Sunday, November 13, 2016

“And I ask myself: Why so much rigidity?"

So here's the deal Papst.

This is probably the first time the Holy Father has me a bit nonplussed.

Perhaps there is more in the book that explains Pope Francis' reasoning in saying that about those young people who prefer the Extraordinary Form of Mass, as well as a more careful interpretation of Catholic teaching.
Pope Francis told Father Spadaro he wonders why some young people, who were not raised with the old Latin Mass, nevertheless prefer it. 
“And I ask myself: Why so much rigidity? Dig, dig, this rigidity always hides something, insecurity or even something else. Rigidity is defensive. True love is not rigid.” - Crux
There is nothing wrong with the Pope wondering about the attraction to the traditional Mass, but I sort of expected he would understand it more than he does.  The Holy Father expressed  suspicion over what motivates them.  Perhaps it stems from his experience in Argentina.  The 'old' Church was pretty much always linked to right wing politics and corruption, and perhaps that colors his perception.

Health Class for SSPX high school students.

It makes me wonder if the Holy Father thought of a special Year of Mercy outreach to young (and old) people attached to the Extraordinary Form - I realize the Holy See has granted Jurisdiction to SSPX Priests to hear Confessions during the Jubilee Year - but I haven't heard of any special celebration for Traditionalists.

That said, I hope those close to the Holy Father can help him understand this better.

I have doubts.

The young people are not the ones hiding something.

The younger people, and many of the older ones who prefer the Extraordinary Form of Mass are far better Catholics than myself.  I have known a few over the years who maybe had some issues, but the majority of those I know are wonderful people.  Deeply religious yet well integrated in contemporary society.  Some may 'fear' the signs of the times, yet their concerns/fears are not at all irrational.  In fact, many of the much younger EF traditional Catholics I know exude charity and love.  They are far from being paranoid/fear-full or insecure in their state in life.

I know families who are model Catholics, healthy, devout, successful, providing for their children, contributing to the Church and charity - faithful and filled with joy.  Solid in their faith, they know the faith, they know Catholic teaching - some are highly educated in theology and philosophy which informs their life and work in ordinary life.  If there is any 'defensiveness' on their part, it is their willingness to defend the faith and witness to the Gospel.

They are hiding nothing - their life, their faith, their devotion is held up for all to see.  I sincerely believe they may indeed be the "Heart of the Church" in our times.

Some may have issues, as I've noted, but so do many mainstream Catholics and so-called 'progressives'.  Ironically, it is probably  safe to assume that those who prefer the Traditional Rite do so because they were tired of the novelty and circus atmosphere present in the Ordinary Form of things in the Church.

I'm not criticizing the Holy Father, but I hope someone will help him understand and appreciate the faithful witness of Traditionalist Roman Catholics, especially the youth and young families who are faithful to the Church and the Holy Father and the bishops and priests in communion with him.

So Georg - Archbishop Gänswein - could you and Pope Benedict help the Holy Father understand that these people aren't hiding anything - and that some can't be that rigid if they accept me as their friend.

Big hug to Pope Francis and Georg and Benedict.  Beers for everyone.

Trads rock!


  1. The topic of the Latin Mass vs the NO Mass has come up recently in the Life in the Spirit seminars I just attended and also in my Divine Mercy consecration group. The older ladies spoke of how rigid the Church was, how much focus was put on sin and justice and weekly confession (even when no mortal sin needed to be confessed). They were all thrilled with the new Mass and the new focus on the love of God. My mom also used to say how there was so much emphasis on doom and gloom - as a child in the early '50s she was utterly convinced she was going straight to hell if meat so much as touched her lips. She felt there was a lot of superstition attached to the faith as well (pray a certain novena and you will automatically get what you prayed for, etc.) So maybe that's what the Pope is reacting to - the seeming lack of mercy and love in how the Church conducted herself.

    As someone born in the mid '60s I did not experience the Latin Mass until 2008. I love the gravity and dignity (and fabulous music!) that I experienced there. At the same time I love that I can also worship God as a budding charismatic (I know! Who knew?!) That's what is so beautiful about our church - it's truly universal.

    1. I know what the older ladies are talking about from experience - so you are right, the Holy Father could be talking about that.

      Really, in the old days, rubrics were drilled into you and altar boys had to be precise about everything. Decorum was emphasized. Silence imposed - I recall after Mass everyone kneeling in thanksgiving for what seemed an eternity but was simply a few minutes at most. So everything was regulated - which is why breaking out in laughter over something was so funny - the harder you tried to stop the more you laughed. Girls had to have their heads covered. We had to hold our hands together, straight up, kneeling straight - it was rigid. I don't think it's quite like that now.

      I do have friends who go to the EF and they are wonderful, normal people. Of course I haven't seen them in years so by now they may be in a zombie like trance and no longer speak to me.

      Anyway - I hope the Pope figures it out - I just thought the they must be hiding something was funny.

      I like Charismatics too, you know. I still speak in tongues when I talk to my cat. Kidding!

    2. I think everything was rigid and authoritarian in the pre-VatII days. People knew how to behave even if they didn't understand why. There was respect for higher-ups - even if it wasn't deserved. Then they threw the baby out with the bathwater and went overboard with novelty and nonsense. What I see happening in my parish is that the pendulum is swinging back to the middle area. And I have to say we're more welcoming than the folks at the Latin Mass.

  2. "There is nothing wrong with the Pope wondering about the attraction to the traditional Mass, but I sort of expected he would understand it more than he does."

    Bar bouncer Bergoglio understand sth? Really?

    1. I like that he was a bar bouncer in his youth ... made him more open to folks who are otherwise ignored by the more religious.

    2. Or more routined in pushing persons off he thinks are awkward?


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