Thursday, July 12, 2007

What's New is Not So New

Pope Benedict XVI issued the “Motu Proprio” last weekend, allowing parish priests to offer the Tridentine Rite liturgy without prior approval of their diocesan Bishop.

For those of you to whom this sentence sounded like Latin, here’s the deal. Vatican II changed the Catholic liturgy, and as some would have it, their piety. Not just from Latin to English here in the US, but the text of the liturgy changed as well. We in the LCMS might compare it to the differences between old “page 15″ and Lutheran Worship with its differences in language, music, text, and feel. Now multiply this difference by a thousand and you’ll get the picture for Catholics.

Up to this point, many US Bishops did not allow parish priests to use the old liturgy. Now the Pope has issued a directive allowing priests to do so, without the consent of their local bishop.

Pretty big news by itself, however, what happens in Rome always affects Protestants. The Motu Proprio of last week will eventually have its impact upon the LCMS and all protestants. It changes the landscape of Christianity.

Many conservatives hail this as a good thing, reigning in some of the liturgical nonsenseries of the Catholic Church. But this article takes a different tact, and if you are at all interested in this subject, please read it now.