In Italy, the new edition of the Missal Romanum is about to be printed. The Episcopal Conference emphasizes the "irreversibility" of liturgical reform.
(Rome) The Italian Bishops' Conference will decide on the third edition of the Missale Romanum of the Novus Ordo in mid-November. Initial announcements have startled some liturgists.
For some time now, there have been voices announcing important decisions for the forthcoming Extraordinary General Assembly of the Italian Episcopal Conference. In the period from 12th — 15th of November, the third edition of the Missale Romanum in the ordinary form of the Roman Rite in its final version is to be decided and released for publication. The daily Toscana Oggi announced "revolutionary" innovations, without giving any details.
Bishop Nunzio Galantino Man of the Pope
Bishop Nunzio Galantino, from 2014-2018 the "man of the Pope" in the Italian Episcopal Conference
The Standing Council of the Episcopal Conference, which took place from 24-27 September in Rome, has made decisions in preparation for the Extraordinary General Assembly. Its motto is: "Rediscover and accept the gift of the liturgy for the life of the Church. Perspectives and Pastoral Decisions on the Third Italian Edition of the Missale Romanum."
The preparatory work for the new edition was led by Bishop Nunzio Galantino, whom Pope Francis had made Secretary General of the Italian Episcopal Conference, and who was considered to be the "Pope's man" in this office. Last June, Francis promoted him to the Roman Curia as Prefect of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA).
"Avoid traditionalist forms"
For the new Missale the Permanent Council announced only so much:
"It represents the opportunity for a capillary formation that returns the richness and immutability of the liturgical reform and its essential points: the centrality of the Word of God, of Easter and of the congregation itself. Hence the need to re-learn itself as an art of celebration which not only avoids the urge to self-promotion or the use of traditionalist forms, but promotes a comprehensive understanding of roles:
priests, lecturers, greeters, cantors ... move exclusively in the line of service alone.”
Details were not communicated. The Declaration mentions as the "center" of the liturgy "Easter", the "Word of God" and "the assembly itself". The sacrificial character of the Mass remains unmentioned. The leadership of the Episcopal Conference also took up a statement by Pope Francis, which is understood by parts of the Church as a challenge: The liturgical reform is "irreversible" and "traditionalist forms" should be avoided. The latter are put on the same level as the “self-promotion” of progressive clerics who deviate from the rubrics and even the texts of the masses, sometimes even from the Eucharistic Prayers, and make their own brand of liturgy.
"Liturgical reform is certainly irreversible"
Pope Francis said in his address to the participants of the 68th Liturgical Week in Italy on 24 August 2017 that the liturgical reform of Paul VI. Aid “irreversible.” Francis said this with a magisterial tone.
"We can confirm with certainty and with official authority that the liturgical reform is irreversible." [Has he read Quo Primum?]
Without mentioning it, the words were understood above all as a rejection of initiatives by Cardinal Robert Sarah, the Prefect of the Roman Congregation for Worship, and the Order of the Sacraments. Cardinal Sarah had previously emphatically called for "all priests" of the Latin Rite to return to the traditional celebration of the East, ad Deum.
A few months before the pope's speech, the existence of a mysterious liturgical reform was announced, commissioned by Francis. At the time of its construction Cardinal Sarah was simply ignored. In other words, the Commission and its members were appointed behind the back of the competent minister.
Cancellation of "reform of the reform"
In a broader sense, the words of Pope Francis were above all a rejection of the “reform of the liturgical form” initiated and desired by Pope Benedict XVI. This refusal was taken up by the Permanent Council of the Italian Episcopal Conference at its recent session. Since then, there has been concern in traditional Church circles that the new edition of the Missal Romanum will further reduce the sacrificial character of the Mass and emphasize the character of the assembly even more.
Nothing is known for the time being, whether in the new edition finally the change of the words of consecration by Benedict XVI. from "for all" to "for many" will be implemented. Benedict XVI. had made a corresponding
change in October 2006 and arranged it for the Universal Church. In Italy, there was particularly stubborn resistance in addition to the German-speaking region. This is especially clear from the fact that even twelve years after the binding order of the German Pope, the change in Italy has not yet been implemented.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: CEI (screenshots)
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org