Official questions 'subversive' use of retro liturgy texts

The director of the Brisbane Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission has said that basic texts of the pioneers of the liturgical reform movement are now being republished as part of the "subtly subversive" agenda of the right-wing Catholic press.

The Commission's Fr Tom Elich voiced his criticism in the editorial of the most recent issue of Liturgy News. The Commission publishes a number of important liturgical texts, including the Ordo, on behalf of the Australian Catholic Bishops. Fr Elich is the former director of the National Liturgical Commission.

He pointed out that the liturgical reforms of Vatican II "did not drop out of thin air", but were the fruit of the work of the pioneers of the Liturgical Movement that had gone back more than a hundred years.

"I find it interesting that some of the basic texts of the pioneers of the Liturgical Movement are now being republished by the right-wing Catholic press," said Fr Elich. "It is undoubtedly a great service to make these seminal texts available for a new generation of readers, but I fear the publishing agenda is subtly subversive."

He questioned the assumption of the right-wing press that books of Lambert Beauduin, Romano Guardini and others are "not so much important historical documents showing us where we were fifty or eighty years ago but rather modern up-to-date statements of where we are or should be today".

"This dovetails with the philosophy of what is sometimes called 'the reform of the reform', that is, the desire to have another run at the liturgical reform and produce a different (and more conservative) result," he said. "The presumption is that the reform of the liturgy undertaken by the Second Vatican Council has gone off the rails and itself is in need of a reform. To my way of thinking this betrays a lack of trust in the presence and action of the Holy Spirit in the Council and an indictment of the direction in which the Holy Spirit has led the Church these last few decades."

Fr Tom Erlich: Claiming Our History (Liturgy News March 2005)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
The Liturgical Commission

Universal approval of Latin Missal could be on the way (Catholic News Agency 31/3/06)
Elizabeth Harrington: Palm/Passion Sunday: Celebration of suffering & glory (Liturgy Lines/The Liturgical Commission 2/4/06)
In the Spirit of God (Kairos Catholic Journal 2-9/4/06)
Dr Anne Hunt: The Liturgies Of The Easter Triduum (Kairos Catholic Journal 2-9/4/06)
Pope's upcoming Apostolic Exhortation likely to call for increased liturgical solemnity, reintegration of Latin (Catholic News Agency 20/3/06)

4 Apr 2006