Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


Re: Summorum Pontificum and its Implementation

February 1st, 2011, Promulgated by Gen

The Apostolic Nuncio to the Antilles Islands, Archbishop Thomas E. Gullickson, delivered a homily this past weekend which is relevant for the Church universal, but which is even more relevant to those of us who are in dioceses whose ordinaries are not “living in the spirit of the Motu Proprio.” Below are his comments with my commentary:

Why, even three years after the issuance of Summorum Pontificum (just to name one example), are well-meaning lay folk still treated with such great disdain by no less than bishops, bishops in communion (of heart, soul, mind and strength?) with the Successor of St. Peter when they ask for Mass in Latin? (Did you hear that? I think it was Bishop Clark dropping his crozier in stunned disbelief.) Is this anything other than blind hypocrisy (the plank!)? You tolerate no small amount of bad taste, bad music and caprice, while begrudging some few a port in the storm of liturgical abuse which seems not to want to subside? (It seems as if Archbishop Gullickson is keenly aware of the disobedience of certain bishops across the world. Just think – in some places, Catholics have bishops who actually embrace zealous and passion-filled orthodoxy, and urge their faithful to do the same. Would that Rochester could claim this phenomenon.) Can we be after His own Heart and not just claim to be members of Christ’s Body while still acting so at odds with the example set by the Holy One of God, meek and humble of heart? Such prelates are at counter or cross purposes to the sense in which the Church wants to go (and yet we’re the ones who are called “bitter reactionaries); they are ignoring what the Spirit is saying to the Churches and doing so with a backhand to some who are branded common and contemptible, but certainly not in the eyes of Christ… Let me say it more clearly! My issue is with the contempt shown for an outstretched hand, contempt such as would not be shown toward someone asking for some other benefit.

When the Holy Father speaks of his will to see these two forms of the Roman Rite (ordinary and extraordinary) enrich each other, when he and others express eagerness for a recovery of the sense of the sacred in our churches and in how we worship, I am convinced that he has indicated the true nature of the rupture which has indeed occurred and needs to be mended or healed. You would think that those in communion with the Pope would seek to understand him and embrace his point of view. There is too much room for caprice and hence the need to reform contemporary Catholic worship. This is evidenced time and again, by way of one example, in the sense of helplessness many priests experience when confronted by musical groups moving into church with inappropriate repertoires, not to mention the dance and puppet troupes which should have been banished long ago. If a bishop does not want to discipline at least he can respect and foster those seeking good order. (I would write something more, but this fellow has said it all and said it perfectly.)

People sometimes accuse Cleansing Fire of judging the Bishop of Rochester, some of his priests, nuns, lay ministers, etc. No. We judge their actions. God alone judges souls. However, as the “Spirit of Vatican II” becomes clarified and implemented by good and holy men and women, we see that reality is standing in judgment of Bishop Clark. And guess what, folks – reality is Truth.

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