Thursday, 1 November 2012

Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce (FIUV) Position Papers on the 1962 Missal

The Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce has issued a series of reflections on the 1962 Missal of Blessed Pope John XXIII. These papers repay careful reading. Over the coming days I shall be posting the various FIUV papers. I begin with the introduction.

Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce
These papers are offered to stimulate and inform debate about the 1962 Missal among
Catholics ‘attached to the ancient Latin liturgical tradition’, and others interested in the
liturgical renewal of the Church. The positions taken in these papers are not considered
binding on the Una Voce Federation or its members associations; they are simply
presented as useful contributions to the debate. Nor are they to be taken to imply
personal or moral criticism of those today or in the past who have adopted practices or
advocated reforms which are subjected to criticism. In composing these papers we adopt
the working assumption that our fellow Catholics act in good will, but that nevertheless
a vigorous and well-informed debate is absolutely necessary if those who act in good
will are to do so in light of a proper understanding of the issues.
It is not our concern in these papers to comment directly on the Novus Ordo Missae
promulgated in 1970. In articulating what it is, about the ‘ancient Latin liturgical
traditions’, which makes them ‘riches’ (as Pope Benedict has expressed it), we do not
believe we are acting in any way disloyally to the Holy Father or to the authority of the
Holy See. It is for others to expound considerations in favour of the 1970 Missal, which
will for the foreseeable future exist alongside the older Missal, the two Missals being
two Forms of the Roman Rite.
The authors of the papers are not named, as the papers are not the product of any one
person, and also because we prefer them to be judged on the basis of their content, not
their authorship.
We have no interest in engaging in polemic on any of the subjects covered by these
papers; thoughtful contributions to the debate are welcomed, however, and will be
systematically considered in an on-going process of revision.
We take as our starting point Canon 212 §3 of the 1983 Code, which states of the laity:
They have the right, indeed at times the duty, in keeping with their
knowledge, competence and position, to manifest to the sacred Pastors
their views on matters which concern the good of the Church. They have
the right also to make their views known to others of Christ's faithful, but
in doing so they must always respect the integrity of faith and morals,
show due reverence to the Pastors and take into account both the
common good and the dignity of individuals.
To avoid possible misunderstandings of these papers, we would like to make three
further points.
1) These papers are to be understood as pertaining to the Roman Rite and to the
ecclesiastical history and culture that has grown up around it, and should not be read as
passing judgment—whether directly or indirectly—upon the different traditions of the
Eastern Rites. What we say may be applicable to a large extent to the non-Roman Rites
of the Latin Church, but these are not the focus of our concern.
2) In using terms such as ‘Extraordinary’ and ‘Ordinary’ Form, it is not our intention to
pass judgment either way on the debates that have arisen regarding the propriety or
fitness of these or alternative terms to denote the liturgies represented by the 1962 and
1970 Missals respectively.
3) We refer in these papers to the documents of Vatican II, the Catechism of the
Catholic Church, and to the major documents that comprise the Magisterium of the
Popes from Paul VI to Benedict XVI, because these documents represent in the eyes of
the Holy See and the episcopate of the Catholic Church the most recent and current
standard by which the faith of the Catholic Church is transmitted. In referring to these
documents we are mindful of the reservations that some Catholics aligned with the
cause of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite have regarding the compatibility of
these documents with the doctrinal tradition represented by the pre-Conciliar
Magisterium. It is far from our intention, in quoting these documents, to imply any final
judgement regarding the relationship between the pre-Conciliar and post-Conciliar
Magisterium, especially as this question has been elaborated in the works of theologians
such as Gherardini and Amerio, and discussed in the doctrinal talks between the SSPX
and the Holy See. At any rate we believe that there is no contradiction between the
passages of the more modern Magisterium that we have quoted, and the earlier
Magisterium, notwithstanding some differences of style and terminology.
The International Federation Una Voce humbly submits the opinions contained in these
papers to the judgement of the Church.
Leo Darroch, President, Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce
Dr Joseph Shaw, Moderator of the Liturgy and Spirituality Subcommittee

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