Where Peter Is
A quote from Pope Pius XII
Pope Pius XII: “The Sovereign Pontiff alone enjoys the right to recognize and establish any practice touching the worship of God, to introduce and approve new rites, as also to modify those he judges to require modification. Bishops, for their part, have the right and duty carefully to watch over the exact observance of the prescriptions of the sacred canons respecting divine worship. Private individuals, therefore, even though they be clerics, may not be left to decide for themselves in these holy and venerable matters (…) For the same reason no private person has any authority to regulate external practices of this kind, which are intimately bound up with Church discipline and with the order, unity and concord of the Mystical Body and frequently even with the integrity of Catholic faith itself.
“The Church is without question a living organism, and as an organism, in respect of the sacred liturgy also, she grows, matures, develops, adapts and accommodates herself to temporal needs and circumstances, provided only that the integrity of her doctrine be safeguarded. This notwithstanding, the temerity and daring of those who introduce novel liturgical practices, or call for the revival of obsolete rites out of harmony with prevailing laws and rubrics, deserve severe reproof.” [Mediator Dei, #58-59]
Austen has some good remarks in a 14-tweet thread on Twitter here, including:
“1/14 The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines schism as “the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.” There is always a choice: submit or rebel.”
2/14 Prophets & saints & faithful people always submit (sometimes patiently, suffering in silence, and sometimes vindicated by history). Schismatics always refuse to submit.
3/14 To claim that #TraditionisCustodes will push some traditionalists into leaving the Church means only they were already in schism, but claiming not to be, in spite of the incessant anti-papal, anti-Vatican II rhetoric pouring from their blogs and websites.
Oh, he is absolutely right. The persons who are reacting toward the Roman Pontiff with malice, condemnation, derision, and harsh remarks are rebelling against the authority of Christ. They were already in schism. But this is merely revealing their sin.
Fr. Dwight Longenecker has some interesting comments. I don’t think he is correct to say that the Novus Ordo Mass can be celebrated in Latin facing the East, or rather the altar. But he is not reacting by attacking the Pope, as many others have done. And he does recognize the faults among some traditionalists that caused this action to be taken:
“It cannot be denied that certain elements within the traditionalist movement have exacerbated the divisions in the Catholic Church. When traditionalists continued to despise everything about the Second Vatican Council they were not doing their cause any favors. When they mocked and dismissed not only Pope John XXIII and Paul VI but also John Paul II and Benedict XVI they promoted a sectarian mentality. When they made snide, self righteous attacks not only on the apparent abuses of the Novus Ordo, but also on those priests who celebrate the Novus Ordo reverently and traditionally, they made enemies of their allies.”
He’s right. And it is not such a dire situation, if your traditionalist priest is faithful to the Church. He simply obtains permission from the Bishop. He can reassure his own Bishop that he teaches the faithful from the writings of every Pope and Council, including Vatican I and II, including Pope Francis and Pope Saint John Paul II. He can offer to say the Novus Ordo Mass when the Bishop might need him to do so, and to concelebrate from time to time. And that should be sufficient to obtain permission.
Edward Fesser writes: Aquinas on Bad Prelates.
“What attitude should a Catholic take toward cruel and arbitrary prelates – for example, those who endlessly stir up division and then shamelessly blame the division on those who note and bemoan the fact? “
My reply: it is sinful pride to assume that you are right and the Roman Pontiff is wrong. It is the sin of scandal, to make shameless, cruel, divisive remarks, based on that same assumption. And it an even graver sin to direct those remarks at the Roman Pontiff. It is Fesser who is speaking with cruelty toward the Roman Pontiff, and Fesser who is stirring up division and shamelessly blaming that division on the Roman Pontiff.
Have you no faith at all in the indefectible Church, the never-failing faith of the Roman Pontiff, and the unblemished Apostolic See?
Fr. Anthony Ruff, OSB writes against the criticism that the Novus Ordo Mass is not of Vatican II, but came later. Short Commentary: The “Novus Ordo” Is What Vatican II Intended. Sure, it came later, just as the Catechism of the Council of Trent came later. But each is based on the work of the prior Council. Read what Ruff has to say.
Amy Wellborn, appointed by no one at all to be judge over the Supreme Pontiff, has made these snide remarks on the decision of the Vicar of Christ:
“In short: a papacy that, in words, emphasizes synodality, accompaniment, listening, dialogue outreach to the margins and consistently condemns “clericalism” – has issued a document that embodies a rigid approach to the issue, and then restricts, limits and directs more power, ultimately, to Rome.
And shows no evidence of actually “listening” to anyone except bishops who are annoyed by the TLM and TLM adherents who conveniently fit the “divisive” narrative. Shows no interest in generously and accompanying those who find nourishment in the TLM and may find themselves at the margins because of it.
The First See is judged by no one but God. Pope Saint Nicholas the great (I) wrote to the Roman emperor to inform him that the Roman Pontiff is not judged by the emperor, nor the kings, nor the clergy, nor the people. But apparently, if you have an internet following, you can judge and make all the nasty remarks you like against the Supreme Pontiff. Exactly NONE of the revered conservative Pontiffs that TLM supporters wish were still in office would put up with this kind of sinful judgmental derisive malice directed at the Pope. What does Pope Saint Pius X say? Love the Pope.
Pope Saint Pius X: “The Pope is the guardian of dogma and morals; he is the depositary of the principles that form an honest family, great nations, holy souls; he is the counselor of princes and peoples; it is the head under which no one feels tyrannized, because it represents God himself; he is the father par excellence who in himself brings together everything that can be loving, tender, divine.
“It seems incredible, and it is also painful, that there are priests to whom this recommendation should be made, but unfortunately we are in our days in this hard, unhappy condition of having to say to priests: love the Pope!” [Speech November 18, 1912]
Ronald L. Conte Jr.