Sunday, December 24, 2006

Motu Proprio: the ripple effect in the ecclesial pond

[I received this today through an informal email list I am sent email from. Nothing new in terms of the Motu Proprio's substance or release date, but interesting and encouraging to see an episcopal statement acknowledging the actual antiquity of the classical Roman rite, and further, referencing (even promoting) the very excellent statement that came from the Genoan diocese. These voices of episcopal reason and moderation are invaluble to say the least, and can help begin to effect a re-inculturation to a hermeneutic of continuity. It is also noteworthy to see an acknowledgement of the liturgical crisis that is present in the Latin church, and also the recognition that such an action on the part of Benedict will have profound and deep consequences. ]

The auxiliary bishop of Eichstatt, Bavaria, Germany, wrote the following article in reference to the diocesan letter of the Bishop of Genoa concerning the upcoming Motu Proprio:

There is increasingly frequent and more definite news of the possibility of a more flexible use of the 1962 Missal promulgated by blessed Pope John XXIII. These announcement relate to the possibility of celebrating the eucharistic liturgy which has been little changed with the passage of the centuries in territories pertaining to the Latin Church (the largest ritual family by far within the Catholic Church), i.e. these territories which at a given time were adopted the liturgy of the Roman Rite. Faced with these announcements, it is advisable to give special attention to an official declaration which can be read on the internet site of the archdiocese of Genoa, led since September 24, 2006 by Msgr. Angelo Bagnasco: all of which allows us to think that the Roman document which awaits publication will be received in an analogous context. Le Metropolitan of Genoa, papal legate for the marine territories, was amongst other things also, from 1993 to 1996, the director of diocesan works for the liturgical apostolate. The text prepares all Latin Catholics for the forthcoming proceedings normalizing the liturgical situation inside the Latin liturgical family and very clearly decides in favor of a peaceful agreement. Within this perspective, the decision of the current Pope Benedict XVI will surely have very long term repercussions. The future of the eucharistic liturgy is at stake: it must again be able to find in itself, in a more intense and easier way, its rationale, namely to glorify God and to sanctify hearts, and thus to be recognized automatically as holy and sanctified. It will be necessary, slowly, to overcome and remove this liturgical crisis which always remains current news in particular in the areas of the Latin rite.

(The article then quotes the Bishop of Genoa's letter; it then goes on at length concerning the Motu Proprio.)

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