Comment on Traditionis Custodes - 2021-07-31
I hadn't wanted to comment on this for a while, especially to see how it actually ended up playing out, but finally I believe it's time to bring up the elephant in the room.
It is probably to no one's surprise that I am fond of the Tridentine Mass. As such, I was well aware of what was coming with regards to Pope Francis' new motu proprio, "Traditionis Custodes" on the Traditional Latin Mass, and like many I was afraid of what it may entail. That being said, at least for now, the Tridentine Mass will continue to be celebrated in Seville the same as it has been since last November. For this I am very grateful for our new bishop for allowing us to continue the celebration of such a beautiful liturgy.
I don't want to comment so much on the motu proprio itself, but rather on the general sentiment surrounding it, and what seems to have been the cause for it based on Pope Francis' letter explaining his decision.
Firstly, I would like to speak to what Pope Francis is trying to tend to with this new motu proprio, being the political use of the Traditional Liturgy as a means of causing division within Christ's Church, and as a statement of rebellion against the Second Vatican Council. This is a serious problem that we have within the traditional communities, and one that is wholly incompatible with the mission of Christ's Church. This is something we've been warned about before, but in lack of any progress made, the Holy Father has seen it necessary to force the occasion, such that all Tridentine Masses celebrated must be under the jurisdiction of the bishop of the diocese. Although, depending on one's diocese, this could mean the end of the Traditional Latin Mass, we also must be fully aware that this is more in consonance with the traditions of the Church, where all faithful must operate in unity with their bishop. What we need to do, as Catholics, if we wish to preserve the Tridentine Mass is to be reasonable and submissive to our authorities. We must reject any spirit of rebellion, and always search for a charitable interpretation of our differences.
Secondly, I would like to be fair to the indignation that many of those in the traditional communities may be feeling now, as I too feel this indignation. We must recognize the flaws among many of those in our community, and the rebellious spirit many demonstrate. However, it always seems that our defects are in the spotlight of the Church's hierarchy, while the arguably more severe offenses which are commonly found in many novus ordo communities seem to be completely ignored. The liturgical abuse that occurs is a constant, which is something that even Pope Francis comments on in his letter regarding "Traditionis Custodes" despite no action being taken to stop it. Yet this never seems to be officially addressed. It's something that seems rather unfair considering the severity of the matter. And as though this weren't enough, when it comes to adherence to the Church's teachings, the novus ordo communities clearly present much higher rates of rejection. This is not a question of being perfect and without sin, nor even about maintaining a community of puritans, but if the real rebellious spirit found in the traditional communities is enough to merit this kind of a response from the Church, why is nothing being done about the even more extreme rebellion of those who publicly deny Church teaching on such important matters of our faith and abuse the liturgy?
Those of us in the traditional communities must learn to submit to our authorities, and to be more charitable with the recent developments of the Church. And despite this adversity we are facing with the new motu proprio, we must continue to trust those who have authority over us and their decisions, pleading with them and in submission to them, while continuing to pray for the continuation of this form of celebration of the Divine Liturgy. But I believe it's also important that our superiors begin to treat us in equal dignity and charity as they do the novus ordo communities, as this has only caused more frustration among Traditional Catholics.
Let us continue to pray for the unity of Christ's Church, and that we may be able to continue celebrating such a beautiful Liturgy as is that of the Tridentine Mass.
- "New Survey Shows Disparity of Beliefs Between Latin Mass, Novus Ordo Catholics" from One Peter Five