Cardinal-designate calls liturgical tensions a ‘tragedy’

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VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Cardinal-designate Arthur Roche, prefect of the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, has called tensions within the Catholic Church’s Latin Rite over how Mass is celebrated a “tragedy” .

In an extensive interview broadcast June 16 by Vatican News, the cardinal-designate said the tensions were “partly” due to having had two versions of the Roman Missal – those before and after the Second Vatican Council. – in use in the church. at a time.

“There has never been any controversy over the liturgy as we experience it today, in part because there have never before been two versions of the Roman Missal – the 1962 Roman Missal and then the Missal of 1970, which was produced with the full force of the Second Vatican Council behind it and promulgated by Pope Saint Paul VI,” said Cardinal-designate Roche.

“It is a tragedy that there is this controversy today, the so-called ‘battles’ over the liturgy,” he said, “because the Eucharist is, by its nature, the sacrament which unites the whole Church”.

He said that Pope Francis had tried to remedy the situation and encourage an adoption of the reforms of Vatican II, he said, when he published his apostolic letter “Traditionis Custodes” (Guardians of Tradition ), limiting the celebrations of the Mass according to the rite used before. the Second Vatican Council.

Yet, the cardinal-designate said, the Church must find a way to counter “one of the problems, the challenges of our time”, which is “the growth of individualism and relativism, that ‘I prefer that’ . Well, the celebration of Mass is not a matter of personal choice. We celebrate as a community, as the whole Church, and the Church over the centuries has always regulated the form of liturgy that it has come to believe is most relevant for a particular age.

Vatican News also asked him where he was and what he was doing on May 29 when Pope Francis announced after his Sunday noon prayer that he would appoint him cardinal in August.

“I was actually fixing a fuse in the basement just before the Angelus, which I normally watch on Sundays,” he said. When he came back upstairs, his landline and cell phone were both ringing. He received a call from the secretary of the dicastery, who “said to me: ‘Oh, Tanti auguri’, you know, ‘many congratulations’. And I thought he was talking about the feast of the Ascension, which was celebrated in Italy on that Sunday. So I said, ‘Yes, buona festa (happy birthday) to you too.’ And he said, ‘No, no, you’ve been made a cardinal.’ »

Although as prefect of the dicastery he meets the pope to discuss liturgical matters with him, “he is also very interested in your opinion on other things,” he said. This is expected to continue once Pope Francis appoints him cardinal.

“As a cardinal,” he said, “you are at his disposal, and you are there to help him and not to add to the burden that weighs on him.

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