Whither Summorum?

How should faithful Catholics respond to the latest rumors?

We are more intrigued than worried by recently published unsourced rumors that the Holy See is considering how and when it might nullify the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, issued by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007, which reaffirmed official Church support for the Traditional Latin Mass.

While we have observed with sorrow the wanderings of the Vatican over the past four years. its euphemistic evasiveness on foundational matters of Catholic belief has ceased to surprise us very much. Challenges to doctrine, such as that on marriage and the Sacraments, are not called such but rather are characterized as evolutions of “discipline”; concessions to apostasy, heresy, and the secular State are framed as “dialogue and encounter”; “study commissions” are set up occasionally on various topics but produce little direct output; one papal confidant rants ignorantly about American “integralism,” while another talks of “building a bridge” that bypasses the eternal verities of human nature and sexuality. We would expect any official intervention (as distinct from off-the-cuff papal remarks) regarding the Traditional Mass to be similarly oblique.

That said, it is worth considering whether the Rite of St. Gregory the Great—which developed organically into the universal Eucharistic celebration of the Roman Rite until abruptly suppressed in the 1960s—might be in danger of abrogation should Summorum be nullified. Our considered opinion is that it is not.

The Christ-centered TLM is immersed in perpetual Catholic Truth

Article I of Summorum correctly makes reference to “the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal, which was promulgated by Blessed [now Saint] John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated.” No reversal of Summorum would invalidate the truth of that statement. And no abrogation of the Traditional Latin Mass could be undertaken without severing the Church, once and for all, from the liturgical traditions that have sustained Her for two millennia and without which She could not survive.

Some would say that severance was already accomplished by the imposition of the Novus Ordo in 1969. Though we are sympathetic with the arguments of those who hold this position, we cannot agree with their conclusion. Our reasoning is based, not upon stylistic preferences or the musings of “liturgists” of one era or another, but upon the very nature of the Mass.

Holy Mass, at its core, is not a script or ceremony subject to human whim. It is the immersion of the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ into the unbroken, timeless sacrifice of Calvary, as instituted by Our Lord at the Last Supper. Christ-centered by its very nature, the Mass is the organic fullness of Catholicism in liturgical practice.

The human-centered artifices introduced by the Novus Ordo and its endless variants in practice, as well as the accompanying neo-Gnosticism now rampant in the Church, may obscure this essential truth of our Redemption. But they cannot invalidate it.

It is a logical impossibility that a faithful Catholic priest competent in the language and rubrics could be lawfully impeded from offering the organically developed, Christ-centered Traditional Latin Mass. We, too, as faithful lay Catholics, enjoy an intrinsic and unshakable right to this essential element of our liturgical patrimony, as well as an obligation to guard the unimpeded exercise of that right by all Catholic priests and faithful.

What, then, is to be done?

Our duty—for our own good and that of our neighbor—is not merely to bemoan the focal displacement of the Mass and the Church during the past half century. It is, rather, to work actively and tirelessly toward the extinction of that displacement, through the full restoration of traditional worship and devotion.

So we pray. We frequent the Sacraments and the Traditional Latin Mass. We fast and, as Our Lady of Fatima entreated, we do penance. We perform the works of mercy. We resist usurpers, to the face if (and only if) need be. And we support our traditional priests and Religious and faithful prelates with every resource at our command.

More importantly, we offer all our works and prayers to God the Father, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, for the restoration of His Church and the conversion of sinners.

And most importantly of all, we place our total reliance upon the grace and mercy of Our Lord and the intercession of Our Blessed Mother. If we but turn contrite hearts to them in simple, childlike faith—no matter the depths of our past failings, infidelities, and torpor—we can be assured that they will not fail the Church Militant in Her hour of need.

G’town TLM Community to celebrate Summorum anniversary Mass Monday

The Georgetown Traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form) Community announces that Mass will be offered Monday, July 7, at 7:00 pm in Copley Crypt Chapel at Georgetown University.  Father Stephen Fields, S.J., will be the celebrant of the Mass honoring the anniversary of the issuance of the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum.

Copley Crypt is located in the rear of Copley Hall, directly north of Healy Hall on the main campus of Georgetown University, 3700 O Street NW, Washington.

This Mass has been added to our seven-day schedule.

TLM lauded in Pontifical Mass homily by Portland Archbishop Sample

With reverence, simplicity, and charity, the Most Reverend Alexander K. Sample, recently appointed Archbishop of Portland in Oregon, delivered this homily on March 1, 2014, during a Pontifical High Mass for the Vigil of Quinquagesima at the Priory of Our Lady of Consolation in Amity, Oregon.

Archbishop Sample relates his own introduction to the celebration of the Traditional Mass of the Roman Rite as he underscores its importance in the continuity of the Church’s worship. Toward the end of his homily, the Portland prelate emphasizes the connection of reverence for the Church’s tradition with the message of St. Paul.

Please join us in offering prayers of thanksgiving for His Excellency’s brave and steadfast service of Our Lord and His people. As Archbishop Sample confronts increasingly militant efforts by seculars and disaffected Catholics to distort and suppress the Church’s timeless witness, please entreat Our Lady as well to intercede for his protection and for their conversion.


TLM ban imposed at Fisher More College

As reported by Rorate Caeli, permission to offer the Traditional Latin Mass at Fisher More College has been suspended by Most Rev. Michael Olson, Bishop of Fort Worth, in a letter to the college’s president, Michael King.

Our prayers are offered for all those involved in this perplexing and thus far unaccountable situation.

UPDATE:  The College chapel’s web page confirms the suspension.