Rorate Caeli

Wonderful words on the true meaning of active participation

Today's speech of the Holy Father to the Bishops of Brazil (North II Region) in their ad limina visit was a true course on sacred liturgy, active participation, inculturation, and the Holy Mass. We particularly refer to the 4th, 5th, and 6th paragraphs of his address (in Portuguese).

VIS excerpts; complete translation coming up:
Speaking of the Eucharist, the Pope recalled that it constitutes "the centre and permanent source of the Petrine ministry, the heart of the Christian life, source and summit of the Church's mission of evangelization. You can thus understand the concern of the Successor of Peter for all that can obfuscate this most essential point of the Catholic faith: that today, Jesus Christ continues alive and truly present in the consecrated host and the chalice."

"Paying less attention at times to the rite of the Most Holy Sacrament constitutes," he said, "a sign and a cause of the darkening of the Christian sense of mystery, such as when Jesus is not the centre of the Mass, but rather a community preoccupied with other things instead of being taken up and drawn to the only one necessary: their Lord."

Benedict XVI emphasized that "if the figure of Christ does not emerge from the liturgy ... it is not a Christian liturgy". This is why, he added, "we find those who, in the name of enculturation, fall into syncretism, introducing rites taken from other religions or cultural particularities into the celebration of the Mass."

As Venerable John Paul II wrote, "the mystery of the Eucharist is 'too great a gift' to admit of ambiguities or reductions, above all when, 'stripped of its sacrificial meaning, it is celebrated as if it were simply a fraternal banquet'."

The Pope highlighted that "behind many alleged motives, there exists a mentality that is incapable of accepting the real possibility of divine intervention in this world to assist human beings. ... Admitting God's redeeming intervention to change our situation of alienation and sin is seen as fundamentalism by those who share a deist vision and the same can be said about the sacramental sign that makes the salvific sacrifice present. For such persons, the celebration of a sign that corresponds to a vague sentiment of community would be more acceptable."

"Worship, however," he continued, "cannot come from our imagination: that would be a cry in the darkness or mere self-affirmation. True liturgy supposes that God responds and shows us how we can adore Him. ... The Church lives in His presence and its reason for being and existing is to expand His presence in the world."


  1. Anonymous9:45 PM

    Wonderful! Viva il Papa!

  2. Anonymous12:53 AM

    Wow, B16 is beginning to sound more like P12 !

    If you study simply houw Bugnini et company changed the orationes in the New Liturgy from those in the Ancient Rite, you find confirmed everything the Pope is criticising here.

    Holy Father, have the guts to say it straight out: the New Rite is itself guilty of what you condemn: the propagation of these errors, even if they were not the intention of Paul VI or the hierarchy of that age, was the intention of Bugnini and company, and for that reason the Church must reject the NO.

    O Lord, grant us the humility to admit we were deceved when we were dedeived; to admit that in our presumption we brutally harmed your Virgin Bride on Earth; and that in our impenitence we still cannot admit it!

  3. "As Venerable John Paul II wrote.."

    Indeed, what JP II (RIP) wrote about the Holy Mass & what he actually did in public with his inculturation praxis illustrates an uncomfortable liturgical dichotomy not so easily explained away by such references as we have here. Papal services including rock bands, Hindu style dancing girls, naked breasted indigenous women reading the Epistle and receiving Holy Communion ad infinitum. It is time this was accounted for because it cannot be equated with the quotation in this article posted.

  4. John McFarland3:04 AM

    That the Pope criticizes certain tendencies in the conciliar Church does not mean that what he says is traditional. His language is Vatican II speak. The less flame-throwing liberals can appeal to it just as easily as traditionalists -- if not more easily. The term for this is equivocation, and St. Pius X denounces it root and branch in his great modernist encyclical Pascendi.


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