Thursday, February 2, 2017

Fr. Anthony Ruff on the Intentions of Vatican II

From Fr. Ruff's post:

As soon as we reach the moment when one addresses God – from the Offertory onwards – it is essential that the priest and faithful look together towards the east. This corresponds exactly to what the Council Fathers wanted. [Cdl. Robert Sarah;]
Of all the arguments for ad orientem – and there are valid arguments out there – this isn’t one of them. Anytime anyone makes a claim about what the Council Fathers wanted, alarm bells should go off for all of us. The discussions of the fathers in the aula, and the things said in the documents they approved, witness a range of views. One has to be cautious about suggesting that all the fathers wanted anything unless the evidence supports the claim.

Furthermore, the Council fathers didn’t get into all the specifics of the reform of the liturgy. They left most of that to a future commission under the pope. The fathers approved a major paradigm shift – from liturgy as Carolingian clerical drama to liturgy as act of all the people – and then left open what the implications of that shift would be. No doubt some or many of the fathers didn’t yet have in mind all the possible implications of the paradigm shift. Nor did they need to.

Source: Anthony Ruff, "Cardinal Sarah on Mass Not Facing the People," PrayTell blog, May 26, 2016, accessed February 2, 2017,


Fr. Ruff, it should be noted, is somewhat well-known for his liberal views.


Father says elsewhere (

It’s time to say it: the so-called “hermeneutic of continuity” proposed by Benedict XVI in 2005 has outlived its usefulness as a tool for understanding the Second Vatican Council. Its proponents, who frequently carry the proposal further than Benedict ever did, have shown in abundance that the proposal obscures rather than clarifies the paradigm shifts clearly called for by the Council. For liturgy, the paradigm shift is from Carolingian clericalized sacred drama to an act of the entire community. Just let the full weight of that shift sink in, including all the possible implications for liturgical practice. There is a reason why the Fathers of Vatican II decided that the 1962 missal would not remain in use in its unreformed state.

Source: Anthony Ruff, "The Worst Reasons for Ad Orientem," PrayTell blog, August 18, 2016, accessed February 2, 2017,


Food for thought...

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