“They hate the Old Rite because the Enemy has set fear in their hearts.”

The great Fr. Hunwicke at his esteemed page has composed an insightful post.  He is dead on target.   The reason the haters of the Vetus Ordo fear and hate the Vetus Ordo is because of the moral life implied in the content of the rites of the VO, prayers and rubrics.

With his assumed permission, here is the whole thing.  Be sure to visit his place in gratitude for his insight and also check the comments over there.  My emphases.

So beautiful … why do they hate it so much?

Perhaps a couple of years ago, in Western Ireland, I had the privilege to be in the company of a very great prelate just after he had offered a pontifical High Mass in the old rite.

Suddenly, quite out of the blue, he murmured: “So beautiful, so beautiful. Why do they hate it so much?”

Afterwards, I started to recall the events which followed our entry into Full Communion with the See of S Peter. A determined effort was made to prevent my own admission to the presbyterate of the Latin Church. During those long, difficult, and extraordinarily painful months, I had the advice and support of some very good and holy men. I shall eternally be grateful to them. I remember all of the things that were said to me.

One of them said, and repeated it a number of of times, “John, you simply must realise how strongly these people feel about the ‘Extraordinary Form'”.

Another said he would explain to me why there was such prejudice against the old Mass. “It’s because they associate it with a form of Catholicism which they think of as rigid, sin-obsessed, oppressive, and, frankly, frightening. They are afraid that, with the old Mass, the entire moral and cultural complex which they think they remember will return. And the thought terrifies them.”

As the Bergoglians attack the Faith, it seems to me that the most insidious detail is their attempt to keep the Old Mass entirely out of normal parish life. But we need priests in parochial ministry who share the mind and methods of the great Fr Tim, once, so gloriously, of Blackfen. God forbid that the old Mass should be, or even appear to be, a precious ghetto for precious and exclusive clergy and for laity anxious to hide away from their fellow Catholics.

What is necessary is ‘dual economy’ parishes … such as those often provided by the Oratories. An easy and gracious and unneurotic symbiosis

Joseph Ratzinger said in the 1990s when some English Catholic bishops were violently resisting a ‘Corporate Solution’ for Anglican Catholics: “What are they so afraid of?”

So … To answer the question in my heading … Fear. They hate the Old Rite because the Enemy has set fear in their hearts.

And, as C S Lewis once put it, our Foes are “those who have no joy.”

Fear is his weapon of choice.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Not says:

    For those who find the old ways,”ridged, sin-obsessed, oppressive and frankly frightening”, They have bigger spiritual problems than their objections to the TLM.

  2. JonPatrick says:

    This hits the nail on the head. I think when they complain about “rigidity” they are really talking about objective truths as the Church processes them e.g. marriage is permanent, contraception is always wrong, women can never be ordained. They know deep down that these are true but they want the relativism that has crept in to the Church because it makes life so much easier. Heck you don’t even have to fast anymore.

  3. Gab says:

    ”What is necessary is ‘dual economy’ parishes”

    Not really certain what is meant by the above, but it reminds me of the history of my parish. About 11 years ago only the new Mass was offered and the then Bishop allowed one Vetus Ordo Mass per week … this then expanded to more Vetus Ordo Masses over time. Then about 7 years ago, the attendance at the new Masses being offered dwindled to such an extent that it was stopped and now only the Vetus Ordo is offered (along with all the Sacraments) and our church is now filled to the rafters on Sunday (we have to have three Masses) plus three Masses are offered each week day. We live each day dreading what the new Bishop will do to our parish … given what other progressive Bishops are doing elsewhere in the world.

  4. maternalView says:

    Rigid means following the teachings of the Church. I’ve always believed that’s what is really meant.
    And yes I also believe they know that the old Mass does come fully packaged with all the teachings.
    My only choice for Mass yesterday (Sunday) was a NO. Everyone save 3 or 4 were old people. Small parish with only one Sunday Mass time. It was soooo protestant in its intent. As I sat there it occured to me that is was so dreadful that it would be easy not to go if you didn’t believe in the real presence and one’s obligation to attend Sunday Mass. The priest was chatty. The woman who introduced the priest and Mass was chatty. The piano and singing was cringe worthy. Are protestant services ever this bad?

  5. Anneliese says:

    In other words, people are afraid of the Old Rite because Catholics have become spiritually and morally lazy who believe following Matt. 25 gives them a free pass to do whatever whenever without consequence.

    When did beauty become sin? It’s as if the world has just stepped out of Harrison Bergeron.

  6. Lurker 59 says:

    TLM is not just a thing that one does on Sunday, but it is a way of life. The N.O. on the other hand, is sort of just the thing that one does on Sunday. What is a N.O. way of life? If you dig into it, the spirituality, the popular piety, the cultus that surrounds the N.O.– and by this I mean that which is practiced by those who are trying to live a life of grace — it is all things that are in search of TLM.

    Hard to explain in brief. As a Protestant, one is instructed to read the scriptures at length – but the more one reads the scriptures the more one is led to the Catholic Faith – because that is where they point not to Protestant Land. Newman quipped that the more one reads history the more one ceases to be Protestant. The same is true with living a Catholic life. Even if one only has the N.O., the more one lives and prays the Faith, the more one implicitly is seeking after TLM. This is why TLM grows when people are exposed to it — it is what the life of grace points to and its natural conclusion, not the N.O.

    The hatred for TLM is not just at TLM but at the life of grace. You never see those who want to stomp on TLM also out there promoting the life of grace.

    ‘Dual economy’ parishes. Essentially that is what grew and existed under B16. The reality though is that the economy isn’t a stable one — TLM grows and the NO shrinks over time, for the reasons I stated above. Pope Francis et. al. know this and that is why they are destroying dual parishes and driving TLM out of normal diocesean life.

  7. Christophe says:

    Along the same lines, I’ve often thought the hatred for the Old Mass springs from the opening words of the prayers at the foot of the altar: Judica me Deus – Judge me, O God. The priests don’t want to be judged, and don’t want their parishioners, whom they have misled for years, to be judged.

  8. tradcath1953 says:

    I just turned 69 last month so I well remember the early days of Vatican II. I was fortunate enough to make my first holy communion under the old rite. I think its not only fear but some brainwashing and public embarrassment that gives people second thoughts about embracing the Latin mass. First I remember distinctly hearing them say that the Tridentine mass was no longer legal to read. I later found out this was pretty much a lie. I once suggested to our parish pastor that a Latin mass might be started. I was pretty much laughed at told that for only being in my late 20s I was already out of date. However in the late 1980s I did return to the traditional Latin mass and never looked back. We seem to be the only segment of the Catholic church gaining momentum. What does that tell us.

  9. TheCavalierHatherly says:

    My general impression of Pope Francis, and those who are like minded, is not that they are somehow weighing beauty against morality, but rather, that they can’t see beauty at all. That is, they have no sense of it. Everything is political and nothing is poetical.

    It is a decidedly modern problem. It puts in mind the character of Rex Motram from “Brideshead Revisited,” an “incomplete human being”… the product of the modern age. Any “art” that they produce, or deign to cast their patronage upon, is merely a kond of political statement. Blugh.

    “How have you left the ancient love,
    That bards of old enjoyed in you!
    The languid strings do scarcely move,
    The sound is forc’d, the notes are few!”
    (William Blake)

  10. Danteewoo says:

    Good article and the comments are so apt. The comment of maternalView is very sad. But then what do you do when a traditional Mass parish makes attendance there very uncomfortable? You shake the dust off your sandals and go Eastern Rite, that’s what you do.

  11. cpt-tom says:

    They hate the old Mass, and all that goes with it, because it is well reasoned, logical, and fully integrated to push back the darkness of the world. I am 59, I grew up in the “Spirit of Vatican II” Church for the first 40 years of my life believing that I was devout and knew my faith. At that time I stumbled into traditional Catholicism. What I found changed me and my faith forever. They fear and hate the old Mass, because it will fundamentally destroy the twisted mess they have created these last 50 years which is resulting in demographic nuclear winter. I pray that the next pope will realize the current catastrophe, and will turn the bark of Peter around.

  12. Ave Maria says:

    A number of Novus Ordo parishes in my diocese offer the TLM and there are no problems that I have ever heard about. Those Masses are well attended and the people participate in all walks of parish life. The FSSP parish in the diocese is something that is extra-extra ordinary! A very close parish family with many activities and fellowship such that visitors are amazed. The TLM, despite the persecution, is the way forward. There is found the moral courage we are going to need more of going forward.

  13. Simon_GNR says:

    I hope Fr Z’s recommendation leads more people to read Fr Hunwicke’s blog site. I visit it almost as often as I come to this site.
    It’s very sad that so many of the older priests and bishops fear and loathe the TLM/EF. The TLM is central to our heritage as Latin Rite Catholics and I very much want it to remain as part of our contemporary liturgical practice. It’s not my personal favourite form of Mass (that would be the Ordinariate Use Mass), but I understand that for many Catholics the TLM is the best form of liturgy there is. There is clearly a pastoral need for the TLM and our cruel and uncaring pope and bishops are depriving a significant part of God’s people of the form of Mass they love the best and feel most at home with. Shame on the rigid, uncompromising prelates who seek to kill off the TLM. Ultimately they won’t succeed, but so many good, devout Traditionalist Catholics are being hurt by episcopal intransigence. I’d like to hope that the next pope will reverse the Bergoglian tyranny, but I don’t see it happening, as PF seems to be fixing things so that he successor will be cut from the same cloth as himself.

  14. Mike says:

    TheCavalierHatherly: Spot-on.

    And do children really remember the trite homilies about love and kindness and such, or do they remember the atmosphere of the average NO, unserious, chatty, nothing really important here?

  15. defenderofTruth says:

    I am not so sure of Fr. Hunwicke’s assertion, but then, there are many, many reasons why Modernists HATE the Mass, so there is that. I firmly believe that the real animus lies against the Catholic Faith, the True Faith. The Mass is public expression of the Faith, so if one hates the Faith, they abhor the public expression of the Faith. Cardinal Roche admitted this, in a sense, when he (FINALLY, in my mind) that the VO and NO are entirely different spiritually and dogmatically.

  16. TonyO says:

    400 years from now, TC will be an asterisk somewhere in the annals of the Church history of post-modern era. It will have been made to be blanked out, either by later practice, or by some pope formally rescinding it, or by a Council doing something over top that annuls it in effect, or something. It is so ridiculously inept and self-defeating that it cannot possibly stand.

    But we who are living with bishops who think they “must implement it”: First, why do they think that? They never made one stinking move to implement Ex Corde Ecclesiae, which is far more rational and proper. If they could ignore JPII into oblivion, they could surely do so to TC.

    But since we have bishops (too, too many) who imagine that TC must be implemented, we must live in the midst of such oppression. In a few cases (just a few, I hope), priests will be right to refuse openly, and take the consequences. Far more, priests should resist quietly, sub rosa, and help any like-minded laity to do the same. I do not say “disobey” quietly, I suggest resistance. For example, TC says priests “should” ask for permission. This is not a command, so: don’t ask. Just do it. Do it, though, at your own private masses that just so happen to become known to many people. Oh, and interpret the permissions for bination EXTREMELY liberally.

  17. JMody says:

    Wow, again, no coincidences. I have recently been pondering the self-posed question, “Why in the NO has the option become the norm and the norm (carried over from, you know, BEFORE) become absolutely forgotten?” And for argument’s sake, we won’t address HOW WELL something might have been “carried across that mighty abyss from 1965 to 1966” (rhyme, copyright!).
    But seriously think – how many Confiteors are dropped, and so someone could avoid saying “my fault, my fault, my most grievous fault”? How many times could they avoid saying an intercessory prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and ll the angels and saints, or in the traditional form, St Joseph and St. Michael BY NAME? Avoided, some conscience salved … for now.
    Then look at the Roman canon – how many have avoided reciting the list of proper sacrifices including Melchizedek? How many have avoided having to pray for “all those who, holding to the truth, hand on the catholic and apostolic faith”, or traditionally, “all orthodox believers and professors of the Catholic and Apostolic Faith” … because they KNOW it didn’t include themselves?
    It’s almost a weird twist on the dog that wasn’t barking.

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