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Pope’s journey to Mexico, Cuba advanced political freedom, liturgical reform

Catholic World News - April 03, 2012

In Mexico, Pope Benedict was “an evangelist for a liturgical reform that is slowly transforming the way Catholics worship,” writes Matthew Cullinan Hoffman in Catholic World Report. “In sharp contrast with the Masses that Mexicans typically experience in their parishes, the Pontiff's [March 25] liturgy--including the Scripture readings--was sung in Gregorian chant and other solemn forms of choral music. Moreover, the central and holiest part of the Mass, the canon, was said entirely in Latin.”

Later, the Pope’s “basic message to the Cuban regime” was “…and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free,” says Father James Schall, who adds that Cuba’s leaders

are not free insofar as they oppose the truth. Who else could tell them this fact? Benedict adds that Christ’s “teaching provokes resistance and disquiet among His hearers and He accuses them of looking for reasons to kill him.” The theme that those who uphold the truth will be killed is striking. It takes right back to Socrates and Christ. The Cuban Marxists, no doubt, will say that, since they have the truth, this saying applies only to their enemies. But Benedict notes that Christ exhorted even those who would kill Him to believe.

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  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Apr. 03, 2012 6:51 PM ET USA

    I have been at a number of Spanish-language Masses in this diocese and can attest that there is very little difference between the musical sounds in the church and those in the cantina down the road. Moreover, very few of us musicians have made any attempt to introduce chant in Spanish.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Apr. 03, 2012 2:35 PM ET USA

    "In sharp contrast with the Masses that Mexicans typically experience in their parishes..." Having attended many Mexican Masses in the vernacular during my trips to visit the family, my experience is that the only difference between these Masses and Masses in the U.S. is the language. They are virtually identical in every other way.

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