ASK FATHER: What to do about strange monthly intensions designated for gaining indulgences?

From a reader…


I don’t think I’ve seen the Pope’s January prayer intention listed on your blog.

He asked us to pray for victims of religious discrimination and persecution.

I saw this and thought I had misread it, then thought that I might have finally been driven insane by the pronouncements issuing from the Vatican like evil smelling smoke from Mt. Doom in Mordor. But no, this is his actual prayer intention.

I sent it to my TLM friends and they were speechless.

As always, thanks for everything you do for us, and may God bless you abundantly in the new year.

That’s rich irony, given that Francis is presently engaged in religious discrimination and persecution against people who desire traditional sacred liturgical worship.

Mind you, it is a good thing to pray for people who are being unjustly persecuted.   I believe we can all accept that.

It is, from time to time, hard to get one’s head around some of the intentions recently.  I make a kind of general good will effort to pray for whatever is good, true and beautiful in whatever intention I am considering and then move forward without fretting about it.

That said, I was recently in a conversation with a very smart and well-known Catholic commentator and writer who offered his… unease with the monthly intentions designated by Francis. I concurred and, being an Unreconstructed Ossified Manualist, pointed him to the classic intentions identified by writers such as Prümmer.

This is not a minor deal, by the way. We Catholics like to gain the indulgences which the Church has the authority to grant and we ought to be aware of opportunities and earnestly to perform the prescribed works with prayerful and grateful attitude. The works for gaining indulgences will generally include praying for the “Pope’s intentions”. That means to pray not for the Pope, though it is good go pray for Popes, but to pray for the intentions designated by Popes.

What, therefore, to do if we want to gain indulgences if a couple of difficult conditions apply? Let’s call them Obstacle One (physical impediment) and Obstacle Two (moral impediment).

In the first, case, what are we supposed to do in the case that there is no Pope? Usually, modern Popes will release a year’s worth of monthly intentions at a time, so unless there is a really long Sede Vacante period due to a dead-locked conclave or the inability of a conclave to take place, we are good to go for a while.

Obstacle Two is trickier because it involves certain measure of subjectivity. What if, just to create a mind exercise, the intentions that are designated are really challenging to embrace with any sincerity? This could be because they are not understood or it could be because they are, well, dumb or weird.

In either case, how to obtain the indulgence?

Back to Prümmer.

Prümmer says that the intentions of the Holy Father for which we are to pray have a tradition of five basic categories which were fixed:

1. Exaltatio S. Matris Ecclesiae (Triumph/elevation/stablity/growth of Holy Mother Church)
2. Extirpatio haeresum (Extirpation/rooting out of heresies),
3. Propagatio fidei (Propagation/expansion/spreading of the Faith)
4. Conversio peccatorum (Conversion of sinners),
5. Pax inter principes christianos (Peace between Christian rulers).

These five categories were also listed in the older, 1917 Code of Canon Law, which is now superseded by the 1983 Code.

They remain good intentions, all. I’ll leave it to you to determine whether or not the more recent intentions in any way resemble the classic intentions.

Also, for the sake of those who are legitimately impeded from performing some prescribed work (either imposed during sacramental confession or imposed in the concession of an indulgence), either a physical impediment or a moral impediment, confessors (priests who have faculties to receive sacramental confessions) are able to commute – change to something else – both the work prescribed and the conditions required except for, in the case of plenary indulgences in particular, the need for detachment from even venial sin.

Authors are divided somewhat on the question of whether any confessor can commute a work for any person outside of the confessional.  So, it is best to deal with this with one’s own regular confessor in the confessional.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  3. Josephus Corvus says:

    Sometimes ignorance is bliss. To gain an indulgence, we are asked by the Church to pray for the pope’s intentions. OK. It doesn’t say we have to pray for them by name or even know what they are. Just a simple “For the intentions of the Holy Father… Our Father who art….” Then leave them up to the Lord how He chooses to answer those prayers. We have all had experience where we have joined others in prayers for good things which the Lord chose not to grant for reasons known only to Him. Therefore, for certain…ummm…”different” intentions, we can let the Lord figure them out. We did what we were asked to do and by not knowing the details of said intentions we do some addition good – avoiding the healthcare necessary for ulcers.

    On a more administrative note, I’m not seeing any comments. It says “2 comments” but none are showing. Normally if Father has moderation on, it won’t show anything until they are approved.

  4. surritter says:

    A “pingback” counts as a comment, even though it’s not a comment in that sense. Shrug.
    I like your main point: We should do what we are supposed to do, and God knows our heart and can sort things out.

  5. Senor Quixana says:

    With respect to those who find this intention objectionable, I do not comprehend the objection. Certainly, religious discrimination and persecution are not Catholic or civic virtues. Considering that at the founding of the Church the Roman Empire did not call us Christians but “Lion Chow,” it seems to me that persecution is something we should strenuously oppose. While there is a clear anti-Catholic/anti-Christian sentiment rising in the US it is easy for us to forget that there is real blood-letting persecution in other parts of the world. To try to sustain those of us truly suffering forced relocation, economic loss and violence seems unquestionably laudable to me. To pray for mercy for non-Christians suffering these things should not be objectionable. I do not understand the nature of the objection.

  6. surritter says:

    @Senor — of course unjust persecution is something that we should strenuously oppose. But it’s apparent that you are not familiar with Traditionis Custodes. Read about that document (this website is a good place to start) and you’ll soon understand the objection: It’s because the same entity who is asking us to pray for those who are persecuted is himself a persecutor, and it’s terribly unjust.

  7. TonyO says:

    My daughter had some qualms a while ago in praying for the intentions of the Holy Father. Then she saw an escape hatch: “The Holy Father” is…capable of a certain ambiguity. Our Father in Heaven is certainly holy, and is in a certain respect more properly “the Holy Father” than the pope, who takes his fatherhood in derivation from God the Father. If we apply this escape hatch, “praying for the intentions of the Holy Father” is nothing more or less than we do when we recite the Our Father: “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done…” We can all pray for that.

    Mind you, I am not certain this – quite – matches the entire spirit and meaning of the requirement of the indulgences. But then, I am not sure it doesn’t, either. And is God really going to decline to grant an indulgence because a person asked for the very same thing Jesus told us to pray for in teaching us the Our Father? I think God is not that kind of a bean-counter.

  8. SeelDad says:

    I’ve heard people pray for the “good intentions of the Holy Father”. Another spin might be to pray for the “spiritually profitable intentions”. That seems like the easiest way out of this quagmire.

  9. WVC says:

    Whenever we pray the family Rosary and it comes to the pope’s intentions, we now pray for “The intentions of the Holy Father and for the increase in devotion to the Traditional Liturgy.”

    I reckon no prayer, made in earnest, with good intention, by someone in a state of grace, is ever wasted. If the papal intention as published is *ahem* unworthy, then I’m sure the prayers we offer are redirected to worthier causes (such as expounded upon by Prummer). Either way, it’s not my pope – it’s God’s pope. The pope answers to God for his intentions, and I answer to God for praying for those intentions. I’m not going to let one fool failing in his duty make me into a fool in front of our mutual boss. But, a little extra spoonful of sugar can’t help but make the medicine go down, so I add a prayer for the Holy Traditional Liturgy.

  10. redneckpride4ever says:

    I will honor the Pope’s request and pray for and end to the assault on the ancient Roman Rite.

    I guess he’s not such a bad Pontiff. Can ypu think of a time in history where a Pope asked us to pray against his activities?

  11. Mariana2 says:

    Like the idiot convert I am, and in a Lutheran country, practising my faith in much isolation, I had thought everybody automatically prayed for the Pope’s intentions.

    It is depressing that the current intentions are odd. Prümmer sounds so much better. But this month’s deserves to be prayed for, as of course we want to be free from religious persecution, specially as it is the pope himself, with his merry men, who do it.

    On a related note, the translation the intentions into Swedish has for years been decidedly odd; grammatically incorrect, no punctuation, and occasionally I have had to look at other language versions in order to understand what was meant.

  12. Philliesgirl says:

    I’m with SeelDad. For some time now I’ve been praying for ‘the good intentions of the Holy Father’ and leave the deciphering up to the Good Lord

  13. In my family, we simply pray for the intentions of the Roman Pontiff or the Vicar of Christ, and history (or heaven) will reveal exactly what (or who) that entails in the fullness of time…

  14. Tradster says:

    In my household we pray “for the traditional, perpetual intentions of the Holy Father.” That avoids any of the modern novelties.

  15. Danteewoo says:

    Those five intentions of the pope sound like things that Francis would want us to pray against. Francis does teach the Faith in a way — just listen to him and strongly consider the opposite.

  16. Lurker 59 says:

    I’ve never considered “the intentions of [insert office]” to be the subjective personal intentions of the current officeholder, but rather the objective duties that the officeholder is supposed to be praying for. It seems to me that this is also Prümmer’s tact.

    That said, I don’t think the average person realises how fruity the intentions can be at the average NO Mass, intentions of local bishops, this particular Pontiff, etc. are unless they have been exposed to the corrisponding prayer forms in TLM, the traditional Liturgy of the Hours, and/or the Divine Liturgy. It really is a situation of having no concept of anything outside of the box one is in.

    @Senor Quixana

    I’d argue that this issue is that

    *just discrimination
    *unjust discrimination

    are two different things and that there is a moral obligation to discriminate both prudentially and justly against various things; chiefly being that we must discriminate for (prefer) the things of God over the things of man and this world.

    Futher if we look at “He asked us to pray for victims of religious discrimination and persecution” there is the issue of the term “religious”. Properly speaking, there is only one religion, the Catholic religion. Notwithstanding the mudding of the waters by Nostra aetate (greatly corrected by Dominus Iesus), other belief systems are either creations of man or demons, so that the Christian state and the secular state are obliged, at minium, towards prudential tollarance while giving a preferential option towards the Catholic Faith. This stems from the Missionary Mandate of the Church, to convert the Nations and bring the salvation of Christ to all peoples.

    THUS for the Pope, of all persons, to, when discussing those outside of the Church, to not start from the standpoint of their need to have Christ crucified preached to them, is really indicitive of his hierarchy of the good being out of wack.

    From a larger picture, it is not remotely Catholic for an individual to be praying for univeral brotherhood based on and/or achieved independently from the brotherhood created by individuals being baptized into Christ, recieving the sacraments, and participating in the liturgical and spiritual life of the Church.

    And this isn’t pre-VII stuff. It is all there in VII. The pre-VII stuff is oh so much harsher.

  17. Cornelius says:

    This is only a problem if you actually believe this man is Pope. He’s not – he’s an anti-Pope, so pay him no attention.

  18. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    I have only belatedly followed the link to the NCRegister article and the link there to the video on YouTube, where the English translation concludes, “And may a small difference, or a substantial difference such as a religious one, not obscure the great uniformity of being human beings, the great unity of being brothers and sisters.

    “Let us choose the path of fraternity. Because either we are brothers and sisters, or we all lose.

    “Let us pray for all those suffering from religious discrimination and persecution; may their own rights and dignity be recognized, which originate from being brothers and sisters in the human family.”

    Where is, say, Pachamama worship, in this characterization? Is that a ‘religion’ that must not be subject to “discrimination”?

    And, “How can we allow that in this society, which is so civilized, there are people who are persecuted simply because they publicly profess their faith? Not only is it unacceptable; it’s inhuman, it’s insane” raises the obvious question how can the Vatican have facilitated and continue to facilitate the Communist persecution of Christians – of faithful Catholics – in China? And again, how can the Vatican and various Bishops and Bishops’ Conferences facilitate attacks on faithful conscientious objection to various current pharmacological mandates?

  19. Tantum Ergo says:

    I simply pray for the Holy Father’s GOOD intentions.

  20. Senor Quixana says:

    I thank Lurker 59 for expounding on religious discrimination and persecution in broader terms with greater nuance than I aspired to.

    To my friend surritter, I am well aware of TC and what changes it has brought for TLM enthusiasts. I empathize. I also reject the notion of TC’s impositions being persecution as, to borrow a phrase, “B as in B and S as in S.”

    We are soldiers in the Church Militant. The army we fight in has a duty to feed us, and it does. It meets our needs. You may not be getting the multi-course fine dining of the TLM as easily as you have in recent years and you may look at the NO as an MRE, but it is a meal that provides the same nutritional value, albeit with little (or even bad) flavor or the niceties TLM offers. The temptation here is to administer the kind of dressing down any Drill Seargent worth his salt would give to the whiners, but let’s just take that as read. Broadly defined, you might make a case for calling TC persecution, but to do so devalues the word. How many lives have been lost due to TC? How much blood was spilled and how many limbs were broken? How many livelihoods were lost? How many forced relocations? Look to St. Stephen, St. Thomas More, and St. Charles Lwanga and then tell me that the TLM community is being persecuted.

  21. WVC says:

    @Senor Quixana

    My wife died in July. We visit her grave every Sunday to put flowers there when we go to Mass. The Latin Mass has formed my faith, my wife’s faith, and the faith of our seven children. It is WHO WE ARE. My boys have devoted hours upon hours memorizing Latin prayers and serving at the altar. My girls have devoted hours upon hours in choir practice and can now even lead the choir if the choir master is out so that we can still have a High Mass.

    You want to call me a whiner? You want to “dress me down” Mr. Drill Sergeant? You think telling my children that the Faith of their mother is harmful and divisive, and if they want to worship the way she taught them, even through the 5 years of fighting cancer, teaching them their catechism, preparing two of them for Confirmation when she had only months left to live – you want to tell these children that if they want to keep true to their faith then they’ll need to abandon their mother’s grave and go find a cow shed out in the woods to go to Mass? To you that doesn’t qualify as “real persecution.”

    Then all I can say is you must hold your faith a lot more cheaply than I hold mine.

    And if you think the only difference between the Latin Mass and the Novus Ordo is “flavoring” – then you are apparently ignorant of the deplorable state of the Church over the past 50 years. I have at least two dozen books I could recommend to you to start your education. Live up to your name sake and get to reading, son.

    Oh, and St. Thomas More and St. Charles Lwanga? Last time I checked, they were Latin Mass fans.

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  23. Annunciata says:

    I pray for the Pope’s Holy intentions that are pleasing to God.
    We have the fullness of Faith with God the Father & Creator,
    Jesus the Son & Redeemer and the Holy Spirit the Paraclete & Comforter. No leader can take away or change our Faith.

  24. Imrahil says:

    Hm; a couple of points.

    1. Thank you, reverend Father, for the detailed and helpful information. (The rest will, I am afraid, be much commenting on the comments.)

    2. Even if the Pope’s intentions in the sense of monthly intentions should happen to be acceptable, it is legitimate thinking what to do if they weren’t. That may happen at any rate.

    3. Concerning this specific intention, neither “utterly wrong” nor “entirely acceptable” is the truth. So, it is not wrong to pray for human fraternity, per se (as long as we don’t explicitly add “based on some other foundation than Christ”), and it’s not wrong to “pray for all those suffering from religious discrimination and persecution; may their own rights and dignity be recognized”. Even if someone should take the SSPX stand on Dignitatis humanae (and I don’t), it wouldn’t be wrong for him to pray for someone who suffers, even should he suffer justly [which would be perhaps a non-Christian who is discriminated]; also, it is wrong to pray that someone’s rights and dignity should be recognized (though I’d personally also pray that they be not only recognized but also respected), that is, their actual rights and their actual dignity.

    The wrong thing about it is to suppose that these two things, human fraternity and not being persecuted for religion, would have much to do with each other. They don’t, other than being (round-about, generally speaking) good. The reason the Pope or whoever formulated his intention is expressed in the last half-sentence, but that is bogus; their rights and dignity (that is of course in so far as they exist) do not stem from their being brothers and sisters in the human family (it may be said they are, but the rights and dignity do not stem from the fact), but from the fact that they are “inalienably endowed by their Creator with” them, as your founding-fathers so nicely put it.

    What the Pope does otherwise and how he commented his intentions is more-or-less immaterial.

    4. After this very half-hearted (details see above) assent to the dear Senator Quixana that both intentions are somewhat acceptable (but not the reasoning that they are more or less the same thing), let me all the more heartily disagree with his uncharitable pep-talkery about us TLM whiners.

    We are soldiers of the Church Militant, all right. I have been a soldier; not a particularly good one, and only due to conscription, but enough to see that no military regulations are more easily broken – especially by those who have seen actual combat – than those that micromanage the equipment. Imagine now an army whose Deputy C-in-C orders his soldiers to throw away the weapon they like and have become accustomed to, in order to promote one he personally prefers “because I am the general and can do so”. Imagine, in addition, that the soldiers can reasonably that the loss of the old weapon, even if replaced by the new, will weaken their military power, even though (yes) it does fire the same bullets which will kill the enemy. And then imagine that there are reasonable grounds to suppose the Deputy C-in-C does it because he has disliked them; even though they are personally known to the actual C-in-C and have a hesitating reason to suspect he is rather fond of them. And the replacement is done with a lot of accusations, many only holding true for tiny minorities and all of them admittedly only for some, while collectively punishing all.

    How would the army react? Trust me, our apparent “whining” is minimal in comparison. – And then I have not even taken into account the fact that while a general would have the principal right to such a move, the Church praying is not the Church in repeating what the Pope says. The Pope is leader of the prayer of the Church, yes; but (in this respect) not more than that.

    Oh, and St. Stephen and St. Charles Lwanga? I won’t in the least either begrudge or deny their glory and merits; but it still is the case that they were persected by their enemies and then went on to quick death. (The case of St. Thomas More, who was persecuted by what had been truly his friend, and who [legitimately] did cling to life as long as he could morally do so, putting all the skills of his enormous prudence to use for that end, is rather interesting; but not quite the point here either.)

    5. Dear Cornelius, you are taking the easy way out. Now I don’t mind going for the easy option, generally (other than others); the more important thing is that one must not become untruthful in that. The Pope is Pope; if he weren’t, we might have less difficulties at first glance (though I suspect this sentence rather heavily rests on “at first glance”); but nevertheless he obviously is the Pope.

  25. Imrahil says:

    also, it is wrong to pray that someone’s rights, etc.: I mean of course, it is not wrong.

  26. redneckpride4ever says:

    @Senor Quixana

    It said discrimination as well as persecution.

    Nobody here is saying that we suffered the fate of Russian Old Believers.

    We apply the first word and have a slam dunk.

    Therefore it is within the Pope’s intentions that we pray for an end to the Pope’s discrimination. (I tell you this Pontiff is a genius!)

  27. Ed the Roman says:

    I suspect more than strongly that prayer cannot be destructive: the Lord will not grant prayers that would result in ill.

  28. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    I wondered what the old Catholic Encyclopedia might have to say about “Persecution” – and found James Bridges’s 1911 article begins “Persecution may be defined in general as the unlawful coercion of another’s liberty or his unlawful punishment, for not every kind of punishment can be regarded as persecution. For our purpose it must be still further limited to the sphere of religion, and in that sense persecution means unlawful coercion or punishment for religion’s sake.”

    That “unlawful coercion of another’s liberty” seems very apt in considering some of the actions and writings of Pope St. Paul VI and of Pope Francis with respect to the use of the Missal and other books. For instance, in light of a quotation from Father John Hunwicke from 8 years ago this month, beginning, “Summorum Pontificum confirmed juridically that the Latin Church had lived for some four decades under the dominion of a lie. The Vetus Ordo had not been lawfully prohibited. Much persecution of devout priests and layfolk that took place during those decades is therefore now seen to have been vis sine lege [force without law].”

    Also worth noting in the context is the phrasing of Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s recent ‘Duty of the Roman Pontiff to Restore Liturgical Peace: A pastoral reflection’ where he speaks of “the right to be able to continue to live fully, both regarding the celebration of the Holy Mass and the celebration of all the other sacraments and rituals” and saying that “the Apostolic See, with a generous pastoral gesture, had guaranteed them this right during the pontificates of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI” and that Pope Francis should likewise “guarantee their established right to worship according to all the liturgical books of the Roman Rite that were in use until the recent liturgical reform.”

  29. surritter says:

    @Senor Quixana,
    You have jumped to a conclusion by thinking that I am a TLM’er. I defend them and their rights although I always attend an Ordinary Form Mass. Best not to make assumptions.
    That said, you seem to have a strange idea of what constitutes persecution. Bloodshed…broken limbs…forced relocations! You don’t seem to consider the spiritual goods which are lost (and perhaps even souls) because of the divisions caused by our top earthly shepherds.
    So, when it comes to religious persecution, I like the definition quoted by Venerator Sti Lot (above).

  30. Senor Quixana says:

    To perhaps steer things in a gentler direction, allow me a few responses:

    Dear surritter. only my correction of your assumption that I was unfamiliar with TC was directed to you specifically. My only disagreement with you, my friend, is the classification of the implementation of TC as persecution. The implementation of TC in some places is decidedly uncharitable and unwise in the extreme and certainly appears contrary to any attempt at genuine pastoral care. But persecution? ISIS killing Christians by setting off explosive cords wrapped around their necks is persecution. Broadly defined it can be argued that TC fits, but murder is a completely different sort of thing than having to drive 20 more miles for a TLM and having to go to the NO on Christmas. If you assert they are getting bad treatment by people who should be caring for them, I agree with you entirely. Engaging in the current fashion of claiming victimhood is, however, unseemly, counterproductive, and cheapens the much harsher sufferings endured by Christians in harsher areas of the world.

    Dear WVC, I am sorry for your loss, sir. Your wife’s faith is also my faith. Like her, I affirm all the truths our Church teaches and. by the grace of God, I hope to meet her in the next life. We obey Jesus’ command to “do this in memory of me” by offering the same sacrifice she participated in and we pray for her and honor her as one who has “gone before us, marked by the sign of faith.” We lack the style and grandeur, but not the substance. I would not begrudge you the opportunity to pray for and honor her in a way that was so familiar to her. That your local authorities may make that more difficult is regrettable, but relative to what our Middle-Eastern brethren suffer when forced from their homelands never again to visit the graves of their loved ones it is important for us to be grateful that we are not subjected to their burdens. Perhaps gratitude is the best comfort we can provide ourselves. I hope the inconveniences you must deal with do not preclud3 you from praying for her and your children in the way you find most comforting.

    My dear imrahil, I am glad we can agree on something, even if your assent is only half-hearted. I appreciate your playing on the Church Militant theme and largely agree with you as to the wisdom of what our superiors are doing. While I believe that bishops need to be able to exercise some control over the use of the TLM, what many of those bishops are doing is just stupid and contrary to what a wise pastor would do. I accept your argument that many of the policies being adopted are just plain bad. Make your arguments and press your case. I hope you win much of what you want. My objection is to the bitching and moaning in the ranks. That undermines military effectiveness as much as poor command decisions. We are in a war. I am sorry the soldiers don’t like the weapons, but whining about weapons procurement is not fighting the enemy so much as it is giving him aid and comfort.

    To all, I hope you all get reasonable access to the sacraments in the traditional form but do not try to say you are persecuted when the Church offers you everything you need but you just do not want to accept it unless it is gift wrapped and tied with a bow as pretty as you want. I hope the high command sees the wisdom of changing some of its policies, but put on your grown-up pants, use the weapons provided and stop pretending that what the high command is doing to you is anywhere near as bad as what the enemy is doing to our comrades in arms in the trenches. Rejoice that you have perfectly valid NO sacraments to enjoy while the folks in the foxholes are getting rewarded with body bags for their efforts. I hope you win, but for the Love of God please stop pretending this is the worst thing you could be subjected to. Enjoy what you can, because “they can always hurt you more.”

  31. WVC says:

    @Senor Quixana – I think it’s time you put on your own “grown up” pants and stopped pretending you have any position to lecture the rest of us on the liturgy, a subject of which you appear to be supremely ignorant. Take your straw man and go home. None of us, to my knowledge, are pretending or claiming this is “the worst thing we could be subjected to.” We know much worse is likely in store. Your argument amounts to “Well, so-and-so got raped and murdered, so why should you complain about getting raped? You should be happy and rejoice!” Yeah, and the beatings will continue until morale improves. Thanks.

    The Latin Mass is just “gift wrapping”? You come across as a Puritan or an iconoclast. I guess we should just strip the altars and mandate Eucharistic Prayer II because, hey, it’s quick and gets the job done and is just as valid so everyone shut up and enjoy it. I mean, really, do we even need the Liturgy of the Word? Read the Bible on your own time! Maybe the priest should just hand out pre-consecrated hosts to people in the parking lot? Oh, wait, in the age of COVID that’s actually already happened. Guess it’s great and we should rejoice since it was valid and everything we needed. I mean, what is liturgy at all except wasteful gift wrapping? Let’s just get rid of it and save everyone a lot of time and energy!

    For those of use who have been eating meat for decades, your call for us to go back to mush and rejoice in it is hollow and absurd. Surely you can find something better to do with your time than insult those who love the Latin Mass and defend it in the face of those who are hard of heart and are trying to abolish it? This isn’t a matter of “weapons procurement” – it’s the entire point of the fight in the first place. If the goal is not to worship God in the best way possible, then what, pray tell, is the goal? If the mission is not to preserve that which was handed down to us, then what, pray tell, is the mission? Perhaps reading a decent book about the liturgy would be a better use of your time than continuing to insult those who love the Latin Mass?

    Peace to you, and may God grant you every grace that you need. I’ll depart from this thread as I have nothing else to contribute.

  32. AutoLos says:

    “Heavenly Father, may your will be done in regard to the Pope’s intentions.”

  33. TonyO says:

    Senor Quixana:

    You deny that TC – either as issued or as implemented – constitutes “persecution”. While I might incline to join you in parsing out “persecution” with a fine-tooth comb, as I am an unreconstructed ossified manualist, I cannot.

    First, you weigh in with the issue of where are the deaths, broken limbs, etc. In this regard, we have to take into account both the physical and spiritual death. While it is true that people can receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at the NO masses still available, that is not the only grace that one receives at mass. There are myriad actual graces, and in fact those actual graces depend critically on the disposition of the recipient as well as the circumstances of receiving. The core reality is that many (most) of those who attend the TLM regularly and voluntarily do so because they find it feeds their needs better – which can be re-stated in terms of their receiving more actual grace through that mass. Will the lack of that, BY ITSELF, cause anyone to die the spiritual death of mortal sin? No, not by itself. But it never is “by itself”. We fall into mortal sin by a series of steps of one imperfect choice leading to another, leading to defects, leading to venial sins, leading to tepid or unwilling prayer life, lack of actual graces for avoiding temptation, until we fall to a temptation to grave sin. In practical terms, there will be people who die spiritually because they will be not able to go to the TLM. Yes, it will be their fault. But it will ALSO be the fault of the bishop and pope taking away the TLM without due reason. (Moral responsibility is not a zero-sum game: many people can be morally accountable for my mortal sin in addition to my own self.) When you count spiritual death: yes, there will be some. And the case is likewise for spiritual versions of maiming and broken limbs: who knows how many young men will FAIL to pursue their calling to the priesthood because of TC damaging their day-to-day spiritual life? A person who is in the wrong vocation is like a person who has been maimed, in terms of wholesome development.

    You mention things like forced relocations: I know of people who will be forced to move because they have lost their jobs due to TC. Just for one, a choir director who directs specifically for the TLM mass at his parish, will be unable to keep his job, and will probably lose the home he just purchased recently. This is just a drop in the bucket: there are all the FSSP and ICK priests kicked out of dioceses and parishes because of TC (e.g. the bishop of Toulon kicked out all the FSSP priests in his diocese.)

    There may be softer or harsher kinds of persecution, but this is certainly a form of persecution.

    Setting aside that specific word, the pope’s listed intention covers also discrimination. There can be no reason to suggest that separating out TLM-goers (and priests) for the special treatment of TC is discrimination. Even eliminating the negative sense of the word, and using it in its neutral sense of “asserting a distinction” is what is happening under TC: the pope is saying TLM-goers, by that very fact, stand to the Church differently than those who attend the NO. And what he makes of the distinction is (clearly) unjust: he assigns a wrong (schismatic divisiveness) to the whole class when it applies only to a small minority. That is EXACTLY the kind of bigoted thinking that is found, for example, in old-timers who might have said “blacks are lazy” because they knew one or two blacks who were lazy: applying to a whole class a characteristic that DOES NOT APPLY to them as a whole, a false generalization. And the measures imposed as a result of this false generalization are, both, discriminatory (in its negative sense) as well as persecutions.

    For the sake of clarity: I attend NO masses of my local NO parish 99% of the time, but I know many people greatly affected by TC. And I find that my faith and devotion within the locus of the NO mass is greatly strengthened by my occasionally going to TLMs. (Which is, certainly, part of what Benedict was expressly hoping for with SP.) So, although I am relatively less affected by TC, I will still sustain some harm from it.

  34. N.O. Catholic says:

    Although it’s been a long time since I posted here regularly, I just noticed that WVC, with whom I had discussions about a year ago, lost his wife.

    WVC, my condolences and prayers for the profound loss of your wife.

    And as long as I am posting here, I must say this: although I have almost exclusively attended the Novus Ordo Mass (as my handle indicates), I was and remain shocked and appalled by the harshness of the Holy Father’s directives as regards the TLM.

  35. Lurker 59 says:

    @Senor Quixana

    It seems to me that you are viewing TC as sort of a “first world problem”. No, the intent of TC is to expunge TLM just as much from the heart of Africa, the sands of the Middle East, the rice fields of China, the slums of Inda, etc. If anything, the first world has the connectivity, resources, and time to fight against that which seeks to rip the heart out of the Western Church. How can the poor, the persecuted to the shedding of their own blood, those that barely have access to the sacraments, do anything other than pray and go to their graves (which is what TC desires)?

    I am not being hyperbolic when I say that the intent of TC is to rip the heart out of the Western Church. A NO Mass done according to VII but not “the Spirit of VII” is what gets axed next. That is obvious for it is just the counterpart to the intent of the “hermeneutic of Continuity” group is eliminate “the Spirit of VII”, Masses, except the HoC is content in dealing with that slowly over time.

    People, don’t think that your barely tolerable partially heterodox local NO Mass is long for this world if TC, and what is coming, succeeds.

  36. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Lurker 59,

    Indeed! It is worth remembering that “the Diocese of Alajuela, in the Northern region of Costa Rica, ordered Fr. Sixto Eduardo Varela Santamaría to be suspended from all ministries for six months, and will be sent to a psychological treatment clinic for celebrating in Latin the Mass of the Missal of Pope Paul VI, also known as the Ordinary Form or ‘Novus Ordo’ ” to quote the 21 August Catholic News Agency story.

    I cannot immediately find any information as to how Fr. Sixto Eduardo Varela Santamaría is faring. The CNA article reported “Fr. Varela Santamaría revealed that he has temporarily been sent to his sister’s home, and that the diocese will send him to a retreat house/clinic that will provide him, ‘spiritual, psychological and medical attention, at least according to the website of this place.’ ” Presumably the sixth-month suspension has at least another month to run, in the best of cases.

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  38. Semper Gumby says:

    WVC: Prayers and Peace to you and yours.

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