Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff…

…judges Francis’ idea on selling off churches to feed the poor

  • In the divine worship ‘noble simplicity’ must not be confused with ‘liturgical poverty’

Divine beauty manifests itself in an altogether particular way in the sacred liturgy, also through material things of which man, made of soul and body, has need to come to spiritual realities: the building of worship, the furnishings, the vestments, the images, the music, the dignity of the ceremonies themselves. Reread in this connection is the fifth chapter on ‘Decorum of the Liturgical Celebration’ in the encyclical ‘Ecclesia de Eucaristia’ – of Pope John Paul II (April 17, 2003), where he affirms that Christ himself wanted a fitting a decorous environment for the Last Supper, asking his disciples to prepare it in the house of a friend who had a ‘large upper room furnished’ (Luke 22:12; cf. Mark 14:15). […] The liturgy calls for the best of our possibilities, to glorify God the Creator and Redeemer. In the end, the care for the churches and the liturgy must be an expression of love for the Lord. Also in a place where the Church does not have great material resources, this duty cannot be neglected. […] However, the ‘noble simplicity’ of the Roman Rite must not be confused with a misunderstood ‘liturgical poverty’ and an intellectualism that can lead to the ruin of solemnity, foundation of divine worship. (Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff. The Noble Simplicity of Liturgica Vestments, November 17, 2010)

  • The Church will attract men, rich or poor, by putting on the royal mantle of true beauty

And again, what is the purpose of the beauty of vestments and sacred vessels, if the poor man dies of hunger or does not have what it takes to cover his nakedness? Does that beauty not subtract from the resources to care for the needy? […] At present we are in need not so much of simplifying and pruning, but of rediscovering the decorum and majesty of divine worship. The sacred liturgy of the Church will attract those of our time not by wearing more of the everyday gray and anonymous clothing, of which he is already very accustomed, but by putting on the royal mantle of true beauty. The liturgy of today needs ever new and young clothing, which will make it perceived as a window open to heaven, as point of contact with the One and Triune God, to whose adoration it is ordered, through the mediation of Jesus Christ, High and Eternal Priest. (Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff. Beauty and the Liturgical Rite, November 3, 2010)

…judges Francis’ idea on the origin of the Psalms

  • The Liturgy of the Hours: Christocentric and profoundly ecclesial prayer – the Psalms are interpreted by texts of the Fathers, Doctors and Councils

The Liturgy of the Hours, being essentially Christo-centric, is profoundly ecclesial. This implies that, in as much as public worship of the Church, the Liturgy of the Hours is removed from the will of the individual and is regulated by the ecclesiastical hierarchy. Moreover, it represents an ecclesial reading of Sacred Scripture, because the Psalms and the biblical readings are interpreted by texts of the Fathers, of the Doctors and of the Councils, as well as by the liturgical prayers composed by the Church herself (cf. CCC, 1177). […] Singing the praises of God, the earthly Church joins herself to the heavenly and prepares to reach her. (Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff. When to Celebrate, no. 4: The Liturgy of the Hours)

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