It has come to the attention of Una Voce Scotland that His Grace Arthur Roche, Archbishop Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, has launched a feeble attack on the Extraordinary Form of the Mass in an essay that he has written and which has been forwarded to bishops around the world.

Read his Article Here The Roman Missal of Saint Paul VI Roche

Entitled, ‘The Roman Missal of Saint Paul VI : ‘A witness to unchanging faith and uninterrupted tradition‘,  the article was issued on the 19th February 2020, only a few months before the Cardinal Prefect of the CDW and ally of tradition, His Eminence Cardinal Sarah, offered his resignation to Pope Francis at the age of 75. February 2020 was also only a short time before the Vatican survey on the implementation of Summorum Ponificum was issued to the bishops of the world by the Vatican

The article makes a number of weak claims that the Novus Ordo Mass represents an authentic development of the Roman Rite, arguments that have been thoroughly dealt with the the FIUV and preeminent figures such as Michael Davies, Prof. Peter Kwasniewski and Dr. Joseph Shaw to name a few.

Archbishop Roche, former chairman of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) and since 2012 the Secretary of the CDW at the Vatican rehearses tired and often unsupported charges against the Traditional Latin Mass.

While arguing that the Novus Ordo is an organic development of the Roman Rite he

  • writes of how the Mass needed to be stripped of repetitions and accretions,
  • claims that the Missal of Paul VI retains 90% of the texts of the 1962 Missale Romanum
  • asserts that the Novus Ordo contains ‘more sacrificial vocabulary than was the case in the 1570 Missal.’
  • criticises the ‘solely clerical vision of the liturgy, in which the clergy alone are active and the faithful passive ‘
  • describes the 1955 Holy Week reform as a ‘dawning consciousness’ of an ’emerging ecclesiology’ prior to the Council
  • criticises the ‘Tridentine Missal’ for considering the ‘priest alone as celebrant’
  • praises the new temporal and sanctoral cycles as superior
  • praises the Novus Ordo’s ability to be adapted to ‘pastoral situations’ and the ‘spiritual needs’ of ‘particular communities’
  • praises the new three year lectionary for making the scripture more available to the faithful
  • praises the use of early liturgical texts, condemned by Pope Pius XII as Antiquarianism and not Tradition in Mediator Dei 1947
  • calls the implementation of the Novus Ordo an ‘ecclesiastical duty’

After playing down the council of Trent in order to play up the Second Vatican Council, the archbishop states that the New Missal reflects ‘ecclesiological differences’ as opposed to the Missal of 1570 and talks of the ‘magnitude of the changes that have taken place.’ Among three reasons for the ‘enrichment’ of the New Mass, the Archbishop postulates that the Missal of Paul VI was necessary due to the ‘reception of the theological content of the Second Vatican Council itself which was ecclesiologically significant and cognisant of a world that had changed. ‘ He argues, concurrently, that a new Mass was necessary because of the teaching of the Council (a new Lex Orandi for a new Lex Credendi?) and changes in the world and  that the Novus Ordo is ‘A witness to unchanging faith and uninterrupted tradition.’  

In response to this and in keeping with our humble resources at Una Voce Scotland, we will continue to address these issues that have been so comprehensively answered by sharing articles, talks, lectures and by recommending excellent books.  We will also open up Archbishop Roche’s letter to leading figures in the traditional movement to seek their expert response to these arguments that continue to remerge.

In light of this article and as we await the appointment of a new head for the CDW and the outcome of the Summorum Pontificum survey last year, we take this opportunity to exhort all who love the Traditional Latin Mass to pray for its growth and support organisations that work of its promotion. While the EF continues to grow, it is not safe and we must not rest when we should be doing all we can to ensure that the Mass of Ages is passed on for all ages to come.


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