Rivolti al Signore book launch

That is the Italian title of Turning Towards the Lord by Fr Michael Lang. It has generated massive media interest in Italy with feature articles in most of the major national dailies. (Did anyone notice when it was published in England?)

The book launch took place this morning in the Aula Minor of the Augustinianum with the lead "intervento" given by Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, the Secretary of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship. His discourse was an intelligent, inspiring and incisive analysis of the present state of the Liturgy in the Church. He referred often to Pope Benedict's The Spirit of the Liturgy and spoke diplomatically of how the "reform of the reform" might proceed.

Fr Salvatore Vitello, the priest from Turin who chaired the conference has promised to send me a copy of the speech. It may well be that Archbishop Ranjith wrote the original in English but if not, I will translate it.

The second speaker was Fr Bux. With a glint in his eye, he pointed out that the Church had been very keen on inculturation - except with regard to its own culture. He also pointed out the implications of the book's thesis for ecumenism with the Eastern Churches - an area in which he is an expert.

Fr Lang was subjected to questions from La Stampa and a senior professor at the Lateran University who was a close colleague of Archbishop Bugnini. He fielded these bravely and competently in Italian which is not the first of the languages which he speaks in addition to English and his native German. Marco Politti of La Reppublica threw in a little sideswipe about him being a young priest and not knowing how bad things were in the old days.

Fr Vitello pointed out at the close of proceedings how encouarging it was to see so many young clergy present. He also drew attention to the importance of ... "The Hermeneutic of Continuity"!

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