Monday, July 30, 2007
Martini: I won't do it!
Martini celebrating Mass
A leading liberal cardinal in the Catholic Church says he will not celebrate mass in Latin, criticising Pope Benedict XVI's decision to allow for greater use of the old Latin mass.
Italian Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, who has broken with the Vatican on a number of issues, says he considers it important to have a common language for prayer.
"A bishop cannot ask his priests to satisfy all individual demands," he said in an article published by Il Sole 24 Ore newspaper.
The cardinal said he loved the Latin language and would have no trouble celebrating Latin mass.
"But I will not do it," he wrote.
A papal decree earlier this month said priests should now meet requests by the faithful to hold mass in the traditional Church language, which had widely been dropped after the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s.
Cardinal Martini tempered his criticisms by paying homage to "the immense benevolence of the Pope, who wants to allow everyone to praise God with old and new forms," but made clear that he was not on board.
The 80-year-old cardinal also defended Vatican II, saying it "took a major step forward in the understanding of the liturgy".
Cardinal Martini has broken his silence on numerous occasions to counter Vatican positions on social issues including assisted procreation, the use of condoms and euthanasia.
The renowned scripture scholar, who suffers from Parkinson's Disease, stepped down as archbishop of Milan in 2000. In some quarters he was tipped to succeed Pope John Paul II.
Vatican II is of course is very much the issue, but as far as the Mass is concerned the Fathers of the Council all understood that the Mass they celebrated before and immediately after the Council would continue to be celebrated, possibly with the Scriptures and other small parts of the Mass in the vernacular.
What Martini is objecting to is the scraping a way of post Council nonsense by the Holy Father, it isn't a repudiation of the Council but a real discovery of it.
In an email from a friend in Rome today, he said that one of the questions that nuncios will ask concerning future bishops, is their friendliness towards the Johannine Mass; as a touchstone demonstrating their ability to accept the larger Tradition of the Church.
Posted by Fr Ray Blake