Friday, October 27, 2006

Cardinal Arinze in France: Decries the "banalization, desacralization, and secularization of the liturgy"

This posting every 3 days-thing is not working. I may have to make exception for small news clips of interest to readers here. This one was too good to pass up. I do have more content to post in a day or two from now, but those will take more work. This is just a quick drop.

It's Cardinal Arinze time!!!

He's in France, and in an echo of what many of us heard when he was in Detroit a few weeks ago, his words are captured publicly and brought to us by EWTN News. I was going to highlight a few statements. The next thing I knew 98% of the article was highlighted. Only His Eminence can pack so much into so few words! My comments in brackets.
Speaking at the Catholic Institute of Paris, Cardinal Francis Arinze (bio - news) decried the "banalization, desacralization, and secularization of the liturgy." He rebuked priests who take an "overtly egocentric" approach to the liturgy, violating the norms of the Church. And he also criticized priests whose "false humility" leads them to "share their role with the laity." [Such as, purification of vessels?]

"The sacred liturgy is not a domain in which free exploration reigns," the Nigerian-born cardinal said. He suggested that many liturgical abuses can be traced to "the undue place given to spontaneity, or creativity, or perhaps a false idea of liberty, or even that error that goes by the name of 'horizontalism,' which consists in placing man at the center of the liturgical celebration instead of directing attention upward, that is toward Christ." [Yes, why love God through our neighbor during the Mass when we have an opportunity to love him directly through genuine, wholesome worship. We should love God through our neighbor once the priest says, "Ite, Misse est!]

Cardinal Arinze went on to say that priests should deliver homilies that are "rooted in Sacred Scripture," rather than offering thoughts based on sociology, psychology, and politics [And he doesn't mean they shouldn't be talking about the evils of abortion, or embryonic stem cell research as these are indeed moral issues]. He reminded his French audience that priests are ordained to proclaim the Word of God rather than to offer their insights on matters that lay people can study equally well. By interfering in the province of the laity, he added, priests confuse their own role, and "that always causes damage."

In an address that repeated themes frequently set forth in Vatican documents, the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship concluded with the observation that "the liturgy is not the property of anyone-- neither the celebrant nor the community in which the mysteries are celebrated." He exhorted priests to approach the Mass with reverence and an appreciation for their own role in the Eucharistic mystery [Translation: Just read the black and do the red, Father].

Continue reading Arinze at EWTN News...