Tuesday, April 14, 2009

12th Liturgical Conference of Cologne

The NLM is pleased to provide a guest report which Fr. Sven Conrad, FSSP, in turn provided to us. Fr. Conrad was himself involved in this conference. As an aside, I had the pleasure to meet Fr. Conrad last year in Budapest, where he and I presented as part of our own round table discussion at that conference.

The present report tells us of a liturgical conference which takes place in Cologne, Germany, which included a number of figures that will be recognizable to NLM's readers, including Martin Mosebach (author of The Heresy of Formlessness) and Dr. Guido Rodheudt, who has been mentioned upon the NLM before in relation to his paper at CIEL a few years ago on the topic of Josef Pieper and the liturgy.

Also included in the report are a number of photos of the liturgies which took place at this conference.

Guest Report on the 12th Liturgical Conference of Cologne

About 130 people gathered together at Herzogenrath over Passion Sunday for the 12th Kölner Liturgische Tagung (Liturgical Conference of Cologne). The conference was organized by Initiativkreis katholischer Laien und Priester Cologne, Hamburg, Netzwerk Katholischer Priester, "Orietur-Occidens“ Hamburg-Dinslaken and UNA VOCE Deutschland. Special thanks to the Parish Priest of Herzogenrath, Dr. Guido Rodheudt, for his kind hospitality and to both – him and Mr. E. Pellengahr - for the organization!

For the first time in its history, the congress started with a meeting especially for the clergy in order to discuss the implementation of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum in the parishes and in the program of formation for the priesthood. It was pointed out that there is a significant difference between parishes in the countryside and the structure of a parish within the city; it is easier to integrate the older liturgy into the parish life of the city.

Dr. Lorenz Gadient, spiritual director of the diocesan seminary of Eichstätt, gave a good analysis of the issues, speaking of his own experiences. He noted that some questions pertaining to the relation between the two forms of the Roman rite still have to be solved, especially whether it is possible to interpret the rubrics of the modern Roman Missal in the sense of the older Roman missal where the modern missal does not provide detailed instructions.

Dr. Gabriel Steinschulte, Vice President of the Consociatio Internationalis Musicae Sacrae, spoke about the importance of Sacred music. The guidelines given by the Second Vatican Council concerning sacred music are exactly the same for both forms of the Roman rite. Accordingly, seminarians need to be trained in the execution of Gregorian chant. They also have to know how to deal with sacred music generally, which is part of the liturgy itself.

After this, the official meeting -- which was open to the public -- started with a Sung Mass in the parish church.

The important opening conference of the congress was given by Dr. Guido Rodheudt, who spoke about how to classify the desire for the older Roman rite. In his paper - inspired by Chesterton and a true spirit of philosophy - Rodheudt strongly insisted that there is no question of nostalgia, but that the older rite is something that gives hope for the present and for the future. He presented the history of the Roman liturgy in an interesting, essayistic way and by this he presented a popular and profound analysis of the liturgical problem.

A round table dealt with the Motu Proprio in regard to Canon Law. Dr. Gero Weishaupt, well known Latinist of Vatican Radio and Canon lawyer of the Diocese of Hertogenbosch (Netherlands) gave a very interesting introduction, which was a practical commentary upon the Pope's letter. Dr. Weishaupt insisted on the wide and generous interpretation of Summorum Pontificum. It is worth reading the details of his conference, which presented a good guideline for observing the Pope's letter in parish settings. For example, he dealt with the question of the "stable group" of faithful for which the parish priest could offer the liturgy in the forma extraordinaria. Weishaupt refers to a principle given by classical Roman law: "Tres faciunt collegium". He noted that the so-called private Mass of a priest is open to the faithful as well and he argued that the reading of the scripture in the vernacular is to be done only within the context of public Masses. As well, even if the Motu proprio left the question open, it is not recommended to read the Epistles and Gospels of the new Roman lectionary in the forma extraordinaria, as there would be many practical problems -- problems which Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos has mentioned before. In the course of the round-table, Dr. Heinz-Lothar Barth (University Bonn) also affirmed that the Motu Proprio does not intend to exclude celebrations of the Triduum sacrum.

Fr. Sven Conrad FSSP, SLL, gave a conference about the Pope's definition of the "twofold use of one and the same rite.“ He explained the different meanings of "rite“ and argued that the expression of the "one Roman Rite“ is referring to the Roman Church as an "Ecclesia sui iuris" and the Latin Church as a communion of particular Churches which all belong to the Roman tradition. It refers as well to the one "lex credendi"; therefore, no one could use the newer form against the old one concerning matters of dogmatic theology. He proposed that the existence of the older form provides an important hermeneutic and that while the new form was indeed composed of Roman elements as well, in some instances these were radically altered. Fr. Conrad compared elements of the new form to the sources of the Roman Rite such as the Ordo Romanus I and the old Roman Sacramentaries. On this level one can see significant ruptures concerning the texts, ceremonies and theological understanding of the celebration itself, which is a result of the fact that the new form did not develop in an organic matter. In the future, there may be opportunities to have many variations of the one family of the Roman Rite (cf. the liturgies of the different Religious Orders), as there had been throughout the long history of the Latin Church, but it would be necessary that the Ordinary Form of the Roman rite should rediscover the classical sources of Roman liturgy as such -- for example, practically, the use of the Roman Canon has to be strengthened in the newer form and, further, adopting into it the words of consecration from the Extraordinary Form in order to show the unity between the two forms.

Fr. Almir de Andrade, FSSP, who is presently working at the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, gave an extraordinary conference about the recent situation and the Pope's will to re-integrate the Society of St. Pius X. into the Church's life.

The famed German author, Martin Mosebach, gave an excellent closing conference; a beautiful and deep essay on the topic: "Why the Mass should be sung.“

Some splendid liturgies were also celebrated during the conference. Thanks to Dr. Michael Tunger, Mr. René Rolle, the schola of St. Franziskus (Heerlen, NL), the Schola Carolina, Mr. Herbert Nell and the choirs of St. Getrud (Herzogenrath).

The most important liturgy was the Pontifical High Mass offered by H. E. Dr. Klaus Dick, auxiliary emeritus of Cologne, in the beautiful Romanesque Church of the seminary of Rolduc (NL).

(The vesting of the bishop)

The speakers of the meeting drafted a message to the Bishops to take the Motu Proprio seriously, especially in the programme of formation for the priesthood. Following the spirit of the Motu Proprio, seminarians should be trained also in the older form of the Roman Rite. This training should not only include practical matters, but it has to provide a true positive approach to the old liturgy, based on it's history and spirituality. The candidates for the priesthood also have to be well prepared in Latin in order to execute the sacred rites in an appropriate and fruitful way.

An important event – one that has to be repeated!

(From the closing Mass)

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