Rorate Caeli

Cardinal Sarah: "Vatican II never asked for the abrogation of the Mass of St. Pius V !"

In an interview to the original (French) version of the online paper Aleteia, the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, Cardinal Robert Sarah, currently visiting France, dedicated his first two answers to the Traditional Latin Mass.

[Q.] Your Eminence, in your book Dieu ou rien, you frequently mention the "liturgical war" that has divided Catholic for many decades. A war that is even more unfortunate, you say, because on this question they should be particularly close. How to leave these divisions behind today and assemble all Catholics around the worship due to God?

Cardinal Robert Sarah: 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. The liturgy is the place granted [to us] to meet God face to face, rendering Him all our life, our work; and make of all of this an offering to his glory. We cannot celebrate the liturgy by arming ourselves: by putting on our backs the weaponry of hatred, of struggle, of rancor. Jesus Himself said it: "Before presenting your offer, first reconcile yourself with your brother." In this "face to face" with God, our heart must be pure, free from all hatred, from all rancor. Each one must eliminate from his heart that which might cast a shadow over this encounter. This implies that each one be respected in his sensibility.

[Q.] Is this not precisely what Benedict XVI desired?

Cardinal Sarah: Yes, this is the meaning of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. Benedict XVI spent considerable energy and hope in this undertaking. Alas, he did not succeed completely, because ones and others have "clutched" to their rite by excluding themselves mutually. In the Church, each one must be able to celebrate according to his sensibility. It is one of the conditions for the reconciliation. It is also necessary to bring people to the beauty of the liturgy, to its sacrality. The Eucharist is not a "meal among mates", it is a sacred mystery. If we celebrate it with beauty and fervor, we will reach a reconciliation, this is clear. Nevertheless, it cannot be forgotten that it is God who reconciles, and that will take time.

[Source: Aleteia, in French. Tip: Le Forum Catholique.]