Saturday, December 30, 2023

Pope Francis' false appeal to "communion" in blocking Latin Mass

Pope Francis' backwardly named motu proprio, Traditionis Custodes, appealed to a fictional disunity as justification for restricting the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM). 

In the document, Francis acknowledged both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI's move to promote the TLM for "the concord and unity of the Church." Two paragraphs later, Francis called for the exact opposite of his predecessors, and instead restricted the TLM for the sake of "ecclesial communion." 

Pope Francis photo by Juan David Tena, accessed at Wikimedia Commons

On November 30, 2023, EWTN's Raymond Arroyo interviewed Abp. Georg Gänswein, Pope Benedict's personal secretary.

Gänswein recalled asking Pope Emeritus Benedict in 2021 about Pope Francis' document oppressing the TLM. 

"Holy Father can I ask you a question? ... I do not understand understand that motu proprio because the liberty you gave with your motu propio years ago has bought peace in the liturgy and in the Church. And I feel this motu proprio will cause many, many problems." 

Gänswein then recalled Benedict's answer: "I hope God will help us."

Gänswein's instinct in 2021 has proven correct, as today we see "many, many problems" largely issuing from Pope Francis' antagonism for the TLM and the faithful attending. Following Francis' motu proprio, a multitude of vexed faithful have cried out. Francis' action, rather than following a trajectory of unity, has given rise to multiple faithful individuals and even formal organizations pleading for the restoration of the TLM. 

We knew nothing of such resistance and disunion during the time period Francis claimed disunity needed fixing. John Paul II wrote his indult in 1984; Pope Benedict his motu proprio in 2007. Pope Francis' motu proprio was in 2021. No such disunity between 1984 and 2021 existed. As Gänswein said, Benedict's motu proprio "brought peace." 

Speaking of the language, Pope Pius XI in 1922 said that Latin was a "great bond of unity." Pope Pius XII in 1947 said Latin was a "beautiful sign of unity."

Obstruction of Latin is also a disunion with the saints of old. For at the divine liturgy, the saints and angels are present. We especially acknowledge this during the confiteor when calling to angels and saints. Liturgical unity is not an enterprise trapped in a single generation. The presence of angels and saints for all of Christianity should not be ignored in the scope of "unity" in the Liturgy. Beyond the language, the new mass arguably preserved a mere 13% of the content of the traditional liturgy. Appealing to the new mass as somehow more unifying than a centuries-old liturgy is nonsensical.

Among the reasons the late Cardinal George Pell said of Francis "this pontificate is a disaster in many or most respects; a catastrophe" were because " liturgical tensions are inflamed and not dampened" under Francis.