Okay, folks, we're not in Kansas anymore! The shockwaves of the atomic bombs of Traditionis Custodes and the Responsa Ad Dubia have thrust us head over heels into the land of Oz where the white-robed warlock of the west rules with a wooden stang given to him by Ozian youth in the name of Ozma during a synod for young people....
Well, enough of that nonsense!
Let's look at the serious nature of Dr. Kwasniewski's discussion on obedience and the necessity to resist attempts to crush the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) and the sacraments according to the rites practiced before Vatican II's upheaval. True obedience to God, according to Dr. K, requires disobedience to Traditionis Custodes (TC) and the dubious dubia and its responsa. His book on obedience coming out in February is a definite must for those who want some clarity on the legitimacy of these cruel documents and whether Catholics have an obligation to accept them as authoritative. Must priests obey their superiors who are using the papal documents to crush the Latin Mass as is Blase Cupich in Chicago, one of the meanest cardinals in the country who wins the "most guilty of clericalism millstone" hands down!
So... must our priests and we the laity bend the knee to TC? No and liturgists and canon lawyers are explaining why. I'll be posting some of their opinions as time goes on as well as an open letter to Arlington bishop, Michael Burbidge which I mailed to him today.
But first let's look at Dr. Kwasniewski's reasoning as described by LifeSiteNews previewing his upcoming book on obedience and authority. Here are some salient points from the article;
“It is not obedience that comes first, but truth and charity; and this is why obedience, rightly understood, is not blind,” Kwasniewski says. “Take away truth and you take away love; take away love and you take away the root of obedience.”
Thus, insofar as a legitimate authority, is himself obedient to God — to divine and natural law — and “wills our good,” we owe that authority obedience.
The “free, intelligent, conscientious obedience” owed to our Church superiors then requires at least first that we trust our superior, that is, “we believe the superior loves us with Christian charity, wills our good, does not seek our injury or destruction;” and second, rightful subordination, which means the superior subjects himself to God, which includes “respec[t] of custom and tradition — especially within the Church, where these things have the force of law;” and also means “that the inferior is subject to the superior only in those matters over which the superior has discretion or command.”...
Think of the apostles before the Sanhedrin ordered not to speak in the name of Jesus. Did they obey the Jewish religious authorities? No, they made it clear their first allegiance was to Almighty God and they had to obey Him rather than the Sanhedrin.
“Christian obedience is never a form of unthinking servility,” Kwasniewski affirms. Only God, who “is Love itself” and always wills our good, “deserves absolute and unconditional obedience.” True obedience then “is always obedience to GOD, whether immediately or mediately.”
If any authority commands something contrary to God’s divine or natural law, “We must obey God rather than men,” as is declared in the Acts of the Apostles and affirmed by Pope Leo XIII [in his encyclical Sapientiae Christianae].
“If one has a serious and well-founded doubt about whether the human command is compatible with the divine or natural law, one should not obey it,” Kwasniewski notes. “To say otherwise would be to say that in a case where we fear we might be committing a mortal sin, or even a venial sin, we should go ahead and do it lest we offend our superior.”
It is interesting that those who are most rigorous in affirming that freedom of conscience necessitates letting those committing grievous public sins of scandal receive Communion, are so quick to trample on the consciences of the orthodox!
St. Thomas Aquinas affirms this principle in his Summa theologiae, writing, “Sometimes the things commanded by a superior are against God. Therefore, superiors are not to be obeyed in all things.”...
"Here is where we reach the heart of the question. An authority’s power to morally bind resides in the common good, so if the authority deploys his office overtly against the common good, then that command inherently lacks moral binding power.”...
“What, then, is the common good of the Church that gives rise to her authority — which is then wielded, to one degree or another, by the members of the hierarchy?”...
“In the realm of the liturgy in particular,” but also with regard to the sacraments, “we must see the traditional rites of the Church as not merely human works but works conjointly of God and men — of the Church moved by the Holy Spirit,” Kwasniewski writes....
‘The traditional Mass belongs to the most intimate part of the common good in the Church. Restricting it, pushing it into ghettos, and ultimately planning its demise, can have no legitimacy. This law is not a law of the Church, because, as St. Thomas says, a law against the common good is no valid law.’”...
This next section of the article should be read twice... or maybe three times!
Kwasniewski notes that “Catholic tradition recognizes the pope’s solemn duty towards the immemorial liturgical practice of the Church.”
Pope Francis, then, clearly violates “the famous Papal Oath of the Liber Diurnus Romanorum Pontificum, a handbook of formularies used by the pontifical chancellery at the end of the first millennium,” according to which “the pope is to swear: ‘I shall keep inviolate the discipline and ritual of the Church just as I found and received it handed down by my predecessors.’”
Is this what Pope Francis is doing? Not by a long shot. He treats Church doctrine with a shrug and a wink. Pachamama gets his welcome into the Church, the TLM gets the boot!
“In one of its approved texts, the Council of Constance, states: ‘Since the Roman Pontiff exercises such great power among mortals, it is right that he be bound all the more by the incontrovertible bonds of the faith and by the rites that are to be observed regarding the Church’s Sacraments.’”...
Kwasniewski affirms that “we do not owe obedience to an ecclesiastical authority if he acts against the common good of the Church,” and that “It is important to note that Catholic theologians are unanimous in maintaining that this is possible — it can actually happen — and, even more importantly, that ordinary Catholics are capable of recognizing when it is happening.”
It's as clear as the writing on the wall. Remember that reference from the Old Testament in the Book of Daniel? King Belshazzar gives a banquet and desecrates the sacred vessels stolen from Jerusalem by his father, Nebuchadnezzar, to serve wine to his guests. Suddenly a hand appears and writes three words on the wall. Daniel correctly interprets the message telling the king that his rebellion against God will be soundly punished. God doesn't change. Is the desecration of the liturgy of less importance than the desecration of the vessels? What will Pope Francis' rebellion against God bring him?
Kwasniewski minces no words. Like Daniel, he spells out the evil being committed:
“Let us be absolutely clear about this: to attack the traditional Latin Mass (or any of the traditional liturgical rites) is to attack the Providence of God the Father; to reject the work of Christ, the King and Lord of history; to blaspheme the fruitfulness of the Holy Ghost in the Church’s life of prayer. It is contrary to the practice of every age of the Church, of every saint, council, and pope prior to the 20th century. It contradicts several key virtues of the Christian life, most notably religion, gratitude, and humility. It implies the rejection of the dogmatic confession of faith contained in the traditional Latin lex orandi in its organic unfolding over at least 1,600 years, which is contrary to the theological virtue of faith … ”
“In all these ways and more, the postconciliar liturgical reform, its subsequent ruthless implementation, and Pope Francis’s renewed effort to extinguish the preceding tradition are unreasonable, unjust, and unholy, and therefore cannot be accepted as legitimate or embraced as the will of God,” Kwasniewski continues.
“A repudiation of our Catholic liturgical patrimony is tantamount to disobedience to God; and we will be obedient to God precisely through our ‘disobedience’ to the revolutionaries.”
Dr. Kwasniewski advises resistance. Putting it in Pope Francis' terms, he advises us to, "make a mess." As he puts it:
“In short: if we are convinced that something essential, something decisive, in the Faith is under attack from the pope or any other hierarch, we are not only permitted to refuse to do what is being asked or commanded, not only permitted to refuse to give up what is being unjustly taken away or forbidden; we are obliged to refuse. Sitting on the fence is not an option.”Dr. Kwasniewski makes a strong case for our marching orders. And so, let us go forth as Catholic soldiers of Christ. No matter our age we are fighting a battle that is ever young and ever new, the battle for truth!
“Our obedience is rightfully given to the higher authority — in this case, to Divine Providence, to the Holy Spirit, and to the authority of the Church of all ages. Because this is true, any penalty or punishment that was meted out against us for this disobedience would be illicit. If a punishment is given on false theological or canonical premises, it is null and void...Now that our enemies have made it clear that they intend our eventual liquidation, classic legal principles of self-defense, proportionate resistance, and the invalidity of unjustly-imposed penalties come fully into play....In this way we will also add lustre to obedience in its highest, most beautiful, most radical form: obedience to the truth, for love of the good — for the love of God.”