Today and yesterday in Anglican land I was struck by how good and how terrible Ruth Gledhill can be. She did a very fine write-up of the Pope's new directive concerning the Mass in Latin and in local languages. She directed the reader to an essay, and beginning translation of the document, The Motu Proprio: Benedict's Decisive Compromise. The author of that blog, Rocco Palmo, has done us even greater service by spelling out just what this document means. Towards the end of his essay he says,
"The logic of these texts speaks loudly and clearly of communion – a unity of rites, eras, of the faith and those who profess it, whatever their personal preferences. More than whatever prayers are said or whichever Missal used, that shared faith, manifested in a constant spirit of fraternal love and common accord, even amidst disagreements, is the message of this document which everyone, whether supportive of, opposed or indifferent to its specifics, is charitably reminded to heed.
Suffice it to say, that message in itself is a gift the whole church would be wise to reclaim in the sight of a world which benefits beyond measure from our ceaseless renewal and recommitment to that witness born from a faith whose pillars are joy, hope and love.
In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas."
I quote this because it's spirit reflects what I wish my spirit reflected and the spirit of those who read and comment on my blog. I now we even differ on what is neccessary for union, but Anglicans in their best moments have juggled this well with that liberty in which we can all express our loving care.
Ruth followed up with a good reference piece today.
The argument that "Motu Proprio" allows back in various special liturgies that subject Jews to particular condemnation or make them targets for conversion is worrisome. Not being RC I don't know the interior workings of those liturgical forms.
I do know that our solution, namely a prayer book that allows both the substance of the 1928 book in Rite One but a theology of baptism that suplants that of the 1928 book has satisfied most but left a small fragment of the community unsatisfied. The 1979 book bombed on confirmation, but that is not its fault. The 1928 book made it and not baptism the rite of full inclusion and having found that book deficient and not having a consensus on just what confirmation was about, the 1979 muddled through. Now it is time to get confirmation re-ordered.
The Pope has taken position that respects the ancient "feeling" for the traditional Latin liturgy. This, as I understand it, will not suplant the new understanding of the mass as belonging to the people in a way radically different from that presented in the old order. Rather it acknowledges that people, willing to live with the new none the less have reverence for the beauty of the old and that in such reverence there is no shame.
Ordained under the old (1928) book I have a deep reverence for the use of the words, the flow of the service. I love the service like an old friend. But my new friends have a better understanding of the baptismal basis for our sense of being the body of Christ. The new (now so new now) prayer book assumes both are possible together.
So thanks to Ruth for pointing us to what is going on in Roman-land. There are things we can draw from there.
Having said that, I cannot for the life of me understand just why Ruth Gledhill would then turn and write what is just a sinppy piece on a priest who has been inhibited for a year and who has made some headlines and produced some sharply worded glee from those who believe The Episcopal Church is not only going to hell in a handbasked, but IS hell in a handbasket. This article added very little to the Anglican information pot, save a picture of The Rev. Dr. Ann Holmes Redding and a speculative question as to what might happen after the year's inhibition. The reference at its close to "muscopalian" is not particularly funny and beneath the best of Ruth's work.