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Louis Tofari

Sometimes we are so accustomed to the presence of an object that we rarely consider its significance. This can certainly be said about the large book called the “missal” which we see on the altar at every Mass. Indeed, few Catholics perhaps—even priests who used it daily to offer the Holy Sacrifice—fully appreciate the importance of an altar missal.

While most Catholics may be aware that the date of reckoning Easter fluctuates from year to year, they may be blissfully ignorant of how it is currently calculated in the Western Church, the impact that it annually has on the liturgical calendar, and its long, complicated and controversial history.

Though we are now past the liturgical period of Paschaltide, these points concerning the date of Easter are especially pertinent at this time, as Pope Francis announced on June 12th in St. John Lateran’s Basilica to the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services III World Retreat of Priests—whew, what a title!—that an agreement had been reached in fixing a common date of Easter with the Eastern Orthodox.

Remnant readers are surely aware of the recent news surrounding two planned Satanic rituals, or Black Masses, and the condemnations they have elicited from Catholics throughout the country. However, a certain irony in this entire affair may have been missed by many.

During the five decades that have followed Vatican II’s “Declaration on Religious Freedom” (Dignitatis Humanae),[1] the post-conciliar hierarchy has repeatedly and emphatically stated that religious liberty is fundamental to human dignity. Thus while they fawn over backwards to accord religious liberty to an entire spectrum of false religions, they nevertheless deny this “right” to Satanists.

The ongoing saga of the unjust and tragic persecution of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate has demonstrated once again what is actually at the root of the post-conciliar liturgical crisis – namely the issue of doctrine in relation to the traditional Roman Mass versus the Novus Ordo Missae. Like cream rising to the top of a milk pail, recent news has affirmed initial speculations that the friars and sisters were being treated in a heavy-hand fashion because some members were harboring “crypto-lefebvrian and definitely traditionalist drift” as related in a letter by Apostolic Commissar – err, Commissioner - Fr. Fidenzio Volpi.[1]

 Putting Catholic Answers back into the spotlight, apologists Tim Staples and Patrick Coffin hosted again the topic of “Radical Traditionalism” during the evening of August 12th. For all intents and purposes, this re-run was damage control, as back in May, the two hosts managed (during their previous same-titled show) to offend every type of Catholic who attends the traditional Mass, whether out of preference or doctrinal conviction.

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