Archbishop enters the battlefield to end ‘liturgy wars’

Archbishop Arthur Roche (CNS/Paul Haring)

English Archbishop Arthur Roche says that while the Church’s liturgy and prayer should not be a battlefield, it is understandable that people are passionate about it. Source: CNS.

Pope Francis named the 71-year-old archbishop prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments in May, and two months later the Pope promulgated an apostolic letter Traditionis Custodes (Guardians of the Tradition), limiting celebrations of the Mass according to the rite used before the Second Vatican Council.

In December, Archbishop Roche released a document responding to some questions raised about Traditionis Custodes, putting himself in the crosshairs of some of the more devoted, or belligerent, soldiers in those “liturgy wars”.

“The Eucharist is at the heart of what we are as Catholics; it is the thing to which we bring everything that’s within us and from which we take everything in order to sustain us and to help us bear witness to Christ in the world in which we live,” Archbishop Roche said.

The Mass also reflects what the Church is and believes, he said, so the rite used is not simply a matter of personal preference or sensibility.

“I think one of the problems that we are facing today is that we are living in a very individualistic world, a very relativistic world, and where the individual preference promotes itself above the common good and the common expression,” he said. “I think that that is a very dangerous thing, and it is something that as Christians, we really need to take very careful note of.”

The promotion of the pre-Vatican II liturgy as somehow more holy or prayerful than the current liturgy “is not basically a liturgical problem, it is an ecclesial problem,” Archbishop Roche said.


Archbishop says most bishops see importance of ‘Traditionis Custodes’ (By Cindy Wooden, CNS

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