Discussion in 'Pope Francis' started by BrianK, May 26, 2021.
It’s a matter of degree.....of the flagrancy of the disobedience.
I was so troubled by the continued attacks on the TLM. But I can safely say the overwhelming result has been MORE people interested, MORE of the faithful embracing the truths of our tradition, and MORE of the laity learning their catechism. Not once person has left the TLM, that I have seen. Instead they’ve invited more people. God is working through this. In fact, I want to thank Pope F for lighting a fire under us and sending more people our way!
"What man meant for evil God meant for good"
"In a recent article in the Illinois Times, Massimo Faggioli, a theology professor at Villanova University in Philadelphia, is quoted as follows, of a specific Traditional Mass location:
It’s not an accident that all of these Catholics at the old Mass are white, because one of the things that happened after Vatican II was an ‘inculturation’ of the liturgy. …The Latin Mass is white and European by its definition, because it’s a product of the Catholic Church of the 16th century. So, this is creating serious problems because it is never limited to the liturgy only, but it is always the first step to saying Vatican II was a disaster.
I would far rather ignore these childish accusations, but I fear that if they are repeated frequently enough without rebuttal they will become established as part of the liberal narrative about the Traditional Latin Mass. But in order to shoe-horn the movement for the ancient Mass into the role of the bad guys in some racially-charged political confrontation, Faggioli needs to distort the past and ignore the present. Let’s start with the past.
Faggioli claims that the Mass as experienced in celebrations of the pre-Vatican II liturgical books is the “product” of 16th century Europe. Were it so, it would come from a milieu with completely different cultural and political concerns from those of current American politics, but let that pass, because the claim is false, as Faggioli must be aware. Readers can compare the first printed missal, of 1474, with 16th-century and later examples right up to 1962 to satisfy themselves that no major changes were made in the 16th century. Nor was it new in 1474: that was simply a printed version of what the Franciscans had been using since the 13th century, a version of the Roman Missal for use outside Rome. The last significant changes to the Roman Missal took place between 9th and the 12th century—things like the Preparatory Prayers and Last Gospel, and the development of Low Mass—but it was substantially complete in the 8th century, and its central components were in place long before that. The Canon of the Mass dates, scholars tell us, from the 4th century.
The 4th century is not even Medieval: it is late Antiquity. Before the Muslims conquered North Africa three centuries later it would be anachronistic to contrast “European” with “non-European” culture, since the Mediterranean was not the dividing line between different cultures, but a conduit connecting a region of strongly interconnected cultures, which contrasted with the more remote hinterland in any direction: Germany in the north, Persia to the east, and the Sahara to the south. The ancient Roman Mass was a product of Jewish and Roman religious culture in this Mediterranean world, and it was closely aligned with the liturgical tradition of what the Romans called North Africa (as opposed to Egypt). The liturgy of other parts of the Roman Empire—Greece, Egypt, the Levant, France and Spain—had their own lines of development, but each influenced and were influenced by the others.
When the reformers started pulling things out of the Missal in the 1960s, they sometimes claimed that these things were “late” or “medieval.” They lacked the brass neck to claim they were “16th century”: they had more intellectual self-respect than Faggioli. In some cases they were correct, but in other cases what they removed went back much earlier. The ancient cycle of Sunday Gospels, for example, entirely lost in 1969, provided the subject matter of sermons by Pope Gregory the Great in the year 590. The ancient orations, which the reformers of the 1960s didn’t like because they talked about penance, sin, and grace, reflect the world of the Church’s great African theologians, St Augustine of Hippo and St Cyprian of Carthage.
What of the reformed Mass? When, and by whom, was this created? It may come as a shock to Faggioli to discover this, but it was produced overwhelmingly by a small group of European liturgical experts, closely aligned in age, education, and attitudes. Notoriously, only a few of them were pastors; even fewer had experience of pastoral work outside Europe and North America. What they destroyed was something which had formed the Catholic culture, not just of Europe, but of Latin America, Africa, India, and China.
To a Catholic in Shanghai, in Goa, in Mexico City, or in Cape Town, the ancient Mass is their ancient Mass. It is the Mass which marked the life events of their parents, grandparents, and great grandparents. It is the Mass which evangelised their countries, often in the distant past, just as it evangelised England, Germany and Ireland in the early Middle Ages. It is this Mass which inspired their native saints and martyrs. It is this Mass which formed the backdrop to the authentic Catholic customs and art of which they are justly proud, from the wonderful baroque architecture of Catholic Latin America, to the exquisite devotional art of Catholic China.
Faggioli and his gang are determined to deprive them of this Mass, on the basis that he, and a handful of white American and European self-appointed liturgical experts, know better than they what is good for them. Sadly, since bishops all over the world are educated in Rome, a tiny clique of European liberals have outsized influence over what happens in other continents.
The International Una Voce Federation has members and contacts in the Philippines, in Malaysia, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, all over Latin America, and in a number of locations in Africa, and I know, because I have corresponded with them, that the reason that the ancient Mass is more available in the good ol’ USA than in these places is not because no one wants it there, but because getting permission for it there has been extremely difficult, even under Summorum Pontificum. The bishops have been given the idea, by the likes of Andrea Grillo from his perch in Rome’s Sant’Anselmo university, that the traditional Mass is not part of the officially approved programme. Sometimes from ambition, sometimes from loyalty to the Holy See, and frequently from a feeling that this is the path of least resistance, many bishops in Africa, Asia, and Latin America stifle the traditional Mass in an exercise of clerical power which in any other context Faggioli would be the first to condemn as clericalism. Traditionis Custodes has encouraged them to go even further, as we have seen with the complete suppression of the Traditional Mass in Costa Rica.
To be fair, there are also practical constraints to the development of the Traditional Mass in those places, similar to those in America but biting more sharply. The limited education in Latin of many of the clergy (contrary, be it noted, to the requirements of Canon Law); limitations on resources of time and places where the Mass can be said; lack of money for the support of dedicated clergy, from (for example) the Traditional priestly institutes. Like Americans, Africans are willing to travel for up to two hours, if necessary, to get to Church: but if you are doing that on foot, this gives you a range of about ten miles, rather than more than 100 in a comfortable American car. Making provision for the Traditional Mass in this context is an entirely different ball-game from making provision for it in the rich world.
Despite all these difficulties, however, there are many points of light in the gloom: places where the faithful flock to attend the ancient Mass, and where they experience the same increases in personal devotion and vocations associated with the Traditional Mass in Europe and America. The Traditional Priestly institutes have apostolates in several African countries, and in parts of Latin America. The Apostolic Administration of Campos, an entire parallel traditional diocese in communion with the Holy See, is located in Brazil. The SSPX, thanks no doubt to the extensive missionary experience of Archbishop Lefebvre, have made Africa a priority in their work and have been present in multiple countries for up to fifty years.
This wide appeal of the Traditional Mass is also reflected in congregations in Europe and America which are consistently more diverse in race, sex, and age than local Novus Ordo celebrations. This is a widely noted phenomenon yet I notice that it finds no mention in the Illinois article. If Faggioli wants to make a claim to the contrary, he needs to provide some proper research to overturn the anecdotal evidence provided by traditionalists.
I could leave it there, but I would like to take this brief analysis a little deeper. What exactly is it about the Traditional Mass which made it such a successful tool in the evangelisation of such contrasting cultures as Confucian China, Animist Africa, and the very varied cultures of Latin America? And where does the alternative model of worship, found in the Novus Ordo Missae, come from? ...
Our TLM is incredibly diverse. There are a ton of Latinos, Filipinos, some blacks, Pacific islanders, Asians, etc. It is by no means predominantly white.
Yes, this is my experience with FSSP also. Lots of Filipinos, etc. The fact that Massimo Faggioli is trying to play the 'racism card' is absolutely awful, in fact shameful for him.
It goes to show that they have no real arguments against the TLM, they can only resort to ad hominems in some form.
Important thread in regards to the TLM and its’ proponents attitudes towards VII:
Very important video on PF’s recent motu proprio:
Bishop Huonder is a Bishop, authorized and sent by Pope Francis, who defends the Society of St. Pius X, and who offers the Traditional Latin Mass on their premises.
Here is an excerpt of an interview with him:
An Interview with His Excellency Bishop Vitus Huonder
OCTOBER 01, 2021
SOURCE: DISTRICT OF THE USA
This interview was conducted by Fr. Lukas Weber on August 26, 2021 in Wangs, Switzerland. While the text had to be revised and translated, we have nevertheless tried to keep the spoken style as much as possible.
Msgr. Huonder this year you will celebrate the 50th anniversary of your priesthood. Congratulations and thank you for agreeing to give us an interview so that we can get to know you a little better. Such an anniversary is, of course, an occasion to take a first look back at your childhood, at the boy from Trun in the canton of Graubünden, who wanted to become a priest. How did that come about?
I was born in 1942 in Trun, not far from Disentis, well known for its Benedictine monastery. It was there, in the church of St. Martin of Trun, that I was baptized. I can say that is where I received my faith. What very much marked this time, was the early Mass attendance with my mother. I loved going to Mass, even when I was only a 3 or 4 year old child. What has also always impressed me is the Stations of the Cross leading from Trun to Maria Licht. I have often contemplated this Way of the Cross and carved it deep in my heart. These are the external elements that marked me.
From an early age, I have always had a strong desire to become a pastor: not just a priest, but a pastor. In fact, the priests who exercised their ministry there were the parish priest and especially the vicar. It was he who, very early on, initiated me into the service of Mass. When I was seven, I was already an altar boy, which I remained until I was around 26-27. These were my first steps in the faith, which I owe especially to my mother, because she had an important part in the formation of my faith.
Your testimony confirms the importance of education within the family and of contact with priests for the awakening of vocations.
Yes quite. This remains very important for today.
You then did your studies, followed by your theological training, and you were then ordained a priest on September 25, 1971. What memories do you keep of this ceremony?
It was a long journey to get there. We moved to Thalwil, in the canton of Zürich, when I was eight years old. I went to primary school there, then to Disentis’ high school, still carrying within me the desire to become a priest. After many stages, I was ordained a priest on September 25, 1971. What particularly impressed me during my ordination was, of course, the laying on of the bishop's hands, and then the anointing of hands, where I realized that these hands were sanctified, that they were anointed, especially for the holy sacrifice. That really impressed me during the ordination.
In fifty years of priesthood, we have seen many things happen. Perhaps our readers would be happy to hear a couple of anecdotes from your rich experience.
Priestly life as a whole is a beautiful experience, I would like to stress this. But if you want an anecdote, I remember once, as a bishop, during confirmations in a parish, a 11 or 12 year old boy came to see me after the ceremony and said, “I want to become a priest.” That touched me and gladdened me very much and also showed me how important it is for bishops to visit the parishes, which allows, not necessarily for the kindling of priestly vocations, but at least to strengthen them. What has always impressed me during my life as a priest, and especially during these later times, is when I celebrate Mass. During the canon, during the silence of the canon, I sense that many young people, who are present there, truly join in with this silence. That impresses me very much. These young people of 11 to 15 years old…You can sense how the understanding of this silence is already growing in them, especially when this silence plunges us into the suffering and death of Our Lord. That impresses me every time."
There are undoubtedly many experiences in the life of a priest, but also, of course, crosses and trials. They have not been lacking in your life, neither priestly, nor episcopal. Where did you find the strength to carry these crosses and overcome these trials?
First in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass itself. It is there that you can always find the necessary strength to bear the trials. Then also through prayer, especially the prayer of the Church. I have always prayed much and observed the prayers of the Church, the breviary, very faithfully. And I have always been able to sense how prayer carries me, helps me, fortifies me, cheers me also in many difficult situations. These are very important moments in the life of a priest, so that he can persevere, because this is not easy. Furthermore, it is also important to have fraternal contacts, to have confreres who live the same life, who accompany you along the same path. These are formidable supports in the priestly life.
What you tell us sounds like an encouragement or perhaps a call to priests to really live a life of prayer despite all the demands of daily life. That is where you have found this strength.
Yes. I really try to emphasize that a priest’s faithfulness to his prayer life is very important. Yes.
As a bishop, you have naturally chosen a motto: Instaurare omnia in Christo – to renew all things or to strengthen them in Christ. That is the same motto as that of Pope St. Pius X. Why this choice?
It really is a connection with Pope St. Pius X. I was 12 years old, in 1954, when Pope Pius X was canonized. I can still remember the picture of the pope that we received during our catechism. This motto was written at the bottom of the picture. That made a deep impression on me, and has been with me ever since. I know that in 1960, 1961—when the question of a council was in the air, because it had just been announced—there were various discussions at high school on the council, the expectations of the council, etc. And I remember that they said that “the Church must renew herself,” etc. I answered them with this motto and I said: yes, the Church much renew herself, but according to the motto of Pope St. Pius X: “Renew all things in Christ.”
Read more here: https://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/interview-his-excellency-bishop-vitus-huonder-69007
Did Pope Paul VI Abrogate the Traditional Latin Mass?
A letter from the Vatican’s top liturgical official, Archbishop Arthur Roche, discussing the application of Pope Francis’ new decree restricting its celebration has sparked a debate over the validity of the letter’s arguments.
Edward PentinNovember 13, 2021
A Traditional Latin Mass being celebrated in the Basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome on September 15, 2017 (photo: Edward Pentin)
VATICAN CITY — A letter from the Vatican’s liturgy chief on the application of Pope Francis’ decree restricting the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass has been criticized by prominent adherents of the older liturgical form for being contradictory and factually incorrect, while a senior Vatican official and a well-known American canonist have upheld one of the letter’s central claims.
Pope Francis’ apostolic letter Traditionis Custodes (Guardians of the Tradition), published “motu proprio” (of his own volition) July 16, made sweeping restrictions to the celebration of the traditional Latin Mass, reversing previous papal decrees that had liberalized the Mass celebrated before the liturgical reforms of Pope St. Paul VI in 1970, and urging a “return in due time” to the liturgy instituted after the Second Vatican Council.
The Holy Father said he felt impelled to take such a drastic step “in defense of the unity of the Body of Christ” after previous liberalizations of the old rite had, he believed, been exploited to expose the Church “to the peril of division.”
Archbishop Arthur Roche, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, wrote to Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster, England, Aug. 4 to offer clarifications on how the “motu proprio” should be applied in England and Wales.
Cardinal Nichols had written to Archbishop Roche on July 28, asking him six questions: whether the Congregation would be issuing any guidance on implementing the document; whether the decree abrogates use of the older rite for other sacraments as well as the Mass; how the liturgical calendar is to be applied with regard to feasts and holy days of obligation falling on different days in the two forms; which texts to use for scriptural readings; what the decree means by “groups”; and whether the requiem rites of the pre-Vatican II liturgy, permitted since 1971 under the “English Indult,” would still be allowed.
In his response, first published by Gloria TV and co-signed by Archbishop Vittorio Francesco Viola, the congregation secretary, Archbishop Roche began by emphasizing that his letter was “of a personal nature” as the congregation had not yet issued guidelines on interpreting the document.
He then made three statements that have been most contested: that the traditional liturgy was “abrogated by Pope Saint Paul VI” and so has an ecclesiology that is not part of the Church’s magisterium — a claim that runs contrary to the past guidance of Popes St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI; that Traditionis Custodes allows the older rite to be granted by means of “exceptional concession” but “not by way of promotion”; and that he could find “no evidence” of documentation in the congregation’s archives regarding the English Indult, more popularly known as Agatha Christie indult on account of Christie and other celebrities who pressed for it in 1971, which allowed the older rite to occasionally continue in England and Wales with modifications introduced in the 1960s.
Regulated, Not Suppressed
Archbishop Roche prefaced the first of these claims by saying the liturgical texts of the older form of the Roman rite have been “regulated and not suppressed” by Traditionis Custodes.He singled out “misinterpretation and promotion of the use of these texts” which, he said, took place “after only limited concessions by previous pontiffs” and has been used to “encourage a liturgy at variance with Conciliar reform (and which, in fact, was abrogated by Pope Saint Paul VI), and an ecclesiology that is not part of the Church’s magisterium.”
Father Claude Barthe, an expert author on the traditional liturgy and priest of the Diocese of Fréjus-Toulon in France, told the Register Nov. 9 that this was both the “most interesting” and the “weakest part” of the letter as Archbishop Roche “says that the ecclesiology of the vetus ordo [the traditional liturgy] ‘is not part of the Magisterium of the Church’ — that is, it is not conciliar.” Such a perception, Father Barthe said, shows that Archbishop Roche “has remained in the Paul VI era” as if no further development in liturgical reform has occurred.
Regarding Archbishop Roche’s assertion that Paul VI abrogated the traditional liturgy, commentators such as Father John Hunwicke have noted that this directly contradicts Pope Benedict’s words in Article 1 of his 2007 apostolic letter Summorum Pontificum (The Supreme Pontiffs) that lifted restrictions on the celebration of traditional liturgy according to the 1962 Missal.
That “typical edition” of the Roman Missal, Benedict wrote, was “never abrogated.” Benedict also stressed this point in an accompanying letter to bishops, writing: “I would like to draw attention to the fact that this Missal was never juridically abrogated and, consequently, in principle, was always permitted.”
Father Hunwicke, writing on his blog Liturgical Notes, wondered what the faithful are meant to believe when presented by these two contradictory statements. “This is not a slight matter,” Father Hunwicke asserted. “It is yet another example of the problems we all find ourselves in when one pontificate directly, fully frontally, contradicts, in a matter of historical fact or of doctrine, what the previous pontificate made clear.”
As well as referencing Benedict’s past statements, Peter Kwasniewski, an author and expert on the traditional liturgy and sacred music, noted Archbishop Roche’s omission of John Paul II's 1986 commission of nine cardinals, including Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, which studied the legal status of the traditional Mass. It determined Paul VI had never abrogated the old rite and, according to Kwasniewski, their conclusion informed Benedict XVI’s decisions in Summorum Pontificum.
In this sense, Kwasniewski believes that what is “problematic in Traditionis Custodes” is “reaffirmed” but with “no greater coherency.” Archbishop Roche, he told the Register, “seems to honestly believe that the old rite was abrogated by Paul VI and that Francis is simply doubling down on this fact, to bring about the necessary and fitting ‘unity’ of the Roman Rite.”
“Naturally, popes cannot contradict one another doctrinally,” argued Kwasniewski. “This is the basic reason why Traditionis Custodes is erroneous: it denies that the great liturgical tradition is the lex orandi of the Church's lex credendi [the law of what is prayed is the law of what is believed]. To say that is to undermine the entire claim of Catholicism.”
Paul VI’s 1976 Address
The Register contacted Archbishop Roche for comment but as of press time had received no reply. However, another senior Vatican official argued that Paul VI did indeed abrogate the old Mass and cited a consistory address the former pontiff gave on loyalty to the Church and the Council on May 24, 1976.
In that address, Paul VI criticized those who claimed Vatican II had “no obligatory force” and should be disobeyed in order to “safeguard certain traditions.” Such a position, Paul VI said, “calls into question the divine will that made Peter and his lawful successors the head of the Church.”
Paul VI added that also use of the reformed Mass is “in no way left up to the choice of priests or people,” and that the older form of the Mass would, according to a 1971 instruction, only be permitted “by faculty from the Ordinary, only for aged or sick priests offering the sacrifice without a congregation.”
The new Mass, he continued, “was promulgated in place of the old after careful deliberation and to carry out the directives of Vatican Council II,” and he “command[ed] the same ready obedience to the other new laws, relating to liturgy, discipline, pastoral activity, made in these last years to put into effect the decrees of the Council.” Furthermore, Paul VI added that “any course of action seeking to stand in the way of the conciliar decrees can under no consideration be regarded as a work done for the advantage of the Church, since it in fact does the Church serious harm.”
Father Gerald Murray, a canonist at Holy Family Church in New York, said Paul VI “had the clear intent and expectation that the use of the previous Ordo Missae was no longer authorized,” notwithstanding the exception he made in 1971. “There is no logical or canonical sense in requiring the obtaining of a faculty to celebrate the previous Ordo Missae unless the celebration of previous Ordo Missae were no longer authorized by the Supreme Authority in the Church, the Pope,” Father Murray contended.
He added that the Pope is “not bound” to use the word “abrogate” in any specific form of canonical decree in order to prohibit the use of the old Mass or command the use of the new one “as he is the supreme legislator.” All that is required, he said, “is that the Pope's intent be made known” when he decides to accomplish something, something Father Murray said he clearly did in his 1976 address when he said, “The new Ordo Missae was promulgated in place of the old...”
Father Murray noted there could be “an academic canonical dispute” as to whether, in the absence of papal canonical legislation “expressly” abrogating the old Mass when the new one was promulgated, that the old missal was not canonically prohibited. However, he disagreed with this argument, as he believes Paul VI's promulgation of the new Mass and his subsequent public remarks “established that the use of the previous Ordo Missae was no longer permitted, apart from any exceptions granted by the Holy See.”
Kwasniewski “respectfully disagree[d]” with Father Murray, saying that although Paul VI’s speech shows “he clearly thought the new missal was to replace the old one,” the Pope refused to say it was abrogated when pressed to do so by Annibale Bugnini, the chief drafter of the liturgical reforms, and “he contented himself with insisting on obedience alone.” This is according to Bugnini’s book La Riforma Liturgica 1948-1975.
He also pointed out that as well as John Paul II’s commission of nine cardinals, the “great canonists Nero Capponi and Cardinal Alfons Stickler, among others, publicly argued that Paul VI's Missale Romanum never abrogated the older missal, and they were never refuted.”
Kwasniewski stressed: “It's not what a pope thinks he's doing that matters, or what he wishes to be the case, but what he actually does. So, if a pope promulgates a document thinking to himself ‘This is an infallible statement - that will settle it!’ but he does not take pains to signify that he is exercising the infallibility of his office and is binding people to his decision, then it does not enjoy that exalted status.”
The expert in the traditional liturgy believes the same is true with “something as serious” as abrogating a Missal. “The canonical principle that everything must be interpreted by the exact letter (not by ‘penumbras formed by emanations’) comes into play, as well as the principle that things that restrict the rights of members of the Church are to be interpreted as favorably and generously as possible,” Kwasniewski said.
The second controversial claim Archbishop Roche makes, that the old rite is an exceptional concession that is not to be promoted, has also disturbed some traditional Catholics who wonder what the Vatican might deem as “promotion” in the future.
Joseph Shaw, chairman of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales, said his organization “promotes” the older liturgy by facilitating its celebration by training laity and priests in their respective roles, which helps make any liturgy “more reverent and beautiful to encourage people to attend it.”
He told the Register it is therefore “incomprehensible that anyone should regard this work with suspicion,” adding that they “always avoid denigrating the reformed liturgy, and since the number of Masses celebrated in the older rite are a tiny proportion of the total the question of pushing the reform aside does not arise.”
Shaw nevertheless welcomed that Archbishop Roche stressed the need for “a delicacy of care and direction” in applying the new law, and that the archbishop said the old Mass “has been regulated and not suppressed.” It was regulated, Shaw said, even under Summorum Pontificum, and if these are more restrictive than before, “regulations by their nature can change, in their implementation they may make no difference on the ground”
“This is unequivocal good news,” Shaw wrote on the website OnePeterFive, “and we must not allow any negative phrasing in these letters to distract us from that.”
The third controversial point also mystified many observers: Archbishop Roche’s claim not to have any documentation on the English Indult in the Congregation. This is “quite ridiculous,” said Father Barthe, as he believes it shows that neither Archbishop Roche nor Archbishop Viola had “heard of it.” A possible hypothesis, he said, is that the documentation was stolen so that it could not end up in the hands of researchers. Shaw said the absence of documentation was a “poor showing” especially as the Latin Mass Society has kept a record of the Indult, “dated and with its protocol number, on our website.”
Overall, Father Barthe said the letter shows Archbishop Roche to be not fully up to speed on the traditional liturgy as well as a “declared enemy of the vetus ordo,” especially as the Vatican prefect sees it as an “exceptional and limited concession” and the entirety of Traditionis Custodes directed towards the “return and stabilization of the liturgy as decreed by the Second Vatican Council.” Father Barthe also noted how Archbishop Roche effectively denies in his letter the extension of the old rite to any new groups.
Shaw was more optimistic, writing that although “some of the contents are a little technical and obscure,” Archbishop Roche’s letter should come as no surprise. Due to the fact that it does not point to suppression of the old Mass but rather tighter regulation, he believes "the basic message is positive and it also gives us a chance to respond to arguments currently being developed to limit what we can do.”
Edward Pentin Edward Pentin began reporting on the Pope and the Vatican with Vatican Radio before moving on to become the Rome correspondent for EWTN's National Catholic Register. He has also reported on the Holy See and the Catholic Church for a number of other publications including Newsweek, Newsmax, Zenit, The Catholic Herald, and The Holy Land Review, a Franciscan publication specializing in the Church and the Middle East. Edward is the author of The Next Pope: The Leading Cardinal Candidates (Sophia Institute Press, 2020) and The Rigging of a Vatican Synod? An Investigation into Alleged Manipulation at the Extraordinary Synod on the Family (Ignatius Press, 2015). Follow him on Twitter at @edwardpentin.
The power of Latin mass was when the whole world followed one sacred rite.
Now the modern rite leaves a lot up to interpretation. It weakens it spiritual power.
I agree. A leeching of grace from the world.
Six Takeaways From Pope Francis’s War on the Latin Mass
Julia Meloni November 29, 2021 0 Comments
When Pope Francis released the motu proprio Traditionis Custodes, he dropped what Dr. Peter Kwasniewski calls an “atom bomb” on the traditional Latin Mass. Now, as the fallout accumulates and the rubble builds up, Kwasniewski has edited and released From Benedict’s Peace to Francis’s War, a collection of brilliant, clarifying essays on Francis’s militant act.
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“Stunning, sad, weird, baffling, vengeful, and crazy barely begin to describe this situation,” says contributor Michael Brendan Dougherty regarding Traditionis Custodes (84). But in an emergency situation that still leaves the mind reeling, Kwasniewski’s volume offers some much-needed lucidity. While it’s impossible to do justice to these seventy pieces in one short essay, here are six key takeaways from this razor-sharp book.
We need to be precise about what Pope Francis does and doesn’t say in Traditionis Custodes.
Pope Francis is, as always, very careful about how he words his subversion of tradition. As Kwasniewski notes:
It would be impossible in principle for a pope to abolish the venerable Roman rite, the Mass of Ages. …Francis in this motu proprio never dares to say ‘the rite in force before the liturgical form is abrogated,’ as neither did Paul VI before him. Rather, he abrogates Summorum Pontificum, and attempts to exclude the old Roman rite from being a legitimate lex orandi of the Catholic Faith. This is bizarre, untenable, and ultimately incoherent. The document is full of contradictions and mental fog (90).
Here Kwasniewski stresses the difference between abolishing something in principle and abolishing it in practice. To borrow a favorite formulation from historian Roberto de Mattei, Francis is a man of praxis, concerned chiefly with making things happen in practice. Thus, what matters to the revolutionaries is what Traditionis Custodes effects in reality.
And Traditionis Custodes is, for all its muddled logic, expertly programmed to make the on-the-ground reality hostile to the traditional Latin Mass. As Kwasniewski puts it, the papal text is “designed like a Swiss Army knife to equip bishops with as many ways of inconveniencing or hounding tradition-loving Catholics as possible” (17).
We are in an elaborately planned game of chess.
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As Traditionis Custodes presses inexorably forward and groups such as the FSSP come under increasing pressure, it’s hard not to think of what contributor Christophe Geffroy writes:
[T]he stage is set for a future in which the traditional Mass will be celebrated only by the Society of Pius X and its satellites. The pope’s strategy seems to be to push the resistance toward the Society of St. Pius X so that the whole traditional world concentrates there, where they will be isolated and controlled on their little reservation, cut off from Rome and the dioceses, maintaining just enough connection to avoid formal schism. This explains why the pope is not seeking full reconciliation with the Society of St. Pius X, but has shown great generosity toward them by recognizing the full validity of their marriages and confessions… (29).
In other words, Pope Francis’s benevolent gestures towards the SSPX make sense if the point all along has been to shunt traditionalists into the society and then “isolate” and “control” them. When I asked fellow Catholics for their thoughts on this theory on Twitter, one prominent account pointed out the incredible amount of “careful planning” required to pull off this papal maneuver.
“They are playing chess,” the user said.
We are officially in the “zero-sum Church.”
“For the last decade the Francis pontificate has moved back and forth between accelerationism and stalemate,” says Ross Douthat (213). Now, as actors have “become less inclined to play the long game and more inclined to take truly reckless steps,” Pope Francis’s “fear-driven crackdown on the TLM” has pushed “a decadent system toward a crisis” (213-214).
This is an important point. In my book The St. Gallen Mafia, I thematize the tension between, on the one hand, Pope Francis’s preference for acting patiently and, on the other hand, the pressures of some mysterious timer ticking in the background. Now, with Traditionis Custodes, an end game is clearly in play.
The stakes of this war couldn’t be higher.
“The faction in power right now will do their utmost to suppress the old Mass altogether,” Kwasniewski warns. “It’s worse: they want the extinction of the usus antiquior in entirety—all the sacramental rites, the Breviarium Romanum of Pius X, the Rituale Romanum, the Pontificale Romanum, the whole works” (92).
Ultimately, this all-out war is part of a larger assault on the pre-conciliar past. As George Neumayr searingly puts it: “[Francis’s] decree against the traditional Latin Mass is designed to finish off the pre-conciliar Church” (161).
And as another contributor, Michael Fiedrowicz, says elsewhere, all of this is “frighteningly reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984.”
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“Every memory of the past must be erased,” says Fiedrowicz.
We both do and do not know what happens in this story.
From one perspective, Douthat speaks of the “total uncertainty about what now lies ahead” (177). Regarding the attempted suppression of the old Mass, Douthat notes that Francis’s “authority may not be strong enough to achieve this goal.” Everything from “decentralization” to “the role of the internet as a rallying point against disliked authority” will “make many bishops reluctant to act as Rome’s enforcers and probably allow the old Mass to persist” (178).
Meanwhile, Archbishop Thomas E. Gullickson stresses that our situation remains “terribly worrisome” and yet still not hopeless (184). Ultimately, he describes Traditionis Custodes as “a scythe or a winnowing fan, which will further bring to light that good seed” (185).
“At some point the fuming and railing against us and the usus antiquior will subside or stop altogether,” the Archbishop predicts. “It has to, for we have a world to claim for Christ” (185).
Now is the time for our own long game.
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As Kwasniewski writes:
My wife and I decided to commit to a daily Holy Hour at an adoration chapel near our house, to pray for a resolution to this crisis, to pray for all the priests and laity it will affect, for all the bishops and, of course, for the pope. I would urge everyone to take some concrete step, even if it’s as simple as explicitly praying daily in the Rosary for the restoration of tradition to its rightful place. Enroll in the Brown Scapular of Our Lady if you haven’t already done so. Choose a day or days for fasting: Our Lord says some demons are driven out only through prayer and fasting (92).
Ultimately, Kwasniewski reminds us that “this crisis is not likely to clear up quickly” (92-93). In other words, we have to play our own long game—that of counter-revolution, offering up our prayers, works, and sacrifices for the restoration of the Mass we love.
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Francis Plans Bloodbath: Roman Rite Communities Will Be FORCED Into Novus Ordo
Michael Charlier writes on Summorum-Pontificum.de (30 November) that measures will be announced before the end of 2021 to force all Roman Rite communities into the Novus Ordo.
Charlier has published accurate reports and predictions in the past. Francis wants to "return" the Roman Rite communities "to the single mode of celebration" of the New Pseudo-Rite, before publishing regulations for Traditionis Custodes.
According to Charlier, papal delegates will be sent to these communities. Unlike commissioners, they won't replace existing superiors but will be their superiors. Their mandate is "to reconcile" their communities "with the spirit of the Council".
As a first step, presiding the Eucharist will be ordered to totally replace the celebration of Mass so that these priests can subsequently be integrated into Novus Ordo pastoral work.
The public celebration of Mass, which is still permitted for the time being, will be entrusted only to Novus Ordo priests who are faithful to the failed Council. Roman Rite priests will only be allowed to celebrate Mass internally and in exceptional cases. The administration of the other sacraments will be forbidden.
The papal delegates are not authorised to be flexible and to negotiate with the communities. Rigidity, legalism and refusal of dialogue will reign.
Charlier assumes that the "papal delegates" will succeed in subduing "parts and probably majorities of the leadership of some communities" but not a "large majority" of the members, thus "the communities will break up - which may well be in the spirit of Francis' strategy."
Picture: © Joseph Shaw, CC BY-NC-SA, #newsWaoxrhhvia
Het Goede, het Tridentijnse Heilige Mis, God, wint het altijd van het Kwade, de mis van het Tweede Vaticaanse Concilie, de Duivel. Paus Franciscus heeft met het verbieden van de Tridentijnse Heilige Mis niet alleen een schisma veroorzaakt, maar paus Franciscus heeft daardoor ook, onbewust, een vloek uitgesproken over het Tweede Vaticaanse Concilie en daardoor zullen alle gelovigen, priesters, …More
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Once again, this is just a projection. Perhaps it will not come to fruition. Keep watch and pray.