The great Joseph Card. Zen, Emeritus Bishop of Hong Kong and champion of our downtrodden brethren in China, has over the years been generous toward those who desire to participate at Holy Mass in the Vetus Ordo, the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM).
Card. Zen, at his website, made a comment about the rumors concerning a possible restriction of the provisions of Benedict XVI’s “emancipation proclamation” Summorum Pontificum.
Here is his conclusion:
The Tridentine Mass is not divisive; on the contrary, it unites us to our brothers and sisters of all ages, to the saints and martyrs of every time, to those who have fought for their faith and who have found in it inexhaustible spiritual nourishment.
Card. Zen is exactly right. The TLM is a powerful force for unity.
Participation at the TLM unites the faithful across borders, across cultures, across generations.
Zen understands from personal experience how regimes crush souls. He would recognize that which liberates.
It is not unreasonable to suppose that there is some draft of a document floating around in curial offices that pertains to the provisions of Benedict’s Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. The Motu Proprio has been hated since it was issued.
The very idea of an emancipation of the Traditional Roman Rite was viciously struggled against even back in the late 80’s and 90’s when something like Summorum was developed. It was crushed.
The opponents of Summorum know that people must not be allowed to be united “to our brothers and sisters of all ages”. They want the people of today isolated in this moment.
Consider, for example, how those who fought against a better translation of the Novus Ordo into English also often proposed that the translations should be under constant revision to reflect the ever changing style of people’s speech. Fathom that a moment, given the devolution of language into illiterate tweets and emojis.
Continuing with the analogy of the “emancipation proclamation”, could there be an analogous “Fugitive Slave Act of 1850” in the works? Of course. There have been and probably always will be attacks and rumors of attacks on Summorum Pontificum and its emancipating provisions.
The opponents of Summorum can’t stomach that people should be free to have the Traditional Mass. They must be forced back into line, into their chains. They fear the Catholic faithful who have been freed from the restrictions of the Novus Ordo. It isn’t just that they hate and fear the TLM. They hate and fear the people who want the TLM.
Will there be a restricting “Slave Act of 2021” against Benedict XVI’s emancipation?
While I don’t doubt that there is some sort of draft document – it would be naïve to think that the enemies of Summorum haven’t proposed something – I don’t think anything is going to happen. Not anything dramatic, at least. We must be careful not to glom on to rumors that are, in sum, unsubstantiated, unsourced, unconfirmed, and then let our imaginative powers sweep us into a maelstrom.
Whether there is a “Slave Act of 2021” in the works or not, the best response that we have is to redouble our efforts to bring the TLM to more and more places and to do so joyfully.
The best way to combat the foes of Catholic unity is to be happy. As a matter of fact, your obvious joy could be infectious.
The only people who are attracted to gloom are those who are happy only when they are unhappy.
Get to work!