I dag hadde L’Osservatore Romano en artikkel kalt: Il rito romano antico e la secolarizzazione. Parole, gesti e segni che hanno plasmato l’Europa Professor Roberto de Mattei hold et foredrag om dette på konferansen som markerer at det er ett år siden pave Benedikts utvidede tillatelser til å bruke den gamle messen trådte i kraft. Den romerske messen som pave Damasius og pave Gregor den store kodifiserte var med og formet hele Europa (også etter at samfunnsinstitusjonene ellers ble oppløst) gjennom sine ord og sine handlinger. Denne liturgien kan også i vår tid hjelpe oss katolikker å fokusere på det hellige og hjelpe oss til å stå imot sekularisering. (Og det er disse gestene og handlingene jeg personlig finner så fornyende i TLM.) Noe av artikkelen er allerede blitt oversatt til engelsk her:
The Ancient Roman Rite and Secularization – Words, gestures and signs that have shaped Europe
The traditio is expressed in the handing over of the truths destined to form the depositum fidei, but is also a searching for ways in which these truths are transmitted, a searching for symbols and rites that effectively express these truths. Every truth in fact translates into a liturgy, according to the well-known formula of Prosper of Aquitaine, lex orandi, lex credendi.
The description of the Eucharist on Sunday bequeathed to us by St. Justin (Justin, Apologia, 61-62, 65-67) attests to us, even before the year 165, the ritual practices of the Roman Church, “in which – as Saint Irenaeus wrote – the tradition come down from the apostles was faithfully kept “.
In this sense, Europe was born also around a liturgical tradition. Christopher Dawson notes, not wrongly, that after the fall of the Roman Empire of the West, the sacred order of the liturgy remained intact in the chaos and the liturgy constituted the principal link of interior unity of the society.
The liturgy was at the same time the seat of Tradition and the seat of Faith, because within it Faith and Tradition met and reconciled with each other. To Pope Damasus, elected Bishop of Rome in 366, we owe the first exposition of the concept of Petrinitas, as a principle of ecclesiastical hierarchical order. But the assertion of the Roman primacy, under Damasus and his successors, runs, as one can say, parallel to the assertion of the Roman liturgical order, the definitive configuration of which occurred between the fourth and the sixth century, culminating in the creation of the Liber Sacramentorum of Gregory the Great.
The Damaso-Gregorian liturgy – as Monsignor Klaus Gamber recalls – was imposing itself progressively in the West, and it is that which now Benedict XVI proposes and offers anew to the Church.