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by Denis Crouan

eBook The Liturgy After Vatican II: Collapsing or Resurgent? download ISBN: 0898708419
Author: Denis Crouan
Publisher: Ignatius Press (September 1, 2001)
Language: English
Pages: 150
ePub: 1561 kb
Fb2: 1918 kb
Rating: 4.1
Other formats: lit mobi lrf doc
Category: Christian Books
Subcategory: Churches and Church Leadership

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collapsing or resurgent? by Denis Crouan. Published 2001 by Ignatius Press in San Francisco. Catholic Church, Liturgy. Includes bibliographical references. Liturgy after Vatican 2, Liturgy after Vatican Two.

The Liturgy After Vatican II: Collapsing Or Resurgent?. A Return to the Latin Mass Clashes with congregants may erupt as a growing number of young priests push for a revival of pre-Vatican II customs". US News & World Report. p. 29. ISBN 978-0-89870-841-7. Retrieved 2009-02-26. a b c Horgan, Dennis (15 July 1985). Latin mass in Niagara seen as sweet vindication". US News & World Report

The Liturgy After Vatican II: Collapsing Or Resurgent?. Archived from the original on December 1, 2008.

The responses Crouan has received to all of his writing and speaking on this topic from Catholics of every stripe show the weariness and confusion of many of the faithful regarding the Sacred Liturgy. Dr. Ruckriegel is a founding member of the International Federation Una Voce and he decided to stand down from the Council after many years of unbroken service. President d'Honneur: Professor Count Neri Capponi. ^ a b Waquet, Francois (2001). President d'Honneur: M. Jacques Dhaussy.

Results from Google Books. No current Talk conversations about this book.

Since the Second Vatican Council, the liturgy has become the source of. .

Since the Second Vatican Council, the liturgy has become the source of conflicting opinions. This situation has given rise to disputes that continue to divide those who practice their faith. This book offers answers to the questions asked by Catholics who want to understand their liturgy better, so as to put an end to deviant practices that threaten Church unity.

Sacred liturgy and liturgical arts. Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis by Peter Kwasniewski. Considerably less, however, has been used in examining what was said about the liturgy at Vatican II. Liturgical history and theology. The movements for the Usus Antiquior and Reform of the Reform. Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness by Peter Kwasniewski. The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council: A Counterpoint for the History of the Council by Agostino Marchetto.

Crouan, the author of several studies on liturgical questions including the book The Liturgy Betrayed presents another penetrating work on the state of the Eucharistic Liturgy, the problems and errors that still exist, and how to correct these abuses. The responses Crouan has received to all of his writing and speaking on this topic from Catholics of every stripe show the weariness and confusion of many of the faithful regarding the Sacred Liturgy.

Crouan says that the great majority of Catholics need and want, not celebrations that are "pastorally correct", but a Eucharistic liturgy that offers all the guarantees of Catholicity and leads them to an authentic contemplation of the mysteries being celebrated. He expresses the urgency needed to examine what is going on in parish churches, and to clarify matters by acknowledging the liturgical errors in order to establish a greater fidelity to the real teaching of Vatican II and the Roman Missal.

Comments: (3)
The Liturgy Betrayed and The Liturgy After Vatican II: Collapsing or Resurgent?
by Denis Crouan
San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2000 and 2001

Review by Reverend Brian Van Hove, S.J.
Alma, Michigan
Published in The Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Quarterly 27:3 (Fall 2004): 34-36

These two little books by Denis Crouan are each just over a hundred pages which makes them into extended essays on the same subject. Surely many Catholics who have been disappointed by the liturgical reform since the end of the Second Vatican Council are looking for ways to explain just what went wrong and when. To say "adapt the liturgy to the mentality of the people of today" or "go back to the old Mass" is too simplistic. What has happened to our people, clergy and laity, is deeper. Crouan tells the story.
The collapse of religious and liturgical consciousness has led to a widespread loss of the Catholic meaning of the eucharist, especially in the industrialized West. There has been a process of desacralization, perhaps latent well before the Council. But in short, people no longer know what the Mass is, and if you ask them for an explanation, they hardly know what to say.
Occasionally a specialist still defends sacramental realism, but increasingly the faithful seem to hold that the words of consecration transform their minds and hearts into the body of Christ and that they, not the elements, are the unique body of Christ. Crouan says, "It is the liturgy which is the 'source' and not the believer: it is the liturgy that makes the believer, and not the opposite." Despite papal exhortations from "Mysterium Fidei" to "Dominicae Cenae," and from "Inaestimabile Donum" to "Redemptionis Sacramentum", the subtle acceptance of The Protestant Principle continues.
Crouan points out, however, that in many places people have just stopped going to church. Neither the traditionalists nor the religious left have brought them back in any significant numbers. False liturgical reform has led to fatigue and disillusionment on the part of ordinary believers. Some just do not care anymore.
Though Denis Crouan writes from France, his experience is not so different from that of North America. His analysis of the present situation is balanced and reasoned. Even so, he can provide no more comfort than any of the others who have tried to write about the disappearance of beauty, liturgical malaise, and the painful failure of reform to convey a satisfying sense of the divine.
Crouan's own position is the official one. "We believe in the grandeur and the beauty of the liturgy as restored by the Council and insofar as we know that we must work, in the Church, for a true birth at last of this Roman liturgy, so that it may be developed and become a living presence in all our parishes, as expressly requested by Pope John Paul II." He pleads for the implementation of the Roman documents and for the true "Mass of the Council" whether offered in Latin or in translation, whether celebrated versus populum or ad orientem. Only a careful implementation of the current Roman Missal is the answer, and he writes as a professional historian of the Roman Missal. His writing is an apologetical defense of the authoritative reform and the official books which have been promulgated since Vatican II. If not especially original, Crouan is very Catholic. He knows that to change the liturgy is to change the faith itself "lex orandi, lex credendi." He also knows that there is no substitute for personal conversion and that the liturgy, no matter how perfectly celebrated externally, may not substitute for this growth in faith. Crouan defends a liturgy which is "worship and a personal relationship with God by way of the sacrifice of the cross."
Arguments from authority are said to be the weakest. Crouan nonetheless does not hesitate to argue from authority, though not solely from it. On the subject of authority, the French bishops come in for severe criticism in the unfolding of Crouan's account. They have had the full authority at every turn to demand of their clergy the full realization in France of the authentic reform laid down by Vatican II and the subsequently published liturgical books. Still, according to Crouan, ninety percent of French parish churches do not have the normative Mass as legislated in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal.
The author is at pains to prove by exact textual analysis that really very little was changed between the missal of 1962 and the missal of 1969. What changes there were in terms of a sensible evolution can be proved to be welcome restorations of ancient practice, something the traditionalists should themselves applaud but never do. In fact, Crouan is often writing more to answer the objections of French traditionalists than to defeat his innovating opponents on the religious left. The religious left makes few "converts" and seems to be dying a slow but inevitable death, whereas the traditionalists in France (and elsewhere) are growing and they apparently have the power to attract young people to their thinking.
Yet the traditionalists, he maintains, are ignorant of the sound principles of reform desired by the Council. By articulating those principles for us once again, he hopes to show how they are wrong to reject the missal of 1969 as gwatered downh. He is also convinced that Indult parishes he calls them "hetto chapels") set up for them can be cleverly used by the religious left as a kind of dumping ground for the disgruntled, thus merging both those who want the old rite and those who want the current Roman Missal correctly applied. The tactic of allowing Indult parishes in some dioceses frees up the innovators to continue ignoring the official Roman liturgical books with no opposition from anybody at all.
For this reviewer as a teacher, however, the utility of Crouan's work is less as an antidote to extreme traditionalism. Rather, it locates in a readable format a historical introduction to the liturgical reform and to the Roman Missal as we have it and as we had it. With the exception of someone coming from an Indult parish, students today never experienced the old rites and they are certainly not able to imagine what that era was like when those rites were in vigor. They have heard good and bad things about the gold churchh, but they are usually unable to sort out legend from fact. They have also grown up with a variety of abuses which they take as normative, often finding the normative unfamiliar or even foreign. Sometimes these innocents have been placed on the doorstep of gnosis without knowing it.
Crouan makes a fine comparison of ritual elements as they are now in the official Mass and as they were in the missal of 1962 on the eve of Vatican II. He gives a textual presentation that is clear and understandable, and also a discussion of ritual and symbol which is helpful. Here is an explanation which might be usable for the classroom because it is neither too popular nor too technical.
Perhaps if the faithful had better known some of these precise things when the reforms were implemented over thirty years ago we would have had less confusion and disarray. Perhaps if the pastors of thirty years ago had a firmer grasp on liturgical history they would have been more circumspect and prudent despite the mood of those times. But that did not happen. Since the beginning of the postconciliar trauma we have gone out into the desert to witness a liturgy which is impoverished and shallow, spiritually superficial (balloons anyone?) and improvised. We may better understand the present crisis, which he describes in terms of "second-rate theatre" and "a harmful sideshow," by reading Crouan's books that promote both genuine reform and the Roman Missal with the current General Instruction dating from April, 2000. For the recovery of beauty and a sense of the sacred in our liturgy, we need only consult Vatican II and then sensitively implement the Instruction. This is the Crouan formula because it is "first and foremost the Church herself who gives us the liturgy."
'The Liturgy Betrayed' and 'The Liturgy after Vatican II'

In The Spirit of the Liturgy Cardinal Ratzinger asserts that the Church is experiencing a profound liturgical crisis and has been since the Second Vatican Council. The existence of such a crisis is beyond doubt. From the objections of Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci to the new Order of Mass promulgated in 1969, the wholesale rejection by Archbishop Lefebvre and his followers of the new liturgical rites promulgated by Paul VI, and the widespread disregard with which the directives of these liturgical books are held by so many priests and liturgical `planners,' (let alone those who construct ceremonies which, curiously, they call "liturgies," along feminist or other ideological lines), and the controversy and even dissent over the recent Roman directives on liturgical translation, it is clear that liturgical unity and discipline in the Roman rite has been haemorrhaging for some time.

Various persons and groups, typically motivated by a love of the Church and of her liturgy, have suggested ways to address this ill. Some want to hold to the pre-conciliar liturgy, others to the liturgical books promulgated by Paul VI. Others want to look again at these and see whether they could be revised to recover elements of our liturgical tradition that have been discarded. Others still want to create liturgies along national or cultural lines. From a different motivation, some continue to hanker after a freedom and spontaneity of liturgical expression that is, frankly, protestant.

In the ongoing debate about this far from marginal question, we can be grateful to Ignatius Press of San Francisco for a number of important contributions from Cardinal Ratzinger, and for Looking at the Liturgy by Father Aidan Nichols OP. Ignatius Press' founder, Father Joseph Fessio SJ, is deeply committed to addressing the liturgical crisis.

He has recently published these titles as another contribution. Father Fessio prefaces the latter, saying:

"The a French theologian, and he is describing the liturgical crisis in France. But while his examples are taken from that French context, his experience and the conclusions he draws are...entirely applicable to the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom."

Father Fessio continues: "We think that Dr Crouan's analysis is both succinct and accurate." This sentence is more than unfortunate. Crouan's analysis is in fact shallow and myopic in so far as he ignores the facts of recent liturgical history, and because an uncritical ultramontanism blinds his perspective.

Before substantiating these judgements, we must first give credit where it is due. Crouan does admit that the liturgy is in crisis (many don't), and he writes in the hope of awakening others to this fact and to the fact that vast riches of the Church's liturgical tradition that have been widely discarded since the Council. Both are laudable.

Furthermore, chapter eight of The Liturgy After Vatican II contains a superb critique of the plague of liturgical subjectivity, i.e. the "many pastoral gimmicks that in the end simply pollute the liturgy of the Church," and of the highly dubious emotional and psychological factors that often underlie the legions of extraordinary `ministries' that invade liturgical celebrations. According to Crouan, such `ministers,' and indeed the clergy, can often forget that:

"In the liturgy, beauty ought not to be the result of the talent of the celebrant or the liturgical team or the choir or indeed the animator. Liturgical beauty ought to remain something above the competence of the actors in a celebration, something above their talent, if they have any. Liturgical beauty resides in the fact that the sole aim of the priest when he celebrates is to want to do what the Church does. Since this is the case, the celebration is not merely beautiful in the human sense of the term: it is also a good in the theological sense of the term. And therein lies its essence, for it is this essential good from which true liturgical beauty proceeds."

This objectivity is indeed of the very nature of Catholic liturgy.

And so, Crouan argues throughout both titles, all liturgical problems in the Church today stem from subjectivity, disobedience and a failure "to do what the Church does." This is certainly a large part of the problem. However, when disobedience is regarded as the sole factor, such reasoning is, as has been said, shallow and myopic. It ignores the complexities of the history of the implementation of the liturgical reform called for by the Council, and the theological status of such reforms.

In the first place, Crouan identifies absolutely and without distinction Vatican II and the liturgical books promulgated in its wake by Paul VI. This lacks historical depth. Briefly, the actual history runs: the Council called for a liturgical reform and enunciated principles according to which it was to be carried out. Then a commission began the work of its implementation. This commission, by the admission of its own members, went beyond that which was called for by the Council, and key individuals secured Paul VI's authorisation for liturgical books which, it is argued by many, do not accurately reflect the principles of reform enunciated by the Council and which include substantial elements not envisaged by the Fathers of Vatican II. (Even Archbishop Lefebvre signed the Council's Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.) Accordingly, the question arises as to whether the resultant liturgical books are in fact the organic developments of those prior to the Council for which the Council called, and whether they are in substantial continuity with them?

Crouan's stance belies reality: "there is no substantial difference between the Roman liturgy before Vatican II and the Roman liturgy after Vatican II." One can argue about what a "substantial difference" is. However, in the experience of the man-in-the-pew (even in the most liturgically correct of churches) and of the scholar who compares the respective liturgical books side by side, there are many differences. For example: the vastly expanded lectionary cycle; the introduction of other eucharistic prayers (something utterly foreign to the Roman tradition); the overhaul of the ordination rites; the ideological editing of the Latin texts of the Mass collect, secret and postcommunion prayers; and the dramatic change in theological orientation of the offertory prayers. Whether or not such differences accord with Council's principles of reform is arguable, as is whether any of them individually constitutes a substantial difference. However, when considered overall, "substantial difference" between the two cannot be doubted.

Secondly, Crouan accords liturgical reforms a theological status they simply do not have. Throughout these books we hear complaints about people disobeying the "teaching of the Church." But he is not referring to a denial of an article of faith or of the Church's moral teaching. He is talking about the Church's liturgical discipline. Discipline, however, is not dogma.

This is ultramontanism. It leads him to elevate liturgical discipline (about which a pope can err in his prudential judgement, and about which Catholics may in good faith disagree) to the level of the "teaching of the Church" (which Catholics must accept). This distinction is crucial and Crouan's failure to make it is a very grave flaw.

Let us be clear: the Pope and the bishops have the right to govern the Church and we have the duty to obey them. Yet this governance involves prudential judgements about the disciplines to be practised in the life of the Church. We are free to disagree with them, and indeed appropriately and in charity to represent our criticisms. In certain exceptional circumstances one could, in good conscience, even disobey disciplinary rulings without sin.

We are not free, however, to reject the teaching of the Church. The creeds, the dogmatic and moral definitions of the Councils and of the Popes are not matters that are negotiable or changeable. Rejection of them is grave matter.

What the liturgy is (theologically) can certainly fall into the latter category, but how it is to be celebrated is a matter of discipline, not dogma. In other words, I may disagree with a Pope or a Council that a liturgical reform (or a particular aspect of it) is appropriate, but I cannot dismiss their teaching that the liturgy is the "source and summit of all Christian life." In celebrating the Sacred Liturgy, though, we must obey the directives of the competent authority.

For Crouan everything the Pope promulgates is beyond question. History, however, teaches us otherwise. In the sixteenth century the prudential judgement of Paul III in promulgating the breviary reform of Cardinal Quignonez was an error, finally corrected some five popes and thirty-two years later, in the light of the evident dissatisfaction of the faithful and at the prompting of scholars. And the seventeenth century promulgation by Urban VIII of new breviary hymns (revised to conform to the taste of the times at his request by a commission of Jesuits) was redressed only in the twentieth: partially in St Pius X's reform of the breviary, and thoroughly (and somewhat ironically) in the breviary produced following the Second Vatican Council. If there were indeed errors in the implementation of the reform called for by Vatican II - and we have it from the likes of Cardinals Ratzinger (a "fabrication") and Stickler ("a destruction") that there were - then it is legitimate to hope, work and pray for their correction.

Awareness of these issues creates a problem for those who seek "to do what the Church does." Such persons may be in the position of having to use rites that appear, in the light of liturgical tradition, seriously flawed (though unquestionably valid given the Apostolic authority with which they are promulgated). This is a serious issue and one which has led many - Father Fessio included - to explore possible solutions. Crouan's books are sadly lacking, and singularly unhelpful, as they ignore - and even deny - this problem's very existence. This explains his transparent disdain for those who continue to worship according to the pre-conciliar rites. And his dismissal of any discussion of a "reform of the reform" as a "compromise" which "is never a solution" for the liturgy, reflects the approach of an ostrich.

Neither ultramontanism nor an uncritical reading of history that amounts to little more than admiration for the `emperor's new clothes' have any place in the assessment of the nature and cause of the current liturgical crisis or the steps that must urgently be taken to remedy it. Accurate and succinct analysis is imperative, but Crouan's books (with the exceptions noted earlier), are neither.

Such analysis will recognise that in history the Church's liturgy is a living organism capable of development whilst preserving substantial continuity with tradition. And it will reflect the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, that "even the supreme authority in the Church may not change the liturgy arbitrarily, but only in the obedience of faith and with religious respect for the mystery of the liturgy" (1125).

If the liturgy has been betrayed, we must frankly admit all the particulars. Only then may we hope for its resurgence.
Good book