In texts read at a Vatican press conference, two curial officials and the rector of the Pontifical Lateran University paid tribute to the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.
The press conference came a week before the start of a February 18-20 symposium devoted to the fiftieth anniversary of Sacrosanctum Concilium, which was issued in December 1963.
In a text read by the undersecretary of his congregation, Cardinal
Antonio Cañizares Llovera, prefect of the Congregation for Divine
Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, said that “to know, read,
explore and interpret faithfully this Council, in the unity and
integrity of the whole, is an enormous task for the Church” in light of
the needs of the new evangelization.
Cardinal Cañizares said that Sacrosanctum Concilium outlined the
purposes of the council, which ultimately are ordered to the Church’s
vocation to holiness and the Church’s mission for the salvation of
The Council, he added, called for a “more informed,
participatory, and active celebration of the paschal mystery of Christ”
for the sake of “holiness, communion, and mission.”
Citing Venerable Paul VI and Pope Benedict XVI, the prelate said that by
issuing the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy before its other
documents, the council fathers emphasized the primacy of God.
emphasis, manifest in divine worship, is “the most effective response
and the supreme and fundamental priority of the Church” in the face of
the loss of the sense of God.
Archbishop Arthur Roche, the congregation’s secretary, then offered an overview of the content of Sacrosanctum Concilium
and the upcoming symposium. Calling for the cultivation of “the
authentic experience of ecclesial prayer,” he said that the fiftieth
anniversary of the constitution offers an occasion for an examination of
conscience: only a “praying Church,” following the example of the
apostles at Pentecost, can give witness to the world.
Finally, a professor at the Pontifical Lateran University read a text
prepared by Bishop Enrico dal Covolo, the university’s rector. Citing
Pope Benedict and Pope Francis, the prelate expressed gratitude for Sacrosanctum Concilium.
Stating that “the liturgy is the place for ecclesial communion,” he then
lamented divisions related to the liturgy: some, he said, “tend to
raise their voices too much, to wish that one’s ideas prevail over those
of others,” and some “act independently of the mystery of Mother
Church” -- a likely reference to the Society of St. Pius X.
Covolo also highlighted the “intrinsic link between the liturgical
celebration and the mission of evangelization and the testimony of the