Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Cardinal Zen Makes A Powerful Statement About Traditionis Custodes

The following statement has appeared in Italian on the blog of His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Zen. We republish an English translation (slightly modified) by Bree Dail, whom we thank for providing it to us, and we profusely thank His Eminence for speaking out in defense of the unjustly accused.

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

Concerns about a much discussed document "against" the Tridentine Mass (see my blog June 12, 2021) have come true, and the blow has been no less severe because expected, many tendentious generalizations in the documents wound the hearts of so many good people more than expected, who never gave the slightest reason to be suspected of not accepting the liturgical reform of the Council, much less of not accepting the Council as a whole. 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 “thorough” consultation did not reach me, a cardinal and former member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Furthermore, during the years 2007-9, I was bishop of Hong Kong, and therefore responsible for the implementation of “Summorum Pontificum”, and until now, a well-known supporter of the group.

Not having known either the questionnaire or the responses to the questionnaire, I cannot judge, but only suspect that there was much misunderstanding (or perhaps even manipulation) in the process.
As I read the two documents, I notice (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) in associating the 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 but a small corollary, so much so that the concession regarding the rite did not undo the schism).
The Vatican authorities should ask themselves (and perhaps even make a thorough investigation) why the persistence and perhaps (recent) worsening of the second phenomenon.
The problem is not “which rite do people prefer?”, but it is “why don’t they go to Mass anymore?” Some 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: “Has not the formation of faith been lacking?” “Has not the great work of the Council been wasted?” Isn’t the root of evil that attitude of believing that everything can now be changed? Is it not that attitude of believing that this Council cancels out all previous ones, and that the Council of Trent is like the dirt accumulated on the fresco of the Sistine Chapel (as a “liturgist” in our diocese put it)?
The Document obviously sees not only disturbances 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 wish for the death of the groups? But, even with that, can’t the anti-Ratzinger gentlemen of the Vatican patiently wait for the Tridentine Mass to die along with Benedict XVI, instead of humiliating the venerable Pope Emeritus in this way?
—Cardinal Joseph Zen

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