Brian Mershon
October 24, 2005
The Synod of Bishops, Vatican II, and the Traditional Latin Mass
By Brian Mershon

As the week wraps up, Catholics received a flurry of headlines from the Synod on the Eucharist in Rome. Also, toward the end of this week, Archbishop Chaput of Denver commented on the results of the Second Vatican Council being "mixed" to date. And finally, Cardinal Arinze mentioned in a news conference that the Traditional Latin Mass had not been mentioned by any of the Synod Fathers because it was "not a priority" for the Synod.

He then went on to add the following amazing statement: "The problem we have discussed is that many people don't go to Mass, and those that come don't understand they go to Communion but not to confession, as if they were immaculate." I'm certain the Cardinal Prefect was not intentionally trying to be ironic in the positioning of those two statements.

So the Bishops at the Synod discussed many things, but a common topic discussed was that many bishops' desired to "find a way" to have "intercommunion" with non-Catholics. The other major problems outlined above by Cardinal Arinze had to do with the lack of understanding or disbelief in the mysterium fidei of the Holy Eucharist. But amazingly, any discussion of the "Tridentine Mass," so-called, was "not a priority."

And Vatican II talked about reading "the signs of the times" accurately.

Pope John Paul II issued a document on the state of the Church in Europe and called it an "apostasy." Archbishop Chaput stated that we must live our faith more boldly like St. Athanasius, who was exiled by many bishops, and actually excommunicated by the Pope in his day. Does this remind any traditional Catholics of any Archbishop they know? The Synod Fathers don't seem to be able to accurately gauge the cause of "the signs of the times" of their empty churches and few priestly vocations, but the Tridentine Mass is "not a priority" for the synod.

Am I getting the facts right here? For those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, let them hear.

For the two or three Sundays each month in which I am blessed to be able to attend the Traditional Latin Mass, I encounter very few who attend who lack belief in transubstantiation. I encounter very few who are receiving our Lord in a state of mortal sin or who consciously reject a dogma of the Faith, yet still receive Holy Communion.

And at nearly every Traditional Latin Mass location I have attended around the United States, the priest is usually available for a set time ON SUNDAY prior to Holy Mass, to hear the confessions of the faithful not at some extremely inconvenient time like 3 or 4 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon. In other words, most priests who offer the Traditional Latin Mass, and most especially those who offer it exclusively, hear many confessions prior to every Mass they offer. One Traditional Priest in Rockford, Illinois hears confessions for a set time EVERY DAY prior to Holy Mass, with one and one half hours of confession on Saturday afternoon, and another 45 minutes prior to his Sunday Mass.

But the "Tridentine Mass" so-called, is "not a priority for the Synod," according to the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

It is not well-publicized, but Kenneth Jones has written a book entitled: Index of Leading Catholic Indicators: The Church since Vatican II. In it, Mr. Jones emotionlessly statistically documents the precipitous decline of numbers of vocations to the priesthood, numbers of priests, numbers of Catholic schools, numbers of conversions, numbers of Catholics attending Catholic schools, numbers of baptisms, numbers of marriages in the Church, numbers of religious vocations in the U.S. prior to, and after, the Second Vatican Council an objective and sobering, and quite frankly, depressing overview of the "signs of the times" for the U.S. Church. The same decline can be seen across Western Europe as well, but at a more alarming rate.

But one of our leading U.S. Bishops calls these sobering results regarding the legacy of the Second Vatican Council as "mixed." Pardon me for by brashness and boldness, but what would be considered a cataclysmal collapse?

The entire Synod of the Eucharist has bishops decrying the lack of Faith in the Eucharist, which quite frankly, if the news reports are accurate, some of them display in their cry for "intercommunion" by heretics and schismatics.

But the "Tridentine Mass" so-called, is "not a priority for the Synod" and 40 years after the close of the Second Vatican Council, one archbishop calls the nearly complete collapse of the Faith in the U.S. and Europe as "mixed."

And the same cardinal prefect, not intending to be derogatory, but merely stating a fact, said: "The problem we have discussed is that many people don't go to Mass, and those that come don't understand they go to Communion but not to confession, as if they were immaculate."

Priests who offer the Traditional Latin Mass have long lines for confession, and they hear confessions when it is convenient for people to go when they are already at Church prior to Mass. Sheer ingenious rocket science!

We have an apostasy in the Church among the vast majority of baptized Catholics, many priests, bishops and even cardinals. We have a Eucharistic Synod just completing where the major theme was about the collapse of belief in transubstantiation the mysterium Fidei the Holy Eucharist.

But the "Tridentine mass" so-called, is "not a priority for the Synod."

For those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, let them see and hear and read the signs of the times.

Pray for an end to communion in the hand and under the species of wine, where it is spilled and trampled under feet daily. Pray for a return to the normal reception (currently, the universal NORM in the entire Catholic Church) of Holy Communion kneeling. Pray for an end to the non-ordained administering the Holy Eucharist to the laity.

Pray for reparation to be made against the sacrilege, outrage, indifference and irreverence shown to the Holy Eucharist and the Blessed Sacrament.

Pray to Pope St. Pius X for the freeing of the Traditional Latin Mass to all Latin-rite priests on all the altars of the world on a daily basis. Pray for an end to the apostasy in the Church and for more courageous bishops to follow the leads of Archbishop Burke in St. Louis, Bishop Doran in Rockford, Illinois, and Bishop Bruskewitz in Lincoln, Nebraska, to give a "wide and generous" application of the Traditional Latin rite of Mass to their priests and laity.

And most of all, pray for a truly heartfelt and humble reading of "the signs of the times" as the bishops close this year of the Holy Eucharist.

© Brian Mershon

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Brian Mershon

Brian Mershon is a commentator on cultural issues from a classical Catholic perspective... (more)

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