Rorate Caeli

Liberalization of the Latin Mass:
A valuable aspect of the current papacy, says Moscow Patriarch

Excerpt of the actual interview granted by the Patriarch of Moscow, Alexis II, to Giovanni Cubeddu and Fabio Petito for the current edition of the Italian monthly 30 Giorni (30 Days):

What has the recent text of Pope Benedict on Latin in the liturgy meant to you? Does you Church also find itself today facing delicate liturgical questions? Besides, have you read the recent letter of the Pope to the Chinese Catholics? For the eightieth birthday of the Pope, you wrote, among other things, that "that which renders your position convincing is that you, as a theologian, is not merely a scholar of theoretical thought, but above all a sincere and deeply devout Christian who speaks from the bountifulness of your heart (cf. Mt 12, 34)". In what [aspect] do you find yourself today in greater agreement with pope Benedict?

Alexis II: "I believe that the question of the liturgical language and the relations among the various components of the Roman Catholic Church are internal matters. As for us, who are a Church for which the concept of Tradition has great meaning, the tension to find efficacious forms of harmonization between the centuries-old experience and the objective present-day reality and demands is nevertheless quite understandable and familiar. I see in this one of the most valuable aspects of the work of the current Pope of Rome, Benedict XVI."


  1. It seems to me this is more a comment on Sacramentum Caritatis [62] rather than on Summorum Pontificum

  2. That is not the case at all, bedwere.

    First, because this note in Sacramentum Caritatis was barely noticed by most people, inside or outside the Church, it did not cause any "tension" of any kind, and it did not cause any uproar, precisely because it was a liturgical recommendation (as so many of the kind issued in the previous pontificate), not a practical norm. Second, because Alexis's reference to various "factions" ("components") inside the Catholic Church make sense only regarding the motu proprio and the liberalization of the Traditional Mass.

  3. HAH +Alesix is already on record with very specific and complimentary observations regarding the MP. Among those Orthodox who pay attention to what is going on in the Roman Church you are not going to find many if any at all who will not nod with approval at Rome's return to tradition (at least liturgically).


  4. Anonymous3:08 AM

    Man...some of you folks are just plain mean spirited...nasty!

    Peter has spoken the cause is finished...

    For the crime of schism is worse than that which they commit who have offered sacrifice, who, nevertheless, have been disposed to penance for their sins prayed to God with the fullest satisfaction; in the other the Church is opposed. So in this case he who has fallen, has injured only himself; in the other, who attempts to cause a schism deceives many by dragging them with himself. In this case there is the loss of one soul; in the other their is danger to many. Certainly the one knows he has sinned and laments and bewails it; the other puffed up with pride in his sin is pluming himself on the sins themselves, separates sons from their mother, seduces sheep from their shepherds, disturbs the sacraments of God, and, whereas the former having stumbled sinned once, the latter sins daily. Lastly although the lapsed, if afterwards he acquired martyrdom, is able to secure the promises of the kingdom; if the other is slain outside of the Church, he cannot attain to the rewards of the Church.

    -Pope Pelagius II c. 585 in a letter to the schismatic bishops of Istria regarding the necessity of union with the Church.

    Nasty? I think not! The last time I checked the Patriarch of Moscow was not in union with Rome. We should ignore him. Why should Catholics need the "support" of a schismatic whose "tradition" of willful separation from the unity of the Church jeopardizes his everlasting salvation?

  5. Anonymous3:44 AM

    Because despite their Schism, the Eastern Orthodox know a little something about traditional liturgical understandings!

  6. Anonymous9:58 AM

    Perhaps the Holy Father will celebrate at the 60th aniversary of his tonsure on May, 7th 2008 a Tridentine Mass!

    Joseph Aloysius Ratzinger:
    Tonsur und niedere Weihen, Michael Cardinal Faulhaber am 7., 8., 9. Mai 1948

    Subdiakonat: 28. Oktober 1950, Weihbischof Johannes Neuhäusler, Freisinger Dom

    Diakonat: 29. Oktober 1950, Weihbischof Johannes Neuhäusler, Freisinger Dom

    Priesterweihe: 29. Juni 1951 durch Michael Cardinal Faulhaber,Freisinger Dom

    Bischofsweihe: 28. Mai 1977

    Quelle: Prälat Sigmund Benker

  7. Anonymous1:28 PM

    The Russian Church saw the negative effects of liturgical reform in the seventeenth century under HAH Nikon. Relatively minor reforms resulted in riots and some deaths so seriously did the faithful regard their liturgical patrimony.

    O that there had been a similar attitude in the West...

  8. Anonymous5:36 PM

    +Nikon wasn't an HAH (His All Holiness). He wasn't the Ecumenical Patriarch, just the Patriarch of Moscow.

    Why, by the way, is the EC referred to as HAH whereas even the Pope himself is simply HH? What makes the EC so All-Holy?


    PS. Oh, I was the first Anonymous

  9. Garrett,

    Because HAH is the customary honorific employed for patriarchs in the Eastern Church. It is not reserved for the Ecumenical Patriarchate who is merely one bishop among many albeit holding the first place of honor, in the absence of Old Rome.

  10. Anonymous6:14 AM

    The Russian Church saw the negative effects of liturgical reform in the seventeenth century under HAH Nikon. Relatively minor reforms resulted in riots and some deaths so seriously did the faithful regard their liturgical patrimony.

    O that there had been a similar attitude in the West...

    They did during the reformation/counter-reformation period.

  11. Anonymous6:16 AM

    "Patriarch of Moscow".


    By which pope's authority was the see of Moscow accorded that dignity?

  12. I think we have to be Caritative. Moscow Patriarchate born in the middle of the chaotic fall of the Eastern Roman Empire. After this difficult born, they had the horrible war with mongols, turks and tartars. They finished this permanent state of beligerancy in the s. XX, and... ups!...The masonic communism appeared!

    That´s an irregular church, they must finish church-state separation and become a regular branch of the Only Roman Catholic Apostolic Church. That´s a situation similar to FSSPX actual state. Four bishops, and one elective "patriarch". That´s the solution of communities that lost the union with the Holy Father.

    We must pray for the conversion of all the russian church. They have to start a deep reflection of what they want to be: a folkloric imperialist church or a real divine an supernatural part of the Most Holy Body of Our Lord!

    + Ibi Petri, Ubi Ecclessia +

    Vivat Pontifex Magnus, Rex Romanorum, Imperatur Christianorum, Princeps Apostolorum, Patriarcha Ecumenicus Super Omnes et Vicarius Christi: Benedicto XVI!!!!

    AMDG +

  13. Meanwhile...

    (from today's Vatican Bulletin)

    RINUNCE E NOMINE , 26.01.2008


    Il Papa ha nominato Membri della Congregazione per le Chiese Orientali gli Em.mi Cardinali Roger Michael Mahony e Edward Michael Egan.

  14. Anonymous11:27 PM

    Anonymous, so you doubtless accept the Novus Ordo as it was promulgated by the Pope. For if you don't, aren't you a "cafeteria Catholic"?

  15. The below is from a recent interview with Bishop Artemije of Raska and Prizren of the Serbian Orthodox Church. The English is not so good but the message is pretty clear.

    Q: It is well-known you aren't an ecumenist. What is your opinion about the Ravenna statement adopted by members of joint theological commission of Roman Catholic Church and Orthodox Church.

    A: Why wouldn't we say the other way – I'm against ecumenism because I think such a fashion of ecumenism is damaging the purity of Orthodox Faith and will not lead to the healthy union of Christians, than to dilution of the Orthodox Faith and weakening the piousness of the Orthodox Christians. Though Ravenna Document is available, the hierarchy of the Serbian Orthodox Church have not been officially informed by those present in Ravenna what happened there, what was signed, what the paper actually means and what competencies and to whom it offers. In any case, I think that the fashion that some representatives of Serbian Orthodox Church, regardless empowered or not, signed on our behalf something without the authorization of the Council or Synod, is not binding to anyone in Serbian Orthodox Church, as long as it didn't pass through the meeting of the Holy Council.

    Q: Generally speaking, what's the attitude of SOC about the primacy of Bishop of Rome, although the Ravenna Statement isn't explicit if it was primacy of honor only, or of authority, too.

    A: It is absolutely unacceptable to any Orthodox soul, not only for the entire SOC, since when we speak about Papal primacy we know it is only one of the reasons causing Roman Catholic Church to apostate from the Church of Christ in 1054. Among the other, never have the Bishop of Rome had the primacy in the Orthodox Church in the sense that's been applied by Roman Catholics today and tried to be imposed on everybody else. As the Bishop of Rome, he had the primacy of honor for the significance of the city where he resided, which was the capital of the Empire in Christ's time, the entire known world of that time. We cannot even speak about the issue of honor today, because he is not a bishop of the Church until the unity in Faith is achieved. The unity in faith between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox is still very distant.

    Q: One could conclude there are various theological views within Orthodoxy about co-operation with RCC, since Orthodox theologians participated in the works of Joint-Commission while the document has been harshly criticized by their brothers.

    A: There exist only those persistent in their exposition of Faith and those ready for various kinds of compromise and economia. Many Orthodox participants at those ecumenical gatherings are not confessors of their faith, accordingly, they can't represent the teaching of the Orthodox Church. If they were really representatives of the Orthodox Church and Orthodox Faith, they would, above all, listen to the Apostle Paul whom says: “stay away from a heretic upon first and second approach”. How long are we going to attend those dialogues, commissions – until eternity? Are we counseling there those in heresy, in error? No, we are seeking the compromise with them. True love of a Christian is to provide eternal life to a neighbor, meaning one needs to say straightforwardly and frankly that another one is in error and try to get him back to the truth and direct him to the path towards salvation. Approving someone to remain in his error is not love, it is hatred of a man, according to St. Maximos the Confessor.



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