Tuesday, July 4, 2006


Hat tip to New Advent.

Excerpt from an interview with Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith as written by Sandro Magister:

Q: Do you have the sense that the conciliar reform went too far?
A: It’s not a question of being anti-conciliar or post-conciliar, conservative or progressive! I think that the liturgical reform of Vatican II never got off the ground. Besides, this reform didn’t begin with Vatican II: in reality, it preceded the Council, coming into being with the liturgical movement at the beginning of the 20th century. If one abides by what the Vatican II decree Sacrosanctum Concilium says, the issue was that of making the liturgy the route of access to faith, and the changes in this area were supposed to emerge in an organic manner, keeping the tradition in view, and not in a haphazard manner. There have been many tendencies that have banished from view the authentic meaning of the liturgy. One could say that the direction of liturgical prayer in the postconciliar reform has not always been the reflection of the documents of Vatican II, and in this sense, one could speak of a necessary correction, a reform of the reform. The liturgy must be won back, in the spirit of the Council.

Q: Through what concrete steps?
A: Today, the problems of the liturgy center around language (vernacular or Latin) and the position of the priest, whether he faces the assembly or faces God. I will surprise you here: nowhere in the conciliar decree does it say that the priest must face the assembly, nor that the use of Latin is forbidden! If the use of the common tongue is permitted, notably in the liturgy of the Word, the decree is very clear that the use of the Latin language should be maintained in the Latin rite. We are waiting for the pope to give us his guidelines on these subjects.

Q: And as for all those who followed, with a great sense of obedience, the post-conciliar reforms – do they need to be told that they were wrong?
A: No, this shouldn’t be turned into an ideological problem. I have noticed how much the young priests here love to celebrate the Tridentine rite. It must be clarified that this ritual, following the missal of Pius V, has not been “outlawed.” Should its use be encouraged even more? That’s for the pope to decide. But it is certain that a new generation is seeking a greater orientation toward mystery. This is not a question of form, but of substance. In order to speak of the liturgy, what is necessary is not a scientific or historical-theological spirit alone, but above all an attitude of meditation, prayer, and silence. Once again, it is not a question of being progressive or conservative, but simply of permitting man to pray, to listen to the voice of the Lord. What happens in the celebration of the Lord’s glory is not a merely human reality. If one forgets this mystical aspect, everything gets mixed up and confused. If the liturgy loses its mystical and heavenly dimension, then who is left to help man free himself from his egoism and self-enslavement? The liturgy must be above all a road to freedom, in opening man to the infinite.

Read the entire story here.


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