To their credit, many of the world’s bishops, addressed in Francis’s recent missive as “Guardians of Tradition,” are scratching their head at its apparently senseless venom.
“Upon reflection,” one faithful shepherd of souls observed, “it seems that in addressing the ‘problems’ of the traditional Latin Mass community—real or perceived—Pope Francis used a chainsaw when only a scalpel was needed.”
As depressing as it is to be flagged for spiritual clearcutting by the highest earthly representative of one’s Savior, we must praise Providence for the timing of this pastoral atrocity.
Only a few years ago, the Latin Mass was an object of suspicion to many devout Catholics. As the esteemed theologian Janet Smith explains, many champions of orthodoxy avoided the old Mass as if it were a leper colony, fearing that its infectious “smells and bells” might draw them in, after which they too could be dismissed as schismatic reactionaries and lose what little ground they had gained for doctrinal and philosophical truth in their beloved Church.
And then it happened. Provided with near-equal canonical footing by Pope Benedict XVI, the Latin Mass made its appearance in a growing number of parishes. The stigma attached to it gradually began to weaken.
Next, in response to the increasingly flagrant misconduct of Benedict’s successor, more and more “obedient” souls decided to check the ancient liturgy out, and, discovering in it a sublime source of spiritual stability, many decided to return on a regular basis.
Finally, under the smothering constrictions of viral scaremongering and priestly capitulation thereto, still others found refuge in Latin Mass parishes, whose pastors and congregations were among the painfully few inoculated against the plagues of paranoia and oppression afflicting the world at large.
The results have proved too significant for the enemies of Christ to ignore. Though as yet only 4% of U.S. parishes offer the Latin Mass, in the past year a movement that was steadily building steam has definitively left the port. According to one survey, based on partial but representative data, this is what the Latin Mass was doing prior to July 16:
Still, the outside observer might ask, how could any of this be significant one way or the other? What difference does it make if a few thousand people here or there decide to pray in a dead language?
In tomorrow’s installment, we will consider how the nature of the traditional Mass itself, and the type of growth it generates, represent a real and poignant threat to those whose hearts are set on the definitive conquest of nature, dethronement of God, and enslavement of humankind.
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