Versailles, oct. 14 (CWNEWS.COM) Cardinal of Chicago has given his clear support for the use of the Tridentine-rite liturgy. In a preface written for a collection produced by the international Committee for Liturgical Studies (CIEL), Cardinal George has referred to the Missal of St Pie V as “a precious source of liturgical understanding for all other rites,” and said that the pre-concilliar liturgy should be “better accepted”. The work by CIEL, a Versailles-based organisation faithful to the traditional liturgy, was published in France.


Several months after Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos celebrated a Tridentine Mass at the Roman basilica of St Mary Major, cardinal George said that the church has reached “a moment of considerable importance” for the future of the traditional liturgy and thus for CIEL. He pointed out that Pope John Paul II has repeatedly mentioned the beauty and depth of the traditional Mass.


A broader use of the old liturgy, the Chicago archbishop continued, should be more than a “nostalgic revival”. The authorized use of the Tridentine rite, he explained, should be encouraged because the old liturgy “belonged to the entire church” as part of the patrimony of the faith.


The American prelate made reference in his preface to a forthcoming Vatican document on liturgical norms, which is expected to appear sometime late this year or early in 2004. (A draft version of the document, which sets out clear norms for the proper celebration of the Eucharistic liturgy, was rejected by the Roma Curia, apparently because it was judged too strict; a corrected draft is expected soon.) Cardinal George said that the new norms should help to foster greater devotion to the Eucharist. He expressed the hope that “we are at the dawn of a truly fruitful renewal for the liturgy of the Catholic Church.”


In his preface, Cardinal George indicates his support for those Catholics who are attached to the traditional liturgy. He also appeals to the Catholics who have become separated from the Holy See since the Lefebvriste schism of 1988. Relations between the different branches of the traditionalist movement are generally more cordial in the U S than in Europe, where tensions are more pronounced. Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez, the former prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship liturgy. On November 22, the Chilean prelate will celebrate Mass using the Missal of St Pie V in St Cecilla’s parish in Rome, as part of a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the motu propriu Tra le Sollecitudini, a work by St Pie X devoted to sacred music.