.- The Italian Vatican analyst Andrea Tornielli wrote this past Saturday on his blog that the recent clarifications by high-ranking Vatican officials do not refute what he stated in a column for the Italian daily Il Giornale on August 22. Tornielli had reported that Pope Benedict XVI is considering various measures to move forward with a liturgical “reform of the reform.”
Both in his column and on his usually well-sourced blog, Tornielli announced on August 22 that the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, led by Cardinal Antonio Canizares, had put forth a series of liturgical reforms—including greater use of Latin in the Mass, the possibility of celebrating the Mass ad orientum at least during the consecration, and a greater emphasis on Communion on the tongue—that were being studied by the Holy Father.
In an apparent response to the report by Tornielli, the vice director of the Holy See’s Press Office, Father Ciro Benedettini, said on August 24, “No institutional proposals currently exist that refer to a modification of the liturgical books.” Additionally, last Friday, in an interview with L’Osservatore Romano, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone called the reports “imaginary.”
According to Tornielli, the denial by Father Benedettini and the comments by Cardinal Bertone were provoked not by his article but “rather, by the manner in which the story was picked up by various blogs, which claimed the ‘reform of the reform’ and the changes to the Mass in a more traditional sense were imminent.”
He said on Saturday that his column referred to “the beginning of work” and not to “imminent reforms or documents already prepared,” adding that both the results of the meeting of the Congregation led by Cardinal Canizares as well as their presentation to the Pope for his consideration are real facts.
“All of this is an attempt to tell people not to believe what I wrote, saying there is nothing happening, that the Pope and the Congregation for Divine Worship are not considering anything, that the ‘reform of the reform’ and the recovery of a greater sense of the sacred in the Liturgy is a false story reported by me,” Tornielli said.
He concluded his blog saying, “Ever since I become a Vatican analyst I have made many mistakes and I will continue to make them, but the article in question, believe me, is not among them.”