Hiding Behind One’s Fingers
In another demonstration of the liturgical confusion in which the “new simplicity” has plunged the Church, the often hilarious Father Lombardi has tried to justify the bishop of Rome’s liturgical abuse on Thursday by saying that if the community is small, you can do whatever you please provided you want to be “inclusive”. The rule does not apply, though, to big masses. Big masses are, as we all know, not inclusive; therefore, we can leave it by the rules.
I do not know whether this is more “spirit of Vatican II” or more stupid, though the two are largely synonymous. Respect of the rules is either something that is required, or it isn’t. If it is, the Bishop of Rome should be the first to give the example. If it isn’t, the same Bishop should explain to us why he needs rules in the first place.
Then there is the question of the small settings. Not many Catholic churches are as big as Santa Maria Maggiore. Most masses take place in small churches and small communities. With Father Lombardi’s reasoning, almost every priest outside of big cities (and in England many of them even within big cities) should feel authorised to “experiment” as he pleases to make things more “inclusive”.
If you ask me, at the bottom of the matter there is a simple problem: we have a Pope who thinks he is above the rules of his Church. Mind, I am not saying that he thinks he can change (certain) rules. Of course he can, but he is doing something different: he is saying that he has the right not to care for them, because he has the right not to respect them.
As a Pope, Francis should be the first one to give an example of obedience to Church rules. Servus servorum Dei does not mean that he is the personal servant of those who are the Lord’s servants in the most humble social positions. It means that he is the first and most preeminent among the servants of God.
As the first of the servants of God, he is the one most immediately bound to the observance of the rules of the Church. Therefore, the scandal is gravest when the Pope himself gives scandal.
Father Lombardi can exert himself as much as he likes with his absurds attempts at explanation. The brutal truth is that we have a Pope in the business of liturgical abuse, who doesn’t care of which rules he disobeys but goes on showing in front of the cameras how humble he is.