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Pope Francis doesn't frequently hand out condemnations. But when he does, they're often geared towards a certain group.
Here to tell us more about the pope's issue with the Church's traditionalist demographic is Church Militant's Nick Wylie.
For years, the Vicar of Christ has trained criticism on a certain portion of his flock.
In tonight's In-Depth Report, I analyze the pope's recent comments about traditional Catholics.
Pope Francis: "They are not traditional; they are 'indietrists.' They are going backwards without roots."
Returning from Canada, Francis called traditional Catholics "backwardists" and declared "backwardism" (being stuck in the past) sinful because it does not "go forward with the Church."
The same pope, who, when asked about the homosexual lobby, quipped, "Who am I to judge?" has been admonishing Catholics for wanting to turn back the liturgical clock.
While the vicar of christ certainly has the authority to restrict the Tridentine Mass, some faithful Catholics have been asking, "Why would he?"
A poll by Crisis Magazine showed a 71% increase in U.S. Latin Mass attendance from Jan. 2019 to June 2021.
But a CARA poll reported the percentage of U.S. Catholics attending mostly English Masses was dismal during roughly the same period.
In his 2021 motu proprio Traditionis Custodes, Francis proclaimed the Novus Ordo is the "unique expression" of the Roman rite. The literal translation being the "only expression."
So why is Pope Francis only throttling the TLM when there are various approved liturgical rites just in the Latin Church?
Fr. John Lovell: "But even in the Western Church there's the Ambrosian rite; there's the Dominican rite; there’s the Carmelite rite; there’s the Carthusian rite; there's the rite of Toledo in Spain."
Not to mention the Western rite approved for the Anglican Ordinariate.
The pope asserts a rejection of Vatican II as a reason for restricting the TLM, but faithful Catholics have no problem reading Vatican II in light of unbroken Church tradition.
The faithful, more so than the clergy, have been calling for a missal more in keeping with the council's only document on the liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium.
The Novus Ordo as celebrated in most parishes today was not called for by the Holy Spirit in the council document itself.
It is, therefore, the proverbial tree with no roots. This liturgical confusion is pushing heterodoxy according to the adage: lex orandi, lex credendi.
Meanwhile, the TLM is formed by and steeped in Church tradition, which it helps foster and protect.
This was highlighted by a 2018 survey that found TLM Catholics were overwhelmingly more likely to accept Church teachings than Novus Ordo–attending Catholics.
Faithful Catholics see the pontiff doing little to restrict liturgical abuses or promote liturgical norms actually called for by Vatican II, such as the use of Latin and Gregorian chant, leaving them wondering why the will of the Holy Spirit isn't being fully implemented.
These papal remarks come as the TLM is being shut down in major dioceses like Washington, D.C., Chicago and Arlington.