The bishop emeritus of Graz, Bishop Egon Kapellari, spoke out against the “Reform of the Reform,” Austrian national radio reports. The occasion was a liturgy commemorating the death of Pius Parsch, the pioneer of the people’s liturgical movement. The liturgy was at Klosterneuburg, Parsch’s home as an Augustinian canon.

“I am convinced that there cannot and will not be a general change of the ‘Ordinary Form’ of the Roman Catholic Church as renewed after the Council,” Kapellari said.

Referring to Benedict XVI’s 2007 decision to allow any priest to use the unreformed, pre-Vatican II rite, Kapellari stressed that the two rites, old and new, “should not, indeed may not be mixed together.”

“But one could and should, on both sides, learn some things from one another,” he said. Both sides should “renounce unjust generalizations and polemics.” This is the only way it will be possible to avoid divisions in the Church and not lose “the true and good intentions of the liturgical movement.”

Heilige ZeichenInstead of a “Reform of the Reform,” Kapellari advocates rediscovering the value of a worthy “ars celebrandi,” i.e., the art of celebrating.

He stated that the art of the liturgy is not to be found in a “pronounced liturgical activism,” but rather in “solid preaching, cultivated sacred music in which the worshiping assembly is involved not only by listening, and an attentive treatment of the dramaturgy of the liturgy and its sacred symbols.” Kapellari is the author of Heilige Zeichen: in Liturgie und Alltag (“Sacred Symbols: in Liturgy and Daily Life ”).

Kapellari spoke of a balanced rhythm of “rest and movement” in the liturgy. One should by all means prevent a “tendency toward horizontalism.”

Bishop Kapellari praised Pius Parsch and his legacy as a living treasture of the Church: “His engagement for the people’s liturgical movement is a high point of the entire history of the Klosterneuburg religious house.” Through the Second Vatican Council, this became “a concern of the entire universal Church.”

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