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Cardinals: liturgical abuse weakens the faith

By on Thursday, 3 March 2011

Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera elevates the Eucharist during a Mass at the Basilica of St John Lateran in Rome (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera elevates the Eucharist during a Mass at the Basilica of St John Lateran in Rome (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

A weakening of faith in God, a rise in selfishness and a drop in the number of people going to Mass can be traced to liturgical abuse or Masses that are not reverent, two Vatican cardinals and a consultant have said.

US Cardinal Raymond Burke, head of the Vatican’s supreme court, said: “If we err by thinking we are the centre of the liturgy, the Mass will lead to a loss of faith.”

Cardinal Burke and Spanish Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, spoke yesterday at a book launch in Rome.

The book, published only in Italian, was written by Fr Nicola Bux, who serves as a consultant to the congregations for the doctrine of the faith and for saints’ causes and to the office in charge of papal liturgies.

The English translation of Fr Bux’s book title would be, How to Go to Mass and Not Lose Your Faith.

Cardinal Burke told those gathered for the book presentation that he agreed with Fr Bux that “liturgical abuses lead to serious damage to the faith of Catholics”.

Unfortunately, he said, too many priests and bishops treat violations of liturgical norms as something that is unimportant when, in fact, they are “serious abuses”.

Cardinal Cañizares said that while the book’s title is provocative, it demonstrates a belief he shares. “Participating in the Eucharist can make us weaken or lose our faith if we do not enter into it properly,” and if the liturgy is not celebrated according to the Church’s norms, he said.

“This is true whether one is speaking of the Ordinary or Extraordinary form of the one Roman rite,” the cardinal said.

Cardinal Cañizares said that at a time when so many people are living as if God did not exist, they need a true Eucharistic celebration to remind them that only God is to be adored and that true meaning in human life comes only from the fact that Jesus gave his life to save the world.

Fr Bux said that too many modern Catholics think the Mass is something that the priest and the congregation do together when, in fact, it is something that Jesus does.

“If you go to a Mass in one place and then go to Mass in another, you will not find the same Mass. This means that it is not the Mass of the Catholic Church, which people have a right to, but it is just the Mass of this parish or that priest,” he said.

  • Benedict Carter

    Maybe someone could Cardinal Schonborn this?
    Just bring back the Old Mass and dump the Novus Ordo. The Novus Ordo IS a liturgical abuse; the Old Mass is the authentic Roman Rite.

  • Patricia

    AT LAST, THANK YOU!!!! We suffer greatly when attending a Mass where the music is horrible and banal. Pop music. Amplifiers, since the voices of the amateurs craeting the noise are weak and untrained. Shrill voices, shouting, loud instrumkents. Guitars, of course!!!!! While many tone deaf priests and parishioners just don´t care, there are more of us, probably more than we imagine, that suffer. In silence. Since nobody liestens to us or take us seriously. Only pope Benedict seems to understand this properly, just as now some others.
    In especially some countries in the Mediterranean, the sit is PRECARIOUS  since the amateurs there who often love attention during Mass, have completely taken over. The organ is practically a banished instrument and young truly talented catholics who play the organ, the piano, the violin or the flute etc as well as ytrained singers are not wanted by most priests who have no traqining whatsoever in the field of music. Most of them have grown up listening to pop music and rock and evenh if they never admit openly that they not too seldom even disdain classical music or the gregorian chant, the actually do!
    BAD MUSIC REFLECVTS BAD RESPECT FOR THE LITURGY. Accordin to pope benedict, who really has a great knowledge of music.