Sunday, January 23, 2022


Archbishop Roche, the Prefect for the Congregation of Divine Worship gave a rather incredible interview which shows that he really is confused and quite ignorant about which Mass causes more problems for the Church. You can read the full article HERE

But here are some quotes from the article with my commentary in red:

The promotion of the pre-Vatican II liturgy as somehow more holy or prayerful than the current liturgy "is not basically a liturgical problem, it is an ecclesial problem," the archbishop said. The current Mass, with a richer selection of prayers and Scripture readings, reflects and reinforces the church's understanding of itself as the people of God.

Where do I begin. Yes, I agree that the post Vatican II Mass does have a richer selection of prayer and Scripture readings and various Masses for various needs, votive and otherwise. But then the Archbishop engages in an act of self referential double talk. He says the “current” Mass “reinforces the Church’s understanding of itself as the people of God.” And there in is one of the problems, the horizontal becomes more important than the vertical. Ecclesiology becomes more important than Christology. Of course it isn’t either/or but both/and but Christ is first, the personal relationship that Christ as to each individual and that individual with Christ comes first. And flowing from that and always second is the communal, the ecclesiastical if you will and the institutional is third. 

Why so many love the Traditional Mass of the Ages is because it is so Christological, so reverent and to them from a emotional or visceral point of view, it enables them to experience, taste and see the holiness of God in a more contemplative, prayerful way. The new Mass with some slight EF adjustments (continuity here) could do the exact same thing—but Archbishop Roche, refuses to see or acknowledge that. The old is bad the new is good. Incredible thinking and tragic too!

Obviously, people have preferences, the archbishop said. But Catholics need to look more deeply at what they are saying when they express those preferences.

"When people say, 'Well, I'm going to Father So-and-So's Mass,' well Father So-and-So is only the agent. It is Christ who is active in the Mass, it is the priest who acts in 'persona Christi' -- the person of Christ, the head of the church," he said.

"When we go to Mass, even when the music perhaps isn't something that we would personally choose — and again, this is individualism coming in — then we've got to realize that we are standing at the side of Christ on his cross, who gives everything back to the Father through this Eucharist," Archbishop Roche said.

The Mass makes present "everything that Christ did for our salvation; not simply for, you know, Jim's salvation or Mary's salvation, but for our salvation," he said. "We are the church. We are not individuals. We belong to a body that defines itself through the teachings of Christ which we have received in faithfulness, and which we should, in faithfulness, also carry out in order to create that unity and to create that harmony."

The “Balkinization of the Mass” is not a pre-Vatican II phenomena but a post-Vatican II phenomena. And yes, it is about post-Vatican II Catholics wanting their type of music, folk, gospel, contemporary, neo-traditional or Latin or Vernacular chant or no music at all. And let’s throw in my language, English, Spanish, Chinese and you name it and I will go to my Mass in my language with music I like and a priest who has a great personality, makes me laugh and makes me feel like he’s talking to me….—that isn’t the Pre-Vatican II Mass or Church’s issue! It is the post Vatican II Mass and Church that had caused this “individualism and congregationalism!”

Archbishop Roche needs to get out of the Vatican and go incognito to your typical Sunday Mass in your typical parish anywhere in the world and he will see what his ideology has done not only to the Mass of the post-Vatican II Church but also a Church which worships ecclesiology and being God’s people over Christ and what God does!

I am not opposed to the new Mass and I have written below that it would be best to have one liturgy for the Church again, one that has the so-called “richness” of the modern Missal but the spiritual, prayerful and reverence richness of the older books. Worshipping the people of God, ecclesiology, Vatican II is a post-Vatican II heresy and it has caused the nuclear winter of the Church not the triumphalism of the self-proclaimed springtime of a renewed Church that the babel of Vatican II could not and cannot create in its most self-reverential way!


TJM said...

Roche is a careerist, the lowest form of priestly life. He was all on board with sacred tradition when Benedict was pope. Now he has turned on a dime to please Pope Ming the Merciless (hat tip to Father Hunwicke for that appellation)

William said...

"The People of God" are sheep now under the control of wolves. Deliver us, O Lord, from this scourge.

TJM said...

Father McDonald,

I was is Savannah for my very first visit and was deeply disappointed that you were not the celebrant of the EF at the Cathedral today. The music was exquisite and I was struck by how many young families with children were there

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Wow! You picked a cold snap! I am scheduled to next Sunday! Savannah s a great place. God bless you.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Two of the servers are my parishioners. The older man, late 50’s and a young man with longish blond hair. That will be gone soon as he is joining the Air Force and leaving tomorrow to go to San Antonio. I think he has a vocation to the priesthood, but the Air Force will mature him I think.

TJM said...

Father McDonald,

Although I was sorry not to meet you, I was pleased there is another priest to celebrate the EF.

You are blessed to be there

TJM said...

I enjoyed singing the Missa de Angelis along with the choir

Thomas Garrett said...

Getting back to the point, in a sense Roche has done us something of a favor--he's said the quiet part out loud. Essentially, he is admitting that the Novus Ordo is a different religion than the Traditional Mass, which is why we have Traditiones Destructovis...the disciples of the failed revolution are using Francis to double-down and quell any last peep of the Traditionalists so they can have their transitory moment of triumph (shades of Pelosism anyone?)

I think an argument can be made that the new Mass offers more VARIETY of prayers -- or perhaps it would be better to use the beloved term, "diversity" but I heartily laugh in the face of any assertion that the Novus Ordo's prayers are "richer". Read any of the prayers for the ordinary of the Mass and compare their depth and precision to the Novus Ordo's stripped-down banality. You might as well say that typewriters are more efficient than word processors.

The lines are being drawn. Make no mistake: This pope was elected by some very bad people with some very bad motives and he is determined to carry their agenda to its logical end.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

TG, the richness of the new Missal also includes the expanded lectionary. Perhaps one might argue that this or that passage was not included from the older lectionary. But we are speaking about the Bible. Catholics after Vatican II are much more conversant with the Old Testament than prior to Vatican II. And more aware of the New Testament as well and the encouragement since Vatican II to read and study the Bible as been remarkable. Southern Catholics, I think, were more conscious of the limited knowledge of the Bible they as Catholics had because Protestants were much more fluent and challenged us with that knowledge and we could not respond.
In terms of the Missal, I don’t think the prayers at that horrible or different than the Tridentine Missal and there are far more Masses that can be celebrated for particular needs during the week. The TLM for weekdays is very limited .
And keep in mind that many Catholics prior to the Council and even today do not bother to bring a missal to Mass with them to see the translations and for daily Mass, even in the TLM, there can be some choices made that they would not know and thus clueless to find out where the Mass is in their own missal.
I know from my experience of the TLM since 2007 that many who attend are quite happy not to be able to understand the Latin prayers. They care not to even have a translation of them.
Thus the vernacular for at least the changing parts of the Mass is helpful even for the TLM.

John Nolan said...

If I understand ++Arthur correctly, it is 'individualism' (and therefore deplorable) to shun crap music and sloppy celebration, but not 'individualism' to supply the said elements in the first place. Those who attend the EF do so to avoid such 'individualism', yet they are excoriated for their 'individualism' in so doing.

Poor old Arthur - he was never the sharpest knife in the box.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

John, exactly. His interview or at least what was included in the article is so incoherent. The mess that the OF is from parish to parish and within the same parish is so profound that those who love the EF Mass go because it unites them and does not divide.

If we lived in a Church only with the TLM, parishes today and dioceses today would be far more united and responding to the common good as Catholics, no matter their ethnic and language differences, would attend the same type Mass and not be separated by culture or language with their own Mass and in the vernacular with their own music that they like.

And with today’s technology, people could have devices to listen to the homily translated to their own language.

The individualism and division that the OF Mass has created goods against the common good.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The last sentence should be …OF Mass has created goes against the common good.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I think too, and EF Mass goers need to acknowledge this, that the pope is put out with the ethos against women given any role in the sanctuary of an EF Mass. For example, at our EF Cathedral’s Sunday Mass, as the priest read quietly the Epistle at the altar, a layman comes from the congregation to read it in the vernacular simultaneously. A woman could easily do this too.

Prior to allowing altar girls, our now deceased former bishop stated girls could could carry the cross and candles but could not vest in cassock and surplice. He recommended an alb. Girls could not minister directly to the priest, meaning directly at the altar for handing the water and wine to the celebrant and the lavabo.

These rules could easily be applied to the EF Mass.

Timothy said...

Perhaps if God were as wise as you he would have created humans in a single gender capable of mating with itself to reproduce.

St Michael the archangel defend us in battle....

John Nolan said...

Fr McDonald,

Assuming that your cathedral EF Sunday Mass is a Missa Cantata, the priest should sing the Epistle and Gospel at the altar, and then read both in the vernacular from the pulpit before the notices and sermon. The idea of a lay commentator overlaying any part of the liturgy with a translation proclaimed towards the people is objectionable, regardless of sex. I understand that it was fashionable in Germany during Low Mass in the 1950s, and very annoying it must have been.

In the wake of SP a priest in Cambridge (England) had girls serving his Low EF Mass. Following protests the matter was referred to PCED who ruled against it.

In a Sung/Solemn Mass it is those who carry the candles (the acolytes) who serve at the altar, in both forms. Many parishes exclude women and girls from the sanctuary in the OF, and I doubt if it bothers PF in the least. The macho Argentine culture wherein he was raised tends to see the function of women as chiefly decorative.

John Nolan said...

'The TLM for weekdays is very limited' (Fr AJM). This statement needs qualification. This week, for instance, has the following:


24 St Timothy, Bishop and Martyr. Mass: Statuit.
25 The Conversion of St Paul.
26 St Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr. Mass: Sacerdotes.
27 St John Chrysostom, Bishop, Confessor and Doctor.
28 St Peter Nolasco, Confessor.
29 St Francis de Sales, Bishop, Confessor and Doctor.

I don't have a daily OF Missal, and would be interested to know if the reading for the feast of the Conversion of St Paul is as long as the Epistle in the older rite (Acts 9:1-22). Apologists for the Novus Ordo are always boasting about the amount of Scripture in the lectionary, yet the compilers couldn't resist shortening passages - this even happens with the Joannine Prologue. In this case the bits subject to optional excision are those relating to John the Baptist. One has a sneaking suspicion that the compilers thought that the average pew-sitter would get the two Johns mixed up!