Catholic World News

Vatican prelate decries liturgical abuses

November 08, 2011

The retired prefect of the Congregation for Clergy denounced liturgical abuses as he presided at a Mass in St. Peter’s basilica for participants in a conference organized by the Una Voce Federation, a group devoted to the traditional liturgy.

“The widespread practice of liturgical abuses in the aftermath of the Council has produced deep wounds in the Church,” said Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos in his homily. Proper and reverent liturgical practice, he said, should be “a result of faithful compliance with the liturgical norms in their entirety.” He lamented that the liturgy has been “often subject to arbitrary interpretations that distort its nature and purpose, causing pain and disorientation in Christifideles who become astonished spectators of practices marked by bizarre forms of exasperated creativity.”

The Colombian cardinal said that many liturgical novelties have been justified as reflecting the “spirit of the Council.” That phrase, he said, “constitutes for some a tool to uphold spurious claims often aimed at imposing disturbing ways of thinking and acting.”

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  • Posted by: koinonia - Nov. 09, 2011 5:56 PM ET USA

    Ultimately, it is about the salvation of souls and about the channels of sanctifying grace instituted by Christ- the Mass and sacraments- and ensuring their validity and efficacy for the practicing Catholic. These are the lifelines of grace. Catholics are in need of the sanctifying and actual graces afforded by the reception of valid and efficacious sacraments today more than ever. It's about God's gift of love in our souls- sharing in the the divine life of Our Lord- the miracle of salvation.

  • Posted by: unum - Nov. 09, 2011 9:55 AM ET USA

    Denunciation of unauthorized liturgical innovation is a good sign, as far as it goes, but some evidence of improved clergy obedience and accountability would be even better. There seems to be no one in charge in our area.

  • Posted by: Mike in Toronto - Nov. 08, 2011 6:23 PM ET USA

    @rpp: I'm not so sure. What is the age range of the Austrian dissident priests, from whom we may well expect serious liturgical abuses all too soon?

  • Posted by: rpp - Nov. 08, 2011 5:08 PM ET USA

    Good for him. Sadly, there seems little teeth in it. On the other hand, Liturgical abuse seems to be slowing dying of attrition as younger priests, I have observed, seems to have a profound and rightly ordered sens of reverence.