Archbishop Roche: Inept or a Liar?
As always these days there is a lot going on in the Church. Not much of it any good. Although this is a good thing announced by the Cardinal yesterday.
At the weekend there was an interesting breach in protocol when the Catholic website 1P5 posted an exchange of letters between the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols and the Prefect for the Congregation on Divine Worship and former bishop of Leeds in the UK, Arthur Roche.
I had to wonder who leaked it and what such an unusual leak might mean? Probably that quite a number of clergy are frustrated and upset by Traditiones custodes and what it means for the Church.
Clergy here have told me that Roche''s tenure as bishop of Leeds was not a happy one and he was "promoted" to Rome to get him out of the way — apparently this is not an uncommon phenomenon, however counter-intuitive it may appear. However "Uncle Arthur" as he is often called, is ambitious and the perfect individual to implement Pope Francis' war on the liturgy. Indeed, his animus toward the Traditional Latin Mass was wrote large in this essay distributed to all the bishops of the world in February 2020.
The exchange is quite technical and Cardinal Nichols is asking very reasonable questions about the implementation of Traditiones custodes. As we know, there are lots of questions to be asked regarding this vague document (a style which is becoming Pope Francis' hallmark). Cardinal Nichols is particularly interested in what happens with the other sacraments celebrated in the old rite, and he doesn't get much of a response. As Dr. Joseph Shaw points out on 1P5, the response from Roche implies that a “full implementation” of TC would end the provision of the other sacraments: this is not surprising, as TC aspires to end the celebration of the ancient Mass, and it would be odd if the other sacraments continued after that had come to pass. This is immediately qualified, however, by the need for pastoral sensitivity.
Arthur Roche is the most unpleasant bishop in the Catholic Church. I watched the appalling way he operated in Leeds. Here he is shamelessly twisting the truth about the Latin Mass. https://t.co/6Sw5I4BhIb— Damian Thompson (@holysmoke) November 10, 2021
At the top of the second page, Roche writes this extraordinary passage:
This appears to be either a flagrant misrepresentation or complete ignorance. Everyone who cares knows that as Father Z points out in his report here:
a perhaps mendacious element of the Roche/Nichols square dance, towit, the claim that Paul VI abrogated the 1962 Missal.
He didn’t. That’s false. He knows this.
When did the Congregation for Divine Worship become the Ministry of Truth?
Summorum Pontificum Article 1, states that the Roman Missal as promulgated in 1962 was "never abrogated". In the accompanying Letter written by Pope Benedict XVI to the World's Bishops, he states:
"I would like to draw attention to the fact that this Missal was never juridically abrogated and, consequently, in principle, was always permitted."It would have made more sense for Roche to have argued that the 1962 Missal has now, by implication, been abrogated by Pope Francis by virtue of Traditionis custodes but that would simply leave the door wide open for Traditionis custodes to be abrogated itself by a future Pope. Roche chose instead to assert that it was "abrogated by St. Paul VI". But on July 7 2007, Pope Benedict explicitly excluded any such abrogation.
PF and his associates constantly write about "only limited concessions by previous pontiffs". This verges upon mendacity. Benedict made clear that the earlier Roman Rite was "in principle, always permitted."This might seem a small matter — but for any of us who have studied the Church the lack of respect for previous teaching, the lack of care and respect for the Magisterium and reputation of the office of the papacy is truly shocking and frankly unprecedented. It's not about whether one agrees with the decisions being made so much as the way things are implemented and then justified. It is an abuse of the power of the office.
This is not a slight matter. It is yet another example of the problems we all find ourselves in when one pontificate directly ... fully frontally ... contradicts, in a matter of historical fact or of Doctrine, what the previous pontificate made clear.
If Pope Benedict's clear statement ... made twice! ... that 1962 was not abrogated by S Paul VI can be trashed like this by a mere curial official, it is clear that definitive statements by the present Pope can also as easily be trashed. Or even more easily trashed!!
Are we all now called upon by PF and Arthur Roche to boldly trash where nobody has trashed before?
I could not help but wonder if there could possibly be a more egregious example of clericalism than Roche saying there’s been “unauthorised growth” in the TLM & therefore it must be stamped out? Who stamps out the work of the Holy Spirit other than an evil prelate?
Pope Francis at Angelus: "Today we see clericalism in many places; this being above the humble, exploiting and beating them, feeling perfect. This is the evil of clericalism. It's a warning for all times, Church and society: never take advantage of your position to crush others" pic.twitter.com/ql6FaFpVOa— Catholic Sat (@CatholicSat) November 7, 2021
They're forever asking young people what they want from the Church but, when a substantial number of them say, "We've discovered the older form of the Mass and find it more conducive to prayer; we'd like more of that, please", they're told "Nope - you can't have that". Go figure— Patti Fordyce (@pattif21) November 9, 2021