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Rockford Bishop Doubles Down Against Tradition

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Bishop David J. Malloy has doubled down against our Catholic liturgical tradition under the false banner of unity. As noted today by Fr. Z at his site:

In this letter, a follow up to their diocesan “Presbytery Day” (where he spoke to them about “challenges”), the bishop writes:

“Following that talk, I write now to ask for your cooperation on several matters that have since been referred to me in connection with my comments last September:

First, as I noted at that time, we are all aware of the on-going discussion surrounding the celebration of the Mass “ad orientem”. However, for the reasons I discussed at that time, and in order to underscore our unity in prayer and to avoid differences between and even within parishes on this point, I ask that no Masses be celebrated “ad orientem” without my permission.”

Of course this move, which runs contrary to the liturgical tradition of the Roman Rite, contrary to the recent recommendations of Cardinal Sarah (prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship), and contrary to the GIRM itself, is the heavy handed modernist tactics of the Seventies and Eighties revisited.

Additionally, the bishop has forbidden…yes FORBIDDEN…his priests from offering Mass in the Extraordinary Form without his permission, specifically citing Articles 5 & 2 of Summorum Pontificum. As Fr. Z correctly notes:

The Bishop of Rockford wrote “with due regard to Art. 2” and then he completely ignored it and wrote something that precisely contradicted it. According to Art. 2, priests of that diocese – or any other diocese in the world for that matter – do not need his permission.

So now, for the faithful of Rockford, they are being returned to a time in the Church when self-loathing Catholicism ruled the day. Back to the days when one need look no further than the chancery to find anti-Catholicism; for that’s what any attack against our liturgical heritage is. Against our past. Against tradition. It’s anti-Catholicism.

But wait; there’s more.

In his letter Bishop Malloy has also advised his priests that “any modifications being carried out in the sacred space of parish churches” requires diocesan approval. Specifically cited are the moving of altars, tabernacles, or “questions involving altar rails.”

In the Diocese of Rockford, Illinois it would seem that the groovy Seventies have indeed retuned; at least liturgically.

Those who oppose our Catholic tradition, who oppose the Latin Mass, and who (apparently) believe that mercy and accompaniment do not apply to traditionalists, are feeling quite emboldened these days.

It’s going to get worse before it gets better. Trust me.

And pray for Rockford.

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