Pope Francis’ remarks about Extraordinary Form and people who want it

Pope Francis allegedly made some negative comments about the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and those who desire it.

My comments, below.

From Creative Minority Report:

Pope Francis has made what can only be called disparaging comments about the Traditional Latin Mass and its adherents.

Rorate Caeli reports that the Pope made comments to a Czech Bishop during his ad limina visit those who value and esteem the extraordinary form of the liturgy are merely caught up in a momentary fashion and thus as Pope he does not need to pay attention to them. Yup.

[Abp. Jan Graubner speaks:] When we were discussing those who are fond of the ancient liturgy and wish to return to it, it was evident that the Pope speaks with great affection, attention, and sensitivity for all in order not to hurt anyone. However, he made a quite strong statement when he said that he understands when the old generation returns to what it experienced, but that he cannot understand the younger generation wishing to return to it. “When I search more thoroughly – the Pope said – I find that it is rather a kind of fashion [in Czech: ‘móda’, Italian ‘moda’]. [Actually, a better rendering of “moda” here is “fad”.] And if it is a fashion [fad], therefore it is a matter that does not need that much attention. It is just necessary to show some patience and kindness to people who are addicted to a certain fashion. But I consider greatly important to go deep into things, because if we do not go deep, no liturgical form, this or that one, can save us.” [Go deep.   What does that mean?]

Besides being completely wrong, that the Pope is so disrespectful of the reasonable desires of so many good and faithful Catholics it is staggering in its coarseness and dismissiveness.

Not to mention, such an attitude is diametrically opposed to the attitudes and pronouncement of his Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.

I know that I have probably misinterpreted our humble Pope’s meaning and that the problem is me. For sure, the Pope seems to think that I am the problem. Please forgive me, I only speak Promethean. [ROFL!]

I wasn’t going to write on this, but my email box is filling up.

First, this is the third hand report of something that the Pope might have said.

There is an ad limina audience.  The Czech prelate says he chatted with the Pope for a bit.  Fine.  The Czech talks to Vatican Radio and recounts this stuff.  Maybe he does so accurately, maybe he doesn’t.  Vatican Radio then ineptly renders it and puts it around.

Bottom line: don’t worry about third hand accounts of informal, off-the-cuff remarks about the TLM.   If the Pope wants to abrogate Summorum Pontificum, he’ll do it in the proper, juridical way.

And does it surprise anyone that a Jesuit doesn’t quite get the whole traditional liturgy thing?

The Pope’s comments change nothing.

Even if we accept that Francis said these things, even if we accept that maybe Francis doesn’t care about the TLM or doesn’t get people who want it, who cares?  The provisions of Summorum Pontificum stand.

Therefore,…

Do not waiver.

Do not slow down.

Do not be downhearted.

Do not relent.

Do not budge.

Do not stop working.

We need more and more celebrations of the older form of Holy Mass in more and more places by more and more priests.

Keep at it.  Get those resources to priests.  Pay any price, offer any help, go the extra mile.

We shall not give up any ground.

Pope Francis’ remarks about Extraordinary Form and people who want it
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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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57 Responses to Pope Francis’ remarks about Extraordinary Form and people who want it

  1. Priam1184 says:

    So, first of all, I will say that I am commenting on this taking all of the multiple layers of sources regarding this conversation at their word. Another, and equally valid interpretation taking the Holy Father’s general way of speaking into account, might be this: I don’t know what this phenomenon of the movement to restore the Traditional Rite is, maybe it is just a fad and maybe it is not, WHO AM I TO JUDGE? There is nothing to worry about here I think, except for Rorate’s overhyped interpretation of a third hand conversation.

  2. Natalie Anne says:

    AMEN Fr! Thank you for responding to this.

  3. majuscule says:

    And Msgr. Guido Marini is still Papal MC…

  4. Geoffrey says:

    And meanwhile, the reform of the reform gets left behind in the dust…

  5. Mike says:

    Indeed. And on a “brick by brick” report, we had a visiting priest yesterday. A young guy. He didn’t get to preach because its time for the pastors in the archdiocese to speak about the Cardinal’s Fund. However, this young priest preached in the manner in which he conducted himself during the Mass. He said the Roman Canon, with deliberate, humble intensity. You could feel the silence at the Consecration. As far as I could tell, the whole Mass was woven with his prayerful silence before the Lord.

    So, more TLM’s, for sure. But more young priests such as this guy too! May Our Lady protect all our priests!

  6. Salvelinus says:

    So, it seems the crazies are being crazy over at Pat’s blog regarding the ancient Mass. Everything from calling us “snobs”, to saying the EF will never become the “Norm” since its an invalid form

  7. Sword40 says:

    Its too bad that we (traditionalists) are so jumpy when it comes to the ground gained in the last 10+ years. I feel like a combat vet with PTSD. I know I could never go back to the OF Mass. My days with it are done. I’m not disputing that its a valid Mass but I cannot attend it any more.

  8. Geoffrey: “And meanwhile, the reform of the reform gets left behind in the dust…”

    I continue to fear that there’s more to worry about regarding the OF than the EF. Reverent celebration of the EF is a given–as is the fact that more and more young priests and seminarians are attracted to it–while millions of Catholics continue to suffer serial liturgical abuse in the OF.

  9. acardnal says:

    When faced with adversity, it’s a good time to sell some swag, Father. Perhaps the Holy Father could use the following bumper sticker on his Renault:

    Save the liturgy, Save the world.

  10. mamajen says:

    Pope Francis has made what can only be called disparaging comments about the Traditional Latin Mass and its adherents.

    I don’t think so.

    To me the “doesn’t need much attention” is actually kind of positive. Those hoping for him to continue the liturgical work of Benedict will be disappointed, yes. But I’m hearing “I’m not worried that these people are going the way of SSPX (for example). I don’t need to interfere with what they’re doing–there’s no threat.” This is in line with comments he has previously (allegedly) made stating he has no problem with the TLM. And, I think, it debunks the idea that the FFI crackdown is a war against tradition in general. He is dealing with specific concerns there. He does not have the same concerns about most TLM adherents. He doesn’t need to do anything about it one way or another. Good!

    “Go deep” means it has to be about much more than outward appearances, musical preferences, etc. I’d like to think that the vast majority of TLM “adherents” are already there, and hopefully they will do their best to prove that they prefer the TLM for all the right reasons.

    It’s clear, I think, that his opinion has been colored by some negative experiences. Hopefully he can get past that now that he has access to more people and places.

  11. Mike says:

    Ignoring reflexive twitching, whether by arch-traditionalists or “progressivists,” there is a nuance worth considering.

    I suspect many who cherish the Traditional Mass, as I do, are weary of the ongoing — if greatly muted — abuse of the Novus Ordo in too many parishes. Just the same, any movement that may be reflexive must be entered into prayerfully, lest a wholesome intention be compromised by others’ less wholesome intentions.

    It was arguably just that danger from both sides of the spectrum that led to Ecclesia Dei and Summorum Pontificum. But it still pays to be careful. Evil will insinuate itself into any chink it can find. And the steadily increasing exodus of faithful Catholics toward the Ancient Rite and away from liturgical experimentalism could present much more than a chink.

    Let us always ask Our Lord, through the intercession of His Blessed Mother, to purify our intentions.

  12. mamajen says:

    Good points, Mike. The devil existed before Vatican II. He will try his best to weasel his way in under any circumstances and appeal to all sorts of people.

  13. Geoffrey says:

    Henry Edwards: “I continue to fear that there’s more to worry about regarding the OF than the EF”.

    Exactly. Summorum Pontificum is indeed the law, and I do not foresee His Holiness the Pope doing anything to change it; the situation of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, I believe, is a separate / internal issue.

    The vast majority of Catholics attend Mass in the Ordinary Form, and His Holiness the Pope Emeritus’ work at reforming it must continue… just not sure how!

  14. Robbie says:

    I’m not completely shocked to learn the Bishop of Rome said these thing. After all, he’s already called the right wing of the Church restorationists, legalists, promethean neopalagians, and self absorbed retrogrades. I guess calling the support some young Catholics show the TLM a “fad” should come as no surprise. I’m just surprised a pope, any pope, would compare the Mass of the Ages with other fads or fashion statements like skinny jeans, leisure suits, or the latest hair style.

    After nearly a year, I think the evidence is pretty clear. While the Pope has no intention of rolling back any aspect of SP, he has almost no use for the TLM. And based on these comments and the comments he’s made over the last year, it seems he views those who prefer a more traditional form of Catholicism to be an oddity. His comments about “patience and kindness” imply to me he feels he’s just got “humor” us like we might humor our crazy uncle at Thanksgiving.

    And while these may be off the cuff comments that carry no weight, so was his famous, or infamous, comment “Who am I to judge?”. In fact, just yesterday a group of “devout Catholics”, including a retired priest, protested in the front of Louisville’s Cathedral in favor a gay marriage and the quote “Who am I to judge” featured prominently in their message.

  15. benedetta says:

    It’s hard to tell what was really said from the excerpt, however, none of it really bothers me at all. Even if he cannot comprehend why young people are attracted increasingly to the EF in many places, one cannot conclude from that any intention to dismantle Sum. Pont., and, I even find what he says to be quite encouraging overall when he calls for “kindness” towards Catholics who prefer the EF to the NO. I don’t interpret his remarks as grounds not to trust him as our shepherd, at all. I locate his reaction in the realm of his own personal experiences and not applicable universally for all Catholics. Undeniably in many places young people are attracted to the EF, increasingly. It could be termed fad or fashion, perhaps, or, maybe, phenomenon, given that it is new to young people, even though it is the old or ancient Mass. In the meantime we’ll keep at it and we’ll see where it all leads.

  16. WesleyD says:

    Fifty years ago they thought the Beatles were a “fad”. Today the news is full of “wow, after half a century it seems that the MSM was wrong about the Beatles.”

    Obviously the TLM is not the Beatles. But the point is the same: If someone thinks something is a fad, the only thing that proves them wrong is time.

    If, ten years from now, nobody has any interest in the TLM, I will agree that it was a fad. If, ten years from now, the TLM is more widespread than ever, and even the average parish priest is now having one or two a month because his parishioners keep asking for it, then all the bishops and cardinals will know it wasn’t a fad.

  17. pontiacprince says:

    I note that the author of this blog takes quite a few ‘shots’ at Pope Francis and seems to be dedicated to having everyone involved in Latin Masses with secret ‘things’ going on where people see nothing.It’s about time the meaning of the Mass was taught in every church for at least one full year so that it is understood what is happening and why…e.g….who does the priest ‘wash his hands’?I do find the remarks (negative) about Francis way out of line for a priest.

  18. BobP says:

    “And does it surprise anyone that a Jesuit doesn’t quite get the whole traditional liturgy thing?”

    I guess that puts to rest any hopes of reverse psychology used on the Pope’s part.

  19. Therese says:

    “…while millions of Catholics continue to suffer serial liturgical abuse in the OF.”

    Pray for priests attempting to implement the 3rd translation of the N.O. This is by no means a slam-dunk and they suffer persecution from their fellow priests. (One such pastor has been called a ‘Pius the Tenther’ for his efforts.) They also tend to gain a new appreciation for the ancient Mass.

  20. Uxixu says:

    You need to do more reading here, pontiacprince. If anything, this blog tends to defend Pope Francis from the misinterpretation and context-lacking distortions propagated by the mainscream media.

    [Not to worry. A quick scan of his previous comments suggests that he likes to be contrary.]

  21. robtbrown says:

    mamajen says:
    Good points, Mike. The devil existed before Vatican II. He will try his best to weasel his way in under any circumstances and appeal to all sorts of people.

    Human fatuousness is such that the devil doesn’t need to weasel his way in–he can just stand back and laugh at us.

  22. robtbrown says:

    pontiacprince says:
    I do find the remarks (negative) about Francis way out of line for a priest.

    So you find Fr Z’s remarks too negative about the pope, but you have no problem making negative remarks about Fr Z. [It’s easy when you don’t use your own name, etc. o{];¬) ]

  23. Priam1184 says:

    @Robbie The Church is the Church; there is no right or left. Those belong to the devil.

  24. Geoffrey says:

    “The Church is the Church; there is no right or left. Those belong to the devil.”

    Amen.

  25. Midwest St. Michael says:

    mamajen says: “The devil existed before Vatican II.”

    What?! Jen do you mean to say the devil *is not* some kind of myth or literary construct to tell us stories about God? Do you mean to say that he is… he is *REAL*?! If this is so then… then there *really is* a Hell?

    Oh. My. Goodness. This changes everything.

    (sarc/off)

    MSM

  26. tcreek says:

    Never criticize the Pope?
    Charles Curran composed a statement critical of Humanae Vitae. This statement was eventually signed by over 600 well-known American theologians and other academics. A group of the best known European theologians met in Amsterdam on Sept. 18, 1968, and issued a dissenting statement.
    The overwhelming majority of Catholics in the pew seem to agree with the (left wing) dissenters. Western civilization is contracepting itself out of existence.

  27. Scott W. says:

    @Robbie The Church is the Church; there is no right or left. Those belong to the devil.

    Respectfully, this is gratuitous, cliche, and unenlightening. The use of “right” and “left” to describe ideological proclivities of Catholics is perfectly acceptable because grown, thinking adults can recognize the limits of such terms and account for them in discourse. There is no need to cobble together a slender. official dictionary for Catholics like in Orwell’s 1984.

  28. Scott W. says:

    P.S. To relate to the topic at hand, here is someone who wrote a song about the subject: http://youtu.be/D45oa-rR6bU

  29. Fr AJ says:

    I don’t get some traditionalists. You fought for years to be able to have the Mass of St. Gregory freed from restrictions and finally were granted this great gift by Pope Benedict. Now you have a Pope who’s not a big fan, maybe thinks it’s a passing fad…and you sound like you’re ready to throw in the towel. Pope Francis hasn’t changed anything yet the way some trads talk you’d think the Mass has been banned.

  30. Scott W. says:

    Now you have a Pope who’s not a big fan, maybe thinks it’s a passing fad…and you sound like you’re ready to throw in the towel. Pope Francis hasn’t changed anything yet the way some trads talk you’d think the Mass has been banned.

    Not throwing in the towel. Rather, recognizing that this papacy will be a hard trial, which is a good thing in a way. The unflinching Ralph “Roister-Doister” put it this way:

    “Given the iniquitous things that bored and dissatisfied children can fall in with, Francis ought to be tickled pink that they find relief in the TLM. After all, it could be wicca, or scientology, or plain old secularism — as it has been for so many pewsitters since V2. Instead, Pope Sockwasher is “puzzled.” Such remarks from a man who proposes himself as the epitome of Catholic leadership turns the heart to pig iron.”

  31. pontiacprince says:

    robtbrown: and Fr Z…..

    There is no attack on the priest who runs this blog.No attack on anyone.Simply put: Francis is a breath of fresh air and seems to know what is happening and why.I take exception to anyone who seems to believe that the pope is out to ruin the liturgy..As to Fr Z’s comment about not using one’s name: seems to me most on here use an alias.I have tried to change that but am not allowed.

  32. robtbrown says:

    Pontiacprince,

    I never said you attacked him, but that you made negative comments about him while criticizing him for making negative remarks about the pope.

    Nor do I think the pope is out to ruin the liturgy. That was accomplished many years ago.

  33. Fr AJ says:

    Scott W. good for you! I know traditionalists who are giving up and going Eastern Rite which is fine but I don’t understand the “giving up” part since nothing has changed legally speaking.

  34. Mike Morrow says:

    I have never attended any SSPX function nor do I have any connection other than (1) use of the excellent Angelus Press 1962 hand missal, and (2) my admiration for the only effective organization that saved 1500 years of Roman Catholic tradition from the post-Vatican II pogrom of annihilation.

    It must be apparent to anyone not just whistling through the graveyard that the SSPX’s many misgivings and suspicions and fears are very very well-based in hard fact. There is wisdom and honor in having held to principle, for the SSPX will likely once again become the only refuge for preservation of tradition, I fear.

    Summorum Pontificum would never have been issued had there been no SSPX. How long before some populist pope dissolves Summorum Pontificum and officially abrogates all pre-Novus Ordo liturgy with a pen stroke?

  35. eulogos says:

    We Catholics like to love our Popes. But it is difficult to feel that way when our Holy Father keeps dissing us. It hurts. He really doesn’t think lovers of Tradition are going deep into the truths of the faith; we are followers of a “fad”, we are “self-absorbed neopelagians.” It hurts to have him think that.

    And his attitude will surely have a negative effect even if he actually does nothing. Bishops who knew what Benedict wanted might be inclined to support the EF in the interests of their own careers. Bishops who know that Francis is indifferent, will not bother, unless they care about it themselves.

    I fail to understand why Francis says these things. Why alienate a group of your supporters, even if they are relatively few in number? Why discourage them?

    And if he appreciates the traditional liturgies of the Eastern rites, why can’t he appreciate the traditional liturgy of his own rite?

  36. jacobi says:

    “If the Pope wants to abrogate Summorum Pontificum, he’ll do it in the proper, juridical way”.

    With respect Father, he won’t, he cannot. [Yes, he can.]

    Increasingly, I think that the important document, as de Matteo et al have pointed out, is Quo Primum, [Here we go again.] and that Summorum Pontificum was but a diplomatic way of gradually steering the Church back onto the rails.

    The Mass of St Gregory the Great, which was defined as the principal Mass of the Western Catholic Church, but not the only one, by St Pius V, “in perpetuity”, remains the Normative Mass of the Church today.

    Catholics really have to get it into their heads that the Church, or at least the Catholic Church instituted by Christ, did not begin in 1969.
    We have to realize that in the Catholic Church decisions such as Quo Primum are binding. They are not political bills or whatever which can be overruled by a future parliament. Yes, Paul VI had the authority to introduce a new Rite, just as Benedict has done with the Ordinariate rite. But this new Rite, the Novus Ordo, in no way replaced, or could replace, the established Normative Mass which was and is the Vetus Ordo. Any such attempt would be, and is, illicit.

    Now, it could be that a Pope might issue a document overruling or contradicting Quo Primum, and incidentally, Summorum Pontificum, but all that would do would be to create an irresolvable conflict, not for the first time in the turbulent and often shambolic history of the Papacy. Such a Pope would be opposing St Pius V and Benedict XVI. We would then have something like the Western Schism, although this time the difference would be theological and not political. It would probably lead to a major schism, as in the Protestant Reformation.

    Oh yes, we do live in interesting times.

    [Popes are not bound by juridical determinations of their predecessors in the way many people think.]

  37. Pingback: Terminology note: Pope < MOTU PROPRIO

  38. SimonDodd says:

    I forget the cheaper, more casual insults that the incumbent of the See of Rome has hurled at traditionally-inclined Catholics, but just off the top of my head, it occurs to me that just as he today tells us that we are “addicts” to a “fad,” in Evangelii gaudium, he told us that we are “self absorbed promethean neo pelagians”; shortly before that, in the Jesuit publications interview, he told us that we are hidebound by small rules, we talk about the wrong things, we are ideologues who wish to exploit the Mass, and so on; a few months before that, we he told us that we “wish to turn the clock back,” that we are “stubborn” people who “want[ ] to tame the Holy Spirit.”

    It has become apparent since that black day on which he was elected that the erstwhile Tom Marvolo Card. Riddle (I think that was it) holds people like me, and like most of us here, in complete contempt; he think that we have Catholicism all wrong, he thinks we have the wrong priorities, he thinks we’re part of the problem. These are sentiments and fraternal warmth that I am happy to reciprocate in kind. But for all the nasty names Francis is pleased to call us, I will content myself with simply not calling him by just one name. The bishop of Rome has traditionally enjoyed a nickname, an an affectionate appellation: “Pope,” a familiar corruption of “papa.” It is not a title, and I will no longer afford it to the incumbent Supreme Pontiff, Francis I.

  39. SimonDodd says:

    Jacobi, is it your theory that the Pio-Benedictine code remains binding notwithstanding the promulgation of the 1983 code? What’s the difference, as you see it?

  40. Katylamb says:

    If those were really the pope’s words then it sounds like he’s very tolerant of the TLM. I see that as a good thing.
    SimonDodd: Doesn’t matter what you call him, he is still the pope. I don’t see how neglecting to use his rightful title of Pope Francis helps you or anyone else, but I guess if it feels good do it.

  41. PA mom says:

    I can understand why Pope Francis might have difficulty understanding the depth of commitment and appreciation that so many of you have for the Old Mass. There is nearly miraculous effort taking place by many of you and the fulfillment of that effort is nearly certain to be more than a shallow, temporary pleasure.
    To complicate matters, it must be nearly impossible for the priest, any priest, to even try to experience things from the laity’s perspective. There are absolutely aspects of the Old Mass which I would be delighted to have reincorporated, not in order to have more options at the OF, but rather to have more stillness and fewer constant responsibilities while with a pew full of children.
    He seems so genuine, that I can only believe that having the chance to hear from many of you why it is so powerful within your life, and maybe even warm invitations to him, are the best avenues to pursue to bring him to awareness.
    He is correct about treatment toward the elderly and those of certain dispositions, which do not incline toward change easily. If such graceful treatment had occurred 40 years ago, there would probably be precious little dissatisfying about today.

  42. SimonDodd says:

    Katy, that isn’t his title. His titles are Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, (perhaps) Patriarch of the West, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the Vatican City State, and Servant of the servants of God. “Pope,” as I explained, is a nickname, an affectionate token that I cannot give him in honesty.

  43. Gratias says:

    Could it be that Papa is a short version of Pater Patruum or Father of Fathers? That is why previous popes added P. P. after signing their name.

  44. Gratias says:

    Father Z has great advice for us: “Keep at it. Get those resources to priests. Pay any price, offer any help, go the extra mile.” The easiest in my case is to donate$$ until it hurts, for I live far away of our beautiful sung Diocesan Una Voce Mass in Camarillo California, 10 am every-Sunday at St. Mary Magdalene Chapel. Be generous.

  45. jacobi says:

    @Simon
    First of all, let me state just where I come from. I am not a liturgist, just an ordinary orthodox Catholic in the pews, addicted to simple logic, who has watched the confident and expanding Church of my youth, drawing in innumerable thinking converts – go down the plug-hole.

    The issue concerns the “Lex Orandi” of the Church. If “Lex Orandi” expresses “Lex Credendi” then the liturgy of the Mass is a matter of Faith.
    Therefore, Quo Primum, and other supporting documents such as Summorum Pontificum, not to mention the 59 Popes (60-Paul VI), who have implicitly agreed with, and accepted Quo Primum, requires our continuing submission of mind and will, in that it concerns a matter of Faith, was addressed to the whole Church, “in perpetuity”, was intended to be binding, and therefore comes under, at least, the definition of “forma specifica”, requiring our ”religious submission of mind and will”.

    In other words, I submit, it is more than just a juridical matter, and as such, it cannot simply be abrogated without a crisis of authority developing. And having just read two histories of the Papacy, I would add, not another crisis!

    ps :
    1. Note that I in no way question the validity, as opposed to the advisability, of the Pauline Mass, or the Mozarabic, or Dominican, or the Ordinariate, etc. I simply assert, as per simple logic, that the Vetus Ordo continues to be the Normative Mass of the Western Catholic Church.

    2. Sorry, that’s all a bit cobbled together and I have to go now. I am a retired man with hobbies to attend to!

  46. Rachel K says:

    I do use my own name.
    “Besides being completely wrong,”
    Erm, that statement needs some explanation and justification I think. What a sweeping one!

    “the Pope is so disrespectful of the reasonable desires of so many good and faithful Catholics it is staggering in its coarseness and dismissiveness.”

    Erm, once again, a bit over the top here. This person is forgetting that the ordinary form of the Mass is not the extraordinary form, which is still permitted by indult. It is permitted, not required or binding.

    Once again a spittle flecked nutty is going on…..

    I tank the most important point the Holy Father makes is that we must all “go deep” into the liturgy whichever form we attend.
    Fr Z, you ask what “go deep” may mean. It appears to me that it means entering in a profoundly spiritual way into the liturgy and uniting ourselves and our lives with Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross offered again in each Mass. And taking part fully, internally and externally, with the prayers and silence of the Mass. All the usual stuff in fact. No great surprises or innovations.

  47. pontiacprince says:

    Well said Rachel K….. especially your last para…seems to me that a lot of these people are more interested in having a biretta atop one’s head and vestments that would make the court of St James look amateurish.
    Ah well. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is….the Mass.

  48. jacobi says:

    @Simon
    I’m back now. Re the 1917 and 1983 codes, (by the way I’m not lawyer either), my contention or thesis, is that we are not dealing with law, but rather the expression of, and therefore the content of, Faith.

    Also, if it proves to be a matter of law, then valid law cannot be arbitrary. It must follow context and logic. For instance the law of Henry VIII that he was head of the Church in England was invalid since only the Vicar of Christ, acting as Keeper of the Keys, can be that. Equally if a Pope now were to pass a canon law abrogating that of Linus, circa 67 AD, who declared that women had the right to take full and equal part in services in the Catholic Church, albeit with their heads covered, a startling concept in those days, then you can rest assured that 99% +, including the most extreme trads, would consider that to inappropriate and invalid.

    So, the Lex Orandi of the Mass, i.e., how we express our Faith, and the Faith we express, in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and have done so for some fifteen hundred years cannot be arbitrarily be superseded, although I stress once again that does not forbid new alternate Rites.

    Benedict XVI put it much better than I ever could when he said,

    “What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behoves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place.”

  49. Katylamb says:

    SimonDodd: “Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, (perhaps) Patriarch of the West, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the Vatican City State, and Servant of the servants of God.”

    If you say so. They are all called Pope before their names, just as priests are called “Father” and nuns are called “Sister.” That looks like a title to me.

  50. Mr. Green says:

    Simon Dodd: I forget the cheaper, more casual insults that the incumbent of the See of Rome has hurled at traditionally-inclined Catholics […] in Evangelii gaudium, he told us that we are “self absorbed promethean neo pelagians”

    It’s easy to forget something that never happened. I don’t know who that “we” is supposed to be, but you make it sound as though you were referring to “traditionally-inclined Catholics”; but of course the Pope never said anything about traditionally-inclined Catholics in the passage of E.G. you refer to. In fact, he isn’t referring to any person or group at all: he is talking about certain problems of worldliness. Describing the problem is not a “nasty name”, even to someone who actually suffers from it, and equating that particular problem with all and only “traditionally-inclined Catholics” is something you read into it, though heaven knows what made you jump to such a bizarre conclusion.

    The bishop of Rome has traditionally enjoyed a nickname, an an affectionate appellation: “Pope,” a familiar corruption of “papa.” It is not a title, and I will no longer afford it to the incumbent Supreme Pontiff, Francis I.

    Well, his name isn’t “Pope”, so of course it’s a title. The fact is, Katylamb’s comment was quite correct. Priests are called “Father” because they bear an actual relationship of fatherhood to their congregations, and the Pope bears a relationship of actual fatherhood to all Catholics. Whether you refer to him thus as “the Holy Father” or using the more, er, traditional term of “Pope”, or any other equivalent phrasing is something none of us cares about. Frankly, you are in no position to “afford” him such a title, and if you are thinking of denying that he is your Holy Father, then when you’re done seeing what E.G. actually says, I recommend refreshing your memory on the fourth Commandment.

  51. SimonDodd says:

    Katy, it isn’t. “Father” is also a term of affection rather than a title–that’s why it’s strictly “the Rev. Smith” not “Father Smith.” And for the same reasons, I have stripped the Rev. Hans Kung, for example, of the affectionate term.

    Mr. Green, no one was under the slightest illusions as to the intended target of that passage in EG, and so I decline to entertain that or your other trivial objection. .

  52. Mr. Green says:

    SimonDodd: Mr. Green, no one was under the slightest illusions as to the intended target of that passage in EG

    As I pointed out, you certainly seem to be labouring under illusions about it. The paranoia of a small group of people does not actually constitute evidence that the Pope is out to get you.

  53. lana says:

    I return late after being blacklisted…. I sort of wish the Pope really did say that. For a while until I read Fr Z I did, and took him 100% at face value. How fantastically humbling. Here I am, thinking I am worshipping better than the average Catholic (which of course makes my worship much worse than the average Catholic) so El Papa himself puts a nice little pin in my big ego. I am just an oddity, to be borne with patiently. That seems just about right and actually very freeing and …. I can’t explain it, but after an initial ‘ouch’ it made me feel better.

  54. scholastica64 says:

    These statement are troubling I admit. To think we have a pope who despises the tradition of the Church he is in charge of is scary if we forget that Our Lord is ultimately in charge and allows what He does as He sees fit. Maybe we need this. I don’t know, but if Quo Primum by St. Pius V has been completely ignored, why not Summorum Pontificum? Just wondering.

  55. scholastica64 says:

    Ok, I just read the above post regarding this, and Fr. Z.’s comment, sorry. So, Fr. Z., why would a pope bother to write such a thing if it didn’t really have any weight? That’s confusing. Was St. Pius V being sort of arrogant then in declaring the “Anathema”? I always thought that when someone is canonized, their official writings at least can be considered as being without error. Is this not true?