Liturgical reform staying put

Fears Pope Benedict wants to abandon liturgical reform are unfounded, a Vatican liturgist has said.

Catholic News Service reports the comments were made by Master of Papal Liturgical Ceremonies Msgr Guido Marini (pictured) in an interview on Vatican radio recently.

However he said the Pontiff has expressed a desire to recover important elements which have been lost or forgotten over time.

"These are certainly incorrect inferences and interpretations," Msgr. Marini said.

"The path of Catholic liturgy is 'development in continuity', in which change never loses touch with the Church's living traditions.

"This may also require, in some cases, the recovery of precious and important elements that along the way have been lost or forgotten," he said.

The rumours emerged after the Pope celebrated a Mass in the Sistine Chapel using the original main altar, which meant he faced away from the people during parts of the liturgy on 13 January.

Msgr Marini said the change in direction reflected the special artistic circumstances of the Sistine Chapel and was not out of line with Vatican II reforms.

"There may be particular circumstances under which, because of the artistic conditions of the holy place or its singular beauty and harmony, it becomes desirable to celebrate at the ancient altar, where among other things the exact orientation of the liturgical celebration is preserved," he said.

"It is a practice allowed by liturgical norms, in tune with the conciliar reform.''

Vatican official says pope does not want to abandon liturgical reform(Catholic News Service 21/01/08)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Holy See Congregation for the Clergy
Unofficial translation of papal text on use of Tridentine Mass (Catholic News Service, 7/7/07)
Text of Pope Benedict XVI's letter to bishops on Tridentine Mass (Catholic News Service, 7/7/07)
Tridentine Mass

Pope turns away from congregation(CathNews 14/01/08)
No Latin Mass for Martini(CathNews 31/07/07)
Benedict expected to restore wider availability of Latin Mass (CathNews, 12/10/06)
Schismatic society lobbies Australian priests on Tridentine rite (CathNews 3/2/05)
Traditionalist leader attacks Pope's ecumenical vision (CathNews 4/2/04)
Tridentine rite Mass for Roman basilica this month (CathNews 5/5/03)

22 Jan 2008