Sunday, July 25, 2021

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Christ Gives Us To Eat

Dear readers, sorry for this "in your face" message but it is urgent and I do not know any other way to get help.


Please consider helping my fundraising campaign which will help me maintain and expand this evangelization work.  In about six months I have to pay the expenses related to this website.  I need your help! The pandemic has hit us all very badly especially those who rely on donations.  Please donate. 

Funds are needed for the following:

1. Help keep the blog domain URL names which are expensive and help bring in web traffic.  see godaddy.com for more information on the costs of premium domain names.

2. To help purchase podcasting equipment for the radio podcast show and expand the time slot for it by updating the subscription. For subscription costs see: https://secure.blogtalkradio.com/register.aspx?aid=CRMTS

3. I mail religious articles (Rosaries, Crucifixes, Pamphlets, Medals, Scapulars, etc) to people who request them. This costs money to purchase and mail. Shipping is expensive, so funds are needed to help cover this cost as well. See usps.com for cost information regarding shipping.

4. I want to publish some books to help maintain this work via sales. In order to publish, I need funds for printing, access to research papers to cite from (journals et al), etc.

5. In the future, I may expand the work on Livestream and other streaming and video services which also cost money.  We need to purchase 2 Mevo cameras for this purpose. 

All monies will go towards the ministry of Sacerdotus in order to keep it stable and running for at least 3 to 4 more years until another fundraising campaign will be needed.

Again, without your help, I will lose this domain name in six months when the renewal of it is due. If this happens, I will lose access to keywords, search engines, and millions of visitors. Moreover, someone else may purchase the domain for malicious purposes in order to attack Catholicism or me by pretending to be me.  Your help can help me keep this going and expand it, especially the radio podcast subscription.  With it, I can speak more, have guests and take calls on air live.

Our world is becoming more and more secular and without strong Catholic voices online, then it will continue to grow and push back all that Christianity has done in order to build the West.  As you may know, atheism thrives online.  On the internet, atheists can create blogs and other social networks which they use to promote their misconceptions. This draws in naive youth who read these blogs and buy into the rhetoric. We must stop this by having online evangelization work done just like sacerdotus.com which is a source for those of faith and no faith to get clear answers to the questions and claims regarding atheism.

I hope you reading this will make a donation at www.gofundme.com/sacerdotus to help me.

God will repay you for your help.  I promise to remember at Mass, Liturgy of Hours, and private prayer all of those people who have helped me keep this alive.


Reflection:

Christ feeds us all.  In today's readings, we are reminded of how God cares for His people, not only spiritually but physically as well.

The first reading tells us of Elisha who was the successor of Elijah. Elijah was seen as the greatest of prophets.  I mention Elijah because of what the reading tells us and how it relates to the Gospel. Elisha, we are told had twenty barley loaves.  With those twenty loaves, a hundred people were able to eat and there were loaves left over. Sound familiar (Jesus' miracle)? Here we see a miracle regarding the multiplication of loaves. Elisha's servant at first objects to giving the barley loaves because his reason told him that twenty loaves cannot feed a hundred. However, God is above the laws of physics and our cognitive limits in regards to processing what is physically possible and what is not (Ephesians 3:20).

Elisha, as stated above is the successor, Elijah.  I stress this because Elijah as well was involved in a miracle regarding loaves as well.  In 1 Kings 17:7-16, we read of the prophet Elijah who was told by God that a widow would be waiting for him. Elijah meets with her and asks for a loaf of bread. However, the widow does not have enough flour and oil. Her family is literally starving. Nevertheless, Elijah still instructs her to make him a loaf of bread and then one for herself and her son. She does this and they then have enough food for each day. A miracle occurred. God multiplied the food. So first Elijah is involved in this miracle for himself, the widow, and her son.  Then Elisha is involved in one, but this one entails twenty barley loaves that would feed one hundred.  However, as we shall read in the Gospel today, Christ outdoes them both.  He multiplies five barley loaves and feeds 5,000 leaving twelve baskets leftover of food.  This indicates that Jesus is greater than Elisha and even the greatest prophet of all Elijah.  As God promised Moses, He rose a prophet from among the Israelites (Deuteronomy 18:18). God, Himself comes to feed us as we read in the Psalm (Psalm 81:17).

Today's responsorial Psalm tells us that, "The hand of the Lord feeds us; He answers all our needs." God cares for us (Matthew 6:26). We in turn must give Him thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:18).  He gives us our food in due season and satisfies the desires of everything that lives (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). All things come from God and we must be grateful (James 1:17, Psalm 127). We must have faith in Him and realize our place in nature.  We are not gods (Psalm 8:5). Nature reminds us of this constantly. We are seeing droughts in many areas and floods in others. These are natural processes that occur but also serve as a reminder that we are mortal and need to trust in God. God will bless a nation that seeks Him (2 Chronicles 7:14).  The nations that run from Him face destruction.  We seek God by having faith and putting that faith into action via love as we read in today's second reading.

In the second reading, we are reminded that we must live in a manner that is worthy (Philippians 1:27).  We do this by being humble, gentle, and patient.  We must do this with one another through love (John 13:34-35).  I know there are people in our lives or people we may encounter who we want to push down a flight of stairs.  They may annoy us, may compete with us or may just rub us the wrong way.  This happens all the time. Nevertheless, we must love these people and bear them for the sake of Christ and our own sanity. This is especially true of our own in the Church.  Sometimes or many times, people in the Church can be worse than people outside of the Church. We perceive it this way because they are in our Church or parishes, we know what to expect of them. When they do not meet that bar, we begin to judge them. This is wrong (Matthew 7:3-5). We must bear with one another with love. We must be united in peace; of one body and one spirit (Philippians 2:2, 1 Peter 3:8). We have one Lord and must be of one faith and one baptism. This means we should all believe in the same God and believe the same thing.  The ideas and labels of "Conservative Catholic," "Liberal Catholic," "Traditionalist," "Progressive," etc must disappear from our Catholic culture.  We must be of one faith (John 17:21). Moreover, those that believe in Christ must be of one baptism. It is a big scandal that there are over 30,000 sects calling themselves "Christian" and the "true church." Christ only founded one Church, not Churches (Matthew 16:18).  Christ has only one bride (Ephesians 5:25-27).  We must work hard to bring our separated friends back home to Rome (Luke 5:4, 2 Timothy 2:25, James 5:20). We must evangelize all those around us and bring them to eat of the baskets, so to speak as we read in today's Gospel.

The Gospel tells us of one of the most well-known and popular miracles Jesus had performed: the Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes. We are told that a large crowd follows Jesus.  They are following Him because of the signs and wonders He performed; namely, healing the sick. Jesus goes up on a mountain with His disciples. The "mountain" is where God resides (Psalms 125:2, Exodus 19:16-19).  Passover is coming up soon.  We are told this for a reason. The miracle Jesus is about to perform is connected to the Passover.  Jesus notices the huge crowd and asks Philip, "Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?"  The question is a strange one because why would God need to buy food? Why would the creator of space, time, matter, and energy need to buy food?  This is why the Gospel says, "He said this to test Him, because He Himself knew what He was going to do."  So we see here Jesus was playing the "human role," so to speak.

Philip tells Jesus that not even nearly a year's worth of wages is enough to buy the crowd food. Andrew then interjects saying that a boy has five barley loaves and two fish but then asks what good would these do. Jesus then tells them to tell the people to relax on the grass.  The Gospel is careful to tell us this by stating, "Now there was a great deal of grass in that place."  Sound familiar? We read of this last week where God Himself will bring back the sheep to the meadows and will care for them on verdant pastures (see: Jeremiah 23:1-6, Psalm 23, Sacerdotus: 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time - The Flock He Shepherds) Here we are seeing how God is bringing the sheep back to the meadow. This is why the Gospel mentions that "there was a great deal of grass in that place" to make the connection that God is present as a shepherd.  Jesus then takes the loaves from the boy. This boy to me is like the first altar boy ever and is the Gospel I love to use when I used to train altar servers.

Anyhow, Jesus gives thanks and distributes it to those 5,000 present. After the distribution was done and everyone ate their fill, they gathered what was left showing that Jesus was not part of what our Holy Father Pope Francis calls a "throw-away culture." When the leftovers were collected, there were twelve baskets left over.  The number twelve is significant in the Sacred Scriptures and is mentioned 187 times.  The number twelve symbolizes God's holy people; God's power and authority, and completion.  This number is a product of three (3x3x3x3=12 /  3^4=12) which represents the Holy Trinity.  There were twelve tribes, twelve patriarchs, and twelve apostles. Furthermore, notice what the people say when they had their fill, "This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world." This is connected to the promise God told Moses in Deuteronomy 18:18.

The miracle of using five loaves and two fish showed them that Jesus outdid Elijah, their greatest prophet. By using five loaves and two fish, Jesus uses seven items indicating the number of God or total perfection. This means that this miracle was done not by a mere human prophet, but by the one who is represented by "number 7" or God Himself.  The five loaves represent the body of Christ (bread/Holy Eucharist) and the five wounds of Christ (Matthew 26:26). The fish represent baptism; that the disciples are fishers of men, and the dual (hypostatic union) nature of Christ (Human/Divine) (1 Corinthians 10:1-4, Matthew 4:19, John 20:28, Mark 15:39). This miracle is done when Passover is approaching which is a foretelling of the Holy Eucharist where Christ feeds us with Himself under the form of bread and wine (John 6:25-59). The loaves are connected to the Old Testament and the events surrounding Passover which reveal who Jesus really was to the Jews of His time and us today. Jesus was preparing the people for the Holy Eucharist.  Unfortunately, the closure of parishes last year was a disaster and should not have happened. Many do not have faith in the Real Presence, to begin with, according to statistics. Now, things are worse. By closing parishes and denying the people the Mass and sacraments, the bishops sent a very bad message that the spiritual is ineffective and useless.  The truth is, we need the Eucharist now more than ever. The Eucharist is Jesus Himself!  Jesus will never spread disease. Now with the Delta variant spreading so quickly, we need to rely on God.  Man, Science, and even religion have failed. It is now God and our faith that we have left.  Let us trust in God and allow Him to feed us daily.  May Jesus Christ be praised!


Readings: Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB




Sunday, July 18, 2021

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time - The Flock He Shepherds

Dear readers, sorry for this "in your face" message but it is urgent and I do not know any other way to get help.  The pandemic has hit us all.  It has hit those who rely on donations even worse.  We need your help!  

Please consider helping my fundraising campaign which will help me maintain and expand this evangelization work.

Funds are needed for the following:

1. Help keep the blog domain URL names which are expensive and help bring in web traffic.  see godaddy.com for more information on the costs of premium domain names.

2. To help purchase podcasting equipment for the radio podcast show and expand the time slot for it by updating the subscription. For subscription costs see: https://secure.blogtalkradio.com/register.aspx?aid=CRMTS

3. I mail religious articles (Rosaries, Crucifixes, Pamphlets, Medals, Scapulars, etc) to people who request them. This costs money to purchase and mail. Shipping is expensive, so funds are needed to help cover this cost as well. See usps.com for cost information regarding shipping.

4. I want to publish some books to help maintain this work via sales. In order to publish, I need funds for printing, access to research papers to cite from (journals et al), etc.

5. In the future, I may expand the work on Livestream and other streaming and video services which also cost money.

6. We will need money to purchase the equipment needed for these endeavors.  The equipment includes computers, printers, audio devices, 2 mevo cameras for live streaming. 

All monies will go towards the ministry of Sacerdotus in order to keep it stable and running for at least 3 to 4 more years until another fundraising campaign will be needed.

Again, without your help, I will lose this domain name in six months when the renewal of it is due. If this happens, I will lose access to keywords, search engines, and millions of visitors. Moreover, someone else may purchase the domain for malicious purposes in order to attack Catholicism or me by pretending to be me.  Your help can help me keep this going and expand it, especially the radio podcast subscription.  With it, I can speak more, have guests and take calls on air live.

Our world is becoming more and more secular and without strong Catholic voices online, then it will continue to grow and push back all that Christianity has done in order to build the West.  As you may know, atheism thrives online.  On the internet, atheists can create blogs and other social networks which they use to promote their misconceptions.  Many donate millions to them. This draws in naive youth who read these blogs and buy into the rhetoric. We must stop this by having online evangelization work done just like sacerdotus.com which is a source for those of faith and no faith to get clear answers to the questions and claims regarding atheism.

I hope you reading this will make a donation at www.gofundme.com/sacerdotus to help me.

God will repay you for your help.  I promise to remember at Mass, Liturgy of Hours, and private prayer all of those people who have helped me keep this alive.


Reflection:

Today's readings focus on the flock of the Church.  Last week we read of Jesus sending out the disciples two by two (see: Sacerdotus: 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time - He Sends Us Out).

In the first reading, we read about the situation in Israel. The shepherds were not doing a good job. They misled the flock causing them to scatter. These shepherds were entrusted to care for God's flock and instead did not care for them (Ezekiel 34).  God warned them of imminent punishment for this lack of concern for His flock. We then read that God Himself will gather the remnant of the flock (Jeremiah 32:38, Ezekiel 37:27).  He will gather them each and return them to their meadow (Ezekiel 34:12, Ezekiel 34:11, Isaiah 50:11).  While there, they will increase and multiply.  God then promises to give them new shepherds who will do a better job and says that He will bring forth the shoot of David, or descendant of David who will be a king (Isaiah 11:10, Romans 15:12).  This shoot of David is of course Jesus (Matthew 1:1).  Jesus is the Good Shepherd who will gather the flock that was lost (John 10:11-18). In other words, God Himself will shepherd His people. This brings us to today's Psalm which echos this by stating that the Lord is my shepherd.

The Psalm today is one that is well known. God is our shepherd (Psalms 80:1). He cares for us, gives us rest and waters that refresh us.  As a shepherd, He guides and protects each of us (Psalms 95:7). Even when we are in the "dark valley," God is still with us (Colossians 1:13). We may not notice His presence, but He is there.  Because God is there, we fear nothing or no one (Romans 8:31).  No one will triumph over us or celebrate against us because God is there for us (Psalm 41:11). Only goodness comes for those who reside in the presence of God, or His house (Lamentations 3:25).

In the second reading, we are reminded that we were far off at one point. At one point in life, we were not in the Church. Perhaps we did not believe or never practiced the faith.  However, that changed because of the blood of Christ. We are near to God.  Jesus is our peace.  He opened up the doors between man and God (1 Timothy 2:5).  The division that separated us from God is gone in Jesus (Matthew 27:51). Jesus broke down the legalism that had taken hold of Israel. The shepherds or the leaders of Israel twisted the faith, making it into a form of control. Atheists often critic and describe religion as "mind-control." They state that religion restricts free thought and action. Well, this was the case with the shepherds of the past. They got so caught up with the laws that they forgot that they were made for men, not the other way around (Mark 2:27). Laws serve us, we do not serve them. This is why even when immoral laws pass, we must do what it takes to undo them.

Jesus changed this and restored what the faith is supposed to be (Matthew 5:17).  We must be careful not to become like the shepherds of Israel who got caught up with the rules and did not capture the spirit of them (Matthew 23:27). As Catholics, we must not get caught up in traditions that seem to have been erased by the Church (Vatican II) but in reality, simply took on a new expression. We must be careful not to think that certain ceremonies in the Liturgy must be done mechanically in order to be valid, or believe that Latin is somehow a magical language that only God listens to.  Furthermore, today some of our shepherds have not taught the faith. This led to misconceptions among Catholics regarding contraception, abortion, and homosexuality.  These shepherds today push for changes in marriage and who can receive the Holy Eucharist even if divorced. Others allowed or participated in the violation of our most precious asset: children.  These shepherds will have to answer to God for their lack of care for the flocks entrusted to them which forced many to scatter.

Finally, in the Gospel, we read that Jesus gathered with the apostles. They were overwhelmed by the crowds that had come and needed rest.  The people were desperate to see Jesus and the apostles. Jesus sees this and feels sorry for them.  These people were like sheep without a shepherd.  He then begins to teach them.  Here we see the connection to the first reading.  Jesus is the shoot of David who is king; He is God who comes to pasture His own flock (Ezekiel 34:23).  Christ is the head of the Church (Colossians 1:18, Ephesians 5:23). The Church is His body (1 Corinthians 12:27). In this body, we are in the "meadows" feeding off the Holy Eucharist and drinking the fresh waters of Baptism, so to speak (John 6:51, John 4:14).  This is why "outside of the Church there is no salvation" (CCC 846-848)  The phrase is controversial, but one must understand what it really is stating.  This is not an attack on other religions (CCC 847).  It is a reminder that the Church is the normative means by which we are saved in Christ (CCC 849).  She is His body.  A few days ago, the Holy Father released a motu propio entitled Traditionis Custodes or Custodians of Tradition (see more here: Sacerdotus: Ite, missa est: Pope Motu Propio restricts Extraordinary Form of the Mass).  A motu propio is like an executive order by the president. It is an order that can be changed by the pope or his successor. Anyhow, this recent motu propio restricts the use of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass or the rite used in 1962.  The reason for this is because some Catholics (both clergy and lay) who call themselves "traditionalists" have attacked Vatican II, the Ordinary Form of the Mass we use now, and the hierarchy. Some have gone as far as creating a church within the Church describing it as the "true Church" that exists underground while the mainstream Church is a modernist sect.  This has caused division in the Church with some Catholics calling others heretics and claiming they are not real Catholics just because they do not attend the Extraordinary Form liturgies.  Some openly reject Vatican II and even refuse to call Pope Francis by his title and chosen name and instead call him Bergoglio.  As a shepherd, the pope is restoring unity and order.  Catholics must be faithful and be obedient to the pope and the Church if we are to grow and be palatable to those outside of the Church.  Causing divisions and being contentious based on our personal tastes in the liturgy is not helping Christ or the Church. 

We must be faithful to the Church and help her grow in the world (John 4:14, 2 Timothy 1:13, Titus 1:9).  As Catholics, we must accept the teachings of the Church since they come from Christ who guides us via the Holy Spirit (John 14:26, John 16:13).  The teachings of the Church are not suggestions.  They are necessary for us to continue our journey to God while on Earth. As the late Cardinal John J. O' Connor said, "The Church is not a salad bar from which you choose what pleases you" (Coren, PG 30).  The Church is a full meal we must enjoy. Every good meal has some vegetables we may not like.  They may be bitter or strange-looking.  In the end, these are the most nutritious of the foods on the plate.  We must eat of it all and not grab the dessert because it pleases us and leave the rest behind.

Let us continue to be loyal to the Catholic Church and tell others about our beautiful revealed faith. As St. Ignatius of Antioch wrote, "Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude of the people also be; even as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church" (Letter to the Smyrnaeans, Ch 8). The multitude we read of in the Gospel is the Church.  They are the people of every nation that no one can count (Revelation 7:9).  May God bless our Catholic Church and may Jesus Christ be praised!



Readings:  Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB

Friday, July 16, 2021

Ite, missa est: Pope Motu Propio restricts Extraordinary Form of the Mass

After rumors that Pope Francis was going to eliminate the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, a new motu propio was released which has so-called traditionalists up in arms. The motu propio entitled Traditionis Custodes (which means Guardians of Tradition) does not eliminate the Extraordinary Form but limits its use.  In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI released his Summorum Pontificum motu propio expanding the use of the Extraordinary Form. However, Benedict XVI had in mind that this would bring about unity with those who held onto the Extraordinary Form. He had hoped that the motu propio will allow Catholics to worship in either form while still remaining in union with Rome. However, this did not happen as he had hoped and is why Pope Francis had to step in.  

Instead of bringing about unity and fidelity to Rome, Summorum Pontificum was used by fanatics to attack Vatican II, the Ordinary Form the Mass, and the Church as she exists post-Vatican II.  Catholics who attend the Ordinary form are labeled, modernists. They are attacked as heretical while those who attend the Extraordinary Form see themselves as being the sole authentic Catholics who pray in the "Mass of all ages." The Ordinary Form is often smeared as the "Novus Ordo," a pejorative term.  Novus Ordo is not a Catholic term and was never used in any Liturgical documents to describe the Ordinary Form.  The term is used by fanatics and conspiracists who push the idea that the Ordinary Form is part of the "New World Order." As one can imagine, this has brought a lot of bickering and divisions in the Catholic Roman Rite. 


Here is the new motu propio:


APOSTOLIC LETTER 

ISSUED "MOTU PROPRIO"

BY THE SUPREME PONTIFF

FRANCIS

«TRADITIONIS CUSTODES»

On the Use of the Roman Liturgy

Prior to the Reform of 1970

Official translation

 


Guardians of the tradition, the bishops in communion with the Bishop of Rome constitute the visible principle and foundation of the unity of their particular Churches. [1] Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, through the proclamation of the Gospel and by means of the celebration of the Eucharist, they govern the particular Churches entrusted to them. [2]

In order 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, my Venerable Predecessors, Saint John Paul II and Benedict XVI, granted and regulated the faculty to use the Roman Missal edited by John XXIII in 1962. [3] In this way they intended “to facilitate the ecclesial communion of those Catholics who feel attached to some earlier liturgical forms” and not to others. [4]

In line with the initiative of my Venerable Predecessor Benedict XVI to invite the bishops to assess the application of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum three years after its publication, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith carried out a detailed consultation of the bishops in 2020. The results have been carefully considered in the light of experience that has matured during these years.

At this time, having considered the wishes expressed by the episcopate and having heard the opinion of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, I now desire, with this Apostolic Letter, to press on ever more in the constant search for ecclesial communion. Therefore, I have considered it appropriate to establish the following:

Art. 1. The liturgical books promulgated by Saint Paul VI and Saint John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of Vatican Council II, are the unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.

Art. 2. It belongs to the diocesan bishop, as moderator, promoter, and guardian of the whole liturgical life of the particular Church entrusted to him, [5] to regulate the liturgical celebrations of his diocese. [6] Therefore, it is his exclusive competence to authorize the use of the 1962 Roman Missal in his diocese, according to the guidelines of the Apostolic See.

Art. 3. The bishop of the diocese in which until now there exist one or more groups that celebrate according to the Missal antecedent to the reform of 1970:

§ 1. is to determine that these groups do not deny the validity and the legitimacy of the liturgical reform, dictated by Vatican Council II and the Magisterium of the Supreme Pontiffs;

§ 2. is to designate one or more locations where the faithful adherents of these groups may gather for the eucharistic celebration (not however in the parochial churches and without the erection of new personal parishes);

§ 3. to establish at the designated locations the days on which eucharistic celebrations are permitted using the Roman Missal promulgated by Saint John XXIII in 1962. [7] In these celebrations the readings are proclaimed in the vernacular language, using translations of the Sacred Scripture approved for liturgical use by the respective Episcopal Conferences;

§ 4. to appoint a priest who, as delegate of the bishop, is entrusted with these celebrations and with the pastoral care of these groups of the faithful. This priest should be suited for this responsibility, skilled in the use of the Missale Romanum antecedent to the reform of 1970, possess a knowledge of the Latin language sufficient for a thorough comprehension of the rubrics and liturgical texts, and be animated by a lively pastoral charity and by a sense of ecclesial communion. This priest should have at heart not only the correct celebration of the liturgy, but also the pastoral and spiritual care of the faithful;

§ 5. to proceed suitably to verify that the parishes canonically erected for the benefit of these faithful are effective for their spiritual growth, and to determine whether or not to retain them;

§ 6. to take care not to authorize the establishment of new groups.

Art. 4. Priests ordained after the publication of the present Motu Proprio, who wish to celebrate using the Missale Romanum of 1962, should submit a formal request to the diocesan Bishop who shall consult the Apostolic See before granting this authorization.

Art. 5. Priests who already celebrate according to the Missale Romanum of 1962 should request from the diocesan Bishop the authorization to continue to enjoy this faculty.

Art. 6. Institutes of consecrated life and Societies of apostolic life, erected by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, fall under the competence of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies for Apostolic Life.

Art. 7. The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, for matters of their particular competence, exercise the authority of the Holy See with respect to the observance of these provisions.

Art. 8. Previous norms, instructions, permissions, and customs that do not conform to the provisions of the present Motu Proprio are abrogated.

Everything that I have declared in this Apostolic Letter in the form of Motu Proprio, I order to be observed in all its parts, anything else to the contrary notwithstanding, even if worthy of particular mention, and I establish that it be promulgated by way of publication in “L’Osservatore Romano”, entering immediately in force and, subsequently, that it be published in the official Commentary of the Holy See, Acta Apostolicae Sedis.

Given at Rome, at Saint John Lateran, on 16 July 2021, the liturgical Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, in the ninth year of Our Pontificate.


FRANCIS


[1] Cfr Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church “ Lumen Gentium”, 21 november 1964, n. 23 AAS 57 (1965) 27.

[2] Cfr Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church “ Lumen Gentium”, 21 november 1964, n. 27: AAS 57 (1965) 32; Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Decree concerning the pastoral office of bishops in the Church “ Christus Dominus”, 28 october 1965, n. 11: AAS 58 (1966) 677-678; Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 833.

[3] Cfr John Paul II, Apostolic Letter given Motu proprio “ Ecclesia Dei”, 2 july 1988: AAS 80 (1988) 1495-1498; Benedict XVI, Apostolic Letter given Motu proprio “ Summorum Pontificum”, 7 july 2007: AAS 99 (2007) 777-781; Apostolic Letter given Motu proprio “ Ecclesiae unitatem”, 2 july 2009: AAS 101 (2009) 710-711.

[4] John Paul II, Apostolic Letter given Motu proprio “ Ecclesia Dei”, 2 july 1988, n. 5: AAS 80 (1988) 1498.

[5] Cfr Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Costitution on the sacred liturgy “ Sacrosanctum Concilium”, 4 december 1963, n. 41: AAS 56 (1964) 111; Caeremoniale Episcoporum, n. 9; Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacrament, Instruction on certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist “ Redemptionis Sacramentum”, 25 march 2004, nn. 19-25: AAS 96 (2004) 555-557.

[6] Cfr CIC, can. 375, § 1; can. 392.

[7] Cfr Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Decree “ Quo magis” approving seven Eucharistic Prefaces for the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite, 22 february 2020, and Decree “ Cum sanctissima” on the liturgical celebration in honour of Saints in the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite, 22 february 2020: L’Osservatore Romano, 26 march 2020, p. 6.


Source: https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/motu_proprio/documents/20210716-motu-proprio-traditionis-custodes.html



Pope Francis included a letter alongside the motu propio elaborating more on why the motu propio was necessary. Here it is: 


Rome, 16 July 2021

Dear Brothers in the Episcopate,

Just as my Predecessor Benedict XVI did with Summorum Pontificum, I wish to accompany the Motu proprio Traditionis custodes with a letter explaining the motives that prompted my decision. I turn to you with trust and parresia, in the name of that shared “solicitude for the whole Church, that contributes supremely to the good of the Universal Church” as Vatican Council II reminds us.[1]

Most people understand the motives that prompted St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI to allow the use of the Roman Missal, promulgated by St. Pius V and edited by St. John XXIII in 1962, for the Eucharistic Sacrifice. The faculty — granted by the indult of the Congregation for Divine Worship in 1984[2] and confirmed by St. John Paul II in the Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei in 1988[3] — was above all motivated by the desire to foster the healing of the schism with the movement of Mons. Lefebvre. With the ecclesial intention of restoring the unity of the Church, the Bishops were thus asked to accept with generosity the “just aspirations” of the faithful who requested the use of that Missal.

Many in the Church came to regard this faculty as an opportunity to adopt freely the Roman Missal promulgated by St. Pius V and use it in a manner parallel to the Roman Missal promulgated by St. Paul VI. In order to regulate this situation at the distance of many years, Benedict XVI intervened to address this state of affairs in the Church. Many priests and communities had “used with gratitude the possibility offered by the Motu proprio” of St. John Paul II. Underscoring that this development was not foreseeable in 1988, the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum of 2007 intended to introduce “a clearer juridical regulation” in this area.[4] In order to allow access to those, including young people, who when “they discover this liturgical form, feel attracted to it and find in it a form, particularly suited to them, to encounter the mystery of the most holy Eucharist”,[5] Benedict XVI declared “the Missal promulgated by St. Pius V and newly edited by Blessed John XXIII, as a extraordinary expression of the same lex orandi”, granting a “more ample possibility for the use of the 1962 Missal”.[6]

In making their decision they were confident that such a provision would not place in doubt one of the key measures of Vatican Council II or minimize in this way its authority: the Motu proprio recognized that, in its own right, “the Missal promulgated by Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the lex orandi of the Catholic Church of the Latin rite”.[7] The recognition of the Missal promulgated by St. Pius V “as an extraordinary expression of the same lex orandi” did not in any way underrate the liturgical reform, but was decreed with the desire to acknowledge the “insistent prayers of these faithful,” allowing them “to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass according to the editio typica of the Roman Missal promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated, as the extraordinary form of the Liturgy of the Church”.[8] It comforted Benedict XVI in his discernment that many desired “to find the form of the sacred Liturgy dear to them,” “clearly accepted the binding character of Vatican Council II and were faithful to the Pope and to the Bishops”.[9] What is more, he declared to be unfounded the fear of division in parish communities, because “the two forms of the use of the Roman Rite would enrich one another”.[10] Thus, he invited the Bishops to set aside their doubts and fears, and to welcome the norms, “attentive that everything would proceed in peace and serenity,” with the promise that “it would be possible to find resolutions” in the event that “serious difficulties came to light” in the implementation of the norms “once the Motu proprio came into effect”.[11]

With the passage of thirteen years, I instructed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to circulate a questionnaire to the Bishops regarding the implementation of the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. The responses reveal a situation that preoccupies and saddens me, and persuades me of the need to intervene. Regrettably, the pastoral objective of my Predecessors, who had intended “to do everything possible to ensure that all those who truly possessed the desire for unity would find it possible to remain in this unity or to rediscover it anew”,[12] has often been seriously disregarded. An opportunity offered by St. John Paul II and, with even greater magnanimity, by Benedict XVI, intended to recover the unity of an ecclesial body with diverse liturgical sensibilities, was exploited to widen the gaps, reinforce the divergences, and encourage disagreements that injure the Church, block her path, and expose her to the peril of division.

At the same time, I am saddened by abuses in the celebration of the liturgy on all sides. In common with Benedict XVI, I deplore the fact that “in many places the prescriptions of the new Missal are not observed in celebration, but indeed come to be interpreted as an authorization for or even a requirement of creativity, which leads to almost unbearable distortions”.[13] But I am nonetheless saddened that the instrumental use of Missale Romanum of 1962 is often characterized by a rejection not only of the liturgical reform, but of the Vatican Council II itself, claiming, with unfounded and unsustainable assertions, that it betrayed the Tradition and the “true Church”. The path of the Church must be seen within the dynamic of Tradition “which originates from the Apostles and progresses in the Church with the assistance of the Holy Spirit” (DV 8). A recent stage of this dynamic was constituted by Vatican Council II where the Catholic episcopate came together to listen and to discern the path for the Church indicated by the Holy Spirit. To doubt the Council is to doubt the intentions of those very Fathers who exercised their collegial power in a solemn manner cum Petro et sub Petro in an ecumenical council,[14] and, in the final analysis, to doubt the Holy Spirit himself who guides the Church.

The objective of the modification of the permission granted by my Predecessors is highlighted by the Second Vatican Council itself. From the vota submitted by the Bishops there emerged a great insistence on the full, conscious and active participation of the whole People of God in the liturgy,[15] along lines already indicated by Pius XII in the encyclical Mediator Dei on the renewal of the liturgy.[16] The constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium confirmed this appeal, by seeking “the renewal and advancement of the liturgy”,[17] and by indicating the principles that should guide the reform.[18] In particular, it established that these principles concerned the Roman Rite, and other legitimate rites where applicable, and asked that “the rites be revised carefully in the light of sound tradition, and that they be given new vigor to meet present-day circumstances and needs”.[19] On the basis of these principles a reform of the liturgy was undertaken, with its highest expression in the Roman Missal, published in editio typica by St. Paul VI[20] and revised by St. John Paul II.[21] It must therefore be maintained that the Roman Rite, adapted many times over the course of the centuries according to the needs of the day, not only be preserved but renewed “in faithful observance of the Tradition”.[22] Whoever wishes to celebrate with devotion according to earlier forms of the liturgy can find in the reformed Roman Missal according to Vatican Council II all the elements of the Roman Rite, in particular the Roman Canon which constitutes one of its more distinctive elements.

A final reason for my decision is this: ever more plain in the words and attitudes of many is the close connection between the choice of celebrations according to the liturgical books prior to Vatican Council II and the rejection of the Church and her institutions in the name of what is called the “true Church.” One is dealing here with comportment that contradicts communion and nurtures the divisive tendency — “I belong to Paul; I belong instead to Apollo; I belong to Cephas; I belong to Christ” — against which the Apostle Paul so vigorously reacted.[23] In defense of the unity of the Body of Christ, I am constrained to revoke the faculty granted by my Predecessors. The distorted use that has been made of this faculty is contrary to the intentions that led to granting the freedom to celebrate the Mass with the Missale Romanum of 1962. Because “liturgical celebrations are not private actions, but celebrations of the Church, which is the sacrament of unity”,[24] they must be carried out in communion with the Church. Vatican Council II, while it reaffirmed the external bonds of incorporation in the Church — the profession of faith, the sacraments, of communion — affirmed with St. Augustine that to remain in the Church not only “with the body” but also “with the heart” is a condition for salvation.[25]

Dear brothers in the Episcopate, Sacrosanctum Concilium explained that the Church, the “sacrament of unity,” is such because it is “the holy People gathered and governed under the authority of the Bishops”.[26] Lumen gentium, while recalling that the Bishop of Rome is “the permanent and visible principle and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the multitude of the faithful,” states that you the Bishops are “the visible principle and foundation of the unity of your local Churches, in which and through which exists the one and only Catholic Church”.[27]

Responding to your requests, I take the firm decision to abrogate all the norms, instructions, permissions and customs that precede the present Motu proprio, and declare that the liturgical books promulgated by the saintly Pontiffs Paul VI and John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of Vatican Council II, constitute the unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite. I take comfort in this decision from the fact that, after the Council of Trent, St. Pius V also abrogated all the rites that could not claim a proven antiquity, establishing for the whole Latin Church a single Missale Romanum. For four centuries this Missale Romanum, promulgated by St. Pius V was thus the principal expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite, and functioned to maintain the unity of the Church. Without denying the dignity and grandeur of this Rite, the Bishops gathered in ecumenical council asked that it be reformed; their intention was that “the faithful would not assist as strangers and silent spectators in the mystery of faith, but, with a full understanding of the rites and prayers, would participate in the sacred action consciously, piously, and actively”.[28] St. Paul VI, recalling that the work of adaptation of the Roman Missal had already been initiated by Pius XII, declared that the revision of the Roman Missal, carried out in the light of ancient liturgical sources, had the goal of permitting the Church to raise up, in the variety of languages, “a single and identical prayer,” that expressed her unity.[29] This unity I intend to re-establish throughout the Church of the Roman Rite.

Vatican Council II, when it described the catholicity of the People of God, recalled that “within the ecclesial communion” there exist the particular Churches which enjoy their proper traditions, without prejudice to the primacy of the Chair of Peter who presides over the universal communion of charity, guarantees the legitimate diversity and together ensures that the particular not only does not injure the universal but above all serves it”.[30] While, in the exercise of my ministry in service of unity, I take the decision to suspend the faculty granted by my Predecessors, I ask you to share with me this burden as a form of participation in the solicitude for the whole Church proper to the Bishops. In the Motu proprio I have desired to affirm that it is up to the Bishop, as moderator, promoter, and guardian of the liturgical life of the Church of which he is the principle of unity, to regulate the liturgical celebrations. It is up to you to authorize in your Churches, as local Ordinaries, the use of the Missale Romanum of 1962, applying the norms of the present Motu proprio. It is up to you to proceed in such a way as to return to a unitary form of celebration, and to determine case by case the reality of the groups which celebrate with this Missale Romanum.

Indications about how to proceed in your dioceses are chiefly dictated by two principles: on the one hand, to provide for the good of those who are rooted in the previous form of celebration and need to return in due time to the Roman Rite promulgated by Saints Paul VI and John Paul II, and, on the other hand, to discontinue the erection of new personal parishes tied more to the desire and wishes of individual priests than to the real need of the “holy People of God.” At the same time, I ask you to be vigilant in ensuring that every liturgy be celebrated with decorum and fidelity to the liturgical books promulgated after Vatican Council II, without the eccentricities that can easily degenerate into abuses. Seminarians and new priests should be formed in the faithful observance of the prescriptions of the Missal and liturgical books, in which is reflected the liturgical reform willed by Vatican Council II.

Upon you I invoke the Spirit of the risen Lord, that he may make you strong and firm in your service to the People of God entrusted to you by the Lord, so that your care and vigilance express communion even in the unity of one, single Rite, in which is preserved the great richness of the Roman liturgical tradition. I pray for you. You pray for me.


FRANCIS


__________________


[1] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church “Lumen Gentium”, 21 november 1964, n. 23 AAS 57 (1965) 27.

[2] Cfr. Congregation for Divine Worship, Letter to the Presidents of the Conferences of Bishops “Quattuor abhinc annos”, 3 october 1984: AAS 76 (1984) 1088-1089.

[3] John Paul II, Apostolic Letter given Motu proprio “Ecclesia Dei”, 2 july 1988: AAS 80 (1998) 1495-1498.

[4] Benedict XVI, Letter to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of the Apostolic Letter “Motu proprio data” Summorum Pontificum on the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970, 7 july 2007: AAS 99 (2007) 796.

[5] Benedict XVI, Letter to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of the Apostolic Letter “Motu proprio data” Summorum Pontificum on the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970, 7 july 2007: AAS 99 (2007) 796.

[6] Benedict XVI, Letter to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of the Apostolic Letter “Motu proprio data” Summorum Pontificum on the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970, 7 july 2007: AAS 99 (2007) 797.

[7] Benedict XVI, Apostolic Letter given Motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum”, 7 july 2007: AAS 99 (2007) 779.

[8] Benedict XVI, Apostolic Letter given Motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum”, 7 july 2007: AAS 99 (2007) 779.

[9] Benedict XVI, Letter to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of the Apostolic Letter “Motu proprio data” Summorum Pontificum on the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970, 7 july 2007: AAS 99 (2007) 796.

[10] Benedict XVI, Letter to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of the Apostolic Letter “Motu proprio data” Summorum Pontificum on the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970, 7 july 2007: AAS 99 (2007) 797.

[11] Benedict XVI, Letter to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of the Apostolic Letter “Motu proprio data” Summorum Pontificum on the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970, 7 july 2007: AAS 99 (2007) 798.

[12] Benedict XVI, Letter to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of the Apostolic Letter “Motu proprio data” Summorum Pontificum on the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970, 7 july 2007: AAS 99 (2007) 797-798.

[13] Benedict XVI, Letter to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of the Apostolic Letter “Motu proprio data” Summorum Pontificum on the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970, 7 july 2007: AAS 99 (2007) 796.

[14] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church “Lumen Gentium”, 21 november 1964, n. 23: AAS 57 (1965) 27.

[15] Cfr. Acta et Documenta Concilio Oecumenico Vaticano II apparando, Series I, Volumen II, 1960.

[16] Pius XII, Encyclical on the sacred liturgy “Mediator Dei”, 20 november 1947: AAS 39 (1949) 521-595.

[17] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Costitution on the sacred liturgy “Sacrosanctum Concilium”, 4 december 1963, nn. 1, 14: AAS 56 (1964) 97.104.

[18] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Costitution on the sacred liturgy “Sacrosanctum Concilium”, 4 december 1963, n. 3: AAS 56 (1964) 98.

[19] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Costitution on the sacred liturgy “Sacrosanctum Concilium”, 4 december 1963, n. 4: AAS 56 (1964) 98.

[20] Missale Romanum ex decreto Sacrosancti Oecumenici Concilii Vaticani II instauratum auctoritate Pauli PP. VI promulgatum, editio typica, 1970.

[21] Missale Romanum ex decreto Sacrosancti Oecumenici Concilii Vaticani II instauratum auctoritate Pauli PP. VI promulgatum Ioannis Pauli PP. II cura recognitum, editio typica altera, 1975; editio typica tertia, 2002; (reimpressio emendata 2008).

[22] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Costitution on the sacred liturgy “Sacrosanctum Concilium”, 4 december 1963, n. 3: AAS 56 (1964) 98.

[23] 1 Cor 1,12-13.

[24] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Costitution on the sacred liturgy “Sacrosanctum Concilium”, 4 december 1963, n. 26: AAS 56 (1964) 107.

[25] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church “Lumen Gentium”, 21 november 1964, n. 14: AAS 57 (1965) 19.

[26] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Costitution on the sacred liturgy “Sacrosanctum Concilium”, 4 december 1963, n. 6: AAS 56 (1964) 100.

[27] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church “Lumen Gentium”, 21 november 1964, n. 23: AAS 57 (1965) 27.

[28] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Costitution on the sacred liturgy “Sacrosanctum Concilium”, 4 december 1963, n. 48: AAS 56 (1964) 113.

[29] Paul VI, Apostolic Constitution “Missale Romanum” on new Roman Missal, 3 april 1969, AAS 61 (1969) 222.

[30] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church “Lumen Gentium”, 21 november 1964, n. 13: AAS 57 (1965) 18. 

[01015-EN.01] [Original text: Italian]

[B0469-XX.01]


As you can see, the Pope took action after a survey or questionnaire was sent to bishops and they responded showing concern that the Extraordinary Form was being hijacked by fanatics and used to promote an agenda that is causing division in the Church.  Pope Francis in his accompanying letter explains how his predecessors hoped that expanded faculty to use the Extraordinary Form would bring about unity. He writes:

"Most people understand the motives that prompted St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI to allow the use of the Roman Missal, promulgated by St. Pius V and edited by St. John XXIII in 1962, for the Eucharistic Sacrifice. The faculty — granted by the indult of the Congregation for Divine Worship in 1984[2] and confirmed by St. John Paul II in the Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei in 1988[3] — was above all motivated by the desire to foster the healing of the schism with the movement of Mons. Lefebvre. With the ecclesial intention of restoring the unity of the Church, the Bishops were thus asked to accept with generosity the “just aspirations” of the faithful who requested the use of that Missal. Many in the Church came to regard this faculty as an opportunity to adopt freely the Roman Missal promulgated by St. Pius V and use it in a manner parallel to the Roman Missal promulgated by St. Paul VI."

Pope Francis continues to explain that his predecessor Benedict XVI hoped that his motu propio Summorum Pontificum would bring those who desired the Extraordinary Form to accept the "binding character of Vatican Council II" and would be  "faithful to the Pope and to the Bishops."

"It comforted Benedict XVI in his discernment that many desired 'to find the form of the sacred Liturgy dear to them,” “clearly accepted the binding character of Vatican Council II and were faithful to the Pope and to the Bishops.'"

He continues that the hope was that “the two forms of the use of the Roman Rite would enrich one another." This did not happen. Pope Francis acknowledges that abuses have taken place in the celebration of the liturgy, particularly with the Ordinary Form. Some have played around with the liturgy attempting to be creative but distorting the liturgy in the process.  He adds that he is also saddened that the Missale Romanum of 1962 is being used to attack Vatican II as being inauthentic Catholicism and only the Extraordinary Form as being the "true Church." He writes:

"At the same time, I am saddened by abuses in the celebration of the liturgy on all sides. In common with Benedict XVI, I deplore the fact that “in many places the prescriptions of the new Missal are not observed in celebration, but indeed come to be interpreted as an authorization for or even a requirement of creativity, which leads to almost unbearable distortions”.

"But I am nonetheless saddened that the instrumental use of Missale Romanum of 1962 is often characterized by a rejection not only of the liturgical reform, but of the Vatican Council II itself, claiming, with unfounded and unsustainable assertions, that it betrayed the Tradition and the 'true Church'."

In regards to the divisions caused by fanatics of the Extraordinary Form, the pope uses Scripture where Christians aligned themselves to certain figures instead of with God and the faith itself. He then adds that he was forced to defend the unity of the Body of Christ and revoked the faculty granted by his predecessors. He writes:

"One is dealing here with comportment that contradicts communion and nurtures the divisive tendency — “I belong to Paul; I belong instead to Apollo; I belong to Cephas; I belong to Christ” — against which the Apostle Paul so vigorously reacted.[23] In defense of the unity of the Body of Christ, I am constrained to revoke the faculty granted by my Predecessors. The distorted use that has been made of this faculty is contrary to the intentions that led to granting the freedom to celebrate the Mass with the Missale Romanum of 1962. Because “liturgical celebrations are not private actions, but celebrations of the Church, which is the sacrament of unity”,[24] they must be carried out in communion with the Church. Vatican Council II, while it reaffirmed the external bonds of incorporation in the Church — the profession of faith, the sacraments, of communion — affirmed with St. Augustine that to remain in the Church not only “with the body” but also “with the heart” is a condition for salvation.[25]"

In the closing of the letter, he explains his decision and gives a bit of liturgical history of how the Form of the Mass has changed throughout the centuries, even before Trent.  He writes:

"I take the firm decision to abrogate all the norms, instructions, permissions and customs that precede the present Motu proprio, and declare that the liturgical books promulgated by the saintly Pontiffs Paul VI and John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of Vatican Council II, constitute the unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite. I take comfort in this decision from the fact that, after the Council of Trent, St. Pius V also abrogated all the rites that could not claim a proven antiquity, establishing for the whole Latin Church a single Missale Romanum. For four centuries this Missale Romanum, promulgated by St. Pius V was thus the principal expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite, and functioned to maintain the unity of the Church. Without denying the dignity and grandeur of this Rite, the Bishops gathered in ecumenical council asked that it be reformed; their intention was that “the faithful would not assist as strangers and silent spectators in the mystery of faith, but, with a full understanding of the rites and prayers, would participate in the sacred action consciously, piously, and actively”.[28] St. Paul VI, recalling that the work of adaptation of the Roman Missal had already been initiated by Pius XII, declared that the revision of the Roman Missal, carried out in the light of ancient liturgical sources, had the goal of permitting the Church to raise up, in the variety of languages, 'a single and identical prayer,' that expressed her unity.[29] This unity I intend to re-establish throughout the Church of the Roman Rite."

As for the motu proprio itself, the text is short and lists the changes. Liturgical books promulgated by Saints Paul VI and John Paul II are declared to be the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.  Bishops will be the sole moderator, promoters, and guardians of the liturgy. They are to regulate celebrations and are the only ones who can give permission to use the 1962 missal.  Priests who wish to celebrate the Extraordinary Form must request permission formally from his bishop and the bishop must then consult the Apostolic See.  The motu propio limits the use of the Extraordinary Form but does not eliminate it. More power is given to the bishop to regulate its use and all liturgies in general. No new groups can be authorized and all groups that celebrate the Extraordinary Form must do so at the discretion of the local bishop. 


You can imagine that those who call themselves "traditionalists" are not too happy. Pundits and armchair liturgists like Taylor Marshal, Steve Skojec, and Rorate Caeli took to their "bubbles" or echo chambers to air out their frustration and cry out to the world from their basements, so to speak. Taylor describes the motu proprio as a "bomb" from Pope Francis and called for his followers to resist the pontiff. Of course, he promoted his book and another article as an "ah-ha, I told ya so." 



Steve Skojec of One Peter Five wrote an angry article calling the Catholic Church "crippled religion" and falsely claims that "summorum pontificum gets the ax." He states that "novusordoism is not Catholicism" and goes the way of the slippery slope claiming Catholics will flock to the Society of St. Pius X, go to other rites or join the Orthodox Church. He describes what the pope did today as "an act of abuse" and accuses him of being anti traditionalist. 

"Rorate Caeli" calls the motu proprio an "attack of hatred and vengeance agains the Latin Mass." As expected, in an immature fit, Rorate Caeli refuses to call Pope Francis by his proper name and resorts to his civil name, Jorge Mario Bergoglio in an attempt to invalidate his papacy. The blog angrily attacks Pope Francis writing, "Bergoglio is in reality a man of vengeance.  A pope of vengeance.  An angry bitter Jesuit settling scores through vengeance." The rest of the post is a call to arms to resist or "carry on." The blog pretty much does what Pope Francis described in the motu propio and letter. It offers a petty jab against the Ordinary Form by pitting the two forms against each other. They write, "So, now we must choose. Do we side with tradition, or do we cave to novelty?" 

It seems clear to anyone who has intelligence that the Pope has pretty much exposed those who are not faithful to the Church and just follow their own agenda. Today, Taylor, Skojec, One Peter Five, Rorate Caeli, and others came out of the closet so to speak. Pope Francis forced them to reveal themselves as nothing more than sede vacantist cafeteria Catholics who pick and choose only what is palatable to them. 

These people cannot be called authentic Catholics. They are frozen in the 1950s and do not understand how tradition works. The Mass rite has changed over time. The first Mass was in Aramaic and then changed to Greek. As the Church grew, each region has its own rite. It was not until Trent that the Roman Rite was codified. Even after this, the Latin Rite Mass has changed several times. To pick one rite and call it the "Mass of all Ages" or the "Traditional Latin Mass" is truly ridiculous and poor knowledge and understanding of the history of the liturgy. 

The only "traditional Mass" is the one that is concurrent and deemed the Ordinary Form. This is the Mass that is based on tradition and has been part of the living tradition that is not set in one specific point in history. Today's motu propio was needed in the Church. As the Holy Father explained, the Extraordinary Form is being used to cause division and create a sect within Catholicism that labels itself the "true Church." As pope, he has to keep the bark of Peter united. The Pope is the visible head of the Church. Note that he did not eliminate the Extraordinary Form nor condemned it. He is trying to eliminate the agendas behind those who use rite and condemns their pervert ulterior motives. If Taylor, Skoject, Rorate Caeli, and others have issues with this, then they are not truly Catholic. What they believe is what they created, not Catholicism itself. As the pope stated, the liturgy is not a private thing that we own. It is not entertainment which we select based on our tastes. The liturgy belongs to the Church and she has total control over it.  I love both forms and serve both. I cannot pit them against each other because it is the same Mass!  Anyone who is upset with this motu propio needs to evaluate where they stand on the Catholic faith. As stated, the liturgy belongs to the Church and the pope and bishops are the ones who defend, promote, guard, and regulate it.  It is no surprise why the motu propio was named "Traditionis Custodes."  The real guardians of tradition spoke.  So-called traditionalists online are not the custodians of the liturgy or traditions. Taylor, Skojec, Rorate Caeli, etc are just armchair pundits and have no expertise or say on anything related to Catholicism.  As Catholics, canon law allows for us to voice concerns to our pastors, but not to dictate or correct them when it pertains to matters of the Church. 


What are your thoughts?  Post them below.  Be sure to follow the rules for commentary. 



Source:


https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/motu_proprio/documents/20210716-motu-proprio-traditionis-custodes.html

https://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/it/bollettino/pubblico/2021/07/16/0469/01015.html#ingL

https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2021-07/pope-motu-proprio-traditionis-custodes-1962-roman-missal-liturgy.html

https://onepeterfive.com/crippled-religion-strikes-again-and-summorum-pontificum-gets-the-axe/

https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2021/07/a-rorate-cli-editorial-attack-of-hatred.html

https://www.ncregister.com/commentaries/pope-francis-traditionis-custodes

https://angelusnews.com/news/vatican/pope-francis-issues-restrictions-on-extraordinary-form-masses-in-new-motu-proprio/

https://angelusnews.com/news/vatican/pope-francis-issues-restrictions-on-extraordinary-form-masses-in-new-motu-proprio/



Sunday, July 11, 2021

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time - He Sends Us Out

Today's readings are on being sent out by God.

In the first reading, we read of Amos who was simply a shepherd and dresser of sycamores or he prepared the fruit by puncturing it before the harvest so it can assist in the ripening process. Amos tells the priest of Bethel, Amaziah that he was no prophet and was never around them, yet the Lord took him from being a follower to going out and prophesying to the people of Israel (2 Chronicles 24:19). He would earn his bread via this work (1 Corinthians 9:6-7,14).
God's actions here are nothing new. We read last Sunday how God uses the weak (see: Sacerdotus: 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Persecution, Atheism & Hardships). By using the weak, a louder statement is made upon the world, so to speak. Would an educated and wealthy King speaking on behalf of God gather your attention more or would a young child who is disabled, yet speaks better than the educated do the trick?  The latter would since it is not expected that a young child who is disabled can do this.  This is why I have always stressed to altar servers I have trained, youth groups I have run, catechism classes I have taught, and other laypeople I have worked with that they should not worry as to whether they can evangelize or not. God tends to use the weakest and those who society deems "insignificant" to do His will (1 Corinthians 1:27).  Amos was just a shepherd and dresser of sycamores yet God called him to prophesy to the people of Israel. You reading this may be at home disabled, elderly, or perhaps young and feel like you cannot find a role in the Church; well, think again. God has a job for you (Jeremiah 29:11).  Pray to Him to see what it is (Jeremiah 42:3). Let go and let God, as the saying goes. Pray to God and ask Him to see His kindness as we read in the Psalm for today.

In the responsorial Psalm, we ask the Lord to show us His kindness (Psalms 36:7). We sit still in His presence and listen to what God proclaims (Exodus 33:14, Jeremiah 29:13).  This proclamation is of peace and calls us to salvation.  In God, kindness and truth meet. Justice and peace will kiss. God unites the good and casts away the bad. The truth of God will spring from the earth as His justice looks on down. As followers of God, He will give us His benefits which will bless our lands bringing forth an increase. In God, we will have justice because justice prepares His way.  All things submit to God. It is God who blesses us and bestows on us what we need as we read in the second reading.

The second reading tells us of how we are blessed in Christ. The word "blessed" comes from the old words "bledsian" or "blotham" which is spelled "blood" today in modern English. It is connected to the pouring and use of blood during rites of expiation in Pagan Proto-Germanic lands.  We are truly "blessed in Christ" who shed His blood for us on the Cross (John 3:16).  God chose us before the world began to be His, holy and without blemish (Jeremiah 1:5).  God in His love adopted us through His Son Jesus; we can call Him "Abba, "Papa," or "Daddy" (Mark 14:36, Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:6).  In His blood, we are redeemed (Ephesians 1:7).  It is in this Christ in whom we will find the sum of all things and the fulfillment of life (Matthew 5:17, John 14:6).  There is no one else we can find this in, Christ is the One (Acts 4:12).  God also chooses us through Christ and sends us to live and proclaim the Gospel of salvation as we read in the Gospel reading.

In the Gospel, Jesus summons the Twelve and sends them out two by two.  He gives them authority over demons and tells them to go only with a stick, no food, no sack or money; just simply with sandals and a tunic (Exodus 12:11; Deuteronomy 8:2-4). St. Francis of Assisi centuries later would adopt the same thing. Unfortunately, the Order of Friars minor today has lost this beautiful imitation of Jesus' command.  We must pray for their renewal.  St. Francis understood Christ.  It is no wonder why our current Pope chose his name.

Christ commands the Twelve to visit homes. Whoever does not welcome them, Christ instructs His disciples to leave and shake their dust off their feet.  This would be a testimony against them showing that the home dwellers chose to adhere to the dirt of sin and did not want to be cleansed via God's grace (Nahum 3:6, James 1:21, Isaiah 57:20).  The Twelve did as He instructed and drove out demons, anointed with oil the sick, and healed them in His name.

We today are also called to go out and evangelize.  I remember my days in the "Boogie Down Bronx" where I and an old Puerto Rican parishioner would go out to evangelize in different neighborhoods, some of which are plagued with poverty and crime. We did this as Legionaries in the Legion of Mary. We visited homes and were welcomed in many of them. I got great joy seeing many of these people at Mass weeks later.  Some who were not Catholic became Catholic.  It was a great experience for me just about a year or so from leaving behind atheism. This was when Christianity as a "Church" was coming alive to me. I was still finishing some of my worldly studies.  Despite being unprepared fully, God guided me and my fellow legionary. He was older, and I was younger, but God did the work for us. Not once did we worry about being mugged, verbally insulted, or even killed. We went in God's name, guided by the Holy Spirit and encouraged by the Blessed Virgin Mary. Now, God has me doing this work of evangelization online as well. Like in the first reading, it is God who calls us to work in the vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16). We must not turn Him down out of fear or anxiety (Isaiah 6:8, 1 Samuel 3:4). God will be there and will guide us (Isaiah 58:11, Psalm 32:8). No one can do anything to us because we are with God (Romans 8:31).

However, times are a-changing. Christians are being persecuted even in America in 2015, the supposed "land of the free." We can expect to face harassment, attacked, sued, and maybe even martyred (Matthew 24:9. 2 Timothy 3:12). Being a Christian is not always "puppies and kittens." Nevertheless, do not be discouraged to go out there and evangelize (Psalms 96:3).  We must spread the Gospel everywhere (Mark 16:15). However, first, the Gospel must be preached in our hearts (Psalm 119:11, Deuteronomy 11:18). If we do not internalize the Gospel and the teachings of the Church, we will be useless. Our work in the Church will be focused on the self, instead of God and others because we have a tendency to put ourselves on pedestals when given a job to do and not be charitable to others (1 Corinthians 13:1).

When we do go out there to evangelize, if we are rejected, it is okay (Matthew 5:10-12).  Say 'thanks be to God' and walk away. As the youth say today, "it's all good."  If you encounter trolls on Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Myspace, or whatever network you use, do your best, do not lose your cool (Ephesians 4:26-27). If they insist on ignoring you or mock you, offer a prayer to God for them, respond with love, and walk away (Matthew 7:6). You did not fail, they did. God will find a way to get them (Romans 5:20). All is not lost (Luke 15:11-32, Matthew 18:12-14).

Today we must evangelize more than ever before. Evangelization must begin in ourselves first, then our families. The family is the "domestic Church" (CCC 1655-58).  This is why Satan is attacking the family constantly (Hebrews 2:14, Revelation 12:2-4). He fears the family that trusts in God (Joshua 24:15). Let us continue to spread the faith. Do not be afraid to do so!  Take me for example as that young guy fresh out of atheism going out evangelizing. Now I am doing it online as well.  I started not knowing anything about websites, blogs, podcasts, Google hangouts, etc, yet look at how God allowed all this to grow.  If God calls you to do something, He wills it.  If He wills it, then it will happen (James 4:15)!  We are called by the grace of Baptism to be priests, prophets, and kings (CCC 897-913).  Let us put these roles into practice.  God did not give us a cowardly Spirit (2 Timothy 1:7).  Unfortunately, many of our Church leaders took on a cowardly Spirit by closing down parishes and denying the Sacraments to the sick and dying during Covid 19 coronavirus. This was wrong on all counts even if done with the good intention of preventing contagion.  We must trust God.  May Jesus Christ be praised always!





Readings:  Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB

Please help to continue evangelizing online by donating to the fundraiser www.gofundme.com/sacerdotus.     
   

Sunday, July 4, 2021

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Persecution, Atheism & Hardships

Today's readings deal with the rejection of the faith and its consequences.

In the first reading, we read of the priest Ezekiel. God speaks to him and the Spirit entered him. The voice that spoke to him tells him that he is being sent to the rebels among the Israelites (Exodus 32:9, Deuteronomy 31:27). These rebels were the ones who turned against God. They are like atheists today who reject God and Christian principles in favor of an ideology of confusion that finds its origin in relativism (Romans 1:25).
Ezekiel serves to these people as a reminder that God still loves these rebels and that He has tried to bring them back, but they still reject Him (Psalm 95). This ties in with today's Gospel. God is not the problem, we are.  We are the ones who sin and reject God (Ezekiel 6:9, Deuteronomy 32:18). This reading is appropriate to today's times with the Supreme Court's decision legalizing so-called same-sex marriage in all 50 states in 2015 and its constant promotion of abortion and other evils. This nation that "trusts in God" and who claims it is "under God" has pushed God aside. Today this nation celebrates its independence day. However, it has made its declaration of independence from God a long time ago. Despite Covid-19 Coronavirus still running rampant, many still reject God and trust in man.  We must ask God for mercy and have our eyes fixed on Him as we read in the Psalm for today.

Today's responsorial Psalm reminds us to lift our eyes to the one who is on the throne in heaven.  We must ask the one enthroned for mercy (Psalm 47:8, 1 Kings 22:19). He cares for us; so much that He throughout time has sent us priests, prophets, and His own Son to bring us back (2 Chronicles 36:15). Have pity on us, have pity.  These words have a strong significance today.  Our world has gone astray and only the one who is on the throne patiently awaits our conversion.  How long will we continue to offend God?  Unfortunately, the Church and her bishops did a lot of harm when they closed down parishes and denied the Sacraments to the people. This hurt the faith a great deal.  We must ask God for forgiveness and for the grace to help us restore faith.  

The second reading is also a strong reminder to us today regarding the suffering we have to put up with. St. Paul states that in order for him to 'not become too elated,' he has to deal with a thorn in the flesh' who is a demon or an angel of Satan (Job 2:4-5, Ephesians 4:26-27, 1 Thessalonians 3:5, 1 Timothy 3:7). We are all taught that suffering is bad, and rightfully so.  Suffering is a bad thing.  It hurts us and may even kill us. However, to a Catholic, suffering is transformed by God into a good that makes us stronger (Romans 5:3-5). This does not mean we become masochists, but instead, our suffering has no power over us because we bear it along with Christ's suffering (Romans 8:17, 1 Peter 4:13). When we get sick, our bodies suffer in order to get better. We get fevers, coughs, runny noses, aches and pains, and so forth. This is how the body recovers.  Suffering humbles us and reminds us that we are just mortals. Regardless of how many push-ups we can do, the technology we design, we still are weak. Suffering reminds us of this.  If we think we are supermen, we will become arrogant.  The Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic has reminded us that life is fragile. A simple microscopic virus can cause so much harm and death.  Those who go maskless and claim all of this is a hoax are part of the problem as well. They are arrogant believing they are Superman.  

After the Supreme Court's decision on so-called same-sex marriage, we can expect our suffering to increase even more. We are being mocked, harassed, and treated as the people "on the wrong side of history." That is okay.  Let them do that. We bear our suffering and their mockery knowing Christ already bore it for us and was victorious. We who are with Him will be victorious as well (2 Timothy 2:12).  St. Paul says that he begged the Lord about this suffering he endured, but the Lord told Him, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness." What does this mean? This means that we see truly how powerful God is when He can do the impossible even in weakness. If a muscular man who has trained for track and field prays to God to win and wins, people will say he won because of his training. However, if this man is weak, skinny, sickly looking and prays to God and does win the race, then we see that God's power is made perfect in this situation because this man was not supposed to win but did anyway because God's power worked in this man's weakness. Never feel like you cannot do much for the kingdom of God. Whether young or old, sick or healthy, able-bodied or disabled; you can do all things in Him who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13). Like St. Paul, you will be content with this weakness, the insults, hardships, persecutions, and so forth. We must face the worse if we are to follow Christ (Matthew 16:24).  Jesus too endured rejection as we read in the Gospel.

In the Gospel, we read of Jesus coming to His native place with His disciples. It was the sabbath and he taught at the synagogue.  The people there were amazed at His knowledge and wisdom.  Christ spoke to the heart and rationally as if He had a doctorate in theology.  The people wondered who He was and others asked if He was not the carpenter who is also the son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon. Brother in this sense is not a brother in the sense of blood or genetics. It means close friend or in today's language, a 'bestie.'  The same with the reference to His "sisters."   Those in the synagogue felt offended because Jesus was a mere carpenter, yet He spoke with authority. The Jewish leaders of the time were mostly arrogant and sought positions of power (Matthew 23:13). They followed the law when it suited them. Jesus being the "Word of God" naturally knew the Word or the Hebrew Scriptures (Luke 2:41-52).  After noticing the disdain these Jewish leaders had for Him, Jesus tells them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.” This is connected to the first reading where the rebels among the Israelites rejected the men God sent them.

Now we read something atheists often bring up claiming God is not all-powerful. It says, "so He was not able to perform any might deeds there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying His hands on them.  He was amazed at their lack of faith." Atheists often cite this in order to make a case that the Bible has contradictions and that God is in fact not all-powerful.  They do not see that Christ is not showing weakness or an inability to work miracles.  He respects the free will of people and will not force His power on them (Sirach 15:11-20).  This is why faith is necessary. People have to believe and trust in order to "give permission" to God, so to speak.  This does not mean God is not all-powerful.  Think about it: Would you give a sandwich to someone who never asked for it?  If you do so, you would be imposing on him or her.  God is not like that.  He waits for us to come back and ask in order to get and seek Him in order to find ourselves (Matthew 7:7).  

Unfortunately, our world today is rejecting Him.  We must continue to preach the Gospel via our lives and words in order to soften the hearts of people today.  If we do this, we will see faith increase and God's mighty works come to fruition.  Again, do not be concerned if you see yourself as weak.  It is in weakness that God's power is made perfect.  Do not worry about facing mockery, harassment, and persecution from others in today's world (Matthew 24:9. 2 Timothy 3:12).  Where sin reigns, God's grace will come down ever more calling all to change (Romans 5:20).  May Jesus be praised!


Readings:  Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB

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