Andre dag under Sacra Liturgia konferansen holdt Dom Alcuin Reid et interessant foredrag han hadde kalt: On the Council Floor: The Council Fathers’ Debate of the Schema on the Sacred Liturgy. Der stilte han spørsmålet: “What did the Fathers of Vatican II think they were approving in Sacrosanctum Concilium – liturgical evolution or revolution?”
Dom Alcuin began by outlining the hermeneutical principles to be borne in mind: “What happened in the interpretation and implementation of the Constitution is an important and potent area for study, but we shall be unable to do that well if we do not read the Constitution in a manner that is consistent with the minds of the Council Fathers. We must be good historians: understanding the historical context of the principles and measures they laid down is crucial. An a posteriori isogesis of the Constitution, as is fashionable in some circles, is simply bad scholarship.”
He then moved to the conciliar discussion of article 37 of the schema, which would later become article 50 of SC, demonstrating the importance of reading the Council Fathers’ interventions in their entirety. To take two examples: Cardinal Spellman and Cardinal Ottaviani are often depicted as arch-conservatives, liturgical dinosaurs, resistant to any sort of possible liturgical reform, but this is based on a certain cherry-picking of their interventions regarding the liturgy constitution. If one reads the whole of their speeches, it is clear that they both accepted the need for genuine liturgical reform. The principle of enhancing actual participation in the liturgy “cannot be disputed” (Spellman), and the positive effect of “the pastoral work on the liturgy” (Ottaviani). They, along with other Council Fathers, were concerned that article 37 needed some clarification, but they were not opposed to genuine (one could say organic) progress in the area of liturgical reforms.
Only one bishop, Wilhelm Duschak, made an intervention that was revolutionary, in which he outlined his idea for an ecumenical “Mass of the World”. But, as Dom Alcuin mentioned: “If we do read the Fathers’ interventions—all of them—it is simply impossible to assert that revolution (Duschakian or otherwise) was what they intended. Indeed, the debate on article 37 (50) proves the opposite. It shows that the Fathers accepted the principle that, so as to achieve a greater participatio actuosa a moderate reform of the Order of Mass was desirable.”
Dom Alcuin went on to point out that the work of Group 10 of the Consilium, who were responsible for the reform of the Ordo Missae, seems to have gone a long way beyond the intentions of the Council Fathers as expressed at Vatican II – where, almost right at the start of the discussion about the liturgy constitution, Bishop Henry Jenny, a member of the Preparatory and Conciliar Commissions on the Liturgy (and later of the Consilium) said that “The current Ordo Missae, which has grown up in the course of the centuries, certainly is to be retained” (General Congregation XII). ….