16 October 2007


Res Ipse Loquitor

Emphasis mine
comments mine

VATICAN CITY, OCT 13, 2007 (VIS) - This morning, Benedict XVI visited the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, the headquarters of which has recently been completely refurbished, at the initiative of the Holy See and thanks to the support of various benefactors including the "Fondazione pro Musica Sacra e Arte Sacra."

At his arrival, the Pope was welcomed by Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education and chancellor of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, and by Msgr. Valentin Miserachs Grau, president of the institute. The Holy Father paused a few moments before the Blessed Sacrament in the institute's church before moving on to the library, which has also been restored recently.

In his brief address Benedict XVI highlighted the fact that sacred music, as Vatican Council II had made clear, "is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art. The main reason for this pre-eminence is that, as sacred song united to the words, it forms a necessary or integral part of the solemn liturgy." Unfortunately, with Haugen, Haas and the SLJ being inculcated 30 years ago, some will no doubt think this statement refers to them, and not to the centuries of Sacred Music that came before them, that unfortunately, have been thrown on the dust heap to make room for the above named hacks,

John Paul II, said Pope Benedict, "observed that today, as always, three characteristics distinguish sacred music: its 'sanctity,' its 'true art,' and its 'universality,' in other words the fact that it can be presented to any people or assembly. I would love it if someone could point out to me the "sanctity, and true art of say "Gather Us In" or "Mass of Creation." So far the only argument I have heard to keep using the Mass of Creation is that everyone knows it, which I cannot deny, but the whole sanctity and true art doesn't apply, IMHO, to any folk music.

"Precisely for this reason," he added, "the ecclesial authorities must undertake to guide ... the development of such an important form of music, not by 'freezing' its heritage but by seeking to combine the legacy of the past with the worthwhile novelties of the present, so as to achieve a synthesis worthy of the exalted mission [sacred music] has in the service of God. "exalted mission- It is very difficult to consider anything "folk" as exalted. "Folk" by its very definition denotes a "of the human, or the ordinary", whereas 'sacred' is to be exalted/raised above the ordinary. 'Sacred' literally means "set apart". How in the world are the two complementary?

"I am certain, "Benedict XVI concluded, "that the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, in harmony with Congregation for Divine Worship, will not fail to contribute to an 'aggiornamento'-(lit. "update") ... of the precious traditions of which sacred music is so rich." Oh No! last time we updated we got guitars in church! Will an update of an update lead to lord knows what, or will it be like two negatives cancelling each other and becoming a positive?

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