35. It was and is necessary to find the channels for a formation that is the study of Liturgy. From the beginning of the liturgical movement much has been done in this regard, with precious contributions from scholars and academic institutions.
Good scholarship continues to this day, but how does that connect to ordinary lay people? It may not be enough to rely on the good will of busy pastors and liturgists, many of whom do not possess a catechetical charism.
Nonetheless, it is important now to spread this knowledge beyond the academic environment, in an accessible way, so that each one of the faithful might grow in a knowledge of the theological sense of the Liturgy. This is the decisive question, and it grounds every kind of understanding and every liturgical practice. It also grounds the very celebration itself, helping each and all to acquire the capacity to comprehend the euchological texts, the ritual dynamics, and their anthropological significance.
The full document, copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione – Libreria Editrice Vaticana is here on the Vatican site.
What is already happening and will continue to happen is that the generations that have had first and second hand inside knowledge are passing from the scene. Most of them never got sustainably established on the Internet, and even if they published in hard copy if they’ve not given permission for free access on the Internet, it’s practically erased from wider memory. As a result, that level of personal or second-degree personal knowledge will *functionally* vanish. (Your systematic document-based work is an essential, vital, exception to that.)
Discussions that will happen in the coming and ensuing generations will be different, and be responsive to issues raised by those who persist in maintaining Internet presence and who maintain a thriving presence in pews and collection plates (as Rosemary Reuther noted, people who leave also leave the conversation, and their voices/concerns drop off – the effect of this in the Catholic Church is asymmetrical, because disembarking occurs largely from the port side of the barque). Consequently, while the resolution of those issues may not necessarily please those who persist in raising, the fact that it is largely them who raise them will likely modulate the discussion. Things that you and I would not think would be up for discussion may as a result become more likely to be discussed.
My sense is that Pope Francis’ recent muscular attempts to short-cut this will not be successful in that regard, for reasons not dissimilar to how “Banned in Boston” was a way to promote books; in an age of post-modern individualism, nothing attracts persistence like a muscular exercise of authority against it.