Rorate is pleased to present the full text of the lecture given by Dr. Kwasniewski at the Lepanto Conference held in New York City on February 16, 2019. A video of this lecture may be found at this link. The text has been edited for publication.
Just over fifty years ago there occurred one of the most momentous and fateful events in the history of the Catholic Church—the promulgation of the new Order of Mass, or Novus Ordo Missae, by Paul VI in his Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum of April 3, 1969. Half a century later, it is fairly common to find conservative clergy saying something like the following. “The reform of the liturgy is not what propelled the postconciliar crisis in the Church; rather, it was doctrinal and moral relativism that led to liturgical chaos. The liturgy is in shambles because doctrine and morals are in shambles. Put colloquially, don’t blame the car, blame the drunk driver. The Novus Ordo Missae and, for that matter, all the reformed sacramental rites, the blessings, the exorcisms, the Liturgy of the Hours—it’s all fine in itself, and if we approach it with the right attitude and follow ‘best practices,’ we can have a truly Catholic liturgical life, minus the doctrinal and moral aberrations that we all rightly decry. We can, in other words, have our cake and eat it, too: Novus in what we do, Vetus in how we do it.”
Case - Naiveté - Joseph - Ratzinger - Crisis
To me this seems like a case of severe naiveté. Joseph Ratzinger famously remarked that “the crisis in the Church that we are experiencing today is to a large extent due to the disintegration of the liturgy.” And this latter crisis stems directly from several problematic features of the liturgical reform itself, and the results that emerged from it.
The simple fact that, after...
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