Ratzingers foredrag i Fontgombault i 2001 – del 1

Hvem snakker i dag om messen som «eukaristiens guddommelige offer»?

Slik spissformulerer kardinal Ratzinger seg i sitt foredrag på liturgikonferansen i Fontgombault, som jeg skrev om kort her – og skal skrive mer om. Jeg har i løpet av de siste to-tre dagene lest kardinalens (pave Benedikts) foredrag under denne konferansen, og vil først stoppe ved (den manglende) forståelsen i dag av at messen er et offer. Han starter med å si at slik definerer 2. Vatikonsil messen, men fortsetter med å si at siden den tid har mange katolske teologer angrepet denne forståelsen – og en del prester og lekfolk har også begynt å snakke om messen på andre måter, siden de ikke vil være umoderne. Faktisk sier han at det ser som at Luther (som hadde som et av sine hovedpoeng at messen ikke kunne eller måtte være et offer til Gud) har klart å overbevise mange katolske teologer om at han hadde rett! Les selv:

If we go back to Vatican II, we find the following description of this relationship: «In the liturgy, through which, especially in the divine Sacrifice of the Eucharist, ‘the work of our Redemption is carried on’, the faithful are most fully led to express and show to others the mystery of Christ and the real nature of the true Church.”

All that has become foreign to modern thinking and, only thirty years after the Council, has been brought into question even among catholic liturgists. Who still talks today about «the divine Sacrifice of the Eucharist»? Discussions about the idea of sacrifice have again become astonishingly lively, as much on the catholic side as on the protestant. People realise that an idea which has always preoccupied, under various forms, not only the history of the Church, but the entire history of humanity, must be the expression of something basic which concerns us as well. But, at the same time, the old Enlightenment positions still live on everywhere: accusations of magic and paganism, contrasts drawn between worship and the service of the Word, between rite and ethos, the idea of a Christianity which disengages itself from worship and enters into the profane world, catholic theologians who have no desire to see themselves accused of anti-modernity. Even if people want, in one way or another, to rediscover the concept of sacrifice, embarrassment and criticism are the end result. Thus, Stefan Orth, in the vast panorama of a bibliography of recent works devoted to the theme of sacrifice, believed he could make the following statement as a summary of his research: «In fact, many Catholics themselves today ratify the verdict and the conclusions of Martin Luther, who says that to speak of sacrifice is «the greatest and most appalling horror» and a «damnable impiety»: this is why we want to refrain from all that smacks of sacrifice, including the whole canon, and retain only that which is pure and holy.» Then Orth adds: «This maxim was also followed in the Catholic Church after Vatican II, or at least tended to be, and led people to think of divine worship chiefly in terms of the feast of the Passover related in the accounts of the Last Supper.» Appealing to a work on sacrifice, edited by two modern catholic liturgists, he then said, in slightly more moderate terms, that it clearly seemed that the notion of the sacrifice of the Mass – even more than that of the sacrifice of the Cross – was at best an idea very open to misunderstanding.

I certainly don’t need to say that I am not one of the «numerous Catholics» who consider it the most appalling horror and a damnable impiety to speak of the sacrifice of the Mass. It goes without saying that the writer did not mention my book on the spirit of the liturgy, which analyses the idea of sacrifice in detail. His diagnosis remains dismaying. Is it true? I do not know these numerous Catholics who consider it a damnable impiety to understand the Eucharist as a sacrifice. The second, more circumspect, diagnosis according to which the sacrifice of the Mass is open to misunderstandings is, on the other hand, easily shown to be correct. Even if one leaves to one side the first affirmation of the writer as a rhetorical exaggeration, there remains a troubling problem, which we should face up to. A sizable party of catholic liturgists seems to have practically arrived at the conclusion that Luther, rather than Trent, was substantially right in the sixteenth century debate; one can detect much the same position in the post conciliar discussions on the Priesthood. … …

Hele Ratzingers foredrag i Fontgombault kan leses her.

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