Apologies for sparse posting, I'm in the middle of a home project that is consuming my time.
I'm sure y'all observed Pope Francis' curious roughing up of Cardinal Sarah for suggesting priests face God during Advent in our Sacred Liturgy.
So the dogs can stampede St. Peter's Square to promote lechery and licentiousness without intervention, but as soon as somebody suggests stepping up the game with purity and mystical prayer directed towards God, he springs his derriere into action.
oK. The smoke is clearing and the leadership of this pontificate is starting to shape up.
You can hop on and off your eyecandy but not direct attention to God in the Sacred Liturgy.
“In response to a number of enquiries, in the light of Cardinal Sarah’s recent personal comments, I take this opportunity of reminding all priests of the importance of ensuring that every celebration of the liturgy is carried out with all possible dignity,” the cardinal said. “Whether the celebration of the Mass is simple or elaborate, it should always be characterized by that dignity which helps to raise our minds and hearts to God and which avoids distracting confusion or inappropriate informality.
While he introduces his response with something that sounds like his intentions are all about honoring God, it's difficult to ascribe good faith intentions to this man's rush to discredit Cardinal Sarah's efforts to 'avoid distracting confusion' and 'inappropriate informality'.
He puts the bait on the hook and lures the fish:
“I also remind our priests that the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, approved by the highest authority in the Church, states in Paragraph 299 that ‘The altar should be built apart from the wall, in such a way that it is possible to walk around it easily and that Mass can be celebrated at it facing the people, which is desirable wherever possible. The altar should, moreover, be so placed as to be truly the center toward which the attention of the whole congregation of the faithful naturally turns. The altar is usually fixed and is dedicated.’”
Got it. The altar should be placed in such a way to leave enough room for the priest to put himself between God and the people and prance around. All eyes on the narcissists instead of God. That's worked out much better for them than the days when people were directly linked to God and you had to get to Church early to get a seat.
Brace yourself. He's not done.
Cardinal Nichols concluded, “May I emphasize that the celebration of the Church’s liturgy is not a place in which priests are to exercise personal preference or taste. As the last paragraph of the GIRM states so clearly, ‘The Roman Missal, though in a diversity of languages and with some variety of customs, must in the future be safeguarded as an instrument and an outstanding sign of the integrity and unity of the Roman rite’ (399).”
After clarifying the Sacred Liturgy can't be used for personal preferences, he cherry picks the GIRM as a license for a variety of "customs".
Right. Because adding your own 'customs' wouldn't be inappropriate informality.
It's all for the sake of..wait for it...UNITY!
Everything that emerges from the the Vatican is saturated in deceit and deception.
And then there was this.
I wish to direct your attention to this:
Some of his expressions have however been incorrectly interpreted, as if they were intended to announce new indications different to.... the words of the Pope..
We now have confirmation that all of the rancid theology attributed to the Holy Father's intentions by his hand-picked heretics were NOT incorrectly interpreted.
Turn off the spin machines. The Holy Father issues corrections when somebody has improperly conveyed his intentions.
Therefore, new liturgical directives are not expected from next Advent, as some have incorrectly inferred from some of Cardinal Sarah’s words, and it is better to avoid using the expression “reform of the reform” with reference to the liturgy, given that it may at times give rise to error.
All the above was unanimously expressed during a recent audience granted by the Pope to the same Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship.
YOWZA. I'm better off not expressing what I think about this latest development. I'll instead share Fr. Rutler's response.
In 2014, Pope Francis appointed Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea to be Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, with instructions to continue a “reform of the reform.”
After the Second Vatican Council, many changes in the liturgy were done virtually overnight, with no mandate from the Council, but motivated by what Pope Pius XII would have called a romantic “historicism” based on a mistaken understanding of the early Church’s liturgy. Even some well-intentioned but misinformed Catholics have thought that inferior contemporary music and completely vernacular texts were the aim of Vatican II. A growing number of young Catholics understand better what the popes want for the liturgy than some aging people who have not outgrown the confusion of the 1960s and 1970s.
One change, never mentioned by Vatican II, was having the priest as a “presider” face the people all through the Mass. It came at a time when people were increasingly preoccupied with themselves, and it encouraged a psychology of self-absorption. The venerable “ad orientem” posture of the priest, always kept in the Eastern rites, is not a matter of turning his back to the people. Rather, the priest faces East to direct the faithful’s attention away from himself and toward the horizon symbolizing the Resurrection.
The readings and preaching (the “synaxis” or synagogue part) are done facing the people for they are instructive, but the Holy Sacrifice (the “anaphora” or temple part) is offered with everyone facing in the same direction, rather than in what Pope Benedict XVI called an “enclosed circle.” Pope Francis celebrates ad orientem in the Sistine Chapel. It has nothing to do with the placement of the altar, for the venerable manner—as in ancient basilicas—is a free-standing altar. In our own parish church, the ad orientem use is suitable for the altar in the nave as easily as at the older altar.
As Cardinal Sarah points out, liturgical innovations were supposed to invigorate Mass attendance, but they had the opposite effect, not to mention the countless millions of dollars spent on church renovations which in too many cases ruined fine art. His Eminence has asked that parishes institute the ad orientem in the Ordinary Form by Advent, as a thing “good for the Church, good for our people.” Actually, no permission is needed for that, since the original General Instruction of the Roman Missal left the position as a legitimate option, so it may be instituted at any time. The ad orientem use will be a modest change, different from the way innovations were made in the 1960s with tactless abruptness.
Cardinal Sarah said, “The liturgy is not about you and me. It is not where we celebrate our own identity or achievements or exalt or promote our own culture and local religious customs. The liturgy is first and foremost about God and what he has done for us.”