Archbishop Sample: A House Divided Cannot Stand

The Archbishop talks about how division is the ploy of Satan: “…when we put each other into different ‘camps,’ if you will, Satan dances in Hell because he knows he is accomplishing his work among us.”
“…this sometimes happens, sadly, with regard to the Sacred Liturgy. This form of the Mass [the EF], sadly has become, for some, a source of division, and that is certainly not what Christ intends and it is certainly not what the Church intends.”

He continues: "And, quite honestly, that door swings both ways, as they say. There are those that the mere mention of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, this great gift of the history of the Church and a great gift given to us in our own day by our Holy Father, Pope Emeritus, Pope Benedict in his moto propio Summorum Pontificum–the mere mention of it sadly send chills down the spine of many and they will almost recoil in horror at something so beautiful and so sacred. And this cannot be, this cannot be! For our Holy Father Pope Benedict said in that beautiful moto proprio, he said: “what was once beautiful and considered sacred for all those centuries cannot suddenly become unsacred or worse yet, harmful.” Worse yet–harmful! "
“But we must also look deep into our own hearts and we must examine our own hearts and make sure that we are not also divisive in our own adherence and attachment to this Form of the Holy Mass and to sort of criticize or look down upon our brothers and sisters who maybe don’t appreciate this Form as much as we do or to say in some way that the Ordinary Form of the Mass is somehow not valid or is not quite right…we must not allow ourselves either to become judgmental and harsh and angry with our brothers and sisters who do not appreciate what we appreciate.”
"We need to, as I said last year, we need to do this in great love and charity, we need to show our reverence, our devotion, for this Form of the Mass, but with hearts filled with charity, filled with love, overflowing with joyfulness and cheerfulness in Christ and we will give a great witness."


Beautiful. And yes, this is exactly what many of us lay people try to say. Especially here on these forums, where you would think that all the beauties of Catholicism, whether it’s Latin Rite EF, OF, Eastern Catholic liturgies, would be appreciated by other Catholics, it is sad to see the level of vitriol that is so often applied to one rite by those who adhere to another.

Maybe people will finally listen to an Archbishop.


My experience tells me it is not so much the form of Mass, but the attitudes of the people who attend that is the problem.
My diocese has had a weekly EF since the early 1990’s. Many of people who attend never had a nice thing to say about our Ordinary (ironically, since he is the one who authorized the Mass for them long before SP was even thought of) and are very anti anything that was not happening prior to VII.

I know a few people who are anti-EF, but they are not very vocal about it. They don’t attend the Mass it and it is not really even on their radar.

Sadly though, most of the people I know personally who attend the EF exclusively are very divisive and almost hostile to the the OF, blaming it for everything- people leaving the Church, the abuse scandal, homosexual priests- you name it, it is all VII and the OF’s fault.

The division is real, and sadly it is being perpetuated by those who say they are keeping “Tradition” alive.


I really like Archbishop Sample. I listen to his podcast/Radioshow


It is far easier for those who attend the OF to ignore those who attend the EF than the other way around, no doubt about it.

I think Archbishop Sample is on the right track with regards to using the promotion of the EF to always further the aims that Pope Benedict intended by encouraging it: that is, an ongoing and organic reform of the reform. I find his approach–that is, of always emphasizing that the Mass exists to bring the entire Body of Christ into a life-giving communion of true charity that can only come from true worship offered by Christ Himself–to be both refreshing and very constructive. It is “pastoral” in the best sense of the word. He takes his duties as a shepherd very seriously, and it shows. He very much has the mindset: “the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”

He says to be distracted towards anything else is literally to play into the hands of the Devil. I think he’s right.


I wouldn’t mind the OF if they hadn’t made Churches circular, removed the tabernacle from the Church and put it in a completely different room, removed altar rails, high altars, ad orientum, allowed communion in the hand which was illegally voted on and implemented in the US and Canada, integrated secular style music into the liturgy.

The sad thing too is that St Pope Paul VI discouraged the practice put it up to vote for countries that originally had the tradition, and that there were consequences, if there was loss of faith in the true presence communion in the hand was supposed to stop.

Finding about these changes, that the OF is not the EF in English, that architecture was different, that Christ was at the center of worship in the tabernacle where we could then kneel and receive him as our God and King was what red pilled me into traditionalism… Why anyone would abandon all this is beyond me.

I envy the Orthodox they never had their liturgy or theology changed or watered down.

It’s only because of my fidelity to the Seat of Peter and the Dogmas of the Church I don’t join the Orthodox.

Mostly I go to a Divine Liturgy and sometimes to a Tridentine Mass, I’ll go to a Novus Ordo if I don’t have a choice or it’s a day of obligation, but otherwise I don’t attend a Diocesan Parish any longer.

I feel the way a lot of people feel which is lied to about the way things were in the past, and I also feal deprived if not cheated out of a great liturgical inheritance that is hard to find and always put in obscure places at obscure times.


Causing division was predicted when Pope Benedict XVI opened the use of the EF, which he did in order to compromise with members of the SSPX, according to Cardinal Sean O’Malley who was part of that commission.

People have an ego-identity attachment to their group which either embraces the EF, or the OF. Question or say anything negative about the opposite group and you’ll be attacked.

Can it be fixed ?

Only when and if Catholics become non dualistic in their spirituality. God is the God of all, not just our identity group.

This is true the OF is valid, but why all the changes to our Churches?

The other issue being when you compare the text, the very substance of the liturgies, the Tridentine Mass and the Divine Liturgy are very much alike they compliment each other very well you can see the continuity between two rites, it’s harder to see that continuity in the Novus Ordo not just because of the text of the liturgy but because of how it is commonly implemented.

I have always watched the discussions and debates over OF vs. EF but I haven’t joined, if for no other reason than I have never attended an EF mass, though I would like to. It is enough for me to know that the OF is valid, and that they are willing to give me communion on the tongue.

There are things that some things that some parishes incorporate into the Mass that make me uncomfortable, but I have not gone to the trouble of consulting the GIRM. I believe both masses are valid for what it is worth. After I spend some time at EF masses, and I hear they are wonderful, I will weigh in. Personally, I feel like there are now some bigger battles to weigh in on at the moment.


This is true the OF is valid, but why all the changes to our Churches?

Changes to our Churches ? Not sure what you mean, but if you’re referring to the buildings, then it’s because we’ve learned to become more practical.

A study of Church History and how the Mass evolved, helps understand how we ended up with rectangular buildings with altars against the far wall. But that’s a different subject which I’ll avoid in this thread.

1 Like

That would make all the difference. It’s amazing that people can’t realise that so much more can be accomplished by being a hope filled, patient, gentle, kind witness than being mired down by constant criticisms, mean spiritedness, doomsaying. There shouldn’t be any reason why people who like the old Mass can make it happen for themselves since it has been allowed. One of our local parish Churches has an amazing history. After WWII back in the days before PTSD was known about, a group of veterans decided to get together and build a Church themselves as a spirit building venture. Well they built it and they came, as Kevin Costner would say.

There is a lot of wealth among the traditionalists (Legatus, Napa Institute, Opus Dei). If a group of ragtag war veterans can build a whole Church, why can’t a pool of some sort build a Church just how they want it? That’s what I’d do if I had money and really wanted to have access to the Mass I like.


A lot of people are afraid to ask their Priest for fear pf hurting their feelings.

Older folks I believe desire the old liturgy but don’t want to attend a Mass outside their Church family across town at 3:30 or whatever time might be available.

That’s been my experience, aside ftom getting the sense that a lot of older folks resent the Church of their youth.

1 Like

But what I’m saying is why depend on expecting a parish Priest to make huge changes and investment happen for a relatively small interest group? My uncle is a semi retired 85 year old Priest in a medium size city and he is on the go constantly with priestly duties. To organise a Latin Mass for a small group in the mix of all that, is not fair to Priests. In the US there is huge wealth available in the traditionalist movement. They could easily make it happen.

I would say that it’s Gen X where most original traditionalists spring from. Millenial traditionalists seem to be distinct again from the originals.

Boomers were probably the reason that Vat II was needed. The post war generation were in a completely new world needing a ‘new evangelisation’.

1 Like

Maybe but my folks who are boomers don’t practice their faith, didn’t raise me in the faith.

I see a lot of people from both the great generation, and boomer generation as resentful or like my parents irreligious.

Gen X and Millennials fall in the middle, but I think their is a strong orientation toward tradition even within the OF in both generations.

It will be interesting because my children and many of the children of my generation are growing up in traditional families, and in FSSP communities.

This was quite a huge accusation you made about Pope Benedict—causing division in the Church. The burden of proof is now upon you to show any direct evidence/quotes from Pope Benedict himself that the reason he issued his Motu Proprio was “to compromise with members of the SSPX.” Please, if your evidence is from hearsay from another source, or sources, don’t bother…

As a matter of truth and charity, why not take Pope Benedict at his own words—rather than from gossips and hearsay… Need I post his accompanying letter to the Motu Proprio explaining his reasons.

Yes, I get it. You don’t like the EF—along the people who love/prefer it. They represent the sentiments that you irk you. But you do realize that the Church is not about you…


The most strong polarization over this in my experience is among older people…the ones who remember when the EF was the only Form. There are those who want it back as the Ordinary Form and those who really really don’t and seem to have some fear this is going to happen. That, and younger people who “don’t understand Latin” and for some reason can’t cope with even the Agnus Dei. (This frustrates me because it tends to be the same people who love having the Scriptures read in three different languages on Pentecost?) There are those and then there are younger people who love knowing the EF is exacly what their ancestors prayed for centuries.


Be it as it may, as a matter of obedience and charity, why not just honor and respect all the Masses—the OF and the EF—that the Church approves. My faith is with the Church to provide what’s best for us—rather than in the hands of people with a prejudicial/personal agenda toward one Mass or the other.

From his blog (, here is Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s description of the meeting at which the Vatican explained the forthcoming motu proprio on the Tridentine Rite.

From Cleveland I flew to Rome at the request of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone to participate in a meeting discussing the Holy Fathers Motu Proprio about the use of the older form of the Latin Mass. There were about 25 bishops there, including the president of Ecclesia Dei Cardinal Daro Castrilln Hoyos, the prefect of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments Cardinal Francis Arinze, several heads of bishops conferences as well as some cardinals and other residential bishops.

They shared with us the Motu Proprio and the Holy Fathers letter explaining it. We also had an opportunity to read the Latin document. We each commented on that, and then the Holy Father came in and shared some of his thoughts with us. The Holy Father is obviously most concerned about trying to bring about reconciliation in the Church. There are about 600,000 Catholics who are participating in the liturgies of the Society of St. Pius X, along with about 400 priest.

Also, I don’t hate the EF. If the EF were to become the OF, fine, but division it did cause, per your post.

Well, since the EF was never abrogated (which Pope Benedict made totally clear), there was no need to ‘open the use of the EF’ which was, and remains, a valid rite. The Cardinal’s words may accurately reflect his personal impression but may in fact fall a bit short of Pope Benedict’s actual intentions, which as he made clear in further writings were far more ‘global’ than the supposed “SSPX”.


Cardinal Sean O’Malley was on the commission for this and the goal was to bring the members of SSPX back in full union with Rome, which is why he wrote on his blog about it.

Before Pope Benedict XVI’s, the TLM was allowed in dioceses only with permission from the Bishop under certain circumstances.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit