Tradition plays such an important role in liturgy because, among other things, it provides the most essential point of departure. The Constitution on the sacred liturgy made a clear statement in this respect: it allowed for the introduction of innovations, but only on condition that they meet two requirements. One is that the new forms should spring organically from the existing ones; the other is that only innovations yielding real and genuine profit to the Church are to be introduced. Unfortunately the Constitution itself contradicts these two requirements in certain respects, and in subsequent years the regulations fell into serious contradiction with the Constitution on these two points, and in so many other areas as well. It is, therefore, all the more problematic if Rome, which acts as a guarantee of the regulations, wishes to reduce the whole matter to a question of obedience. In this case her own commission could also be called upon to account for obedience to more universal and comprehensive laws. What makes the claim of obedience psychologically difficult is that an arbitrary construction — based to a large extent on individual initiatives and opposed to the centuries-old customs of the Church -, now claims the reverence due to the usage of the Church, a procedure which though perhaps valid legally, is yet contestable from the point of view of contents.

Laszlo Dobszay, The Bugnini-Liturgy and the Reform of the Reform (2003)


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