Tuesday, July 12, 2016


Go to minute 11 of EWTN's The World Over and see a most beautiful image above the left shoulder of the host Raymond Arroyo. Just lovely!

 Of course the news story with the most lovely image is dated as it was broadcast last week before the crystal clear clarification yesterday.

But I am perplexed about Robert Cardinal Sarah being so reckless with his words when he suggested that priests and bishops worldwide start celebrating Mass ad orientem by this Advent.

Given the fact that there is such opposition to it, the good Cardinal should have known that there would be push back and all the way to the top. I am sure Pope Francis must have gotten an earful from cardinals and bishops opposed to ad orientem.

A formal decree needed to be issued with a strong catechesis for the reason for it to dispel the myths and the idiotic opinions that so many in the Church have about ad orientem. Cardinal Sarah should have known better.

And as a pastor, when someone who is on my paid staff tells others of something that I had said as though I had decreed it, I get pretty ticked.

I suspect Pope Francis may have been broadsided for it is possible in a casual conversation with the good Cardinal that His Holiness did say we need to study the issue of the "reform of the reform" but I don't think Pope Francis wanted that to be communicated to the world as an outright endorsement of ad orientem this coming Advent.

And thus poor Robert Cardinal Sarah was slapped down in the most public and humiliating way possible.

I can't remember anything similar happening under Popes Benedict or John Paul II with an official who is a prefect for a congregation. I am also suspicious of why Cardinal Sarah himself did not communicate the Holy Father's discussion with him and that the Cardinal didn't issue the clarification which would have helped him to save face. 



Anonymous said...

Oh Father please just stop. Cardinal Bergoglio as a bishop in Argentina regularly ignored and broke liturgical norms according to his own personal whims. All done WHEN HE HAD NO AUTHORITY TO DO SO. Even as pope he has not only committed liturgical abuses when he had the authority to change them. So what is the problem with priests saying Mass facing East. Where is the outrage about the worldwide liturgical abuses that happen every day in every parish around the world. Starting with the Jesuits. Nothing is done. But as usual the hammer comes down on traditionally minded Catholics.

Where is the mercy.

If adulterers and sodomites are given a pass and don't have to amend their lives, can commit Eucharistic sacralige all will the blessing of this pope what is the big deal with priests choosing to say Mass facing East.

Keep on spinning that man Father. It's no longer demoralizing it's fascinating to see so many of the clergy endanger their souls and the souls of others by rationalizing the evil coming from Rome.

Anonymous said...

I recall that once Pope Benedict requested that parishes begin incorporating some Latin back into the liturgy, and also sing a few hymns in Latin. I also recall that a couple of churches I attend obliged the request, and that lasted for about a month.With the rapidity that old altars were removed from churches, and replaced with the now common tables, I never could see Cardinal Sarahs request gaining much traction.People gathered around a table has been the focus of many in the Church for too long. The focus of many has been to make sure that the TLM never returns, and that is just the observation of someone sitting in a pew when Vatican 2 was set into motion.

Anonymous said...

Why such uproar about ad oriented worship, about something that is not even contrary to existing rubrics? On the one hand, one hears that Vatican -2 reforms were only pastoral, yet the destruction of the liturgy that followed introduced radical changes in the theology of prayer, the meaning of the ordained priesthood, in the understanding of of who Jesus Christ was-is, Christology.

No wonder we still have a theologically strong counter point in the SSPX and other traditional movements. If the current Papacy and Vatican-2 excesses are not repudiated at some point, a hundred years from now the Catholic Pope in Rome will resemble the present Anglican primate in theology and in importance for the salvation of the human race.

In the 1980s a book questioned: Will the Soviet Union Survive until 1984? (A. Amalrik).

Jesus asked When the son of man comes will he find faith...say, if he should come in the third millennium? I am compelled to conclude that trending in Catholic affairs is not particularly positive. The Collage of Cardinals should not become an ineffectual assembly passively abandoning the Church to ad hoc developments. They urgently need to advise the Holy Father before matters unavoidably get further out of hand.

Anonymous said...

I will provide an iron to the sacristan so that those creases in the altar cloth in your headline pic can be eliminated. Then, I will provide a 5 inch diameter tube around which the cloth can be rolled for storage which eliminates the need for the iron in the first place!

Anonymous said...

I think that this fits into a perplexing pattern with Pope Francis. He often says things that appear to endorse positions which later on get retracted/modified/not followed up on. Here is a short of list off the top of my head:

1. His comments about women deacons sparking excitement/fear concerning an openness to change. (the Holy Father then said that he was angered that people took his words in such a manner)

2. Hans Kung said that pope Francis expressed an openness towards discussing papal infallibility. (no followup on this whatsoever)

3. Cardinal Kasper said that the pope was supportive of his proposal for how to deal with divorced Catholics who had remarried. (Kasper later surprisingly changed his story about the pope's support)

4. Kim Davis said that the pope had encouraged her to continue resisting state law. The Vatican later stated that there was no such endorsement.

There are, I am sure, more examples, and they illustrate why some Jesuits in Argentina had given Father Bergoglio the nickname "Mona Lisa" back in the day . Cardinal Sarah's situation seems to be of a similar kind as the examples above. (on the plus side the Vatican did not deny that Sarah was asked to prepare a document on the possibility of mutual enrichment between the two forms of the Roman rite.)

Mark Thomas said...

Father McDonald said..."I suspect Pope Francis may have been broadsided for it is possible in a casual conversation with the good Cardinal that His Holiness did say we need to study the issue of the "reform of the reform"..."

Cardinal Sarah at the Sacra Liturgia Conference:

"Indeed, I can say that when I was received in audience by the Holy Father last April, Pope Francis asked me to study the question of a reform of a reform and of how to enrich the two forms of the Roman rite. This will be a delicate work and I ask for your patience and prayers."

Did Cardinal Sarah gave anything close to the impression that it was during a "casual conversation" that His Holiness Pope Francis had tasked Cardinal Sarah "to study the question of a reform of a reform..."?


Mark Thomas

Jusadbellum said...

Suppose (no seriously, suppose) that all our worst fears come to pass and Christianity is eclipsed in the West, replaced with a secular hedonist pop culture and eventually by militant and triumphant Islam.

Our aim is salvation not worldly success. Our ancestors fled to the wilds of north America no for political, worldly success (only) but for religious freedom. Freedom to be Catholic without persecution and bloodshed.

So we either plan to make a stand here or we better start planning to emigrate elsewhere.

In either case, the winning move is to network, network, network: evangelize. Make friends and alliances. Get out and into the 'peripheries' and befriend people outside your ethnic, social, and political tribe as you will certainly need as wide a support system as possible to weather either a grim terminal dissolution of the USA or to successfully exit the debacle and carve out a half-way decent life somewhere abroad.

Anonymous said...

Praying for Cardinal Sarah. A man of God that could do so much good for the Church!


Unknown said...

A stalking horse, sic, may well attract a great deal of hostile attention, and yet succeed in introducing the idea - not yet held openly - that one or more may desire. It is, perhaps, amazing that a senior curial cleric should dare to suggest that the pastors of the Catholic Church might uphold what the Church actually teaches (in this case, on the rubrics of the liturgy); yet it is not quite so astonishing that many of his peers have sought publicly to oppose him .. on that same modest suggestion. What is more alarming, however, is that so senior a cleric would risk his solitary position - in a patently autocratic conciliar court - unless, perhaps, he knew exactly what he was doing, testing only how far it would go (staggeringly far, in truth, going even to the top); this was, indubitably, a daring little deed of mild-mannered fidelity to the teaching of the Catholic Church .. considering so hostile an atmosphere; one need only consider the explosively catalytic reaction to see how daring.

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

Did anyone really think the progressives and heterodox would just roll over and acquiesce when Cardinal Sarah made his request? Not a chance. Too much power, too much clericalism at stake...too cush a life without any need to actually conform to a discipline that is contrary to their leisurely religiosity. Anything is acceptable as long as it doesn't require sacrifice or discipline or humility. Or true renunciation of sin.

And so it goes. “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force. ... Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds." Matt. 11


Jenny said...

Father, if I may, in the spirit of the oft-used (misused?) "Nero fiddled while Rome burned.", I'd gently suggest that perhaps now is not the time for our Church to be embroiled in the "liturgy wars". We are in the worst of times since the summer of 1968. I lived through that horrendous time as a college Senior. Our Church was basically oblivious to the horrors (too many to list here), preferring to be focused inward on ongoing Vatican II rhetoric. The fallout of that time period forever changed a whole generation. This current summer of 2016 promises far worse times ahead.
I, for one, would love to be able to have an EF Mass available locally but such was rejected by our local Dean and his faithful cohort of local priests as deemed appropriate by the since-retired Ordinary. C'est la vie...
Bigger fish to fry--Rome is burning. Our Church and our country stand on a precipice. Many of us worry that despite our years of toil, we have no future to offer our adult children, who are paying the huge tab for us while trying to raise their children in a broken system. This is my legacy to them, God help me.

Jenny said...

Jusadbellum, as per usual, I hear you and agree.
It's just that I'm gettin old and runnin outa steam...

Anonymous said...

"But I am perplexed about Robert Cardinal Sarah being so reckless with his words when he suggested that priests and bishops worldwide start celebrating Mass ad orientem by this Advent."

Reckless? In what way? Perplexed? Why, praytell?

After all, Card. Sarah could not have been clearer about the status of his purely personal suggestions, when he prefaced them with the following words:

I would like to present some practical considerations on how we can implement Sacrosanctum Concilium more faithfully today. Even though I serve as the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, I do so in all humility as a priest and a bishop in the hope that they will promote mature reflection and scholarship and good liturgical practice throughout the Church.

Having cited the fact that liturgical law permits each priest the option of celebrating ad orientem, he suggested "in all humility" as an individual to suggest that the beginning of Advent would be an auspicious time to exercise this option.

The interesting question is ... Why the over-the-top reaction, with Vatican sycophants going off like Roman (so to speak) candles whenever anyone fails to toe the progressive party line, and hint that perhaps things have gone a bit off the rails in the great leap forward since Vatican II.

Mark Thomas said...

Father McDonald said..."But I am perplexed about Robert Cardinal Sarah being so reckless with his words when he suggested that priests and bishops worldwide start celebrating Mass ad orientem by this Advent. "Given the fact that there is such opposition to it, the good Cardinal should have known that there would be push back and all the way to the top. And thus poor Robert Cardinal Sarah was slapped down in the most public and humiliating way possible."

Robert Cardinal Sarah is not sitting on top of the world...not even close. Father, I just posted the following to Vox Cantoris' blog. After having read your above remarks, I believe that my comments on Vox's blog, which I'll edit, may be appropriate here.

Father, you, of course, have the final decision about that.

Based upon posts and comments within the Traditional Catholic blogosphere, Robert Cardinal Sarah has emerged as the leading "Traditional" prelate among Traditional Catholics.

Cardinal Burke had filled that role until he was attacked by Traditionalists following his refusal to denounce Amoris Laetitia as "heretical". A great many Traditionalists, such as those attached to The Remnant, denounced Cardinal Burke as a man who played the laity "for fools".

Anyway, I am surprised that Cardinal Sarah has emerged as a favorite among Traditionalists as he has made it clear that he's very much a man of Vatican II. He believes that Vatican II offered a legitimate reform of the Roman Mass.

Cardinal Sarah believes that the post-Vatican II liturgical reform veered off the rails. However, he believes that Vatican II's "authentic" reforms must be implemented.

Conversely, Traditionalists trash Vatican II, in particular, Sacrosanctum Concilum — Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.

Cardinal Sarah has also praised Amoris Laetitia to the hilt. He has proclaimed Pope Francis as a staunch defender of Traditional Church Teaching on the family and marriage.

In May 2016 A.D., at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, Cardinal Sarah declared the following:

"In his post-synodal Exhortation on the Family, Amoris Lætitia (“The Joy of Love”), Pope Francis states clearly: “In no way must the Church desist from proposing the full ideal of marriage, God’s plan in all its grandeur … proposing less than what Jesus offers to the human being.”

"This is why the Holy Father openly and vigorously defends Church teaching on contraception, abortion, homosexuality, reproductive technologies, the education of children and much more."

Based upon their having turned viciously against Cardinal Burke, I imagine that the current praise that Cardinal Sarah has received from Traditionalists will end. Traditionalists grow more and more desperate each day for Cardinals, even a Cardinal, to take a hardcore public stand against Pope Francis...they want him denounced as a "heretic".

Therefore, the praise will end as I don't believe that Cardinal Sarah will denounce publicly His Holiness Pope Francis. If anything, the praise will end should Cardinal Sarah implement the following:

Cardinal Sarah revealed that he has been tasked by Pope Francis "to investigate the possibilities of mutual enrichment between the older and newer forms of the Roman rite, first spoken of by Pope Benedict XVI."

Should Cardinal Sarah implement that plan, that is, tinker with the TLM as Rome is determined to do, then Traditionalists would trash and bash Cardinal Sarah to the hilt.

Between the Holy See Press Release that stuck it to him, and his unhesitating loyalty to Vatican II and the liturgical reform, which includes the "enrichment" (reform) of the TLM, which enrages Traditionalists, I don't believe that Cardinal Sarah is in a favorable situation.


Mark Thomas

Rood Screen said...


Yours is a reasonable observation, but we've tried the "catechetical reform first, liturgical reform last" approach ever since the election of JPII, to no avail. If the liturgy remains a cult of the priest, as it is now, then we'll never get the rest right.

Mark Thomas said...

Father McDonald said..."And thus poor Robert Cardinal Sarah was slapped down in the most public and humiliating way possible."

I admit that upon my initial reading of the Holy See press release related to Robert Cardinal Sarah his ad orientem comments, I believed that Cardinal Sarah had been dressed down.

Now, in light of the following, I wonder about the above interpretation:

Did Fr. Lombardi Contradict Cardinal Sarah?


Mark Thomas

Jenny said...

Dialogue, I completely understand your take and I would dance jigs to see liturgical reform especially in our local liturgies (which of course are the only ones I'll see barring the miraculous), I cannot stomach that fight anymore; way too much water over the dam in society and the Church. Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. You have no idea the miseries we have been through locally (that a priest-commenter on this blog actively worsened while assigned here) trying to promulgate change. That priest kept a list and a notebook for the Bishop and the priest who followed him profiling the offending parishioners. Thank God, with time that miserable experience is healing some, but we will never fight that fight again. I personally believe "Change the liturgy, change the world" is the truth, because I believe worship in the liturgy is what forms personal spirituality. But I am way past thinking it will happen soon enough to affect our present local/national/world situation. I have all but left the Church over the divisions. Just trying to hang on...Rome is burning.

Jenny said...

I have, over the past year, come to believe that as all unfolds it is going to take not only holy priests and laity, but true martyrs to the faith to begin to turn things around. I am old, but praying for them...

Mark Thomas said...

The Fallout and Propaganda: Cardinal Sarah and Sacra Liturgia 2016


Mark Thomas

Domingo said...

Good news in Augusta, this Sunday there will be a Missa Cantata (Traditional Latin High Mass) at 2:00 pm at St Mary's on the Hill.

Anonymous said...

Plea to the Pope click
full length


Anonymous said...

My view of the situation is that Cardinal Sarah knew exactly what he was saying. He and others, such as Cardinal Burke and Bishop Athanasius, seem to me to have a "Holy Roman Catholic Church continuing as usual" way of addressing the problems we are facing at the moment. It is a kind of push back without a word being said. I suspect that come Advent we will see some dioceses implementing the Mass ad orientem and at least Cardinal Sarah has opened a discussion on it. After all, hasn't Francis said he wants to see bishops making their own decisions on matters?

As regards Francis, it is just business as usual for him to slap down others. What did he say about "when you want to remove a nail you put on pressure from the top". However, a nail can also be removed by tapping it from the bottom up, so he may just find that Conservatives in the Church will respond very much as the liberals did to St John Paul II The Great and Pope Benedict. They simply ignored anything coming out of Rome that didn't suit their agenda. Certainly I have heard that he is no longer being quoted by bishops and priests as he once was ...

The Church will continue as usual and I think it is best to ignore a lot of what is coming out of the Vatican for the time being.

TJM said...


I agree. What I find amusing is that in the "Year of Mercy" the vicious, left-wing attack dogs in the Church have gone after Cardinal Sarah for saying what is in the rubrics of the Paul VI Missal. No one in the religious press seems very interested in pointing this out. It might help confused Princes of the Church, like Cardinal Nichols, to see they are walking on thin ice!!! I suspect Cardinal Nichols is not gifted intellectually but is just another time-server administrator who wants "peace in his time."

Mark Thomas said...

Here is an excerpt from a lengthy interview with Sacra Liturgia’s international coordinator, Dom Alcuin Reid, in regard to the recent London conference and the reactions to Robert Cardinal Sarah’s Address.

CWR: Have you been surprised by the response outside the conference and by the Vatican’s “clarification”?

Dom Alcuin Reid: "It has to be said that some responses on internet sites and even in prominent journals have been astonishing. To accuse Cardinal Sarah of lying in respect of what Pope Francis has said to him about continuing the work of the Pope Emeritus or about studying a possible reform of the reform, or to say that the Holy Father ‘slapped down’ the Cardinal, is patently absurd and utterly untrue.

"And there is no evidence from the Vatican’s statement, or elsewhere, that the Holy Father was either angry with him or rebuked him. It is quite normal to clarify false reports: that is what has been done – though the clarification itself could perhaps do with some clarification!"

"Cardinal Sarah remains in post and his Address has not been withdrawn. Indeed, it should be noted that he asked us to publish it after his meeting with the Holy Father, and he has withdrawn nothing of what he said in London."


Mark Thomas

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at July 13, 2016 at 9:19 PM

Thank you for that very important link. It should be spread far and wide.