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Young pro-TLM Catholics to Pope Francis: “Can we count on you?”

An international group of young people have coordinated an online video petition to Pope Francis, entitled “Dear Holy Father, Dear Bishops: a plea from young traditional Catholics”.

(Image: Screenshot/

VATICAN—A YouTube video featuring remarks by numerous young Catholics asks Pope Francis to reconsider the measures put forth in his recent motu proprio Traditionis Custodes (or “Guardians of Tradition”). The recent and controversial document severely limits the use of the Missal of Pope St. Pius V, commonly called “extraordinary form” of the Roman Rite.

Along with an explanatory letter, the motu proprio, was issued last Friday, on July 16th, two days after the Pope returned home from major surgery.

Rumors of restrictions of from Pope Francis in a form of documents such as the one just published had circulated for years, but inquiries to the Holy See Press Office were left unanswered, and evidence of it’s existence was tightly guarded before publishing.

Within his letter, the Roman Pontiff explained that the group of faithful Catholics represented a concerning trend of “division” and his edict was meant to be “unitive”.

Pope Francis stated that the “reason for (his) 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.’ One is dealing here with comportment that contradicts communion and nurtures the divisive tendency.”

His motu proprio stated that the order be enacted immediately (“entering immediately in force”), leaving many bishops to issue statements extending their permissions for worship in Latin to continue, while studying the impact this would have in their diocesan communities.

On Tuesday, Cardinal Joseph Zen, Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong issued a statement on the papal document, asking Pope Francis, “The problem is not “which rite do people prefer?” but is “why don’t they go to Mass anymore?” The Bishop Emeritus continued, “Isn’t the root of evil that attitude of believing that everything can now be changed? Is it not that attitude of believing that this Council erases all previous ones and that the Tridentine Council (which formed the Latin Mass) is like the dirt accumulated on the “last judgement” of the Sistine Chapel?”

In what appears to be an answer to this question, an international group of young people coordinated the online video petition to Pope Francis, entitled “Dear Holy Father, Dear Bishops: a plea from young traditional Catholics”. In this video, young people—reportedly from Germany, Austria, Croatia, and the United States—speak of the Latin Mass, their faith, and their loyalty to the Church and the Pope.

“We love it (the Latin Mass), because it is the same all over the world—Catholic (universal) in the original sense of the word” states a young woman.

“We do not encourage disagreements that injure the Church,” another smiling young woman replies. “We simply aim at Christian life in Faith, Hope and Love for God and neighbor,” a young man follows.

CWR was provided the email address associated with the group of young people, and inquired into the participants’ background and their support.

“We are likeminded Catholics from all over Europe who decided to do this video spontaneously,” the anonymous group responded. “We had so many contributions coming in from all over the world within 24 hours, that unfortunately we could not even include them all, but it was amazing to see such enthusiasm and love for the Traditional Latin Mass! We certainly hope that maybe Pope Francis will see the video, we addressed him specifically!”

The video was shared by a number of activists attached to various groups impacted by Pope Francis’s edict. One individual, Alexander Tschugguel, is an activist and founder of the St. Boniface Institute, which states that its mission is “to give Catholic laity the possibility to speak out.”

Located in Vienna, Austria, Tschugguel’s institute claims, “We are in contact with many similar groups all over the world which – in true Catholic fashion – are working towards one and the same goal: a restoration of the true faith and of its centuries-old traditions.”

Tschuggel has personally led several attempts to communicate with Pope Francis during the last two years. Although Pope Francis has met with many similar groups of young people throughout his papacy—including Caris International, or more recently, a large group of Italian youths representing Caritas, he has not met with groups like Tschuggel’s.

After Tschuggel had posted the video online, I contacted Tschuggel to see if he or his Institute had been involved in the creation or coordination of the online response by young people—particularly, as youth involved were German and Austrian, and Tschuggel’s Institute has engaged in similar events.

Tschuggel responded on a Facebook thread, stating that he “knew about” the coordinated video, but said he was not the coordinator. He was unwilling to provide additional comment.

CWR has requested a response from the Holy See, and will update if a response is received.

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About Bree A. Dail 2 Articles
Bree A. Dail is a veteran Naval Surface Warfare Officer, and holds a Masters of Diplomacy from Norwich University and a BA from Christendom College. As an Internationally accredited journalist, she has published numerous articles and media content on military affairs, public policy and the Catholic Church. She works as consultant for a major defense contractor, and is the International Coordinator for Rosary Coast to Coast and the Holy League of Nations. Visit her online at and on Twitter @breeadail.


    • It is clear that you have never attended a Traditional Latin Mass in America or Europe. If you had, you would know that this is anything but propaganda. This is a youth movement. At 63 years old, I feel somewhat out of place at the TLM in my parish, where the overwhelming majority of worshippers are youth and young families. It does not matter what “effect” this video has in Rome. The demographics of birth rates and vocations are clear. Pope Francis represents the dying generation of liturgical revolutionaries. For most Catholics 50 years from now, it will be harder to find a Novus Ordo celebrated by a priest than a Traditional Latin Mass.

      • Timothy,
        You are correct. I attend Mass (Anglican/Catholic) with the Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter and it is overflowing with young families along with a few old pirates like myself. Very similar to the Traditional Latin Mass with the priest Ad Orientem and Holy Communion given on the tongue by the priest while we kneel. Hooray for the Young People in this video!

    • I’m beginning to think that we can “count on you,” Carl, for snarky, sneering comments like this one.

    • Carl King, Am I correct in understanding that you are pessimistic about the great contribution the young people are making? I pray that the Holy Ghost gives them all the necessary graces to re-educate Francis and his Modernist ghouls.

  1. This letter from Francis regarding the Latin mass is not surprising in light of a Pope who willingly has turned a blind eye on the priests in Germany who openly blessed same-sex marriages after the Vatican statement stating that marriage is between a man and a woman the Church will not bless same-sex marriages. Because of Francis’ opinion on this matter, the pastors of two parishes near me (including the one I was attending) blatantly published statements to the effect that they do not agree with the Vatican statement regarding marriage and will bless same-sex marriages because “love is love”. Francis does not respond directly to criticism, but strikes out at those who oppose his personal opinions in this kind of cowardly manner, using his authority as Pope to try to curb the faithful from disagreeing with him. I’m thankful for the American bishops who are keeping the Latin mass going.

    • Perennial Catholic teaching: a heretic can’t become Pope.

      We are in great apostasy.
      Catholic church is Spotless Bride of Christ, currently in eclipse.
      Blown from the face of the earth… almost.

      I am sedevacantist.
      Catholic laity in Austin TX mass: Brownsville, San Antonio, Austin, Coperas Cove.

      Priest…. Cincinnati

  2. Unfortunately, the answer to their question, “Can we count on you?” is no doubt NO. If anything, this will likely make Francis very, very angry. In the past, he has gone out of his way to deride and insult such young people as “rigid,” “dogmatic,” etc. etc. At the same time, I can’t imagine that they and others like them will simply acquiesce, either.

  3. Dear Holy Father;

    Let me come straight to the point – I’m an old pro-TLM Catholic. Your recent motu proprio concerning the Latin mass is divisive, and, I hope, will serve to bring MORE people to the TLM.

    If you are wondering why the Novus Ordo form of the Mass is losing popularity I would respectfully ask you this – Have you ever had to go to a guitar Mass where a mediocre guitarist with a mediocre voice is singing mediocre songs – aka those written mostly within the last 50 years?

    One of the many good things about the TLM is the silence. One of the many bad things about the Novus Ordo is the lack of silence, which is to be avoided like the plague.

  4. What has been Holy for thousands of years is suddenly wrong in the eyes of the Pope. He has clearly been manipulated after he has come out of the hospital, into signing this document.

  5. What these young people are doing will bear much fruit. But they will come to understand that the man Francis they are dealing with never fixes nor apologizes for what he destroys. Just look at the Franciscans of the Immaculate.

  6. The SSPX has responded to Francis. It is a great response. They do not fear to speak the truth. Everyone else must be careful about what they say. They fear Francis’s mercy.

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