@CardJosephZen is exactly right.   The Traditional Latin Mass is a powerful force for unity.

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!


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Si vis pacem para bellum!, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. teomatteo says:

    I don’t know nuth’n ’bout nuth’n but i’m thinking that when pope emeritus passes on then his cause for sainthood will be murmured and then the semi-cancellation of SP. Is that gaslighting? ( i’m still ‘puzzled up’ on how Pope Benedict’s book co-authored (?) with Cardinal Sarah was so influential.

  2. adriennep says:

    You ever notice the eerie connection between the MAGA movement and the Trad/TLM Catholics? Just as the oppression of the Wuhan Devil is finally unraveling, the “Message In A Bottle” documentary is shedding light upon the mystery of BXVI’s “resignation.” And like some patriots are predicting that You-Know-Who will be back in office by August (when invalid election is declared), one has to wonder what the hand of God Almighty will do inside the Vatican. It won’t be pretty, but it will be Awesome.

  3. adriennep says:

    That documentary is at Church Militant with title “Explosive film reignites Two Popes Debate—Italian documentary links Pope Francis to Masonic ‘St. Gallen Mafia’.”

    Which might explain the crickets from other Catholic media.

  4. Semper Gumby says:

    God bless Cardinal Zen and Chinese Christians abandoned by the current inhabitants of the Vatican. The TLM is a cohesive force, it has enemies.

    adriennep: You may be interested in Julia Meloni’s articles (she is writing a book on the St. Gallen Mafia) at Crisis magazine, here is one from 2019:


    From a Vatican provisional report, “Jesus Christ The Bearer of the Water of Life” available on the Vatican website and released as a paperback in 2003:

    “Monte Verita: a utopian community near Ascona in Switzerland. Since the end of the 19th century it was a meeting point for European and American exponents of the counter-culture in the fields of politics, psychology, art and ecology. The Eranos conferences have been held there every year since 1933, gathering some of the great luminaries of the New Age. The yearbooks make clear the intention to create an integrated world religion.(107) It is fascinating to see the list of those who have gathered over the years at Monte Verita.”

    That excerpt is from 7.3 in the document, which primarily warns against New Age practices such as the Enneagram and New Gnosticism.

    From the Eranos (Greek, a no-host dinner) Institute website:

    “Eranos was a project of Olga-Frobe Kapteyn’s (1881–1962), which came into being on the banks of Lake Maggiore at Ascona-Moscia. As its name reflects, eranos (Gr. “banquet”) was a place and occasion where contributions were liberally offered at the table by attendees. Its goals were to create a “place of encounter and experience” and a “free space for the spirit”, where Eastern and Western thought could meet.”

    Eranos also met at the Collegio Pontificio Papio. Kapteyn was a Theosophist (see Madame Blavatsky and Annie Besant) and influenced by Carl Jung.


    See also “Eranos: An Alternative Intellectual History of the Twentieth Century” by Hans Thomas Hakl. Hakl founded the journal Gnostika, contributes to the journal Politica Hermetica and authored “Unknown Sources: National Socialism and the Occult.”

  5. Irenaeus says:

    I do hope you’re right, Father, when you write, “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.”

    You’re right we all need to keep our powder dry and not overreact. But it does seem that the rumors being reported are well sourced, insofar as I can tell. But I do tell people that I won’t get concerned until Fr Z and Joseph Shaw are concerned. Until then…

  6. G. Thomas Fitzpatrick says:

    I think that what floating the rumor of a document severely restricting Summorum Ponificum, which may well exist (likely in ready-to-publish form) does is to signal to bishops who oppose the Extraordinary Form that they can do what they like, without fear of being reversed by Rome. It pretty much declares open season on the traditional Mass.

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