Eleison Comments

Motu Proprio – II

Motu Proprio – II posted in Eleison Comments on July 14, 2007

After many false reports of an imminent publication of Pope Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio on the pre-Conciliar rite of Mass, at last it appeared on July 7, under the title of Summorum Pontificum.

Amongst Catholics holding to Catholic Tradition, it has in the last week met with a mixed reception. On the one hand throughout the Society of St. Pius X, for instance, a Te Deum was sung out of gratitude for everything in the document which favors and to some extent sets free the old rite of Mass. On the other hand Catholics who distrust anything and everything coming out of Conciliar Rome, some to the extent of disbelieving that Benedict XVI is even Pope, have little difficulty in discovering in the Motu Proprio the numerous contradictions which reflect Pope Benedict XVI’s vain attempt to reconcile Catholicism with the intrinsically anti-Catholic modern world.

Now the contradictions are certainly there, because while the Pope cleaves in his heart to the old liturgy of his pre-war Bavarian childhood, he believes with his Conciliar mind in the reconciliation of irreconcilables, such as Catholicism and the revolutionary world all around us. However, as the proverb says, Rome was not built in a day, and Catholic Rome will not be rebuilt in one day. In fact will it take anything less than a flood of the wrath of God to wash the modernism out of this Rome’s Augean stables? One may wonder.

Nevertheless, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” Given the terrible official persecution of the true rite of Mass ever since 1969 when the Novus Ordo was introduced, surely two things at least in the Motu Proprio were worth a Te Deum. Firstly, the official, Papal, public recognition that the old Mass was never truly suppressed. We always knew it, but now every Catholic knows it in the Universal Church. What a change of perception that must entail! And secondly, a certain definite freedom for Latin rite priests to celebrate the old Mass, at least in private and to a greater extent than before also in public.

Let us pray as much as ever for the Pope, if not more, that his Bavarian heart continue to push his Conciliar head in a Catholic direction!

Kyrie eleison.

Motu Proprio – I

Motu Proprio – I posted in Eleison Comments on July 7, 2007

The long-awaited Motu Proprio of Benedict XVI, due to partly set free what is known as the Tridentine rite of Mass, should be published tomorrow (July 7). Here are four questions on the subject, and the answers which I gave six months ago (Rivarol is a French periodical):

Rivarol: It is said that Benedict XVI is about to set free the traditional rite of Mass. Will this measure be enough to solve the crisis in the Church? Bishop W.: I may be wrong, but I think that even just a partial setting free of the traditional Mass would be a great step forward for the universal Church. The powerful grace contained in the Mass, presently strangled as it were by the rite of Paul VI, would start to flow again all over the world. However, it would take much more than just restoring the true rite of Mass to solve the crisis of faith in the Church.

Rivarol: But will not this “Motu Proprio” end up by creating more confusion than clarity in the area of doctrine? Bishop W.: Precisely, it is not by merely allowing once more the true rite of Mass that Catholics would learn again how to attend it as they should. Everything needs to be re-built, so there would indeed, to begin with, be a great deal of confusion, for instance hybrid Masses. But the re-building must start somewhere, and I think we need to trust in the intrinsic power of the true rite.

Rivarol: Don’t traditional Catholics risk melting into Conciliar parishes at the expense of the integral Faith? Bishop W.: If following on the setting free of the true rite, traditional Catholics were to blend back into Conciliar parishes, one would have to ask if they ever had the integral Faith. It is the Faith which is at stake. Therefore it would be up to the leaders of Catholic Tradition to form their flock in advance, in such or way that the Motu Proprio would do more good to the Conciliarists than harm to the Traditionalists. This would require the latter to understand clearly that the basic problem is the whole of the Catholic Faith, and not just the rite of Mass.

Rivarol: Would not setting free the traditional Mass without abolishing the Novus Ordo Mass mean accepting in principle the co-existence and equal worth of what Archbishop Lefebvre called “The Mass of All Time” and the “Mass of Luther”? Bishop W.: “Ab inimico disce,” learn from your enemy, said the Latins. Why are so many Conciliar bishops in uproar at the mere possibility of the true rite of Mass being set free? Is it not because they know that if the Ark of the Alliance is allowed into their temples again, their rites of Dagon are in peril? (Read Chapter V of the first book of Samuel!) Are we with our rite of Pius V to be more afraid than they are with their rite of Paul VI?

Rightly or wrongly, these are still the answers I would give to the same questions. Time will tell.

Kyrie eleison.