Cardinal Cupich Appointed as Anti-Trad Enforcer

The Fall of Cardinal Sarah

On the fifth of July, 2016, Cardinal Sarah, then prefect for the Congregation for Divine Worship, gave a speech in which he lent official support to the so-called “reform of the reform” which had been undertaken by Ratzinger. This movement had included the freedom for the Latin Mass and the promotion of reverence in the liturgy, which helped inspire our friends at New Liturgical Movement to produce their good work.

But within a week, Pope Francis contradicted Cardinal Sarah and said that “to speak of ‘the reform of the reform’ is an error!”

And so Cardinal Sarah’s plan did not last long under this pontificat. His influence was marginalised by Francis’ passive aggressive comments and his appointments.

The struggle came to a head in 2020 when Cardinal Sarah condemned the sacrileges against the Holy Sacrament during the COVID crisis and confirmed the long-standing right of the faithful to receive on the tongue. But this official position was undermined after United States Bishop Stika attempted to ban communion on the tongue which was confirmed in Sarah’s name, without his signature. A few months later, Pope Francis accepted Sarah’s resignation in early 2021.

Arthur Roche was appointed as his replacement in May, 2021.

Two months later, Pope Francis released Traditionis Custodes, which was condemned by Cardinal Sarah in strong terms:

The sacred cannot be decreed, it is received from God and passed on… What is at stake is therefore much more serious than a simple question of discipline. If she were to claim a reversal of her faith or of her liturgy, in what name would the Church dare address the world? Her only legitimacy is her consistency in her continuity.

The Rise of Cupich

Meanwhile, while Cardinal Sarah was falling from power and influence under this pontificate, a different man was rising in influence. Only a few months after Cardinal Sarah made his official endorsement of the “reform of the reform” in 2016, Bishop Cupich was raised to the cardinalate by Pope Francis in November 2016.

He had already made a name for himself as an anti-Trad enforcer.

As bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota, he prohibited a Latin Mass community from celebrating the Triduum by locking their doors, forcing them to celebrate it on the sidewalk (Rapid City Journal, May 27, 2002).

As if in reaction to Summorum Pontificum (2007), he wrote the manifesto The New Roman Missal: A Time of Renewal, which praised the Novus Ordo against then Pope Benedict’s Latin Mass decree and his advocacy for a reverent Novus Ordo Mass.

In September, 2014, not two years into Francis’ pontificate, Bishop Cupich was transferred to the archdiocese of Chicago, a major see of influence in the United States and the world. It is here that the canons regular of St. John Cantius have promoted their work of liturgical renewal by means of their parish and the Latin Mass resources at This parish is one of the few parishes in Chicago which has seen a massive revival:

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