Cardinal Sarah Said What?

There has been a lot of talk online about Cardinal Sarah’s recent interview with the online paper Aleteia. Cardinal Sarah is the new Prefect for the Congregation for Divine Worship.

I do not know much about Cardinal Sarah. I do not know the full context in which he gave his interview. Perhaps his words were distorted, or perhaps the larger context of the interview would shed better light on what he said. Nevertheless, how the Prefect for the CDW under Pope Francis could argue the following is beyond me:

The Second Vatican Council never asked for the rejection of the past and the abandonment of the Mass of Saint Pius V, that 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.

Perhaps I am missing something.

How is it that Cardinal Sarah can hold: 1) the Second Vatican Council did not call for the abandonment of the Mass of Saint Pius V, and 2) nevertheless the Council willed liturgical reform? These two statements seem incompatible.

First, the Mass had long since departed from the Mass of St. Pius V as celebrated in the missal he promulgated. To equate the Tridentine Mass and the Missal of 1962 exclusively with the Mass of St. Pius V neglects the fact that revisions, however small, were carried out under Clement VIII, Urban VIII, Leo XIII, Pius X and Benedict XV, Pius XII, and John XXIII. To claim that the Mass of Pius V was the Mass celebrated by the time of the council’s opening in 1962 is simply inaccurate. It would be more proper to say that the Second Vatican Council did not seek the abandonment of the 1962 Missal, though even that is inaccurate because the council clearly calls for liturgical reform and thus a new typical edition of the Roman Missal.

Second, of course the council sought the “abandonment” of the Mass of St. Pius V, just as the Tridentine reforms sought the “abandonment” of the pre-Tridentine Mass, despite however much the Mass of Pius V is similar to the pre-Tridentine liturgy. Sacrosanctum Concilium in its opening paragraph “sees particularly cogent reasons for undertaking the reform and promotion of the liturgy.” (par. 1) Given the historical context, it is simply preposterous to claim that the council did not envision a liturgical reform along the lines of the reforms advocated by the Liturgical Movement.

Not once does Sacrosanctum Concilium express concern about the Liturgical Movement as a whole, or call into question its main tenets. Sacrosanctum Concilium embraces those tenets when it says: “the general laws governing the structure and meaning of the liturgy must be studied in conjunction with the experience derived from recent liturgical reforms and from the indults conceded to various places.” (par. 23) This is a clear gesture to the Liturgical Movement as is the section on the Promotion of Pastoral-Liturgical Action. Par. 43 of that section begins by saying that “zeal for the promotion and restoration of the liturgy is rightly held to be a sign of the providential dispositions of God in our time, as a movement of the Holy Spirit in His Church.” (par. 43). Yet another tip of the hat to the Liturgical Movement. The phrase calling for a “restoration of the liturgy” also points to a call for major liturgical reform.

It is very clear, given the context in which Sacrosanctum Concilium was written, that the council fathers believed that Vatican II would mark a new chapter in the Roman Rite that was connected to its past expression but also markedly different.

That being said, one can question whether the council fathers had in mind such a grand-sweeping reform, along the lines of that carried out by the Consilium after the council, when they voted on Sancrosanctum Concilium. It can be argued that they did not. However, many council fathers were quick to ask for indults and permissions which went beyond the scope of Sancrosanctum Concilium in the years immediately following its promulgation. The near-exclusive usage of the vernacular is a case in point.

I find it hard to understand how the current Prefect for the CDW could make such a historically inaccurate claim. If he were to have said that the work and reforms of the Consilium went further than the council documents envisioned, many would agree. I could understand if he said that the council did not ask for such a radical reform of the liturgy. However, it seems a bit naive to state that the council fathers did not set in motion a reform of the liturgy which would bring the Tridentine era to a close and initiate a new post-Vatican II liturgical era.

I have faith that Pope Francis knew what he was doing when appointing Cardinal Sarah. I believe that Cardinal Sarah knows that the liturgical future of the Roman Rite lies in the post-Vatican II era, and not in the Tridentine one.

I hope that since the post-Vatican II liturgy has been established as the norm for the Roman Rite, Cardinal Sarah will look at ways to enrich that form instead of lamenting the loss of its predecessor.

As always, IMHO,



  1. I think you are being a little nit picky when fretting over some of the terms used. The Mass of Pius V is a common way to refer to the 1962 Missal, even though it was revised a few times since then.

    Also, his statements are not incompatible if one views the OF as being a “new” rite different from that which preceded it. Vatican II clearly did not call for the Missal of the time to be abandoned, but rather to be reformed. Many people feel that didn’t actually happen.

    If the Missals were houses you could say that the council called for the old house (the 1962 Missal) to be updated rather than replaced. The Missal that came about after the council is more like a “new” house somewhat modeled after the old one and using some parts salvaged from it and other old houses.

    I will follow up and say that they had the right to reform the Mass as they did, but we also have a legitimate right to criticize those reformed rites without our faithfulness to the council or Church being called into question.

    1. @Jack Wayne – comment #1:
      Well Jack, there you go again disagreeing with the Pope – i.e., what Pope Paul VI clearly and emphatically stated when he mandated the reform, said that it was in line with Vatican II, and repeatedly defended it in the strongest possible terms. Every missal says on the first page that it is reformed in accord with Vatican II. I take this to be the “Catholic” position on the matter.

      But we’ve had this discussion about a thousand times so I hope we can just leave it where we last left it: some accept Vatican II and the reform it called for and brought about, other do not. So be it.


      1. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #2:
        I assume you are in total support of SP and Liturgicam Authenticam then, since disagreeing with Popes is such a problem for you.

        Also, I’m not the Pope who knowingly put a Cardinal that questions the liturgical reform in such a high position, so obviously Pope Francis has a broader view of what being faithful to Vatican II and the Church is than you do.

      2. @Jack Wayne – comment #5:
        Good point, Jack!

        Oh, I think you know what I think about SP and LA. I don’t see how SP can be reconciled with SC. And I think that SC is just a bit more important than SP and LA combined, to put it very mildly.

        I suppose I could say that progressives give themselves more room for disagreeing with the pope since that is part of their progressive platform, whereas for conservatives they’re being internally inconsistent since obedience to authority is part of their program.

        But this doesn’t quite work for me since I’m not very progressive on so many points, especially regarding Latin chant and reverent liturgy and the liturgical style I like, etc. etc. And even on the hot-button issues, I’m not necessarily progressive myself just because I think we have to have a good discussion and respect what our best scholars and theologians are saying and Pray Tell is a place to do that.

        So I guess I too am inconsistent! So be it. Maybe there is something Catholic about that??


  2. The statement contains a certain level of duplicity. His first statement summarizes Pope Benedict’s Hermeneutic of Continuity approach to the liturgical reforms of the council. His second statement is puzzling. We need to promote the liturgical reform of the council. Does he mean reform in past tense, or is that reform ongoing and is there room for it now? Did that reform break with the past in anyway to create discontinuity?

  3. I think a Catholic can agree with either Fr. Anthony or Jack on this matter. Certainly the Mass of 1970 is what Blessed Pope Paul VI desired and he certainly felt it was faithful to what Vatican II supposedly wanted. But was this an infallible dogma on the pope’s part, or simply a pious opinion? I think the latter. We can disagree with Blessed Pope Paul VI pious musings as Pope Benedict seems to have done and thankfully so. There is development in the Church concerning these sorts of things and certainly to disagree with Blessed Paul VI about this, that or the other opinion about Vatican II is permissible, after all Pope Francis has opened the door to the possibility of divorced and remarried Catholics receiving Holy Communion and supposedly without an annulment for the presumed sacramental marriage which contradicts almost every other pope in history.

    And the 1970 Roman Missal has been revised a few times since its arrival especially in the vernacular and in the General Introduction.

      1. @Christian McConnell – comment #13:
        I don’t deny Pope Paul VI’s authority or the authority of Pope Benedict in what he said about the 1970 missal or what Pope Francis has or is saying. We have to take all of this seriously, even opinion. I really like, though, what Cardinal Sarah is saying! Of course it is opinion too!

  4. Fr. Anthony – when you said “So I guess I too am inconsistent! So be it. Maybe there is something Catholic about that??”

    My immediate thought was, well we are the both/and faith, not the either/or faith right?


  5. What makes one inconsistent is when their beliefs do not logically work together. It can be perfectly consistent to be “progressive” liturgically, yet quite conservative theologically (and the opposite is true too). In fact, the most unflinchingly conservative Catholics I know are not traditionalists but are what some of the crazier trad websites would call “NeoCons.”

    I actually have rather strong progressive tendencies apart from liturgy, but I feel that my “conservative” ideas on liturgy support those views (and I wish not to talk about them, since I make it a point to only talk about liturgy here). I have, however, stated many times my feelings about how the 1962 Mass is less clericalist and more communal than what we ended up with…

    I think the reformed Missal is not really faithful to SC, and SC therefore trumps it. I think a lot of ROTR and traditionalists hold that opinion. Perhaps SP isn’t faithful to SC either, but no more than the liturgical reform itself is (indeed, SP is a necessity until such time that the liturgical reform is itself brought into alignment with SC).

    1. @Stanislaus Kosala – comment #9:
      Didn’t Trent allow missals that were at least 200 years old to remain in use?

      Not surprising in an era where the printing press was scarcely a century old, one-way travel to the far east was a three-year sojourn and circumnavigating the globe by ship took just as long! And we couldn’t just hit “send” to argue whether we should or shouldn’t.

      1. @Sean Keeler – comment #18:
        Sean -agree. As a teacher of history, some of the *conspiracy* and *revisionist* comments being made can only leave you laughing. Some random thoughts:
        – all statements, etc. are opinions. Can’t believe that a catholic pastor made this statement. Really? Experts have long explained that within the church there is a hierarchy of pronoucements – all are not equal or at the same weight level. Let’s take the three named – Paul VI Missal was the ongoing result of what the VII council fathers called for in SC (unlike Trent, VII did do a liturgy document and it was the first approved); its directive for Consilium; and the fact that an overwhelming number of VII bishops followed up the Council with continued liturgy requests e.g. wider use of the vernacular.
        LA – never signed off by JPII; it was a lowest level Vatican document that happened but has never really been approved by the episcopal conferences or even by anyone who had expertise in this area; SP – we have discussed this endlessly – it is a MP (and we know it was contrary to what the majority of bishops and episcopal conferences wanted in the world); and then you have Paul VI and his missal. Nope, none are equal nor carry the same weight.
        – the mantra about a minority not being in favor of this – Really? This gets old – yes, there was a minority but so small that it doesn’t really rise to the level expressed above. e.g. the great story about Cardinal Manning who opposed VII and the reformed liturgy because only latin is to be preserved and yet he had to have someone read his council comments because he was unable to both speak or read latin so that anyone could understand. There is always a minority – but this does mean that their views have equal weight.
        – disruption – actually, would agree with this but interesting how some say a decrease was caused by the reformed liturgy but then you have to ignore the huge increase in the 3rd world using the reformed liturgy.

  6. More is emerging from Cardinal Sarah’s new book. Some excerpts are available here in French:

    He says, among other things, that he thinks that summorum pontificum is in line with what was willed by the council fathers, that EF helps us to better appreciate the mass as an act of Christ and not of human beings, and that summorum pontificum helps us reconcile the two forms of the Roman Rite. He also quotes with approval the part of Benedict’s SP letter that talks about mutual enrichment.

    1. @Stanislaus Kosala – comment #10:

      He says, among other things, that he thinks that summorum pontificum is in line with what was willed by the council fathers,

      I wonder, then, if he’d like to explain how it could be that the French and UK bishops begged BXVI not to issue SP because they could foresee the trouble it would cause, but he went ahead and did it anyway? Doesn’t sound like acting in accordance with the will of the successors to the Council Fathers, does it?

      1. @Paul Inwood – comment #22:
        I’m curious as to how he would answer that question myself.
        Are you saying though, that the council fathers mandated that the pope can only establish a universal law affecting the whole church if the local bishops agree to it?
        One clue to what he would say is his comment that SP’s goal is to effect some sort of reconciliation between the pre and post Vatican ii missals. This makes it look like he buys into the theory that the liturgical reform was misinterpreted as a rupture with the past.
        This reminds me of a message that Pope Francis sent as his own to the Fraternity of St. Peter on their 25th anniversary:
        “By way of the celebration of the Sacred Mysteries according to the extraordinary form of the Roman rite and the orientations of the Constitution on the Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium, as well as by passing on the apostolic faith as it is presented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, may they[the Fraternity of St. Peter] contribute, in fidelity to the living Tradition of the Church, to a better comprehension and implementation of the Second Vatican Council.”
        There seems to be an assumption according to Pope Francis that the fact that there exist communities that use the EF but at the same time accept the council would in itself aid us in gaining a proper interpretation of the council.
        I think that this is classic Francis: starting with the lived reality of a community and then going on to understanding magisterial documents in light of that lived reality. It’s the same kind of approach that (I hope) will one lead to eventually admitting divorced and remarried Catholics to Holy Communion.

  7. Nathan, some thoughts…..firstly, to use Anthony’s line of argument, the missal of 1962 opens with the bull of Pius V – and really speaking, despite the rubrical changes, new Commons, etc. is substantially the same missal . So while it is technically correct that it is not in each and every detail the Mass that Pius V celebrated, I think the “Catholic position on the matter” can accept that reference.

    Secondly, I think the break between the Tridentine and pre-Tridentine Mass (I assume you are speaking of the curial and Roman liturgies, not local uses) is apologetic overstatement. Yes, the fact that there was a change shows there can be change, by a Pope, etc, etc. But the scale and scope of the Paul VI changes WERE truly radical. To take a small example, the Ordo Missae – one can look at a pre-Tridentine Ordo and still see the same pattern, and agreement in many details. You can’t do that with the Pauline rite except in the broad outlines. Moreover, the rearrangement of texts throughout the missal, the composition of new ones, etc. is immensely vaster in scope.

  8. Lastly, inasmuch as there was enthusiasm shown by the worldwide episcopate – which I find to be one of the more compelling reasons, even beyond Sacrosanctum Concilium – for various aspects of the reform, this view often suppresses the dissenting factors of the time and relegates them to a minority.

    For example, is the idea appreciated that some in the episcopate did go along with later, more radical changes mandated by the Supreme Authority because that was simply how it was, before the Council? Or that many episcopates were divided – especially when the reforms became more radical – and the Concilium (not unlike the Curia would under JP2 and B16 for “conservative” prelates) sided with the “progressives” and approved things that later became the norm? And again, that many objected to certain aspects but their objections were over-ruled or responded too in a paltry manner?

    The 1967 trial liturgies, recounted in Bugnini’s memoirs, is a case in point, as well as the protests occasionally raised by various episcopates and individual bishops, which were brushed aside as lacking in vision or enthusiasm. These are all dismissed as reactionary blips on the screen of progress, as isolated conservative voices, but I think that part of the history needs to be looked at and appreciated.

    You yourself allude to the real issue – beyond things like the vernacular, a real issue for some is precisely that they argue that the council fathers – and the episcopate – did not “have in mind such a grand sweeping reform”. The question is not whether the council Fathers intended to inaugurate a new era of liturgical reforms, the question is whether the scope and nature of the reforms was what they envisioned. I think Cardinal Sarah was trying to say exactly what you mentioned – “that the council did not ask for such a radical reform of the liturgy” – and that was what he meant by abandonment of the Pian missal.

  9. Does the following from Sacroscantum Concilium speak to the topic at hand?

    4. “Lastly, in faithful obedience to tradition, the sacred Council declares that holy Mother Church holds all lawfully acknowledged rites to be of equal right and dignity; that she wishes to preserve them in the future and to foster them in every way.”

    I also recall in the book “The Rhine Flows Into The Tiber”, that there was the desire among certain Conciliar Fathers to create a new Mass as an “experimental” rite that would not replace, but exist alongside the TLM.

    I recall that the book in question quoted a bishop who supported the above…but even he admitted that the laity would never accept the elimination of their beloved TLM.

    The TLM was to have been preserved with the new Mass offered as optional liturgy.

    At Vatican II, among various Fathers, there existed the determination to preserve the TLM while allowing for the creation of a new Mass.

    Therefore, at least some Vatican II Fathers would have supported that which Cardinal Sarah had said in regard to the TLM and the Council.

    Tom Edwards

  10. I think that what is “opinion” here is Cardinal Sarah’s thoughts. The promulgation of new liturgical rites in response to a council’s constitution is not opinion; it is not infallible dogma, either, but carries more weight than just being an “opinion.”

    Granted that the reforms were not always carried out prudently or properly, I would hope that 50 years after, this division would have become history.

    With Christians being beheaded in the Middle East, refugees fleeing their homes because they are forced out by persecution, and the gap between the haves and the have-nots getting wider every day, we still argue over this stuff??

    I find the SP and TLM crowds getting more obnoxious and petulant each day.

    1. Lee Bacchi – comment #17: “With Christians being beheaded in the Middle East, refugees fleeing their homes because they are forced out by persecution, and the gap between the haves and the have-nots getting wider every day, we still argue over this stuff?? I find the SP and TLM crowds getting more obnoxious and petulant each day.”

      It could be noted that despite the persecution of Christians in the Middle East, there are Catholics who are concern themselves with the promotion of homosexual “marriage”…who are determined to promote liturgical novelties to make Mass more “relevant”…who conduct conferences to determine that which Jesus did or did not say.

      Attacks against Middle Eastern Christians abound as Catholic liturgical scholars argue, for example, as to when this or that Gospel was written.

      Tom Edwards

    2. @Lee Bacchi – comment #17:

      I find the SP and TLM crowds getting more obnoxious and petulant each day.

      In 2001 I was in St. Peter’s, over by the Blessed Sacrament chapel. Then, out of nowhere it seemed, a great joyous jumble of instruments and voices made its way through the nave. Their amazing passionate sound parted the crowds of tourists as if Exodus. The large line weaved, sang, and played instruments all the way to a side altar, where a number of priests were waiting to say Mass.

      I have an idea. Maybe traditionalists (myself certainly included; I should start scraping together some euro) should have a massive entrance into St. Peter’s for a solemn EF Mass. Let us enter with the most joyous and heartfelt Salve Regina lead by a marching choir, enough to part the sea of tourists again and announce the veneration of Our Lady with strength and vigor. After a Mass of chanted propers, motets, and polyphony the turba of traditionalist faithful will process out to the Te Deum, particularly praising the confessors and martyrs who lived and died for the EF.

      Obnoxious? I would call that a most beautiful and worthy praise of the Lord!

      1. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #25:

        Would you please provide the names of at least some of “the confessors and martyrs who lived and died for the EF.”

        Saint John Paul II died in 2005 never having heard, let alone spoken the words “Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite” so I’d be glad to see your list.

  11. Sean, Mr. Kosala, etc. Excerpted from John O’Malley’s book on Trent:

    More than 10+ years after the end of Trent (which did not make any liturgical documents, decisions, etc. but left it to the following popes to make those changes after Trent’s decisions about sacraments)

    Pius V (who was not the immediate pope after Trent) legislated the new missal which impacted the *latin rite*. As a sign of mercy, it included provision so that any other (European) rites (different from the latin rite) had existed for more than 200 years, that they basically had an indult to continue and not have to implement and use the new Pius V missal.

    Sorry, this is not what Paul VI (he only addressed the latin rite) did nor is the TLM a rite – it is the latin rite and Paul VI reformed that latin rite. Pretty cut and dry unless you want to get into revisionist and made up history.

    1. @Bill deHaas – comment #19:
      The allowance for rites over 200 years olf had exactly ZERO to do with mercy but with bicentenary and immemorial custom. The Pope at that time was quite clear about it.

  12. With Christians being beheaded in the Middle East, refugees fleeing their homes because they are forced out by persecution, and the gap between the haves and the have-nots getting wider every day, we still argue over this stuff??
    I find the SP and TLM crowds getting more obnoxious and petulant each day.

    Fr. Ruff declaimed Cdl. Sarah’s interview opinions to be “absurd.” AWR is adamant about that and entitled to remain so. The above remarks only show that the ability to behave in an obnoxious manner is not at all limited to the “SP and TLM crowds.” The discussions on this thread and the earlier one have been, for the most part, cordial and incisive. The linkage of atrocity that implies certain segments of the Catholic demography are deficiently concerned over is patently offensive and unwarranted, and the comment should be moderated. Obnoxious behavior by religious partisons knows no bounds. Criticisms of Abp. Cordileone of late and back to his appointment have stridently libeled him as a drunkard and worse.
    Indeed, let’s get real and get over the petty labeling.

  13. Good question, Mr. Grady!! Certain commenters above seem to only exhibit *exaggerated* histrionics. Back to the original post – as Fr. Ruff stated….guess you can make an argument for anything…..but that doesn’t make it valid, consistent, or even a mark of critical thinking.
    Sarah’s appointment; his statements; etc. in one way only echo what Francis has been calling for:
    – “parrhesia” – Francis welcomes folks who speak boldly and without fear
    – OTOH, Francis focuses on unity (not uniformity) and thus his statement that RotR and SP are *mistakes*
    – thus, we can draw some conclusions that he welcomes debate but this doesn’t mean he automatically assumes that every idea results in a definite church action……his actions to date indicate that he has some tolerance for disagreements, tensions, etc. but not if it hinders unity. For Francis, *reality has primacy over ideas* and liturgy is a reality; not an idea. One could suggest that RotR, LA, even SP are ideas but not a reality. (wonder if the above also applies to the private letter to Marchetto about his book)
    – Francis consistently frames our common faith as a people on a journey and when we set out on a journey, we always encounter new things, things we did not know. (suggest that RofR, SP, SA are not *new* things; things we did not know but rather, are past things).

    Church historians use a truism – that it takes roughly 50 years before any council begins to be understood and begins to be implemented and the church enacts and reflects its decisions. We are now at that moment – we have lived through at least 30 years of push back, delay, fear, reaction and now we have a pope of VII.

    An earlier post about Sarah and a *high source asking that Marini not be appointed* – is it not possible that this could mean those around the emeritus bishop of Rome (not Benedict himself) made this recommendation and is consistent with what Francis has been doing:
    – he is focusing on other pressing issues before liturgy
    – his starting point for liturgy per VII/SC are episcopal conferences; not a curial official nor quasi- papal solitary pronouncements such as SP
    – reality that Sarah has not participated in any SP liturgies at the Vatican (despite his book, interviews, etc…..this is also consistent with unity vs. personal feelings)

    Given this, would suggest Francis at this time sees Sarah as a *place holder*; that naming Marini would have been seen as a poke in Benedict’s eye. Francis has already demonstrated by his appointments that he values experts, skills, etc. Sarah is not a liturgical expert; his skills are not in liturgy….he is a place holder. Francis can be patient and events may eventually provide a time for him to make a different type of appointment (the same could be said about the CDF).

    Am reminded of Cardinal George’s infamous talk roughly 15 years ago when he declared that the liberal catholic experiment was exhausted. Suggest that Francis not only reveals this projection to be wrong but that Francis can’t be pigeonholed as liberal or conservative – rather, as some has analyzed, he is *radical* in the sense of seeking the *root* – *radix* – by reaching back through time, he is, in fact, *constructing a bridge to the future*. (and no, the *back through time* doesn’t start or end with Pius V and his missal.

  14. Is the 1998 Sacramentary being considered for its translation alone, or also for its ceremonial variations (such as the Gloria being one option among many opening rite elements)?

  15. Cardinal Sarah just gave another interview which sheds some more light on what he understands his role and what Pope Francis wants of him, it’s worth taking a look if you read French:

    He says, among other things, that Pope Francis wants him to manage the Congregation for Divine Worship in a way that at the same time respects absolutely the texts of the council and is in continuity with “the great work accomplished by Benedict XVI.”
    He also talks about mistakes in reading Sacrosanctum Concilium, how we should move forward while clearly showing that we do not reject the past (he mentions the mutual enrichment of the EF and OF in relation to this), and the value and limits of the vernacular.

  16. Mr. Kosala – suggest that this is merely Sarah’s understanding – nothing more and nothing less. In fact (a la R. Burke) Sarah may actually be misinterpreting what Francis wants and we also have to factor in that this is a second hand media report – is it really fully accurate?
    Some other factors:
    – Francis starts with the faith of the people (so, he respects that Benedict’s SP may have been an act of mercy for a small group of people compared to the world and the liturgy of the church)
    – other PTB posts have underlined that Francis has made decisions that effectively pause decisions/actions that might be interpreted in a bad light for Benedict; appear as a negative judgment – this is also consistent with Francis’ goals that unity is greater than conflict and the whole is greater than any one part.-
    All that being said, you still have to contend with the other, more substantial trends, comments, decisions, experience, and documented statements by Francis himself (not second hand; not via the media, etc.)

    He has called liturgy efforts such as these as a *mistake*; as *backwards liturgy* – to quote from Evangelii Gaudium:
    he deplored….”an ostentatious preoccupation for the liturgy but without any concern that the Gospel has an impact on the people of God.” or ” their hearts are open only to the limited horizon of their own interests……we need to learn and constantly go out, keeping our mission focused on Christ and a commitment to the poor.”

    Or this statement from Cardinal Wuerl:

    – “The challenge comes from those who will not accept the validity of the discussion, want to impose their own views as if they alone were in possession of the one true faith, and call into question the fidelity of everyone else.”
    – “Transitions are always challenges but if you walk through the discussion and implementation of the Council alongside the successor of Peter, you will not go astray.” He would use the example of…

    1. @Bill deHaas – comment #33:
      Mr. De Haas,

      These words come from Cardinal Sarah himself, to reject them you have to say that Cardinal Sarah is either:
      a. Lying
      b. Doesn’t understand what the pope wants him to do.

      I don’t see how the quote from EG applies to Sarah or Benedict since neither are advocating for the position that it condemns.
      Personally, I think hat that they are in line with certain things that Francis has said/done. There are many statements that he has made about the liturgy that have never been discussed on this blog.

      1. @Stanislaus Kosala – comment #34:
        Mr. Kosala – first, interesting that you ignore or skip over all of my documentation and my points and then you defensively allege that I *lied*?

        Two responses:
        – Suggest that Sarah probably doesn’t understand all that Francis wants and that much of what he says are his thoughts (not Francis).

        Sorry, Evangelii Gaudium has a significant amount of focus on liturgy – EG doesn’t condemn (that is your language, again).
        Yes, agree they are in line with CERTAIN/SOME things but doubt that Francis will either support or agree with statements such as – EF and OF can mutually enrich each other, etc.

        Oh yes, and the usual disclaimer – there are many other statements – just let me cherry pick some more and read them through my own lens so we all know and interpret them correctly. Please…….some of these certain comments fall into what Francis has stated about liturgy elites, museum piece, making liturgy into a museum while ignoring any type of commitment to the poor or outreach which is what liturgy is directed to.

        Let me also add – another Francis liturgy point is that he wants these types of decisions to be made by episcopal conferences – not from on high and not from a curial official such as Sarah. Francis is well aware (being a cardinal and archbishop when Benedict did SP) that the vast majority of bishops then and now do not support SP – find it to cause less unity and more division – and were dismayed that Benedict acted on his own.

        In terms of Francis and Benedict – you might want to read a recent biography about Francis and his time as novice master, provincial, and seminary rector for almost 25 years and how a small group of elites appealed to Rome and the new SJ general to replace Bergoglio creating divisions and an Jesuit province in crisis. The split happened over personalities and leadership styles and caused Bergoglio intense personal pain leading to him leaving the SJs when he became asst bishop…

      2. @Bill deHaas – comment #36:
        Where did I accuse you of lying?
        Which statements of Francis have I cherry picked and how have I distorted them?

  17. What Cardinal Sarah stated in this interview is rather clear. Pope Francis is often misinterpreted or interpreted only on soundbites, and not the total of what he has said and done. Obviously he wants SC to be fulfilled but he is not opposed to what Pope Benedict began (although some things he might not personally prefer, ornate vestments, kneeling for Holy Communion). Pope Francis has celebrated Mass all in the vernacular and nearly all in Latin. While I am not clairvoyant, when it comes to the liturgy in the long run, or the greater scheme of history, Pope Benedict’s writing and perspective will be reconsidered, revered and implemented.

    1. @Fr. Allan J. McDonald – comment #35:
      Agree – what Sarah says is clear. What that has to do with your second sentence is beyond me?? But, agree, Francis is often misinterpreted and via soundbites and yes, suggested that Sarah may be in that category.
      Agree – Francis wants SC fulfilled – disagree, not sure that he said he is NOT opposed to what Benedict began (your mantra and misinterpretation – I supplied documentation in which Francis is quoted as saying that these were actually *mistakes*; created by liturgical elites; museum pieces. (again, your naming vestments, kneeling, etc. is beside the point – the list could go on and on e.g. will wash women’s feet again this Holy Thursday. Face it – Francis’s liturgical sense, his VII ecclesiology, etc. make your opinion a contradiction (sorry, whether the Paul VI mass is said in English, latin,or a variety of languages is neither here not there – nice try to change the subject and mix up the topic being addressed).
      Wholeheartedly agree – you are NOT clairvoyant – either in the short run or the long run and your historical knowledge depth – well, let’s just skip over that one.
      Benedict’s perspective is being reconsidered – even by the bishop emeritus of Rome and will predict that it will not only fail to be implemented but will not stand the test of time and be seen as a knee jerk reaction.

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