- Reform, rebuild and renew
On Thursday Pope Francis will have completed a year as Bishop of Rome, a year in which he has begun to transform the Church. But be in no doubt, argues our Rome correspondent, of just how wide and how deep go his aims for change
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Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has made an unequivocal defence of the Novus Ordo of the Mass.
Without the Second Vatican Council’s liturgy reform, dechristianisation might have forged ahead far faster than it has, Archbishop Müller said at a 50th anniversary commemoration of the Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy [ITAL]Sacrosanctum Concilium[UNITAL] at Würzburg.
“It is precisely because the liturgy was renewed in spirit and rite that it has proved an effective remedy against a godless culture.” The renewed liturgy was “a good means of evangelising”, he said.
Archbishop Müller contradicted those who blamed the increasing disappearance of the faith and dwindling Mass attendance in the formerly Christian countries of the Western world on the reform of the liturgy following the Council, and expressly underlined the merits of the 1970 Missal. “All Catholics who think and feel with the Church realise that the reform was a success,” he said.
He specifically cautioned against both a clerically centred liturgy and a liturgy centred chiefly on the laity where the priest was only “marginally present”.
“In the liturgy, the inner union of the common priesthood of all the People of God and the particular service of the Apostolic office are all present,”, he explained.