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Unchanging Mass? (letter)

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 Contents - Nov 2004AD2000 November 2004 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: The challenge for Christianity today - Peter Westmore
Ad limina: The Pope calls for strong leadership from New Zealand's Bishops - Michael Gilchrist
News: The Church Around the World
British Catholic writers call for a better Mass translation - AD2000 Report
Orthodoxy: Anglican Synod 2004: Are liberal Anglicanism's days numbered? - Rev Nigel Zimmerman
Deer Park: Transforming our secular culture: the role of women - Marcia Riordan
Liturgy: Ad-libbing in the Mass: Does it really matter? - John Young
Education: Where secular humanism is triumphing over the Gospel - Fr John Walter
Morning Mass: Finding some 'head space': an alternative approach - David Birch
Obituary: RIP Michael Davies - The passing of a true defender of the Faith - Michael Foley
Letters: The Passion of the Christ (letter) - Arnold Jago
Letters: Abortion issue (letter) - Greg Byrne
Letters: Reporting abuses (letter) - E. Makaus
Letters: Real Latin (letter) - Matt Bruekers
Letters: Pastoral problems (letter) - Fr Frank Brennan SJ
Letters: Crisis of faith (letter) - Errol P. Duke
Letters: Young Catholics (letter) - Nola Viney
Letters: State Aid (letter) - George Caruana JP
Letters: Archbishop Mannix and State Aid (letter) - T.A. Rigg
Letters: Extraordinary ministers of Communion (letter) - Leon Voesenek
Letters: Unchanging Mass? (letter) - Fr G.H. Duggan SM
Letters: Church teaching (letter) - Carmel Pittari
Events: 4 Dec 2004 - International Movement of Catholic Students Australia (Victoria)
Books: MARRIAGE UNDER FIRE, by James Dobson - Bill Muehlenberg (reviewer)
Books: From East to West You Gather a People, by Fr Russell Hardiman - Brian Peachey (reviewer)
Books: More new titles from AD Books
Reflection: Saint Francis and the universal call to holiness - Fr Sebastian Camilleri OFM

Monsignor Peter Elliott, in his review of two recent books on the Roman Rite of Mass (October AD2000), has expressed his personal preference for the Novus Ordo Missae promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1969. This is fair enough.

But when he writes of Dom Alcuin Reid "exploding the myth of an unchanging Mass of all ages", one is entitled to ask two questions: Is the unchanging Mass of all ages a myth? How successful was Dom Alcuin in his critique of what he evidently regarded as a myth?

It is a fact and not a myth, cherished by traditionalists, that there was no substantial change in the Roman Rite of the Mass between St Gregory the Great (died 604) and the publication of the Roman Missal in 1570.

It is enough to compare the text of this Missal with the Novus Ordo of 1969 to see that there has been a revolutionary change. It may well be true, as Monsignor Elliott has pointed out, that our society has been radically changed by the Enlightenment, which spawned the French Revolution. But it is far from evident that the Church, in devising a liturgy that will do justice to the Eucharistic Sacrifice, should look for guidance to the ever-changing patterns of thought that dominate life in the world.

I notice that Monsignor Elliott writes of "priests who use the indult of Pope John Paul II to celebrate Mass according to the last edition of the pre-Vatican II Missale Romanum". Unless I am misinformed, the Roman authorities have stated clearly that an indult is not required for using the Missal of 1962.

Silverstream, New Zealand

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 17 No 10 (November 2004), p. 16

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