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Saturday, 29 August 2009

Andrea Tornielli "le smentite che non smentiscono"

This morning on his blog "Sacri Palazzi", the journalist and vaticanista Andrea Tornielli has an article on "La “riforma della riforma” e le smentite che non smentiscono" (The "reform of the reform" and non-denial denials). Sound familiar? Tornielli does in fact take the same line that I did on Tuesday, that the "denial" of Fr Benedittini (and indeed the implied denial of Cardinal Bertone in an interview with L'Osservatore Romano yesterday) deny things that were not actually asserted by Tornielli in his original story.

Bloggers will find it interesting to read Tornielli's aside that since the Williamson affair, blogs are now constantly monitored by the Holy See.

Here is my translation of the article:
The "reform of the reform" and non-denial denials
My dear friends, I return to the subject matter of the post which, on 22 August last, I devoted to the questions discussed by the plenary session of the Congregation for Divine Worship regarding the recovery of a greater sense of sacrality in the liturgy. As you know, and as has already been noted, in the afternoon of Monday 24 August, the vice-director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Fr Ciro Benedittini (whom I greatly esteem) put out by means of Vatican Radio a verbal declaration regarding the subject of my article. These are his carefully measured and considered words: “At the moment, there do not exist institutional proposals regarding a modification of the liturgical books currently in use”.

This supposed denial has made the rounds of the blogs: more than a few have not hidden a tinge of satisfaction for the fact that the undersigned has been caught in the act. Further, in the interview given yesterday to L’Osservatore Romano, the Cardinal Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone made a reference to the fanciful reconstructions of documents of “going back” with respect to the Council, words which the agency Zenit presented as linked to my article. I would like to tell you that the denial of Fr Benedittini was provoked not so much by my article, as by its being taken up by many blogs (after the Williamson case, blogs and websites are now constantly monitored by the Holy See) which presented as imminent the “reform of the reform” and modifications of the Mass in a more traditional direction (or of “going back” according to the expression used by Cardinal Bertone).

First of all, in my article, I never spoke of imminent reforms or of documents already prepared, and at the conclusion I said clearly that it was a matter of the beginning of a work. A long work which does not want to send things down from above by imposition, but to involve the episcopates. I spoke of the voting that had taken place at the plenary session of the Congregation, of the fact that Cardinal Canizares had taken the results to the Pope, of the fact that study had begun, not on “institutional proposals regarding a modification of the liturgical books currently in use” but rather on more precise and rigorous indications regarding the manner of celebration with the existing books and in some cases those just published. All of this is to tell you not to believe those who today write that nothing is happening, that the Pope and the Congregation for Worship are not thinking of anything, that the “reform of the reform” and its recovery of a greater sacrality of the liturgy is a piece of news falsely published by the undersigned.

Since I have been a vaticanista, I have committed many errors – and I will commit many in the future: but the article in question, believe me, is not among these. Moreover, the fact that “at the moment” there are not “institutional proposals” for reform, does not deny that already today there are proposals for study that have not yet become “institutional”. It is enough to read what Cardinal Ratzinger has written in his time, and what Pope Benedict XVI has written in his letter accompanying the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, to be aware how much this theme is close to his heart.
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