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Pope's wish is not to condemn

In the latest issue of Kairos magazine Archbishop Hart wrote about the encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia.

I agreed with lots of it and was pleased with the publicity being given to the encyclical. The Archbishop mentioned the shadows including "unauthorised liturgical changes".

But then there is a surprising sentence: "The Pope's wish is not to condemn."

I do not know what basis he has for this assertion. The encyclical refers to "a number of abuses which have been a been a source of suffering for many" (n. 51). It sounds to me like condemnation.

I would be happy with "The Pope does not enjoy condemning." But to say someone in authority has "no wish to condemn" suggests they are failing to use that authority.

Cardinal Arinze was reported by Catholic News Service as saying at an international liturgy forum in Washington May 16. "What most of the people who come to Mass are asking for is simply that the Mass is there, according to the approved books. The primary thing they are asking for is not something new".

I wish it were true. But scholarship means having evidence for assertions, as David Williamson put it in his excellent new play Birthrights. I do not see much evidence of people wanting Mass according to the approved books.

How many bow their head at the name of Jesus and Mary? How many stand and say "May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hand ..."? How many are concerned that an instituted lector read? Not many wanted to stand for the Gloria at the Melbourne cathedral this morning.

If the approved books are not being followed then its asking for something new that they be followed.

For Mass to be according to the approved books there will need to condemnation and punishment.

By J.R. Lilburne, 25 May 2003. I give what I have written on this page to the public domain.

Other Sites:

Kairos article by Archbishop Hart

CNS report on comments by Cardinal Arinze