Rorate Caeli

Cardinal Sarah, Head of Divine Worship: Traditional Mass Prohibition inspired by "Demon who desires our spiritual death"

Cardinal Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, has granted an extensive interview to Edward Pentin, of the National Catholic Register.

We call your attention to his strong words concerning the movement to prohibit the Traditional Latin Mass or cast suspicion on it:

Why do you think more and more young people are attracted to traditional liturgy / the extraordinary form?

I do not think so. I see it; I am a witness to it. And young people have entrusted me with their absolute preference for the extraordinary form, more educative and more insistent on the primacy and centrality of God, silence and on the meaning of the sacred and divine transcendence. But, above all, how can we understand, how can we not be surprised and deeply shocked that what was the rule yesterday is prohibited today? Is it not true that prohibiting or suspecting the extraordinary form can only be inspired by the demon who desires our suffocation and spiritual death?

When the extraordinary form is celebrated in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council, it reveals its full fruitfulness: How can we be surprised that a liturgy that has carried so many saints continues to smile at young souls thirsty for God?

Like Benedict XVI, I hope that the two forms of the Roman Rite will be mutually enriching. This implies getting out of a hermeneutic of rupture. Both forms have the same faith and the same theology. To oppose them is a profound ecclesiological error. It means destroying the Church by tearing it out of its Tradition and making it believe that what the Church considered holy in the past is now wrong and unacceptable. What a deception and insult to all the saints who have gone before us! What a vision of the Church.

We must move away from dialectical oppositions. The Council did not wish to break with the liturgical forms inherited from Tradition, but, on the contrary, to better enter and participate more fully in them.

The Conciliar Constitution stipulates that “new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing.”

It would therefore be wrong to oppose the Council to the Tradition of the Church. In this sense, it is necessary that those who celebrate the extraordinary form do so without a spirit of opposition and therefore in the spirit of Sacrosanctum Concilium.

We need the extraordinary form to know in which spirit to celebrate the ordinary form. Conversely, celebrating the extraordinary form without taking into account the indications of Sacrosanctum Concilium risks reducing this form to a lifeless and futureless archaeological vestige.

It would also be desirable to include in the appendix of a future edition of the missal the Penitential Rite and the Offertory of the extraordinary form in order to emphasize that the two liturgical forms illuminate each other, in continuity and without opposition.

If we live in this spirit, then the liturgy will cease to be the place of rivalries and criticism and will finally lead us into the great heavenly liturgy.

Read the whole interview here.