.- The prefect for the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, Cardinal Francis Arinze, has said that Pope Benedict XVI may consider moving the sign of peace to before the offertory, âin order to create a moment of reflection while we prepare for communion.â
In an interview with the LâOsservatore Romano on the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood, Cardinal Arinze explained that âa different placement of the sign of peaceâ is under consideration. âOften the full significance of this gesture is not understood. It is seen as an occasion to shake the hands of our friends, when in reality it is a way of saying to the one next to us that the peace of Christ, truly present on the altar, is also for all mankind.â
âIn order to create a more meditative atmosphere as we prepare for Communion, moving the sign of peace to the offertory is being considered. The Pope has consulted the bishops, and later he will decide,â Arinze explained.
Cardinal Arinze later explained that his dicastery âis not a sort of âecclesiasticalâ police or âintervenerâ for every problem. The dicastery was created first of all to promote divine worship,â although âwe certainly cannot close our eyes to objectively problematic situations,â he added.
âThe 2004 document Redemptoris Sacramentum points out that many of the liturgical abuses âare not due to ill will but rather ignorance. Some just donât know, but they also donât know they are ignoring something. They donât know, for example, that words and gestures have roots in the tradition of the Church. Thus they think they are being more original and creative by changing these texts and gestures. In response to this situation, it is necessary to reaffirm that the liturgy is sacred and is the public prayer of the Church.â