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Of Henchmen And Hirelings

February 3, 2022 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK

When division over the liturgy began to be reignited in the Church last July after publication of a papal document outlawing what the Church has always done, an archbishop made a revealing comment to a priest who offers the now-banned Traditional Mass. He said, “The bishops don’t appreciate being treated like the Pope’s henchmen.”
Revealing. In a couple of ways. The bishops in this country do not support all of the plots fomented in Rome. They don’t think causing a war over the Mass of all time is a fight worth taking up. And they resent being instrumentalized by those who are pushing a modernist agenda in the Church.
The Church is in a state of implosion as church buildings are being closed all the time and shrinking congregations are being consolidated into smaller and more affordable physical plants. Is this the time to be alienating and pushing out of the Church one of the last groups in the Church whose members go to Sunday Mass and believe all that the Church teaches in faith and morals?
If these people stand in the way of the birth of a new religion and a “new Church” the answer for many is yes. It doesn’t matter to some leaders in the Church how small the Church gets as long as it’s “correct.”
A story is told of a group of traditional Catholics who were accustomed to using a church in Rome each year for the Easter vigil. One year the owners of the building asked them to go elsewhere because they wished to stage their own Easter vigil in the new rite. Some members of the traditional group did not get the word about the changed venue and showed up as usual for the vigil. There were four people in attendance.
This is symbolic of the ruthless agenda of the modernizers. Their scorched-earth policy is not about people. They don’t care who survives the implementation of the new agenda. The sheep are lost in a scenario in which the ones charged with being shepherds forget the purpose of their calling.
The Church is currently suffering from an ecclesial version of brain-eating bacteria. The modernist agenda of turning toward the world for the truth and turning away from God whenever the world demands it is inimical to the faith and toxic for souls. Some bishops are not taking into account the consequences of implementing the full modernist agenda.
Fighting and destroying one another over legitimate freedoms in tradition, excluding authentic Catholic practices as if they could violate unity, is not Catholic.
The concern for unity, we are told, can make it necessary to change at any time anything that came before the 1960s. So far the rosary is safe. And our Lady. But tomorrow anything could be considered unsafe for the dominant agenda.
Unity is important. Our oneness in Christ is one of the four marks of the true Church of Christ, along with “holy, Catholic, and apostolic.” More than one liturgy, however, has never been a threat to unity and it is not now a threat to unity.
So, what’s really going on? We are now in uncharted waters as the “spirit of Vatican II” directing the Church. This “spirit” blows where it wills. It can be different with each person as his or her preferences dictate. Some inner-circle change agents are even saying that the Spirit can inspire us to contradict Scripture and Tradition. Forget about the documents of Vatican II that call for Latin, organ, and Gregorian chant in the liturgy. We are way beyond that. Try Pachamama on the altar at St. Peter’s in Rome and LGBTQ Masses at your neighborhood parish.
Unity and uniformity are not the same thing. Unity can admit of great diversity. Diversity does not exclude unity. The way we pray does not change the oneness of what we believe. This is a war over symbols. The symbol of facing the Lord together at holy Mass, priest and people together, is a powerful sign of the faithful turning together as one away from a faithless world and seeking eternity. Why is such a beautiful sign of our calling as believers under attack?
A priest in a Midwestern archdiocese observed the courtesy of penning a letter to an auxiliary bishop of the local see requesting permission to celebrate holy Mass ad orientem, toward the East. The people are blessed to face East during the liturgy. Why should not the priest, he who leads the people in the prayer of the Mass, also turn together with them toward the Lord? Is this not a most powerful sign of unity in the Lord as we pray together the most important prayer, the Lord’s perfect prayer of the Mass?
The priest in question sent a response, after permission was denied, to plead his case and express his disappointment. In retaliation the priest was cruelly removed from the parish and sent to a facility for re-education.
The enemy of unity in the Church is not prayer ad orientem coexisting with versus populum, the way most Catholics experience Mass. Unity, however, is violated by fomenting a war over these two ways of praying that have always existed at some time or other in the Church. We act against unity whenever we operate or make decisions as though any of our own Catholic traditions are dangerous. The idea that something once sacred for everyone in the Church is now, somehow, inimical to or corrosive of faith will not stand up to scrutiny.
Something else is at work here. Why are those most well known for their loyalty to the historic faith handed down in the Church being targeted as public enemies? I think you’ll find the answer when you look at the persons and agendas which are championed in the name of endless synodality.
Too often, those who promote Communion for public sinners, LGBTQ, Pachamama idolatry, religious indifferentism, and a new unrecognizable religion in general are given favor and promotion.
The agenda of God is the Lord and His holiness. Traditional Latin Mass, oriented toward the Lord, strengthens Catholic identity in God’s purpose. Turning away from the high altar and the tabernacle, the center and purpose of the church and our worship, and toward the world, perfectly symbolizes turning toward the agenda of the world at war with God.
What the Church allows, some bishops are forbidding. What Church teaching in accord with the Commandments forbids, some bishops are permitting and even actively promoting. This moment reveals the shepherds and the hirelings. Pray that our bishops will protect their flocks and the faith which sustains them in this world as we are called together to seek the next.
Thank you for reading and praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.
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