Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Trad bloggers finally touching the Third Rail

By Brian Kopp

It is a subject that had to be addressed at some point; Cardinal Hoyos alluded to it when he filed his public complaints against traditional Catholics this past summer:

Cardinal Castrillon...said his office continues to receive letters requesting the Tridentine rite be used not just at one Mass a week but at every Mass, and that such Masses be available not just at one church in a town but at every church...Such people, he said, are "insatiable, incredible."

"They do not know the harm they are doing," Cardinal Castrillon said, adding that when the Vatican does not accept their demands immediately "they go directly to the Internet" and post their complaints.

...Asked about the status of those detailed instructions, Cardinal Castrillon told Catholic News Service that his office had completed its work and passed the draft on to the pope, who would make the final decision about its publication.
Is this the source of his frustration? Obviously, the delay in the publication of the PCED "clarification" comes from Pope Benedict XVI himself, not PCED or Cardinal Hoyos. Yet Cardinal Hoyos & the PCED have shouldered much of the blame for the perceived inaction of the Vatican in the face of recalcitrant bishops.

And some big guns in trad Catholic blogdom are daring to explore this reality, even if obliquely.

Damian Thompson at his Telegraph Holy Smoke blog writes,

Is Pope Benedict losing the confidence of the Latin Mass faithful?

Just over a year ago, Pope Benedict's decree liberating the traditional Latin Mass came into effect. But it contained so many loopholes that liberal bishops have been able to sabotage it - and a much-needed clarification from Rome has still not appeared.

But if the bishops of England and Wales (and of many other countries) are playing fast and loose with Summorum Pontificum, that's because Pope Benedict XVI is allowing them to.

The original document was not tightly drafted: it left plenty of room for confusion [...] they have not been clarified or amplified by Ecclesia Dei. Why not?

[...]there is still not the slightest indication that His Holiness will celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form publicly. Why? No one knows the answer.

Let us be blunt about this. If the Pope were to die tomorrow, he would be remembered for many fine achievements, most of all his encyclicals, but his liturgical reforms would peter out. Summorum Pontificum would remain on the statute book, but the Magic Circle in England and its powerful allies in the Vatican and Europe would quietly suffocate the work of Ecclesia Dei.

Even Fr. Zuhlsdorf is willing to grant now that the blame for any perceived delay lies with Pope Benedict XVI:

Holy Smoke: Are traditional Catholics losing hope? - Fr. Z responds


[...]Is Pope Benedict losing the confidence of the Latin Mass faithful?

Just over a year ago, Pope Benedict’s decree liberating the traditional Latin Mass came into effect. But it contained so many loopholes that liberal bishops have been able to sabotage it – and a much-needed clarification from Rome has still not appeared. [And it must be said that that is entirely the decision, or non-decision, of the Holy Father. The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei completed its part of the work a long time ago.]
There is only so much Cardinal Hoyos can do, when the delay in publishing the PCED clarification is at the sole discretion now of the Holy Father.

With the exception of the schismatics, most traditional Catholics have been loathe to criticize the present Holy Father. Its been the Third Rail that no trad blogger would touch. But with the Vatican's recent public criticism of the trad blogosphere, combined with few if any verified examples of Vatican intervention in favor of the rights of the laity and priests against intransigent bishops, these questions are going to increase.

Is it time to stop writing to PCED, and instead write directly to the Pope, begging him to put some teeth into what is now perceived to be his Summorum Pontificum toothless tiger -- at least in those dioceses in which the bishops are recalcitrant?

17 comments:

Dan Hunter said...

"With the exception of the schismatics"

Mr Kopp,
Whom, exactly. are the schismatics?

And

Yes to answer your final question.

Brian Kopp said...

"Whom, exactly, are the schismatics?"

Sorry, that's above my pay grade ;-)

"Up to now, I stated that you were not schismatics, but henceforth I will no longer be able to say so."

Dan Hunter said...

So is it official?
Are the FSSPX schismatic?

David L Alexander said...

The "quotation" was not a literal one, but a summary from the bishop in question of what was said. There is no more reason to consider the SSPX in a formal schism now, than before this conversation took place.

Not that that could not change. If it does, believe me, you'll know.

Brian Kopp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian Kopp said...

The "quotation" is Bishop Fellay's recollection of Cardinal Hoyos' statement at their meeting this past summer. See the previous post here, "Concerning the Ultimatum from Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos."

David L Alexander said...

"We were handed a written note, and the cardinal asked me to read it aloud in front of everybody. In this letter which really sounded like an ultimatum, it basically said: ‘Up to now, I stated that you were not schismatics, but henceforth I will no longer be able to say so. Today, you must accept the clear conditions which we are going to impose upon you.’"

"It basically said..." suggests a reference to paraphrasing. Certain actions and remarks may suggest a "schismatic mentality," but until an official decree says that a state of formal schism exists, it doesn't.

Brian Kopp said...

"until an official decree says that a state of formal schism exists, it doesn't."

Agreed.

This is another instance where leadership and clarity, at the highest levels of the Vatican, is woefully lacking.

David L Alexander said...

If there is nothing to report, they won't. "No news is good news." Right now things are in a state of negotiation. That's my impression. I would be surprised by any conclusive statement coming out of Rome at this point, barring either complete accord, or impassible discord.

kat said...

But where have we gotten when in the majority of our country (and the world) laypeople still have to beg, plead, and pony up great sums of $$ for the supposed "right" to the TLM? Yes, lots of big cities have 1-2 Masses, but the rest of us are held hostage by hostile bishops, liberal priests, and a virtual silence from Rome.

David L Alexander said...

kat:

You really, REALLY, need to read my series. It won't answer all your questions, but it will put some things in perspective. Anyone who expects this to happen right away is setting themselves up for disappointment. In all humility, I explain why.

Chironomo said...

It would be nice if some comments were actually about the posting and not about the choice of words in one particular sentence. Everybody knows who "the schismatics" refers to... even if they are not technically schismatic.

I think Damien's article is right on the money... the anger and frustration of traditionalist (including "those schismatics") comes from the disconnect between the tone of Summorum and the lack of any significant follow up. One would think if you were going to issue such a revolutionary document, it would be followed by a similarly decisive initiative to implement it's conditions. Instead, it seems to be something that was just "put out there", like so many other documents from the Holy See.

Tomas said...

Interesting metaphor, that Third Rail. Is this a reference to "whoever eats the Pope, dies?" I agree that a little humility on the part of the hierarchy is called for when looking for the source of frustration (and don't forget those disobedient bishops). As for Hoyos' complaint about those who want a Traditional Mass in every parish, was this the same mouth that uttered the words that the Holy Father wants that Mass offered in every parish????

David L Alexander said...

The concern raised by Cardinal Hoyos was not about Catholics wanting the TLM in every parish. It is the way they are going about their requests. Witness this from an earlier post:

Cardinal Castrillon, whose commission works with communities using the old rite, said his office continues to receive letters requesting the Tridentine rite be used not just at one Mass a week but at every Mass, and that such Masses be available not just at one church in a town but at every church.

He said he even got a letter demanding that Rome's Basilica of St. Mary Major be dedicated exclusively to the celebration of the Tridentine-rite Mass.

Such people, he said, are "insatiable, incredible."

"They do not know the harm they are doing," Cardinal Castrillon said, adding that when the Vatican does not accept their demands immediately "they go directly to the Internet" and post their complaints.


Keep in mind that there is a difference between someone's personal wishes, and an outright directive. There is also a difference between making a request, and making a demand. It would simply not be possible at this point to have the TLM at every parish, since the overwhelming majority of priests of the Latin Rite are not trained for it.

Brian Kopp said...

"Interesting metaphor, that Third Rail. Is this a reference to "whoever eats the Pope, dies?"

third rail

Function:
noun
Date:
1888

1 : a metal rail through which electric current is led to the motors of an electric vehicle (as a subway car) 2 : a controversial issue usually avoided by politicians

Dan Hunter said...

"...simply not be possible at this point to have the TLM at every parish, since the overwhelming majority of priests of the Latin Rite are not trained for it."

Then they must be trained.

God bless you.

David L Alexander said...

"Then they must be trained."

Obviously. As I pointed out in my series, though, it will take a few years.