陳樞機在唐高樞機(Cardinal Jozef Tomko)的追思彌撒前及彌撒中的講道

各位兄弟姊妹:

唐高樞機,教廷樞機團最年長的一位,本月八日在羅馬平安逝世,享年98。

唐高樞機生於斯洛伐克(前捷克斯洛伐克),長期在教廷任職。梵二大公會議結束後,教宗創立「主教會議」(Synod of Bishops)任命唐高主教為主管(1979-1985)。更重要的,他任萬民福音部(前傳信部)部長達十六年(1985-2001),退休後又任多年「全球聖體大會委員會」主席(2001-2007)。

教廷在八月十一日為唐高樞機舉行了安息彌撒,教宗親自參與。斯洛伐克教會也在首都的主教座堂,由捷克籍杜卡樞機(Duka)主禮,環繞著唐高樞機的遺體舉行了聖祭。差不多就在現在這時刻唐高樞機會下葬於他故鄉Košice。我會傳信息給Košice教會,讓他們知道我們多麼敬愛這位他們的同鄉。

唐高樞機任傳信部部長正是我們國內教會一個關鍵時刻。他的經驗,他的智慧,他和教宗若望保祿二世及Ratzinger樞機(後來的教宗本篤十六世)深切的友誼,使他,為把我們國內的教會帶上真正合一的道路,作出了良多貢獻(可惜,後來,教廷選擇了另一條路)。

那些年代,我們港、澳、台教會和國內教會很多接觸,尤其是許多去內地修院教書的神父、修女帶了許多訊息給教廷。唐高樞機在絕對維護教會信仰的原則下,非常開明地聽了我們的報告,鼓勵地下教會又體諒地上的忠正信徒。(例如那時上海主教金魯賢,本是非法祝聖的,金主教有許多外國朋友,Clinton及Merkel到上海也要求見他,他每年暑假可以去一個國家,法國、德國、美國……唐高樞機竟然不止一次去那些國家和他秘密見面。)

我們有福曾邀請到唐高樞機來本教區,為神職人員講週年退省道理,後來也出了書“Put out into deep water”《划到深處》(2007)。(想要這本書的,尤其是神職人員,請把姓名及聯絡地址電郵到bishopzen@catholic.org.hk)

雖然他祇大我八歲,但他和我之間幾乎是父子的關係。我每次去羅馬都會去拜訪他。他體魄壯健,我曾應承慶祝他一百歲生日的那天,如果我還在,我會去參與,但他先走了(心急歸回天鄉?)。

前一陣,我在Blog寫過:「生離死別?不離不別」。為有信德的,亡者到了天主身邊,也常在我們身邊,他現在更能明白我們的困境,也更能為我們轉求。


彌撒第一篇讀經,智慧篇:「義人的靈魂在天主手中」。

  • 義人的靈魂就是義人
  • 義人是謙虛信賴天主,服從天主旨意的人
  • 義人效法「羔羊」「受苦的僕人」,效法「善牧」忘己為人
  • 義人在天主手中,在天主懷抱中

福音裡耶穌說:「我是生命,我是復活」。他說了這話就將拉匝祿從墳墓中叫出來,活多了幾年。我信「肉身的復活」。那將是耶穌光榮再來的時候。

昨天是聖母升天大瞻禮,聖母,天主之母,靈魂肉身已升天,求遠在天主的懷抱中,給我們示範了天主的愛的計劃。唐高樞機在羅馬的住所,離伯多祿廣場祇是五分鐘行程,天氣允許時他晚上常在廣場上散步,唸玫瑰經,他在天主和聖母身邊不會忘記我們。

兩位「90後」

在明報副刊「醫法論政」欄看到一篇馬仲儀醫生的文章《兩位「90後」》。前一段講英國人民剛剛慶祝了伊利沙伯二世女皇登基的白金禧,作者描寫這位令人喜愛的長者,最後一句是:「讓人覺得這國家總有一個可倚重的人」。我不禁拍手叫好,我也這樣敬愛這位英國的女皇(希望這並不違犯國安法,也希望沒有人懷疑我主張民主的立場吧)。

但在中段跳出了一個附題:「英女皇與陳日君紛亂時勢中予人心靈慰藉」。我不否認第一個反應是驚喜!有人竟把我和這位我敬愛的女士排在一起。但很快我覺得很尷尬,因為我絕當不起這榮譽。

我對伊利沙伯的敬佩始於她還是公主的時候。那年我到羅馬讀書,慈幼會內有人談起這位英國公主,說她曾不止一次來過羅馬,並拜見了教宗比約十二世,教宗並介紹她參觀一間慈幼會服務貧窮青年的工藝學校,公主也慷慨解囊捐錢給那學校。有人說伊利沙伯曾想信天主教,但教宗勸她不要,因為她若成了天主教徒就不能繼任皇位,教宗說:「妳做了女皇就能幫助更多的人。」在我心目中她一生都是一位聖女。而我呢?我一定要在這裡「爆料」給大家知道天主從一條多麼危險的路上把我救了回來。

我曾給很多人說過我父親是非常虔誠的信徒,天天帶我去參與彌撒,希望我有一天能做神父,小學裡校長神父也很關心宗教教育。

天主教小學畢業時我在全滬天主教小學會考中竟考了第一名,得到奬學金免費入震旦大學的附屬中學。中學的校長神父也很關心我們的宗教教育。但我父親中了風,半身不遂,已不能常陪伴着我了。中日戰爭,上海淪陷,媽媽要照顧有病的丈夫和五個孩子,連解決吃飯的問題也已力不從心。我卻常和一班壞同學到處一起玩,不讀書。

學校門口有人每日推來一架車,有各類食物飲料供學生購買,有同學挑戰誰能偷幾件餅來給大家分享,我竟成功了,當上了「大佬」。可是,不記得是第二次或第三次,失手了,學校記了大過。年尾成績又差,不要說獎學金,連升中二也沒有希望了 。

正當媽媽走頭無路,有一位她的老同學給她說在慈幼會備修院裡可免費讀中學,媽媽硬着頭皮帶我去了那備修院,對接見我們的畢少懷會長坦白的介紹了我說:「他爸爸想他做神父,但他這一年變壞了,使我們很頭痛。如果他在你們這裡不乖,不配做備修生,你告訴我,我立刻來領他回去。」

畢少懷神父的上海話不行,媽媽講話時,有人給他翻譯了,但他似乎不太留心聽,祇是看着站在媽媽背後,低着頭看着他的我。多年後講起這見面禮他竟用馬爾谷福音第十章21節形容它:「耶穌定睛看他,就喜愛他。」他,這位「中華的聖鮑思高」,無條件地接納了我。

兩位90後,一位在皇室成了聖女,一位險些兒做了黑社會的大佬。

為了她,你們要讚美主的偉大,為了他,你們要感謝主的仁慈。

共議同行! Synodality? Anticlericalism?!

去年三月我曾兩次在我的博客批評英文公教報《Sunday Examiner》(下稱SE)轉載UCAN的文章抹黑若望保祿二世和本篤十六世兩位教宗,又於4月轉載UCAN / La Croix International的文章不實地報導教廷信理部的作為。SE負責人並沒有如我的要求作出道歉(讀者如想了解事件,可參考以下附註,到我的博客連結)。

最近SE又再摩拳擦掌,不斷透過社論片面「解釋」今次主教會議的主題:「Synodality(共議同行)」。SE編輯興奮地告訴大家:藉Synodality的精神可以建設一個全新的徹底民主的教會

推動教會內「共議同行」的精神當然是好事,但英文「Synodality」這個字,為那些知道這幾年在德國教會發生什麼事的兄弟姊妹實在帶來很大的憂慮,因為正正是德國教會這幾年用Synodal Path所推行的整套教會革新計劃使很多樞機和主教很不放心,七十四位主教甚至於4月12日撰寫了一封公開信給德國教會主教,表示他們對德國推展Synodal Path的關注和擔心,請他們要謹慎行事,不要以民主名義輕率推翻教會的傳統倫理。

由羅馬發出的,領導討論此主教會議的文獻中竟也說:教會內有一個歷史傳下來的弊病,叫做Clericalism神權主義(神權霸道?)。它是實行Synodality的主要阻礙,需要推翻它。

任何人有權也就會有濫用權威的誘惑,神職的神權亦然,故耶穌曾清楚警告宗徒「就如人子來不是受服事,而是服事人」。但我懷疑並要詰問的是:神職主義這個危機在近代教會內比以前更嚴重嗎?事實上,於大公會議後,各類推行「共議同行」的架構都先後成立,開始了運作,尤其是堂區議會讓神父多一渠道聽取教友意見,教友有更多機會輔助神父擔起領導堂區運作的責任。

德國教會推崇那種絕對民主的Synodality其實也是荷蘭教會於梵二大公會議後所推行的,但這些年來,那類改革並未為荷蘭教會帶來進步,卻帶來極大衰落,按可靠統計,當地天主教徒人數由1960年代的全國人民的四成暴跌至2020年的兩成,荷蘭天主教堂不斷關閉,不少已改變成圖書館或餐廳。

在最近一期6月4日SE的社論《New Pentecost for Roman Curia and the Church》中,論者明顯希望今次主教會議能推翻Clericalism,當中第四段最後一句更如是說:「Does this signal the end of clericalism, of which Pope Francis has always been a strong critic?」但此句於中文《公教報》卻失了蹤,未有被翻譯出來,奇怪不奇怪?

我估計,負責中文《公教報》的兄弟姊妹認為該句說話並不合宜,而公教報中文和英文的社論在如此重要議題上有此分歧,反映出甚麼問題?

尤其我沒有忘記SE累累的前科,包括於去年聖誕前的兩篇社論:

一、12月12日《Christmas is a story of Synodality》其中一句「It (Synodality) is a process of giving up one’s powers, privileges and positions for collectively discerning the mission of the Church」《公教報》中譯題目為《同道偕行的故事》,此句被譯成「它是放棄一己權力、特權和地位,為了共同明辨教會使命的過程」。當然,特權(privileges)實在不必,但神權及神職身份可以放棄嗎?

二、12月19日《A time to partake in washing the feet》中這句「In the new way of being the Church, it is not the clergy but the people of God who are the protagonists」(中譯題目為《這是參與洗腳的時候》,此句被翻譯成「在這個新方式中,教會內的主角不是司鐸而是天主子民」)。但「主角」這詞可有很不同的意義,領導者稱為主角,受關懷者也稱為主角。梵二教會憲章第一章指出教會的主角是天主,第二章指出天主的子民是天主的愛的對象,第三章指出神職領導天主子民。

SE社論不斷闡釋Synodality就是要求神職界放下權能、放下身份,敢問這是否對Synodality的正確理解?信理部屬下的「國際神學小組」於2018年經信理部認同,由教宗批准頒佈的文件「共議同行的真諦」,不是更有權威,更正確,更尊重教會的歷史,更符合教會的聖統信仰?我希望教區當局能清楚解釋此問題並領導我們走上「共議同行」的正確方向。

註:

  1. https://oldyosef.hkdavc.com/?p=1749
  2. https://oldyosef.hkdavc.com/?p=1755

生離死別?不離不別!

我這個blog已靜了七個多月。其實我並沒有作過什麼決定要自動關閉,只是一直覺得似乎還是講少一句更好。

今天提筆寫兩句也不是有什麼重要聲明要宣告,祇是心血來潮想把自己的一個「醒覺」和各位分享。

近來全人類都不免處於生離死別的痛苦中。想大家都見過這樣的一幕:父母帶著小孩子去面對一個陌生的新環境,年老的祖母還是要由親友扶著,陪送他們到機場,多望一眼那一直在她身邊長大的孫兒。「要入閘了!」。孩子們抱著媽媽的腿走向出境處。但一面行一面還是轉頭望著祖母依依不捨。「再見,再見!」……幾時再見呢?祖母等得嗎?

我自然想起70多年前,我十六歲,離開上海來香港,媽媽身體已多病還是要兩位姊姊扶著她送我到碼頭。小船把我和一夥同學送到大船,媽媽留在碼頭上。我入了艙,安置了行李,上到甲板,看到媽媽還在那裡。我們已聽不到對方了,我做手勢示意姊姊們可以帶媽媽回家了,好久她們才離開。我那時相當肯定在香港學習四年後一定會被派回上海服務,哪知那卻是一個世上的永別!

這兩個星期六我們辦了兩件喪事。先是陸華清修士,他已長久住院。初時去探望他,他常唱歌。後來疫情嚴峻了不准探望,不過天主教醫院對主教還是另開一面的。陸修士已不唱歌了,也沒有氣力開眼了,護士會提醒我「主教,不要太接近,主教,不要摸他」。

張志誠神父住院不太久,我沒有探望他,他走了。臨終的病人一定很想有親人在身邊,更好有一隻手讓他握住。

為安全起見我們勸告張神父的許多知己教友不必來參與彌撒,甚至為參與彌撒者也沒有給方便同去墳場。

九十歲生日,我翻看一些舊照「這位不在了,這一位也不在了」「還在的不多了」頗有感觸。

好一段時間,唯一還能做的事是探監。疫情下探監的機會也沒有了。

聖誕節有幸給他們付了洗的,還未能給他們送聖體。為他們、為所有獄中兄弟姊妹、為所有(尤其赤柱Cat. A的)老朋友,我祗有為他們(她們)祈禱了,尤其唸玫瑰經時「聖母瑪利亞,祝福他,保佑她」。

忽然我想起了一個景象,我們的會祖聖若望鮑思高已年老時有一天去探望母佑會一個團體,修女們圍著他,他說「我看見聖母在這裡」;院長修女見鮑思高神父講話很吃力,就幫他說「鮑思高神父要我們記得聖母常照顧、保佑我們」。鮑思高神父說:「不是,我說,聖母在這裡!」院長說:「鮑思高神父要我們想像聖母常在我們身邊」,鮑思高神父不耐煩了,提高了聲音說:「不是,我說的是聖母真在這裡,我見到她在妳們中間走來走去!」

聖母真在我們身邊!」這是我想與大家分享的醒覺。她在我身邊,在您身邊,在所有我記得的人身邊,在所有記得我的人身邊!

不祇是聖母,所有的聖人,所有我們說「已離世的」親人朋友。其實他們從來沒有離世。他們,暫時脫離了肉身的「靈魂」(也就是他們的「人性自我」)已在「天上」,但這「天上」是什麼?並不是在「雲彩上」,是和天主在一起。這在「一起」不是一個物質的地方,在天主內所有天神、聖人也就和我們在一起,整個天堂常在我們身邊,這個「我們」包括所有我們愛的人,愛我們的人。哇,這麼熱鬧?當然啦,沒有任何限聚令能阻止我們!這不是想像,是信德!

當然這一切的基礎是「那……已復活,現今在天主右邊,代我們轉求的基督耶穌……(羅8:34)

「誰能使我們與基督的愛隔絕?是困苦嗎?是窘迫嗎?是迫害嗎?是饑餓嗎?是赤貧嗎?是危險嗎?是刀劍嗎?正如經上所載:『為了你,我們整日被置於死地,人將我們視作待宰的群羊。』然而,靠著那愛我們的主,我們在這一切事上,大獲全勝,因為我深信:無論是死亡,是生命,……或其他任何受造之物,都不能使我們與天主的愛相隔絕,即是與我們的主基督耶穌之內的愛相隔絕。」(羅8:35-39)

高牆鐵窗的內外兩邊,我們還是在一起!

讓我用「Abide with me」那支聖歌中的一節來結束我這分享:

3 – 3     2 | 1 –     5 – |  6    5    5     4 |  3 – – – |

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless,

3 –     4      5 |    6 –      5 –  |4      2     3 #4 | 5 – – – |

Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness,

3  –        3      2     |  1  –     5  –       | 5       4    4    3| 2 – – -|

Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?

2 –  3    4   |  3     2     1     4 | 3 –   2 – |1 – – -|

I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

為什麼他們見到不存在的問題,卻見不到實在的問題,且也是他們有份造成的?

我在2021年6月12日的博文說:『聽說有一份「反對」脫利騰彌撒的文件即將來臨』,這擔憂已成真,而且其所帶來的衝擊並沒有因為早已預期而減輕,文件中許多帶有偏見的論述對相關的人造成的傷痛比預料的更沉重。這些愛好脫利騰彌撒的善良的人,從不曾讓人有半點懷疑他們不接受大公會議的禮儀改革,更從未不接受整個大公會議。此外,他們都是堂區的活躍成員。

我這位樞機及禮儀聖事部前成員竟沒有被邀請參加是次「廣泛」諮詢,實在既感苦澀又驚愕。而且於2007-2009年我仍是香港主教,負責推動執行當時教宗本篤十六世的宗座牧函《歷任教宗》,至今,我仍是本教區內脫利騰彌撒群組的支持者。

由於未見過該份諮詢問卷及其結果,我無從判斷,我祇能懷疑過程中有很多誤解(甚至可能帶有誤導擺佈的成份)。

在閱讀這兩份文件時,我注意到它們 (1) 帶有傾向性地將沿用舊有禮儀(vetus ritus)與不接受新禮儀(novus ritus)兩件事聯繫起來,及(2) 將不接受禮儀改革(其實更多情形是不接受執行新禮儀方式時一些嚴重的弊病)錯誤引導為對大公會議的全盤且徹底的拒絕(其實為那些拒絕大公會議的人,彌撒儀式的選擇只是附屬小問題,教廷在這問題上的讓步也並沒有逆轉這次教會的分裂)。

梵蒂岡高層應該問自己(甚至可能需要進行徹底調查)為什麼拒絕梵二的現象會持續存在,且可能(最近)越見惡化。

問題不在於「人們喜歡什麼儀式」,而是「他們為何不再參與感恩祭」?一些民意調查顯示,歐洲一半基督徒不再相信耶穌在聖體聖事中的實際存在,不再相信永生!我們當然不會將這些結果歸咎於禮儀改革,問題其實更複雜,我們不能迴避的問題是:「是不是缺少了信仰培育?」「大公會議的偉大工作是不是被浪費了?」「以為現在一切都可以改變」難道不就是邪惡的根源?有人不是認為大公會議可以凌駕所有傳統,且認為脫利騰大公會議就像西斯汀教堂那幅《最後的審判》上面的污垢(正如我們教區一位「禮儀專家」所形容)一樣?

該文件不僅指責在執行《歷任教宗》宗座牧函時有人犯了錯誤,更將兩種禮儀的並存視為邪惡。文件第3條的第5及6段及第4、5條不是明顯希望這些小組的死亡嗎?但即使如此,反對拉辛格的教廷權貴難道不可以耐心地等待脫利騰彌撒隨著本篤十六世的去世而告終,而一定要這樣羞辱可敬的榮休教宗呢?

Why do they see problem where there is none and close their eyes to the problem, for which they are also responsible?

Concerns about a ventilated document “against” the Tridentine Mass (see my blog June 12, 2021) have come true, and the blow has been no less severe because it was foreseen, many tendentious generalizations in the documents hurt more than expected the hearts of many good people, who never gave the slightest cause to be suspected of not accepting the liturgical reform of the Council, much less not accepting the Council “Tout court”. Moreover they remain active members in their parishes.

It came as a bitter surprise to me personally that the “widespread” consultation did not reach me, a cardinal and once a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. During the years 2007-2009, moreover, I was bishop of Hong Kong and therefore responsible for the implementation of “Summorum Pontificum”, and until now, a well-known supporter of the group.

Not having known either the questionnaire or the responses to the questionnaire, I cannot judge, but only suspect that there was much misunderstanding (or perhaps even manipulation) in the process.

As I read the two documents I note (1) an incredible ease (or tendentiousness) in linking the desire to use the vetus ritus to the non-acceptance of the ritus novus and (2) in associating the non-acceptance of the liturgical reform (which often concerns mainly the way in which it was carried out with its many serious abuses) with a total and profound rejection of the Council itself (as matter of fact for those who reject the Council the diversity of the rite of the Mass is only a small corollary, so much so that the concession regarding the rite did not reverse the schism).

The Vatican authorities should ask themselves (and perhaps even make a thorough investigation) why the second phenomenon has persisted and perhaps (recently) even worsened.

The problem is not “which rite do people prefer?” but is “why don’t they go to Mass anymore?” Certain surveys show that half of the Christian population in Europe no longer believes in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, no longer believes in eternal life! Certainly we do not blame all this on the liturgical reform, but we just want to say that the problem is much deeper, we cannot evade the question: “Has not the formation of faith been lacking?” “Has not the great work of the Council been wasted?” Isn’t the root of evil that attitude of believing that everything can now be changed? Is it not that attitude of believing that this Council erases all previous ones and that the Tridentine Council is like the dirt accumulated on the “last judgement” of the Sistine Chapel (as a “liturgist” in our diocese put it)?

The Document obviously sees not only irregularities in the execution of Summorum Pontificum, but considers the very existence of a parallel rite to be an evil. Don’t paragraphs § 5 and § 6 of Art 3, Art 4 and 5 clearly wish for the death of the groups? But, even in that case, can’t the anti-Ratzinger gentlemen of the Vatican be patient to allow the Tridentine Mass to die only after the death of Benedict XVI instead of inflicting such humiliation on the venerable Pope Emeritus?

The disciples of Agostino Casaroli are not at all up to the standard of their master

Monsignor (and later Cardinal) A. Casaroli wrote “The Martyrdom of Patience,” I finally read it.

I always knew that he was an exemplary clergyman, a zealous priest (especially on weekends with his boys in the reformatory), but the misdeeds of his disciples aroused in me a negative image of their master. Reading the booklet corrected this image.

Casaroli knew that Vatican Ostpolitik was an impossible business. There is the essential incompatibility between the Catholic faith and communist ideology. The dialogue is only an almost desperate attempt to make some small breach in that almost impregnable wall.

Casaroli accepted an impossible mission, especially because he was swimming in the dark, at that time totalitarian regimes were able to close themselves completely (the iron curtain) and nothing leaked out of that reality of an absolute oppression.

He admired and had great respect for the heroes of the faith such as Card. Mindszenty and Card. Beran, even though he could not completely renounce all dialogue with atheist governments.

The dialogue with Czechoslovakia reached no conclusion, but this was not his fault. On the contrary, it is to his credit that he did not want a conclusion at any cost, when this would mean betraying the principles of faith.

The agreement with Hungary for the nomination of bishops, even if judged by some as too advantageous for the government, but at least formally had not renounced the principles of Catholic Ecclesiology: in fact, the right of initiative in choosing candidates for the episcopate remains in the hands of the Church.

The present Vatican diplomats have instead left the initiative in the hands of the atheist government and the pope has “only” the last word, with the predictable embarrassment of having to veto indefinitely.

There is another important fact: while Casaroli went to dialogue, Paul VI did not give up his right to raise his voice when the other side, while dialoguing, persists in oppressing the Church. Exemplary was the speech at the Catacombs of Domitila, where the Pope said: “The analogies between the Churches that today struggle and barely survive in the countries of the atheist-totalitarian regime with the Church of the ancient Catacombs are all too real.

Obviously this irritated the other side of the dialogue, but the pope did not renounce his right and duty to proclaim the truth, given also that from the dialogue nothing good was forthcoming, and of what ever eventually may be agreed upon there was not much to be trusted, for those who have no other principle of truth than their own gain, the agreements are worth the paper on which they are written.

After a brief interruption they return to dialogue, because it is to their advantage to show the world that even the Vatican trusts them as credible interlocutors.

Today, however, in order to obtain and maintain an agreement, the value of which is not even known (see recent interview with Bishop Gallagher), the Secretariat of State forces the Holy Father to say nothing about the tragic situation in China (especially Xinjiang and Hong Kong).

I discepoli di Agostino Casaroli non sono affatto all’altezza del loro maestro

Monsignor (e poi Cardinale) A. Casaroli ha scritto “Il martirio della pazienza”, l’ho letto finalmente.

Ho sempre saputo che era un ecclesiastico esemplare, un prete zelante (specialmente a fine settimana con i suoi ragazzi del riformatorio), ma i malefatti dei suoi disecpoli hanno suscitato in me un’imagine negativa del loro maestro. La lettura del libretto ha ridimensionato questa imagine.

Casaroli sapeva che l’Ostpolitik Vaticana era un’affare impossible. C’è l’essenziale incompatibilità tra la fede cattolica e l’ideologia comunista. Il dialogo è solo un quasi disperato tentativo di fare qualche piccola breccia in quel muro quasi inespugnabile.

Casaroli ha accettato una missione impossibile, specialmente perchè nuotava nel buio, allora i regimi totalitari erano capaci di chiudersi del tutto (la cortina di ferro) e niente trapelava della realtà di assoluta oppressione.

Egli ammirava ed aveva grande rispetto per gli eroi della fede come Card. Mindszenty e Card. Beran, anche se non poteva rinunciare ad ogni dialogo con i governi atei.

Il dialgo con la Cecoslovachia non riuscì a concludersi, ma ciò non è stato sua colpa, anzi è a suo onore il fatto che non ha voluto avere una conclusione ad ogni costo, quando ciò vorebbe dire tradire i principi di fede.

L’intesa con l’Ungheria per la nomina dei Vescovi, anche se giudicato da qualcuno come troppo vantagioso per il governo, ma almeno formalmente non aveva rinunciato ai principi dell’Ecclesiologia Cattolica: rimane infatti nelle mani della Chiesa il diritto di iniziativa nello scegliere candidati per episcopato.

I presenti diplomatici vaticani hanno invece lasciata l’iniziativa nelle mani del governo ateo ed al papa rimane “solo” l’ultima parola, con il prevedibile imbarazzo di dover dare il veto indefinitamente.

C’è un altro fatto importante: mentre Casaroli va a dialogare, Paolo VI non rinuncia al suo diritto di alzare la voce quando l’altra parte, mentre dialoga, persiste nell’opprimere la Chiesa. Esemplare è stato il discorso alle catacombe di Domitilla, da dove il Papa dice: “Sono fin troppo reali le anologie tra le Chiese che oggi lottano ed a mala pena sopravivono nei paesi di regime ateo-totalitario con la Chiesa delle antiche Catacombe”.

Ovviamente ciò iritò la controparte del dialogo, ma il papa non rinuncia al suo diritto e dovere di proclamare la verità, dato anche che dal dialogo si otteneva niente, e di quel che eventualmente si otteneva non c’era molto da fidarsi, per chi non ha altro principio di verità che la sua utilità, le intese valgono la carta su cui vengono scritte.

Dopo breve interruzione tornano al dialogo, perchè torna a loro vantaggio far vedere al mondo che perfino il Vaticano ha fiducia in loro come interlocutori credibili.

Oggi, invece, per ottenere e mantenere un accordo, di cui non si sa neanche che valore abbia (v. recente intervista di Mons. Gallagher), la Segreteria di Stato obbliga il santo Padre a non dire niente della tragica situazione in Cina (specialmente Xinjiang e Hong Kong).

Perchè vedono problema dove non c’è e si chiudono gli occhi davanti al problema, di cui sono anche essi responsabili?

Le preoccupazioni riguardo un ventilato documento “contro” la Messa Tridentina (v. mio blog 12 giugno 2021) sono avverate, ed il colpo non è stato meno duro perché previsto, molte generalizzazioni tendenziose nei documenti feriscono più del previsto il cuore di tanta gente buona, che mai ha dato la minima causa per essre sospettata di non accettare la riforma liturgica del Concilio e tanto meno di non accettare il Concilio “Tout court”. Inoltre essi rimangono membri attivi nelle loro parrocchie.

A me personalmente è stata una amara sorpresa il fatto che la “capillare” consultazione non sia arrivata a me, un cardinale e gìà membro della Congregazione del culto divino e della disciplina dei Sacramenti. Durante gli anni 2007-2009, poi, ero vescovo di Hong Kong e perciò responsabile dell’esecuzione del “Summorum Pontificum”, e finora, notoriamente sostenitore del gruppo.

Non avendo conosciuto nè il questionario nè le risposte al questionario, non posso giudicare, ma solo sospettare che ci sia stato molto malinteso (o forse anche manipolazione) nel processo.

Da come leggo i due documenti noto (1) una incredibile facilità (o tendenziosità) nel legare il desiderio dell’uso del vetus ritus alla non accettazione del ritus novus e (2) nell’associare la non accettazione della riforma liturgica (che sovente riguarda il modo in cui essa è stata eseguita con i suoi molti gravi abusi) con un totale e profondo rifiuto del Concilio stesso (per i fautori di tale rifiuto la diversità del rito della messa non è che un piccolo corollario, tanto è vero che la concessione riguardo il rito non ha invertito lo scisma).

Le autorità Vaticane dovrebbero domandarsi (e forse anche fare un capillare inchiesta) sul perchè del permanere e forse (recente) aggravarsi del secondo fenomeno.

Il problema non è “quale rito la gente preferisce?”, ma è “perchè non vanno più a Messa?”. Da certe inchieste risulta che la metà del popolo cristiano in Europa non crede più nella reale presenza di Gesù nella Eucaristia, non crede più nella vita eterna! Certamente non diamo la colpa alla riforma liturgica, ma si vuol solo dire che il problema è molto più profondo, non si può evadere la questione: “Non è forse mancata la formazione della fede?” “Non è forse stato sprecato il grande lavoro del Concilio?” La radice del male non è forse quell’attitudine di credere che ormai tutto si può cambiare? Non è forse quell’attitudine di credere che questo Concilio cancella tutti i precedenti e che il Concilio Tridentino sia come la sporcizia accumalata sull’affresco della Cappella Sistina (come ha affermato un “liturgista” nella nostra diocesi)?

Il Documento ovviamente non vede solo dei disordini nell’esecuzione del Summorun Pontificum, ma considera un male la stessa esistenza di un rito parallelo. I paragrafi § 5 e § 6 dell’art 3, l’art. 4 e 5 non auspicano chiaramente la morte dei gruppi? Ma, anche con questo, i signori anti-Ratzinger del Vaticano non possono pazientare che la Messa Tridentina muoia insieme con la morte di Benedetto XVI invece di umiliare in questo modo il venerando Papa Emerito?

What is the harm in making the extraordinary form of the Roman rite accessible to all?

I have read in the newspapers quite worrying news about possible restrictions to the celebration of the Tridentine Mass (what we now call the extraordinary form of the Roman rite).

I want to make it clear that I cannot be considered an extremist of this liturgical form and that I have worked actively, as a priest and as a bishop, for the liturgical reform after Vatican II, also trying to curb excesses and abuses, which unfortunately have not been lacking in my diocese. So I will not be accused of factiousness. But I cannot deny, in my experience in Hong Kong, the much good that has come from the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum and from the celebration of the Tridentine Mass. There is a faithful group here that for decades has participated in this form that comes to us from the liturgical riches of our Tradition, a group that has never created problems for the diocese and whose participants have never questioned the legitimacy of the renewed Mass. In the community that participates in the extraordinary form in Hong Kong, many young people have passed through, who through this Mass have rediscovered the sense of adoration and reverence that we owe to God, our Creator.

I have worked for liturgical reform, as I have said, but I cannot forget the Mass of my childhood, I cannot forget when as a child in Shanghai my father, a devout Catholic, took me to Mass every day and on Sundays he made me attend five Masses! I felt such reverence, I was so fascinated (and still am!) by the beauty of Gregorian chant, that I think that experience nourished my vocation to the priesthood, as it did for so many others. I remember the many Chinese faithful (and I don’t think all of them knew Latin…) participating in these liturgical ceremonies with great enthusiasm, just as I can now witness in the community that participates in the Tridentine Mass in Hong Kong.

The Tridentine Mass is not divisive; on the contrary, it unites us to our brothers and sisters of all ages, to the saints and martyrs of every time, to those who have fought for their faith and who have found in it inexhaustible spiritual nourishment.

(Translation by Bree A. Dail)