Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Translation of Le Figaro article, "Pope's collaborator praises the Mass in Latin"

[A reader, Juan, kindly sent in this translation of the article referred to by Sandro Magister recently that appeared in Le Figaro on June 23rd in French. Here is his translation from the French.]

Pope's collaborator praises the Mass in Latin

by Hervé Yannou

The number two in the "ministry" for divine worship at the Holy See thinks that one must bring back solemnity to the liturgy. A new gesture towards the traditionalists.

The Mass in Latin is coming back, with the grace of the Vatican. Re-establishing certain aspects of the Mass before the Second Vatican Council "is urgent". Forty years after, we need a real reform of the reform, to return solemnity to the Mass, and recall that the role of laity is not that of priests.

Such is the substance of the ideas of Mgr Malcolm Ranjith Patabendig to 1. MEDIA. They will please tradionalist Catholics and Lefebvristes.

The Sri Lankan diplomat, number two in the "ministry" of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, is in Benedict XVI'sfront line, whom he has voluntarily put in this position.

After the Second Vatican Council, "certain poorly thought out changes were made, in the haste and the enthusiasm [of the moment]", which have unleashed "a situation contrary to that which was wished", the former nuncio to Indonesia considers. A betrayal of the spirit of the reforms, in a manner.

Mass with the "back to the people"

Taking up the crusade against liturgical abuses, he doesn't mince his words against these "erroneous directions like the abandonment of the sacred, the confusion of roles between laity and priests, or even some changes which have emptied the churches by making them Protestant. These changes in mentality have most of all weakened the role of the liturgy rather than strengthening it" and have favoured "secularism".

The Church would have thus lost much in the eyes of many young people and many priests. For Mgr Malcolm Ranjith, "she must be sensible to these urgent situations which people sense, and recover certain aspects of the liturgy of the past". The Holy See also calls the bishops to "enforce the treasures of the past" at the same time as preserving the benefits of the council in liturgical matters (the use of the vernacular, in particular). In effect, "the old missal of the so-called Mass of Pius V was never abolished". This is not a new affirmation. For the former nuncio, it is wrong to give a negative image of the Mass championed by the traditionalists. It must, on the contrary, perfect the actual [current] missal.

These words reflect the thoughts of the pope. Last April, a translation into Italian of a book—by the man who at that time was Cardinal Ratzinger—has exhumed his positions favourable to the celebration of the Mass in Latin, "back to the people", according to the former missal. Three years ago, the future pope expressed his desire to reopen these questions, regretting the "fanaticism" of the post-conciliar debate on the liturgy. Benedict XVI is working on it, and his directives are awaited, while he has multiplied the gestures towards the traditionalist fringe of the Church and the Society of St Pius X. But if with this latter, the "quarrel of rites" is not a point of controversy, the doctrinal teaching of the Second Vatican Council seems to be more difficult to overcome. But Benedict XVI, in reviving the older missal, is opening a breach into which many faithful, in a delicate situation with Rome, can step into.

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