Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Arthur Roche as the new prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, replacing Cardinal Robert Sarah and potentially ushering in a new era of active opposition to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass….
Archbishop Roche, formerly bishop of Leeds, U.K., served as Secretary of the Congregation from 2012 through this year, having been appointed to it by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI….
The appointment of Roche comes in light of fears that Pope Francis is about to restrict the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (also referred to as the Traditional Latin Mass, or the Tridentine Mass). Reports have emerged in recent days stating that Francis has spoken to the Italian Bishops Conference, telling them that he has finished the third draft of a document that will restrict the offering of the Extraordinary Form.
Vatican journalist Diane Montagna announced today that Messa in Latino, the original source of the news, had confirmed to her that the information was trustworthy and had come to them from three bishops and two high ranking members of the Roman Curia, who were all present at the event….
Following Pope Benedict XVI’s Summorum Pontificum, which gave priests permission to offer the traditional Mass without seeking permission from their bishop, Roche swiftly declared that the power of the bishops to prevent the Latin Mass was still in effect, and issued guidelines on the matter.
In 2020, he penned a letter to the bishops of the world attacking the traditional Mass and praising the Second Vatican Council’s paradigm shift in its view of the Church, hailing the fact that the Council had removed the notion of the Church as a “perfect society and a world power to be contended with,” and instead was viewed as “constantly open to reform and conversion….”
The above comes from a May 27 story on LifeSiteNews
A different view from a May 28 story in The Pillar:
The nomination was met with a chorus of takes suggesting, variously, that Roche, 71, is about to usher in a new era of progressive liturgical reform, or that he is clearly a place-holder, destined to serve a single term before the newly named secretary of the congregation, Bishop Viola, takes over and, well, ushers in a new era of progressive liturgical reform.
As you can imagine, I think both of those takes are likely just wishcasting by the people making them. I also think that suggesting an 84-year-old pope is choosing department heads with an eye to what he’ll do when he’s 89 is just plain cracked.
Pope Francis has decidedly shunned the liturgy wars which obsess some sections of the Church, and I think his choice of a man known for getting along and getting on with things is probably more about avoiding a big fight at the end of his pontificate than starting one.