THE Catholic Leader on May 25 reported that Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Congregation of the Sacraments, was in America recently attending a forum on liturgical renewal in the United States.
He is quoted as saying: ‘People want fidelity at Mass, not novelty. What most of the people who come to Mass are asking for is simply that the Mass is there, according to the approved books. The primary thing they are asking for is not something new.’
In an interview shortly after the Nigerian cardinal’s appointment to head the Congregation for Divine Worship, he took, as his reference point, the Second Vatican Council at which he was a participant as a bishop from Nigeria at age 33.
He proposed that ‘many bishops and priests have not adequately studied the texts of the council
M’. He further said, as a result changes in the liturgy have been done improperly.
He expressed a dim view of creativity in the liturgy and said everyone involved in the liturgy ‘ including readers, choir members as well as ministers ‘ should be careful not to ‘attract attention to themselves rather than to the mysteries they celebrate. The Church did not begin today … the Church was established by the Lord and her tradition of sacred rites cannot be changing from one day to the next’.
The situation exists in many areas in the Church, at least in Australia, where a ‘them’ and ‘us’ mentality prevails
The silent majority possessed of a simple faith, yearn to participate in the offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in which they recognise the priest as acting in the person of Christ making present the sacrifice of Calvary.
They are assailed from many directions by those who, through no doubt well intentioned, disrupt and disturb them as they try to worship God, actively participating in joining with the priest in this most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Sadly some have found all this too hard and have walked away.
The liturgy of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is clearly set out in the Roman Missal ‘ now, in confusing parlance, referred to as the Sacramentary. We follow the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.
We heard virtually nothing of the encyclical on the Eucharist released to us from the hand of Pope John Paul II at Easter.
The Eucharist is the source and summit of the life of Catholics and the Holy Father expresses his deep concern that we need to be reminded of and re-educated in this, the most important teaching in our faith.
The Catholic Leader is an Australian award-winning Catholic newspaper that has been published by the Archdiocese of Brisbane since 1929. Our journalism seeks to provide a full, accurate and balanced Catholic perspective of local, national and international news while upholding the dignity of the human person.
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