Pope decries divisions caused by old-school liturgy fans

May 6, 2022, 6:15 PM | Updated: May 7, 2022, 6:34 am
Pope Francis speaks at an audience with nuns and religious superiors in the Paul VI Hall at The Vat...

Pope Francis speaks at an audience with nuns and religious superiors in the Paul VI Hall at The Vatican, Thursday, May 5, 2022. Francis, 85, was wheeled to the audience after he has been suffering from strained ligaments in his right knee for several months. He revealed he recently received some injections to try to relieve the pain. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

(AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis on Saturday blasted Catholics who, hewing to old-school versions of liturgy like the Latin Mass, have made an ideological battleground of the issue, decrying what he described as devil-inspired divisiveness in the church.

Francis pressed his papacy’s battle against traditionalists, whose prominent members include some ultra-conservative cardinals. They have resisted restrictions, imposed last year by the Vatican, on celebrations of the old Mass in Latin in St. Peter’s Basilica and, more generally, for years have disparaged the modernizing reforms of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s.

Speaking at the Vatican to instructors and students of the Pontifical Liturgical Institute, Francis said it’s not possible to worship God while using the liturgy as a “battleground” for nonessential questions that divide the church.

Francis has made clear he prefers Mass celebrated in local languages, with the priest facing the congregation instead of with his back to the pews. That was the way Mass was celebrated before the revolutionary Vatican Council reforms, more than a half century-ago, which aimed at making rank-and-file Catholics feel more connected to liturgical celebrations.

“I underline again that liturgical life, and the study of it, must lead to greater ecclesial unity, not to division,” the pope told the institute’s participants. “When liturgical life is a bit of a banner for division, there is the odor of the devil being inside there, the deceiver.”

“It’s not possible to render worship to God and at the same time make a battleground of liturgy for questions that aren’t essential,” Francis added.

Last year, two prominent cardinals questioned the legitimacy of a Vatican decree placing restrictions of the celebration of the old Latin Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica and forbidding private Masses in its side chapels.

Such traditionalists have openly voiced hostility to Francis. The retired chief of the Vatican’s doctrinal orthodoxy office, German Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, contended that no one was obliged to obey that decree. U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke, who was given the heave-ho by Francis early in his papacy from a Vatican post, called for the decree to be scrapped.

Francis told his audience on Saturday that “every reform creates some resistance.” He recalled that, when he was a youngster, Pope Pius XII allowed faithful to drink water before receiving Communion and that scandalized opponents.

Similar indignation followed later reforms allowing Catholics to fulfill their weekly Mass obligation by attending an evening service instead of on Sunday mornings.

Francis also blasted what he called “closed mentalities” that exploit the liturgy.

“This is the drama we are living, in ecclesial groups which are moving away from the Church, putting in question” the authority of bishops and of the church, he said.

In 2016, a breakaway traditionalist Catholic group, the Society of St. Pius X, accused Francis of sowing confusion and errors about the faith, joining a chorus of conservative criticism over what they perceived as the pontiff’s lax doctrine.

In 1969, the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre founded the society, opposed to the modernizing church reforms of the 1960s. In one of the more spectacular chapters of the Vatican’s long-running duel with traditionalists, he and four other bishops were later excommunicated by the Vatican after the archbishop consecrated them without papal consent.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A man takes refuge on a road in Jaffarabad, a flood-hit district of Baluchistan province, Pakistan,...
Associated Press

Flood-ravaged Pakistan contests ratings downgrade by Moody’s

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan on Friday contested a downgrading of its rating by Moody’s Investors Service, insisting it has adequate reserves and financing to pay back foreign debt despite the worst flooding in its history. Such downgrades tend to shake the confidence of investors because the action is seen as a warning that Pakistan is […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Peace talks in Ethiopian conflict are delayed, diplomats say

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — African Union-sponsored peace talks to resolve Ethiopia’s two year-long Tigray conflict will not take place as planned this weekend, diplomatic sources told The Associated Press on Friday. Ethiopia’s federal government on Wednesday said it had accepted an invitation from the chair of the African Union Commission to attend the peace talks […]
1 day ago
FILE - Protesters rally at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio, in support of abortion after the ...
Associated Press

Judge to decide next steps on Ohio ‘heartbeat’ abortion ban

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A judge in Ohio was scheduled to hear arguments Friday on whether to extend a block on Ohio’s law banning virtually all abortions on a more permanent basis. Hamilton County Judge Christian Jenkins previously decided to pause the law through Oct. 12, after it took effect in the wake of federal […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

UN rights body agrees to appoint expert to scrutinize Russia

GENEVA (AP) — The U.N.’s top human rights body voted Friday to appoint an independent expert to step up scrutiny of Russia’s rights record at home as arbitrary arrests, a crackdown on dissenting voices and limits on free speech worsen during the war in Ukraine. The 47-member Human Rights Council passed the proposal, presented last […]
1 day ago
FILE- Members of South Korean K-pop band BTS, V, SUGA, JIN, Jung Kook, RM, Jimin, and j-hope from l...
Associated Press

K-pop group BTS members face possible military conscription

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s military appears to want to conscript members of the K-pop supergroup BTS for mandatory military duties, as the public remains sharply divided over whether they should be given exemptions. Lee Ki Sik, commissioner of the Military Manpower Administration, told lawmakers on Friday that it’s “desirable” for BTS members […]
1 day ago
FILE - Britain's Minister of State (Minister for Climate) Graham Stuart addresses the 2022 Nuclear ...
Associated Press

UK offers new North Sea oil, gas licenses despite opposition

LONDON (AP) — The British government opened a new licensing round for North Sea oil and gas exploration Friday despite criticism from environmentalists and scientists who say the move undermines the country’s commitment to fighting climate change. The Conservative government argues that extracting more fossil fuels from the North Sea will create jobs and strengthen […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Pope decries divisions caused by old-school liturgy fans