Sunday, March 8, 2015

Cardinal Sarah: "Second Vatican Council Never Required Us to Give up the Mass of Pius V"

Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the
Congregation of Divine Worship
(Paris), the French editors of Aleteia have published an interview with Cardinal Robert Sarah, the new Prefect of the Roman Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. The interview by Elisabeth de Baudouin touches on a wide range of topics, "the liturgy war, criticism of the Pope, Manif pour tous, Islam and Islamism, the significance of Africa."  Cardinal Sarah stayed for a few days in Paris to present a  new book conversation with the writer Nicolas Diat  "God or nothing". On the subject of liturgy, the Cardinal Prefect said:
Eminence, in your book "God or Nothing" you mention the "Liturgy of war" several times that has separated Catholics for decades. A particularly reprehensible war, you say, because the Catholics in this matter should be particularly united. How can these separations be overcome today and all  Catholics unite around the cult offered by God?
Cardinal Robert Sarah: The Second Vatican Council has never required us to reject the past and abandon the Mass of Pius V, which has produced many saints, and never to even give up Latin. On the other hand, it was  self-willed by the Council liturgical reform itself. The liturgy is the place of direct encounter with God, to bring Him in all our lives, our work, and to offer all this as a sacrifice for His glory. We can not celebrate the liturgy in the weapons and wear armor of hatred, struggle. Jesus Himself said: "Before you  offer your gift at the altar, go first to be reconciled to thy brother." In this encounter, 'face to face'  with God, our heart must be pure, each free from all hatred and resentment. Everyone must remove from his heart that which can obscure this encounter. This assumes that everyone is respected according to his sensibility.
Is this not exactly what Benedict XVI. wanted?
Cardinal Robert Sarah: Yes, that is the meaning of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. Benedict XVI. has put a lot of energy and hope in it. Unfortunately, it's not quite succeeded since  both the one and the other is "held fast" to their rites and are mutually exclusive. In the Church everyone should be able to celebrate after their own sensibility. This is one of the conditions for the reconciliation. You must lead the people to the beauty of the liturgy to its holiness. The Eucharist is not a "meal with friends", but a sacred mystery. If it is  celebrated with fervor and beauty, we arrive at a reconciliation that is self-evident. However, we must not forget that it is God who reconciles, and that takes time.
Translation: Giuseppe Nardi
image: Aleteia


Anonymous said...

"In the Church everyone should be able to celebrate after their own sensibility."

And just how far does that extend? Should the LGBT faction be allowed to celebrate after their sensibilities and turn the mass into an orgy? This statement right here by your hero cardinal shows that he doesn't have the spine to tackle the problem any more than the uber-liberal ones like Carldinal Marx.

Liam Ronan said...

I thought fellow Remnant readers would like to remember that Mario Palmaro, the Italian Catholic pro-life champion and faithful outspoken son of the Church, died one year ago today, March 09, 2014.

May Perpetual Light shine upon him.

Liam Ronan said...

I posted the foregoing on The Remnant blog site and thought readers of The Eponymous Flower would have a particular fondness for Mario Palmaro in their hearts as well.

susan said...

we do indeed....a mighty warrior for God and His Church went to his eternal reward that day. Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure why Cardinal Sarah's comments are considered a big deal. He's absolutely right VII did not ban the Mass of Pius V. While some major changes occurred in the 1965 missal, a new rite was not created as a result of the Council.

In fact, it was Paul VI who banned the Mass of Pius V when he created, out of whole cloth, the Novus Ordo. It was he who said the Mass of Pius V could no longer be celebrated.

All that said, I read recently that Cardinal Sarah was not Bergoglio's first choice for CDW. In fact, it was Marini. Fortunately, the remnants of Ratzinger's papacy stood up and said no. And for whatever reason, Bergoglio relented.

Anonymous said...

Now, now. I had to attend an LGBT Mass unknowingly.

They're pretty stupid, but I wouldn't call it "an orgy". Just a lot of air-headed sentimentality about love and acceptance.

But I wouldn't want LGBT masses to be the norm. They should be the "extraordinary" form instead.

Tancred said...

Sympathy for the devil.

Elizabeth said...

For another viewpoint on the Cardinal's words, see:

Gabriel said...

Pope John Paul II, in response to a query about the status of the NO in relation to Vat II, made it perfectly clear that the development of the vernacular Eucharistic liturgy was the express and authentic extension of the thinking of the Council's Bishops.
The 2800 bishops at the Council knew its mind because they were its mind. They knew what directions the Council had intended, validated and affirmed because they had determined these. Their Conciliar mind naturally and appropriately supported the decisions of Pope Paul VI to elevate the vernacular and demote the 1570 Mass form.

Tancred said...

Maybe in your 68 brain, yes, but most of the Council Fathers had no intention of validating the kinds of things that go on in Collegeville and points west.

Anonymous said...

"In fact, it was Paul VI who banned the Mass of Pius V when he created, out of whole cloth, the Novus Ordo."


Athelstane said...

"Fortunately, the remnants of Ratzinger's papacy stood up and said no. And for whatever reason, Bergoglio relented."

Assuming that's true, of course. Papa Bergoglio is a man who likes getting his way. What would have sufficed as pressure or persuasion to get him to back off Marini? Especially from a milieu that Francis has been working to purge from the Curia anyway?

There's a lot we don't know about this. I'd be keen to know the true story - all of it. Right now, the most plausible explanation to me is that for some reason, Marini didn't want the job.

Athelstane said...


The 2800 bishops at the Council knew its mind because they were its mind. They knew what directions the Council had intended, validated and affirmed because they had determined these.

You raise an important point - that most of the bishops who implemented Paul VI's liturgical reforms in 1964-1970 were also the same bishops who had been at the Council. Yet this doesn't fully explain the great disparities between what Sacrosanctum Concilium calls for and what we see in the 1964, 1967, and 1970 reforms.

Nor does it explain what kind of reactions and commentary we find at the Council itself as the liturgy was being discussed. An anecdote from Cardinal Stickler leaps to mind to illustrate this: "I still remember very well how after several radical proposals a Sicilian bishop rose and implored the fathers to allow caution and reason to reign on this point, because otherwise there would be the danger that the entire Mass might be held in the language of the people — whereupon the entire hall burst into uproarious laughter." Yet there the bishops were, a few years later, in most cases presiding over entirely vernacular liturgies. How so?

One possibility is that some changed their minds. Another is that others may not have changed their minds, but obediently went along with what they assumed the Pope wanted. Another is that some still had misgivings but did not have the stamina or the courage to stand up to growing pressure from some elite corners. And yet another explanation is that some knew the ground had shifted, but simply didn't care much.

In light of all these plausible explanations, I think that one can assert that the Fathers of Sacrosanctum did not anticipate or advocate the liturgical situation of 1970, or anything close to it, while at the same time, after all was said and done, mostly viewed what DID happen as fruits of the Council. And perhaps, if something is believed widely and strongly enough, for a long enough time, by those in the best position to say so, who is to say it isn't so?

I suspect that by the time the Council is a century past, such questions will be academic, and Churchmen won't be asking how best to implement the Council, but simply what makes for the best liturgy. At the end of the day, Sacrosanctum is a prescriptive document, not a dogmatic one. Neither it nor Paul VI's missal are sacrosanct, and time will judge their worthiness.

Anonymous said...

@Athelstane, Maybe the "uproarious laughter" was a nervous laugh at their agenda being found out. Doesn't Obama laugh when asked a question that exposes his agenda? Nuff said.

Gabriel said...

I think it pretty obvious that the Documents of Vatican II in many cases contain Christologies, theologies of Church, Sacraments, Liturgy, Church structure and Church governance which were and are in tension, maybe even exclusive of one another.

I am convinced that most of the 2800 Conciliar bishops went home and chose the particular theological applications which were appropriate to the circumstance of their areas. In other words they cherry picked what they believed was the overwhelming unwritten will of the Council. The tension remains and will never go away until another Ecumenical Council makes further clarifications. Until then, blogs such as this one will be a forum for people who prove their opposing positions from evidence from the same Conciliar Document.

As far as liturgy goes, the vast majority of the Council Fathers believed that the Mass of 1570 had fulfilled its task in the Counter Reformation and should be retired in favour of the vernacular Novus Ordo.

Athelstane said...

@Anonymous: "Maybe the "uproarious laughter" was a nervous laugh at their agenda being found out. Doesn't Obama laugh when asked a question that exposes his agenda? Nuff said."

Who knows?

Cardinal Stickler - a man of pretty well known traditional bearings - appears to have taken the laughter as being sincere. Perhaps he heard what he wanted to hear. But I am inclined to take his judgment at face value.

I don't doubt that - what's the expression? - modernist termites were present in the hall, and that *their* laughter might have been of the nervous sort. But I think it is quite reasonable to assert that, when this discussion was being had at the Council in 1962-63, a majority of the Fathers present were not contemplating a wholly vernacular liturgy. Even if it turns out that most made their peace with it later.

Athelstane said...

Hello Gabriel,

"The tension remains and will never go away until another Ecumenical Council makes further clarifications."

Or a future Pope issues a clarifying document.

"As far as liturgy goes, the vast majority of the Council Fathers believed that the Mass of 1570 had fulfilled its task in the Counter Reformation and should be retired in favour of the vernacular Novus Ordo."

Undoubtedly some had this conclusion when all was said and done. I continue, however, to affirm two points: 1) There were a number of different viewpoints among Council Fathers, and 2) the viewpoints of many of these Fathers also changed over time. As regards the latter, there's evidence that some Fathers in 1963 thought they were endorsing a moderately (but unprecedentedly) ambitious liturgical reform (which I think is a fair characterization of Sacrosanctum Concilium), and later came to accept something far more radical, either out of changed conviction, or simple obedience to papal desires.

In any event, I reject the (all too common) formulation of the Extraordinary Form/Traditional Latin Mass as "the Mass of 1570" or "the Mass of St. Pius V." All that Pius V did (along with affirming a number of other western Latin Rites of long standing) was to codify what was already there. He did not promulgate a new rite, or even a significant modification of an existing one. If Council Fathers thought that he had, more is the pity. Because what they ended up rejecting by 1970 was an ancient rite that had its genesis in Late Antiquity, not a Baroque fabrication.

Gabriel said...

What needs to be considered very seriously here is that all of the participants in the Council were born early in the 20th Century; they obviously, knew no other Mass than the Counter Reformation Latin Mass of 1570; the overwhelming majority of them, obviously, knew no other Christology, Ecclesiology, Sacramental Theology etc than that which was taught them before 1962 and yet the vast majority of the 2800 bishops quite consciously, purposefully committed themselves and their people to a quite different direction than the one they followed before the Council.
One must, I think, trust that the Bishops who every day prayed for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, made their pastoral decisions and put in place reforms they believed that they intended as the Council progressed and concluded.

Tancred said...

Counter Reformation Mass?

Between dishonest anachronisms like this and your Judaizing, I see no reason for you to commen here ever again.

This might fly in Collegeville, but I'm interested in honest debate, which I don't believe is possible with someone of your malignant disposition.

Anonymous said...

Gabriel, Very true that the Bishops of Vll were born in the early 20th Century. The fact is that the heresy of modernism had spread like wildfire since the mid 19th Century. I believe it was Blessed Pius lX or the Pope before him who first condemned it. St. Pius X Officially condemned it. Ven. Pius Xll in the 1940's said, "Modernism was condemned, but sadly it is still widespread in the Church today". Now, before the Council even ended 350 Council Fathers gathered at night at the Basilica of St. Domitilla in Rome and all signed a document in which they agreed to some of the disasters they were to inflict on the Church after the Council ended. So born in the early 20th Century or not, many of the Council Fathers were modernist heretics. At the time of the Council, the names of liberal (modernist) and Traditionalist were already in strong use. Traditionalist has always been the opposite of modernist. St. Padre Pio himself called himself a Traditionalist and it is said he loathed even being called a Conservative.

Tancred said...

There have been modernists in the Church active long before that, and Prelates like Ireland, Gibbons or Carrol don't have much on the worst modern prelates.

Athelstane said...

Digging into Gabriel's latest post:

.."yet the vast majority of the 2800 bishops quite consciously, purposefully committed themselves and their people to a quite different direction than the one they followed before the Council."

Whatever his motivations or orientation, I think that Gabriel raises a very important point, one that has come up from time to time in such discussions. When crunch time came, why did the Roman Rite have so few defenders in the episcopates? Why did it have so many attackers? How could it be so when ALL of these bishops and clergy were formed exclusively in this Rite, or rites closely related to it?

One answer, often favored by traditionalists, is that mooted above by Anonymous at 6:03am: the Church by 1962 was simply infested with modernists who were simply biding their time until their moment to strike. There's some truth to this, unquestionably, though their task was aided by the fact that they stacked the liturgical commission at the Council (even under John XXIII, who clearly did not favor major changes) and before long could count on the Pope himself (Paul VI) in their corner - in short, it was still an elite phenomenon. Once Montini was elected, they could count on the auctoritas of the See of Peter to supply whatever force they needed to see the reform through. And it worked. Resistance was futile.

What remained was a large mass, arguably a majority, of bishops who were *not* committed modernists, but often not deeply committed to the Roman Rite; many were appointed as bricks-and-mortar men, men appointed for their ability to build and maintain schools, churches, charities, and other institutions. Told that the Pope wanted X,Y and Z in the liturgy, they obediently went along. And when the vernacular turned out to be fairly popular (which, regrettably, the evidence suggests that it was in many places), their minds were put at ease about implementing such a revolutionary overhaul of the liturgy.

I will second Tancred's point that it is, again, unfair to closely tie the Roman Rite to 1570, Pius V, or the "Counter Reformation." Bishops *may* well have wanted to break out of the Tridentine mindset for whatever reason, but I think that was a secondary motivation on the liturgical debates, even for the enthusiasts. The latter were content to object whether its provenance was 6th century or 16th century. Most of the rest went along out of obedience.

Tancred said...

I think the progressives at the Council knew that whatever they told the Bishops to secure their votes, that they had the people on the ground locally to push liturgical abuses ala 1969.

People like Eric Gill, Parsch, Virgil Michel and Dom Beaduin had been abusing the liturgy long before evil personalities we're familiar with over the last 50 years. It wasn't something that was hatched over night, but was long planned for and carefully executed.

People like Msgr. Bandas, Klaus Gamber, and even Liturgical Liberals like Bouyer found themselves mostly isolated, even if they were right.

The whole thing was played out with very little real resistance and permissiveness and indulgence were the watchwords.

Intransigents who did resist were dealt with in the media, or ignored.

Athelstane said...

Yes, Tancred, but the progressives had one advantage that outweighed all the others: they had the Pope.

Had they not had him, and the reform had been killed in its tracks, they did, as you say, have enough people on the ground to still do some damage - and they would have. And the cultural revolution of the 60's still would have happened in some form, and still would have aided those efforts. Let us not kid ourselves on that.

But having the Pope gave them the ultimate high ground.

Tancred said...

With or without the Pope, they still had a large number of key Bishops, control of the Universities, etc... They could have waited, after all, they were happily ignoring the Pope and legitimate authorities in the 20s , they would have likely done so again. Even Pius X's instructions were basically laughed at in Tubingen.

Gabriel said...

If Benedict XVI had succeeded in proclaiming the hybrid Mass of the NO and EF, mutural enrichment, as the one and only Form of the Roman Rite, what kind of reception, in your considered opinion, would it have been given by the devoted followers of the TLM?

Athelstane said...

Hello Gabriel,

I'm sure it would be every bit as warm as that given it by the gentlemen in Collegeville.

Anonymous said...

Gabriel, Did you ever read what Pope Benedict XVl had to say about the Novus Ordo? He criticized that the New Mass was done in a rush hazardous manner. Something about those who were responsible for the reform of the Mass, not really thinking about what it was they were doing. That the Altar was never to be turned around. The correct manner of offering the Holy Mass is Priest and People facing the same direction. He said he at that moment would not order all Altars to be placed in their rightful position, that it must be done gradually. Saying that the Church must learn from history, "When the Altars were first turned around, We lost many Catholics and could not take that risk again". By orders of Pope Benedict, no Bishop can stop a Priest from saying Mass in the correct manner of Ad Orientem. Latin was never to be replaced with the Vernacular. That Vll called for it to be done, is a 50 year blatant modernist lie. Pope Benedict in the reform of the reforms made it clear that the New Mass needs to be reformed. Cardinal Raymond Burke was attempting to restore the ancient offeratory prayers and the prayers at the foot of the Altar to the Novus Ordo. In a nutshell, the Novus Ordo is broken and it needs fixing. Of course we will have to wait for the next Pontificate. As Francis has the Church frozen in the time warp of the 60's and 70's.

Anonymous said...

I am seeing more and more Catholics question, what was Vatican ll? Most Catholics I know don't even know what a Vatican ll is. I tried hard for years to think Vll was good despite the fact that everything is a mess. Something that really shocked me was the fact that St. John XXlll's Council was never fully realized. St. John XXlll and Cardinal Ottaviani drew up 9 schemas that were to make up the Council. 5 have been translated into English and their working on the other 4. I was surprised when I read part of the schemas. The Council was intended to be in line with Tradition, it was intended to follow in the same line as the Council of Trent and Vatican Council l. The Council cannot be called the Council of St. John XXlll. The Modernist Council Fathers after the death of St. John XXlll voted 8 of his schemas out of the Council. Religious Liberty was not what the Pope had in mind, the schema was to deal with what was intended to be "Religious Tolerance". Another schema was to deal with errors that had crept into the Church. "The Council was hijacked" is a fact. There are many questions to be asked. If anyone does not believe me on the true Council of St. John XXlll, just look up on the Internet the 9 schemas of Pope John XXlll. He was NOT the villain many of us thought.

Tancred said...

Most bishops don't even abide by it honestly. The SSPX has far more respect for it than most of the world's bishops.

Anonymous said...

Tancred, "Most Bishops don't even abide by it honestly". I could not agree with you more. When one looks at those who are always speaking about Vll, and claiming the SSPX must accept Vll, its ironic. It is the Modernists who reject the whole of the Council. Each has invented his Council while condemning what the Council really said. Then they have the audacity to condemn the SSPX for not accepting the Council. I also have seen with my own eyes and have heard with my own ears, the SSPX holds more faithfulness to the Council than those who accuse them of not accepting it, "just as you say! We Traditionalists need to make this fact widely known.