An unnecessary and divisive motu proprio

Pope Francis’ letter to the bishops comes off as judgmental and mean-spirited, reeking with a hermeneutic of suspicion.

Pope Francis leaves after leading the Angelus from a balcony of Gemelli hospital in Rome July 11, 2021, as he recovers following scheduled colon surgery. (CNS photo/Guglielmo Mangiapane, Reuters)

We all woke up on Friday, July 16, to yet another example of Papa Bergoglio’s heavy-handedness with the promulgation of his latest motu proprio, Traditionis Custodes, reversing the legislation of his predecessors, St. John Paul II (1984 and 1988) and Benedict XVI (2007), on the use of the Missal of Pope St. Pius V, dubbed the “extraordinary form” of the Roman Rite by Benedict.1

In the interests of full disclosure, let me state at the outset that I don’t really have a pony in this race. Although I celebrate the “extraordinary form” (EF) Mass when requested, my own personal preference is the “ordinary form” (OF) in Latin, facing East. That said, as regular readers of CWR will know from homilies published here, I frequently help out at Holy Innocents Parish in Midtown Manhattan and there offer Holy Mass in both forms. As a matter of fact, I have assisted at that parish for more than twenty-six years. Before the Tridentine or EF Mass was introduced there in 2008, I offered the OF in Latin.

In Francis’ “cover letter” to the worldwide episcopate, he says:

With the passage of thirteen years, I instructed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to circulate a questionnaire to the Bishops regarding the implementation of the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum.

The responses reveal a situation that preoccupies and saddens me, and persuades me of the need to intervene.

Regrettably, the pastoral objective of my Predecessors, who had intended “to do everything possible to ensure that all those who truly possessed the desire for unity would find it possible to remain in this unity or to rediscover it anew”, has often been seriously disregarded.

An opportunity offered by St. John Paul II and, with even greater magnanimity, by Benedict XVI, intended to recover the unity of an ecclesial body with diverse liturgical sensibilities, was exploited to widen the gaps, reinforce the divergences, and encourage disagreements that injure the Church, block her path, and expose her to the peril of division.

In other words, his principal motivation for restricting the “old” Mass is a concern that it has fostered disunity. Here is where I do have a “pony in the race.” In my liturgical preaching and teaching (through an extensive and regular ongoing theological education program) at Holy Innocents, I regularly cite the current Catechism of the Catholic Church and the documents of Vatican II and, when appropriate, explain the differences between the OF and EF, as well as their respective calendars. I have never perceived even a hint of opposition. Furthermore, Holy Innocents offers five daily Masses during the work-week, with the evening Mass being celebrated in the EF. Once more, I must say that I have never encountered any divisiveness between regular participants in either form; yet again, it should be observed that not a few people who attend the Sunday celebrations in the EF and who do not work in the area of Holy Innocents attend daily Mass in the OF. We shall return to this assessment in due course.

Francis’ letter to the bishops comes off as judgmental and mean-spirited, reeking with a hermeneutic of suspicion. It is highly ironic that the Pope intent on extending “mercy” to gay activists and adulterers (that is, the divorced and remarried) should not exhibit one ounce of pastoral solicitude for faithful Catholics. If the dire situation of disunity he posits is in evidence somewhere, would it not be incumbent on the diocesan bishop to deal with it? Someone suffering from a hangnail doesn’t qualify for the amputation of his finger or hand. In reality, it is perversely amusing that the Pope engages in the very conduct some “Rad-Trads” do when they come upon a liturgical abuse in the “mainstream” Church and thus accuse the OF of the problem.

He writes:

In defense of the unity of the Body of Christ, I am constrained to revoke the faculty granted by my Predecessors.

The distorted use that has been made of this faculty is contrary to the intentions that led to granting the freedom to celebrate the Mass with the Missale Romanum of 1962.

I must ask again, whence did the Pope get this information? He claims it comes from his polling of the body of bishops, but we are not privy to how many bishops responded to his inquiry nor what they said specifically. The Pope of parrhesia and transparency has never evinced those characteristics in his own behavior.

When Paul VI sought the opinion of the world’s bishops regarding the possibility of permitting Communion-in-the-hand, Memoriale Domini gave very precise data.2 Lacking that kind of transparency, we may be forced to conclude that Francis has gotten his information from his personal “magic circle” and from the gossip he seems to thrive on (and yet condemns in others). How often have we heard him say, “Someone told me. . .”?

He goes on:

Responding to your requests, I take the firm decision to abrogate all the norms, instructions, permissions and customs that precede the present Motu proprio, and declare that the liturgical books promulgated by the saintly Pontiffs Paul VI and John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of Vatican Council II, constitute the unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.

I take comfort in this decision from the fact that, after the Council of Trent, St. Pius V also abrogated all the rites that could not claim a proven antiquity, establishing for the whole Latin Church a single Missale Romanum.

We have a few problems to address here. First, who and how many bishops prevailed on him to “abrogate” the actions of his two immediate predecessors? Second, who has ever asserted that the current liturgical books “constitute the unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite”? That’s a rather bold claim, contradicted by numerous scholars, including Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict and Cardinal Robert Sarah, for starters, Third, the poor Pope or whoever fashioned the document needs a refresher course in history. While it is true that Trent abrogated Latin usages less than two hundred years old, it did not do so with the wave of a conciliar wand; it allowed for those usages to co-exist with the Tridentine reforms for fifty years (thus exercising pastoral charity).

Having caused the conflagration, he now shifts the burden of extinguishing the fire onto diocesan bishops:

It is up to you to authorize in your Churches, as local Ordinaries, the use of the Missale Romanum of 1962, applying the norms of the present Motu proprio.

It is up to you to proceed in such a way as to return to a unitary form of celebration, and to determine case by case the reality of the groups which celebrate with this Missale Romanum.

Indications about how to proceed in your dioceses are chiefly dictated by two principles: on the one hand, to provide for the good of those who are rooted in the previous form of celebration and need to return in due time to the Roman Rite promulgated by Saints Paul VI and John Paul II, and, on the other hand, to discontinue the erection of new personal parishes tied more to the desire and wishes of individual priests than to the real need of the “holy People of God.”

In a flight of supercilious arrogance, he declares that the ultimate goal of allowing the misguided devotees of the Tridentine Mass a space for now is to wean them off their addiction!

He offers this defense for his action:

A final reason for my decision is this: ever more plain in the words and attitudes of many is the close connection between the choice of celebrations according to the liturgical books prior to Vatican Council II and the rejection of the Church and her institutions in the name of what is called the “true Church.”

Here I have to say he has a point. It is not so much the average person in the pew who uses such language but more than a few blogsters do indeed speak in this fashion, which is most unfortunate as it does foster disunity. However, if Francis had accurate sources, he would know that.

Now, onto some of the particulars of the motu proprio.

Very strangely, we learn that the norms of this document are to go into effect immediately. This is unknown in canonical legislation, to the best of my knowledge, especially since implementation should require prior proper catechesis.

He indicates that where the Missal of 1962 is followed, such Masses cannot be held in parish churches! Where would he like them to occur? Should a space be rented in the local Marriott (as the Society of St. Pius X does when they lack a church)? Is he so misinformed that he thinks these congregations could fit into a convent chapel? Similarly, he forbids the establishment of any new personal parishes for this liturgical expression. Does he really want to drive laity attached to the EF into the waiting and welcoming arms of the SSPX? (He did once say that he might be the Pope to create a schism.)

Francis says that priests who have been celebrating the Tridentine rite “should” seek the permission of their bishops to continue. Does “should” mean “must”? Of course, if the document had been promulgated in Latin, we would not have to wonder about that.

Most amazing of all perhaps is the requirement that priests ordained after this document must petition their bishops for permission to celebrate in the EF and that bishops must “consult” the Holy See! Any Catholic can marry a total pagan with a mere dispensation from the local Ordinary, but this request has to go to Rome? How absurd. Beyond that, such a mentality may well lead seminarians and young priests to bypass diocesan priesthood in favor of joining either one of the “traditional” communities in union with Rome (like the Fraternity of St. Peter) or even of going over to the SSPX. Were that to happen, a diocesan bishop would lose a man who was comfortable in offering Holy Mass in both forms.

Unmentioned in either the letter or the motu proprio itself is the question of other sacraments. Summorum Pontificum explicitly allowed for the celebration of all the sacraments (except Holy Orders for a candidate not attached to a “traditional” community) in the older rites. Does the omission of this concern leave the door open? Or, are we to assume that Francis has “abrogated” every jot and tittle of Benedict’s document? As usual, Francis’ lack of precision, canonically and theologically, leads to more questions than answers.

Some concluding thoughts.

We know, from painful observation over the past eight years, that this Pope often and strongly punishes perceived opponents of his agenda. One thinks immediately of Cardinals Burke and Muller. It is clear to me that his “magic circle” has convinced him that opposition to his agenda arises from the “Trads.” However, that is a fundamental misreading of the current ecclesial situation. I do not consider myself a “Trad,” but I have consistently and vociferously opposed every problematic aspect of this pontificate – as have thousands upon thousands of clergy and laity. That groundswell of opposition is why nearly all of his documents have been DOA (dead on arrival). They are so “unreceived” that he has had to sponsor anniversaries of his own texts to remind people that they exist.3

One must ask why he felt compelled to “upset the apple cart.” We had relative peace in the two preceding pontificates, however, he seems congenitally incapable of appreciating peace. Can we forget his mandate to the youth in Rio de Janeiro: “Hagan lío!” (“Make a mess”)? He has surely followed his own advice. The unique charism of the Bishop of Rome is to foster unity; this Pope often foments strife and enforces norms whimsically, which creates disrespect for both the lawgiver and his laws.

What will happen here in the United States in response to this document? Looking into my ecclesiastical crystal ball, I predict it will go nowhere. Firstly, I am unaware of any place where the EF is being celebrated without the approval of the local Ordinary. There have been some instances when a priest has wanted to move in that direction but, getting episcopal push-back, he has backed off. Thus, we have witnessed a peaceful and calm living out of Summorum Pontificum. The average bishop is given to conflict-avoidance (which, admittedly, is often a vice more than a virtue). If that is so, he will maintain the status quo: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. More to the point, the vast majority of the American hierarchy is not “in sync” with the agenda of this pontificate; a staunch Francis advocate like Jesuit Father Thomas Reese bemoans this fact.4

If a priest or bishop is looking for an historical model to follow, I would highlight the response of the Jansenists and Modernists when confronted with papal condemnations. They expressed their appreciation for the fatherly care of the Pope, thanked God that the issues raised by the Pope did not exist in their communities, and went on their merry way. Since the Pope has hitched his caboose to the engine of Church unity as his overriding rationale for this move, any cleric can respond by thanking God that the disunity the Pope rightly deplores is not found among his people.

The bottom line in this whole mess is that this document was so unnecessary and is so divisive, and done in the name of unity.

Endnotes:

1A legitimate question arises about the fate of the Dominican and Carmelite rites. Or even the Anglican usage. What about the venerable Ambrosian rite?

2From the Instruction, Memoriale Domini of Congregation for Divine Worship (29 May 1969), we read:

. . . since some few episcopal conferences and individual bishops had asked that the usage of placing the consecrated bread in the hand of the faithful be admitted in their territories, the Supreme Pontiff decreed that each bishop of the entire Latin Church should be asked his opinion concerning the appropriateness of introducing this rite. A change in a matter of such importance, which rests on a very ancient and venerable tradition, besides touching upon discipline can also include dangers. These may be feared from a new manner of administering Holy Communion: they are a lessening of reverence toward the noble Sacrament of the altar, its profanation, or the adulteration of correct doctrine

Three questions were therefore proposed to the bishops. Up to March 12 the following responses had been received:

1. Does it seem that the proposal should be accepted by which, besides the traditional mode, the rite of receiving Holy Communion in the hand would be permitted?

Yes: 567

No: 1,233

Yes, with reservations: 315

Invalid votes: 20

2. Should experiments with this new rite first take place in small communities, with the assent of the local Ordinary?

Yes: 751

No: 1,215

Invalid votes: 70

3. Do you think that the faithful, after a well planned catechetical preparation, would accept this new rite willingly?

Yes: 835

No: 1,185

Invalid votes: 128

From the responses received it is thus clear that by far the greater number of bishops feel that the present discipline should not be changed at all, indeed that if it were changed, this would be offensive to the sensibilities and spiritual appreciation of these bishops and of most of the faithful.

After he had considered the observations and the counsel of those whom “the Holy Spirit has placed as bishops to rule” (11) the Churches, in view of the seriousness of the matter and the importance of the arguments proposed, the Supreme Pontiff judged that the long received manner of ministering Holy Communion to the faithful should not be changed.

3I must also note that for the average informed Catholic, this Pope has made himself irrelevant; I do not say this with glee (it is sad). I make presentations in about twenty dioceses a year to priests, Religious, seminarians, Catholic school teachers; except for the Eucharistic Prayer, the name of Francis never surfaces!

4From Religion News Service (July 13, 2021), he sorrowfully declares:

. . . neither the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops nor the seminaries are bastions of Francis supporters. Bishops who embody Francis’ values make up only 20 to 40 of the 223 active U.S. bishops. And among the clergy, Francis receives his greatest support from older priests, who are dying off, rather than younger ones who are the future of the church.


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About Peter M.J. Stravinskas 200 Articles
Reverend Peter M.J. Stravinskas is the editor of the The Catholic Response, and the author of over 500 articles for numerous Catholic publications, as well as several books, including The Catholic Church and the Bible and Understanding the Sacraments.

177 Comments

    • If you truly love Jesus in The Holy Eucharist, it shouldn’t matter to you if the words of consecration are said in Latin or in the vernacular. As long as I am able to daily receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord, I am thankful.

  1. Well, there’s the “extraordinary” form, and the “ordinary” form, but what about the “formless” form?

    Eucharistic coherence was actually affirmed decades ago, in response to an earlier—-and fatally half-truthed—-three-year program called RENEW. Here’s the bishops’ four-point critique:

    1. “The tendency toward a GENERIC Christianity [about which] [….] basic Christian themes are presented without sufficiently relating them to their specific FORM as experienced in Roman Catholic tradition and practice [….]”

    2. “The need for greater balance and COMPLETENESS [about which] […. the need for] a clearer presentation on the distinctive nature of the Catholic Church, not merely as a community of faith but as a structured, hierarchical, visible, sacramental community [….]”

    3. “The cognitive dimensions of faith need more emphasis [about which] [….] ‘experience as the locus of revelation’ can lead to fundamentalism and the PRIVATIZATION of religious truth [Biden’s “private thing!”] [….]”

    4. “The Eucharist needs broader definition and an emphasis on sacrifice and worship [about which] [….] The preoccupation with the Eucharist as [only] a meal, which should be open to everyone [….] Jesus seems to be present in the sharing rather than His REAL PRESENCE in the Eucharist [….] a trivialization of the Eucharist in the minds of some [….] a confusion between agape and the real Eucharist.”

    (“Review of the RENEW Process (Newark), by the NCCB [now USCCB] Committee on Doctrine,” April 1987, CAPS added).

    So, as a subversion of Eucharistic coherence, FORMLESS sacramental half-truths were called-out, finally, a third of a century ago! Modernday USCCB cardinals were still wet behind the ears at the time, and some probably never got that memo.

  2. Is there a reliable established source on how Cardinal Bergoglio (as he then was) responded to Summorum Pontificum in Buenos Aires?

    Some say he complied fully and there were lots of EF celebrations. Others say he allowed only one celebration, where the 1962 rubrics were systematically violated so everyone went to a celebration by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate just outside the Archdiocese.

    The former often seem vague, and worded in a way that could include SSPX masses (they seem to have a presence there). The latter are often worded contentiously.

    • As Father William Jenkins has stated: Once Catholics accepted the “extraordinary form” of the Mass as a “privilege,” they willingly forfeited their right to the true Mass and they betrayed their Catholic duty to uphold it. They simultaneously assigned to the Modernists a false “right” to ban it whenever they wished.
      Now Pope Francis moves to finish the “reforms” of Vatican II by crushing the Traditional and True Latin Mass along with the evisceration of the Roman Rite and all that is holy.  Rome has lost the Faith and has become the seat of the anti-Christ.

      • The Pope is trying to get the citizens of our Lord’s Family to come out of their comfort zone and the reliance on certain formats and prayers, and to be light bearers to the world.

        • Oh? What about those who are in the “comfort zone and the reliance on certain formats an prayers” of those who insist on the Novus Ordo in Latin?

          And you sound very like a fundamentalist Protestant objecting to any liturgy at all.

          You comment is illogical.

          • The Catholic Church is one. You cannot have different modes of worship. A catholic should be able to travel from one part of the world to the other with the comfort that ones he or she enters a catholic, the mode of worship and others are instantly familiar to him/her even if the language is different. The Pope is doing and has done the right thing under the guidance of the Holy Spirit who cannot deceive. if at the end the supreme pontiff is wrong, his time on the papacy is limited and ultimately, the spirit will direct change to the right path. There are some people in the Church both Clergy and laity who are adamantly against this Pontiff and whatever he does, will not see any thing good in it. We are lucky not to have such people in the Papacy otherwise, the Church would not have been what it is today. The Holy Spirit is in deed active in the Church.

          • “You cannot have different modes of worship.”

            What does that even mean? What is a “mode” in this context? All of the Catholic rites are equal. Are you familiar with the various rites? Are you in favor of doing away with the 20+ Eastern Catholic rites? Or are you even familiar with them?

            Here is Vatican II on the matter:

            The Catholic Church holds in high esteem the institutions, liturgical rites, ecclesiastical traditions and the established standards of the Christian life of the Eastern Churches, for in them, distinguished as they are for their venerable antiquity, there remains conspicuous the tradition that has been handed down from the Apostles through the Fathers (1) and that forms part of the divinely revealed and undivided heritage of the universal Church. …

            These individual Churches, whether of the East or the West, although they differ somewhat among themselves in rite (to use the current phrase), that is, in liturgy, ecclesiastical discipline, and spiritual heritage, are, nevertheless, each as much as the others, entrusted to the pastoral government of the Roman Pontiff, the divinely appointed successor of St. Peter in primacy over the universal Church. They are consequently of equal dignity, so that none of them is superior to the others as regards rite and they enjoy the same rights and are under the same obligations, also in respect of preaching the Gospel to the whole world (cf. Mark 16, 15)

            under the guidance of the Roman Pontiff.

        • So… that is why he destroyed the FFI, the JPII Institute, promoted idolatry and sodomy, and accused orthodox Catholics around the world of rigidity? It appears the “comfort zone” Pope Francis does not like is the Gospel.

        • That’s a laughable comment if you knew as many old liberal priests that I know. A decisive majority of the most clerical, rigid, and intolerant priests Ive met and had to deal with are self-identified progressives. By the way, I’m not a traditionalist and only know the Novus Ordo Mass.

        • So his frequent expressions of disparagement for those who believe the Mass should be about a humble worship centering on God rather than worshiping ourselves and all the abuses that necessarily follow the many “comfort zones” of butchered NO Masses, constitute his way of respecting your concept of “Our Lord’s Family.”

        • How exactly do you become a “to be light bearers to the world” when you had to be cruel to achieve it? Priests crying on the altar, seminarians having their dreams for the first Mass decimated, religious in terror of their lives being torn apart the way the religious were in the 70s, large families having their faith communities ripped apart, people having to drive hours to attend the liturgies they are attached to, one group of faithful being treated as if they are second class citizens, and clerics realizing that they are being pressured to violate their consciences. How is this in any way Charitable?

          • Mal I believe you have not taken much time to truly listen and hear to the thoughts and desires of the people who lean toward tradition beyond their calling you a modernist and you shutting them off in pain. I can tell you that after both listening to them outside in the real world, and from within confessional that their is a Christocentric nature to their soul. They have a deep faith in God, after years and years of persacution and mistreatment by the left. And yes many ‘fear bite’ out of pain and it takes patience to listen to those ones as they insult and insinuate because of their pain, but even those guys tend to have a focus on Christ while dealing with pain. The problem here is that no one is listening and we are just walking over each other as if they are positions to destroy in a High School forensics class and not people with real stories. When Trads are defensive with me, I chalk it up to them having been beat up by a cleric that was so interested in ideology that he steamrolled them. (Fr. Bulldozer as one article referred to them.) Being liberal does not excuse one from being so interested in ideology that you destroy your opposition. I made my decision not to defend positions that are cruel and hurtful, when I was in seminary formation, it doesn’t matter if he is my boss, part of my team, or even a person I love. A compassionate person listens to the other, not just the arguments they make from the head, but tries to probe into the motivations that lie below. Yes many trads are annoying. Jansenistic to the point of fixating on sexual sins in detail, scrupulous to the point of fearing things I believe are pretty irrational. Many times I think the synthesis they make theologically misunderstands or overliteralizes certain sources. I have had to deal with them texting me at 8:30p, after I had finished the Holy Thursday ceremony, insisting on immediate confession or at other times demanding confession when the item isn’t even a venial sin. Have you ever had a person trying to force you to tell them if something is a mortal sin? I have had them requesting items alien to our Tradition but are in the Anglican Tradition thanks to a certain podcast they saw. But you know Neo-Cons do the same thing. I had a neo-conn insist that we get back to our old traditions like Hanukkah, and Purim. (She had watched Hebrew roots TV.) I had a lib complain once that I was arrogant because I did the stations of the Cross in Latin. (I had done them in Spanish and English. I thought it was a bad idea and told the pastor, but he was the pastor so I did what he asked.) So all camps are not immune to problems, and people arguing, and attributing the worst possible motive to their opponent. Maybe as opposed to talking past each other, we should listen and try to hear what is motivating what we see on the surface. It may take more time to hear, but it is worth it. Many times it takes patience while being yelled at, and lots of instances for things you didn’t even do. Fr. Stravinskas, who has no dog in this fight, is only pointing out that the Holy Father was not being pastoral, or allowing any accompaniment in this document.

            We cannot let the injuries of the past restrain us from spiritual growth. We have to stop projecting the worst possible motive on the person we disagree with. We have listen to their argument and many times agree to disagree. Look I am sorry some Trad found it easier to argue with you using a label then discussing the issue. Get used to it. I have been called a Modernist, Americanist, Liberal, Zionist, Papist, Pharisee, legalist, Romanist, Pelagian, idoleter, fundamentalist, ultra conservative, alt right, folllower of the Nervous Disorder, neoconn, Empericist, Republican, Communist, Mother Teresa worshiper, John Paul II worshiper, Rad Trad and many more slurs. And I would say only a few of those labels even come close to where I am theologically. I have heard people describes motives to my actions I do not even consider when I do what I do. But it all makes the person feel comfortable who disagrees with me to put me into a nice safe box and reduce me to a category PEOPLE ARE NOT CATEGORIES! And when we begin to listen we learn they are creatures created by God, who have stories and many wounds that go with those stories. We always talk about the wounded healer, but what of the wounded ‘hurter.’ The man who from his own pain hurts others. Or the thoughtless ‘hurter’ who on mistake hurts people by not noticing them? This document hurts people, and pushes for uniformity in lieu of unity. When people have to consider serious conscious issues as to if I should hurt my sheep to obey the master shepherd that is a problem. And from there a person who is focused on Christ can have a serious issue of conscience. They want to keep union with the Pope, and obey him, but what he is doing needlessly hurts people. So yes it can be a Christ centered conscience. Obedience is within right reason, and from a conscience informed by Church teaching. Ordering people to hurt others for mere legalism and uniformity does indeed push one to the limits of a Christian Christ centered Conscience.

      • “Rome has lost the Faith and has become the seat of the anti-Christ.”

        I respect Pope Francis, but in most cases I don’t agree with. What you say, however, is disgusting. Luther and Calvin coined the pope “anti-Christ”, didn’t they?

        • I do not know how such People are allowed access to defame the Church and the Pope. The owners of this Forum should act otherwise this becomes a hot bed of Anti Catholicism. Or do they want to set up their own version of the catholic Church.

          • So when you disagree with a position you want to cancel them? And if the moderators don’t follow your SJW way of handling dissent you accuse them of trying to start their ‘own version of the catholic church’? I had hoped we had gotten rid of such draconian censorship when we defeated NAZI Germany. I may not agree with all the opinions people post, or even their attitude, (Such as using terms like antichrist, or saying Rome has lost the faith.) but I know that only in open discussion can we arrive at the truth, and censorship hinders a good synthesis by weakening the antithesis.

          • Leonard, some of them call our Lord’s Church the “parallel” one and others the “APE” Church. Protectant strategy.

          • So because a bunch of heretics who have so imploded their theology due to modernism that they have had to merge, and merge and merge, and now cross celebrate ceremonies across denominations just to maintain their jobs commit suicide we should follow them? We were warned that modernism leads to functional agnosticism. This is why those denominations are full of empty people and the more the run after the secular world, compromising the truth, the smaller they become. We began the same thing in the 60s and now we are closing, merging and yoking parishes. At what point will we say the emperor is naked? Don’t look to a failed experiment to find a model to follow. Rather learn from their mistakes and don’t repeat them

  3. Footnote 4 from Fr. Reese – ” And among the clergy, Francis receives his greatest support from older priests, who are dying off, rather than younger ones who are the future of the church”.
    Yep. The times they are a-changing.

  4. Great sound article. St. John Paul the Great and Pope Benedict XVl both concluded that the ancient Mass was never abrogated, it couldn’t as the Papal Bull “Quo Primum” of St. Pius V stated that every priest had the right to use his Missal until the end of the world. Perhaps Francis should have read Summorum Pontificum with some coherence. But that’s only wishful thinking.

    • Here we go again with Pope Pius v – no pope can bind another pope in matters of discipline, and the form of the Mass is disciplinary, not something in the field of morality or doctrine. Yes, it can be abrogated – and by that I am most definitely not saying it should be. But sa;ying it can’t be is ignorance of how the Church functions.

  5. For once, I agree with Pope Francis. Obviously there is nothing wrong with the Traditional Latin Mass, but I do believe that there is a “holier than thou” attitude when it is celebrated. This threatens unity.

    • But there is no “holier than thou” attitude among the celebrants of the Novus Ordo? No “holier than thou” among those bishops and priests who, in the wake of Vatican II made sweeping changes to the Mass and to church buildings in the name of “The Council,” troubling many consciences, when the Council did not mandate such changes? No “holier than thou” attitude among the “progressives” in the Church who accuse the traditionalists of divisiveness, when it is they themselves who are divisive? Gimme a break!

      • Bingo Fr. Jack! A refreshingly honest and truthful response. What defines unity vs division is Christ and his reflection upon the Church he created for us. Thus, it is dogmatic unchanging and simultaneously pastoral to the time being lived in a noncontradictive manner – Christ centered and by the same light traditional. Hence whomever does contradict Christ and his churchly traditions its pastoral practices is the one creating division. No individual not even a Pope can imply or insinuate that that which was the center of the Christian life for saints of previous ages is now undesirable or “divisive” … it is simply a visceral and incoherent response.

        Sadly Fr. Jack, this truly was an unnecessary and divisive moto proprio.

        I for one, regardlessly will most certainly continue to lovingly pray for our Holy Father Pope Francis.

        • I too pray for the Pope as he tries to maintain the Catholic nature of the culturally changing Church. Some want to hold it back, while a few want it to go too far forward. Our good, and very Catholic disciple of Jesus, Pope does need our prayers and not our likes and dislikes.

          • Pope Francis is so Catholic that people now think “Is the Pope Catholic?” Is a question rather than an answer (that’s in the form of a rhetorical question). He puts on grand gestures of humility for public consumption. but his selective arrogance and vindictiveness toward those with sincere doubts about misguided policy and objections to corrupt personnel choices are becoming legendary.

    • It threatens unity to single out some of your children for exclusion while allowing all the others to do what they want. If Francis were a good father, he would know that and lead the way to make room for all his children. He has compassion for everyone except those he claims are “rigid.” This shoot-from-the-hip, vindictive, old man is more divisive and rigid than just about anyone in the Church. Everyone who diverges from Church teaching gets a pass, but those who want to worship as the Church has for centuries gets a slap in the face. (By the way, I do not attend the TLM.)

    • But in his usual cannon blast approach, Pope Francis blasts the good, decent TLM goers along with those such as the SSPX, and the Vigano/Schneider people who attempted to weaponize the TLM and use it to cause division and schism in the church.

      My take is that Francis only hears from Cupich, The Germans, McElroy and others who wanted the TLM wiped out, because it hampered their attempts to “sing a new church into being”.

      Francis really is useless as a pope, but the factions that wanted to start their own anti Catholic cults are primarily to blame for this, because they most certainly wanted to split people away from the Catholic church. I cannot tell you how many online discussions I have seen where they exhibited extreme hatred for Paul VI, JP II and even Benedict.

    • One need only spend 10 seconds reading the comments on any social media posting to find 10 people happy to set up ‘trads’ as a strawman for every ill in the world. ‘Trad’-bashing is ubiquitous and nonsensical. ‘Trads’ don’t constitute one monolithic community any more than African-Americans or Hispanics do. Painting all with a single brush is intellectually dishonest and, frankly, it’s unChristian.

      • You should read what the Trads call the others. Besides being Pope-bashers, they refer to the Church family as modernists or belonging to an APE Church or parallels Church.

        • Mal, you appear not to have grasped his point, which is that there is no monolithic group of “Trads” calling anybody anything, bashing anybody,referring to anybody as anything, or belonging to anything.

          • What Mal wrote is right. What Fr. Ryan wrote is exactly what Mal analyzed. The trad believe in the unchanging nature of things. When Christ was in the world, he met a traditional mode of worship which though very good but was not inclusive and the change is what we have today. What would have happened if Christ had not changed things for us. Perhaps, we would all have been practicing Judasim which in itself is not bad.

          • No, what Mal wrote is not right. Nor is what you wrote.

            Your argument makes no sense. When Christ was in the world, we were under the Old Covanent. Now we’re under the New Covenant, and the Mass does what no previous mode of worship did: the Passion is re-presented; the Body of Christ is made literally present. You’re acting as if He said, “Hey, it’s not that I’m starting a new Covenant, I’m just just making a mode of worship that’s ‘not inclusive’ more inclusive.” Seriously?

          • What Mal alludes to is what I have experienced for years – and that is a subset of those who prefer the EF. Certainly not all – but definitely a loud subset. And the Pope is the Pope of the universal Church, and there may well be problems afoot within the world-wide Church about which we are largely unaware. In my diocese one parish started the EF, with the bishop’s urging, as a nearby community of SSPX had siphoned off people of the parish, and the SSPX appears to have nothing positive to say about the OF, and precious little about the EF in regular parishes, as it has largely rejected Vatican 2. And the vast majority of the OF parishioners in the diocese know little or nothing of that tempest pot. Multiply that by dioceses across the globe, and those who support the SSPX, and possibly – just possibly – Pope Francis sees more than we do. To which I would add, a number of bishops have done nothing except to say they will study the document, and in the meanwhile, the EF will be continued in the respective parishes.

          • I know a lot of trads and I argue with them. But they show me respect because I can at least make Vatican II not seem entirely off base after all. And also, because I’m not a hypocrite who talks about dialog and accompaniment only until the rubber hits the road. Also, I don’t play fast and loose with tradition nor do I enable wolves in sheep’s clothing like James Martin, SJ. Guess why they have an aversion to Pope Francis? Left to his own devices, he would turn the Bride of Christ into an Ape of the Church. Or have you forgotten about Pachamamma or his Wiccan stang? Yes

        • And Trads even call each other names when they have had arguments. That is because they are not monolithic. And as to being called a modernist, I was called a modernist by a person who only attended the New Mass. Traditionalism had nothing to do with her calling me that. I used it as a catechetical moment to explain what modernism was. The group you are referring to are called by the majority of the Traditionalists ‘rad trads.’ They are those who deny the new sacraments as valid and believe going to them is sinful, and a more extreme form of trads are sedes who even believe the pope is not the pope. This group does not reflect all traditionalists. Actually you remind me of a story of a friend of Fr. Stravinskas who, as a seminarian was brought to a Nicholas Gruner confrence, and he was asked if he was willing to take all the sins of the novus ordo on his back. Those ‘rad trads’ just attacked a young seminarian who loved Mary, and acted as if his Catholicism was not valid or inferior just because he attended the new mass. Your attitude about Trads seems to be the same. So maybe you are a ‘Rad Novus Ordo Catholic’ Just a flip side of the same coin as the radtrad. I find you go too far to the left you join hands with the extreme right many times.

    • My dear friend,
      I have friends and relatives who attend Latin Mass. They love our faith, as do I. There is no “holier than thou attitude” despite your misperceptions. I will honestly say I am of an age which was never experienced the Latin mass, so one may think I have no standing in this matter. However, I must speak out on behalf of my faithful brothers and sisters who find the deepest way of devotion lies with this mass. Those I know, like many I know following OF, pray the rosary daily, attend mass daily, and recognize the gifts of the sacraments, thus desire them as often as possible.
      Please reconsider the harsh words and judgment you have pronounced against them with your “broad stroke of the brush.”
      May the Holy Spirit guide us in all we do, and may Our Lord Bless us and keep all his faithful close to Him.

      • Exactly Donna. I have been going to Mass regularly since the 1940s during the Latin days and now inn the NO period. I have gradually come to experience the spiritual blessings flowing from the Mass. I was surprised when a relative – an EF person – told me that my NO Mass is fake. I tried to make him understand that this is still the Roman rite but that made no impression.

  6. The “contemporary-Catholic-Church” is well represented by the abusive Pontiff Francis.

    The Catholic Church that I was baptized into and gave me First Holy Communion has three markers of identity: recognition for the authority of scripture and tradition and office, in that order.

    As “Reverend” Tom Rosica frankly stated on behalf of “the ruling members” of the “contemporary-Catholic-Church,” this “new-Church” has “entered a new phase” where “it is free from disordered attachment” and “is openly ruled by an individual rather than by the authority of Scripture alone or even its own dictates of tradition plus Scripture.”

    Thus the “new-Church” has the singular identity of office, while cultivating its widespread “apostasy” as Father Robert Imbelli reluctantly admitted in his essay “No Decapitated Body.” This is “the reform” pursued by Cardinals Daneels and McCarrick and Mahoney and Martini and Kasper and former Cardinal Bergoglio. They have attained their goal, and with the “new Church” of their confection, “they have their reward.”

  7. I do think Bergoglio looks upon conservatives and the traditionalists as diseased and irredeemable—i.e., ‘deplorable’. His posture against conservatives is in sharp contrast to his posture favoring the progressives, such as James Martin SJ, and A Spadaro, SJ.. This makes sense because although he is Pope, he is a progressive at heart, and the progressive heart opposes attachments to tradition because these anchors invariably cause divisiveness for the progressive who is always moving on. The problem he faces in the priesthood, is that the older progressive clergy are dying off fast, and the young progressives now despise the priesthood and the Church. It is the young conservatives who are growing the Church. These facts are surely known by him because it is a problem that the Jesuits and other progressive orders have been facing for some time. So it would seem that Bergoglio is making a bet that the priesthood will survive without the conservatives. But it is worth noting that he is an angry man who may simply prefer no priesthood at all if it be dominated by the young conservatives- or in other words, he would burn the Church down in order to save it.

      • Yeah, bad popes have a way of unifying the Church, leading to so many fervent prayers for deliverance that the Holy Spirit comes to answer with prophets and reformers. You are deceived if think only trads see in the latest motu proprio imprudence, injustice, hypocrisy, and cruelty.

  8. Honestly, and while I’m not excusing the Pope here, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this directive comes while he’s convalescing after major intestinal surgery. There’s a group at the Vatican that has been pushing hard for this, and the previous word was that they were unhappy with the Pope because he didn’t seem to care about the TLM issue all that much. I think that’s still the case. This is the dream directive of the real partisans. It will probably be excepted to death to the extent it gains any force at all.

  9. The outgrowths of this papacy are confusion, division and rancor.

    These don’t seem like the fruits of the Holy Spirit to me.

    I appreciate Fr. Peter’s dissection of the document. His measured, sensible approach reminds us of what is *always* lacking in Bergoglio’s hectoring rambles.

  10. From the article: “He claims it comes from his polling of the body of bishops, but we are not privy to how many bishops responded to his inquiry nor what they said specifically.”

    Because he’s lying.

    The revocation of Summorum Pontificum was a foregone conclusion when this man got himself elevated to the papacy. He’d almost surely intended to do it after the death of Pope Benedict XVI, but His Holiness has proven more resilient than Bergoglio and his cabal anticipated.

    • Exactly.

      There’s absolutely no reason to give the pope the benefit of the doubt; that’s puerile. The letter accompanying the motu proprio is false from the get-go. The pope couldn’t care less about “unity.” He’s even publicly admitted that he might go down in history as one who split the Church.

      This motu proprio sets back ecumenical relations with the Orthodox a thousand years. They consider the old Mass their western rite in an undivided church before the split. The idea that the bishop of Rome could destroy a rite with the stroke of a pen is beyond the pale to them.

    • Rich, are you really a Catholic. How can you say the Pope is Lying. Obviously, you have elevated yourself to the status of God to be able to divine human thought.

      • I would not say Francis is lying. But if one reads what both Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI wrote concerning the reasons they approved a broader use of the TLM, it is being “Mischaracterized” by Pope Francis in his document. It just is. Read what they wrote and compare it to what Francis wrote. Both previous popes were not just speaking about unity. If we want label groups by few, then go back to the riots around the country last year. Was burning and looting done by the whole, or just a small percentage? Should the entire reason for their protests, which by the way Francis supported, be shut down because of the bad behavior of a number of protesters? None of us can have it both ways. Consistency is required. Even within Jesuit thought, one MUST ALWAYS think the best motivation of an individuals actions. However in this case that was not done with the issuing of this document. The worst was thought of the group and I sort of resent being lumped in with certain individuals on the internet. All of us are being labeled as divisive because we like what is permitted. Don’t know, but it seems go against Jesuit formation.

        • On this label of “lying”, once upon a time something called civility was still observed in the British Parliament. When a fellow member of Parliament was caught in a lie, Winston Churchill charged him with only a “terminological inexactitude.”

          And as for our “being labeled as divisive”, our Pope Frances himself as provided the standard by which even popes can be evaluated (certainly not “judged”!):

          Pope Francis said on Sept. 25, 2019, in his general audience in St. Peter’s Square, that slander is a “diabolical cancer” that seriously damages the Church. “We know that slander always kills. This ‘diabolical cancer,’ which arises from the desire to destroy a person’s reputation, also attacks the rest of the ecclesial body.”

          The pope warned that slander seriously damages the Church when “there is a coalition to smear someone” due to “petty interests or to cover up their own inadequacies.”
          https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/42363/pope-francis-says-slander-is-a-diabolical-cancer

      • Jorge Bergoglio is known by his fruits. We are all bound to judge him by his actions just as Christ Himself exhorted.

        “And why even of yourselves, do you not judge that which is just?” Jesus Christ, Luke 12:57

      • Maybe because he’s lied before and was caught. When Pope Francis praised the theologically dubious and defective Abu Dhabi agreement he said that he had run it by his very fine papal household theologian. But that theologian contradicted him publicly, saying he had never been given the document to review.

    • You can claim that he is lying even though you do not have any figures because that is how you see the Pope. You must realize that there are tons of Bishops in the many Asian, African, South American and East European countries.

  11. For those who support the atheist materialists over population alarmist globalist who have infiltrated The Catholic Church, while denying The Sanctity of the marital act within The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony and The Sanctity of human life from the moment of conception, no doubt, all unnecessary and divisive acts, which result in bishop v. Bishop, cardinal v. Cardinal, and pope v. Pope, serve only one purpose, to deny The Unity Of The Holy Ghost, and thus The Divinity Of The Most Holy And Undivided Blessed Trinity, Father, Son, And Holy Ghost.

    “Who do you say that I Am”, is the question that requires the correct answer, in order to separate The True Church from its counterfeit.

    For the Holy Spirit was not promised to the successors of Peter that by His revelation they might make known new doctrine, but that by His assistance they might inviolably keep and faithfully expound the Revelation, the Deposit of Faith, delivered through the Apostles. ”

    “It is not possible to have Sacramental Communion without Ecclesial Communion”, due to The Unity Of The Holy Ghost; For It Is “Through Christ, With Christ, And In Christ, In The Unity Of The Holy Ghost (Filioque), That Holy Mother Church, Outside Of Which, There Is No Salvation, Due To The Unity Of The Holy Ghost, Exists.

  12. Your research is extensive and impressive as usual. Good news are the statistics on His Holiness’ popularity less than not among presbyters and bishops, and laity. A good thing, very good considering the damaging effect on morale and practice. This seeming unwarranted episode on the TLM, among many, although not inured like many of my clerical brothers, my reservations are standard regarding motive. True, Pope Francis dislikes the TLM because it inhibits the secularist direction he has assumed since 2013 but always intermingled and offset with pious remarks that seem intended to distract. So, then, is this another ploy from Byzantium on the Tiber? A distraction from the far greater, essential issue Eucharistic coherence? If the incoherence continues within US politics, the bishops once again morally emasculated by Cardinal Ladaria’s chicanery on impossible to fulfill requirements for ‘united action’ – the reality is there is no real unity, not simply the minority bishops who support Pres Biden’s hypocrisy as political expediency, but infinitely moreso by Francis, whose silence and game plan is to thwart the bishops original resolve to firmly address the matter. Instead they’re in the process of issuing a flaccid reaffirmation on Eucharistic doctrine already available in the Catechism and numerous Magisterial pronouncements. A minority in the Church is up in arms over Traditionis Custodes, the Motu Proprio that guards tradition by exclusion of tradition playing into the Byzantine strategy demonstrating their unwillingness to abide with the Mystical Body. I joshed a good Vaticanista journalist’s perceived propheticism, being reminded of Elijah. Although, aside from Elijah’s furious retribution taken upon Jezebel’s 450 prophets [not quite the number of bishops dissenting from addressing Eucharist coherence], and the too frequent verbal abuse of His Holiness [said in reparation] the Church could benefit from an updated version of Elijah.

    • Father Peter, since this is true:

      Jorge Bergoglio’s heresy was external and made public and notorious, when as a cardinal, he stated in his book, On Heaven and Earth, in regards to same-sex sexual relationships, and thus same-sex sexual acts, prior to his election as pope, on page 117, demonstrating that he does not hold, keep, or teach The Catholic Faith, and he continues to act accordingly:
      “If there is a union of a private nature, there is neither a third party, nor is society affected. Now, if the union is given the category of marriage, there could be children affected. Every person needs a male father and a female mother that can help shape their identity.”- Jorge Bergoglio, denying The Sanctity of the marital act within The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, and the fact that God, The Most Holy And Undivided Blessed Trinity, Through The Unity Of The Holy Ghost, Is The Author Of Love, Of Life, And Of Marriage, while denying sin done in private is sin.

      From The Catechism Of The Catholic Church:
      II. THE DEFINITION OF SIN
      “1849 Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity. It has been defined as “an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law.”121
      1850 Sin is an offense against God: “Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in your sight.”122 Sin sets itself against God’s love for us and turns our hearts away from it. Like the first sin, it is disobedience, a revolt against God through the will to become “like gods,”123 knowing and determining good and evil. Sin is thus “love of oneself even to contempt of God.”124 In this proud self- exaltation, sin is diametrically opposed to the obedience of Jesus, which achieves our salvation.125
      1851 It is precisely in the Passion, when the mercy of Christ is about to vanquish it, that sin most clearly manifests its violence and its many forms: unbelief, murderous hatred, shunning and mockery by the leaders and the people, Pilate’s cowardice and the cruelty of the soldiers, Judas’ betrayal – so bitter to Jesus, Peter’s denial and the disciples’ flight. However, at the very hour of darkness, the hour of the prince of this world,126 the sacrifice of Christ secretly becomes the source from which the forgiveness of our sins will pour forth inexhaustibly.”
      It is a sin to accomodate an occasion of sin, and thus cooperate with evils “

      The question is does Apostasy from The Catholic Church ipso facto separate a Baptized Catholic from The Body Of Christ, at that moment in Time and Space in Salvational History that the Apostasy occurs, due to the denial of The Unity Of The Holy Ghost, or does the Apostasy occur only when The Catholic Church recognizes that moment in Time and Space to have occurred?

      • Nancy, a well explored question on a contemporary issue. Apostasy occurs ipso facto, by the act itself when the party denies the faith, that is, repudiates belief in Christ and his teachings. It’s the total rejection of, say, Catholicism. It’s distinguished from heresy which usually pertains to denial or misrepresentation of a single Church doctrine. For heresy to be formal it must be declared by Church authority that the heretical person is persistent and adamant, not always easy to establish. What Jorge Bergoglio held in Buenos Aires may be limited to that period, whereas if there’s evidence that he has modified his views and upheld Church doctrine disapproving homosexuality then he can’t be considered a heretic. Although either state, which incurs excommunication may be difficult to evidence [apostasy usually evident since it is complete rejection of the faith], it may nevertheless be realized, that is, held interiorly by the person disguising his heresy or his apostasy. Only God judges that. To simplify your question what he said on homosexuality in Buenos Aires refers to heresy although there isn’t sufficient evidence to prove it. Certainly, Pope Francis is aware of these issues and never commits himself to a persistent denial of a doctrine, for example the death penalty since the word applied inadmissibility does not say the death penalty is inherently evil. In fairness to Pope Francis on the issue of homosexuality, even though there is a plethora of circumstantial evidence to convict him of heresy in a civil court, he couches his words carefully avoiding a canonical requirement for sanction. And then there was a document, “Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics” issued 1975 that contained a passage descriptive of what he refers to in your quote. I found it troubling when in 75 I reviewed this declaration, as did Joseph Ratzinger when prefect CDF, “In the discussion which followed the publication of the Declaration, however, an overly benign interpretation was given to the homosexual condition itself, some going so far as to call it neutral, or even good” (Ratzinger). Cardinal Ratzinger issued a document correcting this error of interpretation, (LETTER TO THE BISHOPS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ON THE PASTORAL CARE OF HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS CDF 1986). If you have further questions on what’s said submit it and I’ll perhaps resolve it.

        • Thank you, Father.
          What about Jorge Bergoglio’s claim that sin done in private is not, in essence, sin?
          “If there is a union of a private nature, there is neither a third party, nor is society affected.”

          • That idea that what is evil if done in private and doesn’t harm anyone is acceptable is a long held error. What is sinful is sinful primarily because it offends God. Self abuse, watching porn for many falls into this category that many I’ve found during confession believe deluding themselves it’s not evil [some encouraged to believe that by priests who trivialize this form of seriously sinful behavior]. Nancy I’m not aware whether Pope Francis has repeated that notion of private sin, although he has suggested it frequently. Most of the misinformation and increase of error attributed to this Pontiff is by suggestions in what he says and does. As we find in Amoris Laetitia. As we find in his appointments. As we find in his restructuring, reversal of the institutions and policy statements initiated by John Paul II and Benedict XVI. If justice on these matters eludes us now it will in the end be exacted by God.

          • The Pope did not say that, but a few of the “Catholic” columnists did spread this false news created mischievously in a Spanish website. Some Catholic websites and blogs have not been honest with some of their stories.

      • To me the First and Sixth Commandments are joined at the hip. Holy Matrimony is founded on a covenant. Christ’s Bride the Church is founded on His New Covenant ratified in His Own Blood on the Cross. Covenants are supposed to be permanent. In Francis-speak they could be considered to be “rigid.” How many modernists take vows, promises, oaths, and covenants seriously? The modernists appear bound and determined to discard Christ’s New Covenant and create a church in the world’s image and likeness. They look like they are trying to turn Christ’s Bride into the Whore of Babylon.

      • Nancy, your write up is highly disrespectful and makes one wonder what sort of Catholicism you claim to practice

        • Leonard, how can anyone claim that respect for the Sanctity of the marital act within The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony is disrespectful unless they do not respect The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony? How can anyone claim that sin that occurs in private, is not, in essence, sin, unless they condone “private” sin.

    • I too have been following this Pope and, unlike you, I do not see this faithful Catholic as taking the Church in a secularist direction. I see him as trying to awaken in us the Christ that, besides worship, wants his message and love to be felt by the world.

  13. “So unnecessary and…so divisive and done in the name of unity.” Scattering the Lord’s flock and driving them away, as in today’s reading from Jeremiah.

    • “Woe to the shepherds who mislead and scatter the flock of my pasture, says the Lord. Therefore, thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, against the shepherds who shepherd my people: You have scattered my sheep and driven them away. You have not cared for them, but I will take care to punish your evil deeds.” (Jeremiah 23: 1-2)

      I thought the exact same thing at Mass this morning, Tom. That passage seems like it was written just today.

      As a father of seven, I will have to account for my fatherhood of the children I helped bring into the world. I cannot neglect their physical and spiritual needs. I will have to answer for what I did and didn’t do. And I always have to tell my children the truth.

      Priests and bishops and cardinals and even Popes will have to answer for how they took care of the needs of their spiritual children. From my vantage point, there is a lot of neglect and lying going on. As a spiritual child, I don’t feel like my Holy Father cares about me at all. But I have enough faith to stay in the Church and outlast him.

    • The injustice and unreasonableness of this and other moves of Francis have been documented and proven abundantly here and elsewhere. What is also horrifying is what the astonishingly harsh tone of the accompanying letter says about the man and those who collaborate with him. This instance, like so many of the other outrages that have characterized this Papacy, reveal a petty, vindictive, and just plain mean man. Far from merciful and humble, he exudes hardheartedness and arrogance. An ideological and “rigid” extremist who shows little awareness of his glaring intellectual limitations, he makes no attempt to meet halfway any of the people he routinely condemns and clearly despises. I’d shudder at having such man as a neighbor, let alone Pope. All this applies equally to his closest supporters.

      • The “man” is a faithful Apostle of our Lord who is trying to implement the Holy Spirit-inspired policies of Vatican !!.

        • One can believe that the Second Vatican Council is inspired by the Holy Spirit AND that Bergoglio is a bad Pope. If Vatican II fails it will be even more the fault of Jesuits like him than it will be the fault of Traditionalists who sadly mistake the suffering victim for the disease making her sick. I happily defend Vatican II all the time; I used to defend this Pope until I could no longer pretend that he is acting in good faith. Wake up!

      • Everyone is subject to cognitive dissonance, even popes. This one, right or wrong, does have an undisguised seething contempt for people with genuine and profound devotion.

      • Mal isn’t that sorta redundant, according to Catholic Theology (Realist thought) no one ever who is sane does an evil intentionally. They always convince themselves that the action no matter how bad it is, has a good in it. We move toward the good we see in the act. So saying “He is doing what he believes is right” to a Catholic is like saying ‘water is wet.’

          • Well if you want to keep stating the obvious knock yourself out, but it doesn’t solve the question the person raised. He wants to know why the Holy Father is so spiteful, and you told him to stop wondering why the Holy Father did a spiteful thing because “He is doing what he believes is right.” So are you saying that excuses doing something cruel, if you ultimate end is something good you can hurt people? So if you final end is to create uniformity then you can destroy people to get to it, and someone should not wonder what is going on behind a persons thought processes to lead to causing such pain to achieve this uniformity? I will remember this next time someone doesn’t like what I am planning in a parish council because it will put people out. I can just say don’t worry about why I am doing it “I am doing what I believe is correct” so you don’t have to worry as I step on your toe. That may swat a few straw men to get what I want.

    • Leslie, Tony says it best: Far from merciful and humble, he exudes hardheartedness and arrogance. An ideological and “rigid” extremist who shows little awareness of his glaring intellectual limitations, he makes no attempt to meet halfway any of the people he routinely condemns and clearly despises. I’d shudder at having such man as a neighbor, let alone Pope. All this applies equally to his closest supporters.

      Spite is right and vice unrivaled. ~Venerable Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, paraphrased.

  14. “The Sovereign Pontiff alone enjoys the right to recognize and establish any practice touching the worship of God, to introduce and approve new rites, as also to modify those he judges to require modification. Bishops, for their part, have the right and duty carefully to watch over the exact observance of the prescriptions of the sacred canons respecting divine worship. Private individuals, therefore, even though they be clerics, may not be left to decide for themselves in these holy and venerable matters (…) For the same reason no private person has any authority to regulate external practices of this kind, which are intimately bound up with Church discipline and with the order, unity and concord of the Mystical Body and frequently even with the integrity of Catholic faith itself.

    The Church is without question a living organism, and as an organism, in respect of the sacred liturgy also, she grows, matures, develops, adapts and accommodates herself to temporal needs and circumstances, provided only that the integrity of her doctrine be safeguarded. This notwithstanding, the temerity and daring of those who introduce novel liturgical practices, or call for the revival of obsolete rites out of harmony with prevailing laws and rubrics, deserve severe reproof.”

    Venerable Pius XII, Mediator Dei, #58-59 (1947)

    • Mater Dei 62. “Assuredly it is a wise and most laudable thing to return in spirit and affection to the sources of the sacred liturgy. For research in this field of study, by tracing it back to its origins, contributes valuable assistance towards a more thorough and careful investigation of the significance of feast-days, and of the meaning of the texts and sacred ceremonies employed on their occasion. But it is neither wise nor laudable to reduce everything to antiquity by every possible device. Thus, to cite some instances, one would be straying from the straight path were he to wish the altar restored to its primitive tableform; were he to want black excluded as a color for the liturgical vestments; were he to forbid the use of sacred images and statues in Churches; were he to order the crucifix so designed that the divine Redeemer’s body shows no trace of His cruel sufferings; and lastly were he to disdain and reject polyphonic music or singing in parts, even where it conforms to regulations issued by the Holy See.”

      According to Pope Piux XII, nearly the entire Roman Rite of the Church, including the present pope and most of the hierarchy, have “strayed from the right path.”

      • And apparently all 2,147 bishops of the world who voted in favor of Sacrosanctum Concilium (with 4 dissenting) were wrong. But don’t stop there; you might want to indict the Holy Spirit while you are at it.

        • You apparently missed the point of my post. I was demonstrating to the previous poster that cherry picking what popes say can cause absurd difficulties, as in the example.

          Your premise can be mirrored back to you: If you’re insinuating that Pope Pius XII was wrong, which apparently that’s what you’re doing, you might want to indict the Holy Ghost while you are at it.

          See the problem with cherry picking?

  15. My understanding has always been that Vatican II never repeat never banned the TLM, but rather it was the radical progressive bishops who sought over the decades since V2 to rid the Church of the TLM . I remember the Bishop of Houston (Tx) announcing in the 90s that for the single TLM to continue would require at least 100 attendees on consecutive Sundays otherwise he would ban it. He actually had the nerve to send a minion to count the attendees

  16. R. Cross above – “. . . the older progressive clergy are dying off fast, and the young progressives now despise the priesthood and the Church. It is the young conservatives who are growing the Church”.
    Yep. See Fr. Thomas Reese, footnote 4 above.

  17. We need to thank Pope Francis for what he has done for the Latin Mass Community
    in the twilight of his papacy. By persecuting them, he has made them attractive
    to many non-Catholics and lukewarm Catholics. So, please Pope Francis, please
    issue more dictums against the Latin Mass Community and any other truly Catholic
    community that you despise for their “rigidity”. After all, it is
    Good Shepherd Sunday and the words of today’s reading of Jeremiah 23:1-6 must be fulfilled.

    Jeremiah 23:1-6 (Sunday Reading 7/18/2021 for Good Shepherd Sunday)
    Woe to the shepherds
    who mislead and scatter the flock of My pasture,
    says the LORD.
    Therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of Israel,
    against the shepherds who shepherd My people:
    You have scattered My sheep and driven them away.
    You have not cared for them,

    but I will take care to punish your evil deeds.

    I myself will gather the remnant of My flock
    from all the lands to which I have driven them
    and bring them back to their meadow;
    there they shall increase and multiply.
    I will appoint shepherds for them who will shepherd them
    so that they need no longer fear and tremble;
    and none shall be missing, says the LORD.
    Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD,
    when I will raise up a righteous shoot to David;
    as king He shall reign and govern wisely,
    He shall do what is just and right in the land.
    In His days Judah shall be saved,
    Israel shall dwell in security.
    This is the name they give Him:
    “The LORD our justice.”

  18. Thank you, Father for your skillful analysis and plausible prediction.

    It is my hope that this papal document will receive a much compliance as would one banning the public praying of the rosary, on the grounds that some Catholics participate, and some do not, so it is a “divisive” practice.

  19. For those, like me, who have a devotion to the traditional Latin Mass, this is far worse than just unnecessary and divisive. It is deeply painful. I feel as though my entire spiritual life has been negated. I have been cast off.

  20. Think that the Bishops should ask now whether Latin or Local Language will be used for exorcisms, just to be in compliance VC2. Okay I know this might be a bad joke, but this is what goes in this continuing nightmare of the post VC2 Church.

  21. Dear Father I read your article and am grateful for the clarity on the Pope’s document. I had the grace to attend your Masses when in New York as well the very holy pastor of Holy Innocents. Thank God for priests like you.

  22. 1. Thank you Father Stravinskas. You ascertained the situation and described it well.

    2. I, a religious priest, pray for Bergolio multiple times a day…. “pray for us sinners.”

    3. To obey something that is contrary to the law “Salus animarum suprema lex” by putting souls in danger of losing their eternal salvation is a grave sin. Therefore this Motu Proprio must NOT be obeyed and anyone who does so endangers their own salvation. One is never to obey something sinful.

    4. If mortality doesn’t claim this pope soon I will decamp to the SSPX…. and I’m not the only priest saying this.

  23. Great analysis by Father Stravinskas. It looks like Pope Francis may have split the baby here. He allows the progressive bishops who hate tradition to ban it from their dioceses, while allowing the more traditional ones to keep it going. It is bizarre beyond belief that he bans it in parish churches. Many churches have no problem holding homosexual meetings in their churches, but no TLM.
    That says everything you need to know about Pope Francis.

  24. Fr. Stravinskas,
    Thank you for the excellent article. In addition to your observations [and mine] that there is no rejection of Vatican II among Catholic Trids, this can be demonstrated using simple logic as well.

    If a person rejects Vatican II, they would seek membership in SSPX which tends to reject Vatican II. It doesn’t make sense that they would join FSSP which doesn’t reject it.

    Maybe Francis misspoke when he wrote “Vatican II”. Maybe he meant to write the “Spirit of Vatican II.”

    • SSPX accepts all of VII in line with Sacred Tradition. Progressives reject anything from VII in line with Sacred Tradition. Hence we got the “Spirit of Vatican II“ and the “banal” “on the spot fabrication” of the “new order” liturgy.

  25. As an individual who was raised, educated, and existed under PiusXI & XII… PPJohn XXIII was moved to open the ‘windows’ and bring liturgy to the people! He respectfully left the old in place for an appropriate time in deference to those unable to value the change! If he thought for one minute the pseudo traditional would try to bring back that which needed to be set aside- he would take appropriate actions! Be Gone!
    Study, understand, an assist in enrichment of our current liturgy which as forever is centered on the Eucharistic Celebration and desist in bringing confusion and dissent to our Parishes! The author has not walked two steps in Pp Francis’ shoes! He has no insight to his mental state!

    • Balderdash, M. Donoghue. There was no need to “bring the liturgy to the people;” it was already there. And a far greater percentage attended Mass faithfully.

      • Leslie, moderate your language. make your point and allow us to make their own point. Correct, the Liturgy is already there for the people but how many of us see things that are already out there. You may see it but for the huge percentage out there, it has to be brought to them. Otherwise, they will not see it.

        • Mr. Agoawike, you have no authority to tell me how to speak or what to say.

          Mr. Donoghue made an untrue statement about the Traditional Mass. I corrected him. You don’t appear to be discussing the same thing.

      • In Matthew 16: 21-23 it says:
        *
        21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him and began to rebuke him, saying, “God forbid, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men.”
        *
        Our first pope had to be corrected by Christ and St. Paul.

          • The passage that I cited was preceded by the following passage, Matthew 16:15-20:
            *
            15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.
            *
            It is pretty clear that Christ had selected Simon for the papal office and gave him his papal name of Peter before He rebuked him. Name changing is very significant in the Bible. Four people had their name changed by God: Abram became Abraham, Sarai became Sarah, Jacob became Israel, Simon became Peter. Saul/Paul is not included because Paul was his Roman name.

    • Actually, Pope Francis renounced that title. Look it up. Faithful popes are indeed spiritual as well as legal successors of St Peter. The bad ones, only legally. Your discernment appears to be lacking as to which kind of Pope Francis is.

      • That Archange, is how the Roman document has been mischievously presented in some websites.
        In a document that listed the personnel belonging to the diocese of Rome, the Pope was listed as its Bishop. His papal titles were listed in footnotes. As Pope of the Catholic Church, he maintains the title.

        • To be more specific, he has renounced the title Vicar of Christ. Sorry you lost your own train of thought. But that’s to be expected of emotional reasoners when they get overheated in the process of defending the indefensible. Accordingly, it is no doubt over your head to follow the reasoning of canon lawyers questioning whether Pope Francis had the authority to order the effective abolition of the TLM precisely BECAUSE he is pope. It’s a lot like a President who betrays his path of office.

    • Paul, Roma had already spoken in this matter, in the words of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Yet somehow the causa non finita erat in the eyes of Pope Francis, who decided to throw out what they had written.

  26. It’s amazing how many within Holy Mother Church feel that they should be in charge instead of Pope Francis who was chosen by the Holy Spirit to lead our church. Sadly many are Priests, Bishops and Cardinals. I gather they don’t believe in obedience to the church but prefer to make a name for themselves by speaking out against him in all that he does. A good reason for praying for conversion of all sinners, especially those within the Universal Church. God protect Pope Francis and Holy Mother Church from all attack from within and without the Church. may he long lead Your Holy Church dear Lord.

      • Yes, Cardinal Ratzinger, in a 1997 interview offered a private opinion about how he could think of some popes who were not chosen by the Holy Spirit: https://thosecatholicmen.com/articles/the-holy-spirit-does-not-choose-the-pope/

        I wonder, though, how Cardinal Ratzinger’s personal opinion can be reconciled with the prayer for the Pope during the Good Friday liturgy:

        “Let us pray for our most Holy Father Pope N. that our God and Lord, WHO CHOSE HIM for the order of Bishops (qui elegit eum in ordine episcopatus), may keep him safe and unharmed for the Lord’s holy Church, to govern the holy People of God. Almighty and ever-living God, by whose decree all things are founded, look with favor on our prayers and in your kindness protect the Pope CHOSEN FOR US (electum nobis), that under him, the Christian people, governed by you their maker, may grow in merit by reason of their faith, Through Christ our Lord. Amen.” [emphasis added].

        • Who authored and approved the Good Friday Liturgy prayer you cite? Where can we find the authoritative and magisterial teaching in support of the prayer’s premise?

          I believed all the words and inclined to all meanings implied by the language of the NAB until I learned that ex-Cardinal McCarrick’s fingerprints were all over it.

          Perhaps this is one reason the TLM adherents prefer the 1962 prayers found in the Roman Missal. They are perhaps more true, more authoritative and less open to whimsical and wishful eisegetics

          • The Roman Missal is approved by the Pope. Here is a link to the 1937 Missal of Fr. Lasance.https://www.ccwatershed.org/2013/03/19/1937-fr-lasance-missal/ On p. 482, you’ll see the exact same Good Friday prayer for the Pope in Latin with a slightly different English translation. The meaning, though, is the same. Of course, we must understand that God makes use of human instruments (the Cardinals) in choosing a Pope. God also respects human freedom in his permissive will. Even if an elected Pope has human failings, God still upholds the indefectibility of the Church. The important thing is to pray for the Pope “chosen for us.”

        • Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI is right. We get Borgias and Bergoglios as popes as allowed by God’s permissive will, not His perfect will. And God manifests His will by even allowing (quite grudgingly) the use of His official stamps of approval It’s like settling for Plan B when cardinals hard of heart or weak of hearing get to run roughshod over God’s Plan A and do what they want instead of listening carefully to the Holy Spirit’s best counsel. We see biblical precedent for this. In 1 Samuel 8, God had the prophet warn Israel against asking for a king. But in the end, God told Samuel to relent to the demands and let the people have what THEY want AND pay the price that they would come to deeply regret. Yeah, Samuel anointed Saul; likewise bad popes have been legitimately crowned in ceremonies outwardly indistinguishable in form and prayer from the celebrations for holy, righteous pontiffs. In the NT, Jesus said “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so” (Matthew 19:8). If Bergoglio does not repent of his errors (Pachamamma idolatry and playing footsies with homosexualists under the table, among others) and of his sins against his office (failing to uphold true doctrine and to preserve the unity of the Church), he will be God’s instrument of chastisement _and_ condemned for it—like Assyria and Babylon were instruments of exile for a disobedient people (even though not all individuals were guilty) that, in due time, were themselves punished for their cruelty to the children of Israel. The apostles warned Christian leaders against presumption just because they had been called and gifted to serve (James 3:1). Pope Francis is abusing his power; he has the authority to do that but will not save him from God’s judgment. Each man does what is right in his own eyes but that won’t excuse him on the Day of Judgment.

    • You can ignore the pain and confusion caused by this Pope if you so choose. I pray for him too, as his conversion cannot come soon enough. He has demonstrated a lack of charity to those who embrace orthodoxy far too often to be granted any benefit of the doubt I am sorry to say.

    • Thank you Elizabeth. You are right on point. Everybody these days thinks he or she is inspired by the holy spirit to speak and make decision for the Church. We saw these in the early church and the confusion they sowed in the Church. Thanks God we have the Pope who is guided by the Spirit and we should believe that he does right for the Church

      • Who says Pope Francis is being guided by the Holy Spirit in this matter? The Holy Spirit moved St Paul to rebuke St Peter over the circumcision issue. St Catherine of Siena was led by the Holy Spirit to warn Pope Gregory VII that he needed to resign or else face the wrath of Heaven if he didn’t stop being weak and let things continue to fall apart. The Dubia Cardinals, Cardinal Zen, and Fr Thomas Weinandy, and many others have tried to warn respectfully Pope Francis of his dereliction of duty. He responds with arrogance. What does that tell you as to whose side the Holy Spirit is on?

    • who was chosen by the Holy Spirit to lead our church.

      Assumes facts not in evidence which is the sin of presumption.

  27. I’d like to thank Father Stravinskas as well, because like him, I don’t actually have a horse in the race either apart from having gravitated toward the TLM in the last few years on account of having grown weary of the silliness that would often accompany the Novus Ordo– but all the while I have still kept in mind two important principles. First, the Novus Ordo does not require the abuses, and its many options can be used prudently if one wishes to do so. I’d be quite happy with the Novus Ordo if it were offered ad orientem, mostly in Latin, without the banal hymns and communal self-reverence that often go along with it. Second, the Church has the right and often the duty to regulate and prudently update her liturgy. Jesus didn’t leave us a Missal. Latin, as I have said, wasn’t supposed to be preserved with formaldehyde.

    Nevertheless, this motu proprio is about the most imprudent, unjustified document I have seen issued by the Church in all my 59 years. The Pope owes an apology to traditionalists.

  28. The plot against the Old Rite, by Damian Thompson (podcast: 13 min. 12 sec.)

    Text introduction:

    Traditionalist Catholics are still reeling from the Pope’s imposition of ferocious new rules limiting the celebration of the old Latin Mass. On Friday, he tore up Summorum Pontificum , Benedict XVI’s document rehabilitating the pre-Vatican II ceremonies — and he did so while his predecessor was still alive.

    Francis’s replacement, Traditionis Custodes , and the letter that accompanies it, relegate Latin Mass Catholics to that of second-class citizens. Their priests must now seek permission from their bishops before using the Old Rite. My colleague Tim Stanley aptly describes it as a reactionary move worthy of Brezhnev, one that ostensibly promotes unity while actually pushing traditionalists towards schism. It’s a shocking development, and the subject of today’s Holy Smoke podcast, which asks how traditionalists should respond to what amounts to a poison-pen letter from the pontiff.

  29. I’m with David Sheehan above. Some will be curious as to what all the fuss is about and will discover the TLM for themselves. Great advertising job.

  30. It seems to me that we have once again a ‘two rival camps’ approach accompanying bald assertions which, while connected to the faith, are in themselves simply opinions.

    My perception: (1) Those who find themselves in more or less firm opposition to this Motu Proprio are on the one hand downplaying the disunity concerns expressed by the Pope and are in the other (in many cases) simply speaking ill of the Pope. Also given that the Pope’s concerns are verifiable in some percentage of people attached to the Old Mass, who am I or anyone else without authority and competence to judge what the prudent course of action is for the legitimate pastors?

    On the other hand there are those who are of a mind that they are bad Catholics to entertain or express any opposition to anything this Pope does or says. Might these consider this quote from St. Thomas:

    “[F]raternal correction is a work of mercy. Therefore even prelates ought to be corrected…

    “A subject is not competent to administer to his prelate the correction which is an act of justice through the coercive nature of punishment: but the fraternal correction which is an act of charity is within the competency of everyone in respect of any person towards whom he is bound by charity, provided there be something in that person which requires correction…

    “Since, however, a virtuous act needs to be moderated by due circumstances, it follows that when a subject corrects his prelate, he ought to do so in a becoming manner, not with impudence and harshness, but with gentleness and respect…

    “It would seem that a subject touches his prelate inordinately when he upbraids him with insolence, as also when he speaks ill of him…

    “To withstand anyone in public exceeds the mode of fraternal correction, and so Paul would not have withstood Peter then, unless he were in some way his equal as regards the defense of the faith. But one who is not an equal can reprove privately and respectfully…

    “It must be observed, however, that if the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly. Hence Paul, who was Peter’s subject, rebuked him in public, on account of the imminent danger of scandal concerning faith, and, as the gloss of Augustine says on Galatians 2:11, “Peter gave an example to superiors, that if at any time they should happen to stray from the straight path, they should not disdain to be reproved by their subjects.”

    “To presume oneself to be simply better than one’s prelate, would seem to savor of presumptuous pride; but there is no presumption in thinking oneself better in some respect, because, in this life, no man is without some fault. We must also remember that when a man reproves his prelate charitably, it does not follow that he thinks himself any better, but merely that he offers his help to one who, “being in the higher position among you, is therefore in greater danger,” as Augustine observes in his Rule quoted above.”

    https://www.newadvent.org/summa/3033.htm#article4

    • A very good and reasoned comment and good advice for dealing with our Pope and bishops in general. Thanks for sharing.

  31. I think Pope Francis will actually defeat his own purpose. Many who knew nothing of the TLM, have learned about this from the publicity Pope Francis has given to it. The Bishops are going to want their money, so they will not hurt thriving parishes. Pray for Pope Francis
    Pray for the Church. Our Lord wins in the end.

  32. Has Francis — without explicitly drawing attention to the fact — now also abolished the Ordinariate Use and the Zaire Rite? Also, since Francis is so keen to establish liturgical unity based on this “unique expression of the lex ordandi of the Roman Rite,” can we expect norms soon so that in each diocese (if not throughout the universal Church) there is a way to verify that EVERY parish chooses on a given day to celebrate the SAME Optional Memorial saint, uses the SAME greeting formula, the SAME penitential rite, the SAME Eucharistic Prayer, etc.? I mean, we wouldn’t want there to be DISUNITY in the Bugnini Optionitis Rite, would we? Then people might fall into the totally unfounded option that Francis is just a vindictive, dishonest, destructive, tyrannical hypocrite.

  33. Since this article was written, bishops all over the U.S. are ending the TLM in some or most of their parishes. The parish or parishes that are (currently) allowed to have the TLM are now far away for many people. It’s funny how the laity are never consulted when making major changes to Catholic tradition. The N.O. was forced upon a people who did not request it. There was no complaints among the laity; it was the dissident clergy who wanted the change and rammed it through, just like Communion in the hand was rammed through by a few bishops who flat-out lied to the other bishops. Who knows how accurate the TLM survey summation was by the time it reached Francis. It is obvious that Francis is filled with rage, jealousy and hatred for the west, but come on!

  34. Here is what troubles me, and I’m not a Latin Mass-goer:
    1) German bishops denying longstanding Church teachings/norms with apparently little Vatican concern about unity
    2) Chinese Catholics all-but abandoned by the Vatican, and Vatican silence in the face of the regime’s human rights abuses
    3) An Australian cardinal unjustly imprisoned receiving little or no Vatican support. His freedom had to be championed by a non-Catholic Australian judge.
    4) Prominent Catholics promoting abortion up to (and even after) birth still in good standing with the Church
    5) One financial scandal after another
    And the Vatican is worried about the Latin Mass?

  35. Father, I appreciate your insight. I saw a clip from Cardinal Arinze and he made the distinction between the Extraordinary Form (Adoration centered) and the Ordinary Form (community importance). He also was saddened by the abuses in many of the OF liturgies–something that is difficult to do in the EF.

    There has always been division in the church. There are two types of people, the Pharisees (self-centered) and the Disciples (God-centered); often we all vaccilate between the two, but those who love God, truly try to be Disciples. I pray for all our Shepherds to be true Disciples.

  36. Does not the banning of TLM run in conjunction with the banning of Masses in the Vatican Basilica as mankind needs to see Unity of Purpose in God’s house by those who love God?

    Hope springs eternal or so the saying goes’
    Does the church present a weed?
    When she should present a rose,
    A light set upon a hill,
    All mankind shall see and know God’s, Holy Will.
    No word need be spoken, all mankind shall see,
    God’s lovers as they bend their knee.
    Justice and Love reflected from above.
    The Missionary shall call,
    We would have this for one and all
    A crystal (Rome) sat on a hill,
    Manifesting our Fathers Holy Will.

    “My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer”

    Father! with tongue and flame give us unity again

    “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth”

    kevin your brother
    In Christ

  37. I can’t imagine anything more ‘divisive’ than this – a slap in the face to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and to St. Pope John II.

  38. Father Peter, Instead of writing pointless article justifying your opposition to the Pope. Why not take your case to him personally and argue it on its merit. You are part of the Clergy and I believe the pope would grant you audience if you so desire it. Your oppositional stance to the decisions of the Pope confuses some members of the laity or is it your motive to factionalize the Church? After all Martin Luther and others have done in the old days.

    • Leonard, with brotherly respect, I ask you to consider the 5 points I listed above. Ask yourself, is Pope Francis’ action/direction addressing the issues that are most challenging the Church today? BTW, same question to the bishops.

    • You are part of the Clergy and I believe the pope would grant you audience if you so desire it.
      The same Pontiff who has refused to respond to the Dubia on Amoris Laetitia for 1760 days is going to grant an audience to Father Stravinskas? You’re certainly an obtuse lad aren’t you Leo?

      • Didn’t Pope Francis also stonewall Cardinal Müller in his refusal to discuss the dismissal of three priests who had been working for Cardinal Müller?

        • Let’s not forget that this pope has met with Fr. James Martin. He has met with rock music artist Bono. Hollywood celebrities George Clooney, Richard Gere, and Salma Hayek have met him. In a gesture of “diplomatic practice,” he met and awarded prominent the Pontifical Medal to Italian pro-abortion activist Lilian Ploumen. He granted a private audience to some ?nameless? transgender man from Spain. He has blessed and prayed in the presence of more than one Pachamamma idol. He met with and hugged the Imam of al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb with whom he signed a document on fighting extremism.

          But NO, the pope is not extreme (sarcasm intended) in dismissing faithful and devout Catholics who prefer to worship God through the beautiful, transcendent, mysterious Latin sacrifice of the Mass of the Ages.

        • Didn’t the Cardinal refuse to have any deal? His opposition was well known. The Vatican believed that some agreement might help just as Pius XII handled Hitler in his way. Let us not forget that while the agreement brought some relief, the Pope did not rely on it. He asked the world to pray for the Catholics there and placed China under the protection of our Lady. The story is bigger than we imagine.

    • St. Paul, St. Bridget of Sweden, and St. Catherine of Siena all challenged popes for objectively good reasons. Did they defame the popes or the Church by offering their fraternal correction? Or was their charity inspired and Christian? If we look to Acts 15, we can clearly see that the apostles themselves saw the Holy Spirit at work in the council and by extension, that St. Paul’s opposition to St. Peter (cf. Gal 2:11) was not evil but for good.

    • “After all Martin Luther and others have done” Comparing Fr. Stravinskas to formally condemned heretic is a low blow. Let’s see if Mal steps in here to defend Fr. Stravinskas since he didn’t like the Trads doing this to him. (When they called him a Modernist.) And this proves that dropping to throwing anologies to heretics is common not just in trad Schools!! Luther proposed some ideas that were contrary to the faith, (Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura) one need only read his 95 thesis to see where his ideas are going. (And their influence from formally condemned heretics like Huss and Wycliffe) Fr. Stravinskas is not proposing ideas contrary to the faith! I am pretty safe to say that Father Stravinskas like Cardinal Mueller would insist that Trads accept the teaching of Vatican II.

      He is discussing the rather abysmal pastoral application that is inconsistent with ‘the Church of Accompaniment’ model that Pope Francis proudly proclaims. Frankly Fr. Stravinskas is doing exactly what St. Paul did with St. Peter when St. Paul accused the first Holy Father of not practicing what he preached. (Not being ὀρθοποδοῦσιν- Straight Walking) Fr. Stravinskas is not discussing orthodoxy here, or in many of his critiques of the present Holy father’s administrative and pastoral faux pas. He presents them in filial love hoping that the supreme Pontiff will be far more careful for the scandal he is causing by these harmful actions. So Father Stravinskas is acting more like a St. Paul than a St. Peter here and his motives are the same as St. Paul in Galatians, love for the faithful being hurt by ὑποκρίσει actions by the leadership in the church. (They say they want to be pastoral and loving and then drop a hammer on the heads of the faithful.) As the scriptures says “let your yes be yes and your no be no….”(Matt 5:37) And Father Stravinskas maybe you will be more willing to pick up icons with Sts. Peter and Paul now, as opposed to just your namesake. 😉 ΌΥΚ έν χίστο – (Sorry Father as you taught me the breathing mark is always required, and I guess this is even in acronyms?)

      • Thank you for your post, Rev Greg. I do not believe that our Pope Francis needs to be corrected here. He has not done anything wrong. He is simply doing his duty to implement Vatican 2 for which the previous Popes paved the way.
        In Ncregister there is this topic: Latin Mass Society: ‘Traditionis Custodes’ Regulates Not Abrogates Older Liturgy. So, obviously the Pope is aware of the feelings of the group that prefers the EF. In the meantime, he will continue to favor the NO Mass which is also the Roman Rite.

        • That is so nice that they say this document ‘regulates not abrogates older liturgy.’ Tell that to the lady who sent me a two page e-mail because she will have to go to another diocese to go to the TLM. Tell that to the people who are in the diocese I was ordained for that cannot have a TLM within a four hour drive of where they live that exists in their diocese. Just keep repeating it, it becomes true. Isn’t that what Hitler’s propaganda minister said?

          Again you state something obvious here that “the NO Mass which is also the Roman Rite.” Both Fr. Stravinskas and myself both acknowledge this. His article is not arguing about what is or is not the Rite. Fr. Stravinskas celebrates the new rite, as I do, and he has made many, many times, if you knew him well, clear his opposition to the entire old rite scene. I saw him, as a seminarian, arguing vehemently with Fr. Carlos Casavantes many times over the TLM. When he ran a religious community he let people leave who were attached to that liturgy: Michael Barone and the late Wilfredo Comellas. So he was no friend to the TLM. If you read this article carefully you would find he prefers the Ordinary Form, as the unique form. Frankly if you have read the entire corpus of Fr. Stravinskas (Especially his work in the ‘Catholic Answer’ in the 90s you will find his understanding of the word extraordinary explains how much he thinks it should be done.) So for Fr. Stravinsaks the OF is normative. He is asking if such a heavy handed and legalistic response is the pastoral response. It is in this spirit that he as a brother priest issues his fraternal correction to a pope who is acting in an unchristian manner, that is frankly inconsistent with the avowed views he professes for the pope of aggiornamento and accompaniment? What he is doing is no different than what Paul did to Peter. Peter the first pope preached a gospel that all were open to become Christians in Christ, not just Jews but also Gentiles. Remember this is the man who God gave a vision to instructing him that what God had declared clean he should not say is unclean. (Analogical predication to the gentiles) Pope St. Peter, in response, brought in Cornelius and his entire household, but now when the judiazers come into town Pope St. Peter pulls away from eating with them. So the Holy Father is not practicing what he preaches, and in the process is both scandalizing and hurting the feelings of the gentile believers as if they are second class citizens. Pope Francis is talking about walking with people, dealing with them where they are, loving and caring for others, and then he ‘regulates’ the TLM in such a heavy handed way that many bishops just shut it down completely in their diocese and they did this using the document he issued since it granted such permissions to them under the guise of mere ‘regluation’. (And you cannot say he did not know this would happen, because before SP of B16 bishops were doing that.) The Holy Father’s document goes so far as to make it clear that he does not wish them to worship in the church building. So where are we going to put these people in the gym, the garage, maybe some parish hall or an undercroft in Mount Pocono? So they, as if they are some kind of second class citizens, are to be regulated to the janitors room for a Mass while others have the use of the building all because of the Missal they want to use?!? This is exactly the same as what Pope St. Peter did in Galatians according to St. Paul except that Pope Francis didn’t just act in such a way as to hurt people due to his inconsistency. Rather the Present Holy Father issued a Motu Propio declaring that these people will be treated like second class citizens. The fraternal correction is necessary, because the action is far more uncharitable than what Pope St. Peter did!!!! Could you imagine if a bishop issued a decree that the charismatic community or the Hispanic community, or Cursilllo could not use the church building for a Mass? MSNBC, CNN and every news outlet would be all over it because even secular people would recognize how mean spirited that is. Penalties are for crimes in the Catholic Church? Can you name one canonical crime that the average jo in the pew trad family has universally committed that would justify such a penalty? Yeah many times they are pains in the butt to us pastors, but no canonical crimes.

          What you call regulation removes the option for many to experience it. What you think is regulation pushes people out of the life of the parish. What you hold up as regulation requires that us pastors be uncharitable to the faithful. What you promote as regulation leads to descrimination. What you attempt defend as regulation is indefensible for a Christian due to its requiring a lack of charity. This regulation as you call it is a euphemism for seperation, division, penalization all because they like the Gregorian Mass. As Pope Benedict reminded us in SP that rite was good, and that which is good cannot be called bad. So where is their crime? What justifies pushing these people out of the Church building as if they are incomplete or some kind semi-christians? (Remember signs and symbols teach in the Church we invite the child to be baptized into the church.) What reason can we raise to treat this specific group like second class citizens? Because some trad whose zeal exceeded his wisdom hurt your feelings when he called you a modernist? Because some trad misapplies Fulton Sheen’s ape of the church sermon? (Yeah they didn’t invent that term some of the more radical elements just misapplied it to the New Mass.) Do you know how many trads, neoconns, and liberals have tried to hurt my feelings, or complain to the bishop over me when I was doing what I was instructed to do by my superior? (Many times the things I was doing I didn’t even agree with as practical.) I just move on. I wouldn’t regulate them out of existence. Father Stravinskas is acting like a loving pastor here, and a true shepherd of souls. I am actually quite proud of him for taking this stance. He gains nothing politically and frankly could loose a great deal in this era of ‘Catholic cancel priest culture’ we live in. You should be happy that you have such shepherds who are willing to ‘challenge peter to his face'(Gal 2:11) from the deposit faith and call the present Holy Father to Consistency between word and action.

  39. The only “unity” promoted by Pope Francis is unity in collapse, confusion, disorder and decay. He wants us all to be united in denying the truth that is right before our eyes. The Emperor has no clothes, but woe to the divisive ones who point and laugh at his nakedness. We must all applaud his beautiful, radiant, seamless garment. To label it all the charade that it undeniably is results in accusations of “holier-than-thou rigidity.” It is the Catholic Church version of the wokeness that tells us there are 67 genders when everyone knows there are only two. There comes a point at which one must respond, “No, Your Wokeness, I will not abandon the practice of the Catholic Faith, just because you command me to do so.”

  40. Thank you, Fr. Peter, for your valuable perspective on the current situation. Socialists, once in power, tend to leave nothing untouched; no detail is too small, no tradition too sacred. Their nature is to continue relentlessly leftward, to and beyond the limits of good sense.

  41. One added note, is this Jesuit Father Thomas Reese’s revenge on Pope Benedict XVI? It does make one think…Poor Benedict, unable to defend himself, and his papacy, and no many are stepping to do so. Where is his personal secretary, usually not at loss for words.

  42. A handy compendium of articles with a high signal-to-noise ratio:

    Roundup of Major Reactions to Traditionis Custodes, by Peter Kwasniewski, Ph.D.

    The introduction:

    Reactions to the motu proprio Apostolic Letter Traditionis Custodes of July 16, 2021, continue to pour out, from every side and on many aspects of the document and its accompanying letter. I think it is fair to say that nearly all who have written on it, from any place on the spectrum, have expressed feelings that range from regretful dismay to intense abhorrence. It has, in fact, been a unifying moment for all but the most extreme papal apologists.

    It will be difficult to catch all of the articles that ought to be listed, but I shall give it a try, in the hopes that this aggregation will be of benefit to NLM readers. Some comments have been appended to certain articles. I have omitted articles that are little more than repetitions of the content of the documents, with no notable commentary. I have also not attempted to put the articles in exact time-stamp order, but simply grouped them by date. To place some limit on the list, I have only included English-language sources. Please feel free to add missing article titles and links in the comments.

    It should go without saying that neither NLM nor I necessarily agrees with everything stated in these articles.

  43. With respect, I hope you realize how bad of a look it is to recommend following the playbook of the followers of actual heresies.

  44. Our family does not reject Vatican II, just it’s implementation. For the most part, it has never been tried. The majority of changes that happened to churches and the liturgy after Vatican II was not even in the documents of the council, and what was in them was thrown to the side.

  45. There is little devoted in Pope Francis’ motu proprio Apostolic Letter Traditionis Custodes to the issue of strengthening of the Ordinary Form, or more specifically ways in which the Extraordinary Form can enrich the OF in an organic, in line with Roman tradition. This, of course, presupposes a set of stable proposals which could be deliberated on by the bishops and relevant Church authorities. Has there been prior developments through the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments or other bodies for such proposals which could be further studied and debated?

    In this regard, here is some interesting commentary from Bishop Schneider (German with English subtitles):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7m0WIaEKlI

    I quote some certain parts from it: “However, as a whole, one should integrate the time-honoured and proven elements of the traditional form into the new form. First of all, the direction towards the Lord, ad orientum, that is fundamental. Then one should return to the typical, substantial attributes of the Roman Rite, which were cared for over a thousand years and which were proven to be worthy. One should not return to a rite, which maybe In the minds of a few liturgists, existed in the first few centuries”.

    Bishop Schneider suggests that the OF could be updated to include from the TLM: the Prayers at the Foot of the Cross; the Offertory Prayers (he says that the OF’s Offertory Prayers are not rooted in the tradition of the Church); the single Roman Canon (not multiple Eucharistic prayers which he says reflects the Oriental rite). Note, however, he sees the three year reading cycle as problematic in the OF.

    This is not to suggest that the EF gets dropped and the Church moves on. But defects in the OF have long been recognised and its enrichment through the ‘timeless Mass form’ has surely been cast adrift to perpetual hope and inaction.

  46. “For the average informed Catholic, this Pope has made himself irrelevant.” And worse, untrustworthy. The damage done in the course of his papacy cannot be overstated.

  47. Perfect Love does not divide, it multiplies, Through The Unity Of The Holy Ghost, just as in The Miracle Of The Loaves And Fishes.

    “It s not possible to have Sacramental Communion without Ecclesial Communion”, due to The Unity Of The Holy Ghost; “It Is Through Christ, With Christ, And In Christ, Through The Unity Of The Holy Ghost”, that Holy Mother Church, outside of which, there is no Salvation, due to The Unity Of The Holy Ghost, exists.

    “No one can come to My Father, except Through Me.” Jesus The Christ, The Word Of Perfect Love Incarnate.

7 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. An unnecessary and divisive move - JP2 Catholic Radio
  2. LifeSite launches petition imploring Pope Francis to withdraw decree restricting Traditional Latin Mass | News - The Sykers
  3. Part #3 Of The Moto Proprio Attack Against The Traditional Catholic Faith By The Pope – Acknowledges The Failure and Winding Down of The New Rite Movement | Traditional Catholics Emerge
  4. Unanswered questions of Pope's motu proprio - California Catholic Daily
  5. What's the 411 on the Traditional Latin Mass? · Adventures of Fatherhood
  6. How Pope Francis’s New Restrictions On The Latin Mass Could Make It Stronger | New Covenant Network News
  7. Pope Francis’s Restrictions On The Latin Mass Could Make It Stronger ⋆ 10z Viral

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