Pope OKs study into ordinary, extraordinary forms: Prefect

The Vatican’s liturgy chief has said Pope Francis has given the go ahead for a study into the ordinary and extraordinary forms of the Mass.

Cardinal Robert Sarah said this at the Sacra Liturgia conference in London recently.

The cardinal said the Pope has asked him to “to study the question of a reform of a reform and how to enrich the two forms of the Roman rite”.

Cardinal Sarah said that if the Church is to “achieve what the [Second Vatican] Council desired, this is a serious question which must be carefully studied and acted on”.

He suggested liturgical study has indicated that some post-conciliar reforms may have “gone beyond” the intentions of the Fathers of Vatican II.

He said that some “very serious misinterpretations of the liturgy” had crept in, thanks to an attitude to the liturgy which placed man rather than God at the centre.

“The liturgy is not about you and I,” Cardinal Sarah told the conference.

“It is not where we celebrate our own identity or achievements or exalt or promote our own culture and local religious customs.

“The liturgy is first and foremost about God and what he has done for us.”

Cardinal Sarah has previously been outspoken in calling for priests and congregations to face the liturgical east together at Masses, towards the Lord who comes.

At the London conference, he suggested the first Sunday of Advent as a good time for priests to start this practice.

The cardinal said: “I ask you to implement this practice wherever possible”.

He added that “prudence” and catechesis would be necessary,

“Your own pastoral judgement will determine how and when this is possible, but perhaps beginning this on the first Sunday of Advent this year, when we attend ‘the Lord who will come’ and ‘who will not delay’.”

Responding to the cardinal’s comments, Fr Anthony Ruff OSB, who contributes to the Pray Tell Catholic blog said: “I wonder how much confusion this will cause, before it’s clarified that this is only the private opinion of the cardinal prefect?”


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