Pope Francis has changed the rules and is now allowing women to have their feet washed during the Holy Thursday Mass. Granted Pope Francis has done this every single Holy Thursday since he’s been Pope; he has now codified it. If the Pope can make drastic changes to the Liturgy based on his personal preference and the Liturgy allows for it, then you know you do not have a God-given Mass, but a man-made Mass.
During the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI, we saw the renewal of the traditions that make the Catholic Mass Catholic. We saw the return of Ad Orientem, Latin, and of course, the Tridentine Mass. The faithful credited the Holy Spirit for this renewal of the Liturgical rubrics. Since March 13, 2013, we have seen many rubrics thrown to the wayside for novelties and the personal whims of the reigning Pontiff. And yet, the faithful credit the Holy Spirit for this breath of fresh air.
So the question must be asked; does the Holy Spirit have multiple personalities? The answer is no. The Holy Spirit, who IS GOD, can not contradict Himself, as God is unchanging throughout all time. He is the same yesterday as He is today as He will be tomorrow. To say that the changes made under both of these pontificates are what God wants would be incorrect; it must either be one or the other and since God is unchanging, it is safe to say that tradition will uphold over novelties.
But maybe we are looking at this from the wrong perspective. Maybe the Novus Ordo doesn’t have the clear rubrics as we once thought and proclaimed? For the longest time, faithful Catholics who desired a reverent Novus Ordo would cite the rubrics to demonstrate what should and shouldn’t be done at the Mass. But as mentioned above, if the Pope can change these rubrics at any given moment, why does it matter?
The thing is, Pope Francis has been abusing the Holy Thursday foot washing rite for a very long time. During his time as an archbishop and Cardinal, he would abuse the liturgical rubrics and allow women have their feet washed, despite clear wording in the laws of the rite that state otherwise. Now that he is the Pope, he has struck out the rule so that he will no longer be breaking said rule. It reminds me of
And this is the funny thing about the creation of the Novus Ordo Mass. The entirety of the Mass, except several parts that have been lifted from the Tridentine Mass, were all abuses that had crept their way into the Mass in one way or the other. Reception of Communion in the hand, bringing up the gifts, versus populum, unworthy music, Mass in the vernacular, receiving the Precious Blood, holding hands during the Our Father, the Sign of Peace, altar girls, etc, were all abuses that have now been deemed “permissible” by the Church. If a Rite doesn’t care about rules and ends up throwing them away when it becomes inconvenient, then why have any rules in the first place? And if it doesn’t have any rules, can we trust that it is truly pleasing to God, the giver of Divine Law?
The fact is the Novus Ordo doesn’t care about the rubrics. If it did, it wouldn’t be subject to so many drastic changes from day to day. Much like a teenage girl who can’t figure out what she wants to wear on her first day of school, the Novus Ordo can’t figure out what rules she should keep or throw away.