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Vatican insisting on liturgy norms observance


The norms for celebrating Mass must be followed exactly to ensure reverence for the Eucharist and to preserve the unity of the Catholic Church, according to a new Vatican document released on Friday.

"In some places the perpetration of liturgical abuses has become almost habitual, a fact which obviously cannot be allowed and must cease," said the document, "Redemptionis Sacramentum" ("The Sacrament of Redemption"), written by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

The instruction, approved by Pope John Paul II and released at a Vatican press conference on Friday, particularly cited as abuses the use of eucharistic prayers not approved by the church, changing approved prayer texts, and allowing lay people to carry out functions reserved to a priest or deacon.

The document said that while it was "laudable" to encourage boys and young men to be altar servers, girls and women can be altar servers if the local bishop permitted the practice.

Congregation prefect Cardinal Francis Arinze (pictured) told reporters: "The eucharistic norms were elaborated to express and safeguard the eucharistic mystery and, even more, to demonstrate that it is the church which celebrates this august sacrifice and sacrament."

The norms reaffirm church teaching that a Catholic, in a situation of serious sin, must go to confession before approaching the Eucharist.

Cardinal Arinze refused to answer a direct question about whether US Senator and likely presidential candidate John Kerry should be denied Communion unless he goes to confession and repents for his position of support for legalised abortion.

"The norm of the church is clear," he said. "The church exists in the United States. There are bishops there, let them interpret it."

However, when asked more generally if a priest should refuse Communion to a politician who supports abortion, Cardinal Arinze said, "Yes."

SOURCE
Vatican says Mass norms must be followed exactly to ensure reverence (Catholic News Service 23/4/04)

LINKS
Document on liturgical abuse a stern call to discipline (National Catholic Reporter 23/4/04)
Vatican Cracks Down on Liturgical Abuses (The Guardian/Associated Press 23/4/04)
Pope lays down law with recipe for perfect Mass (Independent 24/4/04)
Vatican Document Targets Abuses Against Eucharist (Zenit 23/4/04)
Vatican Seeks to Stem Abuses During Celebration of Mass (Associated Press/TBO.com 23/4/04)
Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum on certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist - Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (Zenit 23/4/04)
Vatican Document Targets Abuses Against Eucharist (Zenit 23/4/04)
Document on Eucharist Underwent a Dozen Drafts (Zenit 23/4/04)
Cardinal Arinze's Presentation on Instruction Regarding the Eucharist (Zenit 23/4/04)
Document lists 28 grave abuses against Eucharist (Catholic News Service 23/4/04)
New Vatican document condemns liturgical abuses (Catholic World News/Spirit Daily 23/4/04)
Vatican again rules out Catholics and Protestants celebrating eucharist (Ecumenical News International 26/4/04)
Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum - On certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist (Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacrament)
Vatican Cardinal Arinze Says Pro-Abortion Politicians Must be Denied Holy Communion (Lifesite 23/4/04)
Vatican presents Redemptoris Sacramentum (Independent Catholic News 23/4/04)
John L Allen: Kerry and communion; Liturgical abuse document released; The Vatican and terrorism; A talk by Passionist Fr. Donald Senior; 'New movements' congress in Stuttgart; North American College honors (National Catholic Reporter 23/4/04)
Denying Communion on abortion is last resort, Bishop Gregory says (Catholic News Service 26/4/04)
What to keep and what to cut: Vatican doesn't list all Mass abuses (Catholic News Service 23/4/04)
New Vatican document condemns liturgical abuses (Catholic World News 26/4/04)
Prelate makes case against liturgical abuse (Catholic World News 23/4/04)
Pro-Choice Politicians 'Not Fit' for Communion (Washington Post 23/4/04)
No Communion for Pro-Abortion Politicians, Says Cardinal Arinze (Zenit 23/4/04)
European bishops say they'd hesitate to deny politicians Communion (Catholic News Service 22/4/04)
European bishops say they'd hesitate to deny politicians Communion (Catholic News Service 22/4/04)
Cardinal Arinze comments on Kerry-Communion debate (Catholic World News 23/4/04)
Give Kerry Communion--For Now (Beliefnet)
Kerry snub for Vatican on choice (New York Daily News 24/4/04)


27 Apr 2004