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Rome Reports

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Pope: With magisterial authority I affirm that liturgical reform is irreversible

The pope made an exception to his August hiatus to participate in this congress on Liturgy, organized by Italian bishops.

The occasion had significant importance because before speaking the pope clarified that he would speak with "certainty and magisterial authority."

Pope Francis recalled the process of liturgical reform of the Catholic Church, which began in 1903 and ended 60 years later, during the Second Vatican Council. The result was a new Mass Rite that accepted the use of more languages other than Latin, and a greater variety of Biblical readings.

The pope has stated "with magisterial authority" that this reform is "irreversible" and has asked to avoid "superficial readings, partial receptions and practices that disfigure it."

"The task of promoting and guarding the liturgy has been a right entrusted to the Apostolic See and the diocesan bishops, whose responsibility and authority I trust at this present moment."

The liturgical reform made in 1963 by Pope Paul VI made possible a greater participation by the Catholic faithful during Mass.

However, some sectors applied the reform in an abusive and superficial way, which seemed to trivialize the Eucharist. These particular abuses caused many to look at the reform suspiciously.

Now that years have passed and the waters seemed to have settled, the pope asks all parties to apply the reform and to delve deeper into its motivations and the meaning of the changes.