Yesterday, I wrote about the strange case of disappearing devotions in the post-conciliar era. I mentioned that I had put in a call to Church of the Immaculate Conception to see what had happened to the Purgatorian Society that had formerly been based there.
Last night, I got a call back.
The priest I spoke with was a Redemptorist, just like those who ran the Purgatorian Society. He was also the only priest at the parish. He said that when he was a boy, the parish was vibrant. There were ten priests. It was possible for them to say eleven High Masses a day because they all needed to say a private Mass to fulfill their obligation. There was no concelebration in those days.
Around the 1960s, he told me, people started leaving. Pretty soon, they had to tell people they couldn’t take any more enrollments because there weren’t enough priests to say the Masses.
“And of course,” he said. “There’s no High Mass anymore.”
Father told me that he was ordained in 1972, and by then, much had already changed. It was very different when he was a young man. The demographics of the parish changed over time as well. What was once an Irish/German parish was now predominately a Latino and African American parish. In addition, the area of the South Bronx where the parish is located saw an increase in crime. Because of that, some activities had to be curtailed. There was still a 40 hours devotion, he said, but they couldn’t actually be in the parish all night because it wasn’t safe. So it was an abbreviated version. He said that they also no longer offered midnight Masses for the same reason.
The bright side, he said, was that the Hispanic community still held on to parish devotions in a way that others don’t. Just last night, he was on his way to a Triduum service honoring Our Lady of Divine Providence, patroness of Puerto Rico.
“The people are in the church right now, praying the rosary.” He said.
He told me that for Our Lady of Guadalupe, there was a 12-day devotion leading up to the feast day.
Still, we both agreed that it was sad that the old devotions, and the graces that came with them — as well as the impetus to get families into the church outside of their Sunday obligation — were mostly a thing of the past.
All of this has gotten me to thinking about Fr. Michael Rodriguez, the diocesan priest in Shafter, Texas (the Diocese of El Paso) who was just put on sabbatical for no greater crime, it appears, than because he celebrates the Traditional Latin Mass exclusively in his parish. From A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics:
As of yesterday Monday Nov. 10 2014, Father Michael Rodriguez is no longer in active public ministry. He is on sabbatical. Sunday was his last Mass in Shafter. The several dozen souls in the desolate expanses of far West Texas who had prayed so fervently for so many years that they would finally have a good and holy traditional priest sent to them after many decades of being without one (within hundreds of miles) have been left spiritually fatherless again. As to how this sabbatical came about, I don’t think this is something Father asked for. Here is the information I have on the matter (I add some emphasis and comments):
As of yesterday, November 10, 2014, Fr. Michael Rodríguez, is no longer the Administrator of Sacred Heart Mission in Shafter, TX. He has been given a six-month sabbatical in order to discern God’s Will for the future. Fr. Rodríguez remains a priest in good-standing of the Diocese of El Paso. He will most likely be looking at options for priestly ministry beyond the Diocese of El Paso. Fr. Rodríguez has been offering the Traditional Latin Mass exclusively for the past three years, and this has led to increasing difficulties for him with the local hierarchy. Fr. Rodríguez asks for your prayers, and he especially asks you to pray for the small group of faithful (about 50) of the Presidio-Shafter area who are heartbroken over the loss of the Traditional Latin Mass and parish life based on the Traditional Latin Mass. [Once one becomes accustomed to the great Traditional Latin Mass and the whole traditional practice of the Faith, it is impossible to go back to what is offered in the vast majority of parishes today. This extends to an entire parish life that existed throughout the world as recently as 50 years ago but is now available only in precious, scattered pockets. Shafter was one of those. No more. I do not know how I would react should the TLM suddenly be revoked/removed from Dallas]
Admittedly, Fr. Rodríguez is in a very difficult situation. On the one hand, he intends to do his best to be obedient to his bishop. On the other hand, Fr. Rodríguez is convinced that God is calling him – through the Church – to dedicate his priesthood and all his energy and strength to promote the Church’s greatest treasures: her timeless liturgy and doctrine.
Why are there no High Masses anymore? It appears we have our answer: because the priests who attempt to offer them are sent (or driven) away.
It becomes such a “scandal” when priests come to realize that the older form of the liturgy is, in fact, a greater theological expression of worship, supplication, and sacrifice. When they are able to ascertain that the rubrics and norms for the celebration of the TLM are inherently designed to nourish and inculcate reverence for the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. When they see that devotion and piety and active participation in the life of the parish increases in the lives of the faithful who attend such Masses in ways that is much more difficult to achieve when offering Mass according to the Missal of Paul VI. When they recognize what such an august liturgy does to enrich their own priesthood and their understanding of their role as alter Christus.
Priests who encounter such things often find themselves in the unenviable position of wanting to offer only the vetus ordo, only to preach the older theology, only to focus on the tried and tested devotions that have for so many centuries nourished the life of the faithful.
Often, these priests find themselves in conflict with their bishops. Which, in turn, puts them in conflict with their vocation. A diocesan priest I know who was put in a similar situation — sent on a “discernment sabbatical” because he unequivocally preferred the liturgy celebrated by the vast majority of the saints and wanted to offer only the best to his flock — put it to me this way:
My vocation is Christ’s vocation. My priesthood is Christ’s priesthood. I shouldn’t be put in a situation where in order to be obedient to my bishop I have to be disobedient to Christ.
What may perhaps be surprising to those reading about Fr. Rodriguez is that he didn’t seek out the TLM on his own. It was only a reluctant response to a request from the faithful:
Father talks about the influence of learning the Extraordinary Form on his priesthood, the crisis in the priesthood, vocations, etc.
It is interesting that lay people brought the idea of the older form of Mass to Fr. Rodriguez, who at first was not too excited about the idea because of too much work. He eventually started to teach himself the EF. He started to see a connection between problems in the priesthood today and having abandoned the older form of Mass.
What is not surprising is that this isn’t the first time Fr. Rodriguez got in trouble with his superiors for being too orthodox. In 2011, the Diocese of El Paso hung him out to dry when he took an active role in the “gay marriage” debate:
A recent series of advertisements attacking gay lifestyle has dragged the Catholic Diocese of El Paso into a citywide political recall debate.
The advertisements, titled “The truth about homosexuality,” were written by the Rev. Michael Rodriguez of San Juan Bautista Catholic Church and published in four parts in four consecutive editions of the El Paso Times. The ads started running on Saturday and ended Tuesday. The advertisements were also on elpasotimes.com.
While Rodriguez maintains the ads represent the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, officials of the Diocese of El Paso said they do not.
“These paid advertisements are the personal views and opinions of Father Michael Rodriguez,” said the Rev. Anthony C. Celino, the vicar general and moderator of the curia for the diocese.
Celino said the Catholic Church is not taking and cannot take a side in the recall effort.
The advertisements quote several Bible passages and denounce gay lifestyle and any encouragement of it. It also alluded to Mayor John Cook and city Reps. Susie Byrd and Steve Ortega, who are currently the target of a recall petition, organized by Word of Life Church Pastor Tom Brown.
“All Catholics have a moral obligation before God to oppose any government attempt to legalize same-sex unions,” Rodriguez wrote in part two of the series. “Here in El Paso, certain City Council members have remained obstinate in promoting public recognition and legitimization of homosexual unions.
Whether they realize it or not, their actions are objectively immoral and gravely harmful to marriage and the family. It should be obvious to all Catholics what our duty is with respect to these members of City Council.”
Rodriguez said he wrote the pieces but did not pay for the advertisements or submit the writings to the Times.
A couple from Plano, Texas, paid for the advertisements.
“I decided to write these articles primarily because it’s my duty as a Catholic priest to teach the truth when it comes to faith and morals,” Rodriguez said in a written statement to the Times. “My mission is to labor for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. That’s why I wrote the articles. The government has no right to undermine or redefine the institution of marriage. This is beyond the scope of their competence.”
Why is it that priests who live their priesthood, defend the truths of the Church, and focus first and foremost on feeding Christ’s sheep are either disciplined or left to fend for themselves?
An older pastor from my childhood parish who introduced a little bit of Latin in the liturgy and asked people to genuflect before receiving communion was practically run out of town on a rail. A dynamic young priest I knew — who restored his parish to actually look like a Catholic church, preached orthodox sermons, got young men interested in serving at the altar and in the priesthood, and started a beautiful choir — was falsely accused of sexual impropriety by the child of a family who didn’t like all the changes. Despite being cleared of wrongdoing, he was virtually stripped of his priesthood in a “treatment center” and, to my knowledge, was never given a parish again. Another young priest of my acquaintance caused a furor when he simply changed the altar wine so as to constitute valid matter for the sacrament (the previous pastor had used a wine with additives, which is forbidden). Upon doing so, he was faced with the angry protests of the parishioners, and his chancery refused to support his actions.
There are so many stories of priests being discouraged, thwarted, or sent away. Too many. And except in matters of criminal abuse, these stories pertain almost exclusively to priests who are simply trying to do the job Our Lord has called them to do. Priests who give of themselves tirelessly, generously, and without reserve, but wish only to give the faithful the best they have to offer – which includes doctrinal orthodoxy, liturgical and sacramental orthopraxis, and the sort of tough love that calls people to conversion, and to sanctity.
But a priest who preaches heresy from the pulpit, or tells penitents that their sin is no sin, or abuses Our Lord through irreverent liturgy, or distorts or ignores the Church’s teachings on sexual morality? They are left to do their work.
We need good priests. We need good liturgy. We need good devotions. I wish our bishops would understand that the parishes might not be so empty these days — and the collection baskets with them — if they were offering substance, not silliness. If a priest wants to say only the TLM, why not let him? Who is he hurting? As Pope Benedict XVI instructed us, “What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful.”
It made me sad to talk to that priest from the Bronx, who remembered the good old days when the parish was overflowing with priests and with the manifest signs of the life of Faith. These days, it’s a struggle for him to manage everything by himself. Still, he toils in the vineyard, looking for signs of hope.
All of us who desperately seek the return of a strong and vibrant Catholicism are in the same boat. We find ourselves, too, toiling away, looking for signs of a “New Springtime” that seems always held at bay by the interminable winter of heterodoxy. We can only pray, and fast, and do penance, and hope. We have heard that it will come soon, soon.
Steve Skojec is the Founding Publisher of OnePeterFive.com. He received his BA in Communications and Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2001. His commentary has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Crisis Magazine, EWTN, Huffington Post Live, The Fox News Channel, Foreign Policy, and the BBC. Steve and his wife Jamie have eight children. You can find more of his writing at his Substack, The Skojec File.
Repeating a comment I posted earlier on Fr. Z’s blog, as I feel that the sin of calumny is being committed against a humble and holy bishop.
Bishop Mark J. Seitz of El Paso has nothing against the Latin Mass. In fact, Seitz made it a priority when he moved to El Paso to help build bridges with the Latin Mass community there. On the morning his appointment was announced – before he even made the public announcement of his appointment – he consulted with a prayer group who was praying a rosary outside the diocese headquarters for the Latin Mass to be available in the diocese. Bishop Seitz also almost immediately made overtures to invite the FSSP to the diocese, and the diocese now has the Latin Mass available by FSSP priests.
Fr. Rodriguez, on the other hand, has tainted his attempts at holiness with serious issues of disobedience, as referenced in multiple comments above.
For the source blogger to insinuate that this “sabbatical” was in any way due to Seitz’s disdain of Rodriquez solely due to his propagation of the Latin Mass (causing ” increasing difficulties for him with the local hierarch”) is calumny against God’s appointed shepherd, plain and simple. And while the story of Rodriquez being released from duty may be fact, the source for this story has resorted to calumny and slander under the guise of “reporting news” – an offense against charity that this blogger has committed on multiple occasions in regards to this bishop.
It leads me to wonder – if the blogger has no problem in slandering those canonically responsible for this priest, how much of this story can we trust as being fact, and how much of this is pure biased propaganda for the cause of this disobedient priest with the intention of laying fault with Seitz?
Feel free to present your evidence to the contrary. While you’re at it, let me know about any diocesan priest in the entire world of whom you are aware who is allowed to exclusively celebrate the TLM.
Sadly, I know that priests who love the TLM are usually treated this way. The burden of proof is on those who say this is not the reason.
Without the bishop’s permission, I don’t think diocesan priests are allowed to exclusively celebrate the TLM. If you think there’s injustice in that, blame Pope Benedict XVI’s cover letter to bishops on Summorum Pontificum:
“…In order to experience full communion, the priests of the communities adhering to the former usage cannot, as a matter of principle, exclude celebrating according to the new books. The total exclusion of the new rite would not in fact be consistent with the recognition of its value and holiness.”
BTW, our TLM priest celebrates exclusively in the old form. But he’s retired. He comes from another diocese but our bishop had to borrow and dig him out of retirement to provide for our group’s request for a TLM. Deo gratias.
POINT 1: BISHOP SEITZ HAS MADE A STRONG EFFORT TO BUILD BRIDGES AND SUPPORT THOSE CATHOLICS WHO DESIRE THE LATIN MASS IN HIS DIOCESE
As mentioned in my first comment, on the morning his appointment was announced – his first day at the chancery, and before he even made the public announcement of his appointment – he met with a prayer group who was praying a rosary outside the diocese headquarters for the Latin Mass to be available in the diocese. This group had been meeting twice a week in front of the chancery, and instead of blowing by them, he took time out what was to be a very busy morning to meet with them and hear what they had to say.
On his FIRST SUNDAY as Bishop (he was installed 7/9/13), he visited the Presidio parish as a good will gesture to the Latin Mass community: https://twitter.com/BishopSeitz/status/356592517518614528
By December, he was already meeting with the FSSP leaders to bring the fraternity to the diocese, and now the diocese is home to an FSSP apostolate with two priests offering Masses in downtown El Paso:
POINT 2: DISOBEDIENCE OF FR. RODRIGUEZ
As far as “any diocesan priest in the entire world who is allowed to exclusively celebrate the TLM”, as far as I know there is not any. That does not change the fact that this diocesan priest was subject to his bishop and was disobedient to him.
While we do not know all of the facts in the case against Fr. Rodriquez by the diocese, nor can we know what is hearsay and what is fact, many of the allegations against him can be found here:
Fr. Rodriguez’s defense? “But look at all the good I did!” [Can anyone, anyone, seriously think that the diocese is carrying out its “sacred duty” to safeguard the spiritual goods of San Juan Bautista anywhere close to what Fr. Michael Rodríguez was doing?]: http://the-american-catholic.com/2012/01/14/fr-michael-rodriguez-responds-to-bishop-ochoa/
However, even if every single one of the allegations in the lawsuit proves to be false, his own conduct shows him to be in disobedience to his bishop. Summorum Pontificum states that:
Art. 2. In Masses celebrated without the people, each Catholic priest of the Latin rite, whether secular or regular, may use the Roman Missal published by Bl. Pope John XXIII in 1962, or the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1970, and may do so on any day with the exception of the Easter Triduum. For such celebrations, with either one Missal or the other, the priest has no need for permission from the Apostolic See or from his Ordinary.
Art. 3. Communities of Institutes of consecrated life and of Societies of apostolic life, of either pontifical or diocesan right, wishing to celebrate Mass in accordance with the edition of the Roman Missal promulgated in 1962, for conventual or “community” celebration in their oratories, may do so. If an individual community or an entire Institute or Society wishes to undertake such celebrations often, habitually or permanently, the decision must be taken by the Superiors Major, in accordance with the law and following their own specific decrees and statues.
Fr. Rodriguez a) celebrated ALL Masses in the EF, which shows disobedience to Art. 2 (and the regulation regarding Triduum Masses), and b) was not a member of one of the “communities of Institutes of consecrated life and of Societies of apostolic life, of either pontifical or diocesan right, and was not given permission by his superiors to conduct all Masses in the Extraordinary Form.
Another response to the lawsuit allegations was not that he will fulfill his vows that he made at his priestly ordination of “respect and obedience to your ordinary and his successors” but that he would “continue to adhere to the Ancient Rite of the Roman Catholic Church, no matter the cost”: http://the-american-catholic.com/2012/01/12/bishop-ochoa-files-legal-action-against-fr-michael-rodriguez-fr-rodriguez-responds/
While every priest has the right to say Mass in the Extraordinary Form, every priest who is not a member of an order dedicated to the Extraordinary Form must be obedient to both SP and his bishop when celebrating Masses. The same reasoning applies to bi-Rite priests such as Fr. Mitch Pacwa, who must have faculties to celebrate in both the Ordinary Form Latin Rite and Maronite Rite Masses when he visits dioceses.
There are many FSSP priests (and other EF priest groups) who are former diocese priests who came to the realization that their call included celebrating the EF Mass exclusively. Fr. Boyd comes to mind. There are also many traditionally minded priests who are friends with these EF priest groups that have found ways to join these societies and leave behind their diocesan ties. Whatever may or may not have done by Fr. Rodriguez, the fact remains that there were avenues for him to pursue that would have allowed him this freedom that did not involve the disobedience issues currently in debate.”
Your comments are very, very organized in a PR sort of way. They seem to center around the subject of disobedience to one’s bishop, which is the hammer that is most often used to destroy the reputation of good and holy priests. It is a diocesan tactic, one that is happily taken up by (to quote the blogger Mundabor) the “Pollyannas” of the Catholic world. The New Order Church, aka the Church of Man, demands obedience to man over God. St. Peter felt differently…
I watched the Mass you included in your comment. It brought me to tears it was so holy and beautiful. And that is your evidence of the evil ways of Fr. Rodriguez…
Because the evidence requested of me is “very, very organized” is beside the point. I did not say that there was any firm truth in anything that this good priest was being accused of doing other than sheer willful disobedience. But that alone, in my view, is a punishable offense.
You do not disagree that what I say is incorrect or a falsehood, only that what I said was very “diocesan” and “Pollyanna.” I have seen absolutely no evidence of Seitz’s dislike, disdain, or disapproval of the Latin Mass as allowed under Sommorum Pontificum. As a matter of fact, all I have seen is evidence to the contrary. I have also not seen that Father’s sabbatical was in any way tied to his preference for the Latin Mass. All we know is that he was put on sabbatical.
All conclusions about why this sabbatical was happening have been drawn solely from the conclusions theorized from non-existent evidence. To make accusations against Bishop Seitz is uncharitable at best, and calumnious and slanderous at worst.
The loss of souls that may occur due this disobedience cannot be discounted. His disobeidience is causing scandal among many good and faithful Catholics, under the guise of “Beauty” and “Holiness”.
A very good and holy (traditional) priest, who has taught me much about growing in holiness, preaches often about how to most perfectly conform to God’s will. One story he often tells is the story of Saul in 1 Samuel. Saul was doing something against the will of God, and what was that? He was doing the one thing that is better than everything else a person can do here on this earth – he was offering thanksgiving and sacrifice to God. If it is not God’s will, it is not leading to holiness, and it is not giving glory to God, plain and simple.
1 Sam 15: 22-23 – And Samuel said: Doth the Lord desire holocausts and victims, and not rather that the voice of the Lord should be obeyed? For obedience is better than sacrifices: and to hearken rather than to offer the fat of rams. Because it is like the sin of witchcraft, to rebel: and like the crime of idolatry, to refuse to obey. Forasmuch therefore as thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, the Lord hath also rejected thee from being king.
After a little bit of research into his past public statements, it appears to me that Fr. Rodriguez is more than simply a priest who loves the traditional Mass, but he’s a dissenter from the Catholic faith and openly disdainful of the Church and the Holy Mass in the ordinary form. He makes a number of troubling statements in this interview with the Remnant newspaper: http://www.remnantnewspaper.com/Archives/2011-1015-mjm-father-rodriguez.htm
A few quotes: “Unfortunately, all of my seminary formation was in the Novus Ordo, and I only “discovered” the Latin Mass about six years ago, so I still have a lot to learn in terms of “real Catholicism,” i.e. “traditional Catholicism.”” So essentially, he is saying that the Novus Ordo is not “real” Catholicism. Basically, he’s accusing his bishop and brother priests of not being true Catholics.
“However, the sad reality of having to “obey” in the Novus Ordo Church that has largely lost the Faith, and the need to reach out patiently to Novus Ordo faithful who have been so misled, means that I will probably be “forced” to celebrate the Novus Ordo occasionally. In these instances, however, it will be the Novus Ordo ad orientem, with the Roman Canon, the use of Latin, and Holy Communion distributed according to traditional norms.” Once again, no respect for the Holy Mass in the way it has been promulgated by the Church, and an outright refusal to celebrate according to the norms and rubrics in place in the country and diocese.
I won’t go into his statements in favor of the SSPX or his Grunerian conspiracy theories about Fatima. The man is a dissenter from the Catholic faith and openly disrespects the Holy Father and Vatican 2. And this was 3 years ago. Who knows how much worse he’s gotten. If the bishop did anything wrong, it was allowing him to continue to subvert the Catholic faith for three more years.
If he’s being faithful to 1960 years of the Catholic Faith, how can he be disobedient to the past 50 years of it? Is it in continuity, or isn’t it?
The promise of obedience to one’s bishop is paramount to the role of a priest, and has been for the entire history of the Church. That didn’t go out the door in the 1960s. The TLM is a tremendous treasure. To call it the “true Mass” in contrast to the ordinary form is bordering on schismatic. I don’t think any bishop would be happy with one of the priests in his charge saying such things.
It *is* the true Mass, in the sense that it is the most authentic expression of the worship of the Roman Rite. The new missal is, as Cardinal Ratzinger said, “a fabrication, a banal on-the-spot product.” It’s a manufactured liturgy. Theologically, anthropologically, it doesn’t hold a candle. It diminishes the mystery it celebrates.
“I am convinced that the ecclesial crisis in which we find ourselves today depends in great part upon the collapse of the liturgy, which at times is actually being conceived of etsi Deus non daretur: as though in the liturgy it did not matter any more whether God exists and whether He speaks to us and listens to us.”
How did this happen to the liturgy? The new missal razed the bastions between the ordained and the non-ordained faithful, destroyed the rubrics, stripped the sense of sacrifice and sacramentality and sacredness, made the priest into an improviser and entertainer rather than an alter Christus. This is why Lutherans are comfortable using the texts of the new missal for their services: it is no stumbling block to them. Consequently, it is a stumbling block for us.
Your quotations from Ratzinger would lead one to believe that he thought the Novus Ordo was invalid. And of course that is not at all what he thought. I think the first quote is more a condemnation of all the tinkering with the Novus Ordo rather than a condemnation of a valid, reverent Novus Ordo. When there is too much tinkering with the Novus Ordo, it becomes a “fabrication”. In recent years, the great abuses have been reigned in and we have returned to a more reverent form of Novus Ordo.
Not buying. The New Order Mass is and was a fabrication, and it isn’t only BXVI who has said that. Simply the fact that it is open to “too much tinkering” gives any thinking person a clue that there’s a major problem. Regarding the great abuses you believe have been reigned in, what and where are you talking about? My local parish has ‘Pentecostal’ priests dancing in the aisles and laying hands on people during the Mass. Just because the clown puppets aren’t as much in evidence doesn’t mean the abuses are ended. These signs of abuse are only the outward symptom for an inward contempt for holiness during the Mass.
One more from Ratzinger:
“It is also worth observing here that the ‘creativity’ involved in manufactured liturgies has a very restricted scope. It is poor indeed compared with the wealth of the received liturgy in its hundreds and thousands of years of history. Unfortunately, the originators of homemade liturgies are slower to become aware of this than the participants…”
So, the promise of obedience to the bishop is of greater importance than obedience to Christ and the Magisterium? Do you really want to go there?
Now you are calling Fr. Rodriguez a potential schismatic? What next?
Fr. Rodriguez, by suggesting that the ordinary form is not the true Mass, is flirting with schism, yes, because he is undermining the authority of the bishops and the Mass that has been promulgated by the Holy See. Christ gave us apostolic succession to preserve the faith, and we don’t have the right to go rogue because we don’t like what our shepherds have to say. This applies to both the left and right.
It is obviously *not* the true Mass. First of all, this is impossible, because there are over 20 approved rites of Mass within the Church, all of which are valid.
Secondly, there are two forms of Mass within the Roman rite. The Missal of Paul VI is that which is currently considered the standard, but it is not the only, and thus it cannot be the “true Mass.”
In a technical sense, under these juridical restrictions, you cannot say that the TLM is legally the “true Mass” either. But you may certainly argue that it is the “true Mass” of the Roman rite, insofar as it is long established, has provided untold spiritual benefit of the Church, and is theologically superior in every way.
If indeed, as many of us believe, God wills that the Church’s ancient and venerable liturgy be that which nourishes his faithful — which may the only thing that explains its preservation in what is otherwise an unprecedented situation — then it is possible that God also thinks of this Mass as more pleasing to Him, and desires its restoration. He allows the other form, which exists in usurpation, to continue to be in place, because he has given authority to Peter; this does not mean that anything about the promulgation of a missal is infallible in and of itself, or that the new missal could be abrogated and the old restored with the appropriate updates to the calendar, the propers, etc., to make up for 50 years of neglect through a normal process of organic development.
It’s not schismatic to believe that this can happen, that it should happen, or that it will happen. In fact, we may ardently pray and advocate that it does happen. To say that the old Mass is the true Mass is simply to say that it most perfectly embodies appropriate Catholic worship, is more pleasing to God than what replaced it, and should be returned to its rightful place.
That’s not schismatic, it’s just true.
Last night I was listening to Father Simon on Relevant Radio. A caller had a question about TLM versus Novus Ordo. Father Simon said that the mass of Paul VI was a magnificent, beautiful mass. The problem, he said, is that the real mass of Paul VI is almost never celebrated. He said there are so many options possible with the Novus Ordo, and that priests for some reason have opted out of so much of the mass of Paul VI, that the true mass of Paul VI is almost never said in the US.
So you confirm that submission to the bishops is of more import than to obey the teachings of Christ and the Magisterium of Holy Mother Church then? This is the same argument that will attempt to gain permanent purchase at the Synod in 2015, I figure.
Since when did Rodriguez become arbiter of what Christ and the Magisterium say? I thought that was reserved for the Pope and the bishops
Who said he was ‘arbiter’? He is a follower of Christ and the Magisterium. Anyone who cares to, can read Christ’s word in Scripture and its interpretation in the Church’s teachings. That must be quite the problem for those who desire blind obedience.
It is actually an open question whether Pope Paul VI had the right to promulgate a new Roman rite at all. It is not out of the question to think Paul VI’s forcing the new Mass on the Church was illegal. That is an open debate that a future Pope will have to deal with. It’s a current scandal that we have two different Roman rites.
No it’s not. Or is “ordinary magisterium” a modernist innovation? The Mass in the ordinary form has been accepted by the bishops and the last five popes. When we find ourselves in disagreement with the pope and the bishops in communion with him, it is we, not they, who are disobedient.
There is absolutely a question of the liceity of forcing a new fabricated rite and suppressing one that not only enjoys the privilege — which has existed for many centuries — of immemorial custom, but also the grant of perpetuity ascribed to it in Quo Primum.
Future popes are going to have to do a good bit of work on papal infallibility, particularly pertaining to which decisions deserve our assent.
There is very little doubt in the mind of serious theologians and liturgists that the Missal of Paul VI was a mistake; Its promulgation directly coincides with the departure of tens of thousands of religious from their vows, with many additional laity leaving the Church, and a rapid and unrestrained decline of belief in the Real Presence, along with other central teachings of the faith.
As a liturgy with minimal rules, it has opened the door to widespread and sacrilegious abuse; as a liturgy which was devised to make Protestants feel comfortable with the Mass, it has stripped the sacrificial aspect and replaced it with something banal and unchallenging. The norms which came with it (or were later tacked on in complete submission to widespread abuse, such as communion in the hand, altar girls, versus populum, etc.) have done even more to rout the remaining vestiges of the Catholic faith.
If the Church is ever to be reformed, the new missal will have to go away. It’s only a question of time. Just because the last five popes (deeply influenced by or completely subscribing to modernism) thought it was more or less a good idea doesn’t mean that their predecessors would have.
It’s a juridical issue, and one that can and should be overturned.
Oh, boy. Five Popes in a row are fine with the Novus Ordo, but they are wrong and just too influenced by modernism. Come on now.
For my money, the TLM is a vastly superior mass. But that is my opinion, and there are lots of people who don’t like it. That is their loss, and I believe most don’t like it out of simple ignorance. But the notion that Five Popes in a row have run completely off the rails and Steve Skojec is correct is a bit too much to swallow.
As for Rodriguez, there is the temptation of a few priests involved in the TLM to become enamored of themselves and to start enjoying tweaking the powers that be, egged on by certain parishioners who feel justified in rejecting what Five Popes In a Row have said is OK. Be careful. It is possible for a TLM priest to be doing unsavory things, and don’t let your desire for the TLM overcome all other matters.There is more than enough cause for concern llsted in the El Paso Times articles.
A rite of Mass and the missal for that Mass is not doctrine, it is discipline. The Magisterium deals with doctrines and teachings of the Church. How Mass is celebrated falls under the discipline of the Church. Is part of the governance of the Church. Decisions of governance are prudential. No Catholic is bound to agree with Church decisions on discipline and governance. However, Catholics are bound to obey dogmas and doctrines.
The attempt to scare Catholics with the SSPX ‘bugaboo’ doesn’t really work so much anymore. Pope Francis has graciously seen to that with his calls to stop judging those who don’t agree with Catholic doctrine, like Protestants and atheists. We’re all one and who are we to judge, right? SSPX are simply Catholics from before the Novus Ordo Church. You need to lighten up and embrace the SSPX. 🙂
For you to suggest that the Novus Ordo Church is THE Catholic faith and anything that came before is not Catholic, is to do exactly what you accuse Fr. Rodriguez of: subverting the Catholic faith.
You should read the Ottaviani Intervention. Cardinal Ottaviani who was the head of the Holy Office (now the CDF), said about the Novus Ordo Mass that “… the Novus Ordo represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent…”
The Cardinal in charge of defending Church doctrine warned Paul VI that the new Mass departed from Catholic theology!
Since the idea to promulgate a new rite of Mass was a purely prudential governing decision of Paul VI, no Catholic is under any obligation to accept it, or think it was a good idea, or like the new Mass. The TLM was never abrogated and always licit to celebrate.
And ultimately Ottaviani accepted the changes and stated that his concerns had been properly and fully addressed. Let’s not forget that. Vatican I makes it clear where the final authority falls. I know where you are coming from because I shared your concern about the Church after Vatican 2 for a long time. Ultimately, however, I came to realize that either the Church in Rome (led by Pope Benedict at the time) was the true Church or that the whole Christian enterprise was a sham. You can’t accuse Rome of apostasy and continue to hold that Catholicism is true. To do is illogical, especially in light of Vatican I.
“ultimately Ottaviani accepted the changes and stated that his concerns had been properly and fully addressed.”
As you no doubt know, this remains in dispute. You’ve heard the stories, I’m sure: the Cardinal was blind at the point the retraction was signed, his secretary was a member of the Consilium that implemented the new missal, etc.
But even if all of that cannot be substantiated (and if it were a forgery, they would obviously have covered their tracks) his objections remain unadressed. I read the Ottaviani Intervention for the first time in 2001, and it opened my eyes because the problems he highlighted were still manifest throughout the Church. All the abuses I’d seen my whole life all made sense. They had been foretold ahead of time.
I know where you are coming from because I shared your concern about the Church after Vatican 2 for a long time. Ultimately, however, I came to realize that either the Church in Rome (led by Pope Benedict at the time) was the true Church or that the whole Christian enterprise was a sham.
Forgive me for saying so, but this sounds a bit like Stockholm syndrome. “How I learned to stop worrying and love the liturgical time bomb.”
Of course this is the true Church, or this website wouldn’t exist. And there’s no accusation of apostasy here. There is simply an allegation that what was done to the Church, liturgically, was wrong. It was technically valid, but it was still a wrecking ball. And it needs to be put right.
And… In the middle of my reply, Disqus crashed. Alas.
I suppose my main point is that orthodoxy and grace can be found in the Novus Ordo. I have found it there, although admittedly there is nothing more depressing than wandering into the typical suburban parish and seeing the banality that is so pervasive in the typical parish.
Paul VI did lay out a fairly comprehensive defense of the new rite: http://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/P6691126.HTM
I think his arguments succeed in some areas, where in others they don’t. But he did foresee the debate and tried to address the concerns of those who opposed the change.
A much greater concern is the failure of our pastors to promote the moral and spiritual teachings of the Church, as well as the rejection of those teachings by the laity. Some would argue that this goes hand-in-hand with the liturgical changes and they are causally related, but I know enough holy, devoted, orthodox priests who celebrate the Novus Ordo that I don’t think it’s necessarily true.
To be blunt, the ‘evidence’ you provide is simply hearsay and opinion. If you are intimately aware of all the facts, please provide names and so forth to prove your points. To have read something or other in a newspaper hardly constitutes the truth of a matter.
You are, in fact, doing exactly what you accuse others of, namely being “uncharitable at best, and calumnious and slanderous at worst.”
I’ve also noticed a tendency on the part of some to tout the presence of FSSP in a diocese as proof that the bishop is not anti-TLM. If so, why are non-FSSP priests like Fr. Rodriguez routinely persecuted and prevented from saying the Mass of the Ages? FSSP is the New Order Church’s attempt to contain the TLM. It will not work, but it was a good try.
What is said in the newspaper is purely heresay. What I am saying, however, is that that Bishop Seitz does not hate the Latin Mass, and that Fr. Rodriguez is not being punished solely because he offers the Traditional Latin Mass.
To accuse Bishop Seitz of unjustly persecuting a holy priest is calumnious towards Bishop Seitz. It is the sin of detraction – the unjust blackening of a good name of another who is not present. Every man is entitled in justice to a good name.
More on this sin can be heard in this sermon:
And here’s another thing: Is this talk of Bishop Seitz a just application of Fraternal Correction? Another holy priest gives these three situations where fraternal correction is appropriate:
Is this being done out of charity?
Is there an eminent danger of a soul being lost?
Is this something that has a reasonable chance of being changed due to my words?
In this case, there is much more damage that will be done by Seitz’s good name being damaged in this way than by revealing the actions of a priest who has committed multiple acts of public disobedience towards his superiors.
I am standing up for the good name of Bishop Seitz in charity due to my loyalty and faith to his authority and role in the magisterium. Many souls could and possibly will be lost due to the public disobedience and current scandal caused by this priest and against this bishop.
Others may feel that they are justified in defending Fr. Rodriguez. It is their right to do so. But to do this by committing calumny against Bishop Seitz is not charitable, and will not save any souls.
More on the correct and holy way of fraternal correction can be heard here:
“Many souls could and possibly will be lost due to the public disobedience and current scandal caused by this priest and against this bishop.”
This is highly unlikely and you know it. Souls actually are being lost because of bad liturgy, unfaithful bishops, and the scandals of Rome.
Fr. Rodriguez was considered a problem when he stood up for the Church’s traditional teaching on marriage. He had a lawsuit filed against him shortly thereafter for what sounds like an attempt to keep funds raised so he could restore his parish, even if the rumors are true. He is reported now to be in trouble because he only says the TLM, which it is his right to do.
I have no interest in calumniating or detracting the good name of a bishop. Almost ALL the bishops, under the guidance of Rome, have put traditionally-minded priests in this situation. It is a scandal. There is no reason they should not make provisions for these priests and let devotion to the old rite grow, unless they think it threatens the new paradigm.
The issue in question isn’t this particular bishop. It’s all the priests who are afraid to admit that the Novus Ordo is deficient and harmful because this kind of thing happens.
Sometimes, I am tempted to wish Anibele Bugnini had never been born, or at least had died before Italian Rite Masons had gotten their claws on his soul.
I’m sure the bishop has the ability and wherewithal to stand up for himself, unlike Fr. Rodriguez who cannot.
Let us review the facts: Fr. Rodriguez has been removed from his parish and put on a six-month sabbatical to reflect on his vocation. No reason has been given. To date, no charges against Fr. Rodriquez have been forthcoming, although, as often happens in cases like this, rumors are rife.
Fr. Rodriguez is widely known to uphold the teachings of the Magisterium regarding marriage, and says the Vetus Ordo. He, like other priests and bishops down through the years, is critical of the New Order Mass, a modern-day construct designed to draw Protestants (an obvious failure after decades of use).
Recently, there has been a spate of other similar cases of priests and orders (FFI) who are suffering persecution for their Catholic faith. One reason floated for this type of persecution is for ‘disobedience’ to the bishop(s). Larger issues are ignored. Disobedience to the bishop trumps all.
Thinking Catholics take issue.
“his first day at the chancery, and before he even made the public announcement of his appointment – he met with a prayer group who was praying a rosary outside the diocese headquarters for the Latin Mass to be available in the diocese. This group had been meeting twice a week in front of the chancery, and instead of blowing by them, he took time out what was to be a very busy morning to meet with them and hear what they had to say.”
You make it sound like he was showing a kindness just to be nice to some crazy people.
He was, in fact, paying attention to a group which honors the Church’s longstanding liturgical and sacramental tradition. And good for him for doing it.
“By December, he was already meeting with the FSSP leaders to bring the fraternity to the diocese, and now the diocese is home to an FSSP apostolate with two priests offering Masses in downtown El Paso”
Again, good for him, but surely you don’t believe that this is sufficient for the needs of the entire diocese in becoming familiar with and having the opportunity to regularly attend the Traditional Mass? It wasn’t wasn’t intended, according to my reading of SP, to be a museum piece that was to be isolated in a dark corner or two of each diocese.
“As far as “any diocesan priest in the entire world who is allowed to exclusively celebrate the TLM”, as far as I know there is not any. ”
Precisely. And this is an extremely serious problem. Every diocese has priests who learn the TLM, recognize quickly its superiority as an act of Catholic worship, and begin to gravitate towards it as the most nourishing liturgy for their priesthood and for the faithful.
Why shouldn’t they be allowed to offer it exclusively? It denies nobody the sacraments. Everything they offer is valid – in fact, it’s more extrinsically efficacious. A bishop allowing a parish to go full TLM isn’t losing a parish. He’s gaining an epicenter of devotion, piety, and vocations. What’s the downside?
“this diocesan priest was subject to his bishop and was disobedient to him.”
Disobedient how? Have you seen the specific charges? I cited the news story where the diocese refused to support him in his defense of the Catholic teaching on marriage. Was he disobedient by speaking up? Or was it, as I have speculated, that he exclusively offers the TLM? And if that is the case, what possible reason should the bishop have not to grant him the exclusive use of that missal? Who would it hurt?
“While we do not know all of the facts in the case against Fr. Rodriquez by the diocese, nor can we know what is hearsay and what is fact, many of the allegations against him can be found here”
There’s a lot of unsubstantiated allegation in this article, which was written over 2 years ago. I couldn’t find a result to this lawsuit. Is it ongoing? And again, I’m also curious if any of it is true, and if the money was in fact used to restore the parish to something that looked like a Catholic Church. I know that we’ve become exceedingly bureaucratic, and that pastors are supposed to handle money like MBAs (far more important than tending to the spiritual needs of their flock) but still, there’s just more we need to know before reaching a conclusion of guilt. Especially since our justice system is predicated upon innocence, and the article even says there’s no criminal case.
“Fr. Rodriguez’s defense? “But look at all the good I did!”
That was an incredibly impressive list. I am willing to guarantee that it’s more than the bishop accomplished at the Cathedral. If Fr. Rodriguez did all that, and it makes him unfaithful and disobedient, then what religion are we practicing anyway?
“However, even if every single one of the allegations in the lawsuit proves to be false, his own conduct shows him to be in disobedience to his bishop. Summorum Pontificum states that:
Art. 2. In Masses celebrated without the people, each Catholic priest of the Latin rite, whether secular or regular, may use the Roman Missal published by Bl. Pope John XXIII in 1962, or the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1970, and may do so on any day with the exception of the Easter Triduum. For such celebrations, with either one Missal or the other, the priest has no need for permission from the Apostolic See or from his Ordinary.”
How is this justifying your objection? It says rite there that each Catholic priest may use the 1962 missal for any masses without the people (except Easter Triduum, as these are to be public – I assure you, many diocesan priests do Triduum Masses in the old rite). You cite article 3, but it doesn’t apply, because Fr. Rodriguez is not a member of a religious order. He is, as article 2 states, a “Catholic priest of the Latin rite.” There are no restrictions on him. And article 4 states, “Celebrations of Mass as mentioned above in art. 2 may – observing all the norms of law – also be attended by faithful who, of their own free will, ask to be admitted.” This means that the masses in the old rite that he has the right to celebrate WITHOUT PERMISSION may include the faithful who wish to participate.
The pope himself said it: the 1962 missal was “never abrogated.” Which means it has not juridically been replaced. Which means Fr. Rodriguez cannot legitimately be forbidden from saying it unless he has his faculties removed, and this would, in order to be a licit disciplinary action, requires some cause other than the fact that he is celebrating the TLM. A non-abrogated missal has the force of ecclesiastical law, which transcends the authority of a bishop.
“Even FSSP apostolate priests, when they do not have their own parish and instead are merely priests leading a Latin Mass community within an Ordinary Form parish, cannot celebrate the Triddum.”
This is simply not true. Again, the stipulation in Art. 2 had to do with public vs. private Masses. On the Easter Triduum, there is typically only one Mass said per day in a parish, according to law. The Mass is supposed to be public (and Good Friday, of course, isn’t even a Mass.)
There was a clarifiction issued after Summorum Pontificum that explained this:
“Another response to the lawsuit allegations was not that he will fulfill his vows that he made at his priestly ordination of “respect and obedience to your ordinary and his successors” but that he would “continue to adhere to the Ancient Rite of the Roman Catholic Church, no matter the cost”
Good. Good for him. All priests who recognize the immense gulf between the TLM and the NO should do the same. I know of a priest who was willing to leave the priesthood rather than continue to offer the NO. His bishop could have made provisions for him to offer the TLM exclusively within the diocese and thus, not lose a priest, but instead he was released to join a traditional society. Even so, this took many years.
If more priests took a stand and reminded their bishops that their vocation is from Christ, and their priesthood is His, and they are called to celebrate a legitimate, sacred, and non-abrogated rite of the Church, we might get somewhere. Bishops don’t have any priests to spare (and the lack of vocations is tied directly to the loss of the things Fr. Rodriguez has been trying to restore in his parish) so they need to feel the pinch. Remember:
First of all, Bishop Seitz wasn’t showing a kindness just to be nice to crazy people. He wanted to meet these people and show compassion where his predecessor had not.
Bishop Seitz genuinely loves his fellow man for love of Christ. And he truly strives for holiness every day. Even Fr. Rodriguez said of Seitz that the bishop told him once that his greatest desire is to be a saint.
Second of all, I am not a bishop, therefore I do not wear the mantle to be able to assume what is sufficient for the needs of the entire diocese in becoming familiar with and having the opportunity to regularly attend the Traditional Mass.
Thirdly, I completely agree with all of the other things you said about the Latin Mass. Yes, priests should be able to say it. Yes, it should be more widely available. Yes, it is a beautiful and holy Mass. I have attended the Traditional Latin Mass almost exclusively for four years, and have found that my spirituality has changed by leaps and bounds. In the Novus Ordo parish where I converted, I learned how to be Catholic. Assisting at the Traditional Latin Mass taught me how to love God.
None of this changes the fact that this priest was disobedient to his superior, and that his superior was in his bounds to discipline him in whatever way he felt was appropriate.
This brings me to the point I have been trying to make all along: Bishop Seitz is not this evil Vatican II Uber-Liberal Latin-hating bishop punishing a Traditional priest simply because the priest chooses to say the Latin Mass. To say that this is the case is calumny against this bishop because it is simply not true.
And since you quoted St. Thomas Aquinas earlier, I will share the full quote that I shared above, from a recent post from the New Liturgical Movement blog (http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2014/11/how-sinful-is-it-to-disregard-rubrics.html):
Returning to the text of St. Thomas, here is what we read in an article of the Summa theologiae on the sin of the fallen angels:
Mortal sin occurs in two ways in the act of free-will.
In one way, when something evil is chosen—as man sins by choosing adultery, which is evil of itself. Such sin always comes of ignorance or error; otherwise what is evil would never be chosen as good. The adulterer errs in the particular, choosing this delight of an inordinate act as something good to be performed now, from the inclination of passion or of habit; even though he does not err in his universal judgment, but retains a right opinion in this respect. In this way there can be no sin in the angel; because there are no passions in the angels to fetter reason or intellect, as is manifest from what has been said above (q. 59, a. 4); nor, again, could any habit inclining to sin precede their first sin.
In another way, sin comes of free-will by choosing something good in itself, but not according to proper measure or rule; so that the defect which induces sin is only on the part of the choice which is not properly regulated, but not on the part of the thing chosen—as, for example, if one were to pray [which is a good thing], without heeding the order established by the Church [which is a bad thing]. Such a sin does not presuppose ignorance, but merely absence of consideration of the things which ought to be considered. In this way the angel sinned, by seeking his own good, from his own free-will, insubordinately to the rule of the divine will. (ST I, q. 63, a. 1, ad 4)
“None of this changes the fact that this priest was disobedient to his superior, and that his superior was in his bounds to discipline him in whatever way he felt was appropriate.”
If Bishop Seitz cares about his priests, why does he not make provisions for a priest like Fr. Rodriguez, who believes in good conscience that he can only say the TLM?
To discipline a priest for striving to be more holy? To force him to be obedient when he believes that it hurts his priesthood and the faith of his flock?
I’m sorry, I can’t reconcile this.
What about priests who refused to say the words of the new translation of the Novus Ordo? A number of them have been suspended. They simply wanted to pray the Mass the Church had known for the previous 40 years. One can only assume that they refused to submit to the new text because they believed the older form provides greater spiritual benefit. I know a number of priests who say the TLM with no problems from their bishop, mainly because they are saying it out of love for the Mass and the desire to bring it to the people, without the further agenda or obstinate attitude of Fr. Rodriguez. I think the point we’re making is that Fr. Rodriguez is not the ideal poster boy for traditional priests who are persecuted by their bishops.
Apples and oranges. The new translation seeks to be more faithful to the text of the Mass, and thus, more appropriate worship. Those who resist the changes do so out of a sense that correct translation is too rigid and unwelcoming. It’s a movement away from God, not towards Him.
I don’t know how many ways I can say it: the novus ordo is valid, but nonetheless destructive to the life of faith. Celebrated as reverently as possible (ie., as close as possible to the TLM) this effect is diminished, but again, the NOM was designed as an ecumenical liturgy which downplays the aspect of sacrifice and focuses more on communal meal. It was created to reduce the extrinsic appearance of Catholicism in the liturgy and thus make it more acceptable to non-Catholic Christians.
When a priest realizes that these changes are having a protestantizing effect on the faithful; when he sees that the abuses that are now inextricably intertwined with the NOM are destroying faith in the Real Presence; when he sees that his efforts at catechesis are being undermined by what’s happening at Mass; when he recognizes that the participatory ambiance of the NOM is adulterating his priesthood and thus, his teaching authority and his relationship with God, something must change.
I would argue that a priest who comes to this realization has a duty to resist. His conscience, if it is well formed, does not allow him to give a stone (or worse, a snake) to a child who needs bread.
A bishop may forbid a priest from having any faculties at all. But if he is a priest in good standing, I question the legality of forcing him to offer inferior worship when he has the right to offer something better.
Not apples and oranges at all. Both sides believe very strongly that they are doing spiritual harm to their flock by not following their own will. But that is not what priests are. If they can follow their own will, then they can perform clown masses if that is their will. Priests are not sole actors, able to pursue whatever THEY feel is holy. They are priests of the Catholic church, and the decision about what is holy belongs to the Church, not to individual priests. Otherwise, half the country will have clown masses with large puppets.
A patently false assertion. Just because clown masses have fallen out of fashion with the New Order Mass people, doesn’t mean priests aren’t following their own will. I have not seen the renaissance in the New Order Mass that you apparently have. When I attend a New Order Mass, I never know what I’m going to get. Each priest does it differently. It’s like a box of chocolates. 😉 When I attend a TLM, I know exactly what is going to happen, and I can rest in that fact and enter into the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as intended.
You forget all the allegations about the money. To ignore them is to misunderstand the whole situation.
Have i wandered onto the pages of the National Catholic Reporter here? That is exactly what they say, to justify their rejection of every church doctrine and every bishop’s authority. The “Holy Spirit” is telling them to rebel against the church, and they are refusing to comply with the doctrines of the church because they are doing what “God wants”. For some reason, they believe the Holy spirit will reveal his desires to them, but not to the Pope or the bishops. And oddly, the Holy Spirit seems to tell them to do exactly what they have wanted to do all along. The Holy spirit agrees with them, 100%! Now I find the same thing on the other side of the spectrum. Suddenly Steve Skojec and Christ are one in the same!
This troubles me, to say the least.
And as I said, I fully support the TLM, find it vastly superior, and I wish that every parish had at least one TLM mass per Sunday. But this notion that every TLM priest is a saint, a messenger from God, and that the whole church is somehow not acquainted with Christ is a bit silly.
Our parish has tried to get a TLM going, and only a few people will show up for it. 40 at most. The Novus Ordo masses are overflowing – every mass on Sunday is standing room only. So respect reality, and realize that we still have a lot of work to do. . And please, don’t tell me that God has spoken to you and told you to ignore your bishop.
If there is any truth to the charges of embezzlement, etc. where are they proved? Perhaps Fr. Rodriguez has been persecuted for his faithfulness and calumniated for it.
I would have to see proof one way or the other in order to rightfully ‘judge’ who was guilty of ‘ calumny’ and who was not. I think we should leave it at that.
Besides running solidly Catholic priests out of town, we’ve also contracepted and aborted them out of existence.
I learned this evening of two more family members who have deleted me from their social media sites because I am too orthodox. I learned this when a fifth family member threatened the same thing. Stay Strong!
The path to Heaven is narrow.
I met with a diocesan priest yesterday who is presently without an assignment. He was removed from his past parish primarily because he defended the holy Eucharist. He did not allow just anyone at anytime to have access to the tabernacle. He also would not have the army of older women as ‘Eucharistic ministers’ at his Mass. He also offered a perfect TLM. All of these things do not sit well at a Novus Ordo parish. We was removed for reasons ‘awkward’ to discuss and he fears this suggests a sexual impropriety. He was the best homilist and confessor in town. And he is gone. His spiritual direction has several young men pursuing the priesthood. And he is gone. This is what has been happening to the most courageous and faithful of our holy priests for decades. Liturgical abuse is accepted at the highest levels and the neglect of teaching the moral truths of the faith as well has gone on for decades with impunity. Indeed we see some of such ‘pastoral’ prelates rewarded and elevated. Who is caring for souls? Who is concerned about the offenses against God? Those who truly do seem to be out of favor.
We had an FSSP priest in our area who could have been compared to a St John Vianney. He came off as a little eccentric because of his complete and constant interior recollection, his demand for perfection is every aspect of the Liturgy, and personal virtues such as frequent fasting and sacrifice.. He wrote the most heavenly sermons about our Lady ( and the Consecration- a big no-no). It was an honor to even be around him. There were times his obvious true humility and love of the Faith brought tears to my eyes.Of course, for his faithfulness he was chastised frequently by his order., and moved around the world,although still in active priesthood and (barely)contactable. A year ago however, I happened to get in touch with him by phone for a family request, and he told me he was being sent away the next day, and he could not tell me where he was going.All he told me was “Our Lady loves me very much.” I personally know that he would be martyred before ever leaving the priesthood on his own. After calling the FSSP headquarters, who would not even address his name or anything to do the situation, I hired a local PI for a superficial computer check on him ( i did not have more money than that)- no results. He definitely was not a computer/cellphone fellow.
I spoke to other FSSP priests who all denied knowing where he was.
Almost a year later I was able to approach the head of the Fraternity- I must have caught him off guard, because when I asked about this dear Priest, he asked me if he wanted me to give him a message although he was not “In charge” of his case. I always held out a hope that there was some reasonable explanation for this disappearance, but now I knew that this was an act executed by the order.The crime? IMO first degree personal Holiness and adherence to the Truth is all things, without reservation. Second degree oddity for not fitting in to the Conciliar definition of an affable, don’t take things too seriously, good ol’ boy.
Since this encounter with the superior, I have left him (the superior) two messages without even an acknowledgement of my calls on his part. So pray for Father, whatever gulag they have placed him in. I guess we are all supposed to forget he ever existed. I can’t do that.
Yes even though the world is dissenting deeper and deeper into war and chaos, it still remains politically incorrect to deny the consecration of Russia. Even in the FSSP you can’t say these things. It’s best for the priest to recognize that the consecration of Russia is the Pope’s responsibility, and beseech the people do fulfill their duty by praying their Rosary every day for the conversion of Russia. How casually we interact with and accept Orthodoxy even though they are true schismatics.
Regarding bishops silencing priests regarding homosexual activity, I think the problem is rooted on the IRS using “Giving unto Caesar..” against us. American bishops hammered that command into the fabric of the American Church to counter paranoid Nativist slurs in the early days of the republic. Continuing to do so remains a natural part of a bishop’s training. Sadly, they have not also developed the collective savvy to know when to make exceptions, namely, to be certain Caesar isn’t subtly stealing what belongs to God. Of all the weapons the IRS has unjustly used against people, the most tenuous, yet brilliantly executed is the “tax exempt status” clause. They have used it to keep law abiding Christians of all denominations reined in for 102 Years. But, they have never actually used it! It’s been one century long bluff! And that is because applying it could lead to a 1st Amendment battle that could severely weaken the IRS, perhaps lead to their much deserved collapse. But the Bishops haven’t realized that, and still haven’t the nerve to let the priests challenge that unconstitutional law.
Several Misotheists tried recently to sue the IRS into enforcing the tax exempt statute, and they refused. If that doesn’t prove that that sleek, nasty looking dog has false teeth, then the Bishops are blind, and hear only the vicious barking.
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