Catholic Readers Respond to TLM Post

Catholic Readers Respond to TLM Post


Pope Francis has taken a stand against Traditional Latin Mass. Readers, sound off

I received so many comments from Catholic readers on my Pope Francis/Latin Mass post, that I decided to make a separate post. Let’s get started.

A Latin massgoing reader submitted this article, which was published today. In it, Pope Francis wrote a letter to organizers of gay Catholic conferences, thanking them for their brochure and encouraging them in the work they do. Read Pope Francis’ letter.

Here is a link to the conference brochure, with its LGBT Catholic all-stars. These include Bryan Massingale (senior scholar), about whom America magazine published earlier in the year:

Like the German Martin Luther, Father Massingale is often at odds with official Catholic teaching–he supports the ordination of women and making celibacy optional for Catholic clergy. He is also a homosexual man and vocally disapproves of the church’s teachings on gay relationships. Instead, he advocates for L.G.B.T.Q. Catholics within the church.

… Father Massingale, Jesuit University at Fordham, is a teacher of a course on homosexuality. He uses biblical texts to question church teachings on the subject.

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The Pope was sent the program with its lineup of notorious homosexualists — and of course he loved it.

Well, sure! These men weren’t even praying Latin. It is interesting to see what Bishop Zanchetta (the Bergoglio protégé) thinks about it. He was convicted of abusing seminarians in Argentina. Pope Francis has now sicced a canon lawyer on the priests who blew the whistle on his boy Zanchetta.

Another reader:

This post and the prior one on Pope Francis are wrongheaded. The idea that reverses turn authority into “creampuffs” is important in understanding human institutions like the Supreme Court but not divine institutions like the church. The Court overturned Roe v. Wade and destroyed the notion in Casey V. Planned Parenthood that the pro-abortion precedent could not be reversed. Even if Democrats fill the court with liberals, the Casey myth is dead.

But that’s the way all of all human institutions- there will never be the “stability” you seek in this life. There have been many bad Popes in the Catholic Church’s history, but some faithful Catholics have continued to respond to Christ’s call, fighting for his truth, despite defeats and humiliations throughout the centuries. This is why JPII’s Poland can be a great model for the church. According to you, this is exactly how the Catholic church built the West. My view is that the Eastern Orthodox approach of hanging one’s heads in the sand, or adopting the “Benedict Option”, to attain stability does not adequately answer Christ’s call. Stability is not the ultimate thing we should want to pursue

This is not an Eastern Orthodox strategy. I don’t think that this confused Catholic reader really understands the Benedict Option. Anyway. Be with God, fella. Many of your fellow Catholics are in pain right now. They are writing me. The two letters I received are too private to publish. However, they will be my prayers tonight as I get into bed. The first is from a TLM devotee, who lost her faith. The second is from an exceptionally courageous Catholic priest dealing with evil that most people can’t imagine. The comment that I have highlighted is very glib in light of the comments made by those readers.

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Remember the Manualman?

I’ve increasingly come to the conclusion that God’s primary purpose for the Francis papacy is to obliterate the harmful conflation that occurred between Christ and pope under the saintly JPII and B16 papacies. While it is a blessing and a gift to have a saintly pope in our lives, it does not mean that we are entitled. It can prove to be dangerous. In fact, many people trust bishops and priests more because they hold the positions than because they have done the necessary work to KNOW them enough to trust them. You can see the abuse crisis that resulted.

Catholics have a responsibility to put their faith in Christ, and to base all of our understandings on Sacred Scriptures and Sacred Tradition. It was not intended that the papacy would be an authority position or a catholic Joseph Smith. The papacy is not supposed to be an oracle, or source of revelation. He’s meant to guard what has been handed to him. This is how the Church’s teaching authority must be seen. While the magisterium may not be able to respond in the most effective way and make the best decisions, it can serve as a barrier that stops enthusiastic people from running after new ideas like dogs chase squirrels. Although you may be able to jump over the fence you cannot claim that you did not know it.

You’re right to conclude that Francis & Co. will cause a lot damage while in power. However, the goal of this pain could be to convince us that the pope is not a guru and that the aftermath of carnage will allow us to re-evaluate our assumptions.

Another, perhaps not Catholic reader:

Yes, the status of the Church in general, and the Catholic Church in particular, is totally FUBAR. The sheep have to defend themselves against the wolves. The shepherds, rather than protecting the sheep from the wolves, are instead standing beside them and sodomizing the sheep in their rear. Truly a dire situation, which is how you know God is in charge…

How can I say that? Look at the way God dealt with the coming of Messiah. His appearance was to be in a fiery chariot with an army angels. His eyes should have been lit up with cool laser beams like Godzilla. They would have smashed all Romans while Jews stood by chanting, “Go Yahweh!” If I was God, that’s exactly how I would do it. I’m willing to bet the Jews who’d waited 600 years for the big event would’ve done it that way too.

But, God did something else. God sent an unknown person. He sent a Nobody. A homeless and impoverished manual-laborer, from a podunk community, with no wife. The summarily executed him for creating a disturbance in the Synagogue.

You might say, “Well, Jesus had to die and suffer to atone for all our sins.” Then, when he rose from the dead, He should have gone back to Jerusalem in ablaze with glory and the laser beam eyes and burned Pontius Pilate, all Romans, Caiaphas, all Pharisees to ashes while his followers stood at the sides chanting, “Go Jesus!” It’s exactly what I would do. It’s what I would do, and it is something that the Twelve would also have done.

But, Jesus did something else. Then he freakin’ fled the scene. He told his followers, who were way over their heads, to impoverish themselves and preach the “Good News.” for the rest their lives.

What was the Good News? You remember that man we followed around and that you’d killed?” Guess what, he was the Messiah! You are correct! He was actually the Messiah. He was the Messiah! He is real! He is where he should be! He had to go someplace, man…you can go back to heaven to do some things…but he will be back! Promise! You believe me, right?”

And the Authorities said: “Listen losers, if y’all don’t stop it with this crazy talk, we’ll do to you what we did to him…”

And the Twelve didn’t shut up, so the Authorities made good on their promise and killed or exiled every last one of them. It was the End.

But that’s not the end. This religion, contrary to all expectations, became the most popular religion in the World. It’s clear that God is in control. But it doesn’t always look like this.

Another reader:

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This “maniacal crusade against the Latin mass” is bizarre, it’s bizarre because it isn’t real. It is fiction. My knowledge is that most Catholic bishops haven’t moved to ban Latin mass. My bishop, as well as any other neighboring dioceses, has not done so. Because they’re outliers, the cases of bishops doing this make news. The moto propria of Pope Francis will not affect the ability of the majority Catholics to attend Latin Mass. It’s odd that you oppose a Pope giving some power to the bishops. But that’s not what it means. Let’s just say that you are right. Pope Francis wants to get rid of it. This is a huge problem for Orthodox or Catholic Christians. The Apostles did not say the Tridentine Mass, or the Divine Liturgy St. Chrysostom. The liturgy has changed over the millennia and when this happens the old forms are usually suppressed in both the West and the East, this is exactly what happened when Pius V demanded that all rites which couldn’t trace their lineage back 300 years were obligated to conform to the Roman rite.

Another reader:

I have to admit, summorum pontificum has put me on unstable theological ground, especially lately. I’m from Arlington Diocese and go to the TLM. I attend an SSPX church. A Protestant evangelical convert, I also attend an SSPX chapel. The TLM is not the place I want. I do prefer an even more sacred liturgy, better teaching and a vibrant community. But the Novus Ordo Mass has become a despicable mess. It’s been stripped of its liturgical essentials of form as well as sacrifice. This makes it doubtful that the Novus Ordo mass can be considered authentic orthodox liturgy. The mass has been protestantized. I have come out of it and now, I am absolutely not interested in any ecumenical reconciliations. My children will not be raised in the Novus Ordo Church. Vat 2 was an error. It was an error to say that the NO was true. There is no argument to the contrary. Both must be abandoned. Stop the trad rant.

While I feel for my diocesan brothers, the decision of the Bishop is deeply hurtful. However, thanks to prudential decisions made by another Bishop many years ago I am largely unscathed. The SSPX, however, is very clear about papal authority. They seem to support in a backwards manner the central authority that the Holy Father now calls for. Only the Tradition-based authority! Even more tenuous is this position. This situation seems even more fragile. It appears that our problems aren’t due to a dearth of papal authority but rather a reduction in the apostolic power given to bishops. If the Shepherd of Savannah is leading his flock by following orders from Rome’s bureaucratic organisation, it can be a far removed situation from the historic Church. This is what collegiality does. This is done over centralized papal authority. Why has the bishops been stripped of so much authority that Christ gave them to guide their flock? Is there a way to find out?

I have to confess, all this has made me think about the East. It’s not that I dislike the Pope, although I do. I also don’t want to leave the Western Church’s flaws (there are many flaws in it too). I have the ability to raise my children in a community and liturgy I trust. LeFebvre has helped me. Perhaps my understanding is incorrect and it is because I can’t bear to rest in an area where the truth bell is not ringing. Because children don’t listen to broken bells, I must know the truth in order to share it with my kids. There is clearly a structural issue that must be fixed. Although I do not know the solution, the extent of the damage done is too great to ignore or say “bear your suffering” or wait it out. This is wrong. This is wrong.

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