Francis on the “Vetus Ordo”, Traditional Roman Rite. Wherein Fr. Z analyzes… and then rants.

In the Big Interview, Francis said in response to a question about the Second Vatican Council something about the Vetus Ordo, the older Mass, the Extraordinary Form.

I’ll cut to the chase for those of you who only read the title of the post or the first paragraph and then run to the combox:

This is Francis’ strongest affirmation – to date – of Summorum Pontificum.  It is an affirmation.

What did Francis say about the Vetus Ordo? My emphases:

“What did the Second Vatican Council accomplish?” I ask.

“Vatican II was a re-reading of the Gospel in light of contemporary culture,” says the pope. “Vatican II produced a renewal movement that simply comes from the same Gospel. Its fruits are enormous. Just recall the liturgy. The work of liturgical reform has been a service to the people as a re-reading of the Gospel from a concrete historical situationYes, there are hermeneutics of continuity and discontinuity, but one thing is clear: the dynamic of reading the Gospel, actualizing its message for today—which was typical of Vatican II—is absolutely irreversible. Then there are particular issues, like the liturgy according to the Vetus Ordo. I think the decision of Pope Benedict [his decision of July 7, 2007, to allow a wider use of the Tridentine Mass] was prudent [Italian: "prudenziale" hmmm ] and motivated by the desire to help people who have this sensitivity. What is worrying, though, is the risk of the ideologization of the Vetus Ordo, its exploitation.”

Let’s drill.

I’ll write more about “prudenziale” elsewhere.

Note the phrase “Its fruits are enormous. Just recall the liturgy.”

First, Benedict XVI made a similar point in his last days as Pope in his talk to the clergy of Rome.  HERE  So, Francis echoes Benedict.  Reading Francis through Benedict.  AGAIN. Other people are starting to figure this out too, by the way.

Of course, we can debate the fruits, can’t we.  They are not – at least to me – always and everywhere immediately apparent.

Next, the phrase, “I think the decision of Pope Benedict was prudent.”

This is Francis’ strongest affirmation – to date – of Summorum Pontificum.  It is an affirmation.

Next, “the risk of the ideologization of the Vetus Ordo, its exploitation.”

What could this mean?

I have no idea what this means.

It could mean something like: “The Vetus Ordo is the only valid Mass.”  But if that is the case, who are those people?  Even SSPXers, who don’t like the Novus Ordo, will admit that it is valid.  So, the number of people who would say that are minimal.  Big deal.  And he knows that.

It could mean that the use of the Vetus Ordo might divide communities.  Could he have in mind Friars of the Immaculate?  Probably not.  But if he mean “division” then why didn’t he say “division”?

“Exploitation” sounds like a political category, doesn’t it?  Is there somewhere in the world where older form of Mass is linked to a political party?  Political action?  If it were, you would think it would be in S. America and probably France.  Would the group Tradition, Family, Property be seen to be “political” by Francis?  Some other group?

Let’s also consider those with whom Bergoglio might tie the older form of Mass.  He was from Buenos Aires.  A few miles south of Buenos Aires is the SSPX seminary where former SSPX Bishop and holocaust denier Richard Williamson was rector from 2003 to 2009 when the government of Argentina expelled him.  If when Francis thinks about those who embrace the older Mass the image of Williamson pops into his head, then … well….

But, these groups would be really small, right.  Who is “exploiting” the Vetus Ordo?  Who? Why would Francis spend time worrying about them?

I submit that he doesn’t worry about them and that he is not going to suspend the provisions of Summorum Pontificum, with which agrees.  Furthermore, it may be that this statement is so hard to parse because Francis himself doesn’t have a clear notion of issue.  He probably hasn’t given it much thought.

I conclude that, since there is not any real risk of ideologization or exploitation – whatever that means – of the older Mass – there’s no real problem here.

What Francis said is in harmony with what Benedict and did.

Finally, no matter what…

Those of you who are interested in obtaining and keeping the older form of the Mass and sacraments had better pay close attention to what Francis is saying.

He is asking for a joyful, compassionate face on the Church for the world.  That means YOU, friends.

We have the provisions of Summorum Pontificum, which is a huge advantage.

We have the message and style of Pope Francis to take as a cue, which is a huge advantage.

I am reminded of the stern words of the Franciscan friar after Romeo kills Tybalt (R&J III,iii):

FRIAR LAURENCE
Hold thy desperate hand:
Art thou a man? thy form cries out thou art:
Thy tears are womanish; thy wild acts denote
The unreasonable fury of a beast:
Unseemly woman in a seeming man!
Or ill-beseeming beast in seeming both!
Thou hast amazed me: by my holy order,
I thought thy disposition better temper’d.
Hast thou slain Tybalt? wilt thou slay thyself?
And slay thy lady too that lives in thee,
By doing damned hate upon thyself?
Why rail’st thou on thy birth, the heaven, and earth?
Since birth, and heaven, and earth, all three do meet
In thee at once; which thou at once wouldst lose.
Fie, fie, thou shamest thy shape, thy love, thy wit;
Which, like a usurer, abound’st in all,
And usest none in that true use indeed
Which should bedeck thy shape, thy love, thy wit:
Thy noble shape is but a form of wax,
Digressing from the valour of a man;
Thy dear love sworn but hollow perjury,
Killing that love which thou hast vow’d to cherish;
Thy wit, that ornament to shape and love,
Misshapen in the conduct of them both,
Like powder in a skitless soldier’s flask,
Is set afire by thine own ignorance,
And thou dismember’d with thine own defence.
What, rouse thee, man! thy Juliet is alive,
For whose dear sake thou wast but lately dead;
There art thou happy: Tybalt would kill thee,
But thou slew’st Tybalt; there are thou happy too:
The law that threaten’d death becomes thy friend
And turns it to exile; there art thou happy:
A pack of blessings lights up upon thy back;
Happiness courts thee in her best array;
But, like a misbehaved and sullen wench,
Thou pout’st upon thy fortune and thy love:
Take heed, take heed, for such die miserable.
Go, get thee to thy love, as was decreed,
Ascend her chamber, hence and comfort her:
But look thou stay not till the watch be set,
For then thou canst not pass to Mantua;
Where thou shalt live, till we can find a time
To blaze your marriage, reconcile your friends,
Beg pardon of the prince, and call thee back
With twenty hundred thousand times more joy
Than thou went’st forth in lamentation.

Maybe we can learn some lessons from that sad famous story about how not to act in these times of seeming civil strife in our fair Church, where we lay our scene.

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Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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107 Responses to Francis on the “Vetus Ordo”, Traditional Roman Rite. Wherein Fr. Z analyzes… and then rants.

  1. ljc says:

    The more I read of what Francis actually says the more I realize that the rad trad group is wrong in labeling him a liberal. Just consider what we learned from this interview… how many liberal Priests do you know that pray a daily holy hour, daily rosary, pray the breviary in Latin, and think Summorum Pontificum is a prudent decision? He just doesn’t fit the description of the uber-liberal that traditionalists are making him out to be.

  2. jacobi says:

    “I have no idea what this means.”

    You’re not the only one, Father.

    So much of what he says is either ambiguous or is elsewhere apparently contradicted. Is it his deficient language skills, or is he just not a clear thinker? Some say he is actually being very clever. Well, I ask you!

    If he means the Vetus Ordo is fully valid, then why has he forbidden it, except with specific permission, for the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, illicitly and in direct contradiction of Benedict XVI and St Pius V? (see letter by four theologians reported by Magister in Chiesa)

    Personally I think it would be a very good thing if the Holy Father went on retreat to the seclusion of wherever Popes go to and said nothing, absolutely nothing, for a little while, let’s say six months or so, while he sorts out just what he really wants to say.

    And in the meantime we will all try our best to put a joyful and compassionate face on the Church for our non-Catholic friends.

  3. pmullane says:

    Brilliant, Father. Once again the Holy Father says nothing with which a reasonable Catholic could disagree. On one hand, if any group ‘politicised’ the Mass and used it as a banner for whatever hobby horse they want to ride, we’ll that’s a problem and its wrong. But if the EF brings you close to Jesus, brings you to the encounter with the power and mercy of Jesus, and from which the power of his love and mercy (and charity) flow, then it should be freely and widely celebrated.

    Here’s a trick, if you want an EF Mass in your parish, tell the priest how through that Mass you came to encounter Christs mercy and love, and were drawn into a deeper relationship with him, and how through that Mass you were drawn to live Christ and his people more, as evidenced by the many hours you spend in prayer, helping at homeless soup kitchens, praying outside abortion clinics, visiting the imprisoned and clothing the naked etc etc, and that you feel that if Fr would celebrate a regular traditional Mass (organised & paid for by you and your collaborators of course) then you are sure that the same door of grace would be opened to others that has been opened to you. I’d wager that Fr would be more sympathetic to that argument than once centred on your rights under SP, or the deficiencies of the OF.

  4. McCall1981 says:

    Glad you have pointed out this affirmation of SP, Fr. Z. No one seemed to be talking yesterday, when we all focused on the abortion comments. This seems like pretty definitive approval of SP from Francis. I don’t think he’ll help tradition, but this makes me hopeful he won’t be too hurtful to it either.

  5. kpoterack says:

    I wouldn’t dismiss the SSPX seminary association too quickly. Such a group may be small but, as you indicate, Archbishop Bergoglio’s main local post-conciliar association with the Traditional Usage would have been with Holocaust denial (also “women shouldn’t go to college” – another Williamson gem). Also, the Trid. Mass as a symbol of the rejection of Vatican II and Church authority. That seems like a very clear instance of something being “ideologized” and “exploited.” I think that the more Pope Francis gets to know groups like Sacra Liturgia 2013 and the October Rome pilgrimage, the less concern he will have about that.

  6. Gretchen says:

    This grieves me. Greatly.

    If the TLM is eventually suppressed as it was before BXVI, it will be the fault of all the nasty ‘radtrads’ who are assumed to be cold, heartless, unforgiving, withholding alms from the poor and so on.

    This seems an instance when the victim is blamed for the rape because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time and her skirt was too short.

    But, who am I to judge?

  7. Robbie says:

    Considering what Francis could have said about the TLM, I’ll take “prudent” as a good thing. He may not have offered any enthusiasm about it, but at least he didn’t signal the end of SP either. I’ll also take it as a good thing Francis chose not to fire Msgr. Marini. He’s done many great things since 2007 and I hope he’s able to do more in the future.

    Still, I get the sense Francis feels he must endure tradition minded Catholics. We know the list of things he’s said or done so there’s no need to repeat them, but calling SP “prudent” suggests to me traditional Catholicism just isn’t his cup of tea. That’s fine, but I would hope he can, at least, find a better way to interact with the right flank of the Church.

    I think the point about Bishop Williamson is an interesting one, but, again, it requires a lot of digging in order to provide context. Will the average Catholic make the effort to learn about that issue? I sincerely doubt it and that really brings things full circle in my frustrations with Francis. I know he’s not spoken against doctrine, but the low information Catholic hears a very different thing. And even if that doesn’t bother people, his ambiguous and confusing statements are ripe for manipulation from modernist priests and Bishops.

    A lack of clarity gave of us “the spirit of VCII” and the same thing could well give us the “spirit of Francis”. If Francis wants to do something to prevent that image, he can become the first Pope since the Council to say the TLM. What better way for him to show he wants to reach out to the right as well.

  8. Chuck Ludd says:

    I tend to think that the “ideologization” he may be referring to are the small set of people the EF attracts who have a strange mix of: radical misunderstanding of V2, almost a type of Calvinism with their (self-)understanding of the elect, and occasional in-take of bizarre theories (such as a strain that denies that humans could have evolved from a non-human based on a literalist reading of Genesis). I sometimes walk away from reading their commentaries with a question: “are they with Rome or not?” This is a very small set, in my experience, but they seem vocal — particularly on some not-to-be-mentioned trad blogs. I would not be surprised if some of them flood Rome with complaints about the way their pastor folds his hands during Mass. Most people attracted to the EF don’t have time to blog all day and write letters above their bishops’ head about liturgical abuses since they are doing things like raising families and working. But some seem to make liturgical abuse reporting into an occupation. I’m guessing Francis didn’t mean to put lots of meaning behind the ideologization words, but these thoughts were what came to my mind when I read it yesterday.

    I am thankful every day that I discovered Fr. Z’s blog because I was starting to rant at the computer screen reading some traditionist blogs in equal proportion to ranting while reading NCR online.

  9. inexcels says:

    If I could venture a guess as to what a person could mean by “ideologization” or “exploitation” of the traditional Mass…

    I have seen some traditionalists cling to their love of the old liturgy as though it makes them invincible in their own holiness, even though they are sometimes astonishingly arrogant in their dealings with other people. They “exploit” their appreciation of the old form to assure themselves of how much better they are than the rabble; they turn it into an “ideology” that they love more than anything else about the Catholic faith — up to and including, for example, loyalty to the chair of Peter. In short, they act like modern-day Pharisees. This isn’t just a phantom caricature conjured up by liberal shills: There’s ample evidence of these folks’ existence left around in comboxes everywhere; some of the trads I’ve spoken with in person seem very angry and bitter most of the time; and I know personally of at least one traditionalist priest who exhibits some of these characteristics. As to how many traditionalists fit this mold, surely no one can answer that question. A minority, probably. A negligible minority…? I would say probably not. And they do great harm to their own cause. I was on the cusp of declaring myself a traditionalist when I read just one too many whiny, vitriolic tirades from those quarters and took several steps back. (If you are a self-described traditionalist who does not do the things I just mentioned, then don’t be offended by my comment: I’m not talking about you. Some of the trads I’ve known are perfectly wonderful people. But you guys should be aware that you have a terrible P.R. problem and it is at least partly your own fault.)

    So maybe Pope Francis meant something along these lines? I don’t know. It’s the best guess I can manage.

  10. Indulgentiam says:

    “Next, “the risk of the ideologization of the Vetus Ordo, its exploitation.”
    What could this mean?
    I have no idea what this means.”

    Ok, please do not shoot! I’m only he messenger :) in trying to understand the Holy Father I have been doing some research and since I am fluent in Spanish have been able to read some of what he, himself, has written and said.
    The term “ideologization” is from–Liberation psychology or liberation social psychology is an approach to psychology that aims to actively understand the psychology of oppressed and impoverished communities by conceptually and practically addressing the oppressive sociopolitical structure in which they exist.[1] The central concepts of liberation psychology include: conscientization; realismo-crítico; ***de-ideologized reality; a coherently social orientation; the preferential option for the oppressed majorities, and methodological eclecticism.
    I side with St. Vincent here—”What shall a Catholic do if some portion of the Church detaches itself from communion of the universal Faith? What other choice can he make if some new contagion attempts to poison, no longer a small part of the Church, but the whole Church at once, then his great concern will be to attach himself to antiquity [Tradition] which can no longer be led astray by any lying novelty.” -Saint Vincent of Lerins (c. 445 A.D.)
    You can google this. It is not hard to find.

  11. mamajen says:

    I think Pope Francis’ experience with the SSPX has very probably colored his opinion of traditionalist groups. Yes, you can get SSPXers to admit that the NO is valid, but not easily–see here: http://sspx.org/en/faq-page/what-wrong-novus-ordo-missae-1987

    Along the lines of what “kpoterack” said, I think it’s exploitation when they suggest that the way they do the TLM is the only good way (see here: http://sspx.org/en/faq-page/should-we-attend-diocesan-latin-masses-1993 ), and they basically know better than the Vatican. They’re using the Church’s most beautiful mass to draw people into the SSPX but away from Rome.

  12. Ignatius says:

    As an Argentinian, I think that, yes, he refers to the SSPXers, which are a particularly loony bunch here.
    But also, I think he has in mind the “Tradition , Family and Property” types and the whole “national-catholics” here in Argentina, which now are a shadow of what they used to be but tended to be maurrasian/franquist/carlist and, yes, rather anti semitic. Thera can be some vociferous and loony types in that sub-culture.
    But it also has created some of the best intellectual types of the century, starting by the brilliant Fr. Leonardo Castellani SJ which, I think, is a MUST READ for understanding where some of Pope Francis ideas are coming from. Very traditional and at the same time, very subversive.
    Best regards,

  13. pmullane says:

    Inexcels, that’s pretty much what I thought the Pope might be referring to also. Certainly when I hear certain traditionalist use the term ‘Novus Ordo Catholics’ as a pejorative term, I feel that sails close to an ideolization of the older form of the Mass.

  14. inexcels says:

    The central concepts of liberation psychology include: conscientization; realismo-crítico; ***de-ideologized reality; a coherently social orientation; the preferential option for the oppressed majorities, and methodological eclecticism.

    This needs a translation. The ONLY part of that I can understand is “preferential option for the oppressed majorities.” The rest sounds like pop psychobabble.

  15. I’ll say this with as much cheeriness and joyousness as I can muster: Fr. Z, this is a bit of a stretch. Francis seems to be using the formula of Pope John Paul II rather than Benedict XVI; that is, though he affirms the ‘prudence’ of allowing wider celebrations of the traditional Latin Mass to provide for who ‘have this sensitivity,’ nowhere does he lucidly affirm what his direct Predecessor taught, which is that both Forms of the Mass are equally canonically licit and equally the resources by which Christ sanctifies souls in the Church. What is missing from his remarks consistently time and time again is an affirmation of the objective value in the traditional Latin Mass. Constantly framing the discussion in terms of indults, sensitivities, and prudence bespeaks a viewpoint that the traditional Latin Mass is simply a matter of pastoral concern.

    That’s as measured, and as cautious, as I can possibly put it. It’s simply the truth. Pope Francis has already demonstrated this is his approach by his deeds, by acting toward the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate as though the traditional Latin Mass were simply a pastoral provision that can be rescinded at any time. This is not in keeping with the clear, direct Magisterial teachings of Benedict XVI, both in his motu proprio, and in his explanatory letter. To wit:

    “The Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum constitutes an important expression of the Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff and of his munus of regulating and ordering the Church’s Sacred Liturgy.[3] The Motu Proprio manifests his solicitude as Vicar of Christ and Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church,[4] and has the aim of:

    a. offering to all the faithful the Roman Liturgy in the Usus Antiquior, considered as a precious treasure to be preserved;

    b. effectively guaranteeing and ensuring the use of the forma extraordinaria for all who ask for it, given that the use of the 1962 Roman Liturgy is a faculty generously granted for the good of the faithful and therefore is to be interpreted in a sense favourable to the faithful who are its principal addressees;

    c. promoting reconciliation at the heart of the Church.”- Instruction on the Application of the Apostolic Letter ‘Summorum Pontificum’

    Note very carefully, all of you, how the emphasis is laid on the objective worth of the traditional Latin Mass; the sensitivities of those who might be benefited by the motu proprio, while important, are hardly the main, driving reason for the promulgation of Benedict’s provisions. The first and most important reason is the objective and irreplaceable value of the ancient Mass, and this is consistent with the Magisterium of Pius XII before Benedict. The fact that Francis’s focus is so skewed toward John Paul II’s phrasing prior to Benedict indicates, I would think, that John Paul II’s lead is the one he’s following. I have no idea what the consequences of that will be, or if there will be any major consequences at all, but it can’t be denied that Francis definitely differs from Benedict as to his perspective.

  16. alexmfarmer says:

    I think that ‘ideologization’ could refer to those (and I’m not quite sure how to word it) those individuals who are so obsessed with details of the liturgy that they forget what the liturgy actually is. So, for example, I knew a guy who gradually got more and more obsessed with liturgical detail to the point where he told us that when he went to mass if the priest didn’t use the Roman Canon he would leave. And this in a parish with extremely reverent liturgy, beautiful church, vestments, good priests, no EMHCs, altar rail etc. These people are isolated examples, but together they may be a large number (everyone seems to know someone like this). Both they and those who advocate tambourines (here symbolising whatever liturgical abuse you care to name), and always talk about tables and meals instead of altars and sacrifice, completely reduce to liturgy to its horizontal element, discounting the presence of God. As Fr Z has said previously, there is a ditch on either side of the road.

    Incidently, I think the ‘right-winger’ comment needs to be read in the light of Latin American politics. I was living in Peru at the time of their last presidential election. There, left-wing means socialist and socialist means Marxist. Equally, in this context, right-wing to me implies a fascist dictatorship.

  17. Bosco says:

    @inexcels,
    “I have seen some traditionalists…”

    That is precisely the sort of bald personal assertion, bereft of any facts or a critical definition of terms, upon which no generalization to the whole can be rationally deducted.

    I don’t think your use of the term ‘trads’ is helpful particularly as it seems to be tossed out in a pejorative sense. ‘Trad’ is fast becoming an epithet.

  18. mamajen says:

    @inexcels

    I’ve seen that, too, and I think you could be right. I think that fits in with the rest of the interview, which to me seems to have a “plank in one’s eye” theme.

  19. Tradster says:

    Whether the Pope intends it or not, most people don’t care to take the time to see if their initial impressions of his ambiguous statements are accurate. He reminds me of those clueless Mr. Magoo-type drivers who cause accidents behind them and just keep driving away with no idea of the damage they’ve left in their wake.

  20. Diane at Te Deum Laudamus says:

    Father Z wrote: Those of you who are interested in obtaining and keeping the older form of the Mass and sacraments had better pay close attention to what Francis is saying.

    He is asking for a joyful, compassionate face on the Church for the world. That means YOU, friends.

    Oh, Padre, from your lips to God’s ears.

    The more angry and bitter we are, especially in the face of persecution, the uglier the face we put on the Church for others to see.

    When I think about those like Fr. John Hardon, as much as he was persecuted from within the Church and even his religious order, he had every right to be bitter and angry. Yet, this was a man who taught others, not just by his words, but by his example, to bear all wrongs patiently.

    This morning, I just posted an excerpt from a sermon he once gave in which he said, “orthodoxy without charity is not Christianity.” I hope it’s okay to link here.

    http://te-deum.blogspot.com/2013/09/catholic-virtual-wars-09-orthodoxy.html

  21. Cosmos says:

    It seems like he was saying :

    (1) the liturgical reforms implemented by VII were great, sure there are some real abuses, but overall its fruits have been “enormous” because it successfully re-read the Gospel in light of contemporary culture.

    (2) Allowing wider use of the Old Mass was prudent, i.e., there was no need to cause division here, even if the Old Mass is now of the past.

    (3) However, there is a risk that the people attached to the Old Mass will make the old mass into something its not and create a traditional ideology which rejects VII’s re-reading of the Gospel in light of contemporary culture as something hostile to the faith.

  22. JayneK says:

    I do not think we need to look in South America to find negative experiences with traditional Catholics. From the moment Pope Frances stepped on the balcony he has been facing criticism and complaints (much of it rather petty) in the name of tradition. I find it perfectly natural that he is not enthusiastic about us.

  23. pmullane says:

    Bosco, it is difficult to say this in writing in the spirit that it is meant, but if you feel that ‘trads’ is becoming used as a pejorative, then perhaps that is as a result of the behaviour of some self professed ‘trads’ since the last conclave. Personally as a friend and lover or Catholic tradition, my eyes have been opened.

  24. pmullane says:

    JayneK – exactly correct.

  25. Indulgentiam says:

    “The rest sounds like pop psychobabble” yeah, it sounds like that b/c that’s pretty much what it is. It pretty much dominated the universities in Latin America in the 70′s. google Martin-baro

    “Martín-Baró emphasized the role of ideology in obscuring the social forces and relations that create and maintain oppression: a key task of psychologists then is to de-ideologize reality, helping people to understand for themselves the nature of social reality transparently rather than obscured by dominant ideology”

  26. Robbie says:

    Am I supposed to believe it’s reasonable the Pope might have issues with the right flank simply because of his interaction with a very small group lead by a nutty Bishop? Talk about painting with a broad brush.

  27. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    Some (a minority of) Trads can at times be arrogant. I have seen it, too.

    Some (a minority of) Trads can at times be negative and bitter. I have seen this, too.

    Some (a minority of) Trads can at times be difficult to get along with.

    Pretty damning stuff.

    Based on inexcels’ and Mamajen’s notes, and my own observations, it would appear that a certain number of Trads actually have been so unfortunate as to partake of fallen human nature!

    If that is not a good enough reason to deny a group of persons access to the legitimate form of Catholic worship to which they are attached, I don’t know what is!

  28. Bosco says:

    @Ignatius,
    Have you ever read Roberto Guardini’s “The Lord”? Very insightful and I’m told a favourite of Francis and Benedict XVI.

  29. jonh303 says:

    Fr. Z,

    1) I’m not sure how you can conclude “he doesn’t worry about them [these groups]” and “that there is no real problem here [for Francis] based on “since there is not any real risk of ideologization or exploitation… “. Isn’t that the whole point of what he said that there is a risk of ideologization? He believes there is something to worry about when it comes to the Vetus Ordo…and that is ideologizing it…what ever that means. I must have lost you somewhere…but I don’t see…why you think he hasn’t given it much thought.

    “What IS worrying, though, is the risk of the ideologization of the Vetus Ordo, its exploitation.”
    Why are you telling us that he is NOT worried? [What does any of that mean? About whom would he be worried? Who are these people? Where are they? What are they doing? How many are there, who are "exploiting" and "ideologizing"?]

    2) Also I think its important to see the original Italian (I couldn’t find it) but I know in Spanish…gives me a bit of a different taste than the English: “Benedicto estuvo dictada por la prudencia, procurando ayudar a algunas personas que tienen esa sensibilidad particular”

    He didn’t say it was a prudent decision, he said it was dictated by prudence. [Italian says "prudenziale" not "prudente". There are things lost in translation.] I may be splitting hairs, but I think there is a difference, which means he thinks Pope Benedict made the decision by what seemed prudent to him, not that it was objectively a prudent thing to do. What do you think on these points? [I'm thinking about it.]

  30. Bosco says:

    @Marion Ancilla Mariae,
    Indeed! I have seen (some) movie-goers place chewing gum under their seats;
    I have heard (some) movie-goers chattering in the back and giving away the plot;

    I say for the good of all movie theatres should be closed. 8-)

  31. Urs says:

    Well, I am glad that you see it as an affirmation. The article made me nervous… It did not sound like an affirmation to me. It sounded a bit condescending. “It was prudent and motivated by the desire to help people who have this sensitivity.’ WHAT? Do we have some sort of disability that we have these sensitivities? or some sort of learning disorder that we need help with? Also, like kpoterack commented above, I would not be so quick to dismiss the association of Vetus Ordo with ‘Bishop’ Williamson and the SSPX seminary down the road from him .Williamson was kicked out of the country as in deported. I Bishop Williamson in particular… He has gotten downright crazy and way past cultish in his beliefs and attitudes… It was an SSPX priest who stabbed John Paul II in 1982. It did not hurt him bad and he continued with his trip but that says something. They think they are the ‘remnant’ protecting the Catholic faith and SSPX is NOT in schism because it is the ‘conciliar Church’(you know, the one with Peter at its head) that is in schism and that our Church is no longer Catholic! Thank You for bringing that up , though, because I had not thought of that. I agree wholeheartedly with the end of your article and how we should act.I had not thought about that either. He did say he was even a little naïve and I had already thought about that… In the p;ane interview Pope Francis talked about ‘making a mess’. It is one thing for the faithful to make a mess and quite another for the pope too! He is learning, though…. Pope Francis is a very good man and we must pray for him and trust that the Holy Spirit will guide Him! I just hope he realizes that we are in a battle against the culture of death…against powers and principalities! I believe it is late in the game. As Padre Pio would say, “Get me MY WEAPON!” It is time for rosaries, rosaries and more rosaries!
    Your post has given me more hope and helped me be a little less nervous…so thank you…

  32. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    Bosco! Yes! Don’t you hate that?

    I’m in your corner!

  33. kpoterack says:

    Chuck Ludd and inexcelsis have voiced my concerns. I have written in the past about how SP “freed the traditional Mass from traditional-ISTS,” but I think it is a kind of a circular problem. When the Trid. Mass was greatly restricted, it was more likely to end up as a banner for a very specific group. Now that it has been freed up, it is coming more and more into the possession of those who simply love liturgical tradition and beauty. (Although this is taking some time.) Were it to be restricted again – and I don’t see any evidence of that at this point – it might once again become the sole possession of “traditional-ISTS.”

    I am writing in short hand. There are people who self-identify as “traditionalists” who are fine Catholics. However, there certainly is still a vocal group – perhaps very small – but still who spew the nastiest vitriol against those who don’t agree with them 100%. Often other Catholics who love the EF, but don’t agree on some other minor prudential point. I remember a certain priest being dismissed by such a person as “a liberal.” I googled him and found a video of him in a roman style traditional vestment preaching on transubstantiation and the BVM. Wow, some liberal!

    Anyway, let’s not be our own worst enemy! I think that this is the only thing that will heard us under this pontificate.

  34. inexcels says:

    That is precisely the sort of bald personal assertion, bereft of any facts or a critical definition of terms, upon which no generalization to the whole can be rationally deducted. [sic]

    Are you suggesting that personal observation is an invalid method for evaluating the characteristics of a given social group? That one is not allowed to come to any judgments unless one conducts a scientifically precise survey and then performs mathematical analysis to make sure one’s sample size is large enough to show statistical significance?

    I will venture a guess that you do not hold yourself to such standards; that, in fact, you rely on personal observation to make judgments about social groups all the time. Why? Because it’s a completely valid thing to do: it turns out that personal experiences, accumulated over time, can lead to accurate judgments about all kinds of things. I also note that you ignore my reference to the extremely large sample of vitriolic prose which can be easily perused on various traditionalist websites. I refrain from citing specific examples in the spirit of diplomacy; you can probably guess some of the ones I mean.

    I don’t think your use of the term ‘trads’ is helpful particularly as it seems to be tossed out in a pejorative sense. ‘Trad’ is fast becoming an epithet.

    If you think it was “being tossed out in a pejorative sense,” then you read the tone wrong. That may be a result of my own writing rather than your reading.

  35. inexcels says:

    If that is not a good enough reason to deny a group of persons access to the legitimate form of Catholic worship to which they are attached, I don’t know what is!

    Feel free to point me to where myself, mamajen, or Pope Francis is suggesting you be denied access to your preferred form of Catholic worship. In the meantime, you’re kind of proving my point for me. This sort of hyper-defensiveness is exactly why I backed off being a traditionalist despite a great deal of sympathy for many of your causes.

  36. inexcels says:

    I need to get better about labeling my responses:

    First one above to Bosco; second above to Marion Ancilla Mariae.

  37. charismatictrad says:

    Pope Francis reminds me of my parish priest (or how my parish priest used to be): dogmatically orthodox, liturgically unconcerned.

    Then, a younger associate pastor came to the parish who loved the TLM. After about two years, our formerly “liturgically unconcerned” pastor was saying Sung Masses and ranting on about how after Vatican II, so many priests destroyed the liturgy.

    WHAT’S MY POINT? The “Vetus Ordo” has been embraced by the youth and the movement is gaining momentum. It is the zeal and youthfulness of this generation that will convert the apathetic tendencies toward the liturgy of the older generations. Many of us good Catholics can attest to seeing this being done around us. We have to remember to be charitable and show our dedication to the Church. Stereotypes happen for a reason: the Pharisees in Jesus’ time were practicing Jews, but that didn’t make them right. We Trads have been labeled similarly and it’s up to us to dispel the myth that we are modern day Pharisees, criticizing those around us to the point of beating our own chests in pride. It’s a tough but necessary message to deliver, but if we want to be effective in spreading our love for the liturgy, it’s gonna have to start with our attitude towards those who disagree with us.

  38. McCall1981 says:

    inexcels,
    While I don’t disagree with what you’re saying, I don’t think we can fault trads for being defensive, look at what has happened to us/them in the last few decades. I think it’s only human to feel a bit defensive.

    I mean if Francis is looking for “marginalized” groups at the “periphery” that are in need of love, mercy and acceptence, he need look no farther than a lot of “trads”.

  39. JayneK says:

    @inexcels
    “This sort of hyper-defensiveness is exactly why I backed off being a traditionalist despite a great deal of sympathy for many of your causes.”

    I am very aware of the flaws found among traditionalists, yet nevertheless identify myself as one. I love the traditions of the Church enough to put up with the foibles of others who love these traditions. (And I get my revenge because they have to put up with mine. )

  40. kpoterack says:

    Charismatictrad,

    God bless you! Amen! May your tribe increase a hundredfold!

  41. Bosco says:

    @inexcels,
    “That is precisely the sort of bald personal assertion, bereft of any facts or a critical definition of terms, upon which no generalization to the whole can be rationally deducted.”
    No need to get [sic]! Even Homer nods.
    Those words are ‘terms of art’ of which I availed in my former profession before my retirement. They’ve become a sort of template for me in my dotage though still relevant on occasion.
    Facts, evidence, coherent and rational arguments were what I was trained to entertain and admit.
    And yes, your statement was a ‘bald assertion’.

  42. prayerisouronlyhope says:

    Gee, I’m glad to know that only “trads” are:
    arrogant
    negative and bitter, and
    hard to get along with

    I thought that was pretty common amongst humans – including all Catholics. But I guess only the “trads” should be held accountable for it.

    I guess the thing that bothers me the most about how the SSPX is treated is that I wonder how many of you think there would have been a motu proprio if not for them? Would the EF or Vetos Ordo even be accessible?

    [I had put this comment into the trash, but decided to extract it and dust off the Mystic Monk Coffee grounds and respond. Here's the problem. You wrote "only", twice. "Only 'trads' are... only the 'trads' should. What is this? A Carly Simon song? There is equal vicious bitterness on the other side of the spectrum. That is apparent to anyone who has been paying attention. It is a human fault, to be sure. Be clear about this: this post is only about you if you want it to be. If you want to be included in the arrogant, negative and bitter crowd of trads, fine. You'll have company. Know that there will be consequences for that choice. Right now - mind my words, friend - right now trads have to be on their very best behavior. One of the results of the Francis Effect is that liberals, especially the vast crowd of low-information liberals, are going to be gunning for you and everything you hold dear. They will misappropriate Francis and his message either because a) they don't understand what he is doing, or b) they understand exactly what he is doing but just want to instrumentalize him. THEY will be the ones to "ideologize" and "exploit", not the "trads". So, park the boo hoo at the door. Put your trad joy on display. Roll up your sleeves and undermine liberal accusations by being exemplary in joy and charity.]

  43. The Masked Chicken says:

    “This needs a translation. The ONLY part of that I can understand is “preferential option for the oppressed majorities.” The rest sounds like pop psychobabble.”

    Nope. That there’s professional psychobabble.

    Of course, the neuro-psychology of poverty is not well understood, so none of these fancy words have any empirical verification.

    “This morning, I just posted an excerpt from a sermon he once gave in which he said, “orthodoxy without charity is not Christianity.” I hope it’s okay to link here. ”

    A point I made in a comment on another thread. Einstein had a similar thought.

    “What is worrying, though, is the risk of the ideologization of the Vetus Ordo, its exploitation.”

    I think Pope Francis explains exactly what he means [from the Big Interview]:

    “If the Christian is a restorationist, a legalist, if he wants everything clear and safe, then he will find nothing. Tradition and memory of the past must help us to have the courage to open up new areas to God. Those who today always look for disciplinarian solutions, those who long for an exaggerated doctrinal ‘security,’ those who stubbornly try to recover a past that no longer exists­—they have a static and inward-directed view of things. In this way, faith becomes an ideology among other ideologies. I have a dogmatic certainty: God is in every person’s life. God is in everyone’s life. Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, even if it is destroyed by vices, drugs or anything else—God is in this person’s life. You can, you must try to seek God in every human life. Although the life of a person is a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. You have to trust God.”

    The Chicken

  44. inexcels says:

    McCall1981: While I don’t disagree with what you’re saying, I don’t think we can fault trads for being defensive, look at what has happened to us/them in the last few decades. I think it’s only human to feel a bit defensive.

    I’ll agree it’s human and understandable, but so is sin: simply being able to empathize with it doesn’t make it a good idea. So, even though I understand why they do it, I do fault trads for getting too defensive. For one thing, it’s tactically disastrous; for another, our calling as Catholics is to be better than that! (Yes, I have plenty of my own failings too. But in this particular case, I’m trying to point out what I think Pope Francis might have meant by his words–which weren’t about my particular faults–and predictably, it has provoked some reactions.)

    Bosco: And yes, your statement was a ‘bald assertion’.

    Being a “bald assertion” doesn’t make it wrong — I stand entirely by what I said. As I explained, an accumulation of personal experiences can provide useful information. You can either trust that I interpreted and reported my experiences accurately, claim that you believe I have misinterpreted my experiences, or say I was lying. But just declaring “INVALID ARGUMENT” doesn’t prove anything and fails completely to address the content of the topic under discussion. I’m almost tempted to link to a few examples of particularly egregious online traditionalist rants just to make you address my assertions — but I’ll refrain. Largely due to a lack of time.

    JayneK: I am very aware of the flaws found among traditionalists, yet nevertheless identify myself as one. I love the traditions of the Church enough to put up with the foibles of others who love these traditions. (And I get my revenge because they have to put up with mine. )

    Well for that you have my respect, but nonetheless I will stick to my decision to support (most of) the causes without accepting the label.

    And with that I’ve already spent way too much time slacking off on the Internet, so it’s time to get back to work. Have fun, all.

  45. Bosco says:

    @The Masked Chicken,

    “But yet the Son of man, when he cometh, shall he find, think you, faith on earth? ” Luke 18:8

    A question well worth pondering these days, wouldn’t you agree?

  46. lelnet says:

    “there is not any real risk of ideologization or exploitation”

    I’m afraid I can’t entirely concur about that. I fear that His Holiness may be correct about the risk, and thus that his words of caution may be necessary. There’s no shortage of extremists, on both sides.

    Glad he said it. We need to be aware of the need for balance.

  47. anna 6 says:

    Would someone please explain to me the difference between:
    traditionalist
    traddy
    radtrad
    traditionally inclined
    SSPXers
    Do any of these groups consider themselves to be “just Catholic”, or are they outside of the Church of P6, JP2, B16 and F1?
    Help!

    [This is the stuff of another post. I'll post something on this later.]

  48. Gregg the Obscure says:

    I agree with what The Masked Chicken said above. In the confessional today – by the way if it’s been a while, please go to confession! – the priest counseled me at some length on the danger of focusing on what I want rather than focusing on the Lord. It would not be surprising if some folks focus on very legitimate and holy desires at some expense to their focusing on the Lord.

  49. tcreek says:

    Pope Francis may not care much for the Vetus Ordo but his subjects in Argentina certainly don’t seem to care much for the Norvus Ordo. Maybe if he would have allowed more Vetus Ordos …

    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ar.html
    Nominally Roman Catholic 92% (less than 20% practicing)

  50. Tradster says:

    Urs,

    “It was an SSPX priest who stabbed John Paul II in 1982.”

    Oh, really? Every account I can find reads like this one at http://www.foxnews.com/story/2008/10/15/john-paul-aide-reveals-182-pope-stabbing-cover-up:
    “On May 12, 1982, John Paul visited a shrine in Portugal to give thanks for surviving an assassination attempt a year earlier, when a Spanish priest lunged at him with a dagger.”

    I can find no report that the SSPX was involved in any manner whatsoever.

  51. mamajen says:

    Wow. Some here seem to have completely missed the point that Pope Francis is NOT looking for an excuse to limit access to the TLM and in BOLD, LARGE TEXT he is affirming that Summorum Pontificum was a good thing.

    Nor are those of us who have experienced nastiness trying to say that traditionalism overall is a bad thing. I’ve seen plenty of “trads” (ugh, I hate that term SO very much) here who have noted the problem as well. Perhaps it isn’t widespread, but it turns people away from the Church, and if people come to associate those people with the Vetus Ordo (the same way many “trads” like to generalize about “Novus Ordo Catholics”), it doesn’t do anyone any favors.

  52. Traductora says:

    I’d say he really doesn’t consider it all that important, for better or for worse. I don’t think he’s a fan of wild and woolly Novus Ordo insanity, but on the other hand, as long as it’s respectful and not blazingly heterodox, I think he’s probably ok with any liturgy. He must not mind the traditional form in essence, because he was known for being fond of the Eastern Rite liturgies and was even in charge of the Eastern Rites in Argentina.

    So it probably is because he sees it has having strange political associations, such as TFP, which was big in Latin America during his time. Sometimes we think he is speaking in terms of the US, but frankly, I think we’re a place he doesn’t give much thought to, and he probably doesn’t realize how different things are here and that the Old Rite doesn’t have much political significance here.

    Or possibly he just wasn’t feeling the love, with the hate-filled traditionalist attacks on him after his election? There is a lot of bitterness and conflict among traditional Catholics – I’m certainly not saying all of them – but I notice that the small traditional rite community that started up in a nearby city has already splintered into another, probably “purer” group. This doesn’t have anything to do with the essence of the Old Rite, which I prefer greatly to the NO, but unfortunately, one can’t be part of anything in the abstract, and the reality is sometimes a little on the prickly and difficult side. Maybe it’s from having to be defensive for so many years, but even so, the attitude does make it very hard for bishops and certainly the Pope to embrace it. I always felt that was why BXVI never celebrated the Old Rite publicly.

  53. jbpolhamus says:

    Pope Norman St. Vincent de Peale I, and his “Power of Positive Petrine Pensivity.”

  54. OrthodoxChick says:

    Yikes! Before long, this thread is going to need to have a caveat slapped on it warning all members of the Church Militant to put on their full body armor before entering.

  55. Bosco says:

    @OrthodoxChick,
    I understand your wariness about entering kitchens with so much heat, OrthodoxChick. I’d give ‘em wide ‘bird’-th or bring your own baster.
    Peace!

  56. Woody79 says:

    It’s getting late and there have been many interesting comments. Therefore, I am going to get a large glass of single malt scotch, a nice mellow cigar and go out on the deck and ponder all that has been said. I suggest everyone else do the same! See you in the com boxes tomorrow!

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  57. robtbrown says:

    1. It is true that Orthodoxy (Faith) without Charity is not Christian. It is equally true that Charity without the Faith is also not Christian. Those on the Right sometimes tend toward the former, those on the Left toward the Latter. Faith without Charity is not really supernatural Faith, and Charity without Faith is not really supernatural Charity.

    2. Perhaps it is true that lovers of the TLM can be obnoxious right wingers, but for every one of that type I can name 10 in garden variety parishes who want women priests, vote for pro abortion candidates, don’t think there’s anything wrong with homosexuality, etc. In fact, some years ago there was a man who bragged openly about his vasectomy–he was an EMHC.

    [Yep!]

  58. Tim Capps says:

    THIS DAY IN HISTORY. A spokesman for Pope Damasus assures Christians that the Vetus Latina has been affirmed, despite news reports of a new translation by former papal secretary, Jerome.

  59. robtbrown says:

    Woody79 says:

    It’s getting late and there have been many interesting comments. Therefore, I am going to get a large glass of single malt scotch, a nice mellow cigar and go out on the deck and ponder all that has been said. I suggest everyone else do the same!

    I don’t like Scotch, but Cognac and a good cigar would warm my heart. Or wine and cheese. Unfortunately, I am without all four and have had to settle for a bag of Cheetos with strawberry and watermelon enhanced ice water.

    [Yours is a sad story.]

  60. Salvelinus says:

    @Chuck Ludd. Your comment that “only trads” dont believe that humans evolved from animals is troubling. The Church is clear (as is Aquinas) that human beings are quite different than beast. Also, evolution is not Church Teaching, that is its a prudential judgemment, UNLESS we are talking about man.

  61. Salvelinus, of course human beings are different from animals. This is because of the human soul that God immediately creates, which renders man a rational whole and makes him distinct from the animal kingdom. Chesterton’s ‘Orthodoxy’ and, more importantly, Pius XII’s Humani Generis both explain how Catholic orthodoxy can allow for the biological evolution of the human body while still holding the essence of Genesis 1-2 intact and the distinction between human and animal life.

  62. RJHighland says:

    Tradster,
    LOL, Mr. MaGoo that was perfect, nailed it knocked it out of the park hilarious. Thank you for that it brought everything into perspective.

  63. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    I just don’t know that I care about this enough to offer any comments anymore. It dizzies my intellect trying to keep up with all of this. So little clarity in it all, so much endless speculation. I feel like we have to argue over the definition of “is” to spin everything the Pope says a more traditional way, while the loonies on the other end of the spectrum are simply doing the same…but we criticize them for it.

  64. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    And, Woody, mine will be a bourbon on the rocks, no cigar (I’m a head & neck surgeon and have become increasingly averse to carcinogens every time I have to laryngectomize a patient).

  65. JayneK says:

    @Atra Dicenda
    “I feel like we have to argue over the definition of “is” to spin everything the Pope says a more traditional way, while the loonies on the other end of the spectrum are simply doing the same…but we criticize them for it.”

    Understanding the Pope’s comments in the light of Catholic teaching is not spin. It is how he himself indicates they should be understood. Trying to make his comments fit the liberal agenda of claiming that he is changing Church teaching is spin because it is twisting the words to mean other than their intended meaning.

  66. Jack007 says:

    no cigar (I’m a head & neck surgeon and have become increasingly averse to carcinogens every time I have to laryngectomize a patient).

    Well doc, you gotta die from something. At least make sure they’re not CHEAP cigars. :-)
    Jack in KC

  67. govmatt says:

    Thank you, once again, Fr. Z.

    On this issue I originally didn’t think His Holiness could be any clearer. However, there are voices that have started to form a disconcerting chorus and we need more Fathers reconciling the Older Brother version of the Mass to the Younger Brother version of the Mass.

    It’s interesting, and probably worth someone’s thesis, to consider how much our American sense of politics is forced onto the Pope. There’s a great lesson here that maybe stepping back from the right-left dichotomy gives us a better sense of the good-evil dichotomy?

  68. Eric says:

    Not being very smart, this is all very perplexing to me.
    Woody inspired me to go get a beer. Thanks!

    I suppose suggesting the possibility that our new pope is just not very smart and/or doesn’t choose his words wisely probably wouldn’t get much traction here.

    I’m into simplicity.

  69. Eric says:

    WDTPRS What did the pope really say?

  70. Urs says:

    Tradster,
    Take your pick… some of the articles will say that he was kicked out before he made the assassination attempt but he was still an SSPX priest…they kicked him out afterward and then backdated it…
    https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=toolbar-instant&hl=en&ion=1&qscrl=1&rlz=1T4GGHP_enUS525US526#hl=en&q=SSPX%20priest%20stabs%20Pope%20John%20Paul%20II&qscrl=1

    http://www.fathercekada.com/2008/10/19/juan-fernandez-krohn-papal-assassin-and-sspx/

    Juan Fernandez Krohn is the name of the man who did it…

  71. teomatteo says:

    Part of my frustration with our new pope is that I’m so accustom to reading from a pope who was a very polished and professional writer. Benedict. Gonna take some getting use to.

  72. dcs says:

    From the moment Pope Frances stepped on the balcony he has been facing criticism and complaints (much of it rather petty) in the name of tradition. I find it perfectly natural that he is not enthusiastic about us.

    I do not think His Holiness is so petty and vengeful that he allows himself to be affected by such criticism.

  73. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    “Not being very smart, this is all very perplexing to me. . .

    “I suppose suggesting the possibility that our new pope is just not very smart and/or doesn’t choose his words wisely probably wouldn’t get much traction here.”

    Perhaps it might be noted that our two most recent popes, JPII and BXVI of happy memory, while both men of inarguably lofty intellectual stature, sometimes spoke or acted in a manner that was widely open to misinterpretation in the secular press, leading to ruffled feathers in various quarters. Perhaps it might be said that His Holiness Pope Francis, while a very holy man, and a man of superior intellect, does not operate in the intellectual stratosphere as his predecessors did, but is, instead most admirably gifted in the areas of pastoral leadership and in leadership in evangelization – gifts, it might be noted, in which an extraordinarily towering intellect need play no part.

    To learn how to navigate the media well and how to manage one’s own publicity well are enormous jobs, and there is every reason to hope that Pope Francis has the capacity to learn, with the grace of God, how to consolidate and develop his mastery of these skills.

    Let us pray for the Holy Father the Pope every day.

  74. Unwilling says:

    “What is worrying, though, is the risk of the ideologization of the Vetus Ordo, its exploitation.”
    I read this as applicable to opponents of TLM/VO, as much as of “people who have this sensitivity”. Indeed, I see the liberals making it a political thing more than I do the pious.

    [You turned the sock inside out. Good work.]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  75. tcreek says:

    One does get tired of our pastors constantly harping on John Paul’s “Gosple of Life” (Evangeliam Vita) and Pope Paul’s “Of Human Life” (Humanae Vitae) We need to hear more about toleration, Peace and Love, immigration, and Social Justice issues.

  76. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    Tcreek: There is no more profound a Social justice issue than the rights of the defenseless infant in the womb. Even a beggar in the streets of Calcutta can speak, can see and be seen. The unborn infant cannot – they are the poorest of the poor in the most profound sense of that expression.

    To assist babies and mothers in difficult situations; to speak up on their behalf; to work for an end to abortion is about as socially just a thing to do as social justice gets!

  77. Suburbanbanshee says:

    A couple of other points:

    1. Pope Francis is a speaker who loads a lot of meaning into gesture and tone of voice. Why don’t these ever make it into transcripts? I’ve done transcripts professionally, in a small way, and it’s usually well within the transcription style guide to take non-verbal modifiers into account, especially when it increases understanding.

    2. If an early member of the SSPX (albeit a crazed one) tried to kill the pope _at Fatima_ (yeah, let’s torque off the Virgin Mary, that’ll work), and then the SSPX didn’t just disavow his actions but retroactively kicked him out and lied about it… how would that let the Vatican think that the SSPX is either safe in its members or trustworthy in its leaders? I’m now astonished at the Vatican’s generosity, frankly.

    3. I’ve been a member of a fair number of small clubs that dressed funny and had objectives that people didn’t understand. Our major public relations aim was to visibly do good things in public, to be friendly and open, and to be happy to let people know all about our doings. If we acted like members of the community, people took us that way.

    The Catholic Church is now in that position, and more so because the persecutors are gearing up. If we’re going to be martyred, we should be able to make those martyr speeches about how everybody in the stadium knows that Catholics help the poor that the pagans shrink from, and so on.

  78. Andrew says:

    To ideolize something is to have an excessive appreciation for something beyond and above its true value. And to “exploit” such ideologization means to use such sentiments in order to manipulate others. According to such thinking you might come to a conclusion that to strum a guitar during Mass is “honest” but to use a Cappa Magna is a dishonest “ideologization”.

  79. The Masked Chicken says:

    “We need to hear more about toleration, Peace and Love, immigration, and Social Justice issues.”

    Perhaps, it would help if you understood why, sometimes, it is good to be intolerant:

    http://catholicforum.fisheaters.com/index.php?topic=2340953.0;wap2

    “3. I’ve been a member of a fair number of small clubs that dressed funny and had objectives that people didn’t understand. Our major public relations aim was to visibly do good things in public, to be friendly and open, and to be happy to let people know all about our doings. If we acted like members of the community, people took us that way.

    The Catholic Church is now in that position, and more so because the persecutors are gearing up. If we’re going to be martyred, we should be able to make those martyr speeches about how everybody in the stadium knows that Catholics help the poor that the pagans shrink from, and so on.”

    This is true in parts of the world, but in the U. S., 25% of people claim to be Catholic and almost that many claim to be Baptists/Evangelicals. That’s 50% of the population. We are not a minority in any sense of the term. These people may be poorly catechized, but the only reason that they are getting feed to the lions is because they haven’t risen up, en masse, against the rise of evil, which is being controlled and funded by a small number of people. If Catholics and conservative Protestants voted as a bloc, we could, very quickly, overturn the Coliseum and put the lions back in their cages. It has been the recent social justice focus in the U. S. coupled with the insistence on broad-mindedness (especially in sexual areas), ironically, that has softened the consistent theological understanding among the Faithful and allowed the current crisis to occur. We aren’t marching like saints into the Coliseum; we aren’t even merely slouching towards Jerusalem to be crucified; we are like squeaking mice being baited with cheese to be nibbles in the lion stalls.

    The Chicken

  80. Robbie says:

    Cardinal Piacenza was removed as Prefect of Clergy and demoted to a lesser job today. As Rorate Caeli noted on their Twitter feed today, there is now a strong progressive ascendency in the Vatican. The “spirit of the Council” has returned.

  81. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    “It has been the recent social justice focus in the U. S. coupled with the insistence on broad-mindedness (especially in sexual areas), ironically, that has softened the consistent theological understanding among the Faithful and allowed the current crisis to occur.”

    All true, and the focus on social justice, together with the insistence on sexual freedom that you allude to, plus, I would add, the general rejection of authority (except State authority), plus the insistence upon radical egalitarianism, when taken together, bear the unmistakable pedigree of the French Revolution and its offspring, the Bolshevik Revolution (Russia, 1918).

    The folks who have brought these revolutionary ideas to our shores, I believe, have been trained as Marxist-Maoists, and while perhaps not fully Marxist or Maoist, are very much on board with the vision and the principles of those revolutionary theorists. And Marxists and Maoists have always loathed and abhored the major religions. Based on their prior methods of operation, I believe that until they are able to gain full political control, Marxists and Maoists operating here in the U.S. will “tolerate” and “support” our churches, always using them, infiltrating them, undermining them, co-opting and subverting them so that they are made more “Marxist-friendly.” This process is already well underway, here in the Catholic Church in the U.S. The goal of this process would probably be to provide a springboard from which an “American Patriotic Catholic Association” may, at the right moment, be instituted and may hit the ground running. (You have heard, of course, of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, which was created by the Chinese Communists as an alternative to the true Catholic Church. The CPCA has its own priests, bishops, and they took over all the church buildings, of course. They have no ties to the Vatican – all is dictated by the Chinese Communist Party.) And if I have not identified precisely the right goal, then some other goal, equally destructive of religious liberty for people of faith.

    This is where we could be headed here in this country, folks, unless we pray and work very, very hard, and Our Lord and Our Lady help us very, very much!

  82. robtbrown says:

    tcreek says:
    One does get tired of our pastors constantly harping on John Paul’s “Gosple of Life” (Evangeliam Vita) and Pope Paul’s “Of Human Life” (Humanae Vitae) We need to hear more about toleration, Peace and Love, immigration, and Social Justice issues.

    I agree that constant preaching about morals can get a bit old, but I don’t think that it should be replaced by vacuous sentimentalism of lardy liberalism that you want to hear.

  83. tcreek says:

    My comment above was “tongue in cheek”. I cannot believe it was taken seriously.
    I am sick to death of “Social Justice” and I don’t ever recall my pastor ever mentioning Humanae Vitae.

  84. wmeyer says:

    In the preamble to the interview, there is this: “The pope had spoken earlier about his great difficulty in giving interviews. He said that he prefers to think rather than provide answers on the spot in interviews.”

    And yet, he continues providing those answers on the spot, and legions of apologists then seek to untangle them, showing how they are really, really just fine.

    I have read the entire interview, and pondered it. I shall read it again, and pray and ponder further. I find that with nearly every public pronouncement by Pope Francis, a great deal of chum has been thrown into the water, and I wonder if that is either needful or helpful. The media are more than capable of twisting things for themselves–why make it so easy?

    Still worse, it is all too easy for the rest of us to read such things and be dispirited. Yes, we can, with effort, dig into the words, finding the doctrine amongst the casual sound bites, but again, is it needful? Is it helpful?

    We live now in a time of increasing persecution. A child may praise Obama, but not the Lord.

    Francis is my pope, head of my Church, and I pray for his intentions, gladly. Nonetheless, I do wish that he might more often follow his own counsel, and be less ready to speak off the cuff.

  85. The Masked Chicken says:

    “My comment above was “tongue in cheek”. I cannot believe it was taken seriously.”

    Sorry about that. It was too close to the language of Pope Francis in the Big Interview and the ha-ha got mixed up with the oh-no.

    The Chicken

  86. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    tcreek, please expect all communications on the internet to be taken at total face value, unless you provide explicit evidence to the contrary, such as including a smiley at the end, or something.

    Or unless you’re communicating on a blog that attract maybe fifty users, of whom fifteen are on there day and night, all using stable personal identities so that everyone gets to know everyone so well that they become like roommates. I’ve been on blogs like that with about five other folks, and we could all pretty much finish each others’ sentences. In a setting like that, with people who know you very, very well, a tongue-in-cheek remark, without explicit disclaimer, would be understood and taken as tongue-in-cheek.

    In a setting such as this one, not so much.

  87. TomG says:

    tcreek: I knew something was fishy about your comment. In my 13 years as a Catholic (convert) I have never heard from the pulpit one word regarding Humanae Vitae and its teaching. Not.one.word. Abortion, occasionally, but never in connection with hv.

  88. The Masked Chicken says:

    “tcreek, please expect all communications on the internet to be taken at total face value, unless you provide explicit evidence to the contrary, such as including a smiley at the end, or something.”

    Well, it was a nice piece of sarcasm. In humor research, this is called a lack of humor competence within the audience and it stems from context-loading. In other words, since many people have been focused on damage-control for the last day or so, it was difficult not to read the remark as part of that context. In this case, a smiley face might have been necessary. Sarcasm that works by itself is a higher level of the art and this could have worked in another venue.

    The Chicken

  89. tcreek says:

    I have another problem now.
    Elsewhere I questioned if it was a sin to hope that Pope Benedict outlived Pope Francis.
    Now I wonder about praying for this, and not “Tongue in Cheek” … I don’t think.

  90. wmeyer says:

    tcreek: As my favorite local priest recently said in a homily– “…tolerance is not a Christian virtue.”

  91. SegoLily says:

    Atra Dicenta, Rubra Agenda: Stop raining on our ritualistic parades. And you say you might imbibe in spirits, but not cigars. ETOH is also carcinogenic to the cells of the mouth. Be consistent, my dear!

    tcreek: I knew you were joshing! I have never heard a sermon condemning contraception, and only 2 in 40 years proscribing abortion in the mildest terms. I have been sickened by social justice at local parishes, with the fetish invariably being “Komen’s Race for the Cure”.

  92. SegoLily says:

    Eric: OMgosh! WDTPopeRS! Brilliant.

  93. tcreek says:

    wmeyer: Bless your priest.
    I wish our current pope would agree … “Extremism in defense of truth is no vice. Tolerance in the face of error is no virtue.” (sorry Barry G. to mangle your great quote)

  94. Supertradmum says:

    The politics are already there, involving mostly bishops who suppress the Latin Mass. There is not one Latin Mass on the island of Malta. There are still some dioceses which do not have regular Latin Masses.

    It is the liberals who create the politics within the Church as they have the power to do so, not the trads, who are so isolated and small that they barely can be heard.

  95. Vecchio di Londra says:

    I expect all will become clearer once the Holy Father realizes that what he means by ‘homosexuality’ or ‘being homosexual’ is not what the MSM or indeed the world today means by the phrase. (The MSM would probably be equally puzzled by the concept of chastity among heterosexuals, though this too is a commandment.)

    Also someone in his inner circle should hint that rhetorical questions such as (a) “Who am I to judge?” b) “What is a confessor to do?” are most effective when the implied answer is obvious: otherwise they invite the answers: a) ‘You’re the Pope!’ and b) ‘What he always does and has done since time immemorial of course!’

    I’m fairly impervious to hints and nudges in the public press. But it’ll be interesting to see Pope Francis’s first Motu Proprio or other instruction to the Church. Will it be comprehensible and unambiguous? My worry is that a lifetime writing and speaking as a Jesuit may have left Pope Francis struggling to say what he really thinks: a fault of many theologians today, who simply create a vague atmosphere instead of clear thought, because they never learnt to write precisely.

    As for Vatican II: “Vatican II produced a renewal movement that simply comes from the same Gospel. Its fruits are enormous. Just recall the liturgy. The work of liturgical reform has been a service to the people as a re-reading of the Gospel from a concrete historical situation.”

    I’m strugging to avoid responding with a blank “Ehhh? Really?”

    Where in the new, perfunctory liturgy is there an added stress on Christ’s teaching that was not present in the old Mass? Where does it correspond to any contemporary cultural trend apart from the one of not bothering too much about anything beyond the personal comfort zone? And can we assume that when the ‘concrete historical situation’ of 1968 moves on just a bit (as for many or most of us it already did long ago) that we are to have another liturgy to suit “a re-reading of the Gospel in light of (our now changed) contemporary culture”?

    “Enormous fruits” – whew. I don’t think I would confidently ask the Holy Father to go and buy fruit for the fruitbowl.

  96. Pingback: The Big Interview of Pope Francis (Saturday) | Big Pulpit

  97. Per Signum Crucis says:

    “What is worrying, though, is the risk of ideologization of the Vetus Ordo, its exploitation”

    Fr.Z: I have no idea what this means.

    I think the more cautious voices in the combox have correctly articulated what this statement means and that it is not as affirmative towards the VO as the context suggests. Look for the other key word there: “worrying”. That gives a far better hook on which to understand this part of the interview. Francis worries – that is an indisputable fact. He says why he worries but not who he worries about. And, as has been noted, there is a big difference between “prudent” at a specific time and place (short-term) and “prudent” in a more general (possibly long-term) sense.

    I see this as Francis acknowledging that the VO is inclusive in a “horses for courses” way but, in the overall scheme of a pontificate for the poor and marginalised, not much more than that.

    the “who” and “why” of a traditionalist ideology and

  98. Per Signum Crucis says:

    Pressed “Post” too quickly: thought I’d deleted the last line. Lesson to self: use the preview facility. Doh.

  99. janeway529 says:

    “I have no idea what this means.”

    Father Z, have you ever heard of the “Most Holy Family Monastery”, been on the CathInfo forums, or seen this website: http://www.traditioninaction.org/ ? I can cite more examples, but I would say Pope Francis has those people in mind.

  100. prayerisouronlyhope says:

    @Fr. Z~
    Thank you for taking my post out of the trash and responding to it.

    I have read your answer several times, and will do my best to take it to heart.

    Praying every day for our Pope and our Church.

  101. Imrahil says:

    I do not think our Holy Father’s attitude is ununderstandable at all. It appears to be rather rare, and one might perhaps disagree with it; but I do not find it particularly difficult to explain. In fact, I tried to describe it below, and two not too long sentences seemed to suffice. Here they are:

    The Pope is a thoroughly orthodox, decidedly novus-ordo, Catholic. In addition, he has the strength of character not to look down on what he does not like.

    I disagree on the “ideologicizing” if it means what it, on the surface, seems to do: to make an ideology out of something; an ideology being a morally neutral terminus technicus for a system of thought which demands to be objectively true. It is this why I say “on the surface”; mostly, the word “ideology” does not seem to be used morally neutrally, but only for ideologies thought unhealthy in some sense; and in such meaning, you can mean everything and nothing. I guess, though, that our Holy Father honestly means that making whatever ideology out of a preference for the Old Mass – i. e., answering the question “do you prefer the Old Mass, and if so why?” with anything but “no”, or “yes, because I simply like it better” -, puts you in the wrong.
    It is here that I disagree.
    Whoever likes something will with all probability either have his reasons to do so, or not have made up his mind about reasons he could possibly have. I do not deny that “I reasonlessly like it better” may perhaps exist, but if it must be a rare thing.

    Of course the adherents of the Old Mass, to which I count my own humble person (though I repeatedly get the thought that I would have too un-traditional thoughts to be accepted by their majority), will say that in terms of good worship, outward helpfulness for the disposition to the receiving of graces, systematic rationalizability (if not sticking to the surface), furtherance of inwardness, beauty, representation of orthodox doctrine, enjoyment for the adherents, and traditionality (being an, arguably minor, but anyway a good in itself) the Old Mass is objectively better.
    [I insist that "better-notsogood" and "good-bad" are entirely different distinctions, and that thinking the Old Mass better does not mean that I cannot see that there are things in the New Mass which, although not integrable organically to the Old Mass, are fine in themselves: such as generally the assignment of Biblical texts to each other, the second (except its brevity) to fourth anaphora and the one for reconciliation (though not the idea to have variety in the anaphoras at all), the idea to read the whole Gospel on the obliging Sundays in a certain period of time.]

    In addition, preferring the Old Mass is usually indeed also a sign of an agenda: that one confesses to faithful Catholicism (not limited to Old Mass, but the Old Mass is certainly also significant for that), opposing compromises with modern culture, Christian politics… is this bad, though?

    I don’t think so. I do not say here that other paths are certainly illegitimate (I don’t know enough to make a statement either way), but it is certainly legitimate.

    Btw.: three statements about the SSPX.
    1. They do not as a whole or in majority or in significant minority deny the validity of the New Mass. Their position is somewhat more complicated, and (in my view) problematic, but to throw in “invalidity” is to simplify it to the point of incorrectness.
    2. As for the assassin to Pope Bl. John Paul II being active SSPX member and the SSPX covering up by backdating, I followed the links and found it referenced in a claim of a sedevacantist… Admittedly not liking the thought, I judge it a “gratis asseritur”.
    3. I do not see that Bp Williamson’s statements on the Genocide on the Jews has followers, nor that his statement on women entering college has been taken into consideration by the adherent community (German perspective).

  102. BobP says:

    Why can’t we just understand the Pope to mean that “both forms are necessary for the preservation of the Mass” and let it go at that? May not be what Bugnini wanted but then no one has canonized him yet.

  103. RichardT says:

    Isn’t there a canon law use of “prudent” that means something like “not a good thing in itself, but not a bad thing and results in some good because of some external factor”? (I’m not a canon lawyer, but have read things that suggest that)

    Which would suggest that Francis doesn’t see any benefit from the Extraordinary Form in itself, but thinks that SP was a good thing because of its indirect effects.

    If so, the next question is what are the indirect benefits that Francis sees?

    Is it just the old idea that some people feel a need for the EF and may fall (or have fallen) away from the Church because of it, so since it isn’t bad in itself it is better to provide it to them? (What we might perhaps call the “Ecclesia Dei” attitude?)

    Or is it that the EF provides an important counterweight to the “Spirit of Vatican II” problems? More of a Benedict XVI “hermeneutic of continuity” attitude?

  104. Grabski says:

    Yes, as we look back 50 years, it is clear the NO reexamined the gospel for modern times. Hence, the roaring successes it delivered. And if all the liturgical abuses, being attached to the EF is the worst. Apparently, because Francis knows a schismatic Bishop. But he ventured to tell Anglican Argentinean to not swim the Tiber, because the church needs Anglicans.

    Yep, as Fr Z warns keep smiling, because that’s the real threat.

  105. ppintado says:

    Yes, read Castellani, a favorite authors of the former boss of Auxiliary Bishop Bergoglio!

  106. AvantiBev says:

    My problem with being told to be “joyful and charitable” is that the word “charity” like the words “tolerance” and “compassion” has been misappropriated over the past 40 years by both members of my Church and my government. Somehow since 1960 CHARITY has come to mean letting others behave in any old way they choose with nary the cross look or warning word. Then when they get themselves, their family and their communities into a vortex of drugs, bastardy, debt, violence and poverty we must bail them out of the consequences of their actions so that there is no learning, no real forward progress, no amended lives. To me that is malevolent not charitable but I am a minority in this non-judgmental la-la-land.

  107. MarkG says:

    One of my friends suggested that I read the book
    The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life
    and that it would help to understand where Pope Francis is coming from

    I bought an electronic copy via the Amazon link from this website
    I didn’t know that there were 35 craters on the moon named after Jesuits
    or that they invented the trap door
    It does help to explain the Jesuit way of thinking and doing