Don Divo Barsotti

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sexta-feira, 22 de outubro de 2010

AN INTERVIEW WITH PAUL AUGUSTIN CARDINAL MAYER, O. S. B. : FR. ZUHLSDORF: There is great confusion now about the meaning of "active participation," isn't there? CARDINAL MAYER: I think that arose afterwards from the misunderstandings of the council. Active participation was almost exclusively misunderstood to be singing, speaking, making gestures, and so forth, as well as the distribution of different offices. But it was nearly forgotten that the most necessary active participation is the interior answer to what Our Lord does, what He gives in His Word, and particularly what He gives in rendering present His life-giving paschal mystery and then in our participating interiorly in this mystery. This is the most needed and most active participation.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_BviYnOC0QuY/SqqRCQDqifI/AAAAAAAAAkg/_VeI3_G2o58/s400/Cardinal_Mayer.jpg
 
(On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Sacrosanctum Concilium, 
December 4,1993, His Eminence granted an interview to Father John T. 
Zuhlsdorf in Rome. These perspectives on the liturgy and sacred music are 
the fruits of their conversation.)  
 
Cardinal Mayer has great experience of the Church and the liturgy from rich 
vantage points. He is a Benedictine monk and abbot emeritus of the Abbey of 
Metten in Bavaria. (In 1846, Boniface Wimmer, a monk of Metten, founded the 
Abbey of St. Vincent at Latrobe, Pennsylvania, which in turn founded the 
Abbey of St. John at Collegeville, Minnesota.) Cardinal Mayer was a peritus 
(expert) at the Second Vatican Council. From 1949 to 1966, he was rector of 
the Pontifical Ateneo Sant' Anselmo in Rome, which in 1961 was erected as 
the pontifical liturgical institute. He served from 1971 in the Roman 
Curia, first as secretary for the Sacred Congregation for Religious, and 
then as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline 
of the Sacraments. After the events at Econe, Switzerland, in 1988, he was 
named the first president of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei. Since 
his "retirement," His Eminence has been very active, visiting religious 
communities in different countries, ordaining priests, and enriching the 
Church in many other ways. Recently a Festschrift, In Unum Congregati, was 
published in his honor on the occasion of his 80th birthday. 

FR. ZUHLSDORF:  
Your Eminence has a special perspective on Vatican II. If I am not 
mistaken, you were present at San Paolo fuori le mura on January 25,1959, 
the day Pope John XXIII announced his intention to convene a council. You 
were also involved with the preparatory stages before its opening and then 
participated as an expert. Was your Eminence involved in any of the 
discussions on the reform of the liturgy?  
 
CARDINAL MAYER:  
Actually, I was present at the solemn Mass celebrated by Pope John at San 
Paolo. The Holy Father's intention to convene an ecumenical council was not 
expressed in the homily of the Mass, however, but afterwards in the abbot's 
parlor to the cardinals who were present. We learned about it that evening 
on the radio. The rectors of the pontifical centers of academic studies 
were then involved in the preparation of the council from the year 1959. 
This involvement became for me very intense from July 1960 onward, when the 
Pope appointed me secretary of the preparatory commission entrusted with 
formation for the priesthood and with Catholic education.  
 
FR. ZUHLSDORF:  
So at that time you were already well known as an expert on priestly 
formation.  
 
CARDINAL MAYER:  
At that time I had already served as the visitator of the Swiss seminaries 
from 1957 to 1959. Then I was a consultant to the Congregation for 
Seminaries.  
 
FR. ZUHLSDORF:  
Would you explain the intention, aspirations, and "spirit," if you will, of 
the council fathers behind the liturgical reform? Does Your Eminence think 
that the council fathers' intentions are well reflected in Sacrosanctum 
Concilium? Where might they diverge?  
 
CARDINAL MAYER:  
The council started with the reform of the sacred liturgy, certainly out of 
interior reasons, since the liturgy belongs to the heart of the Christian 
faith. Moreover, the schema elaborated by the competent preparatory 
commission had attained to a certain maturity, which was without a doubt 
due in considerable measure to the liturgical movement that from the 
beginning of the century had tried to revive the great liturgical tradition 
of the Latin Church. It had, so to say, rediscovered the liturgical year 
and the spiritual treasures contained in the liturgical books, and had 
tried to involve more actively the faithful. There was considerable 
activity, you know, at the Benedictine monasteries of Maria Laach and 
Solesmes and Beuron. Pius Parsch had given us books on the liturgy and 
liturgical year. The Holy Father, Pius XII, had given us the encyclical 
Mediator Dei and had begun a reformation of the liturgical books for the 
Easter vigil and the triduum. It has been over ninety years since Pius X's 
Tra le sollicitudini of November 2, 1903. All of this work has to be 
considered when thinking of the "intentions" of the fathers.  
 
We must admit with great thankfulness that the council underscored the 
right understanding of the sacred liturgy distinguishing it from a mere 
"cultic" function. This was already prepared by the liturgical movement. 
But the council also recognized in the liturgy the exercise of the priestly 
mission of Jesus Christ and therefore the summit toward which the activity 
of the Church is directed, and at the same time the font from which all her 
forces flow. The liturgical celebration as the action of Christ the Priest 
and of His Body the Church is therefore a sacred action surpassing all 
others. No other action of the Church can equal its efficacy to the same 
degree. On the other hand, the council stressed that the liturgy doesn't 
exhaust the entire activity of the Church.  
 
Before man can be called to activity in the liturgy, he must first be 
called to faith and conversion. Moreover, the council gave a great number 
of directives for the renovation of rites and texts. Among these were the 
principle of a noble simplicity, and that the celebrations should have a 
more varied reading of the sacred scriptures, and that care should be given 
to the specific character of cultures of different peoples, the aspect of 
inculturation. Particularly, the council wished that all the faithful 
participate with a true, conscious, and active participation in the 
liturgical celebrations; not as standers-by, or silent observers, but as 
conscious and active people. They should themselves offer the Sacrifice not 
only through the hands of the priest, but also in communion with the 
priests.  
 
FR. ZUHLSDORF:  
There is great confusion now about the meaning of "active participation," 
isn't there?  
 
CARDINAL MAYER:  
I think that arose afterwards from the misunderstandings of the council. 
Active participation was almost exclusively misunderstood to be singing, 
speaking, making gestures, and so forth, as well as the distribution of 
different offices. But it was nearly forgotten that the most necessary 
active participation is the interior answer to what Our Lord does, what He 
gives in His Word, and particularly what He gives in rendering present His 
life-giving paschal mystery and then in our participating interiorly in 
this mystery. This is the most needed and most active participation.  
 
FR. ZUHLSDORF:  
I have heard it put that the real "active participation" begins with our 
baptismal character.  

CARDINAL MAYER:  
That is correct, in a way. Moreover, there is a "reception" that can be 
immensely active. By responding in his heart to what Our Lord is giving, 
this is "active" participation.  
 
FR. ZUHLSDORF:  
Would you say that it was this sense of "active participation" that was 
intended by the council fathers?  
 
CARDINAL MAYER:  
I would say that surely many desired a change in attitude of the 
congregation which was sitting or kneeling in the pews without a visible, 
audible, perceptible participation. But afterwards, some liturgists 
interpreted that active participation was to be expressed by physical 
things, talking, singing, processions and so forth. And that is right. But 
the most active and necessary participation is an interior participation in 
what the Lord does. That is a great difficulty now. Some liturgists are 
always looking for more things people can do. You can do this or that now. 
You might even find dance! Stressing nearly exclusively exterior activity, 
they miss the point. The point of the liturgy is to respond with love and 
faith to what Our Lord is doing.  
 
FR. ZUHLSDORF:  
Looking at the documents themselves about this notion of "active 
participation," does Your Eminence find an ambiguity that may have been 
imprudent in that time of revolution when the council was going on? 

CARDINAL MAYER:  
When a solid theological formation is not present, ambiguity is a problem. 
Especially if the Sacrifice of the Mass is reduced only to the cena, the 
banquet, then one thinks about what one "does." You do not care 
sufficiently anymore about the fruit of the participation in faith and love 
in the Sacrifice of the Lord and of the priest. This is the most important 
aspect. Concerning this very point, corrections were made in the editions 
of the missal that came out after the council. In the Institutio Generalis 
of the first edition of the missal of 1969 in the second chapter, number 7, 
(March 26,1970) specific references were added to the person of the priest 
in the Sacrifice of the Mass as personamque Christi gerente, that the 
priest "presides" bearing the person of Christ. This had been left out 
before. I am sorry about the "presider" staying there. But the phrase 
personamque Christi gerente had to be added. Before, it only referred to 
the priest celebrating at the supper. They also had to add that in the Mass 
sacrificium Crucis perpetuatur... the sacrifice of Christ is perpetuated. 
That was not in the first edition. They also put in references to the Real 
Presence of Christ being present in both of the Eucharistic species. Even 
today, they forget this, don't they? They also added the word consecratio, 
when before they spoke only of narratio. This narratio, by the way, could 
be something dangerous if it is understood as just telling the story of the 
"institution."  
Do you see what one had to do to clarify these things? Some wanted to make 
the liturgy, in a way, acceptable even to the Protestants, to bring the 
celebration of Holy Mass close to their notion of Abendmahl.  
 
FR. ZUHLSDORF:  
How would you compare the intentions expressed in the document Sacrosanctum 
Concilium and the actual reform that was carried out in the years following 
the council?  
 
CARDINAL MAYER:  
I think we have to distinguish between three phases of the reform. The 
first phase was the work of the council, the constitution on the sacred 
liturgy. I said already that one has to acknowledge that there were 
profound insights and good general guidelines given there. The second phase 
was the work of the Consilium headed by Cardinal Lercaro and Bugnini as 
secretary, established for the implementation of this constitution. Also in 
this second phase there is the on-going work of the Congregation for Divine 
Worship which continued after the Consilium. At the same time, there was 
the work of the conferences of bishops, and the influence of national 
liturgical commissions, to which on September 26,1964, there was addressed 
a first "instruction" on the liturgy from the Consilium. This entrusted the 
task of regulating the liturgy and the pastoral liturgical action in an 
entire nation to the bishops. Finally one has to consider and evaluate the 
third phase: the concrete implementation of the liturgical reform in the 
dioceses, parishes, and religious institutes.  
In that second phase, mentioned before, you have to distinguish three 
particular things: first, the reform of the existant texts and the creation 
of new texts and rites with rubrics, the different books, such as the 
missal and lectionary, and the office books for the Liturgia Horarum; 
secondly, the translations into the various languages; and thirdly, 
adaptation and accommodation to particular circumstances. The bishops 
didn't participate in creation of new texts. That was the Consilium. The 
bishops prepared the translations which Rome could approve. To the bishops' 
conferences was committed the task of the opportune aptationes, adaptations 
to particular cultural conditions. These adaptations had to be approved by 
the Holy See. The so-called accomodationes are committed to the celebrating 
priest, who often 
can choose betweeen various forms, for instance in the penitential rite, or 
when it is stated, his vel similibus verbis. The aspect of adaptation was 
mostly entrusted to the priests.  
 
FR. ZUHLSDORF:  
Would this include the notion of the "options" we have now?  
 
CARDINAL MAYER:  
Yes, options. Adaptation, however, is a deeper concession to the genius of 
single peoples and cultures. This is inculturation. Now, many say that the 
more one integrates symbols and gestures of an indigenous culture, the 
better the inculturation is obtained. This is true, in a certain way. But 
the more urgent need is the interiorization of what is happening in the 
liturgy. This is the real inculturation. We continually switch the meanings 
around. Some liturgists often go just by the exterior things. Priests too, 
no? Who talks today about the Cross? So often they talk only of the 
Alleluia. But this is not all there is in the paschal mystery. We are 
almost in a situation now in which Easter Sunday has been separated in 
people's minds from Good Friday. That doesn't mean that we have to be sad 
and mourning, but the Church must stay under the Cross, too. Otherwise it 
won't be the Catholic Church. We recognize in the Resurrection, and also 
the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the Father's response to 
Jesus' Sacrifice. St. Paul, in Philippians, said we have to know the whole 
mystery, the Resurrection and the suffering also. The Church has to go the 
same way Our Lord has gone, of course, in the power of the Spirit. This is 
not sad or depressing. But I am afraid that some liturgists are missing the 
point. Our priests are committed not only to the celebration of the 
Eucharist, but also to the sacrament of reconciliation.  
 
FR. ZUHLSDORF:  
Doesn't the new typical edition for the rites of ordination for the 
priesthood address this same point in the interrogations made of the 
ordinands? The new edition puts back a specific reference to the priest's 
office of forgiving sins.  
 
CARDINAL MAYER:  
That is right. I insisted on that when I was at the Congregation of Divine 
Worship. 
Going back to the idea of ambiguity mentioned before, we have to preserve 
the right understanding of the mystery of the Church. So much attention has 
been drawn to the second chapter of the constitution on the Church (Lumen 
gentium), the "People of God." And rightly so. But the first chapter is on 
the mystery of the Church. This seems to be nearly forgotten. If you forget 
the mystery of the Church, you are in danger of interpreting the People of 
God aspect not enough in its connection with the People of God as in the 
Old Testament, but rather in the populist sense, or a democratic way. This 
subverts its meaning. The democratic understanding of our times pushes 
aside the vision of the "temple" and of the Church as Christ's bride, and 
so all the interest focuses on the "presider" who could be understood as 
being "elected" by the people, instead of as the priest acting in persona 
Christi.  
 
Regarding that second phase and its three great tasks, we can see that the 
translation of texts and the adaptation to local needs was not without its 
risks. That adaptation must be done with the focus on interiorization of 
what Our Lord is doing, not on what we do. This is the right idea of 
inculturization. 

FR. ZUHLSDORF:  
Sometimes you hear talk that there was an agreement made by the translators 
of the texts after the council (I don't necessarily want to say conspiracy) 
not to render accurately or faithfully the new Roman texts.  
 
CARDINAL MAYER:  
I would say that perhaps there could have been an agreement on a personal 
level, maybe. Of course, in the English-speaking world, the work of ICEL 
has suffered from some preferential nuances. I remember very well 
Archbishop Ryan Dermot of Dublin, who was for a short time the pro-prefect 
of Propaganda here in Rome. He died too soon. He was a scripture scholar. 
And he told me that he had many reservations about the work of ICEL. He 
said he would give me his materials on this, but he died then... too soon. 
There were others, too, who were deeply pre-occupied. ICEL denies all this, 
denies any ideological preference whatsoever. But this denial is hard to 
substantiate when you see what happened in the translations. Now, of 
course, many are watching hopefully this new group CREDO in the U.S.  
 
Let us, however, return to that third stage, mentioned earlier. That stage 
involved the concrete implementation of the reforms in the parishes and is 
committed, not to some agency, but to the priests. This phase shows a few 
great currents. A rare one would be an obstinate refusal of any 
implementation. That would be represented in some way by the movement 
around Lefebvre. Others are determined to be faithful to the documents and 
directives, and honestly try to implement them. This means that they also 
had to read them. Moreover, there was a kind of wild creativity which 
individual priests were indulging.  
 
FR. ZUHLSDORF:  
But in a way it's hard to say that these are isolated priests, since 
workshops and seminaries and, basically, the dominant liturgists, have 
virtually imposed a kind of style on the liturgical formation of our 
priests and liturgists today. Is that fair to say?  
 
CARDINAL MAYER:  
Well, yes, there is something to that. But to the people they appear as 
individuals, for they are not so much aware of the trends being taught in 
the workshops, and so forth. They don't know that these experiments may 
have an ideological background. We see that today devotions like 
Eucharistic adoration have been nearly wiped out, because a national 
liturgical commission chose to quote only part of a document of the 
competent congregation refering to it. They underscore the cena and are 
nearly silent about the Real Presence. Some liturgists also want to take us 
back to early centuries of the primitive Church, in which a notion of the 
Eucharist didn't yet consider "adoration." They don't understand the growth 
in the sensus fidei, and that the gift of the Eucharist, in the Blessed 
Sacrament, has been grasped always more deeply. It is true that the 
Eucharist was conserved for the sick at first. But more and more it was 
understood that Our Lord, really and substantially present, should be 
adored. We do not adore the "sign," we adore the reality!  

I want to add something about that second phase and the Consilium. Now, for 
example, we have a richness and variety of scripture readings that before 
we didn't know, both in the Mass and in the office of readings as well as 
the rites for other sacraments. Also, from the treasures of prayer of the 
Church we have new prayers and prefaces that we didn't have before in the 
Mass. The use of the mother tongue has also contributed to the 
understanding of the rites. This opened up the liturgy of the hours to more 
people as part of their prayer life. But afterwards we will have to say 
something more about this, won't we, and also about Latin. 

You know, there is a characteristic of the way the reform of the liturgy is 
misunderstood, a kind of extremism. Before there was only Latin, and now 
some pretend that it needs a special permission to use it, even for the new 
order of Mass. It's incredible, really. Before, the gestures at Mass were 
so precisely defined, and now there are so many options available that 
nothing seems fixed down. But also positive achievements must not be 
forgotten, for instance the new Masses for Our Lady. I am glad to have 
signed that book as prefect of the congregation. The council had ruled out 
this extremism. In the constitution, Sacrosanctum Concilium, with number 
23, the council says "There must be no innovations unless the good of the 
Church genuinely and certainly requires them and care must be taken that 
any new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms 
already existing."  
 
FR. ZUHLSDORF:  
So if change is not required, it's wrong to change something, according to 
the council, and any change must be organic?  
 
CARDINAL MAYER:  
One cannot say that this number 23 of Sacrosanctum Concilium was considered 
adequately in that second phase. One cannot really say that the Consilium 
followed that principle. Some have said that now, instead of having a 
gewordene Liturgie, we have gemachte Liturgie, instead of a liturgy that 
developed, we have a liturgy that was made. It was one done on the table.  
 
FR. ZUHLSDORF:  
Do you think that is true?  
 
CARDINAL MAYER:  
I would say to a certain extent. Generally liturgy grows through the life 
of the Church which is especially her prayer life. Now they sit down and 
write it. First, I said it was very positive that we have this new richness 
of scripture readings. On the other hand, I think nevertheless, one should 
also say that we have done a bit too much. It somewhat surpasses the priest 
and the faithful, especially some of the readings of the Old Testament. 
Yes, in the old order of Mass the readings were restricted, but this also 
guaranteed that certain readings would be heard, understood, and 
remembered.  
 
FR. ZUHLSDORF:  
And these readings were tied to the sacred music for the Mass. The 
antiphons and chants were tied to the readings.  
 
CARDINAL MAYER:  
Yes. Yet, it seems to me that in the selection of the pericopes, there was 
an exegetical approach rather than a liturgical approach in the choices 
made. Liturgy is always a serving of and adoration of God. We must adore 
God. The exegetical point of view can be different. The Novus Ordo has a 
strongly didactic element. We have to admit that the liturgy has also this 
purpose, but to put it first is wrong. First, is the cultic, understood 
correctly of course. We have to concede that the didactic intention often 
dominates now, no? But the first important aspect remains adoration, 
latria.  

So, in some ways in that second phase the Consilium went beyond what it was 
intended to do. And perhaps they gave too much freedom, too many options. 
These freedoms were given also at the same time as the mother tongue had 
become, first, an option, and then used nearly exclusively. When only Latin 
was used in the liturgy, the danger of abuses was not so great. But with 
the mother tongue, quite a few priests began to think that they could 
change words and gestures according to their own whims.

FR. ZUHLSDORF:
In contrast to some priests and lay faithful who seem to take little 
account of Sacrosanctum Concilium and related documents, there are many 
hopeful (and sometimes long suffering) Catholics in the world who think 
that a true renaissance of liturgy and sacred music would come if only our 
bishops would assure that we, as a Church, would just "do as the council 
asked." Do you think that this is too optimistic?  
 
CARDINAL MAYER:  
I would say that this is at least a realistic possibility... if we really 
try to do what the council wanted, especially that we deepen the 
understanding of the mystery, the values of the sacrum, the values of the 
Cross and the Resurrection that must be really present in the hearts and 
the minds of the priest and then also the people. It is a possibility, if 
we avoid the wild creativity and stay with what the universal Church has 
recommended. It is possible if, as I have said before, instead of running 
after some new little findings, we first take to heart the interiorization 
of the meaning of the liturgy and especially of the Mass, and return to its 
integrity. We must help the people understand, appreciate, and love it. 
This would be something great. If we could avoid this wild creativity, we 
could avoid also creating new wounds in many good people. We must also 
avoid giving ammunition to those who will sometimes with great bitterness 
attack the new liturgy.  
 
FR. ZUHLSDORF:  
This idea of attack on the new liturgy relates back to what you were saying 
about those wide trends of how the reforms were implemented in that third 
stage. From your perspective of having been the first president of the 
commission, Ecclesia Dei, do you think that the use of the 1962 missal is a 
challenge in a negative sense or a positive challenge?  
 
CARDINAL MAYER:  
I must say that, according to the mind of the motu proprio, Ecclesia Dei, 
use of that missal should really be more freely given to those who 
reverently desire it. But we cannot think that the 1962 missal will become 
again the missal of the whole Church. We must try to keep the Novus Ordo in 
its real, given form and not go beyond. Those who follow the 1962 missal, 
on the other hand, shouldn't think that the Church can be "saved" only with 
the 1962 missal. They should avoid being polemic and try positively to 
develop and share with others the transcendent value of the liturgy, the 
adoration value of the liturgy, the mystery value of the liturgy. They 
should reveal these values to others without attacking those who 
participate in the Mass according to the Novus Ordo, sincerely 
acknowledging, as they are asked to do, the doctrinal and juridical value 
of the new missal.  
 
FR. ZUHLSDORF:  
One hears talk today of a "reform of the reform." Some people hope that the 
Church will return to the 1962 missal and abandon the new liturgy. Some 
people completely belittle the older form of liturgy. Some want a kind of 
tertium quid, combining the best of both. After all your experience, where 
would Your Eminence stand on this? What role could the 1962 missal play in 
the "reform?"  
 
CARDINAL MAYER:  
I would say that if we used the 1962 missal, or maybe better the values 
that are more easily expressed in it, without extolling every detail, and 
if we avoid the polemics, then, given also especially the witness of the 
people who follow that  missal, the reverence and deep gratitude they 
should express, then they can have an influence. Again however, at this 
moment we must allow a certain calm to come about. But this calmness would 
require also that the bishops would be more open to petitions, granting 
solidly founded permissions to use the 1962 missal. On the other hand, 
those who follow the new liturgy, should stay with the new liturgy as it 
should be celebrated. If possible they should bring to it those values that 
have been endangered: reverence, for example, and a deep theological and 
spiritual understanding of the content of the Mass. One bishop was recently 
published saying that the Mass is "boring." Maybe he doesn't really 
understand what is going on.  
 
FR. ZUHLSDORF:  
The council asked that Latin be maintained (Sacrosanctum Concilium 54), 
that Gregorian chant be given pride of place in the liturgy and that the 
musical heritage of the Church be used and fostered (114-116). We know too 
that sacred music is pars integrans in the liturgy. What do you see as the 
key element that safeguards these things from becoming merely expressions 
of nostalgia? What must priests be sure to teach the people when they use 
these traditional Catholic expressions in the parish?  
 
CARDINAL MAYER:  
This pars integrans that the council expresses, means that music is not 
merely a decoration, something which is just added to the liturgy. Sacred 
music is liturgy. Of course, it is not its essential aspect, but it does 
belong to its integrity. So, the council says that music helps to give 
glory to God, using the beauty also created by man, using the gifts that 
God has given to men. Sacred music, then, in a special way gives something 
beautiful back to God. It is said that no art is so closely linked to the 
liturgy as sacred music, for it expresses and deepens the minds of those 
who participate in it, no? It is in a very special way a "giving back" to 
the Father of the Incarnate Word, a word of praise that we incarnate. 
Cardinal Ratzinger has written about this aspect, bringing together sacred 
music and the mystery of the Incarnation. Sacred music brings out certain 
values of the Word, which cannot be expressed with the spoken word alone. 
The mystery of the Incarnation and the paschal mystery come out more 
completely with music.  
 
Of course, Gregorian chant is bound together with Latin, though there are 
some that dispute this. It is suggested that one can adapt chant to other 
languages, but this is not really successful, is it? I would say too, that 
Latin should not have been completely abolished as it has been de facto. 
The council did not say it should be abolished. It said Latin should be 
used. You remember that while at Ecclesia Dei, I received a letter once 
from a chancery office in the United States, asking me if I didn't know 
that the council had abolished Latin!  
 
FR. ZUHLSDORF:  
It is remarkable that anyone would put a signature to that! But, Your 
Eminence, Latin is a special language for the liturgy, is it not, at least 
for the Latin rite?  
 
CARDINAL MAYER:  
It is a sacred language, in a way, as there are sacred times, places, 
people. And it is universal. Yes, of course. Especially now, when we have 
so many languages in a world that is becoming increasingly smaller, when 
people travel so much for different reasons, it is hard to find any 
possibility of feeling at home. With the Latin, this was a given. No, there 
is no doubt about the importance of Latin, even practically.  
 
Concerning music, not all music for the liturgy must be Gregorian chant. We 
also have the great treasures of polyphony too, from Palestrina all the way 
to Haydn, Mozart, Bruckner, and many other great Catholic composers. 

FR. ZUHLSDORF:  
I have heard it said that the Church has given two things as its heredity 
to the whole world: art and saints.  
 
CARDINAL MAYER:  
Yes, I have heard this too. And the Church should do more to promote these. 
There is a great apologetic value, too, of the arts and saints. Saints and 
art express our real values.  
 
FR. ZUHLSDORF:  
Could you say a few words about formation? If bishops and rectors of 
seminaries were to come and ask you for advice concerning the liturgical 
and musical formation of aspirants to the priesthood today, what would you 
tell them? And what would you like to tell seminarians or young priests, 
about Latin, liturgy and music?  
 
CARDINAL MAYER:  
They should know, of course, from the council, and from the documents and 
directives given since, what the Church says about music and Latin and the 
liturgy. I would say also that we should regain something of what has been 
lost. We should follow the orientations given. There is nothing really new 
here, if we would only put into practice what is set down.  
 
We must also get over this prejudice against Latin, no? In the secular 
world a new kind of flowering of Latin is sometimes to be observed. On the 
other hand, in the Church we see a kind of pitiful and deplorable attitude 
of resistance, a desire to throw it all away.  
 
We may also consider that those wonderful Latin chants, the Marian 
antiphons, those to the Holy Spirit, to the Blessed Sacrament used in the 
different liturgical seasons, have been prayed and sung with great devotion 
by so many saints, and by generations and generations of faithful. I think 
that from this fact there must be something special in these chants. We 
don't have to sing them exclusively, of course, that is clear. We can use 
the mother tongue too, that is very positive, and new good liturgical music 
can be and must be developed with the mother tongue. But the freedom we now 
have with languages and music should be used without this complete burning 
of the Latin.
fonte:http://www.ewtn.com/library/LITURGY/MAYER.txt