Dear Traditionalists,…

One year ago today I posted this. I haven’t changed my mind one little bit. Not an iota.

I had this from a reader. He said he was not advocating these things. However, liberals will advocate them.

I’ve got some other suggestions.  But first the wacky liberal stuff:

I have an idea for a blog topic – how about brainstorming with your readers on the top 10 changes that Pope Francis will make that will shock the Church and the world. I would orient the discussion around the Pope’s “vision” that the Church is for the poor and should itself be poor. For example, here are some ideas I had:

1) Pope Francis will live at the Lateran Basilica as an example that he will live a simple life away from the Vatican.
2) Pope Francis will allow the ordination of women deacons in service to the poor.
3) Pope Francis will sell the Vatican Museums to a private company and give the proceeds to the poor.
4) Pope Francis will get a petition from the English speaking bishops and will rescind use of the 2010 RM because the language is too complicated.
5) Pope Francis will repudiate Humanae Vitae since too many children tends to perpetuate poverty.

Yep. This is precisely what liberals will push for, hopelessly.

What do I think we should push for?

As many celebrations of the older form of the Roman Rite as possible in as many places as possible as soon as possible.

It’s ‘grind it out’ time.

I am getting some defeatist email.

Those of you who want the older form of the liturgy, and all that comes with it, should…

1) Work with sweat and money to make it happen. If you thought you worked hard before?   Been at this a long time?  HAH!  Get to work!  “Oooo! It’s tooo haaard!”  BOO HOO!

2) Get involved with all the works of charity that your parishes or groups sponsor. Make a strong showing. Make your presence known. If Pope Francis wants a Church for the poor, then we respond, “OORAH!!” The “traditionalist” will be second-to-none in getting involved.  “Dear Father… you can count on the ‘Stable Group of TLM Petitioners-For-By-Now-Several-Months” to help with the collection of clothing for the poor!  Tell us what you need!”

3) Pray and fast and give alms. Think you have been doing that? HAH!  Think again.  If you love, you can do more.

4) Form up and get organized.  You can do this.  Find like minded people and get that request for the implementation of Summorum Pontificum together, how you will raise the money to help buy the stuff the parish will need and DO IT.  Make a plan. Find people. Execute!

5) Get your ego and your own petty little personal interpretations and preferences of how Father ought to wiggle his pinky at the third word out of the way.  It is team-work time.  If we don’t sacrifice individually, we will stay divided and we won’t achieve our objectives.

At the midway point of SEAL training, BUD/S, there is a “Hell Week” to see how much you want it to keep going.

Do you want this?  Do you?  Or, when you don’t get what you want handed to you, are you going to whine about it and then blame others?

The legislation is in place.  The young priests and seminarians are dying to get into this stuff.  Give them something to do.

And to those of you will you blurt out “But Father! But Father!… I don’t like your militaristic imagery”… in order to derail the entry, here’s a new image from your own back yard.

Pope Benedict gave you, boys and girls, over the course of his 8 years, a beautiful new bicycle!  He gave you a direction, some encouragement, a snow cone, and a running push.  Now, take off the damn training wheels and RIDE THE BIKE!

 

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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31 Responses to Dear Traditionalists,…

  1. Eliane says:

    “Get your ego and your own petty little personal interpretations and preferences of how Father ought to wiggle his pinky at the third word out of the way. ”

    That one is reminiscent of the pope’s straw men — those pesky little things he so disapproves of but who actually barely exist in reality, if at all. Well, perhaps as a female I just know too little of the rubrics of the altar.

  2. Darren says:

    Working closely with Fr. Brian Woodrow, the priest that Trenton Bishop David O’Connell appointed as Liaison to the Extraordinary Form for the Diocese, a friend and I are working to bring the Traditional Latin Mass to Ocean County, NJ.

    I just established a blog (literally yesterday) at http://tlm-oceancountynj.blogspot.com/ to provide updates and hopefully add to a stable group. If you are in the area and interested, please join in. My friend also established a Facebook group called Jersey Shore Latin Mass Group.

    Bishop O’Connell and Fr. Woodrow are known in the Vatican for how quickly they established the TLM which is now at St. John the Baptist in Allentown, NJ (Fr. Woodrow’s parish) and how quickly it grew.

    We have a Bishop who is 100% behind the effort for this to grow in the Diocese and we are now moving the right direction in Ocean County.

  3. Fr AJ says:

    I get the impression some traditionalists were hoping Pope Benedict would ban the NO and mandate the TLM everywhere so it would happen from the top down without any work on the local level. Obviously that was never going to happen, so there needs to be a lot of planning and work on the parish level and some are just throwing up their hands or writing terrible things about Pope Francis instead.

  4. rtjl says:

    Get involved with all the works of charity that your parishes or groups sponsor. Make a strong showing. Make your presence known. If Pope Francis wants a Church for the poor, then we respond, “OORAH!!” The “traditionalist” will be second-to-none in getting involved. ”Dear Father… you can count on the ‘Stable Group of TLM Petitioners-For-By-Now-Several-Months” to help with the collection of clothing for the poor! Tell us what you need!”

    I am just about ready to give up on the traditionalist groups in my neck of the woods on precisely this point. I have been doing my best to support them and assist with advancing their cause (because I believe in it) but sometimes they are their own worst enemies.

    I have encouraged them to get involved in supporting works of mercy or in supporting other parish projects and activities. These activities don’t always line up with traditionalist goals but they don’t stand in opposition to them either. For instance, when fellow Catholics try to develop an outreach service to the inner city poor or try to offer regular rosary devotions on Saturdays or when the parish organizes a vespers service according the current rite, offer to help them (provided they aren’t engaging in some form of liturgical abuse or heresy).

    I try to encourage traditionalists to help saying “look here is parishioner x and they are trying to do y and they could really use some help, are you able to help them?” The answer I invariably get is “not really, that’s not my thing.” This is unfortunate for them because I am usually trying to get them involved supporting influential people who are well connected, well respected and who have the ability to make things happen for them, i.e. offering them parishes and times where they could celebrate mass, offering them the service of musical skills appropriate for the singing of Gregorian chant, etc…

    This involves nothing more than the simple psychological law of reciprocity. “You do something nice for me – I’ll do something nice for you.” If you want people to support your endeavors, you need to be willing to support theirs – again, provided you don’t need to compromise genuine principles to do so. The traditionalists I run into don’t seem to get this. They want their traditionalist mass once a month (once a week if they could get it) and that’s it. They want to complain how hard done by they are and that nobody will support them but they, in their turn, won’t do anything to make themselves useful to other people either.

    Traditionalists – If you want your back scratched you need to be prepared to so some back scratching yourselves. If you won’t do that, you should not be surprised when people turn a deaf ear to your requests. Prove to them that you are reasonable people who are willing to play ball and they will be more likely to play ball with you too.

  5. Faith says:

    My 2 cents: stop wasting time thinking nonsense. Pray for the pope. Sell that bicycle. Give the money to the poor. Walk.

    [?]

  6. CharlesG says:

    By all means promote the widespread use of the Extraordinary Form, which can only be to the good, but it can be promoted without constantly trashing the very nature of the Ordinary Form (as opposed to trashing the crappy way it is usually celebrated, or else respectful criticism of the contents and process by which it was adopted, which is welcome). I may be flamed for saying it, but some EF proponents do like to hurl insults loudly on a validly adopted rite of the Church, and it only hurts their cause in my humble opinion.

  7. APX says:

    Rjti makes a very good point regarding traditionalists being their own worse enemies and not willing to help those from the OF side of things.

    I’ve also noticed this with. I was told a few years ago by the schola director in my home city that the Bishop was impressed by the polyphony and Gregorian chant sung when he was doing confirmations for the Latin Mass Community, so he approached the director and asked her if she would teach the Diocesean Choir how to sing that for our diocesean Masses. She quite proudly told me that she declined stating, “Over my dead body.” If that’s the response of traditionalists to requests for help to improve the music at Mass, they have no business to complain about the current music.

    On the other hand over where I am now, some of the young adults have formed their own scholas that are essentially for hire for both the EF and the OF in order to provide and teach traditional music for Mass for those who ask.

    The “Biological Solution” has been deemed the solution for the OF, but I think it’s on both sides. It appears to me that it’s traditionalists of a certain age who get their noses up in the air when it comes to helping out with things related to the OF, whereas the younger ones who don’t have the hang ups the old people do and are eager to get ‘er done.

  8. majuscule says:

    We are in the process of gathering interest in the EF.

    It appears to me that some of these people are the ones already involved in charitable works. But they do it quietly, so perhaps they aren’t noticed.

  9. mburn16 says:

    “I get the impression some traditionalists were hoping Pope Benedict would ban the NO and mandate the TLM everywhere so it would happen from the top down without any work on the local level.”

    Well, it would have been his right to do just that. After all, that is not much different from how the NO was introduced: “you will change, now”. Peter giveth, Peter taketh away.

    But I think many people within the traditionalist movement overstated BXVI’s credentials on this matter. It must be pointed out that, although we see Benedict as the model for a traditionalist Pope, he was really considered to be a pro-VII reformer for most of his academic and theological career. I once heard it put that “Ratzinger’s change from liberal to Conservative was a matter of the Church coming to Ratzinger – not the other way around”. Remember, when he came to the Papal throne, he could have immediately re-implemented all the traditional practices (including the Tiara, the sedia gestatoria, and the like) – it had only been one pope, JPII, who did away with these things entirely. Instead, he continued the trend of his three immediate predecessors and stripped the Papal Tiara from his coat of arms. He authorized the celebration of the EF, but to my knowledge never celebrated one in public himself.

    In fact, when we do see substantial “reform of the reform”, it will almost certainly come from the top-down, because that is the only real way you can have decisive change in terms of what the church expects, rather than what it simply permits.

  10. acricketchirps says:

    What we’re saying here is that the traditionalist used to ensuring his left hand hasn’t a clue now has to ignore Mt 6:3-4 so that the bishop can see what a great guy he is and schedule more EF Masses. (/cynicism)

  11. Deo volente says:

    Father,

    Just a thought here. The Anniversary of the Coronation of the Supreme Pontiff is celebrated March 20th. This is stated in the Ordo of the Fraternal Society of St. Peter. I just posted this:

    Feria of Lent – Missa ‘Deus In Adiutorium’ Or Votive Mass for the Anniversary of the Coronation of the Pope – March 20th, 2014 – Propers http://tlm-md.blogspot.com/2014/03/feria-of-lent-missa-deus-in-adiutorium.html

    And yet, tomorrow is celebrated this way in the Novus Ordo calendar:

    Thursday of the Second Week of Lent
    http://usccb.org/bible/readings/032014.cfm

    So, we traditionalists are specifically praying for our Holy Father if we attend Mass tomorrow, but there will be no mention of his anniversary except in the Canon at any Novus Ordo Parish. Perhaps you could lead the charge tomorrow to make it well known that traditionalists (and all traditionalists read your blog, Father!), to make it a point to wish the Holy Father a Happy Anniversary tomorrow? Where Fr. Z. goes, the troops follow!

    Pax tecum,
    D.v.

  12. Arcgap says:

    Fr Z is exactly right on this point, I know many many traditionalists who seem to actually prefer things to go badly just so they can sit around and complain about the state of the world, The Church, the local parish and even the state of the soul of that guy over there. Being traditional should make you more Catholic along with everything that goes along with it. Read a proper biography of St Francis and honestly think about how you and your group would react to him if he was in the world today.

  13. robtbrown says:

    mburn16 says,
    Remember, when he came to the Papal throne, he could have immediately re-implemented all the traditional practices (including the Tiara, the sedia gestatoria, and the like) – it had only been one pope, JPII, who did away with these things entirely. Instead, he continued the trend of his three immediate predecessors and stripped the Papal Tiara from his coat of arms. He authorized the celebration of the EF, but to my knowledge never celebrated one in public himself.

    I am a lover of Latin liturgy, ad orientem celebration, and the thought of St Thomas. And I would like to see priestly formation reformed, so that once again those ordained would have the background of the study of Latin and Greek, a thorough course in philosophy, and proper presentation of theology.

    For the life of me, I cannot understand how any of those things depend on a pope wearing the papal tiara and using the sedia gestatoria. Paul VI did both, and it was under him that the liturgy was mangled and Catholic life all but destroyed.

  14. mburn16 says:

    @robtbrown-

    “Those things” do not “depend” on either the use of the Papal Tiara or the sedia gestatoria. I was simply using them as further evidence that Benedict XVI was not the apex of a traditionalist, undo-vatican-two, pre-council Papacy. The reforms of Paul VI were a matter of both style and substance…and both, I think it could be argued, deprived the church in the long run. You note that Paul VI used the Tiara, but this is only half true…he used it up until the conclusion of the council, and never after – so there is something of a link between the decline of what we might call the splendor of the Papacy and the overall reforms.

    In any case, you are right – we could see a return to the Latin Mass (or at least a more reverent liturgy), better priestly formation, etc. without the return of Papal ceremonial. Although I would still argue for bringing back the Papal ceremonial as well.

  15. Nathan says:

    Pope Francis will repudiate Humanae Vitae since too many children tends to perpetuate poverty.

    Isn’t it fascinating that the biggest push to relax the Church’s application of its teaching on marriage is coming from the theologians and bishops of the world’s richest countries? Perhaps the agenda is for the convenience of rich European and American secularists than pastoral solicitude for the poor, who don’t seem to be clamoring for such things?

    In Christ,

  16. BobP says:

    >By all means promote the widespread use of the Extraordinary Form, which can only be to the good, but it can be promoted without constantly trashing the very nature of the Ordinary Form (as opposed to trashing the crappy way it is usually celebrated, or else respectful criticism of the contents and process by which it was adopted, which is welcome)<

    Seems like that's like asking a politician to run a campaign without trashing his big opponent(s) and their policies. I suppose it's possible to do but when you just ask of more widespread use, do be prepared to answer some questions of why inter alia you want to replace their Mass with yours.

  17. McCall1981 says:

    Speaking of riding the bike, sounds like Card. Burke just gave a pretty awesome interview: “We need Catholics without compromise”:

    http://eponymousflower.blogspot.com/2014/03/cardinal-raymond-burke-we-need.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+TheEponymousFlower+(The+Eponymous+Flower)&m=1

    And

    http://veneremurcernui.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/cardinal-burke-we-need-better-catholics/

    This sounds great, but makes me worry a little that he will punished for speaking out.

  18. AvantiBev says:

    Why do so many ideas for “helping the poor” come down to giving out fish? Eventually you are hungry again. Selling Vatican artwork to make a one time gift to each poor person wouldn’t alleviate their poverty for more than a few days. The Church used to be bulwark of education for all.
    In some ways those, either devout or secularist citizens, who set up scholarships, work for charter schools in bad neighborhoods and provide venture capital for small but worthy start-ups both here and in Africa, Asia and South America, do more for the poor long term than all the soup kitchens our clergy and laity run.

  19. Per Signum Crucis says:

    Fr.Z’s reader got prediction #1 nearly right. As for Fr.Z’s own suggestion of pushing for more EF Masses as many times and in as many places as soon as possible, I have to align myself with those who think (or imply by their comments) that this is a very long-term and far from assured objective.

    This is not, I emphasise, not defeatist, merely pragmatic. Why? The option of direct mandate or example from the top down, isolated cases apart, has yet to materialise. I believe that BXVI was also pragmatic; like a gardener, he restored that which had been needlessly torn from the garden and was simply prepared to see whether it would flourish again in today’s conditions. Yes, he could have celebrated the EF publicly but that might have been interpreted as a manifestation of his will rather than that of the Church’s will. For a pontiff whose choice of footwear characterised some of the mainstream media’s perception of him, that now seems a wise move.

    Abp.Sample might seem a more recent and appropriate champion of the EF but, if I parse his homily correctly, his view is that as a licit rite of the Church, he and his clergy should know the EF for, if nothing else, it will enhance their celebration of the NO. So there too, a recognition that restoring the OF is not as simple as a ‘top-down’ approach, ‘biological solution’ or other favourable conditions notwithstanding. And there may, of course, be unfavourable conditions that need to be overcome at the local level; some of these can even be caused by too ardent or too long frustrated traditionalists as well as by difficulties in getting buy-in from non-traditional groups within a parish.

    For these reasons, I, a post-1962child, am not entirely convinced that bringing back the EF exactly as it was on a rabbit out of the hat basis is entirely feasible or desirable. It may be authentic but that in itself should not be the primary reason for restoring it on a universal basis in every parish every Sunday. Beyond providing the EF for those faithful who request it, bishops and priests are entitled to consider if it fully serves the needs, and meets the expectations, of their individual congregations. On that note, perhaps we should not dig too deeply into subjective discussion of the ‘beauty’ of the EF either; not every parish will want or be capable of a Pontifical High Mass.

    There are ways round these obstacles but let’s not kid ourselves that it is a quick or easy process.

  20. Sulo says:

    Pope Benedict gave you, boys and girls, over the course of his 8 years, a beautiful new bicycle! He gave you a direction, some encouragement, a snow cone, and a running push. Now, take off the damn training wheels and RIDE THE BIKE!*

    Traditionalists don’t want the bike. We want the Rolls-Royce back that was auctioned off.
    No more Assisi, no more false ecumenism, no more ambiguity, etc. However, it seems confusion is growing because of this Pope (and earlier Popes). Would you not say this is true? Hammer Lefebvre but hold hands with Schillebeeckx…

    *Is it not also the case that Benedict XVI wanted bicycles only for people already within the fold? Didn’t he say we shouldn’t try to convert the Jews?

  21. Uxixu says:

    I’ve been itching to “be the solution” before I approach our pastor, but unsure how to organize and get the word out to like minded. I’m worried to come across as critical and predispose the parish priest or associates against that end goal. With the pastor, 2 associates and the retired pastor emeritus along with 3 deacons and great traditional architecture (beautiful marble altar rail, great big choir loft and gloriously raised ambo) everything seems ripe to organize the stable group of faithful and an MC to organize the altar servers, cassock and surplices and find/replace the gates to the rail. Should I ask to put an ad in the bulletin or the like or begin with just those few who compliment my eldest daughter (7) on the mantilla she loves to wear?

    My impression is the schola already knows the main chants, they’re only infrequently allowed to replace some of the music during the liturgy (though unfortunately never yet the banal contemporary/Protestant-esque “gathering hymns”) but never all at once: for example, during Epiphany, we had a glorious Latin Sanctus but the rest was all vernacular. During Lent, we’re getting a nice Latin Agnus Dei, but the Sanctus is back to the vernacular. Given one of Father’s homilies expressing friendship with the Eastern Catholics and a concelebration he recently did with them, maybe he would be disposed but I’m unsure how to bring it up other than requesting an appointment but am mindful of adding to his burdens.

  22. Mike says:

    To connect a couple of Fr. Z’s strands: Enjoy the bike. Give the kid down the street who doesn’t have one a ride on yours. (Its Manufacturer built it to hold many.) And share your snow cone.

  23. Joseph-Mary says:

    I attend the weekly TLM at a nearby parish when I can (noon on Sunday) but am very active in my Novus Ordo parish. Our Masses there are offered properly except when the retired Father “Ad-libs” fill in. The music is the usual banal gather stuff but I don’t have to sing. I do not complain there but avoid Fr. “Ad-lib” because liturgical abuse is upsetting. I do know of those who call themselves traditional who have a tendency to become isolationists and look down on the Novus Ordo and speak against it. We cannot do that! I would like to see the TLM be a part of regular parish life and then also a return to the traditional rites for sacraments but that is done by being the charitable ones, the helpful ones, the non-complaining ones, and not the nutjobs that no one wants to emulate.

  24. Sulo says:

    I do know of those who call themselves traditional who have a tendency to become isolationists and look down on the Novus Ordo and speak against it. We cannot do that!

    Why not?

    In many instances I think we have the obligation to…

  25. Mike says:

    @Uxixu: If you have a message and a plan that will add to the beauty of worship in your parish (or expand its diversity, depending on which message you think will be better received), request an appointment with Father. Should Father be too busy to see you, he will know how not to put you onto his calendar; but if he is not, you won’t justly be able to complain about not being heard if you haven’t given him a chance.

  26. robtbrown says:

    mburn16 says:

    “Those things” do not “depend” on either the use of the Papal Tiara or the sedia gestatoria. I was simply using them as further evidence that Benedict XVI was not the apex of a traditionalist, undo-vatican-two, pre-council Papacy.

    Who cares whether BXVI was a traditionalist or the apex of traditionalism?

    And I’m not much for setting one era against another. And why long for an age that is gone? The entire point of Latin liturgy and Catholic doctrine is that it transcends any time and place. Ditto for the practical advantages of the religious habit and cassock.

    Obviously, those responsible for the post Vat II Church couldn’t have run a neighborhood meat market and produced a complete mess.

  27. CrimsonCatholic says:

    A few here have missed the point of your post, Father.

    Back to doing nothing and waiting for someone else to do it, it is the American way.

  28. Sulo says:

    @Crimson Catholic:

    We got the point. We just disagree.

    It doesn’t mean nothing ought to be done nor does it mean someone else should do it. Maybe that’s your “American way”, but it ain’t mine.

  29. SimonDodd says:

    mburn16 says: “[W]hen we do see substantial ‘reform of the reform,’ it will almost certainly come from the top-down, because that is the only real way you can have decisive change in terms of what the church expects, rather than what it simply permits.”

    It will certainly be perceived that way, and the critics will do their best to sell that narrative, because as I keep repeating (e.g. http://wdtprs.com/blog/2014/03/vaya-lio-another-church-gets-a-new-communion-rail/#comment-456476), the reform of the reform can only be the work of the clergy. It’s not a question of waiting for someone else to do it—the laity can’t implement the reforms. We can argue for them, we can support them, we can pray for them, we can pay for them, we can defend Father when he does them, but it is ultimately and essentially for Father to choose to do these things. The laity cannot reform the reform. We can’t install altar rails in the parish or banish the freestanding altars. We can’t eject the guitars and the hymns. We can’t inject chant. We can’t orient the celebrant or direct him to use this option or that option or this language or that, or this form or that. These things are emphatically and irreducibly the province of priests and bishops, and maybe they can’t do it without our help, but we can’t do it without their decision. The clergy wrecked the Mass, and only the clergy can fix it. We will help, but we can only help.

  30. djmarine81 says:

    Father Z. this is just what I needed to hear. I am a traditionalist. I had been withdrawing a little bit,and now I see that we must be an example in all legitimate areas of outreach in order to get people interested in what we want to say about the beauty and power of the EF. Thank You.

  31. everett says:

    Agreed. When I was in the seminary, our rector always stated that while previous reforms of the Church had usually come through religious orders, that the next reform would come through diocesan clergy. While we the laity can’t do the reform, we can certainly do everything possible to support our priests in reform, and that includes evangelizing the priests. One of the best ways to evangelize the priests is by participating in various parish activities, events and ministries, particularly those related to social charity.

    Doing so can also help to warm up other lay people to your intentions. I know people in my parish are much more tolerant of me and my more traditional tendencies because of my involvement in many of their things, which in time allowed me to become head of the liturgy committee (why we actually need a committee for liturgy is a separate issue) without too much resistance, and we’re now reading Sacrosanctum Concilium.