When I saw the letter sent by Bp. Zubik of Pittsburgh to the priests of that diocese, I was so taken aback by its overreach and pastoral stinginess that I had to read it again to make sure I had understood it correctly.
Bp. Zubik – whose mentor was Card. Wuerl, by the way, and in whose honor he dedicated a big new school – repressed all TLMs in the diocese leaving only the one parish in Pittsburgh (to hell with the people who live elsewhere) staffed by the ICK. He said that at two other parishes there could be occasional Masses but explicitly excluded Christmas, Easter and Pentecost: at one church on the 3rd Sunday of each month at 2PM and 1st Fridays at 7PM and at the other church on the last Sunday of each month at 3PM.
What if Easter or Pentecost fall on the last Sunday?
- In 2024, Easter is on March 29, in 2027 March 26, in 2029 March 30. Last Sundays.
- In 2024, Pentecost is on May 19, a 3rd Sunday. In 2027, May 16, a 3rd Sunday.
I guess they’re hosed in 2024.
He forbade marriages, baptisms, confession, and anointing.
If you are moribund and you and your loved ones really want you to be anointed with the traditional form in Pittsburgh, the bishop says, in effect, “Too bad. See ya’.”
That’s not all. As we know from the Fat Man’s Laws of the House of God:
VIII. They can always hurt you more.
Zubik forbade priests to say the TLM privately.
The indefatigable Peter Kwasniewski wrote at 1 Peter 5 about Zubik’s insensitive act of oppression proposing exactly what I am hearing privately more and more from US clerics of all orders.
The abolition of the private traditional Mass is something so evil one can hardly fathom it. That’s what an enemy of Christ and His Church would do. No one but an enemy would seek to outlaw this consolidator of priestly identity, this font of fervent prayer, this haven of spiritual refreshment and copious graces.
Priests would be entirely within their rights before God and Holy Mother Church to refuse to comply with such restrictions or prohibitions (as previous disobedience to unjust liturgical commands has been twice exonerated by the Holy See itself). Priests in the diocese of Pittsburgh or any other diocese that implements a similarly cruel and anticlerical policy should continue to celebrate the Latin Mass and to utilize the other traditional sacramental rites whenever it is possible to do so, e.g., if they go somewhere on retreat, or are visiting trustworthy family and friends.
Yet this watershed might also be a priest’s moment of realization. Could this be a call from the Lord to continue calmly doing what he was doing before, in defiance of a manifestly unjust prohibition? Such a course of action is almost certain to result in his being sacrificed (“cancelled”) like a lamb led to the slaughter. The priest will likely be called on the carpet, stripped of faculties, hung out to dry—because, don’t you know, we have so many extra clergy that we can just afford to retire them early if they don’t fit the mold!
Perhaps it is time for many priestly grains of wheat to fall into the ground and die, so that they may bear a greater fruit of holiness than collaboration with corrupt chanceries would allow. They will quickly find laity who will support them in their needs. More home chapels than ever are being built; the lay faithful are busy preparing for this next phase of resistance to wayward pastors’ attacks on the Church’s common good.
That footnote is crucial:
 It is crucial to understand that, in the Catholic tradition, obedience has precise requirements and limits. For more on this point, see here, here, and here. As St. Thomas Aquinas teaches, an unjust law does not have the rationale of law and therefore should not be followed. In this case, the one who does not follow it is not guilty of the sin of disobedience but rather is to be praised for obedience to a higher law. On the question of whether TC possesses the wherewithal to be legitimate, see my article “Given Its Foundational Falsehoods, Does Traditionis Custodes Lack Juridical Standing?”
Let us not forget that disobedience was precisely the modus operandi of the modernist left and progressivists in the Church in their quest to achieve their ultimate goal of reducing the Church to an NGO working for earthly “equity”. That is how they obtained, for example, altar girls and Communion in the hand. Disobey long enough, openly enough, and you get what you want. I recall our canon law instructor smugly talking about establishing contra legem custom.
It could be that, in a couple of years, all this nonsense will be a non question because the diktats will be ignored.
We have to remember that, in the Church, the reception of laws is important. I have post about that HERE.
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