På Rorate Cæli er det kommet en engelsk oversettelse av et italiensk intervju med Msgr. Domenico Bartolucci, tidligere Maestro i det Sixtinske kapell, der han bl.a. sier en del om den gamle latinske messen og andre liturgiske spørsmål. Han er ganske så klar på at han selv alltid har likt den gamle messen best, og uttaler seg også tydelig om de mange liturgiske misforståelser som har florert de siste 40 år:
It is on the subject of the liturgical reform that we start our conversation with the Maestro, with Domenico Bartolucci, who in liturgical and musical matters has been at ease working and giving counsel to five popes and who is a friend and collaborator of Benedict XVI, whose work he says is “an immense gift to the Church, if only they would let it work”.
Maestro, the recent publication of the Motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum” has brought a gust of fresh air into the desolate liturgical panorama which surrounds it. Even you may now celebrate the Mass of all time (“messa di sempre”.)
To tell the truth, I have always and without interruption celebrated it since my ordination … on the contrary, I sometimes found it difficult to celebrate according to the modern rite, even if I never said so.
The Mass which never was abolished, is it not?
Those are the words of the Holy Father even if some people pretend not to understand and even if many in the past have argued that the opposite is true.
Maestro, you have to admit to those who are denigrating the old Mass that it is not a Mass open to participation.
So that you won’t think that I’m just saying anything, I know how participation in old times was like, both in Rome, in the (St. Peter’s) Basilica and outside it, for instance down here in Mugello, in this parish, in this beautiful countryside, which was then populated by people strong in faith and full of piety. During Sunday Vespers the priest could just start singing “Deus in adiutorium meum intende” and thereafter fall asleep on his seat to wake up only at the “chapter”, the peasants would have continued alone and the heads of the family would have intoned the antiphon!
Do we see a veiled polemic, Maestro, in your confrontation with the current liturgical style?
I do not know, if you have ever been at a funeral and witnessed those “hallelujahs”, hand-clapping, giggly phrases, etc. One really asks oneself if these people have ever read the Gospel. Our Lord himself cried over Lazarus and his death. Here now, with this oily sentimentalism, nothing is respected, not even the suffering of a mother. I would like to show you how the people in old times participated in a Funeral Mass and how in the midst of that compunction and devotion, the magnificent and tremendous “Dies Irae” was intoned.
Was the reform not done by people who were conscious of what they were doing and well educated in the teachings of the Roman Church?
I beg your pardon, but the reform was done by arid people, arid, arid, I repeat it. And I knew them. As for the doctrine, Cardinal Ferdinando Antonelli himself, once said, I remember it well: “How come that we make liturgists who know nothing about theology?”
We agree with you, Monsignore, but is it not true that the people did not understand ….
Dearest friends, have you never read Saint Paul: “It is not important to know anything but what is necessary”, “it is necessary to love knowledge ad sobrietatem”. At this rate, after a few years people will pretend to understand “transubstantiation” in the same way as they explain a mathematical theorem. But just think of it that not even the priest may quite understand this mystery!
But how could it have come to this twisting of the liturgy?
It became a kind of fashion. Everybody talked about it, everybody “was renewing”, everybody was trying to be like popes (tutti pontificavano) in the wake of sentimentalism, of eagerness to reform. And the voices that raised themselves to defend the two thousand year old Tradition of the Church, were cleverly hushed. There was the invention of a kind of “people’s liturgy” …