The Rev. Anthony Gooley, a deacon of The Archdiocese of Brisbane, continued his "Bite-Size Vatican II" series in last Sunday's edition of the Sydney Catholic Weekly, in an article entitled "Going back to find the liturgical way forward". The article consisted of ten paragraphs: Two introductory ones, four in which Mr. Gooley gives us a sense of his liturgical antiquarianism, and four in which he quotes from Sacrosanctum Concilium in support of this antiquarianism. Here is the first of those two sets of four paragraphs:
Scholars wanted to understand how liturgy and theology had developed by returning to the ancient sources and by stripping away elements that had accumulated over time which may have obscured the beauty and inner nature of the liturgy. The process was not unlike the restoration of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, removing accumulations of smoke and soot to reveal the vibrant colours which were hidden underneath.
[...] In fact, the way forward was found in going back to original sources and earlier forms. The form of the Mass after Vatican II is much closer in resemblance to the liturgy celebrated in the first millennium and into the second. Hypolitus, a presbyter in the Church of Rome, provides a description of Sunday liturgy in 150AD which in its outlines is identical with the current order.
The prayers chosen from across the centuries reflect the communion of the Church in time.
The simplification of rituals, the removal of repetitions and some elements which obscured the central meaning of the liturgy were carefully decided by going back to historical sources by considering the Eucharistic theology which had been emerging and by the goal of full, conscious and active participation. In this return to the past the way forward to a faith deeply centred on active participation in the Eucharist emerged.
We had looked upon them [proponents of liturgical change] as harmless cranks who were attempting to devise a charade of second-century habits. We had confidence in the abiding Romanita of our Church. Suddenly we find the cranks in authority.And accusing the Traditional Latin Mass of 'obscuring' the "beauty" of the Mass is no trifling matter, either, since beauty is the harmonious relation of the parts to the whole, not merely some subjective, aesthetic thing.)
And I am not sure why Mr. Gooley feels the need to mention that
The prayers chosen from across the centuries reflect the communion of the Church in time."[C]hosen" how and by whom, though? Surely the liturgy which best "reflect[s] the communion of the Church in [across?] time" is that which is the product of organic rather than artificial development?
So what Mr. Gooley preaches is crass antiquarianism. But it is not without usefulness for those of us who long for the restoration of the Traditional Latin Mass as the liturgy of the Church of Rome. For if it is legitimate for those of archaeologising tendencies to return to the liturgies of eighteen hundred years ago, then how can they begrudge us for wanting to 'turn the clock back' a mere forty years?
Feast of St. Angela of Merici, A.D. 2010