With Cardinal Ranjith who addressed the topic "Objections to Eucharistic Adoration". Apparently, there are none!
He is a very inspiring bishop with great energy, still full of zeal despite much suffering and many setbacks in his life.
In his address to the Conference he spoke of the lack of faith in many parts of the Church itself, a lack of faith in the objective presence of the Lord in the Holy Eucharist. He thought there was often a lack of wonder and reverence for the Blessed Sacrament, quoting St Augustine saying, "We would sin if we did not adore Him before receiving Him."
The Cardinal spoke of the meaningless and tasteless (in many senses) experience of the Eucharist in many parishes because of a noisy and frenetic atmosphere that was no longer devout, adoring and contemplative. These aspects are not of choice but essential to a celebration of the Mass - an experience much more usual in the "Tridentine" Mass.
Of the priest facing the people instead of the Lord, he said that it promoted an attitude of showmanship, a silent body language of entertainment inevitably enters into the Mass. It is an innovation never advocated by the Second Vatican Council and is not respectful of the awesome mystery of the Holy Eucharist. (There was here an extended interruption for as applause echoed around the auditorium.)
He re-iterated the view that active participation does not mean outward activity but interior adoration, which takes a great deal of effort and spiritual activity.
Later over dinner he was also telling us of some of the changes he has made in his own diocese:
Each and every church has altar rails once again for the reception of Holy Communion, which is to be received kneeling.
The allowance to deviate from the universal norm of Holy Communion on the tongue has been withdrawn. So Communion is always on the tongue.
Priests must dress in the proper vestments for Mass.
Priests are forbidden to bring elements or styles of worship from other religions into the sacred liturgy.
Cardinal Raymond Burke addresses the Conference on the "Importance of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the formation and life of Priests" reminding us that Priesthood exists PRIMARILY for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. I was also struck by him reminding us that the Church (the physical Church building) is a HOLY place. So often our churches are deliberately turned into spaces resembling other secular gathering places.
Pictured here (if rather fuzzy) with Bishop Schneider who is present for the whole Conference. He is a very impressive man, immensely kind and gentle yet unafraid to speak out firmly.
NB. Apologies for some of the strange layout and spelling mistakes on these recent posts. The Italian server and my laptop do not seem to be a happy mix and the text is not always obedient to my typed commands!