The Necessity and Tragedy of Traditionis Custodes

The necessity of Traditionis Custodes is to correct heresy and schism that has gravely harmed the Church and many faithful. What happened is that many traditionalist leaders have taught heresy and committed schism. And many conservative leaders, who do not attend the TLM, have joined them in these errors. Then their followers have unfortunately accepted these false teachings, and have been led astray from the true Church. Some believe that the true Faith is only preserved in its fullness within the TLM communities and its leaders. They believe what TLM priests and lay leaders teach, and do not accept Vatican II or the teachings of the Vatican II Popes, especially Francis.

But how many Catholics attend the Traditional Latin Mass? Millions. How many of them committed the offenses against the Faith and the Church that led Pope Francis to restrict the TLM and to plan its removal from the Church? The answer is that most of the traditionalist leaders have committed these errors, and then some unknown percentage or number of their followers have accepted their disordered teaching. There are also faithful Catholics in the midst of these unfaithful leaders.

The tragedy of Traditionis Custodes is that many faithful Catholics who love the traditional Latin Mass are suffering because of the errors of their leaders and some of their peers. This happens also in the case of an order, like the Jesuits (ironically, as the Pope is a Jesuit) when their order was suppressed by the Pope. I’m sorry for their pain and loss, but there is a grave purpose at work here. Using a figure, the Order needs to be suppressed because of the grave errors of most of its leaders, and because so many members of the order accepted the errors taught by their leaders. If they had better leaders, most would not have gone astray.

Be consoled by considering the future. The Pontificate of Pope Francis will end relatively soon, I think within a year or a year and a half. I don’t think the TLM will entirely disappear from the Church in that time. And then the next Pope to be elected will be a conservative, who will reinstate the TLM.

But do not deceive yourself. God is your judge. If the TLM communities succeed in obtaining free permission for the TLM, but they continue in their heresies and schism, they will be struck by God.

{10:28} And do not be afraid of those who kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul. But instead fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell.

Fear the Lord. God has prompted Pope Francis to restrict the TLM because of the grave errors spreading through those communities. Not all have fallen into those errors, and so more than a few Catholics will suffer innocently. But that is the suffering of Christ, is it not? Whoever refuses to attend the Novus Ordo Mass — because they have arrogantly stood in judgment over the Church to decide She has erred gravely in that form of the Mass — commits a grave sin against Christ. It was the Lord Jesus who decided that the Novus Ordo Mass would be the main form of the Mass in the Church. If you love the Lord, attend the Novus Ordo Mass at least some of the time.

Saint Augustine used to require his monks to eat meat and drink wine on Sundays, so as to show that they had not fallen into the heresy of the day, that say material things are evil. Attend the Novus Ordo Mass some of the time, to show that you have not fallen into the heresy that says the Popes, Councils, and the Church can err gravely on doctrine or discipline.

Traditionalist leaders have spread heretical errors in their communities. And many of those Catholics who believed them, who trusted them, have been led into heresy unwittingly. God is the judge of to what extent they are guilty or innocent. But the leaders have no excuse. Many of them are headed for Hellfire.

Have you fallen into the heresies taught in TLM communities? Here are the truths of the Faith that are denied by those heresies. This is what you should believe:

There are no errors on faith or morals in Vatican II.
No Ecumenical Council can err at all on faith or morals.
No Ecumenical Council can err gravely on discipline.
No Roman Pontiff can teach or commit heresy, nor idolatry, nor apostasy.
No Roman Pontiff can err gravely on doctrine or discipline.
The faithful must accept the teachings of the Roman Pontiffs and Councils above the teachings of anyone else in the Church, including traditionalist priests and lay leaders.
The Novus Ordo Mass is not a grave error, and it is not to be despised.
The TLM is one good form of the Mass, but it is not essential to the Faith.
Excessive devotion to the TLM is idolatry.

The conservative and traditionalist leaders have caused grave harm to millions of souls by attacking every teaching and decision of Pope Francis over the last 8 years, and by rejecting the authority of Ecumenical Councils and Popes throughout the history of the Church. They have put themselves above the Magisterium to judge every questions of doctrine and discipline. And those who have followed them into these errors will be judged by God.

Again, I am sorry that faithful Catholics have been caught up in this dispute between the Roman Pontiff and the leaders of TLM and conservative communities. But the Pope cannot stand by and let a large number of his sheep be led away from the true Church. And some of these Catholics who protest that they are faithful have in fact accepted some of the errors taught by conservative or traditionalist leaders. Purify your own faith, and make certain that any errors in your mind and heart are corrected. Many Catholics who are liberal or moderate or conservative or traditionalist have accepted grave errors into their understanding of the Faith. It is not sufficient to attend the TLM and adopt whatever views are found in traditionalist communities. Only faithfulness to the Roman Pontiff and the Ecumenical Councils can preserve the Faith unblemished.

I apologize to any traditionalist Catholics whom I may have offended in my previous posts, speaking sharply against those traditionalist leaders who have opposed Pope Francis. I did not mean to put all traditionalist Catholics in the same hand basket.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.

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2 Responses to The Necessity and Tragedy of Traditionis Custodes

  1. justin1745 says:

    Ron, as time has gone by and I’ve had a longer chance to reflect, I think despite being a traditional Catholic I’m inclined to agree with you. Perhaps, long-term, the mission of traditional Catholics with respect to liturgy is to ensure that the the liturgy is celebrated reverently and in accordance with the wishes of the Fathers of Vatican II as expressed in Sancrosanctum Concilium, helping to reduce the abuses the Pope decries in his letter accompanying TC.

    • Ron Conte says:

      Thanks. I am quite certain that the decision of the holy Father Pope Francis on having one form for the Roman Rite, and phasing out the TLM completely, will not occur, with no disrespect to him. Pope Sixtus V published a version of the Latin Vulgate (1590), which he worked on himself. He then decreed that no changes were to be made in this authoritative edition of the Bible (except for obvious typographical errors). The language he used was definitive and absolute: “by this, Our perpetually valid Constitution…from the fullness of Apostolic power We establish and declare…by the Apostolic authority, given to us by God….” The Pope ordered that even in future years “not even the smallest part” be “changed, added, or deleted.”

      Yet under Pope Clement VIII, numerous changes were made to the 1590 Pope Sixtus V edition, resulting in different editions being published by the Holy See, under the authority of Pope Clement VIII in 1592, 1593, and 1598. The 1598 edition became the standard Latin Vulgate Bible for several hundred years. The Clementine Vulgate includes some three thousand changes, most relatively minor but not merely typographical, from the Sistine edition of 1590.

      Sometimes the Popes make decisions and God has something else in mind, in the realm of discipline. I agree with Francis that this action is needed, due to the schism that is developing within TLM and also non-TLM conservative communities. But I don’t think the TLM will be taken away entirely, at least not for long.

      Be willing to give up what you love, for Christ whom you love above all else, and then you will have even these lesser things (that we must all be willing to set aside, whenever it is God’s will). I recall St. Therese being instructed in self-denial and obedience by her older sister. It as a hot day, and there was a glass of lemonade. Her sister asked her to give up the lemonade, as an act of self-denial, which — as quite a young child at the time — she did. Then her sister told her to drink it, after she had agreed to give it up, because obedience is greater than self-denial. Sometimes God asks you to give up something, and being willing is sufficient, and you receive what you were willing to give up.

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