Vatican congregation to emphasize liturgical music, art
By Matthew A. Rarey
St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. Credit: David Uebbing - CNA.
Vatican City, Nov 14, 2012 / 02:45 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- With the Vatican's approval on Nov. 14 of its restructuring, the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments will shift its focus more intensely on art and liturgical music.
The restructuring is in accord with a Sept. 2011 apostolic letter issued by Pope Benedict XVI, where he noted that the changes will help the congregation in “giving a fresh impetus to promoting the sacred liturgy in the Church.”
This will be achieved mainly through a new office dedicated to sacred music and liturgical art – including architecture – which will become operational next year.
Its charges will include issuing guidelines on liturgical music and the structure of new churches so that they reflect the mysterious encounter with the divine, as well as follow the dictates and instructions of the new English translation of the Roman Missal.
In his letter, the Pope wrote that these all must be in accord with the Second Vatican Council's “Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.” Overlooking that 1963 document has allowed for the post-conciliar trend of building unedifying churches and filling them pop-influenced music.
Spanish Cardinal Antonio Canizares, prefect of the congregation, is entrusted with overseeing that these future guidelines and existing ones on liturgical celebration are followed throughout the world.
He is a long-time ally of the Pope, back to the pontiff's days as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. Cardinal Canizares is sometimes referred as “Little Ratzinger” for his similar beliefs and opinions.
Overseeing the many facets of worship in the worldwide Church is a significant task, especially in light of last December's implementation of the new Roman Missal in English, which is truer to the original Latin and more elevated in its language.
To help the congregation focus on issues related to worship, the new restructuring removes two responsibilities that proved time consuming: processes of dispensation from ratified and non-consummated marriage and cases concerning the nullity of sacred ordination.
Those duties have been shifted to the Roman Rota, the Church’s highest appellate tribunal.
“The Holy See has always sought to adapt its structures of governance to the pastoral needs that arise in the life of the Church in every period of history, thereby modifying the structure and competence of the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia,” wrote the Pope in his Sept. 2011 letter.
That letter was issued motu proprio, meaning that he wrote it for reasons which he himself deemed sufficient.
Pope creates academy to promote knowledge of Latin
By Estefania Aguirre
Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, celebrates Mass in the extraordinary form Nov. 3, 2012 in St. Peter’s Basilica.
Vatican City, Nov 12, 2012 / 02:05 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Pope is launching a new Pontifical Academy for Latin to help priests and academics deepen their knowledge and ability with the language.
"There is a pressing need for greater knowledge and more competent use of Latin in the ecclesial environment as well as in the world of culture at large," Pope Benedict XVI said on Nov. 10.
The new academy was announced in a letter titled “Latina Lingua.” The document is known as a motu proprio, a phrase that means “by his own initiative.”
The academy will have two goals.
The first is “to promote the knowledge and study of the Latin language and literature, both classical and patristic … especially in Catholic educational institutions where priests both train and educate seminarians.”
The second aim of the school will be to promote the written and spoken use of Latin.
"There is a danger of an increasingly superficial knowledge of Latin, also reflected in the philosophical and theological studies of future priests, in contemporary culture and in the context of a general weakening of the humanities," the Pope Benedict wrote in his letter.
"It seems urgent to support the efforts for a more responsible use of Latin and a better understanding of it, both within the Church and in the wider world of culture," Benedict XVI stated.
He told how knowledge of Latin is now more necessary than ever to study sources from which to draw upon, including theology, liturgy, the Church fathers and canon law, as taught by Vatican Council II.
But, according to the pontiff, there is a renewed interest in Latin and culture in a world dominated by science and technology, which involves young people and scholars from different nations.
The new academy will replace the Latinitas Foundation, which was established by Pope Paul VI in 1976.
The Pontifical Academy for Latin, which will have a five year trial period, will be a part of the Pontifical Council for Culture.
On Saturday, Nov. 10, Pope Benedict appointed Ivano Dionigi the president of the new academy and Father Roberto Spataro as its secretary.