Our friends at Rorate Caeli recently posted an English translation of excerpts from an interview conducted in French by the online paper Aleteia with Cardinal Robert Sarah, the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship.
The title to the post alone reflects the excitement with which His Eminence’s comments are being welcomed by many traditionalists (aka Catholics):
Cardinal Sarah: “Vatican II never asked for the abrogation of the Mass of St. Pius V!”
Forgive me for raining on the parade, but this interview is rife with signs of trouble.
First, let’s take a closer look at the money quote:
The Second Vatican Council never asked for the rejection of the past and the abandonment of the Mass of Saint Pius V that formed so many saints, not even to leave Latin behind. But it is necessary at the same time to promote the liturgical reform willed by the Council itself.
What is evident here is precisely the sort of mindset that will ensure that the crisis in the Church, liturgical and otherwise, continues.
While His Eminence might celebrate the occasional traditional Mass, and might even be rumored to have donned the Cappa Magna, don’t be fooled; he is a “company man” who obviously feels compelled to extol the virtues of Vatican II, speaking of the Council as if it must, at all costs, be held entirely harmless.
This, however, is a fallacy. (There is, after all, a reason why the vaunted “hermeneutic of continuity” failed as miserably as it did even with its author at the helm for more than seven years after it was first proposed.)
Cardinal Sarah is not entirely correct when he states that the Council never asked for the Mass of St. Pius V to be “rejected” or “abandoned.”
Of course the Council Fathers never expressed such open hostility for the ancient rite (the Evil One is way too clever to have allowed that), but let’s not be naïve:
What the Council most certainly did intend was the wholesale replacement of the traditional Mass with a “reformed” version of the same.
There is no indication whatsoever that the Council Fathers ever envisioned what we have today; two rites, a new one resulting from the “reformation” of the traditional Mass, and the traditional Mass itself such as it was offered at that time.
In other words, the Novus Ordo was always meant to effectively render the traditional Mass extinct, even apart from a formal decree of abrogation.
The only reason this didn’t happen is that the Holy Ghost had other plans; plans that were carried out most notably and heroically by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.
Cardinal Sarah is just plain wrong when he says that “it is necessary at the same time to promote the liturgical reform willed by the Council itself.”
The reform willed by the Council isn’t the solution; it’s the problem.
It is a reform inspired in large measure by the liturgical movement associated with the once-condemned ecumenist Dom Lambert Beauduin.
Specifically, the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy echoes the Beauduin inspired reformers’ desire for an ecumenically sensitive rite (SC 1), a rite “easily understood” by the faithful (SC 21), and a rite that can be leveraged to promote social action, often via the “Prayer of the Faithful” (cf SC 53).
The reform desired by the Council is, in other words, poisonous, and based upon his description of the liturgy, it would appear that Cardinal Sarah himself has ingested no small amount of it.
The liturgy is the place granted [to us] to meet God face to face, rendering Him all our life, our work; and make of all of this an offering to his glory. We cannot celebrate the liturgy by arming ourselves: by putting on our backs the weaponry of hatred, of struggle, of rancor.
While there is much in this treatment to embrace, any time a member of the College of Cardinals waxes eloquent about the nature of Holy Mass and curiously somehow fails to mention the plain truth that it is first and foremost the propitiatory Sacrifice of Jesus Christ offered in atonement for sins, red flags go up.
Consider if you will just how much is at stake.
A protestant who holds fast to a heretical understanding of the Mass would have no problem whatsoever with Cardinal Sarah’s description of the sacred rite. Come to think of it, that same protestant would have no difficulty worshipping at the new Mass!
And what is the common thread that connects both Cardinal Sarah’s description of the liturgy and the Novus Ordo Missae?
Each has been duly infected with the Council’s ideas.
There is an additional red flag to be discerned in the Cardinal’s comments relative to Summorum Pontificum:
Yes, [fostering liturgical harmony] is the meaning of the motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum. Benedict XVI spent considerable energy and hope in this undertaking. Alas, he did not succeed completely, because ones and others have “clutched” to their rite by excluding themselves mutually. In the Church, each one must be able to celebrate according to his sensibility…
First of all, the idea that “each one must be able to celebrate according to his sensibility,” as if liturgical styles should be as abundant as flavors at Baskin Robbins, is utter nonsense.
What if one’s “sensibility” is infected with confusion, ignorance or heresy?
No one has a right to a rite that suits their fancy.
In Catholic thought, by contrast:
The Church has the duty to preserve the sacred rites from any and all corruption, and the faithful, for their part, have the duty to conform themselves to the sacred rites, confident that when they do so, they are being imbued with that which is thoroughly nourishing for the soul.
Unfortunately, that ship sailed thanks once again to the Second Vatican Council and the Novus Ordo Missae that followed. Today, even the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship insists that the sacred rites should reflect the sensibilities of “each one.”
Could anything coming from a man in his position be any more dangerous?
Furthermore, Cardinal Sarah is clearly castigating those of us who “clutch exclusively” to the traditional rite in the knowledge that the Novus Ordo is deficient in and of itself since it promotes a protestant understanding of the liturgy itself, among other things.
With all of this said, perhaps you will forgive me for withholding my applause.
Thank you Mr. Verrecchio! So glad to have a snake hunter in this jungle of confusion that is hell-bent on destroying Holy Mother Church and sending poor souls to hell in a wicker hand basket. Deo Gratias.
Also, at the end of another article on Rorate Caeli, the following statement was given and I contacted them about it as seeming like a stumbling block because it sounds like a protestant belief that is to this day, a great contention between Catholics and heretics. I would sure like to know how you read it and if it is okay:
In his exegetical comment on Mathew 16, 18, Bruno explains that the foundation of the Church is not Peter, but the faith confessed by Peter. Christ, in fact, states that He will build His Church, not on the person of Peter, but on the faith that Peter manifested saying: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” To this profession of faith, Jesus responds: “it is upon this rock and upon this faith that I will build My Church” (Comment.. in Matth., Pars III, cap. XVI, in PL, vol. 165, col. 213).
By elevating Bruno of Segni to the honors of the altar the Church sealed his doctrine and his behaviour.
Thanks for asking, Fiat.
This comment, “the foundation of the Church is not Peter, but the faith confessed by Peter,” is popular among protestants who reject the Petrine Office and the authority vested in it.
So much is this the stock and trade of heretics that Catholic Answers has a page dedicated to refuting the idea. And yet… when Pope Francis preached very same error, Karl Keating and Co. sat silent. Go figure.
I wrote about this here:
And should anyone need bolstered in their resolve to “clutch[ing] exclusively” to the traditional rite, your post leads perfectly into John Vennari’s recent post on the “Deficiencies of the New Mass”:
God Bless your good work.
Excellent analysis. Same reactions here, with hearts sinking as we read it. He had been on our list of potential champions, due to his earlier interviews in which he gave the same defense of Matrimony and the Eucharist we’ve been hearing from C.Burke and B. Schneider, as well as his statements that “The Church of Africa will strongly oppose any rebellion [at the Synod] against the teachings of Jesus Christ”; that detaching pastoral practice from doctrine is “a dangerous schizophrenic pathology” ; and he denounced Western attempts to exchange financial support for false ideologies. http://wdtprs.com/blog/2015/02/two-african-cardinals-standing-up/
After hearing about all that, it was I big disappointment to read this piece and realize how 100% “sold” he is on VII and the necessity of promoting everything about it as if it were of equal value to the Traditional Mass and teachings it attempts to alter. It’s hard to fathom how he could countenance the false ecumenism that goes along with it, and which is in such direct contrast to the mandate of Christ, while seeing so clearly how contradictory the Kasperian Theology is. Once again, we’re left chalking it up to diabolical disorientation.
–Gotta keep prayin’ for everyone. Thanks for speaking out the way you do.
Dear Louie and all looking for something TO cheer about 🙂 🙂
Our friend Michael Matt of “The Remnant” seems to be rejoicing over a the latest EWTN video –concerning the SSPX– about which he says,
“Hats off to the folks at EWTN for setting such a fine example of how all Catholics can look at the SSPX, whether they agree with the Society’s overall position or not.”
–“featuring a Vatican bishop (Mons. Juan Ignacio Arrieta, of the Pont. Council for Legislative Texts) admitting what The Remnant has maintained for two decades—that the SSPX is not in schism. “We can say that the problem with the SSPX is only a problem of trust,” said Arrieta, “because they are people who pray, people who believe the same things we believe in…they have their heart in Rome. I can assure you of that since I know them well.”
–“The priests and sisters of the SSPX were evidently approached by the EWTN crew, who proceeded to produce a charitable and balanced presentation of the SSPX which, while not glossing over the points of doctrinal impasse that stand between the SSPX and the Vatican, nevertheless goes a long way towards helping people understand the complexity of the situation and the need for words of compassion and charity, rather than the polarizing rhetoric of liberals and modernists.
Take a look for yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHi5OcldIvc
“Ambiguity is the mark of the demonic” – Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger.
Some use vernacular
The next day Latin
Some use a paten.
Then there are the ministers
Handing out Our Lord
So you can have your pick.
Assembly on their feet
Holding hands in the air
One Holy Catholic
Apostolic Church –
Good for some let others run
In circles as they search.
For we are all approved
Don’t ever rock the boat —
Like those who open schools have classes
Teaching souls to float.
Saintly Thomas More
Could’ve had it all
Private Latin Masses
Behind a purpled wall.
But no – he chose the scaffold
Where truth and lie collide
Heads were cut —
Entrails gut –
Ambiguity couldn’t hide!
The brainwashing is deep. However, there will be some who will choke before they will swallow the whole heresy – should be an interesting October, eh?
Thank you Mr. Verrecchio for your valued time and knowledge. I read your article and it was a very good one. I was glad to hear you say what you did, because this is one of the ways that heretics can get Catholics to leave the Church (if they don’t believe that “where Peter is, there is The Church”)
This was the person’s reply to my complaint about it being a heretical protestant belief and contention:
Peter is the rock, but the foundation is the infallible faith manifested by him in the divinity of our Lord, that is what St Bruno meant. That foundational faith transformed Simon in Cephas, Rock.
That reply still sounds heretical and protestant to me.
God love you Mr. Verrecchio; how Blessed we are to have you at the Front Lines!!!
“We cannot celebrate the liturgy by arming ourselves: by putting on our backs the weaponry of hatred, of struggle, of rancor.” WHAT IN THE HELL IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN? Is he implying that Latin Mass attendees are haters?
Mary Regina, this is exactly the kind of doublespeak we have to wade through – like quicksand – the more we struggle the more we are accused of struggling!
I think this is going to be where our problem is for the future: the enemy has co-opted the language. They will twist our words and use them against us. We must always be precise and clear in whatever we say. It will be refreshing after the mush we hear from ‘them.’
That’s something we noticed a long time ago, too. They’re giving us lot’s of practice in what St. Thomas Aquinas called finding the truth by looking at what contradicts it. Practice makes perfect, so all we have to do is keep on going till the Lord intervenes, as He will when He knows the time is right for it to save the most souls.
Of course there is a reason why the folks at RC want to push this line of Cardinal Sarah’s. If the Novus Ordo is no good being as it was influenced by men like Beauduin , what about Pius XII’s reformed Holy Week which many traditionalist chapels ignore? What about the radical reform of the daily office under Pius X? Some would rather believe there was a pre-Vatican II era where all was well and good and a post-Vatican II where all was dark and bad.
“Saintly Thomas More…could have had it all.” Paul VI dismissed the Mass of Holy Sacrifice, Saints and Miracles. What a guy.
“In other words, the Novus Ordo was always meant to effectively render the traditional Mass extinct, even apart from a formal decree of abrogation.” Exactly. These men didn’t plot and handshake for over a century, only to, when the council of their dreams came into being, scrap their anti-Church golden medal (but if you bite it, its really just scrap metal).
With regards to Cardinal Sarah’s comments. The contradiciton is in his own words. If what Vatican II ‘willed’ was the promotion of liturgical reform, how could it equally have ‘willed’ the promotion of the worship vouchsafed throughout the ages to each generation? And it is a bit of red herring to call it the ‘Mass of Paul V’ especially in this quote (to juxtapose one ‘Pope’s Mass’ with another?). Pope Paul V didn’t create the Mass of All Time, nor did he innovate the Mass of All Time. A few cultural barnacles that had accreted to no small degree as a result of Protestantism were set back in their proper context – that’s it – no innovation, no adulteration. What did VII-paul-VI do? He amputated Catholic teaching and demoted the Priest to a lay-helper of an ‘assembly’ of ‘post-catholic’ thinkers (no wonder he created a new rite of ordination that would make a Priest non-sacerdotal) – Paul VIs new missal innovated, into the Novus Ordo dustbin, ‘Catholic’ concepts that made the Mass of All Time the unadulterated Unbloody Sacrifice of Calvary, ‘supressing’ the spiritual realities which the Church is bound to confess: “the wickedness of sin as the greatest evil, detachment from the world, purgatory, the souls of the departed, Christ’s kingship on earth, the Church Militant, the triumph of the Catholic Faith, the evils of heresy, schism and error, the conversion of non-Catholics, the merits of the saints and miracles.” http://www.traditionalmass.org/images/articles/TradsInfall.pdf
Bugnini, of wretched memory, said regarding the innovations in the liturgy, ‘we are making a new city in which the man of our age can live and feel at ease…(“infected with confusion, ignorance or heresy…”). They wanted to create a liturgy that was ‘psychologically’ protestant, and with the new Episcopal Rites of Ordination subverting Apostolic Succession, they did – they succeded in selling a non-Catholic non-Apotstolic ‘Mass’ to ‘Catholics’, and very very very few did anything about it, although it would seem alot more noticed something wrong is ‘rotten in the state of Denmark’. Why didn’t they just invite the Archbishop of Canterbury and the head of the Lutheran Free Church, and the Patriarchate of somewhere and the head Rabbi of somewhere and go, ‘now, according to you, how should a Catholic worship?’ Oh, my bad, they did.
“Dom Lambert Beauduin (1884-1960) first used the liturgy as a means to form the laity for social action, and then as a tool to promote ecumenism. His ecumenical initiatives were condemned in the 1928 Encyclical Mortalium Animos, but he continued to promote his ideas through priests’ retreats (conducted in secret for those “in agreement with his ideas”), through publications and through a liturgical studies center. Beauduin was a friend of Angelo Roncalli (later John XXIII), and during his own final illness after the death of Pius XII predicted: “If they elect Roncalli, all will be saved. He will be capable of calling a Council and canonizing ecumenism… I believe we have a good chance. Most of the cardinals are not sure what to do. They are capable of voting for him.” Work of Human Hands (pg 15) Rev. Anthony Cekada.
PS. ‘If they elect Roncalli…” Remember that in 1958, on October 26, the white smoke went up above St Peter’s…the media and everyone in St. Peter’s Square cheered and declared, ‘we have a Pope!’…and no Pope came out. Then, after a long interval, the white smoke stopped and then black smoke came out. Two days later, white smoke, and Roncalli on the balcony:
Beaudin hoped ‘they’ [the cardinals] would be ‘capable’ of voting for [Roncalli].’ It would seem that, at first on October 26, most Cardinals were not.
It’s the sort of invective that modernists are trained to use in order to demoralise their ‘opponent’. Dehumanising the enemy is necessary if the enemy is going to be ‘taken-out’. The Novus Ordo acolyte or ‘ipsissimus’ must have NO compassion for the True Church, Her True Popes or the scattered Flock of Christ if he is going to be any use to his ideology and its Master.
The use of the “hatred” is very worldly…very sodomitical. Actually all Catholics are called to hate…”hatred of evil is fear of the Lord” say the Psalms. We are also called to love, even out enemies. We are the Church Militant, so yes we must armor up per St. Paul in Ephesians 6. We are in a war for souls. First our own and then others. Sadly Cardinal Sarah sounds very “Church of Nice” emo and has swallowed the poison of V2. God bless~
Per Cardinal Sarah~ “In the Church, each one must be able to celebrate according to his sensibility…”
Holy Church Of Man! So instead of submission and surrender to how GOD has deemed to be worshiped i.e. the ancient rite/TLM given to us by Him and His Church, it’s now ALLLLL about Man and how HE wants to “celebrate”.
Church of Man. Church of Man. Men centered, it’s all about Man, Church of Man.
I knew this guy was promoted by Pope Francis to do this. Showing his true colors. Worthless Church politician. Pray for him though
“There is no indication whatsoever that the Council Fathers ever envisioned what we have today; two rites, a new one resulting from the “reformation” of the traditional Mass, and the traditional Mass itself such as it was offered at that time.”
This is a point actually made by more than a few progressive liturgists. On its face, it is hard to deny the argument. There had always been *one* Roman Rite, albeit one that gave rise to a number of local uses and even even closely related Rites, and the language of Sacrosanctum Concilium gives no hint that it is assuming any other situation. Pope Benedict XVI’s provision with his motu propio therefore represents a rather novel solution, one which employs an interesting juridical fiction that the old Roman Rite and the Novus Ordo are both merely forms of the same Rite.
I think there’s a danger in being too harsh in assessing the cardinal’s admittedly rather clumsy formulation, however, and not just because there is little in his record to suggest that he is a well formed scholar in liturgical matters. He is nonetheless, amidst the confusion, affirming the value and even the necessity of the traditional Roman Rite (along with the value of Latin), and these are propositions that would NOT have been subscribed to by most senior officials (men who quite obviously deeply despised the Roman Rite, or at best were fearful to admit otherwise) who have worked in his new office over the past 45 years – or, for that matter, deep down, the current pontiff. That being the case, I wouldn’t give His Eminence three cheers, but I think I ought to be able to muster at least one. In this pontificate, I will settle for benign neglect, let alone mild gestures of support, of tradition.
“And it is a bit of red herring to call it the ‘Mass of Paul V’”
I think you mean “Pius V,” but your point stands – all that St Pius V did was to codify the existing Roman Rite, which had achieved its basic, final form under Gregory the Great (most of which, in turn, appears to have coalesced by the 4th century). I wish that he had simply said the “Traditional Roman Rite” – which is far older than St. Pius V.
In any event, attempts to tie the Rite too closely to Pius V suffer in the other direction, too, because it fails to take account of the significant changes undertaken by Pope Pius XII and John XXIII, changes which I find to be almost entirely very regrettable, and mostly without precedent. The Roman Rite we have in the 1962 Missal is a rather damaged Rite, albeit still recognizable Roman, at any rate.
There has, in fact, been a growing swell of questioning and even criticism of the Pian Holy Week reforms, and even the changes to the Psalter by St. Pius X (to say nothing of the regrettable Bea Psalter of 1945) by many mainstream traditional and even semi-traditional figures (most recently by Fr John Hunwicke), and it is pleasing that this recognition is growing. The 1962 Missal is a rather mutilated missal, albeit still recognizably Roman.
I wouldn’t assume that the Rorate posters are “1958 men” – I doubt any if any would endorse Sarah’s comments without qualification, not least because they have run a number of critical articles on the Pian Holy Week before.
Don’t forget the influence of Pius Parsch. A very good example of this defective notion of Liturgical Reform, which replaced Liturgical Renewal in the 1920s and 30s with Beauduin and Parsch, is the critique of the Novus Ordo in Gamber’s Reform of the Roman Liturgy. I used to think this book was good, but I read it again, and its full of the underlying principle that reform wasn’t done well, and abuse was awful, but reform absolutely had to occur. He is almost derisive of the Traditional Latin Mass on almost every page, and the worst thing is the whole-hearted endorsement of his perspective by Cardinal Ratzinger in 1993.
I don’t think Gamber is quite as bad as you make out, but there’s no question that ultimately, his is a moderate position. He was certainly open and desirous of some reform – like Ratzinger. His book still has value for the pointed critique he makes of the New Mass, and how it is a rupture with Tradition.
If you read Mattei’s history of the Council, he recounts observations from the opening of the Council wherein it was a apparent that few Fathers had any enthusiasm for the Roman Rite – foreign bishops were critical, and Italian ones could hardly muster any energy to defend it. Why was that? The easy explanation is to dismiss the whole pack of them as modernist termites. Undoubtedly, many were. But I wonder if something else was going on, and that something may have had to do with the ars celebrandi with which it was often celebrated.