Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has broken his silence by writing the afterword of the German edition of Cardinal Sarah’s bestseller The Power of Silence.
In the line of fire are certain “specialists” on the liturgy recently named members of the Congregation for Divine Worship that “dilute the Word in verbosity”.
On May 24, the German edition of Cardinal Robert Sarah’s book The Power of Silence will be published, a bestseller in recent months. For the occasion, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wrote an afterword that defends the idea of a liturgical reform based on silence and adoration.
What could at first glance seem to be a gesture of good will towards a prelate who made no secret of his affection and esteem for the German pope, is actually a courageous stance.
To understand what is at stake, it is worth quoting the entire final paragraph of Benedict XVI’s afterword:
We should be grateful to Pope Francis for appointing such a spiritual teacher as head of the congregation that is responsible for the celebration of the liturgy in the Church. With the liturgy, too, as with the interpretation of Sacred Scripture, it is true that specialized knowledge is necessary. But it is also true of the liturgy that specialization ultimately can talk right past the essential thing unless it is grounded in a deep, interior union with the praying Church, which over and over again learns anew from the Lord himself what adoration is. With Cardinal Sarah, a master of silence and of interior prayer, the liturgy is in good hands.
The Pope Emeritus, who has been very discrete since his resignation, is stepping into the arena to defend Cardinal Sarah who seems to be even more isolated since the latest nominations to the Congregation for Divine Worship, that has seen the return of – among other “specialists” pointed out by Benedict XVI – Archbishop Piero Marini, John Paul II’s former master of ceremonies and a close friend of Annibale Bugnini, the architect of the Novus Ordo Missae.
Remember, too, that the current Sovereign Pontiff, when questioned last year about Cardinal Sarah’s letter encouraging priests to celebrate Mass ad orientem on the first Sunday of Advent, did not see fit to support the Prefect of the Liturgy’s initiative. This afterword has the merit of revealing that the Pope Emeritus continues to care about the Church and that the liturgical question still remains in his eyes the heart of the crisis the Church founded by Jesus Christ on Peter and his successors is undergoing today.
Thus does the final exhortation of the founder of the Society of St. Pius X at his priestly jubilee in 1979 continue to apply today:
For the glory of the Most Blessed Trinity, for the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the devotion of the most Blessed Virgin Mary, for the love of the Church, for the love of the pope, for the salvation of souls, keep this testament of Our Lord Jesus Christ! Keep the sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ! Keep the Mass of all time!
Sources: imedia/ First Things/La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana – FSSPX.News 5/22/17