Quite a few of you have written to me about something that my good friend Fr. James Jackson, FSSP (recently moved from Colorado to Rhode Island) published in his parish’s bulletin. I received two such emails this afternoon. Father is the author of the terrific Nothing Superfluous: An Explanation of the Symbolism of the Rite of St. Gregory the Great – US HERE UK HERE . Now more important that ever: Be ready to give reasons.
All of us priests who are convinced that the Traditional Roman RITE or Vetus Ordo is of prime importance for Holy Church, has been getting questions from people about what he would do if Francis, or the Roman Congregations do in his name and by his will, tries to shut down the Vetus Ordo completely or disbands the Fraternity of St. Peter.
Is it wise to think about undertaking big projects – any projects – right now if everything is under threat in the wake of Francis’ own Plessy v. Ferguson document?
I’m with Sun Tzu: “If you fight with all your might, there is a chance of life; where as death is certain if you cling to your corner.”
Fr. Jackson, a retired Marine, has provided an answer. It was an of charity to be so forthright and to print this in his bulletin. In a time when doctrine and leadership are under attack from both within and without, people are understandably anxious. People want clarion call leadership, not the feeble “from behind” that has enervated nearly every aspect of the Church’s life.
This is Father’s response with my emphases:
“I’ve been asked more than once about whether we should pursue another project, given the hostility of not just the pope but many prelates, clergy, religious and laity to the Vetus Ordo. Could the pope just suppress the FSSP? Yes. And if he did, the bishop of Providence would be left trying to provide for your needs, which would be a daunting task for him. The worst-case scenario would be that we are ordered to leave the diocese and the parish would be closed. Could this happen? Yes. If it did, I’ve already made up my mind what I’m not going to do. I won’t go independent (I’ve seen way too much schism in that department), nor will I join the SSPX (as if they’d have me). I would instead retire, get a small house with my meager savings and hit the road in some area such as this one, going around celebrating Mass at people’s houses, all underground of course, keeping the Mass alive and waiting for better times. As a Society of Apostolic Life, we are very much working on each possibility and are planning how to fight like junkyard dogs, if needed. But more than anything, we trust our Lord 100% that He knew what He is doing when He permitted the Motu Proprio of this pope. Our Lord told us that there is only One Whom we should fear. And it isn’t the pope or some cardinal with a chip on his shoulder about tradition. – By now you’ve heard about the grave restriction of our work in Mexico. It is not 100%, and maybe we can hang on down there for better times, but better times may not be coming. To be honest, I have a feeling that this is the end of our work in Mexico. We will lose many battles, I think. Fraternity priests will be meeting in Nebraska from October 25-29 for a recollection and an ordination. Both Fr. Truong and I will be attending. We need to stand solid and united not just for our society, but also for the faithful we serve. Zoom meetings cannot accomplish this. So, we may not have Masses available for you during that week. Please understand that this might be the last meeting we have together as a Society.”
Maybe fight like “Devil Dogs”?
It seems to me that this is going to be the situation for quite a few priests.
As I mentioned before, before too long you may need those home altars and the necessities for Mass.