Fr Zed has done us all a service in publishing correspondence between Vincent Cardinal Nichols and Archbishop Arthur Roche concerning he implementation of Traditionis custodes.
It is not easy to be optimistic about the future, as long as this calamitous pontificate survives. But more of that below.
My first surprise was to read that, in Roche's view, the pre-conciliar Liturgy "was abrogated by Pope Saint Paul VI".
Pope Benedict wrote, in Summorum Pontificum Article 1, that the Roman Missal as promulgated in 1962 was "never abrogated". In the accompanying Letter that he wrote to the World's Bishops, he iterated this historical fact: "I would like to draw attention to the fact that this Missal was never juridically abrogated and, consequently, in principle, was always permitted."
Roche could, perhaps, have argued that the 1962 Missal has now, by implication, been abrogated by Pope Francis by virtue of Traditionis custodes. Or in some other way.
Roche chose instead to assert that it was "abrogated by S Paul VI". But on July 7 2007, Pope Benedict explicitly excluded any such abrogation. Who on earth are the poor b****y infantry supposed to believe?
PF and his associates constantly write about "only limited concessions by previous pontiffs". This verges upon mendacity. Benedict made clear that the earlier Roman Rite was "in principle, always permitted."
This is not a slight matter. It is yet another example of the problems we all find ourselves in when one pontificate directly ... fully frontally ... contradicts, in a matter of historical fact or of Doctrine, what the previous pontificate made clear.
If Pope Benedict's clear statement ... made twice! ... that 1962 was not abrogated by S Paul VI can be trashed like this by a mere curial official, it is clear that definitive statements by the present Pope can also as easily be trashed. Or even more easily trashed!!
Are we all now called upon by PF and Arthur Roche to boldly trash where nobody has trashed before?
My words above treat what, really, is but a canonical detail. But there is dogma here as well.
Benedict XVI wrote, in his Letter to the Bishops: "In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture. What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful." He was, in fact, reiterating the teaching he gave when he was Prefect of the CDF: "After the Second Vatican Council, the impression arose that the pope really could do anything in liturgical matters, especially if he were acting on the mandate of an ecumenical council. Eventually, the idea of the givenness of the liturgy, the fact that one cannot do with it what one will, faded from the public consciousness of the West. In fact, the First Vatican Council had in no way defined the pope as an absolute monarch. On the contrary, it presented him as the guarantor of obedience to the revealed Word. The pope's authority is bound to the Tradition of Faith ..."
And this is in line with the Decree by which S Pius V promulgated his 1570 edition of the Roman Missal. This Decree is often misrepresented. People talk and write as if S Pius imposed his edition on the West, while allowing earlier rites to continue.
He did nothing of the sort. He ordered those earlier rites to continue (nequaquam auferimus) ... unless, unanimously, Bishop and Chapter should choose to use his Pian edition instead.
Those who claim that recent pontiffs are doing no more than S Pius V did are either misinformed, or untruth-tellers. He prohibited the disuse of rites which had been in place for more than 200 years. Recent Roman documents claim to be able to forbid a rite which has been in place for much more than 200 years.
Even a child should be able to understand the difference ...
Again to quote Joseph Ratzinger: "Rites ... are forms of the apostolic Tradition and of its unfolding in the great places of the Tradition."
That Apostolic Tradition authoritatively handed down to us the Canon and Text of Holy Scripture; the Creeds; the structure of the Church's Ministry and her other sacramental rites. It also handed down to us, with the same authority, the great classical liturgies. They have that same abiding sacrosanctity.
It is, in my judgement, Catholic Doctrine that the Apostolic Tradition is not subject to rogue functionaries.
Catholic Priests who celebrate The Real Mass and eschew the Lil' Licit liturgy are the sons of Sadoc.
Surely the time is approaching when those who long to cling to the Tradition should gather to consider their response in the event of even sterner measures against the old Mass.
I for one don't want to go East, or to the SSPX, or to the Ordinariate, or to some new concoction, but I most certainly don't want to live out my life sustained only by the Novus Ordo.
Whatever disasters lie ahead, let's not be taken unawares, and let's get the best possible guidance as we approach agonising decisions which may be forced on us.
Our Lady of Akita pray for us
How ironic that the author of the former letter should only weeks later have celebrated the Tridentine rite (more or less) in English and celebrated with dignity as if born to it, at the Nazir Ali ordination! One of the Oratory fathers used to say the reformers should have gone down that road: translated into the vernacular and only then - possibly- have decided on further changes if necessary. That way much trouble and hurt could almost certainly have been avoided. The great mistake was to do the two things at once.
In his brief "Quae a sanctissimis" dated Feb. 7, 1871, in which Pius IX. defends the legitimacy of the Cistercian Rite, he begins with following words:
Quae a sanctissimis sapientissimisque viris excogitata, atque instituta, et saeculorum auctoritate sancita Romani Pontifices magno semper in pretio habuerunt, illaque omni tempore censuerunt inviolate servanda. Hac quidem mente fel. rec. Sanctus Pius V. Praedecessor Noster quo tempore omnibus Ecclesiis et Regularium Ordinibus Missalis et Breviarii Romani ab ipsomet editorum usum praescripsit, illas excepit Ecclesias et Monasteria, quae a ducentis annis suo Missali ac Breviario uterentur....
The famous statement of Benedict XVI thus is nothing but a reminder and reconfirmation of a basic principle in the liturgical tradition, which cannot be wiped off by a decree of any pope, as it is constitutional for the liturgical tradition itself. Otherwise, any pope could introduce new liturgies at his whimsy ignoring the entire liturgical tradition of the church.
The Missal of 1965 contains a quite careful translation of the Tridentine Rite, but this did not help at all to save it!
But what are we to make of Rorate Coeli's post of 3rd November. Pope Francis's covering letter to Traditionis Custodes says: "Most people understand the motives that prompted St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI to allow the use of the Roman Missal, .......— was above all motivated by the desire to foster the healing of the schism with the movement of Mons. Lefebvre"
Rorate Coeli points to the covering letter of Benedict XVI to his motu proprio and also his book "Last Testament" both of which directly contradict that statement. These are easily accessible sources and therefore if Regina Coeli is correct Pope Francis is simply lying. Unless of course saying "Most people understand..." gives him some sort of let-out. But it is surely 'suppressio veri" of the worst kind. Can anyone refute that Pope Francis has lied?
And does not that lead one to believe that the assertion that the Bishops' response to the inquiry about the TLM was negative is also a blatant lie?
For me any shadow of a doubt about the evil nature of what is happening has been removed.
Didn’t that exact thing happen with the 1965 Missal?
When the hammer falls? Bags packed and with a ticket stamped "SSPX
What Archbishop Roche wrote is schismatic. In an official document he expressed an official schismatic position.
I go to the SSPX. A retired bishop, a progessisvist Cardinal - who prefers to be adressed be his first name in all circumstances - and a priest who did a 180 on the Mass of Ages booted the 'traditional' Catholics of the Diocese over the peripheral cliff. At the same time the Novus Ordo churches are either closed or open and shut one hour a week but still manage to be more oppressive on the rona tyranny than even the govt. The SSPX tripled their Sunday Masses to deal with the 'flock' with nowhere to go. They are a godsend - no mistake.
Roche also claims that his congregation cannot find the 'Agatha Christie' indult on its files. A likely story.
Ah, dear Fr. H, you spot in heaven is guaranteed, if only as you are the first, and perhaps the only, learned commentator on all good things who successfully weaves references from Star Trek with valuable insight into the straight and narrow. Bravo!
I spotted three spelling mistakes and one punctuation error in Archbishop Roche’s letter. It doesn’t inspire confidence in his attention to detail. Why such a mediocre prelate, who was an unremarkable Bishop of Leeds, was appointed to such a responsible position is a mystery to me.
This text deserves study--merci, 'Ansgerus', for posting it.
Greyman: Quite simple; it ensures that he will be pliable.
Ah, Greyman! Those were not spelling errors, but from the Novus Orthographico.
Has anyone else been wondering where that correspondence "leaked" from : Rome, Westminster, Eccleston Square? Surely whoever leaked the correspondence intended to damage the credibility of the two prelates, and has succeeded admirably.
in the secular world many Government leaks are leaked by the Government themselves. So it could be the same here? Neither letter is marked private or confidential. I suspect that the Cardinal's letter which he says arose from queries by his fellow Bishops was copied to those Bishops so the circulation may have been wide.
In any case why impugn the motive of whoever did leak the letters as being intended to discredit the correspondents? More likely was the intention to reveal the truth of what was going on which is not a bad motive. Anyway one may not agree with or dislike the contents of the letters but I do not think that of themselves they discredit the correspondents.
More concerning to me is the statement in Pope Francis's covering letter to TC that the intention of Pope Benedict in SP was was "above all motivated by the desire to foster the healing of the schism with the movement of Mons. Lefebvre". That statement is simply not true, as whoever wrote it could have easily discovered. At the very least there is dishonesty there if not a blatant lie.
How refreshing to see that an increasing number of faithful Catholics are cognizant of the prescience and wisdom of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in not trusting Modernists to keep their word or bear us, the Faithful of Tradition, a minimum of good will or a bit of the "love" they are always prattling about but seem to practice very seldom. No, the Holy Church of Christ is, inexplicably, largely in the hands of Her very enemies---which probably means that God is preparing one of His historical surprises (and not the pedestrian, self-serving kind that Francis mentions).
I love this! Thank you so much. The Paul VI Rite is snookered... it permits two forms (Many= indefective; and All=defective) for the consecration of the chalice, so it has within it the seeds of it's own destructive disunity, it will not last. The faithful just have to hold firm, persevere, this aberration will also pass.
Pope Benedict XVI said, when the "many/all" argument was at its height, that both are correct. My own view, which carries less weight, is that the correct translation of "pro multis" is "for the multitude" (the common herd), on the basis that is the usual meaning of "multis" used as a noun. Compare the use in English of "hoi polloi".
Pope Benedict XVI is correct to judge that both many/all are correct, BUT only in a certain sense. The defective form, ALL, is defective because it contains within itself the little white lie that ALL ARE saved, that God has no foresight, that God refuses to allow anyone to reject salvation. Thus the Paul VI Rite contains within itself the seeds of its own destruction. I suspect it is the darnel sown amongst the wheat. I anticipate that this is where Our Lady's Immaculate Heart will triumph, for when perfection comes, imperfect things pass away cf 1Co13:10
We surely have realized by now that "Reform of the Reform" is an utter impossibility?
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