desember 2010

Gamber – nevner norsk avisartikkel fra 1966!

Msgr. Gamber har ett kapittel i sin bok fra 1972/2002 om de moderne språk som etter konsilet i praksis erstattet latinen fullt og helt. Og han innleder sitt kapittel med flere utdrag fra det norske tidsskriftet FARMAND! Det er nokså overraskende, må jeg si – men kanskje noen lesere kan forklare hvorfor Farmand hadde artikler om latinens skjebne i den katolske messen? (Artiklene er fra april 1966 og hadde blitt oversatt fra norsk til tysk av en dame i München – og så er dette igjen oversatt til engelsk.) Her er noen utdrag fra Farmand:

… In a communication from a correspondent which appeared in issue no. 14, of the 2nd April 1966, we read:

There can be no doubt of the rising tide of astonishment amongst Catholic laypeople, at the liturgical changes and the new forms which are following in the wake of the Vatican Council. The Council did not order the removal of Latin from the Liturgy, the Decree on the Liturgy even says (in no. 36) the opposite, … In no. 54 of the decree it is recommended that the faithful should be capable of saying and singing those parts of the Liturgy in Latin, where the people join in the words. This is a clear expression in favour of the coexistence of the Latin and the vernacular forms. But in practice we see a one-sided tendency to suppress the Latin.

The Liturgy has an effect on Christians’ daily lives, and in the present situation many Catholics have become aware – if they were not already aware – that the Latin form was not so incomprehensible and impenetrable, but that it gave their religious life living nourishment and fruitfulness. Everywhere there are groups of laypeople who have asked the authorities to be allowed to keep the Latin form side-by-side with the vernacular one. But this is where the astonishment arises, for the reaction to these requests has all too frequently been either a disapproving silence or a direct prohibition of any discussion of the subject. This is despite the fact that this desire is perfectly legitimate so far as the Decree on Liturgy of the Vatican Council is concerned …

In no. 17 of the same periodical, published on the 23rd April 1966, another similar communication says:

The introduction of the vernacular is really due to a misunderstanding, and is the sign of a really provincial mentality. … The Spanish worker who went into a Catholic Church in the Ruhr used to hear a language he knew. Not any longer! …

… Finally, a few sentences from a letter to the editor: What kind of experiments have we yet to face? Will we never again be at peace? I am anxious above all about the amount of freedom which is going to be allowed to individual celebrants … Their hatred of Latin is now satisfied. But now it’s the old translations. They must be made «contemporary»… And then of course it will have to be changed every twenty years, since the language also changes. …

Gamber – om når presten vender seg mot folket

Msgr. Klaus Gamber skriver i sin essaysamling «The Modern Rite» om tanken om at presten bør vende seg mot folket:

In his «‘Guidelines for the Layout and Arrangements of a Church in the Spirit of the Roman Liturgy,» in 1949, Theodor Klauser says (no. 8) that: «There are many indications that in church buildings of the future the priest will once more stand behind the altar, as he did formerly, and will celebrate Mass facing towards the people, just as is still done in the Roman basilicas; the desire, which is felt everywhere, to have the eucharistic fellowship more clearly expressed by gathering round the table, seems to favour this solution.»

What Klauser, in his day, posited as a desirable development, has in the meantime become widely regarded as the norm. People are almost all of the opinion that they have thereby restored an early Christian custom. But is this in fact really so? …

På de 40 åra som er gått siden msgr. Gamber skrev dette, er denne tanken (om at presten i tidligere tider vendte seg mot folket) blitt avvist ganske så grundig, og gjentatte ganger. Men likevel hører jeg prester som også i dag sier hvor viktig det er at presten vender seg mot folk, ser på dem, snakker til dem osv. Er det slik at prestene ikke følger med i den teologiske debatten, eller er det at de ikke ønsker å forandre den praksisen de selv har lært seg, hva er det som gjør at de holder fast på en slik feil forståelse?

Selvsagt skal presten vende seg mot folk i deler av messen, men ikke når de ber til Gud, og msgr. Gamber er ganske klar i sin konklushon i dette kapittelet:

… How are things arranged in the Eastern Church? Here too there was never a time when a celebration «‘turned towards the people» was customary, since there is no explicit witness to it. It is remarkable that in the case of a concelebration, of which there is a long tradition in the Eastern Church, the principal celebrant normally stands with his back to the congregation, while the priests who are concelebrating stand to his right and his left. But at no point do they take up a position behind the altar.

The decisive question, with regard to the position of the priest at the altar, is, as we have already mentioned several times, the character of the Mass as a sacrifice. The person offering the sacrifice turns towards the person to whom the sacrifice is being presented. By early Christian conceptions, one did this by turning to look towards the east. …

… One can best do justice to the aspect of the Mass as a sacrifice if, during the Eucharistic Prayer, in the course of which the holy sacrifice is consummated, all the people together with the priest turn in the same direction (that is to say, towards the east). The aspect of a meal, in turn, could be brought out more clearly by the way the ritual of Communion is shaped. We do not need to give any particular explanation here why it is that priest and readers should face the people for the proclamation of the Word of God. …

Gamber – om messen som offer

Msgr. Klaus Gamber ga ut en bok med noen artikler om innføringa av den nye liturgien i 1972, men ikke før i 2002 ble denne boka utgitt på engelsk – og først nå rett før jul bestilte jeg den. Det er altså nesten 40 år gamle artikler jeg leser, når jeg nå har kommet halvveis gjennom boka.

Den første artikkelen jeg vil nevne, er der msgr. Gamber stiller spørsmålet om messen er et måltid eller et offer; eller rettere sagt hvordan den er begge deler, og på hvilket tidspunkt man kan påvise offeraspektet tydelig hos kirkefedrene. Han avlutter gjennomgangen av kirkefedrene på denne måten:

When Cyprian, in Letter 63:17, after remarking, «In all sacrifices we institute a memorial of his passion,» then adds, «‘for the passion of the Lord is the sacrifice which we offer,» this is likewise a new idea. John Chrysostom says much the same thing; «Our High Priest has offered the purifying sacrifice (cf. Hebrews 10:18). And we now offer the same sacrifice» (Homilies on Hebrews, no. 17:3).

We find the transition to the mediaeval understanding of the sacrifice of the Mass in the writings of Gregory the Great (+ 604), who says, in Dialogue IV, 57-58 (BKV Gregory vol. II. p. 270f.): «This sacrifice saves us in a special way from eternal perdition, since in a mysterious manner it renews for us the death of the Incarnate One. For even though he has risen again and dies no more (Romans 6:9), yet in his immortal and incorruptible life he is offered anew for us in the mystery of the holy sacrifice, his Body is consumed in it, his flesh is shared out for the saving of the people, his blood is poured out … Let us keep in mind, therefore, just what this sacrifice means for us, since for the sake of our redemption it ever anew presents the passion of the incarnate Son. For who amongst the faithful could doubt that in the hour of the sacrifice the heavens are opened at the voice of the priest, that the choirs of angels are present at this mystery, … «

Han sier likevel at offertanket ble for dominerende i middelalderen – men nå har man gått i mostatt grøft:

These foregoing expositions … are intended above all to show one thing, that the idea of the Mass as a sacrifice is as old as the Church, even if it has undergone a certain transformation together with the Church. From the beginning, then, the Mass was both a meal and a sacrifice: a meal at which a sacrifice is offered to God through the Church.

In the Middle Ages, and right up to recent times, too much stress was laid on the idea of sacrifice, and the most diverse theories of the sacrifice of the Mass were constructed, without the appropriate lead having been taken from the Fathers and from the earlier liturgical texts; nowadays people lay stress above all on its aspect as a meal, and they shape their celebration of the Eucharist accordingly. Each of these one-sided attitudes is however wrong. The meal and the sacrifice belong together. …

… Today we have, as in other matters, swung from one extreme to the other: from an overemphasis on the cultic aspect to an overemphasis of the aspect of the Mass as a meal. Already, more and more voices may be heard, calling, against all the tradition, to have the ritual, cultic element removed altogether from our worship.

Ble omvendt da han hørte en sunget messe

I et intervju med Jeffrey Tucker forteller han om sin omvendelse til Den katolsk Kirke:

… I had been a lifetime musician, playing in symphonies and jazz combos and everything in between. But there was something about hearing the Mass chanted with just a few small notes — by an older priest with a tired voice — that transformed me completely. I was about 22 years old and I had never heard anything so beautiful. The total absence of ego and the total absorption in a purpose beyond time enthralled me. I think that these notes unlocked my mind to understand and opened my heart to a kind of love I had never known. Looking back at it, those small notes had a more powerful effect than the shelves of books and the endless hours of studying the faith. …

… my fascination with it began as purely artistic, but when I realized that there was a reason for its structure and sound, my appreciation grew. I realized that it is all a form of prayer, and the musical structure amounts to an attempt by mortals to touch a realm of immortality. It was all an attempt to somehow capture and characterize what the ancients called the “music of the spheres,” which is something like a heavenly sound that might be worthy to be presented by angels at the throne of God. The composers and the tradition heard something true and beautiful and the liturgy absorbed it as its own.

It goes without saying that secular music doesn’t attempt this at all. It is designed to flatter the performers, indulge the composers, entertain the audience, or whatever. …

I intervjuet står det også mye interessant om arbeidet som pågår for å hjelpe prester og menigheter til å synge messen på engelsk på en bedre måte.

Augustin: Qui cantat, bis orat

Da Augustin sa dette – den som synger, ber dobbelt – tenkte han ikke på hvilken som helst type (verdslig) musikk, men på Kirkens egen musikk. Dette skriver liturgiprofessor P. Paul Gunter, OSB, i en artikkel hos han skriver bl.a.:

… The conviction of the fact that prayer is doubled if sung instead of being recited was not based so much on the merits of human effort, but rather on the need to describe the numinous dimension within sacred music, its emotive and artistic aspects, inasmuch as it is an exchange between God, the Giver of every gift, and the response of love of the human being to the Lord’s omnipotent love.

A greater love will seek a higher quality and not just more abundant quantity, and this happens when the perseverance of an individual or a group has made progress in the musical realm and has experienced the beauty of its spiritual consolations. «Sacrosanctum Concilium» affirms that «the sacred liturgy does not exhaust the entire activity of the Church» (No. 9) and adds very pointedly that «before men can come to the liturgy they must be called to faith and to conversion.» Moreover, No. 10 clarifies that «the liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed.» Hence the liturgy is precisely the source of the necessary strength for every apostolic work. Wherever the liturgy of the Church is left to chance, the lack of coherence in its fruits becomes evident. …

Les gjerne hele artikkelen (lenke over), men jeg tar gjerne også med et Ratzinger-sitat fra 1996:

«Cult» songs, doctrinally insipid, often take the place of liturgical treasures with catechetical value, with the effect that the culture of ecclesial music in many parishes has been «led down a blind alley in which one can say always less about its quo vadis» — this is the way in which J. Ratzinger describes the separation of modern culture from its religious matrix (A New Song for the Lord. Faith in Christ and Liturgy Today, Crossroads, New York, 1996, p. 120).

Er de mange tegn i liturgien viktige?

Jeg har fått kritiske kommentarer fra et par personer til et tidligere innlegg, bl.a. følgende:

(Å bøye seg under deler av Credo) er en fin måte å markere inkarnasjonen på. Jeg stusser imidlertid over at du sier at menigheten går glipp av noe viktig hvis dette ikke gjøres. Det er da ikke slik at man ærer inkarnasjonen mindre ved ikke å knele eller bøye seg? Det er et tegn, og et fint tegn, men den troendes intensjon blir ikke større av å utføre tegnet. Dette tegnet kan kanskje i noen grad bevisstgjøre den troende på inkarnasjonens betydning, men for å oppnå det formålet er er vel forkynnelsen vel så viktig.

Men jeg må si at jeg er grunleggende uenig i det som hevdes her, for et det ikke et protestantisk fenomen at forkynnelsen skal bære det meste i kirkens liv? Katolsk (og ortodoks) liturgi har vel alltid uttrykt svært mye gjennom tegn; gjennom selve sakramentene som er de viktigste tegn, samt gjennom mange sakramentalier, og gjennom de mange små tegn som gjennomsyrer messen og alle sakramentale handlinger, tidebønner osv. Ved liturgireformen ca 1970 ble over halvparten av alle tegn i messen tatt bort (korstegn, knebøy, hode-og kroppsbøyninger – samt at noen ikke syns man trenger å bruke røkelse eller fin musikk for å berike liturgien). Da syns jeg det er noe underlig at man ikke tar det så tungt at de tegn som er beholdt i liturgien (som obligatiriske) blir brukt.

Det er ingen hemmelighet at jeg ved å bli kjent med den tradisjonelle latinske messen har fått en klarere forståelse av hvor viktige de mange tegn i litugien er, og også blitt mer oppmerksom på de ganske mange tegn som fortsatt er beholdt i den nye messen

[Jeg fikk også kritikk fordi jeg hadde spurt leserne hvordan knelingen under Credo foregikk denne julehøytida. Jeg må innrømme at jeg ikke hadde tenkt på at noen ville identifisere messene de hadde vært i (det burde jeg sikkert), men det var ikke mitt ønske å vite hvor eller hvem – og i alle tilfeller ville jeg ikke latt noe ufordelaktig komme på trykk slik at noen kunne identifisere det.]

Pave Benedikts julebudskap: “Verbum caro factum est”

Under kan man lese en engelsk oversettelse av hele pave Benedikts julebudskap på Petersplassen i går – fra Asianews. (Og etter denne talen ønsket han God jul på 65 språk.) Som vanlig tar avisene bare med et par politiske saker fra talen, slik også i år. HER hører vi f.eks. at paven først og fremst kritiserer Kina.

Verbum caro factum est” – “The Word became flesh” (Jn 1:14).

Dear brothers and sisters listening to me here in Rome and throughout the world, I joyfully proclaim the message of Christmas: God became man; he came to dwell among us. God is not distant: he is “Emmanuel”, God-with-us. He is no stranger: he has a face, the face of Jesus.

This message is ever new, ever surprising, for it surpasses even our most daring hope. First of all, because it is not merely a proclamation: it is an event, a happening, which credible witnesses saw, heard and touched in the person of Jesus of Nazareth! Being in his presence, observing his works and hearing his words, they recognized in Jesus the Messiah; and seeing him risen, after his crucifixion, they were certain that he was true man and true God, the only-begotten Son come from the Father, full of grace and truth (cf. Jn 1:14). …

Knele under Credo

Det fins fire julemesser – julaftens vigilie (om ettermiddagen), midnattsmessen, messen ved daggry og juledagsmessen, og i år feiret jeg dem alle fire (i julaftens fmiliemesse byttet vi riktig nok ut lesningene med midnattsmessens lesninger). I hver av disse messene står det tydelig skrevet: Man kneler ved ordene Han er blitt kjød … – dette kan man sjekke ved de fire lenkene over.

I år gjennomførte jeg dette ganske grundig; ved å nevne dette punktet i prelenen, og ved å sørge for at det ble en pause slik at alle kunne knele. (I den gamle messen kneler man alltid når inkarnasjonen nevnes, mens i den nye messen er dette bekrenset til 26/12 og 25/3.)

Nå hører jeg fra noen at ikke alle prester ser ut til å ha brydd seg om dette (og at ikke alle ellers når man sier/synger trosbekjennelsen bryr seg om å bøye seg under disse ordene, slik de nåværende reglene sier).

Hva kan dere lesere av bloggen fortelle meg? Knelte presten i de julemessene du deltok i, og ble dette forklart og gjort så tydelig at alle kunne knele?

Herren sa til meg: Du er min sønn, jeg har født deg i dag.

Pave Benedikt åpent sin julepreken i natt ved å ta utgangspunkt i messsens tradisjonelle inngangsvers (som jeg siterer over). Her er hans egne ord (oversatt til engelsk):

Dear Brothers and Sisters!
“You are my son, this day I have begotten you” – with this passage from Psalm 2 the Church begins the liturgy of this holy night. She knows that this passage originally formed part of the coronation rite of the kings of Israel. The king, who in himself is a man like others, becomes the “Son of God” through being called and installed in his office. It is a kind of adoption by God, a decisive act by which he grants a new existence to this man, drawing him into his own being. The reading from the prophet Isaiah that we have just heard presents the same process even more clearly in a situation of hardship and danger for Israel: “To us a child is born, to us a son is given. The government will be upon his shoulder” (Is 9:6). Installation in the office of king is like a second birth. … …

Helt på slutten av sin lange preken sier han så noe om englesangen på Betlehemsmarken, og om hvordan vi skal følge opp englenes eksempel:

… the speech of angels is different from human speech, and that above all on this night of joyful proclamation it was in song that they extolled God’s heavenly glory. So this angelic song has been recognized from the earliest days as music proceeding from God, indeed, as an invitation to join in the singing with hearts filled with joy at the fact that we are loved by God. Cantare amantis est, says Saint Augustine: singing belongs to one who loves. Thus, down the centuries, the angels’ song has again and again become a song of love and joy, a song of those who love. At this hour, full of thankfulness, we join in the singing of all the centuries, singing that unites heaven and earth, angels and men. Yes, indeed, we praise you for your glory. We praise you for your love. Grant that we may join with you in love more and more and thus become people of peace. Amen.

Les hele pavens preken her.

Kommunion bare på tungen i Peterskirken?

Leste nylig at de som så julemidnattsmessen fra Peterskirken i går kveld/ natt sier at de troende bare fikk lov til å motta kommunion på tungen. Les om det her.

Etter hvert blir det vel klart hva som er bestemt av pave Benedikt (alle som mottar kommunion av ham mottar knelende og på tungen) eller av andre.

I en kommentar til innlegget jeg referer til, skriver en prest at slik var det også i 1985, men det har i alle fall ikke vært slik på lang tid – ikke da jeg selv delte ut kommunion i en pavemesse i 2006 i alle fall.

Ikke rom for tungsinn når livet feirer fødselsdag

Dette sier pave Leo den Store i dagens matutinlesning:

“Høytelskede, i dag er vår Frelser født, la oss glede oss og juble! Det finnes ikke rom for tungsinn når livet feirer fødselsdag. Livet har oppslukt frykten for døden og overvelder oss med glede over løftet om evig liv. Ingen er stengt ute fra det lystige lag, for det finnes én årsak til felles glede for alle: Da Vår Herre, seierherre over synd og død, ikke fant noen som var skyldfri, kom han for å bringe frihet til alle. Helgenen kan juble, for snart er palmegrenen hans; synderen kan glede seg, for han får tilgivelse; hedningen kan puste lettet ut, for han blir kalt til livet.

I tidens fylde, i den time Gud i sin skjulte og uransakelige visdom hadde fastsatt, tok nemlig Guds Sønn menneskenes natur opp i seg for å forsone den med ham som hadde skapt den, slik at djevelen, dødens oppfinner, kunne overvinnes ved den natur han selv hadde beseiret. Da Herren fødtes, sang jublende engler: “Ære være Gud i det høyeste”, og de forkynte “fred på jorden for mennesker av god vilje”. De så nemlig det himmelske Jerusalem bygges opp, ut av alle folkeslag på jorden. Når englene i det høye jubler slik over dette byggverk, virket av Guds uutsigelige godhet, hvor meget må da ikke menneskene i sin ringhet glede seg?

La oss derfor, høytelskede, takke Gud Fader gjennom hans Sønn i den Hellige Ånd, han som har elsket oss og i sin store miskunn har hatt medynk med oss. “Oss som var døde på grunn av våre synder, gjorde han levende med Kristus” (Ef 2,5), slik at vi skulle være en ny skapning i ham og på nytt hans bilde. La oss legge av “det gamle menneske og dets gjerninger” (Kol 3,9), la oss gi avkall på kjødets gjerninger, vi som er blitt del av Kristi slekt. Kristenmenneske, kjenn din verdighet! Du som har fått del i den guddommelige natur (Jf. 2 Pet 1,4), skjem deg ikke ut ved et vanslektet liv! Husk hvem som er ditt hode, og hvilket legeme du er lem på. Husk at du er fridd ut av mørkets makt og satt over i Guds lys og hans rike (Jf. Kol 1,13). Ved dåpens sakrament er du blitt tempel for den Hellige Ånd. Jag ikke en slik beboer på dør ved onde gjerninger, bli ikke på nytt djevelens trell, for din løsesum var Kristi blod.”

(Fra en preken av den hellige Leo den Store, pave. 1. preken over Frelserens fødsel, 1-3; SC 22.)

Dokument fra troskongregasjonen i dag

Jeg gjorde klar denne nyheten allerede tirsdag, men har vært treg med å få den publisert. Man kan på Vatikanets nettsider nå lese en uttalelse fra Troskongregasjonen, som klargjør misforståelser (om Kirkens syn på prevensjon) når mennesker uten innsikt har lest pave Benedikts intervjubok ble publisert for ikke lenge siden:

… in the battle against AIDS, the Catholic faithful and the agencies of the Catholic Church should be close to those affected, should care for the sick and should encourage all people to live abstinence before and fidelity within marriage. In this regard it is also important to condemn any behaviour which cheapens sexuality because, as the Pope says, such behaviour is the reason why so many people no longer see in sexuality an expression of their love …

On the pages in question, the Holy Father refers to the completely different case of prostitution, a type of behaviour which Christian morality has always considered gravely immoral (cf. Vatican II, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes, n. 27; Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2355). The response of the entire Christian tradition – and indeed not only of the Christian tradition – to the practice of prostitution can be summed up in the words of St. Paul: «Flee from fornication» (1 Cor 6:18). The practice of prostitution should be shunned, and it is the duty of the agencies of the Church, of civil society and of the State to do all they can to liberate those involved from this practice.

In this regard, it must be noted that the situation created by the spread of AIDS in many areas of the world has made the problem of prostitution even more serious. Those who know themselves to be infected with HIV and who therefore run the risk of infecting others, apart from committing a sin against the sixth commandment are also committing a sin against the fifth commandment – because they are consciously putting the lives of others at risk through behaviour which has repercussions on public health. In this situation, the Holy Father clearly affirms that the provision of condoms does not constitute «the real or moral solution» to the problem of AIDS and also that «the sheer fixation on the condom implies a banalization of sexuality» in that it refuses to address the mistaken human behaviour which is the root cause of the spread of the virus. In this context, however, it cannot be denied that anyone who uses a condom in order to diminish the risk posed to another person is intending to reduce the evil connected with his or her immoral activity. In this sense the Holy Father points out that the use of a condom «with the intention of reducing the risk of infection, can be a first step in a movement towards a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality.» This affirmation is clearly compatible with the Holy Father’s previous statement that this is «not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection.» …

Proporsjonalisme svært skadelig for Kirken

John Allen skriver i dag om gårsdagens tale til den romerske kurien, der pave Benedikt bl.a. tok opp spørsmålet om seksuelle misbruk i Kirken. Dette misbruket har kommet bl.a. pga en feilaktig moralteologisk metode kalt ‘proporsjonalisme:

In effect, Benedict asserted that proportionalism shaped a climate in which it was possible to justify pedophilia and the sexual exploitation of minors, even by priests.

As Benedict noted, “proportionalism” and its variants were explicitly rejected by Pope John Paul II in his 1993 encyclical Veritatis Splendor (paragraphs 75-76), in which the late pope insisted that Catholic moral tradition regards some acts as “intrinsically evil,” which can never be justified by a “proportionate reason.”

The danger of proportionalism has long figured prominently among Benedict’s “talking points” on the sex abuse crisis.

On his way to Australia in the summer of 2008, for example, Benedict targeted the moral theory by name, claiming that “with proportionalism, it was possible to think for some subjects – one could also be pedophilia – that in some proportion they could be a good thing.”

This morning, Benedict XVI returned to the same point, though without directly invoking the term. Here’s what the pope said, in the English translation of his address provided by the Vatican Press Office:

«In the 1970s, paedophilia was theorized as something fully in conformity with man and even with children. This, however, was part of a fundamental perversion of the concept of ethos. It was maintained – even within the realm of Catholic theology – that there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself. There is only a ‘better than’ and a ‘worse than’. Nothing is good or bad in itself. Everything depends on the circumstances and on the end in view. Anything can be good or also bad, depending upon purposes and circumstances. Morality is replaced by a calculus of consequences, and in the process it ceases to exist. The effects of such theories are evident today. Against them, Pope John Paul II, in his 1993 Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor, indicated with prophetic force in the great rational tradition of Christian ethos the essential and permanent foundations of moral action. Today, attention must be focused anew on this text as a path in the formation of conscience. It is our responsibility to make these criteria audible and intelligible once more for people today as paths of true humanity, in the context of our paramount concern for mankind.»

Since cure follows diagnosis, Benedict’s assessment implies that eradicating the influence of proportionalism, along with any moral theory which denies the intrinsic evil of certain acts, should be a core element of the church’s “exit strategy.” …

Les John Allens artikkel her, og hele pave Benedikts tale her.

Presters synder har såret Kristi legeme

I sin tale til kurien i går (les hele talen på engelsk her) tok pave Benedikt bl.a. opp temaet: seksuelt misbruk av barn og ungdommer, begått bl.a. av Kirkens egne prester. På bakgrunn av prsteåret fra juni 2009 til juni 2010 var det ekstra skuffende å høre om disse syndene, og paven bruker også svært krasse ord av den hellige Hildegard av Bingen for å karakterisere det som er skjedd:

… We were all the more dismayed, then, when in this year of all years and to a degree we could not have imagined, we came to know of abuse of minors committed by priests who twist the sacrament into its antithesis, and under the mantle of the sacred profoundly wound human persons in their childhood, damaging them for a whole lifetime.

In this context, a vision of Saint Hildegard of Bingen came to my mind, a vision which describes in a shocking way what we have lived through this past year. “In the year of our Lord’s incarnation 1170, I had been lying on my sick-bed for a long time when, fully conscious in body and in mind, I had a vision of a woman of such beauty that the human mind is unable to comprehend. She stretched in height from earth to heaven. Her face shone with exceeding brightness and her gaze was fixed on heaven. She was dressed in a dazzling robe of white silk and draped in a cloak, adorned with stones of great price. On her feet she wore shoes of onyx. But her face was stained with dust, her robe was ripped down the right side, her cloak had lost its sheen of beauty and her shoes had been blackened. And she herself, in a voice loud with sorrow, was calling to the heights of heaven, saying, ‘Hear, heaven, how my face is sullied; mourn, earth, that my robe is torn; tremble, abyss, because my shoes are blackened!’

And she continued: ‘I lay hidden in the heart of the Father until the Son of Man, who was conceived and born in virginity, poured out his blood. With that same blood as his dowry, he made me his betrothed.

For my Bridegroom’s wounds remain fresh and open as long as the wounds of men’s sins continue to gape. And Christ’s wounds remain open because of the sins of priests. They tear my robe, since they are violators of the Law, the Gospel and their own priesthood; they darken my cloak by neglecting, in every way, the precepts which they are meant to uphold; my shoes too are blackened, since priests do not keep to the straight paths of justice, which are hard and rugged, or set good examples to those beneath them. Nevertheless, in some of them I find the splendour of truth.’

And I heard a voice from heaven which said: ‘This image represents the Church. For this reason, O you who see all this and who listen to the word of lament, proclaim it to the priests who are destined to offer guidance and instruction to God’s people and to whom, as to the apostles, it was said: go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation’ (Mk 16:15)” (Letter to Werner von Kirchheim and his Priestly Community: PL 197, 269ff.).

In the vision of Saint Hildegard, the face of the Church is stained with dust, and this is how we have seen it. Her garment is torn – by the sins of priests. The way she saw and expressed it is the way we have experienced it this year. We must accept this humiliation as an exhortation to truth and a call to renewal. Only the truth saves. We must ask ourselves what we can do to repair as much as possible the injustice that has occurred. …

Hva gjør de troende under den eukaristiske bønn?

Min kone og jeg var i en vanlig menighetsmesse her i går kveld – en svært lite oppbyggende opplevelse, men jeg kommer sannsynligvis ikke til å skrive noe mer om den. I dag tidlig (mandag, bare noen få timer før vi setter kursen nordover) leser jeg mer om det jeg skrev i forrige innlegg – om den eukaristiske bønn og ad orientem – på Fr. Ray Blakes blogg. Den eukaristiske bønn fungerer best når presten ser på Gud og ikke på folket, sier denne presten, og han tar også pave Benedikt til inntekt for å si at den eukaristiske bønn er i krise:

In «The Sprit of Liturgy» the Pope speaks of the Eucharistic Prayer as «being in crisis». I must say being a regular celebrator of both forms of the Roman Rite, the crisis is in the Novus Ordo and especially when celebrated versus populum.

In the usus antiquior the silence shouts «PRAYER», in the usus recentior celebrated ad orientem there is a strong indication prayer is taking place but when it is celebrated facing the people, well, I am not sure what is going on and what the people are meant to do, I must confess I don’t know what our !st Communion children are taught to do in the Eucharistic Prayer.

What do you do during the Eucharistic Prayer? Do you join the priest in saying the Eucharistic Prayer? I am told in some liberal parishes priests encourage people to join in, even here some people follow the prayer in their missals, a few even move their lips. Do you just wait for the priest to finish – not sure what to do? This seems to be why most priests opt for the short and quick EP2. Do you say your own prayers? It always strikes me as a bit rude to deliberately pray about something else when the priest is addressing God.

In «The Sprit of Liturgy» the Pope speaks about returning to silent Eucharistic Prayer, or saying it silently but announcing in some way key words …

En prest har feiret messen ad orientem i fem år

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby er prior i det benediktinske klosteret Our Lady of the Cenacle i Tulsa, Oklahoma. 17/12 hadde han feiret messen ad orientem i fem år, og skriver om fordelene ved denne praksisen:

1. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is experienced as having a theocentric direction and focus.
2. The faithful are spared the tiresome clerocentrism that has so overtaken the celebration of Holy Mass in the past forty years.
3. It has once again become evident that the Canon of the Mass (Prex Eucharistica) is addressed to the Father, by the priest, in the name of all.
4. The sacrificial character of the Mass is wonderfully expressed and affirmed.
5. Almost imperceptibly one discovers the rightness of praying silently at certain moments, of reciting certain parts of the Mass softly, and of cantillating others.
6. It affords the priest celebrant the boon of a holy modesty.
7. I find myself more and more identified with Christ, Eternal High Priest and Hostia perpetua, in the liturgy of the heavenly sanctuary, beyond the veil, before the Face of the Father.
8. During the Canon of the Mass I am graced with a profound recollection.
9. The people have become more reverent in their demeanour.
10. The entire celebration of Holy Mass has gained in reverence, attention, and devotion.

Bønn for 18. desember

Som mange vet er dagene fra 17. desember fram til jul spesielle, med egne lesnnger og bønner – og Å-antifoner. Slik er bønna for 18. desember:

Concede, quæsumus, omnipotens Deus, ut, qui sub peccati iugo ex vetusta servitute deprimimur, expectata Unigeniti tui nova nativitate liberemur.

Allmektige Gud, fra Adams tid har vi trellet under syndens åk. Nå bervi deg: Sett oss fri ved din enbårne Sønns fødsel, som gir oss nytt håp, (han som lever og råder .. )

Den nye engelske oversettelsen:
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that we who are weighed down by ancient slavery beneath the yoke of sin, may be set free by the long awaited new birth of your Only Begotten Son.

Pave Benedikt møtte norsk, kvinnelig, luthersk biskop

«Paven var en flott personlighet, veldig nærværende og en interessert samtalepartner.» Slik oppsummerer bispemøtets preses, Helga Haugland Byfuglien, den private audiensen hos pave Benedikt i Vatikanet i går. Dette kan vi lese i Vårt Land.

Og de skriver også følgende: «Vi ble tatt vel imot. At jeg som kvinne og biskop var med i LVF-delegasjonen, var over hodet ikke noe tema, sier Haugland Byfuglien til Vårt Land etter møtet.» Pave Benedikt er en vennlig og høflig mann, og økumeniske samtaler handler i stor grad om vennlighet i våre dager, siden virkelig kirkelig enhet ikke er temaet særlig ofte. Og under møtet kom jo ikke spørsmålet om hvordan den katolske Kirke vurderer det lutherske bispembedet opp – verken når det gjelder mannlige eller kvinnelige lutherske biskoper.

Bok av Lazlo Dobszay

Også denne boka handler om liturgien (selvsagt), dens utvikling nærmere bestemt – og jeg begynte på den i går. Tittelen er The Restoration and Organic Development of the Roman Rite, og den kan bestilles på Amazon her.

Slik beskrives boka hos Amazon:

This is a serious, scholarly of liturgy analysis combining historical, philosophical, musicological and liturgical. The volume, like the series, will be aimed at moving the debate about liturgy out of the narrow confines of either ‘pastoral liturgy’, ‘reform of the reform’ or nostalgia and bemoaning of the ruination of liturgical tradition to an entirely higher plane, of serious, scholarly, measured analysis combining historical, philosophical, musicological and liturgical. This book advances a provocative and controversial set of proposals for the development of future liturgical reform in its attempt to re-engage with a traditional sense of the Roman Rite. The author is uniquely placed to make the case he does. A mediaevalist and musicologist of unparalleled experience and breadth, Dobszay combines – almost uniquely – a profound knowledge of the history of the development of the Roman Rite – especially the Antiphonary – with a personal interest and passionate concern for the lived experience of the rite itself. The result is a lively and vigorous text based around the idea of the actual liturgical sense of the Roman Rite – meaning a respect for its integrity as an historical tradition that found multiform expression across Europe and also across at least 1600 years, combined with a sympathy for the fact that the rite is still a living entity with a long future ahead of it.

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