Saturday, November 02, 2013

Pope Francis and Traditionalism

In the Catholic Debate Forum we've recently been discussing Pope Francis and Traditional Catholics vs. Rad-Trads (Radical Traditionalists) and one of the non-Catholic participants asked a question to which I responded and wish to share here as well...

On Sat, Nov 2, 2013 at 7:22 AM, Peter S. wrote:
 

ps: Is blasting the pope even up for debate within Catholic circles?!

sw:  In THIS forum, the Catholic Debate Forum, it is permissible for proclaimed Catholics to be challengers - though I will admit, I do watch such challengers a bit more carefully as there can be a fine line between healthy debate and scandal.  Is it appropriate to challenge even a pope?  Certainly!  There have been many examples in our past of popes who not only should have been challenged, but actually were challenged.  I do host two other forums of debate, "ACTS and BattleACTS" which do not allow for Catholics to be the challengers.  

ps: As far as I can tell, Pope Francis seems to follow the "What would Jesus do?" brand of theology, which I support.

sw: Well, I have read through John Vennari's article as I promised I would and am reporting back now.  Vennari is a staunch supporter of SSPX (the Society of St. Pius X) which maintains, in Pope Francis' words, "the Vetus Ordo" (Old Order) and upholds all pre-Vatican II teachings and only supports anything post-Vatican II which are in line with pre-Vatican II.  SSPX, understandably, clings to their namesake, Pope St. Pius X, who was staunchly against Modernism - which was attempting to get into the Church with a vengeance even in his day.  Mr. Vennari, along with Bishop Fellay (Superior General of SSPX) see Pope Francis as "a genuine Modernist."   
 
sw: As for ME (speaking only for myself now) I believe that the original Novus Ordo Missae (New Order of the Mass, hereafter "NOM") was severely lacking in several points.  The manner in which Pope Paul VI promulgated the NOM initially was fine - "I hope you'll use it" but in reality it became the unofficial replacement of the TLM (Traditional Latin Mass).  I will also say that the NOM was not "in the spirit of Vatican II," since in Vatican II it is clearly stated "36. 1. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites." and parts 2,3 and 4 of that same section explain how certain PARTS of the liturgy MAY be translated from the Latin into the vernacular, "as they pertain to the people," NOWHERE in Vatican II does it promote the ENTIRE liturgy should be in the vernacular!  Thus, a completely vernacular liturgy is CONTRARY to "the spirit of Vatican II!"  Under Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI we have seen a return of some Latin in some places in the Mass to be encouraged, but the official promulgation of even the latest rendition of the NOM does not dictate Latin must be used anywhere in the liturgy, and thus we still have some/many if not most parishes using wholly vernacular renditions.  I would venture to guess that many, again, if not most Catholics (not, for the most part those here, who tend to be better educated in the Faith) do not realize that the TLM also includes a hold-over from the Greek liturgy, which is all but lost in a vernacular only Mass.  I speak of the Kyrie, which even when recited or sang within the NOM in Greek does not adhere to the form of the Greek liturgy, as the TLM maintains.
 
sw: Continuing to speak for MYSELF here... The loss of the universal missal within the Universal Church was tragic.  Prior to 1971 (or 1969 when Pope Paul VI first introduced the NOM, but it was 1971 when it was first officially promulgated) one could go to Mass literally ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD and so long as they had their English/Latin missal (or French/Latin, etc.) you could follow the Mass just like you did in your mother country/home language!  The exception being that often (not always) the Epistle and Gospel are repeated in the vernacular and the sermon would be in the vernacular - but the Canon of the Mass would ALWAYS be in Latin and thus THE REASON we go to Mass could ALWAYS be followed by EVERYONE regardless of their language.  It is not simply a matter of clinging to the past - but clinging to our HERITAGE that the true Traditionalist (not the "Rad-Trad" - a term I helped to coin - see research here) embraces.  
 
sw:  Where do I stand on the matter of the NOM v. the TLM?  Well, since the TLM was NEVER abrogated, it remains a TRUE and VALID order of the Mass where ever it is celebrated.  The NOM is a VALID and LICIT form of the Mass where ever it is celebrated under the auspices of a TRUE and VALID bishop.  To fulfill one's "Sunday Obligation" one may attend Mass at ANY VALID celebration of the Mass.  That being said, there are some limitations of those not in full communion with their local ordinary (local bishop).  Since the rites of Holy Matrimony and Reconciliation (Confession) are wholly under the auspices of the local ordinary, if the local priest does not have explicit permission from the local ordinary/bishop then these sacraments are not VALID under these circumstances.  An exception being that ANY valid priest may validly hear the confession of anyone in the state of emergency which would be death or dying.  Some, like SSPX, would argue that the Church is in a state of emergency and thus these sacraments are indeed valid through their priests.  As for me, I would say this is a matter of conscience (as Pope Francis would say) and if in good conscience you agree with SSPX then sobeit, but if in your conscience you believe SSPX priests should not be regularly hearing confessions and/or celebrating marriages - then you should not go to them for these things.  So, while I can go to virtually any TLM in good conscience - there are limits to what I can do with such independent chapels and with SSPX.  Keep in mind, it is permissible for faithful Catholics to go to the Greek Orthodox Divine Liturgy to satisfy their "Sunday obligation" - but likewise, we cannot go to them for confession or marriage.
 
sw:  Now, as I originally stated, I believe the jury is still out on just how supportive Pope Francis will be of Traditional Catholics.  It is my humble opinion that those who have been responding to the recent "interviews" of Pope Francis and using these interviews as evidence he's "changing Catholic teaching" or is somehow an Anti-Trad - are not only premature, but mistaken.  I've already blogged on the topic of Pope Francis on the CathApol Blog, if you're interested in following that.
 
AMDG,
Scott<<<

--
Accendat in nobis Dominus ignem sui amoris, et flammam aeternae caritatis. Amen.

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