Another embarrassing letter from a bishop about “Traditionis custodes”… or rather about “Custodies Traditiones”!

UPDATE 12 Feb:

I’ve bene told that the Bishop of Hamilton threw out 3 seminarians for ATTENDING a TLM. They have moved to another diocese.

UPDATE 11 Feb:

This came in from a reliable reader. It is highly anecdotal but there is clearly something to it. I share it out of fairness to the Bishop.

Interestingly, “Father” Lobsinger, offered the Vetus Ordo in the parish church and was part of a regular rotation of priests for the EF community in Kitchener. He, as bishop, has offered the Vetus Ordo as a Low Mass in private.


The worst role in the church has to be “auxiliary bishop”.

That said, he could have said, “No. You write it.”


From the Diocese of Hamilton, in Canada.

NB: This is from an auxiliary bishop who seems to be also the Vicar General.   He has the coveted MDiv degree from a Canadian school and has also served as the organist for the Kitchener Rangers Junior A hockey team.

Read carefully, this letter doesn’t seem to promulgate any particular law.  These are strong suggestions reflecting someone’s personal preferences.  That doesn’t mean that people and priests cannot be bullied and marginalized even more.  They can always hurt you more, something evident over the last few years.

Note the variant spelling at the top. Spelling?  Total wreck.  “Custodies Traditiones”.  Clearly whoever wrote this and signed it doesn’t have the slightest clue about the issue.

I’d like to think that this is someone’s idea of a prank, but it does have that inflated chancery feel about it.

About that point of using only English…

I wonder how the Francophone communities in the Diocese like that?

About that point of the Missae Defunctorum

No member of the faithful can be required to attend one kind of Mass or another kind of Mass for a certain number of times or length of time in order to be eligible for a funeral in a particular Rite. Let’s say you are a Latin Church Catholic. You’ve lost your driver’s license for whatever reason. Happily, two blocks away there is a Byzantine Catholic Church. You start to go there. Then you die. You, by previous request, and your loved ones in the present, can ask to have your funeral at either that Byzantine church or at your old Latin parish which you could not reach without a car. No one can say you can’t because “She hasn’t been at St. Canute’s for a while!”

Another example. What if you are a snow bird who spends part of the year in Arizona and part in Canada?

This is a matter of the Church’s “constitution”, which might be a confusing point for Americans and maybe less so for Brits.  They have a constitution too, but is isn’t written down in one document called the Constitution.  It’s hard.

Now, however, you have to know where to look for constitutional principles, things extrapolated from the law.

The Church has constitution. It isn’t written down in the form of a document called a Constitution. Libs have a sort of holy grail of getting a Lex Ecclesiae Fundamentalis, a written constitution. Then, boy Oh BOY!  Let the Reign of Terror begin!

A minimum number of Masses you have to attend before you are eligible to be buried in a legitimate Rite of the Church cannot be legislated. It is a violation.

Another example, easier. People can’t be required to know Latin in order to attend a Latin Mass, or Vietnamese to attend a Mass in Vietnamese. Priests can be required to be able to pronounce things properly to celebrate in a language, but they can’t be required to have mastery of that language. Heck, there are any number of priests who say Mass in Spanish but they can’t preach. Priests whose native tongue is English perhaps have no idea what the prayers they read aloud regularly really say, what they mean.

In any event, there is a lot of sloppy overreach in the above. Not to mention the other things.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Pingback: Another embarrassing letter from a bishop about “Traditionis custodes”… or rather about “Custodies Traditiones”! – Via Nova Media

  2. eamonob says:

    I like your point about the Spanish Masses. I remember growing up, our parish had a large Spanish-speaking population and one of the priests would say a couple Spanish Masses each weekend. However, he would give his homily in English and have one of the parishioners translating it for him. This priest was a very competent Spanish speaker, but he would tell us he just didn’t feel quite able to articulate everything perfectly in a homily even though he could say Mass without issues. No one ever thought he shouldn’t be saying Mass in Spanish. Quite the contrary—the Spanish speakers were all very grateful he was willing to do that for them.

  3. summorumpontificum777 says:

    In addition to “custodies”… “Moto”? “Publically”? Apparently literacy isn’t a requirement for the bishop gig.

  4. Eugene says:

    Father and fellow Catholics, please pray for us here in this diocese.
    It is a complete disaster with a completely CINO leadership who last year actually had the episcopal vicar for education commend a report justifying the flying of the pride flag in our “catholic schools”.
    But like Father Z says, the Latin mass is the problem….I am just so done with these “shepherds”

  5. robtbrown says:

    There is no mandate in Vat II that mass be in the vernacular.

    There is no mention at all in Vat II of mass facing the people.

    However: Vat II explicitly says priests are to know Latin.
    Optatam totius 13: Moreover they are to acquire a knowledge of Latin which will enable them to understand and make use of the sources of so many sciences and of the documents of the Church.

  6. Kathleen10 says:

    At this point the thing that surprises me is that there are Catholics willing to put up with this. God did not intend we be tormented each week. There are only a few ways to really get their attention, if you want change. Showing up each week and putting your money in the basket isn’t it. I know they get paid from other sources now, I’m not even sure we’re needed anymore at all, but even bishops need the illusion of a functional church. Still, there are so many Catholics who just don’t care either way.

  7. kurtmasur says:

    Custodies Traditiones (ha!) MUST be resisted! With so many restrictions and limitations, how could they keep track of it all?

    Hagan lío!

  8. “Custodies Traditiones”, “Moto”: the fruits of auto-correct?

    Also, is there a good explanation of how an auxiliary bishop fits into the constitution of the Church? Like national conferences of bishops, the office of an auxiliary bishop does not seem to me to be a genuine part of the Church’s constitution. If a diocese is so large that the bishop needs an auxiliary, then it seems to me that it’s rather time to split that diocese into pieces under multiple bishops, who can be grouped under an archbishop or metropolitan.

  9. “The worst role in the church has to be ‘auxiliary bishop’.”

    And one of the best things we could do in the Church would be to eliminate auxiliary bishops altogether.

  10. Pingback: VVEEKEND EDITION – Big Pulpit

  11. TonyO says:

    I know that the CDF, in answer to the “dubia”, forbade bination. Can someone please explain to me how the so-called “rationale” given for this prohibition actually means anything? When I read it, it sounded to me roughly like “no bination, because gnome underpants, so THERE.” Was it really just a bald-faced expression of hatred of the TML and of raw power to forbid?

    [Yes, that is what it is, in reality. However, the excuse given is that there is no true pastoral need for the TLM at all, and bination is only justified if there is pastoral need.]

  12. Concerned_Catholic says:

    The insistence of confessions in the vernacular (English) seems rather problematical. I understood Canada to be officially bilingual. Does that mean Francophones will now be obliged to confess their sins, which can be a stressful event, in a language they are not comfrtable using?

    My parish priest offers confessions in English, French and Italian. If we were in the Diocese of Hamilton would he be obliged to stop using French and Italian? I also note in our diocesan almanac that confessions are offered in a wide variety of languages throughout the diocese. Latin, though, is not one of them; they are all vernacular languages. Would that have to stop if we were unfortunate enough to be in the See of Hamilton?

    Verwenden Sie Englisch! Alle anderen Sprachen sind untersagt.

  13. Pedantic Classicist says:

    “You WILL guard/hold captive the traditions.” oof.

  14. Skill in Latin is required according to canon 249 of the current Code of Canon Law. And Ionathas: They don’t — and “Amen.” And TonyO: “gnome underpants” — I’ll use this for sure, as soon as I wipe up my splattered coffee.

  15. Bthompson says:

    Andrew Saucci: ‘“The worst role in the church has to be ‘auxiliary bishop’.”

    And one of the best things we could do in the Church would be to eliminate auxiliary bishops altogether.’

    I agree. My opinion is that if a diocese is big enough to warrant an auxiliary or several, it should long ago have been divided at least as many dioceses as bishops (even many smaller dioceses could and should be divided as well). If there were far more, far smaller, dioceses, it would be healthier for so many reasons (bishops having less political clout could restrain the power-hungry and careerists, bishops would know their people better, authentic synodality might be possible, bishops could be more present and would be more likely to be like their flock rather than just the portion in the see city, etc.)

  16. Fr. Kelly says:

    TonyO: in point of fact the responses to “dubia” came out from the CDWDS which by TC is given authority over liturgical matters involving the TLM.

    But the conditions for bination are a matter of canon law, not liturgical law.
    All a priest needs in order to binate is a “just cause” or “pastoral reason”. It’s not a high bar. There can be lots of reasons for a priest to say a second Mass — so that the people who couldn’t make the morning Mass can still get to Mass at lunch time or in the evening … for a wedding or a funeral or a scheduled class … you name it.
    Even if one of those extra Masses being offered in the extraordinary form, it doesn’t necessarily mean that that is the reason for the bination.

  17. James C says:

    Special permission needed to celebrate ad orientem or in Latin.

    No permission needed for Pride masses or liturgical dance or basically any other sort of evil nonsense.

    That’s where we are in the allegedly Catholic diocese of Hamilton.

  18. Benedict Joseph says:

    If the thermometer didn’t say otherwise I’d swear it was April 1. If the letter with its abundant flaws was not enough then you have the flag issue — which is a flag in more ways than one.
    Another national episcopate shepherding over the cliff. The global episcopate paints its own “black legend.” This one will not be able to be refuted in times to come.

  19. Lurker 59 says:

    Moral Wounds

    If, say, you were a bishop who hated TLM but had an aux-bishop who sort of supported TLM, the way you make this bishop compliant to your will is to make them sign the document that suppresses the thing that they like. You wound them doubly for you force them to hurt that which they love and make them receive the blowback from those that they love. If they comply and are so wounded, they become more complacent in the future to your will.

    Classic pattern of abuse.

    Not that this is what is going on, as I know nothing, but it is what I posited before the 12 Feb update due to discrepancies in the story.

    The real way an abuser hurts you is to make you complicit in the abuse. A small step just leads to more and more.

    Being complicit in your own abuse or the abuse of others IS NOT THE VIRTUE OF OBEDIENCE.

  20. Colin Pye says:

    Curiously, no mention made of it today at the TLM at St. Ann’s, Hamilton.

  21. TonyO says:

    I must say, while I don’t love the idea of a bishop (aux or otherwise) having a coat of arms or crest or whatever it is for his relationship to a hockey team, that’s got to be one of the best uses of Latin I have seen in a while.

    [It’s just possible that that isn’t really his coat-of-arms. It could be that someone cobbled that one up in a whimsical desire to lighten the mood. His real coat of arms, is actually rather nice, better than 90% of those of other bishops and his motto is admirable, from John 3:30.]

    About auxiliary bishops: I agree in general that bishops should be in direct governance of their own diocese, and an aux is a lot like a fifth wheel. However, at the same time I have long wondered how in the world a bishop of a large city (e.g. NY, LA, or Chicago) with many, many parishes, could possibly visit all of them enough to do all the confirmations needed, (and at that, such visits being perfunctory, as well as a grueling demand on his time and energy needed for such things as training up new priests, etc). Manhattan alone has 96 parishes – even with taking no weekend off for other things, it would take a single bishop nearly 2 years to cover them all for confirmations. And yet, even if we broke up the NY diocese, I cannot see breaking up Manhattan into different dioceses.

    I don’t have a solution. But the MUCH more serious and urgent problem is that of how bishops are selected (and moved around). This needs massive reform.

  22. CurtD says:

    Any confirmation on the seminarians? I’ve met most of them but out of the loop on going on.

    [My source stands by the report.]

  23. JMody says:

    And another curious … coincidence. His Excellency’s name – Lobsinger – German for “praise-singer”, a singer of praises to God.

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