Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Abp Ranjith: Those resisting Summorum Pontificum are guilty of the sin of pride

It's refreshing to hear bishops speak so frankly. I'll start you out here with the interview as Fr. Z provides it, and you'll need to follow up at his blog for an excellent commentary which follows. I still run into people who don't realize that Fr. Z is the author of the column in The Wanderer called, What does the prayer really say? He has a blog of the same name.

The highly estimable Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, His Excellency Most Reverend Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige gave an interview to Bruno Volpe of Petrus where you can find the original Italian. Rorate has their own translation, but here is mine with my emphases:

Your Excellency, what kind of reception has Benedict XVI´s Motu Proprio which liberalized the Holy Mass according to the Tridentine Rite had? Some, in the very bosom of the Church, have got their noses bent out of shape…

"There have been positive reactions and, it’s pointless to deny it, criticisms and oppositing positions, also on the part of theologians, liturgists, priests, Bishops, and even Cardinals. Frankly, I don’t understand this distancing from, and, let’s just say it, rebellion against the Pope. I invite all, above all shepherds, to obey the Pope, who is the Successor of Peter. Bishops, in particular, swore loyaly to the Pontiff: they must be consistent and faithful to their commitment."

In your view, what are these demonstrations against the Motu Proprio due to?

"You know there have been, on the part of some dioceses, even interpretative documents which inexplicably aim at putting limits on the Pope’s Motu Proprio. Behind these actions there are hidden, on one hand, prejudices of an ideological kind and, on the other hand, pride, one of the gravest sins. I repeat: I call on everyone to obey the Pope. If the Holy father decided he had to issue the Motu Proprio, he had his reasons which I share entirely."

The derestriction of the the Tridentine Rite by Benedict XVI appears to be the right remedy for the many liturgical abuses sadly recounted after the Second Vatican Council with the ‘Novus Ordo’...

"Look, I don’t want to criticize the ‘Novus Ordo’. But I have to laugh when I hear it said, even by friends, that in a some parish, a priest is a ‘saint’ because of his homily or how well he speaks. Holy Mass is sacrifice, gift, mystery, independently of the priest celebrating it. It is important, nay rather, fundamental that the priest step aside: the protagonist of the Mass is Christ. So I really don’t understand these Eucharistic celebrations turned into shows with dances, songs or applause, as frequently happens with the Novus Ordo."

Monsignor Patabendige, your Congregation has repeatedly denounced these liturgical abuses…

"True. However, there are so many documents which have sadly remained dead letters, winding up on dusty shelves or, worse yet, in waste baskets."

Another point: one often hears very long homilies…

"This is an abuse too. I’m against dances and applause during Masses, which aren’t a circus or stadium. Regarding homilies, they must be about, as the Pope has underscored, the catechetical dimension exclusively, avoiding sociologizing and pointless chatter. For example, priests jump onto some political point because they didn’t prepare their homily well, which really ought to be scrupulously worked on. An excessively long homily is synonymous with poor preparation: the right length of time for a sermon should be 10 minutes, 15 at most. You have to remember that the high point of the celebration is the Eucharistic mystery, without of course intending to downplay the liturgy of the Word, but rather to make clear how to carry out a correct liturgy."

Returning to the Motu Proprio: some criticize the use of Latin during Mass…

"The Tridentine Rite is part of the tradition of the Church. The Pope has duly explained the reasons for his provision, an act of liberty and justice towards traditionalists. As for Latin, I would underscore that it was never been abolished and, what is more, that it secures the universality of the Church. But I repeat: I urge priests, bishops, and cardinals to obedience, setting aside every kind of pride and prejudice."

Now, go read Fr. Z's excellent commentary on this interview!

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