Today we celebrate the memorial of St. Pius X, one of the great popes of the 20th century. He was born in 1835, Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto, and he grew up in poverty. His father was the village postman and little Giuseppe walked six kilometers to school everyday. This poverty characterized his whole life, and it was not just a matter of physical poverty. St. Pius X was a man who was truly poor in spirit. Our Lord said: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Throughout his life as simple priest and Franciscan tertiary, then as bishop of Mantua, later as cardinal archbishop of Milan and finally as supreme pontiff of the universal Church, Giuseppe Sarto, remained a simple man and a lover of poverty. His last will and testament gives witness to this with the words: “I was born poor, I have lived in poverty, and I wish to die poor.”
Thus, this great man was single minded throughout his life and placed himself at the dispositions of Christ and His Church, without consideration for himself. This was his poverty in spirit. His whole life was to serve Christ and the Church.
We have many enemies, many enemies. But look . . and that is very interesting. Who during that time was the most opposed that the Church will recognize the Society? The enemies of the Church: the Jews, the Masons and the Modernists. The most opposed that the Society would be recognized as Catholic: the enemies of the Church. Interesting, isn’t it? More than that, what was the point? What did they say to Rome? They said: “You must oblige these people to accept Vatican II.” That’s also very interesting, isn’t it? People, who are outside the Church, who clearly during centuries are enemies of the Church, say to Rome, if you want to accept these people, you must oblige them to accept the Council. Isn’t that interesting? Oh, it is! I think it is fantastic, because it shows that Vatican II is their thing, not the Church’s. They see—the enemies of the Church—their benefit in the Council. Very interesting! So, I may say, that is the kind of argument we are going to use with Rome, trying to make them reflect, trying to make them reflect.
“Very interesting, isn’t it?” This repeated phrase is supposed to let us know that there is more to what Bishop Fellay is saying than what he actually puts in words. In the world of traditionalism, the good bishop’s suggestion enjoys a certain amorphous plausability. That is all it needs. It has plenty of gas and will go a long way. Continue reading →
In this essay I continue to register my thoughts on traditionalism and liturgy, specifically with a discussion of the expressed motives for Pope Benedict’s promulgation of the Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum. After this post I plan to take up where I left off with my “Traditionalist Sleight of Hand” essay.
The current biformity of the Roman rite, established formally by the Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum, is a reality that has existed and has been spoken about as such by Joseph Ratzinger for many years. He has said numerous times that the old form, that is, the Extraordinary Form, was never abrogated. However, the Motu Proprio establishes by way of “universal law” this biformal liturgical discipline, presumably, attempting to stabilize, at least for now, this condition as the liturgical status quo: two forms, one ordinary, the other extraordinary. The motives for this have been variously interpreted, and it seems to me that something parallel but antithetical to what happened in regard to the interpretation of the documents of the Second Vatican Council has happened in respect to the text of Summorum Pontifcum. I hope to make this clear as well as suggest a sound alternative. Continue reading →