Why Liturgical Bad Habits Must Be Broken, by Peter Kwasniewski

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By Peter Kwasniewski, Catholic Education Resource Center

Peter Kwasniewski holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Thomas Aquinas College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from The Catholic University of America.


Catholics have a right to a liturgy that is in accord with the mind of the Church and her tradition.

Due to the pontificate of Benedict XVI, a steadily increasing number of Catholic clergy and faithful are increasingly likely to implement or request changes in the celebration of the liturgy so as to bring it more manifestly into continuity both with the great Catholic Tradition and with the obvious teaching of Vatican II and numerous postconciliar instructions.  And predictably, there are members of the preceding generation who want to blow the whistle and say “Stop! You can’t do that.  Even if you were right in what you’re asking for, we don’t want to alienate Catholics by suddenly changing the way things are being done.”  And even the sympathetic will say:  “We don’t want to make the same mistake as happened 40 years ago, when so many things were suddenly changed.”  And perhaps now there will begin to be some who find in Pope Francis’s ars celebrandi a certain justification for the same attitude.

While one can certainly sympathize with a desire not to alienate or confuse, and while one must be gradual in making changes and careful in explaining them, it does seem that one must reject, lock, stock, and barrel, the underlying premise.   ….

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