A reason for this recent praise was the German language manifesto for the readmitance of the old Rite.
These comments were made by Cardinal Lehmann for the latest edition of the Mainz Church News, “Glaube und Leben” (Belief and Life). According to the Catholic news agency, KNA the Cardinal defended the prevailing liturgy in the Catholic Church. Cardinal Lehmann explained in his introductory article, that “a group of intellectuals”, the inverted commas are the Cardinal’s own have asked for the official re-admittance of the old Mass in a manifesto. He was pleased that there were no polemics against the new Mass of the Second Vatican Council.
The Church has no doubt about the beauty and the celebratory nature of the Latin Mass especially in musical times. But it has already got to be considered that this Mass had gone through many alterations.
The Second Vatican Council has renewed this old Mass for our times and the Cardinal repeats that thanks be to God, there have been no polemics against the new Mass.
After all, the Old Mass had never been eliminated.
The Cardinal underlined once more that the post conciliar Mass – apart from some abuses – has its own beauty and festive nature.
The Second Vatican Council had decided with circumspection to instigate a general renewal of the liturgy with great care. However, the Cardinal did not mention that the required reform had been put into practice in the 1965 Missal. This Missal was however only used for four years.
Furthermore, he says that the Church is grateful for the enormous treasures that have been derived from art and culture but the Church does not have to be exclusively bound by them. The Holy Spirit has at all times renewed and inspired the celebration of the Mass. This is mostly born out in the new arrangement of the Eucharistic celebrations.
“I am grateful that this has been managed thanks to the dedication of Pope Paul VI (+1978) and many efficient and respected liturgists who understood the position of the Church very well and in an impressive manner”.
There are here and there some abuses Cardinal Lehmann acknowledges and often at randomn, a lack of dignity and form but this is in no way an argument against the new Mass.
“And it is this that should be added to the manifesto”, said the Cardinal.
The Bishop of Mainz has been known as a strong adversary of the old Mass. Last November, 2005, he said it was sufficient to celebrate an old Mass “now and then”. After all, there are hardly any priests who are capable and ready to say the old Mass.However, in the late summer 2006, the Cardinal forbade a member of the Fraternity of St Peters to celebrate the old Mass. 300 people who had requested the old Mass from the area of Giessen in Oberhessen are still waiting for a reply from the Cardinal. They did request in their petition to celebrate the old Mass.
The Cardinal denies to others that which he was given in abundance.
Two pictures from 1963
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