Saturday, September 17, 2022

Protestant Traditionalists: Letters in The Tablet

LMS Walking Pilgrimage to Walsingham this year

The Tablet no longer publishes my letters, which is an interesting development: they used to publish them pretty regularly. However, these two are interesting. They are the only letters published this week on this subject.


Many of us will be pleased that Cardinal Arthur Roche, head of the Dicastery for Divine Worship, has come out critical of those who refuse to accept liturgical reforms as promulgated by Vatican II (“Roche asks whether traditionalists are still Catholic”, 3 September). However, I would question the way in which he demonises these dissenters as “Protestants”. 

That same Vatican Council decided that after all Protestants are good people. And the analogy falls flat when you take account that Protestants concluded some centuries before Catholics that the vernacular was indeed the better language to celebrate the liturgy.


I was sorry to hear Cardinal Roche’s judgement on Tridentine Mass-goers, as reported in The Tablet.

The Vatican Council was not legislation to impose on the faithful. It was more a path of renewal taken by all the bishops of the time, celebrants of the old Mass to a man. They re-engaged with Scripture, were opened up to the riches of Catholic tradition, were sensitive to the needs of the day and were led by the Holy Spirit. 

Shouldn’t Rome be making sure that that path remains open to all, and not labelling our brothers and sisters in the faith as Protestants? 


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