Bishop Paprocki: “The problem has not been solved, but tensions have been heightened.”

“It is a mistaken notion that those who attend [the Traditional Latin Mass] are merely nostalgic; that has not been my experience at all…” says the Bishop of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois. “Anyone who thinks that when the older generation dies off that the Latin Mass will fade away is not being realistic.”

 

Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, Ill., center, arrives in procession for Pope Francis' celebration of Mass marking the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Dec. 12, 2019. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

After Pope Francis released his July 16th motu proprio Traditionis custodes, which placed restrictions on the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass, Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois, was one of the first American bishops to quickly respond. In a July 19th decree, Bishop Paprocki offered a dispensation allowing the Traditional Latin Mass to continue without restrictions at two parishes in his diocese, and subsequently another decree allowing it to continue at a third of the 129 parishes he oversees.

Bishop Paprocki, 68, was born and raised in Chicago, and was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1978. He was ordained an auxiliary bishop for the archdiocese in 2003, and became Bishop of Springfield in 2010. He is a canon lawyer and teaches canon law at Notre Dame Law School.

He recently spoke with CWR.

CWR: When you’ve visited the parishes in your diocese which offer the Traditional Latin Mass, what experiences have you had with their priests and lay people?

Bishop Paprocki: I first celebrated that Traditional Latin Mass in 2010 for the Latin Mass community of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Quincy, which is staffed by the priests of the Fraternity of St. Peter. I also did another time for St. Katharine Drexel Parish in Springfield, which encompasses two churches, one that offers the Ordinary form Mass in English and Spanish and another that offers the Extraordinary form. The priests who offer the Extraordinary form are from the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius. Both locations attract people who have an affinity for the Mass being celebrated in the Extraordinary form; they appreciate the Latin, and the sense of mysticism they experience. But in neither location did I experience people who had a sense of superiority over the rest of the Church or who reject the Second Vatican Council.

CWR: You indicated in your decree that you thought the Traditional Latin Masses contributed to the spiritual good of the diocese.

Bishop Paprocki: Yes. We have to remember that even in the Ordinary form, there is a diversity of liturgical styles. At one parish, you may find Mass accompanied by folk music, with guitars and drums and other contemporary instruments, and in another you might find an organ and choir singing traditional hymns. In our world today, people are mobile. If they don’t like what they find in one church, they can easily go to another.

The Extraordinary form is a different style. I’ve often wondered what attracts people to it. Is it that they like the Tridentine rite, or the accompanying features that go with it, such as incense, Gregorian chant and the architectural style? When I was in Chicago, I had the experience of going once a month to celebrate Ordinary form Mass in Latin at St. John Cantius Church which had many of the features of the Tridentine rite, including Latin, celebrating Mass ad orientem and the beautiful Gregorian chant.

CWR: You released your decree immediately after the release of Traditionis custodes. Was this motu proprio something you were expecting, or did it come as a surprise? And, why did you respond to it so quickly?

Bishop Paprocki: It did come as a surprise. I heard about it from one of the priests in my diocese who celebrates the Mass in the Extraordinary Form. He sent me an email, and asked how it would affect him. He included a link to the Vatican news service where the announcement of the motu proprio was made.

I thought the way the release of the motu proprio was handled was unfortunate. It was telling the diocesan bishops that it was their responsibility to handle the regulation of the Extraordinary form Mass. I would have appreciated some advance notice.

I received the news on a Friday, and I issued my decree the following Monday. For me, I thought I was actually delaying my response a few days, as you had bishops issuing statements about it on Saturday and Sunday. But it did give me the chance to think it over canonically for a few days. One reason I responded on Monday is that I was receiving inquiries, such as from the priest I mentioned, asking, “How does this affect me?”

There was particularly one provision in the motu proprio I needed to address, article 3, paragraph 2, which says the bishop “is to designate one or more locations where the faithful adherents of these groups may gather for the eucharist celebration (not however in the parochial churches and without the erection of new personal parishes)” (emphasis added).

In both situations I’ve mentioned, St. Rose and St. Katharine, the Extraordinary form Mass is being celebrated in parish churches. The priests there wanted to be obedient and asked what they were to do. One priest who emailed me on Friday indicated that he had an Extraordinary Mass scheduled the next morning.

Normally, when a new law is promulgated, there is a period of time of about a month in which people are informed of the law and can make adjustments. This motu proprio was effective immediately, and our priests had Extraordinary form Masses scheduled for the next day and Sunday. I told them to go ahead, and issued the decree on Monday issuing a dispensation so that they could continue offering the Mass in the future. Although we’re not familiar with it in American law, the law of the Church is based on European law which allows for such a dispensation in particular cases. This motu proprio immediately affected two of our parishes, then a third, for which I offered a separate decree. The decree is not a blatant disregard for the motu proprio, but a dispensation that allows us to continue what we’ve been doing.

Parts of the motu proprio are confusing. We have article 3, paragraph 2, which I have just quoted, and then we have article 3, paragraph 5, which says the bishop is “to proceed suitably to verify that the parishes canonically erected for the benefit of these faithful are effective for their spiritual growth, and to determine whether or not to retain them”.

If I am authorized to retain Masses in the Extraordinary form, where would they be celebrated if not in parochial churches? I don’t believe it is the intention of the Holy Father to kick people out of the churches and make them have Mass in a gym or parish hall, or to have us re-designate churches as shrines or oratories. I am trying to reconcile these paragraphs in the easiest and most beneficial way.

CWR: Are the Traditional Latin Mass communities grateful for your decree?

Bishop Paprocki: Yes. They were very happy to receive the news that their Masses would continue as before.

CWR: As you’ve had time to read and reflect on Traditionis custodes. What are your thoughts on it?

Bishop Paprocki: I’ve talked to a lot of people about it. Whoever advised the Holy Father on this motu proprio did not advise him well. As a canon lawyer who teaches at Notre Dame Law School, I can say that this is not a well-written document.

I also believe that there is a misunderstanding about what people who go to the Extraordinary form Masses think. In my experience, they don’t reject the Second Vatican Council or the validity of the new rite of the Mass.

I’d like to point out that there is a difference in between accepting the validity of the Second Vatican Council and believing that it has failed in its objectives. Stephen Bullivant, Professor of Theology and the Sociology of Religion at St. Mary’s University in London, wrote the 2019 book Mass Exodus, which is a sociological analysis of the Second Vatican Council. He is a young man in his 30s, not motivated by a sense of nostalgia, who said that if the objective of the Second Vatican Council was to bring more people into the Church and revivify the Catholic faith, it did not do that. If you look at the numbers of people attending Mass today versus before the Council, the numbers declined dramatically; if you look at the numbers of people interested in pursuing a vocation to the priesthood or religious life today versus then, the numbers declined dramatically. He concludes that the Second Vatican Council has failed in its objectives, but that is a different thing than saying that the Council itself was invalid. If you read the documents of Vatican II, they express things that we should be doing, but unfortunately have not implemented.

I’d also like to point out that many who are attracted to the Mass according to the 1962 missal tend to be young. It is a mistaken notion that those who attend it are merely nostalgic; that has not been my experience at all. Many of the older folks who lived through the Council have moved on and are fine with the New Mass, while the younger people are discovering the older liturgy. Anyone who thinks that when the older generation dies off that the Latin Mass will fade away is not being realistic.

CWR: In releasing the motu proprio, the Holy Father indicated that Rome had surveyed bishops throughout the world regarding the Traditional Latin Mass. Were you one of the bishops surveyed?

Bishop Paprocki: I do not recall getting that questionnaire. The Holy Father referenced it in releasing this motu proprio, so I was wondering about receiving it myself. So I went through the USCCB website and did find it there, dated April 2020. But I did not receive anything in the mail nor by email that called my attention to it. You would really have to be proactive in following the USCCB website to have seen it. Additionally, we had lots going on at that time with the beginning of COVID. The Vatican and the USCCB have the capacity to send information directly to the bishops, and if it is something important, to call our attention to it. So I did not see it nor did I complete it.

CWR: With all the issues the Church is facing, including the disruption caused by the pandemic, what do you think prompted the release of the motu proprio at this time?

Bishop Paprocki: I don’t know, nor do I have any insight into its timing.

CWR: What impact do you think this motu proprio will have on those who attend the Traditional Latin Mass and the Church in general in the upcoming months and years?

Bishop Paprocki: I believe the long-term objective of both Pope Benedict and Pope Francis was to have one rite or form in the Latin Church, but they have different approaches as to how that might come about. Pope Benedict set up two forms on parallel tracks, in hopes that someday a future pope would merge them into one form. Pope Francis’ approach is to restrict the Traditional Latin Mass in hopes that it will one day fade away. However, I don’t think it will fade away.

The problem has not been solved, but tensions have been heightened. Had the motu proprio not been issued, the Traditional Latin Mass would have gone on quietly, but now it’s been brought to the forefront.


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About Jim Graves 205 Articles
Jim Graves is a Catholic writer living in Newport Beach, California.

52 Comments

  1. We are in a war. The enemy has already degendered your local restrooms in many places and has been attacking people known as targeted individuals with remote weapons. The public is being gaslighted and brainwashed. People need to be rigid or the enemy will just keep chipping away at everything until it is all gone. The pope looks like he is helping the communists. Did you see the Church Militant interview with all those seminarians who were attacked? A real pope would be furious.

    • While not a viewer of Church Militant, I did see the (emailed) interview….

      One priest, from Chicago (to the right in the back row), remarked that his ordeal was inflicted under the former bishop (not the current Cardinal Cupich), and that this was done by embedded chancery office moles while the former bishop (the solid Cardinal Francis George) was hospitalized. Same scenario for the approval of female altar servers while Pope John Paul II was hospitalized with a broken hip in 1994 (to which he immediately responded with Ordinatio Sacerdotalis—the end-game of a recently ordained Anglican female bishop).

      Just wondering, here, about the final wording of Pope Francis’ Traditionis Custode (especially banishment of the Latin Mass from “parochial churches”), coming as it did immediately after Pope Francis had been hospitalized for ten days.

      Maybe a large part of the problem, in the case of many cases, is not the orientation (so to speak!) of bishops, but the fact that seminary training in philosophy and theology does not also prepare them for office fumigation or counterinsurgency.

  2. For all those of you who have been commenting with hatred towards those of us who attend the Latin Mass, although it might sadden you to know, some of the things that reliably occur or do not occur at Latin masses, independent of reverential liturgy, includes not attending Mass dressed like slobs, not chewing the Eucharist like bubble gum, not having giggling elbow poking foot races out the door after receiving the Eucharist, not having to listen to out of tune dreadful guitar music with ear-splitting volume when one is supposed to be intimate with Jesus, and not having end of mass announcements made within one minute after the last host is distributed.
    All of these practices, common at NO masses, continue to become more widespread even though we have serious authors like George Weigel assuring us that “the silly season” is long over while he agrees with the principle that all are obligated to respect, without reservation, the NO Mass, which would seem to require becoming oblivious to these increasingly non-reverential NO practices.

    • A lot of the practices you mention were also done in the early 60’s at the TLM mass, which at that time was the only mass authorized. I am old enough to remember that time, and people talked and ran out the door, etc. back then. There are stories from the 1700’s where people in Germany were mad because people were making out during the mass, having arguments during the mass, etc. Life never changes. Not everything is solved by the TLM. Nor are all the attendees of the TLM perfection itself.

      • Whoever said anything was “solved” by the TLM or said attendees of the TLM were “perfection?” Ironically, you illustrate the problem in this debate. You present a very secular world view that evil in the world, and in the Church, is a management problem that superior minds are obliged to resolve for the rest of us. God is not involved in the premises of this process. Sin doesn’t exit according to this view, only a lack of social engineering by superior minds. How unchristian can you possibly get?
        And what possible point can there be to note evil behavior of Catholics in the past? Do you actually have the audacity to contend that there is anything but a day and night difference in the contemporary Church between the self-indulgent highly secularized practices, including those who essentially trash the Eucharist, that is, between “attendees” of the NO Mass and those who would never trash the Eucharist, the “attendees” of the Traditional Latin Mass? If so, were that the case, it would make you profoundly dishonest. If the moderators here permit a reference, head over to YouTube and do a simple search on liturgical abuse. There you will find multiple short videos illustrating the effects of the self-worshiping content of NO liturgy, at the least in terms of a lack of humble discipline, taken to their logical conclusion. Start with the one with Cdl. Dolan and the Rockettes, not that I find that particular image in any way offensive. As a lifelong New Yorker I’ve gone to the Radio City Christmas show many times. But the content of that video makes the point effectively.

    • On occasion I’ve had the opportunity to attend the evening EF Mass at Holy Innocents Church in NYC – which one hopes Cardinal Dolan will not disturb – and like anyone, I’m struck both by the solemnity and dignity of the Mass and the eclectic congregation typically in attendance. On the times I’ve been there, I’ve seen a largely young college-age congregation, but also plenty of cops, bag ladies, plumbers, bums professorial types with Oxford accents and a significant number of attendees from Asia or Africa. Contrast that with the homogenous, affluent white-bread suburban parishes where one seems most likely to find liturgical hipsters, pace George Weigel. It might behoove the Pope to come to EF Mass sometime and see for himself.

    • Being blind, he cannot see.

      Meanwhile, may this comfort and teach us.

      “…God acts through Christ in the liturgy in that we cannot act but through Him and with Him. Of ourselves, we cannot construct the way to God. This way does not open up unless God Himself becomes the way. And again, the ways of man which do not lead to God are non-ways. Theology of the liturgy means furthermore that in the liturgy, the Logos Himself speaks to us; and not only does He speak, He comes with His Body, and His Soul, His Flesh and His Blood, His Divinity and His Humanity, in order to unite us to Himself, to make of us one single “body.” In the Christian liturgy, the whole history of salvation, even more, the whole history of human searching for God is present, assumed and brought to its goal. The Christian liturgy is a cosmic liturgy – it embraces the whole of creation which “awaits with impatience the revelation of the sons of God” (Rom. 8; 9).

      “Trent did not make a mistake, it leant for support on the solid foundation of the Tradition of the Church. It remains a trustworthy standard. But we can and should understand it in a more profound way in drawing from the riches of biblical witness and from the faith of the Church of all the ages….

      “One thing should be clear: the liturgy must not be a terrain for experimenting with theological hypotheses. Too rapidly, in these last decades, the ideas of experts have entered into liturgical practice, often also by-passing ecclesiastical authority, through the channel of commissions which have been able to diffuse at an international level their “consensus of the moment,” and practically turn it into laws for liturgical activity. The LITURGY DERIVES ITS GREATNESS FROM WHAT IT IS, NOT FROM WHAT WE MAKE OF IT. [Emphasis added] Our participation is, of course, necessary, but as a means of inserting ourselves humbly into the spirit of the liturgy, and of serving Him Who is the true subject of the liturgy: Jesus Christ. THE LITURGY IS NOT AN EXPRESSION OF THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF A COMMUNITY WHICH, IN ANY CASE, IS DIFFUSE AND CHANGING. IT IS REVELATION RECEIVED IN FAITH AND PRAYER, AND ITS MEASURE IS CONSEQUENTLY THE FAITH OF THE CHURCH, IN WHICH REVELATION IS RECEIVED. [emphasis added] The forms which are given to the liturgy can vary according to place and time, just as the rites are diverse. What is essential is the link to the Church which for her part, is united by faith in the Lord. The OBEDIENCE OF FAITH GUARANTEES THE UNITY OF THE LITURGY [emphasis added] beyond the frontiers of place and time, and so lets us experience the unity of the Church, the Church as the homeland of the heart.”

      ~From our beloved Holy Father Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI as CDF Prefect, from a lecture delivered during the Journees liturgiques de Fontgombault, 22-24 July 2001.

  3. Most – not all – adherents and promoters of the pre-Vatican mass also happen to be rightist conservatives in their political orientation and affiliation. I’m wondering whether those criticizing or badmouthing Pope Francis for his reimposition of the “restrictions” on the Tridentine mass see in this unfolding drama a mirror with the voter “restrictions” now crafted by the Republican Party in 43 states through some 250 bills. Don’t they see their “disenfranchisement” as similar to the “disenfranchisement” of multitude of voters especially minorities? How’s the similarity?

    • People are not disenfranchised by being required to provide ID to show they’re actually eligible to vote. Ineligible voters don’t have the franchise and therefore can’t be disenfranchised.

      Now let’s discuss how rules requiring people to present ID when cashing checks are unjust to forgers and thieves.

    • If you like elections being easy to steal, then you will not like the new voting laws, designed to make it easy to vote, but hard to cheat.

  4. St. Michael the Archangel defend us in battle, be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil.

    May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Power of God, thrust into Hell Satan and all evil spirits who prowl the world for the ruin of souls.

    Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered, and let those who hate him flee before his face.

  5. I had previously accused the Shephards of abandoning us. Here is a Shephard whose staff is not just an ornament, he guides and protects his sheep. As for nostalgia, it is not the reason for my having love for the Tridentine Mass. As for the Novus Ordo, I have never questioned its validity, it could use some reforming. As for Vatican ll it’s been in the name of Vatican ll that I saw my Church taken away from me, destroyed, defiled, plundered, and ransacked. So yes I do have some animosity towards the Council which the majority of Catholics are in agreement with. Decisions were made for us without any consideration for the faithful. I believe that if we Catholics question something we deserve an answer. I have come to a serious question, in light of the Biography of Pope Benedict XVl. St. John XXlll worked hard and completed the Council with 70 decrees, The 1962 Missal, and an Apostolic letter on Latin, for all of the ordained to read Latin, write it and speak it fluently. In October of 1962, the Bishops of the world were to come to Rome to officially sign the 70 Decrees. Then the Modernists having a plot took over the Council. They voted out the Council of St. John XXlll and took up the decision to create their own Council, A Council that has born no fruit. So here I question, was it lawful for this to have happened? If it was okay for the Modernists Bishops to deride a Council and make up their own. If it was lawful then I will have to go back and accept Vatican ll in its entirety and ask no more questions.

    • No, I am sorry. The story you repeated is the schismatic SSPX version of the Council. It is totally wrong. That is the propaganda that the extremist traditionalists spread because they hate the Council. In actual fact, what you are talking about is the ‘schema” that the CDF and others prepared before the Council even started. The bureaucrats in the curia wanted things to go their way, so they prepared the schema to highlight everything the bureaucrats wanted. But those documents were only a starting point – the bishops of the Council were free to entirely reject them, to alter them a little or a lot. The Schema was merely staff work done before the Council, and it could in no way bind a Council of the Church. After the bishops assembled, they found that they did not like what the bureaucrats had prepared, and they mostly threw the bureaucrats work out, and prepared documents that they wanted. That is how Councils are supposed to work. The SSPX and other schismatics push this idea that secret plotters took over the Council and they pretend the bureaucrats must be obeyed at all times and the bishops are subject to the bureaucrats. But that is not how the church works.

      • @Samton911
        Romano Amerio, an eyewitness to the Council, paints a vivid, detailed, thoroughly-documented picture that is at odds with your analysis. His book Iota Unum is worth the read, if you want the straight story.

  6. It looks like the staff of the USCCB, or somebody directing them from Rome, tried to hide the survey of bishops on the USCCB website. So only the inner circle of Francis was really informed of this survey of bishops (Cupich, Farrell, McElroy, etc) and only they responded to it. Of course, we just learned that a top ranking USCCB official was caught using a homosexual app to contact other anonymous men for homosexual sex, so that might have been part of the process to hide the survey on the USCCB web site.
    Our church is so horrifically screwed up right now, and we have had homosexual scandal after homosexual scandal going back 30 years. Nobody does a damn thing about it.
    Somebody, maybe the pope, made sure he did not get any accurate information on the TLM. There was, in the extremist traditionalist internet presence, a great attempt to weaponize the TLM against the church, and to encourage TLM goers to join the de facto schismatics of the SSPX. So Paprocki is downplaying that aspect a bit. But I have no doubt he was right, that the bulk of the people going to the TLM were not rejecting Vatican II.

    • Today the news is out that Flynn and Condon of “The Pillar” met with Cardinal Parolin for 90 minutes quite recently. The gist of the story, so far, is that they have the same Grindr information on people using the app from secure Vatican locations. Given that they got to meet with Parolin, they must have some very compelling evidence of wrongdoing. For some reason, people are thinking that Grindr information was used by China to blackmail Vatican officials. That would explain the horrendously bad deal the Vatican made with China. And it would explain Sorondo’s bizarre statement that China best reflects the social teaching of the church. Hold on, there is much more to come from this story.

  7. I like this guy – in a very nice, Priestly way he is saying things that we of the gun-chewing public portion of the laity are saying but nowhere near as nicely.

    Nevertheless – he IS saying them, and they DO NEED to be said.

  8. “I would have appreciated some advance notice.”

    Funny how the super “collegial” and super “synodal” Pope Francis treats the bishops so poorly in reality, contradicting in practice the teaching of Vatican I and Vatican II that bishops are not merely vicars of the Roman Pontiff.

  9. “I’d like to point out that there is a difference in between accepting the validity of the Second Vatican Council and believing that it has failed in its objectives.” This is an important point, and thank you to the bishop for making it. Likewise one can (as Catholics must) accept that the New Mass is valid and orthodox, but at the same time worry that it is more open to abuses because of the “optionitis” and all the rubrical safeguards it removed, and that the prayers of the old Mass do a BETTER job of expressing the Catholic teaching concerning the Real Presence, the sacrificial nature of the Mass, etc. There are substantive concerns one can have about Vatican II and the liturgical reform that cannot simply be preemptively disqualified because they go against the official party line. Having CERTAIN reservations about these matters does not call into question the indefectibility of the Church. For decades many bishops have been afraid of entering into serious conversations about this sort of thing, but the time most certainly has come.

    • There are no real “substantive concerns one can have about Vatican II”. There are some rebellious priests that think they found these so called problems with Vatican II, but these things have been debated for 60 years now, and only the schismatically inclined elements of the SSPX really think there is anything seriously wrong with Vatican II. The liturgical reforms that followed after the council, yes, there were many abuses. But the council itself? There are only perceived problems that are egregiously hyped on the internet, and some people fall into the trap of believing this stuff. But each and every concern has been answered ad infinitum over the last 60 years. If people still do not understand the validity of Vatican II, then they simply have not studied the matter enough, or they have not studied it in good faith.

      • “Problem” is not the same as “error”, and the implication that only stupid or lazy people could find difficulties in Vatican II is insulting. Many excellent scholars have found ways that Dignitatis humanae, for example, can be read in a way that is consonant with Tradition … but their findings all contradict each other (Thomas Pink, Thomas Storck, Pere Basile of Barroux, John Lamon, Fr Harrison, etc.).

        • Is your Fr. Harrison of the Roman Theological Forum and is his associate John McCarthy? Msgr.’s 2010 article, The Second Vatican Council: A Needed Interpretation, is worth a read. It’s quite brief but his few examples of problems is concise and powerful.

      • You have obviously not studied the matter. Recent versions of Microsoft Word allow huge files. Why don’t you cut and paste the entirety of Gaudium Et Spes into a file. Then do a search on the word evolve or derivative of the word, and see what it actually says. Were you to do so, you would see an implicit denial of original sin and a promotion of the idea of humanity evolving into a secular utopia, very much like the idiocies of the pro-abort and all around heretic Teilhard De Chardin. This is why Benedict XVI and most of the world’s prelates in 1985 expressed their own misgivings about GS at their Synod. Granted, as a forty year veteran of pro-life work, I appreciated the strong pro-life paragraph in GS, but the heresies can not be ignored either. When you actually trouble yourself to read it, and the rest of the documents, then come back here and talk about how superior you are to those who have read them and are legitimately not happy about VII as we are not in any way required to be.

        • Cardinal Heenan of Westminster was an especially trenchant critic of GS, complaining that it seemed to have been written by “clerics with no knowledge of the world.” I’d say he was right about that.

    • The Novus Ordo Mass and liturgical rites are valid and licit, but are highly banal and deficient compared to the traditional rites.

      Vatican II was a valid council and an utter disaster and failure that needs to be consigned to the ash heap of history. It bore extremely little in the way of good fruit.

      I say this as a priest who has yet to celebrate the traditional rites, but because of Bergoglio’s mendacity, heresy, and motu proprio Traditionis Custodes, plans on learning them and leaving the Novus Ordo Rites behind.

      Truth cannot be changed, even by a pope or an ecumenical council.

      • I do not know when the sale began on this two DVD disc set, but the timing is helpful now:

        FSSP Instructional Mass Video

        From the description:

        This DVD is offered only in NTSC format. It will not work in overseas DVD players that use a PAL format.
        This 2-DVD disc set has been produced by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter in collaboration with the EWTN Global Television Network to teach priests how to say Low Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. The video includes an introduction by Darío Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei. A comprehensive step-by-step explanation and walk-through of the entire ceremony of Low Mass. A real-time demonstration of the Mass filmed from four simultaneous camera angles with the ability to switch the viewing angle at any time! Instruction in the basic principles of gesture and movement as well as all the variable elements commonly encountered when offering Mass. A talk on the fundamental principles of the Extraordinary Form by Fr. Calvin Goodwin, FSSP, and a spiritual commentary on the liturgy.

        International version now offers English, Spanish, Italian, French and German audio options.
        Over three hours of footage on two DVD discs

    • Some commenters here would appear to suffer from off-the-normal Bell curve of linguistic ability or skill in reading comprehension. For the pugnacious, curmudgeonly, confrontational illiterates among us, I should like to repeat your statement:

      “There are substantive concerns one can have about Vatican II AND the liturgical reform….” [emphasis added].

      When John XXII convened VCII, he invoked the “Holy Spirit” to assist in a “New Pentecost” for the Church. Myriad actions following VCII were said to have been motivated, justified and implemented in the “Spirit of Vatican II.”

      Is it not right and just that the faithful ask substantive questions in this regard: Many post-VCII actions were rationalized as necessary and reflective of “The Spirit of VCII;” why was the word “Holy” dropped from His name?

      St. Pope John XXIII, in his letter convening the council, reported his impetus as desiring a “New Pentecost.” Just as the Holy Spirit gifted the Church to grow and thrive once upon a time, St. Pope John XXIII wished for a return visit at VCII.

      If the mission of the Holy Spirit is to bring the faithful into communion with Christ so as to form His Body, HOW CAN THE MASS EXODUS, the ever-increasing number of apostates leaving the Church in the wake of VCII, the increasing number of CINOs who do not believe in the Real Presence, etc., be said to result from the Holy Spirit at and after VCII, which was St. Pope John XXIII’s desire and motivation for having called it in the first place?

      Or are we to deny the Holy Spirit his substantial consubstantiality???

      Let us hear the grovelled answer, ye of little faith.

  10. Because people are living well into their 80s and 90s, many of us don’t recognize the difference between enjoying pretty good health from your 70s-90s and bearing the daily, if not hourly, responsibility and physical/mental burden of leading a country, Fortune 500 company, or Church. At that age, being able to competently fulfill such a role is extremely rare. What typically happens is advisors and other influencers assume more and more of the leader’s power, even more so when the leader takes a turn for the worse. Many fault Benedict XVI for resigning from the papacy but the decision reflected both wisdom and courage.

  11. How many Catholics have read the documents of VII? So how can they reject VII? We mostly accept it on faith. The results suggest that it’s past time for that (blind) faith to be questioned, along with VII and especially its implementation.

    • I have read the documents of Vatican II, Gilberta. In fact they saved my faith when I was a young man.

      I agree that many Catholics have not. I consider myself a fairly traditional Catholic, and has always been a source of sadness to me that so many denigrate the Council when they aren’t even aware of what it teaches.

      You’re right. People need to question, not merely assume.

      If you read the documents, I am confident you will find that all of the nonsense from the sixties and the seventies — sterile church decors with stalactites instead of statues, tabernacles banished to broom closets, liturgical flash dancing, etc. — were abuses of Vatican II, not its fruits.

      Please, read the documents for yourself. They are not terribly dense. And I found them to be uplifting, heartening and absolutely Christ-centered.

      In my opinion, they really do succeed in showing a way forward for the people of God.

      • Some brief criticisms of the Vatican 2 documents:
        Unitatis Redintegratio (Decree on Ecumenism): It refers to heretical assemblies as “separated churches” in a striking departure from the traditional use of the term “ecclesia”; It fails to support the doctrine of extra-ecclesiam nulla salus, by conflating the possibility that one may be saved *within* another faith, with the idea that one may be saved *b*y another faith; It encourages Catholics to pray in common and in communion with heretics.
        Lumen Gentium (Decree on the Church): It denigrates the Catholic Church by failing to distinguish that the Catholic Church *is* the Church of God, instead altering the traditional language to state that the Church of God merely *subsists in* the Catholic Church.
        Nostra Aetate (Decree on Non-Christian Religions): It includes blatant lies about Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Rabbinic Judaism, to make them seem more palatable to Catholics, and more agreeable with our faith, when they are neither.
        Dignitatis Humane (Declaration on Religious Liberty): It declares a natural right to choose and practice false religions, which is prima facie aberrant–One has a natural right to proclaim and to follow that which is true, but there is no right at all to proclaim or follow that which is false.
        Gaudium et Spes (Decree on the Church in the Modern World): promotes integration with, fruitless dialogue with, and compromise with the modern world–rather than recognizing and continuing to proclaim that the modern world must conform to God, it insinuates that the church must instead conform God to the modern world.

        I hope that sheds light on things.

        • Pope Leo XIII, in his 1894 apostolic letter, Praeclara Gratulationis, speaks of the separated Eastern Churches as “Ecclesiae Orientales.” Vatican II was following the usage of Leo XIII.

          Here is the paragraph in Leo XIII’s letter:
          “First of all, then, We cast an affectionate look upon the East, from whence in the beginning came forth the salvation of the world. Yes, and the yearning desire of Our heart bids us conceive and hope that the day is not far distant when the Eastern Churches (Ecclesiae Orientales), so illustrious in their ancient faith and glorious past, will return to the fold they have abandoned. We hope it all the more, that the distance separating them from Us is not so great: nay, with some few exceptions, we agree so entirely on other heads that, in defense of the Catholic Faith, we often have recourse to reasons and testimony borrowed from the teaching, the Rites, and Customs of the East.”

    • The many young Catholics who flock to the TLM probably have no thought of VII, except possibly having heard repeatedly what a Great Thing it was. What they no doubt have noticed and taken to is the Beauty of Holiness which the TLM affords, and which they have never experienced in the liturgical banality with which they came of age. If anyone wants to call this phenomenon a “rejection of VII,” then I ‘d say he’s missed the obvious by a wide margin.

  12. A Bishop with an actual spine. Nice. As for the current situation, we will have to hope the next Pope takes a leaf from Francis’s page and undoes this mess when he is gone. I go to a NO Mass everyday. I find Jesus there , which is my only interest.So, no problem. That being said I dont have a problem with the Latin Mass being celebrated for people, and I think the pope’s time would be better spent dealing with the Schism he is about to have in Germany. I think “blessing” gay couples is a lot more serious an issue for the church than celebrating a legitimate Mass in Latin.

  13. Brineyman, thanks for your response. I think we’re on the same page. Here it is 50 years on and I have only a vague idea of what the documents actually say. And I know I’m very far from alone. Maybe this is part of the failure in catechesis in the last 50-plus years?

  14. My wife and I attend a NO Mass each Sunday morning at one of the parishes mentioned in this article.

    The NO mass is in English, celebrated ad orientem and we receive the Eucharist at a communion rail (one may kneel or stand and receive either on the tongue or in the hand). The church building itself is lovely and has been lovingly maintained and restored. The homilies are solidly orthodox. Confession is available before every Mass.

    The NO is very beautiful when it is properly celebrated.

    • I’m keenly envious – in my experience, that is no more likely to happen than that the TLM will be celebrated. Very vehement clerical hostility to both.

    • Kevin, the Novus Ordo can be beautifully celebrated, yes. But it is worth noting that the Novus Ordo is often most beautifully celebrated by priests who also regularly celebrate the traditional Latin Mass (and it seems you are referring to a Cantius parish, so that would be the case). In other words, these priests bring the ethos of the traditional Mass to the celebration of the New Mass, and so even Catholics who prefer a “reverent Novus Ordo” should still want the old Mass to be part of the life of the Church and for priests to celebrate it widely. The fact still remains, however, that even when the New Mass is offered with a traditional style (and we should be grateful to priests who do this), the TEXTS of the missal are still very different, and the old prayers which clearly express the Catholic doctrine concerning the sacrificial nature of the Mass have been removed. No one (even a pope) can rewrite history, and the fact is that the liturgical reform had the goal of making the Mass more palatable to Protestants by making it less distinctively Catholic.

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