He did. There is ample heresy and schism among the Latin Mass adherents. Not all of them, but many, are in a state of adamant open malicious schism. They openly reject the Second Vatican Council and Pope Francis. They see no obligation to believe anything the Church teaches that is non-infallible. And when a teaching is infallible, but they don’t like that teaching — they ignore it or claim it means something else or claim it is not infallible. Then they reject many dogmas, including those of Vatican I and II.
Pope Francis took this action because of innumerable acts of heresy and schism among traditionalists. They are not the most faithful. They are not in communion with the Roman Pontiff.
Saint Newman on the Roman Pontiff:
“I have said that, like St. Peter, he is the Vicar of his Lord. He can judge, and he can acquit; he can pardon, and he can condemn; he can command and he can permit; he can forbid, and he can punish. He has a Supreme jurisdiction over the people of God. He can stop the ordinary course of sacramental mercies; he can excommunicate from the ordinary grace of redemption; and he can remove again the ban which he has inflicted. It is the rule of Christ’s providence, that what His Vicar does in severity or in mercy upon earth, He Himself confirms in heaven.
“in his administration of Christ’s kingdom, in his religious acts, we must never oppose his will, or dispute his word, or criticize his policy, or shrink from his side… We must never suffer ourselves to doubt, that, in his government of the Church, he is guided by an intelligence more than human. His yoke is the yoke of Christ, he has the responsibility of his own acts, not we; and to his Lord must he render account, not to us. Even in secular matters it is ever safe to be on his side, dangerous to be on the side of his enemies.”
[Saint John Henry Newman, The Pope and the Revolution, Sermons Preached on Various Occasions, Sermon 15; Quote taken from Dave Armstrong, Patheos blog, Biblical Evidence for Catholicism, 27 December 2017, Rebuking Popes And Catholic Obedience to Popes]
So why did Pope Francis correct the faithful conservatives first, and not the liberals, whose errors are much more grave and who are more numerous?
My answer: it is God who chose this correction, not Francis. Or do you not think that Christ is the Head and the Spirit is the soul of the Church? Why correct conservatives first? They are not the most faithful. They have been accusing Pope Francis, Pope Saint John Paul II also, of idolatry, accusing Vatican II and the recent Popes of heresy, accusing Francis of apostasy. That is not more faithful. And since sins against religion are worse than sins of other types — the former offend God directly, the latter indirectly — it was right for God to correct the conservative errors first.
Once the conservatives are corrected, then there is ground on which to stand to teach and correct the liberal errors. And for that project, God has chosen the next Pope, who I think will be conservative and faithful.
One of the strongest negative responses to Traditionis Custodes came from Cardinal Gehard Müller, the former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who said: “The clear intent is to condemn the Extraordinary Form to extinction in the long run.” Cardinal Müller contrasted the Pope’s campaign to curb the traditionalist movement, in the cause of Church unity, with his failure “to put an end to the innumerable ‘progressive’ abuses of the liturgy… that are tantamount to blasphemy.” He said that “the image of the misguided fire brigade comes to mind, which—instead of saving the blazing house—instead first saves the small barn next to it.” [CatholicCulture.org]
The Pope is not a politician, and it is gravely immoral to treat him like a politician. His decisions are guided by the Holy Spirit; they are the will of Christ the Lord. Opposing the Pope whenever you personally judge differently than him is idolatry of the self. And it is no wonder that Francis fired Muller — he is disobedient. When the Pope told Muller to fire, I think it was three, of his staff, he refuse to do so. He demanded an explanation from the Pope first. These are three of my best staff, what did they do?
“And I am the pope, I do not need to give reasons for any of my decisions. I have decided that they have to leave and they have to leave.”
The Pope is right to speak that way. His authority is of Christ. When Christ taught the doctrine of the Eucharist, in John 6, many of His disciples were offended, confused, and upset. Did the Lord explain further, clear up their confusion, and give enough of an explanation so that they could easily accept it? No. He let them walk away, and they perhaps lost their salvation and went to Hell. Does this offend you? Jesus was right not to explain Himself, even to the Apostles.
Therefore, Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”
Even Peter had no idea what Jesus was talking about when He said eat my flesh and drink my blood. They did not even understand “leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees” or “rise from the dead”. But they remained with Jesus on FAITH.
The Lord did not explain His teaching in John 6 in a way that was easy to understand because He demands FAITH. No faith means you don’t have the state of grace; no faith implies no love and no hope. And that means you deserve Hell. These self-described “most faithful” of Catholics who refuse to accept any decision of doctrine or discipline without an explanation that is in accord with their own fallen reason, misunderstandings, erroneous opinions, and misinterpreted dogmas lack faith. They are trying to live the Faith without faith, but only by their own reason. They accept only what seems right to their own minds. What does Jesus say to that version of religion: Walk away and don’t return. Jesus let disciples fall away from Him and possibly end up in Hell because they refuse to put their faith in Him.
And it is the same today. Put your faith in Jesus and His Church — and not in some self-righteous plainly Pharisaical culture (on the right or on the left). Jesus is the One shutting down the TLM, I think temporarily. Accept His decision. Obey without requiring an explanation.