Saturday, September 16, 2017

Father Zuhlsdorf Leads Traditionalists In The Art of Dissembling

There is a conference in Rome celebrating the tenth anniversary of Summorum Pontificum from September 14 to September 17. On February 11, 2017, the group which organized this pilgrimage, Coetus Internationalis Summorum Pontificum, described the purpose for this conference as follows:
At the press conference, it was confirmed that, on Thursday, 14 September 2017, there will be a colloquium on the tenth anniversary of the motu proprio at the Pontifical University of Angelicum, during which Archbishop [Guido] Pozzo, among others (their names will be communicated over the coming months), will take stock of these ten years of renewal of the traditional liturgy in the Church.
So they are taking "stock of these ten years of renewal of the traditional liturgy."  But was "renewal of the traditional liturgy" the reason for Summorum Pontificum?  This is certainly not the reason given in the Motu Proprio, which plainly says that, despite the Second Vatican Council's desire "that the respect and reverence due to divine worship should be renewed and adapted to the needs of our time", some in the Church were still holding on to the Traditional Latin Mass.  Pope Benedict felt that since the TLM was and always will be holy, there was no reason to withhold this Mass from them.

It was Pope Benedict's wish that by giving free access to the TLM to those who desired it, they would be more strongly united to the rest of the Church:
In more recent times, the Second Vatican Council expressed the desire that the respect and reverence due to divine worship should be renewed and adapted to the needs of our time. In response to this desire, our predecessor Pope Paul VI in 1970 approved for the Latin Church revised and in part renewed liturgical books; translated into various languages throughout the world, these were willingly received by the bishops as well as by priests and the lay faithful. Pope John Paul II approved the third typical edition of the Roman Missal. In this way the Popes sought to ensure that “this liturgical edifice, so to speak ... reappears in new splendour in its dignity and harmony.”

In some regions, however, not a few of the faithful continued to be attached with such love and affection to the earlier liturgical forms which had deeply shaped their culture and spirit, that in 1984 Pope John Paul II, concerned for their pastoral care, through the special Indult Quattuor Abhinc Annos issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship, granted the faculty of using the Roman Missal published in 1962 by Blessed John XXIII. Again in 1988, John Paul II, with the Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei, exhorted bishops to make broad and generous use of this faculty on behalf of all the faithful who sought it.

Given the continued requests of these members of the faithful, long deliberated upon by our predecessor John Paul II, and having listened to the views expressed by the Cardinals present at the Consistory of 23 March 2006, upon mature consideration, having invoked the Holy Spirit and with trust in God’s help, by this Apostolic Letter we decree the following:
As I have quoted over and over again, in his letter accompanying the Motu Proprio Pope Benedict XVI explicitly stated his reason for the Motu Proprio as follows:
I now come to the positive reason which motivated my decision to issue this Motu Proprio updating that of 1988. It is a matter of coming to an interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church.

So it is quite obvious that Pope Benedict was not interested in a "renewal" of the TLM as such, as stated by those organizing the 2017 SP conference.  His Holiness' goal was to unite the Church.  It was a lofty goal.

However, SP has resulted not in unity, but in even more divisiveness. Traditionalists are not and have never been interested in "unity."  They believe that the TLM is the only valid Mass, and their goal is the abolition of what they call the "Novus Ordo", which they consider insipid and even heretical. They have taken Summorum Pontificum and used it as a weapon to bludgeon everyone whom they view as an enemy.

Be assured that when traditionalists celebrate Summorum Pontificum, they are not celebrating unity in the Church.  In fact, they are celebrating what they consider to be their Emancipation Proclamation, as Father Z stated in a recent post:
I called it the “Emancipation Proclamation”, and have dubbed it a foundation block of his [Pope Benedict's] “Marshall Plan” for the revitalization of our Catholic identity and a bulwark against the dictatorship of relativism.
Of course, a reading of Summorum Pontificum reveals no such "Marshall Plan for the revitalization of our Catholic identity and a bulwark against the dictatorship of relativism." It was, as stated above, "a matter of coming to an interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church." It is no accident that Father Z is using militant terms. Traditionalists believe that SP gives them the right to rebel against the rest of the Church.

Traditionalists get very angry when people call them out on their real motives.  This was quite apparent from a post by Father Zuhlsdorf attacking an Associated Press article regarding the SP conference.  Father Z was upset because the author of the AP article reported that Pope Francis had been pretty much ignored.  Father Z described the article as "ludicrous and incomplete."  On the contrary, I think this would be a much fairer assessment of his post, as  I will show.

Interestingly, Father Z never gives a direct link to the article.  He shows only a picture of the article in an actual newspaper. and even then, the newspaper is bent making it somewhat difficult to read.  This is despite the fact that the article itself has been reprinted in countless websites across the Internet and could easily be linked to.  HERE is just one link.

For the reader's convenience, the paragraphs of the article visible in Father Z's picture are as follows::
Fans of the old Latin Mass descended on Rome on Thursday for their annual pilgrimage facing indifference to their cause, if not outright resistance, from none other than Pope Francis.
Ten years after Pope Benedict XVI passed a law allowing greater use of the Latin Mass, Francis seems to be doing everything possible to roll that back or simply pretend it never happened.

In recent weeks, he has affirmed with “magisterial authority” that the reforms of the 1960s allowing for Mass to be celebrated in the vernacular rather than Latin were “irreversible.” More recently, he gave local bishops’ conferences authority to oversee those translations, rather than the Vatican.

The moves underscored that the age-old liturgy wars in the Catholic Church are very much alive and provide a microcosm of the battle lines that have been drawn between conservative, traditionalist Catholics and Francis ever since he declined to wear the traditional, ermine-trimmed red mozzetta cape for his first public appearance as pontiff in 2013.
The indifference seems reciprocal.
 At a conference Thursday marking the 10th anniversary of Benedict’s decree liberalizing use of the Latin Mass, the meeting organizer, Father Vincenzo Nuara, didn’t even mention Francis in his opening remarks. The current pope was mentioned in passing by the second speaker, and ignored entirely by the third.
It seems that Father Z would like us to believe that this is the entirety of the article.  However, there is actually much more to the article which I will quote.

Father Z's full report on the article is three paragraphs:
First, I am pretty sure she’s wrong about Pope Francis being “ignored” by the first speakers. (I was there.) She may have not been entirely cognizant of the theme of the conference.
Second, she also seems not to be aware that there was an afternoon session with other speakers, such as Card. Sarah. Note that the photo caption even misspells Card. Sarah’s name. So much for anything accurate or impartial from AP/Winfield.
The next time you see something from her about anything having to do with the Catholic Church, yawn and turn the page.
Father Z then immediately diverts our attention to an article by John Allen of Crux magazine. Ironically, Crux magazine is one of the many websites that reprinted the AP article, which you can read HERE.

Father Z's first complaint about the AP article is that "she’s wrong about Pope Francis being 'ignored' by the first speakers. (I was there.) She may have not been entirely cognizant of the theme of the conference."  Since Father Z was at the conference and heard these speakers, then why doesn't he give us quotes to prove that Pope Francis was not ignored?  Are we to believe him just because he, the great Father Z, says so?

As can even be seen in the picture posted by Father Z, the article actually states this:
At a conference Thursday marking the 10th anniversary of Benedict’s decree liberalizing use of the Latin Mass, the meeting organizer, Father Vincenzo Nuara, didn’t even mention Francis in his opening remarks. The current pope was mentioned in passing by the second speaker, and ignored entirely by the third.
Please note that the author does state that Pope Francis was mentioned by the second speaker, directly contradicting Father Z's accusation that Pope Francis was ignored by the first speakers, even if the only reference was a passing one.   Concerning Father Z's statement that the author of the article may not have been "entirely cognizant" of the conference's theme, I would like to know how the theme of any Catholic conference would lead to ignoring the Holy Father.  And even more importantly, the conference is in Rome, right next to the Vatican.  Kind of hard to ignore that elephant in the room, unless of course you consider the Holy Father to be an enemy.

Father Z is also upset that the author of the AP article did not mention the afternoon speakers.  He is further upset that the caption of the photo misspells Cardinal Sarah's name.  This, of course, has nothing to do with the veracity of the article.  Father Z should be aware the author of an article has no input regarding the caption of a picture.  This was just another untruthful way to cast aspersions on the AP article.

Father Z then tells us that because of these two reasons, we should therefore ignore anything coming from Nicole Winfield, the author of the article.

As stated, Father Z showed only a small portion of the AP article in the picture accompanying his post.  He left out more than half of the article which contains some very interesting information.

The first paragraph omitted by Father Z contains a description of some of the leading prelates attending the conference:
The front-row participants honoring retired pope Benedict and his 2007 decree were also telling: Cardinal Raymond Burke, a leading critic of the current pope whom Francis removed as the Vatican’s supreme court judge in 2014; Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, recently axed by Francis as the Vatican’s doctrine chief, and Cardinal Robert Sarah, appointed by Francis as head of the Vatican’s liturgy office but effectively sidelined by his deputy.
In fact, it was Sarah’s deputy, Archbishop Arthur Roche, who signed the explanatory note to Francis’s new law allowing bishops’ conferences, rather than Sarah’s office, to have final say on Mass translations.
The information concerning these prelates is clearly an inconvenient truth which Father Z does not want to bring to light.

The article then goes on to give a quote from Archbishop Guido Pozzo (incorrectly given the title of Msgr. in the article) telling us that ideology does not play a part in promoting the Latin Mass:
Despite the sense of belonging to a previous era, the conference was nevertheless upbeat about the future of the Latin Mass even under a pope who has openly questioned why any young person would seek out the old rite and disparaged traditionalists as rigid and insecure naval-gazers.
Monsignor Guido Pozzo, in charge of negotiations with breakaway traditionalist groups, gave encouraging statistics about the increase in the number of Latin Masses being celebrated each Sunday around the world, with notable increases in the U.S., France, and elsewhere in western Europe.
“The old liturgy must not be interpreted as a threat to the unity of church, but rather a gift,” he said. He called for it to continue to be spread “without ideological interference from any part.”
Traditionalists such as Father Z don't like this statement.  They don't give a flying fig about unity.  They are all about ideology.  This statement by Archbishop Guido does not represent their true position in any way, shape or form.

Next, the article gives us a summary of the program for the conference, containing another very inconvenient truth:
The program for the 10-year anniversary pilgrimage included vespers celebrated by Benedict’s longtime secretary, Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, a religious procession led through the streets of Rome, and multiple Masses. Conspicuously absent from the four-day program was an audience with Francis.
The article then goes on to give a quote from Pope Francis which traditionalists would interpret as a declaration of war.  Pope Francis dashes their dreams and hopes that the TLM will become the one and only form of the Roman Rite:
The current pope, though, let his thoughts be known when he delivered a recent speech to an Italian liturgical society. He said there was no need to rethink the decisions that led to the liturgy reforms from the Second Vatican Council, the 1962-65 meetings that modernized the Catholic Church.
“We can affirm with security and magisterial authority that the liturgical reforms are irreversible,” he said.
However, one of the organizers of the conference does not interpret the Holy Father's words as negative:
[Fr. Vincenzo] Nuara, the conference organizer, denied sensing any resistance to traditionalists from Francis, saying in an interview that the current pope “is a respectful man, so he recognizes all the good that the old liturgy has given the church.
“We are also absolutely respectful of Pope Francis,” he added.
I'm afraid this statement just does not comport with reality.  Look at any traditionalist blog, and you will see the true reality of the "respect" shown by traditionalists to Pope Francis.  This statement by Father Nuara is completely divorced from the truth.

As stated, after Father Z summarily dismissed the AP article with basically a wave of the hand, he then gives us an article by John Allen of Crux. Father Z does not give us the title of John Allen's article, which is "Despite wing-clipping, Sarah not going quiet in defense of tradition." Hmm. I wonder why Father Z did not want to use the title. However, Father Z does admit that "His story is not what I would have written, but it is not unfair."

Father Z does not quote the first paragraph of this article:
Although Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea arguably just had his wings clipped, as Pope Francis recently transferred a share of his Vatican department's control over translating liturgical texts to local bishops, a major address he gave on Thursday suggests that if anyone expects Sarah to go quiet, they can forget it -- and equally, if anyone expects him to go to war against the boss, they can forget that too.
This is exactly as reported in the AP article, a very inconvenient truth for Father Z.

Father Z also left out this inconvenient paragraph:
Sarah on Thursday came out firing on all cylinders, insisting that Catholic worship is not the place for “creativity and adaptation” because “it has already been adapted,” making it the place where “past, present and future meet in an instant.” He plugged the ad orientem posture at Mass, and issued both a stirring defense of young adepts of the Latin Mass and a strong call to brother bishops to “make space” for them.
Father Z would certainly have no problems with the critiques made by Cardinal Sarah.  However, the phrase "came out firing on all cylinders" makes it too obvious that there is a war going between traditionalists and the rest of the Church.

Father Z does quote the following paragraph:
Yet equally, if anyone expected Sarah to go to war against his boss, subtly or not-so-subtly suggesting Francis is the problem - as some in the crowd gathered on Thursday have publicly argued he is - they can forget that too.
Father Z wants us to read this as proof that traditionalists are not in conflict with Pope Francis. Hopefully it is true that Cardinal Sarah is not at war with the Holy Father, but as John Allen tells us, that may not be true for others who were there.

Father Z also includes this paragraph in an attempt to bolster his argument that traditionalists are not at war with the Vatican:
In other words, the take-away seemed to be that Sarah plans to remain precisely what he’s been up to this point - a hero in some ways to the more traditionalist wing of the Church, which gave him loud and sustained applause on Thursday, but not the leader of the in-house opposition.
However, the good Father omits this paragraph:
(As a footnote, one figure some have cast in that role [in-house opposition], American Cardinal Raymond Burke, one of the four cardinals who submitted a list of questions, or dubia, to Francis about his document Amoris Laetitia, was in the front row at Thursday’s event.)
Yet another inconvenient truth for Father Z and the traditionalists, as this goes against Father Z's narrative that there is no war between traditionalists and the rest of the Church.

Father Z also omitted, and apparently did not like, this reference to the Second Vatican Council:
Sarah suggested that if the Church today finds itself not always sufficiently “zealous” about its mission, liturgy overly shaped by modern tastes and fashions could be one of the causes. He also stated that “much remains to be accomplished for a complete and correct application” of the vision of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) on sacred liturgy.
No, traditionalists definitely don't like anything that supports Vatican II, which they consider the root of all evils.

The omissions by Father Z from Cardinal Sarah's talk are much more telling than what he included. The following paragraphs were omitted by Father Z:
Sarah took up the controversial expression “reform of the reform,” sometimes used to describe Benedict’s decision to normalize access to the older Latin Mass and associated by critics with an effort to roll back the reforms launched by Vatican II.
Sarah said he prefers to talk about a “positive enrichment” of both forms through wider contact between the two, suggesting greater space for silence is something the new Mass could learn from the old - while adding that he was merely speaking of possibilities, and that liturgical changes should not be “forced without study and adequate preparation and formation.”
The Guinean cardinal also referred to an interview he gave in July, speculating about a possible future reconciliation” between the two forms. Some took it to mean his goal is to impose one form on everyone, he said, but insisted that’s “absolutely foreign to my intentions.”
The goal of Father Z and all hard core traditionalists is to completely eliminate the Ordinary Form of the Mass and impose the Extraordinary Form on the entire church. Cardinal Sarah is making it plain that he is not a part of this movement. Another inconvenient truth for Father Z and the traditionalists.

John Allen's article also included remarks from Cardinal Sarah that traditionalists should stop calling themselves by this title and stop allowing others to refer to them as "traditionalists", which Father Z agreed to with the caveat "However, “traditional” or “traditionalist” (like liberal and conservative) are handy shorthand."

[Cardinal Sarah] told the group that it should not become “enclosed or withdrawn into a ghetto, which an attitude of defensiveness dominates, and suffocates your witness to the world of today to which you are sent.
“Ten years later,” he said, referring to the Summorum Pontificum anniversary, “If we haven’t broken the chains of the traditionalist ghetto yet, do it today!”
Father Z actually agreed with this, but as one who was deeply involved in the traditionalist movement, I can tell you that traditionalists do not blame themselves for the ghettos they live in. They feel they were pushed where they are because they are right and everyone is wrong, as can be seen in a comment left on Father Z's blog.  You can see the cry of victim and proclamation of self righteousness in the comments left on Father Z's post:
servulus indignus Christi says:15 September 2017 at 11:07 AM
Because the endeavor to fully adhere to Tradition in relation BOTH to dogma and liturgical praxis is, quite sadly, a distinctive element for the faithful (not, again, a mere cover for those seeking silence or ad orientem) ‘traditionalist’ is therefore a valid term. Why? Because the vast majority, knowingly or unknowingly, of the faithful do not adhere to those Traditions (they’ve been robbed of it!). Restoring it to them in a universal way is the goal for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.
If we are a ghetto, it is not because we made ourselves so but because of the diffidence and often ignorance of so much of the hierarchy. Indeed we are at a point with so many hierarchs that they simply don’t know what they don’t know.
Here is another comment in which traditionlists view themselves as victims:
Kathleen10 says:15 September 2017 at 4:08 PM
We are very much like Israel, always trying to get our hostile neighbors to admit we have a right to merely survive. We seem always to argue from a position of relative weakness, and we beg for crumbs now. Thus far, there is no one who defends the cause from a position of vigor and strength, with pointedly direct words and unwavering determination! I scan the horizon for that person, but they are not here yet. One has to feel though, that in God’s good time, help will arrive.
We are so beyond labels, I don’t care what anybody calls us. We are here, and one way or another, this Catholic faith will continue, whether or not these mere men want it to.
And here is a comment that summarizes the true feelings of every good Traditionalist:
Tom A. says:16 September 2017 at 6:28 PM
Why are there labels such as “traditional” or “liberal” or “conservative?” Is it purely worship style such as the difference between the Roman Rite and the Eastern Rites? Or is is more than that? I think it is much more. Traditionalist believe V2 introduced a new religion. Abp Lefebrve and the SSPX, till this day, have not recieved an adequate response from Rome as to how V2 can be in compliance to Tradition. Its the elephant in the room no one wants to address. There [sic] conciliar church has introduced a new religion that is incompatible with Tradition. I totally disagree with Cdl Sarah. I must identify as a Traditional Catholic in order to proclaim that I do not accept V2 errors. I have searched the internet far and wide to find an explanation as to how V2 complies to Tradition. It simply doesnt. The conciliar church of today doesnt even bother trying to answer the concerns of Abp Lefebrve.
Sigh. How do we deal with people who believe they are the only true Catholics and everyone else is headed to hell? They read Summorum Pontificum, and refuse to see the true motivation behind it. They have convinced themselves it is all about making the Traditional Latin Mass the only form of the Mass. They are convinced it is all about getting rid of the Second Vatican Council. They want to freeze time to pre 1962, telling themselves that there never was and never could be a better time in the Church.

The traditionalists are at war with the Church. The prelates - the priests and bishops - who are involved in the traditionalist movement try to make the world think that they are in union with the rest of the Church, but lay traditionalists give away this pretense every time.  This war has a chance of ending only when they decide to to stop dissembling and be truthful about their beliefs.  But they will never end their war as long as they keep lying to themselves and everyone else.


  1. Catholic in Brooklyn, do you think a certain Trey Trainor should be confirmed for a seat on the Federal Election Commission? To find out who Mr. Trainor is, hold your nose and check out the following URL:

  2. SEPTEMBER 25, 2017

    There is a mistake in Vatican Council II : two popes need to be shown that in principle hypothetical cases are not exceptions to EENS

    SEPTEMBER 24, 2017

    Two popes need to correct the objective error in salvation theology which cannot be the teaching of the Holy Spirit and so is not magisterial


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