Louis Bouyers memoarer

I dag leste jeg ferdig den franske presten og telogoen Louis Bouyers memoarer, der han skriver spesielt om økumeniske spørsmål (han var selv luthersk prest og konverterte tidlig på 40-tallet), liturgi (der han var en av de store ekspertene på 50-, 60- og 70-tallet) og om det som skjedde under og etter Vatikankonsilet (der han var involvert i flere kommisjoner).

Han levde fra 1913 til 2004 og på engelsk Wikipedia kan man lese kort om hans liv, og hans bibliografi. Disse memoarene skrev han ferdig tidlig på 90-tallet, men han ville ikke at de skulle utgis før etter sin død. Boka er helt nyutgitt på engelsk.

På omslaget kan vi lese følgende om P. Bouyer av biskop Bruskewitz:

We follow Bouyer’s journeys from his inherited Protestantism to the fullness of the Catholic Faith, from his position as a Lutheran pastor to the priesthood in the Oratory of France, from humble parish life to the Olympian heights of his official theological and liturgical collaboration (and difficulties) before and after the Council with such influential figures as Congar, Daniélou, de Lubac, Bugnini, and… Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI). Bouyer paints the lush landscape of a century’s illusions and disenchantments; his memoirs are essential for understanding the history of the Church during that momentous time.

“It would be impossible for anyone to speak knowledgeably about liturgical developments in the past 50 years without being cognizant of the work done by Louis Bouyer. His Memoirs, which feature his outspoken opinions and profound intelligence as well as a personality deeply imbued with the true spirit of the Catholic liturgy, can serve as a balance and perhaps an antidote to misinformation about the post-Vatican II developments in the Sacred Liturgy of the Latin Rite. A careful perusal of these Memoirs, now available in English in an excellent translation by John Pepino, also can serve as a corrective to the sometimes unbridled and euphoric optimism that marked liturgical studies in the late 1960s and early 1970s. I cannot recommend strongly enough the reading and study of this work.”

P. Bouyer var ganske kritisk til det som skjedde under og etter konsilet (og i bokas kapittel om denne perioden er hans ganske skarp i sine kommentarer og personkarakteristikker), og i 1969 utga han ei bok som heter: The Decomposition of Catholicism. First Things omtaler denne boka og siterer litt fra den, bl.a. slik:

To my knowledge, up till now this great crusade for the poor Church has accomplished little else but the impoverishment of worship. A certain bishop, whose cathedral possesses a treasury of wonderful old vestments, since his return from the Council now officiates . . . in a sack cloth. It is true that afterwards he returns home in a Citroën, while the most comfortable of his canons may not even have a tiny 2 CV.

I must confess . . . that I find these candle-stub economies particularly degrading. It is the poverty of Judas and not of Christ. Worship is a thing that belongs both to God and to the whole people of God. It is a celebration in which everyone from the poorest to the richest is at home in the house of the Father and is called to rejoice in His presence. Luxury and tawdry showiness are surely out of place, but real and even costly beauty could not find a better place in this world . . . .

Moreover, the idea that a hodgepodge worship will necessarily cost less that a splendid one is childish. Even if quality liturgical art is relatively costly (no more and often no less than the tawdriest), what would be stopping the building of churches or altars worthy of the name, or ceasing to make priestly vestments that are not niggardly or hideous, do for the poor? . . .

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