First reactions to “Traditionis custodes”

Today, 16 July, is the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.  During the Amazonian Synod (“walking together”), it was at her church in Rome, near the Vatican, that the shrine to to the demon Pachamama was set up.

Today, 16 July, is the anniversary of the Great Schism in 1054, when a Bull of Excommunication (not a Pachamama bowl) was lain on the altar of Hagia Sophia.

Today, 16 July, the Manhattan Project for the first time successfully detonated a nuclear weapon. Today is the anniversary of the first nuke in 1945.

In each of those cases, it took a long time to weigh the implications.

It also takes times to absorb and weigh the implications of legislative documents.

That leads me to my first reaction to the Motu Proprio, Traditionis custodes, which effectively insults the entire pontificate of Benedict XVI and the pastoral provisions of John Paul II and all the people they have affected.

Speaking of nukes, while this is quite awful, it is also good in that the line has been drawn.  For all the cant about “unity” – which apparently is something to be forced not fostered – the divisions are now clearer.

Traditionis custodes.  One wonders if anyone in Rome thinks through the titles of documents (Amoris laetitia… The joy of sex…).   This one just screams the maxim of Juvenal: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?  Without the whole sentence in Latin we can only guess at the meaning: “Overseers of betrayal…” is one option.  “Protectors of surrender…”?

Because it takes time to weigh the implications – questions are flooding my mailbox and phone – I note the following at the end:

Everything that I have declared in this Apostolic Letter in the form of Motu Proprio, I order to be observed in all its parts, anything else to the contrary notwithstanding, even if worthy of particular mention, and I establish that it be promulgated by way of publication in “L’Osservatore Romano”, entering immediately in force….

“entering immediately in force”

There is no vacatio legis.  There is no period of time between the promulgation and when it goes into effect.  There is no period during which questions can be answered, changes can be arranged, plans can be made.


Now people are writing to me to ask what they are supposed to do on Sunday.  Priests are asking if they fulfil the obligation to say the Office with the Breviarium Romanum.  The questions multiply even as I write.   The first fruit of Traditionis is chaos.

Hence, I am forced to remark that the vulgarity of this document is matched only by its cruelty.

Even those who have been inveterate critics of Benedict’s provisions, who may even go so far as to hate not just the traditional forms of worship, but the people who want them, ought to be horrified by the brutality of his document.

If something so harsh can be done to one group, it can be done to you.

There is a great deal more to say.  However, I will leave you with this counsel.

Fathers… change nothing, do nothing differently for now.  It is not rational to leap around without mapping the mine field we are entering.  Keep Calm And Carry On.

Lay people… be temperate.  Set your faces like flint.  When you are on fire, it avails you nothing to run around flapping your arms.  Drop and roll and be calm.

Lastly, a note of thanks is in order.

To those of you who have put your heart and goods and hopes into supporting and building the Traditional Latin Mass, thank you.

Do not for a moment despair or wonder if what you did was worth the effort, time, cost and suffering.  It was worth it.  It still is.

By your efforts you made it possible for many people to come close to an encounter with Mystery.  That is of inestimable value and eternal merit.

By your efforts you supported many priests who deepened their appreciation of who they are, as priests, at the altar.  The TLM brings forth this awareness in a way that the Novus Ordo does not.  That’s why its enemies want to destroy it and to cut out your hearts like an Aztec on a ziggurat.  Do not let them dishearten – de-heart – you.

If the positive things you have done have had such a knock-on effect that you are now being brutally attacked from on high, remember that negative things you might be tempted to do will have their knock-on effect.  Don’t be selfish.  This isn’t over.  Alas, the chattering Id of trad-dom will probably have a spittle-flecked nutty about this.  I say to you: THINKPRAY.

Holy Mass, particularly according to the pre-Conciliar form, has been called “the most beautiful thing this side of Heaven”.   That cannot be contradicted.

However, let us remember that we are on this side of Heaven, and not the other.  Mass is a reflection of the heavenly liturgy before the throne of God.  Mass, while it is the renewal of the saving action of Christ, is nevertheless a passing act, lovingly and needfully repeated while we sojourn here.

You cannot be legislated out of Heaven.

Legislators can make it harder for you or easier, but, ultimately, they are not the boss of you.   At your judgment, you will not find popes, priests or bishops between you and your Savior.

On this Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel – where Elijah slew the priests of Baal – entrust all of this to Mary, Queen of Priests.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in ¡Hagan lío!, "How To..." - Practical Notes, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, My View, Pò sì jiù, Save The Liturgy - Save The World, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices, Wherein Fr. Z Rants. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Chrisc says:

    On this day, thank you to all you Fathers out there, especially Fatherz.

  2. DianeK says:

    “ § 2. is to designate one or more locations where the faithful adherents of these groups may gather for the eucharistic celebration (not however in the parochial churches and without the erection of new personal parishes)”

    I’m wondering if this means parishes like Assumption Grotto in Detroit can no longer offer any TLM’s. We’ve had a 9:30 TLM every Sunday and Holy Day. And, we have a lot of weddings and funerals using the older missal. If that is the case, it forces people to choose between their existing diocesan parish near the border of Detroit, deeper into Detroit to the ICKSP parish, St. Joseph’s. This is good for them, but bad for other parishes and the people who have to make that choice. Some in other dioceses may have no place to go for a TLM if that is the case.

    With all due respect, this was cruel, and un-pastoral. Most of all, how does it solve the problems he raises? If anything, it deepens the wound caused by decades of abuses in the newer Mass. I go to both at Assumption Grotto as both are reverent, but I prefer the 1962 Missal for the richness of the prayers.

    Praying for everyone today. As a secular Carmelite I woke up so excited to have the day off and make it to Mass on our feast day only to feel like I’ve been punched in the gut by the Holy Father.

    Imagine if he abrogated the newer form because some who attend it are pro-abortion, or because they abuse the liturgy and drive the faithful away? Depriving us of this Mass, or exiling us to the bowels of the local ghetto, or to an unusual Mass time 3 hours away – this didn’t solve any problems, it created more.

  3. Amateur Scholastic says:

    Fr Z,

    I keep repeating this, sorry, but does the Pope really have the authority to do this, or is it an act of unlawful tyranny which need not be obeyed? I think a strong case can be made for the latter. Bl Pius IX refused to make even a very minor change to the traditional Mass, declaring he lacked the authority. Vatican I was clear that the Pope’s role was to preserve tradition, not destroy it. If someone is acting so clearly contrary to the end of his office, is that action even a valid act of authority?

    Is there any way people well-versed in the matter — theologians, canon lawyers, historians (crucial) — could be brought together to discuss and come to an intelligent answer?

    They’d probably have to be laypeople in the main, to avoid ramifications.

    Just a thought.

  4. jz says:

    Today is the darkest day in what has been an extremely dark papacy. I’m distraught TBH. My only comfort is that the Lord never told us we’d have good popes. Papa Francisco is a heavy cross on the backs of the faithful

  5. boredoftheworld says:

    I am not the voice of reason.

    “The beatings will continue until morale improves” is the not the call of a liberal, it’s the policy of an authoritarian leftist. It’s also the fundamental motto of this pontificate.

    Perhaps my reading comprehension is faulty, I hope it is, either this document is the law of the Church or it isn’t. If it is, attending or offering the traditional Mass in a parish Church as of today is forbidden, period. All I can hear is Patrick Henry and St. Augustine shouting “If this be treason make the most of it” “An unjust law is no law at all.”

    I await the avalanche of appeals to the example of St. Pio but trad. cus. isn’t an injustice against an individual, it’s a declaration of war. Heck, it’s the Act of Suppression.

  6. LT Brass Bancroft says:

    Another anniversary this Sunday: the FSSP turns 33.

  7. disc.s.thom says:

    Some might consider this “firm” decision to be even… rigid.

  8. Charles E Flynn says:

    The pope has shown immeasurable cruelty to the men in training in the FSSP seminaries.

  9. PeterC says:

    Just some thoughts as we carry the burden of going through these darkened days:

    1. Baal was worshiped the whole day in Mount Carmel before Elijah was able to sacrifice to God.
    2. The Jews had to traverse the desert before reaching the promised land.
    3. Our Lord died on Good Friday darkening the day before His glorious Resurrection on Sunday.
    4. Adam fell, and gained us such a Savior.

    It may take a day, a few days, a generation, or generations to get through this, but the Lord will be triumphant in the end. Like when He was asleep on the storm battered boat, He will not be silent forever.

    Let us pray for each other.

  10. InFormationDiakonia says:

    My first inclination is to say that we are no longer the Latin Rite Church, since the vernacular has been all but elevated above the unchanging Latin. We are now the (Insert the language used) Rite Church.

    I do wonder if some of the more orthodox bishops will strike against this and say “in my diocese, the TLM is still celebrated”. But I’ve only done the cursory review of the document and am definitely not an expert in this at all.

    A final musing. Why does the Vatican continue to issue documents in Latin if there is such disdain for that language and the Tradition it represents? They should just use Italian and be done with it….

  11. Chaswjd says:

    Having read the Motu Proprio, there appears to be nothing in it which would prohibit a priest from celebrating a mass in Latin using the 1970 Missal and the ad orientem posture.

    There does appear to be one irony in the change of the law. While now readings in a mass celebrated according to the pre-1970 missal have to be done in the vernacular, there appears to be no equivalent requirement for the 1970 missal.

  12. For the moment, I am keeping my mouth shut. A lot of us are going to do that. Deep breathing, careful reflection. Mouth shut.

  13. Ave Maria says:

    The bishop of Rome (who does not claim to be the Vicar of Christ) again slaps down a holy thing on a feast of Our Lady. He likes to do that. We only have a TLM on Sundays and Father said we will not lose it. He will offer it on a mass rock if he has to. As long as we have our present bishops, we should be safe. But seminarians learning the TLM at the diocese will have a hard time being able to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass of the Ages. Unity? Don’t make me laugh. I went to a funeral recently -a novus ordo–filled with liturgical abuse and with a priest who commented all the way through it and put on a guitar show as well. He flailed his hands and inflected his speech and it was all about him. Unity with that? No thanks.

  14. Sid Cundiff in NC says:

    What terms replace Ordinary Form and Extraordinary Form?
    How does the effect the Office?

  15. Pingback: The Cruelty is the Point – The American Catholic

  16. Cameron466 says:

    That’s how the Opus Dei priests do it, as I recall, so that’s good to hear. (1970 missal is Novus Ordo, yes?)

    Ridiculous thought: would anyone be interested in an international Catholic internet group doing all our communication in Latin, and sharing resources in all languages to learn Latin? How different might our situation look if, a few decades from now, there were a substantial population of Catholics FLUENT in Latin and having DAILY CONVERSATIONS in it?

  17. StevenH says:

    I think the game plan from Francis is to force a schism from the right. Pope Benedict probably forestalled a schism with his generosity towards conservatives (as compared to what would have happened had Francis been elected right after JPII). But two things are now happening that are forcing liberals to move decisively against conservatives. First, Benedict has not died fast enough to suit the opponents of his teachings, making it hard to bury his legacy. Second, liberals are driving the German church into schism, and Francis is not willing to act in any meaningful way against that movement (as demonstrated by his letter to James Martin). Francis cannot afford to have the liberals be the ones who force a schism first if the liberals hope to hold onto the power structures of the institutional church. Thus it was necessary to act harshly against conservatives in hopes of provoking open schism from the right as soon as possible, giving the liberals a freer hand to welcome the initiatives from Germany when they come (which they will). Thus it is absolutely critical that conservatives avoid any appearance of schism. Pray for the Church!

  18. InFormationDiakonia says: My first inclination is to say that we are no longer the Latin Rite Church, since the vernacular has been all but elevated above the unchanging Latin. We are now the (Insert the language used) Rite Church.

    Not even the Pope, or a string of Popes, can change reality.

  19. Maximillian says:

    “Fathers… change nothing, do nothing differently for now.” Really?
    Everything changes. There is no choice in the matter.

  20. ocsousn says:

    This just in from the Archdiocese of Detroit:
    TO: All Clergy
    FROM: Department of Communications
    DATE: July 16, 2021
    RE: Regarding Pope Francis’ Motu Proprio Traditiones custodes
    In response to this morning’s release of Pope Francis’ motu proprio Traditiones custodes, the Communications Department has been asked to share this update for the clergy of the Archdiocese of Detroit.

    Archbishop Vigneron is aware that the motu proprio takes effect today and requires those priests who currently celebrate the extraordinary form of the Mass to seek their bishop’s permission to continue doing so. In light of this, priests currently celebrating this form of the Mass in the Archdiocese of Detroit have permission to continue to do so as the Archbishop studies the document.

    Once that study is complete, the Archbishop anticipates issuing a policy regarding how Traditiones custodes will be implemented in the Archdiocese of Detroit.

  21. jflare29 says:

    Pope Francis seems to have issued his typical masterstroke of ambiguity. Most of this I expected. Item 6 of part 3 will create serious problems:
    “Art. 3. The bishop of the diocese in which until now there exist one or more groups that celebrate according to the Missal antecedent to the reform of 1970:

    § 6. to take care not to authorize the establishment of new groups.”

    Now what in blazes does THAT mean??
    On one hand, it might merely mean that a bishop must gain Rome’s approval to establish a new group of priests; SSPX began with the local bishop’s say-so. On another hand, …it might be taken to mean that Rome must approve before a bishop may establish a new traditional parish. So, FSSP, ICK, or the Ordinariate would need to collaborate with both the local diocese curia AND with Rome before entering a diocese on a routine basis. So, …any bishop with reservations about traditional norms now has a ready excuse to say no; if only to avoid lots of extra paperwork, he may deny entry to those three.
    *shakes head* I do wonder whether Francis recognizes the mess he’s enhanced with this move.

  22. JTH says:

    This is not only suppression of the Latin Mass, it is suppression of Catholic dogma.

  23. tzard says:

    My thought is we should wait and hear what some closer authority says: our local bishop, our ordinary, our parish priest.

    I wonder if an appropriate response would be for the bishops conference to set up a committee to plan out how to implement this. And have a vote on it in a couple years.

  24. haydn seeker says:

    Remember that this is an act of weakness. There are zero young priests who are enthused by the boomer preoccupations of elderly Jesuits. Pray for the pope, pray for young priests and God will do the rest. The energy in the church will restore what Benedict has started.

  25. prayfatima says:

    Fr. Z,
    Everything you wrote after “however “ is perfect. God bless you for keeping people calm! We are not in Heaven yet, so things naturally go wrong and aren’t perfect here, but they will be in Heaven. There will be no Mass in Heaven, it’s here to help us get there. Just keep your eyes fixed on the goal (Heaven), stay in the state of grace, pray every day to love God more and do His will, and do not worry. Pray, hope and don’t worry. -St. Padre Pio

  26. Adelle Cecilia says:

    Some bishops have said nothing is going to change, at least right now.

    Any bishop who refuses to at least say SOMETHING to his TLM parishoners is being unnecessarily cruel.

  27. Gaetano says:

    The tradition-minded need to exercise tremendous discipline & temperance in their comments.

    Angry reactions & condemnations will only play to those who engineered this move. “See, they were already disobedient & nearing schism…”

    Local ordinaries now have the power to grant dispensations to offer the EF.

    People should avoid pulling an “own goal” by providing plenty of evidence for the bishop to say “No.”

  28. Percusio says:

    Those who are quickened by the Spirit of the Traditional Mass have come to realize in this Motu Proprio if your worship is worthy or not. If not, you will be euthanized. If ever there was a question about whether these Masses were both of the same Latin Roman Rite, it seems clearer.

  29. The Astronomer says:

    Cancel Culture comes to the Mass of the Ages.

  30. Ariseyedead says:

    Would it be helpful for all those that have discovered or come back to the Catholic Church because of the Extraordinary Form to write a respectful letter to their local bishop and Pope Francis telling them what a blessing the EF has been in their lives?

  31. bartlep says:

    If permission for the TLM is given by the bishops, let’s hope many follow Archbishop Cordileone’s lead:

  32. OldProfK says:

    Cameron466, I’d be interested in your proposal. Under this boyish exterior I’m no longer a young man :-), but I’d help start.

  33. Vincent says:

    After a difficult afternoon following reading this document (and the intemperate accompanying letter) I have two thoughts:

    1. Those of us who are attached to the TLM are treated like dogs under the table, to be fed scraps and kicked for whining too much.
    2. I went to go and talk to The Lord in my parish church and asked “what do you want from us”. The answer I felt on my lips and my heart was “I want you.” He’s who we serve.

  34. Charles E Flynn says:

    From Opinion: Not so pastoral, by Amy Welborn:

    The article begins:

    Let’s do an Occam’s Razor on this new Motu Proprio.

    It seems pretty simple to me:

    A number of bishops wanted the tools to restrict celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM), and Pope Francis gave it to them.

    There you go.

    It concludes:

    And here’s the injustice of this, really: In the United States, at least, there has been great growth in the TLM in diocesan parishes. Not everywhere – because of course, it’s dependent on bishops – but it’s certainly there. And it’s been emphasized over and over again that this is a good thing, and it’s certainly what’s implied in Benedict XVI’s original decree. Mutual enrichment and all that. And thousands of Catholics, many of them young with growing families, have been faithful to this – and have engaged their interest and followed their pull to the TLM by sticking with diocesan and approved religious orders’ celebrations of the Mass and communities.

    And now they are being told – nice try. You did what you were told, but that actually wasn’t what we wanted all along. Keep going. Maybe you can rent out the VFW social hall and have Mass there. Or…the cemetery, maybe?

    Because, unity!

  35. mysticalrose says:

    The Latin Mass, that is, the real Mass, is worth fighting for and worth dying for. I will not raise my children with any other Mass, whether it’s in the parish Church or a remote barn. We will never return to the NO.

  36. Uxixu says:

    Heartfelt gratitude to Fr. Z for this site which taught me so much about tradition and to all the spiritual Fathers and priests who have taken the time to learn to the traditional Sacrifice.

    I am not anticipating a huge change in an FSSP with a friendly Archbishop. It does sink my heartfelt desire to bring a TLM into my territoral diocesan parish for now unfortunately but hope springs eternal. For his successor, I am naturally wary though pray the Holy Father repents that and for a holy pope to succeed him to abrogate this utterly and go further, offering an amnesty for any Roman Missal (not just 1962). Yes that might get some poor people stuck with 1970 ICEL, but the biological solution should do its work and it would let us get beyond the intermediary steps that 1955 and 1962 were admitted to be by those who devised them.

    Sancte Leo, ora pro nobis. Sancte Gregori, ora pro nobis. Sancte Ambrose, ora pro nobis. Sancte Hieronyme ora pro nobis.

  37. Gabriel Syme says:

    The document is obviously worthless and not to be taken seriously and so in a sense it is not really worthwhile analysing its specific content. People ask “why now?” – clearly the previous TLM survey is the pretext for this, although, of course, “they” will not release the gathered information.

    As to why “they” did not seek a pretext earlier, most likely, when Francis arrived, “they” were still watching the situation but becoming increasingly concerned at the growth of the TLM. The timing of this indicates the point at which their comfort was finally eroded.

    In recent years, increasing numbers of “canonically regular” clergy – in addition to ordinary lay people – felt increasingly confident about speaking openly (in person and in blogs etc) about Vatican II and its errors/ambiguities. Even though these numbers have still been small overall, in my opinion this increasing openness/ boldness probably what spooked the modernists at least as much as the number of TLMs which have appeared.

    As it turns out, a canon lawyer has analysed the document (see link). He makes some interesting observations; for example the document refers to “the missal antecedent to the reform of 1970”. This is the editio typica of 1965 with the alterations of Tres abhinc annos of 4 May 1967, not the 1962 missal. How are we to regard this? Is it really such a basic mistake, or some kind of double-speak?

    The document lacks clarity, a hallmark of Francis and a tactic to allow modernism to exploit ambiguity, as usual. However, we should use that ambiguity to our advantage in the same ways as “they” do. Clergy should ignore restrictions and rules – again, just like “they” do. Make a mess, like Francis asked for.

    Recently, German clergy held mass public blessings for same sex couples, shortly after the CDF said God cannot bless sin. What was the “comeback” from Church authorities for that? Nothing.

    After the same CDF statement, Cardinal Shonborn immediately publicly announced that no same sex couple who asked for a blessing would be refused one. What was the “comeback” from Church authorities for that? Nothing.

    Look at New Ways Ministry etc, what “comeback” from Church authorities do groups like that get? None.

    I do not mean clergy should foster disobedience and division, but rather ignore evil orders, while remaining always loyal to Our Lord and His Church. Eternal Rome! Even the secular world managed to establish (at Nuremberg) that it is not permissible to follow evil orders – and so it should not be beyond the wit of Catholics to realise this too. In any case, is it *really* faithful Catholics who are fostering division, simply by wanting to be authentically Catholic?

    Most Catholics (those I know anyway) do not follow much Church news and developments beyond their own parish or favoured charity, or shrine, for example. But, for those who do, who can still fail to see that the modern Church is in total crisis, with a hierarchy rotten to the core?

    How “canonically regular” priests respond to this will be telling. Ditto organisations like Una Voce. There are very many options available, beyond being walked over.

    FSSP/ICKSP might now find themselves being kicked out of dioceses, as has already happened in Dijon, France.

    Only when we stand up for ourselves, do we succeed. The large network of SSPX Chapels in Western (and increasingly Eastern) Europe exist because of Catholics who took a “no pasaran” stance. Ditto many masses provided by others – ultimately, the point is that if you lie down, people walk over you. Standing up for what is right is NOT the same as being disobedient or schismatic.

    Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer (of Campos, Brazil) – who acted as co-consecrating Bishop, when Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre consecrated the SSPX Bishops – refused to sign a document of reconciliation from Church authorities, which arrived at his death bed shortly he died from respiratory failure. The document promoted his express acceptance that there was no emergency in the Church (i.e. there were no problems) and that his excommunication – for acting as if there were an emergency – has been valid. This is the kind of great confidence we must have.

    One positive to this development is that it both underlines both the position and necessity of the SSPX. It also vindicates the position of many lay people to align with the Society, to avoid having the legs taken from them by malicious document such as these.

    Ultimately, when we consider the earlier acceptance regarding confession and marriage and the SSPX, Catholics are probably still “up” overall during this pontificate. (at least for now). ?

    ps – Faithful Catholics should only finance traditionalist orders, pro-tradition groups and priests committed to the TLM. Do not give money to modernist controlled Dioceses or (currently) Peters pence.

  38. Pingback: Reactions to the shocking Suppression of Pope Benedict’s Summorum Pontificum | Catholicism Pure & Simple

  39. loyeyoung says:

    Three thoughts come to my mind:
    1. I am guessing that most local bishops do not welcome the suddenness or severity of this moto proprio. The rest of the year (at least) will be filled with almost never-ending problems of administration and implementation–not to mention the incessant complaints–from a small segment of the flock. It is very easy for the Holy Father to issue a sweeping and extreme decree from behind his desk in Rome when someone else (i.e., diocesan bishops) are the ones who are mopping up the mess he creates.
    2. With so much authority given to local bishops, it appears that nothing can stop a diocesan bishop who supports the Extraordinary Form from continuing to support it. In other words, if a supportive bishop quietly allows everything to continue as before or even encourages EF Masses, nothing stops him. (Well, the Pope could reassign the bishop to some imaginary “titular diocese,” but it is not easy to find good replacement bishops these days.)
    3. The Holy Father indicated his concern about bad liturgics in the Ordinary Form. If he is telling the truth and also wants traditional Catholics back in the fold, he should show everyone that he is serious by cracking down on bishops who allow experimental liturgics and the priests that butcher the rubrics. Many traditional Catholics would gladly go back to their local parishes if priests followed the instructions as written. Stopping irreverent, disobedient, and happy-clappy liturgics would be the single best way to re-enliven and re-unify the Church.

  40. kurtmasur says:

    @Gabriel Syme: Yes! You hit the nail on the head with your comment. I especially agree that this MP of Francis should be merely shrugged off, because 1) it is evil (ie. it is extremely unpastoral), and 2) liberals themselves shrug off Vatican decrees all the time, as is with your perfect examples.

    TLM communities with an unsympathetic bishop will have to go underground, not unlike genuine Chinese Catholics, themselves betrayed by Francis as well.

    In hindsight, the suppression of the TLM at St. Peter’s Basilica earlier this year was but a microcosm of what Francis had in store for the worldwide Church.

  41. Charles E Flynn says:

    From Traditionis Custodes: The New Atom Bomb, by Peter Kwasniewski, Ph.D.:

    The article begins:

    Seventy-six years ago, on July 16, 1945, the first atomic bomb was detonated in a lonely desert 210 miles south of Los Alamos, New Mexico. Today, on July 16, 2021, Pope Francis has dropped an atom bomb on the Catholic Church that will harm not just those who “adhere to the Latin liturgical tradition” but everyone who values continuity and coherence, reverence and beauty, our heritage and our future.

    The document is dripping with condescension and heartlessness, designed like a Swiss Army knife to equip bishops with as many ways of inconveniencing or hounding tradition-loving Catholics as possible.


    It’s as if—for all the world—as if we are dealing with a global pandemic of traditionalism that must be stopped by any and every method. The language of the motu proprio suggests that the traditional Latin Mass is being regarded very much like an ecclesiastical version of COVID-19: it is a disease which must be carefully quarantined, monitored, and limited by whatever social engineering is deemed necessary by central authority. Indeed, since the Latin Mass is supposed to be removed from parishes and no more personal parishes are to be set up for it, those who attend might as well wear yellow stars and ring a bell as they walk around. The ghettoization that Benedict XVI labored mightily to overcome has not only returned but received a ringing endorsement.

  42. christopherschaefer says:

    Thank God for good canon lawyers: “…No express abrogation is made of any notable document concerning the traditional Roman Missal, and such abrogation should not therefore be implied. The traditional Missal remains, as it always was, never abrogated. The rights established by Quo Primum, by the theological and liturgical tradition of the Western rites, and immemorial custom remain intact…”

  43. Iacobus Mil says:

    Cameron466 dicit:

    “Ridiculous thought: would anyone be interested in an international Catholic internet group doing all our communication in Latin, and sharing resources in all languages to learn Latin? How different might our situation look if, a few decades from now, there were a substantial population of Catholics FLUENT in Latin and having DAILY CONVERSATIONS in it?”

    Optime! Omnes Catholici Latine loquantur: est nostra lingua.

  44. Rob83 says:

    My impression is that Francis, or those behind him who wanted this, do not think he has much time left since there is no delay between document date, publication date, and effective date. Francis was just in the hospital for 10 days, and within 48 hours of being released is pushing this without delay.

    As far as the parochial item, it’s interesting there is a restriction on parish churches even as there is a movement afoot locally to do away with the very concept of a parish church (the powers that be envision a cluster of churches sharing priests and resources – say a super-parish with 6 buildings and 3 priests, offering 9 Sunday Masses, for an example).

  45. Cameron466 says:

    OldProfK, I am glad to have one other. Unfortunately my knowledge of Latin is pretty incomplete still. I’m self taught and not anything like fluent—just passionate. Such a group would need some people who’ve been formally trained.

    Are any of you on reddit? That could be a place for it.

  46. Diane says:

    Quo primum, the great document of Pope SAINT Pius V, issued on 14 July, ARSH 1570, said of the Tridentine Rite:

    “We grant in perpetuity that this Missal is hereafter freely and lawfully to be used, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty or censure…

    No one whosoever is permitted to alter this notice of Our permission, statute, ordinance, command, precept, grant, indult, declaration, will, decree, and prohibition. Should anyone dare to contravene it, let him know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.”

  47. kurtmasur says:

    I wonder what’s gonna happen in the diocese of Rome itself? Will the Bishop of Rome give the necessary permissions to the TLM priests in the diocese? I can’t help but think of the community at Santa Trinita dei Pellegrini church.

  48. TonyO says:

    Am I just seeing things, or does the document contradict itself?

    Article 3, directed to bishops that have groups that celebrate the TLM:

    § 2. is to designate one or more locations where the faithful adherents of these groups may gather for the eucharistic celebration (not however in the parochial churches and without the erection of new personal parishes);

    So, they may still have the mass, but “not however in the parochial churches”. So, somewhere else? (3) continues the “somewhere else” theme:

    § 3. to establish at the designated locations the days on which eucharistic celebrations are permitted.

    But then we get a different direction:

    § 4. to appoint a priest who, as delegate of the bishop, is entrusted with these celebrations and with the pastoral care of these groups of the faithful.

    And the qualities of this priest are described: in addition to being the delegate of the bishop (a pastoral office) he must be a lot like a PASTOR:

    This priest should have at heart not only the correct celebration of the liturgy, but also the pastoral and spiritual care of the faithful;

    But then here’s the really odd thing, the bishop is to:

    § 5. to proceed suitably to verify that the parishes canonically erected for the benefit of these faithful are effective for their spiritual growth, and to determine whether or not to retain them;

    It is TOTALLY NOT DETERMINATE whether Francis is here speaking of parishes that are already canonically erected for the benefit of those faithful, or the “locations” provided in (3) where a “priest is assigned” who is a “delegate of the bishop” and takes “pastoral care”. But here’s the thing, EITHER WAY, it makes no sense after (2). In order to see to the “benefit” of these faithful for the EFFECTIVE nurturing their spiritual growth, the bishop needs to give them a PARISH where their mass can be said, and all the other things a parish does to foster growth. Any other sense of “pastoral care” and “spiritual growth” would necessarily mean that a parish church where the Mass is said, and the rest of a parish’s physical accoutrements, are actually unimportant in fostering spiritual growth. Which is nonsense on stilts.

    It’s not just STUPID and cruel (as said above), it is actually self-contradictory.

    But, that’s probably what you get from the likes of Professors Withers and Frost (That Hideous Strength).

    What it does, though, is that it opens a doorway for a bishop to fudge, obfuscate, wrinkle, and just plain tough it out with an “interpretation” and “implementation” that runs any way he darn well pleases.

    Please: am I seeing this wrong?

  49. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Re: Latin-language discussions, it sounds like a good idea.

    I also think it will quickly disabuse people of the idea that Latin prevents bad thought patterns. I’ve read some of the minor Italian humanists. Beautifully printed Aldus books. Full of crazy talk.

  50. Pingback: SATVRDAY EDITION – Big Pulpit

  51. Semper Gumby says:

    Ariseyedead: A good idea, I think that would be helpful.

  52. Cameron466 says:

    Alrighty, I’m going to give this Catholic Latin Chat group a go. I’m on vacation with the wife and kid right now so I’d need a few days to get it moving. Needs a mission statement to explain what we’re doing and so on.

    I’m thinking of calling it Conversatio in Caelis, from Philippians 3:20.

  53. robtbrown says:


    Latin might indeed prevent bad thought patterns. On the other hand, Francis was “educated” in a Petri dish of German Existentialism, in which the bscteria multiplies.

  54. benedetta says:

    It’s the ultimate cancel.

  55. Semper Gumby says:

    “Hence, I am forced to remark that the vulgarity of this document is matched only by its cruelty.”


    “If something so harsh can be done to one group, it can be done to you.”

    This is an important observation.

  56. NancyA says:

    I’ve been on the receiving end of the unkind TLM advocates that, in part, the Pope mentioned and of course on social media you can read any number of cruel responses to people that often seem unusually unkind. I have thought that Catholics who do this are also straying into the devil’s arena but, in general, I think this is a rarity. I do not think it’s norm in the least. I do not have access to the TLM where I am located but I would go if it were available to me. The reverence and beauty makes one feel that we are truly in the presence of God and the text, once translated, is beautiful and profound. One of my first thoughts when I read about the Pope’s squashing of Latin is that the devil hates Latin and I had to wonder why the Holy Father would ever limit this powerful weapon against evil.

  57. Pingback: What Just Happened in Catholic World? – Southern Cross

  58. Pingback: New Liturgical Movement: Roundup of Major Reactions to Traditionis Custodes

  59. Cameron466 says:

    If anyone is still checking the comments on this post, the Catholic Latin group I mentioned earlier is now live at

    Decided to go with Linguae Ignis as the name because it sounded cooler.

Comments are closed.