Cardinal Sarah on the Church’s Credibility

Cardinal Sarah has a new article posted at Rorate Caeli: Cardinal Sarah: A Church that Claims a Reversal of Her Liturgy is a Church with no Credibility. Here is the key statement in his article:

“By keeping alive a liturgical war within herself, the Church loses her credibility and becomes deaf to the call of men.”

If the Church suppresses the traditional Latin Mass, then She supposedly loses her credibility and becomes deaf to humanity. This implies an inability of the Church to save, due to the lack of credibility. Cardinal Sarah’s assertion rejects the indefectibility of the Church in favor of an idolatry of the TLM. He makes the whole Faith rest upon a particular form of the Mass.

Now the Mass contains essentials and non-essentials. All the essentials are present in the Novus Ordo as well as in the TLM: contrition, prayer, worship, Scripture, sacrifice, consecration of the Eucharist, reception of Communion, etc. So the only things that are missing if the TLM is suppressed are non-essentials. To claim that the Church loses Her credibility and becomes deaf to humanity is a false accusation against Christ, a denial of indefectibility, and an exaltation of the non-essential exterior elements of the TLM to the point of being essential to the very nature of the Church — which is idolatrous.

The Church is the body of Christ, with Christ as her head and with the Holy Spirit as Her soul. Christ does not lose His credibility if His Vicar chooses one form of the Mass over another. Such a claim subjugates the Lord Jesus Christ to the exterior elements of the Mass. And this is so far beyond Pharisaism as to become idolatry. For this places one’s attachment to exterior elements of liturgical form above God made Man in Christ.

Cardinal Sarah also claims: “Her only legitimacy is her consistency in her continuity.”

The idea that the only legitimacy of the Church, the body of Christ, is fallen sinners’ perception of whether Her decisions on the Mass are a consistent continuity or not takes the whole Gospel taught by Christ and makes it worship the TLM form of liturgy. The greatest commandments are not worshipping the Latin Mass and the traditionalist subculture, but rather love of God and neighbor.

{22:36} “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”
{22:37} Jesus said to him: “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God from all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
{22:38} This is the greatest and first commandment.
{22:39} But the second is similar to it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

The Church would only lose Her credibility — which is impossible as it is contrary to indefectibility — if She abandoned the greatest commandments (Love) or the teachings of the Gospel (Faith). She does not lose anything by setting aside non-essential elements of exterior liturgical form.

{23:13} So then: Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! For you close the kingdom of heaven before men. For you yourselves do not enter, and those who are entering, you would not permit to enter.
{23:14} Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! For you consume the houses of widows, praying long prayers. Because of this, you shall receive the greater judgment.
{23:15} Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! For you travel around by sea and by land, in order to make one convert. And when he has been converted, you make him twice the son of Hell that you are yourselves.
{23:16} Woe to you, blind guides, who say: ‘Whoever will have sworn by the temple, it is nothing. But whoever will have sworn by the gold of the temple is obligated.’
{23:17} You are foolish and blind! For which is greater: the gold, or the temple that sanctifies the gold?
{23:18} And you say: ‘Whoever will have sworn by the altar, it is nothing. But whoever will have sworn by the gift that is on the altar is obligated.’
{23:19} How blind you are! For which is greater: the gift, or the altar that sanctifies the gift?
{23:20} Therefore, whoever swears by the altar, swears by it, and by all that is on it.
{23:21} And whoever will have sworn by the temple, swears by it, and by him who dwells in it.
{23:22} And whoever swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God, and by him who sits upon it.
{23:23} Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! For you collect tithes on mint and dill and cumin, but you have abandoned the weightier things of the law: judgment and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, while not omitting the others.
{23:24} You blind guides, straining out a gnat, while swallowing a camel!
{23:25} Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! For you clean what is outside the cup and the dish, but on the inside you are full of avarice and impurity.
{23:26} You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the dish, and then what is outside becomes clean.
{23:27} Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed sepulchers, which outwardly appear brilliant to men, yet truly, inside, they are filled with the bones of the dead and with all filth.
{23:28} So also, you certainly appear to men outwardly to be just. But inwardly you are filled with hypocrisy and iniquity.
{23:29} Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites, who build the sepulchers of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the just.
{23:30} And then you say, ‘If we had been there in the days of our fathers, we would not have joined with them in the blood of the prophets.’
{23:31} And so you are witnesses against yourselves, that you are the sons of those who killed the prophets.
{23:32} Complete, then, the measure of your fathers.
{23:33} You serpents, you brood of vipers! How will you escape from the judgment of Hell?

This entry was posted in commentary. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Cardinal Sarah on the Church’s Credibility

  1. john says:

    The adherents to the 1962 Mass are fetishing this version of the Roman Rite. But given that the church teaches that the 1970 Mass is a continuation of the tradition (as are the revisions of 1975 and 2002), and that there has been no break in tradition, then the church must also believe that a Mass celebrated according to earlier versions of the Missal, such as those of 1604, 1634, 1884, 1920 etc., also validly express the liturgy of the Roman Rite. The Mass according to the 1970 Missal can not be “more valid” than other celebrations of the Mass. Nor can the celebrations using the 1962 Missal.

  2. Joseph Miller says:

    It seems my comment was deleted, but I assume it was unintentional. Anyways, I don’t see how you get “an idolatry of the TLM” from what His Eminence said. It seems that he is talking to traditionalists about the dangers of claiming a rupture and holds the position that the Mass of Paul VI is in continuity with the Mass of Pius V.

    • Ron Conte says:

      I don’t think that’s what he is arguing. He is saying that the decisions of Francis in TC are destroying the Church’s credibility, and that you can’t suppress the TLM without destroying that credibility, which is absolutely absurd. It balances the whole Faith on one form of the Mass.

Comments are closed.