Liturgical Screwtape Letters

Vincent Nichols, Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk

A July 28 letter of Westminster Cardinal Nichols to Archbishop Roche, the Prefect of the Liturgy Congregation, has been leaked to Gloria.tv (below).

It contains six questions regarding the application of Traditionis Custodes. Nichols asked:
– whether following-up documents on TC will be issued;
– whether TC abrogates the celebration of the other sacraments and the Roman Breviary;
– whether the Novus Ordo calendar must be imposed on the Roman Rite;
– what translations must be used for Roman Rite readings;
– who exactly constitutes a Roman Rite “group” (TC);
– whether TC allows for Roman Rite Requiems according to the 1971 Agatha-Christie indult.

Nichols mentions a canonical interpretation of TC presented by The Latin Mass Society whose raison d’être is the promotion of the Roman Rite (“obviously this is not in accord with the mind of the Holy Father”), and other similar groups (FSSP, Institute of Christ the King). Nichols asks how to deal with them.

Roche’s August 4 reply insists that the use of the Roman Rite is “by way of exceptional concession” and that TC wants a “return” to the [failed] Novus Ordo.

For him, TC allows “pastoral prudence” for “a very limited time only.” He alleges that Summorum Pontificum was “misinterpretated” which caused a “growth” that was “not sanctioned” by Benedict XVI.

Noteworthy is Roche’s anti-Vatican II statement that a greater autonomy of diocesan bishops in liturgical matters was “unhelpful,” thus, Francis disempowered them.

He writes that TC speaks only about the Roman Mass and asks Nichols to consider changes of the calendar “very carefully.” Translations used in the Roman Rite should be taken from the [often manipulated] translations used for the Novus Ordo, and “groups” are for Roche personal parishes and stable congregations.

He doesn’t know about an indult allowing for Requiem Masses and if it would exist, TC had abolished it. After so much legalism and rigidity, Roche states that “this is a moment which demands of pastors a delicacy of care and direction.”

He contradicts Benedict XVI by claiming that Paul VI “abrogated” the Roman Rite which is “at variance with Conciliar reform,” and encourages “an ecclesiology that is not part of the Church’s Magisterium.” In other words: For Roche the Vatican II ideology as a new religion.

Roche indulges in clericalism by insisting that the canonical interpretation of TC presented by The Latin Mass Society – which is run by laypeople – “has no standing whatsoever and should not be published as an authorative commentary”- because “the bishops alone” [who were disempowered by Francis] oversee the liturgy.

A British insider commented to Gloria.tv that Cardinal Vincent has been feeding softball questions to Roche and is playing with him “the good cop bad cop routine seen on TV.

See the exchange over at Gloria TV

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