A reflection on all that we Catholics once owned, by right, that has now been almost totally misappropriated, by scoundrels

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In light of the unfolding (or perhaps one should say unraveling) of Pope Francis’s pontificate, we should revisit words once spoken by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, predating and anticipating Summorum—words that now have an alarming portentousness:

I am of the opinion, to be sure, that the old rite should be granted much more generously to all those who desire it. It’s impossible to see what could be dangerous or unacceptable about that. A community is calling its very being into question when it suddenly declares that what until now was its holiest and highest possession is strictly forbidden, and when it makes the longing for it seem downright indecent. Can it be trusted any more about anything else? Won’t it proscribe tomorrow what it prescribes today? (Salt of the Earth, 1997)

He has asked a question to which, so far, no honest answer has been given by the Church’s leaders. The reason is not hard to see. Ratzinger dared to say that the Church’s very being had been called into question when Paul VI declared the old Mass forbidden—which in fact he repeatedly did, in response to attempts to maintain a liturgy the Church had celebrated for 500 years, and in its essentials, for 1,000 years, and in the core of it, for 1,500 years. The longing for this treasure of faith was mocked, stepped on, suppressed, treated as a form of disobedience, arrogance, or neurosis. And the haunting question rises up: “Can the Church be trusted any more about anything else? Won’t it proscribe tomorrow what it prescribes today?”

If Paul VI in 1969 can abolish the oldest liturgical rite of Christendom and replace it with a new-fangled rite fashioned by committee according to modern ideas, with the two rites having very little in common when one looks at their details, why can’t Francis today modify the Ten Commandments or the Gospels? They, too, are awfully old, rejected by vast numbers of people as irrelevant to modern times, extremely provocative, and rather narrow in their fixation on obeying God or else. Don’t we need to update and modernize the whole of Christianity? If we can do this with what is our holiest and highest possession, namely the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we can do it across the board, top to bottom. What is permitted, what is forbidden, what is to be construed as good, what is to be rejected as evil, is simply up to the will of the reigning pontiff.

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1 Comment

  1. 🙏😪


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