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Traditionalists urge Pope: Don’t roll back Summorum Pontificum

By on Friday, 18 February 2011

Bishop Edward Slattery celebrates a solemn high Mass in the Extraordinary Form in Washington (Photo: CNS)

Bishop Edward Slattery celebrates a solemn high Mass in the Extraordinary Form in Washington (Photo: CNS)

Traditionalists around the world are appealing to Pope Benedict XVI not to approve a document rumoured to restrict celebrations of the traditional Latin Mass.

Dozens of people have already signed a petition at calling on the Pope to oppose a forthcoming clarification on the 2007 document Summorum Pontificum.

The site says it has noted signs that the long-awaited instruction will “take away what you have legally established in th[e] Motu Proprio”.

It adds: “Any restrictive measures would cause scandal, disunity and suffering in the Church and would frustrate the reconciliation you so earnestly desire.”

The petition follows reports on the Rorate Caeli blog that “strange, violent, and dark forces wish to derail the application of Summorum Pontificum”.

According to the blog, reports from different sources suggest “that ill-intentioned people within the highest ranks of the Holy See wish to use the clarification document on Summorum Pontificum as a Trojan Horse, emptying the Motu Proprio of all its content, especially regarding parish priests and other members of the diocesan clergy… This is a dangerous, clear, and credible threat. We must pray, indeed, but all priests and lay faithful must act.”

Pope Benedict’s 2007 Motu Proprio allowed priests to celebrate the traditional Mass without the permission of the bishop. It made clear that parishes could celebrate according to the pre-conciliar form if they wanted to – and bishops would be expected to make provision for it.

  • Hazel_pratt

    When the Mass is said in Latin no matter where you are in the world Catholics understand it. If it is celebrated in an otherwise local tongue, if one is not a native of that country it is difficult to understand. Please retain Latin. H Pratt

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    The issue is not Latin or any other language. It is WHAT YOU SAY that counts, NOT the language in which you say it. The new mass is no he same as the Catholic Mass – the words are so different that they do not mean the same thing. The new mass is not the Sacrifice of the Mass – it is a communion service.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    ‘Paul VI’s New Order of the ancient rites’ – that is an oxymoron, nothing more and nothing less. It is also untrue. Paul VI ‘mass’ is not a vernacularised, simplified anything and most certainly it is not the Roman Rite of Mass, translated into anything. This liberal protestant rite does not signify what the sacrament contains and therefore does not contain anything more than it plainly signifies – the commemorative Lord’s Supper. Idem for all the other bowlderised neo–sacraments. To say anything else is to deny the truth and support lies and deceit.

  • Anonymous


    Two events:

    1491 – birth of Henry VIII of England
    1492 – election of Alexander VI

    Did the one precede the other in time ? Yes.
    Did it cause it ? Not very likely.

    Post hoc =////= propter hoc – that things can be related in time, does not prove there is a relation between them of cause & effect. Otherwise:

    1889 – birth of Hitler
    1891 – promulgation of the encyclical Rerum Novarum

    would prove that Rerum Novarum was a delayed effect of the birth of Hitler – and must therefore be a bad thing.

    The facts you’ve mentioned can’t be seen as proving the revised Mass is a Bad Thing, for the simple reason that a lot of them were “on the boil” before V2. France was beginning to be unchurched in the 1950s – partly as a long-distance result of a variety of events. Two World Wars in just over 30 years can hardly have helped the growth of the Church, to put it mildly. The Church is affected by the society around her – if there’s a war, and men go to fight, they won’t be at home bringing up their children as Catholics, nor will their wives be able to bear them sons; who will, being non-existent, not be able to have a vocation to the priesthood or the religious life.

    Before V2, there was no permanent diaconate, at least in the Latin Rite; the Council has restored it. It seems likely that a fair number of those who have been ordained to it since, would, before the Council, have been ordained to the priesthood. Conversely, if it had been restored or never needed restoration, a fair number of priests might have been ordained to it instead – leaving the number of priests somewhat lower than in fact it became before V2.

    There was one event after which heresy spread like wildfire, sects were formed, the Church was persecuted. In Spain, the kings professed one of the heresies for 176 years. The same heresy not only attacked the Church but had rulers in several nations on its side. And it lasted for about 270 years.

    The event ? The First Ecumenical Council of Nicea in 325. It didn’t bring Arianism to an end – Arianism did extremely well after the Council.

    The sorts of argument used to disqualify Vatican II or the 1969 Missal work too well – for if the argument from bad after-events is valid, Nicea I was a disaster for the Church, & not a true Council. It even used language that had been condemned – the word homoousion in the phrase *homousion* to Patri, “*consubstantial* with the Father”, had already been used in an heretical sense by Paul, Bishop of Samosata, in the 270s.

    Many of the criticisms of Vatican II are the ones made against Vatican I when it happened. There may be a time in the Church’s life when all has been rosy, with no scandals, no evils, no corruption or loss of faith or ignorance or superstition or weak faith or quarrelling, but when was that ?

  • Anonymous

    Your comparison of the effects of Vatican II with various examples from history is not valid, primarily because the present crisis in the Church is universal as opposed to these other cases being mostly regional.

    The Arian heresy probably comes closest in similarity with today’s situation in that the hierarchy of the Church at that time had almost universally adopted the heresy of Arius and persecuted those who opposed it, most notably Bishop Athanasius who was unjustly excommunicated by Pope Liberius. I see a definite parallel here with the introduction of Conciliar ecumenism, interfaith dialogue and the stance taken by Archbishop Lefebvre against these condemned errors.

    As an aside, Athanasius was eventually canonised but Liberius was the first Pope since St. Peter not to be canonised. I doubt, though, that even Liberius would have kissed the Koran as Pope John Paul II did!!

    At any rate, just prior to Vatican II, regardless of the two World Wars and all the other factors you cite as being responsible for the post-Conciliar decline of Catholicism, the Church was actually at its height. The seminaries were full to capacity, the religious orders were bursting with vocations, Anglican intellectuals were returning to the true faith en masse, millions were turning out in the free countries of the world to honour Our Lady’s Fatima pilgrim Virgin image, there were between four and six priests to every city parish, four Masses at every city parish church on Sundays and Holy Days of obligation, etc. In fine, the Church was extremely healthy and greatly respected, not to mention feared by secularists.

    Something sudden and catastrophic changed that healthy situation very quickly in every corner of the globe. That something was Vatican II and, more particularly, the New Mass which was not, as you say, a “revised Mass,” but rather a completely new rite that bore no resemblance to the venerable Latin rite it usurped.

    There is no question whatsoever that the New Mass was constructed to favour Protestants in the interests of a novel ecumenism. Protestants of note actually proclaimed their satisfaction with the New Mass and declared that it eliminated for them the theological objections they held in respect to the Tridentine rite, meaning, of course, that the clarity of the sacrifice and Transubstantiation in the Tridentine rite had become sufficiently obscured in the Novus Ordo to make it acceptable to Protestants. Naturally, according to the measure ‘lex orandi lex credendi,’ the Catholic Faith of priests and people alike began to decline in line with the liturgical banality that was now before them on Sundays.

    As regards the permanent diaconate you mention, it was active in the very early Church but fell into obscurity once the Church was sufficiently established in the world to generate adequate numbers of priestly vocations. That the Pope has had to reintroduce the permanent diaconate after 1500 years of non-requirement stands testimony to how bad the decline in priestly numbers has become in just forty years.

    For their part, the bishops are mostly choosing as permanent deacons those whom the Church says are least suited, namely married men. I think the motive on the Bishops’ part is to get us, and Rome, used to the idea of a married clergy. It’s a kind of backdoor way of getting around Papal teaching on celibacy.

    I will concede one point, which is that Catholics generally were quite indifferent to gaining a deeper knowledge of their Faith before Vatican II. They took matters for granted, went through the motions in many respects, did not study the Papal Encyclicals and Councils and trusted too much in the clergy to maintain orthodoxy, even though almost every heresy in the Church’s history began with a rebellious cleric.

    The result was that when the Post-Conciliar revolution kicked in, aided by Modernist Bishops and priests in the right places, few had sufficient knowledge of the Faith to recognise what was happening let alone challenge it with sound argument. The same ignorance exists today in the majority who are content to pass everything and anything off in the name of obedience to the Magisterium, even when the Magisterium itself is contradicted. What a confusing era of “diabolical disorientation” we are passing through! Our Lady of Fatima, Help!!

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    I am very sorry to say that all the substance of Martyjo’s reply to you is indisputably correct – unless you wish to argue for argument’s sake and the facts do not matter too much to you….

    I am very sorry to say this because I would wish it otherwise. It is as it is and all my wishing and yours, too, will not change wrong into right and will not mutate wishes into reality.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Dear profidebookstore,

    You wrote : ‘I suggest that the space which you have been taking in these blogs, and their numbers, exceeds the 50% of the lot.’ Since when is this your business? What makes you think you can arrogate to yourself the right to make that comment? Are you setting yourself up as a theological doctor among us or are you exercising some self-granted role of censor?

    Much of what you write is understandable but simply wrong. If the facts do not bear out the ‘reality’ that you would like to wish into existence then that is really tough, not just for you but for me, too, because I’d love things to be as you write….. but res ipsa loquitur, no?

    The new so-called roman rite is intrinsically flawed, irremediably tainted with neo-protestant and modernist heresy. I would wish it to be otherwise, as God is my witness, but it simply ain’t so…..

    My parish presbyter – the fellow who supposedly ministers where I have my London flat – does not believe in transubstantiation. He told me so. He can do that because we were at seminary together. Of my seminary year – those of us who finished, that is – only two remain recognisably ‘catholic’ and neither of us celebrates or attends this neo-protestant confection. Neither of us believes in communicatio in sacris, you see? Maybe that doesn’t matter to you. I do not know. I am sure however that the souls who have been defrauded will cry out for justice and it will be against the presbyters and new-bishops of this NewChurch that they will cry.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Dear Jeannine,

    What you say is really sweet and truly is entirely in keeping with the spirit of modern (and modernist) Rome. I love what you say, truly I do, but it simply is not true and, moreover, it entirely misses the point.

    This is not about sweetness but about Doctrine. Untill we all grasp the difference then no discussion is possible……but I love what you say, if only for its goodwill and intrinsci loveliness.

    God bless you, Jeannine


  • Dr Russell J Berry

    You would prefer to be a liberal Protestant then? I give almost not a fig for latin but I care very much for Doctrine and valid sacraments, both of which have already been severely compromised by the new order in Rome. What you see is what you get and what you get with the Novus Ordo is a neo-protestant service commemorating the Last Supper – what you DO NOT GET is the vernacular Roman Catholic Mass and you most certainly do not get an expression of what the sacrament is supposed to contain.

    Q: Why?

    A: Because that is what Bugnini, his commission of protestant clergy and Paul VI intended viz. an ambiguous not-clearly-catholic rite that would be acceptable to the Protestants.

    You want that? Have it – and go with God – but don’t tell me that it is a valid expression of Catholic doctrine.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    You know? I read and re-read Profidebookstore and what I find is a mass of argument and a maelstrom of thought that sustains it. A deal of it is very sound, indeed, but it reminds me too much of a good barrister …and not enough of other things, truly. Why am I reminded of what an Anglican minister friend (‘priest’, if you wish) told me recently about his parish council meetings where the laypeople come armed with anglican canon law books and argue and do always ‘according to the letter of the law’? Having some small understanding of and love for the Codex Iuris Canonici, I must confess to some admiration and some stupefaction but what our Anglican friends get up to does not cause me nearly as much dismay as some of the tripe I read, here.

    I truly believe that some contributors seek merely to obfuscate and mislead and that their intention is not ever properly to ‘engage’ but to spar and to muddy the waters. Intellectual acrobatics are fine and dandy but do not address the vital points that should concern us. Some people are clear and honest protestants – anyone can see it from what they write. We can treat and deal with such honest people, all will agree. It is much harder to deal with those who honestly think in patterns that have been adulterated by the intellectual poison of modernism. They mean well but their minds have been warped and infected by the most insidious and effective of heresies. We need the better to understand our Faith to help them. When an honest protestant can in good conscience use the so-called ‘roman missal’ then it is time for us to revert to what was previously and universally in vigour.

    When Paul VI spoke of “the smoke of Satan” he was quite right and we should believe his words. Paul VI had some acquainance wih the smoke of Satan, after all. That same smoke today confuses the brains of the newchurch bishops and presbyters, which is why we are where we are.

  • Anonymous

    Dear Dr. Berry

    I can add nothing to the wisdom of what you have written except to say that when Profidebookstore defended and promoted the prayers of that devilish book (the Koran), it was enough for me to cease all further debate with him. Many of his posts have been ramblings rather than reasoned argument, and they come at a furious pace of about nine every hour. He is typical of the confusion that now exists amongst Catholics, that “diabolical disorientation” Our Lady spoke of, called “the smoke of Satan” by Pope Paul VI.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    We run the risk whenever we refer to the Koran of being placed on some crazed Muslim’s hit list. That is also the case, here. Some self-proclaimed ‘holy warrior’ will urgently seek a fatwa from another self-proclaimed ‘scholar’ and we shall go the way of all flesh. All that said, we shall have to admit that we have more than our fair share of the unbalanced, the uninformed and the plainly malevolent. They would like to silence the truth, as well. I know loads of pre-Vatican II ‘liberals’ who, once their aims had been achieved, became frightfully conservative and even oppressive, rejecting all views that did not equate with theirs and seeking with all the ardour and passion of of Torquemada’s inqusitors to hunt out the defenders of Tradition. Never having been true liberals, they are unable to tolerate any form of diversity that does not conform to their ideas. I know all this because I went to the seminary with loads of them. They were badly formed and made/make (even) unacceptable newchurch presbyters. Most assuredly, they are not Catholic Priests, as we should understand the title and job description. It is lamentable and it burns my heart with sorrow that several of my own year have apostasised and become protestants. What can you expect from – as Archbishop Lefebvre said – ‘bastard priests celebrating a bastard rite and bastard sacraments’?

  • Anonymous

    The British population is already living in constant terror from suicide bombers, thanks to Britian’s ‘soft touch’ immigration policy and a Human Rights Charter which perversely preaches rights for criminals to the detriment of society. Hence, it doesn’t really matter if we Christians remain silent or speak out since the same threat of fanatical Muslim assault is always with us. I’d rather go out militant for the Faith than mealy mouthed like the liberals, although I can’t say that the thought of ‘going out with a bang’ is particularly comforting to me!!

    As regards the liberals in the Church being despots in their own right, you have hit the nail square on the head. The adage is true: “There is no more illiberal a person than a liberal.” Woe betide anyone who disagrees with their progressive agenda, it doesn’t take long for the condescending grin of the recruiting liberal to turn grimace when one responds to their verbiage with Traditional Catholic truth.

    I feel a bit sorry for the younger priests in the Church today, or let’s say those who attended seminary any time after 1965. Most of them did respond to God’s call on them to the priestly life and entered seminary with a good heart. It’s just a pity that they were not pre-warned of the revolutionary spirit the seminaries had taken on after the Council under liberal rectors. I know a good many younger priests who are now desperate to learn to celebrate the Tridentine Mass, and who are doing all in their power to stop abuses such as Communion in the hand. Their Bishops are usually a serious obstacle, though. Most of them are away with the fairies, but devious in their efforts to stamp out any scent of a restoration of Tradition in their diocesses.

    As regards the new Sacramental rites and the New Mass being of the “bastard” variety, I would have to agree, although always with the proviso that they can still be valid. They sanctify less because of their obscure nature, which obscurity definitely leads to confusion and a weakening of faith.