The Portal June 2018 - Page 22

THE P RTAL June 2018 For things should not be loved for the sake of places, but places for the sake of good things. One can think that St Gregory plays with the word for “places” here, meaning not only geographical places, but textual “places,” or diverse formulae and traditions of worship. Such liturgical “inculturation” is only good if it nurtures faith and results in something devout, religious, and right, something unified and unifying that people can grow into. This pastoral concern is the overarching context in which the inclusion of Anglican liturgical patrimony into Catholic worship should be seen. Divine Worship is not a museum piece, but rather the Holy See’s judicious grafting of proven Anglican shoots on the living trunk of the Roman Rite to promote new and healthier growth. In effect, following St Gregory, Anglican patrimony is not so much worth preserving in itself. Rather, its value and virtue is measured to the degree that it positively contributes to making better Catholics and more Catholics by fanning the flames of faith, hope, and charity. III The recognition that there is a unique English tradition worthy of preservation was affirmed by Blessed Paul VI in 1970 when he canonised the forty English and Welsh martyrs. On that occasion he praised “the legitimate prestige and worthy patrimony of piety and usage proper to the Anglican Communion” (Homily 25 October 1970). Page 22 inheritance or “potency” in Anglicanism has not only been preserved, but has also been strengthened as the rule of faith that more or less consistently informed the Prayer Book tradition. It is only in relatively recent times that the traditional Prayer Book has faded in favour of more contemporary forms of worship. In this way, the transformative power of the lex orandi embodied by the Prayer Book was diluted in practice as each l ocal community seeks to design its worship to express its own theological and ecclesiastical outlook. It is remarkable that the Catholic Church should have undertaken a formal process such as the Anglcianae traditiones Commission to identify and incorporate the richness of Anglican liturgical practice. In constituting a body of authoritative texts duly approved and promulgated by the Holy See, Divine Worship is true to the fundamental character of a liturgical “patrimony.” It is massively important to recognise that the liturgical books comprised by Divine Worship arise from an exercise of Peter’s authority over the churches that recognises the authentic faith of the Church expressed in Anglican forms of worship and confirms that expression as a treasure or patrimony for the whole Church. In other words, the universal Church recognises the faith that is already hers expressed felicitously in another idiom. The elements of sanctification and In saying this, Blessed Paul VI in effect declared truth that are present in the Anglican patrimony are that notwithstanding the separation of Anglicans and recognised as properly belonging to the Church of Catholics since the 15th century, the English Catholic Christ and thus as instruments of grace that move the tradition preserved in Anglican Patrimony has communities where they are employed towards the nourished the Christian faithful in that Communion visible unity of the Church of Christ subsisting in the and so has enriched the Church. Cardinal Joseph Catholic Church (cf. Lumen Gentium, 8). Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI, clearly shared this conviction. By further enriching those expressions through access to the Magisterium that authentically interprets Well before he signed the Apostolic Constitution the Word of God and preserves Christian teaching Anglicanorum coetibus into law, the then-Prefect of from error, the Catholic Church proposes this form of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had worship anew as an efficacious means of sacramental written: grace for future generations. To be sure, the sources are Anglican, and many of the liturgical texts in Divine “Much of Catholicism remained in Worship have their origin in a situation of ecclesial Anglicanism, as a matter of fact…On the one rupture. Yet there is a powerful dynamism at work in hand, England separated itself from Rome, the reintroduction of these texts in communities now distanced itself very resolutely from Rome… in full communion with the See of Peter. [O]n the other hand, there is a firm adherence to the Catholic tradition. In Anglicanism It is not just that they are given a “new lease of life” there have always been vital currents that have in a new context or successive generation. These strengthened the Catholic inheritance.” liturgical forms “return” to the Church having been (Salt of the Earth, 145) purified and transformed in Catholic communion. Words pronounced at other times and in other According to Cardinal Ratzinger, this Catholic contexts are no longer simply Cranmer’s poetry or an