As some of you know through reading my constributions in this forum, I was blessed to have been able to personally meet and listen to Archbishop Malcolm Ranjinth, the Secretary to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Disicpline of the Sacraments back when he delivered the keynote address at the Gateway Liturgical Conference.
His address centered on the correct interpretation of Ars Celebrandi. It seems that he has since had a lot more to say on the subject. According to an article posted on the website for the Archdiocese of Colombo, the Vatican prelate says that the reform of the reform must continue:
Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, the secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, cites a flawed understanding of Vatican II teachings and the influence of secular ideologies are reasons to conclude that-- as then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said in 1985-- “the true time of Vatican II has not yet come.” Particularly in the realm of the liturgy, Archbishop Ranjith says, “The reform has to go on.”
…Some practices which Sacrosanctum Concilium had never even contemplated were allowed into the Liturgy, like Mass versus populum, Holy Communion in the hand, altogether giving up on the Latin and Gregorian Chant in favor of the vernacular and songs and hymns without much space for God, and extension beyond any reasonable limits of the faculty to concelebrate at Holy Mass. There was also the gross misinterpretation of the principle of “active participation.”
The Sri Lankan prelate argues that it in order to carry out a “reform of the reform,” it is essential to recognize how the liturgical vision of Vatican lI became distorted. He praises the book on Cardinal Antonelli for allowing the reader to gain a better understanding of “which figures or attitudes caused the present situation.” This, the archbishop says, is an inquiry “which, in the name of truth, we cannot abandon.”
While acknowledging “the turbulent mood of the years that immediately followed the Council,” Archbishop Ranjith reminds readers that in summoning the world’s bishops to an ecumenical council, Blessed John XXIII intended “a fortification of the faith.” The Council, in the eyes of Pope John, was “certainly not a call to go along with the spirit of the times.”
Basic concepts and themes like Sacrifice and Redemption, Mission, Proclamation and Conversion, Adoration as an integral element of Communion, and the need of the Church for salvation–all were sidelined, while Dialogue, Inculturation, Ecumenism, Eucharist-as-Banquet, Evangelization-as-Witness, etc., became more important. Absolute values were disdained. Even in the work of the Consilium, the Vatican agency assigned to implement liturgical changes, these influences were clearly felt, the archbishop notes:
An exaggerated sense of antiquarianism, anthopologism, confusion of roles between the ordained and the non-ordained, a limitless provision of space for experimentation-- and indeed, the tendency to look down upon some aspects of the development of the Liturgy in the second millennium-- were increasingly visible among certain liturgical schools.
Clearly, Archbishop Ranjinth has given us a lot of food for though. He is also not saying anything new since Pope Benedict, even as Cardinal Ratzinger, has been saying this since 1985.