Daily Archives: 9 April 2006

Card. Arinze strikes hard in London

  The great Francis Card. Arinze, who is the titular Cardinal Bishop of the Suburbicarian Diocese of Velletri-Segni, recently (the diocese of the author) gave a speech recently in London, for the efforts of the ordinary their to engage in … Read More



Readers of WDTPRS well remember my explanation of how the document of the Bishop’s Committee on Liturgy called Built of Living Stones intentionally distorted the meaning of the GIRM 299. In spite of the fact that the Congregation for Divine Worship has previously explained to the world how to translate the Latin and clarified that that paragraph did not mean that it was preferable in any way for Mass to be celebrated “facing the people”, but rather concerned only the position of the altar in the sanctuary. I just looked at 299 in the newly released translation. They did not correct their flawed approach. They wrote: “The altar should be built apart from the wall, in such a way that it is possible to walk around it easily and that Mass can be celebrated at it facing the people, which is desirable wherever possible.” This sounds as if the GIRM is saying that it is preferable that Mass is celebrated “facing the people”. The Latin: Altare maius exstruatur a pariete seiunctum, ut facile circumiri et in eo celebratio versus populum peragi possit, quod expedit ubicumque possibile sit. What the Latin really says is something like: “The main altar should be built separated from the wall, which is useful/desirable wherever it is possible, so that it can be easily walked around and a celebration toward the people can be carried out.” The quod expedit refers to the main clause describing the position of the altar, and not Mass must be said. Now thousands of people will have to listen to liturgists and bishops use that paragraph to argue against celebrations ad orientem when the text says nothing of the kind. I suspect that more problems of this kind will emerge. Read More

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