Vatican II liturgy reforms irreversible says Pope


The liturgical reforms that began with pope Pius X and culminated in the Second Vatican Council are irreversible.

Pope Francis made this declaration in a speech to Italy’s Centre of Liturgical Action.

“We can affirm with certainty and magisterial authority that the liturgical reform is irreversible,” he said.

As one commentator noted, ” It’s not every day that Pope Francis chooses to invoke the full weight of his office.

“This is, after all, the pontiff renowned for his freewheeling, informal style and that famous phrase ‘who am I to judge’.”

Francis concluded his address by saying, “the liturgy is life, not an idea to be understood.”

Liturgical worship “is not above all a doctrine to be understood or a rite to be accomplished.

“It is a wellspring of life and of light for our journey of faith.”

While acknowledging that “there is still work to do” in interpreting changes made during the Second Vatican Council, Francis said it is not a question “of rethinking the reform by reviewing its choices, but of knowing better the underlying reasons.”

He underlined the fact that “the practical application” of the reform, “guided by the bishops’ conferences in the respective countries, is still under way.

“Because it is not sufficient to reform the liturgical books to reform the mentality.”

He reminded his audience that over the past 70 years “substantial and not superficial events” have happened in the life of the church and in the history of the liturgy.

He pointed out that the changes began many decades before the council and can be seen in the responses of the different popes in the first half of the 20th century.

Vatican II and the reform of the liturgy are “two events directly linked,” and “they did not flower in an unexpected way but were prepared over a long time.”

A source close to the pontiff told America Magazine the remarks were intended not only for the Italian liturgists present but the church worldwide.

Click here for text of Pope Francis’ speech (in Italian)


Additional reading

News category: Top Story, World.

Tags: , ,