Thursday, May 1, 2014

Pope Francis And The Old Latin Mass

Some of the catechists of the Neocatechumenal Way have reminded the brothers that the Way is not to be worshipped, and that we are not here to turn the community into a social gathering.  The person should always put God first before anything else.  The love for God should always be first.  Sometimes, members are given a new community when the catechists sees that he/she is attached to their community more than God.  Sometimes, Reponsibles are changed when the catechists also sees that they love their role as Responsibles more than God.

 It was brought to Pope Francis' attention that the Old Latin Mass has caused some division in the Catholic Church especially among the Franciscans,  Pope Francis has instructed the Franciscans of the Immaculate not to celebrate the Old Latin Mass without permission.  There is some concern that some of those Franciscans are leaning toward the radical traditionalists.  These are some of the identifying marks of the radical traditionalists. 

  1. The denial of the Jewish holocaust.
  2. The outright denial of Vatican 2 as a valid council.
  3. Rhetorical style of the Rorate Caeli blog.
  4. The embrace of isolationaist sub-culture of Catholicism or "Amish Catholicism."
  5. The denial of the charismatic gifts and the charismatic movement.
  6. Sympathy for the Bishop Williamson's style of traditionalism.
  7. Disdain for Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis.
  8. The belief that the Latin Mass Catholics are "A Team" and the Novus Ordo Catholics are "B Team."
  9. Gnostic ecclesiology - that "traditionalists" form the one true invisible Catholic Church. 

 The Latin Mass and the Franciscan Immaculate

These concepts which radical traditionalists hold are not supported by the Catholic Church.  These radical traditionalists have only caused division between themselves and those who attend the Novus Ordo Mass.  Both the Old Latin Mass and the regular Mass are equally good and come from the Holy Spirit. We come to Mass to love and worship God who is in the Mass.  One should not attend Mass simply because they HAVE to or because of show.  Furthermore, the moment one distinguishes one Mass over another is already putting something first instead of God.  In other words, if a person chooses to go to the Old Latin Mass because they feel that the regular Mass is second best, illicit, or doesn't like the priest is not putting God first.    

On February 14th, Pope Francis also held an audience with the Bishops of the Czech Republic.  During the visit, Archbishop Jan Graubner, of Olomouc, told the Czech section of the Vatican Radio how it went: 

[Abp. Jan Graubner speaks:] When we were discussing those who are fond of the ancient liturgy and wish to return to it, it was evident that the Pope speaks with great affection, attention, and sensitivity for all in order not to hurt anyone. However, he made a quite strong statement when he said that he understands when the old generation returns to what it experienced, but that he cannot understand the younger generation wishing to return to it. “When I search more thoroughly – the Pope said – I find that it is rather a kind of fashion [in Czech: 'móda', Italian 'moda']. And if it is a fashion, therefore it is a matter that does not need that much attention. It is just necessary to show some patience and kindness to people who are addicted to a certain fashion. But I consider greatly important to go deep into things, because if we do not go deep, no liturgical form, this or that one, can save us.”

Pope's visit to Czech Republic

Pope Francis is correct when he stated that no liturgical form can save us.  Only God can save us.  Those who criticize Pope Francis because he did not kneel long enough or he did not do this or that during mass put the performance first before God because their focus was on everything that the Pope did during mass rather than on Christ.  Christ said that the true worshippers are those who will worship Him in Spirit and Truth. 

John 4:23-24  Yet a time is coming and has come when the true worshipers will worship the Father  in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.     

This does not mean that only those who attend a Catholic Mass (whether it be a Latin Mass or the Novus Ordo Mass). are the true worshipers.  As Pope Francis said, no liturgical form can save us. Salvation is also not based on Church attendance although it is a good thing to attend Mass.  

Christ gave us two commandments to follow, which fulfills all the laws and prophets - to love God and to love your neighbor. The second is like the first because in order to love God, one also needs to love their neighbors (including their enemies).  As St. John said "Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar.  For whoever does not love their brother or sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen (1 John 4:20).

The true worshipers who worship in Spirit and truth are those who love and forgive others.  
Matthew 5:23-24 "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar.  First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.   


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