Well by now you must have heard the big announcement regarding the Holy Father (HF) and the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM)? If not you must be the only person, Catholic and Non-Catholic who has not. The Norvus Ordo (NO) is the proclaimed winner of the battle of the Masses! What is the 411 ( a way of saying the information) on the TLM, and the NO from the HF?

Hermeneutic of Discontinuity

The Holy Father is now facing some of his staunchest critics concerning his new Moto Proprio about the TLM. Some saying it is just plain mean… The Catholic World Report kindly put it: “Pope Francis’ letter to the bishops comes off as judgmental and mean-spirited, reeking with a hermeneutic of suspicion.

popes francis and benedict

The title of the article: “An unnecessary and divisive motu proprio” may lead the reader into wondering if the writer is reeking of a hermeneutic of discontinuity. I feel like I have heard that term used before, oh wait I have! In 2005, then Pope Benedict XVI, spoke in regards to the pre-conciliar Church and the post-conciliar Church.

Here is a part of the letter from Pope Benedict in 2005:

On the one hand, there is an interpretation that I would call “a hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture”; it has frequently availed itself of the sympathies of the mass media, and also one trend of modern theology. On the other, there is the “hermeneutic of reform”, of renewal in the continuity of the one subject-Church which the Lord has given to us. She is a subject which increases in time and develops, yet always remaining the same, the one subject of the journeying People of God.

The hermeneutic of discontinuity risks ending in a split between the pre-conciliar Church and the post-conciliar Church. It asserts that the texts of the Council as such do not yet express the true spirit of the Council. It claims that they are the result of compromises in which, to reach unanimity, it was found necessary to keep and reconfirm many old things that are now pointless. However, the true spirit of the Council is not to be found in these compromises but instead in the impulses toward the new that are contained in the texts.

Social Media Leads the Way

Watching Twitter every day, and the TLM and NO Catholics fight, is all one needs to see. There is a major Hermeneutic of rupture occurring. TLM telling the NO folks they were not “as good” or “as holy” because they worshiped in a Mass with less “effectiveness” or TLM feeling superior to the NO members. The harm that was being done needed to be reigned in a bit. You could see it on any social media platform that there was a split beginning, a radical split. So, What is the 411 on the Traditional Latin Mass?

chalice on the altar

Parenting is not always popular

The Holy Father, did what needed to be done. As a Father I do not like to take things away from my children. Often times we need to protect them from something taking over. They get upset and do not realize their own actions, or how much time they are devoting to it. We must step in then and help them out.

Pope Francis has not put an end to the TLM movement or the Mass. He has basically said to take a step back and evaluate what is going on within each diocese. Instead of making a sweeping rule for the Church, the authority has been given to each Diocesan Bishop to determine what is best for his diocese. There are a few rules to adjust to, but they are not to do away with it permanently.

What IS the 411 on the TLM?

For the general public that does not know The Traditional Latin Mass is rich and beautiful. It is something that just drives your heart deeper into a contemplation with the Divine Lord. Without question it’s appearance makes the individual stop and recognize there is something different, something Holy happening. However, it also followed a different calendar entirely. Feast Days for the TLM followed the old calendar. While the TLM Catholic’s would be celebrating the Epiphany the NO Catholic’s would not. Daily prayers from the Divine Office are even different. It was clearly causing a split in the Church, and needed to be addressed.

A word we all hate Obedience

What should our response be? I never understood why obedience is so hard? To a group dedicated to the “old ways”, as they claim. When I was a ultra conservative Catholic – a “Rule Follower” or as I like to say a Pharisees Catholic- I hated when Pope Francis was elected.

Why? I didn’t like the new ways. I didn’t particularly care for the progressive thinking of the Jesuits. And I knew, as a traditional conservative, I had to give my obedience to the Pope.

photo of priest standing on cathedral
Photo by Marin Tulard on Pexels.com

Now, as a reformed Catholic, who is still a rule follower. I know and understand the Love of Jesus Christ, and the Power of the Holy Spirit. We still owe the Pope our obedience, but it is not only because the rules, but because we Love the Lord, and He asks us to follow the Holy Father, and to be submissive to the teachings of the Church. Change is hard, but it also can be a very holy part of our life and bring us into a deeper relationship with the Church. As one family, in prayerfulness and splendor the Eucharist is still very much present in the Church and for that we can be thankful and rejoice.