We thought that there was a self-supporting, self-validating network of so-called ‘experts’ or ‘liturgists’ who were determined to impose their own very narrow group agenda upon the Church. Fr Butler confirms this. He tells us that the Roman document Liturgiam authenticam is “a laughing stock among academics and scholarly linguists”. Clearly, that last phrase means, in the Vernacular, ‘me and my chums and people who agree with us’. So Butler is not a lone, ridiculous, figure. His own claim is that he represents a significant group. These are, presumably, the same jokers who, when Joseph Ratzinger started to write about Liturgy, threw up their hands in outrage and cried “But he’s not a liturgist!” The ones with regard to whom somebody coined the good old witticism about what the difference is between a terrorist and a liturgist (“You can negotiate with a terrorist”).
Thanks to the way Bishop Robert Mercer (now Msgr Mercer), Fr Carl Reid, and Fr Kipling Cooper prayed the liturgy back in the days when I first darkened the door of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I received so much intuitively about Real Presence and the Sacrifice of the Mass.
Their orthopraxis, their reverence communicated so much more than volumes of verbal explanation.
Mercer especially had this quality of recollection about him that made time stand still so even I, with my wandering mind, could hear every word and experience a palpable sense of being lifted to heaven in our worship.
We are so, so blessed now to be Catholic yet to have all the beauty we brought with us in our liturgy.