Rorate Caeli

Francis v. Sarah

Responses and comments -- or not -- by a pope are rarely accidental.  When four cardinals asked Pope Francis to clarify the pro-divorce language in Amoris Laetitia the questions have been ignored for so long that half of the cardinals have since died. The remaining two still look forward to an answer.

Yet when Francis has a mission, anything (or anyone) standing in its way gets dealt with by the most humble, charitable and non-judgmental pope in the history of the Roman Catholic Church.

The most recent example is Magnum Principium, his motu proprio to toss translations of the novus ordo into the hands of bishops conferences instead of under the authority of the Apostolic See. Apparently "and with your spirit" is too difficult for the average Catholic to comprehend, and "in order that the renewal of the whole liturgical life might continue" translations of the novus ordo will vary country to country, without concern someone at the Vatican could veto "and also with you" as an English translation of "et cum spiritu tuo". Back to the 1970s goeth the novus ordo.

Robert Cardinal Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, authored commentary on the motu proprio, attempting to interpret the pope's liberalization as a limited action, where the traditional-leaning cardinal's office would essentially retain control of liturgical translations.  Just days later, Pope Francis made it known that Cardinal Sarah's power will indeed be usurped, going so far as to tell Sarah to update everyone he has communicated with regarding the will of Francis.

Now that Pope Francis is very interested in liturgical law, Rorate is standing by for any such reprimands to prelates who have ignored more serious directives on the Mass.  Until then, one is free to fulfill the Sunday obligation at 2:30 on a Saturday at a cathedral, or wear anything one pleases with zero fear of reprimand to offer what used to be known as a pontifical Mass.

Like so many other actions during this pontificate, the Francis Effect will continue to be great for business at the local traditional Latin Mass parish.