There’s an interview up at WDTPRS with +Fellay of the schismatic Roman Society of St Pius the Xth. As you may recall, they’re the ultra-traditionalists who believe that Vatican II introduced grave errors into the Roman Church and thus split off to preserve their orthodoxy. Clearly I disagree with them on a number of points…
In any case, I noted this particular exchange:
Q: Contrariwise, would you say that the fight for doctrine has become more important?
Fellay: No, the fight for doctrine is and remains always as important. If we do not have the Faith, we have nothing, not even the Mass. The Mass without the Faith is like a roof without the walls. Doctrine is and remains the fundamental reason for our battle.
While Fellay and I no doubt disagree as to what is included within “the Faith”, I do believe this is an essential point. The liturgy—Mass and Office—is our great entry into the mysteries of reality as we understand them in light of the Triune God. It is the entrance into the encounter with the Living God that shapes us intellectually, emotionally, affectively, and morally. I sometimes emphasize the affective elements of the liturgy because I think the tendencies of the protestant tradition (and my personal tendencies) over-emphasize the intellectual. Indeed, I think the bishop’s words could be interpreted that way as well, but I read them as I believe the tradition has always read them: the liturgy alone without the way of being that the liturgy calls us into and calls forth within us is empty. There is intellectual content and affective direction that we must hold to and actively engage.
And if the Anglican “prayer book catholicity” that I and others speak of is to be fully realized, it’s those things I think we need to be more explicit about.