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Turning Holy Mother Church Into A Repressive State

June 10, 2021 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK

A most un-Catholic spirit is abroad in Rome, seeking to devour legitimate Catholic freedoms. It reveals itself as a repressive regime which values obedience to arbitrary human preference among legitimate options over the free, unchecked movement of the Holy Spirit among the People of God. This approach threatens to choke out the freshness and life which ensure the flourishing and fruitfulness of the vineyard of faith.
As Scripture instructs, we must “test everything; hold fast to what is good” (1 Thess. 5:21). When it comes to the liturgy, however, handed down from the beginning and organically developed, one must be most careful, receiving respectfully, and preserving carefully, the source itself of the Lord’s Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist.
We are saved by grace through faith. The most excellent source of grace in the Church is the Holy Eucharist which comes to us exclusively through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The Holy Mass must be always and everywhere be treated with the greatest of respect and love for, born of faith in, the Lord Himself.
Saying that there are too many prayers, or ways of offering the liturgy, is like saying there are too many flowers. A new papal document reportedly in its third draft threatens, like a legislative version of RoundUp, to kill off the newly replanted prayer of the ancient Mass in all but a very few exclusive locations. This would artificially preserve, like the rarest of plants in very few greenhouses, what should be abundantly available as basic spiritual and supernatural nourishment for any Catholic.
Pope Francis’ document would roll back the breath of fresh air released in the Church by the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum of Benedict XVI. Benedict simply repeated some basic truths, giving them renewed traction in a Church which was dangerously close to getting a case of terminal liturgical Alzheimer’s. Benedict reminded us of some timeless Catholic verities and renewed a discussion cut short by the establishment of the new liturgy.
The then Cardinal Ratzinger, prior to his election as Supreme Pontiff, was quoted in a book on the liturgy by Klaus Gamber. He stated that, in promulgating a new liturgy after the council, “we abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over centuries, and replaced it — as in a manufacturing process — with a fabrication, a banal on-the-spot product.”
He instructed us that what was sacred at one time in the Church must be sacred for us, too. This is essential for anyone who claims to have a truly Catholic spirit, for our faith was both revealed by the Lord Jesus and handed down by the apostles. Continuity with the roots of the Church ensures we are in living contact with the Lord through apostolic succession.
Benedict also made clear that the ancient liturgy was not just intended for the very few who experienced the Mass as it was offered everywhere in the Latin Rite before 1969. No, whoever finds it helpful for prayer now can seek it out. Salvation of souls, the highest law of the Church, must come first. Any legitimate and approved prayer or liturgy of the Church which a member finds helpful for his or her life of faith must, for that reason, be made accessible as part of the essential mission of the Church.
The Church is an indulgent and gentle mother who shares most generously with her children whatever legitimate sources will help them grow in the grace of faith. Surely it doesn’t take much to convince the most hardened of skeptics to see that the Traditional Latin Rite of Holy Mass is one of these sources?
Modernism, however, is a most cruel disease among heresies. Like a relentless cancer it devours all reverence for the sacred in its zeal to unilaterally enforce a uniformity of thought. Pius X warned of this error in Pascendi Dominici Gregis:
“The office divinely committed to Us of feeding the Lord’s flock has especially this duty assigned to it by Christ, namely, to guard with the greatest vigilance the deposit of the faith delivered to the saints, rejecting the profane novelties of words and oppositions of knowledge falsely so called. There has never been a time when this watchfulness of the supreme pastor was not necessary to the Catholic body; for, owing to the efforts of the enemy of the human race, there have never been lacking ‘men speaking perverse things’ (Acts 20:30), ‘vain talkers and seducers’ (Titus 1:10), ‘erring and driving into error’ (2 Tim. 3:13).”
Surely it would be an error, of which St. Pius X speaks, for any Pope to fail to feed the flock with the liturgical means of nourishment handed down by the Holy Spirit?
We are losing focus when we forget that there are many gifts in the one Spirit. The objective, the goal of our Lord, in and through the Church is saving souls. How souls get to Heaven is less important than that they get there.
There has, from the beginning, been more than one way of offering the sacred liturgy. For the Pope to intervene against the most organic and ancient form of the liturgy handed down in the Church would be a terrible mistake.
This rumored new document, in my estimation, may slow things down quite a bit for the reform and renewal of the Church generally through rediscovery of her ancient liturgical roots, but ultimately will not stop it.
Its promulgation will likely change very little in my archdiocese where the general practice has proceeded unofficially more along the lines of Ecclesia Dei. Those who replanted the ancient Mass with episcopal permission have continued to do so.
I would suspect it is the same in many other dioceses as it is in mine. One or two diocesan priests have seized the initiative after Summorum Pontificum, converting their parishes over to the Traditional liturgy and sacraments, in places where the FSSP or ICKSP has not been invited to administer a parish.
A few priests may have begun the old Mass unofficially, most of those on weekdays. A smaller number have taken the long-term solution of implementing a Sunday TLM. Artificially limiting a legitimate liturgy of the Holy Catholic Church to a few elite parishes, as the document proposes by requiring episcopal permission, will not promote fraternal harmony among priests struggling to keep parishes open with fewer souls after the devastation wrought by the reaction to COVID 19.
As well, Phil Lawler writing for LifeSiteNews, sagely warns that the danger for Francis of contradicting Benedict XVI, his Predecessor, should he issue the rumored document reversing Summorum Pontificum, is that this sets a precedent for a future Pope to contradict him as well.
Thank you for reading and praised be Jesus Christ now and forever.

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