Benedict, Francis, and the future of the “reform of the reform”

Shawn Tribe offers some thoughts on the future of the liturgy under Pope Francis. I would add one qualification to his  statement that “Benedict XVI understood … the need not simply for legislation, but rather for a renewed liturgical formation and a change in liturgical culture; for there to be lasting effects you first need to change hearts and minds.” I agree, but I must say I don’t think that Benedict fully understood the need for not simply renewed formation and changed culture, but also for legislation. If the enemies of the liturgical project are willing to resist legislation, they are assuredly willing to ignore mere examples, and this may, in the long run, turn out to be the undoing of Benedict’s work. The liturgical renewal that he fostered may fail precisely because it was never set in concrete. It’s all well and good to build the forms, but if you never get around to pouring in the concrete, it’s only a matter of time before the forms are blown down or pulled down.