Point 1 of 3:
In a letter sent quite recently, 1 Arthur Cardinal Roche declared: “It is an absurdity to think that the prefect of a dicastery would do anything other than exercise the wishes of the Holy Father…” Readers will remember that Robert Cardinal Sarah served as the CDW prefect under Pope Francis. That is to say: Out of seven billion humans on planet Earth, Pope Francis selected Cardinal Sarah to be the Vatican’s chief liturgist. When Cardinal Sarah retired at the age of 75, Roche was appointed. Here’s the exact quote (17 February 2023) from Cardinal Roche:
Point 2 of 3:
Perhaps unwittingly, Cardinal Roche has just endorsed the words of Cardinal Sarah. What specifically did Cardinal Sarah say while serving was CDW prefect? On 23 September 2019, Cardinal Sarah had an exchange with Edward Pentin on the record. Pentin asked: “Why do you think more and more young people are attracted to traditional liturgy / the extraordinary form?” Robert Cardinal Sarah replied as follows:
I do not “think” so; I see it! I am a witness to it. And young people have entrusted me with their absolute preference for the extraordinary form, more educative and more insistent on the primacy and centrality of God, silence and on the meaning of the sacred and divine transcendence. But, above all, how can we understand, how can we not be surprised and deeply shocked that what was the rule yesterday is prohibited today? Is it not true that prohibiting or suspecting the extraordinary form can only be inspired by the demon who desires our suffocation and spiritual death? When the extraordinary form is celebrated in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council, it reveals its full fruitfulness: How can we be surprised that a liturgy that has carried so many saints continues to smile at young souls thirsty for God? Like Benedict XVI, I hope that the two forms of the Roman Rite will be mutually enriching. This implies getting out of a hermeneutic of rupture. Both forms have the same faith and the same theology. To oppose them is a profound ecclesiological error. It means destroying the Church by tearing it out of its Tradition and making it believe that what the Church considered holy in the past is now wrong and unacceptable. What a deception and insult to all the saints who have gone before us! What a vision of the Church. We must move away from dialectical oppositions. The Council did not wish to break with the liturgical forms inherited from Tradition, but, on the contrary, to better enter and participate more fully in them. The Conciliar Constitution stipulates that “new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing.” It would therefore be wrong to oppose the Council to the Tradition of the Church. In this sense, it is necessary that those who celebrate the extraordinary form do so without a spirit of opposition and therefore in the spirit of Sacrosanctum Concilium. We need the extraordinary form to know in which spirit to celebrate the ordinary form. Conversely, celebrating the extraordinary form without taking into account the indications of Sacrosanctum Concilium risks reducing this form to a lifeless and futureless archaeological vestige. It would also be desirable to include in the appendix of a future edition of the missal the Penitential Rite and the Offertory of the extraordinary form in order to emphasize that the two liturgical forms illuminate each other, in continuity and without opposition. If we live in this spirit, then the liturgy will cease to be the place of rivalries and criticism and will finally lead us into the great heavenly liturgy.
I will not insult the intelligence of our readers by pointing out that absolutely nothing has changed about either form of the Roman Rite since 2019.
Point 3 of 3:
According to Saint Matthew, Our Savior (Mt 12:20) “will not snap the staff that is already crushed, nor put out the wick that still smolders.” This was the merciful character of Christ as foretold by Isaias. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen explained that passage as follows:
There was nothing more feeble than a cracked reed which sometimes was used by shepherds with which to pipe tunes; nor was there anything more weak than a flickering wick of a candle; yet neither of these would He crush, so gentle would be His character. He would not quench the slightest aspiration toward Him nor regard any soul as beyond use. […] The bruised reed could be mended, and the smoking flax could be re-enkindled by a power and a grace outside of either.
It is impossible to see how the recent statements by Cardinal Roche—which encourage “OF Catholics” to ostracize the “EF Catholics” and treat them like lepers—can be reconciled with the attitude of our Savior. In particular, Cardinal Roche claims that celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass inside a parish church is “forbidden.” Yet, Cardinal Roche says it is fine to use that self-same parish church for awards ceremonies, school pageants, concerts, and other functions. Such an assertion seems every bit as unsustainable as it is reprehensible.
Corpus Christi Watershed is the sworn enemy of “slogans” and “snarky Twitter comments.” However, the following list (which has been making the rounds on Facebook) seems substantive—despite its polemical nature—and therefore worth sharing:
1. If anyone shall say that the bishops of the Catholic Church “have the sacred right and the duty before the Lord to make laws for their subjects, to pass judgment on them and to moderate everything pertaining to the ordering of worship and the apostolate”—let him be anathema.
2. If anyone shall say that the bishops of the Catholic Church are “(not) to be regarded as vicars of the Roman Pontiffs, for they exercise an authority that is proper to them, and are quite correctly called ‘prelates’, heads of the people whom they govern”—let him be anathema.
3. If anyone shall say that it is “up to the bishop, as moderator, promoter, and guardian of the liturgical life of the Church of which he is the principle of unity, to regulate the liturgical celebrations, to authorize in his churches, as local Ordinaries, the use of the Missale Romanum of 1962, applying the norms of the motu proprio TRADITIONIS CUSTODES, and to determine case by case the reality of the groups which celebrate with this Missale Romanum”—let him be anathema.
4. If anyone shall say that authority over the liturgy in a diocese resides with the local bishops rather than with the Roman Curia—let him be anathema.
5. If anyone shall say that “there must be no innovations (made to the liturgy) unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them; and care must be taken that any new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing”—let him be anathema.
6. If anyone shall say that “the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites” or that “Gregorian chant, being especially suited to the Roman liturgy, should have the chief place in liturgical services”—let him be anathema.
7. If anyone shall say that “that holy Mother Church holds all lawfully acknowledged rites to be of equal right and dignity”, or “that she wishes to preserve them in the future and to foster them in every way”—let him be anathema.
8. If anyone shall say that “What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful”—let him be anathema.
9. If anyone shall say that the Holy See should “guarantee respect for the rightful aspirations of all those Catholic faithful who feel attached to some previous liturgical and disciplinary forms of the Latin tradition”—let him be anathema.
10. If anyone shall broaden his tent to include those who love the traditional Roman Rite, show them mercy, accompany them, dialogue with them, or listen to them—let him be anathema.
1 The source of this letter is a 17 February 2023 article by Mike Lewis, a former employee of the USCCB. Because Lewis’ website has repeatedly promoted immorality, I will not be providing the URL link.