MUST READ: Fr. Wylie’s hard-hitting sermon at Holy Innoncents (Manhattan, NYC) – How traditionalists are treated by priests and bishops

Holy Innocents, Manhattan

Remember my post “Dear Traditionalists,…” ?  I meant what I wrote then and I still mean it now.  In part, I wrote:

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.

[...]

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!

That, for the laity and priests who want to get involved.

There is another component, of course.

Those who want the traditional forms are often forced to go begging cap in hand and are made to feel – by bishops and priests FOR SHAME! – as if they were red-headed step-children.

I have been sent part of a transcript of a sermon given in New York City by Fr. J. Wylie at a favorite church of mine, Holy Innocents in the Garment District.  Holy Innocents has been a great success story.  However, a recommendation was made by a committee that it, along with Fr. Rutler’s parish St. Michael’s in Hell’s Kitchen, should be closed.

Fr. Wylie has some hard words, imbued with charity and priestly concern, to those who desire the traditional Roman Rite as well as to the priests and bishops who have, for decades, abused the same through neglect or outright persecution.  And you know who you are.

I hand it over to Fr. Wylie:

Dear friends – and mark well that I speak to you now from the prophetic heart of my sacerdotal paternity – Dom Prosper Gueranger has something important to say also about threes. Hear it well:

“[T]he sacraments, being visible signs, are an additional bond of unity between the members of the Church: we say additional, because these members have the two other strong links of union – submission to Peter and to the pastors sent by him and profession of the same faith. The Holy Ghost tells us, in the sacred Volume, that a threefold chord is not easily broken [Eccles. Iv 12]. Now we have such a one, and it keeps us in the glorious unity of the Church: hierarchy, dogma, and sacraments, all contribute to make us one Body. Everywhere, from north to south, and from east to west, the sacraments testify to the fraternity that exists amongst us; by them we know each other, no matter in what part of the globe we may be, and by the same we are known by heretics and infidels. These divine sacraments are the same in every country, how much soever the liturgical formulae of their administration may differ; they are the same in the graces they produce, they are the same in the signs whereby grace is produced – in a word, they are the same in all the essentials” (pp. 228-9).

Dom Gueranger writes these words for us under his entry for precisely this Fourth Sunday after Easter, when in this parish, as I understand, you will meet to discuss a path forward for the precarious existence of your own worshipping community. Will this be the path Christ charts or will we make of ourselves instruments of the evil one for division and derision? The test of this, as in all things, is charity. Deus caritas est; et ubi caritas est vera, Deus ibi est. Where there is a breakdown of charity, there also is the spirit of the antichrist. I urge you, therefore, to be obedient and to be charitable with your legitimate superiors in all this, as well as with each other. Be firm and clear, also, and just; however, let charity always be the litmus test of whom it is you serve.

Allow me to say, first of all, that it has been my great privilege to serve this community during my term in New York. I have benefitted and learned so much from you and from your piety and fidelity, vivacity and zeal. [I echo what Father is saying here...] I refer to all of you, now – you know who you are, I hope, from the love that I bear for you. Some I know better than others, through service at the altar – your acolytes and MCs; others I have loved with my voice and through my ears (like the organists and choir); others yet through my eyes, such as those who keep the church so beautiful, restored and adorned with flowers; others yet I bear with love, such as those who source and restore such magnificent vestments; many of you are known to me in the intimacy of the confessional or through the rich friendship of spiritual direction: upon all of you I gaze from this pulpit with a father’s love and admiration. Yet I must make my own the words of our Blessed Lord when I tell you that my heart breaks with pity to behold those who seem to be as though sheep without a shepherd.  [Do I hear an "Amen!"?]

Allow me to explain. When I first came to New York, I marveled at the freedom traditional Catholics had always enjoyed in New York. When the Mass of the Ages seemed everywhere in the world effectively to have been banned, here in New York it found a home. “What freedom!” I thought, “What magnanimity from the pastors of the Church here in this place!” Now, however, with the benefit of time and deeper understanding, I see the superficiality of this first appreciation. Indeed, such a conclusion would be more befitting the 1980s and 1990s when Catholic laypeople were organizing such masses here and there on an ad hoc basis. First at St. Agnes, I believe, and then elsewhere, “homes” were found for such communities … and this indeed did give for their members here a happier prospect than in many parts of the world. But in a post-Summorum Pontificum Church, after Pope Benedict courageously proclaimed that the extraordinary form of the liturgy pertains equally to the fulness of the Roman rite, this approach cannot any more, I think, be characterised as true magnanimity.

As I said: during the dark days of prohibition, New York seemed to be a happy place to be for you because of the indult-masses at places like St. Agnes, but in the fresh juridical freedom Summorum Pontificum brings, New York has become, in my view, a less felicitous place for traditional Catholics: because nothing is structured, nothing acknowledged. Who takes responsibility for you pastorally?

Pastores dabo vobis, the Lord promises Jeremiah: I will give you shepherds! Fundamentally – and this is something about which I urge you to think well and pray much about – as a priest, I have to say: I worry about the situation of traditional Catholics in the Archdiocese. Yes, the archdiocese ‘permits’ a traditional mass here or there — but responsibility for the matter continues to rest upon the initiative and resourcefulness of the laity, who with enormous difficulty have to source priests hither and thither as though we were seemingly still living in Reformation England or Cromwellian Ireland. Isn’t it high time for the Church to take pastoral responsibility also for these sheep? Do they not deserve a shepherd? a parish? or at least some sense of juridical security? What happens to you when the parish you are harbouring in closes its doors?  [Do I hear an "Amen!"?]

What will become of the priestly vocations aplenty I see in these numerous young men of such quality as we have in abundance serving here at Holy Innocents, St. Agnes and elsewhere – remaining as they do at the mercy (and sometimes, caprice) of ‘landlords’ who, for one reason or another, ‘permit’ their presence in their parishes? Doors everywere seem closing to them. Our Saviour has closed its doors to them. St. Agnes, for its part, guards its doors vigilantly to make sure they don’t enter the building 5 minutes too early or don’t overstay their welcome by 5 minutes more. Now, it seems, the doors of Holy Innocents will be closed to them, too. Taken together, this is, in my view, a clear instance of exclusion: an injustice which you should bring to the attention of your shepherd, I think. You are fully-fledged members of the baptised Faithful, for heaven’s sake: why are you scurrying about like ecclesiastical scavengers, hoping for a scrap or two to fall from the table for your very existence? [OORAH!] The precariousness of your community cannot hinge on a church building being available to you as though you were a mere sodality or guild. The days of renting space in hotels and the like must surely be over. You are not schismatics! Are you schismatics? [we are treated as if we are, while true schismatics and heretics get away with everything, and are even rewarded in some places.]

Whatever happens to Holy Innocents – and this will be the decision of your chief-shepherd here, who will base his decision on more information than any of us has at his or her disposal – you need to assert that you belong to the Church as fully as any other community. You have found a home here, largely through your own hard work and perseverence: no good shepherd could dispossess you of your home without providing safety and good pasture elsewhere. Parishioners of a Novus ordo parish closure might easily find another ‘home’ nearby; but what of you? You have a right to find the Mass (and not only on Sundays); and not only the Mass, but the other sacraments and rites of the Church. Closing this parish is more akin to closing a linguistic parish or a Oriental rite parish. What becomes of you?

No longer, I say, should you think of yourselves as squatters in the mighty edifice of Holy Church, nor should you find yourselves turned out like squatters. Shepherds must needs make difficult decisions, such as the erection or suppression of parishes – that is their onerous duty and in this they must have our obedience, charity and prayer: but never should they throw open the sheep-fold and allow the uncertain dispersion of their sheep into a world full of wolves. Charity, of course, is a two-way street.

Look.  This sermon describes a situation that exists not only in New York City.   It can be applied to many places without singling out Gotham.

I say again:

  • Do not give up.
  • Make your desires known in charity but clearly.
  • Put aside minor differences and band together.
  • Excel in works of mercy.
  • Be willing to work and sacrifice and give of time and talent and treasure.

Step up.  Don’t whine.  Think it through.  Set goals.  Make it happen.  You can do it.

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36 Responses to MUST READ: Fr. Wylie’s hard-hitting sermon at Holy Innoncents (Manhattan, NYC) – How traditionalists are treated by priests and bishops

  1. Priam1184 says:

    And stop calling yourselves and thinking of yourselves as ‘traditionalists.’ Either one is Catholic or one is not. We do not require another label and we do not need to divide ourselves into factions. Thank you Father for your endless repetition of the great advice in this post.

  2. rcg says:

    More importantly, we are not alone. If my parish were to close I would simply find a few others who could attend another local parish and begin a respectful and well organized press for an EF in the new home. I would not like it at first, but I wonder if closing these parishes could backfire; with many cells of traditionalists distributing themselves through the diocese?

  3. LeeF says:

    Although I don’t normally attend EF Masses I appreciate them and hope others who go mainly to NO do as well. Reading this post of father’s I remembered a line from the immortal (if often immoral) Andy Sipowicz of NYPD Blue fame: “no one looks after cops except cops.” And the same seems true of adherents of the EF: “no one looks after those devoted to the EF except those devoted to the EF.”

  4. Giuseppe says:

    How financially solvent are these churches threatened with closure? What is their membership like? I imagine these churches have plenty of members and abundant tithes. Growing up in a poor parish, I used to view the princes in the chancery as focused on $ and numbers, like an English lord. Even looking at parish closures through that lens, closing these TLM parishes seems stupid.

    Would Cardinal Dolan banish the faithful from his land?

  5. Sonshine135 says:

    We tend to think that the majority of Catholicism is liberal and doesn’t want to hear the whole truth. I would say, nothing can be further from the truth. We need to lose this thinking TODAY! Were I to break it down, You have about 10% of the church that is Liberal- Yes 10% and falling. You have about 20% that has woke up from the Matrix. That includes all of the present company on this blog sans a few lefties. You have about 70% of the church that doesn’t give a rip one way or the other, but who will do whatever they are told. If this is the case, I say it is time to take a stand! When your Priest and Bishops tell you there is no money to convert the altar so that an extraordinary form mass can take place, kindly remind them how the church seemed to find plenty of money in 1969 and 1970 to rip out the old altars, statues, and stained glass so that the ordinary form could be said. All new churches being built should have the facilities to perform both forms of the Mass, and their clergy trained to do so. Enough of the excuses. The Enemy will not prevail against the church. The victory is won. The numbers are on our side, and we fill the collection plates.

  6. Chon says:

    Yes! Stop calling yourselves “traditionalists.” I went to a TLM in another state and someone asked me if I was a traditionalist. I didn’t know what that was. When I responded with confusion, their response was not very kind. I still really don’t know the meaning of “traditionalist.”

  7. Athelstan says:

    Stunning.

    Even if you did not know who Fr. Wylie was, you’d figure out quickly from reading this that he couldn’t possibly be incardinated in the Archdiocese of New York. If he was, he’s be fielding a tough phone call from the chancery within five minutes after they got wind of it. As it is…

    Some critics of traditionalism will look at talk like this as an exercise in self-pity. But such Catholics have rights as well, rights recognized and guaranteed by the Church under multiple pontificates. And yet these rights are disparaged and ignored all the time, in a way hard to find parallels with – offenses against both justice and charity. There is not much being asked for here, and yet, it is plain that officials in many chanceries see the traditional sacraments as something radioactive – and view those fond of them in the same manner.

  8. PA mom says:

    That was no beating around the bush, was it?

    I cannot understand how, in Cardinal Dolan’s (“We are not a Church of No. We are a Church of Yes, and….”) diocese there would not be the warm inclusion of this parish which sounds to be making such mighty effort to survive. Is it that he does not know and the people running the diocese are making these decisions without his knowledge? Has he personally ever attended this parish? Has he been invited to see the determination and sacrifice which is at work there?
    Are there current seminarians from the parish? If so, does the diocese believe that their parish life had nothing to do with their openness to their vocation? Women religious?

  9. Athelstan says:

    Hello rcg,

    If my parish were to close I would simply find a few others who could attend another local parish and begin a respectful and well organized press for an EF in the new home.

    And I would support you in that – sometimes one simply has to make the best of a bad situation.

    But it’s also become clear just what the limitations of even regular (weekly) TLM locales, even on Sundays. Such arrangements are welcome, and they allow you to fulfill your Mass obligation in traditional form – but that is about all they do. If one dares to want a full spiritual formation in tradition, that’s usually not possible in such communities. Even if the priest himself has a deep traditional formation (which is generally not the case), there is usually no available of daily Mass, let alone all the other sacraments. And these are things that any other Catholic may usually take for granted.

    At present, there are only 75 parishes with a daily TLM, and only 30 of those are personal parishes devoted to traditional liturgy. All that out of nearly 200 dioceses in North America. While the Extraordinary Form truly is one of the two forms of the Roman Rite, with the full panoply of canonical protection, you could be forgiven for thinking that in most places, almost nothing has changed since 1984.

  10. iPadre says:

    One big AMEN to Fr. Wylie and you Fr. Z who have been saying this for years. Stop complaining and “Ride the dam bike!” I agree 100+%. That is why I went to St. John Cantius for a second time to learn to celebrate the Solemn High Mass. I’m working on details to hold one on the Solemnity of the Assumption.

    I also want to encourage all of my brother priests, even if they have learned to celebrate the EF on their own, to go to either St. John Cantius or the FSSP. We need precision. We don’t want to see the EF be turned into another sloppy celebration of the Mass. If your going to do it, do it right! Don’t make it up as you go along. I have already heard some horror stories. This is our heritage, don’t screw it up!

  11. rcg: If my parish were to close I would simply find a few others who could attend another local parish and begin a respectful and well organized press for an EF in the new home.

    I’m afraid this seems to entirely miss Fr. Wylie’s point, which is that the Church is structured the way it is for a reason and traditional Catholics deserve to be provided for within that structure just as others are. They shouldn’t have to migrate from place to place in search of sympathetic pastors.

    Priam1184: And stop calling yourselves and thinking of yourselves as ‘traditionalists.’ Either one is Catholic or one is not. We do not require another label…

    And “we” is? If I want to talk about the people who prefer the 1962 Missal, I’m going to need some label. Even “people who prefer the 1962 Missal” is a label. One will naturally have factions, it’s factionalism that must be avoided.

  12. Instead of thinking in terms of itinerant “traditionalist cells” or separate communities and ghetto parishes, would it be healthier—for themselves, for the Mass, and for the Church—for those who love the TLM to be engaged contributing members of regular Catholic parishes where the EF Mass is a stable and accepted feature of the parish schedule, celebrated by diocesan parish clergy rather than visiting circuit-riders, where the OF and EF folks and liturgies are mutually supportive rather than “us and them”?

  13. benedetta says:

    Amen, amen.

  14. MarkG says:

    While it probably would not apply in the New York City case:
    One other suggestion might be to team up with an Eastern Rite and/or an Anglican Rite that also don’t have a full time Church assigned to them.
    In many places the TLM, Eastern Rite, and/or Anglican Rites are spread out and have to beg for time slots at 2 or 3 local parishes around their new Mass schedules.
    Maybe make a case to the Bishop that the parish would be financially sound if it were to have a combination if the TLM cannot support a parish by itself.

  15. Kathleen10 says:

    Kudos to Fr. Wylie and Fr. Z, true shepherds of the flock!

  16. LeeF says:

    It is natural for those of you who wish to attend the EF to find an older beautiful church instead of one of the newer or wreckovated ones. But those will mostly be found in deteriorating inner cities which makes it hard to have the membership needed to provide financial security.

    Instead why not seek the most tolerable large suburban parish with a school to form a stable group who can request the EF. Once you have your foot in such a church, then you can remind the ordinary of his duty to care for your spiritual needs by ensuring that the next pastor is willing to celebrate the EF along with the NO, instead of you having to scour the landscape for a priest to come in for that purpose. This would the nightmare for those opposing the EF, i.e. it being set up in such a large suburban parish with a school.

  17. Patti Day says:

    Wow, Father Wylie makes me want to put on my armor and pick up my two-edged sword. But…look at that picture of the exterior. You can see the value of the site is its potential for development into a high-rise office complex, which makes it an obvious target for closure whenever budget time rolls around. Sad.

  18. ktfaith says:

    While I am trying very hard not to despair about this situation with The Church of the Holy Innocents, I pray that the outcome will be to keep this church and its entire parish community in tact.

    Holy Innocents means so much to me in many ways; the TLM, the parish members, the reverent Novus Ordo Mass, the daily exposition of the Blessed Sacrament ALL AFTERNOON, the constant flow of devout faithful and curious tourists in and out of its doors, the beautiful Burmidi mural of our Lord’s crucifixion, etc. There are countless reasons why this parish is very special to me and to many others.

    Here was the very first time I was able to experience the Extraordinary form of the Mass. Here is where I spent many hours in front of the Blessed Sacrament communing with my Lord. Here is where I attended the most reverent Novus Ordo Mass by a faithful and devout pastor. Here is where I was able to enjoy the Sacrament of Confession and receive gentle guidance, compassionate encouragement and the gift absolution and God’s graces from a priest behind the screen. Here is where I greatly strengthened my Catholic faith and quite literally saved it from being lost completely.

    I encourage both who enjoy the Extraordinary form of the Mass AS WELL AS those who enjoy the Novus Ordo Mass at Holy Innocents join together to keep her doors open. Because of its strategic location, it is a quiet place of peace, a balm soothing the souls entering its doors from the chaos of the city. If it indeed does close it will be a tragic loss of an opportunity for the Church to draw souls to the faith.

  19. benedetta says:

    The NYTimes article of today states that a consultant is guiding the process of which parishes in the Archdiocese to close.

  20. SPWang says:

    I need a recording of this sermon!

  21. acardnal says:

    iPadre wrote, “I also want to encourage all of my brother priests, even if they have learned to celebrate the EF on their own, to go to either St. John Cantius or the FSSP. We need precision. We don’t want to see the EF be turned into another sloppy celebration of the Mass. If your going to do it, do it right! Don’t make it up as you go along. I have already heard some horror stories. This is our heritage, don’t screw it up!”

    Thanks for that comment. I paid for a parish priest to attend a five-day workshop to learn the EF Mass at the FSSP seminary. He told me he was going to teach himself how to celebrate it. When he returned from the workshop he was effusive in his gratitude and said he never would have been able to learn how to celebrate the EF correctly if he had taught himself! One reason: there are a lot more rubrics and physical gestures in the EF to learn.

    As iPadre said, “If your going to do it, do it right! Don’t make it up as you go along. I have already heard some horror stories. This is our heritage, don’t screw it up!”

    Say the black, do the red.

  22. Fr. Wylie is at the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the UN, and is a visiting priest from the diocese of Johannesburg, South Africa. He has been in NYC for about 3 years, and personally told me that, even though he has presided over Masses at a number of different parishes, he is always bowled over the enthusiasm and dedication of the Traditional Latin Mass community at Holy Innocents. Where parishes struggle to find a single altar server for Mass, Holy Innocents regularly has 18–and they are boys who come from everywhere (Queens, the Bronx, etc.) and will sit on the train for an hour just to get to Mass (and even without their parents!).

    The problem here is that, thus far, no provision has been made for this community. They are left to fend for themselves. Such a thing would be unthinkable for, say, a Croation or Spanish community, which the diocese will bend over backwards to serve. But the TLM community must call around weekly to find any priest minimally competent to offer the EF Mass–and nothing has changed. Now they may be turned out of their parish (the only church in the archdiocese that offers a daily TLM) without any provision made for them.

  23. HeatherPA says:

    Thank you for this post, Father Z. It is frustrating, to say the least, when one lives in one of the very arid dioceses in the US, indeed a diocese that has been very aloof to the EF Mass. We have offered to pay our parish priest’s compete expenses to attend an FSSP training retreat week for the EF (to include airfare and car rental) and was rebuffed; offered to the Diocese to pay for any priest of their designation for the same deal, so he could perhaps do an EF mass once a month in our rural area for the large group of Catholics scattered through 3 counties that desire the EF, and heard nothing back from the diocese in the 8 months since; the group of Catholics desiring the EF finally got a priest sent to say a Missa Cantata on the absolute coldest day of the winter (below zero temps) with the promise of “if attendance recorded was good, we will try to do once a month EF”—attendance was packed and we have had crickets ever since from the Diocese, and that was in January. We have walked on eggshells and used the utmost respect with all emails and requests, as we know the sentiment and attitude is not supportive and we certainly do not want to annoy or aggravate the diocese.
    We pray and fast. What else could we do? Suggestions?

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  25. Vecchio di Londra says:

    perhaps we are too conveniently labelling ourselves with this ‘traditionalist’ marque that allows us to be picked off and shot down too easily.
    We need to carry on actively, patiently, constantly, spelling out why tradition itself – of doctrine, of practice – is such an integral part of the Catholic faith, and why its continued liturgical expression, in the precisely-upheld centuries-old Roman Rite and the sacred Latin language of its composition, is so vital.
    And yes, we must demand – ad orientem Holy Mass, Communion kneeling and on the tongue and frequent Eucharistic Adoration, the Stations of the Cross during Lent.
    Above all, we must go, attend, as often and as much as we humanly can. And donate! Faithful priests, beautiful churches, and we put scraps in the plate…I wonder if we’ve grown a little complacent since Summorum Pontificum: the door was half-opened, but did we push our way in as we should?

  26. RJHighland says:

    Bravo Fr. Wylie, keep up the good fight. The game of whack-a-mole continues in the Church. Take out a leftists, hammer the traditionalist and try to guide the flock nicely to the lukewarm middle. I seem to recall something about our Lord referencing the lukewarm in faith. It is funny that 50 yrs ago those that attended the TLM were at the center of the Church, now the Church rules from a center that is somewhere between the pregressive heretics and the TLM. The dreeded shifting center. I’m now considered a radical traditionalist where 50 yrs. ago I would be the average Joe going to Mass. Who changed? Fr. Z would just be one of the many good preists in the Church, in 2014 he is looked as exceptional because he simply pratices and teaches the faith the way it was handed down. What caused this change simply put Vatican II and the Novus Ordo. They both gave the progressives the wiggle room they needed to be tear the Church apart. Pope Benedict XVI freed the TLM but it is our job to preserve it because the modernists will try to put it back in the box. Those that love the old ways always seem to make the modernists job easier by fighting amoung ourselves though. I am just as guilty as the next guy.

  27. Netmilsmom says:

    We are in dire need of a Priest who speaks Croatian and English. If any young traditional Priests who can celebrate the EF and speak Croatian, needs a home, we’ve got one for you here.
    We have a parish with a packed EF on Saturdays near us. If a Priest would celebrate the EF on Sundays he would have an instant congregation and the gratitude of many good Catholics.
    If we don’t get a Priest, our parish will be closed or clustered. Right now we have a traditional OF. We will lose it all.

  28. Athelstan says:

    My heart breaks reading HeatherPA’s story.

    As bad as things are in my diocese, it’s helpful to remember that there are Catholics attached to tradition who have it worse.

    The truth is that there’s little one can do when the ordinary’s heart is hardened – by hatred of the thing itself, or by fear – against making room for tradition; it is little better when the ordinary is passive but served by chancery officials who are hardened. One should never give up, but it is possible that you have to wait until there’s a change of leadership – this is what has happened in many places where things finally improved. In the meantime, you have a heavy cross to bear.

    I think we have seen most of the last of bishops who have a Pavlovian hatred of tradition, at least in the U.S. – they existed in regiments in the 70′s, 80′s, and even 90′s. One can still find them serving as chancellors, vicar generals, or cathedral and seminary rectors, of course, to some degree (certainly this is the case in the chancery located a few blocks from where I am typing these words). The greater problem now is that many act and think like managers, averse to anything outside the norms, things that create any discomfort level or impose extra burdens or risks. Such prelates and priests may not have started that way, but decades in Church administration and service may have beaten them down to such a state.

    The truth is . . . if it is true that most tradition-oriented Catholics are not being spiritually fed by their shepherds, I don’t think all that much is being done for most Catholics in “mainstream” diocesan life, either.

  29. Gail F says:

    Wow. What a hard-hitting “call to action.” What wisdom and tact is called for here. I am not a “TLM person” (I’m not going to say “traditionalist” because Priam is correct, that’s a divisive term that trivializes people). I worship pretty much anywhere. But I do love the TLM and I do not understand the antipathy toward it. He is right, these people are CATHOLICS live all the rest, they should not have to beg for scraps. That said, they must — MUST — handle this in a positive and loving way. This is a case, it seems to me, when being angry, hurt, demanding, and outraged (no matter how justified) will backfire. But they must be persistent and not take no for an answer — and PRAY for the ability to do so! If I were a member of this parish I would write a letter EVERY DAY to Cardinal Dolan and put in a daily call. Polite, cheerful, and to the point — I’d have maybe three points and make them in each contact. And then I’d see if I could get everyone else to do the same. The folks on the political left who get their way so often know how to do this. They just get a lot of people to sign useless petitions, write emails and letters, and make phone calls. Squeaky wheel, folks.

  30. NoraLee9 says:

    Well if they close Holy Innocents, it will be the second time the archdiocese has done this to the EF community. In 2003-04, after the EF and Armenian communities had spent over 1 million dollars to restore the National Shrine of St. Anne’s, the Archdiocese sold it to NYU and tore it down. The very same community raised almost a half million to restore the Brumidi and other priceless artwork in the church. The work is done. The place looks great. And now here comes the wrecking ball again. Sorry folks if I feel like I asked for bread and got handed a serpent.

  31. benedetta says:

    I still believe that in the end Cardinal Dolan will do the right thing. No matter the nytimes article, nor the other currents in the air right now, it would be unthinkable knowing him to willingly suppress or persecute Catholic orthodoxy. I think if for no other reason that such persecution is fundamentally inconsistent with mercy. But also, I think, it is certainly valid that if there are to be various parishes established or flourishing in the name of one regime or another ideologically, that to drive EF worshipping Catholics away would smack as favoritism, or something else altogether. Just because one or another sentiment may prevail in Manhattan at the moment does not mean that orthodoxy should not be permitted to co-exist in the same space. Again, to rush towards that result would really confound what mercy is purportedly all about, and actually in my opinion signals a rather desperate and altogether corrupt spirit on the part of those who would prevail at all costs, not a good foundation for our youth for the future on which to build a joyful life in the faith.

    Certainly the time of the indult Mass is over. EF worshippers need solid pastors to guide them. There are numerous ways practically and pastorally for this, really logistically not difficult. I should think that Holy Innocents would be an excellent place, given its history in Manhattan as the center of prolife activity, for a good pastor to offer worthy worship and edifying formation for Catholics wherever situated. One should also always keep in mind that Manhattan is a place where a great many Catholics “live” during the day and travel elsewhere home at night. We all know that those who receive daily sacraments are the lifeblood of the Church in so many ways. Holy Innocents of course is well positioned to minister to these Catholics who contribute greatly to the life of the city by their sanctifying presence working in the city, by their professional lives, beacons for so many others who pass through or are waylaid or are on business or live there, beacons, for Christ.

  32. rcg says:

    Thank you Athelstan and Samuel J. Howard for your thoughtful responses. My parish is operating sort of like Henry Edwards in that put (then) new Bishop allowed the FSSP to buy and restore a shuttered parish in a drug and gang infested part of town. The many regular parishes in town, save one, are so hostile toward NO that it is difficult to disclose where attends Mass for fear of the reaction. The bug has bit, however, and I have a network of devoted, truly devoted, TLM participants to network and infiltrate another parish, if need be. Whole families of trained altar servers, MC, etc. and women who welcome, feed and tend to all who enter. You are talking about families of ten who make their own clothes, raise their food and repair their equipment. Smashing this parish would be terrible, but we would survive. And thrive.

  33. RJHighland says:

    Does anybody else find it ironic that Holy Innocense Church could be closed down in the abortion capital of the world? It is so appropriate that the TLM is being offered in a Church honoring the Holy Innoncents in NYC and I pray that the campaign to hold onto it works. What a great theme for Traditionalists and all faithful Catholics to rally around. “We will not close this Church not even if Herrod the Great brought his army to the front steps!” Rally the pro-life faithful in New York and surrounding areas to fight for the Holy Innoncents! Let’s Roll!!!!

  34. MikeM says:

    “Sorry folks if I feel like I asked for bread and got handed a serpent.”

    That seems to be the way the consultants are telling our bishops it is to be done. In my diocese, it’s not the EF attendees who are being specifically targeted… Prodding people to raise money for something that they care about, only to shut it down and pocket the cash seems to be the MO around here. And it’s dishonest, it’s short-sighted and it’s awful management.

  35. i don’t like how the 2 groups treat each other and i don’t care that we’re thinking in terms of groups.

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