In the document, “a shockingly draconian exercise of papal authority, one that strikes at the heart of the spiritual life for millions of Catholics . . . the pope is seeking to exclude from parish churches – and ultimately to eliminate – a liturgical usage that has defined the religious culture of Catholics for centuries, a tradition stretching back in an organic continuum to the earliest days of the Church.”
If Pope Benedict’s own motu proprio Summorum pontificum is to be taken seriously, the legal validity of such a move would seem be inadmissible, and many bishops appear to be dumbfounded by its implications.
What’s more . . .
. . . this strange document, so filled with contradictions and unanswered questions, is no less shocking for its self-defeating nature. It appears to be designed to achieve precisely the opposite of its stated goals, principally the defense of the Second Vatican Council.
It seems that after so many years of suspicion regarding Pope Francis’ ultimate agenda, he has finally shown his hand, and his hand is nothing less than a souped-up version of the “hermeneutic of rupture” that unleashed chaos in the Church during the 1960s and 70s, and has continued to undermine the credibility of Vatican II since the council’s completion in 1965.
In effect, he embraces the post-council revolution.
Then-Cardinal Ratzinger (emeritus Benedict XVI) in 1988 identified this revoltion, citing “a mentality of narrow views that isolate Vatican II,” he told the bishops of Chile. “There are many accounts of it which give the impression that, from Vatican II onward, everything has been changed, and that what preceded it has no value or, at best, has value only in the light of Vatican II.”
Indeed, the gauntlet has been thrown.