The Reform of the Reform
Of late there has been a great deal of prattle concerning the so-called “extraordinary” form of the Tridentine Rite of Mass and Sacraments. While proponents seem to be coming out of the woodwork, even those who enthusiastically supported, approved, and willingly participated in the Novus Ordo Rite of the Latin Church, for me at least the sudden jumping on the bandwagon of these former devotees of the New Mass, is to say the least suspicious. Call me a conspiracy theorist but the turnabout by the New Church makes me wonder exactly what is at the heart of this abrupt change, and also, what is the ultimate agenda. Especially considering the fact that many of the new proponents of the Tridentine Rite of Mass were the persecutors of those of us that have adhered to this Rite in the ensuing years after Vatican Council II. Perhaps the latest news headlines have given some indication of exactly the intent of this new push for the old Sacraments and the supposed reform of the reform.
The web citation follows:
The Pope’s ambition, a powerful blend of the Novus Ordo and the Old Rite, could sweep the Church
There are too many difficulties attending both the Novus Ordo and the Old Rite
First, let’s delve into the not too distant past to the election of Cardinal Josef Ratzinger as the currently reigning Pope Benedict the XVI. Just after his elevation there was much speculation from the left concerning a “role back to the Middle Ages as the new pope reversed all the ‘advances’ of VCII”. The speculation of the middle had it that the new pope would introduce a newer Mass that he wished to see promulgated that would take the best of the New Rite and the “Old” rite. Finally, we have the speculation from the right that Pope Benedict XVI, as Cardinal Ratzinger was a mover and shaker during the council in question, and in fact, was one of the prime proponents of many of the changes implemented in the 1960’s, a decade known for its revolutionary fervor both within and without the Church. This speculation predicted that not only would the liberal status quo be maintained but that further liberalizations would occur.
The Middle speculation seemed to be the least plausible as this would solve nothing and indeed cause more confusion as it would add another form or Rite to enter into the fray caused by the polarization of the liberal New Rite and the Tridentine Rite. The left scenario was equally as implausible because now you had an entire “biblical” generation of 40 years who had grown up not knowing or caring to know of the riches of the Tridentine Rite. Such a radical move of turning back the clock would cause vast numbers of left leaning Catholics to abandon the Church and convert to the less demanding Protestant denominations, to which the New Church Rites and Rituals bore a strong resemblance. So we were left with the point of view of those dedicated to the Tridentine Rite that liberalizations of the Church and its doctrines would continue apace.
Subsequently, Pope Benedict XVI’s actions have been one step to the right and two steps to the left, and sometimes the reverse. The actions of things like the liberating of the Old Latin Mass, the alleged rehabilitation of our SSPX bishops, and other moves have served to ease the suspicions of some of the Tridentine Rite School, while he continues to promote false ecumenism in the form of placating those outside the Faith and reassuring them that they also have “valid” religion. The effect of these alternate actions on the pope’s part has been to disarm a minority of proponents of the Tridentine Mass who’s devotion is largely superficial and impressed more with the smells and bells of the Old Latin Mass, rather than, the deeper and more significant theological and mystical aspects of the Catholic Faith prior to VCII. Many if not most of the traditional Catholics, as they are called, understand the deeper implications of the Tridentine Mass.
Also, under the radar so to speak, the Vatican has launched seemingly grass root conservative spokesmen in various historic Catholic nations, nominally speaking, of course. These laymen with advance theological degrees are busy on the internet touting the “glories” of the post Vatican Church, which the liberals usurped. They follow the line of the pope’s reforms, yet also promote things like World Youth Day which try to present Catholic teaching through a haze of rock music to a jaded, superficial, and indulged Catholic Youth of the World. Often, as can be expected in this venue, it is an occasion of sin, to say the least, as the youths cavort immodestly and often sinfully. The actual purpose of these lay spokesmen is twofold, first, to bypass liberal bishops who are reluctant, if not disobedient, in implementing the Pope’s agenda of the liberating of the Old Latin Mass, but also, to lull Tridentine Rite adherents into a false state of assurance that the Church is being normalized into a more conservative and traditional stand.
This, however, does not by themselves foretell the direction that the Pope is actually taking. Effectively, the pope is taking the long view and rather than implement a third hybrid Rite to compete with the Old and New Rites, he will use subtleties to present, eclipse, and eventually replace both existing Rites. We must not forget that it took forty years to get where the Church is today, which Pope Benedict XVI recognizes as crisis and it will take at least that to get over this. At any rate, from his point of view he sees the error of Vatican Council II and its usurpation and implementation by the left, but he feels there is no way to turn back the clock to pre-VCII times. Thus, there will be a new hybrid Rite of Mass and Sacraments at some point in the future. It will not be in the older generation’s lifetimes, possibly not even within their children’s lifetime, but certainly within the lifetime of their grandchildren. The Vatican has learned that abrupt presentation and implementation only leads to factional infighting so in the old style of Vatican intrigues they will push forward the revised agenda, the reform of the reform, over a period of generations; slowly boiling the frog with little notice. The ultimate goal in all of this is the demise of the traditional Tridentine Rite of Mass and Sacraments, so we must see through the choking smoke and mirrors and adhere to our Faith, as handed down by Christ and His Apostles.
Just how do we do this, one may ask? First, stay close to the Society of St. Pius X; to date they have been the most faithful to the Tridentine Mass, yet still remain in the Catholic Church. Second, do not mix worship; if at all possible attend Mass at a SSPX venue, certainly don’t attend a Novus Ordo, most especially if you have children. Also, don’t attend a Latin Mass sponsored by the diocese. This is not to say that the Novus Ordo is intrinsically invalid as this is beyond any individual lay or clerical judgment, but can be questionable depending on the priest’s intention and beliefs. While this can be said of any priest’s intentions, that of a traditional Tridentine Rite priest, according to modern surveys is less likely to be the case. Additionally, many times the Hosts of New and Latin Rite are co-mingled in the Tabernacle, so why attend a Mass where even the slightest doubt exists.
Thirdly, if possible, send your kids to a good SSPX school. I emphasize good meaning a well disciplined and structured school that teaches with a classical curriculum. Don’t undermine such schools or teachers by mollycoddling your children, if you do, in the long run you do them no kindness but actually risk their immortal souls. Remember they belong to Christ and His Church and are on loan to you. Trust your pastors, priests, and the teachers under their direction.
Finally, join the Society of St. Pius X’s Rosary Crusade for the Conversion of Russia because the battle we are in is of a spiritual nature above all else. We have Our Lady’s assurance of this.
In conclusion, don’t willing hand over the care of your soul to just anyone who has a conservative spiel. For more than forty years the SSPX has exhibited a genuinely pastoral care for those who attend their chapels. They’ve not yet betrayed that sacred trust! Certainly, their actions to date are guided by the Holy Ghost, because if it weren’t for the Society of St. Pius X, the traditional Catholic movement would have been marginalized and spun off long ago. It is largely through their considerable efforts that we see some measure of recognition of the so-called extraordinary form of Mass, better known as the Tridentine Rite. As Holy Scripture states by their fruits you will know them and the fruits of the SSPX is the retention of the Holy Priesthood and the Tridentine Mass.
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Richard of Danbury, D.S.G.