The heat and fallout from the nuke that fell on the anniversary of the detonation of the first atomic bomb, a date chosen perhaps to add insult to injury by the fact that it was the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, are beginning to clear.
A few tradition despising (can one conclude otherwise?) bishops rushed immediately to issue harsh edicts in the wake of the confused and confusing Motu Proprio Traditionis custodes (the Church’s Plessy v. Ferguson following Benedict XVI’s Emancipation Proclamation), generally viewed by good canonists to be, at best, a mess. Most bishops, in these USA at least, having a touch more prudence and maybe a little less disdain of the people in their charge, said that they had to “study” the Motu Proprio, and in the meantime everyone should carry on as before.
Now it seems that they have had their private chats and are coordinating a bit.
Some, however, are going in other directions. The letters they send out make interesting reading.
One of the better reactions from a US bishop I have seen is from the Bishop of Syracuse, Most Rev. Douglas Lucia. He established one of their churches as a “diocesan shrine”, and hence a place of pilgrimage, prayer, etc. He will go there HIMSELF to inaugurate the Shrine with a Pontifical Mass in the Usus Antiquior (we should start to move away from “Extraordinary Form” language). He appointed a “delegate” for the “Latin Mass community” who is also a pastor of a parish. The 9AM (sweet spot) Mass will be in the Usus Antiquior, the Vetus Ordo, and the noon Mass in the Novus Ordo. He says it remains a personal parish and all who are registered there can receive all the sacraments with the 1962 books. People can request funerals in the Novus Ordo, but he writes: “Baptism, First Communion, and Confirmation may not be celebrated in the Ordinary Form at St. Mary’s without permission of the Diocesan Ordinary”, which sort of puts the shoe on the other thing.
He then lists the four churches where the Usus Antiquior will be used, though he could have been more generous. He makes use of Can. 87, by the way. Good choice.
On the other hand there is this nonsense from the Diocese of Gaylord. Granted, this is not from Bishop Hurley but rather from the Communications Director (a group who collectively have usually left me less than impressed).
This is an official communiqué from the diocesan comms commisar published in a parish bulletin about the fact that, on 11 July, there was a TLM celebrated in a “closed” church, St. Charles which had been part of that parish cluster. It seems that diocese closed and then sold the church some time ago. It was acquired eventually by the SSPX! They’ve got it up and running again and the diocesan personnel are verklempt. They bemoan the fact that the SSPX didn’t seek their permission to do this. They lament that the priest wasn’t authorized. They say that Catholics should avoid going there, because the group at St Charles is “not reconciled with Rome”. They identify that nefarious group as “the Fraternity of St. Peter”.
Another example of how people who have NO IDEA of what they judging are making the judgments.
Also, when you close and sell a church, you don’t get to control it any more. Perhaps the better strategy would be to keep the church and think outside of the box.
Moving west, we find the less than edifying efforts to implement TC in the Diocese of Boise.
Bishop Peter Christenson expresses his long-time concern about the “divisiveness” in the diocese coming from the people who want the Traditional Mass:
My brother priests, these are not new concerns for me. I have also been troubled by a divisive energy rising from those who seek to “restore” the Church to the Tridentine Liturgy. Efforts I have made to provide the Extraordinary Form for those who wish it have often been met by greater demands and an expressed intention to attend churches that are in schism with the Catholic Church, such as the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), rather than attending a Novus Ordo Mass.
Firstly, we are simply to accept, I guess, that there is “divisive energy”. Going on, we are to accept that he has made “efforts” to provide for these “divisive energy” people. What I find really interesting is his statement that his “efforts” were met with a desire to seek out the SSPX, rather than attend a “Novus Ordo” Mass.
Let’s leave aside that the SSPX is NOT is schism. Their priests have been given faculties by the Holy See and by various diocesan bishops. You can’t receive faculties if you are in schism. And I would ask for the name and date of the document that formally judges the SSPX to be schismatic. If they have been officially, formally judged to be schismatic, there must be some formal official declaration.
I ask you… if you tell people who want the Traditional Mass that they can go to the Novus Ordo, is that really making an “effort”?
I have an image in my mind right now of a child on Christmas Eve wishing only that his daddy would come home so they could put the star on the tree, like daddy promised. After all, it is the family tradition. “Grandpa, would lift me up on his shoulders and I would put the star on the tree. It was wonderful. I’ll never forget it as long as I live.” But, daddy doesn’t come home at all because he has some important work to do that takes effort. The neighbor, at the house for the Christmas party, sees how sad the boy is and offers to take him for a walk in the fresh cold Boise air. It just so happens that he has been putting up his Christmas decorations (not before Christmas Eve, of course) and has yet to put the star on the little pine tree in his front yard. He hoists the boy up and they put it on together. It is something that the boy will never forget, for the rest of his life.
Has Bp. Christenson ever gone to be with these people and celebrate, himself, Holy Mass in the Traditional Form? Has he spent time with them? It may be that he has. It could be that he has made special efforts to celebrate Mass, to confirm their children. And, dagnabit!, those people were so ungrateful that they emit “divisive energy”. “No matter how I bend over backward for these people, they just keep wanting what they want!”
This is the single most marginalized group of people in the Church. This is the periphery if ever there was one.
But no. He made “efforts” and is sad that they don’t want to attend the Novus Ordo.
My experience is that when bishops show up for something Traditional, when bishops really opens up their hearts towards them, people are incredibly grateful. They would go to the wall for such a bishop.
But no. THEY are the ones who are at fault.
Another little point… in the letter Bp. Christensen sent to the priests of Boise there are decrees. He with great effort established ONE parish for the TLM. He also says… think about this…
With this in mind, in accordance with Traditionis Custodes and Canon 381, 1, I decree that, effective immediately:
• It is determined that the priests of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, in situ at St. Joan of Arc Parish in Coeur d’Alene, do not deny the validity and legitimacy of the liturgical reform as dictated by Vatican Council II and therefore may continue to use the 1962 Roman Missal in that parish solely;
Oooo…. he threw a little Latin in there. In situ! He could have just said, “the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter at St. John of Arc”. “In situ at” is sort of like seeing “Shrimp Scampi” on an “authentic” Italian restaurant menu.
Think about that for a moment. This is about the FSSP, the Fraternity of St. Peter. This is like saying, “It is possible that Joe Bagofdonuts is a wife beater. As a matter of fact, it could be that he beats his wife. I’ll make efforts to investigate. Okay everybody, I’ve determined that Mr. Bagofdonuts does not, in fact, beat his wife as was previously suspected.”
There is something more than disturbing in that. One might say that it is insulting.
The Motu Proprio Plessy v. Ferguson … oooops… Traditionis custodes.
Si vis pacem para bellum!