Thursday, April 6, 2017


Not yet on Praytell but on Great Britain's version of the National Chismatic Reporter aka NCR, the bitter pill also known as The Tablet. My comments embedded in the text in red but let me opine that Fr. A.'s snarkiness about Cardinal Sarah reminds me of Cardinal Kasper's racist remark caught on tape about what can the Africans teach us. Growing up in the south I can see racism when I hear it and German arrogance to say the least!


04 April 2017 | by Fr Anthony Ruff

Over the weekend, Cardinal Robert Sarah, who runs the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, argued in a message sent to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the publication of the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum by Pope Benedict XVI that those promoting a “modern liturgy” had caused disaster, devastation and schism by trying to reduce the Mass into a “simple convivial meal”. 
Here Fr Anthony Ruff, who is a Benedictine monk and liturgical expert, gives his opinion on the text (which can be read in full here):
"This is an interesting, rather odd talk by Cardinal Sarah. It is at times praiseworthy, at times questionable, and at times unfortunate and downright mistaken.
It is good to see the cardinal prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship affirm with strong language the Liturgical Movement and the Second Vatican Council. His desire for “unity and peace” regarding liturgy, and his statement that “Catholics ought to experience unity in the truth, in faith, and in love” is inspirational. 
But Cardinal Sarah attaches excessive weight to Summorum Pontificum as if it is the fulfillment of Vatican II, when it is contrary to the intent and clear directives of the Vatican II liturgy constitution. His claim that Vatican II did not abandon the Missal of Pius V is simply mistaken.( My comment: who says Vatican II abandoned in a formal way the Missal of Pius V???? Such an arrogant, unsubstantiated statement. I'd like for him to find in the Vatican II documents the quote. He can't because it isn't there. Some might say that in 1970 Pope Paul abandoned it, but not entirely as anyone with an ounce of knowledge knows that he allowed it for older priests and then for England later!!!!!!  Of course Pope Saint John Paul II further allowed it and of course Pope Benedict liberalized it and Pope Francis allows it and is about to make regular the SSPX who celebrates it exclusively! Such blind arrogance on the part of Fr. A! Also, please note the excellent first comment in the comment section.)
His interpretation of Vatican II in general is questionable, for it emphasises only continuity (which of course is there) and underemphasises how much rupture is involved in the liturgy constitution’s paradigm shift.
It’s unfortunate that Cardinal Sarah is so unrelentingly negative about the liturgical reform. It seems that in his mind the reformers have brought only “disaster, devastation, schism, destruction, self-destruction, liturgy wars, and superficial, devastating subjectivism.” (My comment: Cardinal Sarah does not have his head buried in the sand as does Fr. A!)
It would be good if he could study the reforms more deeply and understand, for example, what “mystery” means in Catholic theology, or how “sacrifice” and “meal” are not opposed to each other in some sort of zero-sum game. (My comment:  Academic elites like Fr. A thinks he is (and Pope Francis disdains them as we all know), always look down their noses when it comes to someone who knows so much better than they do and then ridicules their lack of studies--how silly and embarrassing for Fr. A.)
And this is odd: Cardinal Sarah strongly supports Liturgiam Authenticam and the botched new English Missal. That’s a risky move when his boss seems to be going in another direction."
Fr Anthony Ruff is a Benedictine monk and liturgical expert based at St John's School of Theology, Collegeville, in Minnesota, US. He moderates the Pray Tell blog 


Anonymous said...

"Some might say that in 1970 Pope Paul abandoned it, but not entirely as anyone with an ounce of knowledge knows that he allowed it for older priests and then for England later!!!!!!"

Here is more that the required ounce of knowledge: "“We order that the prescriptions of this Constitution go into effect November 30th of this year, the first Sunday of Advent. e wish that these Our decrees and prescriptions [regarding the form of the mass] may be firm and effective now and in the future, notwithstanding, to the extent necessary, the apostolic constitutions and ordinances issued by Our predecessors, and other prescriptions, even those deserving particular mention and derogation. Given at Rome, at Saint Peter’s, Holy Thursday, April 3 1969, the sixth year of Our pontificate."

"The missal is not abrogated; the legality of the missal is abrogated. What is abrogated is the juridic norm that imposes a missal as being now in force, that is obligatory and to be used in the entire Church. What is abrogated is the Bull Quo Primum, which ratifies the obligatory nature of the Tridentine rite, making it, with “motu proprial” language, the “ordinary rite,” although it would be more correct to call it “the rite currently in force.”

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

But of course even Pope Paul allowed for the "legality" of the older missal for some priests and communities and then later for England, but I suspect what is implied in these exceptions is the extraordinary vs. the ordinary, a similar distinction that Pope Benedict made explicit.

James Ignatius McAuley said...

Father Allan,

Old Ruff is all ruffled, and just like the potato chip, we see he has ridges to his rigidity. Silly Ruff Ruff, so pompous and sanctimonious. He is such a bore, always talking about the same thing. But, it is remarkable how he wrote about Cardinal Sarah. Ruff states, "It would be good if he could study the reforms more deeply and understand . . ." In other words he is saying, "Cardinal Sarah is an idiot." If you or I wrote in a similar vein about a respected black Catholic leader, like, for example, Gregory Wilton, we would be justifiably castigated. But, Ruff, safe behind the pine curtain can snipe away. Sure, he can say I have taken him out of context, so read what he wrote at the Tablet. It is what it is, and he cannot change what he wrote. I will offer up my prayers at the next Divine Liturgy I serve for him.

Anonymous said...

McAuley says: "Silly Ruff Ruff, so pompous and sanctimonious."

Pot, you're calling the kettle black.....

Anonymous said...

Hey, anonymous 1, don't you like the fact that you can toss out insults on this website and hide? Just pointing out what is obvious to everyone. Your doppelganger in anonymity, anonymous 2.

John Nolan said...

Ruff subscribes to what Benedict XVI called 'the hermeneutic of rupture'. He even uses the word, along with 'paradigm shift'. He and his ilk (who may well include Pope Francis) see SP as a concession to a small but vociferous group of diehards; a concession which was mistaken and could be withdrawn.

What they choose to overlook is that Benedict not only made it clear that the older forms were never abrogated (to attempt to do so would be abhorrent to liturgical tradition, as Bugnini was curtly informed). He also made the point that the attempt to suppress them juridically was wrong, in that what was sacred for previous generations remains sacred for us too.

If, then, Paul VI intended to make use of the older Rite illicit he was not only acting imprudently, he was probably acting ultra vires.