Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Cardinal Sarah: "Vatican II never asked for the abrogation of the Mass of St. Pius V !"

In an interview to the original (French) version of the online paper Aleteia, the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, Cardinal Robert Sarah, currently visiting France, dedicated his first two answers to the Traditional Latin Mass.

[Q.] Your Eminence, in your book Dieu ou rien, you frequently mention the "liturgical war" that has divided Catholic for many decades. A war that is even more unfortunate, you say, because on this question they should be particularly close. How to leave these divisions behind today and assemble all Catholics around the worship due to God?

Cardinal Robert Sarah: The Second Vatican Council never asked for the rejection of the past and the abandonment of the Mass of Saint Pius V, who 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. The liturgy is the place granted [to us] to meet God face to face, rendering Him all our life, our work; at 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. Jesus Himself said it: "Before presenting your offer, first reconcile yourself with your brother." In this "face to face" with God, our heart must be pure, free from all hatred, from all rancor. Each one must eliminate from his heart that which might cast a shadow over this encounter. This implies that each one be respected in his sensibility.

[Q.] Is this not precisely what Benedict XVI desired?

Cardinal Sarah: Yes, this 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. It is one of the conditions for the reconciliation. It is also necessary to bring people to the beauty of the liturgy, to its sacrality. The Eucharist is not a "meal among mates", it is a sacred mystery. If we celebrate it with beauty and fervor, we will reach a reconciliation, this is clear. Nevertheless, it cannot be forgotten that it is God who reconciles, and that will take time.

[Source: Aleteia, in French. Tip: Le Forum Catholique.]


Paul said...

Another appointment, Bishop of San Diego: SF Auxiliary Bishop Robert McElroy.

Daniel said...

Just stating the obvious here, but Cardinal Sarah is 69 years old, born in 1945. So he was a teenager when Vatican II was underway and most likely not even aware it was going on. So his comment ("Vatican II never asked for the abrogation of the Mass of St. Pius V") is merely an interpretation based on the same church documents that others have been interpreting for the past 50 years -- not a "bombshell" revelation from an insider.

Jdj said...

Beautiful. Thanks to Cardinal Sarah and to you, FrAJM, for posting.
In an era when Christians are being persecuted and murdered for their faith, how is it that "liturgy wars" within our Catholic faith can possibly be a pressing issue for us, let alone a war. I just can't go there. Yes, I'm old enough to still pine for the EF I knew and loved, but I have no access to it.
Much greater issues face us as Catholic Christians. Will we survive this current holocaust of Christian annihilation? I think Franklin Graham said it for us a couple of days ago. The enemy is vicious, single-minded, and the battle line is clear. Satan would love to divide and conquer us on an internal battle like "liturgy". Good people, we cannot allow that to happen. We have to unite, close ranks and circle the wagons to defeat the beast. When that war concludes, we can begin to address those things that divide us internally. Just for now, let us focus on the real enemy.

Anonymous said...

Why is the interview with Cardinal Sarah a "bombshell"?

Thank you.


Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Daniel, of course I love the term bombshell, but this is coming from Pope Francis' head of the Congregation for Divine Worship. Given the spin everyone gives to Pope Francis as being a wild-eyed liberal, for one of his personal choices in the curia to say this is quite important. It also gives us some clues as to the direction that Cardinal Sarah will lead this congregation. The resacralization of the Ordinary Form of the liturgy is still a priority. I would call this the "reform of the reform" with the EF Mass its reference point.

But more importantly, it puts priests like Fr. Kavanaugh in his place in terms of this inner reconciliation we need liturgically. It isn't either/or but both/an. Priests and laity like Fr. Kavanugh need to let go of their ideologies concerning the EF Mass and see it as a part of the Church's liturgy in the 21st century, as Pope Francis describes it, one of the two forms of the Latin Rite. This is bombshell news in this papacy and puts everyone in their place, on the road to liturgical reconciliation!

Cletus Ordo said...

I really don't mean to sound disrespectful and I think it's important that we maintain the proper tone in this conversation. However, when I read the headline to this post and saw the quote from Cardinal Sarah, there is only one word that came to mind:


Rood Screen said...

Cletus Ordo,

Sadly, in an age when the obvious is obscured by ignorance and malice, someone of importance plainly stating an evident truth is, indeed, something of a "bombshell".

Rood Screen said...

I'm not sure how to understand a pope appointing someone who so fundamentally disagrees with him on liturgical questions to this highest liturgical office, unless the pope is just so ambivalent about liturgical questions that he doesn't care who's in charge. Since Africans "should not tell us too much what we have to do", perhaps it's understood that this new CDW head is meant to keep his thoughts to himself while in office.

Robert Kumpel said...


I think this is just one more indication that labels like "liberal", "conservative", "progressive", "traditionalist" etc., do not apply to this pope. He is completely unpredictable and unclassifiable. If anything, he is very confusing.