Posted May 10, 2011
Liturgy Needs Tradition and Progress, Says Pope
Notes Fruits as Well as Errors in 50 Years of Reform
VATICAN CITY, MAY 6, 2011- The liturgy lives from a constant relationship
between tradition and progress, according to Benedict XVI.
The Pope made this observation today when he addressed participants in the 9th
International Congress on the Liturgy sponsored by the Pontifical Liturgical
Institute of Rome's St. Anselm Pontifical Athenaeum.
The congress, titled "The Pontifical Institute: Between Memory and Prophecy,"
was celebrating the 50th anniversary of the institute's foundation by Pope John
The Holy Father drew from this title to consider "memory" and "prophecy."
"In regard to memory, we must note the abundant fruits elicited by the Holy
Spirit in half a century of history, and for this we must thank the Giver of all
good, despite the misunderstandings and errors in the concrete realization of
the reform," he said.
"With the term 'prophecy,'" the Pontiff continued, "our gaze opens to new
He said that the "liturgy of the Church goes beyond the 'conciliar reform.'"
This reform, Benedict XVI clarified, "was not primarily to change the rites and
gestures, but rather to renew mentalities and to put at the center of Christian
life and ministry the celebration of the paschal mystery of Christ.
Unfortunately, perhaps, also for us pastors and experts, the liturgy was taken
more as an object to be reformed rather than a subject capable of renewing
The liturgy lives from a "correct and constant relationship between healthy
'traditio' and legitimate 'progressio,'" he added.
"Not infrequently tradition and progress are clumsily opposed," the Pope stated.
"In reality, the two concepts are integrated: tradition is a living reality,
which because of this includes in itself the principle of development, of