Friday, September 12, 2008

"I Love France"

Usually reserved for longer hops on the Volo Papale -- or "Shepherd One," as some English-speakers have taken to calling it in recent years -- today's brief flight to Paris featured an in-flight papal press conference, only the fourth of B16's pontificate.

Among other topics covered: French culture and the pontiff's "love" for the place, the "beauty" of being a believer...
Asked about the role of the church in France and in secular societies, the pope said a proper separation of church and state does not contradict the ideals of the Catholic faith. What the church wants, he said, is for Christians to have a voice in society and to be able to “live joyfully the freedom of our faith” and make the beauty of the faith visible in society.

“The world should know that it is beautiful to be a believer, that it’s beautiful to know God, God with a human face in Jesus Christ,” he said.

The pope added that it is essential to the survival of modern societies that there be some people who know God and follow religious values.
...and, en route to the country that, more than any other, spawned the post-conciliar traditionalist movement, the 1962 Missal:
Asked about his relaxation of restrictions on use of the Tridentine rite — a move that was controversial in France — the pope said fears that this would set off a liturgical conflict were unfounded.

He said the new rules were designed to satisfy the needs of a small group of faithful who had a special attachment to the old rite; it was “an act of love and tolerance” toward them. It is clear, he said, that the post-Vatican II Mass remains the normal liturgy in the church.
While a transcription of the session has yet to emerge from the Holy See, the reports indicate a divergence between the Pope's mind -- at least, as expressed today -- and what was presented as it over the summer by the Vatican's top liaison with the traditionalist communities.

On a June visit to London, Colombian Cardinal Dario Castrillion Hoyos said at a press conference that Benedict's intent post-Summorum Pontificum was the celebration the "Old Mass" in nothing less than "all the parishes."

As it marks a year in force this weekend, the answer was Benedict's first public utterance of any sort on the motu proprio for the "Old Rite" that's become one of his pontificate's landmark documents.

SVILUPPO: From the planescript, the '62 Missal segment, in full...
Q: What do you say to those in France who are worried that the motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum" is a step backward with regards to the great institutions of the Second Vatican Council?

Benedict XVI: It is baseless fear; because this "motu proprio" is simply an act of tolerance, with a pastoral objective, for people who have been formed in this liturgy, who love it, who know it, who want to live with this liturgy. It is a small group, because it [pre]supposes an education in Latin, a formation in a certain type of culture. But it seems to me a normal requirement of faith and pastoral practice for a bishop of our Church to have love and forbearance for these people and allow them to live with this liturgy.

There is no opposition between the liturgy renewed by Vatican II and this liturgy. Every day, the council fathers celebrated the Mass following the old rite and at the same time they conceived a natural development for the liturgy throughout this century, since the liturgy is a living reality, which develops and keeps its identity within its development.

So there is certainly a difference of emphasis, but a single fundamental identity that excludes any contradiction or antagonism between a renewed liturgy and the preceding liturgy. I believe there is a possibility for both types to be enriched. On the one hand, the friends of the old liturgy can and should know the new saints, the new prefaces of the liturgy, etc. But on the other hand, the new liturgy emphasizes the common participation, but it is not just the assembly of a particular community, but rather it is always an act of the universal Church, in communion with all the believers of all time, an act of adoration. In this sense, it seems to me that there is a mutual enrichment, and it is clear that the renewed liturgy is the ordinary liturgy of our time.
PHOTO: Reuters