As reported in Katholisches – Magazin für Kirche und Kultur, a close coworker of Pope Benedict XVI in the “reform of the reform” of the liturgy, Fr. Uwe Michael Lang, has ceased his duties within the Vatican and returned to his religious order, the Oratory, in London.
Fr. Lang, a native of Germany, was born in 1972. He joined the Catholic Church in 1997, joined the Oratory of St. Philipp Neri in Vienna in 1999, and has belonged to the London Oratory since 2002. The Oratorians in England and Vienna (unlike those in Germany) promote the pre-Vatican II Latin Mass.
Fr. Lang was first called to the Roman curia in 2007, and has worked in the Congregation for Divine Worship since 2008, when Pope Benedict named him a consultor for the office of liturgical celebrations of the Pope. Since 2008 he has taught at the papal university of the Legionaries of Christ in Rome, Regina Apostolorum, and in the year 2011-2012 he also lectured at the Papal Institute for Christian Archeology in Rome.
Fr. Lang has written extensively on the liturgy. His 2003 book Conversi ad Dominum. Zu Geschichte und Theologie der christlichen Gebetsrichtung (English, 2005: “Turning Towards the Lord: Orientation in Liturgical Prayer”) has a foreword written by then-cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. The book advocates that the priest face the same direction as the congregation for Mass, i.e. toward the back wall, rather than the common postconciliar practice of facing the people.
Nothing is known about the reason for Fr. Lang’s departure. As his call to Rome was heartily greeted by traditionalist circles, his return to London has been met with regret.