“Oh, no! The Pope is taking the Latin Mass away from us! Why is this happening to us? All we did was reject Vatican I and II; accuse Vatican II of heresy; accuse Vatican I of Pope-worship; reject every Pope since John 23; exalt ourselves above the Church to decide every question of doctrine and discipline; accuse many Popes of heresy; claim that the Church has been infiltrated by Satan and by an evil conspiracy of freemasons, Communists, modernists, global elitists, and the illuminati; treat Pope Francis worse than any Pope in the history of the Church has ever been treated; accuse the Vicar of Christ of heresy, apostasy, and idolatry; encourage the faithful to distrust and hate him, reject his teachings, oppose him at every turn; all we did was act with vicious malice against every Bishop, priest, and lay person who supports the Vicar of Christ, accuse him of being associated with the Antichrist; and also reject the ordinary form of the Mass approved by every Pope since Vatican II, and then use the TLM as a way to gather supporters among the faithful and lead them away from the true Faith taught by the Popes, Councils, Bishops, and Magisterium, so as to form our own little church within [or actually outside] the Church. That’s all we did! Judge between us and the Pope.”
“So, why is this happening to us? We have clearly done everything right. We are following the examples of the Saints who always rejected the Popes and Councils and tried to form their own breakaway group within the Church! We have judged ourselves to be the most faithful! We have judged ourselves to be holier than the rest of the Church and the recent Popes! We have judged the Pope and condemned him, so why is he doing this to us? We are confused. We think that Pope Francis is weaponizing ambiguity again! Maybe it’s the freemasons! Or the Communist infiltrators! Why would the Pope do this to us?!”
Right. Well, maybe Pope Francis just decided to prune the dead branches from the Vine. There’s nothing wrong with the Latin Mass. It’s the people who think they can adopt a holier than the Pope attitude, and treat the Supreme Pontiff with public severe constant obstinate contempt, and not face any penalty. They are the problem. And I know more than a few adherents of the TLM are innocent in this, that they have supported the Pope and accepted Vatican II and the teachings of the Magisterium since then. So I’m sincerely sorry they have been caught in the crossfire. But the Pope cannot permit the rest of the adherents, the true offenders, to lead the faithful away from the teachings and guidance of Popes and Councils.
And I don’t want to put too fine a point on this, but the opponents of Pope Francis have used the TLM as a rallying cry against the Popes and Councils, against the Magisterium, against every decision throughout the history of the Church with which they disagree, and they are extremely malicious and hateful toward the Roman Pontiff. And then they wonder why the Pope doesn’t treat them better!
It’s like the employee who speaks with contempt about the boss behind his back, leads other employees to do the same, posts malice against him on social medial, and then grows in boldness to the point where he shouts a tirade against the boss. Then, on Friday, he finds a pink slip in the envelope with his paycheck. And he wonders why he was fired. Then he is so full of himself, having judged himself to be the best employee, that he can’t figure out what happened.
What did you people think was going to happen? Did you think that the Supreme Pontiff, who has the full authority of Christ over the entire world, and over both doctrine and discipline in the Church, was going to be your little whipping boy, and let you lead millions of souls away from the true Church and into your little hateful pride-filled subculture? Not at all. You people are like the bank robber who, being successful at one bank, continues robbing again and again until he gets caught. And then he wonders what went wrong!
Solution to this problem:
Write a letter of apology to Pope Francis, to the body of Bishops, and to the faithful. Admit all the errors and failings of the TLM subculture. Sign a profession of faith that includes faith in the teachings of Vatican I and II, acceptance of the teachings of every recent Pope from Pope Pius XII to Pope Francis, and acceptance of the Novus Ordo Mass. State your willingness to celebrate/attend the Novus Ordo Mass regularly, along with the TLM when and where permitted. State your obedience to Pope Francis and to the Bishops. And begin to teach your followers to accept the teachings of Vatican II and of Pope Francis.
Then the Pope will promptly loosen the restrictions, as the reason for the restrictions is not the Mass, but the leaders and many of their followers who use the TLM as ground on which to stand to oppose Popes, Councils, Bishops, the Magisterium and the Church.
And make no mistake about this. They are not following Sacred Tradition. They are not faithful to past teachings of the Magisterium. The Church has always taught the dogmas of indefectibility, of the Pope’s never-failing faith, and of the unblemished Apostolic See. The Popes and Councils cannot have erred gravely in any matter of doctrine or discipline, including in instituting the Novus Ordo Mass.
Ronald L. Conte Jr.