Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Bishop Lynch Again, This Time its the Liturgy

From News & Views - March 2005 Adoremus Bulletin:

"'I wonder when and where the current movement backward in liturgy will end and lead', said Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg in his speech to the national meeting of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions (FDLC) held in Orlando, Florida, in October.

Bishop Lynch, who worked at the US bishops' conference from the early 1970s, and was associate and general secretary of conference from 1984 until 1995 when he became bishop of St. Petersburg, recalled the 'courage and resolve' of liturgical reformers working in the conference, who 'courageously fought for proper liturgical implementation of the controlling documents, often refusing to take no as the first response from the Roman congregations and ultimately winning the day with a variety of prefects and congregational staff'.

Continuing his reminiscence, Bishop Lynch said that the conference's liturgical staff 'were supported by an episcopacy with both backbone and resolve. Your speaker yesterday, Abbot Cuthbert [Johnson], was a staff member of the Congregation [for Divine Worship] at the time with whom we occasionally did 'holy' battle. They were good days'.

Speaking of the bishop's authority to govern the liturgy in his diocese, Bishop Lynch said, 'I would understand that it is my duty to find the middle between the law and proper liberation from the law which might allow for cultural or local adaptations which are not in strident disagreement with the law'. The bishop deplores 'pontificalism', the 'sin of symbolic and ceremonial excess', but says he does not hear of much pontificalism in his diocese. And he adds his voice to those who object to 'Vatican interference':