Worship Prefect interviewed

Archbishop Arthur Roche, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, is pictured during an interview with Catholic News Service at the congregation at the Vatican Jan. 21, 2022 (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

First posted on 17 June 2022 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf on his Blog:

At Vatican News we find an interview with the Prefect of Worship, whom Francis designated as a Cardinal, Archbp. Arthur Roche, once of Leeds and less-than-successful head of ICEL.

Roche is an inveterate enemy of the Roman Rite, the Vetus Ordo, and has peculiar notions about what the Second Vatican Council mandated for liturgical reform.  He reads into documents curious things.  However, Roche is exemplary, in that he is one of those who wants to make Vatican II the only lens through which the whole of the Church’s history, doctrine and practice, including worship, must be reinterpreted.

The interview deals with more than just his war against his idea of the present day use of the Vetus Ordo.  That section, however, is probably the most important.

You get a sense of the depth of view of the Prefect concerning the use of the Vetus Ordo and the what the Novus Ordo is from a few items.

First, Roche said:

But one of the problems, challenges, of our age is the growth in individualism and in relativism, that ‘I prefer this.’ Well, the celebration of the Mass is not something to be a matter of personal choice. We celebrate as a community, as the entire Church and the Church throughout the centuries, has always regulated the form of liturgy that it has come to believe is more pertinent for a particular age.

But then, concerning what is going on liturgically in the Amazonian region he said:

[T]he inculturation of the Roman Missal into the Amazonian culture. Well, that is something that is being worked on. But first of all, it has to be worked on by the so-called Amazonian Bishops in Brazil and in Peru, etc… So, they have established a Commission which is beginning to think about that.

I suppose they are waiting to hear what the Amazonians “prefer”.

Next, there is Roche’s claim that the Council Fathers mandated a “new liturgy”. Matthew Hazell capably destroys that at LifeSite.

Roche: “It was clear that the Council, the Bishops of the Council, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, were putting forward a new liturgy….”

If this “Holy Spirit” argument is the underpinning of his claim, then is Roche also going to campaign for returning Gregorian chant to having pride of place in the Latin Church’s worship?  That’s SC 116.

The Second Vatican Council said: “The use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.” That’s SC 36.

The Council Fathers instructed – under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, mind you – that no changes were to be made that were not organic developments, no innovations unless the good of the Church truly needs them and that changes come from existing forms. That’s SC 23. Does that mean that Roche is going to campaign for a return in the Novus Ordo to the offertory prayers of the Vetus Ordo? The Novus Ordo prayers don’t have much to do with the Roman Rite and people haven’t been overly edified by priests ad libbing whatever they prefer at that time.

You get the point.

Also, Roche speaks of the liturgical scholar Josef Jungmann. “Father [Jozef Andreas] Jungmann, an Austrian Jesuit who only died at the beginning of this century, was someone who, in his studies, showed how over the centuries the Mass has been changed in this way in order to fit the needs of the day.” Others have shown that Jungmann went way off the rails in his work on the Roman Rite and his aims for the Liturgical Movement. He essentially became like a 16th Protestant.

However, note that, “an Austrian Jesuit who only died at the beginning of this century“.

Fr. Jungmann died in 1975.

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