This statement published on OnePeterFive and other sites is formally patently schismatic:
1. It is a statement “TO THE CATHOLICS OF THE WHOLE WORLD” and therefore public and deliberate; it is not a passing or extemporaneous remark.
2. Their knowledge of the will of the Pope is stated clearly: “The explicit will of Pope Francis, stated in the Motu Proprio Traditionis Custodes, of July 16, 2021, is to see the celebration of the Mass of the Tradition of the Church disappear”.
3. They falsely attribute to the exterior form of the traditional Latin Mass things that cannot be attributed to it under Catholic doctrine. The grace found in the Mass is from God and is available at any Mass; that grace is cooperated with by prayer, worship, adoration. The Mass also contains Scripture, consecration of the Eucharist, sacrifice, the Real Presence of Christ, and Communion. All the important elements of the Mass are present in the Novus Ordo Mass. The points of exterior form of the TLM, which differ from the Novus Ordo cannot be the source of grace as they are merely exterior. So it is false to attribute to this exterior form the holiness of the Saints, the conversion of sinners, the sacrifice of martyrs, vocations and the rest.
4. Moreover, some persons whose faith seems to be enflamed by the TLM are attached to a subculture that surrounds the Mass, one that teaches grave errors, rejects the Magisterium utterly, and is thoroughly schismatic. They accept nothing from the authority of the Church unless their subculture approves it. This particular error, in so far as it is popular with some persons is like the popularity of Arianism. A popular heresy cannot be considered to have benefited the Church by the number of converts and vocations that it seems to win, since these persons are not formal member of the true Church. Heretics and schismatics are automatically excommunicated. They might be implicit members still, as God knows; but they are not fully incorporated into the Church the authority of which they reject.
5. The TLM is spoken of as if it were the heritage of the Church. Truly, the TLM is the family heirloom of the Church, and as such is belongs to the whole Church and is fully under the authority of the Pope. But the document in question and the attitude of many TLM adherents and leaders is that they OWN the TLM. They treat it as their possession. And this could not be more evident in the document being discussed. They refuse to obey the Roman Pontiff and publicly assert their decision to keep the TLM under their control, while openly disobeying the Church. They have, as it were, stolen the TLM for themselves.
6. Now here is their schismatic statement, which I utterly reject and condemn:
“We solemnly affirm, before God and before men:
“We will not let anyone deprive the faithful of this treasure which is first of all that of the Church.
“We will not remain inactive in the face of the spiritual suffocation of vocations laid forth in the Motu proprio Traditionis Custodes.
“We will not deprive our children of this privileged means of transmitting the faith which is faithfulness to the traditional liturgy.”
This statement is formal deliberate freely-chosen schism. It is a public solemn affirmation before God and mankind. And it utterly rejects the authority of the Pope and the body of Bishops over the Mass, in contradiction to the dogma of Vatican I (and other Councils) that the Pope has supreme authority, is above judgment, and is beyond appeal. Contradicted also is the teaching of Pius XII in Mediator Dei.
All those who wrote, sign, or fully agree with this statement are schismatics. It is a formal rejection of the authority of the Church over those persons and over the Mass. That is schism and heresy.
In particular, consider this statement: “We will not let anyone deprive the faithful of this treasure which is first of all that of the Church.”
If it is first of all that of the whole Church, why is the TLM currently controlled by the traditionalist subculture? Even most conservative priests do not say the TLM regularly, if at all. If the TLM belongs to the Church, why do you deny the authority of the Pope over the TLM? If it belongs to the Church, what gives you the right to deny Church authority and to declare that you will not obey the Pope in his will, as you see it, to see the TLM disappear?
Clearly, the promoters and signatories of this statement are openly defying Church authority, and are treating the TLM like a possession of the whole Church which they have stolen.
I hope and believe that the TLM will either not be entirely taken away, or will be reinstated in the near future. There’s nothing wrong with the TLM. What is wrong is the persons who misuse this form of the Mass, idolize it, and treat it like a recruiting tool for a schismatic subculture.
Ronald L Conte Jr