Worship Prefect interviewed.

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.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Not says:

    Our Catholic Faith, is based on ABSOLUTE TRUTHS. In all things there is an Order. If you bake a cake and don’t follow the recipe in order, it will be a disaster. This can be applied to anything we do in life. Vatican II documents are full of DISORDER. A very learned Priest who gave us classes on Vatican II documents, schooled us in the statements and contradictions, or the battle of good and evil at the council, Truth and Conjecture. The proof is what we see today from Cardinal Roche and the devastation of so many “fallen away” catholics.

  2. Lurker 59 says:

    Serious question: Does anyone actually like Vatican II? Those that push VII the most, such as Card. Roache, doesn’t actually follow it (they follow the Spirit of VII) and in their writings agitate against aspects of it directly.

    “[T]he inculturation of the Roman Missal into the Amazonian culture…..” Various Protestants do liturgy by committee. Always ends up making everyone mad. So as much as a trojan horse as that is going to be, rest assured it will just be a dumpster fire that makes everyone mad.

    Side Note: Jesuits have been dabbling in “inculturated” liturgy for a long long time. With the established track record, you’d think that people would stop messing around. Perhaps it is like Marxism — they will be the ones to finally get it right.

    Side Note: Someone should ask the Card. if TLM is an inculturated liturgy of Western Europe, and if so, why is he against people having a liturgy that comes from their culture?

    ‘I prefer this.’ That is rich. The whole NO is just based on various experts’ personal preferences. The modular structure of the NO means that it is largely the personal preference of the priest and the local community. When you look at the NO’s choices, do they ask “Does choice A or B give the most glory to God?” “Does choice A or B help the laity become more holy?” What about the degree to which the Red isn’t done and the black not read in the NO? When it comes to the problem of “I prefer this” , those in glass houses shouldn’t be casting stones.

    Also isn’t the whole “inculturated liturgy” project a giant “I prefer this”?

    “has always regulated the form of liturgy that it has come to believe is more pertinent for a particular age.” No, not true. This is just a falsehood used to grab power over the liturgy. The liturgical action isn’t yours to regulate, it is Christ’s. You just participate in it.

    Also, how can one with a straight face argue that the NO is a ‘liturgy pertinent to our age’? If “one of the problems, challenges, of our age is the growth in individualism and in relativism” why does the NO tend to promote a certain navel-gazing and self-referentialism, a “We are the Church” hymnology and churches in the round such as the new altar at Gesù?

  3. B says:

    I recommend everyone read Saint Pius V by Roberto De Mattei. It is shocking to read how many bishops and cardinals were for changing Catholic practice to include the Protestants. Some went so far as to have their own clergy that refused to go in on schemes murdered. We need another Saint Pius V for today to deal with all this ecclesiastical silliness. The bottom line is that many, many, many priest, bishops and cardinals are heretics. Plain and simple.

  4. Iconophilios says:

    Well, I suppose that one could say he died at the beginning of the Century that started in 1962, the great zero hour of all things!

    [Very clever.]

  5. EC says:

    The speech Francis gave several years ago to Italian liturgists provides the central hermeneutic re the “inspiration” argument… this was the speech with the extraordinarily odd claim about the reform being “irreversible,” affirmed with “magisterial authority.”

    They not only think that they are the inheritors of an “inspired moment” in the life of the Church, they think they are the stewards of a singularly, really, divinely breathed text (the NO) which they can modify – the closest analogy perhaps being an open biblical canon. To oppose them is to oppose the reform, and to oppose the reform is to oppose God. The premise is that the Holy Spirit inspired, in a manner analogous to Scripture but with the possibility of alterations, the work of the Consilium. This is the error that has to be exposed over and over and over. This is fake news, fake pneumatology.

  6. Lurker 59 says:


    But do they actually believe any of it? People in authority who (falsely) think they are inspired by the HS tend to go off half-cocked and are whirling dervishes — they don’t committee and synod things to death. They don’t do the “we are going to keep voting/counting until we get it right” maneuver of modern US politics. I don’t think they believe it but are just using that language to give what they are doing a coat of authenticity.

    But anyone who has ever read even the thinnest book on pneumatology/discernment of spirits easily can see that the whole “Spirit of VII^tm” thing isn’t a movement of the Holy Spirit. It is just language to bamboozle those who haven’t been catechized.

  7. Midwest St. Michael says:

    Mister/Miss Not, thank you for post.

    For Lent I re-listened to Fr. John Corapi’s Catechism series (I am only now almost through it). What a breath of fresh air!

    What we’re getting from the deformationists in Rome is… well, *not* fresh air (Fresh something else, but I’ll leave it there).

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  9. Gaetano says:

    Vatican II is the Year Zero for the Hermeneutics of Rupture.

  10. oledocfarmer says:

    Let’s not borrow trouble. There’s time yet in which we can be spared. And even if we aren’t spared, it’s at least a good thing that these jokers’ agendas and equally militant ignorance are shone the light of day.

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  12. JoHNewman says:

    The queen of virtues for the ‘Spirit of V2’ crowd is the possession of a (highly) selective memory. “Do as I imagine, not as the Council said.”

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