Dominus Vobiscum: The bishop who lost his way: Tuscany in the 1780s

He put 1970s liturgical changes up the flagpole, had to take them down.

Pius X (1903-1914) is best known for promoting frequent communion, seen by some at the time as making a sacred thing unduly common and therefore less highly regarded.

This problem seems not to have risen until after Vatican 2, when communion became not only frequent but standard for mass-goers and everyone went — as I noted in a National Catholic Reporter essay in the 1970s, calling attention to an unsung achievement of the council, namely that it had abolished mortal sin.

In any case, this change of his and another, to teach catechism in the vernacular (!), are pretty tame stuff by today’s standards.

Let us, however, put a hold once more on this tenth Pius and his works, looking back a mere hundred or so years before him to the synod of Pistoia, a diocese in Tuscany, in 1786.

Liturgy was dying on the vine. Jansenists had made worship barely approachable with hard-nose demands on worshipers. Quietists had made it irrelevant with their insistence on a God-to-individual hot line as more than adequate.

Gallicanism (French-ism) was chopping away at the idea and practice of a universal liturgy, in fact universal lots of things, promoting church as federation of independent entities and the papacy as a first among equals, if that.

The issue or issues came to a head with this Pistoia synod, called by the local bishop at behest of the grand duke, Peter Leopold — later Emperor Leopold II — who pressed all 18 bishops in his duchy to do it, of whom three did. One was the Pistoia man, Scipio de’ Ricci, who was buying into some highly questionable ideas and causes whose time had come and gone. Bishop de’ Ricci was to regret this sorely.

. . . .  Read the rest here . . .

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