Si vis pacem, para bellum.

There is an engaging piece at Rorate today, by a French journalist (translated), Yves Daoudal. HERE

It is a severe indictment of the Novus Ordo on grounds that we have all read before, but which are well-summarized.  It is a call to arms.

For example, he mentions the massive shift in the content of orations in the Novus Ordo, how certain concepts deemed by the cutting and pasting “experts” back in the day to be too negative and not sufficiently anthropocentric were systematically excised from older prayers and excluded from new compositions. He brings up the point that, while it is possible to celebrate the Novus Ordo in a Catholic way, to do that one has to be Catholic… which is obviously a problem these days where many of our priests and, I dare say, bishops are concerned.

He brings up the point that the Novus Ordo was designed to “conform to the aspirations of the man of the ‘modern world'” so that they might return to the fold.   That is so.  He does not mention the other part of that objective, that the Novus Ordo be more acceptable to Protestants.

His peroration:

That is the real reason. Let’s stop the evasions. Let’s stop the politeness. This is a war. We may lose it, because they have the power. But from the supernatural point of view they are the ones who have already lost.

We cannot help but agree with this, though decorum remains important … precisely because this is a war. The principles of rhetoric should guide us so that, in this war, we can attain the goals we designate.

We have to be ready to suffer in this war.

We have to be willing also to put aside some differences so as to create a united front.

The writer’s point that “they have the power” is important. I have constantly underscored this.  We are being bullied.   The bottom line is that the powers that be are not really picking on the TLM, qua TLM.  They are picking on the people who want it.  They fear and hate the people and, therefore, they are attacking what gives them sustenance, joy, and a sure grounding in a Catholic identity that they reject.   But, make no mistake, you, dear readers, are their real target.

I do not think “we may lose” the war. While I am certain that on the supernatural level, provided we can remain in the state of grace and remain vigilant about our motives, we are winning this, I am also confident that, in the long run, their efforts to suppress faithful Catholics who desire traditional worship will fail.  As it failed before.

In a war, skirmishes and battles can be lost, but it is the long run that ultimately counts.

Si vis pacem, para bellum.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  2. TonyO says:

    To a certain extent, we lay people have it easier in this war. How?

    First, TC was directed to bishops. If my local bishop chooses not to implement TC, or to implement only parts of it, or only under a very loose interpretation, and as a result there are more and better TLM masses in his diocese than Rome wants, that’s no sort of disobedience on my part. And I can attend those masses with a free heart and mind, not clouded by concern that (maybe) the bishop might not be as “obedient” as Rome would like.

    Similarly, if the local bishop orders a crackdown on parish (and other) TLM masses, and tells the priests not to celebrate TLMs much, and the local pastor or priest decides that the “crackdown” isn’t binding (or that there are reasons why it doesn’t bind here in his situation), again that’s no skin off my nose: the TLM mass itself said by the priest is a good and holy mass. It’s not my responsibility if the priest is not doing what the bishop wanted or mis-interpreted the bishop’s directive.

    But it seems likely that eventually, at some point, these issues WILL come home to roost for faithful lay Catholics, much like the Civil War in the US forced individuals in each family to make choices of conscience, and often divided families. We will have to decide to either provide material assistance to priests who are choosing to say TLM masses in apparent conflict with either TC or their bishop, (and priests who have been reprimanded, or censured), or NOT to provide such material assistance on account of the priest’s actions being in apparent conflict. We will be unable to simply shirk the choice as being none of our concern.

    Someone in a recent thread suggested we should be willing to suffer excommunication for this issue. I am not sure posing it that way is the most fruitful way, and I can say that (at least at this time) we may be sort of fortunate that Rome (and the bishops) have gotten out of the habit of declaring excommunications – to the point where most bishops never have done so, and many probably don’t even know where to start if they wanted to. More likely than not (going by current conditions) we probably won’t be faced with that worst of ecclesiastical penalties, even if a bishop does feel we are “being disobedient” by supporting a priest who is “being disobedient” and whom he censures. And (again, so far as I see conditions) lay Catholics who merely attend TLM masses said against the bishop’s wishes are unlikely to see explicit canonical penalties for such actions.

    But many of our good priests may suffer just that. So, we have to consider OUR part in THAT skirmish of the war.

  3. The Astronomer says:

    If I am ‘excommunicated’ for desiring an unequivocally valid Roman Catholic Mass, a Mass where I don’t have to wonder “Hmmm, do the bits of raisin and chopped walnuts in this yummy Communion bread baked by the ladies of the Liturgical Food Committee invalidate the sacrament?” so be it.

  4. redneckpride4ever says:

    Honest question.

    Considering we live in a world where self identified Catholics support abortion, gay marriage, etc…

    How many Catholics honestly bother to pay attention to censures and such anymore?

    Seems a lot of the libs think the Church is a social club. You ever notice it’s the Trads who are actually concerned about penalties applying to actions?

    This “who am I to judge?” thing was out of hand before it even became a quote.

  5. summorumpontificum777 says:

    It almost goes without saying that many if not most of the laity who frequent the TLM think it’s a “better” liturgy than the Novus Ordo. If we thought that the N.O. were as good or better than the TLM, we’d probably be at the former. For the overwhelming majority, the N.O. is likely the far more convenient option. In most places, there’s undoubtedly a N.O. Mass closer to you, at a more convenient time. With all that said, I would hazard to guess that most TLMers don’t want and never wanted a war with the N.O.. I certainly don’t disagree with most of Yves Daoudal’s various points, but it’s unfortunate that pieces like his play into the Vatican’s narrative that the TLM subculture’s raison d’être is attacking “the Mass of Vatican II” and “the Mass of St Paul VI.” It isn’t. We didn’t pick this fight. We didn’t want this fight.

  6. robtbrown says:

    We may lose it, because they have the power

    Power, yes . . . authority, however, is another matter.

  7. RosaryRose says:

    It is not that I am in love with the TLM. I am in love with the One Who is worshipped and adored as the priest offers the Holy Sacrifice for me. I recognize the logic, the power and the sacred mystery of the Mass of all time. I have fallen deeply in love with Christ through this silence, as the Schola chants, the incense rises, the angels and Saints are called upon to join in our priest’s offerings.

    Yes, I will die for Him. Red or white martyrdom. His choice. I will offer up every little thing for the guardians of Tradition.

    We won’t be excommunicated. When push comes to shove, we go to the SSPX. It is exactly why Archbishop kept it going.

    Pray your rosary daily. Make a First Saturday this weekend. Fatima has yet to be fulfilled. Pray and do penance, like finding a TLM and making a sacrifice to go.

  8. TonyO says:

    It almost goes without saying that many if not most of the laity who frequent the TLM think it’s a “better” liturgy than the Novus Ordo. If we thought that the N.O. were as good or better than the TLM, we’d probably be at the former.

    It is possible to urge that “I find the TLM mass more spiritually valuable than I find the NO, for me, without thereby implying that the TLM mass is, per se, a “better mass” than the NO. On those grounds, it would be perfectly legitimate to urge the Church should leave the TLM available for those who benefit more from it, and the NO available for those who benefit more from that mass.

    But saying some might benefit more from either mass also DOES NOT PRECLUDE that one mass is, objectively, a better mass than the other. And, at least among those who actually KNOW both masses intimately, I have yet to find a cogent claimant for the position that the Novus Ordo is objectively better. While, of course, there are many who claim the TLM is objectively better, with vastly many reasonable arguments. The closest I can find for cogent claims on behalf of the NO is that it has elements and features that are objectively better, and even those are (mostly) subject to some dispute. But it was never claimed by traditionalists that the Missal of 1962 had no room for improvement, so it was always a given that you could design a mass with elements and features which would be an improvement upon a few of the elements and features of the 1962 Missal. The difficulty was with “designing” a mass at all, instead of reforming the one that had grown organically.

  9. TRW says:

    The Novus Ordo mass was intended to be ecumenical. The hope, ostensibly, was to bring Protestants back within the fold. It stands to reason that all of the changes made ( both those that were explicit as well as those that obviously have no basis in Sacrosanctum Concilium) were attempts at Protestantizing the Mass. Fasting, penance, sanctifying grace, sacramental confession, eschewing worldliness, the priest as mediator(in persona Christi), these realities aren’t compatible with Protestant theologies. Removing elements from the Mass that were viewed as “problematic ” by the Protestant periti consulted at Vatican II resulted in a Mass that reflects Protestant theological suppositions.
    As far as the war on tradition is concerned, there is no monolithic group of “Traditionalists”. However, the powers that be know very well that the Catholics that are interested in orthodoxy and tradition are the same Catholics that understand that the ordinary magisterium of the Church cannot be contradicted at whim by anyone, regardless of their ecclesial office. The sensus fidei fidelium is particularly threatening to those that have an agenda to alter the Church’s moral theology . They could care less about liturgy, unless they perceive that a particular liturgy represents a denial or contradiction of their ideology. They disdain tradition precisley because it is an obstacle to their agenda.

  10. TonyO says:

    The Novus Ordo mass was intended to be ecumenical.

    Perhaps so. But not by the Council Fathers who voted for “a reform”. By, rather, the appointed committee headed by Bugnini – who never intended to carry out the reform demanded by the Council Fathers. So, saying “the Novus Ordo was intended to be ecumenical” means nothing more or less than “the Novus Ordo was not what the Council wanted.”

  11. TRW says:

    Yes. I kind of assumed that most readers here know about Bugnini and his shenanigans. It is still true that the very presence of Protestant “consultants” indicates that there was a very real interest in making things more palatable to Protestants. It seems clear that this desire for ecumenical outreach had an influence on what became the N.O. missae. I was referring to the intentions of those responsible for creating the N.O. It’s not as though it was created accidently.

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  13. jflare29 says:

    First, that’s the first I’ve ever heard of chant being referred to as a “corruption”. Do these people not know that we derived the concept from our Jewish spiritual ancestors?
    Secondly, I find the whole notion of trads as divisive quite problematic. Most who’ve sought the traditional Mass these past 14 years have done so in accord with Summorum Pontificum. Most traditional communities in formal communion with Rome have bent double to get along with difficult prelates and His Holiness. ..Most have well-established principles–to which Rome has formally agreed– written into their forming constitutions or bylaws.
    If Francis–or his inner circle–has a problem with trads, he should do something definite regarding SSPX. As they have over 100 chapels in North America alone–the next largest, FSSP, has maybe 50–that would be the source of most division I’ve seen. They’re neither formally “in”, nor formally “out”. Francis can change that. Writing vague documents that leave gaping legal canonical holes mostly creates more problems. I wish he would go one way or another. Such halfway-between nonsense as what he’s doing will only irritate people.

  14. philosophicallyfrank says:

    In as much as Jesus called for Holy Thursday’s creation of Holy Communion to be remembered of Him ; did that not put the Mass that started around 400AD in the same category as Church Dogma/Doctrine? If so then even a Pope cannot do away with it or replace it with another vastly different Mass? If so does he not excommunicate himself if he even seriously considers doing away with it or replacing it?

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