This is interesting, provocative and important.
The New Liturgical Movement website links to an article that appeared in an Italian paper, il Giornale, which it, in turn, hastily translates. It also links a smoother translation appearing on the website Rorate Caeli.
What the article reports may be wrong, may be exaggerated, may come to far less than it may seem; it will surely cause a stir if it's even somewhat true. It has to do with possible changes in the ordinary form of the Mass--that is, the newer form of the Mass, as revised following Vatican II.
Here is an excerpt, as it appears at Rorate Coeli:
ROME The document was delivered to the hands of Benedict XVI in the morning of last April 4 by Spanish Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship. It is the result of a reserved vote, which took place on March 12, in the course of a "plenary" session of the dicastery responsible for the liturgy, and it represents the first concrete step towards that "reform of the reform" often desired by Pope Ratzinger.*
The Cardinals and Bishops members of the Congregation voted almost unanimously in favor of a greater sacrality of the rite, of the recovery of the sense of eucharistic worship, of the recovery of the Latin language in the celebration, and of the remaking of the introductory parts of the Missal in order to put a stop to abuses, wild experimentations, and inappropriate creativity.
They have also declared themselves favorable to reaffirm that the usual way of receiving Communion according to the norms is not on the hand, but in the mouth. There is, it is true, and indult which, on request of the [local] episcopates, allows for the distribution of the host [sic] also on the palm of the hand, but this must remain an extraordinary fact.
The "Liturgy Minister" of Pope Ratzinger, Cañizares, is also having studies made on the possibility to recover the orientation towards the Orient of the celebrant, at least at the moment of the eucharistic consecration, as it happened in practice before the reform, when both the faithful and the priest faced towards the Cross and the priest therefore turned his back to the assembly.
A few things to say:
> Note that this refers to something that happened in April--four months ago. These things move slowly. Currently, the U.S. bishops, along with bishops of all other English-speaking countries, are working with Rome on finalizing an approved, new, English translation of the Mass. This process has moved at the pace of a glacier, and is still not finished. God willing, a couple more years and maybe it'll finally be finished; and that I would not bet on!
Yet the Church, moving slowly, still moves.
I have no idea if anything will come of this. No doubt there will be those who will react very badly to this. They have reacted badly to the steps I've taken in some of these matters, although even my worst critics will have to admit, I haven't gone as far as some of these suggestions.
Still, it should be noted that the pope has definitely made moves in this direction in the liturgy. There can be no doubt at all that this is where he believes the Church must go; the question is, how does he intend to proceed? What is he prepared to mandate, what is prepared to suggest, what is he prepared to wait for patiently?
> I think it's very important that all Catholics, including all the members of our Piqua parishes, be aware of this.
I'll be totally upfront: I am making this known because I am well aware of folks who aren't happy by my approach to the liturgy. And I genuinely agonize over this, because I have no desire at all to cause them any pain, and yet how can I ignore the pope and bishops? How can I ignore what is so plain from the documents of Vatican II? I lack the skill, thus far anyway, to proceed on this without some folks being pained and disturbed; my hope is that it might help at least for people to see for themselves I am not making this up, this is not my wild idea.
> We must be patient.
There are those who want the pope, the bishops, and priests, to bull ahead, without any consideration of the feelings or reactions of those who do not see such changes as these as helpful. They find my small steps insignificant, even as those who object see them as huge changes. Once again, I really am trying to imitate Pope Benedict and follow his lead, making some changes, proposing others and using example rather than mandate, and proceeding patiently and methodically.
> What will I do as pastor? I'm going to continue talking about this, trying to apply the Church's norms in our liturgy, try to be no less nor no more flexible than a good pastor should be, try to address areas needing improvement in a way that is neither too abrupt, nor too pusillanimous.
Please pray that we will all work together in the right spirit: dying to self and following the lead of the Holy Spirit, as He guides us in His Church, through Peter in particular.
* Although this sounds odd, apparently this is a common way of referring to the pope in the Italian press and not meant disrespectfully.
Someone asked the pope's spokesman about this, and got what I'd call a qualified denial, which may mean (a) there's nothing to this; (b) the story may be accurate but incomplete; (c) the pope is looking at it but hasn't made known any decisions; (d) the Vatican wants to tamp down speculation about this for various reasons, one of which may be that whatever happens may be awhile.
I am reading about it, but don't have time to write about it. If you follow the links above, you can tap into what those sites are doing with it...