Sunday, January 9, 2022

My latest column: “The Vatican II Mandate”

We are living through a tragic chapter of life in the Church, in which legitimate Catholic freedom is being violated for specious and even perhaps malign motives.

A cascade of documents has been launched in the wake of July’s Traditiones custodes (TC), the first move to limit the free and generous use of the traditional Mass. That motu proprio by Francis aims to toss Pope Benedict’s honest emancipation of the source and summit of sacred tradition, which can never be abrogated, into the dustbin of Church history.

Summorum Pontificum was a reasoned, theologically sound and wise intervention on the part of Benedict to acknowledge a wound in the life of the Church. It was necessary for unity to teach that what was sacred and prayed by everyone in the Latin rite before Vatican II “remains sacred for us too.”

All Catholics found peace as they worshipped freely under either option, the traditional Mass or the Novus Ordo as the post-Vatican II Mass is also known. A new peace was won as our bishops were freed to put their time and efforts into many other more important tasks, the energy formerly drained by the plague of futile liturgy wars now conserved. 

The fathers of the Second Vatican Council offered the traditional Latin Mass every day before, during and, for a period, after the conclusion of the Council. Some of them continued to offer the usus antiquior after the new Mass was created following the conclusion of the Council by Bugnini’s committee and after the bishops had returned to their home dioceses all over the world.

The vision of those bishops has been betrayed by the implementation of what was a simplification and reinvention of the traditional Mass in response to Council deliberations but which was never intended by them to be a mutilation of the Church’s sacred prayer handed down by the Apostles and their successors for nearly two millennia.

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