torsdag 6 december 2012

Benedict XVI's Reform by Nicola Bux

I have just read this book, published by Ignatius Press. It makes important points on an important subject, drawing on sources such as Sacramentum Caritatis. It is an explanation of Pope Benedict's position on liturgical reform, which is that those who have taken a rigid stand on the Tridentine Mass are as mistaken as those who took Vatican 2 as a go-ahead signal to make things up as they went along.

The current position is that there are two forms of the one Latin rite - the Ordinary Form and the Extraordinary Form. Priests should not be celebrating one to the exclusion of the other. And furthermore, the provisions of Sacrosanctum Concilium should be complied with, which means giving pride of place to Latin, Gregorian Chant and Polyphony. When this is done, as, for instance, at the London Oratory, there is no reasonable ground for criticism of the Oridinary Form of the Mass.

Unfortunately, few of the current bishops have so far taken the Benedictine reforms seriously. Without the support of their bishops, those clergy who do are finding themselves out on a limb, regarded as reactionaries or dissidents. Yet the only point of growth in the Catholic church is within the movement which is reclaiming traditional forms of worship, which are drawing a new generation of young people. Pretty much everywhere else, the story is of continuing decline.

It is a pity that the translation of this book from the original Italian is so awful. It needs to be republished with a new translation, a native English speaker being involved in the final editing. It will then reach the wider audience it needs to be read by.

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