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Sermon of the opening mass of the 8th colloquium. Mgr Juan Rodolfo Laise, emeritus bishop of San Luis

It is, as always, a great joy to be with you again on the occasion of your Annual Congress. This year you have chosen the theme of The Sacred. It seems to me that that is of the highest importance. Nowadays everything is desacralized. ‘God is dead’, they say; but if God is dead, so is man.

As you can see, man is worth nothing in contemporary society. From birth to death, his life is in constant danger. Will he be allowed to be born? Will he be helped to die more quickly than Providence intended? And between those times, what will happen to him in a world where people talk more about war than about peace? Yes, my dear brothers and sisters, if man no longer counts for anything, that is because he no longer sees anything as sacred.

I believe that your association has a mission of very great importance in promoting the traditional Roman Rite, which is, in its own field of liturgy, the most sublime manifestation of the sacred; through its rich & beautiful ornaments; through its language, which does not belong to the everyday; through all the signs and symbols which clearly show that, beneath all that, there is a reality which must be respected and adored. The desacralization of the liturgy, the banalization of the rites, the distribution of Holy Communion in the hand have all contributed greatly and in a culpable manner to the desacralization of the ‘Holy of Holies’: God, and the worship which mankind must give Him by their obedience to the first three of the Ten Commandments.

May the Most Holy Virgin, who bore in her sacred womb the Word of God – she who is entirely pure and entirely consecrated to her Lord – may she give you, firstly to you priests, a true sense of the sacred, a true awareness of what you are and of what you do; and to you, dear faithful, the grace of approaching the manifestations of God in the liturgy, as Moses did, with reverence and awe.