I like this very much

From John Allen’s 1999 profile.

Ratzinger is also, by most accounts, genuinely pious. Those who have traveled with him tell stories of watching him steal away to pray the breviary. The liturgy is an abiding concern for him. Ratzinger raised eyebrows when he said in 1997 that the way Paul VI imposed the new Mass after Vatican II created a “tragic breach” in the tradition.

“I am convinced that the crisis in the church that we are experiencing today is to a large extent due to the disintegration of the liturgy …” he wrote, arguing that too much about the new rite had been dreamed up at the desks of experts and forced on the church. In a 1998 interview, he said he hoped for a new generation of bishops who would restore Latin to the liturgy and curb the “wild excesses” of the post-conciliar era.

Such plain-spoken comments outrage some, but Vaticanologists give Ratzinger credit for having the courage of his convictions. It is a refreshing contrast, they say, from the ambiguous diplomatic language in which curialists normally couch their pronouncements.

His bluntness is more than a matter of personal style. It reflects Ratzinger’s deep commitment to — some might say, obsession with — truth.

Yes, by all means, let us pray…MORE…and let us recover some of the beauty of the liturgy, lost all these decades to the stubborn idea that anything “new” must be better than what came before.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Fred J Harris

    My heart almost stopped when I read
    “disintigration of the liturgy”, how
    I long for that old time liturgy.

  • Sharkman

    Please count me as one “obsessed with the truth.”

  • Jake

    I CONCUR, Fred J Harris!! And I am a fairly recent convert!! Beauty will save the world!!

  • http://trkallen.typepad.com/worship_naked tracey

    A., Seems like an interesting confluence of events on this date: The 11th anniversary of the evil of Waco, the 10th anniversary of the evil of Oklahoma City, and, today, the election of a new pope whose name means “speaking good to others,” as you said; whose name, I’ve heard said, is indicative of a “move toward *peace*.” What is it about this date? Just thought it was an interesting juxtaposition. (But maybe it’s just me …)

  • http://thomasfortoday.blogspot.com Sr Lorraine

    The patron saint of Europe is Benedict the founder of the Benedictines. He wasn’t a pope.

  • peggy


    I was thinking along the same lines. Just moments before the great announcement, I was thinking about OKC and marvelling, if that’s the right word, at how painful the memories still are even after ten years and so many horrors in between then and now. I think OKC was when I lost my innocence about the world.

    So here I go from the depths of sad memories and thoughts of those precious lives lost, particularly the children, to the heights of joy and delight all in one day. Maybe April 19th by itself is not significant, but this April 19th and those other two certainly make it so.

    From now on I’ll have some happy memories to go with the sad. Its a bittersweet day and its theme both in OKC and in Rome is hope for the future and strength to stand on the goodness that we believe in.

    I’m all for linking these two events on this day. I might even go so far as to give it a special name eventually.

    My creative juices just aren’t working at the moment so I can’t think of any rigth now.

  • WJN

    I’m so glad I left this church a long time ago, yet I still have a fondness for the progressive wing. My sympathy goes out to Catholic progressives ground under the heel of the former Grand Inquisitor and new Pope.

  • TheAnchoress

    Sr. Lorraine, yes. I am more and more inclined toward thinking that our new pope has taken his name not – as John Allen strangely implied, because he thinks he will have a short reign – but for the Father of Western Monasticism.

    Perhaps I feel this because I am a Benedictine, myself. But I think B16 is perhaps going to take his cue from that first Benedict, not a “pope”, but a Father.

  • http://trkallen.typepad.com/worship_naked tracey

    Well, Peggy, I just threw some thoughts up there; you said it far better than I. When you come up with it, I’d be interested in hearing your special name. It’s a lovely, hopeful idea.

  • Jake

    OK ,please forgive me. But is our newly pope going to be the B-16 bomber of heresy and relativism, and at the same time the peacekeeper, helping to keep the B-16′s grounded?? Hope this comment might evoke a few “Hmmm’s” and nods amid the groans and eyerolls. :)

  • http://classicallyeducated.blogspot.com Joi

    Hooray for maybe being able to hear a Latin Mass once in awhile!

    I saw a sign up on my college campus the other day that said “Latin worship!” I got extremely excited…until I realized they meant “Latin American Music.”


  • Mena

    “I’m so glad I left this church a long time ago, yet I still have a fondness for the progressive wing. My sympathy goes out to Catholic progressives ground under the heel of the former Grand Inquisitor and new Pope.”

    Wow, I’m glad you left the church, too! Just kidding. But honestly, no one forces anyone to be Catholic. So if you’re “pro choice” you certainly can’t blame the Pope for what his people choose, right? Anyone can walk out the door and not look back if they want to. Jesus doesn’t force anyone to follow Him. No one will be ground under a heel without their own willingness to be ground. Yay for choice? LOL