At the beginning of a new year it is useful to look back and attempt to draw up a rough balance of things. It is, in fact, too early for a periodical founded in February of 1984 with its first issue appearing in September of the same year to analyse its successes and failures. One fact, however, should be recognized: the desire to maintain the quality willed by its founders, that is, original arguments, high scientific standards, etc. To be sure, there are gaps to be filled. For example, we would like a larger number of theological articles in connection with the liturgy. We certainly surprise no-one by writing that such a desire is realized only with great difficulty since it requires a newness of vision and a faultless scientific basi But this does not excuse the rarity of this kind of article alongside the rather numerous ones of a literary character. We would like also to develop further and with greater seriousness the bibliographical and review section so as to help research and, for example, to assist our former students in the wise selection of books. Here, too, there will be difficulties to overcome and we will make every effort in that direction. As with the previous issue, analytical indices have been drawn up which can be very useful to researchers. It should be clear that we do not wish to yield to the desires of those who would like a superficial periodical lacking in the labor required for a serious approach. This does not mean that we reject articles of a pastoral nature, but that we accept them only if they contain new material presented in a scholarly manner.
On the whole we can be content and we would like to express here our gratitude toward the Authors who were pleased to honour us by giving us one or more articles. We thank those also who were willing to assume the difficult task of writing reviews and who undertook with courage and integrity to compile the analytical indices. Finally, we cannot forget those who provided the technical and administrative assistance which requires such dedication and solicitude.
This first issue of 1987 will bave a somewhat special content for which we owe some explanation.
The Liturgical Institute celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary in 1986; the Athenaeum of Sant’Anselmo celebrates this year its first centenary. We thought we owed it to our former students to offer them the possibility of participating in some way in the festivities of the 25th anniversary of the foundation of the Liturgical Institute.
This is why we are publishing bere the speech of Pope John Paul II who, after having celebrated Vespers in the church of Sant’Anselmo on l June 1986, addressed the professors and students present.
We are also publishing the text of the homily given by Cardinal William W. Baum, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, during the Eucharistic celebration at which he presided on 21 May 1986.
It was necessary on this occasion to summarize the history of the first 25 years of the Institute. This is a sufficient number of years to allow a history to be written which is free from the danger of subjectivity yet which is broad in scope-precise but, at the same time, nuanced. Courageously going through the archives and attempting a synthesis that was not always easy, Fr. Anscar Chupungco, Rector Magnificus of Sant’Anselmo and former President of the Institute, wrote these pages of history which, for their exactitude and attention to the most significant details will remain as a basis for any future historical work on our Liturgical Institute. These pages then deserve a place in this issue of our review. Mons. Piero Marini renders honour to the Liturgical Institute with an article in which he brings out the influence the Institute has had since its founding in the life of the Church and of the local churches.
Nevertheless, we do not wish to depart completely from the normal aims of the review. We have therefore attempted to attain two goals; that is, to allow the various Presidents of the Institute to be present with an article, even if it is not strictly bound to the present celebration.
The first President, the unforgettable Fr. Salvatore Marsili, President from 1961-1972, will continue to appeal to us in his writings as for example bis treatise on the theology of the Eucharist, a favorite of his which may be found in Anamnesis , vol. 3\2. The whole personality of Fr. Marsili comes through in this work and he comes to life again for his former students through the profundity of his theological thinking. The second President, Fr. Burkhard Neunheuser (1972-1978), offers us the excellent article: Liturgiewissenschaft. Exacte Geschichtsforschung oder (und) Theologie der Liturgie? The third President, Fr. Anscar Chupungco (1978-1986) has written the history of the Institute, as we said above. The fourth President, Fr. Ildebrando Scicolone, has also contributed an article: L’utilizzazione delle fonti nella riforma liturgica del Vaticano II.
I do not believe that our readers will hold against us this departure from the usual way we have set up the review; the departure in in fact no more than partial and is motivated by a very special occasion. We sincerely thank them in any case for their interest in Ecclesia Orans.