Pope Francis’ recent motu proprio greatly restricts celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass, or TLM, sending shock waves through the Catholic Church. The TLM has been stymied in many parishes, if not altogether taken away.
In tonight’s In-Depth Report, Church Militant’s Hunter Bradford explains why the pope’s recent move misjudges the liturgical scene in the Church and harms the faithful.
Traditionalist faithful may be a remnant, but they have the necessary faith and virtue to survive the many spiritual storms battering the Church. On Saturday, a group of priests and laity processed into St. Peter’s Basilica to celebrate what’s also known as the Tridentine Mass.
Church Militant’s Dr. Jules Gomes was there and interviewed Dr. Joseph Shaw, president of the International Una Voce Federation. Shaw believes the Vatican could have fostered unity between Latin Mass devotees and their respective dioceses.
Dr. Joseph Shaw: “He wants to put them into a separate Church, as a suggestion that it needs to be kept away from ordinary Catholics.”
The Pope’s Traditiones Custodes states, “The liturgical books promulgated by St. Paul VI and St. John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of Vatican Council II, are the unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman rite.” Many critics fear the word “unique” implies “only” or “single,” meaning the TLM is phased out. So many are asking themselves: Why would the pope want to get rid of a Mass that’s proven to be so fruitful for so long?
Canon Jean-Baptiste Commins, I.C.K.S.P.: “Among traditional communities, in places where the traditional Mass is being celebrated, we see a lot of young families, lots of baptism, lots of conversions.”
The Holy Father talks a lot about dialogue and accompaniment. Yet a good number of critics claim he only dialogues with clerics who agree with him. But many priests and faithful alike share a deep and profound love of the extraordinary form of the Mass.
Msgr. Eugene Morris: “I wept almost to the degree I wept when I was ordained. It felt — it was just overwhelming to me how beautiful it was. It was so simple, so profound. And I realized that I was actually able to pray.”
Some cardinals have suggested instead of throwing away the traditional Mass, there should be a rereading of the liturgical changes genuinely called for by the Second Vatican Council.
Cdl. Raymond Burke: “What needs to happen now is there needs to be a return to the texts of the Second Vatican Council, not to the so-called spirit of the council. And to say exactly what the council mandated.”
In a 2015 homily, Pope Francis preached, “We will not find the Lord unless we truly accept the marginalized.” Unfortunately, it seems the chief shepherd now wants to marginalize his traditionalist flock.
In 1965, there were 58,000 priests. In 2013, around 38,000. Over 65% of Catholics attended Sunday Mass in 1965. Only an average of 39% attended Church weekly from 2014 to 2017.