The altar has traditionally been reserved for the Pope alone, and unauthorized use formerly incurred excommunication. Liturgist Dr. Kwasniewski described the decision as an attempt to ‘destroy any vestige of the sacred, the set-apart, the privileged, the untouchable, the elevated, the off-limits.’
Traditionis custodes: this is the incipit of the document with which Francis imperiously cancels the previous Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum of Benedict XVI. The almost mocking tone of the bombastic quotation from Lumen Gentium will not have escaped notice: just when Bergoglio recognizes the Bishops as guardians of the Tradition, he asks them to obstruct its highest and most sacred expression of prayer.
What is at stake is a theological claim about the objective status of the monuments of liturgical tradition—something that does not depend on a papal decision, unless papal authority is now deemed to extend to rewriting the past, something that theologians maintain not even the omnipotent God can do.
‘The old Catholic liturgy threatens the diabolical New World Order to which Francis has signed on,’ said Michael Matt of The Remnant newspaper. ‘The Latin Mass united Catholics from every country in the world for a couple of thousand years like no government ever could. And it was in the process of doing so again.’
‘It’s hard to describe the magnitude of this, but it’s kind of like telling millions of Catholics just to jump off a bridge or hang themselves...[But] this Pope is delusional if he thinks that with the stroke of a pen he can just wipe out the love that people have for the traditional Catholic liturgy.’