Cardinal Burke, prefect of the Su- preme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome, who formerly served as bishop of the Diocese of La Crosse, Wis., and archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Mo., recently spent some time in the United States. The Catholic Servant was granted the opportu- nity to interview His Eminence in mid-July on a variety of topics at Eternal Life’s The Church Teaches Forum in Louisville, Ky. The Catholic Servant — a Minneapo- lis-based newspaper — gave The Wanderer permission to reprint the interview.
(Don Fier serves on the Board of Directors for The Catholic Servant and he writes the Learn Your Faith column for The Wanderer.)
Q. Six years ago, Pope Benedict issued Summorum Pontificum, which allowed for the usage of the Tridentine Mass on a wider scale in the Church. In his accompany- ing letter to the bishops, the Holy Father stated that “the two Forms of the usage of the Roman Rite can be mutually enriching.” Do you see concrete benefits that have come to the Church in the past several years because of Summorum Pontificum?
A. I have witnessed a number of benefits. First, there is now a much stronger sense of the divine action in the Ordinary Form. There was a certain tendency in the celebra- tion of the Ordinary Form to center attention on the priest and the congregation rather than on Christ,Who comes into the midst of the congregation through the ministry of the priest acting in His Person to give the gift of His life as He first gave it on Calvary and to make that sacrifice new for us in each holy Mass.
Another closely connected benefit is an appreciation of the true reform of the liturgy desired by the Council, namely a reform that would be in continuity with the centuries-long tradition of the Church, not a renewal that would be a break from that liturgical tradition. The celebration of the two Forms of the Roman rite have led to a growing consciousness of the need to retrieve some of the elements of the liturgical tradition too quickly discarded after the Council, contrary to the intention of the Council. In other words, what Pope Benedict XVI had in mind was to promote the reform as it was truly desired by the Council, namely a reform in continuity with the centuries-long tradition of the Church and not a rupture.