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Cardinal Pell hopes for mandatory ad orientem worship, says Obama has ‘very slight curriculum vitae’

Catholic World News - March 20, 2009

In a wide-ranging interview with the British Catholic Herald newspaper, Cardinal George Pell credited Pope John Paul II with preventing the Church in Australia from falling into a Dutch “ultra-liberalism’” and offered candid comments on a wide range of other issues, including the lifting of the excommunication of the four bishops of the Society of St. Pius X and the possible canonization of Pope Pius XII. Cardinal Pell also predicted that more accurate English translations of the Roman Missal will be implemented toward the end of 2010:

It's approved by the national hierarchies. The level of change now will be very small in comparison with the enormous changes that were foisted upon the people just after the Second Vatican Council. Undoubtedly there will be a small element which will try to resist them. I'm quite confident the overwhelming majority of Mass-going people will quickly learn to love them. The quality of the language there will emphasise that we're not talking to the bloke next door. We're worshipping the one true God. Not in old-fashioned, archaic language, but in beautiful, strong and appropriate language. I'm quite confident it will be successful.

Asked, “Where do you think the liturgical development is heading?” Cardinal Pell responded, “I don't know. I'm not a professional liturgist. I am keen that we strengthen the vertical dimension of the liturgy, if we can, in the popular understanding, so that it's very obviously not just community-centred, it's God-centred, it's an act of worship. I'm very sympathetic to that. I'm even sympathetic for the Canon of the Mass that the priest has his back to the people.” Asked, “As something obligatory?” he replied, “Yes. Now there's nothing like a consensus in favour of that at the moment. I think I would be in favour of it because it makes it patently clear that the priest is not the centre of the show, that this an act of worship of the one true God, and the people are joining with the priest for that.” Asked to comment on President Barack Obama, Cardinal Pell said:

[H]is record on life issues is very, very bad indeed. I'm still hoping against hope that he won't do the worst, that he won't bring in that Freedom of Choice Act. I wish him well, because so much rides on his decisions. But he's got a very slight curriculum vitae to be a president of the United States. He ran a brilliant campaign. I think he's an outstanding public orator. We've yet to see him really do anything that has significantly changed the situation for the better. But it's very early days yet. And he has inherited an appalling financial situation.

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