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NEWS: December 29, 2021
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Bird’s Eye View of the News
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Atila Sinke Guimarães
TRADITIONAL MASS TO DIE IN THE GARROTE - On December 18, 2021 (pre-dated as December 4) Arch. Arthur Roche, Prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship, issued Responsa ad dubia, a document with 11 answers to real or invented questions about the enforcement of Pope Francis' Motu proprio Traditionis custodes.

The goal of the Responsa is to entirely abrogate the permissions given by both John Paul II and Benedict XVI to celebrate Mass according to the '62 Missal. The document pretends also to abolish the celebration of Mass according to the Missals prior to 1955. Let us not forget that the architect of the '62 Missal was the same Msgr. Annibale Bugnini who had already made the 1955 reform of the Holy Week ceremonies; afterwards Bugnini would direct the schema of the conciliar Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium and draft the Novus Ordo Mass.

Death by garrote

The death by garrote: process of gradual asphyxia, which the Vatican is using to kill the Traditional Mass

Arch. Roche's Responsa, duly approved by Francis, is written in a "positive" language, but its goal is actually draconian. It is the kind of hypocrisy of a person who is strangling someone and says: "I am creating conditions for you to take small breaths because I am trying to make you feel at ease."

Putting aside the hypocrisy, I will report the 11 points as they are.  I will add a short comment to help my reader catch what is being said.

An introduction to the document affirms that from now on the only approved expression of the Latin Rite is the Novus Ordo Mass, in which the faithful must have an active participation. Using his "magisterial authority" Francis declared that "the Liturgical Reform is irreversible."

The goal of the document is to regulate the rare cases of groups who will not give up celebrating or assisting at the Latin Mass.

The new decisions to enforce Traditionis custodes are:

1. The text of the Responsa: The Bishop cannot allow the use of parishes for the celebration of the '62 Missal except in extraordinary situations, which would be when it is impossible to find another church, oratory or chapel. In this case, the Latin Masses should not be included in the parish schedule or interfere in other activities of the community. As soon as another site can be found to attend to those who want the traditional rite, permission for saying the Mass in a regular Novus Ordo parish church should be withdrawn. This permission cannot be used to promote the previous rite.

My comment: This extraordinary permission is granted to say Masses in places that are not parishes – a hospital chapel, a private oratory in a house or farm, an abandoned church that is falling apart. If it is absolutely impossible to find any of these places, then the Bishop can allow a '62 Mass to be said in a parish for a group of faithful; but when this happens the group must be completely separated from the regular parish life, which means that the Masses should only take place in hours when the parish church is not in use, such as 5:00 am or 10:00 pm. As soon as an oratory for the Latin Mass is found, permission to use the parish church is suspended.

If that group grows in number of attendees, permission to use the '62 Missal may be withdrawn because it can be considered that the group is promoting the previous rite.

2. The text: No Sacraments can be celebrated according to the previous official Ritual or Pontifical. The only exception is for personal parishes (1) to use the Roman Ritual. But these very few exceptions must be monitored in order to ensure that the priests are accepting the liturgical reforms coming from the Council.

Archbishop Arthur Roche

Arch. Roche: ‘No Sacraments celebrated according to the previous Ritual or Pontifical

My comment: This item eliminates all previous permissions to celebrate the Mass and the Sacraments according to the Roman Pontifical and the Roman Ritual which are the two main directories that regulated ceremonies in the Catholic Church for more than 1,000 years. In itself this rejection characterizes an apostasy and a revolt against the past of the Church. According to serious theologians this rejection per se constitutes an act of schism by Francis and his subordinates (see here, here and here).

The few exceptions permitted to use the Roman Ritual must be closely watched by the Bishop in order to not allow any deviation from the progressivist doctrine, which is not an expression of the "unchanged faith" as the document affirms. Rather, it is an expression of Progressivism and Modernism duly condemned by St. Pius X as the synthesis of all heresies.

3. The text: If a priest refuses to participate in a concelebration, his license will be withdrawn. The Bishop should make a strict doctrinal examination of the priest to make sure that he accepts the liturgical reform, the doctrine of Vatican II and the teachings of the conciliar Popes.

My comments: If the priest does not comply with these demands, he will not only have his permission revoked, but he will suffer sanctions, which may include excommunication. If he agrees, he will be obliged to participate in a concelebration of a Novus Ordo Mass.

4. The text: For those who will be allowed to say the Mass according to the '62 Missal, the lessons of the Mass (2) must be in the vernacular.

My comment: With this prescription, the idea of a Latin Mass is broken. Most of the parts that the faithful will hear will be in the vernacular. This destroys the solemnity of the Mass and prepares the faithful to accept the Novus Ordo Mass.

Pope Bergoglio

‘Using my magisterial authority I declare:
The liturgical reform is irreversible’

5. The text: Any priest ordained after this document has to formally ask the permission of the Bishop to celebrate according to the '62 Missal. The Bishop in turn cannot give such permission without express approval of the Holy See.

Seminary teachers must indoctrinate their students to accept the full participation of the "people of God" in the liturgy.

My comment: Since the Holy See wants to keep close control over all these permissions, it means that they will be very hard to get. To prevent new priests from rebelling against the Vatican regarding these norms, seminary teachers are ordered to indoctrinate the seminarians in the "richness" of the liturgical reform.

6. The text: Permission to celebrate according to the '62 Missal must be given just for a limited period of time. After this period the priest will be examined anew to see if he is still faithful to the progressivist doctrine of the Council. If he is not, his permission will not be renewed.

My comment: All these prescriptions are meant to discourage the traditionalist priest from trying to escape the control of the religious authority or from attempting to deceive it. In other words, it is the establishment of a draconian religious dictatorship to impose – sooner or later – the Novus Ordo Mass upon all.

7. The text: Permission is only given for the Latin Mass to be said in the territorial diocese where the priest is located.

My comment: This prescription clashes with the the allowance for personal parishes. Indeed, a traditionalist priest typically receives in his church faithful who travel long distances to attend his Masses. The reciprocal is true: Many times the priest is invited to give the Sacraments to these long distance faithful in their homes, which means that he needs to leave the territorial limits of the diocese. From now on this is prohibited. The priest is forbidden to exercise this ministry.

8. The text: If the authorized priest is sick or traveling and cannot say the Latin Mass at the designated parish, he cannot ask another priest to replace him unless the latter also is authorized.

My comment: Another nonsensical rule that aims to make it more and more difficult to have Masses and Sacraments for the traditionalist faithful.

Solemn Catolic ceremony

In the solemn ceremonies the deacons & acolytes have very precise roles

9. The text: Not only the priest but the deacons and acolytes must also be authorized to serve at the Mass.

My comment: If we consider High Masses, the solemnities of the Holy Week, Easter and Christmas in which Deacons and Acolytes play a very precise role, we see that this demand for authorization is intended to discourage their participation in such ceremonies. This necessarily leads to a diminishing of such ceremonies.

10. The text: A priest who is authorized to celebrate according to the '62 Missal cannot say it in the same day he says the Novus Ordo Mass.

My comment: Although such an incidence would be rare, it can happen. For example, it would be the case of an army chaplain who says a Novus Ordo Mass for a group of soldiers and then says a Mass according to the '62 Missal for a group of traditionalist soldiers. He is forbidden to say both Masses on the same day. It is another pressure to make everyone attend the Novus Ordo Masss.

11. The text: A priest who is authorized to say the Mass according to the '62 Missal cannot say two such Masses even if the group of faithful is approved by the Bishop.

My comment: Most of the traditionalist priests say two Masses on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. From now on they are forbidden to say more than one Mass a day. This does a harm to the faithful and puts pressure on them to attend the Novus Ordo Mass.

This is what the text of the document Responsa ad dubia says and means.

Hospital chapel

As long as a hospital chapel or a countryside oratory is available, the priest will not be accepted in a parish

We see that the traditionalist priests and organizations that trusted John Paul II and Benedict XVI and believed that by saying the '62 Missal they would continue to serve tradition, in fact entered a trap.

The '62 Missal was the first transition from the millennial Mass to the Novus Ordo Mass. Viewed from the progressivist side, the '62 Missal appears traditional; seen from the traditionalist side, it appears progressivist. These organizations adopted the '62 Missal naïvely, imagining they would be able to have it forever. They accepted the validity of the Council and the New Mass in order to have permission to say the '62 Latin Mass. Now, they have to accept the entire progressivist program and will lose their Latin Mass…

Strategically speaking, John Paul II created the Ecclesia Dei Commission and allowed the celebret (indult) Masses to avoid a traditionalist schism in the Church. Benedict XVI tried to bring the traditionalist audience back to the acceptance of Vatican II and the Novus Ordo Mass with his Summorum Pontificum.

Now, Francis is obliging all those who benefited from these two concessions to accept Vatican II and the Novus Ordo Mass. He does not fear a schism; he will face it point blank. These draconian measures we are analyzing show his first tactical position for this battle.

Someone may ask: Yes, almost all the priests of these traditionalist organizations will make excuses and comply, however many faithful will not. Where will they go?

I respond: These grassroots are more or less forced to take the only road left: go to the Masses of the Society of St. Pius X, which is keeping a low profile in this turmoil.

Could it be that the SSPX will receive all these people now, only to eventually turn to Francis and deliver the full basket of grassroots to him? It is possible, but we cannot affirm it for sure. Let us wait and see.

  1. What is a personal parish? It is parish that is not part of the normal territorial parish and that serves ethnic groups or Traditional Latin Mass goers who feel at home in their new church and not in the territorial parish. They go there by personal choice; hence the name personal parish. Several of these personal parishes have been approved by local Bishops. Included in this definition are those parishes given by local Bishops to the Fraternity St. Peter, the Institute of Christ the King and other similar traditionalist organizations.
  2. The lessons are all the readings of the Mass taking from the Bible, which include Epistles and Gospels. The book where these readings are is called Lectionary.