Mass was celebrated for Christ The King and the closing of the Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage events at Ss. Trinità dei Pellegrini.
The sanctuary all laid out for a Mass at the Faldstool. Abbots celebrate like bishops.
I have a couple observations about the pilgrimage.
First, it was a great event and I enjoyed and spiritually benefited from it. I prayed a lot and for many people and intentions. That was a success.
Second, it might have been international in a technical sense, but I think there were perhaps only two native English speakers involved as more than altar boys in the whole thing. It was too highly centered on the French and Italians. They may not have any idea of what the world is like beyond their little nearby horizons. They certainly didn’t bother to reach out much before the pilgrimage. Perhaps next year. (I’m am not the only person who noticed this, by the way.)
Third, they had photographers snapping endless photos of the liturgical eye candy in the sanctuary. That’s fine, I suppose. But… what they should have been also shooting are photos of huge crowds of people jamming the churches. They should have been focused also on the congregation, on lay people devoutly praying, their expressions of awe and happiness. Instead, if you find any photos (I haven’t yet), you may see quite a few dour looking French seminarians with plenty of lace. You might not see the side aisles packed with people standing, intently focused and joyful to have something so beautiful… the fruit of their sacrifices over the years. Their sacrifices… I remind the clergy.
Yes, the clergy play an important part in cultivating the fruits of Summorum Pontificum. To my mind, the real credit is do to lay people.
So, because I am a little annoyed, I won’t show lots of photos of the sanctuary with the sacred ministers doing things you have seen.
Instead, here is a shot from before Mass as the church is starting to fill up.
There was no place to stand or sit by the time Mass started. Even quite a few seminarians had to stand. I had no qualms about shooing a couple out of choir for priests. I commend one young man who cheerfully volunteered! Good for him. I’ll remember him in my prayers tonight.
And then a seriously clerical lunch… but with some prestigious lay people nearby at the same place, all by coincidence. Matthew Schellhorn, John Rao, Michael Matt, Jamie Bogle… and distinguished clerics at my table, whom I shan’t for the moment name.
Starters. Roman artichokes.
The all important puntarelle.
Then I had some sort of spaghetti like stuff and there was also a meat of some kind.
More later… maybe.
Oh… the Synod.
No… it was not a complete rout for the enemy. It was not a victory for us either. There are flaws in the final report and the voting on three paragraphs disappointed me. It could have been a lot worse… at the onset. My greatest fear now is that the enemy side will spin this as a victory and go forward with what they want anyway, no mater what the Pope eventually says. Keep in mind that the libs did not get what they wanted… entirely. That means that they will be angry and they will look for people to attack. I predict attacks in the press on people who are on the side of the angels. They will be isolated and targeted for discrediting.
And the Pope’s final speech…. meh. HERE
But… Humanae vitae wasn’t overturned. The homosexualists did not get their way this time. There are weak links, but it is not an immediate, total disaster for our ability still to speak of goodness, truth and morals.
As one of my interlocutors put it to me in a text:
“Summarizing one prelate’s view of the Synod’s outcome: ‘They didn’t beat us to a pulp as we thought they would and even though they’ll use ‘conscience’ to shred sacraments we managed to prevent them from saying it apertis verbis‘. Wow, that’s not the prelude to the enemy signing a surrender on USS Missouri is it….”
No, it isn’t.
Remember, everyone, that every Pontificate – whether you like it or now – is really a Parenthesis in the life and history of the Church. Pontificates come and they go. As the Romans say, “A Pope dies [shrug]… make another.” Yes, we know that even in writing, some parentheses are more important than others. Some add substantive material. Some add merely parenthetical comments not so central to the substance of the piece.
So, just as the Church had the Pontificate, rather, Parenthesis of … say, St. Pius V, and the Parenthesis of St. John Paul II (kind of a long one), and the Parenthesis of Benedict XVI, we now have the Parenthesis of Francis.
One of these days, in His own good time and way, God will hit the SHIFT+0 key and close the Parenthesis of Francis.
Then another Parenthesis will begin.
That’s how things work – for all of us. We must keep our historical perspective when it comes to synods and pontificates. These last two synods are minor parentheses within a, probably, short parenthesis. Remember that the Holy Father himself has hinted at a retirement after he hits 80. I suspect it will be after he attends the Aparecida Centenary in 2017, but I digress. May I should put that whole last part in, you know, parentheses.
OUR JOB, in the meantime, is to remain faithful to the teaching of the Church. We must now, more urgently than ever, review and study and understand well what the Holy Catholic Church says about matters such as “conscience”.
“Conscience” will now be the battle ground.
Those who would overturn the Church’s teaching will claim a victory through the discussions of the Synod on the grounds of a (false) sense of primacy of conscience. Others, understanding that conscience must be properly and responsibly well-formed will insist that mere appeal to conscience cannot justify objective sins. The first group will appeal to mercy and compassion (false mercy and compassion) and they will accuse the later group of being rigid legalists who have no care for people who are in tough situations, etc. You know the drill. For libs, anyone who is against sin (especially against the sin of over-use air-conditioning, and is against people of the same sex engaging in improper physical behavior, and anyone against public adulterers receiving the sacraments without any sort of amendment of life) is going to be accused of being against mercy.
You may need to steal yourselves, like the maquis, to take abuse from others because you are faithful to the Church’s teachings. Be ready and “Take Heart!” Be ready also to “Make a Mess” with your Rosary in one hand and Catechism of Catholic Church (and of Trent) in the other. Turn to the heavy tools of prayer and almsgiving and fasting. Use even the Bux Protocol. (He sat in front of me during Mass today.) No, the Bux Protocol is not the title of a Robert Ludlum novel. It is a tool of spiritual warfare to be drawn forth from its sheath by those who are well-confessed and who humbly place their prayers before God with sober joy. It is not for the frivolous or the pusillanimous.
I have a lot more to say about this and what I think is coming at us like an asteroid, but I’ll save that.
So, si vis pacem para bellum. Review your Faith. Be ready to give reasons, with charity and joy, for your Faith and the Hope that is in you. Do all that you can to support good vocations to the priesthood. Work to spread the use of the Extraordinary Form which, after the last few days, I am even more convinced is of critical importance for the defense of the Faith, the healing of the Faith, and the spread of the of the Faith.
Begin your preparation and…
GO TO CONFESSION!
And may God help us all.