ARLINGTON, Virginia (LifeSiteNews) – Many Catholics attached to the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) “simultaneously reject many parts” of the Second Vatican Council and “you don’t have to scratch them very hard before they bleed anti-Council thoughts and sentiments,” Philadelphia archbishop emeritus Charles Chaput claimed on October 22.
Chaput made this contention while speaking at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in the Diocese of Arlington, which until the September 8, 2022 crackdown from Bishop Michael Burbidge was arguably the world’s most TLM-friendly diocese at the parish level.
Chaput’s words can hardly be felt as anything other than salt being rubbed in the gaping and raw wounds of Arlington Catholics, who for months begged Burbidge not to ax their flourishing parish TLMs while stepping over themselves to assure him that they do, in fact, fully accept the authority of Vatican II. (That being said, the Second Vatican Council’s documents themselves indicate that only the Council’s teachings explicitly related to faith and morals are binding to Catholics, as Archbishop Guido Pozzo noted in 2016).
“I believe that Council – Second Vatican Council – like every Council of the church is a gift of the Holy Spirit uniquely preparing a particular time in the life of the Church, so I think it’s dangerous if people reject the Council and especially one of the most important parts of the Council which is this document on the sacred liturgy,” said Chaput.
Of course, what most Novus Ordo-attending Catholics do not realize is that the very Vatican II document referenced by the archbishop states that Gregorian chant ought to have “pride of place” in the liturgy. Most Novus Ordo-attending Catholics also have no clue that the rubrics of the new Mass do not mandate versus populum worship and in fact are written in a way that suggests the priest is to offer Mass ad orientem. Most Novus Ordo-attending Catholics don’t even believe what the Church teaches about the Eucharist – that it is the literal body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ.
One could argue that Catholics who worship at the Old Mass are actually more accepting than their Novus Ordo counterparts of Vatican II’s liturgical directives, when one considers the average Sunday Mass at an average American parish in light of the following quotes from Sacrosanctum Concilium:
- Therefore no other person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority…
- To promote active participation, the people should be encouraged to take part by means of acclamations, responses, psalmody, antiphons, and songs, as well as by actions, gestures, and bodily attitudes. And at the proper times all should observe a reverent silence. (Emphasis added)
- Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.
- … [S]teps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them.
- The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services. But other kinds of sacred music, especially polyphony, are by no means excluded from liturgical celebrations, so long as they accord with the spirit of the liturgical action, as laid down in Art. 30…
‘The Pope is afraid like everybody else’ about traditional mindset of ‘young seminarians and young priests’
“I think that Pope Francis decided to act as he did because he was afraid, you know, the pope is afraid like everybody else, that those anti-Council folks were… The numbers were beginning to increase, especially among young seminarians and young priests, and he wanted to make sure that the direction the Church headed at the time of the Council would be followed into the future,” Chaput continued.
“Now I also personally think that the way the Pope did that was rather harsh and imprudent, and I think it just made the people who love the Tridentine form [of the Mass] angry…At the same time [I] believe that it was an imprudent way of handling the situation, but I also understand why the Pope thought he needed to act at this time.”
During the same question-and-answer session, Chaput admitted most of the kids he confirmed over the past 10 years probably don’t go to Mass anymore – a glaring indictment of the current situation in the Church.
“Most of the kids that I confirmed in Philadelphia the last 10 years don’t go to Church on Sunday because their parents don’t go. Most of ’em!” he said. (The obvious question here: And why are their parents so poorly catechized?)
“And do they believe what they’ve learned, memorized – they might have for a moment but it fades away when they start watching those 9,000 hours of television and see…men who claim to be Catholics, like our president, or like Nancy Pelosi say one thing or do another – those things are much more convincing than what they learned in second grade catechism,” added Chaput. “So we gotta get back to authenticity in our own lives and…expectations around that for people who claim to be Catholics, or we’re not gonna pass on the faith.”
Who exactly is the bigger problem in the Church: the young families schlepping across town to attend an inconveniently-timed, banned-from-advertising-in-the-parish-bulletin diocesan Latin Mass, or the ever-aging, heresy-embracing, Real Presence-denying, abortion-supporting Novus Ordo die-hards who begin to quite practically froth at the mouth if any Church teaching or document from before Vatican II is even mentioned, let alone embraced?
And where is the concern about so many Catholics, particularly prelates, rejecting councils that, unlike Vatican II, were far clearer in actually defining Church dogma? Why is Vatican II – which did not define any new dogmas – treated as more authoritative than the Council of Trent? Why do so many Catholics act like the 1960s were Year Zero in Church history?
Furthermore, what exactly from Vatican II are trads supposedly rejecting?
During his tenure in Philadelphia, Chaput was widely viewed as a “conservative,” and Church watchers considered it a harsh snub that Pope Francis never made him a cardinal. It seems unlikely his comments about pro-abortion Democrats will do him any favors with the “Francis wing” of the Church – even when delivered alongside a dig at the ever-persecuted Catholics who are attached to the Mass of the Ages.
A full transcript of the archbishop’s answer on the Latin Mass is below:
What are your thoughts on Traditiones Custodes and the Traditional Latin Mass?
Well, I have a lot of thoughts about that I’ll try to answer it. I am a priest who was born in 1944 and grew up at the time of the Second Vatican Council. I actually was ordained prior to the craziness of the [?] company of the Council, and I had wonderful professors of Theology and liturgy and those kind of things, so I’m deeply grateful for that. But I am a man of the Council.
I believe that Council – Second Vatican Council – like every Council of the Church is a gift of the Holy Spirit uniquely preparing a particular time in the life of the Church, so I think it’s dangerous if people reject the Council and especially one of the most important parts of the Council which is this document on the sacred liturgy.
And it’s my personal experience that many people who are attached to the Tridentine form simultaneously reject many parts of the Council, and I think that’s a very bad thing. Now I also know many Catholics who love the Tridentine form and go to it faithfully who accept the Council. But for many of the people – you don’t have to scratch them very hard before they bleed anti-Council thoughts and sentiments.
And I think that Pope Francis decided to act as he did because he was afraid, you know, the pope is afraid like everybody else that those anti-Council folks were… The numbers were beginning to increase, especially among young seminarians and young priests, and he wanted to make sure that the direction the Church headed at the time of the Council would be followed into the future.
Now I also personally think that the way the Pope did that was rather harsh and imprudent, and I think it just made the people who love the Tridentine form angry and then they become harder, and they’re convinced that the Council is bad because the Pope has treated them so badly, so I can at the same time believe that it was an imprudent way of handling the situation, but I also understand why the Pope thought he needed to act at this time.
Because in my personal experience as a bishop, it is true that many of the younger seminarians and younger priests were beginning to distance themselves from the Council, not only on the teachings of liturgy, but also other things and somehow abandoning the Council to the dustbin of history rather than as the chief gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church of our time.
Now some of you might want to argue with me, and I’m happy to take any arguments, but that’s what I think, and I know that what I’m thinking historically is based on the fact that the pope saw that that this was happening among young clergy and the young people in the Church. It’s happening in Philadelphia, you know, so I imagine it’s happening even in Arlington, Virginia.