The day after a shameless, open attack to Summorum Pontificum, and the scandal is now everywhere.
The obvious arrogance of a Bishop thinking he has something to say as to whether a priest can or cannot celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass is compounded by the arrogance – truly typical of Francis; his minions learn fast – with which the man clearly implies the TLM is bad for the attendants' soul. I am sure he would prefer a Pinocchio Mass to the Tridentine. At least when I look at the picture.
Bishop Olson is a beautiful example of the type of bishop Francis will give us. The rather stupid grin in the picture above is typical of the modern non-authoritarian bishop; one who will insist in being seen as a harmful uncle, but will not hesitate to bully those who are in the way of his destructive agenda without any sense of shame, and perfectly sure of impunity. A bully, and an enemy of Christ. These V II smiling uncles are all the same.
Will the bishop backpedal in front of the obvious recognition that he is going ultra vires?
Why would he? He is leading the charge of the sans Mozzetta, and unless a phone call from Rome praises him and tells him he was a good boy, but it is now time to reassure the neocons before the next assault, there is no need for him to admit any mistake, or fear any consequence from higher places.
It astonishes me how there are people who do not understand where this is going. Francis might not have the gut to officially abrogate Summorum Pontificum, but by now it should be obvious to a moron that he will not do anything against those bishops wanting to play sheriff on their own diocese, and SP be stuffed. Unless he should, every now and then, see the need to give some birds food to his neocon pigeons, in which case we will have some symbolic gesture that will fill the Pollyannas with delight. “Look, he has visited the tomb of St. Pius X! Must be orthodox, then!”
This is not about Dr King, or internal affairs within the College. The TLM is obviously nothing to do with internal squabbles. It's the Sacrifice of the Mass, not an internal appointment.
No. This is about an entire world. A world that is growing all over the West and is crying to heaven the failure, the arrogance, the irreligiousness, the stupidity, and the unspeakable arrogance of the V II apparatchiks who are ruining the Church whilst smiling like cretins.
Bishop Olson incarnates them perfectly. Not one month in the office, and he is already in an extremely good position to win the 2014 Francis' Helper Of The Year Award. He probably dreams of the cover of Vanity Fair. Hey, the Humble Francis did not have anything against it, either.
Pray for the soul of this confused man. And of the one who made him bishop.
The Bishop complains because when he was an altar boy “he could only keep his hands so far apart”.
A first parish priest tells him the Traditional Mass is invalid.
A second priest says it is prohibited. He seems to relent after being showed the documents, then tries to have the mass suppressed again.
The bishop says the people only understand Spanish, you see…
You may think this is a joke, and something like that could never happen in the Church after Summorum Pontificum.
You would be wrong.
May the Lord reward this good man of God.
After the latest alleged remarks of the Bishop of Rome to his Czech bishops concerning the latest fad of the young people – a Mass that has been in existence pretty much for the entire history of the Church – the observation was made that this remark does not change anything in Summorum Pontificum, and if and when Francis wants to abrogate it he will be able to do so in the open.
Very, very true.
True, in fact, in the same way in which Hitler's incendiary propaganda concerning Danzig did not change anything in the situation on the ground; or in which when you have the Wehrmacht, the Luftwaffe and even the Kriegsmarine at your disposal you can, without the shadow of a doubt, invade Poland any day you like.
The issue with most of what Francis says is not whether it introduces legal changes; he mostly doesn't. In fact, as far as I know even almost one year after his unprecedented Maundy Thursday Mass liturgical abuse he has not changed the canon law dispositions governing it. The huge issue with Francis is the mentality this endless string of off the cuff comments, liturgical abuses, beach balls on the altar, and general “who am I to judge” senselessness clearly indicate: a Pope managing the feat of being in almost complete disagreement with almost all his predecessors almost all of the times, and showing the understanding of Catholicism of a poorly instructed 15 years old boy in a hormone-induced delirium of omnipotence and world-changing zeal.
Exactly in the same way as the problem with Hitler was, in the first place, Hitler, and was very evident from Hitler's way of thinking and talking, the problem with Francis is, in the first place, Francis, as seen in the countless examples of his thinking and talking.
Furthermore, with both of them (Hitler and Francis) the problem is not whether they can, but whether they should. Hitler's ability to invade Poland says exactly zero about the righteousness of such an event; therefore, to say “Hitler can invade Poland” (or “Francis can abrogate Summorum Pontificum”) is not relevant in this context. Yes, he can. And yes, it would be outright evil if he should do it. May I be worried that Hitler might, one day, invade Poland? He waited six and a half years, by the way, and if you want an equivalent of the Ruhr occupation, I think the occupation of the FFI will do admirably.
My impression is that, should Francis one day… invade Summorum Pontificum – which I do not think he will ever have the guts to do, choosing the Jesuit way instead – there will be many voices simply pointing out that… he can; as if this would change the evaluation about the merit of such a decision one bit.
This is, be the way, the same trick used with stupid voters all the time:” why worry about same sex marriage, it has not been voted yet”; promptly followed by “it is a done thing now and there's nothing to do, so stop clamouring about it”.
Francis is the Bishop of Rome. He can, so to speak, certainly invade Poland. He will, I think, very probably never do it.
But I will not wait for him to do so in order to be scandalised by his incendiary talk.
As the weeks go by and the progressivist steamroller flattens the FFI to the ground, it might be useful to take some measurements and spend two words about what I think is happening on a broader perspective. I think the following observations can be made:
1. A very tiny number of dissenters (apparently around half a dozen in an order counting hundreds) was enough to start the most brutal crackdown in several decades. The same excuse can be now used everywhere. Woe to the FSSP if there are little dissensions, with a handful of Judas among them saying the Order has become “divisive”, or “crypto-lefebvrist”: an accusation very easy to fabricate, as the FSSP exist to celebrate – even if not exclusively – the same Mass of which Francis has said that it can be, exactly, divisive. Were this to happen, they would probably be doomed, and their only hope of survival would be in Francis' fear of the SSPX. In this case we would have a real paradox: an Order living only thanks to the other Order it was born to destroy. Still, the FSSP can be damaged and watered down in many ways without having recourse to the brutality of the full “FFI treatment”. Personally, I think this is exactly what will happen in the years to come.
2. It should be clear to even the least intelligence that Francis is fully behind all that is happening. Firstly, it is simply not conceivable that such brutality be adopted without the Pope's previous assent; secondly, Father Volpi – the FFI's torturer – has explicitly mentioned the Holy Father's support for his action and has not been contradicted, much less forced to backpedal. This is, ultimately, all Francis' doing, as plain as the sun.
3. The crackdown is not against people, but attitudes. The closure of the seminary shows in Francis' and Volpi's mind the problem lies not in single individuals, but in the traditionalist Weltanschauung of the order. They are targeted because they love Tradition, full stop.
The FFI is the most evident sign of Francis' reigning style we had up to now: as ruthless and brutal when he sees successful Catholicism at work as he is slyly active in promoting his own dying but very convenient brand of kindergarten Catholicism.
Please, Lord, let this punishment come to an end soon.
It has happened. Four conspirators, “hypocrites” and “cowards”, have launched an attack to the Holy Father, daring to “judge” and “criticise” him. They criticised him, in fact, rather strongly.
Seriously, these people should take example from Monsignor Ricca, the quiet sodomite who kept his own lover for all the world to see for years, and never, nevah evah dared to judge or criticise anyone! He was living such an un-judgemental and happy life, when the slanderous, cowardly, murderous “gossip” press exposed him, poor girl!
You see? Murder, again!
Back to today’s crime news. The four men who dared to move such an attack have, apparently, a big problem with the Vatican attitude towards the FFI, (this is, of course, because “they lack the strength and the courage to look to their own shortcomings”) about which I have reported. They have, in fact, such a “murderous” inclination to criticism that they consider the ban on TLM by the FFI – a ban which allow for individual authorisation, but is in principle a ban – an open attack not only to Summorum Pontificum, but even to Quo Primum. As the Pop Bishop of Rome clearly carries the responsibility for the measure, I cannot see how this – let us say it again: cowardly and judgmental – criticism may avoid being considered a true first-class act of hypocrisy and (let me look… oh, yes) cowardice.
Let us report, below, some of the most important passages of their intervention (which you find, as always, on Rorate Caeli) in its entirety. Emphases, as always, mine.
But first, let us mention the name of the four “cowards”:
Roberto de Mattei, Mario Palmaro, Andrea Sandri, Giovanni Turco
God bless them.
I read around the strange theory according to which if good Catholics complain out loud concerning real or supposed attacks to Summorum Pontificum, this will make a real attack on said SP more likely.
Allow me to explain why I disagree.
In my view, the Bishop of Rome is either an enemy of the Traditional Mass, or he isn't. If he isn't, widespread opposition to any changes will make it actually easier for him to leave things as they are; but if he is, the absence of widespread opposition will make it easier for him to get rid of Summorum Pontificum. “There is just no affection or desire for the old rite”, he will say. When he then cancels SP with a stroke of the pen, it will be rather too late for complaints, at least as long as Francis is the Bishop of Rome.
You can call this, if you will, the Poland's dilemma. If you don't do anything to protect yourself, you will be invaded because you have not done anything. If you do look for alliances to protect yourself, you will be invaded because you are being hostile.
I personally think that if we get invaded, we get invaded.
But not with our consent, or in our silence.
And so it came to pass an efficient, prosperous, growing semi-traditionalist Order, the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (short: FFI), had its Tridentine Mass culled par ordre du mufti, the mufti in this case being none other than the gay-loving Bishop of Rome of ours.
The event is – or might be; or should be – rather massive, because impinges exactly on those freedoms that Summorum Pontificum freely gives to all religious: not only the Ecclesia Dei orders, but all of them.
One can, therefore, wonder whether the FFI isn’t the canary in the coal mine, whose death warns us of immediate danger for the Traditional Mass.
On the matter, I have read two opposed opinions, that you can read here and here. I add that there can be little doubt the FFI, in itself not a traditionalist order, has been factually overtaken by the Traditionalist; who, whilst obviously not “oppressing” their more progressive brother, have given a certain “tone” to the work of the order; order that, punctually, has started to expand robustly and gather friends everywhere. This is the kind of plague that generally befalls the traditionalists orders; which, in turn, lets the Bergoglios of this world look very, very bad.
In short, according to the two camps either the Bishop of Rome is merely intervening in internal squabbles, and the de facto silencing of the TLM mass is just a medicinal measure to bring harmony within the order again; or he is profiting from a convenient minority of “progressives” within the FFI to cull their Latin Mass activity and make of them a ballon d’essai or a dress rehearsal for the great attack to the Traditional Mass.
I invite you to click both links and read the arguments on both sides, arguments which would take too much time – and wasted time at that, because they are very well put – to rephrase here for you.
I wasn’t there, of course, and if I was there I must have been in the bathroom. Personally, though, I think that the Rorate argument wins hands down. Not only are the positions expressed by Rorate, in my humble opinion, more logical from the point of view of an outsider; but crucially, they match with the subversive character of Bishop Francis we could observe in these short months.
Often in the past I have written that I could not see Bishop Francis going head on against the traditionalists. On one hand I considered him if not smart, at least attentive; then I thought he would have other problems to deal with; finally, it wouldn’t be smart to give the SSPX so great a gift by showing to the entire Catholic world what a joke Bergoglio is.
I must, though, here frankly admit that when I wrote that I also did not imagine a man going to such excesses of egomaniacal conduct as to keep at his place a sodomite destroyed the world over by horrible revelations of rent boys & Co., just because he is his buddy – or, worse, because he needs Ricca’s many friends, friends as bent as Ricca is; or, worse still, because these are the friends who have allowed him to be chosen to be the Bishop of Rome, so that he now owes them -.
Every month, this man shows us that he can be even more shameless than we thought him capable of; and as a result, every month we must reassess his possible moves concerning this or that in light of the increasing more dangerous character emerging from his action.
Bishop Bergoglio has surpassed our worst fears with beautiful regularity since the beginning of his … new appointment. How can we say he will stop in front of the Tridentine Mass? Who can say he will even wait for Pope’s Benedict’s death before officially demolishing his heritage? This is a man whose lack of the most common sense of decency extends not only to almost daily insulting his predecessor in a very thinly veiled manner, but even to defying the most elementary sense of propriety in front of the entire Catholic world by keeping a sodomite at his place, and making stupid and arrogant jokes about the non-existence of the “gay lobby” he himself had publicly mentioned. What is such a man not capable of?
From their fruits you shall know them. Even in Collodi’s book, you never know in which problems Pinocchio can put himself into. But at least Pinocchio had the fee and the Wise Cricket. Bishop Bergoglio has Monsignor Ricca, the man (?) he absolutely clings to…
This being the situation, and with Screwtape clearly making himself very comfortable within the Vatican corridors, what could not happen? Could perhaps Francis decide – which I would think extremely stupid – that every advantage given to the SSPX is worth being suffered, if it allows him to silence all the others? Imagine his objective is simply to stop the Tridentine Mass for being celebrated, without any concern whatsoever of the huge boost in prestige and reputation – and money – this would give the SSPX?
Of course, this would be extremely stupid. Of course, this would continue the Pinocchio-isation of the Church and plunge her in a new crisis of vocation of heterosexual priests – faggots will, I am sure, run to be enrolled in the seminaries -; of course, Francis would lose the image of “great uncle” to acquire the one of “grumpy old sixty-eighter”, the vastly superior traditionalists shaming him at every occasion. But perhaps, he is not so intelligent? Perhaps, he is so full of himself that he thinks he can do nothing wrong, and does not need to follow prudent advice? Hitler and Napoleon, when they lost their head, thought they could conquer Russia. Bishop Humble, once he has seen a couple of million people in Copacabana, might well think he can conquer a small number of Traditionalists?
It is difficult to give an answer to these questions. This is like 1933. There is a new man in power, and this new man shows he is increasingly strange and unpredictable, and gives all signs to be a megalomaniac of “change”. I do not doubt he feels, like Hitler, called to be remembered in one thousand years.
On the other hand, when he was in Argentina he refused every open clash with the SSPX, who have a strong presence there. This is a powerful argument. But history teaches us that more often than not, the Pope is different from what the Cardinal used to be. This “bishop of Rome” must be the most different in a long time.
For example, there is this rumour of a great plan to be announced in Autumn, to make the Church, in a way, simpler. When I heard it I thought it had to do with the exterior appearance of the clergy (say: only Fiat or Ford cars; bishop must live in a three bedroom house; compulsory embracing of people in wheelchair whenever a camera is present; and the like), but in the light of the FFI measure the plans certainly assume a more sinister trait. Perhaps is the man trying to sweep away Summorum Pontificum in one fell swoop, counting on the choir of wannabe conservative who will suddenly discover the Holy Ghost hates Latin?
I wish I had an aswer, but this man eludes answers. He plunged himself into a grave liturgical abuse weeks into his pontificate; he aids and abets not only homosexual clergy, but sodomites at that – don’t insult your intelligence pretending to believe the likes of Ricca are “chaste” anyway – and even dares to make a mockery of the people’s worries about the very faggots he protects.
This is the kind of man we have at the top. Again, it’s like 1933. There’s no way to know more until the true scale of this man’s delusion emerges.
In the present situation, it is more than understandable that the fans of the Better Mass be worried about the effect this devastating, utterly disgraceful Pontificate will have on Summorum Pontificum.
Whilst I have forgotten my crystal ball at home again, I think a couple of reasonable assumptions can be made:
1) Bishop Francis will not dare to openly go against Summorum Pontificum: not whilst the Pontiff Emeritus is alive, not after he has died. A man clearly driven by vanity, the Bishop of Rome will not dare to take initiatives that would procure him a very vocal, very persistent and very painful opposition. Look at his actions, and realise the man accurately avoid every stance that would cause widespread opposition to the new born cult of Bishop Francis. Too many are the friends of the Tridentine Mass, for him to go and pick this particular fight. It must also be said that the Bishop lives in a liturgical and theological glasshouse, and certainly understands if he starts to throw stones at people who understand Liturgy and Theology he will be hurt, badly.
2) This does not mean the Bishop, being a 1a liturgical Philistine, will not do whatever he can to damage the cause of sound liturgy whilst avoiding the flak. I can well imagine that he will take care bishops of TLM dioceses are replaced, when the usual time comes, with other liturgical philistines, certain to provide an hostile environment for the TLM; with the obvious exception of those dioceses where a SSPX is within driving distance.
I cannot see the Bishop of Rome doing anything that makes him obviously unpopular, but I do believe he will do whatever he can to hush the effects of SP if he can do so without open confrontation.
The biggest safety for SP lies, if you ask me, in the robust presence of the SSPX. As long as they are strong and expanding, the enemies of the Tridentine Mass will have to be very careful, and Bishop Jorge's cult of Bishop Jorge will do the rest.
I might be wrong, of course. Time will tell.
If you click at Father Z’s blog, you will find a wonderful sermon from the Archbishop of Ferrara, Luigi Negri.
It is as blunt as an Italian Archbishop can ever be; the remark with the ecclesiastical tribunal is very telling.
We do not know whether the “Franciscan simplicity” will impact the Traditional Mass, but this is one Archbishop on the right side.
As an aside, you could do worse than considering Ferrara in your next Italian holiday. One of the most beautiful places on earth (think Siena without the hills), Ferrara with his huge historic centre (it was probably the biggest city in Europe at the beginning of the XVI Century) will leave you speechless and breathless.
A city blessed with so much beauty is now also blessed with a staunch and very blunt defender of the Traditional Mass.
Summorum Pontificum is, no doubt, the great accomplishment of this papacy (and will probably remain the only one). His reach is certainly of historical significance, and I would not be surprised if in 100 years the 7 July 2007 were to be still remember as the day the Church symbolically started to march towards sobriety.
The problem with Summorum Pontificum, though, is that for such a great theoretical accomplishment not much has been accomplished. The intention to “free” the Traditional Mass from the freeze in which it had been kept prisoner for more than 35 years was not accompanied by the desire to really use it. Rather, the Traditional Mass was moved more or less from the freezer to the fridge, and left there.
Following a typical mark of this pontificate, Summorum Pontificum is a good example of Pope Ratzinger’s way of thinking: continuation of progressive policies, whilst being perceived to be a friend of those of traditional inclinations.
In my eyes, with it the Pontiff had the following objective:
1. link his name with a policy which would ensure his name remains respected when the tide turns.
2. give the traddies some fodder, so they can think he is his friend.
3. avoid any enforcement in practice, and
4. continue undisturbed with more or less scandalous and very often mediocre appointments, once the reputation of “conservative Pope friend of the tradition” has been established.
Immediately after Summorum Pontificum, many bishops started to openly oppose it. Year after year, the Pope did nothing to allow a decent implementation of his great historic initiative, and one of those bishops who was most active in the opposition to traditional liturgy was now, by his own choice, moved to the Congregation for Divine Worship. You can’t have better evidence that Pope Benedict never wanted Summorum Pontificum to be implemented.
Summorum Pontificum will remain, I am afraid, a symbol of what this pontificate could have been, and at the same time a good example of the Pontiff’s rather duplicitous policy of giving conservative Catholics some cookies in theory, so that the thus won reputation coud allow him to continue to protect the liberal V-II old guard (of which he is integral part) in practice.
Look on the internet at the way the newly appointed head of the Congregation for the Divine Worship, Roche, arranged his own chapel/prayer room, and tell me whether ever Bugnini would have tolerated something like that.
Pope Benedict does not seem to have a problem with it.
It will soon be five years since the great day of the announcement of Summorum Pontificum, up to now the key moment of this Pontificate. These five years read like a mirror of the Pontificate itself: much better at great gestures than at day-to-day administration.
Summorum Pontificum was certainly historical in its value, and of vast significance in its implications: so vast in fact, that the Holy Father lacked the courage to enforce it.
Five years later, the implementation of Summorum Pontificum is left to the good will of the local bishop; which means, local bishops being what they are, that it has largely remained lettera morta. After “only” almost four years, Summorum Pontificum even had its own Instruction, Universae Ecclesiae, which made even clearer how the Pope wanted to see his reform implemented, and that nothing would happen to those who just refuse to do it. Basically, this is the history of this pontificate: not deprived of theological breadth, but clearly lacking in practical bite.
Five years have passed, and still very few have the privilege to smell the incense.
Thankfully, many more have woken up.
As one year of the Lord (or, as the BBC Solons would say, of the common era; but they are politically correct, atheist cretins, so we’ll stay by the Year of the Lord) comes to its end and a new one begins, it might be appropriate to stop a moment and look at the great picture, away from the one or other controversy of the day.
When one looks at things from a wider perspective, one becomes immediately aware that nothing is new under the sun. Corrupted priests, heretical or cowardly bishops, and halfway courageous Popes have been such a constant fixture of the Church that the times in which these features have not been so present are justly remembered as luminous parentheses in the often rather corrupted – if glorious in so many ways – prose of Church history. As to us, the laity, I can’t truly say that we as a class would score particularly well when compared with almost all the Christian generations before us, bar the most corrupted.
Still, the Church towers over a great part of the Western society today as it did for most of the past twentieth century, and her inability to do pretty much anything in a halfway decent manner is – if you ask me – far more the result of internal incompetence and cowardice than of external challenges.
I am in Rome as I write, and can’t avoid being stunned at seeing – even more so, because I see the contrast with England – how much of our Christian heritage has survived the systematic attempt of the clergy to bury it under a thick layer or senseless, but comfortable platitudes. I can report with pride that I have detected not one, but several priests going around in cassock as if this was the most normal thing on earth – and no, this was not the case when I lived in Italy -, the confession times are extremely long in all the churches I have cared to look at, the number of masses – always compared with England – rather scary and the masses I have attended to well frequented and reverently celebrated, at least if measured with the depressing standard of our times . Vespers (unknown during my youth), holy hours, processions & Co. are clearly on the increase.
What I notice in Rome is, I think and hope, a small part of a wider movement. Whilst some regions continue to be clearly deficient and some bishops continue to be barely recognisable as Catholics – I think of the Chief Scoundrel Vincent “Quisling” Nichols, or of the Oberfeigling Schoenborn, but there are many more – it seems to me the world is slowly waking up. In the United States the fight against abortion is taking momentum, and the war to legalised sodomy and other sexual perversions has at least started. More and more courageous bishops are being appointed or moved to key positions, and this will not fail to have an effect in the general tone of the discussion in 2012 and beyond. I can’t say the Church is leading the battle, but at least some of the clergy are willing to fight. The people of the tambourine are simply dying, whilst all conservative religious orders are full of seminarians, and the “worker priest” of the Seventies is now a pathetic object of well-deserved mockery.
Of course, much is still to be done. It pains me to see a papacy unable to show more than milk teeth in front of the many challenges coming from outside and – far more gravely – inside, but this is already an improvement compared with the absolute absence of any teeth in the last, say, five decades minus the thirty-tree days of Pope Luciani. It angers me to see that four and a half years after Summorum Pontificum it is still in the power of every bishop whether he wants to consider the latter a command, a suggestion, or a joke – without any fear of reproach, let alone punishment! -, but then I reflect that only five years ago we did not have Summorum Pontificum in the first place.
Not everything is fine, but then it never was. We have, I think, a clear deficit in leadership (I mean by that practical leadership: the ability to keep the shop tidy, and let the personnel behave correctly), but then we often had. We have heretics infiltrating the very core of the Church, but this wasn’t different many times in the past.
I am often accused of being a kind of Catholic Pollyanna, seeing everything through long-term pink spectacles. But you see, I am a Catholic, and cannot see any other way of seeing things and remaining orthodox. Victory is assured, as the Church will never be defeated. Victory is ours already, as we are on the side of the Almighty.
Let us start this 2012 thinking of these simple facts, enjoying the signs of Catholic awakening we see here and there and trying, in our own little way, to do our best to bring our contribution of foot soldiers – which, make no mistake, will bring us hatred, mockery, and social isolation – to this nasty, difficult, glorious but, in the end, victorious battle.
Best wishes to everyone
From Fr Ray Blake’s Blog (who in turn has it from another source) we read this interesting piece about the disgraceful “Tablet” censoring readers’ letters when they show that the people at the Tablet… write things insulting to women.
Now, I do understand that the Tablet has all the right to edit the letters it publishes. But in this case it is very interesting to read what has been edited, and why.
The letter is as follows: the part in red is the part that wasn’t published. The issue is the presence of altar “girls” (I only seem to come across old sanctimonious busybodies; it must be me) at the Tridentine Mass.
As a woman who acts as a local representative in Arundel and Brighton of the Latin Mass Society, I find your claim (Leader, 18 June) that not allowing female altar servers at the Extraordinary Form insults me is quite absurd.
I challenge you to provide your readers with evidence for this bizarre claim that the tradition of male altar service has anything to do with “ritual uncleanliness” (sic). On the contrary, this tradition is quite obviously a reflection of the fact that only men can be ordained as priests, and it is because male service at the altar emphasises the different roles of the sexes in relation to the sacrifice of the Mass that it has special value. The Extraordinary Form of the Mass represents the preservation for future generations of this and many other venerable traditions, and it is for this reason described by Pope Benedict as a “treasure” for the whole Church.
Before you reject these traditions as ‘insulting’ you should reflect on the fact that they formed the basis of the liturgical life of women, as well as men, for countless centuries. Is it not more insulting to women to picture us as helpless and passive oppressed victims of a misogynistic Church for nineteen centuries? Give us a little more credit than that.
Eastbourne, East Sussex
The lady poses the (rhetorical) question brilliantly. Now, these are professional journalists. They can’t say, like a blogger could, “I don’t have time to deal with this now”, or “I prefer to do my research to write about my agenda, not about the writers’ one”. It is, I would say, their very job to expand and say some words about such an interesting question. The answer might, then, be more or less brilliant, but at least it would be an answer.
In this case, it is clear that the “Tablet” has no answer.
It would appear that a new consistory is rather probable within the end of the year.
This is not entirely surprising as the vacancies are now numerous. By the end of the year there will be the possibility of appointing 15 Cardinals (if Pope Benedict wants to remain by the number of 120 elettori, that is). Now, this is at least one eighth of the next conclave, probably more – due to the system which sees Cardinals continuously losing electorate – and it is clear enough that every consistory can, in and of itself, radically change the situation at the next Conclave.
Pope Benedict is still in rather good health, but at 84 and with a past of heart problems I’m sure he is not planning for a reign of JP II’s duration. It is therefore rather important that this consistory injects the right energies into the next conclave.
Much is at stake, as both Summorum Pontificum and the relationship with the SSPX and the other traditionalist groups could be seriously compromised in case the next conclave results in a serious mistake. On the other hand, a careful but noticeable shifting of the centre of gravity towards the right wing would give everyone the serenity necessary for long-term hopes.
Ideally – if you ask me – Pope Benedict would appoint only one or two of the liberals to appease them (Nichols’ appointment is this time, alas, very probable) and choose for all other places men of undoubted liturgical and theological orthodoxy, possibly rather young so that they stay around for a long time.
I wish the Holy Father a long and healthy reign of course, but the demographic reality is what it is and it must be clear to us that this might be the last consistory of this pontificate.
Ad multos annos, Papa! But please, please conservative appointments!