Night of the Long Knives at the CDW

Following on from yesterday's news about the changes afoot in the Italian Diocese of Albenga-Imperia, we hear that the Pope has appointed 27 new members of the Congregation for Divine Worship.

Catholic Culture suggests:
The new appointments give a distinctly more liberal character—as well as a more international complexion—to the congregation. The changes seem likely to curtail the work of Cardinal Robert Sarah, the prefect of the Congregation, who has been a leading proponent of more reverent liturgy and of “the reform of the reform.”
Which is rather disturbing if accurate. I note that one of the appointees is Bishop Alan Hopes of East Anglia, who is a promoter of good liturgy and a good bishop.

Rorate Caeli has more detail and notes:
Cardinal Robert Sarah remains the Prefect of the CDW. However, the new membership of his Congregation makes him virtually isolated; it is hard to see how he can still push forward his hopes for some measure of "Reform of the Reform" in the years left to his tenure (he is now 71)
This does appear in the first instance to be directly related to Cardinal Sarah's attempts to promote a reform of the reform see here and here. The latter from Cardinal Sarah led to a rather embarrassing error from Cardinal Nichols who mistranslated the Latin of the GIRM as noted by the linguist Rev Dr Hunwicke of Lancing College here for example. Fr Hunwicke also makes direct reference to Cardinal Nichols statement here. Well it all gets very technical, but, as I mentioned yesterday, what really shocked me was (as Fr Hunwicke notes) the speed and clarity of Cardinal Nichols' rejection of Cardinal Sarah's proposal, whereas, it seems one can get away with practically any progressive liturgical innovation one wishes, without any sort of comment whatsoever, from clown masses to liturgical dance, it's all fine, just don't do anything sacred or Catholic. Honestly, sincerely, I find this utterly baffling.

I also feel the argument probably appears incredibly remote and irrelevant to most people. However it is probably at the heart of the Church, because Liturgy says who we are; lex orandi, lex credendi: as we worship, so we live. It is prayer which leads to belief, or that it is liturgy which leads to theology.

I think we should all redouble our prayers for the Holy Father, the CDW & the good Cardinals.


  1. I do not understand why you refer to lex orandi, lex credendi in your article. You are personally known to attend the novus ordo, and as such your worship does not relate to lex orandi, lex credendi.

    You don't have to listen to me to demonstrate this reality... just listen to Fr. Z. who refers to the destruction of lex orandi, lex credendi at the hands of the novus ordo. He says... "Change the way we pray, and you will change what we believe, and therefore how we behave as Catholics.

    How can you possibly practice lex orandi, lex credendi at a norvus ordo? Beyond the unseen healing of your soul from taking Holy Communion, the most important 'seen' grace to come from the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, is peace. You can only have ultimate peace if you know everything that flows from the Mass is all present and correct. You do not have pure mental peace flowing from an novus ordo Mass. Why?....

    1. Firstly, there is no lex orandi lex credendi at a norvus ordo because everyone is constantly being 'snapped out of Eucharistic Contemplation'. This is due to constant instructions to sit, stand, and to verbalise. Surely you must understand that this is the core point of the destruction of lex orandi lex credendi?

    2. One third of the prayers of the Mass were removed from the Novus Ordo as well as an exorcism. These prayers were primarily said for your personal holiness, and for that of the church. Prayers were also removed to help you with spiritual struggles (that is what the prayers at the foot of the altar were for). Do you really believe that this has no bearing on your personal spirituality?.

    3. The reformers changed the words of Christ Himself at the consecration. How can you possibly believe that this is not of significance?

    4. Most Catholics who are searching for something greater (and still attend the novus ordo) instinctively know something is wrong. The thing that is instinctively wrong is that you are not subject to lex orandi, lex credendi...

    .... and if you were subject to it, then you would be at peace, and would not be "baffled" as you mentioned earlier on in your article.

    You have to attend the Traditional Latin Mass to be subject to lex orandi lex credendi. Surely this is glaringly obvious?

    1. I refer to it to explain why it is important, why liturgy is important. O would say it is common today that people who attend Mass do not have much understanding about what it is and so arguments about orientation seem rather remote.

    2. I just wanted to say that the Latin Mass is more that just the priest facing the altar. At the novus ordo the priest can face the altar, but the congregation are still going to be continually snapped out of Eucharistic contemplation throughout the whole of the Mass due to the instructions to sit, stand, and verbalise. It just isn't like this at Latin Mass where every aspect is centered on Christ. It is more than just the priest facing the East. The Latin Mas is either about total Eucharistic contemplation at Low Mass, or complete glorification towards God at High Solemn Mass.

    3. I'm a little bit taken aback by the first comment here. You make some valid points but your delivery makes it very hard to actually engage with them. I can't imagine dear Richard Collins ever lowering himself to such clumsy dialogue.

      "You are personally known to attend the novus ordo" is a rather creepy and menacing thing to say to anyone. There is no point in being right if nobody is listening to you.

      Lex orandi, lex credendi is a latin expression with a clear meaning. To dismiss this as being in any way relevant to attendance at the Novus Ordo is quite absurd. Doing so dismisses the possibility of prayer at the NO. While I agree with you that the changes introduced into the NO are detrimental to the faithful, that doesn't stop those attending from praying.

      Yes, how we pray is intrinsically linked to how and what we believe. If one attends the NO and sees nothing more than a shared meal than it naturally follows that one will not believe in the sacrifice taking place. I agree with much of what you say about what has been lost.

      Unfortunately, the majority of Catholics have no alternative other than the NO. It is NO Mass or no Mass - and those are not synonyms. IF I had a choice, I would never again attend the Novus Ordo. I am lucky in that on Sundays I have only had to do so a handful of times in recent years. Rest assured that on the few times I have attended Sunday Mass in the NO I have been praying.

      As an aside, there is no such thing as Solemn High Mass. Unless one is either an Anglican or an American. High Mass or Solemn Mass (Missa solemnis) are two terms for the same thing. High Solemn Mass or Solemn High Mass is a tautology.

    4. You have just proven that you do not understand what lex orandi, lex credendi is either, which is a great shame, as you will confused the writer of this blog even more than he is confused already.

      It is time for all of you people to start to wake up from your slumber...

    5. Mike isn't it?

      It is worth remembering that private revelation is not a substitute for magisterial teaching.


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