
should, in some way, grow organically from forms already existing. So that has become
a battle cry of many people who question the post-conciliar reforms. Noble simplicity. I will read through this.
They advocate a noble simplicity of the rites so that what we experience in the rites may
be experienced clearly, so that the symbols can show forth as the symbols. I’ll give you
an example. In Baptism, if you’re a bad theologian and
you think that validity is enough– so somebody is validly baptized, a few drops of water
on the top of somebody’s head will do, right? That’s the absolute minimum, bare minimum,
lowest common denominator. If you think that that’s what sacraments are about, you’re wrong.
You’re misled, right? But it is a valid sacrament. But now, the preference– especially post
Vatican II– is full immersion. You can imagine, with liturgical experience, the difference
between immersing a person in water fully, is very different from just pouring a few
drops of water over their head. And if you understand that, you understand liturgy. In this context, I should quote my favorite
quote from a liturgical theologian, Isadora Duncan. Isadora Duncan was a dancer in the
early 20th century. She is reported to have said after she premiered a dance, somebody
asked her– a journalist said, Ms. Duncan, can you tell us what that dance meant? And
she said, darling, if I could have told you what it meant, we wouldn’t have had to dance
it. If you get that, you understand the nature of liturgy. That the intimate connection between words
and rites may be apparent in liturgy. In sacred celebrations there is to be more reading from
holy scripture. And it is to be more varied and suitable. So here is the roots of Catholic
education today– right– is our exposure to the entirety of Scripture. If you look at the pre-Vatican II Missal,
you’ll find that the Old Testament made an appearance very infrequently in the weekday
liturgies of Lent– not in the Sunday liturgies. There were only two readings. Most of the
first readings were taken– the Gospels were the Gospels. They were always Gospels. But
the first readings were almost always taken from the Epistles of St. Paul, except in Easter
season from the Acts of the Apostles. So the treasures of the Bible are to be opened
up more lavishly, so that richer fare– this has been picked up many times, that phrase
richer fare, so more robust diet for us Catholics– may be provided for the faithful at the table
of God’s word– introducing the idea that we are fed when we go. When we experience
liturgy, we’re fed at two tables, the table of the word, and the table of the Eucharist.
In this way, a more representative portion of the Holy Scriptures will be read to the
people in the course of a prescribed number of years. So they set out the general principle, but
of course, after the Council, somebody had to get to work to say, OK, what’s the cycle
going to be? Three for Sundays, two for weekdays, and they work it out according to the Gospels.
Those are all the detail. Now how about the language? Now here’s a good
example of conciliar debate and decision. Particular law remaining
in force, the use of the Latin language is to be reserved in the Latin rites. Anyone
guess what the next word is? But, right. Good. Thank you. You’re with me. But since the use of the mother tongue, whether
in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, frequently
may be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended.
This will apply in the first place to the readings and directives, and to some of the
prayers and chants according to the regulations on this matter, to be laid down in subsequent
chapters. So this is what they do a number of chapters later with regard to the Mass. In Masses which are celebrated with the people–
which should be the only Masses there are– a suitable place may be allotted to their
mother tongue. This is to apply in the first place to the readings and the common prayer–
what we call now general intersessions, prayer of the faithful– but also as local conditions
may warrant to those parts which pertain to the people, according to the norm laid down
in the paragraph I just read. Very interesting. The Council had no intention
of putting the entirety of the liturgy into the vernacular languages– none, whatsoever.
Within a year, it became absolutely clear from the various national bishops conferences
throughout the world, that that had to happen within a year. It happened within a year.
Everyone, all the French, the Germans, et cetera, said this must happen. It became absolutely
clear. So once that door was opened– but people should be able to sing together, parts
of the Mass. Not a bad idea, actually, et cetera. Cultural adaptation. They go on. This is the
end of the first part of the– and that’s what I’m mainly concerned with here– the
first part of the constitution, cultural adaptation. We call it today inculturation. But that word
hadn’t been invented until around 1972. Even in the liturgy, the Church has no wish
to impose a rigid uniformity in matters which do not implicate the faith or the good of
the whole community. Rather, does she respect and foster the genius and talents of the various
races and peoples. Provision shall also be made when revising liturgical books for legitimate
variations and adaptations to different groups, regions, and peoples. Once again, you can imagine how this is opening
up a kind of Pandora’s box– right– of potential debates. Because these things are debatable
especially in mission lands, France, Germany, Italy. That may sound funny, but it’s really
not a joke. Provided that the substantial unity of the Roman rite is preserved– once
again, up for debate– and this should be borne in mind when drawing up the rites and
devising the rubrics. And then finally, skipping 39, but in some
places and circumstances, however, an even more radical adaptation of the liturgy is
needed. And this entails greater difficulty. So that’s been tried, for example, in some
rites like the rite of Zaire, as it was called at the time of the writing, the belt Congo,
Kinshasa Congo, was a very radical adaptation– well, not that radical, but a significant
adaptation of the Roman rite. And it took a long time for it to be accepted. Then they go on to talk about how it’s the
competent territorial ecclesiastical authority that considers these elements that might appropriately
be admitted into divine worship. Some other important reforms in the course
of the Constitution. They emphasize the importance of communal celebration above all in all of
the sacraments. They introduced concelebration. Prior to the council priests, if a priest
wanted to say Mass, a priest could not say Mass with other priests. And there were some
experiments with that, but very few. But they had to say their own Mass. Now the idea was
that priests would celebrate together. On music, here’s another. See the second paragraph.
But the Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy.
Therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services.
Remember what they said about Latin earlier? Same kind of thing they say. But other kinds
of sacred music, especially polyphony– Renaissance polyphony, Palestrina and the like, are by
no means excluded from liturgical celebrations so long as they accord with the spirit of
liturgical action. These things are then developed after the
Council. So the Council then ends and commissions go to work. And there’s a document called
Musicam sacram– sacred music– shortly after the council that then opens up to the chance
of the Roman liturgy are great, but other suitable songs may be used. And we’re off
and running. Here’s the great pope of the cCuncil, who
after the Constitution, was promulgated, realized that his own office department of liturgy–
and the Congregation of Divine Worship– was not up to the task of the reform. Because,
actually, they were opposed to it. So they did their best to stop it during the Council.
He was said to be obstructionist about it. So he said, well, I’ve got to go another way. So he appointed the Archbishop of Bologna,
Cardinal Giacomo Lercaro, as the president of consilium– the consilium council, the
department, the committee– for reform of the liturgy. And so they started. So very,
very soon, all of a sudden, major. And those of us who were of a certain age will remember
this period as quite striking. The first instruction that took place was
in ’64. And they introduced the idea of a freestanding altar, that the priest may be
able to face over the altar toward the people. So every church had to have an altar that
was freestanding, the main altar that was freestanding. Of course, in terms of the Council, let me
summarize by saying, the vernacular. Of course, huge change in our celebration, the notion
that we should be fully consciously and actively participants. Another great gain to the Council
that I want to come back to, because I think it’s so essential for us not to forget the
theological basis– spiritual basis of all of this– is that we are joining Christ, Jesus
Christ, in his high priestly worship. Now very, very quickly, the other rites. And
just to show you how quickly the entirety of the liturgy was reformed, this is a pretty
big library of books. So they reform all of these rites. Then they have to be translated
into the various languages. It was an enormous project. So the Baptism of Children in 1968, new version
coming out January 2, I think. Ordination, ’68. ’69, marriage. Principles of translation,
written in French, comme le prévoit, in 1969, which gave a preference for dynamic equivalence.
We’ll see the other shoe drop in a little while. Musicam sacram, I just mentioned, where
suitable songs can replace the chants of the Roman Mass. Confirmation in ’71, Christian Initiation
of Adults in ’72. I’m getting breathless here. Anointing and Pastoral Care of the Sick, which
is a real– it’s a book. It’s not just brief anointing of those who are about to die, which
we used to call extreme unction. But rather, the anointing of the sick and the pastoral
care that accompanies it. So in an emergency, in an emergency, quick anointing of the sick
is possible. But preferably, it’s in the context of the pastoral care of the sick. Penance,
with its three different forms in 1973. And then, of course, in 1969, the major reform
of the Roman Missal and the General Instruction of the Roman Missal. And the new Eucharistic
prayers for the first time in the history of the Roman church. As such, there are multiple
Eucharistic prayers, four at that point, now I would count about 10 prayers that are usable
by us. There’s Pope Paul VI promulgating the new Missal. And of course, with the Missal comes the reform
and renewal of the liturgical year. All of these are worth 10 lectures apiece. And the
Liturgy of the Hours, I searched hard and long to find a– thank God for Google Images–
hard and long to find an image of lay people doing Liturgy of the Hours. And the last major– I think major– gift
to the Council was the expansion of liturgical ministries. Now as I like to say to my classes,
liturgy is not a solo sport. It’s not like singles tennis. It is a team sport. To understand
liturgy is to understand it as a team sport. 1975, in some ways, the reform– at least,
that phase of the reform– came to an end. The architect of the reform, since 1948, he
was the secretary of the commission in 1948. He was a Roman professor, a Vincentian priest
named Annibale– Annibale Bugnini. He was dismissed by Paul VI in 1975 and sent to an–
nobody would ever hear from him again. He was made papal ambassador to Iran. Well, within a couple of years, that was famous
too. But that was the end of a certain phase of the reform. I would be remiss in a place
like this not to mention two major Bostonians who were active in liturgical reform. On the
left is Father Bill Leonard. Some people here would probably know Bill. Bill died over in
2000, 2001. For many, many decades, he taught at Boston College, taught theology at Boston
College, and was a great promoter of the liturgy. And then Monsignor Fred McManus, canon lawyer,
was a peritus and expert at the Council, and also a major figure in the International Commission
on English in the Liturgy– come the papacy of John Paul II in 1978 to 2005, the long
papacy of John Paul II. Any number of interesting and important documents
on the liturgy beginning with his Holy Thursday letter to priests called the Lord’s Supper,
Dominicae Cenae, which was followed– remember, I said popes write these things, lay out general
principles and then expect others to put the flesh on the bones– Inaestimabile Donum,
an inestimable gift was the instruction given by the Congregation for Divine Worship and
the Discipline of the Sacraments, as it’s called. Another under him, another major document
was the document on inculturation. But here, let me come closer to the present. And the
liturgy wars of the last almost 20 years– or, yes, 20 years more. The ICEL crisis, another
full lecture. Around 1997, it was clear that those in charge
of the Congregation for Divine Worship were dissatisfied with the English translations
of the liturgy and the proposed translations. In 1997, we– I’ll say we because I was on
ICEL at that point– received a letter from the Vatican turning down our translation of
the ordination rites with 114 errors. They said, these are only some of the errors we
found in your translation. And so they said, and besides, you can’t do
translations right now anyway because we’re coming up with a new document about translations.
So that put us in kind of a limbo, as you can imagine. And it did come out a few years
later. Liturgiam authenticam, which rescinded, quite clearly rescinded comme le prévoit.
Now the preference is not dynamic equivalence in terms of translation, but formal correspondence.
We’ll see another twist on that towards the end at the very end of the presentation. Then, certainly under John Paul II, a minor
revision of the Roman Missal, its third edition. In 2002, his last encyclical was on the Eucharist
in 2003. But then, to prepare for the year of the Eucharist– and then, I’m sorry, 2003
followed by the usual instruction– this one, an instruction that really exacerbated, emphasized,
underlined the difference between priests and people at the liturgy. It’s a very debatable
document. And then, finally, as best, in my opinion,
for what it’s worth, his final document on the Eucharist was to prepare for the year
of the Eucharist. Stay with us, Lord, from Luke 24 the Emmaus scene. And it’s a beautiful
document. Then we get a new papacy with Benedict XVI,
and maybe a new inculturation. OK, two major documents that he comes out
with, one after the year of the Eucharist, a summary document as the popes do called
the Sacrament of Love, Sacrament of Charity, long document. And then a Summorum Pontificum
people will be, of 2007, in which he loosens the restrictions on using the pre-Vatican
II liturgy. With very clear, he says it’s just for those groups of people who are attached
to the Old Latin Mass, et cetera. But it’s become something very different. We can talk
about that later. It’s become something very different now. It’s not just groups. And then
there are a lot of young people who are attracted to it, which is interesting. So where do we stand today? I better bring
this to a close so we can have some questions and answers. I see five approaches to the
liturgy in today, where we’re at. One, and I think this is pretty much the majority of
people who do go to Church, support of the current liturgies of the Roman Rite as revised
by the Second Vatican Council, and even with debates about the language, et cetera. But
I think general support of the people who want to participate. Secondly, a group that’s called the Reform
of the Reform. I put a picture of one of its major exponents there, Benedict XVI, returning
to many aspects of the pre-Vatican II liturgy, like having only one Eucharistic prayer that’s
characteristic of the Reform of the Reform. And based on a more literal reading– remember,
I said something about hermeneutics earlier, on the more literal reading or interpretation
of the liturgy constitution. Here is a good example of a Reform of the
Reform liturgy. We know it’s not a traditional pre-Vatican II liturgy because there concelebrants,
right? You don’t have concelebrants at pre-Vatican II liturgies. So that’s an attempt. And so facing in the
so-called eastward direction is another aspect of that. Then, the third group, I would say,
is the desire to inculturate the Roman Rite more radically than it has been to this point.
There’s the pope. That’s John Paul II. I’m not sure it looks like India. I’m not sure
exactly where that took place. There were many inculturated liturgies. And his master
of ceremonies, who’s standing to his left– to our right– Monsignor Piero Marini was
a major actor in promoting that kind of inculturation. Then, of course, I would say, you do have
groups that disregard– it’s hard to find a good picture of this for this– disregard
the rules of the liturgy as such in favor of informality. That’s a group. And then,
of course, the traditionalist rejection of Vatican II. And remember, I said Vatican II,
not just the Vatican II liturgy, and the return to the pre-Vatican II liturgy. Now actually, it is demanded that those groups–
like the society of Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter– those groups who do want the old
Latin mass must say that they accept the Council. And this is the sticking point with the Society
of Pius X. And in their negotiations with the Vatican, that they do not quite want to
sign on to the entirety of the Council. And I think, to go back to Faggioli and his
consigliere hermeneutics, you can see it’s all of a piece. So some major issues now.
The language of liturgy. If you want to read about what Liturgium authenticam did, read
Peter Jeffrey’s scathing treatment of it called Translating Tradition, layout of churches.
Where should the tabernacle– the ping-pong battle sometimes. One pastor puts it in, one
pastor takes it out– the tabernacles. Of course, the return of pre-Vatican II liturgy
is an issue of the translations themselves. And here, let me put in a plug for Father
Gerry O’Collins, Australian Jesuit’s book, Lost in Translation. The best thing he says
in the book is, I think it’s in the introduction to the book. Someday, before I die– now Father
O’Collins is in his 90’s, I think. Someday, before I die, I hope to be able to celebrate
the liturgy again in my native language. Other issues. Obviously, I’m skimming the
surface. The youth and liturgy. What to do with movements like Life Teen. I confess total
ignorance, almost total ignorance and total confusion with regard to what’s going on in
those kinds of movements. But they’re important. There’s a great movement to go back to the
future, as I call it. There is the revision of St. Agnes Church on 42nd Street in New
York City. Here’s a brand new Jesuit chapel, complete with alter rail and what looks like
not a freestanding altar, but it is. But it looks like not a freestanding altar up there.
So that’s deliberate, in Tampa. Here’s another aspect, another pre-Vatican
II liturgy. Then, the layout of churches is a big issue. This is St. Clements in Chicago,
pretty well-known parish near Lincoln Park, a popular parish. Here’s your common kind
of pretty common layout now in kind of a U shape of a church– contemporary church plan. Now this looks more like an auditorium. That’s
it. And I think that that does raise some problems. Here’s another one with a more traditional–
modern, but more traditional layout. I went to the College of the Holy Cross, as Tom said
earlier. So I couldn’t resist putting in a picture of the College of the Holy Cross.
And its lower chapel, which is a very communal type space– another church in Cincinnati,
I believe. So to try to wrap this all up, has the reform
failed, or has it not been tried? My position was that what Vatican II was about, and what
the post-conciliar reforms were about have not been adequately tried. They certainly
have not been accompanied by an adequate liturgical renewal of spirit and theology, those aspects
like the act of Christ and his Church, the act of the baptismal priesthood. These have
been only very superficially digested by us. So what’s the way forward? First, I think
it’s indispensable that we receive the liturgy as a gift, as God’s gift. My students are
sick of hearing me say liturgy is God’s act first. Before it’s anything we do, it’s God
acting for us. Second, respect the ritual. I think, do the
ritual well. Usually, I find that people like me, if they think they can improve on it,
really don’t have much success in improving on it. I’d say, construct or renovate churches
in a careful way. And here’s the balance that’s very difficult, promoting active participation
as well as an environment of mystery. So you want both in a church building. Develop a liturgical music repertoire that
provides a balanced diet, traditional and modern. Watch what you’re comparing. When
people want to criticize liturgy, I think the tendency is, if you’re for the new liturgy,
the new liturgy is all good and the old liturgy is all bad. Now, that’s not true. There’s a lot of bad in the old liturgy, and
a lot of good in the old liturgy. A lot of bad in the new liturgy as it’s practiced,
and a lot of good. And then, mind the body. I like that because, of course, it’s a little
confusing, like mind the gap in the London Underground. But the body, we pay far too
little attention to the involvement of the body in liturgy. All of these are– each of
these is a topic for a lecture. Then, to finish up with Pope Francis, with
his Magnum principium, he then went one step further on the liturgical translations and
returned to the national bishop’s conferences, the weight of decision on what makes for a
good translation. Now translations still have to be finally approved by Rome. But they’re
supposed to give the benefit of the doubt to the national conferences when they propose
liturgical translations. There’s more vetting, more work that’s done when the conferences
are proposing their own innovations or exceptions. So to end with Pope Francis, this, just given
last February to the Plenary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments.
The starting point, he said, is instead to recognize the reality of the sacred liturgy,
a living treasure that cannot be reduced to tastes, recipes, and currents, but should
be welcomed with docility– by receiving liturgy as a gift– and promoted with love, as irreplaceable
nourishment for the organic growth of the people of God. When we look back to nostalgic past tendencies–
he’s very critical of this– or wish to impose them again, there is the risk of placing the
part before the whole, the “I” before the people of God, the abstract before the concrete,
ideology before communion, and fundamentally, the worldly before the spiritual. It’s pretty
strong words. So we are called to deepen and revive our
liturgical formation, he goes on. The liturgy is, in fact, the main road through which the
Christian life passes– indispensable font– through every phase of its growth. So back
to the start, Love in the Ruins. Is that where we are? Not exactly. But we’re certainly at,
I think, a turning point and a point of great debate with a lot of polarization in our world–
and in our Church– over these kinds of issues. I hope I’ve given you the broad sweep of what’s
at stake here, and maybe some steps forward. So thank you for your attention. [APPLAUSE] Now that was a 30,000 foot view. So maybe
you want to put some flesh on this with questions or comments. And I think Meghan or somebody
will be around with the– right? Is that right, Meghan? Oh, the GAs have them. OK, good. Ah,
thank you, Katie. Yes, sir?>>PARTICIPANT: So if someone that had no idea
about anything Catholicism or religion at all asks you, what is the Church’s number
one function or role today, what would you say?>>FR. BALDOVIN: Wow. Well, the church’s number
one function today, as it is always, is to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ, right?
Jesus Christ has brought us true life and the possibility of true life, and to preach
that by words and in actions. And the liturgy is a big part of it. It’s not all of it. At
the end of the day– and I didn’t get into this– the liturgy is only as good as how
it transforms us into true Christians.>>PARTICIPANT: Thank you.>>FR. BALDOVIN: You’re welcome. You want to
cycle that back here?>>PARTICIPANT: Thank you. Could you expand
a little bit on your conclusion that the reforms of Vatican II have not been tried?>>FR. BALDOVIN: OK. Yes, of course. Thank
you. Good question. Very good question. It seems to me that the real spirit of these
reforms, which is very deep and includes those basic theological principles that I talked
about toward the beginning of the presentation, those have not been deeply inculcated in the
Christian people. So it takes a lot of preaching and catechesis. So my students will say often to me, you know,
well, who’s ever heard of this stuff? And you know, how come people never hear of it?
And I said, well, I’m teaching you so that you’ll teach people, right? So that’s the
point of all this, right, is that we begin to appreciate this. And you’ve got to start
somewhere, right? But appreciating the liturgy as the act of
Christ in the middle of his people is so central. And it’s what we missed so often, because
we think of it more as something we’re doing. Now it’s important to pay attention to what
we’re doing. But what we’re doing is in response to what. That’s why we always read the Scriptures
before we do a sacramental act, right? We only respond to what God has given to us,
which is primarily given to us in the Scriptures by the reading of the word of God, every sacrament,
even individual penance in the ideal. In the ideal, individual penance is supposed
to start with a proclamation, one way or another, of the word of God. We always respond to those
kinds of things, I think. And then, I think doing the liturgy carefully and reverently
does not mean stiffly and neurotically, right? All right, so for some people, it is stiffly
and neurotically. And then people who are overly-obsessed with the rules, and then we’re
talking about liturgical terrorists and all that business. That gives it a bad name. But there is a wide
area of reverence and care that I think we often miss– that we often miss. So it’s got
to be somewhere between rigidity and loosey-goosey. Now the trick in this, the really difficult
part, is culture. So what’s going to be appropriate in one culture is not going to be appropriate
in another. I spent a little time in Brazil. I spent more time in South Africa. You can’t
do exactly the same things in Boston, Brazil, and South Africa. I presided over the liturgy in a township
outside of Cape Town a couple of years ago, in which the procession of the gifts took
45 minutes with dance, et cetera, et cetera. Well, try that in Quincy. Thank you, with
the question. Time for a couple more. Father, and then– and then, Father Keene in the back.>>PARTICIPANT: I think there are two issues
that you may have skipped. I’m not saying you did or didn’t, I’m just saying that’s
a possibility. One–>>FR. BALDOVIN: I’m sure there are many, but
go ahead.>>PARTICIPANT: Yeah, and I thought your stuff
was just terrific.>>FR. BALDOVIN: Thank you very much.>>PARTICIPANT: The first thing that I’d urge
you to think about, or think with us about, might be the role of preaching in the liturgical
situation. Because I think that’s lost a great deal of its way of dealing with it. I don’t
hear too many of our brothers and sisters when they are allowed to preach, to reflect
on the word as much as they reflect on what they think is important that day, whatever
that might happen to be. And then the other issue would be women in liturgy. How do you
deal with that?>>FR. BALDOVIN: OK, thank you. Both of which
I assiduously avoided. [LAUGHS]>>PARTICIPANT: I noticed.>>FR. BALDOVIN: Busted. No, it’s good. That’s
a good question. On the first– sorry, I’ve got so wrapped up now in the second part of
your question that I’m missing the preaching. Preaching. Yeah, there, I’d say, you know,
let’s take a look at those couple of paragraphs in Evangelii Gaudium by Pope Francis. He’s
right on target– right– that preaching has to be faithful to the Gospel, but it also
has to be relevant. There is no one way to preach, right? But
it does take imagination. It does take study and care. It’s not an exegesis of the Scripture.
I think a lot of people make that mistake. It’s not exegesis done from the pulpit. It
is the fruit of exegesis, of hard biblical work. Now as a matter of fact, the General Instruction
does not say you have to do just Scripture. You can do the particular celebration of the
day, prayers of the Mass. There’s so many prayers I’ve been telling my students. You
know, these things can be preached about, like that prayer that I mentioned, but that
the Council mentions. The work of our redemption is being carried out, things like that. But,
yeah, we have to take preaching a lot more seriously. I agree. I’m reading a manuscript by Father George
Wilson who wrote a book called Clericalism: the Death of the Priesthood, a Jesuit who
is in his 90’s. I’m reading his manuscript now, which I’m preaching, which is spectacular.
And I hope it gets published. But yeah, I couldn’t agree with you more. Women in the liturgy. Well, you know, there’s
a big elephant in the room here, right? That would be women as deacons and women as priests.
The latter door seems closed, I would say, for the moment. You can’t predict the future
totally. Women diaconate, though, seems more of a possibility. But how can you take me
seriously when I say the entire baptismal priesthood is active in the priesthood– is
active in the liturgy, when it seems that women cannot be as active as men? How can
you take me seriously when I say that? That’s a good question. So I don’t have a good answer
for you because there isn’t a good answer for you. Bob Keene?>>PARTICIPANT: John, a number of our brothers
and sisters are angered and somewhat traumatized by the closure and erasing of Church structures
to which they have an emotional affinity. You saw a little bit of that in Paris recently
with Notre Dame. What can liturgists say to these people to help focus them on the future,
and not necessarily the past building in which they previously worshiped and celebrated the
sacraments?>>FR. BALDOVIN: Yeah, thanks, Bob. That’s
a good question. There are two things. If you looked like the mass for the dedication
of a church or the feast of dedications, like St. John Lateran, which is coming up November
9, it’s very interesting that they focus on the people– that the Church is primarily
the people, and then it’s the building. But remember, one of my last principles, mind
the body. We are embodied. And where we have worshipped has great emotional– I mean, if
they tore down the church in which I grew up in Clifton, New Jersey, I would be extremely
upset. As a matter of fact, it happened to be a beautiful church built in 1917, really
beautiful, by a guy who had terrific taste– Monsignor Paul Guterro was his name. So I can understand that attachment. And there’s
grieving that’s going to go on. Now, sometimes, in reality, somebody was giving me the number
of churches that have closed in Boston in just the last 20 or so years. And it’s a good
number of churches that have closed. And that’s very, very, very painful. So I think you have
to accompany people in that kind of pain. You have to try to comfort them with the fact
that the Church is the people. But it’s understandable. And you just can’t– there’s no way around
it, I don’t think, when it’s necessary to close them. Often, you get that kind of reaction
to churches that have been renovated in the way that people don’t like. I once accompanied a bishop in South Africa
to a parish that he was insisting on it being renovated. And it was– he was a bishop, but
boy, it was a tough evening for him. Because these people wanted nothing of the changes
he wanted. I think we have time for one or two more. Go ahead, Barbara.>>PARTICIPANT: Thank you, John. I’d like to
ask you a question that has to do with the present future, which is, you spoke of bishops
potentially having a say in what the liturgical– what the words are, how liturgy goes in the
United States. Do you know anything about what’s going on there?>>FR. BALDOVIN: No. So the short answer to
your question is no. A new translation of the Baptismal Rite is coming out, as I said.
I think the books are already printed, as far as I know, and going to be released January
2. The first time it can be used is January 2. And then, must be used by Easter. That
will not be a radical change of strategy. This has only been like a year and a half.
It takes a while to translate these things. We used to sit around the table at ICEL and
just take a collect, an opening prayer. We’d work on ours, you know. And there wasn’t anything
that you couldn’t say, no, that should have a comma here, or that word isn’t right. And
it takes a long time to translate. So I think this will take a while to seep
down. And it’s my hunch, it’s just a maybe educated, maybe uneducated guess, is that
the real push is going to start with other bishop’s conferences, especially like New
Zealand to do– this translation has some advantages over the previous translation that
we used, I have to admit. Like, from the rising of the sun to its setting, much better than
from east to west. Much better. It captures an image much better. And that’s what the
Latin is, much closer to the Latin. But there’s a lot of decisions that were made that were
slavishly following the order of words in the Latin that don’t make sense in English,
et cetera. Some vocabulary, the whole debate about “sacral
vocabulary”. So you want the words of the liturgy not to be pedestrian. “Hey, you, God,
do something for me.” All right, that’s not good liturgy, right? That’s not good liturgical
prayer. But preveneience, et cetera, et cetera– a
lot of those words, I don’t think, are that helpful, I don’t think are that helpful. So
you don’t want the pedestrian liturgy. You want some elegance. Why is it the Episcopalians
can do it so well, and we can’t do it nearly as well? I don’t know. But often, because they are constructing their
own prayers in their own languages, actually, where we have to work off the Latin texts.
But that’s another thing that we need that the old Missal had. The Italian Missal has
them, alternative prayers that were written in Italian that are very scripturally-based.
We really need that. And I could see that coming back in the future. Now everything
is not going to happen in my lifetime or your lifetime. But seeds for the future. We can
hope. I think Meghan is going to call a halt to this. I could go on for a couple of hours,
but you’ve had enough, I think. Good. [APPLAUSE] [MUSIC PLAYING]


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