KP: Do you see the development ofa vernacular body of chant as a threat to the Latin body
CS: I hope it wouldn't be a threat, frankly, its not my principle interest in life-to de velop a great deal of vernacular church music. But on the other hand it is presumably going to be a necessity because we are going to have the vernacular liturgy around for a while so it would be silly to wash our hands of it and leave it in the hands of practi tioners of styles we would regard as unsuitable for Church. I don't think it would be a threat to the Latin because people who go to Latin liturgies don't generally go to English liturgies and vice versa. The only way in which there could conceivably be a problem is if they develop a lot of music which would compete with the occasional Latin piece at the vernacular liturgy. But that again seems not a particularly pointed confrontation. There are reams of vernacular music which don't exactly compete with Latin Church music because usually the constituencies are different.
KP: There have been people who have class ied the current liturgical situation into either the paradigms ofMsgr. Mannion or the three branch theory ofFr. Mole. At any rate there seems to be a general dissatisfaction with the state of the liturgy and there are d ferent ideas about how to move forward. What, to you, is the way forward for those who wish to reconnect the Roman Rite with tradition?
CS: I think that it is unfortunate that different approaches to liturgical reform or in deed, retrenchment inevitably be regarded as in competition because 1 do not see why it wouldn't be possible to have, to some degree, a certain coexistence. One of the more interesting ideas being spoken of, from approximately 1962-64, and then was never heard of again was the idea of trying to recover, to some degree, the diversity in Western European liturgy before the codification of the Mass by Pius V when there was a good deal of diversity of rite and usage in different monasteries, cathedrals and so on all over Europe. Different rites and uses which used to differ from each other quite a lot and some of which were considerably more elaborate than what the Roman rite has come to be since the Council of Trent. And there was not a sense at that time that we had to find out which one of these is the best and make it the official one. One of the results of Conciliar reform was supposed to be that the extreme uniformity of the then, virtually universal, Missal could be varied a good deal. And that being the case I don't see why proponents of the old rite, and of the very traditional sort of new rite, and in deed those who wish to reform in some ways the old rite but to keep it identifiably it self, cannot all three achieve their aims. That is to say, I don't see the necessity of hav ing the Roman rite be the kind of liturgical entity where there is only one real way to do it legitimately. So I tend to shed my blessings on all these branches so long as what they are doing is legitimate practice or liturgical development sanctioned somehow or other juridically by authority.
KP: Do you think that, juridically, this is something that would happen? For example we had the dramatic permission for the Tridentine Mass given in 1984 and then in 1989, but some might say that the tendency of the Vatican has still been of the mentality-with the one above mentioned dramatic exception-of uniformity. A uniformity which is now being cleared up a bit (e.g. the new GIRM), but still a uniformity. Do you ever see the Vatican giving blanket per mission to priests to either celebrate the 1962 Missal or to take elements of it and add it to the Novus Ordo (e.g. the prayers at the foot of the altar)?
CS: I think it is certainly possible to project that. It would not surprise me unduly. People were surprised enough in 1984 when the first Indult permission was given. That came as a bolt from the blue both to advocates and opponents of the measure. So I would not be awfully surprised if in succeeding years, as a result of the discussions, these kinds of liturgical developments permissions along those general lines, or re alignment, perhaps, of rites and books and uses of that sort were to occur. I think there is a danger of this getting out of hand, obviously, so that you have every parish church