What Just Happened in Catholic World?

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We’re all aware of the bomb-drop that took place on Friday, the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

What many aren’t aware of are the implications of the document issued by Pope Francis. The New York Times has gloated that it was a rebuke of Catholic Tradition. Their allies at Church Militant and affiliated outlets have gloated that Tradition-centric Catholics are noted as outmoded, and schismatic.

Today we break down the basic legal details of this document for the faithful.

First, from a canonist writing under an assumed name, to protect himself, we have the following, from Rorate Caeli:

“It is worthwhile to indicate what this motu proprio does not place restrictions upon. No mention whatsoever is made of the pre-conciliar Breviarium Romanum, Pontificale Romanum and Rituale Romanum. No express abrogation is made of any notable document concerning the traditional Roman Missal, and such abrogation should not therefore be implied. The traditional Missal remains, as it always was, never abrogated. The rights established by Quo Primum, by the theological and liturgical tradition of the Western rites, and immemorial custom remain intact. No mention is made of the traditional rites of the various religious communities (Dominican, Carmelite, Praemonstratensian, etc.) nor those of the ancient sees (Ambrosian, Lyonnais, etc.). There is no indication that the right of a priest to celebrate privately according to the 1962 missal is in any way infringed.

When read in comparison with the extensive granting of rights conceded by Summorum Pontificum and clarified and expanded by Universae Ecclesiae, when there is no express revocation of these rights indicated by Pope Benedict XVI, one must conclude canonically that they still exist.

There is a serious lack of clarity in this document which this brief analysis will attempt to address, and it is evident that its ambiguities will be, sadly, taken advantage of by those with less than a genuine love for the Church, her faithful people, and her heritage.” (Read the entire analysis here; it is worth your time.)

Father Zuhlsdorf of Wisconsin, long appreciated by conservative and traditional Catholics alike, has said the following:

“One of my first reactions to Traditionis is that it is not just cruel, it is sloppy.” (The entire post, including reactions from bishops, can be found here.)

The above post contains the responses by the bishops of New Orleans, Arlington, San Francisco, Washington DC, Saint Paul/Minneapolis, Detroit, Madison, Grand Rapids, El Paso, and the USCCB at large. Continuing from Father Zuhlsdorf:

“Today, 16 July, the Manhattan Project for the first time successfully detonated a nuclear weapon. Today is the anniversary of the first nuke in 1945.

In each of those cases, it took a long time to weigh the implications.

It also takes times to absorb and weigh the implications of legislative documents.

That leads me to my first reaction to the Motu Proprio, Traditionis custodes, which effectively insults the entire pontificate of Benedict XVI and the pastoral provisions of John Paul II and all the people they have affected…

Now people are writing to me to ask what they are supposed to do on Sunday. Priests are asking if they fulfil the obligation to say the Office with the Breviarium Romanum. The questions multiply even as I write. The first fruit of Traditionis is chaos.

Hence, I am forced to remark that the vulgarity of this document is matched only by its cruelty.

Even those who have been inveterate critics of Benedict’s provisions, who may even go so far as to hate not just the traditional forms of worship, but the people who want them, ought to be horrified by the brutality of his document.” (Read his reaction here.)

That is not all. Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, from LifeSite News:

“The motu proprio itself is the exact antithesis of Summorum pontificum and the accompanying letter is the exact antithesis of the letter that accompanied Summorum pontificum. In the whole history of the Church, there has never been so dramatic a rejection of a Pope’s predecessor. Never. This is unprecedented, and I can say that quite confidently.” (Read the whole piece here.)

If your Mass has been suppressed in the wake of this document, report it here.

To conclude with a of Saint Pius V’s document, Quo Primum, of 1570:

“Furthermore, by these presents [this law], in virtue of Our Apostolic authority, We grant and concede in perpetuity that, for the chanting or reading of the Mass in any church whatsoever, this Missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty, judgment, or censure, and may freely and lawfully be used. Nor are superiors, administrators, canons, chaplains, and other secular priests, or religious, of whatever title designated, obliged to celebrate the Mass otherwise than as enjoined by Us. We likewise declare and ordain that no one whosoever is forced or coerced to alter this Missal, and that this present document cannot be revoked or modified, but remain always valid and retain its full force notwithstanding the previous constitutions and decrees of the Holy See…

Therefore, no one whosoever is permitted to alter this notice of Our permission, statute, ordinance, command, precept, grant, indult, declaration, will, decree, and prohibition. Would anyone, however, presume to commit such an act, he should know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.” (Quo Primum)