MONKEYS AND ELEPHANTS
THE MOTU PROPRIO: SOME OBSERVATIONS
by Pauly Fongemie, July 14, 2007
UPDATED JULY 24, 2007
I have read the Pontiff's document, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM in the
form of a motu proprio, and watched the roundtable
discussion on EWTN that included Raymond Arroyo, the host; Fr. Gabet,
North American Superior of the FSSP; Fr. Kenneth Baker, Editor of
Homiletic and Pastoral Review; Bishop Bruskewitz of Nebraska; and a
Monsignor representing the US
Bishops' Conference: I won't give his name because I was very saddened,
but not surprised to learn how inept and uneducated some of the N.O.
establishment priests are---I have no thoughts on his intentions other
than that I presume he wants to do the right thing, but I am convinced,
through no fault of his own, he does not know what the right thing is;
coming from the Bishops' point man this does not bode well for the
Ancient Mass at least in the US.
From the conversation it is evident that most of the roundtable
participants see the Motu proprio as the beginning of the "reform of
the reform", one theme of the discussion.
Well, for openers there can be no such thing because the misnamed
reform [the Novus Ordo] was not a reform but a deformation as Cardinals
Ottaviani and Bacci observed in their report
on the Mass of Paul VI
when it was devised. It was a complete rupture with Tradition
and was not organic---that is---did not grow naturally from the
Immemorial Roman Mass because it had a different orientation altogether
with its emphasis toward the ministry of the people and away from
sacrifice and sin and the august, supreme role of the priest acting in
the place of Christ. We know that the two Cardinals, may they be in
Heaven, were correct to a precision because the faith of the Catholic
people has substantially changed from their participation over a
generation in the New Mass. Essentially, they are no longer Catholic, I
must be this blunt. If the New Mass was an organic growth, we would
have the opposite effect. The letter to the bishops from Pope Benedict
XVI makes it clear that Vatican II is being reaffirmed along with the
Novus Ordo Mass that sprang from its errors by way of disorientation as
a council---it was pastoral only and thus it gave free rein to those
who did not want dogma and the liturgy or Mass that was the summit of
its expression to reign. Because the council was worded in such wise
that it said two
contradictory things, on the one hand and on the other, in so
many words, it was open to interpretation. Just like SUMMORUM
which is loaded with loopholes for dissenting bishops and requires
interpretation---who will do this interpretation and who will put it
into practice? The bishops of course. We all know how this went with
the Novus Ordo: the heretics won by and large. So instead of a
deformed Mass, which was bad enough we went from that to the Mess.
Everything had to be interpreted by the experts who had agendas. They
were not Traditionalists, Catholics of the heart, because to be
Catholic in the spirit and the letter, in the heart and soul, is to
Tradition as all the Saints counseled very strongly. The New Mass
permitted experimentation and constant change, the very opposite of
a Mass is supposed to be.
Raymond Arroyo pointed out the Tridentine Mass of ancient heritage,
Tradition, is standardized and set.
The faith, which is expressed in
the Mass, both sacrifice [primary purpose] and catechism [natural
effect of this sublime summit of sanctification] is not open for
Arroyo was also quick to point out, all too
vehemently as in "I think he protests too much" that the Novus Ordo
Mass can be said reverently and that he had attended many of them. Then
he quickly added that the bishop and priests were saying the New Mass
thusly. Almost as if he thought this was necessary. If the New Mass is
so wonderful why all the need to make excuses or defense? This
is beside the point. The New Mass, no matter how reverently offered,
and I am sure there are priests and bishops who do say the New Mass
most reverently, is such a break with Tradition that it ought never to
be in the first place. It harms the faith and never more so when said
reverently for it tends to mask the deforming that occurs in the
conscience and consciousness of the people and the priest himself over
a long period of time. When the priest or bishop celebrating the Mass
does so as a buffoon or with laxness, the people are alerted at least.
This is not to argue for clown Masses, only to say that the New Mass
cannot be reformed, period. It must be abrogated and annihilated.
Benedict's Letter is merely this, with no binding decrees, so any
errors he makes have nothing to do with infallibiliy and he errs when
he says that there was no rupture with Tradition. Until he can face the
truth on this matter we will be faced
with pretending that the elephant
in our living room is a mirage. I refuse to insult God by refusing to
use His gift of reason. Even Pope Paul VI said that his Mass was a
novelty, another way of saying a rupture. How can the Mass be a
novelty?!! Is Pope Benedict accusing Paul VI of lying about his own
Mass. Is he is accusing him of delusion?
The roundtable discussion made it plain to this viewer that everyone
thinks that the two Masses are equal, one ordinary---the New Mass and
the preferred or normal most occurring form, and the the other
extraordinary---only once on Sunday in a parish. Now, they think
this because that is what the Letter says.
There were mutterings to the effect that both forms of Masses ought to
influence one another. I wanted to scream! The New Mass cannot be
allowed to influence the Immemorial Mass. This would be to once more
'destroy' it by erasing it from our collective memory.
The EWTN presentation eclipsed the one startling aspect of the Letter,
that the bull QUO PRIMUM
of St. Pius V is still in effect as it must necessarily be by
definition of its infallible nature. The Ancient Roman Mass had never
been abrogated---it cannot be---and that priests always had, have a
right to say the Tridentine or Latin Mass. This vindicates those of us,
in particular the SSPX, who have been insisting on this from the
beginning. Not that we require vindication, for this would be a
function of pride, but for the sake of justice itself.
The Holy Father makes it clear that Vatican II is the authoritative
source for the modern Church. How, it is a pastoral ecumenical council,
the only such one in the history of the Church and not a dogmatic one?
A pastoral initiative is an advisory only and is subject to change. How
be authoritative? We are not speaking of change as traditionally
understood and permitted, because it is necessary and natural
[organic]. Vatican II was never
necessary, it was the courting of disaster that could have and should
have been averted. If all the bees disappeared, and beeswax was no
longer available, the Church would by necessity change the normal
of beeswax candles to another form. Now candles do not directly touch
doctrine or faith, only indirectly, but it has maintained beeswax
candles as the norm, because of the purity of the wax. This is how pure
the Mass is and must be. Please note that if grapes disappeared, the
could not arrange for different matter for the Consecration; wine must
be used, and not just any wine either. When we speak of change,
distinctions are imperative. Yet, the Holy See permitted, if not
authorized, the changes that directly affect
doctrine---mistranslations, for one!!! Among even worse atrocities!
Now this Letter, gives the bishops three years to monkey around and
stall and equivocate, before they have to send a report to the
Vatican---the report is not ordered, but an invitation only---by which
time the Vatican will fear more reprisals and will bend toward the
bishops who are most unfaithful to Tradition. Just like before. Here we
go again! I need no pardon for being very cautious here.
One of the bugaboos of the Letter calls for "stable groups" to ask the
bishop for the Tridentine Mass and all the Sacraments of the
Traditional Roman Rite. But it will be the bishop who defines what a
stable group is. Why did not the Holy Father pre-empt this fiasco by
defining "stable"? Having first forced Catholics to wander from parish
to parish in search of less offensive Masses [a new
definition---Roamin' Catholic] now they will use this as an excuse to
deny. Create a problem that will be used to solve another one! How more
American can one get!
The Letter does not deal with the priest "shortage", which will be the
standard opt out option for the bishops before they have to use the
There was one other good thing about the Letter, and that is priests do
not need the bishop's permission to say the Tridentine Mass and if the
laity hear of one they can attend. So some Catholics will have the
benefit of this document, if not the majority. But then, as the
roundtablers made clear, through Bishop Bruskewitz, the majority of
Catholics want the New Mass exclusively. Of course, it is easier and
the only sins they have to confront are those the Democratic party
insist on. And they need not change out of their jeans and shorts. They
can have Saturday Masses after the game or shopping and then forget
that Sunday is the Lord's Day, one of the disorientations
never discussed, but all too seriously real not to. This attitude has
affected almost every Catholic, even those who attend Sunday Masses by
and large---the super jeans mentality along with Super Bowl Sunday. It
has affected priests also. Even if N.O. priests learn the Roman Mass,
unless they are motivated by pure faith and piety and conversion, they
will still deform the people by their inane, wandering, confusing
sermons that are hardly Catholic.
What I fear most is that there will be over time pressure for the Novus
Ordo to influence the ancient Mass, period, with lay people giving
I am also concerned about the appellations of ordinary and
extraordinary, another made for Hollywood loophole. Will irony abound
here??? The Eucharistic lay ministers are called extraordinary de jure,
but are common and ordinary de facto;
I am willing to bet this will be the singular time in modern history
when extraordinary will be used stringently. I would laugh but this is
not a laughing matter.
The Pontiff wants to make things right, but he went about it in such a
manner that unless there is Divine intervention, things will be even
worse for the time being. Human nature and those who have little or no
faith in charge. With Bishop Fellay of the SSPX, I am not agog over
this Motu proprio.
If Fr. Kenneth Baker were in charge of the implementation of this
document I would be serene and over-joyed, for he remained calm but
steadfast that the ancient Mass is not subject to change. God bless Fr.
Baker. I was so pleased I am subscibing to his monthly journal.
The Tridentine Mass is returning to St. Mary’s By the Sea in Huntington
Beach, but the Sunday readings which were to be from the "Novus Ordo"
have been ditched. The Traditional calendar will be used. Thanks be to