The Past And The Future
Messa in Latino has an interesting blog post about a property in Limerick, Ireland.
In short, a dying Jesuit order sells the church to a developer. They plan to make of it a swimming pool/spa (but this did not bother the Jesuits one bit, I suppose).
The developer gets into troubled waters, and obviously the great crisis comes. The plans are put on ice.
In 2012, the church is sold to… the Institute Of Christ The King Sovereign Priest.
They restructure the place and make of it a thriving Catholic church. Tridentine Mass every day.
Take that, Jorge.
One wonders how many churches are sold by dying potheads without caring for alternative Catholic uses, or deliberately ignoring them. Particularly so, when the potential buyer would be a Traditionalist or semi-Traditionalist order.
Better a spa, then. Very probably there is also more money to be made. Unless, that is, sound Catholic forces end up rebuilding what the Jesuits potheads were destroying.
This, in turn, seems to me another example of the future of the Church. A Church that will probably go through terrible times as the Sixty-Eighters manage to ravage it for another decade or two; but which will in time see, at her roots, the sound Catholics take the upper hand as the bishop of the New Church Order die one after the other, and the liberals leave either aborted foetuses, or irreligious children.
The Jesuits are on their way to extinction, and not one day too soon. The Traditionalist orders – obviously including the crème de la crème, the SSPX – are all thriving. The church born of the implosion of New Church will be much smaller than the pothead orders of the Sixties; but she will be truly Catholic, and rich in zeal and vocations.
Wherever they install themselves, Traditionalist orders prosper. Orders leaning towards Traditionalism can have their growth stopped – temporarily, at least – only through brutal persecution.
This is a film we have already seen many times: a Church becoming stronger through clinging to her values or through sheer persecution, as Her enemies slowly sink to irrelevance, six feet under.
Providence at work.
Take that, Jorge.
Thomas More College: Will Bishop Olson Backpedal?
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.
“For Your Own Soul”: The War Against The Traditional Latin Mass
If you have not done it already, please click on Rorate, who are following on this mess with admirable energy.
The facts are there, and I will not repeat the facts. I will, though, add some questions and answers of my own.
Why is bishop Olson doing this?
Because he can, is the simple answer. The man is certainly conscious of the fact that he has no right to stop the Tridentine. But why should he care? He knows he is acting on the “spirit” of this wonderful Pontificate. By putting himself at the head of the movement, bishop Olson earns brownie points by His Humbleness. However this matter ends, he will be one of the winners.
Lio is hip. Francis will be grateful.
What does this mean?
It means that it is open season on Summorum Pontificum. One year on, it is time to aim higher. At the latest after Benedict's death, the oppression might well become serious. This is just the second skirmish, following the example of the Humble Leader with the FFI. Francis does not need to intervene. He will look as SP is trampled. Sending videos to “brother bishops”, probably.
What will happen now?
Traditionalists will be in an uproar. Neo-cons will suggest, as always, silence and cowardice. “Do not test the Pontiff's patience!” – they will say – “Remember: Summorum Pontificum could be abrogated! Do not be divisive and allow the TLM to be massacred one church at a time! Otherwise, it will be your fault if you lose everything!”.
At that point, it will be for Francis to act. I doubt he will act as long as Benedict is alive. I even doubt he will abrogate SP as long as the SSPX is alive. But he might test the water, and see how this piece of lio goes. He will probably allow a diffused mobbing of the friends of the TLM. He might, though, gently invite the bishop to relent on this occasion, but noting how horribly divisive the TLM is. He looks god. Traditionalists look bad. Idiots praise his moderation. Then, the next round follows.
How shall we react?
We shall not listen to the Grima Wormtongues demanding that we accept to be crushed, in order not to be crushed. We must be vocal, and angry. We must cry to Heaven the scandal not only of this bishop, but of this pontificate.
Do not be cowed into silence. If you have a blog, please link to Rorate and follow the matter. Write to whomever you will be invited to write, sign the petitions that will undoubtedly come. Do not for one second believe that silence or acquiescence is an acceptable answer. The wolves will ask you to be a lamb. Be a tiger instead.
What happened to Poland?
Poland was invaded. It would have been invaded anyway, even if it had not sought the protection of Britain and – for what was worth, and if memory serves – France. If you believe that acquiescence would have saved Poland, you are just the man Grima is targeting.
This is the situation we are in. The demolition troops are in charge.
It's Pinocchio time.
From The Life Of A Traditionalist Priest
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.
This is the first hand experience of a Catholic priest in once proudly Catholic Mexico.
May the Lord reward this good man of God.
TLM: Say “Thanks” To The SSPX
And it came to pass we were informed from high places the Tridentine Mass is not in danger during the current Pontificate.
I must say I had to smile.
Firstly, I invite you to consider that in the end no one can speak for the Bishop of Rome, who will do what he thinks best (or worst) irrespective of what Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos has said, or even of what he might have said to others. There will always be a new situation that will allow him to say that new measures are now necessary.
Secondly, the reason adduced for Francis’ forbidding the priest of the FFI to celebrate the Tridentine Mass can be used ad libitum in the future. If six dissidents are reason enough to forbid 400 priests (says Wikipedia) from celebrating the Mass of the Ages, its “divisiveness” (divisiveness that is most certainly there: a good Mass and a bad Mass are opposed here, it is clear emotions will run high) can be used at a pretext at any given time to go back to the Indult regime. If memory serves (but I might be wrong) Francis has already made an “off-the-cuff” remark about the divisiveness of the Tridentine Mass as intended by the Traditionalists.
Thirdly and most importantly, Francis is, in this matter as in many others, not entirely free to do as he pleaseth. The Indult does not exist because JP II was oh so generous, but because the SSPX was stubborn to the point of heroism. If it had not been for the Society, the Tridentine Mass would have been, to all intents and purposes (though not officially, but there would have been no need for that), wiped out completely from Church life. You can think for yourself whether the Pinocchio-slash-Tango Mass Pope would keep such a “Pelagian” exercise alive if he had a real (as in: practically feasible and not dangerous for his popularity) choice.
From what has emerged up to now, it seems clear Francis is a professional of hunting with the hounds and running with the hare. He will be pro-life speaking to pro-lifers, and “not obsessed” when he wants to please the pro-death fraction. He will say that he who is not with Jesus is with the devil when he speaks to clerics, and say that one is fine to deny Jesus and follow his conscience to the atheists; he will allow himself liturgical abuses with photos all over the planet to show he is “modern”, and celebrate ad orientem when he thinks it’s time to give some bird feed to the conservative pigeons.
No. Francis isn’t fine with the Mass of the Ages. If he were free to choose, you’d have Pinocchios everywhere, and the occasional obscene dance on the Sanctuary. Rather, he has apparently decided he does not need to open this front, because the flak would be rather frightful and the SSPX would greatly profit from it.
Let us hope Francis never feels strong enough to do such a thing. Let us keep our criticism vocal, and very explicit. As Jorge Bergoglio is so much in love with Pope Francis and mindful of his popularity (I am told Miley Cyrus does the same, though in a different manner), the best way to avoid things getting worse is to be very vocal and open in our criticism of how bad they already are.
God knows they are already worse than the most pessimistic mind could have thought only nine months ago. Though strangely enough very few seem to realise it.
The Future Of The Novus Ordo
Read on Rorate the report of a pseudo mass in a pseudo catholic (small c is de rigueur) church in the once to 40% Catholic (now 1% mass attendance) Netherlands.
What is most shocking of this event is not only that the group is not formally excommunicated (as far as I know, they do not have to be), but the fact that in the Netherlands things are so confused that, say, an uninstructed person confusedly trying to approach the Church might confuse these clowns for real Catholics, and one wonders how very different the Catholic mass must be, at least in places.
The Netherlands have a long tradition of schismatic mentality, when not outright schism. If you have read iota unum you will certainly remember the pages devoted to the Dutch Schism, and have an idea of whose spiritual sons the current Dutch bishops are. The mess of the Sixties continues to go on, in a somewhat milder form, to this day. After my experiences in Bruges, I do not doubt over there in the Netherlands you can find everything from the halfway reverent to the outright sacrilegious. I do not see much improvement in the next years, particularly with the disgraceful papacy with which we all are being very obviously punished.
Rorate also mentions another interesting fact: the tendency to move the Novus Ordo towards the “right” by some Anglo-Saxon priests trying to mix elements of the Tradition in their Novus Ordo masses. I have myself assisted to a Novus Ordo Mass which, whilst advertised as a standard mass in English, had so many parts in Latin you could not avoid thinking the celebrating priest was paving the ground for the Traditional Mass, biding his time until he could do without incurring the wrath of Vincent “Quisling” Nichols. He’ll have to arm himself with patience, I am afraid.
Still, the freedoms allowed to a Novus Ordo celebrant – both the licit ones that are allowed, and the illicit ones that are made possible – will continue to make of a Novus Ordo an unknown entity and a known risk: in some places it will be very reverent; elsewhere it will a mess, a disgrace, a desecration or, in the worst cases, a fake; in all cases, it will be vastly inferior to the Mass of the Ages.
At some point in the future, the Church will recover sanity, and will ditch the Novus Ordo. The future generations will, methinks, consider the introduction of the new Mass (I mean the introduction itself, not the abuses; then the abuses are nothing else than the unavoidable product of the mentality that gave us the new Mass in the first place) the maddest thing the mad Sixties produced.
Unfortunately, the Sixties are, for now, still full in power, joyously driving the barque towards the shoals amidst stupid old bishops jumping around like demented idiots to the tune of some very faggoty dance master.
Catholics Without Catholicism
On Father Ray Blake’s blog there is an interesting blog post touching on various topics.
What I found particularly worth mentioning is this section, that I allow myself to reproduce in its entirety (emphasis mine):
At the heart of St Vincent’s words is the notion of continuation, a timelessness and universality, ‘always, everywhere and by all’. The understanding of Catholic merely as ‘universal’ is a foreshortening, it is the timelessness of it that is important. In many ways the dismantling of the ancient liturgy following VII undermined the sense of ‘always’. If the worship after 1968 could be changed, so could the content of ‘the faith’ and if the changes were enforced from above, from Rome then surely this is also the source of ‘the faith’, Again, if the liturgy could vary so widely from Mass at the High Altar of Brompton Oratory, with traditional vestments and music and in Latin to Father X sitting on a bean bag wearing just a stole making it up as he went along, why could ‘the faith’ not also be variable. Despite its intention VII taught, subliminally at least, especially through the liturgy, that Catholicism was what Ratzinger would define as ‘Relativistic’, most importantly of all by Father quite literally turning his back on that which was held holy by past generations, if not smashing it with a sledgehammer.
‘The faith’ post VII, was not the faith of the previous generations, it was in a state of flux. The movement of the Blessed Sacrament in some diocese from the centre of the apse to a side chapel or a tabernacle in the corner of the sanctuary and rubrics restricting the genuflections of the priest, said what we believed yesterday about the Real Presence is not what we believe today, similarly the change in funeral rites from sombre black, the Dies Irae, intercession for the dead to Mass in thanksgiving for the life of the dead person brought in a serious undermining of one of Catholicism most important certainties about death and judgement, again it said what we believed yesterday, we do not believe today.
I agree wholeheartedly with Father Blake’s reflection.
To me, the consequence of this is brutally clear: the Novus Ordo must die.
It is absolutely true that the very fact that the Mass of the Ages has changed suggests that the content of the faith can be changed in the same way. The fact that this is simply not true does not change an iota in the collective perception; particularly if we consider that the New Rite was introduced exactly to signal the changes (not doctrinal, of course) going on in the Church.
The new mass destroyed mass attendance, and severely damaged the way Catholicism is perceived. This in turn caused the almost disappearance of the grandmother (correctly) teaching the faith to her nephews. Said nephews remained exposed to a priest that was, in many cases, a phony and a coward, desperately trying to look cool and to be popular. I could mention half a dozen of those from my youth without any effort. We all despised them and found them pathetic, and very unmanly. Then one wonders that there is a lack of vocations.
But really, the biggest bomb that was made to explode under the edifice of the Church was the introduction of the Novus Ordo. The Novus Ordo was wrong even before all the abuses that followed its introduction, because its very being “new” and its desire to signal “novelty” had to, had to, *had to* lead to those abuses and to the raping of the Catholic Faith.
Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi.
Get the Traditional Mass, and you will end up with Pope Pius XII.
Get the Novus Ordo, and you will end up with the Bishop of Rome, Jorge Bergoglio.
Elegance, Fashion, And Reverence
An interesting comment appeared in my combox related to the proper way to dress in church. The gist of the message was that at times people “dress so far out of the fashions that it draws attention to yourself and distracts others from prayer”. In contrast, simplicity should be preferred, then the well dressed person is also a simply dressed person.
I agree with what precedes, if we first agree about definitions.
I call elegance the way a person of both sexes, but particularly a man, dresses in order to enhance his appearance in a stylish but traditionally accepted way. Elegance changes only extremely slowly, and the well dressed man of 1913 did not dress – considering the time which elapsed – much differently than the well dressed man in 2013 does. In fact, even elements like morning suits and frock jackets are still seen, even today.
The matter is a bit different for women, as the Downton Abbey lady would dress much differently than her modern counterpart; but in every age, men and women were able to distinguish between a well-dressed woman and a gaudy, inappropriate one. Similarly, whilst fashion always played a role in female dress, there has always been an underlying standard of beautiful modesty and simplicity. A good girl of today might appear in church dressed not much differently than the girls in the “little house in the prairie”, and kudos to them.
It is generally said that elegance is for men, and fashion is for women and homosexuals. Fashion changes continuously, and has elements of flash that can easily be misplaced in a woman, and look outright disturbing in a man. The “faggot look” you see so often today among boys and young men (those strange faggoty trousers, the v-shirts, and the generally effeminate look and demeanour) is a prime example.
The elegant man never follows fashion, because fashion is not manly. The elegant woman always pays attention that she follows a conservative, decent, modest fashion, though her sex will be allowed some more leeway.
This, elegant men and women do because, having been properly raised, they know that proper appearance is a way we show respect to other people. Whilst the modern slob ideology puts comfort and the self before everything, the old mentality gives right of way to proper appearance as a way to show proper manners. This is, I was raised to believe, a matter of basic respect and decency. Decency fully forgotten in times in which people think they can walk around in flip-flops “because it's more comfortable”; and if one is not ashamed of the flip-flops on the road, it won't be long before the flip-flops visit the church.
At the same time, I do not believe much in the modern rhetoric of “overdressing”. In a world in which slob is the new elegant, no man should be cowed into uniforming himself to the general decay in appearance. A man should be always properly dressed according to his means, instead of following the modern fads of “leisure Fridays” which end up meaning jeans and t-shirt in the office, or worse. Least of all should a real man be persuaded to go around like a bum because “nowadays everyone does it. Don't be an “everyone”. Be a proper man.
Now, we live in times when the general flattening towards the worst of everything may let one appear “overdressed”, who simply cares about proper appearance. More power to him, say I, and may his clothes always fit him well.
This does not mean, though, that elegance should be confused with bad taste. The Earl of Grantham will always be appropriately dressed for church, exactly as Elton John will never be. Extravagance isn't elegance, and it indicates bad taste, if not outright faggotry.
My conclusions are therefore as follows:
1. The elegant man will always be appropriately dressed in church, and the more elegant, the better. No one would say one could be overdressed in the presence of the Queen; the more so in the presence of Jesus.
2. Elegance doesn't mean being unduly flashy, or outright vulgar.
3. If an elegantly dressed man is considered “overdressed” in church, this is more likely to say something about how underdressed the people around him are, and about the extent to which slobbish dressing has become mainstream.
Proper appearance is a matter of respect for our neighbour. Proper appearance in Church – according to one's means and basic common sense – should go without saying. I find it very good – and very natural – that such a beautifully conservative mentality should find expression among the supporters of the Mass of the Ages.
The SSPX, The Novus Ordo And Us
An interesting discussion has erupted concerning the way a conservative, or traditionalist Catholic, should behave concerning attendance to the Novus Ordo Mass. Catocon was so nice as to prepare a mini-research of sources in the comment box of this post.
There is no doubt that whilst some SSPX priest arrives at times to say not worse than that the NO “provides a deficient spiritual diet to the faithful” (something on which, I hope, we all agree), the general stance is in the end harder, oscillating between attending only in case of “social emergency” (and even then only if the Mass is very reverent) and at the other extreme the softer, original position of Archbishop Lefebvre, who said:
However, “it is an exaggeration to say that most of these Masses are invalid.” One should not hesitate to go a little further to have Mass according to the Roman Ordo; but “if one does not have the choice and if the priest celebrating Mass according to the Novus Ordo is faithful and worthy, one should not abstain from going to Mass.”
Also, there seem to be no doubt even among versed priests somewhat less friendly to the SSPX than I am that for the SSPX priests a properly celebrated NO Mass is valid.
In all cases, it appears most priests of the SSPX would demand from yours truly that he exclusively attends a Traditional Mass; actually, their own Traditional Mass, as the doubts or misgivings concerning the indult/SP masses are also clearly there.
This blog was always, as every reader knows who read it even occasionally, on a different position.
Firstly, allow me to copy and paste – out of sheer laziness – a comment I have written in answer to a description of the NO as “abomination”. The SSPX certainly do not go as far as that, but you get the drift.
I refuse to see the Novus Ordo as an abomination. I positively and squarely refuse to do so. If the NO is an abomination, the Church is a fraud. It cannot be that the Church of Christ has decided to offer an abomination worldwide, and it still is the Church of Christ. If I believed that, then I would be forced to believe that there is no Peter, that the Pope is an impostor and a masquerade. Again, I refuse to do so. In fact, as I have explained the only reason why I continue to attend the NO is that I do not want, one day, to think that the NO is an abomination. If a particular NO Mass is more than I can stomach, I can find another NO, or three. On no account would I ever think I am the one to decide that the Rite in itself is an abomination, and I am too good for what the Church offers me.
It’s good to eat hard bread in a while. It still is the bread of life, and it keeps one honest. Works for me, at least.
2. I never said I am afraid that the Society might become Sedevacantist. My point is rather that if I pamper myself with the TLM every Sunday, I might end up thinking the NO is … an abomination. Should life, then, keep me away from a TLM I would then, coherently, not attend anymore. The one at risk is myself, not them. Now, either the NO (I mean, as a Mass; in abstract; and properly celebrated) is valid or it isn’t. I truly do not think it is for me to say. I am a Catholic for a reason. Now, if I had serious reason to think some local NO is not sacramentally valid, I wouldn’t attend there. If one has a TLM, I will encourage him to go there; if one hasn’t there, I would encourage him to travel further to find one in reasonable distance. But if I heard him talking like you do, I would suggest that he attends a NO Mass every now and then, too.
3. Yes, the NO might bring less graces. It probably does. Particularly if one gets angry. But hey, I can’t have my cake and eat it. To people like me, there are dangers on both sides. Been there, done that. Let me say very frankly that I do not want to die thinking that the Mass the Church of Christ offers me is an abomination, and offends Christ. Probably 99% of the Masses offered in the Roman Rite are NO. Many of them are reverently celebrated – even in Germany I can find decent ones without trouble -. If we throw the NO qua NO out of the window, we are saying the Church is a fraud to 99%. Thanks, but no, thanks.
4. You vastly overstate my influence as a blogger; but yes, I could influence the one or the other. On no account, then, would I ever suggest to them that they stay away from a NO Mass if they cannot have the TLM; because truly, the very thought is scary. The TLM is better, but the NO is still good, because it still is the Mass.
Second choice, I agree. But whoa, pay attention what you say.
One day I might well decide to only attend the TLM. Actually, it would be the more pleasant option by far. To do so, I would have to feel very safe that no antics of our clergy will drive me to distraction. I wish I could give you this security, but unfortunately I can’t, or a part of me is afraid one day I could make such a mistake… You see, I could end up – and I say this without animosity, but with a certain apprehension – thinking like you, and I really do not want to.
I will cling to the acceptability of the NO as I cling to the Church. I do not live in Hippyland. Plenty of reverent masses around here. Actually, my “Mass tourism” also has the aim of seeing how things are, examining the lay of the land. Honestly, it could be much worse.
I belong to the Church. I love the Church even when she slaps me in the face. Already once I stopped attending because I thought I knew better, and was better. Already once I thought I do not need to go and listen to a stupid priest talking stupid waffle (obviously, no clue about the real reason why I went to Mass). Never again. If the Lord gives me less graces for that, so be it. I will accept the slap from him as I accept the love, and I will accept whatever slap I take for taking part to the Mass the Church of Christ gave me. Because, you see, the NO is still the standard Mass of the Only Church, and I can’t throw the one from the window without throwing the other.
5. Then let us think to the end. if the NO is an abomination, the priest who celebrates the NO mass is an accomplice in this abomination. Not only the Mass might well be invalid – you probably think it is – but the other sacraments are, probably, too. What then? Do 99% of Catholic priest not impart a valid absolution? How many babies are validly baptised? How many adults validly married? How many of them, actually, validly priests?
It’s a slippery slope.
P.S. To all my twelve readers. I believe the NO is okay. I truly do. Vastly inferior to the TLM, for sure; but seriously, it’s fine.
I hope it will die one day, of course; but as long as it doesn’t, it will deliver all right. It’s the Mass of the Church after all.
You would be better served and more inspired by the TLM; but probably not, if this leads you to think a properly celebrated NO stinks.
Secondly, I would like to make the further consideration that if the SSPX are right, the likes of the London Oratorians are utterly wrong in continuing to celebrate the Novus Ordo ad populum, and we should consider participating at their NO Mass only in case of, say, a marriage in the family. Their NO is clearly, if you listen to some of the voices, not reverent enough for daily attendance.
Even worse it becomes if we take literally the reservations of the SSPX about priests who celebrate exclusively the TLM, but of whom it can be assumed they would not refuse to celebrate the NO if so ordered. In this perspective, not even the FSSP is good enough that their (TL) Mass can be attended to without reservations and moral distinguos.
What is the ultimate consequence of this? As I have already stated, it is that according to this thinking the Church of Christ serves poison and evil fare, day in and day out, to more than 99% of the Roman Rite faithful; who are, once again, not exactly a fringe group, but rather around 90% of worldwide Catholics. In a word, the Church would be the most efficient tool of Satan on earth, bar none.
I don’t like Pope Francis. Actually, I do not even esteem him. I do not think he should have been allowed to become a priest, much less a Pope – the same as Pope Liberius, Pope Benedict IX, Pope Alexander VI or Pope Leo X by the way -. But, come on…
I refuse to espouse such an extreme position. I see a substantial difference between considering the NO like a hamburger compared to the TLM’s porterhouse steak, or Coca-Cola compared to the TLM’s Barolo, and considering it instead stale meat, or a poisonous drink. The difference is substantial in that the hamburger is still nourishment, and the Coca-cola still quenches the thirst.
I refuse to espouse a vision of the world that sees in the Church an almost complete evil-producing wasteland, as the only fully acceptable parts of it would then be the SSPX and their affiliates. I refuse to consider the London Oratorians not good enough for my lofty standards, and a Traditional Latin Mass with the FSSP something I should avoid if I can. With such a mentality, of course talking to the Vatican does not make sense. With such a mentality, of course it is infinitely better to have no agreement at all with the Vatican, not even if one is offered for free and without have to make any concession in return. If Rome is so evil, then they must be fought against, not dialogued with! When, and only when, one has this forma mentis, Williamson’s behaviour becomes not only understandable, but actually coherent.
Frankly, I don’t see it. I want the end of the NO mass as much as the next Traditionalist, but I refuse to consider poisonous or evil – much less “an abomination” – the spiritual nourishment the Church of Christ offers me and the other 99% of Roman Rite Catholics.
Some might say “but Mundabor, they say that the NO is evil, but they qualify by saying it that it is evil in the sense that it does not have a necessary good ” (or suck like). I answer to this that either the NO is evil in the sense that you and I understand when we hear the word evil, or the argument fails to persuade. If “evil” isn’t really “evil”, then the argument isn’t there in the first place.
I wonder how many within the SSPX truly share this view. They have supported Bishop Fellay like a man, and Bishop Williamson’s exclusion has caused not more than a dozen or so defection (less, if memory serves). It is clear they look at Rome in a way well different from the creator and distributor of millions of poisonous masses daily.
I have left the words of the Archbishop up as a quotation, so that at the end of this long post one may want to read it again. Of course the Archbishop might have expressed himself differently in different contexts, and one must take his words in the frame of his beautiful love for the Church. But exactly for this reason, it seems to me that his softer stance is more reasoned and more coherent, as he clearly gives every NO mass celebrated by a “faithful and worthy priest” dignity of – to remain by the culinary metaphor – nourishing, healthy, un-poisonous hamburger.
The SSPX, This Blog And You.
After an observation or two in the comment box, it is perhaps fitting to say one or two words about this little effort, so that any uncertainty that there might have been in less attentive – or less assiduous – readers is definitively dispelled.
1. Read the statement from Robert De Piante on the right hand column of this blog:
What Catholics once were, we are. If we are wrong, then Catholics through the ages have been wrong.
We are what you once were. We believe what you once believed.
We worship as you once worshipped. If we are wrong now, you were wrong then. If you were right then, we are right now.
This is probably the most famous statement expressing in just a few words the essence of traditional Catholicism. It is there for a reason. I do not exclusively employ the term “traditionalist” because I think that “conservative” Catholic also perfectly fits the bill, though in a wider sense. Since this blog’s inception almost three years ago, pretty much all of my posts have been tagged “traditional Catholicism”. If some post isn’t, it’s because I forgot. My blog “line” (the one you also read on every search engine) is also very telling: tradidi quod et accepi, another famous traditionalist “punchline” commonly associated with the SSPX.
2. My blog posts in support of the SSPX are very many, though they are certainly not enough in number or worthy enough in their quality. I do not think I have ever been ambiguous in my approval of their work both in the present time and at the time of the disobedience/refusal to close down the seminary in Econe/appointment of the four bishops. Where I stood in the matter of the preambolo dottrinale is also very clear to everyone who reads my blog with a minimum of regularity and attention, and I dare to say I have made myself clear in as open a way as I could without thinking I was failing to show the proper respect to the office – and in the case of Pope Benedict, the person – of the Pontiff.
3. I attend very often Novus Ordo Masses, and will continue to do so. This I do because I fear the effect that an entrenchment on the Traditional Mass would have on me, given my uncompromising nature and the resulting tendency to incendiary emotions and hardline militancy; emotions and militancy that can be very dangerous, and might well lead me astray unless I recognise the problem and act accordingly to counter them and soften my approach. Therefore, as long as I have no doubt that the Novus Ordo Masses I attend to are sacramentally valid, I plan to continue to do so for as long as I see the danger of slowly slipping into Sedevacantism if I don’t. I also see it as a form of penance, when I reflect that our sins (mine, and yours; not only the clergy’s) are also a cause of the present mess.
Through the participation to a second-rate – but by all means not invalid – Mass, I figure I show the Lord my loyalty to the Church even when it hurts, and at the same time keep my inner religious arsonist in check. But this does not mean I think you should do the same. The Novus Ordo is vastly inferior to the Traditional Mass (I do love to call it “Tridentine”, by the way), and if you can and want to attend it every time, more power to you. For the same reason (obedience to the Pope in as much as I can without conflicting with 2000 years of Catholicism) I go to confession to Novus Ordo priests, as I have up to now never met a priest in the confessional who was such a clown as to make me think, after due reflection, the absolution was not valid. I think most of my readers do the same. Or you can say this: as long as I think a Novus Ordo priest can provide me with a valid absolution, I personally see no reason to confess to an SSPX priest. But if had valid, constant reason to fear then I would happily recur to the services of the SSPX priest. But again, personal fears play a role in my decision: the day I decide a NO priest isn’t good enough, how far am I from Sedevacantism? You may not have the problem. I do. Novus Ordo confessor is it, then.
Still, either the SSPX have supplied jurisdiction, or they haven’t. As I am persuaded they have, after long reflection and opportune readings I have reached the conclusion that I can’t see how this should not be extended to confession. The SSPX priests also obviously think in the same way, and as I would trust my path to salvation much more eagerly to them than to the most conservative of the Cardinals, I can’t see anything wrong in that. In times in which the Popes are bad Catholics, a religious order can certainly be more Catholic than the Pope. Since March, I’d say this is not difficult at all even for a properly instructed layman. The Holy Ghost never promised the Pope would be a good Catholic, or would know the Ten Commandments, or wouldn’t be a murderer, a robber, a fornicator, an accommodating coward, or a pious nincompoop. Read the contract attentively, it’s in the small print.
4. In consequence of all the above, I think it should be clear enough to any reasonable reader what this blog is about. I notice, though, here and there a certain tendency – again, perhaps the fruit of insufficient reflection – to approve of what I write without considering what this necessarily entails. If you think that the SSPX are in formal Schism, then you must think that they endanger souls. If you think so, already the reading of the quote mentioned above and of the blog line should be reason enough for you to strongly disapprove of this blog, whose support of the SSPX is as staunch as its author can express with words. To behave any differently means either to take one’s own salvation lightly, or to read this blog because of the titillation coming from the enjoyment of my somewhat robust prose (and many thanks for the compliment!), but without sufficient reflection as to the values this little effort constantly tries to defend.
I do not write this blog for the sake of a vast audience. I have never searched popularity or approval. Wretched sinner as I am, I write this in the first place in the hope the Blessed Virgin will one day look at my effort and find it certainly inadequate and unworthy, but not entirely useless.
I take my salvation extremely seriously. I spend a lot of time thinking of it, praying for it, hoping for it, fearing for it. I have found that the best course to follow is to be on the side of 2000 years of Catholicism; no ifs, no buts, and most certainly no Pinocchios. Faithful to the Church always. Obedient to the Pope as long as that faithfulness is not challenged. Whilst I am sure the day I die many horrible sins will reemerge to haunt my conscience, I am very confident my support for the SSPX will be on my assets, not my liabilities column. You who read these lines, do you think the same?
My dear reader, please reflect on the consequences of your reading this blog. Be wise and do not follow it merely for the sake of emotional satisfaction and enjoyment of my somewhat, ahem, Italian writing style. If the SSPX is wrong, then they are entirely wrong, as is this blog. If they are in schism, then not only 2000 years of Catholicism are in schism but both yours truly and you are, with my approval of them and your approval of me, being an accessory in this sin.
Of course, I do not think they are in schism, because I do not think 2,000 years of Catholicism can be declared “schismatic” without contradicting the very essence of what Catholicism is. I think the safest way is to live and die on the side of these 2,000 years, rather than following the madness of a new way of thinking that came to power during the Kennedy/ Khrushchev era. If logic and common sense were not enough to persuade me of this, the immense devastation of the last 50 years would.
Stuff Pinocchio. I for myself will take my refuge, and put my hope, in the Church transmitted to my grandmothers and to countless generations of devout Catholics before them; then if we are wrong now, they were wrong then. If they were right then, we are right now.
San Francisco And The TLM
I have it from Rorate Caeli that the Archdiocese of San Francisco now has a TLM “at the request of Bishop Cordileone”.
I was a bit confused at the start as I thought the reason why Summorum Pontificum exists is to allow a priest to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass without any need for any initiative from the bishop.
I can, therefore, only read the announcement as meaning that, as there was in the entire diocese partout no priest able and/or willing to celebrate the TLM, the good Archbishop had to become active himself and take care that one TLM is celebrated on every day of obligation within the Diocese.
The archdiocese of San Francisco is certainly big and its priests, no doubt, numerous. That the bishop has to “request” the celebration of one TLM says a thing or two about the state of affairs in the diocese. Bishop Cordileone has just started and will hopefully manage to inject some orthodoxy in the diocese, but heavens, he has been left with a lot of work to do.
This goes to show that the appointment of sound bishops is absolutely vital in the proper care of soul. Get it wrong, and a couple of decades will suffice to demolish the healthiest diocese. Get it right, and the advantages will also be seen in a handful of years.
Who appoints the bishops, you already know. The average quality has probably improved in the last years, but it can't be said it gave reason to be impressed. Cordileone's predecessor was also appointed by the same one who appointed Cordileone; and was, without doubt, a failure.
I fear much for the appointments under the current tenure. I am afraid we will see even less Cordileones than his was the case under Pope Benedict.
You can think for yourself the long-term effects on the TLM.
God bless bishop Cordileone, and let us hope lion hearts like him (this is, funnily enough, his name's meaning in Italian) become more and more frequent in the future. But really, it takes a lot of optimism.
Be Glad There Is The SSPX
I have written only yesterday about what would have happened if the SSPX had been foolish enough to accept the Preambolo dottrinale in its latest version, which included the poisonous pills about the silent acceptance of Vatican II.
It is, perhaps, fitting to take stand on where – I think – the SSPX stays today, and why they should in my eyes congratulate themselves for having done the right thing back then.
I think the time will soon come when many who thought they could afford the luxury to criticise the Society will realise they can't afford this extravagance anymore. If this Papacy drifts towards the easy rhetoric and the avoidance of the difficult issues we are certainly authorised to fear, many will be those who understand the Church needs more than easy slogans, and it is time to show some charitable, but proper Catholic teeth. None does this better than the SSPX.
This is the more important because up to now I have noticed in Pope Francis' utterances a marked reluctance to frontally assault controversial themes. Please note that when the Pope wants to speak in defence of the poor – which he does, well, every time – he has no qualms in specifically and openly addressing the issue; whilst themes like abortion and sexual perversion are deemed to have been touched by some commenters, but have in fact been avoided up to now.
For example, the Pope intervened to defend Creation, and half an army of commenters was willing to remark that hey, Creation includes babies in the womb, so the Pope is speaking against abortion! No, he isn't: one speak against abortion by clearly saying that abortion is the legalised murder of an innocent life, not with convenient words about the very popular and utterly uncontroversial environment. Again, the SSPX does the clear talking admirably.
Then there is the matter of liturgy. Not only has the SSPX avoided a probable self-destruction by refusing to accept V II, but the FSSP and the other traditionalist organisations must be now overjoyed they did. If we look at the situation as it is, the continued existence of a dissenting SSPX is the only reason why the Vatican steamroller might not crush FSSP & Co., forcing the Novus Ordo down their loyal throats. Without the SSPX vigilant and ready to cry foul game – and to welcome, perhaps, the refugees – it is fair to say the moderate Traditionalists would very probably be all, liturgically speaking, on the death row by now.
Then there is the pure doctrinal matter. The SSPX have already publicly criticised the Pontiff pointing out to his V II, “dialogue” mentality, and will continue to do so. They are respectful, but pertinent. They cannot be dismissed as a motley crew of lunatics, and more and more people will understand in the coming years where real Catholic orthodoxy lives. They will be the wise cricket talking to… The Vatican Pinocchios about their mistakes, and will continue to rally and inspire admiration in sincere, orthodox Catholics. Once again, I cannot imagine a more powerful brake to the antics of the wreckovation supporters in the style of Cantalamessa then a strong and vigilant SSPX.
By deciding to stay put, the SSPX has been of excellent service to Traditionalism, to conservative minded Catholics and even to the common faithful in the pews. Many will continue to criticise them, whilst continuing to profit of their very existence. Many others will at some point understand what treasure of orthodoxy we have in them.
I think they are the biggest consolation sent from Heaven to help us overcome this difficult age. Long may it last.
Pope Sixtus V, The Conclave And The Traditional Mass
We learn from the always excellent Rorate Caeli that of the 117 Cardinals who will participate to the Conclave only eleven have celebrated the Traditional Latin Mass after the introduction of the Novus Ordo. This is a one figure percentage, a bit like saying the “Traditional Mass Party” is less represented within the Church than the Monti coalition is in Italy.
Of course, it can be that many of them are, so to speak, secret admirers and did not want to stand out with something so unashamedly Catholic as a Traditional Mass (we live in such times…). Others may be too old to want to start the re-learning (though one would say a Cardinal who is now 79 was only 71 in 2005, and certainly celebrated the traditional Mass for several years before the Great Neo-Modernist Mess). In both cases, we are probably not talking of warriors for Christ.
Still, you never know and every Italian knows (or should know) the more or less legendary anecdotes about Sixtus V, er papa tosto (“the tough Pope” in the Roman dialect), a man who kept a very low profile and (says the legend) led the other Cardinals to believe his health was very bad, and he himself a harmless old man, to be elected as a “transition Pope”. One of the many stories about him goes that when he accepted the election he stood up strong, threw away his stick, and started singing the Te Deum with thundering voice.
Like you, I keep thinking all the time what the Cardinals will do. Like you, I am scared stiff a truly bad man could be the choice. Like you, I draw some comfort from the fact that hopefully a good majority of the Cardinals believe in God, and might do the right thing or at least avoiding doing the very wrong one.
But seriously, only eleven have celebrated again the Traditional Mass. I think one is justified in being afraid, but I will try to think of some possible Sixtus V hiding among the Cardinals’ ranks; one who has never celebrated the Traditional Mass to make himself acceptable to the Neomodernist majority, and is now silently biding his time.
O Lord, please, please give us a good, strong Pope.
On Latin, The Holy Father Has His Priorities Wrong
And so we are informed the Holy Father is now launching a new initiative to further the study of Latin, with the creation of a new Pontifical academy. There are of course several organisations which should occupy themselves with the matter, but they do not work. Therefore, a new institute with a new name must now come to the rescue…
One wonders, though, why what has not (really) worked in the past should work in the future. Latin studies will take off again when there is greater need for Latin, and this will only happen when the Traditional Mass is more widely celebrated.
In my modest opinion, the way to increase the diffusion of Latin is to increase the diffusion of the Traditional Mass: this will create greater need (and curiosity) which will be promptly filled from public and private institutions of all kind, without any need to wait for a Pontifical Academy.
The Holy father does (emphatically) not encourage the diffusion of the Tridentine (or Traditional) Mass, because he allows Summorum Pontificum to remain lettera morta, as I suspect was his intention from day one.
As long as the situation remains the present one (and it will remain as long as this reign remains) the creation of a Pontifical Academy will only be one of those official initiatives meant to show the Holy father wants to really do something, when in reality he merely wants to be perceived to do something, as abundantly proved from Summorum Pontificum.
Latin will flourish again when it is restored in its proper place in real life, in the liturgical praxis of the Church; not one day before, irrespective of how many facade initiatives are undertaken to show the Church “cares”.
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