Wednesday, November 21, 2007

More from Interview with Archbishop Ranjith on Liturgy

~via Papa Ratzinger Forum

"We are called on to be faithful to something which is not ours but which has been given to us," Mons. Ranjith says. "We should be faithful to the seriousness with which sacraments ought to be celebrated. Why do we need to issue page upon page of instructions if everyone feels free to do as he pleases?"

The prelate says that a confrontation between 'traditionalists' and 'innovators' makes 'no sense'. "There was not and there isn't any break between a 'before' and 'after' in the Church, but a continuous line."

"With respect to the traditional Mass," he went on, "there had been a growing demand over time, which also became more organized little by little. At the same time, faithfulness to the standards of celebrating the sacraments was falling. The more such faithfulness diminished, along with the beauty and wonder of liturgy, the more some Catholics looked back to the tradtional Mass."

"For years, the liturgy has undergone so many abuses, and so many bishops have simply ignored them. Pope John Paul II made a heartfelt appeal in Ecclesia Dei afflicta, which called on the Church to be more serious about the liturgy. And he did it again in the Instruction Redemptoris sacramentum. But many liturgists and diocesan offices of liturgy criticized the Papal documents.

"The problem then is not so much about the traditional Mass, but an almost unlimited abuse of the nobility and dignity of the Eucharistic celebration. And this was something about which Pope Benedict could not be silent, as we saw in his explanatory letter to the bishops and in his many speeches. He feels a great sense of pastoral responsibility.

"Therefore, this document [Sunmmorum Pontificum], beyond being an attempt to bring back the Society of St. Pius X into the Church, is also a gesture, a strong call from the universal Pastor to a sense of seriousness about the liturgy."

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