Rorate Caeli

You report: Traditional Mass "banned" in Łódź
Polonia semper fidelis?

A dear reader reports from Łódź, the second largest city in Poland:

The people gathered today at 2030 CET (7 30 PM GMT) to hear the Tridentine Mass in St. Joseph's Church in Łódź (Poland) had an unpleasant surprise. Instead of the Tridentine Latin Mass, the ordinary Novus Ordo was celebrated in Polish.

In the beginning, the priest explained, that there are the "different interpretations of the Motu Proprio in different countries, and due to the new regulations taken by the Polish Episcopal Conference each priest may celebrate in Tridentine Rite, but only once, and for regular celebrations the [episcopal] permission is necessary". He asked the archbishop for such a permission, but before the decission will be taken, only Novus Ordo masses will be celebrated.

Unofficially it is said that there was the pressure upon the celebrant, and that one of the the reasons was the large number of people outside the parish who attended previous Tridentine masses.

The rebellion of bishops against the Pope, identified by Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige is particularly strong in Poland, and the Archbishop of Łódź is currently part of the problem, not of the solution. Polish Catholics who wish to be faithful to Pope Benedict (unlike the Polish Episcopal Conference) strongly need the clarification document to be published by the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei".


  1. The Polish bishops have found that the incumbent Pope is not a mere walkover like his Polish predecessor.

  2. Anonymous11:31 PM

    If John Paul 'the Great' gave the Motu Proprio they'd be dusting off the maniples at record speed.

  3. Anonymous12:03 AM

    How sad! Surely this is not what the Holy Father intended, as the Polish bishops must know.

  4. Anonymous1:00 AM

    Interesting. The few people that I know who have spent time in Poland all told me that the Catholicism of this country is particularly conservative, without the craziness we see in other countries. I wonder why they oppose the ancient Roman rite...

  5. Anonymous1:21 AM

    I was born and spent my first decade in Poland. Catholicism there is conservative and quite pious, especially in the rural areas, and has something to do with the resistance of the Church to communism. However, tradition has been silently abolished, NO came in very fast, brought by the hierarchy (I dont know how the people responded right away), but there still is fairly strong, "conservative" Catholicism, something like reverent NO. Also, sanctuaries remained quite beautiful. However, Tradition is hated, evidenced by strong opposition to the SSPX, and all post-conciliar implementations are forced onto the people by the hierarchy. Opposition is mostly slim, since the faithful still trust the hierarchy for the fight against communism. Little Traditional Catholicism remains, while opposition to, eg, the SSPX is very strong.

  6. Anonymous1:30 AM

    Sounds like th' ol' "neo-Catholic" bait 'n' switch worked pretty well there.

  7. Anonymous1:54 AM

    My wife and I sometimes go to a Polish ethnic parish in our neighborhood. The NO Masses are pretty much the same as everywhere else but the Polish Masses are quite reverent, with traditional Polish hymnody.

    Anonymous #1, I wonder if it isn't because of the late Pope John Paul II that the Polish bishops are resisting the MP. I don't mean to suggest that the Holy Father would have countenanced their attitude; I mean that perhaps they see the Novus Ordo as "the Mass that John Paul the Great celebrated when he was Pope."

  8. Anonymous2:08 AM

    Dear dcs,

    The answer to you query to anonymous #1 is that they are simply modernists like a majority of the hierarchy and the late John Paul II.

    -Anomyous #5

  9. Anonymous3:42 AM

    It is sad to admit this, but in Buenos Aires, Argentina there is needed de facto an authorization of local bishop for a priest to celebrate the extraordinary form of Roman Rite. Of course such authorization is negated. I found a complete discordance between written document and the practice.

  10. Anonymous5:40 AM

    ROTFL, this is going to be very entertaining.

  11. Anonymous6:00 AM

    I think that the modernists come in 2 camps:

    1) Those who saw the Vatican Council as the will of the Church and a prudential response to the "signs of the times." They feel that the problems in the Church, and the Council's apparent lack of fruit, is due to those radical and unfaithful applications and interpretations of liberals, rather than to flaws inherent in the Council itself.

    2) Those modernists who used the Council as an excuse to institute modernism and particular non-Catholic agendas.

    While sometimes the fruits of the two groups are similar, and while many in camp 1 often seemed oblivious to the actions and motivations of bad actors from camp 2, the two camps should not be conflated. The former is attempting to carry out the will of the Church. They need to be taught, persuaded, and awakened, but they are not are enemies.

    I think that the Polish, and those attached to the teachings of JPII are the first type, and are generally among the most loyal sons of the Church. They probably see the Motu Propio as technically valid but opening the door to all kinds of malcontents (much as we traditionalists see parts of the Council). They are just wrong in this case, but who can blame them for trying so hard to follow the Pope's teaching for the last 25 years?

    Don't get me wrong. I agree that there are many who disagree with the MP because it establishes a link to the great Tradition that they would rather obscure.

  12. Anonymous9:49 AM

    I've asked a Polish seminarist about this open anti-papal stance of the Polish bishops and he was as clueless as I am.
    I do not recall such a blatant opposition to the Roman pontiff coming from Poland.

    It seems the Polish "guidelines" are a cut-and-paste from the infamous GermChurch own "guidelines".

    However to be fair, this technique of silently undermining and opposing the very provisions of the motu proprio is not restricted to Poland : it is widely used in France, but more cleverly in a discreet mode, without big proclamations of dissent.

    The question remains for Poland : how can a rather orthodox Church go wild that way and switch brutally from loyalty to rebellion to the Holy Father ?

  13. "Boże zbaw Polskę" (God save/redeem Poland) - 19th century patriotic insurrectionist motto ...

  14. Anonymous4:28 PM

    This is not rocket science, folks. You are witnessing the destruction of Petrine authority -- fostered and promoted by three of the last four popes.

    Pope Benedict would need to sack the majority of a national hierarchy or two in order to restore papal authority. He will not do it because he himself is committed to the post-conciliar collegiality which has landed us here.

    Another problem is that the motu proprio itself does nothing directly to begin the counter-revolution of tearing down the ecclesial structure (theolgically deviant from the Church's historical teachings and practical implementation of doctrine) which has evolved in the past 40 years. The Dubia sent by the USCCB is attemtping to transfer the "ordinary" liturgical modernism into the "extraordinary" form of Holy Mass. It will be interesting to see Rome's response: they have really painted themselves into a corner on this one.

  15. Anonymous5:53 PM

    Polish bishops aren't conservative. Primate of Poland, cardinal Glemp (luckily he will retire soon) said, that Trident Mass is an "anachronism" and can lead to "sectarianism". He said also that things which elapsed won't be restored even by a miracle. It was about 9 years ago. Poor cardinal Glemp didn't know, that cardinal Ratzinger will become a Pope.
    Cardinal Glemp also brought to Poland communion on hand - although NOONE in Poland wanted it or even thought about it. He doesn't deserve to be a primate of Poland and he can't even be compared to his great precedessor, Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski - called "Primate of Millenium".

  16. I was also born in Poland and spent there more than one decade there. When I was married in 1976, in a Church in small town not far from Warsaw, we were asked if we wanted the Mass to be celebated in Traditional Rite or NO. Cardinal Wyszynski wrote in his memoires that it was quite difficult task to introduce NO in Poland. It had to be done very gradually and gently. I do not agree the changes post-Vatican2 has been enthusiastically invited in Poland, however, Poles had a great boost of confidence and help from John Paul II in their resistance to communism. Late Pope was not pro-communists as many Traditionalists in the West think of him. I would say it is smear to call him a crypto-communist.

  17. Anonymous12:58 AM

    I suspect that a couple of things are at play in this situation. Occasionally when I miss the Tridentine Rite offered by the Fathers of the Oratory some three to four hundred yards from my home, I'll attend the NO offered by Polish Oblates in the parish that's practically next door. On the one hand I find that the parishoners and priest exhibit a degree of reverence that is rather uplifting, while at the same I've noticed an almost scrupulous adherence to all of the more recent changes to the liturgy such as the changed location of the tabernacle, the use of altergirls (where I doubt that there's a shortage of boys), lay readers, EMHC, etc. As the son of Hungarian refugees, it reminds me of the attitude of the Hungarian Jesuits of Toronto (who almost to a man were severely persecuted or tortured by the communists before coming to Canada) who almost fanatically adopted every change percieved to emmanate from the Vatican Two mandate. My sense was that while the general disposition of those priests were orthodox and conservative, that they held obedience towards authority in such high esteem that they would hardly have considered challenging anything that they thought had the Vatican's stamp of approval. When you add the strong association amongst the Poles with JP2 as the authoritative interpreter of the Vatican Two agenda (which to be fair doesn't seem all that unreasonable) at least the logic of the Polish bishops, however misguided and unfortunate, makes some sense.

    A second issue that I think might be particularly relevent in this case is that unlike in North America, where the short term fruits of the MP will likely be to bring the Tridentine Rite to a few dioceses where it had previously been suppressed, or at least cut down on the amount of travel that many people undergo to attend the nearest one available, it's quite probable that in a more traditional country like Poland that a large percentage or even majority of practicing Catholics might eventually incline towards the Tridentine Rite. While I think that would be wonderful, such a prospect may appear downright threatening to many in the Polish hierarchy, who might feel as though it would in practice create two "parallel Churches." After all, if a secular nation like France could boast such a strong traditionalist community despite all of the opposition from thier hierarchy, in Poland the prospects for a traditional revival might easily attract at least several hundred thousand people in the short term, and perhaps several million within just a little while longer.


    Frank Monozlai

  18. Anonymous2:13 PM

    I don't think it is possible (I know what I am talking about as I am a Pole).
    There are less traditionalist priest in Poland than in secularised France.

  19. How is it that the Novus Ordo bishops have disobeyed?
    Motu Proprio gives them license to interpret Moto Proiprio or better stated SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM as they see fit. As Benedict XVI stated: "In conclusion, dear Brothers, I very much wish to stress that these new norms do not in any way lessen your own authority and responsibility, either for the liturgy or for the pastoral care of your faithful. Each Bishop, in fact, is the moderator of the liturgy in his own Diocese (cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, 22: “Sacrae Liturgiae moderatio ab Ecclesiae auctoritate unice pendet quae quidem est apud Apostolicam Sedem et, ad normam iuris, apud Episcopum”)."

    The bishops are no disobeying any more that the Novus Ordo Pontiff commanded. Benedict XVI cannot command and will not command. He did not command that the bishops obey. There is no disobedience.
    It is silly to argue that the Novus Ordo bishops are disobeying when no command was given.

  20. Anonymous12:55 PM

    Poland should leave its 'tradition' of nacionalcatolicismo and return to universal Latin Rite Roman Catholicism. They are almost exalting the vernacular Polish language as something sacred. Quite nationalist to my ears. And silly.

    Or do the Polish bishops fear the anger of the Jews about the conversion prayer at Good Friday? Or do they want to leave out the Germans from the Mass, because these might come if the Mass is in Latin and nationalist contradictions are taken away? (The persecuted German left-over minorities of Silesia until 1972 had only the Traditional Latin Mass left which was dear to them. They were otherwise persecuted and their native German homeland region was changed into a Polonized colonial province.)

    So sad to see how even in Poland things deteriorate so quickly. There is no evading the Novus Ordo rage of liturgism (false), false ecumenism, relativism, 'interreligious dialogue', democratism and liberalism.... Is there?

    At least we know that two Polish bishops participated in a Traditional Roman Rite Holy Mass, Benediction and blessing of the sick, as well as a Latin language procession in Lourdes (France), where Our Lady brought them all together. One of the two Polish Prelates of Holy Mother Church became emotional during the Gregorian chants. 'What we have lost - And the road to restoration!'

    And there are ever more Polish seminarians who leave the homosexualizing or liberalizing seminaries of the dioceses (e.g. of Poznan) for the Zaitzkofen Society of St. Pius X Seminary, or for Ecône, or Wigratzbad (FSSP).....

    Mater Poloniae, ora pro nobis! Et pro terra polonica!

  21. Anonymous5:33 PM

    Stanislaw !
    You have no idea of the reasons why the tridentine mass was not prayed in Lodz. You connect this to wholy not related facts !
    You are totally desorientated regarding German Nazi activity. Were German persecuted in Poland or rather polish people were persecuted ?
    I remind you that German Nazis killed 3 milions of Poles and 3 milions of other nationlaity polish citizens including Jews. German invaded Poland, polish cities and destroyed them.
    They did not repied any reparation fees up to now !!

    Regarding homosexuality in seminaries. The phenomenon takes place in USA on the large scale, not in Poland. Thus, do not project american problems to other countries. In Poznan, the bishop was friend to FSSPX and was regarded as the most conservative bishop, that's why he was accused by liberal media of things he did not do. Liberal media hate conservative priests. Especially Gazeta Wyborcza magazine. The mechanism of persecution of the priest is simple: to accuse them of homosexuality, demoralization, and so on. Such a odious way of persecution is derived from communist time when similar methods were used. I remind you that e.g. Father Popiełuszko, who was killed by communist secret security service, after tortures, was accused by communist media and spokesman of comunist government of immorality. Imagine, the same mechanism is now taken by liberal, atheistic media, which are owned by the post-comunist political environment. They hate catholics.

    I know that it is painfull that the mass was not prayed as it should be, but if you are trully worried about The Catholic Church, do not give arguments based on ignorance to foes of Catholic Church.
    The last Lodz Archidiocese information which appeared, says that the will be obey papal documents regarding Tridentine Mass.

    So please, do not say any foolish statements if yuo have no idea about polish situation.

    Andrzej, Polska, Lodz city.

  22. Anonymous7:42 PM

    one of the bishops in Poland had claimed that "Rome is far away from here" and the Motu Proprio "does not interest" him...

    sad but true... polish Church looks little at the Traditional liturgy. And the traditionnal movements are just as little accepted as... sects.

    Yes, God save Poland!

  23. Anonymous4:36 PM

    Please reveal the name of this bishop. I am Pole living in Poland and I have not heard about such a bishop.
    Probably you know better from so far :)
    Andrzej, Poland

  24. Anonymous4:45 AM

    interesting post. I would love to follow you on twitter. By the way, did anyone hear that some Iranian hacker had hacked twitter yesterday.


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