NEC PLVS VLTRA (Here, and No further!)
Though, the Pope’s interview published by La Civiltà Cattolica is certainly not a formal exercise of his Papal Magisterium, nevertheless, the main stream Media, ever intent upon sowing confusion among the faithful and non-believers, has given it much more importance than it merits.
Without a doubt, there’s a risk, now, that all of this is leading to something more serious and nefarious.
In response, We faithful Catholics, declare and proclaim, that WE Will NOT TOLERATE the watering-down and violation of the Catholic understanding of the Faith (sensus fidei) through inaccuracies, omissions, and mutilated teaching, deficient in and deprived of orthodox definitions and sound reasoning, which pretends to sow division in the Mystical Body of Christ, making Her a sort of Manichean dualism, one half of which the Pope likes, the other half, which He despises.
For, example: in the now infamous interview, the former Archbishop of Buenos Aires makes this astounding statement:
The manner, in which this Pope expresses himself, seems to hearken back to the days of the 1984 Indult, under Pope John Paul II. But the Apostolic Letter of his own predecessor, in the form of a motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum (July 7, 2007), has the force of a universal norm which guarantees the right of priests and faithful to adhere to the Tradition of the liturgy according to the more Ancient Roman Rite.
A universal law cannot be repudiated in a interview, nor by any enactment which has only a particular application.
Nevertheless, by means of an irrational praxis, imposed and accompanied by exhaustive explanations, it seems that some would have it be otherwise.
It would have been preferable that the contemporary culture was re-read by the Council in the light of the Gospel, rather than the contrary; yet, the rest of the discourse, just cited, continues to ignore the crisis of faith which is bound up with the crisis in the liturgy: Joseph Ratzinger, while still a Cardinal, already wrote and spoke of this, and as Pope he did not forget it; but according to Bergoglio the Church has never been better off than now: « the liturgical Reform has guaranteed the service of the people in the light of the re-reading of the Gospel, based on their concrete, historical situation ». If, the Gospel has been re-read in the light of a concrete, historical situation, does that mean that the historical situation has changed the Gospel, and, together with it, that there has been an evolution even in the very nature of Salvation Christ offers us?
With those words, “Vetus Ordo” (the Old Order), the Pope seems to relegate our Holy Mass to the museum: now, there is nothing left for the faithful but to resist the violence of curators.
A pope cannot just do as he likes; nay, his own authority is constrained, not only by the limits imposed by the Church’s canonical constitution, but also by the dogmatic ones which bind it to Revelation and to the authoritative testimony codified in an authoritative manner by his predecessors, the Popes: this is the only authoritative testimony which the Church Herself gives of Herself. Otherwise, the whole body of the faithful would fall into arbitrariness, into a nominalistic flux, not in any way bound up with the divine constitution of the Church.
This principle, which has allowed our Holy Faith to be kept intact through two-thousand years of Christian history, is now being by-passed not in law (de jure), but in deeds (de facto). If there no longer exists any objective and stable norm, valid for all and for all times, everything ends up depending upon the prudence of whoever’s in-charge at the moment; which would be an unacceptable praxis, because it would reduce faith to obedience to the principle of tyranny and arbitrariness.
The Holy and Divine Liturgy in the Roman Rite according to the usus antiquior (more ancient usage) is something that must be preserved and recalled into use in this, our own, generation, and for those who shall come after us, as the Seed of the well-founded hope of the restoration in the Church’s own conscience of Her own integrity, harmony and dignity. This liturgy does not regard only “some persons who have this particular sensibility”, because it did not come into being to satisfy personal tastes nor vague nostalgic sentiments, but in addition to being a spiritual need recognized in law for many communities of priests and laity, throughout the world, it represents in the most wholesome manner the divine right (ius divinum) of the faithful to worship God, which is the primary purpose of the Church Herself.
The fundamental theological truth of this the Church’s own affirmation, at Trent, that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is in its substance the identical Sacrifice of Calvary, though in an un-bloody manner, promulgated now in all the points of time and space, yet with the same identity in cause and purpose:
To have a clear idea about what is presently occurring and about what we can do to be of influence, we need to attend to the necessity that the liturgy has of the companionship of a good pastoral approach. The liturgy is in this way a loaf which needs to be shared by our Shepherds and their own personal example. To guarantee and nourish the participation of the faithful it is indispensable to have a serious catechesis regarding what occurs during the Mystery, from the supernatural point of view, so that all of us may reach and give the fullness of our own wounded humanity. This requires, first of all, a profound comprehension and participation in the Mass. The Ancient Rite already has itself its own transforming power. One needs only to introduce it to the faithful so that it be lived: the rest will come about little-by-little, moved along by the work of the Holy Spirit and by the faithfulness, which transforms the individual, the community, and the history, which will be written by the lives of each of us.
Authentic Liturgy is always bound to these two fountains which guarantee its vigor: the continuity of Sacred Tradition and its official reaffirmation by the work of the Magisterium of the Church. It is not insignificant that Tradition loses its own vitality when it is snatched from the hands of those, who by Divine arrangement, have its care, its custody and the duty to retransmit it: that is, from the ecclesiastic Magisterium, which was never separated from the sensus fidei of believers. Certainly, this does not deny that when believing aright, the faithful share in the infallibility of the doctrines which they believe, as they journey through time. The healing of the fears, the prejudices and the resistance on the part of many, to these two principles, will bring much peace and serenity to the Mystical Body of Christ and true unity among Catholics.
We claim our birth-right by Baptism in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, not to mention, Roman Church.
We do not want, that by the very hands which have the care, the custody and the duty to retransmit Sacred Tradition, that the existence of those who live the « never abrogated », Ritus antiquior, with faithfulness and exemplary actuosa participatio, be squelched by a deliberate ignorance, if not an actual refusal of communion.
This is the heart of the matter: the edifice which is either to be demolished, or the columns which are to hold firm.
One last precision: To be faithful to Sacred Tradition does not mean to be closed to new applications or anchored in a “pre-conciliar Church”. There is no such thing as a pre-conciliar Church, in the strict sense. There is the Church, nothing more or less. She is the Mystical Body of Christ and, hence, also the People of God in pilgrimage. We do not simply refuse the Council. We simply do not see it as a new super dogma and we do not hesitate to put in discussion its controversial parts. On this topic we would that there be opened up a fruitful dialogue with our sacred pastors, who seem to have a hatred for the “smell of their sheep” who love Tradition, even though they may have not been infected by the closed-mindedness of modern ideologies and their deformations of doctrine.
Let’s talk, therefore. We do not belong to another flock, nor do we belong to some Vatican lobby, which has nothing to do with us!
That « tradition is not a nostalgia for times past, but fidelity in the present » is also valid for us who are not nostalgic nor exhibitionistic esthetes. Rather, we are those who do not deny the past, the foundations of the Faith.
We refuse with disdain and determination every kind of accusation founded upon ignorance or an ignoble falsehood, from whatever quarter it arises. We need not mention the repetitious attacks by journalists working for the new world order, who are attempting to usurp the pastoral authority of the Magisterium, by means of jettisoning into the mouths of wolves the most sacred things of Our Sacred Religion and of throwing to pigs, so as to be trampled upon, the most beautiful pearls of our Holy Faith. Nor, is there a need to speak of the moral teachings of our Faith (which is not a moralism), because the Church, in announcing the Gospel of Christ, does not preach Her own peculiar morality: Christianity is not a moral ideology, but it does possess moral truths which descend from the Truth and about which She is both Witness and Sacrament.
Nec Plus Ultra — Here, and no further — to a “pastoral” practice of disdain