Cardinal Zen: The problem is not “which rite do people prefer?”, but it is “why don’t they go to Mass anymore?”

Cardinal Zen has been treated terribly by Pope Francis. He wasn't consulted about the horrendous deal the Vatican made with China when he is clearly the person who should have been consulted first and most frequently. Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, the chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences said 

“Right now, those who are best implementing the social doctrine of the Church are the Chinese,” 

These are the people Pope Francis wants involved in the negotiations, not the faithful Cardinal Zen. It shows the mindset of the Vatican and those who wield power. Worryingly, one might say they are admirers of Communism.

Cardinal Zen has issued a statement on the newly promulgated motu proprio. He points out:
  • The “thorough” consultation did not reach him
  • The document contains "many tendentious generalizations" which "wound the hearts of so many good people"
  • The document is full of baseless, hurtful generalisations 
  • The consultation process was manipulated
  • The document misses the point: the Vatican shouldn't be asking "what rite do you prefer" but "why don't you go to Mass"
  • The root of the apostasy we are living through is relativism or "believing that everything can now be changed?" — this comment seems a real pointed jab at Pope Francis' confusion spreading pontificate!

New Liturgical Movement has posted this article as well see here.

This is a statement which has appeared in Italian on the blog of His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Zen. Here is an English translation from Diane Montagna:

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

Concerns about a possible 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 have never given the slightest cause to be suspected of not accepting the liturgical reform of the Council, much less of not accepting the Council tout court. Moreover, they remain active members in their parishes.
His Eminence Cardinal Zen baptizes a child in the traditional rite at Easter of 2017.

It came as a bitter surprise to me personally that the “widespread” consultation never reached me, a cardinal and former member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. In addition, during 2007-2009, I was Bishop of Hong Kong and was therefore responsible for implementing Summorum Pontificum, and up to now, have been well known for supporting the group.

Having had no knowledge either of the questionnaire or the responses to the questionnaire, I cannot judge it, but only suspect that there was considerable misunderstanding (or perhaps even manipulation) in the process.

From my reading of the 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) the association of a non-acceptance of the liturgical reform (which often concerns the way in which it was carried out with its many serious abuses) with a total and profound rejection of the Council itself (for the proponents of this rejection, 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) worsened. 

The problem is not “which rite do people prefer?” but “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 the liturgical reform, but we just want to say that the problem is much deeper. We cannot evade the question: “Hasn’t formation in the faith perhaps been lacking?”; “Hasn’t the great work of the Council perhaps been wasted?” Isn’t the root of the evil the attitude of believing that everything can now be changed? Isn’t it perhaps the attitude of believing that the Second Vatican Council cancels out all previous councils, and that the Council of Trent is like dirt that has accumulated on the frescos of the Sistine Chapel (as a “liturgist” in our diocese put it)?

The document obviously sees not only disturbance and unrest 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 hope for the death of these groups? But, even with that, can’t the anti-Ratzinger lords [signori] of the Vatican patiently wait for the Tridentine Mass to die along with the death of Benedict XVI, instead of humiliating the venerable Pope Emeritus in this way?

(Translation by Diane Montagna)

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