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: THINK. PRAY.
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.