Sunday, 14 June 2015

Cardinal Robert Sarah - Bravo!

Like Rorate Caeli and Fr Ray Blake, I had intended posting about the astounding words of Cardinal Sarah reported  in L'Osservatore Romano - but they were quicker off the mark than I was!  I say "astounding" because what he suggests is still looked on as "heresy" by those who follow the the hermeneutic of rupture theology of post Vatican II liturgy - sadly, although gradually changing, still the vast majority in this country.

From the point of view of orientation, like Fr Blake and a growing number of priests, I have quietly gotten on with trying to implement what is actually written in the Missal and elsewhere in the Church's liturgical instructions, having grown tired of waiting for the likes of the Bishops' Conference or the diocesan liturgical commission to bring these things to the fore.

Pope Benedict's masterful liberation of the Traditional Form from its Babylonian captivity in the years after the Council has perhaps been the single most influential act in getting people and priests to look again at how the Mass is celebrated in a wider context.  Cardinal Sarah, Pope Francis' appointment as Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, is now making it utterly plain that the Ordinary Form of the Mass MUST be celebrated in a manner that shows its continuity with the Traditional Form of the Mass - and indeed, calls for this to be embedded more strongly in the Missal of the Ordinary Form.  We can hope for this line to be made clear and publicised particularly in the English speaking world, as the Secretary at the Congregation is still the English Archbishop Arthur Roche, formerly Bishop of Leeds.

The original L'Osservatore Romano article isn't online in English but Catholic Culture has this report of it:

(Actually, having just posted this,  I discover there is an automated English translation on Chiesa.)

Paying tribute to the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy as a liturgical “Magna Carta,” Cardinal Robert Sarah called for a more faithful implementation of its text, lamented misinterpretations of its teaching on “active participation,” and suggested an appendix to the Roman Missal that might better manifest the continuity of the extraordinary and ordinary forms of the celebration of the Mass.

“The liturgy is essentially the action of Christ,” the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship wrote in the June 12 edition of L’Osservatore Romano. “If this vital principle is not received in faith, it is likely to make the liturgy a human work, a self-celebration of the community.”

He continued:

To speak of a ‘celebrating community’ is not without ambiguity and requires real caution. The participatio actuosa [active participation] should not therefore be understood as the need to do something. On this point the teaching of the Council has often been distorted. It is instead to let Christ take us and associate us with his sacrifice.
Citing the teaching of Pope Francis, Cardinal Sarah criticized the attitude of priests who make themselves the focal point of the liturgy.

“It is entirely consistent with the conciliar constitution, it is indeed opportune that, during the rite of penance, the singing of the Gloria, the orations, and the Eucharistic prayer, everyone, priest and faithful, should turn together towards the East, to express their will to participate in the work of worship and of redemption accomplished by Christ,” he continued. “This manner of doing things could opportunely be put into place in cathedrals, where liturgical life must be exemplary.”

Continuing his discussion of “active participation,” Cardinal Sarah criticized the “contemporary Western mentality” in which the faithful are to be “constantly busy” and in which the Mass is to be rendered “convivial.”

On the contrary, “sacred awe” and “joyful fear require our silence in the presence of the divine majesty. It is often forgotten that sacred silence is one of the means set forth by the Council to encourage participation.”

Cardinal Sarah recalled the Council’s teaching that the faithful should “be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them,” and said that the liturgy “must stop being a place of disobedience to the requirements of the Church.”

The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, he emphasized, should not be read with a “hermeneutic of rupture.”

“It would be wrong to consider the extraordinary form of the Roman rite as coming from another theology,” he said. To manifest that the ordinary form and the extraordinary form are “in continuity and without opposition,” it would be “desirable” that there be an appendix in an upcoming edition of the Roman Missal that would permit celebrants in the ordinary form to use the penitential rite and the offertory of the extraordinary form.

“If we live in this spirit, then the liturgy will cease to be the place of rivalry and criticism,” and instead be the place in which we participate actively in the heavenly liturgy, the cardinal concluded.


Sixupman said...

My parish church has a sprinkling of Chinese, West and East Africans in the congregation - they and their children demonstrate a deportment which puts the locals to shame. Clear genuflections, amongst other aspects. When did such disappear as a standard, natural reaction, within our worship?

Genty said...

Cardinal Sarah gives us hope, which has been in short supply lately. God bless him.

Unknown said...

This sounds like another attempt at the reform of the reform.The blame for the mess that is the Novus Ordo has always been laid at the door of those who have not been faithful to the council documents.Those documents were indeed sound in many respects but certain ambigious phrases were introduced which could be and were exploited by the modernists. The most well known example of this being "active participation". The proposals of Cardinal Sarah will, if introduced, improve matters ( but then they would only be an option ) and would not solve the problems and chaos that the Novus Ordo has saddled the church with.The answer is to phase the Novus Ordo out and reinstate the TLM to its rightful place on all the altars of the world.