Summorum Pontificum One Year Later: An Interview with Fr. John Berg, Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter
Fr. Berg: I think that the old rite is certainly held up as a standard in that it has fixed norms. It doesn’t have a lot of options, so it is easier to hold it up as a standard in a certain way. I think the new rite could have some of those introduced.
If you go back and read Summorum Pontificum, I don’t think it was the intention of the Holy Father nor was it spelled out as to the meaning of mutual enrichment in either of the rites. I think we also could to some extent be slipping into a “spirit of Summorum Pontificum” similar to “the spirit of Vatican II” by taking liberties and making certain changes with regard to the rubrics in one direction or the other as something that was allowed or was intended or even the “vision” of the Holy Father.
Some liturgical “experts” like to think that this whole thing is ultimately about creating one rite way down the road. But I think that if you understand that one of the primary principles of the liturgy is to be subservient to the liturgy—not that it is something that is your own, but you being obedient to the liturgy and to the prayer of the Church, not your individual prayers, but the prayer of the Church.
What that involves is following the rubrics and the guidelines as they are written. So I think it would be disastrous if anyone were to take it upon himself, as you have already mentioned, to think they are going to take the first steps to move these two forms of the rite together.
Of course the document itself clearly says that the vernacular can be used in the readings, but just because that is allowed does not mean it is required or that there are a host of other things in the document that allow other changes.
B. Mershon: There has been much discussion, both online and elsewhere, on the issue of the so-called second (or third) Confiteor prayed by the altar boys prior to Holy Communion. Some have even gone so far to state that the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei has disallowed its use. How do you respond, and what has been the FSSP’s practice in this regard?
Fr. Berg: While I certainly think that the internet and the blogging world is a good source of information, I think it would be a real mistake to think that the Commission is going to hand down decisions on liturgical practice through blogs X, Y or Z. It is an abnormal world that we live in when we think that Rome is going to speak officially through internet blogmasters.
Those are some very pointed comments. Interesting...