Thursday, April 27, 2006

From Ad Orientem
A natural affinity
Some words on the ideal relation between Western Catholic traditionalism and the Orthodox tradition (biretta tip to Huw Raphael):
If we want to earn the respect of the Orthodox, it will not be by using their customs as a justification to neglect our own customs, nor by showing a general peppy enthusiasm for iconography (while rejecting its most important principles).

If we want their respect (and if we want to do what is best for our Church, regardless of its œcumenical effect), we need to adopt a more Orthodox attitude - that is, to make a pious deference to tradition in all things, and to treasure the customs particular to our own rite.

Why is this? Because the Orthodox have a natural traditionalism - which is the normal means for the liturgy to be preserved. It is what preserved the Western liturgy for fifteen centuries. It is what is necessary for the Latin Church to regain.

Until we regain a natural traditionalism of the sort the Orthodox have, all the rubrics and instructions in the world will not fix our liturgy.

Imagine a Church that has a liturgy in natural continuity since the apostolic age, of the most extraordinary beauty and profundity, that is unquestionably deep in history; with a rich tradition of didactic iconography that lends great symbolic significance to every detail of Church building and ornamentation.

That is an idealized vision of the late Medieval Catholic Church. ... do everything possible to make sure that that Church and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same.
- Daniel Mitsui

Been saying this sort of thing for 20 years.
First and foremost, Orthodoxy is institutionally suspicious of change. If you're changing something the first question from an Orthodox will be "why?" "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" could be our motto. Orthodox (who have a clue about these things) can look at the rite of St Pius V* and see the pre-schism liturgies of Pope St Gregory the Great and of St Peter.... By contrast the reformed liturgy of Paul VI is a radical departure from the liturgical traditions of the past. Even in Orthodoxy some things change. But it's always a very slow gradual change.
*Actually a ‘use’ of the Roman Rite.

No comments:

Post a comment

Leave comment