July 19, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Below are statements from LifeSite journalists who are attached to the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM), in response to Traditionis Custodes. LifeSite has launched a petition asking Pope Francis to rescind the divisive document. It can be signed here.
LifeSiteNews will continue to provide updates on and analysis of the document, as well as information about which bishops are moving to restrict the Old Rite of the Mass, in the coming days.
John-Henry Westen, editor-in-chief:
“In all things God works for the good of those who love Him” (Rom 8:28). No people I’ve ever seen in my life are more ardent lovers of God than those that love and strive to attend the TLM. During the lockdowns when most of the Novus Ordo Masses were closed to the faithful, some courageous priests offered the TLM, introducing countless daily Mass goers who knew nothing but the Novus Ordo to the Mass of the Ages. What Satan meant for evil was turned to good. Speaking as someone who goes to a Novus Ordo parish, even I can see that with this too, we will see the Lord’s glory shine. I believe the Ancient Mass will be resurrected to its full and proper supremacy. The faithful will face God with the priest at the Holy Sacrifice, chant will drown out banal pop songs, receiving Our Lord kneeling and on the tongue will be restored. And once this, the most important of restorations happens, we will see a turnaround in all the other abuses in the Church, sex abuse, and all of the modernist heresy. “First seek the Kingdom of God and His justice and all the rest shall be given to you.” The Kingdom of God is nowhere more present on earth than in the Holy Sacrifice. The fight for justice is closely linked to it, and in pursuing these ends we hasten our final beatitude. Be of great courage: Satan must be desperate if he is making a frontal attack on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
The Latin Mass is the reason my dear son and I entered the Catholic Church in 2018, after a long and disappointing attempt to find a church in my then-diocese of Richmond, Virginia that even came close to the beauty of the Divine Liturgy at the Lutheran church to which I belonged. In 2019, my beautiful adopted Ukrainian daughter also came into the Church at St. Joseph’s parish (FSSP) in Richmond, and next month she will have a traditional wedding at St. Joseph’s, where she and her fiancé have been shepherded by the superb Father Karl Marsolle for the past year. None of this would have happened without us all having discovered the Latin Mass, the vibrant community that surrounds St. Joseph’s, and the devoted priests who are true fathers to their flock. I pray that others will not be deprived of the supernatural, transcendent experience of the Mass that my family and I have been blessed with in the past four years.
Dr. Maike Hickson:
This is a terrible blow to Tradition in the Church, to the many young people and families who have now gone to the Traditional Mass for many years, raising their children in the Faith and Mass of all ages. We can only hope and pray that there will be a strong resistance to this unjust and sudden law, without any preparation, that puts all the bishops in a very awkward situation. This motu proprio is effectively an abrogation of the Mass of all ages, with the clear instruction that in the end, traditional Catholics will have to be content with the Latin canon of the Novus Ordo Mass. I do not believe that most people who were once able to assist at traditional Masses, devotions, and other celebrations will so easily let this go. They will fight for it. The time has come to stand up and not allow the hierarchy to further destroy the Catholic Faith and what is left of it in small pockets in the world.
So while we have Pope Francis collaborating with former collaborators of McCarrick, protecting abusive bishops like Bishop Zanchetta, we should accept that he is taking the most important thing away from us, the Traditional Latin Mass?
It is the lay people who will say no.
Dorothy Cummings McLean:
I'm shocked. I didn't begin assisting at the Traditional Latin Mass until I met the man who would become my husband, almost 13 years ago. Our whole marriage has been built on the TLM. Almost all of our Catholic friends in Britain – and on the European continent – attend the TLM. The Girl Guides I help with, the homeschooled children I teach – they all go to the TLM. One of my students, who is 13, and his brother have learned the responses so they can serve at the altar. How are their parents going to explain all this to them? Encountering Christ through the TLM is the bread and water of so many lives, including my husband's and mine. And my husband is a convert from the Anglican tradition: the terrible clownish Catholic liturgies at his university kept him out of the Church for years. It was discovering the TLM at long last that brought him in. I don't understand how Pope Francis and others in the Curia can praise Eastern European liturgies for their tradition and beauty and yet be so cruel to those who love the classical form of the Latin Rite.
Traditionis Custodes is the long-awaited great act of war by Pope Bergoglio against the faith and Mass of Ages. It is an action designed with nothing else in mind other than the absolute desecration of the manner in which the Church's faithful seek to offer the liturgical sacrifice to God. We now face a new era of persecution of tradition. But we must also have hope, as the motu proprio also draws up the battle lines very clearly, and the hidden enemies of tradition will now be exposed. “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph,” encourages Our Blessed Mother.
Far from being pastoral or merciful, this is a declaration of war by cunning forces in the Church that are aligned with the diabolical New World Order. It is the logical next step in the liberal agenda to do away with all that is unabashedly and unapologetically Catholic. What’s more, it’s a lashing out by a dying group of elderly churchmen against those who have refused and continue to refuse to go along with their syncretistic religion, which they promote with help from the children of darkness and corporate media.
We faithful now await to see which clergy will defend us from these wolves in sheep’s clothing. God gave us the great gift of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. Archbishop Viganò today seems to be carrying his message forward. Let’s pray more shepherds will awaken to the truths they speak and not only continue to offer the Traditional Mass, regardless of what any authority in the Church says, but to defend traditional doctrines and expose the modernist ones.
At the same time, one can perceive in this great treachery the work of God, who always brings good out of evil. As with the Great Reset and the COVID scamdemic, this attempt to crush that which has created and sustained saints for centuries is a laying bare of the true intentions of those who have set themselves up on the side of Satan. This monstrous assault on those Catholics who actually practice their faith is being allowed by the Almighty to take place for His eventual glorification.
Catholics everywhere now have the duty to resist Peter to his face and to educate themselves and others on the traitorous deeds being perpetrated against them. God doesn’t want unthinking “obedient” drones. He wants those who have “tested all things” and “held to the traditions” of our cherished faith. These are the times we have been born into and the heavy cross we have all been given. I pray that Catholics, laity and clergy, will carry it with the same joy and steadfastness that Christ did, no matter what persecution, or martyrdom, they’ll face in the coming years for doing so.
Pope Francis’s presumption to abrogate Quo Primum — which decreed the use of the Tridentine Mass in perpetuity, without alteration — provokes the wrath of Almighty God Himself.
The Apostolic Constitution Quo Primum, the most solemn form of legislation issued by the pope, “ordain[ed] that no one whosoever is forced or coerced to alter” the Missal of Pope St. Pius V, and that Quo Primum “cannot be revoked or modified, but remain always valid and retain its full force.”
“No one whosoever is permitted to alter this notice… Would anyone, however, presume to commit such an act, he should know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.”
Father Raymond Dulac has said that “If a pope has the power to loose what another pope by the same power has bound, then he should use this right only for the gravest possible reasons: reasons which would have prompted his predecessor to revoke his own law. Otherwise, the essence of supreme authority is itself eroded by successive contradictory commands.”
The supreme law of the church is the salvation of souls (Canon 1752), and it is to this end that Quo Primum was solemnly written. Seeing the countless saints and martyrs nourished by the TLM, and current-day revivals of faith through the TLM, it is clear its spiritual track record towers over that of the Novus Ordo — which triggered a nose dive of Catholic faith – like a mountain over a molehill.
To restrict the TLM defies reason, and opposes the very law of the Church. Traditionis Custodes is therefore, as Aquinas and Augustine would have said, no law at all.
I have only been attending the Traditional Latin Mass since 2016, but in this short time I have grown to fall deeply in love with the worship offered in this grand and ancient liturgy. With its solemnity, reverence, and clearly Christ-centred focus, it stands as unmistakably Catholic against the once-creeping and now-gushing influence of modernism and Protestantism within the walls of the Church. The news of harsh restrictions being imposed on the TLM, therefore, cuts a deep wound in my heart, as a new era of persecution against faithful Catholics, clergy and faithful alike, holding fast to the Church’s most revered Tradition, is swiftly ushered in. Pope Francis’s motu proprio Traditionis Custodes is a stinging slap in the face to Catholics who simply want to give their lives to God in the imitation of Christ, made all the more odious by the Pope’s refusal to reign in clerics and laymen who would seek to undermine Christ’s teachings. Francis has thus shown himself to be not simply an enemy to Traditional-minded Catholics of good will, as has been continually evidenced throughout his poisonous pontificate, but to God and His Holy Church. May God have mercy on him and us.
The seething spite Pope Francis has for Catholics who are attached to the traditional liturgy – the liturgy that almost all of the saints throughout Church history attended – is palpable in this hateful and unjust document. The man who has been entrusted with protecting and defending the faith yet has spent the last eight years dismantling, obfuscating, and weakening it has now openly declared war on the Catholic faithful, the very people who look to him to safeguard the Truth. It’s abundantly clear that high-ranking prelates at the Vatican don’t practice the Catholic faith. They want the Mass of the Ages to go extinct, and the new, draconian restrictions on its celebration are intended to achieve that.
Obedience has its limits. If your priest told you to jump off a cliff, would you? What if your bishop told you to? The pope? Pope Francis has done the equivalent of this with Traditionis Custodes. Any order telling Catholics it isn’t good or normal to attend a rite of the Mass that the Church has always taught is the equivalent of heaven kissing earth is uncatholic and ignorant, and such an order should be promptly ignored.
Nothing will ever stop me from going to the Traditional Latin Mass. If there is a priest who will offer this rite, I will be there. I won’t be intimidated by anyone bleating at me about “schism” or “unity.” Contrary to what you may hear in the coming months and years, it is not schismatic to do what Catholics have always done; in fact, it is the opposite of schismatic. Those who want real unity in the Church ought to embrace Her universal language and liturgy. But right now, Pope Francis and his Peronist allies are spitting in the faces of the people who do just that.
For us going to the traditional Mass is a given, a necessity. When preparing our marriage in 1994, we asked for the Tridentine Mass in my country parish. “You privileged people, you always think you’re entitled to the best,” the left-wing rector angrily retorted. We asked him why “ordinary” Catholics had been deprived of it…
Now we have children of our own, whom we navigated through “new” Masses at school, the splendid Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostomos in the Greek Melkite parish of Paris, and mostly, the Traditional Latin Mass. Today, all three would no longer conceive of going anywhere else. Its power of attraction on the young is enormous, as a church full of TLM-goers, teeming with young people, adolescents, children, and plenty of babies proved this Sunday morning.
All were afraid that it would be the last TLM in that parish church, because Traditionis Custodes (with its horribly ironic title, “guardians of tradition”) aims to eradicate it from public view, discouraging those who love it and keeping away those who might be attracted to it. After Pope Francis’s cruel words, it was a balm indeed to hear the parish priest proclaim, with the local bishop’s blessing: “We have had the traditional Mass here for more than twenty years. Everything will continue as before.”
Many ignore how much stubbornness, steadfastness, willingness to be depreciated and also to fight was necessary to earn a full right of citizenship for the ancient, God-centered liturgy of the Church. Truly, Benedict XVI offered a great gift to the Latin Church because so many, thanks to Summorum Pontificum, have discovered the “old” Mass’s divine sacrificial beauty and its sense of adoration.
As the years went by, I also realized that the pro-life movement in many places tended naturally to move ever nearer to the traditional liturgical movement: the culture of death is perhaps but a consequence or a corollary of the death of the cult, and the culture of life needs be nourished by the truly living cult that best gives us the gift of the Church, “Jesus Christ spread abroad and communicated.”
Pope Francis has opened hostilities against the liturgical riches of so many centuries, and singled out the defenders of the traditional rites for episcopal vindication. Our faith obliges us to love our enemies, and we will continue to pray for God’s mercy on his and our souls, but we will fight on. It’s a battle that has been won once already in the last 50 years, and it will be won again.
Taken from Jeanne Smits’s full reflection on the new motu proprio, which can be read here.