Rorate Caeli

More from Cardinal Arinze on inculturation and liturgical "updating"

Following up on an earlier posting, here are a some significant excerpts from Francis Cardinal Arinze's homily at the Closing Solemn Mass of the Ninth FABC Plenary Assembly in Manila, the Philippines, on 16 Aug. 2009. Cardinal Arinze's homily was titled, "Living the Eucharistic Mystery."

"That in this sacrament are the true Body of Christ and his true Blood is something that cannot be apprehended by the senses," says St. Thomas, "but only by faith which relies on divine authority" (S. Th. III, 75, 1: cf. Paul VI: Mysterium)

"Sight, touch and taste in you are each deceived;
The ear alone most safely is believed:
I believe all the Son of God has spoken,
Than Truth’s own word there is no true token."
(Adoro Te Devote)



This faith demands the surrender of our will, the sacrifice needed in order to believe or not to trust in the senses. Freed from doubt and pride, we are made free for the light of faith. We are ready to adore. . . .

Adoration manifests itself in such gestures in genuflection, deep bow, kneeling, prostration and silence in the presence of the Lord. Asian cultures have a deep sense of the sacred and transcendent. Reverence in Asia to civil authorities sometimes shows itself in clasped hands, kneeling, bows, prostration and walking away while facing a dignitary. It should not be too difficult to bring and elevate this cultural value to honour our Eucharistic Jesus. The fashion in some parts of the world of not installing kneelers in churches should not be copied by the Church in Asia . . . .

The way in which Holy Communion is distributed should be clearly indicated and monitored and individual idiosyncracies should not be allowed. In the Latin Rite, only concelebrating priests take Holy Communion. Everyone else is given, be the person cleric or lay. It is not right that the priest discard any of the vestments just because the climate is hot or humid. If necessary, the Bishop can arrange the use of lighter cloth. It is altogether unacceptable that the celebrant will opt for local dress in the place of universally approved Mass vestments or use baskets, or wine glasses to distribute the Holy Eucharist. This is inculturation wrongly understood . . . .

It is the tradition of the Church that during the Mass the readings are taken only from the Holy Scriptures. Not even the writings of the Saints or Founders of Religious Orders are admitted. It is clear that the books of other religions are excluded, no matter how inspiring a particular text may be. . . .

The major Church documents that give directives on how inculturation is to be made are Sacrosanctum Concilium, 37-40, the 1994 Instruction: Roman Liturgy and Inculturation, and Chapter IX of the General Instruction on the Roman Missal. If these directives are followed, the local Church will be spared questionable or downright mistaken innovations and idiosyncracies of some enthusiastic cleric whose fertile imagination invents something on Saturday night and whose uninformed zeal forces this innovation on the innocent congregation on Sunday morning. Dance in particular needs to be critically examined because most dances draw attention to the performers and offer enjoyment. People come to Mass, not for recreation but, to adore God, to praise and thank him, to ask pardon for their sins, and to request other spiritual and temporal needs. The monasteries may be of help in how graceful body movements can become prayer. . . .

The Colombo Liturgical Convention of September 2008 insists that local Ordinaries and National Conferences of Bishops should carefully ensure the proper observance of liturgical norms, and that Bishops are responsible for the liturgy celebrated in their dioceses, including those held in the house of religious men and women, ashrams and religious movements. (cf. Colombo Statement, 13)

30 comments:

wheatforparadise said...

This encouraging to hear. Thank you, Cardinal Arinze!

Paul Haley said...

With all due respect to His Eminence all the abuses mentioned were not prevalent in the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM). So, then, the answer is simple - make the TLM the normative Mass in the Latin Rite once again. As long as a priest believes he can ad-lib in the liturgy, these abuses will continue.

Peter Kim said...

Great homily, which is very timely and appropriate for Catholic Churches in Asia!

Dan Hunter said...

Paul Haley:

You hit the nail squarely on the head.

wheatforparadise said...

Novus Ordo priests who might be well-disposed to the TLM will try to ad-lib even the ancient rite if given the opportunity.

These priests need sound instruction within the NO context before setting them loose on the TLM.

Anonymous said...

cardinal Arinze is repeating what his former subordinate Abp Ranjith was trumpeting between 2005 and his eviction (?) from the Curia.
The stronger words of Abp Ranjith fell on ... sealed episcopal ears.
And now he is just one Asian archbishop among others. His American successor being as remarkably silent as Abp Ranjith was vocal.

Now it has to be an emeretus prefect to sing this tune to the same audience with sealed ears.

The real questions are :
- how to remove the plugs in episcopal ears ?
- if medication is not an option anymore, when does the Holy Father start surgery within the Asian episcopate ?
One good archbishop in Colombo is certainly not sufficient.

Alsaticus

Richard Friend said...

Your homily is timely, your Eminence, but are the bishops going to follow? Without enforcement, words lose meaning.

Gideon Ertner said...

Gotta love this quote:

"...questionable or downright mistaken innovations and idiosyncracies of some enthusiastic cleric whose fertile imagination invents something on Saturday night and whose uninformed zeal forces this innovation on the innocent congregation on Sunday morning."

Preach it! This is the clearest and most spirited refutation of nonsense in the liturgy I have heard in a long while. Thankfully Card. Arinze's ethnicity insulates him from charges of cultural insensitivity.

Gideon Ertner said...

"And now he is just one Asian archbishop among others."

But he will soon be a Cardinal.

"His American successor being as remarkably silent as Abp Ranjith was vocal."

Give him a break. He's only been at the CDW for a few weeks, and right now it's the summer holidays and nothing happens in Rome until September.

Gideon Ertner said...

"Novus Ordo priests who might be well-disposed to the TLM will try to ad-lib even the ancient rite if given the opportunity."

And you can imagine what an even greater mess those who are not well disposed will make of the TLM if it is forced on them. As if they'll care that the 1962 Missale Romanum does not allow for half-naked Jesuit Swamis dancing round the altar during the Offertory? Neither does the 1970/2002 Missal, but lo and behold...

Peter Kim said...

According to the memoir of the late Cardinal Stephen Kim of South Korea, when the formation of FABC was pursued by the bishops of Asian countries, Pope Paul VI was concerned about the possibility of regionalism in Catholic Church.

In a sense, I think the worry of the Holy Father was correct, especially in the matter of "inculturation" and "religious dialogue".

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

The real question is: what does the FABC final statement say? (I haven't seen it yet.)

Richard Friend said...

At the fabc.org web site, a brief mention of the closing of the 9th FCBC Plenary Assembly carries this statement:

"At the closing of the Plenary Assembly, the participants issued a Message for the churches in Asia. In the document, the Eucharist is seen as a call to community, to hear the Word of God, a call to faith and hope, and a call to mission.

The participants also agreed to a revised outline for the final document which will be published at a later date."

One hopes that the final document is being revised in light of Cardinal Arinze's remarks. But this may just be wishful thinking.

Anonymous said...

It's good to see that exposure to the eternal city has had some effect on Cardinal Arinze. Still, we must not forget that, in a meeting with some German bishops who mentioned the T.L.M., he held the New Missal over his head and exclaimed, "This is my baby!".

Frankly, I'm glad to see him gone. But I do wish we'd get another curialist or two from Africa. The truth is that many of the faithful there have been less affected by all this Modernist nonsense. One can at least hope that their bishops will somehow reflect that.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

On Mr. Ernter's comments about inculturation:

You know, I think that it's the Latin that prveents all the looney innovation. Somehow, the use of an ancient language just exudes holiness, and the ministers at the Altar tend to be absorped in getting all those rubrics right. Don't worry. If anything, the T.L.M. will combat inculturation.

P.K.T.P.

LeonG said...

'Adoration manifests itself in such gestures in genuflection, deep bow, kneeling, prostration and silence in the presence of the Lord. Asian cultures have a deep sense of the sacred and transcendent."

The fear of The Lord is rooted in deep reverence. The Holy Mass in its authentic Roman Rite is the embodiment of this gift of The Holy Ghost. I stated elsewhere that Asians have a good sense of the sacred which is one excellent reason , among others, why they would profit abundantly from the true Roman catholic liturgy. The modernist liturgy is a travesty of reverence and misleads this cultural norm. This is why the NO has to be abolished here as it has brought a distorted sense of appropriacy in liturgical matters.

Arinze can tinker all he likes with the NO Rite but every adjustment will fail since it is an ever-changing rite with no end to its mutated novelties. Those who attend it regularly are addicted to this concept and need healing from it. Abolition would be a better solution - Pope St Pius V & the Tridentine Councils understood perfectly when they anathematised a vernacular liturgy.

We need to be alert against hybridisation of the two very contrasting liturgical rites. The NO is an imposter. This disgraceful tendency is already happening in some places.

Thank you for your publicised note on racist retorts - noticed today - those who taunt Asians, Africans and particular ethnic groups should hang their heads in shame. They are despicable in the least.

H. B. Palmaer said...

Paul Hailey,

Make the traditional rite mandatory to-day, in this sick cultural climate of ours, and with the present Roman mind, and I can assure you 1) that the liberals immediately will start tearing it down, 2) with Rome soon giving, 3) while the No Fly In Amber-mob (Fr Z, NLM etc.) praises the tearing-down for showing how vibrantly alive the old rite has become.

Seraphic Spouse said...

Rock on, Cardinal Arinze! (If not at Mass, ha ha, couldn't resist.)

Gus said...

It sounds to me that despite all the talk about how the Church is more orthodox in Africa and Asia that at least liturgically She is rather heterodox in those continents.
If this is true then I'm not sure if we can ever get that horse back in the barn.
So, I'm wondering if the best alternative would in fact not be to permit an African and an Asian Rite(s) where things like liturgical dance would be licit and at the same time keep the Latin Rite for the Western world (Europe, Americas, Australia).
I'm not convinced that this is necessarily the only realistic option (and I don't think its the ideal) but I'm dismayed by all of the continuing liturgical abuse of the Latin Rite and what appears to be an everlasting struggle to restore its celebration in a solemn manner.

Pax et Bonum

Jordanes said...

It sounds to me that despite all the talk about how the Church is more orthodox in Africa and Asia that at least liturgically She is rather heterodox in those continents.

I'm not aware of any talk of greater orthodoxy in Africa and Asia, just that the Church is growing in numbers and has more vocations in those areas, while the Church and vocations are disappearing in Europe, Canada, and (much more slowly) the U.S. But the Church in Africa in particular has been plagued with serious problems, such as infection with Pentecostalism, and bishops and priests keeping mistresses.

Jordanes said...

Abolition would be a better solution - Pope St Pius V & the Tridentine Councils understood perfectly when they anathematised a vernacular liturgy.

It would be a simpler solution, but pastorally would probably be a disaster much as the attempted liturgical reform of the past four decades has been a pastoral disaster. That's why I'm inclined not to favor abolition of the Pauline Missal.

Jordanes said...

Still, we must not forget that, in a meeting with some German bishops who mentioned the T.L.M., he held the New Missal over his head and exclaimed, "This is my baby!".

It's understandable that Cardinal Arinze would feel attachment and affection for the most recent edition of the Roman Missal, as he has had so much to do with its creation and editing, and with overseeing the excruciating process of eliminating the current vernacular mistranslations and replacing them with better translations.

Paul Haley said...

To those who fear that mandating the TLM as the normative Mass in the Latin Rite would open the door for ad-libbing by heterodox priests, I answer: not if they followed the rubrics. And, I did not say that the NOM should be scuttled entirely but that the TLM should supplant it as the normative Mass in the Latin Rite. In other words make the existent EF the OF and vice versa. This Pope will not throw out the baby with the bath water; that much is abundantly clear. Frankly, I wish he would but that is simply not in the cards.

The problem of heterodox priests ad-libbing in the liturgy is, I think, more of a matter of discipline, or lack thereof, which can and should be addressed by the bishops in seminary training and for older priests in presbyterial councils. I readily admit, however, that few bishops appear inclined to take such action and it would be up to Rome to discipline such priests.

Dan Hunter said...

"It would be a simpler solution, but pastorally would probably be a disaster much as the attempted liturgical reform of the past four decades has been a pastoral disaster. That's why I'm inclined not to favor abolition of the Pauline Missal."

Jordanes:
To be pastoral is to bring immediate aid to one who needs immediate aid.

To immediately mandate the TLM again, would be nothing like the disaster emanating from the promulgation of the inorganic and disastrous introduction of the pre-fabricated and cobbled together Novus Ordo Missae had on the Church.
That missal is infected with the tentacles of protestantism, banality and ambiguity, even whilst being valid.

The Gregorian Rite is not, and as such is the correct "medicine" so to speak, for a gasping world, When administered posthaste will begin the cure immediately.

The wrong medicine will kill.
The correct medecine will cure.

In a Church that needs, and I mean needs immediate "medical" attention
the medicine is right at hand.

The Gregorian Rite of Mass.

Mandate it.
Fast.

dcs said...

To those who fear that mandating the TLM as the normative Mass in the Latin Rite would open the door for ad-libbing by heterodox priests, I answer: not if they followed the rubrics.

If they are incapable of following the NO rubrics, still less will they be capable of following the TLM rubrics. It's true as Fr. Z says that it's not that hard to learn them - the problem is not that priests can't learn them, the problem is that they won't, because they simply don't care enough to learn them.

I certainly would like to see more and more priests offer the TLM, but I am afraid that many priests simply don't want to, and that imposing the TLM as the "norm" will cause a revolt among them. I think it is better to proceed as the Pope has done, with some additional protections for priests and laymen, and let the NO die on the vine.

Anonymous said...

I think that any attempts to mandate the return of the T.L.M. as the normative Mass and abolition of the N.O.M. would be dreaming in technicolour. It's wild talk. I agree with d.c.s. on this: Let the N.O.M. die on the vine. It's its own worst enemy. Better to entrench the T.L.M. by priests who set a good standard for its celebration. That would then prevent future abuses when it is returned one day in the distant future.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

The Cardinal has spoken will but did the bishops listen?

Paul Haley said...

Inculturation and liturgical updating...where did these terms come from? From the very hierarchy that allows such things to occur is my answer. To think that the NOM with all its attendant problems is going to be relegated to the dustbin (throwing the baby out with the bath water)is dreaming in technicolour as P.K.T.P.. indicates. I've said as much in my earlier post.

But, to envision that the EF may yet become the OF is not an impossibility but something that could occur down the road...not with this Pope, mind you, but with one who is not so tied to the Vatican II "reforms". This Pope was intimately involved in Vatican II and still sees it, I believe, as a necessary and beautiful thing for the Church. That its fruits seem to indicate otherwise is not something this current Pope is willing to admit.

Dan Hunter said...

"(throwing the baby out with the bath water)"

Mr Haley:

What baby?

Paul Haley said...

Dan,

The "baby", if you will, is the NOM which the liberal fathers of the Council readily accepted and have promulgated ever since. This has occurred despite the criticisms of it expressed by Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci directly to Pope Paul VI.

The "bath water", if you will, includes all the abuses that have crept into the NOM and its overwhelming emphasis on the cult of man. You can find detailed criticisms of the new mass at my website: http://phaley.faithweb.com

Although I recognize the validity of the new mass when celebrated properly and in accord with the rubrics, I have to say those criticisms by eminent scholars give me pause.