Man I am really getting sick to my stomach with regards to what I'm witnessing on the blogosphere, especially with regard to Pope Francis and the criticism with regard to his Holy Thursday Mass, and his papacy in general.
When you read something like this at Rorate Caeli with regard to Pope Francis, it really makes you want to hate Traditional Catholicism of the Catholic Church. That kind of sentiment is flat out wrong. But it's posts like that one, which really test your devotion to the Catholic Church and the Faith.
The gist of the posting was to cover the Holy Thursday Mass he did at that prison for the youth. When I heard that he was going to do the optional foot washing rite, or the Mandatum, with 10 boys and 2 girls, and one or both who was a Muslim according to some accounts, I knew right away, and even told my best friend in faith to watch the blogosphere/web as I was sure the Rad Trads would come out swinging. And boy they can be cruel and heartless, not willing to listen to reason.
Personally, I don't think that it is right for our Holy Father, to violate the liturgy and its laws governing it, for the sake of humility and to "set an example", even if you are the Vicar of Christ on Earth. I am not the only one to comment and that is probably the only valid statement in that whole post. Fr Zuhlsdorf of WDTPRS once again breaks down what the black and red is with regards to doing it properly here (as well as that he doesn't support the actions he did in the liturgy). In addition, popular online Canon Lawyer, Ed Peters, also disagrees with the Pope's actions and even gives us the Canon Law on the issue in one of his archived posts here. However, supposedly, according to Canon Law, 85-93, as one poster on Fr. Z commented, he does have the power to do this, and Ed Peters has not explored those laws in connection to Pope Francis' actions.
Back to that Rorate Caeli post, I saw horrible things mostly, with a little common sense thrown in, but mostly vitriol and doom and gloom prophecies. My "favourite" was that Pope Francis is here to intentionally cause a schism in the Catholic Church. Uh, really? Last time I checked, the Matt 16:18 rule was in place. No way Jesus would allow someone to purposely cause a schism or big tear in the wedding dress of his Holy Bride. Further, you see, the Church is like those famous Russian word-reversal jokes (in faux-Russian accent): "Pope cause schism to people. In Catholic Church, people cause schism to Pope." What do I mean? It is never the Holy Father or the institutional Catholic Church itself that causes schisms from within. No matter how hard any bad Pope tried through their foolishness or intentionally (if they ever had bad human intentions), the Church has withstood even the "worst" of Popes for 2000+ years and counting. EVERY TIME in history, it's always the people who cause their own schismatic breaks and form groups/sects/"fraternities" not in communion with the Church. So logically and by history, it is a stupid claim. The Anti-Christ will NOT be a Pope. Get over it.
Any traditional Catholic should know that despair is also a sin, and a deadly one too, though not of the traditional 7. The way it was explained to me, back at the ol' SMCS in my Gr. 12 Moral Theology Class, is that despair is a sister sin to Sloth. Where sloth is spiritual apathy, despair is abandoning all hope in God and those things supernatural (which includes his Catholic Church and the Catholic Faith), which plummets us to deeper sin, and even depression. So what these "traditional Catholics" don't realize is they are driving people like myself to despair and flee the Church for "facsimiles" not in Communion with empty sacraments, like the SSPX, or to believe the lies of the world and not even enter the Church at all, or to stay "fallen away" or "ex-Catholic." Not that I will do that. Not when I've come so far. Linkin Park's In The End will NOT be the song of my life.
More so, it's quite shameful that during the most important time of the year liturgically, the pinnacle of the Faith life for us Catholics, the Holy Triduum, they cannot shut their mouths, and be humble and contemplate the Lord's Passion, Death, and Resurrection.
I think what is best is that we should take the best out of the situation, and try to understand the why's behind it all, instead of spewing hot-lava vitriol. Fr. Z actually does this best, here: http://wdtprs.com/blog/2013/03/what-is-pope-francis-really-saying/
Better yet, if you are so inclined to read the blog of a Novus Ordo, Benedictine tertiary who`s a woman, the ever lovely Anchoress, Elizabeth Scalia, you`ll love her anaysis on Pope Francis`message, particularly there`s a grey-box quote near the bottom. You`ll love that. Here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theanchoress/2013/03/27/the-quiet-menace-fixating-on-francis-missing-the-point/
So this Triduum, focus not on what the Pope is not doing, reflect on his homilies, and divert the rest of your prayers and attention to the real number one in your life: Christ, who was crucified, died, buried, descended from the dead, and on the third day he rose again, in fulfillment of the Scriptures.
Pax Tibi Christi, Julian Barkin.
P.S. As a nice ending note, even in the Novus Ordo liturgy, parishes can ``Say the Black and Do the Red.`` My Novus Ordo parish did the following, awesome, "traditional Catholic" practices tonight with regard to the Liturgy:
- Had a full complement of servers as if it was a High/Solemn Mass: A thurifer and a boat bearer, crucifer, two acolytes, one other server (don't know his role), and two senior servers (over 18+) who are equivalent by age and experience to parish "Masters of Ceremonies"
- Had the bells ringing throughout the Gloria. This was the last time it was rung, and will be, until Easter
- Had our parish deacon, read the Gospel, as they do in the EF.
- Did the Mandatum Properly! It involved 12 males only, of varying ages in the parish (even two young children), and it was done by the celebrant, washing their actual feet.
- During the transfer to the altar of repose, the choir sang the whole Pange Lingua in LATIN in the traditional music! Unlike my former parish who just did the English version, not even ".... tantum ergo sacramentum ... "
- This one really knocked me for a whirly ...... THEY USED A CROTALUS IN PLACE OF THE BELLS DURING THE LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST!!!! I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT! Wow .... More and more I am loving my new spiritual home for the Novus Ordo (1 year and going on!)
I'll probably post something small tomorrow without analysis or commentary, and won't post until after Easter.