Saturday, August 22, 2009

Tornielli: The "Reform of the Reform" Proposals Approved by the Pope

Via Andrea Tornielli today [in a quick NLM translation]:


The newspaper [Il Giornale] today published a paper devoted to "propositions" voted on last March by the plenary meeting of the Congregation for Divine Worship, presented to Benedict XVI by Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera on April 4th. It contains a first outline of the "reform the reform" liturgy that Ratzinger would see implemented, underlining the importance of worship, putting a stop to creativity and abuse, giving more presence to the Latin language in the new rite, publishing bilingual missals (with the Latin text opposite), reconsidering the matter of the "versus orientem" [ad orientem] orientation at least during the consecration [i.e. during the Eucharistic prayer], reiterating that the use of distributing Communion in the hand is an indult, an extraordinary fact, but that the [normative] custom of the law must remain to receive the host on the tongue. All this, however, will be prepared and presented in the Ratzingerian style: not any short-term document, no sudden imposition destined to go unheeded. Rather, a long and patient work from the grass roots ["from below"], that involves the episcopate. The point of departure and arrival is the conciliar Constitution on the Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium.

Source: Il Blog di Andrea Tornielli: La "riforma della riforma": proposte approvate dal Papa

The article linked to above has been translated by Rorate Caeli:

ROME. The document was delivered to the hands of Benedict XVI in the morning of last April 4 by Spanish Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship. It is the result of a reserved vote, which took place on March 12, in the course of a "plenary" session of the dicastery responsible for the liturgy, and it represents the first concrete step towards that "reform of the reform" often desired by Pope Ratzinger. The Cardinals and Bishops members of the Congregation voted almost unanimously in favor of a greater sacrality of the rite, of the recovery of the sense of eucharistic worship, of the recovery of the Latin language in the celebration, and of the remaking of the introductory parts of the Missal in order to put a stop to abuses, wild experimentations, and inappropriate creativity. They have also declared themselves favorable to reaffirm that the usual way of receiving Communion according to the norms is not on the hand, but in the mouth. There is, it is true, and indult which, on request of the [local] episcopates, allows for the distribution of the host [sic] also on the palm of the hand, but this must remain an extraordinary fact. The "Liturgy Minister" of Pope Ratzinger, Cañizares, is also having studies made on the possibility to recover the orientation towards the Orient of the celebrant, at least at the moment of the eucharistic consecration, as it happened in practice before the reform, when both the faithful and the priest faced towards the Cross and the priest therefore turned his back to the assembly.

Those who know Cardinal Cañizares, nicknamed "the small Ratzinger" before his removal to Rome, know that he is disposed to move forward decisively with the project, beginning in fact from what was established by the Second Vatican Council in the liturgical constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, which was, in reality, exceeded by the post-Conciliar reform which came into forceat the end of the Sixties. The porporato, interviewed by monthly 30Days in recent months, had declared regarding this: "At times change was for the mere sake of changing from a past perceived as negative and outdated. Sometimes the reform was regarded as a break and not as an organic development of Tradition."

For this reason, the "propositiones" voted by the Cardinals and Bishops at the March plenary foresee a return to the sense of sacredness and to adoration, but also a recovery of the celebrations in Latin in the dioceses, at least in the main solemnities, as well as the publication of bilingual Missals - a request made at his time by Paul VI - with the Latin text first.

The proposals of the Congregation, which Cañizares delivered to the Pope, obtaining his approval, are perfectly in line with the idea often expressed by Joseph Ratzinger when he was still a Cardinal, as it is made clear his unpublished words on the liturgy, revealed in advanced by Il Giornale yesterday, and which will be published in the book Davanti al Protagonista (Cantagalli [publisher]), presented beforehand at a congress at Rimini. With a significant nota bene: for the accomplishment of the "reform of the reform", many years will be necessary. The Pope is convinced that hasty steps, as well as to simply drop directives from above, serve no good, with the risk that they may later remain a dead letter. The style of Ratzinger is that of comparison and, above all, of example. As the fact that, for more than a year, whoever approaches the Pope for Communion, have had to kneel down on the kneeler especially placed by the cerimonieri.