Brendan Hoban: Latin Mass became a vehicle for dissent

Latin Mass became a vehicle for dissent

Western People 3.8.2021

Around 1957, I graduated as a fully qualified altar-boy in Ballycastle, no mean feat in those long-gone days. Sr Perpetua Hynes, a gentle and benign presence, who taught in the Girls’ N.S., had the doubtful privilege of guiding me and my colleagues through the unfamiliar pronunciations and intonations of the Latin language.

To tell the truth, it was impenetrable and unintelligible but in no time at all we could rhyme off the responses – in slow-time to the PP, Canon Maloney; more moderately to Fr Michael Keane, CC; and in quick-time to Fr Sean Durkan, chaplain to the Mercy Convent.

I can still, if I get a bit of a run at it, deliver the responses with some ease: Dominus vobiscum/Et cum spiritu tuo and so forth – though the De Profundis would still defeat me.

I served my time on the altar and discovered when I went to the college in Ballina that a ‘Dialogue Mass’ – where the congregation was encouraged to join in the responses – was the coming thing. It was the thin end of the wedge.

Before I left the college, the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) had come and gone (1962-5) and Mass in the vernacular (in the language of the people) had arrived. Latin was soon relegated to the equivalent of the Vauxhall League or the Murphy Cup. Its sell-by date had expired.

While a few voices were raised about the loss of Latin, we didn’t really miss it.

Indeed in a short time there was almost a consensus that ‘the new Mass’, as we called it, made great sense. We embraced it – ducks to water, as we say.

The Church, Pope John XXIII had told us, wasn’t ‘a museum to be guarded but a garden to be tended’. Variety was going to be the spice of life. Change was not just a reality of life but something to be welcomed in the Church.

Not everyone was happy, of course. Some missed the familiarity of the Latin Mass. Others felt it created a more serene, contemplative and sacred ambiance for worship, but some too saw campaigning for its retention as a way of objecting to the changes introduced by Vatican II.

In 2007, Pope Benedict decided that the Latin Mass was to be given an increased status and could be celebrated by any priest at any time.

However, this hardly caused a flicker of interest in Ireland and the revamped Latin Mass never gained any real traction in the Irish Catholic Church. Despite efforts by a handful of priests and some small congregations of very traditional Catholics, to date just nine groups attend weekly Masses in Latin in Ireland.

In recent years, it became clear that the Latin Mass movement had become a source of division rather than unity in the Catholic Church and that it had effectively been taken over by groups who used it to further their own agendas; those who opposed and tried to undo the reforms of Vatican II; and a plethora of traditionalist groups especially those who campaigned against ecumenism, inter-faith dialogue, care of the earth, discerning the signs of the times and those who opposed almost any change in the Church.

To assess the situation, Pope Francis undertook a worldwide survey of Catholic bishops and the results confirmed that Benedict’s hope that the New Mass and the Latin Mass would facilitate mutual reconciliation and enrichment had not materialised. The opposite was in fact the case. It had led to conflict and, in places like the United States, a politicisation of the Eucharist – as with President Biden.

It’s no secret that the campaign to undo Vatican II and to oppose Francis’ present reforms have been led by the same traditionalist lobby who encourage Catholics to see the Latin Mass as ‘the real Mass’ – despite the implied criticism of the worship of the other 1.3 billion Catholics in the world.

The names are now familiar: the late Archbishop Lefebvre, Cardinal Leo Burke; Archbishop Carlo Vigano – as well as a number of other American Catholic bishops and lay groups who encourage Communion in the hand, want women banned from the sanctuary and are unhappy with the priest facing the people at Mass.

The difficult and obvious truth is that the Latin Mass was being used to create a Church within a Church. Tradition, Francis keeps reminding us, is ‘the living faith of the dead; traditionalism is the dead faith of the living’.

So, two weeks ago, on July 16, Francis announced a series of robust measures to give precedence to the Vatican II Mass by limiting the celebration of Latin Masses. From now on, he announced that Latin Masses

  • will not be celebrated in parishes;
  • will not take place at the whim of any priest;
  • the local bishop will decide when and why and by whom a Latin Mass will be celebrated;
  • priests who challenge the reforms of Vatican II will not be allowed to say a Latin Mass;
  • any priest ordained after July 16, 2021 who wants to say Mass in Latin has to get permission not just from his bishop but from Rome.

What Francis is effectively underlining in very stringent regulations is that the liturgy of the Catholic Church is that of the Second Vatican Council and there can’t be and won’t be any deviation from that basic truth. In a word, he is protecting the integrity of the Council. If anyone is looking for the ‘living Catholic tradition’, he’s saving, they’ll find it in Vatican II. Catholic liturgy, Rita Ferrone writes in the prestigious journal Commonweal, ‘is not just a matter of personal taste. It is a matter of faith and obedience.’

That Francis’ intervention was necessary and appropriate is obvious in the reaction to his decision, as those who have responded negatively are effectively agencies working to obstruct the implementation of the Vatican II reforms.

July 16, 2021 will go down in history as a red-letter day in protecting the legacy of the Second Vatican Council.


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  1. Eddie Finnegan says:

    I’m sure readers of the Western People will be at one with Brendan in all of that – though a few of the more alert may wonder about that phrase or clause: “who encourage Communion in the hand”. But, as Horace said, ‘Aliquando bonus dormitat Homerus.’ I trust the late Canon Maloney and his curates would say Amen to that.

  2. Daniel O'Connell says:

    As a practicing Catholic , I never cease to be amazed by the “dancing on the head of a pin” on how we should or shouldn’t express our faith and belief in God and do our best to follow the gospel of Jesus Christ. I think he simply said “Come follow me” .

  3. Paul McCarthy says:

    It is unfortunate that the Pope’s new motu proprio is so authoritarian — in a liberal direction now, as it happens. Unity need not mean uniformity. Take a look at the variety of liturgical forms in the Anglican/Episcopal churches throughout the world. // Was the survey unbiased? How many bishops responded to it worldwide? What percentage of those who responded were clearly negative regarding the Traditional Latin Mass alongside the Novus Ordo one? I do not think that all those who love the TLM are political or moral reactionaries. (I certainly hope not.) The attempt at strangulation of the TLM is mistaken and shameful, in my view. I hope it does not succeed. A new Pope should issue a new motu proprio when the time comes, in the Lord’s good time. (From another pre-Vatican II altarboy, with a different view) (This is my second, more “moderate” version. Probably moderation is better re these matters — though even the original version was not extreme at all — just heartfelt.)

  4. Joe O'Leary says:

    Paul, there are well-known answers to these talking points:

    1. ‘It is unfortunate that the Pope’s new motu proprio is so authoritarian — in a liberal direction now, as it happens.’

    Note that the Pope enjoys direct juridical primacy over every Catholic, but that Francs more than any Pope has sought to exercise his authority in tandem with his fellow-bishops, as seen in the handling of the Synods. Vatican II recalibrated church structures of authority by emphasizing the role of bishops, downplayed by John Paul II and Benedict XVI, who for instance systematically undercut the theological status of synods and episcopal conferences, and who also removed the liturgy from the authority of the bishops, to whom Vatican II has assigned the primary responsibility for it. Summorum Pontificum was the most extreme expression of this trend. It overrode in particular the expertise and authority of the French bishops who were shocked by the carte blanche it gave to traditionalists, releasing them from all episcopal supervision (as also happened with the ‘movements’ that have now clocked up a history of abuse). Reversing this trend and returning to the spirit and letter of the Council, Pope Francis consulted the bishops on the effect of the new concessions (as SP had promised to do within three years but never did), and restored to them their rightful authority over the celebration of the liturgy in their dioceses. Though laying down clear directives, as was necessary given the divisiveness of TLM adherents who acted as if they were the true Catholics and their liturgy the only true one, the mass of the ages, etc., but his clarity does not exclude the normal processes of reception and pastoral accommodation.

    2. ‘Unity need not mean uniformity. Take a look at the variety of liturgical forms in the Anglican/Episcopal churches throughout the world.’

    The letter accompanying the motu proprio stresses the living unity of the church in the style of St Paul to the Corinthians. The Roman Church also admits a wide variety of rites and encourages inculturation. Traditionalists have constantly pounced on creative liturgies as abuse, and Pope Francis joins them in rejecting real instances of abuse. One of the points he makes is that the Mass in Latin, celebrated according to the norms of Vatican II, contains all the treasures of Latinity, and more, that the TLM does (the TLM by definition is closed to development. It is the Mass of 1962 and no other. Pope Benedict has an idea that the two forms of the mass would somehow mutually influence one another to their common benefit, but this has not happened).

    3. ‘Was the survey unbiased? How many bishops responded to it worldwide? What percentage of those who responded were clearly negative regarding the Traditional Latin Mass alongside the Novus Ordo one?’

    Some survey reports that the TLM has a following among 7 per cent of French Catholics but that 70 per cent detest it. If bishops did not reply that could be because the TLM has virtually no following in their countries (as is largely the case in Ireland as well as Japan). In any case non-replies tell that the bishops are not at all enthusiastic about the TLM.

    4. ‘I do not think that all those who love the TLM are political or moral reactionaries. (I certainly hope not.)’

    The question is a concrete one: have the actual communities celebrating the TLM shown loyalty to Vatican II and its teachings (for instance on Judaism) and a positive spirit of cooperation with the rest of the church and its pastors? Anecdotally I would say there is plenty of evidence supporting the negative assessment of the bishops and the Pope. Cardinals Burke, Müller, Zenm and Abp Viganò would be their heroes, all of whom have been enemies of the Pope.

    5. ‘The attempt at strangulation of the TLM is mistaken and shameful, in my view. I hope it does not succeed.’

    What the Pope proposes is basically a return to John Paul II’s regime of concession, for pastoral motives, for those who had an attachment to the old mass and would be lured to the SSPX. The TLM was effectively abrogated by Paul VI (contrary to Benedict’s claim that any liturgy of the past may be resuscitated irrespective of reforms and developments. Some try to say that Trent would agree, but in fact while it honoured some rites that had good standing, such as the Ambrosian rite in Milan, it drastically abrogated all others and the Mass of Paul V was universally imposed.)

    6. ‘A new Pope should issue a new motu proprio when the time comes, in the Lord’s good time. (From another pre-Vatican II altarboy, with a different view).’

    Rule by motu proprio is a formula for chaos. The Pope should act in consultation with the bishops, as is here the case. He has put the TLM ball safely back in their hands, trusting that they will handle it wisely. He has also asked them to ensure the quality of TLM celebrations, for instance as regards the celebrants’ command of Latin and the intelligibility of the readings. As to community and involved participation, the values stressed by Vatican II and the liturgical movement before it, it seems impossible that these should flourish in the stilted situation of the TLM (priest with back to people and inaudible).

  5. Paul McCarthy says:

    Fr. O’Leary, Our years-long dialogue on religion and liturgy continues. I don’t agree that not responding to the survey indicates negativity toward the TLM. That doesn’t necessarily follow. Those who were clearly negative were about 15% of the world’s bishops, it has been said. (I am not in a position to verify that figure, but I hope it is accurate.) /// I am grateful for the opportunity to express my views on the state of the Roman Catholic liturgy, though I am not a cleric, and more often attend Anglican than Roman liturgies. The former’s “traditionalism” greatly appeals to me./// You and I must agree to disagree. I look forward to seeing you at our local Anglican Communion Service from time to time. We will have a new Rector from the New Year, and hs has been trained in the Anglo-Catholic tradition, in the US. Deo gratias!

  6. Joe O'Leary says:

    Just concelebrated Mass for the feast of the Assumption (preces in Japanese, readings in English, text in Latin including Roman Canon). Still wondering what’s so special about having silent Mass with priest turning his back on congregation. Cardinal Sarah reaches Viganò levels of contempt for the Pope, which is not helping the TLM image:

    Yes, we have much to learn from the Anglican skill in handling the vernacular (especially now amid the desolation wrought by the new translation of the Roman Missal). But church order is very important to Anglicans and their liturgy is perhaps less amenable to ‘anything goes’ than ours has sometimes been.

  7. Jim Stack says:

    “The ACP site became a vehicle for dissent”. This could have been said, quite truthfully, on numerous occasions since the ACP was founded. If any Pope or Bishop had acted upon it, however, and put you out of existence, there would have been an outcry. From the ACP itself, and from its friends in the mainstream media.

    One of the many things that is upsetting about what Pope Francis has done is that no amount of dissent, from even the most heretical of quarters, has attracted the censure that the TLM adherents have. Practising the faith of our fathers, preferring the rites that have been there for centuries, is being treated almost as a crime. Fr Hoban is defending the indefensible here.

    Has the ACP not noticed that even many of its own members disagree with the Pope’s decision?

  8. Jim Stack says:

    I did as Paddy Ferry suggested and read that article. It quotes three individuals who perhaps lost the run of themselves and said more than they should have. It may well be true that their underlying position is essentially schismatic. I know none of these gentlemen, not even by their writings.

    But I have seen numerous contributions from ACP members, and from people like Mary McAleese, of which the same could be said, that they too are schismatic, but pulling in the opposite direction. Some, like Fr Flannery, were eventually silenced, but neither the ACP nor Fr Flannery’s order had obstacles put in their way. That was my point.

    Whatever the Pope’s intention was here, it is hard to see how it will build up the Church. It alienates large numbers who love the Church and makes them feel unwanted. I think most of them will still remain, however, because they really do love the Church. The ACP has been treating the traditionalists with something close to contempt for years, but now the Pope seems to be doing the same thing. A strange way to be treating loyal members of the flock.

  9. Paddy Ferry says:

    Latin Mass became a vehicle of dissent.

    Jim@7, this is another excellent piece on the above, this time Rita Ferrone in Commonweeal which I would suggest you read and reflect on.

    A Living Catholic Tradition
    Pope Francis unifies the Roman Rite.
    By Rita Ferrone
    July 23, 2021
    Pope Francis Vatican II Liturgy

    July 16, 2021 was a great day for the Roman Rite and for the legacy of the Second Vatican Council. Finally, after years of accommodating those who dislike or actually reject the liturgical reforms of the Council, the Catholic Church’s highest authority took a definitive step to re-establish the reformed rites as normative for the whole Latin Rite Church, without exception.

    Pope Francis, in his motu proprio Traditionis custodes, not only firmly abrogated Pope Benedict’s motu proprio Summorum pontificum (2007), which had “freed” the older rites, allowing them to be celebrated by any priest at any time, he also declared and established that the reformed liturgy is “the unique lex orandi [law of prayer]” of the Church today.

    This puts an end to the bifurcation of the Roman Rite that Pope Benedict endorsed when he wrote Summorum pontificum. He invented the term “Extraordinary Form” to refer to the older rites, and called the reformed rites the “Ordinary Form.” The Roman Rite had never existed in two forms at the same time, yet that is what he envisioned. He urged the bishops to trust that these “two forms” of the Roman Rite would peacefully coexist and enrich one another. After thirteen years, however, it became evident that this dream was not going to materialize.

    Clearly, some individuals find serene enjoyment in attending Mass according to the older rites and have no other agenda. But, overall, opening up more space for the older rites has deepened conflict in the Church and led to politicization of the Eucharist. This was always a danger. Traditionalist movements—both those that went into schism, as did the followers of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, and those who remained in communion with Rome—have long been associated with hard-right and authoritarian political regimes. Everything from the effort to restore the monarchy in France (a hopeless cause) to suppression of the indigenous peoples of Brazil (an ongoing problem) has flown under the flag of Catholic traditionalism. Pope Benedict did not believe the danger was there, but it was.

    Opposition to Pope Francis has also found a base in traditionalist communities. His teaching on marriage and family, his call for pastoral accompaniment, and especially his commitment to ecological responsibility and economic justice, have been virulently opposed in such circles. It is no accident that the American Cardinal Raymond Burke, one of the pope’s most public antagonists, is a worldwide chaplain to Catholic traditionalist communities, or that the Austrian who threw the Pachamama statue into the Tiber during the Amazon Synod was a traditionalist, or that when the disgruntled former Vatican diplomat, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, tried to unseat Pope Francis, he allied himself with traditionalists.

    Even beyond the scandal of a series of attacks on a reigning pope, a political struggle over the enduring legacy of an ecumenical council has been hanging in the balance. Vatican II’s opening to the world—its commitment to ecumenism, interfaith dialogue, and discerning the signs of the times—has been sharply criticized and rejected by advocates for the older rites.

    Pope Francis has, no doubt, been hearing for a long time about such tensions and difficulties, but a turning point was reached when he commissioned a worldwide survey of bishops to evaluate Summorum pontificum. The results of the survey were deeply troubling, compelling him to act, he said in a letter accompanying his motu proprio.

    Opening up more space for the older rites has deepened conflict in the Church and led to politicization of the Eucharist.
    The actual responses have not been made public. Only one document has been leaked: the summary report from France. It was fair-minded, yet also critical. Crucially, it observed that the goals of Pope Benedict’s project—reconciliation and enrichment—had not been reached. In a nice turn of phrase, the French bishops reported that those who desired the older rites were “pacified,” but not reconciled.

    We’ve certainly seen harmful results in the United States, which has the world’s highest proportion of locations offering the older rites. Instead of promoting greater harmony with and closeness to the universal Church, broad availability of the older rites has been used as an opportunity to create a “church within a Church,” a community apart from the mainstream. Dubious pastoral practices have attended this development, such as using the Baltimore Catechism instead of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, or reading the Douay-Reims Bible in preference to modern Scripture translations. It is not just a matter of lace and Latin. A reactionary thought world is being cultivated as well.

    One can hardly overstate the noise that freeing the older rites has introduced into liturgical discussions, even though the actual number of traditionalists remains small. A constant stream of criticism has poured forth from traditionalist enclaves challenging liturgical decisions flowing from the reform, such as use of the vernacular, Communion in the hand, women in the sanctuary, and the priest facing the people at Eucharist. This noisy opposition grabs attention and causes distraction. A graver problem is that some adherents of the older rites have sown doubts about the validity of the liturgical reform overall, and propagate the erroneous view that the reformed liturgy represents a betrayal of orthodoxy and a departure from “the true Church.” Rather than a softening, there has been a hardening of ideological opposition to the Council as a whole. This is no trivial matter. When someone attacks the liturgical reform, they attack the Council.

    This situation is getting worse, too. Leading voices among traditionalists in America lately have totally abandoned Benedict’s project of “mutual enrichment.” There can be no real peace with the newer liturgical forms, they argue, because the reformed rite is fundamentally flawed, a modernist creation. It is not even a rite, they claim, but a mere “construction.”

    In this context, Pope Francis’s move is one of great strategic importance. It corrects the balance. It safeguards the integrity of the Council. It decisively rejects frivolous claims (“this isn’t what the Council wanted”; “the reformed liturgy is irreverent and unorthodox”), and calls everyone back to one common path. It will not eliminate political conflicts or disagreements in the Church, but it deprives traditionalists of the possibility of using the Eucharist as a hub of resistance to the Council and its legitimate implementation.

    Some have charged that Pope Francis acted autocratically in abrogating Summorum pontificum, but actually his actions have been far more collegial than those his predecessors took in expanding availability of the older rites. A brief look at the history reveals this. In 1980, when Pope John Paul II was considering giving an indult for celebration of the Tridentine Mass, he took a survey of the world’s bishops. Most expected it to cause division and were opposed. Only 1.5 percent were in favor. Nevertheless, he went ahead with it. He was hoping to effect a reconciliation with Archbishop Lefebvre and his followers who had broken with the Church because they would not accept Vatican II. This outreach proved unsuccessful.

    When John Paul considered whether to broaden this permission in 1988, he didn’t ask the bishops. Instead, he consulted the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, headed by then-Cardinal Josef Ratzinger. Once again motivated by hope for the healing of a wound caused by schism (which is why the motu proprio is called Ecclesia Dei afflicta), he expanded access further. Still, there was no reconciliation with Lefebvre’s group, the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX).

    When Benedict XVI issued Summorum pontificum in 2007, he conducted no survey, but it appears that some bishops did voice doubts and try to dissuade him. He overruled them. History repeated itself; the overtures to the SSPX were again rebuffed. He said (in 2007) that the bishops could evaluate how Summorum pontificum was going in three years. But no evaluation was sought until 2020 when Francis sent out his survey.

    If you want to find traditional liturgy, here it is—in the reformed rites.
    Once Pope Francis consulted with the bishops of the world, he saw it all clearly. It was time to put his foot down. Accordingly, as of July 16, 2021, there is no more “Extraordinary Form” and “Ordinary Form.” There is but one form of the Roman Rite: the liturgy as it was reformed by decree of the Second Vatican Council. Pope Francis reaffirmed what his predecessors have also been saying since the Council: This reform is an expression of the living Catholic tradition.

    Tradition is not the preservation of old things; it is a vital reality, guided by the Holy Spirit working through the Church and its leadership. Francis is saying, if you want to find traditional liturgy, here it is—in the reformed rites. He has not outlawed the older rites altogether. The liturgical books antecedent to the reform may still be used to celebrate the liturgy (according to the 1962 edition) but under limited circumstances, not in parishes, and not at the whim of individual priests. It is up to the local bishop to decide when and where these liturgies may be celebrated, and by whom. Pope Francis has made it clear that the bishops are not to give this permission to anyone who challenges the legitimacy and orthodoxy of the reform or who rejects the authority of the pope and bishops. Any priest ordained after July 16, 2021 who wants to celebrate the older rites must obtain permission from his bishop and from Rome.

    The bishop also gets to decide how long such celebrations may continue. Several American bishops have already been responding to Traditionis custodes as though they have carte blanche to continue use of the older rites indefinitely. This is not true. Francis has specifically said that their job is to guide these communities that currently follow the older rites to a state of mind and soul where they can celebrate the mainstream liturgy of the Church with full, heartfelt assent. This is the goal—not pacification, not perpetuation of the older rites, but rather the embrace of the reformed liturgy as a “unitary expression of the Roman Rite.” The bishop, as a custodian of tradition, is obliged to exercise his authority in concert with the Holy See, and this means walking in the direction outlined by Pope Francis.

    Most Catholics never objected to Benedict’s initiative because, as they viewed it, it pertained to a small group of people and wouldn’t affect them personally. In an age when individualism and consumer choice seem like the normal state of affairs, it didn’t seem outlandish to provide boutique alternatives for different liturgical tastes, even if this included a taste for a liturgy that had been superseded by a lawful reform called for by an ecumenical council. But liturgy is not just a matter of personal taste. It is a matter of faith and obedience. It belongs to the collective, which is why it is enshrined in law and subject to authority.

    It’s worth remembering that establishing the reformed liturgy as the “unitary expression of the Roman Rite” does not in any way compromise the Church’s commitment to inculturation, as Swiss liturgical scholar Martin Klöckener has rightly noted. Inculturation is an entirely different question, because in every case the reformed Roman Rite is the basis of inculturation.

    Pope Francis wants to advance the liturgical reforms of Vatican II. His recent decision to open instituted ministries of lectors and acolytes to women gives evidence of this, as does his emphasis on the Word of God, mystagogy, and liturgical catechesis. Through his openness to inculturation, his decision concerning washing women’s feet on Holy Thursday, his return of authority over liturgical translations to the bishops, and even by restricting private Masses at St. Peter’s Basilica in favor of concelebration, he has pressed forward with the reform.

    The last surviving Italian bishop who participated in the Second Vatican Council is the retired bishop of Ivrea, Luigi Bettazzi, age ninety-eight. He is also the last surviving signer of the “pact of the catacombs” (a pledge made by forty council fathers to embrace evangelical poverty, humility, charity, justice, and witness). Four days after Francis promulgated his motu proprio, and surely with these events in mind, he said, “We are halfway across the ford, but let’s remember that we still have to cross it.” The ford is the full implementation of Vatican II.

  10. Jim Stack says:

    The second post from Paddy Ferry (which I did indeed read in its entirety and did reflect upon) is well-written and quite convincing, until one realises just how little quantitative information has been provided. Just as the original report of the Pope’s survey failed to mention the non-response rate (which would suggest that it was very high, undermining the whole survey), in this commentary too actual numbers are glossed over – e.g. “some individuals find serene enjoyment in attending Mass according to the older rites and have no other agenda”. My problem with all of this is that I think “some individuals” here actually constitute the overwhelming majority of TLM followers, and that they are being made to pay for the outspoken criticism of Pope Francis (or Vatican II) by a handful of other TLM followers. And the same does not seem to apply to those at the liberal end of the Catholic spectrum. Individuals who step too far out of line, in either direction, should be sanctioned as individuals, but whole congregations are being sanctioned here, and that is not right.

    It is noteworthy that most bishops are allowing TLM celebrations to continue quietly in their dioceses. They do not seem to share the Pope’s antipathy.

    My sole purpose in joining this debate has been to try to convey to ACP members how hurt faithful Catholics have been by this decision by Pope Francis. I do not myself attend a TLM, but I think I understand those who do. I read quite a lot of the online reaction to the Pope’s decision, and the deep hurt caused comes through very strongly. I cannot see how treating faithful Catholics this way is somehow good for the unity of the Church.

    It is time, I think, for me to withdraw from this discussion. Once again, I thank the moderator for posting my contributions, and I thank Paddy Ferry for his courtesy, and for bringing those articles to my attention.

  11. Joe O'Leary says:

    Lines from Newman might be profitably meditated on:

    “Peter is no recluse, no abstracted student, no dreamer about the past, no doter upon the dead and gone, no projector of the visionary. Peter for eighteen hundred years has lived in the world; he has seen all fortunes, he has encountered all adversaries, he has shaped himself for all emergencies. If there ever was a power on earth who had an eye for the times, who has confined himself to the practicable, and has been happy in his anticipations, whose words have been deeds, and whose commands prophecies, such is he in the history of ages, who sits from generation to generation in the Chair of the Apostles, as the Vicar of Christ and Doctor of His Church.”

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