Rorate Caeli

Bishop Rob Mutsaerts on the Vatican policy against Traditionalists: "The 'pope of mercy' shows little mercy for those who embrace the Traditional Latin Mass. The loss of confidence not only affects the traditionalists themselves, but also increases the uncertainty of the faithful. "


Bishop Rob Mutsaerts

2021 was an insane year. When the majority abandons normality, abnormality becomes the new normal. For example, feminists were scolded by trans-ideologues for believing there should be room for feminist views. Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is one such feminist whose books were burned at various universities. Mind you, at universities, centers of free minds. Professor Kathleen Stock, philosophy lecturer at the University of Sussex, was forced to resign. What was her crime? She had dared to defend in her latest book the thesis that there are demonstrable genetic and biological differences between the sexes. And then we had the trans women who went on to swim and run races. Nobodies in the sports world as men, now they win gloriously. When they cross the finish line, by the way, it is remarkably quiet in the stadiums. Everyone realizes that it is not right, but no one dares to say anything. They protest by being conspicuously silent. And, oh yes, the real women went home to shower. You don't feel comfortable with a guy like that around.

2021 was also the year of the foolish "cancel culture." Even the self-respecting newspaper The New York Times goes along with this. The founding date of the United States of America is no longer July 4, 1776 - the date of the Declaration of Independence, Independence Day - but the year 1619 when the first ships arrived on the coast of Virginia with African slaves on board. Meanwhile, Peter Boghossian, a heavyweight in the field of philosophy, announced his retirement from Portland State University: "Students are no longer taught to think; they are only taught ideologies. Most of them no longer dare to say what they think."

But it can always get crazier. Washington's Olney Theatre Center will treat audiences to a woke version of Beauty and the Beast. The title role of Belle will be played by a black lesbian woman who is considerably overweight. You think you're going to a harmless Disney production and end up in politically correct horror theater.

But the reports from Rome don't cheer me up either. The Vatican had a curious Christmas gift in store for us. The answers of the Congregation for Divine Worship to the questions about the practical interpretation of the motu proprio Traditionis custodes hardened the front between the Vatican and traditionalists. A barely concealed impatience to finally draw a line in the sand on the matter of the "old Mass" is evident from the entire style of the text. The highly aggressive text is not only a break from Pope Benedict XVI's intended "reform of the reform" but also a pastoral faux pas. The "pope of mercy" shows little mercy for those who embrace the Traditional Latin Mass. The loss of confidence not only affects the traditionalists themselves, but also increases the uncertainty of the faithful. If what was recommended yesterday no longer applies today, nothing is certain.

What this means for the Fraternity of St. Peter, for example, is unclear. The curious consequence of the papal injunction is that communities associated with Rome that celebrate the ancient Mass would no longer be allowed to administer the sacrament of confession, but the faithful can still validly receive it from the Society of St. Pius X. The same applies to the sacrament of marriage. And why does one have to explicitly endorse the documents of Vatican II in order to be allowed to celebrate the ancient Mass in exceptional cases? Surely those who celebrate the Novus Ordo - I am one of them - are not being asked to accept the Council of Trent. Or has everything from before Vatican II been scrapped? If the Vatican requires an examination for celebrants of the old Mass, then in fairness it should also be required for freelance-celebrants of the new Mass who are all doing their own thing.

In short, that promises something for the coming year. My motto is: just stay Catholic. We go by the natural law, by the order of creation, by common sense.

Happy New Year!

 +Rob Mutsaerts

[Bishop Mutsaerts is an Auxiliary Bishop of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, in the Netherlands. Source, in Dutch.  Read Bp. Mutsaerts' original great post on Traditionis Custodes here.]