I år 2001/02 var det en diskusjon mellom dominikaneren Pierre-Marie Gy og kardinal Ratzinger om sistnevntes bok om liturgien – og denne diskusjonen offentliggjøres nå på internett i Antiphon, tidsskriftet til the Society for Catholic Liturgy. Gy kristiserer kardinalen for flere ting, bl.a. for å støtte personer som ikke ønsker å følge opp bestemmelsene i Vatikankonsilet. Ratzinger opplever kritikken som svært misfortått, og presiserer hva han mener i disse tre punktene:
a) I said that it was just and necessary to create a space proper for the liturgy of the Word (around the ambo) and to accomplish it in the form of a proclamation and a response, as a dialogue between those who announce this Word (the lector, the cantor, the deacon, the priest) and those who hear it.
b) I observed moreover that in churches (especially cathedrals and monasteries) in which the main altar is too far from the people, it was good to build altars that could be placed closer to the people.
c) I added, lastly, that the great tradition of “orientation,” the act of turning toward the “Orient” as the image of the return of Christ, in no way requires that all altars must once again be reversed and that the priest’s place be changed as a consequence. On the contrary, one can satisfy the internal requirements of this apostolic tradition without undertaking great external transformations, by arranging things such that the Cross (the eschatalogical Cross, as in early churches, the Cross of glory as in Romanesque churches, the Cross of suffering, with its emphasis on the resurrection) should be the common focal point of the priest and the faithful – such that it is placed in the middle of the altar, and not to the side. The Christ who was crucified and who returns today is the true oriens, the direction of history. He personifies the synthesis of the cosmic and historical orientation of the liturgy, so central in the tradition of prayer towards the “Orient.” For all together to be able to fix their gaze on him who is the Creator and causes us to enter into the liturgy of the cosmos, but who also shows us the road of history, this is what would also allow us to recover in the liturgy, in a very visible way, the profound unity of priest and faithful within their common priesthood. None of my critics has yet told me why this very simple idea – the Cross, the Crucified, and the Christ who returns, as the focal point of the liturgy – is false. Instead, they try to bog me down in archeological debates, the outcome of which is in the end not very important for the liturgical question as such.
Les hele diskusjonen her (pdf-fil).