Volume > Issue > Note List > 'Rebellion Against the Pope'

‘Rebellion Against the Pope’

The Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, England, Cormac Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, was most displeased with Summorum Pontificum, Pope Bene­dict’s motu proprio that liberated the Tridentine Latin Mass. As reported by Damian Thompson in London’s Telegraph (Nov. 16, 2007), “According to Murphy-O’Connor, the ruling [Summorum Pon­tificum] leaves the power of local bishops untouched. In fact, it removes the bishops’ power to block the ancient [Traditional Latin] liturgy. In other words, the Cardinal — who tried to stop Benedict [from] issuing the ruling — is misrepresenting its contents.”

Another high-placed prelate, Bishop Arthur Roche of Leeds, Chairman of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, “claimed that the power of the bishops to stop the Tridentine Mass remained in effect” (Catholic News Agency, Nov. 23, 2007).

In fact, Article 7 of Summorum Pontificum states, “If a group of lay faithful…has not obtained satisfaction to their requests from the pastor, they should inform the diocesan bishop. The bishop is strongly requested to satisfy their wishes. If he cannot arrange for such celebration to take place, the matter should be referred to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei.” Obviously, the power of bishops to prevent the celebration of the Tridentine Mass has been severely truncated. There seems to be quite a bit of subterfuge going on here.

Archbishop Albert Malcolm Ranjith, the Secretary of the Holy See’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, said of these episcopal dissents: “there hide on the one hand, ideological prejudices and, on the other hand, pride, which is one of the most serious sins” (Catholic News Agency, Nov. 23, 2007). According to Thompson, “Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, a senior Vatican official close to Benedict, declared that ‘bishops and even cardinals’ who misrepresented Summorum Pontificum were ‘in rebellion against the Pope.'”

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