Inside the Vatican
has this interview
with Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship. Of late, Cardinal Arinze has made comments tending to discourage those praying for a more generous dispensation for the traditional Mass. In this interview, he backpedals just a bit:
ARINZE: To begin with, it is not within the competence of this Congregation to handle requests for the Mass of the Tridentine rite. The Holy Father has set up a special commission known as the Ecclesia Dei commission and it looks into that for groups that want it.
It is the Ecclesia Dei commission that examines that, Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos is the President of that Commission. If there are any suggestions along those lines, he would bring them to the Holy Father.
Priests and bishops have to ask themselves when some of our Catholics are asking for the Tridentine Mass, could it be that we should examine how we celebrate Mass? Could it be that they have seen many abuses? And they are sick and tired, and therefore they say, "Look, we have had enough of this. Let’s go back to how it was 50 years ago." Could it be?
Unfortunately, what some don't know is that even when there was the Tridentine Mass there were abuses. Many Catholics did not know, because they did not know Latin! So when the priest garbled the words, they were not aware of this.
Hmm. Cold comfort, that. With all due respect, the Cardinal does not appear to have come to grips with the issues meditated by the recent episcopal synod. When asked about the controversy over denying 'pro-choice' politicians Holy Communion, quoth he,
My reply, "Do you really need a cardinal from the Vatican to answer that question?" Can a child having made his First Communion not answer that question? Is it really so complicated? The child will give the correct answer immediately, unless he is conditioned by political correctness. It is a pity, cardinals have to be asked such questions.
Well, now. When asked about deficiencies in the Church's liturgy, such as the utter lack of Gregorian chant throughout the United States, he was less direct:
ARINZE: For music in the liturgy, we should start by saying that Gregorian music is the Church's precious heritage. It should stay. It should not be banished. If therefore in a particular diocese or country, no one hears Gregorian music anymore, then somebody has made a mistake somewhere.
But, the Church is not saying that everything should be Gregorian music. There is room for music which respects that language, that culture, that people. There is room for that too, and the present books say that is a matter for the Bishops Conference, because it generally goes beyond the boundaries of one diocese.
. . .
The judgment would be left to the bishops of the area. It is wiser that way.
It is wiser to leave these things to men who know less than "a child having made his First Communion"?
One thing in this interview heartened me. When asked about the possibility of "tougher action", Cardinal Arinze did not deny that any is on the way. Instead, he replied, "Many people would want it. Obviously, there are some major areas the Holy Father decides."
Thank God. As ITV said in a prior message,
In this context, there is one thing the Catholic faithful of the world need to do, immediately and urgently: they must pray for Pope Benedict. Pray for his intentions. Pray that he be granted the prudence, wisdom, and courage to cleanse the Church as she urgently needs to be cleansed. And let him know you are praying for him. He needs your prayers and support.