Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources





Cardinal sets out bishop's duty as "guarantor" of liturgy

Cardinal Francis Arinze of the Congregation for Divine Worship has described the role of the bishop as "moderator, promoter and guarantor of liturgical life in his diocese", asserting that "the Bishop's duty to sanctify by means of the holy liturgy is the summit of the service which he is called to exercise in the Church in the name of Christ"

Cardinal Arinze was addressing bishops attending last week's Seminar organised by the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.

"The Second Vatican Council II underlined that the liturgy is the summit to which all the activity of the Church tends and at the same time it is the source from which she draws all her strength," he said.

The cardinal said the Church's many different works of apostolate - preaching, catechesis, school education, social assistance, pastoral conferences, spiritual retreats - "have the common aim of leading people to believe in Christ, to be baptised and take part in liturgical celebrations, especially the sacrifice and sacrament of the Holy Eucharist".

He said it is the bishop's duty to foster in priests, deacons and the laity "an authentic sense of liturgy", so they make take part in the Eucharistic Celebration consciously, actively and fruitfully. The Bishop also has the duty to ensure that liturgy is celebrated with due dignity, without additions or suppressions or changes, to produce the maximum of fruits of sanctification for the diocese.

The Cardinal also spoke about the Cathedral church as "a place filled with significance, symbolism and importance", where the bishop has his teaching chair the "cathedra", and he stressed the need to prepare the people of God to take part fruitfully in the liturgy.

Cardinal Arinze also spoke about inculturation of the liturgy, which he said should be considered "a normal part of evangelisation".

He supported adaption of the liturgy to particular cultures, as long as it is the result of "proper and careful" reflection. But it is the task of the bishops to prevent "frequent changes or the introduction of rites invented by the celebrant and which have not been approved".

Study Seminar for Bishops - The Bishop must be a moderator, promoter and guarantor of liturgical life in his diocese: address by Card. Francis Arinze prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (Fides 17/9/04)

Take care of the celebration of the sacraments and worship (Vatican Information Service 17/9/04)
Pope Tells of Hopes for Eucharistic Year (Zenit 17/9/04)
Protect the sacraments, give faithful dignified celebrations, says Pope to bishops (Catholic News Agency 17/9/04)
Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
Pope tells bishops to guard the faith (CathNews 17/9/04)

20 Sep 2004