Den tridentinske messen kommer

Det er visst nå helt sikkert (etter at ryktene har gått i flere måneder) at den tridentinske messen snart skal bli tillatt for alle prester. En svært sentral person i Vatikanet, kardinal Bertone, som er pavens «utenriksminister», har nylig uttalt til den franske avisen Le Figaro:

Is a Decree widening the possibility of celebrating the Latin Mass according to the rite from before Vatican II (the so-called Mass of Saint Pius V) still expected?

Cardinal Bertone: The merit of the conciliar liturgical reform is intact. But both [for reasons of] not losing the great liturgical heritage left by Saint Pius V and for granting the wish of those faithful who desire to attend Masses according to this rite, within the framework of the Missal published in 1962 by Pope John XXIII, with its own calendar, there is no valid reason not to grant to every priest in the world* the right to celebrate according to this form.

The authorization of the Supreme Pontiff would evidently preserve the validity of the rite of Paul VI. The publication of the motu proprio which specifies this authorisation will take place, but it will be the pope himself who will explain his motivations and the framework of his decision. The Sovereign Pontiff will personally explain his vision for the use of the ancient Missal to the Christian people, and particularly to the Bishops.

Hvorfor vil så pave Benedikt gjøre dette? Det ser ut til at han ønsker å forene de konservative og mer radikale i Kirken, og han er svært opptatt av at liturgien blir feiret verdig, og han har lenge ment at de liturgiske forandringene etter Vatikankonsilet gikk noe for langt. HVIS DU HAR TID

One big clue to the pope’s thinking came in his 1997 book, titled «Milestones: Memoirs 1927-1977» and written when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, in which he sharply criticized the drastic manner in which Pope Paul VI reformed the Mass in 1969.

The almost total prohibition of the old missal, which had been used for 400 years, was unprecedented in the history of the liturgy, he said in the book.

In effect, he said, «the old building was demolished» and a new one put in its place. Thus the liturgy ceased to be a living development and was treated as something manufactured by experts, which has caused the church «enormous harm,» he said.

Even before he wrote those words, then-Cardinal Ratzinger had caused a stir when he said it made sense for the priest to celebrate Mass facing the same direction as the congregation, in the pre-Vatican II style, although he also said it would be confusing to turn the altar around once again.

Over the years, he has sharply criticized what he sees as a tendency for the worshiping community to celebrate only itself.

All of that led some to presume that, as pope, he would preside over a rollback of liturgical reform.

But the picture is not so clear-cut. As Cardinal Ratzinger, he said he considered the new missal a «real improvement» in many respects, and that the introduction of local languages made sense.

In one revealing speech to Catholic traditionalists in 1998, he said bluntly that the old «low Mass,» with its whispered prayers at the altar and its silent congregation, «was not what liturgy should be, which is why it was not painful for many people» when it disappeared.

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