Thank you, holy Father, Teacher and Father of all Christians, Vicar of Christ, Supreme Judge of all the faithful, Rock on which the Church is founded, the Servant of servants with never failing faith. Thank you for taking the necessary actions to heal the Church from the schism of those who reject Popes and Councils.
Thanks be to God, and to His servant, Pope Francis, for taking firm action against a subculture which has risen up against the true Faith, just like the heretics and schismatics from the history of the Church. Thanks to Pope Francis for his resolution and prudence, in restricting the misuse of the holy traditional Latin Mass by those who reject the Magisterium. Cast not pearls before swine! The TLM is for faithful Catholics, who accept the teachings and decisions of every Pope and Council. The Pope did well in restricted in the Vetus Ordo Mass, so that the Bishops could determine that the priest and people still making use of this Mass, under the new rules, are faithful to Vatican II and to Pope Francis. Taking this form of the Mass away from faithless and pride-filled Pope-haters protects that treasure of the Church from those who would use it to fight against the Church herself.
Thanks be to God for the many blessings of the Pontificate of Pope Francis, who has taught us with great wisdom and compassion. Thanks be to God for Amoris Laetitia, which taught us to treat the woman caught in adultery with forgiveness and true love for sinners. Thanks be to God for Human Fraternity and Fratelli Tutti, which taught us to value the good in other human persons and other religions.
Thanks be to God for Pope Francis, who has endured constant attacks and malice from the Donatists of today, who think themselves to be sinless and so have contempt for every sinner. Thanks be to God for Pope Francis, who has endured constant attacks and malice from the Pharisees of today, who think themselves to be in charge of both doctrine and discipline, yet have badly misunderstood both. Thanks be to God for Pope Francis, who has shown constant profound love for the flock of Jesus Christ and for all humanity.
All the faithful should be required to attend the Novus Ordo Mass at least several times a year. Every Catholic bishop, priest, and deacon should be required to celebrate or participate in the Novus Ordo Mass. Every priest should concelebrate from time to time. This is to prevent the rise of a sect that rejects the form of the Mass chosen by proper authority in the Church. St. Augustine used to require his monks to drink wine and eat meat every Sunday, in order to keep them from the heresy that taught that material things are evil.
Pope Francis restricted the TLM with good reason. The reasons are the extreme set of errors spread throughout the Church by supporters and leaders who gather around the TLM like soldiers in a war gathering around their banner. These errors have been much discussed on my blog, and I’ve summarized them recently and repeatedly.
But this action against the TLM is like past Popes who suppressed a religious order, like the Jesuits. The Order was founded by Saints. They did much excellent work for centuries. But at a certain point in their history, they had to be suppressed. The reasons were more complex than in the current simple case. But Popes have the authority to restrict or suppress whatever harms the Church, even if it is in itself good and holy. And the reason is always the same: fallen sinners misusing what is good, out of pride.
Thank you, Pope Francis, for taking the necessary and unpleasant action against those who would destroy the Church from within by attempting to replace the Popes, Bishops, Councils, and the Magisterium itself with their own foolish ideas, misunderstandings, grave errors, and disordered subculture.
And the response of the supporters of the TLM, that is to say, the response of those who have hated Pope Francis for many years now, proves his action to be in the right. Every time they post yet another article speaking malice towards the Vicar of Christ, they prove his action right. They prove that the TLM had to be restricted, not because anything is wrong with the ancient holy form of the Mass, but because faithless dishonest papal accusers kidnapped the Mass and held it captive.
When the schismatics and heretics are defeated, then the TLM will be returned to the faithful without restrictions. There’s no need to restrict the traditional Latin Mass based on the Mass itself. It is restricted only so that the weeds that grew up around it can be pulled up by the roots and thrown into the fire. It is restricted like a business that is under repairs and renovations, but will be opening to full hours as soon as the work is done.
Pope Francis envisions one Mass for the Roman Rite. But I think that once the schismatics and heretics are defeated, there will be no problem obtaining broad permissions for the TLM once again. For the problem of a threat to unity will be gone. And, right now, having two forms of the Mass has resulted in a schism, in a group of Catholics who absolutely refuse to be taught or corrected by any Pope or Council. Their Magisterium is their own community and their own minds. Nothing from the Church is acceptable to them, unless they stand in judgment over it and decide to approve it.
July 16th is the date the East West Schism began. And now we have a new schism that has roots going back to the First Vatican Council, when some Catholics refused to accept the authority of the Pope, and to the Second Vatican Council, when some Catholics decided that they would be conservative, rather than Catholic. God providentially began this schism on the same day, to show that the TLM adherents who oppose the Pope (not all the TLM adherents) are schismatics. Providence has revealed this truth.
The papal accusers instead have pointed out that July 16th was the date of the explosion of the first atomic bomb, and then they say that Pope Francis dropped a bomb. That is not a fitting way to speak about the Vicar of Christ. That Christ and His Vicar constitute one only Head of the one Church is the infallible teachings of Unam Sanctam, Lateran V, and Pope Pius XII (Mystical Body of Christ 40). The way you treat the Roman Pontiff is the way you treat Christ. And this extends, as we learn in the parable of the returning King in Matthew 25, it extends even to visiting prisoners. Did Christ mean that we only visit innocent prisoners? No, of course not. Then even the most guilty of sinners deserves our respect and compassion, as part of our path to Heaven. Then those who refused to visit guilty sinners in prison were sent by Christ to Hell. Think about that for a moment. Refusal to visit prisoners convicted of serious crimes and guilty before God is a mortal sin of omission. (Certainly, everyone is not required to perform every possible type of work of mercy. So one person might feed the hungry, and another might visit prisoners, or give a job to an ex-con, etc.)
If we are to treat convicted criminals with compassion, what excuse to the papal accusers have for their mistreatment of the Vicar of Christ, who is one with Christ? They have no excuse. “But Pope Francis is guilty of….” Did you not understand the parable of the returning King, the parable of compassion to sinners? Then no amount of sin by anyone is an excuse for mistreating them.
Pope Francis is a holy servant of Christ, who have taken a firm hand in correcting those who rebel against Church authority. And they, for their part, have proved him right by continuing to rebel.
Ronald L. Conte Jr.