Saturday, 30 May 2009

"As I had the occasion to clarify..."

Helping me to catch up on one or two things I missed while away in Lourdes, a correspondent sent me links for the address of the Holy Father at the opening of the Pastoral Congress for the Diocese of Rome.

Here is the original Italian text; and here are a couple of quotations in English translation, thanks to Rorate Caeli and NLM:
As I had the occasion to clarify in the address to the Roman Curia of December 22, 2005, an interpretive current, appealing to a supposed "spirit of the Council", intended to establish a discontinuity and even a contraposition between the Church before and the Church after the Council, at times confusing the very objectively existing boundaries between the hierarchical ministry and the responsibility of the lay faithful in the Church.

The notion of the "People of God, in particular, was interpreted by some according to a purely sociological vision, with an almost exclusively horizontal severance, which excluded the vertical reference to God. This position was in open contrast from the word and the spirit of the Council, which did not will a rupture, another Church, but a true and deep renewal, in continuity with the only subject, the Church, which grows in time and develops herself, yet remaining always the same...
and on the manner of celebrating the Eucharist:
The centre of the life of the parish is, as I said, the Eucharist, and especially the Sunday celebration. If the unity of the Church is born from the encounter with the Lord, it is not secondary then that the adoration and the celebration of the Eucharist be very elegant, giving way to who participates in it to experience the beauty of the mystery of Christ. Since the beauty of the liturgy "is not mere aestheticism, but the concrete way in which the truth of God's love in Christ encounters us, attracts us and delights us" (Sacramentum Caritatis n. 35), it is important that the Eucharistic celebration manifests, communicates through the sacramental signs, the divine life and reveals to men and women of this city the true face of the Church.
Parish priests who celebrate both forms of the Roman rite may be criticised for allowing the older form of the rite to "dominate" in the sense that the celebrations of the newer form are seen as being influenced by the traditional liturgy, rather than being informal celebrations of a conversational nature in which all solemnity is eschewed. The Holy Father here encourages us to make the celebration of the Eucharist "very elegant" so that those who participate experience the beauty of the mystery of Christ.
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