Every traditionalist publication has the same response to Traditionis Custodes: The Pope is attacking us! The Pope is attacking Tradition! It is as if the TLM is Tradition personified, to them, and it is as if they are Tradition personified. They cannot distinguish between themselves as fallen sinners who can err and Sacred Tradition itself, which is Divine Revelation. And they have taken the exterior elements of the TLM and made them into an idol to be worshiped. No wonder the Pope is taking it away from you: idols are bad for the children of God.
Summorum Pontificum gave priests authority to say the TLM directly from the Pope, by-passing the Bishops. But that means the Pope can also by-pass the Bishops and order all priests to cease saying the TLM. Two-edged sword. By supporting SP, you are supporting the end of the TLM.
At OnePeterFive nothing has changed since the resignation of Steve Skojec and the installation of the next leader in chief, Eric Sammons. They still openly battle against the Roman Pontiff and ANY decisions of any Pope or Council contrary to their own opinions. Do you need to be a priest or have a degree in theology in order to judge and condemn the Roman Pontiff at 1P5 (and any number of other conservative or traditionalist websites)?? No. They will publish any diatribe against the Pope and against the dogmas of the Faith (indefectibility; never-failing faith; unblemished Apostolic See) from anyone with a computer and half a brain. Read the bios of their authors. Anyone at all! As long as you are hating on the Pope, its acceptable. What does the editor do? Throw out articles that support Pope Francis or the Faith.
Case in Point
The latest article from Peter Kwasniewski, musician and doctor of philosophy, Gearing Up for the Long Campaign is utterly schismatic. It is a campaign against the Roman Pontiff. It is described like a war or series of battles against Traditionis Custodes. Kwasniewski propose gathering a group and going to the Bishop to demand the TLM. That is not obedience to the Church. Then he says that if you cannot find a TLM, pray a “dry Mass”. In other words, he asks his readers not to attend Mass, not to fulfill their obligation, unless they can have a TLM. If not, he wants them to refuse to fulfill their Sunday and holy day obligation and instead stay home and pretend to be at Mass. That is schismatic.
The opposite view was proposed by Timothy Gordon and @CatholicBoss in a video. They could not find a TLM on the weekend, so they went to a Novus Ordo Mass. That’s not schismatic. You prefer TLM, but you attend Novus Ordo Mass if TLM is not available.
Telling people to pray a dry Mass rather than attend the Novus Ordo Mass is schismatic. It is a grave sin of scandal. It is refusal of communion with those who are subject to the Roman Pontiff.
Roma locuta est; causa finita est. The decision of the Roman Pontiff on Traditionis Custodes is not going to change. The faithful have an obligation to accept it. He exercises the Keys of Peter, and what he binds on earth is bound even in heaven. A campaign against the decision of the Pope is like a campaign against Heaven itself.
Then Kwasniewski direct the “faithful”, if they cannot have the TLM in a sacred place, to consider holding a Latin Mass outdoors somewhere, such as right outside a church !!!! in a parking lot !!! Right. That is against Canon Law for good reason.
Can. 932 §1. The eucharistic celebration is to be carried out in a sacred place unless in a particular case necessity requires otherwise; in such a case the celebration must be done in a decent place.
A parking lot is not even a decent place. And then why in the world would you be celebrating Mass right outside of a sacred place, in the parking lot instead of in the sanctuary? Oh, right, because you are rebelling against the Roman Pontiff and the Bishops. That is not faithfulness to Christ.
And if the traditional Latin Mass is so sacred and full of doctrine, that it is to be treated like an immutable dogma, why is it acceptable to hold such a sacred “immutable” liturgy in a profane place? Will there not be cigarette butts, chewing gum, litter, trash, animal dung, dry leaves, and other bits of junk in the parking lot? That is a grave offense against God. There is no excuse for Mass in such a place.
And why is this traditional sacred parking lot Mass recommended on OnePeterFive? Because they are at war with the Roman Pontiff, so they would rather spite the Lord Jesus himself, and spit in His holy Face, rather than obey the Pope and the local Bishop.
What else does Kwasniewski say:
“The attempted substitute for Christianity—what Fr. John Hunwicke calls “Bergoglianity”—cares nothing for tradition, but it is doomed to fail like all merely human constructs.”
The claim that the Roman Pontiff has failed in faith to such an extent that he no longer offers even a form of Christianity, but his own new religion, is contrary to the dogmas of indefectibility, never-failing faith, and the unblemished Apostolic See. It is also a grave sin to accuse the Pope of interior sins, such as caring nothing for tradition, when you cannot see his soul and when such a sin would be contrary to the PROMISE of Jesus in (Mt 16:18; Lk 22:32) that the Pope would always be the Rock of Faith for the indefectible Church. No Pope can ever commit an interior sin of a certain type, that of desiring, intending, planning, or attempting to corrupt the Faith or lead the faithful astray. It is not permitted by the prevenient grace of God, just as it is not permitted by God for the holy souls in Purgatory to sin gravely and end up in Hell. Some sins are not permitted to the Pope. See Vatican I.
It is an utter rejection of the per se authority of the Roman Pontiff to claim that his teachings and decisions are an attempted substitute for Christianity, and are a new religion named after him. That claim accuses the Vicar of Christ and successor of Peter of apostasy, which is contrary to the dogma of the charism of truth and of never-failing faith.
Kwasniewski: “The injustice inflicted on the Church must be protested and fought against in every morally permissible way, while we continue to nourish ourselves on the riches available to us—some of which, like the traditional Divine Office, can never be taken away by any power on earth.”
You are not the Church, Mr. Kwasniewski. Neither are all the traditionalist in the world — many of whom are ENTIRELY faithful to the true Church — in and of themselves the Church. The vast majority of the faithful prefer the Novus Ordo Mass. It cannot be a grave error, as the Church is indefectible. And then no decision of any Roman Pontiff can be a grave error against doctrine or discipline, as the Apostolic See is unblemished.
Then when he says “in every morally permissible way”, I find that laughable. Accusing the Roman Pontiff of apostasy is a grave sin. Telling the faithful to pray a “dry Mass” rather than fulfil their Sunday obligation at a Novus Ordo Mass is a grave sin of scandal. Gathering a group to oppose the Roman Pontiff and to oppose the local Bishops is the grave sin of schism. Judging and condemning multiple Popes and Pope Saints is a grave sin. Judging and condemning multiple Ecumenical Councils is a grave sin.
Here are some more grave sins, detailed by Canon Law:
Canon 751: “Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.”
Canon 1364, n. 1: “an apostate from the faith, a heretic, or a schismatic incurs a latae sententiae excommunication”
Can. 915 “Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.”
Canon Law 1373: “A person who publicly incites among subjects animosities or hatred against the Apostolic See or an ordinary because of some act of power or ecclesiastical ministry or provokes subjects to disobey them is to be punished by an interdict or other just penalties.”
“Can. 212 §1. Conscious of their own responsibility, the Christian faithful are bound to follow with Christian obedience those things which the sacred pastors, inasmuch as they represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or establish as rulers of the Church.”
Canon Law 1404: “The First See is judged by no one”
In particular, this most recent article by Peter Kwasniewski violates Canon 1373. And there are many more examples of articles and posts on social media by innumerable unfaithful Catholics who have also violated that law. Catholics may not incite animosity or hatred against the Apostolic See (against the Pope in his exercise of the Keys of Saint Peter) or against an ordinary (a local Bishop) just because they don’t agree with an act of the power and ministry given to them by Christ. The provoking the faithful to disobedience is also a grave sin and a canonical delict.
Traditionis Custodes falls under Canon 212, as a decision that requires obedience from the faithful. You may not rebel against any teaching or any decision of discipline, even if it is non-infallible. Some mild disagreement with what is infallible is permissible, but never to the extent of accusing the Roman Pontiff of heresy, apostasy, or idolatry, or of grave errors on faith, morals, or discipline, never to the extent of speaking as if the entire Church has defected, and only a remnant is left. The Church is Apostolic, and so the body of Bishop led by the Pope can never fail.
The First See is judged by no one but God. That is the infallible teaching of Unam Sanctam, Lateran V, and the ordinary universal Magisterium. It is also Canon law. And yet anyone with any disagreement with the Roman Pontiff feels free to violate that dogma and law. That is a grave sin.
So it is a very sad farce for Kwasniewski to say that they must fight against the decision of the Roman Pontiff — which in itself is already the sin of schism and disobedience — “in every morally permissible way”. The number of immoral ways that the conservative and traditionalist schismatics, again a subset of all conservatives and traditionalists, have fought against the Church Herself is horrific. This will go down in Church history as one of the most harmful schisms and heresies against the Faith. And the sad hypocrisy is that these heretics and schismatic, while openly rejecting Pope after Pope and Council after Council, call themselves the most faithful. They cannot even imagine that they might be wrong, and a Pope or Council might possibly be right.
Restrictions on the TLM do not imply an attack on Sacred Tradition. Campaigning against the Pope and Bishops does imply an attack on the living Tradition and the living Magisterium. Only Popes and Bishops exercise the Magisterium. The living Tradition includes Popes, Bishops, clergy, religious, and laity. It is not limited to traditionalists. If you reject the Novus Ordo Mass, then you are rejecting most of the Church and most of the living Tradition.
And if you think that this act by Pope Francis, Traditionis Custodes, is severe, wait until you see what Pope Francis has in mind for this September. Providence is hinting that something big is on the horizon. Sure, I could be wrong. But after his surgery, Francis has to be thinking about his own morality, and that time is short for him to complete the work of his Pontificate. God is in a hurry. More work needs to be done to correct the conservative schismatics and heretics. Then the next step, under the next Pope, is to correct the liberal schismatics and heretics.
Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Please consider reading my new book, Reply to the Papal Accusers: Volume One, available in print and in Kindle formats.