Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fr. Cekada on the Mass of Paul VI

Today on NLM, Alciun Reid reviews The Work of Human Hands: A Theological Critique of the Mass of Paul VI. I've not read this book by Anthony Cekada but now several important thinkers have said that he offers a serious challenge to the structural and theological foundations of the 1969/70 Missal. That said, I really appreciate Reid's conclusions:
Peter holds the Keys, and whatever prudential errors he may or may not have made in the liturgical reform following the Second Vatican Council, he cannot have committed the Church to an intrinsically invalid rite of Mass. Given its theological deficiency, Father Cekada dismisses the efforts, led by Pope Benedict XVI, to celebrate the modern rites in more visible continuity with liturgical tradition. We disagree here: the Mass of Paul VI is a valid rite, and its better celebration is all to the good. One may even prefer it in good conscience―as do many generations who have known nothing else. We can argue (and I think quite convincingly) that we can and ought to do better that what is in the Missal of Paul VI, but to worship according to the modern rite is not of itself sinful.