Pope Benedict XVI: The liturgy has "collapsed"

In his new book, Let God’s Light Shine Forth (2005 Doubleday), Pope Benedict XVI says: “I am convinced that the ecclesial crisis in which we find ourselves today depends in great part upon the collapse of the liturgy, which at times is actually being conceived etsi Deus non daretur… .” (p.117) Wow - what an indictment! Now I really believe we’re in for some changes!

Now I really believe we’re in for some changes!

What kind of changes do you foresee? And how do you see Pope Benedict actually implementing those changes?

Do you think that an aged and infirm pope will actually be able to do anything major, considering not only his weakened physical and mental condition (which is something that all men go through) but also the legacy of Pope Benedict’s predecessor.

If the current pope launches major changes, it could be interpreted as a slap in the face to John Paul II on whose watch the crisis evolved.

[quote=Kielbasi]What kind of changes do you foresee? And how do you see Pope Benedict actually implementing those changes?

Do you think that an aged and infirm pope will actually be able to do anything major, considering not only his weakened physical and mental condition (which is something that all men go through) but also the legacy of Pope Benedict’s predecessor.

If the current pope launches major changes, it could be interpreted as a slap in the face to John Paul II on whose watch the crisis evolved.
[/quote]

Hey, I gotta tell you that I kind of thought it was the security team that was infirmed and in weakened physical condition. I mean, every time I see him on TV, they are panting trying to keep up with him. He may be old, but he is hardly infirm and weakened. Sounds like wishful thinking. Bottom line is that he will be here as long as the good Lord wants and he will address what the good Lord wants. If the Lord feels the Liturgy needs addressing, then it will be address, regardless of how old he is when it happens.

Wow. This blog collects a bunch of similar quotes from Ratzinger. All of the quotes in this blog are fascinating, pulled from various texts in recent years.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
(now Pope Benedict XVI)
“But the fact that [the liturgy] was presented as a new structure, set up against what had been formed in the course of history and was now prohibited, and that the liturgy was made to appear in some ways no longer as a living process but as a product of specialized knowledge and juridical competence, has brought with it some extremely serious damages for us.”
*Cardinal Ratzinger on the State of the Catholic Liturgy, The Wanderer, May 8 1997

*Anyone have the book you mention that has this quote? Does he go on to elaborate what he considers “extremely serious damages”?

In the same blog, further down this.

“What happened after the Council was something else entirely: in the place of liturgy as the fruit of development came fabricated liturgy… [see above link for continuation]
Preface to the book The Reform of the Roman Liturgy by Mgr. Klaus Gamber.

[quote=Ken Grooms]In his new book, Let God’s Light Shine Forth (2005 Doubleday), Pope Benedict XVI says: “I am convinced that the ecclesial crisis in which we find ourselves today depends in great part upon the collapse of the liturgy, which at times is actually being conceived etsi Deus non daretur… .” (p.117) Wow - what an indictment! Now I really believe we’re in for some changes!
[/quote]

Please, Pope Benedict, re-enchant the mass :gopray2:

[quote=Ken Grooms] etsi Deus non daretur… ." (p.117)!
[/quote]

What does this mean?

[quote=Elzee]What does this mean?
[/quote]

Here is the full paragraph using the blog I presented above:

“I am convinced that the ecclesial crisis in which we find ourselves today depends in great part upon the collapse of the liturgy, which at times is actually being conceived of etsi Deus non daretur: as though in the liturgy it did not matter any more whether God exists and whether He speaks to us and listens to us.
*Cardinal Ratzinger on the State of the Catholic Liturgy, The Wanderer, May 8 1997

*One way I see this manifesting itself is in the lack of silence, which is often required to “hear” God speak to us.

Here is another quote, but this one is longer so I’m only going to do the first couple of sentences. Fetch it a third of the way down.

“Certainly, the results [of Vatican II] seem cruelly opposed to the expectations of everyone, beginning with those of Pope John XXIII and then of Paul VI: expected was a new Catholic unity and instead we have been exposed to a dissension which - to use the words of Pope Paul VI - seems to have gone from self-criticism to self-destruction…continue]

EDIT: Oh my, do read that entire paragraph. I cannot paste it all. Here is how it ends after he expands his point above a little.

The net result therefore seems negative. I am repeating here what I said then years after the conclusion of the work: it is incontrovertible that this period has definitely been unfavorable for the Catholic Church”
in L’Osservatore Romano (English edition), 24 December, 1984.

Lux_et_veritas quoted:

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
(now Pope Benedict XVI)
“But the fact that [the liturgy] was presented … *Cardinal Ratzinger on the State of the Catholic Liturgy, The Wanderer, May 8 1997
*

While I wholeheartedly agree that the implementation of the reforms mandated by the Second vatican Council WERE shamefully hi-jacked, manipulated, imposed and abused - at the same time I see a parallel between
Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini/Pope PiusII and
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI

Pius II, upon his elevation to the Papacy entreated everyone to forget his past life - for, indeed, he was now a “new person” with different aspects.

Pope Benedict XVI has two ways to go:

  1. To be the same person with the same opinions and ambitions “for the Church”, or
  2. Not to be that same person.

I hope that he IS the same (but BETTER) as he was as a Cardinal - for now he possesses the power - and in the opposite spirit of Pope Leo X {215th P.} (11 Mar. 1513 - 1 Dec. 1521) - may we be able to wish that he “enjoy” it.

[quote=Elzee]What does this mean?
[/quote]

I believe it means “as if God were not given”. In other words, “assuming that God does not exist”.

[quote=Elzee]What does this mean?
[/quote]

To the exclusion of God? I think he is saying that many times the Catholic liturgy (Mass) is seen as a product of the community, by the community and for the community to the exclusion of God. Liturgy is seen in many palces as something we do for ourselves! Not something we do for God. Mass is seen as a show or performance, not something mystical, that is already taking place, perpetually in Heaven, and we are invited to participate in.

[quote=Kielbasi]If the current pope launches major changes, it could be interpreted as a slap in the face to John Paul II on whose watch the crisis evolved.
[/quote]

I’ve encountered this straw man a few times now. I’m really interested in learning how this actually works. How is bringing change in an area that simply was not a focus for John Paul II a slap in his face?

No pope, no matter how great, can focus on every area of the Church. Most pope’s tenures have had their own focus. John Paul II’s papacy focussed on taking Christ and the Church to the world. Perhaps we will be so fortunate that Benedict XVI will focus on restoring dignity to the Liturgy where abuses have flourished and renewing respect for the Magesterium.

It is in no way a slap in the face to John Paul II for his successor to look at what was accomplished and realize that it was done so well that he is now free to focus the efforts of the papacy in a different area of the Church.

[quote=Kielbasi]What kind of changes do you foresee? And how do you see Pope Benedict actually implementing those changes?

Do you think that an aged and infirm pope will actually be able to do anything major, considering not only his weakened physical and mental condition (which is something that all men go through) but also the legacy of Pope Benedict’s predecessor.

If the current pope launches major changes, it could be interpreted as a slap in the face to John Paul II on whose watch the crisis evolved.
[/quote]

Nonsense.

[quote=Br. Rich SFO]To the exclusion of God? I think he is saying that many times the Catholic liturgy (Mass) is seen as a product of the community, by the community and for the community to the exclusion of God. Liturgy is seen in many palces as something we do for ourselves! Not something we do for God. Mass is seen as a show or performance, not something mystical, that is already taking place, perpetually in Heaven, and we are invited to participate in.
[/quote]

Yes, absolutely. And he has mentioned this before in another book. It was right and proper for John Paul II to emphasize the community aspect. Look at what the world had just gone through and was recovering from at the time. Now, the pendulum swings the other way and perhaps the mystical will be more emphasized at Mass under Pope Benedict XVI. Every Pope brings his own emphasis to the Liturgy, depending on what is most needed at the time.

[quote=Br. Rich SFO]To the exclusion of God? I think he is saying that many times the Catholic liturgy (Mass) is seen as a product of the community, by the community and for the community to the exclusion of God. Liturgy is seen in many palces as something we do for ourselves! Not something we do for God. Mass is seen as a show or performance, not something mystical, that is already taking place, perpetually in Heaven, and we are invited to participate in.
[/quote]

Bro Rich, you sum up here exactly the emptiness I have felt in the Novus Ordo until experiencing it at Grotto, where this “community” aspect is left for before and after the Mass, and the emphasis is on the mystical body community. This means, the Mass is not only enjoining all of those present at a particular Mass with Christ, but it enjoins those present with the angels and saints, and those who have gone before us, as well as with those celebrating around the world. Hence, the reason I keep saying that physical contact with those present at Mass is simply not required. It is more of a spiritual dimension than a corporal one and I feel as if the Novus Ordo Masses I’ve attended most of my life have been corporal-focused.

[quote=Br. Rich SFO]To the exclusion of God? I think he is saying that many times the Catholic liturgy (Mass) is seen as a product of the community, by the community and for the community to the exclusion of God. Liturgy is seen in many palces as something we do for ourselves! Not something we do for God. Mass is seen as a show or performance, not something mystical, that is already taking place, perpetually in Heaven, and we are invited to participate in.
[/quote]

What would happen if…the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ was not believed in, by some.

Where would the focus of the mass turn to…if our Lord was not to be worshipped, but only emulated.

What would they say of our Most Holy Sacrifice.

[quote=Lapsed]I’ve encountered this straw man a few times now. I’m really interested in learning how this actually works. How is bringing change in an area that simply was not a focus for John Paul II a slap in his face?

No pope, no matter how great, can focus on every area of the Church. Most pope’s tenures have had their own focus. John Paul II’s papacy focussed on taking Christ and the Church to the world. Perhaps we will be so fortunate that Benedict XVI will focus on restoring dignity to the Liturgy where abuses have flourished and renewing respect for the Magesterium.

It is in no way a slap in the face to John Paul II for his successor to look at what was accomplished and realize that it was done so well that he is now free to focus the efforts of the papacy in a different area of the Church.
[/quote]

I agree whole-heartedly. Pope John Paul the Great was instrumental in transforming the world. Communism collapsed under his watch and with his help. People were liberated from oppressions many of us can’t even understand. Sadly, not all are using that freedom for the spiritual purpose he probably hoped for, much like we don’t fully use our freedom as much as we possibly can spiritually.

Pope John Paul II in my mind was also instrumental in getting the world’s media to focus on the Pope and that now transcends to Benedict. Pope John Paul II set the table and got the world looking to Rome (whether they agree or not). Now, if Benedict so much as burps, it will make news. This kind of attention is needed moving forward and shifting the liturgy.

I believe we will see changes, but he will approach them very pastorally, not like some dictator as people have painted him. That, along with younger priests turning more orthodox, at least based on recent articles and books out there, give it 10-15 years and many of the noisy, irreverent liturgies where community is the focus and not God (based on my explanation in my previous post), will be far fewer than they are today.

It’s been said that Benedict works in terms of decades or centuries, not days or years. What he implements today will take time to make its full effects seen.

“Certainly, the results [of Vatican II] seem cruelly opposed to the expectations of everyone, beginning with those of Pope John XXIII and then of Paul VI: expected was a new Catholic unity and instead we have been exposed to a dissension which - to use the words of Pope Paul VI - seems to have gone from self-criticism to self-destruction…continue]

EDIT: Oh my, do read that entire paragraph. I cannot paste it all. Here is how it ends after he expands his point above a little.

The net result therefore seems negative. I am repeating here what I said then years after the conclusion of the work: it is incontrovertible that this period has definitely been unfavorable for the Catholic Church”
in L’Osservatore Romano (English edition), 24 December, 1984.

This stuff is so true and timely!
May God bless His Holiness!

When was this book written and published, prior to or after his election? I think that would definitely have a bearing on what if any actions the Holy Father would take.

[quote=palmas85]When was this book written and published, prior to or after his election? I think that would definitely have a bearing on what if any actions the Holy Father would take.
[/quote]

This might help. It looks like Pope Benedict did not write it but Moynihan who collected material from many of his books.

My general impression is that when the Holy Father was in his prior office, he would often take an extreme position in order to exercise a definite defense of the faith. Kind of like stacking the deck so to speak. That was his job, he did not have to wory about collegiality, ecumenism, inter church relations or anything at all except defense of the doctrine of the faith.

Now however, he has a whole new set of problems, some major some minor and some probably just a pain in the butt. While he may and probably does have a personal preferance in thesed matters, I seriously doubt that he will make any serious changes at all…

Can you imagine the uproar from the Bishops and from the Novus Ordo supporters if he did???

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