by Pauly Fongemie, July 14, 2007

I have read the Pontiff's document, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM in the form of a motu proprio, and watched the roundtable discussion on EWTN that included Raymond Arroyo, the host; Fr. Gabet, North American Superior of the FSSP; Fr. Kenneth Baker, Editor of Homiletic and Pastoral Review; Bishop Bruskewitz of Nebraska; and a Monsignor representing the US Bishops' Conference: I won't give his name because I was very saddened, but not surprised to learn how inept and uneducated some of the N.O. establishment priests are---I have no thoughts on his intentions other than that I presume he wants to do the right thing, but I am convinced, through no fault of his own, he does not know what the right thing is; coming from the Bishops' point man this does not bode well for the Ancient Mass at least in the US.

From the conversation it is evident that most of the roundtable participants see the Motu proprio as the beginning of the "reform of the reform", one theme of the discussion.

Well, for openers there can be no such thing because the misnamed reform [the Novus Ordo] was not a reform but a deformation as Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci observed in their report on the Mass of Paul VI when it was devised. It was a complete rupture with Tradition and was not organic---that is---did not grow naturally from the Immemorial Roman Mass because it had a different orientation altogether with its emphasis toward the ministry of the people and away from sacrifice and sin and the august, supreme role of the priest acting in the place of Christ. We know that the two Cardinals, may they be in Heaven, were correct to a precision because the faith of the Catholic people has substantially changed from their participation over a generation in the New Mass. Essentially, they are no longer Catholic, I must be this blunt. If the New Mass was an organic growth, we would have the opposite effect. The letter to the bishops from Pope Benedict XVI makes it clear that Vatican II is being reaffirmed along with the Novus Ordo Mass that sprang from its errors by way of disorientation as a council---it was pastoral only and thus it gave free rein to those who did not want dogma and the liturgy or Mass that was the summit of its expression to reign. Because the council was worded in such wise that it said two contradictory things, on the one hand and on the other, in so many words, it was open to interpretation. Just like SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM which is loaded with loopholes for dissenting bishops and requires interpretation---who will do this interpretation and who will put it into practice? The bishops of course. We all know how this went with the Novus Ordo: the heretics won by and large. So instead of a deformed Mass, which was bad enough we went from that to the Mess. Everything had to be interpreted by the experts who had agendas. They were not Traditionalists, Catholics of the heart, because to be Catholic in the spirit and the letter, in the heart and soul, is to follow Tradition as all the Saints counseled very strongly. The New Mass permitted experimentation and constant change, the very opposite of what a Mass is supposed to be.

Raymond Arroyo pointed out the Tridentine Mass of ancient heritage, Tradition, is standardized and set.

The faith, which is expressed in the Mass, both sacrifice [primary purpose] and catechism [natural effect of this sublime summit of sanctification] is not open for reinvention.

Arroyo was also quick to point out, all too vehemently as in "I think he protests too much" that the Novus Ordo Mass can be said reverently and that he had attended many of them. Then he quickly added that the bishop and priests were saying the New Mass thusly. Almost as if he thought this was necessary. If the New Mass is so wonderful why all the need to make excuses or defense? This is beside the point. The New Mass, no matter how reverently offered, and I am sure there are priests and bishops who do say the New Mass most reverently, is such a break with Tradition that it ought never to be in the first place. It harms the faith and never more so when said reverently for it tends to mask the deforming that occurs in the conscience and consciousness of the people and the priest himself over a long period of time. When the priest or bishop celebrating the Mass does so as a buffoon or with laxness, the people are alerted at least. This is not to argue for clown Masses, only to say that the New Mass cannot be reformed, period. It must be abrogated and annihilated.

Pope Benedict's Letter is merely this, with no binding decrees, so any errors he makes have nothing to do with infallibiliy and he errs when he says that there was no rupture with Tradition. Until he can face the truth on this matter we will be faced with pretending that the elephant in our living room is a mirage. I refuse to insult God by refusing to use His gift of reason. Even Pope Paul VI said that his Mass was a novelty, another way of saying a rupture. How can the Mass be a novelty?!! Is Pope Benedict accusing Paul VI of lying about his own Mass. Is he is accusing him of delusion?

The roundtable discussion made it plain to this viewer that everyone thinks that the two Masses are equal, one ordinary---the New Mass and the preferred or normal most occurring form, and the the other extraordinary---only once on Sunday in a parish. Now, they think this because that is what the Letter says.

There were mutterings to the effect that both forms of Masses ought to influence one another. I wanted to scream! The New Mass cannot be allowed to influence the Immemorial Mass. This would be to once more 'destroy' it by erasing it from our collective memory.

The EWTN presentation eclipsed the one startling aspect of the Letter, that the bull QUO PRIMUM of St. Pius V is still in effect as it must necessarily be by definition of its infallible nature. The Ancient Roman Mass had never been abrogated---it cannot be---and that priests always had, have a right to say the Tridentine or Latin Mass. This vindicates those of us, in particular the SSPX, who have been insisting on this from the beginning. Not that we require vindication, for this would be a function of pride, but for the sake of justice itself.

The Holy Father makes it clear that Vatican II is the authoritative source for the modern Church. How, it is a pastoral ecumenical council, the only such one in the history of the Church and not a dogmatic one? A pastoral initiative is an advisory only and is subject to change. How can change be authoritative? We are not speaking of change as traditionally understood and permitted, because it is necessary and natural [organic]. Vatican II was never necessary, it was the courting of disaster that could have and should have been averted. If all the bees disappeared, and beeswax was no longer available, the Church would by necessity change the normal mandate of beeswax candles to another form. Now candles do not directly touch doctrine or faith, only indirectly, but it has maintained beeswax candles as the norm, because of the purity of the wax. This is how pure the Mass is and must be. Please note that if grapes disappeared, the Church could not arrange for different matter for the Consecration; wine must be used, and not just any wine either. When we speak of change, distinctions are imperative. Yet, the Holy See permitted, if not authorized, the changes that directly affect doctrine---mistranslations, for one!!! Among even worse atrocities!

Now this Letter, gives the bishops three years to monkey around and stall and equivocate, before they have to send a report to the Vatican---the report is not ordered, but an invitation only---by which time the Vatican will fear more reprisals and will bend toward the bishops who are most unfaithful to Tradition. Just like before. Here we go again! I need no pardon for being very cautious here.

One of the bugaboos of the Letter calls for "stable groups" to ask the bishop for the Tridentine Mass and all the Sacraments of the Traditional Roman Rite. But it will be the bishop who defines what a stable group is. Why did not the Holy Father pre-empt this fiasco by defining "stable"? Having first forced Catholics to wander from parish to parish in search of less offensive Masses [a new definition---Roamin' Catholic] now they will use this as an excuse to deny. Create a problem that will be used to solve another one! How more American can one get!

The Letter does not deal with the priest "shortage", which will be the standard opt out option for the bishops before they have to use the above one.

There was one other good thing about the Letter, and that is priests do not need the bishop's permission to say the Tridentine Mass and if the laity hear of one they can attend. So some Catholics will have the benefit of this document, if not the majority. But then, as the roundtablers made clear, through Bishop Bruskewitz, the majority of Catholics want the New Mass exclusively. Of course, it is easier and the only sins they have to confront are those the Democratic party insist on. And they need not change out of their jeans and shorts. They can have Saturday Masses after the game or shopping and then forget that Sunday is the Lord's Day, one of the disorientations never discussed, but all too seriously real not to. This attitude has affected almost every Catholic, even those who attend Sunday Masses by and large---the super jeans mentality along with Super Bowl Sunday. It has affected priests also. Even if N.O. priests learn the Roman Mass, unless they are motivated by pure faith and piety and conversion, they will still deform the people by their inane, wandering, confusing sermons that are hardly Catholic.

What I fear most is that there will be over time pressure for the Novus Ordo to influence the ancient Mass, period, with lay people giving Communion, etc.

I am also concerned about the appellations of ordinary and extraordinary, another made for Hollywood loophole. Will irony abound here??? The Eucharistic lay ministers are called extraordinary de jure, but are common and ordinary de facto; I am willing to bet this will be the singular time in modern history when extraordinary will be used stringently. I would laugh but this is not a laughing matter.

The Pontiff wants to make things right, but he went about it in such a manner that unless there is Divine intervention, things will be even worse for the time being. Human nature and those who have little or no faith in charge. With Bishop Fellay of the SSPX, I am not agog over this Motu proprio. If Fr. Kenneth Baker were in charge of the implementation of this document I would be serene and over-joyed, for he remained calm but steadfast that the ancient Mass is not subject to change. God bless Fr. Baker. I was so pleased I am subscibing to his monthly journal.

The Tridentine Mass is returning to St. Mary’s By the Sea in Huntington Beach, but the Sunday readings which were to be from the "Novus Ordo" have been ditched. The Traditional calendar will be used. Thanks be to God!