- Battle lines drawn
This week produced the clearest evidence yet that the Synod Fathers are sharply divided between those who are supporting Pope Francis in his efforts to present a more pastoral vision of the Church and those determined first and foremost to emphasise its moral teaching
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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.