TRAD LIVES MATTER! US Bishop attacks “ad orientem” worship, overrides Summorum Pontificum

17_01_18_Rockford_01UPDATE: COMMENTS CLOSED.

___ Originally Published on: Jan 19, 2017 @ 14:25 ___

I received a copy of a letter sent by the Bishop of Rockford, Most Rev. David J. Malloy, to the priests of that diocese.

In this letter, a follow up to their diocesan “Presbytery Day” (where he spoke to them about “challenges”), the bishop writes:

Following that talk, I write now to ask for your cooperation on several matters that have since been referred to me in connection with my comments last September:

First, as I noted at that time, we are all aware of the on-going discussion surrounding the celebration of the Mass “ad orientem.  However, for the reasons I discussed at that time, and in order to underscore our unity in prayer and to avoid differences between and even within parishes on this point, I ask that no Masses be celebrated “ad orientem” without my permission.

It seems to me that the bishop is, in this regard making a request, but he confuses the request by adding the word “permission”.  This letter has no juridical form or force.  It doesn’t make diocesan law.

Frankly, I don’t think a bishop can forbid celebration ad orientem.  Priests can follow the rubrics of the Roman Missal.  I don’t think that they can be forbidden from following the rubrics.  Should they be prudent about how they implement it?  Sure!  However, it’s hardly a sign of confidence in the priests to forbid them to exercise a legitimate pastoral decision.

However, there’s more (my emphases):

Second, for similar reasons, in keeping with Art. 5 § 1 of Summorum Pontificum, and with due regard to Art. 2 of that same document, Masses are not to be celebrated using the Extraordinary Form without my permission.

Hmmm….  No.  His permission?  Fail.

Art. 2 of Summorum Pontificum says (my emphases):

Art. 2. In Missis sine populo celebratis, quilibet sacerdos catholicus ritus latini, sive saecularis sive religiosus, uti potest aut Missali Romano a beato Papa Ioanne XXIII anno 1962 edito, aut Missali Romano a Summo Pontifice Paulo VI anno 1970 promulgato, et quidem qualibet die, excepto Triduo Sacro. Ad talem celebrationem secundum unum alterumve Missale, sacerdos nulla eget licentia, nec Sedis Apostolicae nec Ordinarii sui.

Art. 2. In Masses celebrated without the people, any priest whosoever of the Latin Rite, whether secular of religious, can use either the Missale Romanum issued in 1962 by Bl. John XXIII, or the Missale Romanum promulgated in 1970 by the Supreme Pontiff Paul VI, and indeed on anyday whatsoever except during the Sacred Triduum. For such a celebration according to one or the other Missal, a priest does not need permission, neither from the Apostolic See nor from his Ordinary.

The Bishop of Rockford wrote “with due regard to Art. 2” and then he completely ignored it and wrote something that precisely contradicted it.  According to Art. 2, priests of that diocese – or any other diocese in the world for that matter – do not need his permission.  Granted Art. 2 says “without the people”, but the Bishop did not restrict himself to that.  And there is also the next part.

Let’s look at Art. 5, § 1:

Art. 5, § 1. In paroeciis, ubi coetus fidelium traditioni liturgicae antecedenti adhaerentium stabiliter exsistit, parochus eorum petitiones ad celebrandam sanctam Missam iuxta ritum Missalis Romani anno 1962 editi, libenter suscipiat. Ipse videat ut harmonice concordetur bonum horum fidelium cum ordinaria paroeciae pastorali cura, sub Episcopi regimine ad normam canonis 392, discordiam vitando et totius Ecclesiae unitatem fovendo.

Art. 5, § 1. In parishes, where there is stably present a group of the faithful attached to the previous liturgical tradition, let the pastor willingly receive their petitions that Mass be celebrated according to the Rite of the Missale Romanum issued in 1962. Let him see to it that the good of these faithful be harmoniously brought into accord with the ordinary pastoral care of the parish, under the governance of the Bishop according to canon 392, by avoiding discord and by fostering the unity of the whole Church.

QUAERUNTUR: How does it foster “the unity of the whole Church” if some people in a diocese are made by the bishop to feel like second-class Catholics?

How do you “avoid discord” by managing these traditionally inclined faithful Catholics (with their large families) when at the same time you allow every other parish to do just about anything they want without the slightest peep, even in the face of absurd innovations or liturgical abuses?

civil rights Birmingham firehose students

Birmingham – 1963

Just go ahead and manage the, for example, Spanish-speaking groups in the same way that you treat traditional Catholic.  No no.. that wouldn’t be “pastoral” (pronounced “pastORal”, or worse, “past-OR-ee-al”).

Apparently you can treat Catholics who desire traditional expressions of our Faith and of our sacred worship any way you want.  No problem, they’re a small group and they’re weak and they tend to obey, so… GET ‘EM! 

Maybe the people of Rockford should start referring to the 1963 Missale!  The Missal of St. John XXIII!

The Church’s universal law directs priests to receive the petitions of the faithful to celebrate Holy Mass with the 1962 – 1963 Missal.  This was Pope Benedict’s wish, which is pastoral and in keeping with what St. John Paul II wrote in Ecclesia Dei adflicta. But the local bishop directs the priest to refuse the petitions of the faithful.  St. John Paul had written – nay rather had commanded by his Apostolic authority that bishops should be generous to the faithful who have these “legitimate” aspirations.

The Bishop of Rockford seems openly inimical to the pastoral concerns of Benedict XVI and St. John Paul in telling his priests to violate Summorum Pontificum and saying that priests don’t have the right to follow the rubrics even of the 2011 Missal.  Moreover, I have not found anything in the explanatory document Universae Ecclesiae that supports what the Bishop of Rockford has done.

But, “Will it play in Peoria?”

civil rights fire hoseSome of you younger readers might not know that phrase.  The idea is this: if a product or a show will have some success in the “fly over” states, in a “test market”, maybe it is good enough to bring to more “important” places.

Choose your analogy.  Trial balloon?  Canary in the coal mine?  Will it play in Rockford?

It is possible that this ultra vires move on the part of the Bishop of Rockford is a trial balloon.  A couple of other bishops sent up trial balloons against ad orientem worship not long ago.  Think also about The Maltese Fiasco. These are small dioceses, where well-organized groups of laity with priests having a will to resist is unlikely.  A raw exercise of power is tough for the average diocesan priest to handle: bishops can crucify a priest in a thousand creative ways, especially in this new age of mercy, wherein, under the surface, mercy isn’t mercy at all.  Chop down a few priests… pour encourager les autres.

What a loving gesture to a “periphery”.  What way to give due regard to their rights.

Do “Trad Lives Matter”?

civil rights Birmingham dogs sm

The moderation queue is ON.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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This entry was posted in Goat Rodeos, Liberals, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Mail from priests, Pò sì jiù, Si vis pacem para bellum!, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices, The Olympian Middle, Turn Towards The Lord, Wherein Fr. Z Rants, You must be joking! and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Ann Malley says:

    “…However, for the reasons I discussed at that time, and in order to underscore our unity in prayer and to avoid differences between and even within parishes on this point.”

    So, let us all show unity in prayer ( priest and people) in praying to God, not each other as that destroys unity with the truth of our condition as creatures.

    But I suppose the focus is on outward appearances of “unity” regardless of the disconnect that washes the flotsam ever further away from the rock.

  2. Prayerful says:

    It is clearly illegal, but what measure can be taken against a lawless bishop if he follows a direction of hostility to Tradition, which is evidently approved in Rome (as in the occupant of the Chair of Peter who has called Traditionalists mentally ill etc)?

  3. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:


  4. aptak says:

    This is my diocese. Shortly after this Bishop was installed, suddenly several reputable priests with a traditional bent have disappeared into the night. They have not been reassigned since then and remain in limbo. Vocations have dropped during his tenure as compared to the time period of the previous Bishop who has passed away. He remains mostly silent on any critical public matter. Attendance at the mens conferences of which he presides has dropped significantly, since there is no real strength of conviction or missionary zeal. I sure hope this will not affect St Mary’s Oratory in Rockford, which offers the traditional mass by the ICKSP.

  5. un-ionized says:

    When Summorum Pontificum came out our bishop here said that no one was to say the Mass according to the traditional missal without his permission. I wondered about it at the time whether he was allowed to do that. Nobody said anything I don’t think. At the time somebody on this blog said that he was maybe wanting to ensure that it would be said properly, the bishop made it sound like there would be some sort of test to see if a particular priest could say it properly. I don’t know. I think the fire hose and dog pictures are maybe a little much.

  6. acardnal says:

    Well, a priest in the D. of Rockford who wants to celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form can always bring this matter to the attention of the PCED for adjudication.

  7. Benedict Joseph says:

    It is rumored that a similar request is soon to be announced in my diocese — which will go nameless. I’m sure when it happens Father Z will get wind of it and I hope he brings the same attention to it as he has with Rockford.
    Our parish celebrates the Novus Ordo ad orientem. No sign of peace is exchanged between the congregants. These two elements alone bring such an extra degree of reverence and allow for greater prayerfulness. We still have awful music, awful architecture — everything to make the V2 crowd feel warm and comfortable.
    It is beyond me how anyone could make an issue of this, but apparently it allows some to assert themselves. I guess that is purpose enough.
    No money for the annual appeal this year. It will go to where mass is allowed to be celebrated properly.

  8. Lavrans says:

    Does the bishop allow the FSSP to operate in his diocese? I would hope so, for no other reason that perhaps he thinks Catholics already have a place to go to find the Extraordinary Form. But even if that is the case, he still does not have the power to prevent any priest from praying the Mass according to the Missal, in either Ordinary or Extraordinary Form. But if it is uniformity he wants, then he also ought to attempt to go above and beyond the law in other areas too (why not, right?). All altar boys or all altar girls? All the same music? No music? All the same lectors or lectoresses? All EMHCs? No EMHCs? All dancing? No dancing? Clowns or no? Polka or no? If its uniformity he wants, uniformity he gets. The Diocese of Rockford, the Polka Mass Capital of the World, featuring the Hymnal by the Kenosha Kickers.

  9. Fr. Timothy Ferguson says:

    Bishop Malloy’s approach toward the traditionally minded priests and laity in his diocese reminds me of the famous words of Captain Bligh, “The floggings will continue until morale improves.”

  10. Emilio says:

    The late Bishop Thomas Doran must be turning in his grave now.

  11. Peter in Canberra says:

    Even from a secular business management perspective, surely this action is conflating and focussing on a (supposed) problem ? Surely the diocese has bigger and more pressing fish to fry?
    But my own experience of bishops does indicate that they are often out of touch with reality and more than happy to sieve gnats while the house falls down around them.

  12. Ariseyedead says:

    Things have changed quite a bit in the Diocese of Rockford since the retirement of the late Bishop Thomas Doran. I guess the numbers at St. Mary Oratory in Rockford (Institute of Christ the King’s apostolate) are going to go through the roof!

  13. Bosco says:

    Perhaps rather than “Will it play in Peoria?”, Father, the real question is “Wll it play in Casa Santa Marta?”.

  14. Mike of Arkansas says:

    I would have said “Trad Souls Matter”.

  15. Huber says:

    I’d advise the good bishop that there’ll be plenty enough versus populum in hell, where all are “aversio a Deo”…

  16. Akita says:

    Time to get your “priest holes” installed, folks. Don’t delay, do it today!

  17. Kent Wendler says:

    “Will it play in Peoria?”

    It so happens that I live in the Diocese of Peoria, and I have heard nothing like this from Bishop Jenky. But then I personally know of no local Mass celebrated ad orientem (let alone traditional). But then I’m also about 6 weeks behind in reading my diocesan newspaper – I just now discovered that we’ve been dispensed from Lenten abstinence on the Feast of St. Patrick.

    I’ve never spoken to Bp. Jenky – only seen him from a distance. I hardly even have casual conversation with my parish priests, let alone about something substantial, like this. I suspect that mine is a common experience among practicing Catholics.

  18. Tom A. says:

    In the pictures above, citizens are openly defying legitimate authority. When will priests and laity begin to openly defy legitmate church authority when they rule unjustly.

  19. Athelstan says:

    Obviously, this directive flies (alas) in the face Summorum Pontificum Art 2 (and its clarifying legislation in Universae Ecclesiae; but as regards the question of ad orientem celebration in the Ordinary Form, would not Prot. No 2036/00/L from the Congregation of Divine Worship in 2000 be on point here, too?

    The question posed there (stemming from a certain infamous attempt by a bishop to squash ad orientem celebration at Mother Angelica’s convent on EWTN broadcasts) was bit stronger: whether “the position of the priest versus absidem [facing towards the apse] is to be excluded.” The answer, of course, was “negative.”

    Now with this case in Rockford, the bishop does not seem to be banning celebration ad orientem altogether, merely requiring priests to gain “permission” from him first. At the very least, however, that seems to fly in the face of the spirit of Prot. No 2036/00/L – and, of course, as you point out, Fr Z, the GIRM and the missal as well.

  20. Athelstan says:

    P.S. I’m going to assume that existing TLM’s in the Diocese of Rockford, such as that of the Institute of Christ the King (ICRSS) parish, are grandfathered in here. But if I were one of those clergy, this would more than raise my eye brow.

  21. jhayes says:

    Summorum pontificum talks about private Masses in Article 2 and says a priest doesn’t need his ordinary’s permission to celebrate a private Mass in the EF.

    Article 5 talks about public Masses (e.g. The 10:00 am Sunday Mass) and encourages a pastor to respond favorably to a group requesting the EF and to “see to it that the good of these faithful be harmoniously brought into accord with the ordinary pastoral care of the parish, under the governance of the Bishop according to canon 392″

    It seems to me that what the Bishop of Rockford is saying is “if you’ve been approached by a group that wants the EF, talk to me before you celebrate a public Mass in the EF, because I have a responsibility under CIC 392.”

    It’s not clear to me that he’s saying not to celebrate a private Mass in the EF. It’s arguable that “with due regard to Article 2” is there to make clear that it isn’t necessary to talk to him before celebrating a private EF Mass.

  22. tradition4all says:

    The late, great Bishop of Rockford, the Most. Rev. Thomas G. Doran (who confirmed me), was a friend of the Traditional Latin Mass. He was a bishop in the same mold as Bishop Morlino, just across the state line from the Rockford Diocese (my home diocese). Bishop Doran died in September of last year. See how quickly the new bishop has moved since? I see no chance this flagrant abuse would have stood with Bishop Doran alive. When I heard that Bishop Malloy was a Marquette alumnus (like me), I was concerned.

  23. Rod Halvorsen says:

    Father, you nailed it with “Trial Balloon”.

    Except…the administration of the Church {AKA hierarchical culture} has now descended so far into the abyss of Eastern Orthodox-style pseudo-Catholic “Synodal Church” malarkey that this guy is going to get away with it unless priests take the “We obey God rather than man” approach AND THAT IS UNLIKELY.

    Why? Because the culture of Catholic priests seems to me to be one of blind acquiescence to the content of whatever “letter” they receive from their Bishop…with very few exceptions. See, in today’s world, ultramontanism doesn’t stop at the Pope and most Catholic priests are afraid of entering the secular job market.

    I WISH it was more “theological” than that, but alas, I don’t think it is.

    We are undergoing the “English Reformation” in the Church today, constricted by no geographical borders and imposed by no secular power, rather, by the Catholic hierarchy itself {CCC 675}. But it really is almost the same thing. Except the cost for standing firm in the faith is a lot less today. No drawing and quartering and such like and nevertheless many are folding like a wet newspaper.

    Keep up the good work.


  24. Kathleen10 says:

    It would be hard for a priest to defy the Bishop, of course, even though he is completely in the right. What needs to happen is for the LAITY to take this up. Hopefully the good people of that state protest this horrible action. What can one say about such tactics, is it pure sycophancy that is bringing about these nauseating displays? Our bishop has thus far confined himself to fawning praise of Pope Francis, but if this type of thing comes here, he’s going to have a fight on his hands.
    People, what we don’t fight for, is going to be taken away by these men. Being so polite and obedient we are silent or just “go away” with a flimsy excuse, is going to cost us all. We can’t lose ground anymore, speak up! At the very least, you’ll make them realize they can’t commit this kind of pastoral tyranny without hearing about it, and you will also have the opportunity to defend our faith.

  25. aliceinstpaul says:

    Until we are hauled away in chains for Our Lord’s mass, we will lose in our current church. But if we are hauled away for the Lord’s mass, how great our reward!

    Fathers, please, offer these ‘unpermitted’ masses. Let us wait by the church doors begging to be let in as the bishop locks them. Save your own soul too! Get to Heaven!

    If you will not lead us, how can we offer our sufferings to the Lord? How can we March to our Heaven if we are not first knocked down for our faith? We need our Selma. Please, fathers. Please.

  26. Fuzzy says:

    I’m shocked! I live in Rockford. Bishop Malloy is a good man and certainly not “inimical to the pastoral concerns of Benedict XVI”. If anything, he has always seemed to be more “Say the black, do the red”. I’ve seen him install the new rector of St Mary’s ICKSP and I know he’s scheduled for Confirmations there in June. You’ll see Bishop Malloy in a cassock more often than not. He says (the new) Mass very reverently. Up to this point, I have always believed him to have the same mindset of his predecessor, Bishop Thomas Doran RIP, a man very friendly to tradition. I wonder what happened?

  27. hicks says:

    You yourself have always spoken of rebuilding brick by brick, Father. The demolition proceeds at a remarkably quicker pace. Will anything be left when it’s over? Will but one stone remain atop another?

  28. LarryW2LJ says:

    As I’ve stated elsewhere, this behavior seems kind of rigid, no?

    God help us, I feel we’re racing to the tipping point.

  29. AnnTherese says:

    “Just go ahead and manage the, for example, Spanish-speaking groups in the same way that you treat traditional Catholic.”


  30. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    I suppose the following paragraph has as much reference to the installation or restoration of altar rails, statues, an altar close to the center of the apsidal wall, or central placement of the tabernacle, as anything?

  31. HighMass says:

    Oh Yes lets not do anything to make the Liturgy N.O. more reverend!

  32. Fleeb says:

    I think priests are becoming (if not already) terrified of their own shepherds, and it is being telegraphed to the laity. I spoke to our new pastor about offering Mass Ad Orientum. He paused, and after half-jokingly telling me that he already did (the church faces west and that we were “facing the wrong way”)….he would “have to see what the new bishop thought”. There is a parish in Front Royal Va (St John the Baptist) that celebrates the Novus Ordo Ad Orientum and the EF and both are packed to the rafters. The pope has sowed this and I pray that he comes to his senses and once again embraces the Faith that the Apostles have given us.

  33. Fr. Kelly says:

    From the final paragraph on the page you showed us. it looks like this is the trifecta:
    Not only is he forbidding ad orientem worship and the forma antiquior, he seems also to be forbidding the renovation of churches to put the tabernacle back in the center and to reinstall altar rails.

  34. Grateful to be Catholic says:

    So it is beginning in earnest. The modernist bullies have been holding it in through two pontificates and now they are let loose. They don’t care about doctrine or law or rights. Now they are getting from the top lessons in how to sneer, threaten, and expel. For a great many of us, there will be no justice in this life.

  35. TNCath says:

    Bishop Malloy’s predecessor, Bishop Doran, was very traditional and would have never squelched neither the Extraordinary Form nor Missa ad Orientem. I suspect Bishop Malloy wouldn’t have done this had he not had direction from someone who has a significant influence on him, perhaps the man in the red hat a few miles south who takes his cues from his friends in Rome. The Smoke of Satan…indeed.

  36. asburyfox says:

    His requests go against Church law and are illegal. I hope he can be informed and taught the truth when it comes to his erroneous views. If he persists, he should be reported to Rome.

  37. asburyfox says:

    I wish Cardinal Sarah hadn’t gone silent after he received pushback over his Ad Orientem comments. I ask Cardinal Sarah to release another CDW clarification like the one that was released years ago, reiterating that a priest is free to celebrate Mass Ad Orientem or facing the people without permission or interference from a bishop.

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  39. Uxixu says:

    Probably the worst part about it is that Benedict XVI appointed Bp. Malloy back in 2012.

    I’ll pray for his conversion and reparation for his error.

  40. Cadillac says:

    Minus the bit on Ad Orientem worship which certainly goes against the previous directives of the highest ranking cleric on the matter of liturgy, Cardinal Sarah, [Card. Sarah did not issue a “directive”] I believe the part of the directive on Malloy’s asking for his priests to get permission to offer the Extraordinary Form of the Mass to be in line with Summorum Pontifum; at least according to the English translation of it on It pretty well states as much in Art. 5 § 1 of the document which essentially says that parish priests with a stable group requesting the Extraordinary Form of the Mass should comply with the request after having consulted with their Ordinary. If the Ordinary has allowed the EF in one nearby parish, it’s likely he’d just direct the rest of his flock requesting it to attend the parish already offering it. It’s almost a “catch 22” when it comes to the Ordinaries who for some reason disdain the Extraordinary Form and not just that but most people don’t even know it’s an option. I’m sure countless people would at the very least see what the EF is all about if they only knew about it. Malloy also not wanting Altar Rails is no surprise and a sad commonality within the Church today.

    I’m happy and lucky enough to say that I live within probably the most “orthodox” diocese in this country and that both my Cathedral and Parish have Altar rails, my parish priest exclusively offers Ad Orientem (not just “liturgical east” but true east) worship regardless of whether the Mass is in the Ordinary or Extraordinary Form (which my Archbishop having attended Sacra Liturgia in London last year agrees are within the norms of the documents of Vatican II), and that our parish has weekly Latin Vespers. Is ours perhaps the most “orthodox” or better yet, “progressive” (the true meaning of the word) parish in the Archdiocese, if not the whole country? Knowing what I do today (perhaps too much), I believe that until the rest of the Church moves in such a direction that the faith will suffer. Do most people even know to pray when they attend Mass these days? It seems like some just “do the motions,” though I guess the same could be said of some EF attendees as well. Prayer is the most important reason to attend Mass, besides receiving Our Lord in Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity!

    [Some people seem to think that the Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei adflicta is still in force. It is amazing how many bishops now want to implement that superseded document now that Summorum Pontificum is in force.]

  41. Potato2 says:

    In my diocese the old (now retired) bishop actively forbid and suppressed the TLM even after the permission.
    Our new bishop is going on his third year and is supposedly more conservative but alas no TLM is available save the SSPX an hour away. So I sit through a 60s recreation of Woodstock every week.

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  43. Augustine Thompson O.P. says:

    Note what “Fuzzy” wrote, before over-reacting to what follows.

    I think that much of the reactioni to this is probably an over-reaction. [Is that so.] In fact, by writing “with due regard to Art. 2” it is obvious that any priest in the diocese may say the old rite privately. The issue is public Mass, and just as the pastor has authority over public Masses in his parish, the bishop has it in the diocese. (Right Fr. Ferguson?) A bishop or pastor might, for example, forbid public Masses in Spanish, were there no need and they were being celebrated solely at the whim of the priest. [Yeah… that’s gonna happen.] It is wholly plausible that priests have introduced ad orientem Masses and the bishop has received complaints about this. [The bishop will receive complaints if the priest gets a hair cut someone doesn’t like. Are you kidding?] If so, then it is perfectly suitable for priests to consult with the bishop over any change in the liturgy that might upset the people: [Any and every changes “upsets the people” these days. The lack of unity in the rite and years of who knows what going on have produced a shattered liturgical identity.] that includes not just the NO Mass in various foreign languages, but also the position of the celebrate, rock music, etc. The question is not the need to consult, but how the laity’s needs are addressed. [Whatever that means.] On that we have no clear information.

    The same is true of public Masses in the old Rite. SP tells pastors (and bishops) to be responsive to groups who request the old Mass. We know nothing about whether such groups have requested the EF Mass. If they have, we would need to know the circumstances: demand, availability of priests, etc. This is not obsructionism, it is common sense.

    I night add that when possible—for example now while I am on sabbatical in Rome—I say the old Mass, in the Dominican Rite, every day.

  44. Gratias says:

    I am surprised that even during this adverse Pontificate the Traditional Latin Mass continues to grow, slowly but surely, here in Southern California. Seems that Illinois is even more Progressive/Commie/Dem than Los Angeles, the Capital of the Pacific. It is wonderful to be part of the faithful preserving the Mass for the Roman Catholic Church for future generations. We really do make a difference every single TLM we attend, it seems to me. With some effort we can Make the Church Great Again.

  45. rtjl says:

    I think a bit of charity towards Bishop Malloy might be in order here. When I first read the letter, it appeared openly hostile towards both the extraordinary form and towards ad orientem worship. Upon re-reading the letter, I am not so sure. For one thing, it acknowledges and “on-going discussion” concerning ad orientem worship, so it doesn’t seem to consider the matter closed once and for all. For another, the letter alludes to a situation with which the Bishop and his priests are familiar with with which but we are not. Perhaps there are people in his diocese who are truly divisive and disruptive and who are actively attacking and undermining the efforts of good priests and parishes and are using the extraordinary form mass and ad orientem worship as a weapon to do so. I certainly know some of these in my own diocese. I don’t know if this is the case but perhaps it is. The bishop does not seem to be saying “no” but rather “talk to me first”.

    Maybe it would be well for the people of the diocese of Rockford to approach the bishop and say, “look, this letter has come to light, it doesn’t matter how, but help us understand; are you opposed to the extraordinary form and ad orientem in principle and in general? Or are you simply asking your priests to work with you in addressing a particular pastoral situation before commencing with either? If you are not opposed in principle what can we do to avoid or alleviate the pastoral situation you are concerned about?” Who knows, such a discussion may go a long way.

  46. iPadre says:

    Should he not require permission for other options also? Like giving the Pax, or using Eucharistic Prayers other than the Roman Canon? Just asking.

  47. christopherschaefer says:

    last Advent a priest from the Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut told me that Archbishop Leonard Blair informed his priests that they are not to celebrate the Ordinary Form ‘ad orientem’.

  48. Kerry says:

    Unison is no unity. This 7Nov2014 Vultus Christi post, ‘Liturgy, Doctrine, and Discipline: the Right Order’, is worthy reading. “Speaking in Vienna this week, His Eminence, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke said, “The Church’s discipline can never be other than true to her doctrine.” His Eminence was, in effect, articulating a principle that flows from the age–old law that grounds and shapes both Catholic doctrine and the Catholic moral life: Lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi.”
    And from the last paragraph, “The current crisis in addressing moral questions from a Catholic position can, I would argue, be traced back through a crisis in doctrine to the crisis that has, in recent decades, affected the sacred liturgy to the point of reshaping it, deforming it, and re–inventing it according to the Protestant and Secular Humanist criteria described above. The restoration of Catholic doctrine in all its beauty and richness, and the consequent reclaiming of Catholic discipline as something both healing life–giving, will begin with the restoration of the sacred liturgy. ”
    Bang! Zoom! Read it several times.

  49. Fr. Kelly says:

    asbury fox, you are onto something.
    If everyone on this blog were to submit a dubium to the Congregation of Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments on this matter, it would give them an occasion to issue a clarification.
    It is not enough to put your question here. you have to ask it of the Congregation. And if enough of us do this, we might get a response.

  50. The Egyptian says:

    sadly progressive-liberals in ANY governance body (secular or religious ) are totally intolerant of anything except what they want and are a threat to liberty in all cases. And yet they preach TOLERANCE

  51. Supertradmum says:

    We are now suffering from years of false teaching in seminaries against the TLM and other aspects of Tradition, as well as tradition. Another new bishop is attacking trad nuns in habits, one of whom is leaving that diocese with her sisters—the famous Sister Miriam of the Lamb. Here is her order, which is moving to I know not where.

    Years of Modernism has caused this and the lack of choice among priests to become bishops. Davenport Diocese will be getting a new bishop soon…one prays for a real leader and one open to the TLM.

  52. Guido03 says:

    I’ve lived in the Diocese of Rockford for around a dozen years and have seen first hand what Bishop Malloy is doing with regard to Tradition under his leadership. Prior to this letter he has personally halted the TLM at three parishes. These were growing communities open to tradition and he called the priests in each parish and told them to stop. At my own parish our pastor began celebrating votive Masses in the adorientem posture and had more recently begun celebrating one weekday morning Mass adorientem as well. He was told by the bishop to end this practice. In addition to his heavy hand with tradition we have had multiple tradition minded priests take “leave” for unknown reasons. While some of these may have been warranted it is telling that they all shared a devotion to traditional liturgical practices and were vocal about it. Sadly, Bishop Malloy has lost the confidence of his priests in the diocese and I was told recently that morale is low. Please pray for our diocese.

  53. tzabiega says:

    The interesting thing is the background of Bishop Malloy. He was originally a Vatican diplomat who left the Vatican service and eventually became General Secretary of the USCCB (usually a post filled by liberals–retired liberal Bishop Lynch of St. Petersburg, Florida and Cardinal Bernardin are other examples of former USCCB General Secretaries) . Apparently Bishop Doran was not happy with Malloy at USCCB, because when Malloy’s close associate (forget the name) was running for General Secretary in 2011 (when Malloy left the post), he recommended his own priest Msgr. David Kagan for the post, which was a rare situation where the Associate General Secretary was unanimously chosen the next General Secretary. Kagan narrowly lost in the vote of the bishops, but soon afterwards Pope Benedict XVI named Father Kagan, Bishop of Bismarck, North Dakota, where he has been one of the most orthodox and traditional bishops in the U.S. This avoided Kagan probably being demoted when Malloy was named Bishop of Rockford. But why did Pope Benedict pick a less than orthodox Bishop Malloy to replace a very orthodox Bishop Doran? This is of concern, since very few Benedict picks were liberals. Too bad Bishop Kagan wasn’t left in Rockford, but that is Rockford’s loss and Bismarck’s gain.

  54. tzabiega says:

    I meant not unanimously chosen the next General Secretary.

  55. Imrahil says:

    Technical remark: There is no self-contradiction. At least not if we take as a rule of interpretation that, whenever there is a non-contradictory reading, it is to be preferred over contradictory readings.

    The bishop is saying,

    “With due regard to Art. 2 – that is, except for masses sine populo with the one or the other guest and not announced in the parish bulletin – there shall be no Extraordinary Form masses without my express approval.

    As for article 5, pastors shall willingly receive these petitions (as I didn’t explicitly abrogate that); but they shall not act upon them unless I should by any chance make an exception. Speaking of that, I probably will make an exception – not many – but they’ve got to earn it. They will not have culture-warriorist sermons. They will not tolerate unfriendly words against the Pope, myself, or people less Catholic than they are; and not only will they not tolerate them, but there won’t be any to not tolerate. Otherwise, bad for them. But going back to the law: I expect my pastors that, to foster unity and for the Needs of These faithful themselves, they shall find it the appropriate measure to deny the Petition, unless I say otherwise. The Spirit of the law and the explanatory notes from Rome which say that the extraordinary form is to be treated favorably – well, I do away with them (though not with article 2): they are still Pope-Benedict-stuff. A differend wind is blowing in Rome these days.

    If you fail to do so, expect the wrath of the episcopal chancery. Obey trembling.”

  56. OldLady says:

    Hmm, seems the bishop waited a year before playing his hand outright? Remember a post here saying that St Mary’s Oratory needed to raise funds to support the TLM for another year. Have been praying for them & will now pray for the diocese and Bishop Malloy. Circle the wagons with prayers.

  57. Fr. Lovell says:

    @Fuzzy and @Fr. Augustine O.P., Bishop Malloy has suppressed almost every other TLM except St. Mary Oratory run by the Institute of Christ the King since being consecrated bishop in 2012. Geographically Rockford is not a small diocese and suppressing those other Masses have forced the laity to either travel a great distance or give up on the TLM.

    @Fuzzy, you are shocked? Really? Read what Aptak said above in the comments above (19 January 2:56PM)

  58. Moro says:

    If I were in this situation, I would write a letter to the very same bishop expressing my concerns very clearly, but politely. Then I would say, I would no longer be contributing to the diocese or any church/parish run by the diocese. I would satisfy the precept of contributing to the material needs of the church by giving to the seminaries of the FSSP, ICK, etc. or by volunteering time or direct contributions to specific priests who actually try to be Catholic.

    Sometimes money is all they will listen to, so I suggest you use it to your advantage.

  59. Pingback: Bishop David Malloy of the Diocese of Rockford, Illinois | Traditional Catholic Crusader

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