Pope Benedict XVI made a low profile but significant move in the direction of liturgical reform by completely renewing the roster of his liturgical advisors yesterday.
A hardly noticed brief note from the Vatican's Press office announced the appointment of new consultants for the office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff. It did not mention, however, the importance of the new appointees.
The new consultants include Monsignor Nicola Bux, professor at the Theological Faculty of Puglia (Southern Italy,) and author of several books on liturgy, especially on the Eucharist. Bux recently finish a new book "Pope Benedict’s Reform," printed by the Italian publishing house Piemme, scheduled to hit the shelves in December.
The list of news consultants includes Fr. Mauro Gagliardi, an expert in Dogmatic theology and professor at the Legionaries of Christ's Pontifical Athenaeum “Regina Apostolorum”; Opus Dei Spanish priest Juan José Silvestre Valor, professor at the Pontifical University of Santa Croce in Rome; Fr. Uwe Michael Lang, C.O., an official of the Congregation for the Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and author of the book "Turning Towards the Lord" -about the importance of facing "ad orientem" during Mass; and Fr. Paul C.F. Gunter, a Benedictine professor at the Pontifical Athenaeum Sant Anselmo in Rome and member of the editorial board of the forthcoming "Usus Antiquior," a quarterly journal dedicated to the Liturgy under the auspices of the Society of St. Catherine of Siena. The Society, which has an association with the English Province of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), promotes the intellectual and liturgical renewal of the Church.
Also relevant to the appointments is the fact that all former consultants, appointed when Archbishop Piero Marini led the office of Liturgical Celebrations, have been dismissed by not renewing their appointments.