Why do they see problem where there is none and close their eyes to the problem, for which they are also responsible?

Concerns about a ventilated document “against” the Tridentine Mass (see my blog June 12, 2021) have come true, and the blow has been no less severe because it was foreseen, many tendentious generalizations in the documents hurt more than expected the hearts of many good people, who never gave the slightest cause to be suspected of not accepting the liturgical reform of the Council, much less not accepting the Council “Tout court”. Moreover they remain active members in their parishes.

It came as a bitter surprise to me personally that the “widespread” consultation did not reach me, a cardinal and once a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. During the years 2007-2009, moreover, I was bishop of Hong Kong and therefore responsible for the implementation of “Summorum Pontificum”, and until now, a well-known supporter of the group.

Not having known either the questionnaire or the responses to the questionnaire, I cannot judge, but only suspect that there was much misunderstanding (or perhaps even manipulation) in the process.

As I read the two documents I note (1) an incredible ease (or tendentiousness) in linking the desire to use the vetus ritus to the non-acceptance of the ritus novus and (2) in associating the non-acceptance of the liturgical reform (which often concerns mainly the way in which it was carried out with its many serious abuses) with a total and profound rejection of the Council itself (as matter of fact for those who reject the Council the diversity of the rite of the Mass is only a small corollary, so much so that the concession regarding the rite did not reverse the schism).

The Vatican authorities should ask themselves (and perhaps even make a thorough investigation) why the second phenomenon has persisted and perhaps (recently) even worsened.

The problem is not “which rite do people prefer?” but is “why don’t they go to Mass anymore?” Certain surveys show that half of the Christian population in Europe no longer believes in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, no longer believes in eternal life! Certainly we do not blame all this on the liturgical reform, but we just want to say that the problem is much deeper, we cannot evade the question: “Has not the formation of faith been lacking?” “Has not the great work of the Council been wasted?” Isn’t the root of evil that attitude of believing that everything can now be changed? Is it not that attitude of believing that this Council erases all previous ones and that the Tridentine Council is like the dirt accumulated on the “last judgement” of the Sistine Chapel (as a “liturgist” in our diocese put it)?

The Document obviously sees not only irregularities in the execution of Summorum Pontificum, but considers the very existence of a parallel rite to be an evil. Don’t paragraphs § 5 and § 6 of Art 3, Art 4 and 5 clearly wish for the death of the groups? But, even in that case, can’t the anti-Ratzinger gentlemen of the Vatican be patient to allow the Tridentine Mass to die only after the death of Benedict XVI instead of inflicting such humiliation on the venerable Pope Emeritus?


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