Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Word to Biters of the Consecrated Hand

By Father John Zuhlsdorf

A friend just phoned to tell me about a discussion on a "trad" forum. 

I went there and read for a while.

In this discussion some people were publicly bad mouthing priests who have been celebrating the TLM and denigrating their ministry.

They claim these priests not Catholic enough, not fully or really Catholic.  Not Catholic like they are.

Thus, they who have no authority in the Church, laymen who have no jurisdiction, no credentials other than that they are hobbyists of the older form of the Roman Rite (sincere as their devotion may be), they who have read some encyclicals of popes of yesteryear, some books by authors zealous for Tradition, they who have no authority other than their conviction that no one else can be right or as Catholic as they are, turn with a snarl and bite the consecrated hand that feeds them Christ’s Body and forgives their sins.

And this about some priests who have probably already forgotten more about liturgy and theology than they will ever know.  Priests who have suffered a great deal in their years of ministry at the hands even of Church officials because of their traditional convictions.

I am at an annual gathering of priests right now.  We have among other things discussed what it is like to minister to people who then turn on you.  How to work with that, with them.

Most of the time we are willing to have you keep bashing us, try to ruin our reputations, running us down.

But it does take its toll.

I say, if you chose to stay on this path, woe to you who raise your hands against the Lord’s anointed.

In taking this negative approach with and about your priests, you will not obtain your objectives.

Don’t expect them to be all warm and open to your suggestions when you do nothing but get in their faces and run them down behind their backs.

Mark my words, folks. 

If any of you have imbibed of this attitude, what I am describing above… mark my words, you are on a spiritually perilous course. 

You are putting your souls in danger of hell and causing scandal to others. 

You could also wind up ruining everything for others who also have your aspirations, but not your lack of prudence.


Adoro said...

*** APPLAUSE ***** !!!!


The other day I was speaking with a priest who of course, had been in conversation with many other priests regarding the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. MANY of them would like to learn to celebrate it. But they hesitate. You know why? The rad-trads in this post. They are well aware of the anger, the backbiting, the "holier-than-the-saints" snideness...etc. And they don't want to attract that fringe element to their parishes.

These faithful priests LOVE this form of the Mass and truly want to offer it, but they know what other priests go through who do....and they conclude it's not worth it. They've got enough people in their parishes who go to extremes on various themes. Having an organized group of perpetual angry scowlers is enough to make them say "no" and hope things get better so they can maybe learn and offer the Mass in the EF in peace.

Michael said...

But they cannot say NO, they must persevere. To say no is to give in to the devil. God will reward them for their perseverance and they in turn will win souls with their mass.

Adoro said...

They haven't said "no". They've identified a very real problem, the same one Fr. Z. comments on here.

And they're looking for solutions. In fact, the priest I was speaking with asked me about my take on it as he knows I appreciate both forms of the Mass, I prefer to veil at either one, etc etc....but I am not locked in anger.

The priests that want to do this are well aware of the spiritual battle and see that as a sign of the holiness of this form of the Mass. If it wasn't important, there wouldn't be so much strife surrounding it.

Acting with prudence when entering such a battle is important.

God bless these holy priests who call it as they see it and know when they must be cautious, and prudent in the face of imprudence (and impudence! lol)

Don't slam them assuming they are "giving in to the devil." Give them a little credit please.

Mindy Goorchenko said...

Well, my comments won't be nearly as profound but I just wanted to share that, on Fridays at our downtown Cathedral, the three Domincan friars concelebrate the 7 a.m. Mass, with the resident brother as altar server. I found it so overwhelmingly beautiful last Friday. To see the faithful witness of these priests (three instead of one), and the monk, and the lives they have given for God and the Church so that we can receive the all just moved me so much. Sometimes, it overwhelms me in a whole new way. I love priests and I thank you.

Re: the traditional form of the Mass, one of the Dominicans there in particular celebrates the Tridentine and the Dominican rites. His willingness has blessed the parish and, being Dominican, the teaching that goes alongside it has also been a blessing. I pray the parish does not fall into what you are writing about.