In an otherwise surprisingly dull edition of 30Giorni, the interview of the Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, Archbishop Ranjith, liberally quoted by many secular reports last week, has been made available in the Italian-language website of the magazine (the English translation will surely follow in a few weeks). There is no groundbreaking affirmation, but a few interesting comments, some of which are presented below.
Ranjith: ...the result which was expected from the liturgical reform [which followed the Second Vatican Council] has not appeared. ...
... And therefore there is much to do, so that the churches be filled with new faithful who, during the sacred liturgies, feel truly touched by the grace of the Lord. In a secularized world, instead of trying to elevate the hearts towards the greatness of the Lord, it has been attempted, more often, I believe, to lower the divine mysteries to a banal level. ...
When you were named Secretary at Divine Worship, it was written that you had very good relations with the Lefebvrist world. Does that correspond to the truth?
Ranjith: I did not meet Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre ..., for he was of another age. But I have certainly had some contact with some of his followers. But I am not passionate about the Lefebvrists. Unfortunately, they have not yet re-entered into full communion with the Holy See, but that which they frequently say about the liturgy is said deliberately. And for that they are a thorn which should make us reflect on what we are doing. This does not mean that I may be defined as an adherent or as a friend of the Lefebvrists. I share some points of the so-called anti-globalization [movement] regarding social justice, but that does not mean I am one of its followers...[sic] On the other hand, the Tridentine Mass is not a private property of the Lefebvrists. It is a treasure of the Church and of all of us. As the Pope said to the Roman Curia last year, the Second Vatican Council is not a moment of rupture, but of renewal in continuity. The past is not thrown away, but one builds upon it.
Does this mean that the Mass said of Saint Pius V has never truly been abolished?
Ranjith: The fact that the Holy See has recently approved the foundation, in Bordeaux, of a Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right characterized by the fact that it exclusively uses the pre-Conciliar liturgical books [Rorate Note: the Institute of the Good Shepherd] is to signify in an unequivocal way that the Mass of Saint Pius V cannot be considered as abolished by the new Missal, said of Paul VI.