Saturday, September 22, 2007

It is time for tradition to become avant garde

~by Punzo Vito in TEMPI via Papa Ratzinger Forum
He's not a Lefebvrian but he welcomed as 'good news' the return of the Latin Mass. In his latest book of essays published in Germany, he defends 'the beauty' of the traditional Roman Catholic liturgy.

He is Martin Mosebach and he is one of the most important contemporary writers in German. A lawyer by training, he has written dozens of novels, screenplays, opera libretti, and essays on art. He contributes to Frankfuerter Allgemeine Zeitung, and next month, he will receive the most prestigious literary prize in Germany, the Buechner Prize. One must note, though that not one of his works has been translated to Italian.

In support of the battle that Pope Benedict XVI has launched to file away the post-conciliar iconoclasm, Mosebach says in his essay "Liturgy is art" that it is time for tradition to become the avant-garde.

He is very severe about the post-conciliar era. Enough to compare it to the iconoclastic war in Byzantium during the first centuries of Christianity: "For the Roman iconoclasm asserted after the Second Vatican Council, Dom Prosper Gueranger had already anticipated a label in the previous century - he called it the anti-liturgical heresy."

"What we have gathered - thanks to the recent epoch that was emptied of sacred images, deprived of sacred spaces, and lacking any sacred music - is that one finds the greatest artistic configuration in traditional liturgy, and if any change is to be made towards recovering religious art of significance, it can only come from the traditional liturgy," Mosebach writes in an essay called 'Liturgy and art'.

Mosebach credits the Benedictines at the Abbey of Fontgombault in France for his liturgical 'discoveries'. it is where he says he redicovered the heart of the Christian experience. He says of Fontgombault: "Whoever decides to become a monk by joining the monastery at Fontgombault has committed himself to the education of one single person: himself."
N.B. My emphasis

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