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Fidelity to Liturgical Law and the Rights of the Faithful

I was recently asked by a number of people: “When ought one to point out liturgical abuses and endeavor to correct them?” My interlocutors had been confused by a number of partial truths. Let us, then, exclude several erroneous answers.

A balloon Mass.

“To correct an abuse, you need to have perfect charity and disinterested motives.” 

No man can know if he has perfect charity, and none of us has totally disinterested motives – nor should we. The reverence and beauty of the liturgy directly affects our spiritual well-being. Therefore, we have a vested interest in its being done properly. In order to offer fraternal correction, one needs to have charity, that is, love of the other, for God’s sake (which means willing the other’s good – including the good of abiding by Church discipline), and a willingness to forgive, but by no means does one need to have perfect charity. It is already an act of charity to attempt to correct a deviation identified as such by the Church.

Some abuses are, of course, worse than others, and less able to be tolerated. One must have both knowledge of liturgical law and some degree of prudence to navigate these situations, and if one is lacking either, one should not hesitate to seek advice from others before deciding on any course of action. Knowing what to correct, and when, and how, is a matter of discretion, which St. Benedict calls “the mother of virtues.”

“To correct an abuse, you need to be in a position of authority.” 

Also incorrect, since every lay person, according to the 1983 Code of Canon Law, has the right, and sometimes the obligation, to express opinions, to point out problems, and to request solutions. Everyone has, moreover, a basic right to receive the word of God (obviously not distorted by heresy) and the sacraments (obviously celebrated correctly).

Can. 212 – §1. Conscious of their own responsibility, the Christian faithful are bound to follow with Christian obedience those things which the sacred pastors, inasmuch as they represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or establish as rulers of the Church.

  • 2. The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.
  • 3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

Can. 213. The Christian faithful have the right to receive assistance from the sacred pastors out of the spiritual goods of the Church, especially the word of God and the sacraments.

Can. 214. The Christian faithful have the right to worship God according to the prescripts of their own rite approved by the legitimate pastors of the Church and to follow their own form of spiritual life so long as it is consonant with the doctrine of the Church.

Note that Can. 214 supports the right of the faithful to worship God in the usus antiquior, since the availability of this form to all the faithful who desire it has been required by Pope Benedict XVI, a legitimate pastor of the entire Church, as codified in Summorum Pontificum. Moreover, no one can dare to argue that traditional Catholic spirituality is not “consonant with the doctrine of the Church”; therefore, any Catholic has the right to follow it.

“It’s more humble for Catholics to just tolerate evils rather than striving to correct them. It shows that we are patient and meek.” 

Pope Leo XIII teaches us in his encyclical letter Libertas Praestantissimum that toleration of evil is permitted only when the common good clearly demands it and when an evil cannot be overcome in any reasonable manner; that any evil so tolerated may never be approved of, because it is harmful to the life of the community; and that the more a community is driven to tolerate evils, the farther it is from perfection.

Adapted to the ecclesiastical sphere, one would have to say toleration of abuses is never a good in itself and is always only temporary or pragmatic and not a matter of principle, and that the extent of evil tolerated is the extent of the corruption of a society. Hence, those who actually love and care about the Church will strive, with all the reasonable means at their disposal and with prudent gentleness, to root out such evils as they can. A default position of toleration is not and can never be Catholic.

A lightsaber Mass.

“At the end of the day, don’t sweat the small stuff. Our Lord, after all, is still present in the Blessed Sacrament, no matter which form, or what style of music, or what particular customs a community follows.” 

This is one of the most pernicious of all errors. Apart from the deeper problem of a gross metaphysical minimalism at work here, which reduces the heavenly splendor of the divine liturgy, the inbreaking of the Kingdom of God into our lives, to a binary-switch “validity” and a ticket-punching “licitness,” we may simply ponder the fact that how we treat the liturgy is how we treat Our Lord, for it is the great King’s clothing, His throne, His audience chamber, His entrustment of Himself into our hands, for good or for ill.

The way we honor and receive Our Lord in public worship redounds to our credit or disgrace. We can sin against the Lord, venially or mortally, by how we celebrate His sacred mysteries. And, all things being equal, we owe it to God to worship Him as solemnly and beautifully as we can. Our failure to do this when we could do it is an offense to Him and harmful to our own souls.

It is a work of great charity – a spiritual work of mercy – to instruct the ignorant and correct the erring. One does have to “play one’s cards” wisely and recognize that one may fail, regardless of one’s good intentions, demonstrated knowledge, and legitimate complaints. Still, in today’s world, where the Council of Nice has replaced all the ecumenical councils, we are far more likely to err on the side of timidity and complicit silence.

As a partial cure for such psychological inhibitions, I shall conclude with the best excerpts I have found in Church documents concerning the genuine rights of the faithful and the urgency of calling out and correcting liturgical deviations. The most important document is Redemptionis Sacramentum of 2004, which is why I shall cite it first.

Congregation for Divine Worship, Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum (March 25, 2004)

4. [I]t is not possible to be silent about the abuses, even quite grave ones, against the nature of the Liturgy and the Sacraments as well as the tradition and the authority of the Church, which in our day not infrequently plague liturgical celebrations in one ecclesial environment or another. In some places the perpetration of liturgical abuses has become almost habitual, a fact which obviously cannot be allowed and must cease.

5. The observance of the norms published by the authority of the Church requires conformity of thought and of word, of external action and of the application of the heart. … The liturgical words and rites, moreover, are a faithful expression, matured over the centuries, of the understanding of Christ, and they teach us to think as he himself does; by conforming our minds to these words, we raise our hearts to the Lord. …

11. The Mystery of the Eucharist “is too great for anyone to permit himself to treat it according to his own whim, so that its sacredness and its universal ordering would be obscured”. On the contrary, anyone who acts thus by giving free reign to his own inclinations, even if he is a Priest, injures the substantial unity of the Roman Rite, which ought to be vigorously preserved, and becomes responsible for actions that are in no way consistent with the hunger and thirst for the living God that is experienced by the people today. Nor do such actions serve authentic pastoral care or proper liturgical renewal; instead, they deprive Christ’s faithful of their patrimony and their heritage. For arbitrary actions are not conducive to true renewal, but are detrimental to the right of Christ’s faithful to a liturgical celebration that is an expression of the Church’s life in accordance with her tradition and discipline. In the end, they introduce elements of distortion and disharmony into the very celebration of the Eucharist, which is oriented in its own lofty way and by its very nature to signifying and wondrously bringing about the communion of divine life and the unity of the People of God. The result is uncertainty in matters of doctrine, perplexity and scandal on the part of the People of God, and, almost as a necessary consequence, vigorous opposition, all of which greatly confuse and sadden many of Christ’s faithful in this age of ours when Christian life is often particularly difficult on account of the inroads of “secularization” as well.

12. On the contrary, it is the right of all of Christ’s faithful that the Liturgy, and in particular the celebration of Holy Mass, should truly be as the Church wishes, according to her stipulations as prescribed in the liturgical books and in the other laws and norms. Likewise, the Catholic people have the right that the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass should be celebrated for them in an integral manner, according to the entire doctrine of the Church’s Magisterium. Finally, it is the Catholic community’s right that the celebration of the Most Holy Eucharist should be carried out for it in such a manner that it truly stands out as a sacrament of unity, to the exclusion of all blemishes and actions that might engender divisions and factions in the Church. …

31. In keeping with the solemn promises that they have made in the rite of Sacred Ordination and renewed each year in the Mass of the Chrism, let Priests celebrate “devoutly and faithfully the mysteries of Christ for the praise of God and the sanctification of the Christian people, according to the tradition of the Church, especially in the Eucharistic Sacrifice and in the Sacrament of Reconciliation”. They ought not to detract from the profound meaning of their own ministry by corrupting the liturgical celebration either through alteration or omission, or through arbitrary additions. For as St. Ambrose said, “It is not in herself . . . but in us that the Church is injured. Let us take care so that our own failure may not cause injury to the Church”. …

169. Whenever an abuse is committed in the celebration of the sacred Liturgy, it is to be seen as a real falsification of Catholic Liturgy. St Thomas wrote, “the vice of falsehood is perpetrated by anyone who offers worship to God on behalf of the Church in a manner contrary to that which is established by the Church with divine authority, and to which the Church is accustomed”. …

183. In an altogether particular manner, let everyone do all that is in their power to ensure that the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist will be protected from any and every irreverence or distortion and that all abuses be thoroughly corrected. This is a most serious duty incumbent upon each and every one, and all are bound to carry it out without any favouritism.

184. Any Catholic, whether Priest or Deacon or lay member of Christ’s faithful, has the right to lodge a complaint regarding a liturgical abuse to the diocesan Bishop or the competent Ordinary equivalent to him in law, or to the Apostolic See on account of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff. It is fitting, however, insofar as possible, that the report or complaint be submitted first to the diocesan Bishop. This is naturally to be done in truth and charity.

The remaining documents will be taken in chronological order.

Congregation for Divine Worship, Liturgiae instaurationes (September 5, 1970), §1

Liturgical reform is not synonymous with so-called ‘desacralization’ and should not be the occasion for what is called the ‘secularization of the world’. Thus the liturgical rites must retain a dignified and sacred character. The effectiveness of liturgical actions does not consist in the continual search for newer rites or simpler forms, but in an ever deeper insight into the word of God and the mystery which is celebrated. The presence of God will be ensured by following the rites of the Church rather than those inspired by the priest’s individual preferences. The priest should realize that by imposing his own personal restoration of sacred rites he is offending the rights of the faithful and is introducing individualism and idiosyncrasy into celebrations which belong to the whole Church. The ministry of the priest is the ministry of the whole Church, and it can be exercised only in obedience, in hierarchical fellowship, and in devotion to the service of God and of his brothers. The hierarchical structure of the liturgy, its sacramental power, and the respect due to the community of God’s people require that the priest exercise his liturgical service as a “faithful minister and steward of the mysteries of God” (1 Cor. 4:1).

 Pope John Paul II, Dominicae Cenae (February 24, 1980), §12

The priest … cannot consider himself a “proprietor” who can make free use of the liturgical text and of the sacred rite as if it were his own property, in such a way as to stamp it with his own arbitrary personal style. At times this latter might seem effective, and it may better correspond to subjective piety; nevertheless, it is always a betrayal of that union which should find its proper expression in the sacrament of unity. Every priest who offers the Holy Sacrifice should recall that it is not only he with his community that is praying but the whole Church, which is thus expressing in this sacrament this spiritual unity, among other ways by the use of the approved liturgical text. To call this position “mere insistence on uniformity” would only show ignorance of the objective requirements of authentic unity, and would be a symptom of harmful individualism.

Code of Canon Law (1983)

Can. 846, §1. The liturgical books approved by the competent authority are to be faithfully observed in the celebration of the sacraments; therefore, no one on personal authority may add, remove, or change anything in them.

Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Vicesimus Quintus Annus (December 4, 1988), §13

Side by side with these benefits of the liturgical reform, one has to acknowledge with regret deviations of greater or lesser seriousness in its application. On occasion there have been noted illicit omissions or additions, rites invented outside the framework of established norms; postures or songs which are not conducive to faith or to a sense of the sacred; abuses in the practice of general absolution; confusion between the ministerial priesthood, linked with ordination, and common priesthood of the faithful, which has its foundation in baptism.

 Pope John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Ecclesia de Eucharistia (April 17, 2003), §52

It must be lamented that, especially in the years following the post-conciliar liturgical reform, as a result of a misguided sense of creativity and adaptation there have been a number of abuses which have been a source of suffering for many. A certain reaction against “formalism” has led some, especially in certain regions, to consider the “forms” chosen by the Church’s great liturgical tradition and her Magisterium as non-binding and to introduce unauthorized innovations which are often completely inappropriate.

I consider it my duty, therefore, to appeal urgently that the liturgical norms for the celebration of the Eucharist be observed with great fidelity. These norms are a concrete expression of the authentically ecclesial nature of the Eucharist; this is their deepest meaning. Liturgy is never anyone’s private property, be it of the celebrant or of the community in which the mysteries are celebrated. The Apostle Paul had to address fiery words to the community of Corinth because of grave shortcomings in their celebration of the Eucharist resulting in divisions (schismata) and the emergence of factions (haireseis) (cf. 1 Cor 11:17-34). Our time, too, calls for a renewed awareness and appreciation of liturgical norms as a reflection of, and a witness to, the one universal Church made present in every celebration of the Eucharist. Priests who faithfully celebrate Mass according to the liturgical norms, and communities which conform to those norms, quietly but eloquently demonstrate their love for the Church. … No one is permitted to undervalue the mystery entrusted to our hands: it is too great for anyone to feel free to treat it lightly and with disregard for its sacredness and its universality.

This is still happening. (From a recent L.A. religious education congress.)

146 thoughts on “Fidelity to Liturgical Law and the Rights of the Faithful”

  1. St John Paul II in his writings never seems to Miss a Thing his document veritatis Splendor was most excellent I have not seen any of his writings that have not been spot on, that being said, his ecumenical work was dangerous to say the least but I never understood it until later years. Thanks for this article it was most helpful.

      • “Sanctifying grace is the principle and source of man’s new life: divine, supernatural life.
        The giving of this new life is as it were God’s definitive answer to the Psalmist’s words, which in a way echo the voice of all creatures: “When you send forth your Spirit, they shall be created; and you shall renew the face of the earth.”216 He who in the mystery of creation gives life to man and the cosmos in its many different forms, visible and invisible, again renews this life through the mystery of the Incarnation.
        …Thus there is a supernatural “adoption,” of which the source is the Holy Spirit, love and gift. As such he is given to man. And in the superabundance of the uncreated gift there begins in the heart of all human beings that particular created gift whereby they “become partakers of the divine nature.”219 Thus human life becomes permeated, through participation, by the divine life, and itself acquires a divine, supernatural dimension.”
        Pope John Paul II
        Dominus et Vivificantem #52
        Notice how in the quote above he says that by the incarnation of Christ “all human beings” receive the uncreated gift which makes them “partakers of the divine nature.” I am not making this up. This is the Pope’s own words in encyclicals.

    • Oh yes, Pope John Paul II certainly defended and upheld Tradition!

      “Entrusting myself fully to the Spirit of truth, therefore, I am entering into the rich inheritance of the recent pontificates. This inheritance has struck deep roots in the awareness of the Church in an utterly new way, quite unknown previously, thanks to the Second Vatican Council…”
      Pope John Paul II, Redemptor hominis

  2. How are we fallen creatures possibly able to assess the ‘purity’ of our own actions. “Pure motive” is an entirely subjective concept. In our lamentably fallen state, the ‘I’; the ego is present in everything we think, say or do. Even with the very best of intentions, there will always be a certain level of investment of ‘self’ in every single action. If we were to wait until we are purified of any contamination by ‘self’ we would expend our entire earthly existence in a state of complete inertia.

    But sadly, with regard to the liturgy, in the last four decades or so, we have become so accustomed to mediocrity that we no longer recognise it as such. . The attitude of “anything is good enough” rules supreme when it comes to the laity performing what are essentially priestly functions. And many of those performing such functions would assert, and probably deceive themselves, in that they are ‘doing it to serve the community’, when their real, unrecognised and unacknowledged purpose it to honour themselves. Many years ago, (probably twenty), I happened upon an article dedicated to the memory of Bl. John Henry Newman. The only part of it that I still have stated the following:

    “… Clericalism has filled the sanctuaries with lay people performing all sorts of roles contradictory to their baptismal dignity, in a clumsy ballet of amateurish sacerdotalism. Far worse than the triviality of its language and didacticism, our new clerical servitude of the laity, paraded as a promethean empowerment of the ‘people of God, and its confusion of the anthropology of the sexes, would have made [Newman] weep more bitter tears than he shed in his own years. For he knew that the music of hell is not dissonance, but banality; and he was certain that the politics of hell is not inequality, but androgyny ….”

    We now have a feelings-based, emasculated and largely impotent Church Militant. And since the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the summit and consummation of our proper worship of God, it necessarily follows that the current woeful malaise of the Church is attributable, for the greater part, to the wilful and predetermined destruction of Her ancient and most sacred liturgies. I, for one, do not believe that this is merely the result of well-intentioned naivete.

  3. I am of the opinion that the sole purpose now of our work on “the liturgical question” is to rescue those who can be rescued from the Novus Ordo and bring them to Tradition. Our work is, in effect, the work of evangelisation.

    What we should no longer even be attempting is to improve matters in the Novus Ordo Church. It’s a waste of everyone’s time: ours, and that of the Novus Ordo clergy. There is no meeting of minds, for only one side is Catholic.

      • If you do that, you can be sure attitudes that lead to abuses will come into the tradition, too. The form of missal itself is not magical nor a silver bullet. The EF benefits immensely by not being the default liturgy of the Church, but by being the affirmative choice of intentionally gathered communities.

        • It is fortunate that TLM adherents are few in number or the powers that be would do all they could to destroy it. But beware of the hybrid . The liturgists are clearly headed in that direction ..adding some Latin to the NO etc.
          The Catholic laity never advocated changing the TLM …it was thrust upon us and we were ridiculed for being resistant to change …the same tactic
          used by PF. The larger question is why have the NO at all?

    • I agree and with all due respect to Mr Kwasniewski, citing JPII documents is hardly credible when it comes to matters liturgical as he often enjoyed plenty of novelty in his own worship. When one reads Sacrosanctum Concilium he shall find that it encourages innovation and modification which inevitably results in abuses. Most folk don’t realise that many permitted abuses (only found in Novus Ordo) such as extraordinary ministers and Communion in the hand are still unacceptable. There is (permitted) sacrilege in virtually every Novus Ordo mass for these reasons alone. Archbishop Lefebvee firmly declared that the Novus Ordo should be avoided even when celebrated reverently and according to its rubrics (Open letter to confused Catholics). Now there’s a reference worth considering.

    • I disagree. I think reform of the reform serves a purpose if and ONLY IF it is seen as transitional; a means to an end.

      I grew up with mediocrity in the NO. Efforts at liturgical orthodoxy set me on a trajectory to discover tradition — and I might never have discovered it without them. In fact, I think it was far more likely, based on how I remember thinking about things in my teenage years, that I would just give up on the whole thing as stupid and unbelievable.

      The vast majority of faithful Catholics still exist within the NO paradigm — not just liturgy, but everything that goes with it. I’m not ready to abandon them to the wolves simply because they don’t know what they’re missing, but the transition can’t be forced. It should, however, be accelerated.

      • “I disagree. I think reform of the reform serves a purpose if and ONLY IF it is seen as transitional; a means to an end.”

        Steve, please expound. Do you mean the end is a truly reverent, ordered, rubric standard NO Mass or the end is to educate enough to guide to the Latin Mass? I’m not clear as to what you are saying here.

        I agree with you that the entire Catholic Church today IS in effect, Novus Ordo. In terms of percentage, the Traditional groups are almost non-existent. We have an impact beyond our numbers, I believe, but in terms of raw numbers, we can be classed as “insignificant” by those who seek to do so.

        Here’s the fact as I see it.

        The EXACT same thing necessary to “reform the reform” is what is needed to “fix” the rest of the problems in the Church.

        In human terms {God’s will be done} what is needed is a Prophet, a truly combative Pope who is utterly unafraid of losing 3/4 of the body of Catholics right out the door in order to see God’s name be praised, the teachings of the Church both taught and defended, and the Mass “reformed”.

        There is no other way. The culture of accommodation has proven to be a complete failure. A boar cannot be rowed in opposing directions and then be expected to reach the intended port. I am not aware of a single Catholic prelate who would be that Prophet.

        Truth is, the Bergoglio/Schoenborn/Paglia/Cupich Church IS, repeat, IS the Catholic Church today. The VAST preponderance of people do not want Tradition and do not want the Latin Mass. So in that sense I agree with TGS that if change is going to be made and the “faithful” saved, what is needed is, {what else to call it?}….”New Evangelization”.

        • Spot on. My current thinking is that Traditionalists should abandon the constant hope that these renegades are capable of conversion. They are either hardened sodomites, heretics or mere atheists. They are not Catholics and hate Catholicism. This pussy-footing around has got us precisely where we are today. An SSPX inside or quasi-outside the official structures is just the refuge we need and we already have it. One day things will change and the Restoration can begin, but until then, struggle to be holy, don’t bother struggling any more with the Revolutionaries.

          • “My current thinking is that Traditionalists should abandon the constant hope that these renegades are capable of conversion.”

            Okay, I wouldn’t go that far. Please distinguish what you mean. Anyone who participates in the NO? Or those like Paglia , so on and so forth. There is a big difference.

          • Ever read “the Rite of Sodomy” by Randy Engel? It isn’t just the upper Hierarchy that is totally rotten Emily. Up to half of the lower clergy are utterly compromised.

            Traditionalists must become much more realistic about things and stop being amazed at whatever is the latest horror. The Revolution is simply gathering pace in its new current stage. All these things have to happen and will happen and nothing we do will stop it.

            Perhaps we might examine the thrust of our online activities, with an amended stance which focuses not on “news reporting” but on the differences between Catholicism and the religion of the “anti-Church” (JPII’s phrase, not mine). Readers can then choose either Catholicism or the other cuckoo religion. We must become zealous evangelists for Tradition now, and stop questioning in such a terminally naive way why all this is happening. Time is short.

            As to the Novus Ordo laity, there are some Catholics amongst them I am sure. But how many only God Himself knows. All I know is that a majority support abortion, same sex “marriage”, contracept without a second thought and no doubt think euthanasia is fair enough. These are not only not Catholics, they are pagans.

          • Ever read “The Rite of Sodomy” by Randy Engel? It isn’t just the upper Hierarchy that is totally rotten Emily. Up to half of the lower clergy are utterly compromised.

            Nope. But am aware of it.

            “Traditionalists must become much more realistic about things and stop being amazed at whatever is the latest horror. The Revolution is simply gathering pace in its new current stage. All these things have to happen and will happen and nothing we do will stop them happening.”

            I’ll try to keep that in mind.

            “As to the Novus Ordo laity, there are some Catholics amongst them I am sure”

            That’s all I’m talking about. We can’t abandon those trying.

            “But how many only God Himself knows. All I know is that a majority support abortion, same sex “marriage”, contracept without a second thought and no doubt think euthanasia is fair enough. These are not only not Catholics, they are pagans.”

            I get it. You are preaching to the choir. 🙂

          • I’m afraid this is a pretty reasoned and sound assessment.

            I’d only modify it by noting that the list of doctrinal denials is most relevant to the developed world. There are still those regions where both orthodox moral teaching and the NO exist. But they appear to be mostly poor regions, and thus, in today’s “Church of the poor”, irrelevant to the Champions of that self-same “Church of the poor”…

            Africa comes to mind, but what I have read indicates that overall, the Pope is popular in Africa. And how ne arate the Pope from the anti-Catholic policies and immorality he so evidently supports.

          • The reform of the NO has to be item by item. Just this week Bishop Morlino in Wisconsin somewhere HAS INSTRUCTED ALL THE FAITHFUL TO RECEIVE ON THE TONGUE and to teach the first communicants this is the way to receive Holy Communion.
            The Calendar could be amplified back towards the tradition easily by RESTORING THE PENTECOST OCTAVE, maintaining Ascension Thursday on the Thursday ND RESTORING THE SOLEMNITY OF THE PRECIOUS BLOOD ON JULY I, just to start with. In a few years there would be a great change. It has to come from the Bishops.
            Also, this weekend there was a wonderful Bishops asked for convention for evangelization. The Choir singing was from Tampa AND THEY CHANTED A SIMPLE ENGLISH PLAINSONG , for nearly all the Mass, with Latin for parts of the Mass, It was able to be understood without reading a text, it was VERY reverent and prayerful — the Entrance rite went on for a long time, since there were so many bishops coming in. The NY Cardinal was main celebrant and his Irish wit and good nature WAS NOT ABLE TO DESTROY THE CHANT ATMOSPHERE of the rite. It was not a High Mass with incense, but quite NOTICEABLY DIFFERENT.

          • I’m afraid the NY Cardinal is one of the modernists who was instrumental in getting the LGBT people into the St. Patrick’s Day parade. I wouldn’t place much stock in surface appearances.

            Reception of communion on the tounge is good, but incomplete. Communion needs to also be received on the knees as is befitting our Lird, King and God.

          • And the lay people generally don’t know enough about the faith to discern the errors or deviations from the True Faith. If they care at all, they seem to say, “If Father says it or is practicing it, it must be okay. After all, he IS a priest.”

            The Liturgy is the “heart” of the Church, but we need to be concerned about soooo much more than restoring the TLM to its rightful place. EVERYTHING needs to be restored to what they were abd then careful, VERY CAREFUL examination of certain things can be made followed by discusions and debates with finally a decision being made. Part of the problem has been we were used to the Church taking an excruciatingly long time to decide about almost anything. Then suddenly, after the council, we’re inundated with one change after another; too many, too fast, too little thought, too little discussion, and far too little prayer. No wonder people paniced abd “jumped ship”. What they didn’t know was they were jumping into shark infested waters. The damage done by the council and its innovations has ripped a hole in Peter’s barque and there hasn’t been enough of us to vail it out fast enough. For over a half century the barque gas been slowly sinking. Bergoglio and company are now trying to finish the job.

          • And the clergy – many have no clue either. Excepting of course the FSSP,
            ICKSP etc, they not only have ‘formation’ whose error is in omission, but in out-and-out garbage. Some have a clue that this is not the church they thought it was, but it stops there. They need our prayers.

          • Yes, they do need our prayers. The formation most get is right out if the modernist playbook. If the priests, religious and lay people responsivle for teaching the faith are not well-forned and know only the modernist party line, it is very difficult for those in the pews to kearn the true faith. And that IS wgat is wanted. The result is Catholic in Name Only and apostasy and liss of sou (both the individual’s and the Church’s.

        • I’m talking about moving people in the direction of the TLM. You foist an overnight change on them the way was done in the 1970s, and they’re just going to leave. It’s a process. The so-called “reform of the reform” can only end in a return to the Church’s ancient liturgy and authentic, organic development.

          • Gotcha.

            What is going to be interesting is to see what happens with the current {and very likely more severe} divergencies to come.

            As I explain to my adult kids, all of them converts to the Catholic faith, we have in the NO a valid Mass, but we do not have a strong culture of affirmation and condemnation. And it is BOTH of those that must exist for the fullness of the Gospel to be presented. We see this in CCC1697 where clarity in both the “joys and demands” of the Gospel is required.

            CAN the NO be reformed?

            My question to Cardinal Sarah would be “To WHAT?”

            From what I have read, I believe it is safe to say that the NO has never, in its entire history, EVER established a demonstrable standard against which novelties can be contrasted and then suppressed. Variations occur all over the place.

            Again, in order to establish a standard, a Pope would have to be willing to watch a vast assemblage of Catholics bolt.

            I hope I get to see such a man in my lifetime.

          • The NO is two things. First, it is a valid Mass, but minimally so and virtually no different than high anglican. Second, as D. Johnson makes ckear, it is only the tip of the iceberg. The Wrecking Crew Council has purposely thrown a monkey wrench into the Church, not just the liturgy, but doctrine, teachings, practices, discipline — everything. And it has, in many ways, dumbed down the Faith.

          • One of the fathers of the “Reform of the Reform” movement, Fr. Thomas Kocik, has reached a striking conclusion — the movement he helped to create is unsupportable:

            “No: the ‘reform of the reform’ is not realizable because the material discontinuity between the two forms of the Roman rite presently in use is much broader and much deeper than I had first imagined. In the decade that has elapsed since the publication of my book, The Reform of the Reform? A Liturgical Debate (Ignatius Press, 2003), which concerns almost exclusively the rite of Mass, a number of important scholarly studies, most notably those of László Dobszay (†2011) and Lauren Pristas, have opened my eyes to the hack-job inflicted by Pope Paul VI’s Consilium on the whole liturgical edifice of the Latin Church: the Mass; the Divine Office; the rites of the sacraments, sacramentals, blessings and other services of the Roman Ritual; and so forth. Whatever else might be said of the reformed liturgy—its pastoral benefits, its legitimacy, its rootedness in theological ressourcement, its hegemonic status, etc.—the fact remains: it does not represent an organic development of the liturgy which Vatican II (and, four centuries earlier, the Council of Trent) inherited.”


            “Any future attempt at liturgical reconciliation, or renewal in continuity with tradition, would have to take into account the complete overhaul of the propers of the Mass; the replacement of the Offertory prayers with modern compositions; the abandonment of the very ancient annual Roman cycle of Sunday Epistles and Gospels; the radical recasting of the calendar of saints; the abolition of the ancient Octave of Pentecost, the pre-Lenten season of Septuagesima and the Sundays after Epiphany and Pentecost; the dissolution of the centuries-old structure of the Hours; and so much more. To draw the older and newer forms of the liturgy closer to each other would require much more movement on the part of the latter form, so much so that it seems more honest to speak of a gradual reversal of the reform (to the point where it once again connects with the liturgical tradition received by the Council) rather than a reform of it.”


          • Yes, thanks from me too. Don’t we also have to consider that most NO folks don’t see the need for reform?

          • The Pope could declare that as of this day all seminarians must be trained exclusively in the TLM and when placed in a parish begin offering Sunday Low mass while Fr Hip goes about with his usual Sunday NO. Then within a framework of three years all main (Solemn) masses would be the TLM and Fr Hip can continue offering the NO during off-peak times. Then it would just be a matter of letting the Fr Hip’s of the world go to the judgement seat of Our Lord and the (smooth) transition is complete. Just an idea.

          • Exactly. This is precisely the Prophet Pope I’m thinking of, a Pope who is literally unafraid to exercise his authority in the service of the faith in order to advance the faith.

          • Unfortunately the Pope IS Fr. Hip. The chances of getting him to require training in TLM are zero.

            What he has done instead is order that priests studying in Rome concelebrate and omit all personal Masses, thereby separating the Priest from Christ. Once that heresy gets traction, there goes the priesthood and with it, the Church.

            God forgive me, but I really do hate that man.

          • Try not to hate him. My confessor said to me (when I expressed my sorrow for hating the Pope) “you can change him, so don’t let him change you.” That made sense. If I allow HIM to piss me off and drive me into the confessional – HE wins. Picture Francis at his judgement – he will be really, really sorry. If you can’t pray for him now, pray that Our Lady will change him before he dies.

          • You’re right, of course and I have no excuse. As to your last line, if Our Lady wants to change him she can do it without me. There are limits, you know.

          • To borrow from St. Catherine, our job is, perhaps, not to convince but to inform. I do think it needs to be GREATLY stepped up.


            A huge number of people: do not know such a thing as the mass of all ages exists or ever existed, think the only change was to say mass in the vernacular, think the only change was the music, think the only change was the style of vestments, know nothing re: most of the sacraments, have no idea what is all really missing from the mass and outside of mass (ex: vesting prayers), have no idea the TLM is available near them, know all this stuff but need a ride to a TLM parish, etc etc etc

            We need to inform those who aren’t looking because they don’t know they need to look, and don’t know what to look for, or why, or when, or where…or aren’t woken up until they accept an invitation to attend a TLM just because their ‘acquaintance’ asked. Or because their neighbour or friend or cousin or co-worker invited. Or because someone gave them something ‘interesting’ to read.
            I was surely sleeping and was woken up – somewhat gradually, then with an increasing speed, and that is the case with a huge percentage in my TLM parish.

            Forget trying to ‘fix’ the NO (like, WHY?????) and no we can’t have a repeat of the force-it-down-everyone’s-throat scenario.

          • I have no personal knowledge, but I read where young Catholics are gradually warming to TLM and their numbers are growing. I hope it’s true.

        • Rod, there is a growing movenent of young people who are gravitating toward the TLM. Whether it goes any deeper I know not, but it is a start. The REAL “New Evangelization” needs to be a new catechesis. Most of those who either want the. Church of Nice were born after the council abd the implementation if its innovations. That is the only church they’ve known. And that is what the modernists had hoped for. With the Church now fully in the clutches of the modernists AND accepted by the majority if “Catholics” they (modernists) are beginning to take off their disguises. Before they could, we had to be gradually weaned away from the True Church. The Lord has promised a remnant. If the True Catholics leave the church of nice, the Church may be much poorer and fewer, but it will be the True Church and not an apostate born of heresy. Mind you, I pray such a schism doesn’t occur — what I pray for every day is for the Church to be restored to true, perfect and full orthodoxy and for all people to convert to and become sincere, devout Catholics. It will take a miracle, but it could happen.

        • “In human terms {God’s will be done} what is needed is a Prophet, a truly combative Pope who is utterly unafraid of losing 3/4 of the body of Catholics right out the door in order to see God’s name be praised, the teachings of the Church both taught and defended, and the Mass “reformed”.

          ^ This. Pray for this.

      • This is a conversation I have had many times over. Is there any way to reform what is problematic at it’s very roots? It’s not the same liturgy, so where is the line drawn on how much to “reform” it? I understand what you are saying as far as inspiring thought about the Mass and what it should look like , but what is the Novus Ordo supposed to really look like? Like the Old Mass? Also, isn’t it about what pleases God? With His wisdom and assistance, everything else will follow, even with mistakes and messes along the way. So, I’m just not sure about the gradual reform of something that might need to be laid to rest (because there is no fixing it to begin with). When we are the ones determining how much should be tolerated and at what pace “improvements” should be made, It’s like we are determining how much we can tolerate compromise of what is God’s and God’s alone. What a mess we are in! Thanks for giving us a good platform these discussions.

        • Yes, i feel the same – it just seems so ridiculous, who are we trying to please? Mrs. Jones or Father Fred? The Johnson family or the Nordstroms? Germans or British? And anyway, don’t we have the mass of the ages, which wasn’t supposed to be touched??
          I see a relative watch a mass on TV sometimes, NO, with latin credo and a few other goodies, and it just seems silly to me, annoying actually, like trying to put the bow on the pig.

      • No. The “reform of the reform” is clearly already dead (with BXVI’s abdication it was bound to die). Why are we still even thinking about a reform of the reform? Ratzinger failed and the enemy is already onto the next stages of the Revolution. Why are we still trying to play catch-up?

        What I am more concerned with is the belief that the Vatican II “reform” can be reformed: are we truly unable to see that the Revolution is in and of itself coherent, unitary, logical and simply cannot be reformed by something (Catholicism, Tradition) with which it shares no premise? The two are antithetical. One must live and the other must be destroyed. There is no room for both or for some monstrous hybrid of the two.

        • The notion that the two cultures can somehow co-exist is more and more difficult for me to see as well. It just seems that somehow, inherently, the “NO Mass Culture” {that is, the religious culture including but beyond the Mass itself} includes a rejection of the continuous Tradition of the Church. It is really hard for me to see it differently.

          • Rod, you’ve got it. Inherent to the Novus Ordo and the entire theological stance from which it springs (if it is a theological stance!) is a rejection of Tradition.

          • What we’ve had with and since V2 is a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” an antichrist church masquerading as the one, holy, Catholic, apostolic and roman Church. The goal of modernism has always been to fulfill the desires of Satan by reducing the Church from its true glory as the One and Only True Church of Jesus Christ to simply another relativistic and humanistic church, just one more of the 44,000 protestant denominations of little consequence and no threat to the aim of stoking the fires of hell with as many souls as possible before the Last Day.

            What is needed is not a reform of the reform, but a restoration, a return to all the perennial and Spirit guided spiritual treasures of the Church before the council. Even the liturgical books used for the traditional latin Mass (the 1962 Roman Missal) contain modernist elements, which need to be excised.

        • GS, you are absolutely correct on this one. When I first picked up an online Latin-English Missal about seven months ago, after glancing through it I came to the conclusion that the two are indeed very different masses. The phrasing and the actual words spoken are very different, and certain sections are missing from the NO entirely, such as the initial prayers at the foot of the altar. Everybody I ask claims that the purpose of the NO was translation so everyone could understand it. Presuming that this incorrect assumption was true, why did they not simply use the English translation already present in the Missals? Instead, the NO appears to be a hollow, minimalist translation of the TLM. Were they purposely trying to hollow out the mass?

          • Yes
            (have u ever read the tridentine rite’s vesting prayers for the priest?) All gone…
            Satan knows how things work – he’s a fallen angel – and who to use and when & where & why

          • We don’t have to dig into the dim, dark past to see that there was nothing that needed ‘fixing’ in the Traditional Mass. We have it right before our eyes. Can anyone find one single thing wrong about the Traditional Mass as celebrated say by an FSSP priest? I attend one daily and it all seems fine, reverent, quiet, in a word – nothing needs fixing! I’m NOT talking about whether we like the priest, or if he has a squeaky voice, or gives boring sermons. Let’s get real: you don’t fix something that ain’t broke. And modernists can tell this lie until Kingdom come and nothing will make it true.

            By the way, I’m old so I can remember the Traditional Mass from the 50s – it’s exactly the same as my daily, and Sunday Mass now. Case closed.

          • I’ve asked this of priests. I have yet to receive a rational answer except for one which though theologically unsatisfying {to a Catholic} at least makes sense.

            Changes to the Mass were made for a reason. Changes are normally made to fix a problem or improve a function or to address deficiencies in a thing.

            So that all implies very strongly that there was something lacking in the Latin Mass. So, just exactly WHAT was deficient?

            I could swallow the bit about Latin being an impediment for the sake of argument, but this does not explain the sweeping changes that were made. Again, what is the reason for “improving” the Mass over the “deficiencies” of the previous Mass? What deficiencies were so egregious that they demanded change?

            I can see only one that stands out to those of such a mind to make change. The previous Mass wasn’t “Protestant” enough and THAT had to be CHANGED. A mere switch to the vernacular would not have “repaired” this “fault”, so dramatic changes had to be made.

            {Let’s not forget the Grand Experiment of the “Common Lectionary” that failed that grew from the same mentality.}

            I really do not think there is any reasonable argument that can be made against the notion that the designers of the NO wanted it to be more Lutheran and less Catholic.

            In this they were quite successful.

          • I cannot recommned Cekada’s “Work of Human Hands” enough. He goes through all of the changes which started in the 40s!

            I would have not picked it up, it were not for the blurb on the back from Mgr Andrew Wadsworth the ICEL General Secretary, who writes, “Full of interesting and credible analysis An important contribution to the current debate,….I encourages others to read it.” Wadsworth is a liturgical expert and in the NO. I have seen him celebrate at Old St Marys and heard a lecture by him. I was stunned that he would go near Cekada, but there it is.

            Work of Human Hands along with De Matties Second Vatican COuncil, An Untold Story, and Iota Unum by Amerio.

            3 of the great horror novels of all time. To see what the heritics, the usurpers, the innovators have done. The greatest con of all time…

            Either Catholicism and the Catholic Church is the greatest con of all time, or Vatican II and the NO is. But we have been conned

          • You have stated the question clearly. A direct translation from the Latin was not only possible, it was done. I have a copy. Their scheme had nothing to do with making the Mass ‘understandable.’ it was all about eliminating anything in our prayers that would offend ‘our separated brethren, as the devil’s disciple Anabale Bugnini said as he was putting a knife to the throat of Holy Mother Church.

          • Yes. That’s exactly what it was about – and we were told that the reason was to attract the proddies. But they haven’t come on board, have they? So the stated raison d’etre of the Novus Ordo has failed completely. It must go. It is not Catholic.

        • As a NO raised Catholic, I agree. It has become a cancer. If it does not get cut out, it will destroy the entire body.

      • I know that as a journalist, you are probably reluctant to venture into what if scenarios. The SSPX prelature has fallen through. What if the next step in reform of the reform is to scrap it. Without having the time to search sources this moment, I feel like I have seen statements from Church voices recently that paint the reform of the reform as dissidents that need to be dealt w/as such. What if the Latin Mass and tradition ceases to be tolerated w/in the Church. What if SSPX is excommunicated and traditional communities offering Latin Mass that are licit are disbanded or ordered to cease. I don’t think that this is very far fetched in the current state of the Church. I could be left w/the choice of bringing my children to a Catholic Church that is an entirely different religion than the one that I believe in or bringing my children to an illicit Latin Mass and have them excommunicated from the Church. Basically, I have a bad feeling that I and my family risk excommunication right now because we’re Catholic. In past schisms or antiPope situations have Catholics had to knowingly be excommunicated in order to remain Catholic? I don’t know of this occurring but maybe someone else does?

        • I have a sense that the gist of what you are saying is indeed possible. The big problem as seen by the currently powerful anti-Church progressives is, I believe, the combination of affirming the perennial Magesterium of the Church with and much more importantly, THE CONDEMNING OF ABBERRANT TEACHING. In other words, silly Traditionalist, if you want to believe all that “old, outdated stuff”, go right ahead, but if you condemn false teaching {as Jesus, St Paul, the Fathers, the hierarchy of the Church all did for 1965 years…} then you are no longer a “Catholic”.

        • Such an “excommunication” would be entirely invalid and you must continue in the Old Faith completely unperturbed.

          Look, it’s really very simple.

          Boniface VIII bound all Catholics forever with his Bull ‘Unam Sanctam’, so yes, for our Salvation we must be subject to the Pope; but the Pope is himself subject to Tradition. If he departs from it, teaches novelties or outright heresy, the commands of Scripture take over: we are to have nothing whatsoever to do with such a man.

          Hold to what the Apostles handed down, in all ways. That is the narrow way that leads to Our Lord Jesus Christ. Going along with the cuckoo religion leads straight to hell.

        • Yes, but why was it so easily accepted?

          I was not around then, but i wonder, if the NO, helped people feel more comfortable in their sins.

          • For sure. Think here on the ’60,… hippies, rock’nroll, ‘make love not war’, but make an ‘anti-baby love’,… etc,…
            Satan had in that time his big entry into this world. Who should be so naive to think, he did that – without big
            entering into that bastion that he most hate.

          • I know I am a convert and I do NOT want to be seen as tossing rocks at Catholics in-general, but let’s face it, Catholics all over the world welcomed the changes.

            Some didn’t, and those “some” are well-known by their associations today. And they are in an extreme minority.

            This reality causes me to ponder the words of Ratzinger in his 1958 lecture where he calls Catholics “pagans”. This is interesting, for it indicates that they were chomping at the bit for whatever fraudulent “religious deceptions” {see CCC 675} the progressives {…of which he was one…} were willing to foist on them…

          • I agree completely with you, Catholics welcomed the changes. The world was their oyster now, contraception, materialism, and the ultimate love of selfish desires.
            Satan was surely making his mark and the changes in Liturgy, Vatican ll seemed to put the icing on the cake, sort of speak. I am afraid the loss of the Sacrificial Mass sealed humanities fate, along with the Church’s.

            And for what it is worth, your opinions are very worth while. Perhaps we need a few more
            to say, ” There is an elephant in the room. Take it out.”

          • I am late to the conversation but I have to agree with D Johnson. I am a convert but I have spoken with many older Catholics who absolutely did not welcome the changes. They were bewildered and distressed by them and often they were threatened with excommunication if they did not accept them. Catholics back then had little choice but to do what they were told or leave. We who were given the grace to discover the truth in an age of easy access to information should not be making blanket statements about a time of confusion and dishonesty we did not have to experience.

          • “We who were given the grace to discover the truth in an age of easy access to information should not be making blanket statements about a time of confusion and dishonesty we did not have to experience.”

            I agree in spirit, but there is plenty of evidence and fact to support the notion that Catholics accepted, welcomed and approved the changes.

            SOME did NOT, of course, and they gravitated toward the Traditional groups.

            The question must be asked; If so many Catholics didn’t want the changes, why did so few overall join the Traditionalist movement right off the bat?

            Because there WAS a Traditionalist movement right off the bat, but it remained but a Remnant.

          • Because they didn’t know. It’s not as if anyone was going around knocking on doors. Of course some people welcomed the changes although I doubt if many of them understood where they would lead. However a lot of good Catholics did not know there was an alternative and just knuckled under thinking they had no choice.

          • I’m sure that’s true.

            Some found another way, or rather, held to what was known in Tradition and refused to go the new way. It would be interesting to know why they chose the path they did when in all likelihood they were tempted by the same set of challenges the masses did.

          • Catholics did not welcome the mentioned before many left
            and are still leaving.
            After two or three generations of bad catechisis how can you expect Catholics to not contracept etc. Are they receiving instruction from the pulpit on morality?’s called the conspiracy of silence…care for souls is simply no longer there.

          • Incidentally, at the time the pill became available Pope Paul failed to condemn it and many good Catholics who consulted priests about it were told it was permissible to use it. Pope Paul was way too late with Humanae Vitae.

          • This supports Ratzinger’s ’58 contention.

            Exclude my Traditional parish, and I know far more evangelicals with large families than Catholics. Catholics contracept in similar rates to non-Catholics. The sweeping closure of parochial schools and the shortage proves my points.

            Since its start about 10 years ago, my parish {FSSP} has produced more priests than the whole diocese.

          • C’mon, are you blaming the prelates for the lack erest growth in knowledge of the faith? I’ve never heard of a prelate putting a gun to anybody’s head and telling them they are done if they crack open St Thomas, the Bible or the Catechism.

          • It was not easily accepted …in fact I remember telling the priest who asked us after a NO daily Mass what we thought about the possibility of our drinking from the chalice and I remember telling him I would report him to the board of health.

          • I have heard this before, but history doesn’t seem to be on the side of the statement.

            In that Catholics everywhere picked up the iron bars and trashed their altars, Catholics support abortion and divorce and contraception.

            Maybe the NO was forced on them, but the moral choices were nevertheless their own.

            And look at how many continue to support with $$ such monstrosities as the remodelled crystal cathedral. No, if they really resisted the NuChurch, they would have starved the heretical and dissident dioceses into oblivion and supported Tradition.

            But they haven’t.

          • Those people rank among the progressives. For to leave the Church is no different than to attempt to destroy Church’s teaching from within. Both represent denials of Christ’s word.

          • As for the crystal cathedral, Catholics in general have not been noted for their good taste.

          • Catholics at the time did NOT support abortion, divorce, contraception or sodomy at the time of all the changes in the Church..the 70s. All that came later.

          • First, we should never speak of ‘all’, or ‘nobody’. In that time, and even before there were so-called catholics who DID support all of those things, and much more than that. As someones also celibacy of the priests, etc…

          • Correct, and D Johnson I think is right in that if a poll was taken in 1972, on the whole {vast majority} Catholics would have answered in an orthodox fashion.

            “All that came later” is true, but from WHERE? People don’t just change their beliefs in things as important as abortion en masse flippantly. I suggest Ratzinger was on to something in his scathing 1958 assessment of Catholic belief even then. Something was rotten from long before V2. Something fundamental.

            Let’s take the USA for a moment. In ’73 we had legalized abortion and ever since then {with some changes in recent elections} Catholics have staunchly supported the party of legal abortion AND “gay rights” AND euthanasia AND homosexual marriage. In fact, a solid case can be made that abortion on demand is in effect a CATHOLIC POLICY based on voting practices.

            Way back in my growing up days I and mine ranked Catholics in among the “liberals”. Observation {’70’s-early ’80’s} was not far off the mark. Religious indifferentism was rank, and still is. I steered clear of the Catholic Church because I saw no difference between it and the liberal Methodist church I left. And now? What’s changed?

            The Catholic Church possesses the truth, but I cannot imagine any organization in history that is made up of a higher precentage of people that deny that organization’s founding principles.

          • “All that came later” is true, but from WHERE?
            Indeed! From where? I am thinking here on satan and his servants, especially those with the red star on their forehead.
            As dr. Alice von Hildebrand in her interview from 2001 has mentioned:
            “It is a matter of public record, for instance, that Bella Dodd, the ex-Communist who reconverted to the Church, openly spoke of the Communist Party’s deliberate infiltration of agents into the seminaries. She told my husband and me that when she was an active party member, she had dealt with no fewer than four cardinals within the Vatican “who were working for us.”
            It-s not less important to say that Bella Dodd who was an organizer for the Communist Party USA from 1932–1948, was received back into the Catholic Church by none other than Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen in 1952.
            Also the ‘movement’ with name ‘Liberation Theology’ was the very basic platform for the infiltrating of the satanic forces in the Church. We can not denied the fact that many of the prelates in these days who are now 70, 80, 90 years old are the most (worst) fanatical ones among them all.
            There are enough proofs, facts and documents where we can see how in the years after the WWII, but especially in the sixties and later, more than enough theologians and prelates world wide, in particular east Europe countries and Latin America countries, were colluded with the communists.
            Some of them were for sure with good intention, to make it easier for the people in such difficult times of the Bolshevik terror… But we know “Who plants the pumpkins with the devil, they will smashed on his head.”

            This time is gravest time for all Christ’s true disciples. But we must endure. Remain faithful.
            “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.” (Romans 15,4)

            We continue to pray with and for each other, and for all our beloved ones!

          • I think you very well sum it up.

            And maybe in what you say there is the hope; that the prelates most dedicated struction of Holy Mother Church are older. Certainly we know that some are not very old, but many must be very old now.

            Yes, let us pray for a new generation of Joshua’s and Calebs to lead.

          • I forgot to say this too. Which is very important. How sad sad sad it can be, for our priests, who are doing their best to stay on the right path, in that fight some of them are completely alone, without any help they try to resist the wolves who persecute them and will devour them alive.
            If we take a look here it speaks more than enough about this matter:

            I think, we shouldn’t longer keep thinking how difficult times WE have.
            So please pray, and keep always praying for our Catholic priests!
            Besides, they are from us, our own children, children of our Nations, our fathers and mothers. And they are priests for US, not for themselves. We need good priests more than anything else. And they need so badly our prayers and our support.

            “A good shepherd, a pastor after God’s heart, is the greatest treasure which the good Lord can grant to a parish, and one of the most precious gifts of divine mercy.” St. John Vianney
            (More about this, here:

          • At first, in the early 70s we thought our pastor and priests were inflicting all the changes…then we realized it was coming from above ..the Bishop and from Rome. Of course it became clear that we should be kinder to priests because so many were leaving…they needed encouragement.

          • We have to remember the times in which the NO was foisted on the pew sitters – most parental authority and civil authority was weakened by the whole modern thing…I was part of that teenage group who refused to attend Mass – I had not had a particularly good Catholic schooling even tho by Sisters. So I was refusing to attend Mass because my parents insisted. The more they insisted the more I resisted. And it was down hill from there. This diminishing of respect for authority seeped into the Church directly from the hippie nonsense we were all drinking.

            When Father Flapdoodle told my parents to shut up and get over it – they did. Maybe his was the last authority of that age, one they shouldn’t have obeyed!!!! Ironic.

          • Obedience to the pope was their essential tool. Back then people submitted to authority because under the pre-VII popes there was safety in doing so. The modernists sudden takeover of the papacy didnt give Catholics an opportunity to think things through because they were conditioned to believe that whatever comes from Rome is infallible and therefore had to be good (for the most part, this hasnt changed). When I have talked to folk from that era and brought up some facts with them they kind of just shrug their shoulders and remain dumbfounded. I’m sure that Paul VI would have told his team “I can’t promulgate this, they’ll never go for it” only to be told by the demon whispering in his ear “they will be obedient to whatever you tell them”.

          • Exactly! My first thoughts were exactly the same a few years ago, when I was reading about (for me then almost unbelievable events around) the ‘Nieuwe hollandse Katechismus’.
            Hereabout people should (must) know more than they know, if they know anything…
            And this exact words of pope PVI “I can’t promulgate this, they’ll never go for it” (!?!), are frightening just and only if you know where he was talking about. About which ‘new stuff’ that the bishops and theologians from Holland wanted to put up in their so-called new (read- heretical!) Katechismus as instructions to “strengthen” the Catholic faith…

            See here the official Declaration to review the New Catechism in dutch:
            See also letter about the ‘New katechismus’ from PVI to card. Jan Alferink ab of Utrecht written on 30.03.1967.

          • Yes, I think it gives people comfort in just being whatever the heck they are. Join hands, everyone! etc.
            Also as every half-generation came on by, it became easier and easier to convince everyone that this was “normal.”

      • “The transition ……. should be accelerated” But, as we are all painfully aware, the current dictatorship has not merely applied the brakes to the process. There are definite indications that it may be put into reverse gear. There certainly will be no improvement in the situation at least until he’s gone. And if he succeeds, (God forbid) in orchestrating the election of his successor? It doesn’t bear thinking about!

      • I live in a community in Canada where Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College resides and our NO Masses are reverent, serene,with a deep respect for silence and prayer before and after Mass.. The bishop was happy to allow the altar rail to be reinstalled as we were all kneeling and most receiving on the tongue, except for some parishoners who continue to stand and receive in their hands, but the majority give good example. Our parish priest faces east and has no fear of speaking the hard truths to his parishoners. On Saturday mornings, Our Lady’s Mass has anywhere from 20 to as many as forty altar boys from the age of six years old up to age forty. Many of these altar boys are from large families who sacrifice much to home school their children. This is where the vocations will come from as it should be.
        We have no Extraordinary ministers of Communion. Only priests and deacons dispense Holy Communion. One can see clearly that when implemented faithfully, without institutionalizing errors ( lay people running around everywhere! )there is great beauty in our Mass and a deep worship given to God. I consider us to be so very blessed to live here. Many have moved here to be amongst other faithful Catholics who had suffered in other parts of Ontario where the innovations were such a cross. I have almost forgotten how distraught and distracted we were in those other parishes. The church here and the Sacramental life is the heart of our community. It has often been said that we are under the mantle of Our Lady in this beautiful valley. As Philip said to Nathaniel “Come and see!”

        • Somebody with direct experience can chime in, but I think the Lincoln diocese and also Bp Morlino’s are examples of similar situations here in the USA.

        • I would advise you to read the work by Father Cekada, “Work of Human Hands.” Your post-conciliar liturgy is the product of a revolution that has as its end a deliberate watering down of the sacrificial nature of the Mass. There are other non-traditional scholars such as Dr. Laura Pristas who have demonstrated that the prayers of the post-conciliar Mass differ from the traditional Catholic spirituality of the Mass.

          I have no reason to “Come and see.” Been there; done that. Besides, the bishop who gave you permission for these post-conciliar “experiential exceptions” could die tomorrow and the next bishop may well dismantle what you think you have secured. That’s not Catholicism; that’s liturgical, theological and spiritual positivism. That’s a Damoclean Sword that has victimized many.

          • “Besides, the bishop who gave you permission for these post-conciliar “experiential exceptions” could die tomorrow and the next bishop may well dismantle what you think you have secured. That’s not Catholicism; that’s liturgical, theological and spiritual positivism. That’s a Damoclean Sword that has victimized many.”


            This is an element of the modern Catholic scene that I found most disturbing when I converted, as it reeks of Anglicanism and Methodism in that variable doctrines can be espoused and defended and promoted in different locales and at different times. That is, the notion that we can have truth or lies based on who’s the Bishop. This flies in the face of the immutability of God and the catholicity of the Church.

            True Church discipline and Popes who are good fathers would settle that score but IMO we haven’t really had a good “Father Figure” as a Pope in many decades. Weakness and/or lax discipline has been a feature of Catholic life since at least the beginning of V2.

          • So I take it that you do not buy Benedict or Cardinal Sarah’s ‘reform of the reform? There are multitudes all over our nations who are in search of a Mass that gives God His due worship. A Mass that has been stripped of innovations, celebrity priest/ comedians. Some can attend the TLM but many cannot. This is not the same thing as Protestants ‘church shopping.’ I had to remain in a parish in northern Canada for ten years because there was no other option. Aside from the distractions which were an agony and great cross and the persecution I received for refusing to stand at the Consecration I knew that I was still receiving the Body and Blood of Christ and interiorly I tried my best to give Our Lord what he deserved.
            Those who do not agree that both Masses are part of our Sacred Tradition are going against church teaching are they not? The bishop was not giving permission for ‘experiental exceptions’. He is a wise bishop who already knows that they should never have been taken out and the documents , as far as I know, never ordered them taken out. Believe me, I have heard all the arguments and I understand but those who pit NO Catholics against TLM Catholics do not do a service to Christ when they shame Catholics who attend the NO Mass as unintelligent lower caste lowly peons. I am reading Cardinal Sarah’s book and he would never speak the way you speak even when he rails against the abuses so eloquently.

          • “So I take it that you do not buy Benedict or Cardinal Sarah’s ‘reform of the reform?” No. For stated reasons. The Mass is defective “in se.”

            “Those who do not agree that both Masses are part of our Sacred Tradition are going against church teaching are they not?” The Bugnini Mass is NOT part of Sacred Tradition (any more than “Amoris Laetitia” is).

      • I agree with you, Steve and, from reading you and The Great One for over a year, I know you and he on the same side. And you’re both right. I am one of those stuck in a NO parish because there is no FSSP parish in my area and the SSPX have not been regularized. But I cringe at the NO Mass, even though my parish has one of the best of them. When the priest calls the wine of the Altar “Our spiritual drink” I shut that travesty off and mutter, “the Blood of Christ” which is what the Tridentine Mass says. We can the Protestants of Vatican II for that.

        We lived in Los Angeles for 20 years, mostly under the ‘leadership’ of the odious Roger Mahony. His Religious Education Congress, held in Orange County, was a heresy and a travesty from its beginnings as shown in the pictures in the article. Invited speakers included active homosexuals, pop star priests, abortion supporters and any number of renegade women religious beating the drum for women’s ordination and other such anti-Catholic novelties. Some of the seminars offered were nothing but anti-Catholic propaganda. That experience told me there was no turning back from the Vatican II heresies without a faithful and fearless Pope in the image of Pope Pius X. I don’t see any of those on the horizon.

        The article cites several JPII pleas for liturgical orthodoxy, but I wonder how serious he was about it. He was the Pope and could have returned the Church to the Latin Mass as easily as Paul VI discarded it. And he DID discard it. JPII did nothing about it while he was making bishops of a significant number of homosexual priests. He had too much invested in Vatican II to see its faults. His persecution of Archbishop Lefebvre was unconscionable. If he had instead made him the head of the Congregation of Divine Liturgy and the Sacraments and regularized and promoted the SSPX the whole mess could have been cleared up in three years with the heretics and apostates identified and excommunicated. The pontificate we are suffering under now is a direct result of the failure of JPII to correct the course of the Church when he had the chance to do so.

        We don’t know what the immediate future has in store for us, but we do know Our Lord will not take much more of what we’re getting now. In the meantime let’s activate your suggestion to accelerate a return to sanctity and sanity. And assault Heaven with our fervent prayers.

      • The demonic influence within our Church, within the parishes is far greater now, than in the 70s.

        And there are too many generations in between then and now, who have fallen prey.
        The sense of sin has been abandoned for the most part, and because of this, humanity is comfortable in their “joy of self love”, and will be extremely resistant to any
        changes in a Mass, whereupon, the priest and the laity will be forced to adore our Lord at the Mass, and the silence will cause great disruption in their life of comfort.

        Homosexuality has so polluted for so long now. Too many bishops and priests gravely given into this heinous sin. It is late in the game now. The reform must be complete, either 100 percent for God at the Mass or it is for naught, in my opinion. Harsh? Perhaps. Unfair? Possibly.
        But when you battle Satan and his demons now, one better be able to be harsh and appear unfair.

      • But this is a business mentality. The Church that God founded is not a political party. Truth is truth. Its not true that the no is a mass. ITs not true that there is such thing as religious liberty. Its not true that the CHurch Christ subsists in the Catholic church with little pieces of truth scattered in heritic societies or scismatic societies. Your attitude is a political party or a business. Us “conservatives” need to do this or that. And boy, those liberals sure got us on that.

        Naw, its either true or it aint, and the NO sect is not true…

    • I commented to you in the 1P5 Military Archdiocese blog “Yes Josef, I am in complete agreement with you ─ dumping the Ordinary Form. However, as impractical as it is, due to shortage of priests, Nu-church opposition and diocesan TLM bi-ritual celebrants, the SSPX solution is the only acceptable answer.”

      The ‘reform of the reform’ has been mooted for years and has only succeeded in raising the hopes of Catholics held voluntarily captive in Novus Ordo Land. It just won’t happen. Consider the Editor of the Jesuit La Civilta Cattolica and ‘trusted Francis adviser’, Fr Antonio Spadaro, S.J., who put the matter before Francis on 9 July 16. Francis insisted that the Second Vatican Council and its Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy “must be carried forward as they are” and declared furthermore that “to speak of ‘the reform of the reform’ is an error!” Two days later Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi, S.J, on instruction from Francis said inter alia, “that the expression ‘reform of the reform’ be avoided in referring to the liturgy.”

      I believe these three Jesuits! I also believe Pope Pius XII’s 14 July 1958 warning “Today the Enemy of God has seized all the levers of command.” What then?

      Why not the SSPX? They hold the high ground. The alternative is the low ground which is a shambles; sacramentally, theologically, missiologically, politically, devotionally and, of critical importance, liturgically.

      It is time for Catholics of influence to enlighten the less-informed Catholics and to encourage them to up stakes and head for the SSPX. There is no earthly reason, other than perhaps distance or mobility, to do otherwise.

    • this is me, tapping the tip of my nose. No way is this catholicism. So, let the fools have their clown masses!

    • Yes exactly. ????????????
      I can honestly say that many people in my TLM parish have been valled / chosen / however you want to put it:
      to the truth, to ‘evangelize,’ to hold fast, to builld, etc.

    • It is probably easier to convert Protestants to the Roman Catholic Church than Conciliar Catholics back to Tradition. The impasse centres around the excessive understanding of obedience to the pope and the teachings of the Vatican Council II. One considers particularly, the novel doctrines of ecumenism, religious liberty and collegiality, and of course the rite of Pope Paul VI. The Tridentine rite is totally alien to them. They cannot understand why this Mass even exists. They complain that father has his back to us, we cannot understand this foreign language of Latin. I want to receive the Holy Communion in my hand and drink from the chalice. I like it that lay people can participate in the readings and dispensing the Eucharist, after all we have a common priesthood, and we are a community. And so it goes on.

      Possibly one can attract a few disaffected Catholics, however, the salvation from this nightmare may be seen in the young. I have read that many young priests have an interest in the traditional rite and that many young people are drawn to it. I have seen some evidence of this. I have no doubt that in time there will be a restoration but it will be gradual. If I have an opportunity to discuss with young people the nature of the Traditional Mass, I do so with as much enthusiasm as possible with the hope of exciting their imagination and curiosity.

      • I think thats how it is / has to be. Excruciatingly painful as the situation is, & painful the loss of souls, torturous its effects on our loved ones, we have enormous blessings & God is giving us much to work with; we have different talents, gifts & situations & need to roll up our sleeves & get on with it like the first 12 men.

    • The Diocese of Lincoln NE, considered by most to be the most orthodox diocese in the United States has no Latin Masses. This took me by surprise, but it is true.

  4. This is a very helpful collection. Thank you, Dr. Kwasniewski, for assembling and posting it.

    It does prompt me to ask, however, whether the Magisterium ever taught the faithful’s right to the proper celebration of the sacred liturgy prior to the Second Vatican Council, or at least prior to 1970.

  5. To whom does one go when reporting liturgical abuses? The reason I ask is because I’ve “been there……done that”! Trying to get a Catholic bishop to actually do his job is an exercise in futility. The bishop is seldom helpful. In the worst case scenario, the bishop is actually complicit in the liturgical abuse and a part of the problem. In the best case scenario, the bishop is an ineffectual, limp-wristed, milquetoast who doesn’t really care. His primary objective is simply to keep the wheels turning and his priests happy which means that any possibility of disciplinary action is just a pipe dream. He will nod wisely as you talk to him and he might even smile at you but his look will tell you that he thinks you’re some sort of knuckle-dragging, rosary-counting whacko, who belongs in the Traditionalist swamp!

    Don’t bother. Save yourself the agony and the angst. Find another place to worship and if that’s not possible, suffer in silence in the pews and offer it up to Jesus like most of us have been doing for the past 50 years.

  6. “At the end of the day, don’t sweat the small stuff. Our Lord, after all, is still present in the Blessed Sacrament, no matter which form, or what style of music, or what particular customs a community follows.”

    Thanks so much for pointing this out! The big stuff happens because of the tolerated “little stuff”. Very much how venial sin unchecked leads to mortal.

    “Side by side with these benefits of the liturgical reform, one has to acknowledge with regret deviations of greater or lesser seriousness in its application.”

    So, he really didn’t get it. Not really. It’s like ignoring the cause of your cancer and trying to “fix” or change things surrounding it ( like symptoms), but not addressing the core problem. It’s mystifying.

  7. All religions are swell, everybody goes to Heaven, fornication and adultery aren’t really all that wrong. So who cares if the Mass is celebrated by knuckleheads? It’s pretty much superfluous anyway.

      • No, sarcasm for me is like water for a fish. But I think I am instead showing my cynicism here — not a good thing. But my point is that since Vat II the Church has been unofficially saying, sometimes screaming what I wrote above — all religions are swell, don’t worry about sin, we’re all going to Heaven.

        It takes a strong faith not to conclude that the Church doesn’t believe in its teachings anymore. If the Church doesn’t mean much to Church leadership, why should it mean anything to the rank-in-file? Every ecumenical meeting popes have with Protestants or Jews or Muslims or pagans leaves the impression, intended or not, that nothing the Church teaches is all that important.

  8. The photo of the women holding bowls around the wooden table (altar!) strikes me as something one would see in a pagan worship service or in a temple of an idol — not that I have ever been to such a thing — but I would flee any “Catholic mass” that included such a stunt. And balloons and light sabers …. gee, why not fog machines and disco lights and rock bands as is done in many a Protestant service these days.

    Are we trying to fight and pray against prophesy that cannot be stopped? I don’t mean to be negative or pessimistic. Perhaps we should pray: “what would you have me do Lord” and “thy will, not mine be done.”

    • “Are we trying to fight and pray against prophesy that cannot be stopped?”
      Of course we are not doing that. Neither it must ever been, to just ‘get along’.
      Of course it will be HIS will done. Hard way or easy way (for many of us).
      But there are many souls who need help. And yes, even from us, little Christian lay people.

      “To live without faith,
      without a heritage to defend,
      without battling constantly for truth,
      is not to live but to ‘get along’;
      We must never just ‘get along’!”

      Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati

  9. Redemptionis Sacramentum (March 25, 2004)

    4. [I]t is not possible to be silent about the abuses, even quite grave ones, against the nature of the Liturgy and the Sacraments as well as the tradition and the authority of the Church, which in our day not infrequently plague liturgical celebrations in one ecclesial environment or another. In some places the perpetration of liturgical abuses has become almost habitual, a fact which obviously cannot be allowed and must cease.

    The author is looking for a solution in the NO hierarchy and documents of those leaders. The same hierarchy that says, “be orthodox….. but on the other hand/ however, do what you feel is best”. JPII is a perfect example of this. Look at the length he writes about abuse, but the plan, or non plan, of the NO is still in place, with the same ambivalent instructions. It’s a joke. It’s meant to be abused. This was a plan! Same with discipline and doctrine.

    VII has got to be trashed, the NO has got to go. This mass has ENDED!

  10. Why isn’t the Code of Eastern Canons (CCEO) cited in the article? Some of the canons in the CCEO are comparable to their Latin counterparts.

  11. OK. I really dislike “experts” who demand you have degrees in theology and liturgy before you can even criticize the current habit of masticating the liturgy. To borrow from Justice Potter Stewart on pornography, to wit “I know it when I see it,..”. One must remember, that most of the reformers of the Church (and I am NOT referring to the Protestant Revolt) were not of the magisterium, but outsiders often not the vaunted experts of their day and time. BTW, my favorite reformer of the Church (more of an enforcer really) was Pope Paul III. Cleaned things up nicely for a few centuries.


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