Late But Warranted: Happy 10th Anniversary for Summorum Pontificum! My Reflections on This Anniversary, Globally and Locally.
Almost one month ago, a special day in my faith life involving the Latin Mass occured. In my 6th year of involvement as a Latin Mass server in organized masses within theArchdiocese of Toronto, two special 10 year anniversaries have come to pass.
October 30, 2016, marked the first, that of my allies and friends of St Patrick’s Gregorian Choir, who with His Eminence ‘ permission, got to hold a Solemn Latin Mass at our Cathedral Basilica of St Michael’s, to commemorate their 10th anniversary. Cardinal Collins was present on the altar and was homilist for that great Mass of Church history.
The second 10 year anniversary is Church wide, that of the Promulgation of the Motu Proprio (immediately acting law) Summorum Pontificum, bestowing much freedom and a resurgence of the Latin Mass in the Church, by Benedict XVI, Pope Emeritus, on July 7, 2017.
Because of that one act, I have been blessed to have served in multiple Latin Masses, since Oct 2011, organized by parishes or lay choirs/organization who operate in the boundaries of the Archdiocese of Toronto, although I carefully select what offerings I assist, out of rejection of that which causes division within the Church and is the new Jansenism/Pelagianism that is infecting from within, to even our youngest minds: Radicals Misrepresenting Traditionalism (herein RMT. ) Also see my fourth blog goal, here.
In honour of the 10th anniversary of SP, allow me to “pontificate” on how far things have seemed to have come, globally and locally. While there has been much overall progress, unfortunately, there are still plagues that are harming the Latin Mass from progressing even more than its current rate to helping restore Catholic identity, liturgical beauty and sacredness, and saving souls.
- 191 Dioceses with a Latin Mass or parish focused on the EF
- 485 individual parishes offering the TLM with some frequency (at least monthly)
- 335 parish locations with a WEEKLY TLM offering (not necessarily Sunday Obligation)
- 75 Parish locations with DAILY TLM offerings, of which more than 1/2 are in the hands of the Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) and the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest
Personally, I agree with him … to a point. There are truly examples of such youth who have become spiritually sick with the wrong spirit of the Latin Mass, akin to the Non-Canonical Society of St. Pius X who are NOT in communion with the Church, and attack with contempt and spiritual hatred the “Novus Ordo” Church in numerous ways, including the regular/Novus Ordo Mass. I will even highlight a particular example later of one of these youth, in this post when I speak about local matters to illustrate.
Regardless, their example only seeks to create a continually hostile environment in the Church, with recent finger-pointing, in example, launched by Fr Antonio Spadaro against the radical Church Militant Internet channel, and rightfully so against the poisonous Internet “apostolate” who has been told by its regional archbishop ++Vigneron it is not aloud to call itself Catholic.
Even the more “balanced” trad bloggers who celebrate/partake in the Latin Mass, aren’t afraid to continue embarrassing good trads or priests in orthodoxy who should be their allies in what they view as a theological-political war.
ARCHDIOCESE of TORONTO
In my Archdiocese of Toronto, things are progressing in a sense for the Latin Mass, but certain avenues are stalling, and the ever lingering smell of Satan, Radical Traditionalism, is infecting the minds and souls now of even younger participants, who have none of the history or spiritual trauma of their older “friends” and are taking to online slander/detracting like their idols or “friends” in the EF.
First, there has been an increase in general, overall Masses of the TLM in Toronto, though the new offerings are not Sunday offerings. We need much more of thoese. Still, the more offerings, even occasional ones, the better. Further, some of these newly known offerings are small masses not in parishes, but word is spreading via technology (particularly Google calendar.). Should one have car, offerings even in the farthest reaches of Toronto ‘ s boundaries are even accessible (eg Schomberg.)
While I do not cover (with noted exception) the daily/weekly activities of offerings outside of the Archdiocese of Toronto, I can say that in other dioceses (e.g. Pembroke, London, Hamilton,) more offerings of the Latin Mass, even one or two spearheaded by recent ordinandi, have come to fruition. Also of note to mention is that some more younger priests are picking up/studying the TLM in their private time, and even doing their first TLMs, albeit wit a few people or privately, in taking their first few baby steps in proficiency in the TLM.
Let us also not forget the incredible hard work of lay organisations or choirs in our diocese, such as St Patrick’s Gregorian Choir, who work diligently and have faced much adversity in past, and even present, to organize high or Solemn Level Latin Masses, providing opportunities for laymen and clergy to partake in the Latin Mass, even just to attend the “Mass of Ages” and formation of countless saints. There is even a Latin Mass Triduum that happens every year now, though my allies and I (and this blog) have no affiliation or personal/professional relationship with those who organize the Triduum. I have never aided this Triduum in the past, though I might attend in the pews in the future, should a Holy Week give me an opportunity.
The biggest, new development in our archdiocese is the creation of not one but TWO Juventutem chapters. Juventutem, is in short, a young adults organization with chapters in multiple cities, which provide social interaction and spiritual formation via traditional Catholicism and the Latin Mass. Last year in 2016, a Toronto Chapter and a University of Toronto chapter were formed. I would link to the Facebook group here in this post, but they want to avoid politics as of recent, and therefore, you must do the search on Facebook yourself for the group.
While at first I declined to be connected in any way as some of the leadership of the group was RMT, and one member even engaged in unfraternal actions akin to a notorious other RMT in the Archdiocese before the St Mikes Cathedral Basilica Mass of 2016, I am glad to say that the person and I have reconciled to an acquaintanceship, and the leadership of Juventutem Toronto is now in a charitable and Church – respecting position (despite possible opinions of individual participants,) I’ve even joined the Facebook group. Some members even came to the offerings for masses organised by SPGC. And gradually more youth are connecting with the chapters, showing that young adults with even occasional love for Traditionalism are becoming more of a force in the Church. Bishops better listen if the Church and parishes are to have a future in their respective (arch)dioceses.
Deep, darker concerns, both from RMT and the Church side. The vile poison still within …
What I have listed above is a good share of promise for the Latin Mass in Toronto. However, this progress is not as good as it should be, due to two factors: the hatred and bigotry of priests and established/employed laypeople in general (read: older pastors) against the TLM, and the Satanic poison of quasi – schismatic, Radical Traditionalism from the key players/leaders, which is now infecting the young adults in the movement to the point even a few are being imprudent and even calumious/slanderous against the Pope and the Church/it’s Communal Body of Christ (read: Non Latin Mass people).
Let’s turn our attention to the Church side first. Sadly, there are STILL priests and bishops, and jealous lay bodies in the Church who are sick with pride or racism, who don’t want ANYONE to either step on their territory, or worse, they only want certain people to conduct it, mainly themselves. Between my last two Masses with SPGC, sadly, I’ve become aware that there were MANY, SATANIC obstacles to holding the masses, some emanating from certain clergy themselves. Some offences were: territorialism, bullying/bossing certain choir members around, laying down conditions to hold Masses including (initially) including a stupid restriction of NOT using the required 6 candles for the Solemn Latin Mass, and diabolically Satanic racism exhibited by a clergy member. Thankfully, no specific offences have been inflicted upon the altar servers who assist in these Masses, but I will not be surprised in future if even WE are targeted unnecessarily. Me, at least it will be because of this blog of WITNESS, a blog trying to FIGHT the idiocies of the RMTs, but also to defend those who are doing the good works in the Latin Mass, and against those people who give to Satan’s temptations in doing so.
Further, Pope Francis is a double-edged sword for the movement. On the one hand, he IS rightfully calling out sick and evil examples of those doing the Devil`s work of gossip/slander in the Church, and rightfully points the finger at radicals and hypocrites, both Latin Mass side AND in the general Church, including wayward clergy. Unfortunately, Pope Francis is NOT pro-Latin Mass, though he will not expel it or kill Summorum Pontificum as long as Benedict Emeritus XVI is alive. Also, the Pope continues to anger the Latin Mass community, and even regular “orthodox” practicing Catholics with his comments, like the time he insulted large Catholic families with his Argentinian, poorly worded into English, sentiments about “breeding like rabbits.” As long as he continues to make these sentiments into poorly translated words in English with his off-the-cuff interviews and fervorinos/daily homilies, he only serves to embolden clergy in the Church to throw away Tradition and to spite the Latin Mass crowd. Thankfully, we soldier on in spite of those “soundbites” from a biased Liberal media, and the majority of the Church also does, their own thing (whether it may be living an ordinary Catholic life, or a lack there of.)
Now, what about the Latin Mass side of the Church in the Archdiocese? Unfortunately, the Archdiocese of Toronto continues to not have a direct hand in governance If they did, say, having a specific office that would monitor the actions and behaviours of leaders in the community including certain clergy members, as well as establishing standards in catechesis and training of leaders, much of the darkness still present would erode. But sadly, they do not. As a result, those leaders and groups of people STILL hold sway over the mindset of the group, now ever encroaching into the next generation of youth. That`s right, it`s not not old cranky men, some with blogs to fear … it`s the next generation that will stall growth and acceptance by the Archdiocese of the Latin Mass.
To illustrate generally, a couple of my serving acquaintances, whom are more heavily invested in the Latin Mass than I am (and in a way, I am thankful I am not,) now do not regard the regular Novus Ordo highly. One, who is one of my closest friend in the Faith, simply “tolerates“ the Latin Mass (my words,) and won`t sit close to the front in the Body of the Church unless out of necessity of the situation. He’ll go to the TLM every Sunday when he can do it. Another of my acquaintances in the movement, recently, on Instagram, made a comment akin to Vatican II, having nothing good come of it, with a picture of either the layman`s hand Missal or Breviary of the TLM. I politely, and to prevent him from making further errors that could be used against him by Church officers to excommunicate him via written evidence, fraternally corrected him to temper his language. No sooner than I did that, than an RMT friend of his interrupted using the classic “I demand evidence“ argument (a.k.a. You are wrong I am right, so be quiet, and I will not listen to you anyways) to shut me up. I simply declined to respond to such an individual on the Instagram post, an individual whom I will now describe as a more specific example of the spiritual corruption of young people in the movement, which will stop the spread of the TLM in the Archdiocese and the Church.
On one of the RMT blogs I monitor, to stay aware of other Latin Mass leaders/groups/activities in the Catholic “Blogosphere,” locally and globally, it seems a young man of 23 years old has become spiritually corrupted to the point he is now acting in the hateful mindset and behaviours of the older friends/role models he admires and affiliates with in the Latin Mass. I know who this young man is by name and picture, and was once in his physical presence at a recent event of personal note, but for the sake of things and to illustrate my recent concern for stunted growth in the Latin Mass, let’s use his pseudoname, “Irenaeus,” after a saint of the Church who fought against heresy.
On June 21st, on the blog of one of his “friends,” Irenaeus attacked Pope Francis, the Vatican, and the Communal Body of Christ in the Novus Ordo, in a guest post. His post was a reply to the recent survey by the Vatican office for the Synod 2018 for Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment. Irenaeus’ sentiment about not patronizing or coddling the youth as “special snowflakes” as a whole, I can agree with … though not in the angry and spiteful way the author means it. And what was this now non-Novus Ordo, Latin Mass attending “yute” (his term) suggesting as a solution to the youth crisis in the Church? Removing virtually EVERYTHING of the following that is being offered and replacing it with the Latin Mass and Gregorian Chant, plus rigid catechesis [he likely implied the type of the old Baltimore Catechism series.] He mentioned to remove specifically: all youth ministry including Lifeteen and EDGE(TM) youth ministries, the ALPHA program, youth bands, all modernist music. Basically, replace all major church ministry/programming with the Latin Mass and its chant only. While I may not agree with elements of the Novus Ordo church/ministry, I would NEVER write this hate screed against all the people who work hard, as Catholics in this modern 2017 secular world and broken Church, with a smug elitist attitude.
More so, this author, a couple of weeks ago, decided to use a public Catholic facebook group, “Toronto Catholic Youth,” to further the ideas of the RMTs he hangs around with. by posting something from the twitter feed of Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB, CEO of Salt and Light media based out of Toronto. Fr. Rosica made a possibly not well thought out joke about Laudato Si and Mary on Jun 8/17 on his Twitter feed. Irenaeus uses the twitter to create a posting on a group that is made of many Catholics of all “stripes“ (e.g. Novus Ordo and EF attending Catholics,) whereby he accuses Fr. Rosica of “… willful manipulation of Scripture … endorsement of a controversial document … sheer anacronism …“ and to instill fear that Fr. Rosica will be our future bishop (as in to hate the priest and that he will bring ruin to the Archdiocese of Toronto.) Rosica is hated by the majority of Toronto Traditionalists because he attacked one of the Latin Mass movement’s “heroes” in 2015 with threat of lawsuit, though via aggressive social media strategy, the suit was called of.
That said “hero” is the primary author of the blog that Irenaeus wrote his guest post on, and let’s face it, almost every 23 year old remaining a practicing Catholic would not care two pieces about Fr. Rosica or to take the time to make a hate and/or warning post against him. To have such disparaging attitude against the priest, it is clear that this 23 year old has been influenced by those senior friends around him. Worse, this misguided young man is a symptom of the poison of RMT-ism in the movement that is seeping into those who have no viable grudge or injury to then by members of the “institutional” Church (a.k.a. people, teachers, parents, priests) inflicted upon them in the name of the False spirit of Vatican II. To people like Irenaeus and his influencing friends/seniors, it’s not enough to establish the Latin Mass in the archdiocese, or in the Church. Through smear campaigns in social media, they must wage war against the establishment of the “Novus Ordo” Church up to, and against, the Pope Himself, and every soul must be converted to the only “One True CHURCH” of the Latin Mass, regardless if they don’t want to partake in the matter.
Am I insane to suggest such, and am just drinking the kool-aid of 70’s theology Pope Francis? No. It is not just Spadaro and Francis that are sounding the alarm on spiritually poisoned youth in the Church. Fr. Raymond de Sousa, a well known Canadian priest from the Archdiocese of Kingston, ON, who co-chairs the conservative (theologically/politically/culturally) journal called “Convivium,” and is frequently consulted by the National Post newspaper and the Catholic “CRUX” news website funded by the Knights of Columbus, also vocalizes this concern regarding youth who are liturgical purists (read: RMT type Latin Mass youth,) set to have the Church their way, or no way. He did so in this recent article for a British publication in print and online, the Catholic Herald, while discussing the validity of Cardinal Sarah`s recent proposition to fuse the EF and OF in some way, but also the rejection of most Latin Mass attendees/traditionally leaning Catholics of the proposal:
“…. It is unlikely that apologies are going to be forthcoming. Yet Fr. Zuhlsdorf’s point about wounds requiring time to heal is valid; he may be right that the EF community is too wounded just now for reconciliation. A challenge though is to ensure that wounds are not passed down to younger devotees of the EF who were not around to have their hearts riven.”
Clearly, with examples like Irenaeus, who are adopting the hurt, pains, hatred, and even dare I say it, ever approaching to self-schismatic thoughts, of those whom they associate with in the Latin Mass, we have ever the more to be careful of, and even fearful of, with regards to the progress of the Latin Mass. As the expression goes, “With friends like these, who needs enemies?” While the generation of bigoted and racist, EF-hating priests and laypeople, will die off eventually creating a larger window of potential growth, that growth will be stifled by the thorns and weeds of the garden, weeds mutated “genetically speaking“ from the once hopeful seeds of youth in the Latin Mass, weeds created by those older friends/mentors who have said grudges against the institutional Church for (possibly) valid reasons.
In short, YES, the Latin Mass is a slowly growing snowball that virtually, cannot be stopped as numerous (but not all) lay parents, teachers in Catholic schools, and clergy in the Church, FAIL to give their children the spiritual nourishment they require and to properly catechist them in the Faith. Merging and closing parishes in dioceses worldwide are proof of this failure. The Latin Mass WILL become a vital facet to the New Evangelization, and will become the spiritual solace for more and more people in the Church, as the desire for clarity, truth, and objective FAITH and MORALITY in an ever chaotic and crumbling world continues. I say this as both one who serves in the Latin Mass (at selective offerings not tainted fully by RMT-ism) but also as a soon-to-be 34 year old Catholic male aware of societal and Church politics.
However, there is STILL much to be accomplished on a grand and local scale, with the biggest, NEW hurdle, being the very “rigid” youth that Pope Francis and Fr. de Souza are warning us about. It is now the NEWER generation of Trads who just might end up ruining it, as this will form two generations of an army that mistakenly, will serve the Devil via their so-called, puritan, crusade of liturgical and theological purity at the expense of the whole body of the Church and “Trads” like myself who won’t drink their foul, spiritual poison.
Now I realize many of you will hate me, dismiss me, and even abuse the power of prayer to ask God to smite me (like how Protestants or non-Catholics say “I’ll pray for you” which really means I’ll pray you see things my way as you are wrong,) but if we do NOT fraternally correct one another, sharpen each other like iron against those practicing RMT-ism, and expel such examples of anti-Catholic leadership, the face of the Latin Mass movement will NOT improve in the Church, it will be the face of the “angry youth” movement, and guaranteed, it will NOT be taken seriously, and even sanctioned against by the hierarchy. More and more, public/Catholic media is ALSO noticing in the WRONG way these leaders, including the Pope. If this continues to happen, we will return to a full banning of the Latin Mass. Don’t think this can’t happen to at the local level. There are ways to get around SP, or to just ignore the Church law anyways.
Finally … don’t forget all those people in our lives, family, friends, co-workers … if we want to invite them in, just what will we be inviting them to? A church that hates it’s highest leaders and bashes its neighbours, that demonstrates a superiority complex disguised as “pure” religion? One that shuts itself off from the rest, with only one difference between its non-Catholic brothers in Protestant “churches,” valid sacraments? Most will NOT be called to that, and it will be a counter example to that order of Christ for us, sharing in his three-fold ministry of priest-prophet-king, to be “fishers of men.”
I will continue to work at my end in doing what I can to ensure that the future I described does not happen. I will continue to do that in spite of my youthful Latin Mass brothers and sisters who have drank the poison of RMT-ism, and I encourage ALL of you to do the same, in prayer, in time, in energy, in finances, and even in fraternal correction guided by TRUE CHARITY, HOPE, AND LOVE.
If we do all this, I am positive that despite institutional collapses in the Church, and other types of collapses in the world, we will triumph, and the Latin Mass will become, at least more highly accessible, and able to evangelize the Church at large, as we move onward from the 10th year anniversary from Summorum Pontificum. I’ll be doing my part in the Archdiocese of Toronto as an independent layman via altar serving …. what will you do? Will you become spiritually sour like a lemon? Or will you add sugar to the mix and create lemonade? The choice is yours. Sin … or Salvation?
Pax Tibi Christi, Julian Barkin.