Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The 'Pope Francis Effect': The War on Conservative Catholics in New York

Apr. 17, 2014: Rev. Justin Wylie celebrates Mass at the Church of the Holy Innocents in New York. (Courtesy Arrys Ortanez)

When Cardinal Bergoglio was elected pope in 2013, many traditional Catholics were wary. Recently, their pessimism is being justified as "The Francis Effect" makes itself felt across the world and in America, most notably in the Archdiocese of New York.

So-called "traditional" Catholics prefer to attend the Mass as it was celebrated before and during the Second Vatican Council (1962-5), before the liturgy was radically reformed in 1969.

The Tridentine Mass, which was the ordinary form of the Mass from 1570-1969, is said in Latin, often accompanied by Gregorian Chant and incense, and emphasizes the sacrificial aspect of the Mass.
I hope both Pope Francis and the New York Archdiocese will cease their attack on a community of people that mean no harm and who support the Church through thick and thin.
In contrast, the post-1969 Mass simplifies prayers, places more emphasis on the communal and removes language deemed to be an ecumenical barrier to Protestants. Many celebrations also use the vernacular instead of Latin, and have a more simplistic style and are frequently accompanied by modern music.

Although suppressed immediately after the reform, the older rite was legalized by Pope St. John Paul II in limited circumstances in 1988, and then freed up entirely by Pope Benedict XVI in his groundbreaking 2007 document "Summorum Pontificum," in which he also expressed his desire that the solemn celebration of the traditional rite would consequently rub off on the way the new rite is celebrated.

Yet Pope Francis is having none of it. In his Archdiocese in Buenos Aires, the traditional rite was non-existent, and he was described by an Argentinian journalist as "a sworn enemy of the Traditional Mass." Since he ascended to the papacy this has been shown to be true in a global sense.

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