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Liturgical reform begins with reverence, Pope reminds Italian bishops

November 09, 2010

In a message to the Italian bishops’ conference, which is gathering this week, Pope Benedict XVI remarked that the Church’s liturgy is “a perennial source for education in the good life of the Gospel.”

In his message—which was addressed to Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, the president of the Italian episcopal conference—the Holy Father dwelt at length on the liturgy, noting that the bishops are discussing a new Italian translation of the Roman Missal.

Noting that the Italian bishops are meeting in Assisi, the Pope said that the astonishing evangelical life of St. Francis was nourished by his devotion to the Eucharistic liturgy. The Pope went on to say that “the sacred nature of the Eucharist means that it must be celebrated and adored with an awareness of the greatness, importance and effectiveness it has for Christian life.”

Speaking on the new translation in the context of liturgical reform, the Pope said that “all true reformers are, in fact, obedient to the faith.” He explained:

They do not move arbitrarily, they do not claim any discretional jurisdiction over rites. They are not masters but custodians of the treasure that was instituted by the Lord and entrusted to us. The entire Church is present in each liturgical act, and adhering to its form is a condition for the authenticity of the celebration.

The Pope’s message touched on other subjects that will be discussed during the bishops’ session, including the education of children. He encouraged the Italian hierarchy to pursue its plan to emphasize education as a family duty, and to work closely with parents, “recognizing and supporting their primary role in education.”


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