Pope Francis, while he says “we must rediscover the reality of the Sacred Liturgy” also warns against “[looking] back to nostalgic past tendencies or [wishing] to impose them again…” Loosely translated, this seems to be saying, stick with the new Mass, and don’t hanker after the old…
So, it’s maybe time to remind ourselves of what, precisely, he means by “nostalgic past tendencies” and what precisely, he doesn’t want to “impose again”. Take the few minutes necessary to watch the short video below and then share your answers to the two questions below…
Since the liturgy of the Church is directed to God, to offer Him true worship / adoration, do you think He finds the Novus Ordo Missae acceptable and pleasing – does it achieve that central aim ?
How, in God’s eyes, do you think the Novus Ordo Missae compares to the Traditional Latin Mass (see video below)…
“When Mass is being celebrated, the sanctuary is filled with countless angels who adore the Divine Victim immolated on the altar.” – St. John Chrysostom (Bishop & Doctor of the Church).
Bishop Huonder of the Diocese of Chur (Switzerland) has announced he will spent his retirement with the SSPX. He is 76 and has wished to retire for a while, Pope Francis having already rejected his resignation in 2017. I don’t know a lot about him, beyond the fact he seems quite solid and has previously been “in the wars” with the LGBT and secular movements.
Presumably he will still be able to carry out the functions of a Prelate and so this could be a real boon for the SSPX. Rorate reports that Pope Francis is “well informed” about the Bishop’s choice and personally approves of it.
Clearly, those who have spread the falsehood that the SSPX is in schism, are plain wrong – have been all along, of course, but it must be crystal clear, even to the slowest of “liberal” minds, that Pope Francis (of ALL popes!) is hardly likely to approve one of his bishops spending his retirement with a “schismatic” Society of traditional priests and bishops. There’s a limit to embracing “equality”, “diversity” and “tolerance”. It seems as good a time as ever, then, to reflect on the closing chapter of Archbishop Lefebvre’s Open Letter to Confused Catholics, written just twenty years after the dramatic changes in the Church, in the years following the Second Vatican Council.
Archbishop Lefebvre writes: Building Up Versus Pulling Down (from Open Letter to Confused Catholics)
Twenty years have gone by and one would have thought that the reactions raised by the Council reforms would have calmed down, that the Catholic people would have buried the religion in which they had been brought up, that the younger ones, not having known it, would have accepted the new one. That, at least, was the wager made by the Modernists. They were not unduly disturbed by the uproar, sure of themselves as they were in the early days. They were less so later on. The frequent and necessary concessions made to the spirit of the world did not produce the expected results. Nobody any longer wanted to be a priest of the new religion and the faithful turned away from their religious practice. The Church which tried to become a Church of the poor became a poor Church, obliged to resort to advertising to collect Peter’s Pence, and to sell off its properties.
During this time those faithful to Tradition drew together in all the Christian lands, and particularly in France, Switzerland, the United States and Latin America.
The fabricator of the new Mass, Mgr. Annibale Bugnini was himself obliged to recognize this world-wide resistance in his posthumous book,21 a resistance which is growing and organizing itself unceasingly and drawing support. No, the “traditionalist” movement is not “slowing-down” as the progressivist journalists write from time to time to reassure themselves. Where else are there as many people at Mass as at St. Nicholas-du-Chardonnet, and also as many Masses, as many Benedicitons of the Blessed Sacrament or as many beautiful ceremonies? The Society of Saint Pius X throughout the world owns seventy houses,22 each with at least one priest, churches like the one in Brussels and the one we have quite recently bought in London, or the one placed at our disposal in Marseilles; also schools, and four seminaries.
Carmelite convents are opening and already forming new communities. Religious communities of men and of women created fifteen or more years ago, who strictly apply the rule of the Orders from which they stem, are overflowing with vocations, and are continuously having to enlarge their premises and construct more buildings. The generosity of the Catholic faithful never ceases to amaze me, particularly in France.
The monasteries are centers of attraction, crowds of people go there often from far away; young people bewildered by the illusory seductions of pleasures and escape in every form, find in them their Road to Damascus. Here is a list of places where they have kept the true Catholic faith and for that reason draw people: Le Barroux, Flavigny-sur Ozerain, La Haye-aux-Bonshommes, the Benedictines of Alés, the Sisters of Fanjeaux, of Brignolles, of Pontcallec, and communities like that of Father Lecareux…
Travelling a great deal, I see everywhere at work the hand of Christ blessing His Church. In Mexico the ordinary people drove from the churches the reforming clergy who, won over by the so-called liberation theology, wanted to throw out the statues of the saints. “It’s not the statues who are going, it’s you.” Political circumstances have prevented us from opening a priory in Mexico; so faithful priests travel out from a center at El Paso near the frontier in the United States. The descendants of the Cristeros welcome them warmly and offer them their churches. I have administered 2500 confirmations there at the request of the people.
In the United States, young married couples with their numerous children flock to the Society’s priests. In 1982 in that country I ordained the first three priests trained entirely in our seminaries. Groups of traditionalists are on the increase whereas the parishes are declining. Ireland, which has remained refractory towards the novelties, has been subject to the reforms since 1980, altars having been cast into rivers or re-used as building material. Simultaneously, traditionalist groups have formed in Dublin and Belfast. In Brazil, in the diocese of Campos of which I have already spoken, the people have rallied around the priests evicted from their parishes by the new bishop, with processions of 5,000 and 10,000 people taking to the streets.
It is therefore the right road we are following; the proof is there, we recognize the tree by its fruits. What the clergy and the laity have achieved in spite of persecution by the liberal clergy (for, as Louis Veuillot says, “There is nobody more sectarian than a liberal.”) is almost miraculous. Do not let yourself be taken in, dear reader, by the term “traditionalist” which they would have people understand in a bad sense. In a way, it is a pleonasm because I cannot see who can be a Catholic without being a traditionalist. I think I have amply demonstrated in this book that the Church is a tradition. We are a tradition. They also speak of “integrism.” If by that we mean respect for the integrality of dogma, of the catechism, of Christian morality, of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, then yes, we are integrists. And I do not see how one can be a Catholic without being an integrist in that sense of the word.
It has also been said that after me, my work will disappear because there will be no bishop to replace me. I am certain of the contrary; I have no worries on that account. I may die tomorrow, but the good Lord answers all problems. Enough bishops will be found in the world to ordain our seminarians: this I know.
Even if at the moment he is keeping quiet, one or another of these bishops will receive from the Holy Ghost the courage needed to arise in his turn. If my work is of God, He will guard it and use it for the good of the Church. Our Lord has promised us, the gates of Hell shall not prevail against her.
This is why I persist, and if you wish to know the real reason for my persistence, it is this: At the hour of my death, when Our Lord asks me, “What have you done with your episcopate, what have you done with your episcopal and priestly grace?” I do not want to hear from His lips the terrible words, “You have helped to destroy the Church along with the rest of them.” [Emphasis added]
21 La Riforma Liturgica: Edizioni Liturgiche Rome.
22 At present, in the year 2000, there are 135 priories, 6 seminaries, 75 schools, 3 universities, 3 nursing homes, 4 retreat houses, 4 bishops and 401 priests–ed.
I don’t think there can be any doubt in the minds of those who have lived through the years since Vatican II that the SSPX has, indeed, built up (and continues to build up) the Church at this time of crisis. Thus, it is heartening to read this news of the Swiss diocesan bishop who has chosen to spend his retirement years in the Society. Will other bishops follow the example of Bishop Huonder?
It seems very clear that the Pope is trying to regularise the SSPX in a variety of ways – is there a local bishop in your neck of the woods who may assist this process? Why don’t the local bishops invite the Society priests to (“Mass-less”) diocesan events, for example? Would the Society priests accept? Is there, in your opinion, scope for a sort of informal regularisation within dioceses to help normalise the SSPX situation?
On January 17, 2019, Pope Francis suppressed the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, which had been created in 1988 by his predecessor Pope John Paul II.
The Apostolic Letter in the form of the Pope’s motu proprio was published at noon on January 19 by the Holy See Press Office and inserted in L’Osservatore Romano. From now on, the Commission’s responsibilities will be placed entirely in the hands of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which will designate a special section to take over its activities. This transfer, explains the Sovereign Pontiff, comes in response to a need expressed during a meeting of this dicastery on November 15, 2017, approved by him on November 24, and validated in a plenary session in January 2018.
The pope recalls how, over thirty years ago, the day after the episcopal consecrations in 1988, John Paul II wished to facilitate the “full ecclesial communion of priests, seminarians, religious communities or individuals until now linked in various ways to the Fraternity founded by Archbishop Lefebvre”. The goal was to help them “remain united to the Successor of Peter in the Catholic Church while preserving their own spiritual and liturgical traditions”. This preservation of the spiritual and liturgical traditions was ensured in 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI’s motu proprio Summorum Pontificum.
This historical reminder of Pope Francis has the merit of showing how this Pontifical Commission was originally founded on the condemnation of Archbishop Lefebvre and his work. In its thirty years of existence, it mostly limited itself to liturgical questions, with the intention of responding to the “sensitivity” of conservative priests and faithful, and of countering the Society of St. Pius X’s growth throughout the world…
But after the supposed excommunications of the bishops of Tradition were lifted in 2009, Benedict XVI believed that the ongoing doctrinal issues were a good reason to attach the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The goal was to begin doctrinal discussions with the Society of St. Pius X.
The Primacy of the Doctrine of the Faith
Today, Pope Francis writes that the religious communities that belong to the Pontifical Commission have acquired stability both in their numbers and their activities; they ensure the celebration of the Mass in its “extraordinary form”. But, he points out, “the questions dealt with by the same Pontifical Commission were of a primarily doctrinal nature.” These objections and questions are clearly irrelevant to these communities. It is indeed with the Society of St. Pius X that they continue to be an issue.
This is what the cardinals pointed out on November 15, 2017, when they “formulated the request that dialogue between the Holy See and the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X be conducted directly by the aforementioned Congregation [for the Doctrine of the Faith], as the questions being dealt with are of a doctrinal nature.”
One conclusion is evident: as the so-called Ecclesia Dei communities have preserved “their spiritual and liturgical traditions”, they clearly do not count in this discussion. If they remain attached to a section of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, it is incidental. They can have the Mass, the “spiritual and liturgical traditions”, but not the whole doctrine that goes along with them.
That has always been the Society of St. Pius X’s great reproach against Dom Gérard [founder of the Benedictine monastery at Le Barroux who worked with Archbishop Lefebvre until 1988] and all those who thought they should break the unity of Tradition in order to negotiate a purely practical agreement. The crisis of the Church cannot be reduced to a spiritual or liturgical question alone. It is deeper, for it touches the very heart of the Faith and the doctrine of Revelation, Christ the King’s right to reign here below over men and over societies.
Is this, as some commentators fear, anticipating this suppression, the beginning of the end for Summorum Pontificum? Is the Pope about to attempt to suppress the ancient Mass?
Westminster Cardinal Vincent Nichols celebrated on January 13 in London a Gay Eucharist organized by the club of homosexuals “LGBT Catholics Westminster”.
Nichols is a repeat offender. Already in May 2015 he presided a Novus Ordo Eucharist for the same group, specifically aimed at homosexuals.
The London Gay Eucharists were initiated in 1999, opposed by Catholics but backed by the anti-Catholic archdiocese.
According to IndCatholicNews.com (January 16), Nichols claimed after Mass that LGBT Catholics Westminster are “an important sign of welcome and inclusion” within his archdiocese as an “identifiable community which is at home within the Church.” In reality, LGBT Catholics Westminster promote homosexual fornication which, according to the Bible cries for vengeance to heaven.
Nichols was always known as heterodox prelate. Nevertheless Benedict XVI appointed him to Westminster, knowing that he would eventually become a Cardinal. Source
Now, not to mislead – I, personally, doubt very much if the Cardinal is actively homosexual, although, of course, I don’t know. I did meet him some years ago, when I could pass muster in the “slim, glamorous, fashionable etc” category and I recall thinking that he was quite a ladies’ man at that time, but, hey, things have moved on and it’s now clear that the crisis in the Church boils down to the dominance of homosexual priests and bishops. Indeed, not so long ago we read this on a thread about the homosexual scandals within the episcopate and in seminaries: “In light of the explosive report by Archbishop Viganò, it becomes even more apparent that the homosexual cabal operating in the Catholic Church exists at the very highest level and even incriminates Pope Francis himself.” See Priest’s Open Letter To UK Bishops…
So, the very least any priest or bishops should be doing at this stage, as the mounting scandals reveal a truly decadent clergy and complicit episcopate, is to distance themselves from appearing to condone this unnatural behaviour, let alone conducting “services” where “blessings” are bestowed on those engaging in it. And the desire is unconscionable for the “LGBT Catholics Westminster” to be an “identifiable community which is at home within the Church,” indicating that there is no need for repentance, no need to turn away from that gravely sinful behaviour.
Whether or not, then, Cardinal Nichols is “gay”, we are surely entitled to ask the question. Or, maybe you disagree? If so, let’s hear a sound theological and biblical justification for the Cardinal’s promotion of homosexuality. Catholic Tradition is rooted in Scripture and the teaching of the Fathers of the Church from the beginning so, here’s the challenge: demonstrate to us, using these primary sources, that the teaching of the Church is wrong, does not reflect God’s natural moral law, and that, therefore, the Cardinal is right (along with all the other LGBT etc prelates) to promote , effectively as a virtue, these “acts of grave depravity” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #2357).
Pope Francis has canonized Pope Paul VI, Archbishop Oscar Romero and five other saints.
This morning in St. Peter’s Square, before a crowd of about 70,000 people, Pope Francis presided over Holy Mass for the canonization of the saints while the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment is underway in the Vatican, Oct. 3-28, 2018.
He also proclaimed canonized saints Francesco Spinelli, Vincenzo Romano, Maria Caterina Kasper, Nazaria Ignazia of Saint Teresa of Jesus, and Nunzio Sulprizio. To read entire report click here
Then click here to read a thoroughly documented commentary on “The Canonization Crisis” published on The Remnant website.
I’d forgotten all about these canonisations until a fellow parishioner reminded me this morning after Mass. We were talking about the widespread scandals of recent weeks and months, and she added that it was going to be all downhill from today. I asked her “why today?” She then reminded me that Pope Paul VI (pictured below with the six Protestant ministers whom he invited to help him create a new Mass, one that would be acceptable to our – increasingly – separated Protestant brothers and sisters), is now being rewarded for this scandal by “canonisation”. Along with Archbishop Romero, advocate for the poor. I’m no expert on the life and times of Archbishop Oscar Romero, so this article is interesting – especially in its conclusion.
From left: A. Raymond George (Methodist), Ronald Jaspar (Anglican),
Massey Shepherd (Episcopalian),
Friedrich Künneth (Lutheran),
Eugene Brand (Lutheran),
Max Thurian (Ecumenical community of Taize).
I NEVER refer to “Saint” John Paul II or “Saint” John XXIII. Nor will I acknowledge “Saint Paul VI”. Will you?