Alberto Carosa | Rome Reporter
Pope Francis, in his message to the participants dated March 4, 2017 – after having highlighted the importance of the aesthetic and musical formation of clergy, religious and the lay people involved in pastoral life – on the one hand called for “safeguarding and enhancing the rich and manifold patrimony inherited from the past”, and on the other hand “to ensure that sacred music and liturgical chant be fully ‘inculturated’ in the artistic and musical language of the current time”; namely, “to incarnate and translate the Word of God into song, sound and harmony capable of making the hearts of our contemporaries resonate, also creating an appropriate emotional climate which disposes people to faith and stirs openness and full participation in the mystery being celebrated.”
Acknowledging that “at times a certain mediocrity, superficiality and banality have prevailed, to the detriment of the beauty and intensity of liturgical celebrations”, Pope Francis concluded his address by calling upon “the various key figures in this sphere, musicians, composers, conductors and choristers of the scholae cantorum, with liturgical coordinators” to make “a precious contribution to the renewal, especially in qualitative terms, of sacred music and of liturgical chant”.
The following day, over two hundred musicians, musicologists and sacred music experts issued the petition “A Statement on the Current Situation of Sacred Music” to Church authorities for them to correct a situation that is increasingly getting out of hand. This petition was jointly promoted by two renowned musicians and musicologists, Aurelio Porfiri, director of the international magazine, Altare Dei, published in Macao and Hong Kong and author of books and essays on sacred music and liturgy, and the American Peter A. Kwasniewski, a professor of theology and philosophy and choir director at Wyoming Catholic College.
“The undersigned—musicians, pastors, teachers, scholars, and lovers of sacred music—humbly offer to the Catholic community around the world this statement”, the Statement opens, “expressing our great love for the Church’s treasury of sacred music and our deep concerns about its current plight.”
After recalling documents and the history of the love the Church has always had for such expressive forms, the petition then goes on summarizing some of the most significant motivations underlying the present deplorable situation of sacred music and of the liturgy:
Despite the above gloomy picture, the petition promoters still “maintain the hope that there is a way out of this winter” and to this purpose offer a set of proposals in spiritu humilitatis, for the dignity of the liturgy and of its music in the Church to be fully restored:
“The remembrance, memory, and treasure represented by our Catholic tradition is not something of the past alone”, the petition concludes. “It is still a vital force in the present, and will always be a gift of beauty to future generations.”
Msgr. Bux, Pope Benedict XVI
“giving witness to the truth involves the abandonment of friends, betrayal and death”
As the debate on the exhortation "Amoris Laetitia" is raging on, Msgr. Nicola Bux has kindly agreed to share some comments on the present state of affairs, especially following the letter to the Pope by four cardinals seeking clarification on specific points of the above document. For those who may be not aware, theologian and Vatican liturgical consulter, Msgr. Nicola Bux, is also professor of sacramental theology and author of several books on the liturgy, including 2016’s Con i sacramenti non si scherza (The Sacraments Are Not a Joke).
Q. You are certainly following closely the story regarding the letter to Pope Francis by the four cardinal asking for a final clarification of certain aspects of the exhortation "Amoris Laetitia", which in their opinion are not so clear. What do you think?
The first international pilgrimage Summorum Pontificum, since Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s motu proprio liberalized the celebration of the traditional Roman rite of the mass in 2007, took place in 2012. The idea was to thank him on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of its implementation and to mark the Year of Faith. Due to the success of this first edition, which was made possible by some concurrent key factors including the support of lay people from Italy, the then president of the FIUV (Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce, more commonly known as Una Voce), Leo Darroch, and a diocesan French priest, Fr. Claude Barthe, it has now become an annual event. We have approached its main international coordinator, Guillaume Ferluc, to know more about the general programme of its fourth edition, due to take place 22-25 October 2015 in Rome.
Q. Could you elaborate a bit on the main features of this year’s edition of the pilgrimage Summorum Pontificum?
(Norcia, Italy) A three-day pilgrimage “in the footsteps of St. Benedict, accompanied by the traditional liturgy, took place in Norcia in early July. It was the first initiative at the national level of a pilgrimage based on the Extraordinary Form of the Roman rite which was organized by the Italian national branch of the Summorum Pontificum International Coordination Committee CISP. It is true that there are already one-day pilgrimages according to the Extraordinary Form in Italy but only at the regional level, like the one to Our Lady of Oropa in northern Italy and others in Tuscany and Puglia respectively.
(Rome) In the month of January the traditional Roman calendar offers us two closely inter-related feast days: January 10th as the Feast of the Sacred Family and January 23rd as the Feast of the Espousal of the Virgin Mary with St Joseph. Although never on the general Calendar, the latter was kept by many religious orders, especially those with a particular devotion to the Virgin Mary, and on many local calendars.
In anticipation of the second feast at a later date, on Saturday, January 10th, Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke celebrated a Solemn Pontifical Mass at the in the Extraordinary Form at the Faldstool in the ancient splendid Basilica di San Nicola in Carcere at 11.00 am. The Mass was celebrated ad orientem, in respect to the altar, but versus populum, due to the particular altar position of this ancient Basilica centrally located near the Teatro Marcello in Rome and built into a pre-existing temple in the ancient Greek zone. Where there were fora for oil and vegetables and, most notably, once the ferocity of the pagans sacrificed to idols, today a large number of faithful attended the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, to contemplate with tenderness and love Jesus who gives himself every day in His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity under the species of the Eucharist.
American Diocesan Priest Interviewed on Effects of TLM, Summorum Pontificum
It would seem quite fitting for the Third Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage to Rome to field three senior Cardinals as main celebrants of the three extraordinary rite pontificals scheduled for late October: H.E. George Pell in the traditional parish church of Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini on Friday, October 24th; H.E. Raymond L. Burke on Saturday, October 25th in St. Peter’s Basilica; and H.E. Walter Brandmüller on Sunday, October 26th, in the Benedictine community in Norcia on the feast of Christ the King, October’s last Sunday in the Tridentine calendar.
The unprecedented development on the occasion of this third traditional pilgrimage is the fact that the religious services will be ushered in H.E. George Cardinal Pell, generally regarded as the highest-ranking prelate in the Vatican after his appointment in February 2014 as the first Cardinal-Prefect of the newly created Secretariat for the Economy to oversee the Vatican finances. But the former archbishop of Melbourne and Sydney is also known for his sensitivity in favour of the traditional liturgy, which he himself celebrates from time to time.
ROME – In a famous speech to the participants of a European People’s Party symposium on March 30, 2006, Benedict XVI called upon Christians to safeguard what he termed “non-negotiable principles”, as part of the protection and promotion of human dignity in the public square: the protection of life from conception to natural death, recognition and promotion of the natural family as based on the marriage between one man and a woman, protection of the parents’ rights as primary educators of their children.
The CISP (International Coordination Summorum Pontificum) has announced that His Eminence Dario, Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos will be celebrating Pontifical High Mass in St Peter’s Basilica on Saturday 26 October at 11 o’clock during the pilgrimage of the people of Summorum Pontificum to Rome.
Holy Mass on 26 October will allow Diocesan and Religious Priests, Seminarians, and the faithful among the people of Summorum Pontificum to show Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos their gratitude and affection for everything he has done in the service of the Church, especially at the time of the preparation of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, during which His Eminence was a witness and of which he is the living memory.