DAILY CATHOLIC     MONDAY     October 12, 1998     vol. 9, no. 199

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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          VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Speaking to a group of bishops from the United States who were making their ad limina visit today, Pope John Paul II said that reforms within the Church-- particularly the liturgical reforms begun by Vatican II-- must be anchored in tradition. He said that theological training should be similarly grounded in "sufficient familiarity with the patristic tradition."

          The Holy Father was meeting with bishops from the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska. He said that misunderstandings about "the true nature of the liturgy" have given rise to "deviations, which lead to abuses, polarization, and sometimes even grave scandals."

          The challenge of liturgical reform, the Pope said, is to find a "point of equilibrium" among the tensions within the liturgy-- which is, at the same time, "local and universal, temporal and eternal, horizontal and vertical, subjective and objective." The answer to that challenge, he continued, can be found in "returning more deeply into the dimension of contemplative adoration."

          The fundamental dispositions of the faithful participating in the liturgy, he said, must be "faith, reverence, and adoration." So while he encouraged "active" and "conscious" participation by the laity, he cautioned that their demeanor should include "silence," "calm," and "listening." There is no need for constant noise and action in the liturgy, he said; nor is there a need "to make explicit what is implicit."

          The Pope emphasized the importance of liturgical guidelines, and the responsibility of the priest in his representation of Jesus Christ. "The priest--who is the servant of the liturgy, not its inventor or producer-- has a special responsibility in this respect," he stressed.

          The Vatican Council, the Pope continued, had based its plans for liturgical reform on the understanding that it would be guided by Catholic tradition. The teachings of the Council involve a return to patristic sources, to the words of Scripture, and to theological and moral traditions. The same sources, he said, should-- along with the Catechism of the Catholic Church-- provide much of the material for homilies.

          Afterwards, Pope John Paul II issued a statement condemning every form of "exploitation of workers," and urged Catholics to work "with greater clarity and determination" to ease the plight of immigrants.

          The Pope's statement was delivered to participants in an international conference on migrants and immigrants, organized by the Pontifical Council for Migrants.

          The problem of migration is a complex one, the Pope acknowledged. Countries which have applied more stringent controls on immigration have found themselves flooded with illegal entries, who are often forced to live in "difficult conditions" precisely because of their illegal status.

          The factors contributing to emigration are also diverse, including warfare and persecution as well as economic necessity and social disruptions of various kinds. The Pope also mentioned discrimination, "irrational industrialization" and "galloping corruption" as trends which accelerate the desire to leave one's native country. He called for "rapid action" to correct the economic tendencies which allow powerful individuals to manipulate the marketplaces of less developed countries.

          One clearly negative factor in the process of economic globalization, the Pope continued, is "the system of production based on the logic of exploitation of workers." He expressed his fears that workers in the least developed countries could be "reduced to the condition of new 'serfs of the world.'" He lamented that "the human dimension of work is nearly neglected" in this process of exploitation.

Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

October 12, 1998       volume 9, no. 199


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