Friday, November 23, 2007

How's this for traditionalism?

In which Pope Benedict XVI makes conservative Catholics quite happy:

After reintroducing the Latin Tridentine Mass, the Pope wants to widen the use of Gregorian chant and baroque sacred music.

In an address to the bishops and priests of St Peter's Basilica, he said that there needed to be "continuity with tradition" in their prayers and music.

He referred pointedly to "the time of St Gregory the Great", the pope who gave his name to Gregorian chant.

Gregorian chant has been reinstituted as the primary form of singing by the new choir director of St Peter's, Father Pierre Paul.

I guess it's a little weird that someone who enjoys both punk and metal would welcome this move, but as a firm traditionalist, I loudly applaud the Pope's efforts. Removing Latin from the Mass has been disastrous; the holy sacrifice of the mass now looks a Protestant communion service. Any move to remove Rome from the world is a good one; these latest two are doubly so as they also allow the Church to draw from Her reservoirs of tradition.

Both Christ and his Church are "beauty, ever ancient, ever new", in St. Augustine's wonderful phrase. While some of the new developments, the Theology of the Body for instance, call to mind an institution which is not out of touch with the times--whatever that means--others, like the Church's insistence on fighting a war on just grounds, demonstrate that this ancient institution has much in they way of wisdom from centuries past.

Three cheers for Benedict's reforms! May God grant the Church a much needed rebirth.

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