Sunday, November 18, 2007

Don Nicola Bux in L'Osservatore Romano today: On the Liturgy on the Anniversary of Mediator Dei

In L'Osservatore Romano today, via Papa Ratzinger, appears an article by Don Nicola Bux on the liturgy, rooted in the upcoming anniversary of Pius XII's liturgical encyclical, Mediator Dei.

Here follows a translation of the first few paragraphs.

On the Liturgy: A Debate without Prejudice

Nicola Bux

It is a battle underway in the liturgy... and the subject of the dispute is not just the ancient Roman rite.

However, the Holy Father reassures us: the struggle for the correct interpretation and worthy celebration of the sacred liturgy is needed in every generation. It is a great challenge "to achieve internal reconciliation in the bosom of the Church" (Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum, 7 July 2007), and also to bring liturgical reform. [But can we refuse] the invitation if really we love the Church and the sacred liturgy?

Now, if [there are] those who love or [have] discovered the previous liturgical tradition [who] must also be convinced of the value and sanctity of the new rite, everyone else should reflect on the fact that "in the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture. What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful."

The words of Benedict XVI recall these others: "Indeed, though we are sorely grieved to note, on the one hand, that there are places where the spirit, understanding or practice of the sacred liturgy is defective, or all but inexistent, We observe with considerable anxiety and some misgiving, that elsewhere certain enthusiasts, over-eager in their search for novelty, are straying beyond the path of sound doctrine and prudence. Not seldom, in fact, they interlard their plans and hopes for a revival of the sacred liturgy with principles which compromise this holiest of causes in theory or practice, and sometimes even taint it with errors touching Catholic faith and ascetical doctrine."

Who has written this is Pius XII. The logic is the same: tradition and development are necessarily inescapable, and both are in the nature of the Church as [they are in] the human body and are not be resisted but are complementary and interrelated. Therefore it makes no sense to be [either] excessive innovators or [excessive] traditionalists...

[NLM: If anyone can translate the entire piece for the NLM, please do so and email it to me.]

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