New Statements by Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith

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.

I sure hope the Archbishop’s vision will see the daylight. I speak for myself here that the Church will never restore the honor and pride it had long before the Council, that ship has sailed. We are in a phase where not more than 10% of catholics worldwide really care what the Church teaches, with growing secularism and all the modern atheistic or should i say protestant ideologies we can only expect the worse to come. One thing i do know, is that this all fits in God’s providence and he promised to protect his Church till the end of the world, so it’s best to place it in his hands. By looking back at the past 40 years, with a reformed watered down Liturgy, mamoth abuses, widespread disobedience beyond belief, childish catechesis, the role of feminism etc, if the Church weren’t a Divine, Spiritual and Mystical Institution it would have been destroyed long ago.

The way i see it, the vatican can issue as many documents and decrees as it likes, there aren’t many who want to listen. Humane Vitae set a precedent 40 years ago, it gave people the oppurtunity to take every swipe at the Church, even Natonal Episcopal conferences rejected the Infallible nature of the Encyclical. Where are we now? We are at least 100 billion times worse than 40 years ago. I feel sorry for the Pope, he is like a Commander in Chief without an army.

Lets pray he lives long enough to straighten the mess out!

I don’t think he can. It would seem only a massive global natural disaster or something of that sort can move humanity to change it’s ways.

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