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Editorial: Oriens Revivified

17 June, 2014 0 Comments

Welcome to the reborn Oriens website.

I would like to express profound thanks to our founding Editor, Gary Scarrabelotti. Gary is standing down after many years at the helm of both Oriens and the Oriens Foundation; he was one of the founders of the Ecclesia Dei Society in 1989, and editor of its newsletter, which became Oriens in 1995.

I’m sure readers will join me in expressing the gratitude of the traditionalist community for this vital work, so useful in reminding us that even in a smallish country in an unfashionable hemisphere, we are not alone in our legitimate attachment to the liturgical traditions of the Catholic Church.

I have reluctantly agreed to take over the editorship of Oriens. I hope I can maintain the standards that it has reached over the years – but I know I cannot do so alone.

Fortunately, as you will see if you scroll through the list of recent articles (returning later for an in-depth revisiting, I trust!) you’ll see that I haven’t so far had to.

The website has been unavailable due to technical difficulties with the hosting server in the US, but the site has been rebuilt due primarily to the painstaking efforts of Simon Paton, to whom our thanks are also due, and whose reward will be great – in the next life.

This is an opportunity for a brief reflection on the nature of Oriens.

As you know, the decision was recently taken to make Oriens an internet-only magazine, partly for financial reasons (of which more below), but also to expand its reach. Nevertheless I know I speak for all members of the Board when I say that we are keen that it should continue to be a magazine, and not merely a blog. Articles should continue to be of a high standard, and not merely reflect a rush of blood to the editor’s head, jotted down diary-style.

According to the formal objects of the Oriens Foundation, the functions of Oriens are to

… trace in history and culture, in language, art and aesthetics, in religious and moral norms, the influence of the classical Western liturgy, and examine its interactions with private life and public affairs; [and]

publish articles, verse, reviews, commentary and other written  and/or visual material … in the areas of literature and language, art and aesthetics, history, culture and philosophy, the interaction of religious and moral thought with social and cultural norms

with particular reference to the liturgical and related traditions of the Church.

Let me take this opportunity to issue a renewed call for articles (and indeed verse, reviews, commentary and other written and/or visual material) within the above broad remit.

Readers will not need reminding that not all our articles are about liturgy per se.

The central focus of Oriens will continue to be the liturgical tradition of the Catholic Church. Nonetheless there is room for articles on a variety of topics in literature, culture etc which reflect a traditional Catholic perspective. It is the view of Oriens that there is a profound connection between the liturgy and all other aspects of the life of the Church, reflected in the maxim Lex orandi, lex credendi: the law of prayer is the law of belief. (To this is sometimes added lex vivendi – the law of life.)

If you’re in doubt as to the suitability of a particular article, please contact me.

Further, an additional advantage of the electronic format is the capacity to post links, or excerpts with links, to other articles of interest to readers. You will have seen a number of these in Oriens of late.  I would be grateful for notification of any of these, as I know many of our readers follow the relevant sites diligently. (A few words of introduction or commentary are always useful – but not essential.)

Finally, returning to the subject of finance, there are some costs associated with operating Oriens even in its current format.

In addition, the Oriens Foundation would like to be in a position to support particular activities within the traditional community, consistent with its objects. The Foundation has secured tax-deductible status to this end (thanks to Terry Dwyer for his unstinting efforts), making Oriens a cost-effective vehicle for supporting worthy endeavours.

The first example is the visit of His Eminence, Raymond Cardinal Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura – see the excellent article below by Alan Shearer on the subject.

But with your help, we hope to be able to assist activities in relation to the traditional liturgy, and liturgical music, around Australia.

The traditional liturgy has grown and is continuing to grow in Australia, thanks primarily to the efforts of a relatively small group of hard-working and talented individuals; many of us have wondered what we could do to help.

I can now offer you at least one answer.

All you have to do is click on the “Donate Now” button on your right; the user-friendly system will step you through the rest of the process, and a receipt for tax-deductibility will be issued automatically.

Do it today, and you’ll be able to claim the deduction for this financial year!

Lyle Dunne

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