Rorate Caeli

Segregation is restored in the Diocese of Arlington

The commonwealth of Virginia used to be a state where segregation was law, and harsh penalties were inflicted upon persecuted human beings who dared mix with the majority. That cruel policy was restored today, not based on race this time, but based on which Mass you attend. And far from a Southern Democrat inflicting such horrible policy, the segregation was announced today by the bishop of the Diocese of Arlington, Michael Burbidge.

Effective September 8, 2022, the current 21 locations where the traditional Latin Mass is currently offered (in a diocese of 70 parishes) will be largely suppressed, and eight locations will be permitted. Three of them are fortunate enough to have the TLM in the parish church, albeit with restrictions and expected indoctrination. But the other five will be in gymnasiums and other places separated from a main parish church.

Announced first to a video meeting of priests, and then posted on the Diocese of Arlington website, the policy is much harsher than expected. The thriving Saint John's parish in Front Royal, which has the TLM seven days per week, must now use the "Chelsea Academy" facilities. The congregation will be segregated in the gym. Holy Trinity church in Gainesville, which has three TLM-celebrating priests, is completely out of luck -- everything there is suppressed. Parishioners (and there are many) will be expected to drive to a Montessori school for their segregated Mass. Saint Peter's church in Little Washington, which also has daily TLMs, is suppressed, with their congregation probably also expected to drive to the gym in Front Royal. Bye bye, Saint Lawrence in Franconia, one of the original TLMs in the diocese, and the list goes on and on. A total Massacre.

Six of the sacraments are completely banned for diocesan priests, although interestingly the bishop notes the FSSP has such Roman Ritual privileges. The bad news is that for 34 years the Fraternity of Saint Peter has been shunned in the Diocese of Arlington, despite numerous offers to set up a personal parish. The argument by the diocese has always been there are plenty of diocesan priests to offer traditional Latin Masses and all of the sacraments at parishes. Oops.

There are plenty of other restrictions in the document, worth reading, if for no other reason but to see the themes at work. Cut-and-paste language is now the norm, with the eradication of the Mass as the goal. Put the traditionalists in the gym or at a school for Mass, separated from other Catholics, and see if they die.

"Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever." This is not just the rejected philosophy of Southern Democrats of old, but the current policy of Catholic bishops and Pope Francis himself.