Sunday, September 14, 2014

Lift high the cross

Today is the seventh anniversary of Summorum Pontificum going into effect:
Many priests deeply convinced that a return to the “Tridentine” Mass was needed, became frightened at the possible punitive measures they could have faced and did nothing more; thus the faithful entrusted to them did not even have time to realize what was at stake. We daresay that all of these punitive measures (made up of resistances – threats – large and small restrictions – transfers or confinements) concerning priests, who decided to celebrate the Old Rite, in themselves are unjust, but they have also been a good thing.

Indeed, the sufferings they have caused us, the sufferings to priests and faithful who asked to leave the disastrous post-council liturgical reform, have, all in all, been a good that God has providentially allowed, so that the struggle to live and die as Catholics and not as “crypto-Protestants, is purified.

What is it that we are trying to say? Simply that sufferings experienced for Christ, besides sanctifying those who experience them with Him, preserve[us] from a much greater evil for the Church in this age: ambiguity!

How did the disaster in modern Catholicism progress so far? Precisely with the method of ambiguity: some traditional aspects in the Church were apparently saved, but they were emptied of any real content and were re-interpreted according to a mentality no longer completely Catholic.

After the Council this is what happened: first the Mass was translated into Italian, then the texts were changed, then the priesthood was “re-styled” in a more democratic way, [so much so] up to reaching the modern hypothesis of modifying the Sacraments ( an example: the request for Communion to the divorced and civilly remarried). Ambiguity is the method of practical Modernism in the Church: it pretends to respect Tradition, but it changes the reality of the Faith and morality under the pretext of deepening the Faith itself and adapting to changed times.
Whenever neo-Catholics go on about how terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Traditionalists are, they're typically thinking of the ones old enough to remember the Ecclesia Dei regime. In his letter "Ecclesia Dei," St. John Paul II allowed the old Mass to be celebrated again with the permission of the local bishops. He encouraged the bishops to be generous in granting this permission. In practice, this meant the celebration of the old Mass was restricted to once a month, on a weekday, in the basement of the mental ward downtown or some such inconvenient time or place. It's difficult to overstate how passionately 1980s-90s era bishops despised everything that smacked of pre-Vatican II Catholicism.

Traditionalists picked up on this sentiment and returned it wholeheartedly. All they wanted was to live, pray, and believe the Catholic faith in the same way their grandfathers did, and yet their fiercest opponents were not the world, the flesh, and the devil but their own bishops! They became understandably bitter and distrustful toward the hierarchy. Hell, if I'd been in their place back then I would too.

Under Summorum Pontificum, a priest can celebrate the old Mass any where and any time he wants, in theory anyway. In practice, the old timers in the chancery still have a lot of bureaucratic tricks up their sleeve to ensure that doesn't happen. If Father gets a little too vocal in his preference for the old Mass and the old discipline, then he'll find himself banished to the diocesan equivalent of Siberia. He might have to shuttle between three different parishes out in the boonies, or spend the rest of his life in hospital or prison ministry.

Still, I remain optimistic. SP was the beginning of the end of the Spirit of Vatican II and the Modernists know it. The surviving members of the first generation of crazies are gathering what strength they have left for one last hurrah at the upcoming Synod on the family. That's not to say things will automatically get better once they go on to their eternal rewards. Father Z somewhat exaggerates the effectiveness of the biological solution. Even so, it's better to have lay Catholics and clergy who are simply ignorant of Tradition instead of furiously hostile to it.

No comments:

Post a Comment