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A Leaven In The World… Rome Panics Over The TLM

March 25, 2021 Our Catholic Faith No Comments


My priest Ordination classmates and I requested maniples be sewn to match our first Mass vestments. It was post-Ecclesia Dei in 1992 and postconciliar lay-dominated liturgy had a firm grip on parish life. We nursed hopes all the same that some day soon we would learn the ancient Mass and offer it again for the faithful.
We never dreamed that only 15 years later the Pope would free the immemorial liturgy once again, declaring that any priest at any time could offer the Traditional Latin Mass for anyone. In other words, what was ever Catholic is always Catholic.
Benedict XVI in Summorum Pontificum made the point that what was at one time sacred in the Church cannot now be not sacred and other than good for us. If one thing was lacking in the postconciliar Church, it was common sense and reason like this.
Priests have become weary of the urban legends and falsehoods surrounding Vatican II. A Church with Summorum Pontificum is closer to that envisioned by the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council if you read their words in the documents of the council itself.
The ecumania that colored the proceedings and twisted the documents after the council inverted the desire at the heart of the event to make the Church more vibrantly faithful and betrayed the very nature and mission of the Church herself by making her less Catholic.
The lay-dominated liturgies in many parishes undermine the formation of and vocations to the priesthood necessary for the continuation of the Mass itself. A local seminarian back home for a holiday visit could only be squeezed into a parish liturgy as a cross bearer. Where is the emphasis on encouraging vocations when we are more concerned about bruising the emotions of lay volunteers than giving meaningful roles in liturgy to the very men preparing for the priesthood itself?
Bishops have absolutely no idea how many priests, while outwardly conforming to postconciliar strictures, are secretly preparing and hoping for the day when they can offer the Traditional Latin Mass publicly and regularly. In the years since my Ordination, we have seen the rise and growth of priestly societies for the offering of the Traditional Mass such as FSSP and ICKSP. But they have not been invited everywhere, such as in my own Archdiocese of Washington. But they are not always the answer. As I wrote in a previous column, my parish now offers Mass each day and all seven sacraments in the Traditional Rite. Only a few other parishes in the D.C. area offer the missa antiqua but then only on Sundays.
The ideology which comes for so many along with the “Vatican II Mass” includes a distortion of the faith itself. Lay participation within the sanctuary at Mass for them means that the laity also “consecrate” the Eucharist in a grossly contorted and unrecognizable version of the meaning of Baptism. Participation of vested women in the Mass as lectors, ministers of Communion and other tasks is a preparation for their hoped-for “ordination” (sic) as priests. These are impossibilities and fantasies but they have grown apace, fostered by the exaggerated and unnecessary usurpation of the priestly role.
These erroneous ideologies are given free rein in the Church as progressivist women professors and professional women’s ordination speakers roam freely, often with the unwitting and naive blessing of bishops. The “can’t we all just get along” brand of false irenicism has allowed these wolves to devour and scatter the sheep in a continuation of the Protestant heresy, given an apparent blessing by the activities of devious men after the council in a plethora of documents and liturgical “directives.”
The role of the priest is in so many cases diminished to the point where one is tempted to wonder, if we need women in the sanctuary so desperately to right the wrongs of history, why don’t we get rid of the priest altogether? A new rite for women could be devised using pre-consecrated Hosts!
I jest, but only to make the point that we need to stop apologizing for being Catholic. It turns out that actually being Catholic in every sense of that word is what brings converts out of imperfect union with the Body of Christ. Protestants and unbelievers need to see the difference before they can entertain the very idea of being different. Ecumania in the name of Vatican II is a poison to the faith.
Which brings us back to the Traditional Latin Mass. I’ve told the story here before about the crusty old Navy chief in Alaska. In my Navy chaplain role I rose every July morning in the cold and rain and offered the Mass in the otherwise empty mess tent. The lifelong Baptist chief wanted to pray with the chaplain, so he came along to join me. He had absolutely no idea what I was saying except for Scripture translations and homilies. He and I parted ways but, months later, he surfaced on my Facebook page with a message: He was praying the rosary and had no idea what had taken hold of him. Soon after he and his wife entered the Church.
It turns out that a liturgy which looks 2,000 years old powerfully convinces the world of the truth claims that the Church was founded by Christ 2,000 years ago. Everything else follows that.
The aging ideologues with their scorched-earth, tradition-destroying mercenary methods have abused their power for over 60 years as they attempted to wipe out all vestiges of our sacred past. Young priests, such as my acquaintance who drove around the archdiocese recently gifting brother priests with a copy of the altar missal for the requiem Mass, will have the final word, however. They will outlive priests like me who offer Holy Mass in the Traditional rite and are fully prepared to step in and take our places. Rome has no idea how many priests there are like this all over the world, but they are beginning to.
Thus the panic in Rome which seeks to “protect” the upper church of St. Peter’s Basilica from the Traditional Mass, by the banning of all but concelebrated liturgies. The major Church of Christendom will not be an entirely tradition-free zone, however, as the Clementine chapel in the crypt will allow “authorized” priests to say a limited number of daily TLMs. This mendacious language attempts to conceal the truth that all priests by reason of their Ordination are in fact thus authorized.
Young priests want to say Mass daily as canon law stipulates they should. But concelebrated liturgies with unfamiliar priests away from the parish can fall into liturgical abuse. Priests will not risk the disaster such as befell me in San Giovanni Rotondo when an American priest botched the Mass for our pilgrimage group as he stumbled his way through the Roman Canon — in English, mind you.
The Church has never required priests concelebrate, and to claim Vatican II changes that is transparently draconian and a bald and obvious attempt, vain at best, to quash the groundswell of tradition growing rapidly in the Church around the ancient Mass.
Many of us will never live to see the glorious coming restoration of the Church over the wreckage of souls following postconciliar misdirection, iconoclasm, and error, but it is coming. And the old men in the Vatican who cling to official power and react with panicked and draconian restrictions and illegitimate prohibitions know the same.

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