The Comeback of the Peripheries. “La Civiltà Cattolica” Also Rages Against Cardinal Sarah

The Comeback of the Peripheries. “La Civiltà Cattolica” Also Rages Against Cardinal Sarah

[But against those from the “peripheries” such as Cardinal Sarah (from Guinea in Africa)]

Sandro Magister

After Francis’s public reprimand of Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the congregation for divine worship, there is no longer any doubt about the pope’s real intentions concerning translations of Latin-rite texts into the modern languages, completely delegated to the national churches, with Vatican approval reduced to a pure formality.

But to add insult to injury – plus sarcasm toward those presumed to be backward – right on cue comes “La Civiltà Cattolica,” which has long stood out as the “house organ” of Santa Marta.

In its latest issue, the historic magazine of the Jesuits directed by Fr. Antonio Spadaro has dedicated its lead article precisely to the “restitution” of full authority over the translation of liturgical books to the national episcopal conferences.

The thesis of the article from “La Civiltà Cattolica,” in fact, is that this faculty was already devolved to the national Churches in 1969, by an instruction – in reality the letter of a cardinal – entitled “Comme le prévoit,” but it was soon given up for dead “for ideological reasons,” with the triumph of the adversaries of liturgical reform. Until Pope Francis came to recall it to life and therefore to mark the comeback of the “peripheries” over Vatican centralism.

A centralism whose ultimate adherent is identified as Cardinal Sarah, with Francis who “saw himself constrained to intervene” in order to neutralize his claims.

Naturally, this thesis of “La Civiltà Cattolica” can be attributed to Pope Francis himself, seeing the extremely close bond between the one and the other. And it is an integral part of his comprehensive plan to make the Church evolve from monolithic to federated, with each national Church endowed with extensive autonomy, “including genuine doctrinal authority” (“Evangelii Gaudium” 32).

The author of the article is the Jesuit Cesare Giraudo, 76, a professor emeritus of liturgy and theology at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome.

The following are the essential passages from his article: See

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