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ICEL director pays tribute to Pope Benedict’s impact on the liturgy

Catholic World News - February 27, 2013

In an interview with Vatican Radio, the executive director of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy has paid tribute to Pope Benedict’s teaching and decisions about the sacred liturgy.

“When the Holy Father spoke to his own clergy, the priest of the Diocese of Rome for the last time, he said two very significant things about the liturgy: firstly he said that the Second Vatican Council was very right to treat of the liturgy first, because it thereby showed that God has primacy,” said Msgr. Andrew Wadsworth. “And in the liturgy the most important consideration is adoration. He linked this to the fact that he has desired that in the celebration of our Mass there should be a crucifix on the altar. So that the priest looks at the cross and remembers that it’s the sacrifice of Calvary that’s being represented in the celebration of the Mass and that the people should look at the cross rather than at the priest.”

Commenting on the 2007 document Summorum Pontificum, which allowed for a wider celebration of the extraordinary form of the Mass and Divine Office , Msgr. Wadsworth added:

The motu proprio really is a very important moment in which the Holy Father puts two forms of the Roman Rite which potentially have been at loggerheads which each other since the Second Vatican Council in a creative dynamic relationship with each other. The Holy Father really is reminding us that the light of tradition should fall on all of our liturgical experience.

“In relation to the new English translation of the Missal … it was the Holy Father who judged on the whole question of [the translation of] pro multis [as] for many, chalice rather than cup--those are his particular judgments and his prerogative as the Pope,” Msgr. Wadsworth continued. “He showed a great interest in the process as it was unfolding.”

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