Pope Francis Strikes At Summorum Pontificum

Pope Francis Strikes At Summorum Pontificum

For the First Time, Francis Contradicts Benedict

He has touched upon the sore spot of the Mass in the ancient rite. Ratzinger permitted its celebration for all. Bergoglio has prohibited it for one religious order that favored it.

“…the Holy Father Francis has directed that every religious of the congregation of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate is required to celebrate the liturgy according to the ordinary rite and that, if the occasion should arise, the use of the extraordinary form (Vetus Ordo) must be explicitly authorized by the competent authorities, for every religious and/or community that makes the request.”

The astonishment stems from the fact that what is decreed contradicts the dispositions given by Benedict XVI, which for the celebration of the Mass in the ancient rite “sine populo” demand no previous request for authorization whatsoever:

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Is this a huge surprise or, given his silence on the Mass to date, a case of our worst fears realised?

This pontiff has preached about Hell and appears to have a devotion to Our Lady. So, why is he disappointing us so much?

Comments (81)

  • Athanasius

    A first class article by Gerald, first class!

    Now we need to see the faithful prelates and priests of the Church finally stand up and be counted. They need to come out into the open and say: No, we will tolerate these apostate Modernists no longer. These destroyers of the Faith at the highest levels of the Church must be identified and rooted out.

    August 4, 2013 at 5:58 pm
  • Leo

    “It is absurd, and a detestable shame, that we should suffer those traditions to be changed which we have received from the fathers of old.” – Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, II-I, Q. 97, Art. 2, citing The Decretals (Dist. Xii, 5)

    Gerald Warner’s superb article should be framed and hung on the walls of episcopal offices throughout the world. What a welcome relief to read such wise words in the secular press, too.

    We have of course been presented, in recent days with some, frankly, very lame and irrational defences of this lamentable action against the Mass of All Time and the Franciscans of the Immaculate. No dissent, disagreement or problem of any description is going to be solved by restricting, hindering or suppressing the Mass of All Time. The very idea is illogical and indefensible.

    I was hoping there might be typing errors in this edict. Put simply, the wrong Mass has been suppressed. Bugnini’s fabrication is the one that has to be banned, universally and permanently, if any meaningful restoration in the Church is to get underway.

    Who’s to say that the words of Evelyn Waugh in his letter to Cardinal Heenan on 3 January 1965, wont in the future, resonate with many amongst the Franciscans of the Immaculate.

    “Every attendance at Mass leaves me without comfort or edification. I shall never, pray God, apostatize but church-going is now a bitter trial.”

    Pope Francis is the successor of Peter, the Vicar of Christ, the Supreme Pontiff, and holds the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. We know with absolute certainty that the Holy Ghost will not allow any Pope to exercise his Extraordinary Magisterium in defining error as infallible doctrine.

    That said, there is no denying the ever increasing likelihood, if not virtual certainty, that Conciliar kenosis i.e. progressivist inspired auto destruction will be turbo boosted during this papacy. The subject of this thread is just one example, of many, of the justifications for unease.

    Actions such as the subject of this thread, are a deplorable thing. That is only to state the obvious. Nevertheless it’s not inconceivable that good will come of this. The more the modernist madness wreaks havoc in the Church, the more Catholics faithful and well-informed will be faced with a crisis of conscience, and forced to do a bit of studying on the issue of true obedience versus servility. I would hazard a prediction that before long, more and more of the dwindling band of orthodox Catholics are going to be compelled to make their way to Tradition.

    Right now, many are happy to march in the victory parade and enjoy the fruits of the battle for Tradition, while leaving the Society to do the hard fighting. How many Catholics are actually prepared to do more than stand and look on from afar?

    How many bishops will stand up and be counted in order to protect the true Mass, or speak out publicly and clearly against false ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue that promote nothing but indifferentism and apostasy? How many bishops are willing to proclaim the Social Kingship of Christ and the rights of His Church in unequivocal terms? How many Bishops, apart from those of the Society, have done so over the last twenty five years? Answers on a postcard (a very small postcard should do).

    Here’s more from Evelyn Waugh’s correspondence to Cardinal Heenan, this time from a letter dated 14 January 1966:

    “I cannot hope that either of us will live to see its (Vatican II’s) multitude of ills put right. The Church has endured and survived many dark periods. It is our misfortune to live in one of them.
    Please pray for my perseverance and for that of the many English Catholics who are distressed and bewildered by the changes imposed on them.”

    If alive today, I doubt that the great wordsmith would be able to fully express the depths of his sentiments and those of many others.

    It is becoming ever clearer, with each passing week, that the Society have a providential role in the Church. Some day that will be universally recognised. In the meantime, let no one doubt that Our Lord is in the back of the boat, and will calm the storm exactly when He chooses to.

    The issue of obedience and servility is a tricky subject for faithful Catholics. No doubt. Regulars here don’t need to be reminded. I’m sure the following words of Saint Robert Bellarmine have been posted on this blog before. “Destroy” is a very strong word of course, and hopefully, by the grace of God, the worst fears of Catholics who hold to the Faith as practised by “everyone, always and everywhere” before the Council will not be realised. That said, with all due respect to Pope Francis, the Vicar of Christ, these words might just be getting a wider distribution in the months and years to come. Papolatrists have had their cards marked.

    “Just as it is licit to resist the Pontiff who aggresses the body, it is also licit to resist the one who aggresses the souls or who disturbs civil order, or above all, who attempts to destroy the Church. I say that it is licit to resist him by not doing what he orders and preventing his will from being executed; it is not licit, however, to judge, punish or depose him, since these are acts proper to a superior.” (De Romano Pontifice, lib. Il, chap. 29, in Opera Omnia, vol. I, p.418)

    The great Doctor of the Church and patron saint of catechists wasn’t alone. Here’s the renowned sixteenth century Dominican theologian and philosopher, Francisco de Vitoria:

    “…If he (the Pope) wanted to destroy the Church or the like, he should not be permitted to act in that fashion, but one would be obliged to resist him. The reason for this is that he does not have the power to destroy; therefore, if there is evidence that he is doing it, it is licit to resist him. The result of all this is that if the Pope destroys the Church by his orders and acts, he can be resisted and the execution of his mandates prevented…We do not affirm…that someone could have competence to judge the Pope or have authority over him, but…it is licit to defend oneself. Indeed, anyone has the right to resist an unjust act, to try to prevent it and to defend himself.” (Obras de Francisco de Vitoria, pp. 486-487)

    August 5, 2013 at 8:46 am
    • crofterlady

      Talking about “obedience and servility” being a tricky subject, I’ve just finished reading a conference given by Arch. Lefebvre to priests during the annual retreat in 1988. It is in the latest issue of Mater Dei and it is an excellent read. It sets out the case perfectly.

      August 5, 2013 at 2:16 pm
  • editor


    “The more the modernist madness wreaks havoc in the Church, the more Catholics faithful and well-informed will be faced with a crisis of conscience, and forced to do a bit of studying on the issue of true obedience versus servility. I would hazard a prediction that before long, more and more of the dwindling band of orthodox Catholics are going to be compelled to make their way to Tradition.”

    More than one person has said this to me recently – I hope it proves to be true, and quickly. Right now, there are still too many people trying to keep a foot in both camps and it just isn’t possible.

    A terrific post – many thanks, especially for quoting from the correspondence between Evelyn Waugh and Cardinal Heenan – one of my favourite books. I keep meaning to feature it in the newsletter but get overtaken with events. Maybe next time!

    August 5, 2013 at 8:57 am
  • Athanasius


    I second editor’s applause of your post, which is excellent. I think this time around the Modernist destroyers of the Church are in for a good hiding, we are no longer living in the 1970s!

    The Traditional Mass and practices of the Church have spread far and wide in recent years, so any attempt on the part of a clique of old hippies in Rome and elsewhere to deprive the faithful once more of their patrimony will result, I believe, in a huge outcry. The days of the Conciliar revolution are well and truly over.

    August 5, 2013 at 11:01 am
    • crofterlady

      Athanasius, I couldn’t agree more. It seems that our pastors are fiddling whist Rome burns. Just look at the latest ecumania about to take place in Aberdeen. Check out page 2:


      August 5, 2013 at 1:20 pm
  • Athanasius


    Horrific! It’s just heresy, plain and simple. The Popes before Vatican II forbade any joint prayer gatherings with non-Catholics. Their magisterial teaching is very clear that such ventures are a betrayal of divine truth. I really don’t know how these bishops are going to face Our Lord at their judgment, having led so many Catholic souls with them into grave error.

    August 5, 2013 at 2:34 pm
  • Leo


    Thank you for reminding us of that Conference of Archbishop Lefebvre’s on true and false obedience. It’s certainly worth reading.


    I hope you are right about the Modernist revolutionaries. There is no doubt that novus ordoism is self-liquidating. The tragedy is that even as of now, the danger inflicted on three generations of souls has been truly frightening.

    It looks as though the biological solution is going to take a long time. The Vatican II generation is dying off, but there are a couple of generations of Conciliar bishops following behind. I’m not brimming with confidence as regards episcopal appointments in the foreseeable future, either.

    The “old hippies” are going to be around for a while. I have to say that that clip of the bishops at Rio was almost unwatchable. If they were holding Celtic scarves above their heads it might not have been so bad! I’m sure Gerry Marsden could have been flown over, to sing “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. God help us. The Saints and Martyrs must be weeping.

    As for the future, I wouldn’t for one second underestimate the ruthlessness and determination of the modernists. One only has to think of the slurs thrown by so-called conservatives at Catholics who hold to Tradition. One only has to think about the studied and deliberate way that backs are turned against this blog and the Newsletter.

    There is no doubt, though that the future of the Church lies in Tradition and nowhere else. The vocations situation emphatically underlines that. In fact, the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate appear to have been victims of their own success. By the way, it looks now as though they are beginning to defend themselves, which is a welcome turn.

    I agree that those who want the true Mass are now out of the catacombs and there is no going back now. Once younger Catholics discover the inheritance that has been stolen from them, they will not be parted from it. Most importantly, Catholics are going to have to take the next step and grasp that simply having the Mass available is not an acceptable payoff for not stepping off the reservation, and keeping quiet about the full Catholic Faith of our ancestors.

    Persecution from without and heresy and apostasy within are going to do a lot on winnowing in the years to come, but those Catholics who hold to Tradition will be in an ever growing majority.

    “Is it tradition? Ask no more!” Saint John Chrysostom

    “And if some new contagion should seek to poison, not only a little part of the Church, but the whole Church at once then his (the Catholic’s) greatest care should once again be to adhere to antiquity, which obviously cannot be seduced by any deceitful novelty. “ Saint Vincent Lerins, Commonitorium, Chapter 3, section 7.

    August 5, 2013 at 8:27 pm
  • Josephine


    “The Saints and Martyrs must be weeping.”

    You have summed up the crisis in the Church perfectly.

    August 5, 2013 at 9:52 pm
  • Athanasius


    I agree. But we should not lose sight of the fact that Our Lord is still in charge of His Church and that He will bring this crisis to a sudden end when the time comes. I believe that time to be very close at hand now. If the authentic prophecies are to be believed, particularly the Third Secret of Fatima, then I suspect the world is in for one very rude awakening in the not too distant future.

    God’s patience and mercy are indeed boundless, but His justice is equally infinite and it is being stretched to the limit right now by a mocking humanity which seems bent on banishing its Creator to the perimeter of His own Creation. As Sacred Scripture says, however, and adequately demonstrates, God will not be mocked!

    Legislators are in God’s face with their evil laws while worldly prelates watch on in silence, or even with acknowledgement. These same worldly prelates are in God’s face in a different way by their negligent stewardship and wanton tampering with the deposit of faith.

    The result is a world bankrupt both morally and financially and a Church in ruin. There is very little supernatural faith left on earth, man having made himself God. Yes, God will intervene very soon, of that there is no doubt!

    August 5, 2013 at 10:51 pm
  • Leo


    I agree one hundred per cent with you that,

    “God’s patience and mercy are indeed boundless, but His justice is equally infinite and it is being stretched to the limit right now by a mocking humanity which seems bent on banishing its Creator to the perimeter of His own Creation” and that “there is very little supernatural faith left on earth, man having made himself God”.

    Right now, the world is virtually taunting its Creator and Saviour to chastise us all. I agree, Athanasius that’s it’s hard to see decisive Divine intervention being delayed for long. Who is to say the extermination angels haven’t already been told to study their maps and get tooled up.

    As with so much of this crisis, Pope Saint Pius X exhibited an inspired perception and prescience, surely. I don’t know what the great Pontiff would say today, but here’s what he wrote in his first encyclical, 110 years ago:

    “Who can fail to see that society is at the present time, more than in any past age, suffering from a terrible and deep-rooted malady which, developing every day and eating into its inmost being, is dragging it to destruction? You understand, Venerable Brethren, what this disease is—apostasy from God… When all this is considered there is good reason to fear lest this great perversity may be as it were a foretaste, and perhaps the beginning of those evils which are reserved for the last days; and that there may be already in the world the ‘Son of Perdition’ [Antichrist] of whom the Apostle speaks.”
    – E Supremi, Encyclical On the Restoration of All Things in Christ, n. 3, 5; October 4th, 1903.

    And here’s a well written article on the threat facing the Mass of All Time, the Supreme worship of God and the greatest weapon we have in the struggle with the powers of darkness. It looks like decision time might be approaching for many.


    “You are fortunate you have remained in the Church through your faith. You held fast to the foundations of the faith which has come down to you from the Apostolic Tradition…In the present crisis, it is they who have broken away from it.” Saint Athanasius, Doctor of the Church

    “But you are blessed, who by faith are in the Church, dwell upon the foundations of the faith, and have full satisfaction, even in the highest degree of faith which remains among you unshaken. For it has come down to you from apostolic tradition, and frequently accursed envy had wished to unsettle it, but has not been able.” Saint Athanasius, Festal Letters 29, 330 AD

    August 8, 2013 at 8:13 am
  • Leo

    Here’s a link to a video of a short talk given by Father Gommar de Pauw that might be getting more air time in the near future. At least I hope so. If anyone is in a hurry, may I suggest watching from just before the 8 minute mark, when Father de Pauw quotes from Pope Saint Pius V’s Apostolic Decree, Quo Primum.


    I don’t detect a whole lot of ambiguity there.

    August 8, 2013 at 12:25 pm
    • editor

      Superb, Leo! I will post a link to that video on our website later.

      As you point out, ambiguity notable only from its absence!

      August 8, 2013 at 2:00 pm
  • Leo

    I think the following quotation from Christopher Ferrara’s excellent book entitled, EWTN, a Network Gone Wrong is very apposite to the discussion of this attack on the freedom of priests to say the Mass of All Time. The facts mentioned here long pre-date Summorum Pontificum.

    “The Vatican itself now admits that the Traditional Latin Mass was never legally forbidden, for Pope Paul’s promulgation of his Novus Ordo Missae in 1970 did not equate with a prohibition of the traditional Missal. The cat was let out of the bag in 1995 when Cardinal Alfons Stickler (in response to a written question from Father Nicholas Gruner) told the audience at a Catholic conference in New Jersey that a commission of nine Cardinals (namely, Ratzinger, Mayer, Oddi, Stickler, Casaroli, Gantin, Innocenti, Palazzini, and Tomko) had been convened by Pope John Paul II in 1986 to determine the legal status of the traditional Mass. By a vote of 8 to 1 the commission agreed that Paul VI never legally suppressed the traditional Mass as opposed to simply promulgating the Novus Ordo. By a vote of 9 to 0, the commission agreed that every priest remained free to use the old Missal. That the Pope required such a commission to inform him on the legal effect of what his own predecessor had done is quite a commentary on the confused state of the Church today.”

    So why exactly did it take 21 years for full, irrefutable, Papal recognition that the Mass had not been “abrogated”? What does that say about operations “inside the walls”?

    August 8, 2013 at 1:00 pm
    • Thurifer

      Traditionalists, the real ones, knew from the beginning that the True Mass had never been abrogated. What it says about the inner workings of the Vatican are that the popes are incompetent, or that there are evil men there, prelates, cardinals and such who are not working for the Lord’s vineyard.

      August 8, 2013 at 1:56 pm
  • Jacinta

    I found this article about the Franciscans. In it they claim this decision has nothing to do with trying to undermine Summorum Pontificum but I can’t see a good reason given anywhere.

    I would be interested in what others think about it.

    August 8, 2013 at 4:16 pm
  • Leo


    You are quite correct to say that traditionalists knew that the Mass had never been abrogated. The unquantifiable tragedy is that outside of that oppressed and vilified remnant, a huge number of loyal Catholics were proceeding along in effective ignorance, travelling in the New Springtime caravan.

    Legal details aside, the true Mass was de facto suppressed, and the vast majority of Catholics were robbed of their birth right. The crucial point is that in 1986, the greater number of Catholics would have been familiar with the Mass. Those who only knew of Bugnini’s work were still in early adulthood or younger, and would surely have been open, in large part, to recognising the pearl of great price, instead of drifting off into the desert of apostasy. In 1986, a lot was still recoverable. Then of course, there was a very significant Conciliar event in 1986.

    As with Mass, we can nowadays contrast traditionalists and many conservatives/liberals on account their acceptance of the fact that the Society is in the Church. We shouldn’t underestimate the ignorance and misinformation that are blinding many Catholics. Facts are facts, but some people take a long time to accept that. Others of course do all in their power to make sure that facts are hidden from as many as possible. Meanwhile, the real schismatics look likely to become more and more emboldened.

    August 8, 2013 at 4:38 pm
    • Josephine


      I know of someone who was told by her bishop that the old Mass was now forbidden. That must have been a deliberate lie, as surely the bishops would know that it wasn’t forbidden?

      August 8, 2013 at 6:58 pm
  • Leo


    Thank you for posting that interview. I think that Father Appollonio, the Procurator General of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate has indicated, very politely and diplomatically that he is less than gruntled about the whole saga. In fact, I’d guess that he is pretty ticked off. It looks like a small number of Friars have real problems with obedience, and a determined opposition to the true Mass.

    This episode might of course be part of a wider strategy. Will the FSSP and ICKSP come under attack next? I would say that the enemies of the traditional Mass will step lightly. Too much heavy handedness, too soon, especially in the case of diocesan Masses, will, I’m sure they have calculated, lead to Catholics simply taking shelter with the Society.

    August 8, 2013 at 5:41 pm
  • Leo


    I don’t know about a deliberate lie, but no utterances would surprise me nowadays, when barely a week goes by without some bishop, somewhere in the world, giving grave scandal. It would be interesting to have heard the bishop in question trying to justify that statement. His Lordship would be well-advised to read Quo Primum.

    “…In virtue of Our Apostolic authority, We grant and concede in perpetuity that, for the chanting or reading of the Mass in any church whatsoever, this Missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty, judgement, or censure, and may freely and lawfully be used. Nor are superiors, administrators, canons, chaplains, and other secular priests, or religious, of whatever title designated, obliged to celebrate the Mass otherwise than as enjoined by Us.” – Pope Saint Pius V, Quo Primum Tempore, 1570

    Based on basic reason alone, not to mention theological grounds, the idea that the Mass that sustained and sanctified the saints and martyrs could be forbidden is absurd.

    “When the pastor becomes a wolf, it is the flock in the first place, which has the duty to defend itself”. – Dom Prosper Gueranger

    “When there is an imminent danger for the Faith, Prelates must be questioned, even publicly, by their subjects.” – Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, II, II, q. 33, a. 4.

    August 8, 2013 at 8:01 pm
  • Miles Immaculatae

    The prediction that the faithful who currently attend ‘Indult’ and the Ecclesia Dei communities’ Masses will become disaffected and take shelter in the Society sounds plausible. If I had been attending the Indult Mass while living in England I probably would have felt no need to go to the SSPX. However, being in Glasgow I had no choice. I think it’s providential I ended up in Glasgow, because now I whole heartedly accept the SSPX position (which is the Catholic position).

    August 9, 2013 at 1:38 pm
  • editor

    Here’s the SSPX Dici report on the Franciscan scandal – interesting pun, even if I DO say it myself!

    August 9, 2013 at 5:23 pm
  • Leo

    Really, I think the solution to this attack on the Mass is for the Franciscans to just carry on saying the true Mass. No ifs or buts. If someone wants to call security, let them. And we’ll see who exactly gets judgemental. Just tell them to read Pope Saint Pius V.

    The Friars should let it be known that they will have to be physically dragged from the altar. That might set off a very far reaching domino effect. That sort of firm resolution is what should have been shown throughout the Church in 1970. As I see it, that’s what will need to happen sooner or later, if this crisis is to pass and the work of the restoration is to get under way. Forty three years of mayhem and devastation is surely evidence enough to eliminate excuses and reasonable doubt.

    Proceeding on the basis that the Holy Mass of the saints and martyrs is available only out of tolerance and whim almost amounts to pre-emptive unconditional surrender. The field is conceded from the start. I’m afraid that approach means that Tradition, humanly speaking, won’t be allowed to get off the reservation.

    August 9, 2013 at 6:27 pm
  • Margaret Mary


    I just could not agree with you more. That is exactly what is needed, the Franciscans, and other priests, to just stand up to the bully-boys and say “enough is enough” – we’re saying the old Mass, and there’s nought you can do about it.

    I think this is probably the first of many strikes against Summorum Pontificum, so it is really seriously important that the Franciscans do not comply with this order.

    August 9, 2013 at 8:23 pm

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