Rorate Caeli

The Woke Pope Epitomizes Liberal Illiberalism

The woke Pope epitomises liberal illiberalism 
 The ‘merciful’ leader of the Catholic Church is persecuting a harmless minority: traditionalists 

 Tim Stanley 
The Daily Telegraph 
February 7, 2022 

 The Pope, you have probably read, is ever-smiling, merciful and tolerant. Towards some, that might be true; for others, it’s a cruel joke. His treatment of traditional Catholics, to give just one example, is a case study in liberal hypocrisy.

Many trads are affiliated with an ancient liturgy we will call the Latin Mass, practised by most Catholics until the 1960s. Then the Church decided that things needed to be brought up to date. Out with Latin; in with the vernacular, new prayers, audience participation etc. The Latin Mass was driven underground.

But in 2007, recognising that the old rite posed no threat to the authority of Rome, was rather lovely and indisputably part of the Catholic tradition, Pope Benedict permitted it to be said again. My parish priest decided to give it a go and we learnt it together. I served at his altar, stuttering through schoolboy Latin, and afterwards a group of us would sit at his kitchen table, smoking cigarettes, discussing Benedict’s latest book. These were the happiest days of my spiritual life. It was as exhilarating as being in love.

The Latin Mass grew in popularity, particularly among students and young families, and for the 1960s liberals, this revival sparked an odd panic. The trads were “rigid”, said the Pope; he implied, psychologically ill. In July 2021, he issued Traditiones Custodes, which sought to cut the Latin Mass off at the root, permitting it to be practised where it already was, but to grow no further. One pro-Francis bishop took the opportunity to ban a certain kind of hat.

At a time when the Church was still reeling from Covid, still apologising for the child abuse scandal, this assault on liturgical choice seemed bizarrely unnecessary – and many bishops ignored the instructions. The Vatican doubled down. Last December, it tried to outlaw Latin Mass baptisms, marriages, funerals and blessings (outside of a few “personal parishes”), and even banned clerics from listing the times of Latin Masses in newsletters. The root was to be torn up, violently.

Why would the Pope who famously said “Who am I to judge?” of gay people and who had instituted a year of mercy – why would this liberal fellow persecute a harmless minority of his brothers and sisters? [Full article at the Telegraph]