Vatican: Pope Not Seeking to Restrict Liturgy Reform

Says Media Reports Have “No Foundation”

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 11, 2011 ( The Vatican is denying reports that Benedict XVI seeks to reorganize the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments with the goal of restricting the liturgical renewal promoted by the Second Vatican Council.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, acknowledged Wednesday that the Pope has been working on a “motu proprio” that concerns the congregation, but that it is limited to transferring a “legal-technical competence, such as dispensation from a ‘ratified and non-consummated marriage,'” from the congregation to the Roman Rota.

The spokesman added that “there is no foundation or reason to see in this an intention to promote a ‘restrictive’ type control by the congregation over the promotion of the liturgical renewal desired by the Second Vatican Council.” 

Andrea Tornielli, a Vatican observer for the Italian daily Il Giornale, reported on his blog Wednesday that Benedict XVI is set to publish a document in the next few weeks that would entrust to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments “the task of promoting a liturgy more faithful to the original intentions of Vatican II, with less room for arbitrary changes, and for the recovery of a dimension greater sacredness.”

In his posting, he noted that the transference of the competence to address matters on non-consummated marriages would leave the congregation free to focus soley on issues concerning the liturgy.

At present, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, according to the apostolic constitution “Pastor Bonus,” has as one of its competencies the examination of “the fact of non-consummation in a marriage and the existence of a just cause for granting a dispensation. It receives all the acts together with thevotum of the bishop and the remarks of the defender of the bond, weighs them according to its own special procedure, and, if the case warrants it, submits a petition to the Supreme Pontiff requesting the dispensation.” 

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