Rorate Caeli

Archbishop Koch
Sacrosanctum Concilium meant Mass ad orientem and in Latin

Excerpt of an interview granted by the new President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Archbishop Kurt Koch, to Gaudium Press:
Gaudium Press - These two views [of the Church as People of God and as Mystery] also influence one's position on the liturgy. How should the liturgy be understood today?

All those things that some people say that was new after the Second Vatican Council were not a theme of the Constitution on the Liturgy [Sacrosanctum Concilium]. For instance, celebrating the Eucharist facing the faithful was never an object of Tradition. The Tradition had always meant celebrating facing East, because that was the position of the resurrection. In Saint Peter's Basilica, the celebration took place facing the people for a long time because that was the direction facing East. The second thing was the vernacular language. The Council wished that Latin remain the language of the liturgy.

Yet all those very deep, fundamental, things of the liturgical Constitution, are still ignored by many. For instance, the entire liturgy and the Paschal liturgy. The Easter of mystery, of death, and of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. One cannot celebrate the Paschal [mystery] without sacrifice, and that is the theme that is mentioned in theology. Because the Constitution on Revelation [Dei Verbum] is not yet known in the Church either. We still have much to do in order to receive the Council.

Gaudium Press / Anna Artymiak


  1. I did not like this translation, but the original already sounds strange - I am guessing the interview was originally granted in German.


  2. Well than mandated back to the way it's suppose to be. Instead of just saying this is how it should have been. Why is it so hard?.

  3. Anonymous3:43 PM


  4. It is hard because the Holy Ghost won't allow it. The modernists keep trying to smooth talk people into believing that Vatican II hasn't been a destructive force in the church. No, what they are now claiming was MEANT doesn't count, because what was really meant was to destroy the mass...done. Now they're trying salvage the rotten council by attempts at making a silk purse out of a sow's ear. They can say all of the NO masses in Latin and ad orientem that they want to, but they'll still be saying a bad mass.

  5. Anonymous4:06 PM

    So where did the almost across the board practice of offering the Mass, in Latin Rite churches, "versus populem" come from then?
    Cruise the Groove.

  6. Anonymous4:47 PM

    Icluding Papal masses...

  7. Anonymous6:02 PM


    "So where did the almost across the board practice of offering the Mass, in Latin Rite churches, "versus populem" come from then?"

    From the addled minds of Martin Luther, Pius Parch, and Annabale Bugnini.

    ~ Belloc

  8. Papal masses of the new kind facing the people in St. Peter's basilica? I'm told, because of its East-West orientation papal masses have always faced the East. This is one on the modernists who have no choice but to face the East. What poetic justice! Methinks the Holy Spirit was benevolent in the construction of the basilica knowing full well the plan of the modernists in the 20-21st centuries.

  9. Richard Friend10:36 PM

    This all sounds good, but the good bishop is missing something. Inter oecumenici, decreed by the Sacred Congregation of Rites in September 26, 1964 when Vatican II was still in session, allowed the use of the vernacular and Mass versus populum. Secondly, the text of SC itself allowed local bishops to extend the use of the vernacular (see par. 36). So while I wholeheartedly agree with the thoughts of thr bishop, the law he cites in support of his views (and Inter oecuminici as well) also supports a contrary view, the one that allows almost unlimited use of the vernacular and Mass versus populum. This is the chaos that Vatican II wroought on the Church.

  10. John McFarland11:58 PM

    Either His Grace is extremely naive, or thinks that we are.

    The whole point of SC was to legitimize the notion of reforming the liturgy, and then turn the process over to the progressivist "experts." In practice it was a blank check to Bugnini et al.

  11. "Yet all those very deep, fundamental, things of the liturgical Constitution, are still ignored by many" Ignored by most in the diocese of Fresno, California.

  12. "Anonymous said...

    So where did the almost across the board practice of offering the Mass, in Latin Rite churches, "versus populem" come from then?"

    From cowardly bishops who worried about what the media and loud lay ministers in waiting would say about them...

  13. Anonymous1:05 AM

    AMen to that...Two things that would change the Mass and its' focus. Ad Orientem puts the focus back on God and off the Priest. Latin, as the Sacral language of the Catholic Church, and a sign of unity amongst us Catholics which is so hard to come by these days, is so important that I can not spell it out here. The benefits and reasoning for anyone interested are best expressed in the Second Vatican Council's Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy which demanded the retention of Latin and Priests' responsibility to teach the Faithful the parts that pertain to them, and Pope John XXIII's Apostolic Constitution Veterum Sapientia. So solemn and devoted was this Pope to the preservation and expansion of Latin that he is said to have signed it on the Altar in St. Peter's. How any Bishop in the world can continue to ignore these things is should behoove any of us.

  14. Jenny3:42 AM

    Agree w/ Anonymous; in fact, I think the other way around can be counter-intuitive to some. Our NO format did present obstacles to my understanding--when I was 4 in '79, I asked my mom if the priest was God and she said “no”. I was not only crushed but confused, as the whole ‘dialogue’ concept implied to me that we were in the presence of a personage of celestial proportions, especially since I didn’t really detect our attention being directed elsewhere. I had a lengthy argument w/ her over the Real Presence—while quizzing me for my first communion class ‘final exam’ I answered that the Eucharist is a representation of Jesus. After she corrected me I informed her that’s impossible b/c “you can’t just put God in your hands” and “then why are we not on our knees or something?” It wasn’t Transubstantiation itself that I didn’t ‘get’; I just thought it only WOULD occur if certain atmospheric conditions were met. Ad Orientum produces authentic unity; whereas I sensed something inordinate or contrived in the “unity” of my parish, which actually began to grate on my nerves by age 8 or 9.

  15. Gideon Ertner8:27 AM

    Jenny - priceless!

    Ex ore infantium...

    I have heard from a Swiss Traditionalist priest that Mgr. Koch was quite the liberal once, but has lately had a serious conversion.

    This may partly have been brought about by his involvement in a horrific case where he tried to remove one of his priests (who was even more liberal than he and conducted invalid sacraments and the like) from his parish, but the Pastor refused to go and a Swiss court ruled that the bishop had no authority to force him to.

  16. Bernadette said:
    It is hard because the Holy Ghost won't allow it.

    No!. It's because man won't allow it. Everything about the NO Mass is geared towards the horizontal(Man) and not the vertical(God)as the EF Mass was.

  17. Anonymous2:14 PM

    Ad OrientEM.

    Repeat after me.

    Ad OrientEM

    Say it again!

    Ad OrientEM

    NOT Ad OrientUM

    NOT Ad OrientAM

    NOT Ad OrientIM

    NOT Ad OrientOM

    Ad OrientEM

    Ad OrientEM

    Ad OrientEM

    Ad OrientEM

  18. "It is hard because the Holy Ghost won't allow it."


    In short, the continuing liturgical crisis is the Holy Spirit's fault?

    You are far and away the most unhelpful "regular" in Rorate's combox, and I make a point of deleting many of your endless rants, but this one really takes the cake.