Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Non Mittendus Canibus



Today's OF gospel of the Canannite woman (Matthew 15:21-28) brought to mind the extraordinary communion rail at Blessed Trinity Church, Bufallo, which had me spontaneously chanting it, the "Ecce Panis Angelorum," the whole of that propitious August day, 2016, in which I saw it with some close priest friends, fellow Mountie classmates, with a junior Mountie (celebrating a couple of our fiftieth birthdays including my own).

I later found that the Saint Gregory Hymnal has that verse and the following verse of Saint Thomas' Lauda Sion (the Corpus Christi Sequence) in a musical setting very similar to what I was inspired to chant.

Above is a fine Ugandan rendition of that hymn. The boy soprano is very good!

Monday, July 19, 2021

Cardinal Müller on Traditionis Custodes' Doctrinal Disorientation

Pope Francis Papal ad orientem Mass

By
  
thecatholicthing.org

The pope’s intention with his motu proprio, Traditionis Custodes, is to secure or restore the unity of the Church. The proposed means for this is the total unification of the Roman Rite in the form of the Missal of Paul VI (including its subsequent variations). Therefore, the celebration of Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, as introduced by Pope Benedict XVI with Summorum pontificum (2007) on the basis of the Missal that existed from Pius V (1570) to John XXIII (1962), has been drastically restricted. The clear intent is to condemn the Extraordinary Form to extinction in the long run.

In his “Letter to the Bishops of the Whole World,” which accompanies the motu proprio, Pope Francis tries to explain the motives that have caused him, as the bearer of the supreme authority of the Church, to limit the liturgy in the extraordinary form. Beyond the presentation of his subjective reactions, however, a stringent and logically comprehensible theological argumentation would also have been appropriate. For papal authority does not consist in superficially demanding from the faithful mere obedience, i.e., a formal submission of the will, but, much more essentially, in enabling the faithful also to be convinced with consent of the mind. As St. Paul, courteous towards his often quite unruly Corinthians, said, “in the church I would rather speak five words with my mind, so as to instruct others also, than ten thousand words in tongues.” (1 Cor 14:19)

This dichotomy between good intention and poor execution always arises where the objections of competent employees are perceived as an obstruction of their superiors’ intentions, and which are, therefore, not even offered. As welcome as the references to Vatican II may be, care must be taken to ensure that the Council’s statements are used precisely and in context. The quotation from St. Augustine about membership in the Church “according to the body” and “according to the heart” (Lumen Gentium 14) refers to the full Church membership of the Catholic faith. It consists in the visible incorporation into the body of Christ (creedal, sacramental, ecclesiastical-hierarchical communion) as well as in the union of the heart, i.e. in the Holy Spirit. What this means, however, is not obedience to the pope and the bishops in the discipline of the sacraments, but sanctifying grace, which fully involves us in the invisible Church as communion with the Triune God.

For the unity in the confession of the revealed faith and the celebration of the mysteries of grace in the seven sacraments by no means require sterile uniformity in the external liturgical form, as if the Church were like one of the international hotel chains with their homogenous design. The unity of believers with one another is rooted in unity in God through faith, hope, and love and has nothing to do with uniformity in appearance, the lockstep of a military formation, or the groupthink of the big-tech age.

Even after the Council of Trent, there always was a certain diversity (musical, celebratory, regional) in the liturgical organization of Masses. The intention of Pope Pius V was not to suppress the variety of rites, but rather to curb the abuses that had led to a devastating lack of understanding among the Protestant Reformers regarding the substance of the sacrifice of the Mass (its Sacrificial character and Real Presence). In the Missal of Paul VI, ritualistic (rubricist)  homogenization is broken up, precisely in order to overcome a mechanical execution in favor of an inner and outer active participation of all believers in their respective languages and cultures. The unity of the Latin rite, however, should be preserved through the same basic liturgical structure and the precise orientation of the translations to the Latin original.

The Roman Church must not pass on its responsibility for unity in cult to the Bishops’ Conferences. Rome must oversee translation of the normative texts of the Missal of Paul VI, and even of the biblical texts, that might obscure the contents of the faith. Presumptions that one may “improve” the verba domini (e.g. pro multis – “for many” – at the consecration, the et ne nos inducas in tentationem – “and lead us not into temptation” – in the Our Father), contradict the truth of the faith and the unity of the Church much more than celebrating Mass according to the Missal of John XXIII.

The key to a Catholic understanding of the liturgy lies in the insight that the substance of the sacraments is given to the Church as a visible sign and means of the invisible grace by virtue of divine law, but that it is up to the Apostolic See and, in accordance with the law, to the bishops to order the external form of the liturgy (insofar as it has not already existed since apostolic times). (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 22 § 1)

The provisions of Traditionis Custodes are of a disciplinary, not dogmatic nature and can be modified again by any future pope. Naturally, the pope, in his concern for the unity of the Church in the revealed faith, is to be fully supported when the celebration of Holy Mass according to the Missal of 1962 is an expression of resistance to the authority of Vatican II, which is to say, when the doctrine of the faith and the Church’s ethics are relativized or even denied in the liturgical and pastoral order.

In Traditionis Custodes, the pope rightly insists on the unconditional recognition of Vatican II. Nobody can call himself a Catholic who either wants to go back behind Vatican II (or any other council recognized by the pope) as the time of the “true” Church or wants to leave that Church behind as an intermediate step towards a “new Church.” One may measure Pope Francis’ will to return to unity the deplored so-called “traditionalists” (i.e., those opposed to the Missal of Paul VI) against the degree of his determination to put an end to the innumerable “progressivist” abuses of the liturgy (renewed in accordance with Vatican II) that are tantamount to blasphemy. The paganization of the Catholic liturgy – which is in its essence nothing other than the worship of the One and Triune God – through the mythologization of nature, the idolatry of environment and climate, as well as the Pachamama spectacle, were rather counterproductive for the restoration and renewal of a dignified and orthodox liturgy reflective of the fulness of the Catholic faith.

Nobody can turn a blind eye to the fact that even those priests and laypeople who celebrate Mass according to the order of the Missal of St. Paul VI are now being widely decried as traditionalist. The teachings of Vatican II on the uniqueness of redemption in Christ, the full realization of the Church of Christ in the Catholic Church, the inner essence of the Catholic liturgy as adoration of God and mediation of grace, Revelation and its presence in Scripture and Apostolic Tradition, the infallibility of the magisterium, the primacy of the pope, the sacramentality of the Church, the dignity of the priesthood, the holiness and indissolubility of marriage – all these are being heretically denied in open contradiction to Vatican II by a majority of German bishops and lay functionaries (even if disguised under pastoral phrases).

And despite all the apparent enthusiasm they express for Pope Francis, they are flatly denying the authority conferred on him by Christ as the successor of Peter. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s document about the impossibility of legitimizing same-sex and extramarital sexual contacts through a blessing is ridiculed by German (and not only German) bishops, priests, and theologians as merely the opinion of under-qualified curial officials. Here we have a threat to the unity of the Church in revealed faith, reminiscent of the size of the Protestant secession from Rome in the sixteenth century. Given the disproportion between the relatively modest response to the massive attacks on the unity of the church in the German “Synodal Way” (as well as in other pseudo-reforms) and the harsh disciplining of the old ritual minority, the image of the misguided fire brigade comes to mind, which – instead of saving the blazing house – instead first saves the small barn next to it.

Without the slightest empathy, one ignores the religious feelings of the (often young) participants in the Masses according to the Missal John XXIII. (1962) Instead of appreciating the smell of the sheep, the shepherd here hits them hard with his crook. It also seems simply unjust to abolish celebrations of the “old” rite just because it attracts some problematic people: abusus non tollit usum.

What deserves special attention in Traditionis Custodes is the use of the axiom lex orandi-lex credendi (“Rule of prayer – rule of faith”). This phrase appears first in the anti-Pelagian Indiculus (“Against superstitions and paganism”) which spoke about “the sacraments of priestly prayers, handed down by the apostles to be celebrated uniformly all over the world and in the entire Catholic Church, so that the rule of prayer is the rule of faith.” (Denzinger Hünermann, Enchiridion symbolorum 3) This refers to the substance of the sacraments (in signs and words) but not the liturgical rite, of which there were several (with different variants) in the patristic era. One cannot simply declare the latest missal to be the only valid norm of the Catholic faith without distinguishing between the “part that is unchangeable by virtue of divine institution and the parts that are subject to change.” (Sacrosanctum Concilium 21). The changing liturgical rites do not represent a different faith, but rather testify to the one and the same Apostolic Faith of the Church in its different expressions.

The pope’s letter confirms that he allows the celebration according to the older form under certain conditions. He rightly points to the centrality of the Roman canon in the more recent Missal as the heart of the Roman rite. This guarantees the crucial continuity of the Roman liturgy in its essence,  organic development, and inner unity. To be sure, one expects the lovers of the ancient liturgy to recognize the renewed liturgy; just as the followers of the Paul VI Missal also have to confess that the Mass according to the Missal of John XXIII is a true and valid Catholic liturgy, that is, it contains the substance of the Eucharist instituted by Christ and, therefore, there is and can only be “the one Mass of all times.”

A little more knowledge of Catholic dogmatics and the history of the liturgy could counteract the unfortunate formation of opposing parties and also save the bishops from the temptation to act in an authoritarian, loveless, and narrow-minded manner against the supporters of the “old” Mass. The bishops are appointed as shepherds by the Holy Spirit: “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.” (Acts 20, 28) They are not merely representatives of a central office – with opportunities for advancement. The good shepherd can be recognized by the fact that he worries more about the salvation of souls than recommending himself to a higher authority by subservient “good behavior.” (1 Peter 5, 1-4) If the law of non-contradiction still applies, one cannot logically castigate careerism in the Church and at the same time promote careerists.

Let us hope that the Congregations for Religious and for Divine Worship, with their new authority, do not become inebriated by power and think they have to wage a campaign of destruction against the communities of the old rite – in the foolish belief that by doing so they are rendering a service to the Church and promoting Vatican II.

If Traditionis Custodes is to serve the unity of the church, that can only mean a unity in faith, which enables us to “come to the perfect knowledge of the Son of God,” which is to say unity in truth and love. (cf. Eph 4, 12-15).

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Commentary on Traditionis Custodes

ON THE MOTU PROPRIO "TRADITIONIS CUSTODES"

by Pietro De Marco

A collection of essays from the mid-1960s (Groot, van Hess, Poeisz and others, "Inquiry into Dutch Catholics") already contained all of the Catholic drama. “One of the first things - wrote A. van der Weyer - is the exclusion of all that is not essential to expose the fundamental structure of the liturgical event”. The new prayers were conceived according to these premises: “It is no longer the transcendent God but the Father who is close to us in Christ; no longer the God who appears in his glory but the hidden God of the Gospel; no longer the objective sacral relationship with God, but the human love in which we share ourselves with the man Jesus Christ ”. No mystery objectivity, no sacrament, in all this, of course, only an irrational "event".

I think I have to interpret that it is humanity as such that “fulfills itself” in the sacraments, according to the mystical evolutionism widespread in the 1960s, to which the fortune of Teilhard de Chardin contributed. Almost sixty years later, this seems to be the basic theology (humanistic without transcendence and without supernatural life), much more than liturgical, in the majority of Catholic clergy and theologians, also by virtue of the astute equivocaction of those formulas. Equivocation so suitable to justify any subjectivism in beliefs and practices that it has been artfully cultivated by theological dissemination, to spread today in unconscious clergy and laity.

A moment of resistance (aware of the ongoing degradation) on the part of the living liturgical tradition was the pontificate of Benedict XVI. An act, timid for many for others deplorable, not of magnanimity but of right governance and shrewd theological balance was in 2007 the letter motu proprio " Summorum pontificum ". Pope Joseph Ratzinger entrusted a dialectic between "vetus" and "novus ordo" in the Church to the protection of the Spirit, so that the presence of the secular canon would be valid as experience and as a corrective theology of the universe of small and large abuses, and of dominant, shameful, superficiality produced not by the Council but by the liturgical reform of the late 1960s (a true betrayal of the liturgical movement, on which I wrote extensively, in 2017).

It is against this holy balance that the threatened and feared repeal of the "Summorum pontificum" is now being published on 16 July. It will need to be carefully reexamined, but at a first reading this appears: as a rule in the current pontificate, a covering letter with a bland and at times heartfelt appearance corresponds to a normative act entitled " Traditionis custodes " whose partisan and destructive motivation (which perhaps escapes the pope) cannot deceive anyone. There is naturally room for a juridical defense of the rights of the faithful and this must be used.

The two documents, in addition to broadening the legitimate power (and burden) of the bishops to control the methods and contents of the celebrations according to the 1962 Missal, speak, in symptomatic and aberrant terms, of "groups" to be monitored and prevented from multiplying. . Why is the term "group" aberrant? Because it suggests that fidelity to the "vetus ordo" is a fact of organized minorities, tendentially schismatic: a hypothesis far from reality and devoid of any discernment. A criminal offense is being acted out unfairly which would accompany people and practices: the "groups" cultivate hostility to the Council and present themselves as "the true Church". When this is not the case, people and groups are referred to as "minus habentes", who delay or struggle to accept the conciliar novelty. Two observations,

The first. The rhetoric and liturgical practice that proclaims itself as "conciliar" have great responsibility for the widespread, growing and reasoned resistance, and for their progressive stiffening. The theological fragility, as we know, and the primary objective - the "participation" to which everything has been sacrificed - of the liturgical reform, very distant from the "Sacrosanctum concilium", are stubbornly traced back to the will of the Council Fathers. This has been happening in the same way, for decades and today even more blindly (who reads the conciliar texts?), Also for the different and chaotic theological, pastoral, missionary dynamics, which all and always claim to implement the Council. How could the Council not consequently appear to the most vigilant believers as the source of all evil? In this framework also operates, in theologians who have become intelligencija, a certain dishonesty typical of every intelligencija: it is well known that the Council (its texts, its "intentio") justifies almost nothing of current practices, except as an "event", or rather as an alleged "caesura" that can be interpreted at will . We know but we are silent.

The second. Feeling “true Church” or catacomb or monastic Church is certainly an error, at least an ingenuity that circulates in the widespread ecclesial resistance; it surprises me in some friends, of which I still appreciate sincerity and suffering. But what spectacle of failure or uncertain or betrayed preaching of the Christian mystery (that is, of Christ truly the Son of God) do many parishes in the world, not a small hierarchy, in short, a lot of the Church "in capite et in membris"? In what humiliating disaster are the remains of the national Churches protagonists of the Council not prowling? What flood of presidential chat overwhelms the essence of faith?

With what authority, then, will a "quidam" - as prescribed in the motu proprio - present itself to control the practices and beliefs of a community, which I would call "Summorum pontificum"? Latin will not be enough for him, for what to do with it, then? To verify the orthodoxy of the "Nobis quoque peccatoribus"? Wouldn't it rather be the case that, before letting him in, the parish priest or rector of that church asked this conciliar commissioner (to be assumed with too many powers and little understanding of the facts) if he believes in something? For example in the divinity of Jesus, in the supernatural action of the sacraments, in grace, in the saving sacrifice, in the Trinitarian mystery? Who will answer the investigator of the faith of others, since on this center of faith, he concentrated on life and love, haven't you been used to thinking for a long time? But of course the commissioners are not asked questions.

The point is important: the common layman who applauds the pope or his sympathetic pastor or the latest writer of theological things does not know how many deformations and rubble of Catholic truth clutter the heads of priests and laymen and saturate documents and articles. It is therefore to add to the damage (consequent to the incomprehension that Rome shows for the total Catholic reality) the insult that the motu proprio is entitled "Traditionis custodes". Since Pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio wants to be “traditionis custos” Without a doubt, we expect our bishops, bishops from all over the world, to be. But if they are (and I add with sorrow: if currently many of them had been in recent decades) they will only be able to notice where "traditio" is and where it is ignored or explicitly mocked: isn't everything new and different in the Church after the Council? Isn't everything in faith and in the Church entrusted to the future so that past and present do not clutter up? Isn't the liturgy a happy and creative performance? In short: who if not this class, this "société de pensée" of reckless and overly influential people has the primary responsibility in "increasing distances, hardening differences, building contrasts that injure the Church and hinder its progress?". It is not long since I read the calembour (from an abyss of Catholic self-destruction) according to which the time of Lent is not a time of "mortification" but of "vivification". Does this "société de pensée" of reckless and overly influential have the primary responsibility in "increasing distances, hardening differences, building contrasts that hurt the Church and hinder its progress?". It is not long since I read the calembour (from an abyss of Catholic self-destruction) according to which the time of Lent is not a time of "mortification" but of "vivification". Does this "société de pensée" of reckless and overly influential have the primary responsibility in "increasing distances, hardening differences, building contrasts that hurt the Church and hinder its progress?". It is not long since I read the calembour (from an abyss of Catholic self-destruction) according to which the time of Lent is not a time of "mortification" but of "vivification".

The writer does not belong to any ecclesial group. Remote memberships were, if anything, to progressive groups. I have long been a simple Catholic believer, a "civis" of the "civitas Dei", theologically equipped, I presume, but (what matters) from my early years led to firm beliefs as my lips said: "lex orandi lex credendi" . Not out of a right, a "constitutional" perspective on the Church that doesn't excite me, but out of duty, the impulse of a believer, I evaluate what happens in the Church, which is truly my Mother. That is why I agreed with those who dared to warn His Holiness of the risk of serious errors in his positions and statements. For this reason I will be closer than ever to priests and lay "christifideles" who grasp and live in the mass of the "vetus ordo" (according to the "typica" of 1962) the fullness of the confession of faith and the apex of sacramental life in the Eucharistic Christ . Under the millennial guidance of the saints, not of educators and animators. Nor of liturgists. I fear that the Holy Father will have to regret having succumbed, still ill, to the pressure of anti-Ratzinger groups, to extremists of dubious doctrine and with no discernment of the damage they (for their part) have been causing for decades.

Google translation of Italian original at Settimo Cielo

Friday, July 16, 2021

Traditionis Custodes, and Accompanying Letter to Bishops

APOSTOLIC LETTER
ISSUED "MOTU PROPRIO"
BY THE SUPREME PONTIFF

FRANCIS

“TRADITIONIS CUSTODES”

ON THE USE OF THE ROMAN LITURGY PRIOR TO THE REFORM OF 1970

Guardians of the tradition, the bishops in communion with the Bishop of Rome constitute the visible principle and foundation of the unity of their particular Churches.[1] Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, through the proclamation of the Gospel and by means of the celebration of the Eucharist, they govern the particular Churches entrusted to them.[2]

In order to promote the concord and unity of the Church, with paternal solicitude towards those who in any region adhere to liturgical forms antecedent to the reform willed by the Vatican Council II, my Venerable Predecessors, Saint John Paul II and Benedict XVI, granted and regulated the faculty to use the Roman Missal edited by John XXIII in 1962.[3] In this way they intended “to facilitate the ecclesial communion of those Catholics who feel attached to some earlier liturgical forms” and not to others.[4]

In line with the initiative of my Venerable Predecessor Benedict XVI to invite the bishops to assess the application of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum three years after its publication, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith carried out a detailed consultation of the bishops in 2020. The results have been carefully considered in the light of experience that has matured during these years.

At this time, having considered the wishes expressed by the episcopate and having heard the opinion of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, I now desire, with this Apostolic Letter, to press on ever more in the constant search for ecclesial communion. Therefore, I have considered it appropriate to establish the following:

Art. 1. The liturgical books promulgated by Saint Paul VI and Saint John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of Vatican Council II, are the unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.

Art. 2. It belongs to the diocesan bishop, as moderator, promoter, and guardian of the whole liturgical life of the particular Church entrusted to him,[5] to regulate the liturgical celebrations of his diocese.[6] Therefore, it is his exclusive competence to authorize the use of the 1962 Roman Missal in his diocese, according to the guidelines of the Apostolic See.

Art. 3. The bishop of the diocese in which until now there exist one or more groups that celebrate according to the Missal antecedent to the reform of 1970:

§ 1. is to determine that these groups do not deny the validity and the legitimacy of the liturgical reform, dictated by Vatican Council II and the Magisterium of the Supreme Pontiffs;

§ 2. is to designate one or more locations where the faithful adherents of these groups may gather for the eucharistic celebration (not however in the parochial churches and without the erection of new personal parishes);

§ 3. to establish at the designated locations the days on which eucharistic celebrations are permitted using the Roman Missal promulgated by Saint John XXIII in 1962.[7] In these celebrations the readings are proclaimed in the vernacular language, using translations of the Sacred Scripture approved for liturgical use by the respective Episcopal Conferences;

§ 4. to appoint a priest who, as delegate of the bishop, is entrusted with these celebrations and with the pastoral care of these groups of the faithful. This priest should be suited for this responsibility, skilled in the use of the Missale Romanum antecedent to the reform of 1970, possess a knowledge of the Latin language sufficient for a thorough comprehension of the rubrics and liturgical texts, and be animated by a lively pastoral charity and by a sense of ecclesial communion. This priest should have at heart not only the correct celebration of the liturgy, but also the pastoral and spiritual care of the faithful;

§ 5. to proceed suitably to verify that the parishes canonically erected for the benefit of these faithful are effective for their spiritual growth, and to determine whether or not to retain them;

§ 6. to take care not to authorize the establishment of new groups.

Art. 4. Priests ordained after the publication of the present Motu Proprio, who wish to celebrate using the Missale Romanum of 1962, should submit a formal request to the diocesan Bishop who shall consult the Apostolic See before granting this authorization.

Art. 5. Priests who already celebrate according to the Missale Romanum of 1962 should request from the diocesan Bishop the authorization to continue to enjoy this faculty.

Art. 6. Institutes of consecrated life and Societies of apostolic life, erected by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, fall under the competence of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies for Apostolic Life.

Art. 7. The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, for matters of their particular competence, exercise the authority of the Holy See with respect to the observance of these provisions.

Art. 8. Previous norms, instructions, permissions, and customs that do not conform to the provisions of the present Motu Proprio are abrogated.

Everything that I have declared in this Apostolic Letter in the form of Motu Proprio, I order to be observed in all its parts, anything else to the contrary notwithstanding, even if worthy of particular mention, and I establish that it be promulgated by way of publication in “L’Osservatore Romano”, entering immediately in force and, subsequently, that it be published in the official Commentary of the Holy See, Acta Apostolicae Sedis.

Given at Rome, at Saint John Lateran, on 16 July 2021, the liturgical Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, in the ninth year of Our Pontificate.

FRANCIS

________________________

[1] Cfr Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church “Lumen Gentium”, 21 november 1964, n. 23 AAS 57 (1965) 27.

[2] Cfr Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church “Lumen Gentium”, 21 november 1964, n. 27: AAS 57 (1965) 32; Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Decree concerning the pastoral office of bishops in the Church “Christus Dominus”, 28 october 1965, n. 11: AAS 58 (1966) 677-678; Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 833.

[3] Cfr John Paul II, Apostolic Letter given Motu proprio “Ecclesia Dei”, 2 july 1988: AAS 80 (1988) 1495-1498; Benedict XVI, Apostolic Letter given Motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum”, 7 july 2007: AAS 99 (2007) 777-781; Apostolic Letter given Motu proprio “Ecclesiae unitatem”, 2 july 2009: AAS 101 (2009) 710-711.

[4] John Paul II, Apostolic Letter given Motu proprio “Ecclesia Dei”, 2 july 1988, n. 5: AAS 80 (1988) 1498.

[5] Cfr Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Costitution on the sacred liturgy “Sacrosanctum Concilium”, 4 december 1963, n. 41: AAS 56 (1964) 111; Caeremoniale Episcoporum, n. 9; Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacrament, Instruction on certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist “Redemptionis Sacramentum”, 25 march 2004, nn. 19-25: AAS 96 (2004) 555-557.

[6] Cfr CIC, can. 375, § 1; can. 392.

[7] Cfr Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Decree “Quo magis” approving seven Eucharistic Prefaces for the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite, 22 february 2020, and Decree “Cum sanctissima” on the liturgical celebration in honour of Saints in the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite, 22 february 2020: L’Osservatore Romano, 26 march 2020, p. 6.

[01014-EN.01] [Original text: Italian]

Rome, 16 July 2021

Dear Brothers in the Episcopate,

Just as my Predecessor Benedict XVI did with Summorum Pontificum, I wish to accompany the Motu proprio Traditionis custodes with a letter explaining the motives that prompted my decision. I turn to you with trust and parresia, in the name of that shared “solicitude for the whole Church, that contributes supremely to the good of the Universal Church” as Vatican Council II reminds us. [1]

Most people understand the motives that prompted St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI to allow the use of the Roman Missal, promulgated by St. Pius V and edited by St. John XXIII in 1962, for the Eucharistic Sacrifice. The faculty — granted by the indult of the Congregation for Divine Worship in 1984 [2] and confirmed by St. John Paul II in the Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei in 1988 [3] — was above all motivated by the desire to foster the healing of the schism with the movement of Mons. Lefebvre. With the ecclesial intention of restoring the unity of the Church, the Bishops were thus asked to accept with generosity the “just aspirations” of the faithful who requested the use of that Missal.

Many in the Church came to regard this faculty as an opportunity to adopt freely the Roman Missal promulgated by St. Pius V and use it in a manner parallel to the Roman Missal promulgated by St. Paul VI. In order to regulate this situation at the distance of many years, Benedict XVI intervened to address this state of affairs in the Church. Many priests and communities had “used with gratitude the possibility offered by the Motu proprio” of St. John Paul II. Underscoring that this development was not foreseeable in 1988, the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum of 2007 intended to introduce “a clearer juridical regulation” in this area. [4] In order to allow access to those, including young people, who when “they discover this liturgical form, feel attracted to it and find in it a form, particularly suited to them, to encounter the mystery of the most holy Eucharist”, [5] Benedict XVI declared “the Missal promulgated by St. Pius V and newly edited by Blessed John XXIII, as a extraordinary expression of the same lex orandi”, granting a “more ample possibility for the use of the 1962 Missal”. [6]

In making their decision they were confident that such a provision would not place in doubt one of the key measures of Vatican Council II or minimize in this way its authority: the Motu proprio recognized that, in its own right, “the Missal promulgated by Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the lex orandi of the Catholic Church of the Latin rite”. [7] The recognition of the Missal promulgated by St. Pius V “as an extraordinary expression of the same lex orandi” did not in any way underrate the liturgical reform, but was decreed with the desire to acknowledge the “insistent prayers of these faithful,” allowing them “to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass according to the editio typica of the Roman Missal promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated, as the extraordinary form of the Liturgy of the Church”. [8]It comforted Benedict XVI in his discernment that many desired “to find the form of the sacred Liturgy dear to them,” “clearly accepted the binding character of Vatican Council II and were faithful to the Pope and to the Bishops”. [9] What is more, he declared to be unfounded the fear of division in parish communities, because “the two forms of the use of the Roman Rite would enrich one another”. [10] Thus, he invited the Bishops to set aside their doubts and fears, and to welcome the norms, “attentive that everything would proceed in peace and serenity,” with the promise that “it would be possible to find resolutions” in the event that “serious difficulties came to light” in the implementation of the norms “once the Motu proprio came into effect”. [11]

With the passage of thirteen years, I instructed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to circulate a questionnaire to the Bishops regarding the implementation of the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. The responses reveal a situation that preoccupies and saddens me, and persuades me of the need to intervene. Regrettably, the pastoral objective of my Predecessors, who had intended “to do everything possible to ensure that all those who truly possessed the desire for unity would find it possible to remain in this unity or to rediscover it anew”, [12] has often been seriously disregarded. An opportunity offered by St. John Paul II and, with even greater magnanimity, by Benedict XVI, intended to recover the unity of an ecclesial body with diverse liturgical sensibilities, was exploited to widen the gaps, reinforce the divergences, and encourage disagreements that injure the Church, block her path, and expose her to the peril of division.

At the same time, I am saddened by abuses in the celebration of the liturgy on all sides. In common with Benedict XVI, I deplore the fact that “in many places the prescriptions of the new Missal are not observed in celebration, but indeed come to be interpreted as an authorization for or even a requirement of creativity, which leads to almost unbearable distortions”. [13] But I am nonetheless saddened that the instrumental use of Missale Romanum of 1962 is often characterized by a rejection not only of the liturgical reform, but of the Vatican Council II itself, claiming, with unfounded and unsustainable assertions, that it betrayed the Tradition and the “true Church”. The path of the Church must be seen within the dynamic of Tradition “which originates from the Apostles and progresses in the Church with the assistance of the Holy Spirit” ( DV 8). A recent stage of this dynamic was constituted by Vatican Council II where the Catholic episcopate came together to listen and to discern the path for the Church indicated by the Holy Spirit. To doubt the Council is to doubt the intentions of those very Fathers who exercised their collegial power in a solemn manner cum Petro et sub Petro in an ecumenical council, [14] and, in the final analysis, to doubt the Holy Spirit himself who guides the Church.

The objective of the modification of the permission granted by my Predecessors is highlighted by the Second Vatican Council itself. From the vota submitted by the Bishops there emerged a great insistence on the full, conscious and active participation of the whole People of God in the liturgy, [15] along lines already indicated by Pius XII in the encyclical Mediator Dei on the renewal of the liturgy. [16] The constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium confirmed this appeal, by seeking “the renewal and advancement of the liturgy”, [17] and by indicating the principles that should guide the reform. [18] In particular, it established that these principles concerned the Roman Rite, and other legitimate rites where applicable, and asked that “the rites be revised carefully in the light of sound tradition, and that they be given new vigor to meet present-day circumstances and needs”. [19] On the basis of these principles a reform of the liturgy was undertaken, with its highest expression in the Roman Missal, published in editio typica by St. Paul VI [20] and revised by St. John Paul II. [21] It must therefore be maintained that the Roman Rite, adapted many times over the course of the centuries according to the needs of the day, not only be preserved but renewed “in faithful observance of the Tradition”. [22] Whoever wishes to celebrate with devotion according to earlier forms of the liturgy can find in the reformed Roman Missal according to Vatican Council II all the elements of the Roman Rite, in particular the Roman Canon which constitutes one of its more distinctive elements.

A final reason for my decision is this: ever more plain in the words and attitudes of many is the close connection between the choice of celebrations according to the liturgical books prior to Vatican Council II and the rejection of the Church and her institutions in the name of what is called the “true Church.” One is dealing here with comportment that contradicts communion and nurtures the divisive tendency — “I belong to Paul; I belong instead to Apollo; I belong to Cephas; I belong to Christ” — against which the Apostle Paul so vigorously reacted. [23] In defense of the unity of the Body of Christ, I am constrained to revoke the faculty granted by my Predecessors. The distorted use that has been made of this faculty is contrary to the intentions that led to granting the freedom to celebrate the Mass with the Missale Romanum of 1962. Because “liturgical celebrations are not private actions, but celebrations of the Church, which is the sacrament of unity”, [24] they must be carried out in communion with the Church. Vatican Council II, while it reaffirmed the external bonds of incorporation in the Church — the profession of faith, the sacraments, of communion — affirmed with St. Augustine that to remain in the Church not only “with the body” but also “with the heart” is a condition for salvation. [25]

Dear brothers in the Episcopate, Sacrosanctum Concilium explained that the Church, the “sacrament of unity,” is such because it is “the holy People gathered and governed under the authority of the Bishops”. [26] Lumen gentium, while recalling that the Bishop of Rome is “the permanent and visible principle and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the multitude of the faithful,” states that you the Bishops are “the visible principle and foundation of the unity of your local Churches, in which and through which exists the one and only Catholic Church”. [27]

Responding to your requests, I take the firm decision to abrogate all the norms, instructions, permissions and customs that precede the present Motu proprio, and declare that the liturgical books promulgated by the saintly Pontiffs Paul VI and John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of Vatican Council II, constitute the unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite. I take comfort in this decision from the fact that, after the Council of Trent, St. Pius V also abrogated all the rites that could not claim a proven antiquity, establishing for the whole Latin Church a single Missale Romanum. For four centuries this Missale Romanum, promulgated by St. Pius V was thus the principal expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite, and functioned to maintain the unity of the Church. Without denying the dignity and grandeur of this Rite, the Bishops gathered in ecumenical council asked that it be reformed; their intention was that “the faithful would not assist as strangers and silent spectators in the mystery of faith, but, with a full understanding of the rites and prayers, would participate in the sacred action consciously, piously, and actively”. [28] St. Paul VI, recalling that the work of adaptation of the Roman Missal had already been initiated by Pius XII, declared that the revision of the Roman Missal, carried out in the light of ancient liturgical sources, had the goal of permitting the Church to raise up, in the variety of languages, “a single and identical prayer,” that expressed her unity. [29]This unity I intend to re-establish throughout the Church of the Roman Rite.

Vatican Council II, when it described the catholicity of the People of God, recalled that “within the ecclesial communion” there exist the particular Churches which enjoy their proper traditions, without prejudice to the primacy of the Chair of Peter who presides over the universal communion of charity, guarantees the legitimate diversity and together ensures that the particular not only does not injure the universal but above all serves it”. [30]While, in the exercise of my ministry in service of unity, I take the decision to suspend the faculty granted by my Predecessors, I ask you to share with me this burden as a form of participation in the solicitude for the whole Church proper to the Bishops. In the Motu proprio I have desired to affirm that it is up to the Bishop, as moderator, promoter, and guardian of the liturgical life of the Church of which he is the principle of unity, to regulate the liturgical celebrations. It is up to you to authorize in your Churches, as local Ordinaries, the use of the Missale Romanum of 1962, applying the norms of the present Motu proprio. It is up to you to proceed in such a way as to return to a unitary form of celebration, and to determine case by case the reality of the groups which celebrate with this Missale Romanum.

Indications about how to proceed in your dioceses are chiefly dictated by two principles: on the one hand, to provide for the good of those who are rooted in the previous form of celebration and need to return in due time to the Roman Rite promulgated by Saints Paul VI and John Paul II, and, on the other hand, to discontinue the erection of new personal parishes tied more to the desire and wishes of individual priests than to the real need of the “holy People of God.” At the same time, I ask you to be vigilant in ensuring that every liturgy be celebrated with decorum and fidelity to the liturgical books promulgated after Vatican Council II, without the eccentricities that can easily degenerate into abuses. Seminarians and new priests should be formed in the faithful observance of the prescriptions of the Missal and liturgical books, in which is reflected the liturgical reform willed by Vatican Council II.

Upon you I invoke the Spirit of the risen Lord, that he may make you strong and firm in your service to the People of God entrusted to you by the Lord, so that your care and vigilance express communion even in the unity of one, single Rite, in which is preserved the great richness of the Roman liturgical tradition. I pray for you. You pray for me.

 

FRANCISCUS

____________________________________

[1] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church “ Lumen Gentium”, 21 november 1964, n. 23 AAS 57 (1965) 27.

[2] Cfr. Congregation for Divine Worship, Letter to the Presidents of the Conferences of Bishops “Quattuor abhinc annos”, 3 october 1984: AAS 76 (1984) 1088-1089

[3] John Paul II, Apostolic Letter given Motu proprio “ Ecclesia Dei”, 2 july 1988: AAS 80 (1998) 1495-1498.

[4] Benedict XVI, Letter to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of the Apostolic Letter “Motu proprio data” Summorum Pontificum on the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970, 7 july 2007: AAS 99 (2007) 796.

[5] Benedict XVI, Letter to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of the Apostolic Letter “Motu proprio data” Summorum Pontificum on the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970, 7 july 2007: AAS 99 (2007) 796.

[6] Benedict XVI, Letter to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of the Apostolic Letter “Motu proprio data” Summorum Pontificum on the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970, 7 july 2007: AAS 99 (2007) 797.

[7] Benedict XVI, Apostolic Letter given Motu proprio “ Summorum Pontificum”, 7 july 2007: AAS 99 (2007) 779.

[8] Benedict XVI, Apostolic Letter given Motu proprio “ Summorum Pontificum”, 7 july 2007: AAS 99 (2007) 779.

[9] Benedict XVI, Letter to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of the Apostolic Letter “Motu proprio data” Summorum Pontificum on the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970, 7 july 2007: AAS 99 (2007) 796.

[10] Benedict XVI, Letter to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of the Apostolic Letter “Motu proprio data” Summorum Pontificum on the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970, 7 july 2007: AAS 99 (2007) 797.

[11] Benedict XVI, Letter to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of the Apostolic Letter “Motu proprio data” Summorum Pontificum on the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970, 7 july 2007: AAS 99 (2007) 798.

[12] Benedict XVI, Letter to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of the Apostolic Letter “Motu proprio data” Summorum Pontificum on the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970, 7 july 2007: AAS 99 (2007) 797-798.

[13] Benedict XVI, Letter to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of the Apostolic Letter “Motu proprio data” Summorum Pontificum on the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970, 7 july 2007: AAS 99 (2007) 796.

[14] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church “ Lumen Gentium”, 21 november 1964, n. 23: AAS 57 (1965) 27.

[15] Cfr. Acta et Documenta Concilio Oecumenico Vaticano II apparando, Series I, Volumen II, 1960.

[16] Pius XII, Encyclical on the sacred liturgy “ Mediator Dei”, 20 november 1947: AAS 39 (1949) 521-595.

[17] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Costitution on the sacred liturgy “ Sacrosanctum Concilium”, 4 december 1963, nn. 1, 14: AAS 56 (1964) 97.104.

[18] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Costitution on the sacred liturgy “ Sacrosanctum Concilium”, 4 december 1963, n. 3: AAS 56 (1964) 98.

[19] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Costitution on the sacred liturgy “ Sacrosanctum Concilium”, 4 december 1963, n. 4: AAS 56 (1964) 98.

[20] Missale Romanum ex decreto Sacrosancti Oecumenici Concilii Vaticani II instauratum auctoritate Pauli PP. VI promulgatum, editio typica, 1970.

[21] Missale Romanum ex decreto Sacrosancti Oecumenici Concilii Vaticani II instauratum auctoritate Pauli PP. VI promulgatum Ioannis Pauli PP. II cura recognitum, editio typica altera, 1975; editio typica tertia, 2002; (reimpressio emendata 2008)

[22] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Costitution on the sacred liturgy “ Sacrosanctum Concilium”, 4 december 1963, n. 3: AAS 56 (1964) 98.

[23] 1 Cor 1,12-13.

[24] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Costitution on the sacred liturgy “ Sacrosanctum Concilium”, 4 december 1963, n. 26: AAS 56 (1964) 107.

[25] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church “ Lumen Gentium”, 21 november 1964, n. 14: AAS 57 (1965) 19.

[26] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Costitution on the sacred liturgy “ Sacrosanctum Concilium”, 4 december 1963, n. 6: AAS 56 (1964) 100.

[28] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church “ Lumen Gentium”, 21 november 1964, n. 23: AAS 57 (1965) 27.

[28] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Costitution on the sacred liturgy “ Sacrosanctum Concilium”, 4 december 1963, n. 48: AAS 56 (1964) 113.

[29] Paul VI, Apostolic Constitution “ Missale Romanum” on new Roman Missal, 3 april 1969, AAS 61 (1969) 222.

[30] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church “ Lumen Gentium”, 21 november 1964, n. 13: AAS 57 (1965) 18.

Friday, July 9, 2021

"Born a man, always a man." --Archbishop of Granada, Spain


“Cuando se pierde a Jesucristo, lo primero que se enturbia es la razón”

Homilía el 4 de julio de 2021. En sus palabras, hace referencia a las leyes de la eutanasia y “trans”, aprobadas en España, y la situación en la que vivimos cuando se desvincula la vida humana de Jesucristo y se saca a Dios de la realidad.

Fecha: 04/07/2021

Queridísima Iglesia del Señor, hermanos;

  queridos sacerdotes concelebrantes;

  hermanos y amigos todos:

 

El Evangelio de hoy contiene el relato de la predicación de Jesús en Nazaret. Fue un fracaso, porque desconfiaban de Él. Otro de los evangelistas dice: “No hizo allí muchos milagros por su falta de fe”. Los milagros no están pensados para hacer creer, sino que nacen de la fe. Y quien tiene el don de la fe es capaz de verlos y los ve no sólo en cosas inmensamente grandes, sino en cosas que a veces son muy pequeñas pero que sólo Dios puede hacer: ciertas formas de perdón, ciertas formas de vida, ciertos gestos de generosidad, de gratuidad, que llena la historia humana de un milagro que es la Presencia viva de Cristo. Pero nos hemos acostumbrado de tal modo a ellos, que casi vemos esos milagros como lo normal. Y resulta que, a medida que nos empieza a faltar Cristo en nuestra sociedad y en nuestra cultura, nos damos cuenta, por ejemplo, de que eso que llamamos una familia normal es muy poquito normal: es algo muy excepcional, fruto de siglos de la Gracia del Señor, de la Tradición cristiana, cuidada exquisitamente por un pueblo de santos.

 

La verdad es que si uno piensa en conjunto el ministerio de Jesús, humanamente hablando, fue un fracaso, porque es verdad que hubo mucha gente que le siguió al principio, y sobre todo con la sorpresa de los signos que hacía. Pero luego le fueron abandonando. Hubo un momento en que Él le dijo a los Doce: “También vosotros queréis dejarme”. Pedro respondió: “Señor, dónde vamos a ir si sólo Tú tienes palabras de vida eterna”. Y aunque una multitud, sobre todo de niños, gozosa, le recibió en Jerusalén como si fuera un rey, pocos días después gritaban “crucifícale, crucifícale”. Y todo el mundo pensaba que con eso se había acabado la historia de Jesús. Y en realidad, estaba empezando. Porque el Señor no se deja nunca vencer en generosidad. Y donde abundó el pecado, sobreabundó la gracia. Y el Señor responde siempre, incluso a la miseria del hombre, con unos dones especialmente grandes: al ciento por uno, que es un tipo de interés, que ninguna institución de la tierra jamás ha pensado en dar.

 

Pero yo quisiera hablaros hoy de una cosa solamente de la Primera Lectura. El profeta Ezequiel es enviado por el Señor a su pueblo y le dice: es un pueblo de dura cerviz, no te van a escuchar, pero no te preocupes, porque lo importante es que sepan que hay un profeta en medio de ellos. Un profeta no es alguien que anuncia el futuro o que tiene previsión de los acontecimientos del futuro. No. Un profeta es alguien que habla la Palabra de Dios; que comunica la Palabra de Dios; que comunica el mensaje y la Palabra de Dios de un modo que permite y ayuda a vivir y a comprender cómo Dios quiere que vivamos. Yo no me siento un profeta, pero soy un discípulo de los apóstoles y creo que tengo el deber también de proclamaros la Palabra de Dios, y de iluminar nuestra historia y los acontecimientos de nuestra historia desde esa Palabra de Dios.

 

En estas últimas semanas, hay un par de acontecimientos. La aprobación de la ley de la eutanasia y la puesta en marcha de la ley de la eutanasia. Y la aprobación y la puesta en marcha de la llamada “ley trans”, que son leyes, ambas, inicuas, en cierto sentido criminales y ante las que la Iglesia no puede callar. No sólo porque significan una falta de respeto inmensa a un pueblo que acaba de salir de una pandemia -que está todavía saliendo de una pandemia- y se aprueban aprovechando determinadas circunstancias, para que ese pueblo no pueda reaccionar, ni manifestarse, ni expresar su sentir, independientemente de que sea una mayoría o una minoría. Desde los siglos segunda mitad del XVII -aunque la historia empezó mucho antes-, pero cuando se separan descaradamente lo cristiano de lo humano y nace el Despotismo ilustrado, que es la primera forma de totalitarismo, la sociedad en la que vivimos se ha ido haciendo cada vez más una sociedad postcristiana no cristiana.

 

Yo no pido a unos legisladores, que son paganos, que tengan criterios cristianos a la hora de legislar. No se les puede pedir. En el fondo, ni siquiera les pido que respeten derechos humanos que para nosotros son evidentes. Pero si algo caracteriza el abandono de la Tradición cristiana es la caída de las evidencias. No olvidéis: Jesucristo ha conducido al hombre a su plenitud y es la fuente de todo verdadero humanismo. Los cristianos estamos acostumbrados a pensar que la vida cristiana no hace más que añadir a una vida humana, que ya existe por sí misma y que funciona bien por sí misma (cuando funciona bien), una serie de cosas: motivaciones, algunos preceptos morales, ciertas actitudes ante la vida, pero nada más. Lo que la vida humana por sí misma puede desenvolverse razonablemente bien. No es verdad.

 

Es verdad que Jesucristo ha llevado al ser humano a la plenitud de su vocación. Y el ser humano es razón. Y el ser humano es libertad. Y el ser humano es afecto. Y cuando falta Jesucristo como el centro de nuestra vida, el centro de nuestros deseos y de nuestros pensamientos, la razón se enturbia. No es que entonces empieza a funcionar la razón en contra de la fe. Eso es parte de la propaganda anticristiana del siglo XIX. Cuando se pierde a Jesucristo, lo primero que se enturbia es la razón. Porque la razón se contamina con toda clase de pasiones, sobre todo con la medición del poder y del dinero, de la avaricia. Y esa razón contaminada es una razón muy limitada. Jesucristo nos da acceso al uso de razón. Porque si la razón no se usa correctamente, al final uno no es un hombre sabio, no es un hombre razonable.

 

Sólo quiero deciros que vayáis aceptando que nuestra sociedad no se rige por la razón. Se rige por criterios de intereses humanos, de intereses de grupos, de intereses de poder, o por relaciones pura y simplemente de poder. Pero lo mismo que pasa con la razón pasa con la libertad. La libertad convertida en un absoluto de que cada uno puede hacer verdaderamente lo que quiere, volviéndose contra sí misma, ha generado las dictaduras más terribles. Uno de los primeros teóricos de la democracia, que era un ilustrado, pero no era un hombre cristiano -Alexis de Tocqueville-, hablando de la libertad, en un libro suyo que se llama “La democracia en América”, en el siglo XVIII, decía que un mundo construido sólo sobre la libertad iba a dar paso a las dictaduras más terribles que él era incapaz de describir, pero se las podía imaginar.

 

San Juan Pablo II lo dijo: una democracia sin valores se corrompe y degenera facilísimamente en una dictadura. Explícita o encubierta. Y nosotros estamos en ese proceso. Estamos en el camino hacia una tercera dictadura, de un modo o de otro, porque se imponen leyes que van contra el bien común. Que la “ley trans”, por ejemplo, convierte -como decía hace unos días el Secretario General de la Conferencia Episcopal- el sentimiento en categoría jurídica. No es la primera vez que pasa. En los años 30 y 40 del siglo pasado, el sentimiento de superioridad de la raza aria dio lugar a millones de muertos cuando se convirtió en ley. Por lo tanto, en el mundo, en la cultura en la que vivimos, un sentimiento, un mito… como el mito del individuo. Los Estados pueden hacer este tipo de legislación porque saben que no hay un pueblo. Somos individuos aislados, cada uno cerrado en sí mismo o en su pequeñísimo círculo familiar, y por lo tanto no hay un pueblo que pueda oponerse a la injusticia, oponerse al despotismo, oponerse a los gestos y actitudes de tipo dictatorial.

 

Y la Iglesia, por desgracia, no somos muy libres. Desde esa misma época (finales del siglo XVII-XVIII, durante el siglo XVIII), la burguesía cristiana se puso en manos del liberalismo y se echó en brazos del liberalismo como cultura. Y esa misma Iglesia, cuando después de la II Guerra Mundial, o ya en el periodo de entreguerras, se puso de moda que la felicidad la iba a traer el marxismo se echó en brazos del marxismo. Una Iglesia que no es un pueblo; que no tiene conciencia de pueblo; que es una mera suma de individuos que tienen unas creencias. Y una Iglesia que no tiene como criterio de su deseo, de su pensamiento, de su felicidad, de su esperanza, Jesucristo, y las promesas de Jesucristo, y la experiencia de Jesucristo, es una Iglesia condenada a ser sumisa al Estado. De una manera o de otra. Y luego, cuando lo percibimos, nos escandaliza. Y, además, con motivo y con razón. Pero tenemos que pedirLe al Señor, recuperar…

 

Somos un pueblo libre, de hijos libres de Dios. Pero somos un pueblo, no una suma de individuos. Eso lo ha dicho muchas veces, muy seriamente, el Papa Francisco, en su primera encíclica: no somos la suma de un montón de individuos que tienen unas creencias; el todo es más importante que la parte. Somos un pueblo, somos una comunidad, somos una ecclesía, que significa una asamblea, una realidad social. Hay quienes definen la política como una manera de organizar el tiempo y el espacio. Quienes definen así la política, que es una definición más profunda que la de la lucha y la conquista del poder, terminan diciendo que la Iglesia, aunque vive una realidad política, es también una ciudad, es también una polis. Es la polis, es la ciudad de Dios, como dijo san Agustín, que existe ya anticipadamente aquí y que tiene la posibilidad de organizar el tiempo y el espacio. Lo organizamos. Lo organizamos entorno al domingo, que es el día del Señor. Lo organizamos entorno a la Eucaristía. Y organizamos espacios y espacios sagrados: el altar de la Iglesia, el lecho nupcial, el altar que es la mesa de la comida familiar. Tenemos espacios que son sagrados. Y el espacio más sagrado de todos es la persona humana. Y la experiencia cristiana consiste en poder reconocer ese espacio, vivir de ese espacio, y eso nos da la libertad.

 

Tenemos que aprender de nuevo a ser libres. Frente a estas dos leyes, que son además una ofensa a la razón humana en muchos sentidos; que haya que defender que una persona puede ser castigada por la ley por haber dicho que sólo hay hombre y mujer, significa que las evidencias han caído. Esto no significa ningún juicio sobre ninguna persona, de ningún tipo, ni transexual… de ninguna clase. Pero la realidad es la realidad. Sólo desde el siglo XIX, que nos hemos creído creadores y dueños de la Creación, hemos creído que se podía cambiar. No se puede cambiar. Quien ha nacido hombre será siempre hombre; quien ha nacido mujer será siempre mujer. Le pongan las hormonas que le pongan, le hagan las operaciones que le hagan. Y hay una historia de suicidios vinculados a eso que se oculta en una época en que en los Estados Unidos esa práctica se hizo con niños recién nacidos, durante diez años y luego se prohibió. Se prohibió porque muchos de esos niños terminaban o en instituciones mentales, o en el suicidio.

 

Pero, repito: no nos podemos escandalizar, por la sencilla razón de que no estamos en una sociedad regida por la razón. La razón hay que aprender a usarla. Jesucristo nos enseña a usarla bien. Dice: hay cosas que valen más que otras; si encuentras una perla de gran valor, vendes lo que tienes para quedarte con esa perla. Jesucristo nos enseña a usar la razón. Y cuando no usamos bien la razón, la razón termina siendo dominada por nuestras pasiones, desde la lujuria (que es una forma de avaricia…). Al final, por la avaricia y el ansia de poder, que son las pasiones más potentes que hay en el ser humano.

 

Que nos enseñe el Señor a usar la razón. Que nos enseñe el Señor a ser libres. Para ser libres, nos liberó Cristo. Y no hay que temer a la objeción de conciencia. El pueblo cristiano no tiene por qué temer a la objeción de conciencia, ni siquiera a la desobediencia civil. ¿Qué puede tener consecuencias? Naturalmente, para los primeros cristianos de los primeros siglos, tenía un montón de consecuencias el ir a celebrar la Eucaristía por la noche, por ejemplo, una mujer sin permiso de su marido. O tenía muchísimas consecuencias simplemente el decir “soy cristiano. Mi rey es Jesucristo”. Miles de consecuencias, que las tuvo.

 

Un pueblo libre que es capaz de expresar no sólo sus convencimientos y pedir que otros en los medios defiendan sus ideas, sino que es capaz de sostenerlas y de ayudarnos unos a otros, como comunidad en esa dificultad de sostenerlas… eso han hecho, por ejemplo, muchos católicos norteamericanos. Y ha habido quienes han ido a la cárcel, y sus hermanos les han acompañado y les han ayudado. Tenemos que aprender a ser libres. Pero no a defender la libertad. Tenemos que pedir al Señor que nos enseñe a amarla. Luego a defenderla. Y luego a vivirla. Vivir libres, porque Tu Gracia, Tu amor vale más que la vida. Y luego, aprender a amar, también a los que nos persiguen. Defender a los cristianos, que muchas veces somos muy cobardes, y atacar a los que no son cristianos, eso es muy fácil. Tenemos que orar y amar a quienes nos persiguen, porque nos dan la posibilidad de dar testimonio de Jesucristo por encima de todo.

 

Estamos a las puertas del verano. Todo está hecho muy bien pensado. Cuando todo el mundo está pensando “por fin puedo salir de casa, por fin puedo descansar, al campo, a la playa…”. Me parecía que para mi era un pecado el no hablaros de esto y el no invitaros a que el Señor nos dé la gracia de vivir esto y de vivirlo con gozo. La libertad no nos la da el Estado. Es el Señor el que nos ha hecho libres y esa libertad nadie tiene el poder de quitárnosla. Lo que nos da el Señor vale más que la vida. Así de sencillo.

 

Mis queridos hermanos, vamos a pedirLe al Señor. Tenemos que orar mucho y tenemos que pedirLe que nos fortalezca en el uso de la razón. Tampoco se dialoga con alguien que cree en la magia razonando. No se discute razonando. Y con un mundo pagano no se discute desde categorías como “dignidad de la persona humana”… Si una sola bomba puede matar a 600.000 personas, qué hablamos de dignidad de la persona humana, dónde está eso. Cuánto tiempo hace que eso no cuenta en la vida política de los pueblos, en Europa, que es donde esas categorías nacieron al principio de la modernidad. A quién le importa. Al Señor. Al Señor le importa. Que Él nos ayude. Repito, es como un diálogo de sordos: nosotros hablamos de la dignidad de la persona humana y de los derechos humanos y no produce mas que sonrisas y no pasa nada, ni cambia nada. Sólo el testimonio de unas vidas decididas a vivir como el Señor nos da a vivir y con la libertad de los hijos de Dios puede permitir que con el tiempo esta sociedad descubra el bien que es Jesucristo para la vida y puedan entonces cambiar en sus modos de proceder.

 

Pedimos unos por otros. Pedimos por toda la Iglesia. Pedimos por la Iglesia en España de una manera especial. Y vamos a profesar nuestra fe, agradecidos de haber conocido al Dios que es Amor, al Dios que es Comunión de Personas -Padre, Hijo y Espíritu Santo-, del que esperamos el perdón de los pecados y la vida eterna.

 

+ Javier Martínez

Arzobispo de Granada

 

4 de julio de 2021

S.I Catedral de Granada

 

Escuchar homilía   

 

Palabras finales en la Eucaristía, antes de la bendición final.

 

Aspiramos a vivir como el Señor nos ha dado a vivir. Y aspiramos también a ser escuchados. Luego, que nos escuchen o no, no está en nuestras manos; está en las manos de Señor.

 

La segunda cosa es que cuando os decía que en el siglo XVII -finales- o XVIII se había separado a Jesucristo de la realidad humana (es una historia muy vieja, pero determina mucho…) significa que Jesucristo ha sido sacado de la realidad. Dios ha sido sacado de la realidad. Y de ahí todas las críticas del siglo XIX a la religión. Algunas de ellas muy fundadas. Una vez que se saca a Dios de la realidad, la realidad necesita algo para organizarse. Y eso ha hecho que los cristianos se hayan puesto desde esa época, en manos de alguna ideología (hablaba yo del liberalismo primero y el marxismo después, y después las ideologías potmarxistas que han ido surgiendo, del nacionalismo en otros momentos), pero es como si el cristianismo no sirviera para esta vida; fuera una cosa irreal, que está fuera de la realidad, que nos ayuda a ser un poco más buenos si lo escuchamos, pero nada más. Y no es eso. Ser cristianos no es eso.   

 

Os doy la bendición y que el Señor nos ayude a ser testigos de Su Gloria y de Su Belleza. Los antiguos cristianos no hacían proselitismos. No luchaban contra el Imperio romano, que tenía todo leyes paganas. No. Simplemente vivían. Y la belleza de su vida, lo razonable de su modo de vivir y lo espléndido de su relación de amor era lo que atraía a la gente. Y ese sigue siendo el único método de evangelización verdaderamente cristiano: que la gente vea la belleza de nuestras vidas.


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