Traditional monk rebukes heterodox Vatican professor’s attack on the Latin Mass – LifeSite

(LifeSiteNews) — Liturgical scholar Dom Alcuin Reid published a response to heterodox Vatican professor Andrea Grillo’s attack on the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM), saying that it is a “scandal” for a professor of pontifical institutes to go after traditional communities.

In an article published on the website Rorate Caeli, Reid responded to an interview by Grillo, the man said to be the mastermind behind Pope Francis’ TLM restrictions, who called traditional Catholics a “sect.”

Reid is a renowned liturgical scholar and the founding prior of a traditional monastery in France.

During an interview with Missa in Latino, Grillo claimed that Catholic Tradition’s main characteristic is providing “service to change” and that “Tradition is not the past, but the future.”

Attacking the theology of Pope Benedict XVI, Grillo said the former pontiff’s reasoning behind issuing the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum that allowed the widespread use of the TLM was merely based on “nostalgic emotion for the past.” Grillo also referred to Latin as a “strange language.”

READ: Heterodox theologian allegedly behind Latin Mass restrictions calls traditional Catholics a ‘sect’

Dom Alcuin Reid wrote that Grillo showed a “lack of theological depth and pastoral sensibility and experience” in this interview.

“Ironically, Professor Grillo complains loudly about poor reasoning,” Reid said. “Let us take his fundamental assertion that ‘Tradition is not the past, but the future.’”

“Our Lord taught that ‘Every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old,’” he continued.

“Pope Benedict XVI, in clarifying that the usus antiquior [old rite] had never been abolished and was therefore always in principle permitted, and in recognising its pastoral value in the twenty-first century and freeing it from any restriction, acted accordingly—good theology and good pastoral practice in my book.”

“Tradition is neither the past, nor is it the future—exclusively,” Reid explained. “Tradition is the living presence in the Church today of all that has been handed down from the Apostles and developed over the centuries in the life of the Church in her worship, doctrine and customs.”

He said that liturgy is the place where “tradition lives, where Scripture is read in context, where we offer our first fruits to Almighty God in worship as best we can (as the magnificent, yet diverse, forms of ecclesiastical architecture, liturgical music, vesture and other forms of liturgical art demonstrate).”

Therefore, “as a recent pontifical document reminded us, popes and bishops are ‘custodians of the tradition,’ which implies all that a previous pope taught when in respect of the papal office (and mutatis mutandis the Sacred Liturgy) he said that:

‘The power that Christ conferred upon Peter and his Successors is, in an absolute sense, a mandate to serve. The power of teaching in the Church involves a commitment to the service of obedience to the faith. The Pope is not an absolute monarch whose thoughts and desires are law. On the contrary: the Pope’s ministry is a guarantee of obedience to Christ and to his Word. He must not proclaim his own ideas, but rather constantly bind himself and the Church to obedience to God’s Word, in the face of every attempt to adapt it or water it down, and every form of opportunism. (7 May 2005) [quote from Pope Benedict XVI’s homily when he became Pope]’”

“Hence it is difficult to accept the pure positivism that underlines Professor Grillo’s idolising of the postconciliar reforms,” Reid concluded. “The previous liturgical forms were ‘sacred and great’ and can most certainly be ‘sacred and great’ today also.”

“The fact that this terrifies those who have staked their reputations and careers on a questionable act of papal positivism (the imposition of new rites that are not that for which the Council called and that are not in organic continuity with liturgical tradition developed over the centuries) and that they are fuelling the opportunistic imposition of their ideology whilst they have the political capacity to do so does not change the truth that whilst Tradition does indeed develop, it does so organically, by enrichment, not by root and branch reform or substitution.”

“Otherwise, nothing is true, nothing has value—everything is simply a matter of political expediency,” the liturgical scholar stressed.

Reid said that a pope has the authority to introduce liturgical development through “a series of his own prudential judgments,” like Pope Paul VI did after the Second Vatican Council. However, whether or not the Novus Ordo will become part of Sacred Tradition or die out remains to be seen. He also stressed that criticizing the Novus Ordo is not to be equated with rejecting the Second Vatican Council, as Grillo claimed.

“Professor Grillo’s lack of pastoral acumen is astounding,” Reid stated. “He seems only to have experienced the usus antiquior via the internet and to have (perhaps rightly) reacted to some flamboyant and at times curiously antiquarian celebrations of it.”

He pointed out that “there are dozens of formators and hundreds of candidates in so-called traditional seminaries, monasteries and religious houses who strive daily for holiness, the conversion of their life, an increase in the virtues, the augmentation of their ability faithfully to carry out the mission of the Church in the world today and in the future, pastorally and intellectually, etc.”

“These good men and women are not seeking to preserve the ashes of a past age, but are (pace Gustav Mahler) inculcating within themselves the fire of that living Tradition that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

“They are not part of the Church’s problems; rather, they form a significant part of the solution to her thus far disastrous confrontation with a post-Christian world.”

Reid said that some prelates are “narcissistically closing down such thriving and growing young congregations and communities” because they have made the Novus Ordo their “idol.” He added that it is a “scandal” that “professors at reputed Pontifical institutes” such as Grillo “are supporting their efforts.”

In conclusion, Reid said, “They would all do well to follow the advice of Gamaliel: ‘Keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this undertaking is of men, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!’ (Acts 5: 38-39)”

READ: Priest: Pope Francis is waging a ‘war against the Church’ at every turn

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