You Cannot Ignore Traditionis Custodes

The Francis critics or to be more blunt, the papal accusers, have decided to ignore the rules of Traditionis Custodes. They say they will continue to offer the Traditional Latin Mass. They say they will refuse to use the vernacular Scripture readings during Mass. The consensus seems to be, “We are right, and Francis is wrong, so we will ignore him.” Right. Good plan. Ignore the Supreme Pontiff. What do you think will happen next?

Here’s what I think. Bishops will be pressured by the Holy See to shut down TLMs that are not from a religious order (or the like). Priests will be required to say the Novus Ordo Mass, and to concelebrate occasionally. Those who refuse to comply will lose incardination, be suspended, possibly face laicization. That is not a good plan. You cannot ignore the Roman Pontiff. He has the authority to take away your collar.

Another thing I’m hearing online is that the supporters of the Latin Mass will simply join the SSPX. So you don’t care that the SSPX is in a state of formal heresy and formal schism? Didn’t Benedict remove the ferendae sententiae declaration of heresy and schism against the SSPX? Yes, he removed the ferendae sententiae excommunication. But they are still under latae sententiae excommunication by the very act of their sins of schism and heresy. They still refuse communion with the other Bishops. They still refuse subjection to the Roman Pontiff. They still think they are the true Church, and the Catholic Church has gone astray. Join the SSPX and you are guilty of their sins by formal cooperation, and you become a schismatic and heretic, if you are not one already.

Does the TLM mean so much to you that you would abandon the Church Herself and join a schismatic group? That is idolatry. You are idolizing the Sacred Liturgy. The fault is not in the liturgy; the fault is in you.

{1:10} And so, I beg you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that every one of you speak in the same way, and that there be no schisms among you. So may you become perfect, with the same mind and with the same judgment.
{1:11} For it has been indicated to me, about you, my brothers, by those who are with Chloes, that there are contentions among you.
{1:12} Now I say this because each of you is saying: “Certainly, I am of Paul;” “But I am of Apollo;” “Truly, I am of Cephas;” as well as: “I am of Christ.”
{1:13} Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

Is the fault in Paul or Cephas or even Christ, the fault of these schisms in the early Church? No. Those who were schismatic, saying “I am of Christ” were perhaps rejecting the authority of Peter and Paul, as if one could not follow Christ by obedience to Peter and by imitating and being taught by Paul.

You can idolize something good, like the TLM. The ancient sacred liturgy is good and holy. But it is not the Faith. If you have to choose between the true Church with the Novus Ordo Mass, in its worst nun-with-a-guitar, sandal-wearing 70 year old former-hippie priest version OR joining a schismatic group with the TLM in its best version, you have to choose the former — if you love Christ.

For better or for worse, as the wedding vows go. You don’t abandon your spouse when things get difficult. You don’t cheat on your wife because she has cancer and has become a burden to you. I don’t care how bad the Novus Ordo Mass is in your parish, if you love Christ, the pray, listen to Scripture, receive the Eucharist, adore Christ, and worship the Trinity — then ignore whatever faults there may be (some faults of which may be just a reflection of your own faults).

But I digress. What will Francis do next? As I’ve been cautioning the faithful, he might ordain women deacons. And then every TLM will be required to have women deacons. If you refuse, the TLM will be shut down. If your priest refuses to accept women deacons, he will be laicized. Women deacons is the way to separate the wheat from the chaff. So, you want to ignore Traditionis Custodes and pretend like the Pope doesn’t exist? Ignore this.

I also expect a high-noon showdown on the subject of Vatican II. Eventually, the Church is going to “filioque” the Second Vatican Council into the Creed:
“We believe in the Holy Spirit…. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church, and in every doctrine of every Ecumenical Council, approved by the Roman Pontiff.” Not every dogma, every doctrine. Dogmas are infallible doctrine; the doctrines include dogmas as well as non-infallible doctrines.

There are other ways this might be done, such as a Profession of Faith for every priest, deacon, religious, and lay leader. If you have a blog, a video blog, a media outlet, or are a frequent contributor, speaker, or author in Catholicism — you will sign the profession of faith and send it to your Bishop. Or you will face excommunication and be banned from teaching online. This proposed (by me) profession of faith will require acceptance of Vatican II and submission to every Roman Pontiff since Vatican II, including Pope Francis. Will some online Catholic media group refuse to comply? Excommunication and laicization for anyone associated with them. That could happen. The Church has the authority.

If you say, that is highly unlikely, then I will have to point out what happened to Capuchin Father Thomas G. Weinandy. He spoke publicly against the Pope in an open letter, and he was fired from his job at the USCCB. Then there was professor John Rist, who signed the Open Letter accusing the Pope of heresy. He then was “forbidden entry to all pontifical universities”. What did he think was going to happen?

You cannot ignore the Roman Pontiff. You cannot ignore Traditionis Custodes.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.

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4 Responses to You Cannot Ignore Traditionis Custodes

  1. justin1745 says:

    –“Another thing I’m hearing online is that the supporters of the Latin Mass will simply join the SSPX. So you don’t care that the SSPX is in a state of formal heresy and formal schism?”–

    You’re not wrong, but you need to keep in mind that the people who will leave to join SSPX don’t believe this. They don’t see the Pope as suppressing schism, but suppressing the TLM, which (as you say) is good and holy. They hear of talk of pastoral treatment and accompaniment for adulterers and active homosexuals, they see the German church bless same sex unions without a peep from Rome, but then they see something good and holy suppressed. They are told that rigidity is bad, yet TC seems to them particularly rigid. The sex abuse crisis is a never ending source of bad news. As you have said, it looks like Pope Francis wants to end the TLM. They see a good thing suppressed and bad things not suppressed, and conclude that the problem is with Rome. Plenty of easy to find materials online will confirm them in that view.

    My wife and I already had to talk a friend off the ledge who was considering going to an SSPX chapel during COVID, rather than our diocesan TLM. I think our bishop is friendly to the TLM, but if it does get shutdown, there’s a real risk that he goes to the local SSPX chapel (or SSPV, they are in our area too). Another friend, who previously attended Novus Ordo liturgies with some regularity, has told us that she will never do so again.

    To put it in a phrase you’ve used, they have a sincere but mistaken conscience, which is tainted by emotional pain.

    • Ron Conte says:

      Well said. But the Pope cannot permit the heresies to continue within the Church. He cannot permit any lay person, with no degree in theology, to proclaim that the Pope is wrong at every turn, just because the Pope says or does something contrary to that lay person’s pride-filled misguided understanding. The Pope must act to save the Church, which is indefectible and so cannot fail. But this is like a physician who amputates a limb to save a life. If there is a schism, it is for the good of the Church that these heretics leave, who have already rejected the Magisterium entirely. They accept nothing taught by Vatican II or the Popes since Pius XII. In fact, they do not accept anything from past Popes or Councils, if it conflicts with their own understanding. This faithless version of religion, where beliefs are controlled by a subculture and mostly by uneducated persons is intolerable. But of course, there are more than a few persons with advanced degrees in theology who are also in the ranks of the heretics and schismatics. So the problem is faith, not learning. It’s just even more absurd when someone like Lawler or Westen rebukes the successive Popes and the Council for “error” when neither of them has bothered to study theology formally.

      When Christ taught the Eucharist in John 6, many disciples were offended. But He did not explain the teaching to the satisfaction of their fallen reason. He demanded Faith instead. The Apostles believed, even though they did not understand. Some other disciples walked away and perhaps lost their salvation. But Christ did not explain to them, even to keep them from walking away and ending up in Hell. No one comes to the Father except through FAITH in Christ (which can be implicit). The supporters of the TLM absolutely must believe what the Church teaches based on faith or they might as well be atheists, only believing what their own minds tell them.

  2. justin1745 says:

    Rather than going after the TLM itself, the focus should have been on forcing the vocal public schismatics to recant their condemnations of the Pope/Vatican II/Novus Ordo or be publicly excommunicated. But now those same papal accusers can use TC as a “told you so.” I’ve heard two Catholic YouTubers, including one who was pretty moderate a week ago, say this move vindicated Lefebvre.

    I’m sympathetic to Pope Francis’s declaration that the Novus Ordo is the unique expression of the Roman Rite. I would suggest that the Tridentine Rite be recognized as a separate rite of the Church, alongside the Byzantine Rite and many others, with its own patriarch and bishops. These clerics should have to take an Oath against Schism, which would include the acceptance of all ecumenical councils, etc. Diversity in liturgy would be tolerated for the sake of unity, as is now the case with many of the Eastern Churches.

    • Ron Conte says:

      I see what you are saying. But when the Pope makes a decision, especially a big one, I have to consider that, almost certainly, it is the will of God. I’m sure the TLM will return. In fact, in all likelihood, it will not be entirely taken away before Francis dies/resigns and a new conservative Pope takes office. If I were a TLM Mass-goer, I would not worry. I’d happily attend the novus ordo, as it has all the core elements of the Mass. The TLM will be reinstated. As for the heretics and schismatics, God is acting to test them, accept the authority of the Church or leave. I feel like this is a good test, a fair one, as God requires obedience. One can’t demand that God order His Church as fallen sinners see fit; we must all be obedient. Without obedience to God, there is no faith and no salvation.

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