Tradition is Our Response to Scandal
The following guest post was written by Chris Lauer, co-chair of the Charlotte Latin Mass Community. Chris was the procurator for the group Coetus Fidelium that worked diligently for the return of a weekly traditional Latin Mass to Charlotte, North Carolina in 2013. He is married and the father of six.
Please permit me to make a suggestion: If you really want to register your disapproval of the scandals of perversion and cover-up in the Church; if you really want to stick your finger in the eye of these scoundrels; there is no better way than to attend the Traditional Latin Mass. Just simply vote with your feet. Stand up and walk away from the Novus Ordo and instead immerse yourself and your family into the extraordinary richness and ancient beauty of the perfectly valid and licit Traditional Latin Mass and its corresponding sacramental and devotional life.
This is our opportunity to join the growing millions of Catholics around the world who are praying precisely the same Mass, devotions, prayers, and celebrating the same liturgical calendar as our ancestors have for millennia. It is only at the Latin Mass that we can actively participate in that mystical experience of timelessly joining our prayers with our beloved grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on, as they once laid their sufferings at the foot of the high altar during the offertory; or as the polyphony of sacred music was sung from the choir loft.
Thanks to Pope Benedict XVI’s publication of the Apostolic Letter, Summorum Pontificum, which restored the Traditional Latin Mass, the scandal ridden Novus Ordo can simply be left to reap what it has sown–the seeds of its own destruction.
We can follow the guidance provided in the Gospel of Matthew and, “give not that which is holy to dogs; neither cast ye your pearls before swine.” (Matthew 7:6). The house of McCarrick, Wuerl, Mahony, Dolan, Cupich, O’Malley, & Ferrell is rot. As you leave, “go forth out of that house, and shake off the dust of your feet.” (Matthew 10:14). It is time to renounce them and all their works.
You may be asking how we can draw a connection between liturgical abuse and sexual abuse? I contend that the two are root and branch of the same tree; a tree that needs to be cut down and cast into the fire.
The ancient Church maxim of Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi translates roughly that the way in which one prays will determine the depth of their faith. Or stated another way; one cannot pray, or attend Mass, in a more casual way, and yet expect to end up with anything but a casual (lukewarm) faith. It is no surprise that communion in the hand has resulted in a full two-thirds of regular Mass attending Catholics who now no longer believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. So too it follows with every other liturgical novelty in the Novus Ordo that has achieved no better result.
I believe it was the liberal Swiss theologian Hans Kung who opined several years ago that he didn’t particularly concern himself with the Latin Mass itself. What did worry him, however, was that the Latin Mass was the locomotive that pulled along with it all those pesky dogmas and doctrines that we as a Church don’t like to talk about anymore.
On this point I agree with Hans Kung; the Latin Mass is indeed the locomotive and these train cars he despises so much are the Catholic faith itself, passed down unblemished from the apostles. Without these train cars there is no Catholic faith, and that locomotive is the best path forward to rid the Church of these wolves and serpents who commit and cover up unspeakable horrors.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (para. 1124) states:
The Church’s faith precedes the faith of the believer who is invited to adhere to it. When the Church celebrates the sacraments, she confesses the faith received from the apostles – whence the ancient saying: lex orandi, lex credendi, or legem credendi lex statuat supplicandi (the law of praying establishes the law of believing) according to Prosper of Aquitaine. The law of prayer is the law of faith: the Church believes as she prays. Liturgy is a constitutive element of the holy and living Tradition.
That statement, “the Church believes as she prays,” is an absolutely damming statement of the new Mass.
The Novus Ordo was an innovation, not in continuity with that which preceded it, but from whole cloth by a closed-door committee, designed as a reduction of all that had developed organically over the 15 centuries that preceded. Then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger referred to the Novus Ordo as, “a fabrication, a banal on-the-spot product”. It is no wonder that moral depravity has flooded the Church since the introduction of the new Mass in 1970.
One might retort that Latin Mass communities are not immune from scandal or sin, which is surely true. But if this garbage were to happen in traditionalist communities it is unlikely any bishops would remain silent or cover-up the scandal.
We all have known of the crisis in the Catholic Church for some time now. What I suppose is new is the exposure that the episcopacy of the Church, those Bishops and Cardinals (let’s not forget their staff as well) who are charged with guiding the Church, have either completely lost their belief in God or quite possibly never had it to begin with. The way in which they systematically silence, cover up, and punish those who dare complain is the tell. These so-called men deserve millstones in place of their pectoral crosses.
What exposes the atheistic zeal of these bishops is their lack of any true contrition or fear of their own eternal judgement. These are old men, whose time left on earth is nearing its end. I weep for them and for all the lost souls laid to waste in their path of destruction.
This destruction hit home recently when I took my family to the 1900s-era parish church where my great-great-grandfather raised his family. We arrived to find a once beautiful Irish-Catholic neighborhood, lined with broken down cars, dilapidated houses, and the amazing Gothic-style church boarded up.
My daughters wept in disbelief. They asked how this could happen to such a beautiful church. I explained to them that this parish was thriving right up until the Novus Ordo Mass was forced upon them. This is what happens when the Church abandons or waters down her teachings.
The first to go were the external elements such as the Latin Mass, sacred music, the vestments, the habited nuns, and the devotional life. Next come the vices and sin that creep in and break down family life. Contraception and abortion are ignored or accepted which drains the parish of vocations. Divorce results in poverty and latch-key children which in turn drives up crime in a once peaceful neighborhood.
Those with means move away. Those who remain either stop going to Mass or are too poor to contribute much to the basket. In the first 70 years from the parish’s founding to the promulgation of the Novus Ordo Missal, this one parish had turned out 70 vocations. In the 45 years since (until its closing in 2016), vocations were almost nonexistent.
Despite all of this I maintain hope. Let God be praised that we have been chosen to be alive at this time in Church history. Let the restoration begin with us!
Photo credit: Patrick Craig