- “LifeSiteNews has learned from Keith Armato, a leading Catholic layman close to the situation, that the archbishop of Chicago had demanded for months now that the Institute [ICKSP] signs a document with five or six points. Among the points they had to sign – each priest individually – was that the Novus Ordo rite is the only true expression of the Roman rite. This formulation stems directly from Pope Francis’ own document Traditionis Custodes, an explanation that makes it clear that the traditional Roman rite has to disappear altogether.”
I mean, I don’t know what any of this even means. Pope Francis celebrated Holy Mass in the Ambrosian Rite of the Latin Rite up in Milan as recently as 2017. There are very many Rites in the Latin Rite. And what about the Congolese Rite, the upcoming Amazonian Rite, etc.?
Oh, I get it. Pope Francis is saying that the particular Roman Rite of the much more comprehensive Latin Rite only has one true expression, which is the Novus Ordo and not at all the Traditional Latin Mass. I see. He surely means that this refers not to validity but to liceity, not to the fact of the Most Holy Sacrifice being offered in the TLM (which always remains true), but only to his modus operandi of holding that the only legally acceptable way of offering Holy Mass in Roman Rite is by adhering to the Sacramentary of Novus Ordo instead of the Missale Romanum of the TLM. I get it.
Oh, but wait! Text without context is pretext, right? Let’s see… Ah yes! Here we go! From Traditionis custodes:
- “Art. 1. The liturgical books promulgated by Saint Paul VI and Saint John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of Vatican Council II, are the unique [“l’unica espressione”=only, sole] expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.”
Oh, but wait! That’s not just a foundational disciplinary statement; that’s about doctrine, the very fact of the Sacrifice of Jesus being offered. Gotta put on the brakes and drill down into this. That “lex orandi” is the law of prayer which is the source and summit of the lex credendi, the law of believing. Is any of this defined for us in the broader context? Yes, indeed! Let’s turn to the accompanying letter of Traditionis custodes addressed to the bishops:
- “Most people understand the motives that prompted St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI to allow the use of the Roman Missal, promulgated by St. Pius V and edited by St. John XXIII in 1962, for the Eucharistic Sacrifice.”
- That’s from paragraph 2 of the letter. It’s clear that Pope Francis admits that John Paul II and Benedict XVI consider the TLM to be a valid manner to offer “the Eucharistic Sacrifice.”
- “Benedict XVI declared ‘the Missal promulgated by St. Pius V and newly edited by Blessed John XXIII, as a extraordinary expression of the same lex orandi‘, granting a ‘more ample possibility for the use of the 1962 Missal’.”
- That’s from paragraph 3 of the letter. It’s clear that Benedict speaks of “expressions” of the “same lex orandi,” which is thus defined by him as the Holy Sacrifice of Jesus.
- “The Motu proprio recognized that, in its own right, ‘the Missal promulgated by Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the lex orandi of the Catholic Church of the Latin rite’. The recognition of the Missal promulgated by St. Pius V ‘as an extraordinary expression of the same lex orandi‘ did not in any way underrate the liturgical reform, but was decreed with the desire to acknowledge the ‘insistent prayers of these faithful,’ allowing them “to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass according to the editio typica of the Roman Missal promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated, as the extraordinary form of the Liturgy of the Church.”
- That’s from paragraph 4 of the letter. Again, it is crystal clear that the lex orandi, the law of prayer, refers to the Holy Sacrifice of Jesus present in any form, in any expression of the Roman Rite, of the Latin Rite.
But Pope Francis, with a slight of hand, you know, some prestidigitations, now has it in Traditionis custodes that the only expression of the law of prayer in the Roman Rite is the Novus Ordo, exclusive of the TLM. But if the law of prayer, literally the Holy Sacrifice of Jesus, is not to be found in any way with the TLM, Pope Francis is now saying that the TLM is an invalid Mass, no Mass at all. Nothing. No Sacrifice. No Sacrament. No Eucharistic Sacrifice. Nothing. It’s in fact an excommunicatable offence, for it is therefore only a simulation of a Mass, a simulation of a Sacrament.
I could never put my name to a document forcing me to deny Jesus in His very Sacrifice for me. Never!
Anyway, all this is why, in the Responsa ad dubia, it is said that the TLM has nothing to do with the life of the parish. Get it? Jesus’ Sacrifice has nothing to do with the life of the parish.
Sure, I might well be thrown out of the priesthood if I were ever to reject being forced to sign such a document, thus signing my ticket to hell if I did that. But I would be joyful in being thrown on the trash heap. Maybe I would finally have time to write about the Immaculate Conception. And in that I would most certainly rejoice. My voice of joy would be heard up to the heavens!