Bishop Rifan and his priestly society achieved full canonical recognition and regularization with the Church on January 18, 2002.
It is hoped by many traditionalists and the Holy See that the positive example of this group of priests, which offers all the sacraments exclusively according to the ancient rites, will serve as a model for other traditionalist priestly societies such as the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), to potentially reach full regularization with the Church.
Archbishop Raymond Burke, a notably obedient son of the Church, particularly with applying Pope John Paul II’s request in Ecclesia Dei Adflicta to be “wide and generous” in allowing the Classical Roman liturgy for those Catholics who desire it, agrees with Bishop Rifan’s assessment, but with a nuance.
“I wouldn’t think that the Holy Father would be doing this simply as a strategy [for ecumenical relations with the Orthodox], but I do think it will be an effect of a restoration or in the ‘reform of the reform’ of the liturgy,” Archbishop Burke said.
“It seems to me for the Eastern rites, and for those of the Orthodox Churches, the reform of the liturgy after the council and the concrete expression is so stripped of the transcendent, of the sacral elements, it is difficult for them to recognize its relationship with their Eucharistic Liturgies,” he said.
Archbishop Burke agreed that the Eastern Churches would most likely identify more readily with the Classical Roman rite of liturgy, and its similarities with their own Divine Liturgies, than the Novus Ordo liturgy.
“It would be easier for them to see the unity, the oneness in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, by a rite of the Mass, just limiting ourselves now to talking about the Holy Mass, that it was richer in those dimensions -- the elements of the transcendent -- the symbols of the transcendent element of Christ -- Christ in action in the Mass -- the unbloody renewal of the Sacrifice of Calvary,” Archbishop Burke said...
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THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Now this is an interesting article, and worth the read. It gives us a glimpse into the mindset of our new pope. Could it be that in this one man (Joseph Ratzinger) the ecumenical concerns of Pope John Paul II and the traditionalist concerns of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (SSPX founder) meld into one cohesive symphony? Could it be that this same man (Ratzinger) plans to end 1,000 years of schism with the Eastern Orthodox by bringing Catholics back to the traditional Roman Rite of their fathers? Could it be that the key to Catholicism's future is found in its past? It would appear that the position of our current pope is that the reforms of Vatican II have yet to be enacted correctly, and the post-conciliar Church is supposed to look a lot more like the pre-conciliar Church. Your thoughts?