Shiny Shoes Without Souls! |
Upholding the tenets and Traditions of the True Faith are big shoes to fill and those who have pushed the Vatican II agenda, try as they might, have not been able to fit into those shoes worn so well by Catholic Truth over the centuries. They may shine them, but they can't walk in the shoes of the saints because they're following in the footsteps of satan! No wonder so many of them slither!
"In fact, according to the Pontifical Ecclesia Dei Commission, the indult is by its very nature a variance from the norms of the modern Roman Rite, and nobody has a 'right' to it. Rome believes that the number of Traditional Catholics out there isn't great enough to do much damage, and whatever uproar may be forthcoming, the number of scuff marks and footprints that might be left on the bishops shoes after the battle, won't amount to much."
The recent release of the document Redemptionis Sacramentum reminds us, once again, that much of the action of the new church resembles a solar flare. Occasionally an eruption on the Novus Ordo surface spews forth a dazzling display of energy. It gets everyone's attention, and the faithful gather round to hail its intensity and luminosity. As quickly as it erupted, the solar flare dies down, fades into the surrounding gases and life goes on as before. So too, the 70 page Vatican document that is meant to curb liturgical abuses.
Priests who care will implement the changes. Those who don't care won't. It is probably a safe bet that most of the priests and their "pastoral assistants" and "liturgists" will find ways to get around whatever they find personally distasteful and incongruous with their own agendas. It's the way of the New Order. Sorry Cardinal Arinze, but the "do it yourself Mass" has a life of its own.
It's enlightening to know that last year Michael Davies, retiring President of the Internatioal Una Voce Federation had this to say about discussions with Cardinal Arinze:
In July Mr. Davies, and Dr. Turrini Vita, President of Una Voce Italy , had a long meeting with Cardinal Arinze … He was very friendly and listened to all that was said with great attention. He is under the impression that if the norms that he intends issuing before the end of the year result in the new Mass being celebrated without abuses, then opposition to it would cease, and so would the demand for the 1962 Missal. It was made clear to him that this was not the case, and that with or without abuses the 1970 Missal is unacceptable to members of the Federation." (www.oriens.com) (emphasis added)
Rome hopes that by cleaning up the way the new mass is celebrated, the indult mass will become a thing of the past. Yes, it is part of the hoped for "fruit" from Redemptionis Sacramentum that the indult will be withdrawn. Yes, the indult was only intended as a temporary remedy until all opposition to the new mass can be effectively snuffed out. While nobody in Rome loves the Traditional Roman Rite of the Mass, among some of the laity there is still much ado about Ecclesia Dei even though that solar flare died down a long time ago. The faithful, true to their name, haven't given up faith that the Ecclesia Dei wasn't a solar flare at all, but was really a cousin to Haley's Comet, which will be making another appearance. They keep hoping to see more of it, talking it up, keeping their eyes on the hoped for generosity of the bishops that still hasn't come around.
Let us rewind the tape to 1988 and the Apostolic Letter, Ecclesia Dei. In this letter, John Paul II, after officially denouncing and excommunicating Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and the four newly consecrated bishops without due process of Canon Law, attempted to give some type of validation to the Traditional Roman Rite of the Mass which had been illegally suppressed since the enforced implementation of Paul VI's New Order of the Mass. Without making a splash, and hoping that not a wave would be stirred, JPII tiptoed into the dangerous waters of collegiality by asking the bishops to do him a big favor and try to placate the old fogeys who still "feel attached" to some previous liturgical form. "Come on," he pleaded. "I want you guys to be really generous."
"To all those Catholic faithful who feel attached to some previous liturgical and disciplinary forms of the Latin tradition, I wish to manifest my will to facilitate their ecclesial communion by means of the necessary measures to guarantee respect for their rightful aspirations. In this matter I ask support of the Bishops and of all those engaged in the pastoral ministry in the Church.
"By virtue of my Apostolic Authority I Decree ... respect must everywhere be shown for the feelings of those who are attached to the Latin liturgical tradition, by a wide and generous application of the directives already issued some time ago by the Apostolic See, for the use of the Roman Missal ... of 1962." (Emphasis added.)
The pope made mention of his previous directives issued in October 1984, when he allowed the bishops to grant an indult for using the 1962 Missal in cases where it is specifically requested by the faithful. Of course, the indult came with all sorts of strings attached and came about only after a study revealed that "the problem of priests and faithful holding to the so-called "Tridentine" rite" was still a concern. In fact, according to the text of a Circular Letter sent on 3 October 1984 by the Congregation for Divine Worship to the Presidents of Episcopal Conferences, it is specifically stated that part of the study the Pope called for, before issuing the indult, included information regarding possible resistance that had arisen against the implementation of the "liturgical reform." The undertones of the letter are clear: "By George! We thought we'd taken care of that old Mass, but it looks as if there are some persistent old badgers out there who insist on making trouble!"
The indult included the happy advantage of being shrouded in distrust from the beginning. There must be no mistake whatsoever that anyone attempting to persuade a bishop to allow the great and undeserved privilege of the Mass according to the Traditional Roman Rite, (1) must never call into question the legitimacy or "doctrinal exactitude" of the Novus Ordo Missae, (2) must never be for the benefit of anyone other than those who specifically request it from the bishop, and NEVER in parish churches unless the bishop permits it in extraordinary cases, (3) must never allow any interchanging of texts between the two separate rites, (4) bishops must inform the Congregation for Divine Worship at the Vatican of any indult masses being granted and give a report on the results thereof at the end of each year.
Considering the extraordinary cases wherein 'extraordinary' ministers of the Eucharist have been called into action for every single Novus Ordo mass that takes place on the entire planet at any time of day, one would expect the bishops to be just as generous in their interpretation of extraordinary cases for allowing the Traditional Roman Rite of the Mass to be offered in every parish church at any time of the day, no questions asked. Unfortunately, the bishops are far more generous in lending a hand when it comes to denigrating the faith of the people regarding the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist by allowing "unordinary" ministers of the Eucharist to usurp the priesthood and dumb down the Mass to a community meeting of self-centered theatrics. (Yes, there are some priests out there who really try hard to keep the Novus Ordo mass respectable and as reverential as possible considering the circumstances.) What is truly extraordinary about this entire business is that anyone requesting the Traditional Mass will be under immediate scrutiny and perennial observation as to ulterior motives and allegiance to the "doctrinal exactitude" of the new mass, an oxymoron if there ever was one.
Let us fast forward to the year 2004. The bishops have had 20 years since the initial issue of the permission to grant the indult. According to the official website of the Coalition in Support of Ecclesia Dei, there are "episcopally approved Traditional Latin Masses" scattered across the United States of America. On closer observation, however, we discover facts such as: in the entire Archdiocese of Mobile, Alabama, there is one indult Mass at 11:00 a.m. on the first Sunday of the month. In the entire Diocese of Pittsburgh, PA, there is one church at which the indult mass is offered. In the Diocese of Colorado Springs, CO which is home to the fastest growing county in the United States, there is one church where you will find an indult mass. Then there are many sees where there are none such as Springfield-Cape Girardeau, MO. So much for cooperation with the Pope's request. The story of the infamous indult is much the same for just about every diocese. There are some exceptions, but even considering that in the Archdiocese of New York there are nine churches where the indult is granted (only six of those are regularly scheduled Sunday masses), the number of episcopally-approved Traditional Latin Masses in the United States is embarrassingly meager compared to the huge populous of Catholics who inhabit the land. Let's not pretend that these low numbers reflect the real number of Catholics who are interested in having the Traditional Mass. Rather, these numbers reflect a cunning attempt (it's working so far) to create a picture for Rome of a minimal or non-existent need for a return to the Traditional Mass.
A bishop who can show one indult mass in his diocese is considered to have done his duty "by a wide and generous application" of the Traditional Mass, and is resolved of the need for any other "respect" for those who desire the true Mass. Most bishops like to pat themselves on the back whenever they actually cave in and allow the indult mass. Bishop Olmstead of the Diocese of Phoenix, recently reversed 20 years of diocesan policy against the indult perpetrated by the disgraced Bishop Thomas O'Brien in order to "promote reconciliation" with Traditional Catholics in the diocese who have turned to independent Catholic chapels. True to form, he invoked the name of "Pope John Paul II" and played upon the idea that allowing the indult mass is a generous gesture "in compliance with the wishes" of the Holy Father. Then, he immediately placed himself behind the protective breastplate of compliance calling upon the "spirit" of Vatican II to defend his undying allegiance to the new mass. Ta-da! This is standard operating procedure for bishops whenever they are challenged by the presence of Traditional Catholic chapels. They are quick to publicly denounce traditional Catholics whenever they can, and chastise them as having no part in the Catholic Church. However, when the bishops are challenged by pro-abortion "Catholic" politicians they become reeds shaken by the wind (Matt. 11:7).
American bishops do not want the Traditional Roman Rite of the Mass to flourish in their dioceses. Often times the only reason they offer the indult is to combat an SSPX, CMRI, SSPV or independent chapel that is drawing Catholics to the True Mass. We can't have that, so they'll do anything they can to destroy the credibility and the heart of these chapels. On the surface they won't admit that, when have they admitted anything? No, they are putting up with it, for now, because they have discovered that it is a lot harder to kill off the old Mass than was ever anticipated. I do believe most of them have hopes that it will yet die out. Several years ago, when an archbishop, considered to be one of the most conservative in America, a man so many conservative Catholics think is the future hope of the Church - none other than Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFMCap opened a new seminary, I asked him if he would be in favor of training some seminarians for the Traditional Roman Rite of the Mass. His answer was a resounding"No!" With much candor he informed me that the new mass is the way of the future for the Church…there will be no room to waste time on the old Mass.
He is probably closer to the mark than I had imagined at the time. After all, any Catholic who looks truthfully at John Paul II's directive granting permission for the bishops to allow the indult mass, and his Apostolic Letter Ecclesia Dei, will have to admit that even the Pope is merely indulging the "feelings" of those who are "attached" to some other form of the liturgy. How 'protestant' of him. That's all; that's it.
Novus Ordo bishops and the rest of the curia on up to the very top are not really concerned about the devastation of the Church all around them. They are keeping their eyes on the younger generation, filling them with charismatic retreats, extravagant WYD parties, and other heady activities to convince them that the new church is really "with it." The compromise in the New Order is so insidious, and of such a systemic nature that it cannot be simply rearranged into a more "conservative" mode, or a more respectful style and be therefore acceptable. Redemptionis Sacramentum is nothing more than a band-aid and a possible remedy to the "pain in the neck" indult. Any priest who accepts the responsibility of the indult mass understands that he has agreed to remain silent regarding the truth, and must pretend that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the Novus Ordo Missae and that it is really the superior and preferred method of worship in the Catholic Church. He must be silent regarding its theological discrepancies and errors, overlooking the devastation it has brought to countless souls since its implementation by Paul VI, not to mention (literally) the entire wreckovation of Catholicism over the past 40 years. Priests who agree to this compromise must be heartily miserable and deserve our prayers that the Holy Ghost will enflame their hearts to speak boldly of the truth and empower them to take the consequences that will follow at the hands of the bishops.
Don't ever expect to see a blanket permission given to every priest in the Novus Ordo to celebrate the Traditional Roman Rite of the Mass despite the hidden admission in paragraph 112 that "Priests are always and everywhere permitted to celebrate Mass in Latin." What is inherently meant here is that the Novus Ordo could be said in Latin, but who knows where the text is for that? Again hidden. But then how would you translate the untranslatable that changes as fast as polls do?
One fact remains: The true Mass is the enemy of the Conciliar agenda. It must be quarantined and closely monitored. The days of the indult are numbered. There is, no doubt, a group of bishops or cardinals studying the issue of the indult right now. They will compile the results from the required reports handed in by the bishops each year regarding the indult experiments in their dioceses. They will eventually concur with the feelings expressed in personal correspondence which I have received from Msgr. Perl of the Pontifical Ecclesia Dei Commission, in that the numbers of those seeking the "Tridentine" Mass are too small to merit further effort.
In fact, according to the Pontifical Ecclesia Dei Commission, the indult is by its very nature a variance from the norms of the modern Roman Rite, and nobody has a "right" to it. Rome believes that the number of Traditional Catholics out there isn't great enough to do much damage, and whatever uproar may be forthcoming, the number of scuff marks and footprints that might be left on the bishops shoes after the battle, won't amount to much.
The bishops will agree to exterminate the great indult with much greater ease than they have been able to confront pro-abortion politicians or boldly proclaim the truths and teachings of the Catholic Church. It's just a matter of time before they reach a conclusion regarding how to do the politically correct soft-shoe regarding the indult. They're probably shining their shoes right now. Pray that the bishops will soon come to understand that shiny shoes won't do them much good if they've lost their souls.
For past columns by Catharine, see 2004lam.htm Archives