Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Summorum Pontificum "a help to everyone"

Many thanks to St John's Valdosta for highlighting an interview given by Cardinal Cañizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, to the Italian journal Trenta Giorni. The magazine also has an English translation: "Why I always seek to meet people and engage in dialogue"

When asked about his priorities in his new appointment, Cardinal Llovera refers to the book "The Spirit of the Liturgy" by Cardinal Ratzinger, seeing it as an important part of his mission to help people to understand his teaching on the liturgy, both in that book and in his personal example.

Speaking of his experience of the implementation of Sacrosanctum Concilium, he says:
The first part of the Sacrosanctum Concilium Constitution did not enter the hearts of the Christian people. There was a change in the forms, a reform, but not a true renewal as required by the Sacrosanctum Concilium. At times change was for the mere sake of changing from a past perceived as negative and outdated. Sometimes the reform was regarded as a break and not as an organic development of Tradition.
and he continues:
More than anything else I would say that it was a reform that was applied and above all was experienced as an absolute change, as if a chasm has to be created between the pre- and post-Vatican II, in a context in which “pre-Council” was used as an insult.
It does seem that the idea of the hermeneutic of reform and continuity is becoming an established idea. On the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, he says:
Even if it has upset some people it was an extraordinary gesture of ecclesial good sense. Whereby a rite that has spiritually nurtured the Latin Church for more than four centuries was recognized as fully valid. I think that this motu proprio is a grace that will fortify the faith of traditionalist groups that are already organically present in the Church and that it will help the return of so-called Lefebvrians... It will also be a help to everyone.
It is interesting that the Prefect of the CDW sees Summorum Pontificum as a grace for everyone and not only for those already attached to the traditional liturgy.

The Cardinal also has some important observations on secularism in Spain that are applicable elsewhere:
As bishop I have a particular duty to the faithful and to all Spaniards. I have the duty to defend the rights of the weakest, as the unborn are, I have the duty to defend marriage as is required by natural law, I have the duty to defend religious freedom, the freedom of parents to educate their children in accord with their own principles, the freedom of the Church. As you see, it’s a matter of promoting the great “yes” to life and the family as we are required by the Gospel of Jesus. For the good of man and of the whole of society. We don’t want to impose anything. We want to be free to propose. We love freedom. Without freedom a society has no future. The danger today is that this freedom may be annulled.
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