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Vatican II’s reforms are still ahead of us, says Archbishop Marini

By on Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Archbishop Marini: 'The Council is not behind us. It still precedes us'  (PA)

Archbishop Marini: 'The Council is not behind us. It still precedes us' (PA)

The reforms launched by the Second Vatican Council are not behind us but ahead of us, Archbishop Piero Marini has said.

Archbishop Marini, president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses, made the comments during an address at the annual national meeting of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Archbishop Marini said he arrived in Rome in September 1965, only a few months before the close of the Council. Bishops and theologians began gathering in 1962 for the first of four three-month sessions to address more than a dozen aspects of Church life, ranging from inter-religious relations to greater lay participation in the liturgy, from social communication to relations between the Church and the modern world.

“Fifty years later, I feel a great nostalgia and a desire to understand more fully and to experience anew the spirit of the Council,” said Archbishop Marini.

Clergy, religious sisters and lay people in charge of Catholic worship in dioceses across the United States came together on October 7-12 to conduct routine business. But the larger purpose of this year’s meeting was to mark the 50th anniversary of Sacrosanctum Concilium, one of the best-known documents of Vatican II.

The week-long conference allowed participants to explore the theological principles of the document and its place in the world today. Issued on December 4 1963, the document ordered an extensive revision of worship so that people would have a clearer sense of their own involvement in the Mass and other rites.

The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Archbishop Marini told the audience, was really “a matrix for other reforms” and possible changes yet to come. It is not enough, he said, to look at the written document as a manual for reforming the Church’s rites.

“It was an event that continues even today to mark ecclesial life,” the archbishop said. “It has marked our ecclesial life so much that very little of the Church today would be as it is had the council not met.”

Archbishop Marini, who was master of liturgical ceremonies under Blessed John Paul II, told the liturgists that Vatican II did not give the world static documents. In an ever-evolving culture, the Catholic liturgy is incomplete unless it renews communities of faith, he added.

“The Council is not behind us. It still precedes us,” Archbishop Marini said.

Two other archbishops attended the national meeting, co-sponsored by the federation and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship. New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Divine Worship, reviewed the workings of the various committees, and Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver spoke on the sacraments of initiation as a source of life and hope.

Also speaking was author and Scripture scholar Sister Dianne Bergant, a Sister of St Agnes, who is a distinguished professor of Old Testament studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.

All speakers referred to Vatican II as only the beginning of reforms within Catholic liturgy and the Church as a whole. The traditions of the Church, Sister Dianne added, are kept alive through contemporary culture.

The best way the Church can share Jesus’s story, she said, is if it follows the lead of Pope Francis, who has opened his arms to the suffering, the outcast, the poor and the marginalised. For Jesus, there were no “outsiders”, she added, saying the church needs to rid itself of the notion that if someone doesn’t fit certain standards then they can’t be part of the faith community.

Archbishop Aquila discussed the need to return to the basics of the Church’s sacramental life. He is at the forefront of a national effort to restore the order of the sacraments of initiation – baptism, confirmation and the Eucharist.

Even Vatican II called for a revision of the sacramental rites, and the 1983 Code of Canon Law called for confirmation for Latin Rite Catholics to be administered at the age of reason, usually about seven years old, unless a bishops’ conference determines otherwise.

In the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches confirmation is called “chrismation” and is generally received in infancy immediately after baptism.

Baptism should be followed by confirmation, then the Eucharist, said Archbishop Aquila. He called the holy Eucharist “the crown of the sacraments”, and as such, should be placed in its rightful place.

“Baptism and confirmation lead to the Eucharist. This is an attempt to make the Eucharist the center of our lives,” Archbishop Aquila said.

  • Gerard Johnson

    Alright, this bit isn’t nonsense:

    Meanwhile, contemporary English usage is developing, as he himself points out in his unnecessarily roundabout manner, powerfully and probably unstoppably, the word “they” as the pronoun of choice when referring to a person of indeterminate sex.

    Given that the third person singular pronoun (and derived words therefrom, such as the possessive adjectives etc) is the ONLY place in the language where gender distinction actually occurs, it is extremely unlikely that the language itself will put up very much resistance to this innovation ; as it changes English grammar barely at all.

    The rest is better described as irrelevant: a consideration of the archaic roots of the language is of limited use when trying to word a sentence in such a way as not to unnecessarily exclude half the population and the nitpicking over Thackeray (and notably none of the other examples) is both pedantic and tendentious.

  • Guest

    .

  • christian

    Bishop Fellay “inferred”??? How ridiculous and presumptious. As for the “unrepentant Nazi?” remark. The man did go to confession and it is up to God to decide the state of his soul. Not you…or your opinions. Riots are cause by people with attitudes like yourself.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    Riots are cause by people with attitudes like yourself

    Why speak in such general terms ?

    A riot was in fact organised by people with such attitudes, this past week, to disrupt the precise funeral in question.

  • pbecke

    Deleted

  • Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

    ‘The traditions of the Church, Sister Dianne added, are kept alive through contemporary culture.

    Yes, if the contemporary culture is an evangelized one. As for traditions keep only those helpful for evangelization or else we can cancel God’s Word with our traditions. See what the Lord himself has spoken about human “traditions”.

  • Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

    Are you making a serious mistake by living a static life?
    Do you know what happens to the water in stagnant pools? So it is with life.

    The Councils of the Church are attempts to make the Church relevant to life and people of the times.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    OK, given that the weekend moderator has decided to delete my post basically pointing out that my reaction to the Guardian author’s incompetent article is that it is a classical case of pedantry, why then has the above ad hominem accusation against myself been allowed ?

    Double standards ?

    It’s hardly my fault if such as Gerard Johnson and David Marsh imagine that politicised grammatical incompetence and etymological ignorance should form the Newspeak that all should adhere to, and then present their arguments in such a pseudo-intellectually pedantic fashion.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    The Tradition per se is of divine, not human origin.

  • Marcellus

    “The Councils of the Church are attempts to make the Church relevant to life and people of the times.” You’re joking, right?
    I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be rude, but if you are serious this betrays a profound lack of historical understanding.

  • Gerard Johnson

    In what sense is what I wrote ‘ad hominem’? I engaged with and replied to points you made in your comment, criticising them for inaccuracy and irrelevance, but I made no personal attack on you. I wouln’t do that: I think you’re an intelligent and well-meaning individual. We differ profoundly on how we interpret the essential nature of the religion to which we both adhere (and clearly on some other issues too, such as in this case) but that implies no lack of respect for you as a person, and I hope you read no such disrespect into what I wrote.

  • Illinidiva

    No.. The riots were apparently started by neo-Nazis that were invited to the funeral. The whole thing was meant to be a provocative political protest by the SSPX and Priebke’s lawyer. And yep Priebke was unrepentant. His lawyer released a written statement by him after his death stating no remorse for killing people and showing that he agreed with the SSPX about Holocaust denial.

    And I don’t know what is going through the head of anti-Semitic cult leaders as I find the SSPX a vile organization. However, I would assume that this is what the references to the “third secret of Fatima” are about.

  • Tullius

    As the Pope would say, “who are we to judge?”

  • Tullius

    Let’s not forget banners. We need more felt banners!

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    I see — so a demonstration that the language that this man claims to be sexist isn’t in reality sexist at all is “irrelevant”.

    Do you think that the words “human” and “woman” are sexist ?

    Or rather, isn’t it the case that the man’s opinions are based on nothing more than the knee-jerk radicalism of the 1970s ?

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    I see — so the agitated crowds of anti-Catholic left-wing radicals who invaded the church acted upon the instructions of neo-Nazis.

    Had they been invited to the funeral by a skinhead gang ?

    The whole sorry affair is perfectly dismal ; but when these sorts of violent clashes occur, please don’t expect anyone to believe that only one side is to blame.

  • Illinidiva

    Well.. The townspeople were obviously upset that neo-Nazis were around and demanded that they leave. The Neo-Nazis and the anti-Semites in the SSPX were the ones who made the provocative action and lit the fuse in the tinderbox.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    Yeah right, I keep on forgetting that hordes of marxist-atheist left-wing liberal anti-Catholic political agitators can Do No Wrong ™ …

  • Hamish Redux

    He’s totally mad, isn’t he?

  • Gerard Johnson

    Well, yes, certainly irrelevant to the original question posed by Dan Leckman a little way up thread which asked about the use of ‘they’ and ‘their’ to refer to singular individuals of unknown gender.

    You’re the only person in this discussion to suggest ‘human’ and ‘woman’ might be sexist terms, I certainly don’t think they are. The Guardian article discussed the obsolescence of words describing occupations ending in ‘-man’ or otherwise assuming a particular gender. What I find weird is the idea that the etymology of those words governs their present meaning: the fact that the Old English root of the word ‘man’ could mean either a male individual or a human being of either sex has no impact on the fact that my niece, a police officer, does not like to be referred to as a ‘policeman’ (still less a WPC) and my brother-in-law, a nurse, does not like to be called a ‘male nurse’.

    You can call that ‘knee-jerk radicalism of the 1970s’ if you like, to me it’s just contemporary usage reflecting changes in social attitudes.

  • guestguy

    Back to paranoid nonsense, I see. We’ve covered this ground before. Just because I, Jeb, and sweetjae usually express similar views in a similar way, does not mean we are the same person. I am prepared to prove this if I have to hear one more time that I am another poster here too.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    You’re the only person in this discussion to suggest ‘human’ and ‘woman’ might be sexist terms

    This is clearly over the top of your head — I’ve suggested no such thing.

    The suffix “-man” is only considered as “sexist” because of political agitation commencing in the 1970s.

    This has fundamentally BTW nothing to do with any contents of the English language ; the same rubbishy politicisation of language is occurring throughout the entirety of the Western world, and in every language.

  • guestguy

    Are you sure you are Catholic? John Paul II said, speaking infallibly I believe, that the church has NO authority to ordain women as priests.

    http://jimmyakin.com/library/womens-ordination-its-infallible

    “Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.”

  • guestguy

    I’ll for once allow myself to “Like” my own comment, as in reality I said nothing, I am simply “Liking” what a pope said.

  • guestguy

    Ah. When I saw that this “Father” had liked this, it was depressing to think a priest would. But then, when I found out he’s a liberal Anglican priest-in-name-only (among other things which I shall avoid mentioning), I don’t feel concerned.

  • guestguy

    This is completely off topic. But I just checked you out on facebook. Was shocked to find there are many movies/tv shows we both like! Cheers.

  • northface

    Presumably they won’t stop until all our churches are empty?

  • Gerard Johnson

    This is clearly over the top of your head —

    Yes, I apologise for having the temerity to disagree with someone of your exalted intellectual status. ;)

    I’ve suggested no such thing.

    My mistake. I could have sworn you asked

    Do you think that the words “human” and “woman” are sexist ?

    To describe the whole issue we’re discussing as the rubbishy politicisation of language is to miss the point that without the pre-existence of the complementary cultural and attitudinal changes they reflect these linguistic novelties would never take hold. I get that you dislike the whole package: the changes in society, the changes in culture, the changes in liturgy and the changes in language. You, like many commenters here, seem to long for a return to the culture of the past – perhaps the early 20th century, perhaps the 19th, perhaps earlier – but since you will never live in that era (sorry to be the one to break that news to you) you might find value in thinking carefully about what Pope Francis could have meant when he said “the Church has never been so well as it is today”, rather than dismissing the statement as obvious rubbish like so many others here did.

    We’ve kept this thread alive too long – I won’t reply here, but I’m sure we’ll get the chance to debate again (I have much to say regarding the spurious statistics you unearthed about the stability of gay relationships when the moment is right…). Good wishes, God bless, adieu.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    To describe the whole issue we’re discussing as the rubbishy politicisation of language is to miss the point that without the pre-existence of the complementary cultural and attitudinal changes they reflect these linguistic novelties would never take hold. I get that you dislike the whole package: the changes in society, the changes in culture, the changes in liturgy and the changes in language. You, like many commenters here, seem to long for a return to the culture of the past – perhaps the early 20th century, perhaps the 19th, perhaps earlier – but since you will never live in that era (sorry to be the one to break that news to you)

    There is no correspondence whatsoever between these bizarre fantasies and my own person.

    That you clearly have no meaningful competence in the fields of grammar, word-formation, and lexicology is NOT, however you should wish to take it, any sort of negative assessment of your character nor your intelligence.

    No more than if someone were to (correctly) point out to me in public any utter failure of mine to comprehend some statement involving biochemistry, counter-insurgency warfare field tactics, or livestock management.

    Not so, however, if I describe the above complete rubbish that you have posted about me as being immature, selfish, and spiteful.

    >> I’ve suggested no such thing.

    My mistake. I could have sworn you asked

    >> Do you think that the words “human” and “woman” are sexist ?

    Do you fully understand the difference between a sarcastic rhetorical question (my intent), and statements made in interrogative manner (as you falsely allege) ?

    If not, I’m mystified as to why you didn’t answer the question.

  • Barbara

    As for me and my husband, we cannot respect or take anything seriously from AB Marini, after his most hostile attacks on pope em Benedictus earlier this year.
    The attacks in that interview revealed a lot about the character and thought of AB Marini and even more so, once again, underlined the incredible humility of pope em Benedictus.

  • Guest

    Dear Rotobuster, I assume you are a priest. I am so sorry that you have been subjected to uncooperative parents and others. I will be praying for you, please pray for me. I think to delay communion until teenagehood would be a big mistake. I grew up in military parishes and although I attending CCD classes in the late 1970s these classes did not teach me the faith. I think that the communions that I received as a child gave me the graces, later on when I had children, to go and learn the faith I was never taught. When I went and found good catechisms and starting reading what the saints had written I can truly say that I felt ripped off and lied to. I wanted to know why I had not been presented with the beautiful truths of the faith. All the sorrow that I could have avoided if I had been given good instruction. I do not think that the lack of instruction in the faith that my generation received was accidental. It was a direct result of an agenda to spread indifference to the Catholic faith among Catholic people to make us more amenable to the idea of universal salvation.

    We should trust in God absolutely, but not instructing children leaves them without a defense against not only the worldly allurements but even more so to protestant sects that will be only too glad to give Catholic children instruction.

  • Mellon Stow

    Oh no……..

  • hennery

    this dude really REALLY give me the creeps…..i thank God im no part of the vad 2 thing….

  • slainte

    Same here in Connecticut, U.S…we who grew up in the 70s are attempting to self educate the traditional pre-Vatican II Catholic faith. Fortunately more local parishes are offering the Extraordinary Form Latin Mass which is so prayerful and exquisitely beautiful. The faithful fill the pews at the Latin Masses. Perhaps when the liberal priests all retire the Church can be restored to its tradition.

  • slainte

    Pope Francis is a gift from God. Please respect him and his office.

  • Benedict Carter

    I do not share that assessment.

  • jacobum

    Your daddy was a scholar who must have thought highly of John Wayne, who said…
    “Life is hard but it’s harder if you’re stupid”