When Bishops Ban Mass

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Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, published in OnePeterFive, on the persecution of the Roman Rite:

In a three-page letter dated August 20, 2021, and addressed to “Dear Brothers in Christ,” Most Reverend David A. Zubik, Bishop of Pittsburgh, apparently in an effort to show that he is more Bergoglian than Bergoglio, takes a hearty step beyond what is demanded by a strict interpretation of Pope Francis’s motu proprio Traditionis Custodes [TC]. In spite of the fact that Pittsburgh is one of the United States’ most depressed and collapsing dioceses—as can be seen from relentless parish closures that have left the city pockmarked with churches converted into restaurants, bars, penthouses, and other secular venues—the infusion of spiritual energy from the wellsprings of tradition is evidently too risky to allow. Better a dead church than a traditional one.

The abolition of the private traditional Mass is something so evil one can hardly fathom it. That’s what an enemy of Christ and His Church would do. No one but an enemy would seek to outlaw this consolidator of priestly identity, this font of fervent prayer, this haven of spiritual refreshment and copious graces.

Priests would be entirely within their rights before God and Holy Mother Church to refuse to comply with such restrictions or prohibitions (as previous disobedience to unjust liturgical commands has been twice exonerated by the Holy See itself).

More home chapels than ever are being built; the lay faithful are busy preparing for this next phase of resistance to wayward pastors’ attacks on the Church’s common good.

Let us recall that traditional Catholic worship and the way of life it sustains was saved in the late sixties and seventies by priests and laity willing to do exactly this, and nothing less, to remain true to what they knew to be true. It was initially a tiny minority who kept the flame burning and who spread it, one person at a time, across the world.

These are words that a lot of people don’t want to hear.

It may actually be the case that the Roman Rite of Mass is persecuted in entire dioceses, and in such case, yes, priests have the right to disobey such persecution and continue practicing the Faith, and offering Mass. The faithful also have the right to attend Mass in such a case, and sometimes it means that life gets harder. In a country as affluent as the United States, and in a region as not-Catholic as the South, driving an hour or more to Mass is often a welcome introduction to the properly-ordered life of penance we’re called to as followers of Christ’s cruciform way.

Saint Pius X, ora pro nobis!