(LifeSiteNews) — An international group of lay scholars and Catholic organizations on Tuesday launched a website and published a list of prominent Catholics in support of a recent September 8 statement declaring they will not accept Pope Francis’ motu proprio Traditionis Custodes which is essentially trying to abolish the Traditional Latin Mass.
Among the 91 signatories are Phil Lawler, Maureen Mullarkey, George Neumayr, Martin Mosebach, Eric Sammons, and Michael Matt, as well as political analyst Jack Maxey. Catholic media outlets such as Crisis Magazine, OnePeterFive, Catholic Family News, and The Remnant, are represented (see full text and list of signatories below).
Together, they request that the Pope “reverse his decision, by abrogating Traditionis Custodes and restoring full freedom to celebrate the Tridentine Mass, for the glory of God and the good of the faithful.”
“We will not let anyone deprive the faithful of this treasure which is first of all that of the Church,” the statement said. “We will not remain inactive in the face of the spiritual suffocation of vocations laid forth in the Motu proprio Traditionis Custodes. We will not deprive our children of this privileged means of transmitting the faith which is faithfulness to the traditional liturgy.”
The statement had been originally published on September 8 by several French Catholic organizations, prominently among them Notre Dame de Chrétienté, the group organizing the yearly pilgrimage to Chartres. Among the original signatories at the time were well-known authors and activists, such as Henry Sire and Peter Kwasniewski. Philippe de Villiers, a French former minister, LifeSite’s Paris correspondent Jeanne Smits, as well as numerous other French personalities and outlets had signed. My husband and I were honored to have been able to sign, as well.
The traditional Catholic newspaper The Remnant then published the text in English with the full list of the 43 original signatories, as did other outlets, such as OnePeterFive.com and Rorate Caeli, expressing their public support of it.
On Tuesday, the initiative launched a website for others to sign, as well. Signatories now come from many different countries, including Canada and the U.S., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, South America, and elsewhere.
The intention of this statement is very clear. It tells Pope Francis that he will face disobedience and strong resistance should he try to take away the source and foundation, the very center of the traditional Catholic Faith, the Traditional Latin Mass. Catholics worldwide will not obey this false order.
On the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, July 16, Pope Francis had published his motu proprio Traditionis Custodes and its accompanying letter, in which he claims that many members of Latin Mass communities worldwide sow “disunity” by rejecting the Second Vatican Council and by believing that they are the “true” Church. Pope Francis claims that a recent questionnaire among the bishops in the world has confirmed the existence of such attitudes among the traditional Catholic communities.
However, many are questioning that those were the results of the questionnaire, and Pope Francis so far has not shown himself to be willing to provide evidence for his claim. As Rome-based journalist Diane Montagna reported in June of this year concerning the results of the Vatican questionnaire: “Approximately thirty percent of the world’s bishops responded to the questionnaire, and more than half of those who responded had a favorable or neutral response, multiple sources confirmed.”
Based on the alleged results of his questionnaire, the Pope concluded that the Traditional Latin Mass has to disappear. He told the bishops in his July 16 letter: “Responding to your requests, I take the firm decision to abrogate all the norms, instructions, permissions and customs that precede the present Motu proprio, and declare that the liturgical books promulgated by the saintly Pontiffs Paul VI and John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of Vatican Council II, constitute the unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.” In the end, according to Pope Francis, traditional Catholics “need to return in due time to the Roman Rite promulgated by Saints Paul VI and John Paul II,” that is, the Novus Ordo Mass.
It is clear that Pope Francis does not wish for traditional Catholic communities to flourish, but the September 8 statement — now endorsed by dozens of new signatories — makes a firm stance in defense of the traditional Mass. We will not let it be taken away from us and our children.
“The explicit will of Pope Francis, stated in the Motu Proprio Traditionis Custodes, of July 16, 2021, is to see the celebration of the Mass of the Tradition of the Church disappear,” the September 8 statement reads. “This decision drives us to great dismay.”
Marco Tosatti, one of the signatories, told LifeSite “I think that it is really important to try and defend the right of the Catholic people to worship according to a rite which has been performed for many centuries, and in which they find a way of spiritual enrichment.”
“The Church should be, must be, a place of freedom,” he added. “Not of irrational, whimsical despotism.”
“I signed the statement for two reasons,” said Catholic author, podcast host, and teacher Taylor Marshall. “Firstly, the Traditional Latin Mass was never abrogated. Because of this historical fact, the Catholics priests of the Roman Rite can and should celebrate the ancient Mass of the Ages as guaranteed by Pope Benedict XVI. Secondly, the draconian measures of Traditionis Custodes essentially sideline the former Ecclesia Dei bodies (FSSP, ICKSP, etc.). These good priests and religious have grown in size and influence and must continue to grow. The motu proprio appears to freeze them as well.”
See here the full statement:
Letter of the Faithful Attached to the Traditional Mass to the Catholics of the Whole World
What father, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? (Mt 7, 9)
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It is with great sadness that we learned of Pope Francis’ decision to abrogate the main provisions of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, promulgated by Pope Benedict XVI on July 7, 2007. After decades of divisions and quarrels, that Motu Proprio was, for all the Catholic faithful, a work of peace and reconciliation.
Rome violates the word given by Pope Benedict XVI with brutality and intransigence, far from the much vaunted fraternal welcoming.
The explicit will of Pope Francis, stated in the Motu Proprio Traditionis Custodes, of July 16, 2021, is to see the celebration of the Mass of the Tradition of the Church disappear. This decision drives us to great dismay. How can we understand this rupture with the traditional Missal, a “venerable and ancient” actualization of the “law of faith,” which has bore fruit through so many nations, so many missionaries, and so many saints? What harm is done by the faithful who simply want to pray as their ancestors had done for centuries? Can we be unaware that the Tridentine Mass converts many souls, that it attracts young and fervent assemblies, that it arouses many vocations, that it has given rise to seminaries, religious communities, monasteries, that it is the backbone of many schools, youth groups, catechism activities, spiritual retreats, and pilgrimages?
Many of you, Catholic brothers and sisters, priests, and bishops, have shared with us your failure to understand this and your deep sorrow: thank you for your many testimonies of support.
To promote peace within the Church, in order to build unity in charity, and also to lead Catholics to reconnect with their own heritage by making as many people as possible discover the riches of liturgical tradition, the treasure of the Church: those were the goals pursued by Summorum Pontificum. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI witnesses his work for reconciliation destroyed during his own lifetime.
In a time steeped in materialism and torn by social and cultural divisions, liturgical peace appears to us as an absolute necessity for the Faith and for the spiritual life of Catholics in a world that is dying of thirst. The drastic restriction of the authorization to celebrate Mass in its traditional form will bring back mistrust, doubt, and it heralds the return of an agonizing liturgical war for the Christian people.
We solemnly affirm, before God and before men:
We will not let anyone deprive the faithful of this treasure which is first of all that of the Church.
We will not remain inactive in the face of the spiritual suffocation of vocations laid forth in the Motu proprio Traditionis Custodes.
We will not deprive our children of this privileged means of transmitting the faith which is faithfulness to the traditional liturgy.
As children to their father, we request Pope Francis to reverse his decision, by abrogating Traditionis Custodes and restoring full freedom to celebrate the Tridentine Mass, for the glory of God and the good of the faithful.
Bread rather than stones.
September 8, 2021,
on the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
List of signatories:
• Bernard Antony, Président AGRIF
• Xavier Arnaud, Président, Forum catholique
• Victor Aubert, Président Academia Christiana
• Patrick Banken, Président, Una Voce France
• Alex Barbas, Publisher
• Donna Bethell, Board member Collegium Sanctorum Angelorum & The Paulus Institute
• Moh-Christophe Bilek, Fondateur, ND de Kabylie
• François Billot de Lochner, Président Fondation de Service politique
• Benjamin Blanchard, DG de SOS Chrétiens d’Orient
• Anne Brassié, Journaliste et écrivain
• Patrick Buisson, Historien et conseiller politique
• Georges Buscemi, Président Québec-Vie
• Stuart Chessman, President, Society of St. Hugh of Cluny
• Jacques Charles-Gaffiot, Historien d’art
• Thibaud Collin, Professeur agrégé de philosophie
• Edgardo J. Cruz Ramos, President, Una Voce Puerto Rico
• Laurent Dandrieu, Journaliste
• Yves Daoudal, Journaliste – Directeur de Blog
• Michel De Jaeghere, Journaliste et essayiste
• Pierre de Lauzun, Haut fonctionnaire Ecrivain
• Massimo de Leonardis, President International Commission of Military History
• Roberto de Mattei, Ancien pdt du CNR (CNRS italien)
• Charles de Meyer, Président de SOS Chrétiens d’Orient
• Jean de Tauriers, Président de ND de Chrétienté
• Guillaume de Thieulloy, Editeur de presse
• Philippe de Villiers, Ancien ministre, écrivain
• Marie-Pauline Deswarte, Docteur en Droit
• Stéphane Deswarte, Docteur en Chimie
• Cyrille Dounot, Docteur en droit, licencié en droit canonique
• Christian & Fabienne Drouhot, Présidents, Domus Christiani
• Alvino-Mario Fantini, Editor-in-Chief of The European Conservative
• Timothy Flanders, Editor, OnePeterFive
• Rémi Fontaine, Journaliste et écrivain
• François Foucart, Journaliste
• Matt Gaspers, Managing Editor of Catholic Family News
• Jean Goyard, Chargé de communication
• Claude Goyard, Professeur des universités
• Max Guazzini, Ancien président de groupe de presse
• Michael Hageböck, Summorum Pontificum Freiburg
• Joël Hautebert, Professur de droit, université d’Angers
• Maike Hickson, Founder net
• Robert Hickson, Ecrivain
• Marek Jurek, Ancien pdt de la Diète de Pologne
• Paul N. King, President, The Paulus Institute for the Propagation of Sacred Liturgy
• Peter Kwasniewski, Ecrivain, compositeur, chercheur
• Philippe Lauvaux, Professeur de droit public ULB Paris & Assas
• Philip Lawler, Editor, Catholic World News
• Leila Lawler, Auhtor, Blog
• Anne Le Pape, Journaliste
• Maria Madise, Director of Voice of the Family
• Bronwen McShea, Ph.D., Historian
• Christian Marquant, Président de Paix Liturgique
• Taylor Marshall, YouTube commentator & writer
• Michael Matt, Editor, The Remnant
• Jean-Pierre Maugendre, Président, Renaissance Catholique
• Philippe Maxence, Rédacteur en Chef de L’Homme Nouveau
• Jack Maxey, journalist and political analyst
• Brian McCall, Chair in Law University of Oklahoma Editor-in-Chief Catholic Family News
• Paweł Milcarek, Fondateur et Editeur en chef Christianitas
• Dominique Millet-Girard, Professur à la Sorbonne
• Jean-Marie Molitor, Journaliste
• Martin Mosebach, Ecrivain
• Maureen Mullarkey, Writer
• Georges Neumayr, Book author
• Hugh Owen, Director Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation
• Hugues Petit, Docteur en Droit
• Philippe Pichot-Bravard, Docteur en Droit
• Claudio Pierantoni, PhD History of Christianity & PhD Philosophy
• Jean-Baptiste Pierchon, Docteur en Droit
• Enrico Maria Radaelli, Research Director and Professor ICSA
• Carlo Regazzoni, Philosopher of Culture
• Christophe Réveillard, Docteur en Histoire, Universitaire
• Monika Rheinschmitt, President Pro Missa Tridentina
• Hervé Rolland, Vice-Président de ND de Chrétienté
• Eric Sammons, Editor-in-Chief of Crisis Magazine
• Edward Schaefer, President Collegium sanctorum angelorum
• Wolfram Schrems, Mag. theol., Mag. phil., catechist
• Reynald Secher, Historien
• Jean Sévillia, Journaliste, Historien, Ecrivain
• Henri Sire, Ecrivain, compositeur, chercheur
• Michael Sirilla, PhD, Steubenville, Ohio
• John Smeaton, Past SPUC CEO
• Jeanne Smits, Journaliste – Directrice de Blog
• Christian Spaemann, MD, psychiatrist and psychotherapist
• Peter Stephan, Professor for Art History and Theory of Architecture, Postdam Univ.
• Marco Tosatti, Blog Editor, Stilum Curiae
• Jérôme Triomphe, Avocat
• Inge M. Thürkauf, katholische Publizistin
• John-Henry Westen, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of LifeSiteNews
• Elizabeth Yore, Attorney, Founder YoreChilden
• Alberto Luiz Zucchi, Presidente Associação cultural montfort