Archbp. Kurtz, as a “moderate”, fully supported the Traditional Roman Rite

I hope the libs at the NSR are celebrating Archbp. Kurtz’s support, as a “moderate”, of the older, traditional form of the Roman Rite.

True “moderates” are also true “traditionalists”.

Our long-time reader, friend, benefactor, commentator here Henry Edwards guides the Knoxville Latin Mass Community.  Archbp. Kurtz, the new President of the USCCB, had been Bishop of Knoxville.  Henry wrote:

Father Z,

The Knoxville Latin Mass Community is delighted with the election of Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz as president of the USCCB. As Bishop of Knoxville, in 2005 (before Summorum Pontificum) he approved our request for a regular Sunday traditional Latin Mass here, having previously welcomed a 2003 arrangement for visiting FSSP priests to celebrate one monthly in Chattanooga. In 2006 he accepted an invitation to preside in choir at one of our early TLM’s in Knoxville.

Throughout his tenure as our bishop–before being named Archbishop of Louisville–Bp. Kurtz was a generous supporter of our traditional Mass, and we counted him a warm and encouraging friend of our Latin Mass community. Building on the firm foundation that he established here, we now–with the continuing support of his successor Bishop Richard F. Stika–have regular EF Masses celebrated by diocesan priests in five different parish locations in our small diocese.

More generally, Ab. Kurtz is an unwavering supporter of authentic Catholic faith, doctrine, and practice in all that he says and does. For instance, if a letter to his local diocesan newspaper misstated Catholic belief, it risked being immediately followed in print by a correction firmly stating the official Church teaching on the matter. Now the whole Church in this country can benefit from Ab. Kurtz’s open and plain (though always politely) spoken affirmation of the unchanging principles we hold.

I am grateful to Prof. Edwards for the informative note about their experience with Archbp. Kurtz.  This is exactly where “moderates” should be!  Full support for His Holiness Benedict XVI’s vision and provisions, which are just as valid and in force today as they ever were.

I note, as an epilogue, that Card. Castrillon Hoyos (former Pres. of the PCED and Prefect of Clergy) recently explained that Pope Francis is not against the traditional forms.

Cardinal assures traditionalists of Pope’s support for Extraordinary Form

The former prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy has told a traditionalist group that Pope Francis has no intention of restricting access to the Extraordinary Form of the Latin liturgy.

“I met Pope Francis very recently and he told me that he has no problem with the old rite, and neither does he have any problem with lay groups and associations like yours that promote it,” Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos told members of Una Voce International (FIUV), who were in Rome for a general assembly. […]

Another source confirms what I suspected, and wrote, all along about the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate:

Castrillón also spoke about the issue surrounding the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate who were placed under the supervision of an external Commissioner. This triggered a great deal of controversy among “traditionalist” circles. “I would like to point out that I did not speak about this case during my meeting with Pope Francis. I have other sources but I think it’s safe to say that the insistence on the importance of celebrating the New Rite and the need for superiors to authorise the celebration of the Old Rite in this Franciscan community was in response to internal tensions within the order of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, and not due to any negative judgement of the traditional liturgy.

Your Excellencys, Fathers, lay brothers and sisters: If you truly want to be “moderate”, in the middle, get with the Summorum Pontificum program.

You don’t want to be on the wrong side of history.

I must visit Knoxville some day.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Fr. Z KUDOS, Francis, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. pberginjr says:

    It’s probably worth remembering to that +Kurtz is the ordinary of the diocese where the recent translation of the complete skeletal remains of two martyrs (Sts. Bonosa and Magnus, d. 307) occurred (@ St. Martin of Tours parish), in an EF Mass.

    Father Z. wrote about this here:

    AND here:

    Looks like the USCCB HAS picked well with HE +Kurtz .

  2. Nathan says:

    Fr. Z: “I must visit Knoxville some day.”

    When you do, Father, please take the gentlemanly Henry Edwards (one of the WDPRS regular contributors) out for a beer. I’ll be happy to reimburse you. [It would be my pleasure.]

    In Christ,

  3. tcreek says:

    The Extraordinary Form Mass is celebrated regularly at two parishes (at least) in Louisville KY, Guardian Angels and St. Martin of Tours. Here is a note from a priest friend on his blog last year.

    “This past Sunday I was installed as the 16th pastor of St. Martin of Tours parish in Louisville at the 10:00am Ordinary Form parish Mass by Archbishop Kurtz. His Excellency remained for the 12:00 noon Extraordinary Form Mass to attend in choir. Here’s some pictures from the two Masses.”

  4. introibo says:

    Good for Bishop Kurtz! I used to know him in his pre-bishop days when he was in residence at the cathedral parish in Allentown, PA..he was know then as being good, solid, right of center..but also involved with social agencies in the diocese. Bishop Kurtz, Rand Paul…Kentucky looks mighty inviting..

  5. tcreek says:

    Archbishop Kurtz praying at abortion facility in Louisville.

  6. mamajen says:

    Very glad to hear more positive news. We’re on a roll lately! Archbishop Kurtz sounds like a great choice.

  7. PNeri says:

    As a Knoxvillian I agree wholeheartedly with what Mr. Edwards has said about H.E. Archbishop Kurtz. He is a truly humble and orthodox Bishop. Keep him in your prayers. Notice also his former Chancellor the fine Bishop of Springfield, MO. Even though H.E. is from Pa we will claim him and tiny Knoxville with just 55,000 Catholics has given much to the Church in these two Bishops.

  8. Ann Roth says:

    Archbishop Kurtz has supported the EF here in Louisville as well. He prays at the abortion mill once per month, attends the annual pro life Mass at St. Martin of Tours and the annual Walk for Life (except when out of town). He co authored Gift of Joy: The Blessing of the Child in the Womb. He is strongly pro life. Read about his brother, George, who had Down Syndrome:

  9. Robbie says:

    Joseph Kurtz is my Archbishop. To his credit when he first arrived in 2007, he made the rounds at all of the parishes and then made a good effort to clean up liturgical abuse. Despite Kentucky being a fairly conservative state, Louisville is a hotbed for liberalism and the priests here are no exception. Polyester vestments are big here, but the days of guitars, liturgical dance, and drum sets have more or less disappeared. And it wasn’t too long ago that they were prevalent.

    Despite many beautiful, traditional churches, St. Martin of Tours remains the only parish that offers a TLM. It’s very close to the downtown area, but it is quite far away from the eastern portions of the city/county where more and more Catholics live. When I attend Mass there, I pass at least six other Catholic Churches on the way. The Mass at St. Martin was started under Archbishop Kelly, but there are no TLM’s that take place as a result of SP.

  10. acricketchirps says:

    Libs: “The Horror!”

  11. tcreek says:

    For those who wish to know more about Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, here is a long interview by John Allen a few years ago. As Robbie said above, Archbishop Kurtz has all but stopped the liturgical experiments going on around the archdiocese.

  12. Pio12 says:

    @Robbie- Fr Leger also has an EF Mass at Guardian Angels here in Louisville 7am Tues-Fri, and 8am on Sundays (usually a Low Mass) in case you’re interested. In addition, the Frs of Mercy down in Horsecave, KY (still in the archdiocese boundaries) also have an EF on Sundays at Our Lady of the Caves. Both parishes, I believe, started having EF Masses after SP and after Kurtz’s installment.

  13. Gabe says:

    I was waiting for you to post something about H.E.! Thanks for the info!

  14. Matt R says:

    Robbie, see above. When I am home from school, I serve at Guardian Angels on weekdays. Three other priests-I think-in addition to the pastors of SMT and GA can say the traditional form, and I think it is offered at a parish staffed by the Fathers of Mercy as well. We love Abp. Kurtz!

  15. Robbie says:

    Thanks for the info about other Masses offered in Louisville. Not to get to focused on one city, but I sure would like to see the TLM make its way out towards the Jefferson/Oldham line. Holy Spirit would be a great place to see it happened.

  16. AnimatedCatholic says:

    Wonderful news. If only I could attend Latin masses on a regular basis instead of the guitar masses I would, I wouldn’t be more then happy.

    Great to Hear, A more traditional priest has been elected head of the U.S.C.C.B.

    God bless you all.

  17. juventutemDC says:

    Juventutem DC enthusiastically welcomes His Excellency! We would love to have him say or assist at one of our Masses here in DC.

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