Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Transcript of Cardinal Ratzinger Interview

With Raymond Arroyo on EWTN

From EWTN - Document Library - www.ewtn.com:

Raymond: "Will we see a return to the ad orientem posture, facing the East, the priest facing away from the people during the Canon, a return to the Latin, more Latin in the Mass?

Cardinal: Versus orientem, I would say could be a help because it is really a tradition from the Apostolic time, and it’s not only a norm, but it’s an expression also of the cosmical dimension and of the historical dimension of the liturgy. We are celebrating with the cosmos, with the world. It’s the direction of the future of the world, of our history represented in the sun and in the cosmical realities. I think today this new discovering of our relation with the created world can be understood also from the people, better than perhaps 20 years ago. And also, it’s a common direction – priest and people are in common oriented to the Lord. So, I think it could be a help. Always external gestures are not simply a remedy in itself, but could be a help because it’s a very classical interpretation of what is the direction of the liturgy. Generally, I think it was good to translate the liturgy in the spoken languages because we will understand it; we will participate also with our thinking. But a stronger presence of some elements of Latin would be helpful to give the universal dimension, to give the possibilities that in all the parts of the world we can see “I am in the same Church.” So generally, popular language is … "

I find this question and answer rather insightful, mostly because he doesn't answer it with any reference to the institutional church:

Raymond: What would you say to the faithful, who in the United States are so despondent at this hour, and not sure who to look to? What would you say to them?

Cardinal: Yes. On the one hand, look to the Lord is the first point. He is always present and He’s always near to us. Look also to the saints of all the times, and so find in our times the saints. The humble, faithful persons are present, perhaps not so visible because they are not appearing on the television. But the humble, praying people are present today and this is a confidence of the Church and of all our people find these people, finds that with all the problems of today, the Church has not disappeared; but is continuing, especially in not so visible personalities. So, I think this is essential – find the Lord, find the saints of the times, but also find the not canonized, simple persons who are really in the heart of the Church.