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International Liturgical Congress

Robert Mickens - The Tablet - Sun, May 1st 2011

The Pontifical Liturgical Institute (PIL), which Blessed John XXIII founded in 1961 and entrusted to the Benedictines at Sant’Anselmo, celebrates its Golden Jubilee next week. The anniversary will be marked from Wednesday to Friday at an International Liturgical Congress.

Speakers include the Monastery of Bose’s prior, Enzo Bianchi, and Belgium’s Cardinal Godfried Danneels. Spanish Fr Matias Augé, a former professor at the institute who was recently re-appointed to a fourth five-year term as a consultant for the Congregation for Divine Worship (CDW), will speak on “the teaching method of the great masters” of the PIL.

Through his blog, Liturgia Opus Trinitatis, the Rome-based Claretian, 75, tries to promote a “climate of sincere dialogue” by offering respectful and thought-provoking commentary on current topics regarding Catholic worship. It’s a pity that the blog is only in Italian.

The “liturgical warriors” in other linguistic groups could certainly benefit from
Professor Augé’s knowledge and wisdom. In a post last Sunday (“Revolution or Reform within Continuity?”) he pointed out that the Mass of Paul VI was not some novel invention, but “the point of arrival of a lengthy movement of liturgical renewal born between the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries”.

He called it a “robust reform” that must be open to “adjustments, improvements
and corrections”. But he said self-styled traditionalists were wrong to “inappropriately and polemically” claim that the Vatican II liturgy was a “rupture with tradition” that now required a “reform of the reform”.

Fr Augé noted that even the CDW prefect, Cardinal Antonio Cañizares, someone who has been critical of the reform in the past, has gradually “toned down” his remarks.

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