And so it begins.
My bishop, Michael Burbidge, Bishop of Arlington, spoke about the Vatican directive that came out last weekend in his 12/20 podcast, a portion of which I've transcribed below. The bishop won't be issuing his own implementation document until the new year, but it's pretty clear that it will be bad news for those of us who attend the "extraordinary form" at diocesan parishes, even if only occasionally.
The Latin Mass (TLM) will not be totally suppressed in the Diocese of Arlington -- yet! But Rome's directives move the Church toward the eventual elimination of the Latin Mass, because, let's face it, that's what Traditionis Custodes was written to accomplish. We all know that is exactly what Pope Francis wants! He attacks and demeans those who love the ancient Mass while he apologizes to and praises those immersed in sins of sexual lust and disorder. Is it just a coincidence that, at the same time the Vatican was suppressing the Latin Mass, they were apologizing to New Ways Ministry, an evil and heretical organization that preaches LGBTQ activism? Rome raises up sodomy and takes the hobnailed boot to Holy Tradition, and they wonder why there was a sex abuse crisis!
Sad to say, it is likely that most of the bishops will not resist Pope Francis no matter what questionable and canonically flawed decree he uses to molest and persecute the faithful. Bishop Burbidge makes it clear in his podcast that the Vatican directives "must be carried out." The pope's personal wishes take precedence over Holy Tradition and two millennia of liturgical worship.
Ironically, the pope's cruel action is couched in terms of a false "unity" preached by our "papa" with meanness, ridicule, and lack of charity for those who embrace the liturgy of our ancestors. Why must the Mass of the martyrs of England; the Mass of St. Jean Vianney, patron of parish priests; the Mass of the Cristeros in Mexico be stamped out? Why must the Mass loved by St. Bernadette of Lourdes; the little shepherd children of Fatima; St. Faustina and St. Margaret Mary; of Maximilian Kolbe, martyr of Auschwitz; St. Francis de Sales and St. Damien of Molokai; of St. Anthony; the Mass of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church be suppressed?
Were the martyrs of the Mass: St. Edmund Campion, St. Margaret Clitherow, St. Anne Line, St. Robert Southwell, St. Nicholas Owen, and all their hundreds of companions ignorant fools who should have embraced Cromwell's new Mass so similar to today's novus ordo?
Why? Why, Pope Francis?
Why is the Roman rite not allowed to have two forms when there is so much diversity among the rites permitted in the Church? I thought there was strength in diversity. Is that diversity only welcome when it brings Pachamama and shamans into St. Peters?
Why, Papa, why?
Carrying out the Vatican directives means that a parish with four Sunday Masses and two priests has a problem. Since a priest may not say both the ordinary and extraordinary Mass on the same day (He may not "binate.") that means if the parish has an extraordinary form Mass, one priest needs to say the three novus ordo Masses while the other priest says one TLM. The situation is even worse in a parish with one priest. He may not say both forms of the Mass on the same day. [Correction: The ban on "bination" applies only to weekday Masses... for now.] Even worse, no priest ordained after Traditionis Custodes may say the extraordinary form without express permission from the Vatican and no bishop may ordain priests using the ancient rite.
So who will ordain the priests of the FSSP, the Canons of the New Jerusalem, and the other Latin Mass orders? The directives are clearly meant to guarantee the ultimate death of the Traditional Latin Mass. Can anyone believe that the pope will allow newly ordained young priests to offer the TLM?This is all about a complete change in the Church. The suppression of the traditional contemplative nuns was a warning shot across the bow. This is just another step on the journey to make us a "new Church," an ecumenical Church, a modern Church, a global Church with a global religion that fits into the Great Reset.
If you want to understand what's happening, watch the 1973 film, Catholics, from the book of the same name by Brian Moore, later released as Conflict. Martin Sheen plays a modern priest in the new Church and Trevor Howard as the abbot of the last site in the world where the traditional Latin Mass is still offered. Fittingly the liturgy is celebrated on a "Mass rock" where Irish priests celebrated during the harsh penal laws of the 17th century. Protestants then tried to destroy the Latin Mass, today it is the protestantizers inside the church trying to complete the revolution Luther started.
You can watch the film on-line at gloria TV. It's chilling to see how much our modern Church resembles the apostate Church of the post Vatican IV period described by author Moore in his modern "fable." The book ends without resolution. What will happen next the reader wonders? That is obviously a question for us as well.
The noose is being tightened. Bishop Burbidge made it clear that the Latin Mass in our diocese will be "more limited and restrictive."
Think of how the persecution in England began and escalated until people were being hanged, drawn, and quartered for refusing to hear Cranmer's Mass and hiding priests who came to give them the Mass of the Ages. Think of the persecution and genocide against the Catholics in Armenia and the Jews in Nazi Germany. Restrictive laws preceded increasingly draconian and murderous policies. In fact, many of the Jews didn't flee because the persecution was gradual and by the time the writing was on the wall, it was too late. What is on the horizon for the Latin Mass and those who embrace it? Interdict and excommunication?
Here's most of the podcast portion containing what Bishop Burbidge said about the coming diocesan directive. We all need to be on our knees and recognize that the SSPX may be our only refuge in the days to come. We need to begin thinking about what we will do when we are threatened with canonical penalties and excommunication looms over us.
Pray for the bishop. Pray for the Church. Be wise and prudent and practice charity. When mankind was at the height of sin and malice, God sent His only begotten Son to save us. We will never be abandoned!
Here is the section of the diocesan podcast with Bishop Burbidge's discussion of the motu proprio and the Vatican directives:
When the pope first issued... the motu proprio regarding the celebration in the extraordinary form, there were some directives given to the bishops for expecting implementation ... There was some need, I think, for some further clarifications that the bishops were seeking to make sure we were being faithful to what was being asked of us.....That's why I haven't issued a formal document...anticipating some clarifications.... Over the weekend there was a response. It's a formal document by the Congregation for Divine Worship and it was very specific in responding to several clarifications to Pope Francis' motu proprio... basically eleven questions...and the answers to those questions, affirmative, negative, explanations....It's pretty direct.
So after the new year, I will forward an implementation document draft to the pastors of our parishes that currently celebrate the Mass in the extraordinary form and allow for comments that may assist the implementation process in adherence to what we received.... I will also meet with my advisors and our liturgical commission and then issue a document to all the faithful. So again the clarifications that we received this week are very specific and they must be carried out.
And so we will do so and I will be offering an official document to all the people and asking all of you at this time to pray to the Holy Spirit to lead us... to use this as a reminder, that we are known, as well we should be, as a very faithful diocese. We are known for our faithfulness and our unity.... and must promote that faithfulness and unity and sometimes that means for us to trust and surrender knowing that the Holy Spirit is always at work in the Church leading the Church.....Both in the original motu proprio and the directives this weekend that there's a call too that as we celebrate the novus ordo, the ordinary form, we're doing it with great reverence.... For all of us... our focus is on the Eucharist....the joyful belief in the Real Presence of our Lord Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament ...We can be united in our prayers for unity and faithfulness as we implement what our Holy Father has asked....
What we have received certainly does allow for the extraordinary form to be celebrated in the diocese, but it will be more limited and restrictive than it is right now. But the extraordinary form of the Mass will be celebrated.
For how long, I wonder, and when will the Vatican target us with the next bombshell?
Christ the King, Lord of the Universe, have mercy on us.
Holy Spirit, giver of gifts for our strength and perseverance, have mercy on us.
God the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth, have mercy on us.