Pope’s TLM Crackdown and Double-Down

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by William Mahoney, Ph.D.  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  July 16, 2022   

'Unity' triggering division

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The pope's document to crack down on the Traditional Latin Mass turns one year old tomorrow. Church Militant's William Mahoney has more on the document and its ramifications.

Pope Francis issued his motu proprio Traditionis Custodes on July 16, 2021, the liturgical memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

According to the document, the pontiff sought "to promote the concord and unity of the Church, with paternal solicitude towards those who in any region adhere to liturgical forms antecedent to the reform willed by the Vatican Council II." 

The pontiff recently doubled down on and gave his reasons for Traditionis Custodes in another apostolic letter, Desiderio Desideravi.

In that letter, Francis asserted, "The continual rediscovery of the beauty of the Liturgy is not the search for a ritual aesthetic which is content by only a careful exterior observance of a rite or is satisfied by a scrupulous observance of the rubrics."

With this crackdown and double down, Francis has largely re-imprisoned the traditional rite that Benedict XVI declared liberated in his motu proprio Summorum Pontificum

The results of Traditionis Custodes have been a mixed bag from diocese to diocese. Orthodox prelates like Bp. Joseph Strickland in Tyler, Texas, have permitted the Traditional Rite to continue unencumbered. 

Less orthodox prelates, like Cdl. Blase Cupich in Chicago, were quick to implement the pope's document, often adding restrictions of their own. Meanwhile, Cupich, who officially advises the pope on appointing bishops worldwide, permits so-called LGBT Masses and other liturgical abuses in his archdiocese.

The prelate himself has participated in pagan rituals such as blessing a lion before Mass and having nuns offer a Hindu arati during the Holy Sacrifice. Moreover, liturgical abuses nationwide in the New Rite are easy to find, with everything from so-called LGBT Masses to liturgical dance.

While the current pontiff apparently views the TLM as a threat to unity, he has not cracked down on the unscrupulous disregard for the rubrics of the Novus Ordo.

Pope Francis seems less interested in liturgy and more interested in loyalty — loyalty to the whims of his distinctively unique pontificate. 

Like Cdl. Cupich, the pope revealed he also has an openness to pagan rituals, with the 2019 Pachamama scandal.

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