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Today we again focus on the Church in Poland and a post on the Polish language site of the New Liturgical Movement’s (see here) FB page. There is a curious letter posted, written by the bishop of the Polish city of Kalisz. It is written to commemorate the 5 year anniversary of the offering of the Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite in the Kalisz Basilica. What we would call the Catholic Mass on this blog. But I digress… This letter was written by the bishop of Kalisz, the Most Rev. Edward Janiak and sent to the attention of the celebrant for a wider proclamation to all Faithful who were in attendance at the liturgy in the Kalisz Basilica.
What caught my eye was less the anniversary celebration, which is news in itself deep in the heart of JPII country, but rather the manner in which the Kalisz bishop references the anniversary and the wider “new evangelization” effort with a passage from…
I will not spoil the surprise, so here is the translation:
Reverend Father and pastor of souls and the Faithful participating in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite in the Basilica of St. Joseph in Kalisz (Poland),
Thank you for your information, together with a report on the five-year period during which the Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite has been offered in the Basilica of St. Joseph in Kalisz. With the participation of approximately 50 individuals from various parts of our Diocese, the liturgy offered in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite poses a challenge, which is to diligently prepare the appropriate rites and deepen our knowledge of them.
Our Holy Father Francis, in his exhortation EVANGELII GAUDIUM, dedicated to the proclamation of the Gospel in today’s world, wrote: I feel enormous gratitude for the commitment of all, who work in the Church. I would not want to stop here and present the activities of the various pastors of souls, from bishops all the way down to the most humble and hidden church ministries. I would rather reflect on the challenges, that they all have to face in the context of a globalized culture.”
It is in the spirit of this papal teaching that I would encourage you, to use this anniversary period to take the opportunity to act as a witness to the love of the liturgy of the Church and to a deeper participation in the mission to proclaim the Gospel of Christ in today’s world.
To all who are involved, I express my gratitude and heartfelt blessings.
Bishop of Kalisz
Who would have thunk?
Theological deconstructionism in the service of Tradition.
But I like the idea.
The reason that I bring the above to your attention is due to another passage that I read recently, this one from an interview given by the Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Muller. In this interview, Card. Muller “mentioned that one of the duties of his office is the mission to “theologically structure” Pope Francis’ pontificate given that the current Successor of Peter is not a theologian by profession.” (see here).
Well, he ain’t a liturgist by profession either.
If the above literal reading is indeed the case (please read the linked post for clarity sake), than it would appear that the bishop of Kalisz has taken Card. Muller’s “approach” one step further. The bishop of Kalisz is using words written in an apostolic exhortation to “context” the “new evangelization” with a return to Tradition. Or to paraphrase card. Muller, the bishop of Kalisz is using Tradition to “provide liturgical structure” to the papal exhortation EVANGELII GAUDIUM.
Taking this new “approach” one step futher, think of all the possibilities that this new reading of Francis through Benedict provides in a post-Francis environment?
Please keep the link to the VASSALLOMALTA link in mind. I will be returning to it in a future post.