Thursday, February 14, 2013

Unprecedented Extemporaneous Remarks of the Holy Father on Vatican II (II) — Liturgy and Translation

(Go here for a previous post on BC. Vatican Radio link here.)

On "intelligibility" and the desacralization of the Sacred Liturgy:
The Council also pondered the principles of the intelligibility of the Liturgy—instead of being locked up in an unknown language, which was no longer spoken—and active participation. "Unfortunately"—he said—"these principles were also poorly understood." In fact, intelligibility does not mean "banalizing" because the great texts of the liturgy—even in the spoken languages—are not easily intelligible, "they require an ongoing formation of the Christian, so that he may grow and enter deeper into the depths of the mystery, and thus comprehend". [Even the now-defunct English translation had the untranslated words "Hosanna," "Alleluia," and "Amen." I ask people what these words mean—even at TLM/EF communities—and I can tell you that not everyone knows their basic meaning, let alone their embedded layers of meaning, even though they're uttered at every Mass.] And also concerning the Word of God—he asked—who can honestly say they understand the texts of Scripture, simply because they are in their own language? [N.B.:] "Only a permanent formation of the heart and mind can actually create intelligibility and participation which is more than one external activity, which is an entering of the person, of his or her being into communion with the Church and thus in fellowship with Christ." . . .
There was no interest in the liturgy as an act of faith, but as a something to be made understandable, similar to a community activity, something profane. And we know that there was a trend, which was also historically based, that said: "Sacredness is a pagan thing, possibly even from the Old Testament. In the New Testament the only important thing is that Christ died outside: that is, outside the gates, that is, in the secular world". Sacredness ended up as profanity even in worship: worship is not worship but an act that brings people together, communal participation and thus participation as activity. And these translations, trivializing the idea of ​​the Council, were [and still are] virulent in the practice of implementing the liturgical reform, born in a vision of the Council outside of its own key vision of faith.
I hope the Pope's remarks are made available in full soon; this only seems like the full text of the Vatican Radio report.

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