Page:Vactican as a World Power.djvu/437

This page needs to be proofread.


CONGREGATION OF RITES 423

Young priests arc selected in all lands and are sent to Rome to spend seven or eight stimulating and relatively free years in the Eternal City. Well-known coloured attire cut according to the picturesque mantal- lone fashion of itself compels the student to be on his dignity when he goes about without surveillance. The students then return home with a training that usually assures them positions of preference. All are thoroughly schooled pioneers of the Roman spirit, qualified and called to be quiet aids of the Curia and its dependable supporters. But since the clergy which has been trained at home does not usually look upon these favourites with more affection than Jacob's sons ac- corded their brother Joseph, it offers a very stubborn resistance to the idea of national colleges and the preference accorded to their students. All this becomes more pronounced if the clergy is of an independent disposition or of a homogeneous race. Thus petty personal interests carry on in this domain the ancient opposition of the "parts having wills of their own** to the whole, the "commanding centre,*' Rome. While the Holy Office safeguards dogmatic teaching and Christian ethics, which form the core of the life of grace in the Church, the visible expression of that life is under the supervision of the Congrega- tion of Rites, the Congregatio Sacrorum Ritttum. This is the Office which supervises the form of divine worship, the ceremonies, the liturgy of the Sacraments. It is the guardian of that magnificent sameness which prevails throughout the Western Church in matters o divine service. It relentlessly obliges all to use the pure Latin tongue of the cult at Mass and in all official devotions, permitting the ver- nacular only for congregational singing, for the prayers of the faithful at Low Mass, and for non-liturgical worship. It also issues rules gov- erning Church music Most of the work of this Congregation has to do with beatifications and canonizations, and the affiliated super- vision of relics. The departed declared by the Church elect souls worthy of veneration are not merely those great figures of the past to whom hundreds of years have rendered homage Jeanne d'Arc, Canisius or Bellarmine. They may also be saints of our own time persons of heroic faith and virtue who walked in our midst up to and beyond the threshold of this century. Among them are Don Bosco, apostle to abandoned youth; the quiet young Carmelite nun of Lisieux, known to millions as the Little Flower; Ferrini, who was a university


424