Instruction: Redemptionis Sacramentum

 — Apr. 23, 200423 avril 2004

Just released this morning at the Vatican. This instruction from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacrament is entitled Redemptionis Sacramentum.


VATICAN CITY, APR 23, 2004 (VIS) – Today at a press conference in the Holy See Press Office, Cardinal Francis Arinze and Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino, respectively prefect and secretary of the congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments, presented the congregation’s document on the liturgy entitled “Redemptionis Sacramentum.” Also present was Archbishop Angelo Amato, S.D.B., secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which collaborated in preparing this document.

In opening remarks Cardinal Arinze spoke of both the positive and negative developments on the liturgy that had occurred since Vatican Council II, stating, however, that abuses in liturgy have occurred over the years and “have been a motive of anguish for everyone.” He said “there has been a temptation to think that paying attention to abuses is a loss of time, that they have always existed and will always exist. … This can lead us into error. Abuses relative to the Holy Eucharist do not all have the same weight. Some threaten to make the sacrament invalid. Others show a lack of eucharistic faith. Others yet contribute to spreading confusion among the people of God and to taking the sacred out of Eucharistic celebrations. Abuses are not to be taken lightly.”

Archbishop Sorrentino underscored that “the Instruction does none other than reiterate existing norms.” He said that “the request for the observance (of these norms) does not involve any ban to study more deeply and to propose, as happened in the history of the ‘liturgical movement’ and still today normally occurs within the sphere of theological, liturgical and pastoral studies. What is absolutely excluded is making liturgy a free zone for experimentation and personal choices, not justified by any good intentions.”

For his part, Archbishop Amato referred to the doctrinal meaning of the Instruction, saying that “liturgical norms are the concrete expression of the ecclesiality of the Eucharist. The oneness and indivisibility of the Eucharistic Body of the Lord implies oneness of His Mystical Body, which is the Church, one and indivisible.”

“The Instruction,” he concluded, “should arouse in the Church a healthy curiosity and a generous welcome, to contemplate with renewed stupor this great mystery of our faith and to give incentives to appropriate Eucharistic behavior and attitudes.”

Update: Cardinal Arinze’s remarks at the press conference are available here. Archbishops Amato and Sorrentino‘s comments are also available on the Vatican website, but only in Italian.

A summary of Redemptionis Sacramentum is also available.

Posted: Apr. 23, 2004 • Permanent link:
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