Online Edition – June 2007
Vol. XIII, No. 4
News & Views
Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei and a member of the Fifth General Conference of Latin American Bishops, addressed the bishops on the pre-conciliar Liturgy, on May 16, in Aparecida, Brazil. The cardinal described the efforts of the Ecclesia Dei Commission as, most importantly, “the search for an end to the schismatic action [of followers of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre], and to rebuild the full communion, without ambiguities”.
“The Holy Father, who was for some years a member of this Commission, wishes it to become an organ of the Holy See with the proper and distinct end of preserving and maintaining the worth of the Traditional Latin Liturgy”, he told the bishops. “Yet it must be said with all clarity that it is not a turning back, a return to the time before the 1970 reform. It is, instead, a generous offer of the Vicar of Christ who, as an expression of his pastoral will, wishes to put at the disposal of the whole Church all the treasures of the Latin Liturgy which for centuries has nourished the spiritual life of so many generations of Catholic faithful”.
Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos stressed that “[t]he Holy Father wishes to preserve the immense spiritual, cultural, and aesthetic treasures linked to the Ancient Liturgy. The retrieval of this wealth is linked to the no less precious one of the current Liturgy of the Church”.
He continued, “For these reasons, the Holy Father has the intention of extending to the entire Latin Church the possibility of celebrating Holy Mass and the Sacraments according to the liturgical books promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962. There is today a new and renewed interest in this Liturgy, which has never been abolished and which, as we have said, is considered a treasure, and because of this the Holy Father believes that the time has come to ease, as the first Cardinalatial Commission of 1986 had wished to do, the access to this Liturgy, making it an extraordinary form of the one Roman Rite”.
The cardinal’s complete address appeared on the CELAM web site: www.celam.info.
An international congress, “Latin Future: the Language for Building the Identity of Europe”, was held May 25-26, in Rome and the Vatican.
The Vatican Information Service (VIS) reported that professors, senators, writers and journalists participated in the event, sponsored by the Italian National Research Council (CNR) and the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences.
The discussions at the congress focused on “the role of Latin in the formation of Europe”, and on “modernity and the significance of Latin for scientific and cultural progress”. Jan Figel, European Commissioner for Education, Training, and Culture, and Wang Huansheng, a member of the Academy of Social Sciences of Beijing, China, participated in a discussion on “policies to follow in order to support the study of Latin”.
The Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences was established by Pope Pius XII in 1954, and since 2001 it has been headed by Monsignor Walter Brandmüller, 78, former professor of medieval and modern Church history at the University of Augsburg.
(Sources: VIS; Pontifical Committee for Historical Sources web site.)
From the Distant Early Warning Department:
“There are no rigid criteria for selecting good music for the liturgy. In recent months many songs have appeared which could well find an appropriate place in the liturgy; these might include ‘Both Sides Now’, ‘Abraham, Martin and John’, ‘Mrs. Robinson’, ‘Gentle on My Mind’ (there is a real need for good love songs in liturgy), and ‘Little Green Apples’. In a sense we need ‘disposable’ music just as we need, and to some extent have, ‘disposable’ art objects which are created to last not centuries, but weeks (or hours). Our secular music is that way; the amount of new material is so great that even many good things pass quickly. While many of the songs from the folk and pop lists (as well as the country-western list or the Broadway list) do not have the depth or quality to last for decades, they still have the power to enrich the liturgy here and now”.
From “Music — We Must Learn to Celebrate”, by Father Robert W. Hovda and Gabe Huck, in the Liturgical Arts Society’s quarterly, Liturgical Arts (Volume 38, No. 2, February 1970), p. 42. (Quoted by Father March in the Spring 1970 issue of Sacred Music, published by the Church Music Association of America. See the CMAA web site, www.musicasacra.com).
The Liturgical Arts Society was organized in New York in 1928 as a national effort to promote the arts that support Roman Catholic Liturgy and culture. It was formed by lay people, but included members of the American hierarchy, foreign prelates, clergy, and women religious. In 1931 it began publication of the journal Liturgical Arts (Maurice Lavanoux, editor). In 1972 Liturgical Arts ceased publication and the Society was dissolved due to lack of funds.
Father Robert Hovda (1920-1992) was an influential liturgical expert, a member of the North American Academy of Liturgy and editor of its publication Liturgy; and from 1983 until his death was a regular columnist (“Amen Corner”) for Worship magazine, published by Liturgical Press, St. John’s Benedictine Abbey, Collegeville. He was the principal author of Environment and Art in Catholic Worship (1978).
Both Hovda and Huck worked for the Liturgical Conference, for which they co-authored There’s No Place Like People (1969). In 1977, Huck became editor of Liturgy Training Publications of the Archdiocese of Chicago — a position he held until he was relieved of it in 2001.
(For more on Huck and Hovda, see “Radical Relocation of Transcendence”, by Susan Benofy, AB May 2002 https://adoremus.org/0502CommunionRite.html).
Several more segments of the English translation of the Roman Missal — the Prefaces and the Eucharistic Prayers for Children — were sent to bishops in a preliminary “green-book” form this spring.
However, the US bishops’ June meeting in New Mexico is a retreat, not a business meeting. As no “Agenda Items” are permitted at these retreats, plenary discussion and voting on the new Missal segments cannot take place until their November meeting.