Diagnosis: Rebellion

Don’t look now, but if there’s not a Traditional Latin Mass in your neighborhood yet, your bishop is probably in open rebellion. This, the opinion of the guy touted to be the next head of the CDWDS, the curial department in charge of liturgy. At least until they peel off the musicians to make another department.

The Rorate Caeli blog has a translated interview. Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige doesn’t mince words:

There have been positive reactions and, it is useless to deny it, criticisms and opposition, even from theologians, liturgists, priests, Bishops, and even Cardinals. I frankly do not understand these rifts, and, why not [say it], rebellion towards the Pope. I invite all, particularly the Shepherds, to obey the Pope, who is the Successor of Peter. The Bishops, in particular, have sworn fidelity to the Pontiff: may they be coherent and faithful to their commitment.


We’re talking about a motu proprio, while certainly not something to be easily dismissed or trifled with, it does have something less than the stature of a conciliar document, which, by the way, said this:

The rite of the Mass is to be revised in such a way that the intrinsic nature and purpose of its several parts, as also the connection between them, may be more clearly manifested, and that devout and active participation by the faithful may be more easily achieved.

For this purpose the rites are to be simplified, due care being taken to preserve their substance; elements which, with the passage of time, came to be duplicated, or were added with but little advantage, are now to be discarded; other elements which have suffered injury through accidents of history are now to be restored to the vigor which they had in the days of the holy Fathers, as may seem useful or necessary. (Sacrosanctum Concilium 50)

Let’s review recent church history a bit:

Who got excommunicated: bishops resisting the TLM or the bishops who were consecrated in 1988 so they could say the TLM whenever they wanted, and ordain more guys to do it, too?

Don’t all raise your hands at once on this one. Think about it first.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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9 Responses to Diagnosis: Rebellion

  1. John Heavrin says:

    The bishops excommunicated in ’88 were tossed for: disobedience to a direct and explicit Papal direction. Here’s hoping it doesn’t come to that with the current rebels.

    And when those ’88 excommunications are lifted, probably before too long, what will you say then?

  2. Todd says:

    “And when those ‘88 excommunications are lifted, probably before too long, what will you say then?”

    They were still excommunicated. I don’t think you can erase twenty years (or more) of schism.

  3. John Heavrin says:

    By the way, I’m certainly no canon lawyer, but I do believe that a motu proprio has the force of law. Obedience to it is not optional. Nobody has to go near a Latin Mass, but bishops are forbidden from forbidding them anymore. That’s the bottom line. The recalcitrance is unsurprising, but I doubt if Benedict is going to be as indulgent of this sort of thing as his predecessor was. I expect some strong clarifications from Ecclesia Dei with regard to some of the gamesmanship of the bishops out there. Praying for it, anyway.

  4. Steve Bogner says:

    It’s hard for me to give the Vatican and most bishops much credibility these days. So one archbishop is criticizing his peers for not enthusiastically adopting TLM…. how about some peer criticism for those bishops who sheltered child abusers, covered it up, drove their dioceses into bankruptcy, and are still holding their office? It just seems to me that they are too far out of touch with the reality in the pews…

  5. Liam says:

    Shh, Steve, “good” Catholics are supposed to talk that way, don’tcha’ know?

  6. Liam says:

    Btw, Todd, I should apologize for hogging space in your comboxed today (I’m also hashing it out over at NLM in luscious fashion) – I am stuck in the house today with paving going on around the lot. That means y’all get the fun of me today.

  7. Rob F. says:

    Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t think anyone is being criticised for not adopting Johanine mass. The archbishop is criticising those who are trying to thwart it illegally.

  8. James says:

    I’ve been getting some vibes from panicked folks that the Novus Ordo is soon to be totally abrogated. Say it ain’t so.

  9. Rob F. says:

    James: It ain’t so. Don’t take my word for it; read the motu proprio.

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