Traddeus is having a bad one.

As many of you have probably heard, Pope Francis today released a motu proprio severely limiting the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, who may celebrate it and where it may be celebrated. This was done for the stated goal of unity in response to various acts of disunity related by bishops to the Holy Father.

Many of you know me as a supporter of Summorum Pontificum who is also an outspoken critic of radical traditionalism. I have critiqued the movement on two main points: 1) That it has not, as suggested often by Fr. Z, embraced an exemplary role in charity and justice within its communities, which would recommend it to more of the faithful and show its worthiness to bishops, and 2) That it has embraced as de facto representatives extremist, often disobedient clergy with views contrary to the faith. Pope Benedict handed us the opportunity to launch a renaissance of Catholic faith and culture and the outspoken minority mucked it up. This deeply saddens me, but at the same time, I recognize that this measure was brought about in response to real abuses of the Church’s unity pushed by radical traditionalism.

Although I have previously expressed and maintain my theory that recent popes have been manipulated by advisors who do not have the true good of the faithful at heart — I’ve seen these machinations played out at other levels of the Church — I acknowledge and submit to the motu proprio as bearing the authority of the Pope. I suggest that you all do the same. While I believe this measure is more likely in itself to result in disunity — particularly its effectively pushing the EF out of parishes and into small, isolated chapels on the fringes of diocesan life (see Article 3 § 2) — I see this as a sort of exile which God may use to purify the hearts of His faithful. If we submit with humility and better ourselves in holiness, God will bring great good from this. We may even, with God’s grace, enjoy the Extraordinary Form of the Mass while still building up the unity Pope Francis and Pope Benedict envisioned.

In this exile, I recommend:

  1. That those continuing to attend the EF become outspoken supporters of charity and justice and work with their own efforts to secure a better life for the broader community around them. People must come to see “Latin Massers” as good, wholesome, supportive members of their diocesan community.
  2. Distancing from the extremist clergy, studying the documents of Vatican II with the mind of the Church, and following those clergy who have made good efforts to celebrate the EF within a hermeneutic of continuity.
  3. Detaching the “Latin Masser” identity from political alignments at odds with the Church’s values that have led in some cases to near-idolatry of political figures and movements.
  4. Integrating for mutual enrichment those elements of the EF that may be brought into the Ordinary Form of the Mass, as advised by Pope Benedict and not rescinded by this motu proprio.
  5. Striving at all times for personal holiness, going beyond the mere trappings of traditional Catholicism so as not to be LARPers.
  6. Prayer for our Holy Father, Pope Francis, and for our local bishops.

Yes, I’m frustrated. Yes, I’m angry. Yes, I have suspicions about “what’s really going on here.” But…

Friends, we have today the opportunity to become saints. Our obedience is being tested. Let us be holy and virtuous in what matters to God.

Don’t lose the opportunity to celebrate the liturgy in heaven over your love of the liturgy on earth.