Thursday, January 07, 2010

Papal liturgist endorses 'reform of the reform' of the liturgy

Msgr. Guido Marini, papal master of ceremonies, is shown with Pope Benedict XVI in this 2007 file photo. (CNS/Paul Haring)

By Father Matthew Gamber
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The pope's chief liturgist, Msgr. Guido Marini, endorsed calls in the church for a "reform of the reform" of Catholic liturgy.

"For some years now, several voices have been heard within church circles talking about the necessity of a new liturgical renewal," Msgr. Marini said.

A fresh renewal movement would be "capable of operating a reform of the reform, or rather, move one more step ahead in understanding the authentic spirit of the liturgy and its celebration," he said.

Msgr. Marini, who has served as master of papal liturgical ceremonies since late 2007, spoke Jan. 6 to a conference of priests from English-speaking countries gathered in Rome to mark the Year for Priests. The conference was sponsored by the Australian Confraternity of Catholic Clergy and the U.S.- based Confraternity of Catholic Clergy.

The papal liturgist said the goal of the new reform movement "would be to carry on that providential reform of the liturgy that the conciliar fathers had launched" but which has "not always, in its practical implementation, found a timely and happy fulfillment."

Msgr. Marini stressed that the liturgy celebrated by the church should be marked by historical continuity.

"I purposefully use the word continuity, a word very dear to our present Holy Father," Msgr. Marini said. "He has made it the only authoritative criterion whereby one can correctly interpret the life of the church."

Msgr. Marini said that an appreciation of continuity would help bring together divergent schools of thought regarding the liturgy.

"The liturgy cannot and must not be an opportunity for conflict between those who find good only in that which came before us, and those who, on the contrary, almost always find wrong in what came before," he said.

The way forward for any liturgical renewal is "to regard both the present and the past liturgy of the church as one patrimony in continuous development," he said.

See also:

From National Catholic Reporter, "Papal liturgist endorses 'reform of the reform'"

From Catholic World News, "Papal liturgist sees need for 'reform of the reform'"


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