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Is The Vatican Looking to Ghettoize the Latin Mass?

Though the rumors have been stirring for a while now, John-Henry Westen of LifeSiteNews reports today that sources in Rome are talking about a possible plan to ghettoize the Traditional Latin Mass:

Sources inside the Vatican suggest that Pope Francis aims to end Pope Benedict XVI’s universal permission for priests to say the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM), also known as the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. While the course of action would be in tune with Pope Francis’ repeatedly expressed disdain for the TLM especially among young people, there has been no open discussion of it to date.

Sources in Rome told LifeSite last week that liberal prelates inside the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith were overheard discussing a plan ascribed to the Pope to do away with Pope Benedict’s famous document that gave priests freedom to offer the ancient rite of the Mass.

There’s no question that the TLM is a source of contention for many of the revolutionaries in the Church. After all, the majority of the resistance to their program of “reform” comes from traditionalist quarters. But while some ecclesiastical progressives recognize that with the TLM comes opposition through the commitment of those attached to it to doctrinal orthodoxy, Pope Francis seems annoyed at worst and indifferent at best on the question of traditional liturgy — or liturgy in general. Yes, he’s talked about attachment to the TLM as a “fashion” that he seems to think will pass, like all phases. But for the most part, his efforts have been focused almost everywhere but the liturgy. Westen continues:

The overheard plans are nearly identical to comments from an important Italian liturgist in an interview published by France’s La Croix earlier this month. Andrea Grillo a lay professor at the Pontifical Athenaeum of St Anselmo in Rome, billed by La Croix as “close to the Pope,” is intimately familiar Summorum Pontificum. Grillo in fact published a book against Summorum Pontificum before the papal document was even released.

Grillo told La Croix that Francis is considering abolishing Summorum Pontificum. According to Grillo, once the Vatican erects the Society of Saint Pius X as a Personal Prelature, the Roman Rite will be preserved only within this structure. “But [Francis] will not do this as long as Benedict XVI is alive.”

The plan, as related to LifeSite, involved making an agreement with the Society of St. Pius X and, with that agreement in place, sequestering those Catholics wanting the TLM to the SSPX. For most, that would strip them of access to the TLM since there would not be nearly enough SSPX priests to service Catholics wanting the TLM worldwide.

There are a couple of things to unpack here.

First, I just don’t think think Francis cares enough, for the reasons I stated above, to bother with Summorum Pontificum. There’s no indication that he sees any threat in Latin Mass communities. They are a mild nuisance at best, and one he thinks — if he truly believes the resurgence in TLM attendance to be a fad — will take care of itself.

There are also the stories about how he got along well with the SSPX during his tenure in Argentina. The stories, as I’ve heard them, is that the Society there did the kind of work amongst the poor and marginalized (a natural result of their adherence to authentic social teaching) that then-Cardinal Bergoglio approved of. So while he found them a bit liturgically and doctrinally eccentric, from his perspective they checked the right boxes, as it were, and he had no problem letting them continue their own affairs without interference.

It is for this reason, one theory goes, that he has seen no impediment to their reconciliation. (And of course, if he shows mercy to them, how can he be blamed by traditionalists if he shows it to others who are…shall we say, less orthodox?)

But this brings us back to the question of the proposed solution: a personal prelature for the SSPX under which all access to the Traditional Latin Mass would be ghettoized.

I find this far-fetched for several reasons. First, because the personal prelature seems like anything but a sure bet, with the 11th hour re-introduction of conditions that have long been considered non negotiable to the Society — conditions which the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei (which works under the CDF) indicated as recently as last summer were within the parameters of negotiation.

Second, because I would be deeply surprised to see Pope Francis hesitate to do something simply because the Pope Emeritus is still alive. It certainly hasn’t slowed down any other portion of his program, and the Pope Emeritus has seen fit not to object to anything thus accomplished.

Third, and most importantly, because I don’t think the Society itself would go for it. There is nothing about the SSPX that indicates its leadership is seeking to have total control over tradition, in the liturgy or otherwise. Archbishop Lefebvre himself wanted Rome to leave the liberty to say the old Mass available to the entire Church. And while Lefebvre was not happy with the conditions placed on it, in a talk given in 1984, he said, “It would be difficult to say that it [the indult] is not a good thing, since many people have asked Rome for this liberty, that those who say the Old Mass not be persecuted.”

Further, according to the late John Vennari of Catholic Family News, “In January 2001, the SSPX established two primary conditions for negotiations from the Vatican as a gesture of good will,” the first of which was that “the Vatican make it known that every priest in the world may celebrate the Tridentine Mass without any restriction.”

Bishop Fellay, under whose leadership that condition was issued, also lauded Summorum Pontificum when it was released in 2007. He did not seem aggrieved that the TLM was not made only the purview only of the Society.

There is thus no reason to believe he would want it to be so in 2017. In fact, his words ten years ago indicate that he clearly saw the Church’s ancient liturgy as a universal and unalienable right:

The motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum of July 7, 2007 re-establishes the Tridentine Mass in its legal right. In the text it is clearly acknowledged that it was never abrogated. And so fidelity to this Mass—for the sake of which so many priests and lay people have been persecuted, or even severely punished, for almost 40 years this fidelity was never disobedience.

There is simply no evidence that the Society would, for any reason, go along with a plan to further restrict what they believe should be universally available.

Westen’s source also offers the hint of a possible plot from Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in undermining a deal between Rome and the Society:

LifeSite’s source suggested that the plan may explain a May 20, 2017 letter by the recently ousted Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Müller. Even though Cardinal Müller wanted the SSPX fully reconciled to help fight modernists in the Church, the May 20 letter seemed to scuttle an agreement between Pope Francis and the SSPX which would see them get a personal prelature. The letter includes provisions long known to be completely unacceptable to the SSPX, thus nullifying an understanding SSPX leader Bishop Bernard Fellay believed was imminent.

If there’s one thing that’s become abundantly clear over the past year, it’s that Cardinal Müller hedges his bets and steps deftly away from danger. I cannot imagine him going out on a limb to stop this deal to protect a Mass I’ve seen no indication he has an attachment to. It is my understanding that other prelates had to coax him into recognizing how important it would be to bring the SSPX in at this time. He was the one taking hardline stances about their positions until very recently. In December 2013, he said:

The canonical excommunication of the bishops for their illegal ordinations was revoked, but a de facto sacramental excommunication remains for their schism; they put themselves out of communion with the Church. After that we are not closing the door and never will, but we are inviting them to be reconciled. But they too must change their attitude, accept the conditions of the Catholic Church, and the Supreme Pontiff as the definitive criterion for membership. [emphasis added]

Even if Müller’s intent was sabotage, his removal from the CDF could easily pave the way for a new, more conciliatory approach from the Vatican toward the Society that drops the conditions put forward in his May 20 letter. So far, we haven’t seen any indication of this.

So while I have no doubt that Westen has credible sources in Rome who have heard such talk, the entire idea strikes me as one of those plausible-sounding but probably false narratives. Whether this is intentional on the part of those who might have an interest in sowing disinformation or merely the result of wishful thinking, I’d be surprised to see anything further come of this.

195 thoughts on “Is The Vatican Looking to Ghettoize the Latin Mass?”

  1. Can I get a definition with example of the meaning implied in using the term”ghettoize”? I do not understand what this means in the catholic context.

    • The standard definition applies: “put in or restrict to an isolated or segregated place, group, or situation.”

      We’re already there, but this would further restrict it.

      • Thank you very much. I was thinking along the lines of some type of poverty, decrepitness, or something not up to the same quality as others. Thanks again.

      • I thought Bergoglio took pity on marginalized groups ….sodomites, abortionists, communists, Moslem jihadists and just maybe …faithful Catholics. So we have nothing to worry about?

    • It means to take something you would like to stamp out, but can’t, and isolate it, put a fence around it, try to make it invisible, inaccessible, and inconsequential. Examples: the Jewish ghettoes, “red light districts,” the Missal of Pius V.

  2. When I came to the Church, I had no idea what I was getting into. I thought the Catholic Church was universal and unified. Had no idea there was the amount of chaos and infighting that clearly defines the Church today.

    What really got me was that I could only find the Catholic faith I’d studied and loved at a Traditionalist parish {FSSP}.

    So the thought that the Church {ie the Pope} would do what has been suggested is really horrifying to me.

    I cannot imagine any thinking person today not seeing the obvious intent to dismantle the teachings of the catholic faith that is going on today.

    As for the veracity of the report, who knows, but Steve’s interpretation seems as likely as any.

    • Ha, I was raised Catholic and I find this to be true: “What really got me was that I could only find the Catholic faith I’d studied and loved at a Traditionalist parish {FSSP}.”

      • Yep, i didn’t even know it because I grew up with the Novus Ordo but the FSSP unlocked all the treasures of the faith of my fathers and I sensed it immediately. It was very emotional, it still is 8 years later.

  3. What will be will be. What may come, we do not know. What God permits in His infinite and Loving plan is what shall be and what is to come. All He asks of us is to be faithful, and He will work out for the good everything for those who Love him.

    Matthew 6:30-34(Douay Rheims): And if the grass of the field, which is to day, and to morrow is cast into the oven, God doth so clothe: how much more you, O ye of little faith? Be not solicitous therefore, saying, What shall we eat: or what shall we drink, or wherewith shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the heathens seek. For your Father knoweth that you have need of all these things. Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you. Be not therefore solicitous for to morrow; for the morrow will be solicitous for itself. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof.

    • Summorum Pontificum stated that the old rite was never forbidden, nor could it ever be. In view of that, would it be right for a priest to continue to celebrate it if this pope were to declare it forbidden? I’m only asking for your opinion, because the idea frankly terrifies me, as I’m sure it terrifies many of us. I’m well aware of the fact that obedience is extremely important but whee do we draw the line? It’s all very muddling.

      • At this moment I cannot say for I do not know. I would need to read the decree and prayerfully discern what God was asking of me. For now, I have updated my post, please read it and contemplate it for it will give succor to your soul.

        Pax Tecum,
        Fr. RP

        PS; We draw the line at the point of where we are being told to sin, or to promote sin, or to ignore sin.

        • “We draw the line at the point of where we are being told to sin, or to promote sin, or to ignore sin.”

          Excellent and succinct rule of thumb. Thank you

        • Father, isn’t there also the condition that one may disobey a superior if obeying will cause certain harm to another?

          • Well, one can easily say that knowingly causing certain harm to another (who is presumably innocent of a crime) would definitely constitute a Sin of commission.

      • How long did it take Pope BVI and Pope JPII to figure that out? Do you not remember the secret gathering of 9 cardinals under Pope JPII to answer the question “Did Pope Paul VI abrogate the TLM?” Do you not remember that the answer was “No” but then the the answer was hidden from us because the answer might cause a great disturbance of the laity? I know of one priest who went underground after 1970 saying the TLM to “rigid” groups of laity all around the US who wanted the TLM but could not have one because the bishops would not allow the TLM due to orders from the Vatican. Goodness gracious, look it up! These guys, popes, cardinals, bishops, priests, have been LYING to us since 1969. Do you think they will stop now? If they could make the TLM disappear today, they would. To the great majority of catholic priests and laity, it would be a holy day of obligation that they would respect if the TLM was abolished.

      • You are welcome. I pray and hope that every 1P5 reader will read this and embrace it, for it will benefit them more than they know. Amen.

      • You are welcome. God will not disappoint you, but you must joyfully acquiesce to His Will (it might require begrudging acceptance first, but pray for peaceful acceptance and it shall be.)

        • Father, Tell me, is it okay (allowed) to attend SSPX parishes and receive the Eucharist there? A poster here (on another topic) told me it is forbidden because they are “excommunicated”.

          • They are not excommunicated, they are in a Canonically irregular status, whatever that means. As far as I know you may attend the Holy Sacrifice at an SSPX Chapel but that you are not supposed to join it (once again, whatever that means.) That’s the problem with everything now: clear as MUD.

          • Fr., the SSPX is a priestly society, not a layman’s one. The laymen present aren’t members of the SSPX.

          • I’m aware of that, I’m not talking about formal membership in the SSPX, I’m talking about becoming a ‘member’ at one of their chapels. That’s is why I put whatever that means after that, as there is very little guidance from Rome in this matter since the excommunications where lifted and more recently since Pope Francis extended faculties for Confession and to Witness Marriages.
            May the Lord grant us holy assistance in resolving this situation as soon as possible for the Good of the Church and the good of Souls. Amen.

        • I’ve always been afraid of God’s will. First, how could I know for certain that it IS God’s will, my own desire or the snare of the Enemy? I’ve made many Ignatian retreats, know the rules of discernment but as the Fathers told us, an angel isn’t going to say: “God wants you to do this.” a la the Annunciation. That’s not how He usually works.

          • I know what you mean, but as you know, there is the Lord’s direct will, and his permissive will, the latter allowing our misused freedoms (sin) and ultimately bringing good out of them per the Cross!

          • Story of my life.

            My wife and I are trying to come to an important decision that will have a sizable impact on our family, and all I want is God to give us a very clear sign of what He wants to do.

          • How do you determine the difference between being lukewarm or a clear sign from God about something you’ve been praying about? All good comes from God however we may not be open to His will or understand it at the moment and the sign passes us by. And being lukewarm is a sin (from what I understand), though how do we know when we have enough knowledge about something to make a decision vs. continuing to say we lack complete understanding and remain in the status quo? This topic intrigues me as we all have decisions to make everyday that will affect us.

            The lack of clarity from our clergy and the catechism according to the laity makes this even more challenging which is why I think spiritual direction from a well formed priest is of great importance.

            May God grant us more holy priest, if it is His will.

          • Spiritual direction from a well formed priest? The chance would be a fine thing around here. Dream on, Heloisa!

          • I’ve had a couple of those situations in my life, and two fairly big ones in my recent history, including a cross-country move. You may hesitate on taking advice on an unknown situation from an unknown individual online, but this is what has happened to me just about every time.

            1. Whatever you think is right has most likely been growing on your mind for a while. Maybe even years. Now, though, it seems to be coming to a head. Listen to what God is telling you. Pray for guidance.

            2. You will doubt #1, because what if it isn’t God, what if it is the Enemy, your fears/desires/unconscious feelings, etc.

            3. Make plans. Be methodical. Research. Study. Examine the issue from all sides. Keep praying for guidance.

            4. Arrive at a decision that you will second-guess because of #2.

            5. With a decision that you continue to second guess and aren’t ready to pull the trigger on, pray even harder for guidance. Say things like, “Lord, you’ve put me on the road. You are in the driver seat, and I’m the passenger. I do not need to know where we are going to follow You. However, if you expect me to make any decisions on this trip, I’m going to need some large, very well-illuminated sign-posts! I put my trust in You, and I will go where You lead. So please, LEAD!”

            6. The urgency seems to lessen a bit. You feel a bit more at peace. Not a lot, just a little. Enough to where you aren’t stressing about it every waking moment. This period may last a few days to a few months. You start to even get comfortable again.

            7. Suddenly, things are in motion. Events transpire, usually quickly. Things you’ve had reservations about are suddenly removed, leaving no objections. Options you weren’t aware of before suddenly spring up. These usually don’t directly influence your primary decision, but they are follow-on affects and options that appear, and may not be to your benefit at all, but do benefit others who need help, and are only available once you put your decision into action.

            8. Your plan is implemented. It doesn’t go smoothly. And yet, it still goes fast. Road bumps appear, and are flattened. You make progress very fast. Your objections and doubts are overcome, one at a time, until there is nothing holding you back. You complete your plan. This can happen all over the coarse of a weekend. It will move fast! It won’t seem scary at the time, but you’ll still have a few doubts. When it is over, you’ll wonder how it was all possible. Did you really just do that?

            9. You second-guess the implementation. Was it really meant to be? Did you make the right decision? Knowing what you know now, and over the next several evaluation periods, would you have made any different choices? Usually, no. The choices may not have had an ideal outcome, but still they point to the best, if not optimal, solution.

            Trust in God, and He’ll help you get there. His methods and patterns may be different with you, according to your role and needs, but fear not. Once you give Him control, and submit to His will, He will use it, and He will lead you.

          • Margaret, I remember you writing this before. I go through all the same – partly, I think, because I’ve no back up from anyone on Terra Firma, so I have to rely on 3rd party info and God himself who, as you say, doesn’t give instructions by angel or megaphone. So I just try to get on with my prayer life and let Heaven do the rest. Try and remember my own prayer which I’m sure I’ve written elsewhere a couple of times – “Thy will be done – kicking and screaming if necessary” – and yes, in some ways I’m afraid of what He might ‘will’ for me but He knows that anyway so I try not to worry about it all and just tell Him to ignore my babbling! St Therese of Lisieux didn’t worry about falling asleep during prayer nor about not liking the Rosary. We should be more like her – and trust in Our Father.

          • You have a good memory! Thank you for the lovely post. I’m going to save it.

            I’d love to meet you in person one day. (Actually, one day might not be enough… ????)

          • Aw,,,you’re embarrassing me ;-)) I don’t think everyone would want to a full day of my company!
            Seriously, though, ‘kicking and screaming’ might seem a funny thing to say but for me it just means I give God permission to override whatever I want or say – including the answer “NO, I won’t!!”

        • Father, I hear what you are saying and appreciate it. I have written down the Scripture readings you recommend. But then again, the pope, if he does what is described here, is actively destroying the Catholic Church and faith as it has been understood for 2000 years, and, he would be needlessly attacking the faithful remnant of Catholic believers that would be effected. Now he has verbally insulted us, many times, but this would be an assault so direct, it cannot be ignored. We ARE the Church Militant, and we cannot simply pray and ignore the actual destruction of our Church and faith that is going on in real time. Is that not what these Freemasonic Communists running our church would love us to do, just accept it all as God’s will and shut up.

          • I think our part is to remain faithful and love God above all things, like Abraham, like Peter, like our Blessed Mother.

            And it will take a great deal of courage and perseverance in the days to come to do these things. Our witness, which shall be personal, when it comes right down to it, will take a militant heart and militant strength out of zeal for Christ and His Church.
            For some, it may require a larger to cross to bear, for others, perhaps not.
            God will choose accordingly.

            Regardless, all shall be pleasing to our Heavenly Father.

            Pray to do what God asks of you.

          • I didn’t say that we should sit back pray and do nothing. The response of Faithful Catholics is also part of the Divine Will, and how faithful Catholics respond will be either his perfect will or his permissive Will, through which He will work out everything for the Good for those who love Him. I’m simply saying that we cannot loose perspective, that God is in Charge and He has not abandoned us.

    • I’m praying peacefully for the day when the novus ordo will be permanently banned. God will hasten the day.

      • I would add to that Prayer, Thy Will be Done, not mine, but Thine. In this is found peace and security in the Holy One Of God. He alone Knows what He is about, and He is working out everything for the eternal Good for those Who Love Him, including those in the Novus Ordo. Remember that the majority of Catholics are only following what they have been taught and shown and God knows this and is solicitous for their Salvation.

        I don’t know what God has planned for His Holy Church on Earth other than Salvation and Glorification at the end of time, but I say yes to Him in all things in time, including what I must suffer in order to Love Him and give to Him the Praise that is His due.

        • “He is working out everything for the eternal Good for those Who Love Him, including those in the Novus Ordo”
          Of course, It is for those attending the novus ordo especially that I want the novus ordo banned. It is why I continue to pray for, encourage, beg, and cajole them to come over to the TLM.

  4. While you are probably right Steve, or at least I hope so, there is nothing to stop Bergoglio from unilaterally regularizing the SSPX, and unilaterally making them the sole group allowed the TLM, whether that’s what they want or not.

    It could happen; we just need to pray that it doesn’t.

  5. There is simply no evidence that the Society would, for any reason, go along with a plan to further restrict what they believe should be universally available.

    That is my sense as well.

    This was one of their three “non-negotiable” conditions for exploring a deal with Rome, after all.

  6. Ecumenism provides the “moral” rationale – you know, “That they may all be one…” for extinguishing Roman Catholicism for the convenience of those who have “defected-in-place.”
    The Traditional Latin Mass is an enormous impediment to the connivance of ecumenism. From the ecumenical perspective it must be eradicated. It stands inviolate. The Novus Ordo on the other hand is quite vulnerable to manipulation into “God—knows-what” by the ecumaniacs. It is “new.” Most of us see it manipulated every day, one way or another. What’s another tweak or two for the sake of Christian hospitality?
    My estimation of Rome’s comportment in the Bergoglian captivity is to provide hospitality to the SSPX and the broader group of traditional Catholics in their own corral while they become extinct and have the chrysalis of Roman Catholicism politely commandeered by the new homogenized ecumenical entity. For this to be successful it requires the current ambiguity while employing a
    decidedly firm appeal to our tradition of obedience.
    The heterodox within the Roman Catholicism cling to the current structure only in order to claim the credibility provided by its pedigree. That is the best that can be said of their intention. The financial security provided by the institution they debase is vital for the inauguration of their Kungian Kasparian Katholicism and ultimately to their personal financial security without moral
    The current context is nothing less than menacing.

  7. If the Pope limited the Latin mass to a regularized SSPX {because he would have to regularize the SSPX in order to do it}, it would:

    1} Empower and embolden the SSPX.
    2} Send a signal to the entire world to NOTICE the Latin Mass {cuz it would be in the secular newspapers, ya’know.}
    3} Pacify some {not all} of his sodomite allies.

    I THINK he is savvy enough to recognize the 2/3rd’s vs 1/3rd advantage and thus won’t do it.

    But…I could be wrong.

  8. “This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang, but with a whimper.” Is this really the way the world ends?

    • No. That is not how it ends. The Lord comes in His Holy Glory and with His August and Eternal Judgement of the Living and the Dead and every knee is bowed before Him and His enemy’s are slain in His Holy Presence and cast into the Eternal Fire prepared for Satan and His demons, while His Holy Ones are elevated above the angel’s and are seated beside Him forever and ever. Amen.

  9. Ahem…’s already “ghettoized”, even with Summorum pontificum in effect. It’s been ghettoized since 1969. In spite of SP, in most parts of the Western hemisphere, it’s a brave priest who takes SP literally and begins celebrating the Traditional Rite without getting the green light from his bishop and with just a few exceptions, that green light will be given with severe restrictions and begrudgingly, if at all.

    No, what Francis is planning here, is not to ghettoize the Mass. We have that already. What he’s planning is an all out war. He wants to finish what Bugnini and his fellow travelers began in the 1960s and “deep six” the Traditional Rite forever.

    And Benedict XVI will nod his head and smile sweetly while Ganswein will continue to tell us how close Benedict and Francis are to each other. The hell with these faithless apostates. I’ve done the obedient, obsequious Novus Ordo pewsitter routine since I was an elementary school student in the ’60s but I’m done with that now. If Francis comes on strong with his liturgy nazi act, the Novus Ordo world will not get one penny of my money. Ever. I hope it crashes and burns. I’m ready to rumble.

    • I think we better play their game and smile sweetly back because we do not want them to inflict further harm on Benedict…in other words, that they permit him to live. He is after all completely at their mercy …..would you like to be at the mercy of the Masonic, NO, commie , sodomite bunch in the Viatican?

  10. I live in a fairly big metropolitan area, and the TLM is definitely ghettoized, only one in the entire area, on the far opposite side from where I live, through very bad traffic and neighborhoods. For that reason, since in my entire area I’m surrounded with a sea of awful banality and spiritual shallowness, I’m actually thinking of joining the wonderful, thriving, beautiful little Orthodox parish within walking distance of my new home. It’s not that I want to abandon the Catholic Church, either. It’s that I’m dying out here. I have Jesus in the Eucharist, but no community or spiritual support. And this particular Orthodox parish is thriving, they take their faith very seriously, and the priests are long-term spiritual fathers to the parish, not the constantly moving musical chairs priesthood we have in the Catholic Church. I have not made a decision yet, but am more torn than I’ve ever been in my life because I feel so much joy, warmth and closeness in the Orthodox parish, but absolutely hate to abandon the Catholic world!

    • Don’t abandon the Catholic Church, remember that the Orthodox Church has already caved on what is promoted in AL long ago (not to mention many other things like contraception, decentralization of the Church etc…) Make the Sacrifice and travel to the other Parish. Leaving the Church that the Lord Himself consecrated in His blood in her most ardent time of need will not benefit your soul in eternity.

      • I know how you feel and trust me, I’m having conversations with Catholic hierarchy, too. But like the Catholics, and I speak as a divorced woman who’s been through the annulment process and am now married in the Catholic Church, and who’s had pretty pointed conversations with the Orthodox pastor about this among other issues, the Orthodox have a process, too, but it developed differently theologically and practically due to geographic distance and different political situations. Frankly it is surprisingly more penitential than the Catholics in a case of failed marriage, while the Catholic process I went through wasn’t penitential at all, just a lot of paperwork. While AL seems to be trying to eliminate any process at all, just let people receive the Eucharist regardless, which the Orthodox I know are appalled by.

        And don’t forget, Jesus died for the Orthodox, too, they are also His Church, we were the same for a 1000 years and have never been completely separated, and we both have Jesus in the Eucharist, source and summit of our faith. If I were younger I might make the drive. But due to age, family considerations, and the need to have real community around me, I’m not willing to take a nasty drive to attend a Mass, when there will be no real community in between those long drives. We’re not supposed to be Christians in isolation, but in a Body. And I’m tired of paying for the bishop’s rank failure of leadership, raking in billions from the US govt to take care of illegal immigrants, while ignoring the spiritually dying in their own pews. Take away the immigrants, you see that 75% of US-born Catholics have left the Church in recent decades. I don’t want to be one of them. But I’m just dying here, and there’s a little oasis that is giving me succor. How could I not want to go there?

        • I understand. If you must go there for the Holy Sacrifice and true unity with fellow Christians than do so, but do not leave the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Even the current Code of Canon Law provides for Catholics attending and receiving Holy Communion at an Orthodox Church if they must. However, never forget that they are wrong for breaking away form the Sea of Peter, not matter the current difficulties.

          • Thank you, Father. Actually I’ve been going to both for a long time, receive the Eucharist at Mass, and treat the incredibly beautiful Divine Liturgy (and Orthros if I get up early enough) as an extra-long adoration time, concluded with a really great meal and fellowship with the close-knit Orthodox community. If it helps, it’s Antiochian Orthodox, they were founded by Peter before he went to Rome, and trace their Apostolic Succession back to him. It’s just that it takes a long time to do both, and I’m getting tired after all this time. I’m torn, and human. Even Jesus fell under His Cross, and needed help getting up again.

          • I’ve been in your shoes. I will pray for you. Ultimately, I stayed with Rome.

            The Eastern Orthodox have no excuse for their acceptance of divorce and remarriage. Just read the Gospels and St. Paul. Let your yes be yes, and your no be no. Anything more is from the evil one. Their explanations don’t add up. When pressed, two of their priests admitted to me as much.

            Also, the Filioque is not a heresy. For that, I recommend The Filioque: History of a Doctrinal Controversy (Oxford Studies in Historical Theology) Hardcover – May 12, 2010
            by A. Edward Siecienski. It’s not polemical, it’s objective, and in fact written by an Eastern Orthodox theologian. It convinced me of the Latin dogma of the filioque.

            Pray your Rosary, or at least your three Hail Mary’s with fervor, and you won’t go astray.

          • Yes, but Jesus did not sin, he physically fell. If you leave the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church you will be spiritually falling, as in sinning and gravely.

          • You know, that was one of my first questions, and despite many conversations with some of the most solid priests and moral theologians I know, whom I directly asked “Is it a mortal sin to do this?”, no one has told me it is – and a top canon lawyer for my diocese told me it is not, since the Orthodox are a sister Church of the apostolic succession, though not in full communion. No one actually wants me to do this, of course. But there has been so much work towards reunion in recent decades, spurred by great Popes, including the breakthrough Chieti document last year, have you read it? How can it be a serious sin when reunion is so ardently desired, and the Orthodox despite their differences are already welcome to our communion? I’m sorry, I feel like I’m taking up too much room on this thread, so I hope you don’t mind me expressing my thoughts this way.

            On a positive note, I do theological work myself, though not specialized in Orthodox theology, and I am learning a tremendous amount from this process, theologically, liturgically, and spiritually. Regardless of what I do, it is not a wasted experience, and is adding richly to everything I have already received from the Catholic world. And I’m NOT trying to get anyone else to do it. Frankly I’d rather the Catholic world clean up its own act, so we don’t have this problem to begin with!

        • I am no stranger to the Orthodox faith, my late husband was Greek Orthodox and I lived in Greece for a number of years. It sounds like if you join this parish you will be abandoning the Faith of your ancestors. I saw many beautiful things in the Orthodox liturgy and in my husband’s parish as well. I still remember most of the population in Athens solemnly processing with lanterns through the streets in every neighborhood parish with an image of the crucified Christ on Good Friday. Nevertheless, no matter how many good reasons I had to join the Orthodox, I could never. Only in the Catholic Church is found the fullness of the faith. If you join the Orthodox you have to believe a few things that are false and that makes all of the difference in the world. I realize that at your average parish, and for the average Catholic the fullness of the faith is no longer taught. But it is still there, and only there, in the Catholic Church. It does not matter if the second marriage process is penitential in the Orthodox faith and not so in the Catholic faith. There is no such thing as a “second marriage” and although perhaps a Catholic who was involved in a previous union might benefit from penance. In the Catholic Church only, will you have the fullness of the truth and straight from the Lord’s mouth that “what God has joined together, let no man put asunder,” There just is no option of divorce and remarriage. The Orthodox seem to think that this is possible. They did not until the 6th century, but changed for political reasons. The Catholic Church tribunal believed that you were never joined in an indissoluble sacramental union, that is why you were given an annulment. The Orthodox Church is saying that if you do penance, it can bless a second and even a third union. This is against the Lord’s teaching in the Gospels. You must hold on to Truth before community. I know lack of community is a heavy cross, but you can get community in many places even the Jehovah’s witnesses have wonderful community, but without the fullness of the truth? Maybe your area has one of the rites of the Universal Church such as the Maronite, Byzantine, Melkite rites, etc. I am only an hour away from a wonderful Maronite Rite parish with a beautiful liturgy and a close community. Maybe it is God’s will for you to build community at the other parish or maybe instead it is God’s will for you to carry the heavy cross of lack of community. Maybe for a period of time you were meant to find community in the writings of the saints and with your own guardian angel. When you go with the fullness of the truth to the Orthodox Church, there is much risk that you will begin to reject Catholic doctrines of truth and begin because of cognitive dissonance to reject some important aspects of the faith. This would be a disaster.

          • Well, and I might wind up making the same decision as you, to remain Catholic. But not because of my ancestors, unless you go back 500 years to before the Protestant Reformation. I’m a convert, from a long line of Protestants. Don’t worry, I won’t be going back there. 🙂 Of course, go back another 500 years and all our ancestors were Catholic and Orthodox. How I hope and pray for those days again!

            Speaking of Melkite, did you know they are in communion with both the Catholic and the Orthodox? They never separated from either back when the schism happened. I don’t have one near me or I’d go visit in a heartbeat!

          • The thought actually occured to me that you could be a convert! But then I thought about your more remote ancestors.

        • If you have an annulment your marriage did not fail because there was no marriage in the first place. These things are not easy but the Holy Sacrament of Marriage does not fail people do.

          • Yes, I understand the theology. Interestingly, my Orthodox pastor told me that he also looks to what happened leading up to the marriage, to see if the couple was really prepared for a sacramental marriage, not what happened later that led to its failure. I was surprised by that.

            Regarding the Eucharist, I am used to the language of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Has it changed from older catechisms? The pertinent section:

            1324 The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” “The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.”

            1325 “The Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the People of God by which the Church is kept in being. It is the culmination both of God’s action sanctifying the world in Christ and of the worship men offer to Christ and through him to the Father in the Holy Spirit.”

            1326 Finally, by the Eucharistic celebration we already unite ourselves with the heavenly liturgy and anticipate eternal life, when God will be all in all.

            1327 In brief, the Eucharist is the sum and summary of our faith: “Our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn confirms our way of thinking.”

          • As far as I know the “Eucharistic celebration is a Protestant term which means for them the entire worship service. When Catholics speak of the Eucharist they mean the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Hopefully the catechism is referring to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the entire Catholic service if not then there is a problem with the catechism …perhaps Cardinal Shornborn (?) who wrote could clarify.

          • I wouldn’t be surprised if “Eucharistic celebration” was Protestant, I think they were hoping for reunion with the Lutherans and trying to appeal to them when writing the NO and the CCC.

            “… there was no Maririage in the first place so it is inaccurate to say the marriage failed.”

            Strictly speaking, there was no sacramental marriage bond. But there was a civil marriage governed by civil law, and children born of civil marriages are legitimate in the eyes of the Church. Civil and sacramental marriages are different from each other, but if there really were no form of marriage other than sacramental, then no marriage outside the Church would be recognized at all, whether Jewish, Buddhist, or atheist, thus children not born of sacramental marriage considered illegitimate, which is not the view of the Church.

            And don’t underestimate the pain for divorce even for those who married civilly in front of a judge, like I did the first time, before I became a Christian. I paid heavily for it. But it did lead to my conversion to Christ. I am grateful to have a much better understanding of marriage now, and sacramentally married to a man who is as devoted to me as I am to him!

          • Yes, I am a convert, entered the Church a long time ago, teach and do theology. But in addition to Mass I’ve also been attending an Orthodox parish the last few months, am learning a lot from the experience. Already had a love for Orthodox theology and spirituality, which is less intellectual and more mystical than Catholic (I love both), and seeing it brought to life in liturgy and community takes it to a new level.

          • Ah…you find the Orthodox parish spiritually enriching and you perceive that as an ontological good. Also giving it up would mean another painful separation in your life. The first step to holiness is to avoid sin and worshiping at an Orthodox parish is a sin for Catholics . I think Father mentioned that. You need to stop going to the Orthodox parish, it may be emotionally trying at first but at least you will know you are doing the right thing…what God wants you to do.

          • Actually, due to being a teacher I have access to top moral theologians and canon lawyers, none of whom have told me that merely to attend the Divine Liturgy at an Orthodox parish is a sin. Actually they have urged me, since I find it so beautiful and am learning so much, to continue attending, but to also remain Catholic and attend Mass. A top canon lawyer in my diocese, whom I went to specifically to ask about the canonical aspects, told me it is not even a sin for a Catholic to become Orthodox, though the Catholic Church of course does not like it. In fact it is hard to change rites even within the Catholic world – if you’re Catholic and want to become Eastern Rite Catholic, you have to petition the Pope! Which is shocking to me, and in my opinion undermines the whole concept of communion.

            What is sinful, in my opinion and experience (having spent time in Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox worlds) is the division itself, and the tendency of both sides to judge and look down on the other. For a 1000 years the undivided Church settled serious doctrinal matters only in ecumenical council, working it out until all the bishops were in unanimous agreement – not merely a majority, it had to be unanimous, no matter how long it took, and some took years – and then the Bishop of Rome also had to agree and ratify the decision. Otherwise it was not considered infallible. With the filioque controversy, both sides departed from that tradition for the first time in history, because instead of calling a council so they could work it out, they judged and rejected each other, a great sin of pride that has resonated and kept us divided for 1000 years. And both sides are guilty.

            So I am very grateful for the Vatican Catholic-Orthodox commission that has been working for years to work out and settle our theological differences. They have worked out all but one, on the role of the Pope, and are making big strides in that area, too. I hope and pray for the day there will be real reunion – and finally a real, full ecumenical council of voting bishops East AND West. There is a lot of work to be done to get there, plus bad cultural habits and attitudes to overcome on both sides, and Pope Francis is not helping, the Orthodox I know are appalled by him. But I do have hope.

            Also, I do thank you for your concern, don’t fault you, it is right and good and I take all feedback into prayer. And know that despite my frustrations with the Catholic world, if I become Orthodox it is not to reject the Catholic Church. It is to unite with the Orthodox side of my own Body, include it in everything I’ve gained from the Catholic side, combining the best of both to help work in my own way toward reunion. It might just be part of my own unique vocation as a teacher, a big part of what I am discerning about.

            Because the fact is, we are already one with the Orthodox in the Eucharist, the flesh and blood of Christ who makes us flesh and blood brothers and sisters of each other. It is easy to forget that. But Christ has already made us one, and told us to love one another as He loves us. And I am loving discovering and learning about a whole side of my own family I hadn’t even known about before! Wow!

          • I write in good faith and thank you, and you respond with insults. And errors. Nice. Guess I know where you’re coming from now – and I can see the need for the wording of the comment policy on this site.

          • Based on the theme of the original article, I don’t understand why they put the provision in the New Code of Canon Law that you can attend an Orthodox Divine Liturgy (in formal schism) and not a TLM said by an SSPX priest (Catholic)? I know they have valid sacraments but it’s backwards to me.

          • Good question, I don’t know. Don’t know much about SSPX, have only been to the FSSP TLM.

            I can only speculate that it might be the different circumstance, SSPX breaking very recently when directly part of the Roman Rite under the Bishop of Rome, whereas the Orthodox schism happened a long time ago when the authority of Rome was less defined, and they weren’t Roman Rite.

            As for formal schism of Orthodox, does the Church still hold that? I’ve had a hard time getting that question answered, probably because the relations are so in flux right now with the work toward unity, lifting of anathemas, and welcoming, at least in principle, Orthodox to communion in the Catholic Church. A funny thing I learned, though the Orthodox bishops don’t like it, many Orthodox receive communion at Catholic parishes anyway, if they aren’t close to an Orthodox parish, because they know it’s the real Jesus and the Catholics don’t mind. And our bishops don’t mind if we receive communion at Orthodox parishes – except they ask we respect the Orthodox bishops, who aren’t there yet. So I don’t. I go to Mass for that.

          • Good grief, no. Seriously. I’m not even Orthodox, only thinking about it. And I’m new to this site, which I like, thinking I should hold off on all the Orthodox stuff because it’s not really the place for it. I didn’t mean to get into this much to begin with, it just came up and people kept making interesting comments is all.

    • You are right that it is already ghettoized. I have yet to see or hear an official peep in my diocese about the TLM. You would think Summorum Pontificum doesn’t exist. Latin Mass? What’s that??? Never been mentioned. Not once. The only time there was talk about it was when someone mentioned to my father that there was a TLM in a nearby town (since ended) and a parish staffer standing nearby made a snide comment about it. The nearest one I could find was in the crime ridden ghetto area of the closest city, where they specifically tell you not to leave anything in your car because it might be stolen while you go to mass. Great.

    • Pray! And pray to our Lady most especially. How she must grieve with what is occurring in her Son’s Church, in the depraved and base world another generation shall be born into. It is becoming too much, I would imagine.

      What do you suppose her words would be to you?
      Pray and may God bless you.

    • Please try to find an Eastern Catholic Church. We are in full communion with the Holy See. I’m Ukrainian Greek Catholic.
      Where do you live? I can try to find a Ukrainian or Byzantine Catholic Church for you if you can’t go to the TLM.

      Fr. RP is right re AL & Orthodoxy.

      I beg you in the name of Our Lady of Sorrows NOT to go to the Orthodox church.

      • We have them, but again on the opposite side of the metro area. And I’m not able to move down there, have to be where I am for family reasons. Trust me, I’d go to one if I could!

        • Well, to be honest, if you join one of the orthodox churches, just because being Catholic in your current context is hard, it would be dishonest to both the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church (as a Catholic, I would also say it’s a schismatic and heretical act). ONE SHOULD ONLY JOIN A CHURCH IF THEY TRULY BELIEVE ALL OF ITS DOGMATA. Any other motivation is certainly dishonest and immoral, as well as being a lie.

          • Differences in teaching are very important, and since I teach and do theology, I’m paying a lot of attention to that. But it is also true that the Vatican’s Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church (founded in 1964), has worked out almost all doctrinal differences, now working on the last one, the role of the Pope – and making big headway there, too. The goal is reunion, which I strongly support. Google “Chieti document” to learn about their work on the role of the Pope. It’s good stuff.

    • Have you considered calling either the more faithful Latin rite parish across town, or the Eastern Catholic parishes and asked if they could tell you of anyone coming from your area for Mass who could give you are ride? I’m certain that if you have faithful parishes on the other side of town, there are already people from your side of town driving there.

      • Thank you, it’s a good suggestion. I actually know a lot of TLM folks and some Eastern Catholics. I’m just exhausted from too much life, work, elderly parents in crisis, getting old myself. I “migrated” for years to one of the most beautiful NO Masses in our Archdiocese, only stopped when life got too full – but man has it been one rough transition. And I’ve offered again and again to help the local parish, but my efforts get frustrated again and again because it seems the pastors don’t want to make any actual changes. Seems easier to maintain the status quo and not rock the boat. So frustrating and demoralizing. Being able to take a short drive to the beautiful Orthodox liturgy and community is very consoling during this rough time of life. I wish there were a Catholic parish nearby that had something so beautiful, I truly do, I’d go there.

  11. It is essential to get this right, in part because Bergoglio has already LIED* about it in public:

    Summorum does not grant “permission” to celebrate the TLM. It announced the fact that no permission ever was needed, or ever would be needed, or ever could be needed. The TLM was never abrogated–because no Pope or bishop ever had the authority to do so. No one should EVER use the word “permission” in connection with Summorum and the TLM.

    Summorum is a condemnation, in advance, of any pretended abrogation or restriction of the TLM. No such pretended act by any Pope should be obeyed. It should brand him as a liar and a tyrant.

    *Bergoglio has said that SP was a “generous” act, accomodating the “nostalgia” of a “small group” of people, and that it is an “exception.”

    • Like he cares? Catholics are very well-trained in clericalism and blind obedience. And as the Pope is reported to have thundered in front of visitors in his residence, “I’m the Pope! I can do anything I want!”

      • When His Holiness was elected to the throne of St. Peter, they asked him what he wanted to be called. “Pope Narcissus!” Was the reply, but it seems they misheard it as “Pope Francis”. ????

      • Yes, I’ve heard that as well. Quite the opposite of “I am the Bishop of Rome” declared by “His Humbleness” at the beginning of his Papacy.

  12. My humble objections to this analysis:

    I don’t think Pope Francis would sequester the TLM to only the SSPX. Because Summorum P. was aimed at the diocesan priest and not the religious and priestly orders, few they may be, who were already granted permission to use it correct?

    So by normalizing the SSPX, that would bring the last hold out on home…along with their money and real-estate, and THEN he (Francis) would once again kill the TLM at the regular parish level..i.e. most of the Church.

    Francis seems somewhat vindictive and the viral letter of our ‘capsizing Church’ no doubt made its way back to the pontiff’s ear and i could see this perhaps being a shot across the bow type move toward Pope Benedict.

    Francis’ ‘big-tent’ Catholicism demands the normalizing of the SSPX, but only to marginalize the traditional communities with his benevolent mercy by allowing them to still remain in communion with Rome. And at that point, the Novus Ordo will be changed into the new ecumenical rite which rumblings within the Vatican this past year have also produced. This ‘new rite’ will still have the words of consecration but omit any reference to the Real Presence and sacrificial nature of the Mass so as to be palpable for protestants. More blurred lines and confusion will set as theologians will try to explain how the new rite is still valid and so on leading millions of Catholics to actually attend a false Mass where there is no real consecration.

    • Just thoughts. God has always demanded Sacrifice, Cain and Abel. One was good the other not so good but they were both sacrifices. They also brought on the first murder. Will history repeat itself as it sometimes does?

    • Fr. O’Malley, if you read between the lines SP generally directed at the Novus Ordo priests and bishops ordained and consecrated in the new rites to say the TLM. Many of them are bi-ritual and don’t say the TLM full-time, as their loyalty is to the N.O. first. If SP were to be revoked these priests will stop offering the TLM because they’re primary N.O. priests because they were ordained in the new rites (the only diocesan and mainstream religious order priests ordained in the Old Rite were before 1968). If SP is revoked by Francis or a future pope, traditionalists might be treated like the Eastern Rite Catholics, where they are placed under a separate jurisdiction of a patriarch directly subject to the Pope, where His Beatitude may establish separate “Traditionalist dioceses” throughout the world. I wouldn’t be surprised if this happens, but this is not what Abp. Lefebvre wanted.

      • Agreed. But calling it “loyalty” to the N.O. is disingenuous or simply wrong because the fact that they out of the many chose to also support the TLM community when others won’t. They are diocesan priests whom must say the N.O because that’s the normal Mass for the Church. But when given the opportunity, they flee to the TLM to offer support and even offer it privately in their sacristy.

        • I don’t know if they are real, but I’ve seen quotes from Ratzinger stating that SP was to supposed to work in synchrony with the Ecclesia Dei to reel in trads back to the church under the N.O. or ideally to a new mass that combines both, a la Cdl. Sarah.

          I can’t help but wonder, if the SSPX is normalized and a new “ecumenical service” is rolled out, then what purpose would the TLM serve in a new ecumenical church? Wouldn’t it be more of an obstacle in the church’s new direction?

          Isn’t the purpose of the “big tent” for PF to get all the ducklings in a row”?

          • Yeah I haven’t heard that. Sounds dubious. One thing I’ve learned since becoming more traditional is that inside sources, unverified quotes and mystic prophesies abound without regulation.

            Pope Francis doesn’t care about the TLM or the SSPX in that he’s ok with them existing, just not in the mainstream parishes that offer the Novus Ordo. He, to a fault, wants everyone under the banner of Catholicism. Even the SSPX. But he wants the TLM regulated to JUST religious orders like the SSPX, FSSP and any religious order like the Benedictines, Franciscans, etc, He doesn’t want New Rite priests being bothered and splitting their time between the Novus Ordo and the TLM. Which what priests in my state of Delaware have to do because we only have one parish that offers the TLM.

          • Sadly though they seem to come straight from the man himself, which seems to point to a common goal.

            For instance:

            Among the more obvious phenomena of the last years must be counted the increasing number of integralist groups in which the desire for piety, for the sense of mystery, is finding satisfaction. We must be on our guard against minimizing these movements. Without a doubt, they represent a sectarian zealotry that is the antithesis of Catholicity. We cannot resist them too firmly. (Joseph Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology, pp. 389-390)


            “It is true that there have been exaggerations and at times social aspects unduly linked to the attitude of the faithful attached to the ancient Latin liturgical tradition. Your charity and pastoral prudence will be an incentive and guide for improving these. For that matter, the two Forms of the usage of the Roman Rite can be mutually enriching: new Saints and some of the new Prefaces can and should be inserted in the old Missal. The “Ecclesia Dei” Commission, in contact with various bodies devoted to the usus antiquior, will study the practical possibilities in this regard. The celebration of the Mass according to the Missal of Paul VI will be able to demonstrate, more powerfully than has been the case hitherto, the sacrality which attracts many people to the former usage. The most sure guarantee that the Missal of Paul VI can unite parish communities and be loved by them consists in its being celebrated with great reverence in harmony with the liturgical directives. This will bring out the spiritual richness and the theological depth of this Missal.” (Letter to the “Bishops” that accompanies the Motu Proprio Summorum)

            That beig said, I hope you’re right about PF, and that the rest of his posse (Kasper et al.) will stop seeing the TLM as a “source of division”.

          • Principles of Catholic Theology came out in 1987 and I would prefer to read several pages before and after to gain a better context of the quote. I’ve read a decent amount of Ratzinger?Benedict theology to know that he’s not good for small soundbite type quotes. He developed an argument or a thesis over many pages. The first quote could be about an entirely different group. He did say the TLM himself privately as pope. By the time he became pope he realized what needed to be done and why. I respect any man who can learn from his mistakes, and use his influence and power to try to correct those mistakes for the greater good.

            The second quote seems to suggest that the Novus Ordo actually makes the EF/TLM look more sacred and holy than anything done to it or said about it prior. In other words, the best sales pitch for the TLM is the Novus Ordo. The he shifts to the Novus Ordo saying that for the Church to unite for fully under this liturgy they must celebrate it more uniformly and more reverently as the TLM is done and not devolve the NO liturgy into a banal custom fit liturgy from parish to parish that is alien to visitors. And also making the Novus Ordo more like the TLM with Latin, incense, using the Eucharistic Prayer 1 (Roman Canon), etc, etc,

          • I’ve also read a lot of Ratzinger and his “New Theology” and it seems to me that he does in fact build a thesis over several pages and then gives us his conclusions such as the above.

            In that sense I don’t think we can ignore his conclusions and propositions, especially when they fit his larger theological framework such as his conception of divine revelation as presented in the book Milestones:

            “At this time [during the writing of this] the idea of salvation history had moved to the focus of inquiry posed by Catholic theology and this had cast new light on the notion of revelation, which neoscholasticism had kept too confined to the intellectual realm. Revelation now appeared no longer simply as a communication of truths to the intellect but as a historical action of God in which truth becomes gradually unveiled. Therefore, I was to try to discover whether in Bonaventure there was anything corresponding to the concept of salvation history, and whether this motif – if it should exist – had any relationship with the idea of revelation.”(p.104)


            “I had ascertained that in Bonaventure there was nothing corresponding to our conception of ‘revelation’, by which we are normally in the habit of referring to all the revealed contents of the faith: it has even become a part of linguistic usage to refer to Sacred Scripture simply as ‘revelation’. Such an identification would have been unthinkable in the language of the High Middle Ages. Here, ‘revelation’ is always a concept denoting an act. The word refers to the act in which God shows himself, not to the objectified result of this act. And because this is so, the receiving subject is always also a part of the concept of ‘revelation’.”

            Or in Introduction to Christianity ( p. 96-98):

            “Our consideration of the history of the Apostles’ Creed has led us to the recognition that here, in the baptismal formulary, Christian doctrine stands before us in its original shape and, thus, also in its primitive form, what we today call “dogma.” Originally there was no such thing as a series of doctrinal propositions that could be enumerated one after another and entered in a book as a well-defined body of dogmas. Such a notion, which today may be difficult to resist, would have to be described as a misconception of the nature of the Christian assent to the God revealed in Christ. The content of the Christian faith has its inalienable place in the context of the profession of faith, which is, as we saw, in the form of assent and renunciation, a conversion, an about-turn of human existence into a new direction of life. In other words, Christian doctrine does not exist in the form of discrete propositions but in the unity of the symbolum, as the ancient Church called the baptismal profession of faith. This is probably the moment to look rather more closely at the meaning of this word. Symbolum comes from symballein, meaning in English: to come together, to throw together. The background to the word’s etymology is an ancient usage: two corresponding halves of a ring, a staff, or a tablet were used as tokens of identity for guests, messengers, or partners to a treaty. Possession of the corresponding piece entitled the holder to receive a thing or simply to hospitality. A symbolum is something that points to its complementary other half and thus creates mutual recognition and unity. It is the expression and means of unity.

            Thus in the description of the creed or profession of faith as the symbolum we have at the same time a profound interpretation of its true nature. For in fact this is just what the original meaning or aim of dogmatic formulations in the Church was: to facilitate a common profession of faith in God, common worship of him. As sym-bolum, it points to the other person, the unity of spirit in the one Word. To this extent, dogma (or symbol, respectively) is also always, as Rahner has rightly pointed out, an arrangement of words that from a purely intellectual point of view could have been quite different yet, precisely as a form of words, has its own significance – that of uniting people in the community of the confessing word. It is not a piece of doctrine standing isolated in and for itself but is the form of our worship of God.”

            And in Faith and the Future, he writes:

            “…the medieval concept of substance has long since become inaccessible to us. In so far as we use the concept of substance at all today we understand thereby the ultimate particles of matter, and the chemically complex mixture that is bread certainly does not fall into that category” (p. 14)


            “In this connection I should like to mention briefly two other aids to thought provided by physics. E. Schrõdinger has defined the structure of matter as ‘parcels of waves’ and thereby hit upon the idea of a being that has no substance but is purely actual, whose apparent ‘substantiality’ really results only from the pattern of movement of superimposed waves. In the realm of matter such a suggestion may well be physically, and in any case philosophically, highly contestable. But it remains an exciting simile for the actualitas divina, for the idea that God is absolutely ‘in act’ (and not ‘in potency’), and for the idea that the densest being – God – can subsist only in a multitude of relations, which are not substances but simply ‘waves’, and therein form a perfect unity and also the fullness of being….” (Introduction to Christianity, p. 175).

            At the very least, he is nudging at a transcendental/evolutionary view of spirituality where Revelation is not something closed or substantial but changing; In this sense both the TLM and the N.O. need to inform each other and organically develop into something else.

            I don’t mean to pretend that I can read his mind or that I can’t be wrong about what he means, Your Reverence, but I’ve been a follower of his writings for some time and they’re pretty consistent with this theme (they’re like an exhortation to move beyond traditionalism and liberalism into a conception of Catholicism that’s got the best of those two)

            That being said, Ratzinger was definitely a God sent man who had the courage to speak the truth against the Zeitgeist and declare that the TLM was never abrogated (not many would’ve dard) and I do agree with you that PF is not going to just strike down the TLM all together

  13. “Traditionalists” are going to have to learn the painful way that Pope Francis is Pope and that they will be obedient to him. I put “Traditionalists” in quotes because traditionalists are really just traditionalist in name only. They ignore the fact that the Mass of the early Church was much closer to the the Novus Ordo than the “traditional” Latin Mass. The “traditional” Latin Mass was actually an innovation. I don’t even like the word “traditionalist.” You are either Catholic or you are not.

    • “The Mass of the early Church was much closer to the Novus Ordo…” Really? I can’t imagine the early Church’s Mass containing prayers that “the Jews will grow more faithful to the [Old] covenant.” I think it’s safe to say they weren’t holding hands at the Our Father. ???????? also, this is putting aside the fact that you are advocating liturgical antiquarism, which has already been condemned.

    • I am not an expert in liturgy but I know enough to know that your statement is completely false. The early Church’s Mass was not closer to the Novus Ordo. The Novus Ordo was a development, really an invention,by a committee of some liturgists. The “kiss of peace” for example, was brought in because it was ancient, except that the original “kiss of peace” was meant to reconcile people, especially family members who were arguing or feuding, The Lord in Matthew 5;23-24 taught: So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister[a] has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister,[b] and then come and offer your gift. This was the intention of the original “kiss of peace” instead we have the awkward creation or supposed “reintroduction” of the “sign of peace” which, face it, is nothing more than going around shaking the hands of the people near to you and has little to do with reconciliation. If you want to know what the Mass is modeled after go to the heavenly model of worship found in sacred scripture found in the book of Revelation. The early Church modeled its liturgy after the heavenly worship.

      “Traditionalists” are going to have to learn the painful way that Pope Francis is Pope and that they will be obedient to him.” How is one obedient to Pope Francis? Has Pope Francis declared any of this as infallible doctrine? St. Paul was critical of Pope St. Peter at times, he even wrote that he rebuked him to his face. “You are either Catholic or you are not.” Therefore, was St. Paul, not a Catholic, because he was critical of a pope? What about St. Catherine of Siena, she was critical of Pope Gregory, albeit respectfully, and was not happy about him being in Avignon, was she not a Catholic?

      • This is the problem with Steve’s laissez-faire policy toward these post-conciliar lepers. To answer him would take far too much time and energy (and usually deteriorates into a battle of egos). But to leave his historical fiction unanswered is to leave him with the impression that he’s actually said something meaningful.

        The irony is that they’re the first ones to shout “development of doctrine” about the post-conciliar shading and obscuring (and even, now, contradiction) of every dogma. But when it comes to liturgical matters, it’s as if the theory (and I deliberately use that word regarding “development of doctrine”) never existed.

          • Father, I would like to help, but I’ve hit a busy patch at the moment. If Milton just did some serious reading (even Msgr. Gamber’s, “Reform of the Roman Liturgy” where he actually tackles the very false premise that Milton articulates about the N.O Mass being closer to the Apostolic original), he would be assisted immensely.

            I have suspicions, however, that some antagonistic/contrarian posters like Milton just say things to aggravate (and aren’t really even looking for a response). There’s a couple of suspicious characters like that who post here from time to time..

        • I leave these people here so that everyone has somewhere to train their fire other than in a circle. 😉

          Anyway, if these people violate the comment policy (now linked at the top of every comment section) flag them and I’ll deal with it. I don’t have time to read all the comments and my other moderators are volunteers and not always available to do so.

        • I just bought that book by Msgr. Gamber “Reform of the Roman Liturgy” …along with Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen’s ‘This is the Mass’ and ‘Calvary and the Mass’. Should be good reading ; )

    • I think Milton is referring to the accounts of St. Justin Martyr.

      For everyone’s sake in growing in wisdom and faith, would anyone like to talk about or offer some history on the Mass of St. Justin’s time and what he was describing and as it relates to the Novus Ordo?

      My brief and conciliatory take would be that even if all that was true and the Novus Ordo was a reboot of sorts of the original with some system upgrades, we as a Church don’t subscribe to primitivism..that what was in the past is better than what we have now. So the cult around the Eucharist and the strict liturgy that became the EF was born organically out of necessity against heresies against the Real Presence and the Mass as a Sacrifice. And perhaps it evolved because of the same problems we have today; the faithful losing faith in the Real Presence, liturgical abuse, etc.. The Mass changed to teach the faithful.

      I welcome any thoughts on this : )

  14. Good article. Cardinal Muller was an obstacle to the SSPX reconciliation and I think one reason PF removed him was because of his opposition to the personal prelature. PF does like the way the SSPX reaches out to the poor and marginalised, he recognises them as Catholic because of this.

  15. There’s even more aspects that make this LSN story implausible. For example …what would become of FSSP and ICKSP under this plot? I wouldn’t put it above this bunch in Rome to have been gossiping in front of who they suspected to be LSN’s source to see if their grumbling about the 10th Anniversary of SP would end up in their news feed.

  16. Turn the papacy into a platform for espousing man-centric social justice. CHECK

    Eliminate supernatural elements from scriptural interpretation. CHECK

    Don’t obsess about abortion. CHECK

    Welcome homosexual ‘couple’ at the Vatican. CHECK

    Start a re-evaluation of Humanae Vitae. CHECK

    Accentuate mercy, downplay and ignore repentance. CHECK

    Portray the Church as just another religious body and attend/eulogise ecumaniacal gatherings. CHECK

    Authorise sacrilegious light show on the façade of St.Peters. CHECK

    Banish or sideline all opponents. CHECK

    STREAMLINE AND REFORM THE LITURGY. Ah, I knew there was something I’d forgotten.

  17. Fr. RP has it right. Don’t stir yourself up about these matters as it is a means God is providing for our salvation. Pray that we recognize such events in this understand and we will be a peace.

  18. The liturgy is part of divine law. Pope St Pius V made that quite clear when he bound His successors by codifying the Roman Missal. If this man that currently sits upon the Chair of Saint Peter dares to attempt a suppression of this most precious gift of Our Lord Jesus Christ, I will have no scruple about taking the direction of Saint Paul and Saint Robert Bellermine and resisting him.

  19. This would certainly explain the Holy Father’s hitherto inexplicable desire to reconcile the Society of St. Pius X to Rome, which is incongruous with his evident disdain for the Traditional Latin Mass.

    On a lighter note: Is the image in this article from the Crypt of the National Basilica of the Immaculate Conception? It looks incredibly familiar

  20. Agree with the analysis, Steve, but a common thread over the years seems to be Francis’ disdain for “reform of the reform.” So, I don’t doubt that Francis would like to remove the Venerable Rite from the diocesan parishes. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Mueller got in front of Francis with his May 20 letter to Bishop Fellay (containing the unacceptable conditions), but if he did so, it wasn’t to protect Summorum Pontificum – it would have been to protect his Council.

      • And I hope Sauron never turns his gaze upon the EF– as supreme legislator, it
        is always within Pope Francis’ power to unilaterally decree whatever changes
        he wishes for the Venerable Rite. I do not doubt that he is surrounded by many
        advisors who have some appalling ideas for “enriching” the Extraordinary Form.

        I pray this Pope continues to believe both the Venerable Rite and all who love it are
        beneath his attention.

      • Anything to destroy the faith is on the top of Francis’ mind. Of course it will be sold as modernizing the faith and helping the poor and global warming. (As an aside, my summer has been quite cool, no warming here)

  21. “They are a mild nuisance at best, and one he thinks — if he truly believes the resurgence in TLM attendance to be a fad — will take care of itself.” — Remember the Franciscans of the Immacolata? A mild nuisance as well. And look what Bergoglio did…!!!

  22. Thank you Fr RP! This is totally the Holy Spirit because this is something I have been praying for some time to understand. I will take the scripture passages to adoration with me this morning 🙂

  23. I know priests who were saying the TLM in places like storage sheds before Summorum Pontificum. That’s what it will return to. Damn the hierarchy. They have no right to remove the ancient Mass.

  24. Theological Issues Aside. There are some Practical Problems with what Pope Francis is trying to do.

    What happens to the FSSP ? Or to the Sovereign Priest People ? Do they transfer to the SSPX ? Are they stripped of their Priesthood ? Do the FSSP Parishes transfer over ?

    How about all the FSSP and Sovereign Priest Seminaries ? What about them ?

    And what about the Diocesan Priests who celebrate the Extraordinary Form ? What happens to them ?

      • Can you answer this ? How will the FSSP People who actually broke away from the SSPX be able to work together ? Has Pope Francis thought of that ?

        Then you have to change Canon Law, and then you have to coordinate with the Local Bishops many of whom support the Extraordinary Form such as Archbishop Sample.

        Then there are some People who think the SSPX are being too nice. What about them ?

        Back to the FSSP Priests. Do they have to be reordained ? Or Go back to Seminary School ?

        • “BrainSnob” and Joseph,

          Most of the FSSP superiors were ordained by Archbishop Lefebvre, but left the SSPX immediately after the June 30, 1988 Consecrations because they disagreed with his decision. They are undoubtfully validly ordained priests. They will be no need/time to return to the seminary.

          If this rumor comes true (which I hope doesn’t happen), then it is quite possible this “Super Diocese” will be a Patriarchate headed by a Cardinal-Patriarch, just like the Eastern Rite Catholics. This Eminence/Beautitude will be subject to the Pope alone, and will be able to create “Traditionalist Dioceses” throughout the world, separate from the current N.O. structure (which was Traditional back then). Possibly the 1917 Code of Canon Law might be used, as the Eastern Rite Churches have their own Canon Law, most recently updated in 1990.

      • The ED communities could move under the SSPX’s “Super Diocese.” I mean, once the SSPX is regularized, the need for Ecclesia Dei – the purpose for which it was formed – pretty much goes away, right?

      • I don’t think Pope Francis would sequester the TLM to only the SSPX.
        Because Summorum P. was aimed at the diocesan priest and not the
        religious and priestly orders, few they may be, who were already granted
        permission to use it correct? …this move if real would be inline with his thinking..that being: “if you want the TLM, go to a religious order, stop bothering the mainstream Church and parishes and bishops.” So the FSSP, SSPX and whomever would still have it and he’s fine with that..just like he’s fine with other groups under his ‘big tent’ Catholicism agenda. He wants everyone out front where he can see them nicely compartmentalized…maybe he’s just really OCD? lol..

    • No Priest can be “stripped of his Priesthood”. Once you are validly ordained, you are a Priest forever and you soul is permenantly marked as such. Even a Priest who has been laicised retains this mark on his soul and can offer the Sacraments in an emergency.

    • I suspect that the FSSP will be required to celebrate the Hybrid Mass which is rumored to be in the planning stage.

        • Hybrid Mass – “a regular old style, New Order Mass, using both Latin and English, and resembling as close as possible, the liturgy contemplated by the Second Vatican Council.” -Father Brian Harrison

          • At least something like it. That could be a step to get the FSSP and Indult folks away from the Traditional Mass. That would go down a lot smoother than suddenly switching to a full blown, modern day, Novus Ordo.

    • The Mass I normally attend is said by a diocesan priest and he will most likely be canned if SP is revoked. He might end up in the SSPX anyway.

  25. I think nobody can ghettoize the TLM. It’s already there. Seminaries do not teach the traditional Mass or theology, bishops do not insist that anyone learn. Even Pope Benedict did not require anyone to learn, especially bishops. Aside from that, trying to limit the TLM to SSPX would not work because FSSP, ICK, and others in communion with Rome already offer it. I can only imagine the uproar that would ensue if
    Pope Francis attempted to create a personal prelature with SSPX, then badger everyone who offers the TLM into the fold.
    Pope Francis can’t ghettoize something that has already reached that status in practice.

  26. There seems to be a real difference between fidelity to the mass and disobedience to the Pope.

    It would not be Schismatic to desire the traditional Latin Mass. but to ignore a Popes command to cease and to blatantly disobey is Schismatic, it’s ignoring his authority.

    So we need a balance between obedience to our notion of tradition and obedience to the Pope who is the interpreter of tradition. No one else is besides the living Magisterium.

    • This Pope is personally (as opposed to officially) commanding us to do all sort of non-Catholic things. If he tells us not to attend the TLM it’ll just be another ‘no,no,’. Since the TLM is the true Mass and the NO Mass is questionable or just downright sacrilegous, I see nothing of disobedience in ignoring such a ‘command’. Anyway, no Pope has the authority to order any such thing.

        • Without a doubt when the actions of Rome contradict the perennial teachings and traditions of the Church. Senus Fidei! Anyhow, it is not me deciding on my own merit. It is the result of a sum of knowlede by many learned and faithful Catholic scholars.

          • And that binds a Popes successors? The same language is used for the Breviary, yet St. Pius X and Pope Pius XII revamped it. I believe Pius XII added an entirely new psalter. The language of “valid in perpetuity” means valid until abrogated or changed by another Pope. Like John XXIII. Are you aware of all the changes John XXIII made to the Missal? He dispensed with multiple collects, got rid of the variable last gospel, changed the way the priest either subdues or elevates his voice, completely revamped the Calendar (some say trashed), etc. Pope Pius XII approved the reconstruction of a 9th century communion service for Good Friday, displacing the mass of the Presanctified, seriously altered the rites of Holy Week, etc. And yet who here will accuse Pius XII of liturgical archaeology and wreckovation? Nobody. Because he has the authority.

            On the contrary, read the sessions of the Council of Trent. Protestants were invited to attend the council AND given a voice as to its proceedings and decisions!!!

            “to come freely to this city of Trent, and there to remain, abide, sojourn, and to propose, speak and treat of, examine and discuss, any matters whatsoever together with the said Synod, and freely to present and set forth all whatsoever they may think fit, and any articles what-ever, either in writing, or by word of mouth, and to explain, establish, and prove them by the sacred Scriptures, and by the words, passages, and reasons of the blessed Fathers, and to answer even, if it be needful, to the objections of the General Council”

            So much for the innovation of Paul VI by having Protestant Observers.

          • Quo Primum primarily deals with the Missal and the fixed order of Mass and defining it as a matter of Dogma. The Breviary is not one of the Seven Sacraments. The Holy Week Revisions not related to the Mass are not part of the Mass (but required extra-liturgical services for those days), and therefore not effected by QP. The change in ranking of feasts and the addition of new saints to the calendar are allowed. The names of the ranks changed from the wordy to a number system as follows:

            Double I Class = I Class
            Double II Class = II Class
            Double (Semi-Duplex) = III Class
            Simple = IV Class
            Ferias/Votives = Commemoration (or V Class)

            St. Pius X elevated all Sundays after Epiphany and Pentecost (Green Vestments) to Semi-Duplex because new saints feasts were outranking these carefully selected Sundays. I believe Benedict XV again elevated them to Doubles of the II Class (today they’re simple called II Class) because saints were still outranking Sundays. Back then green vestments were rare and local feasts took more precedence if they fell on Sunday.

            When St. Joseph was added to the Canon of the Mass in the 1962 Missal this was a merited, but minor addition. (The printed edition doesn’t have the Confiteor before Communion of the Faithful but is always done at every Mass I’ve attended.)

            As far as the original Protestants invited to the Council of Trent, did any of them actually go?

  27. Thank you Father. I memorized Romans 8:28, Jeremiah 29:11 when I lost my first child and miscarried my second child. They gave me much hope. At my lowest point, I heard early in the morning, 1 Peter 5:7 which says, “Do not be anxious, God cares for you.” This is what we must always remember, He loves us and will always be faithful to His word and covenant. He eventually gave me two healthy children! We are called to just stand firm in the faith and remember the devil is prowling around looking to see who he can devour. We must let His word dwell in us richly and praise Him always. He’s got it worked out and we just stand in His Truth day by day. Joshua 1:9 is wonderful also…”Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you where ever you go.”

    Obviously, I highly recommend reading God’s word and remembering not only verses but stories of faith in the bible. God is good and as we live a life of faith, we can remember all the times He has been faithful to us. God’s word is exciting and today it seems to jump off the page with what is happening in our culture. I have found many times, when I ask, He answers through His word. Over and over I’ve seen answered pray and confirmation because of reading His word daily and going to mass often. God lives lovingly and boldly through His word and through us. He calls us to live Him and bring Him to the world. This is not easy and persecution and loss of friends does follow but I can testify that God has been faithful and will confirm what you do for Him. God is good! Praise be His name forever and ever! WE must keep focused on Him because what is happening is truly tragic in our world and in our church. As we see and hear, we turn and give it to God. How many times have I felt burdened and then go to mass and he relieves me. We do what we can each day and then leave it in God’s hands.

    Our church and our world need much prayer and many soldiers for Christ. Ask God what He wants you to do for Him and then do it. He pushed me into politics 10 years ago and I’ve watched and worked on the local,state and federal level promoting Christ centered values and learning about all the snakes lobbying for MONEY. Money has become too many people and institutions god as the federal gov’t grows and passes out more and more of out tax dollars. Pray the power brokers at every level are controlled so true charity reigns, gov’t by and for the people works and national sovereignty is respected.

    Pray also that God cleans house! We must clean our house and then make sure we admonish the sinner, a spiritual work of mercy that is desperately needed at this time. Preaching love and mercy without sin, hell and judgement is irresponsible and leads to a culture of depravity. God takes his covenant seriously. He almost killed Moses because he didn’t circumcise his baby on the way to Egypt. Also, we see in Corinthians 11:27-29 that we are to examine ourselves before we receive the sacrament or we reap condemnation on ourselves. Hebrew 10:26-31 that deliberate sin will not be forgiven on the testimony of the blood of the Lamb. We can not fool God. Get right with the Lord, work for Him and may praise and honor be His always! His Church and the world need true Catholics…stay alert. Work and pray like you never have before!

  28. They want to merge the Traditional Mass with the New Mass. So, like a carpet salesman at a Turkish Bazaar, they open with a ridiculously high price (released via rumor, naturally): “Pope Francis is going to abolish the TLM.” Outrage ensues. “Quo Primum said in perpetuity!” Then, the “compromise” is offered: “No, we’re merely updating the calendar and adding more Scripture to the lectionary.” Cue Sigh of Relief. The hierarchy gets what they want while the laity is placated, thinking they helped to preserve Tradition. Win-Win.

    We fall for it every time.

    • Actually, Abp. Lefebvre would’ve been ok with the addition of an Old Testament reading and a full Psalm added to the (1962) Missal to prolong the Mass, it never happened, but instead a whole new thing popped-up.

  29. Can I just say that I’ve become very aggravated with LifeSite over the past few years to the point where I actively try to avoid them? First I thought they were fine for the most part, just with a few quite frankly stupid articles here and there. Then things about the Pope wanting to end the ban on condoms in Africa came out because he said it was the “lesser of two evils”. A more respected new source (don’t remember which-but it may have been National Catholic Register) gave the full report that he said in the case of the spread of disease and condoms, contraception may be the lesser of the two evils, but that both were a symptom of a much larger problem that needed to be attacked at the source. Therefore, no ban was lifted. More and more, LifeSite seems to be doing this same kind of jumping to conclusions and stirring the pot rather than actually reporting news. They really are becoming the pro-life equivalent to most mainstream media like MSNBC or Fox

  30. Rubbish, I say. And while someone seems to be wanting to hold up the banner of the SSPX may I remind you that there are problems, even a potential split, within that Society with those who want to lay clam to the beliefs of Archbishop Lefebvre on the one hand and another section which seems to be willing to follow the “Sede Vacante” line. And then, whatever happened to the FSSP, aren’t they the one and only order of the Holy Roman Catholic Church exclusively devoted to the Trinitine Mass?

    While I love Fr. RP’s statement about “what will be will be.” The Popes of historical record are quite capable and often do just what they bloody well please providing it doesn’t cross the red line in the sand. Pope Francis, on the other hand, seems intent on rubbing out that line on a number of issues. Soon, there will be the Lutheran-Catholic Church which will have the majority of the former Roman Catholic Adherents because it really is the Church of Nice; and, left will be the much reduced, Holy Roman Catholic Church. But that’s okay, as the much beloved Pope Emeritus once told us. Almighty God through His Son, Jesus Christ, and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit built our Church on a rock and He will never forsake it. Satan, on the other hand, can open wide his doors and take in all the rest.

    • Yes but as you say, Jesus built His church on the rock of the papacy so that matter of having a Pope defending all Jesus’ commands, is currently causing us lots of concern about how we can have a good Pope again upon whom the Church can stand. Who will explain to us our position before God and the right choice to make?

      • Whether rightly or wrongly, the Traditionalists look to among others Cardinals Bourque of the United States, Sarah of Africa, Ouellet of Canada and Meuller of Germany and other Bihops such as but not limited to, Bishop Schneider of the Ukraine and Archbishop Cordileone of the United States for leadership. I think the Galen Group and anything like that group is a done deal and we won’t see it again in the next papal election. As for he who follows Pope Francis, I suspect the Cardinals will be looking outside continental Europe.

    • The FSSP isn’t the only order exclusively devoted to the TLM, there’s also the Institute of Christ the King (ICKSP) and the Institute of the Good Shepherd.

      The SSPX has *always* had to deal with priests who cross the line into sedevacantism. Those priests leave or are removed and the SSPX continues to thrive.

      • Thank you so much Lynn. Of course, to me the SSPX are not a fully fledged Order of the Church at this time and it is my fault that I forgot about the Institute of Christ the King. I cannot say I have heard of the Institute of the Good Shepard before now and that is probably because we have no Priests of this Institute or the FssP, for that matter, east of Quebec City. Again, thank you.

  31. The reality is: His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI essentially threw the doors wide open for the use of the Tridentine Mass in the Roman Rite . . . and, few have still noticed.

    Frankly, I don’t think anyone’s buying the whole “two-rituals-in-one-ritual-Church” argument that has made the rounds since Summorum Pontificum. The Church’s only ritual forms for the Mass and Sacraments are those revised under Pope Bl. Paul VI. Evene Benedict XVI himself does not celebrate the so-called, “E. F.” — even extraordinarily!


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