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Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Traditionis Custodes Claims another Scalp

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Traditionis Custodes Claims another Scalp

A long-standing Latin Mass held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne has been canceled by the Vatican under the provisions of Traditiones Custodes. The mid-week Mass began at the Cathedral fourteen years ago and has continued since then, ceasing only during the COVID lockdowns which saw most Masses across the city suspended. The Cathedral Mass is hosted by the diocesan Latin Mass parish, which has thankfully remained unaffected by Traditiones Custodes thus far.

The Wednesday afternoon Latin Mass draws up to fifty attendees, with more attending the beautiful sung Masses. Attendees are relatively young: the average age is around thirty. Many of those are students or workers from near the Cathedral. While some are regular members of a dedicated Latin Mass parish, for others this is their only chance to attend a Latin mass during the week.

News of the cancellation came on Friday afternoon, when a letter from the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments was made public. The letter, signed by Archbishop Vittorio Francesco Viola, OFM and dated January 2024, was sent in response to one from the Archbishop of Melbourne, Peter Comensoli, from June of last year. That letter appraised the Dicastery of the Archbishop’s progress on the implementation of Traditiones Custodes throughout the Archdiocese and requested dispensations for the Cathedral and two parishes to continue weekly Masses according to the 1962 missal.

When Traditiones Custodes was first promulgated in 2021, Archbishop Comensoli canceled all Latin Masses which were being held at parochial parishes, leaving the Personal Parish of St John Henry Newman,  Melbourne’s dioscesan TLM parish, unaffected. Later, permission was given for two parish-based Latin Masses to resume, leaving a number of others prohibited from ever offering the traditional Mass publicly.

The Dicastery for Divine Worship made clear its reason for canceling the Cathedral’s Latin Mass: in Rome’s current anti-tradition climate, it is a “bad look” for a Cathedral.

TLM at Cathedral from Newman ParishTLM at Cathedral, from Newman Parish FB page

The Dicastery for Divine Worship made clear its reason for canceling the Cathedral’s Latin Mass: in Rome’s current anti-tradition climate, it is a “bad look” for a Cathedral. Referring to the Cæremoniale Episcoporum, the Manual of Episcopal Ceremonies, the Dicastery stated that “it does not seem appropriate for the antecedent liturgy to be celebrated in the place that should serve as an example for the liturgical life of the entire diocese.” The letter underscored that a Cathedral “must use the current liturgical books”.

While permission was denied for the Cathedral’s Latin Mass to continue, it was granted for the two parish-based Latin Masses to continue for another two years. The Dicastery asked that permission be sought again when the two years have elapsed, and that the Archbishop “recount the steps that have been taken to lead the faithful who are attached to the antecedent liturgy towards the celebration of the liturgy according to the liturgical books reformed by decree of the Second Vatican Council, and which form the unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.”

The Dicastery cynically overlooks the many liturgical and other abuses that have been perpetrated throughout the Archdiocese of Melbourne over the years.

One of the most frustrating aspects of Traditiones Custodes and its attack on the usus antiquior is that it has been accompanied by a very selective application of existing documents on the liturgy. By justifying its position using the Cæremoniale Episcoporum, the manual dealing with the responsibilities of bishops, the Dicastery cynically overlooks the many liturgical and other abuses that have been perpetrated throughout the Archdiocese of Melbourne over the years.

Picture1SCREENGRAB - Archdiocese of Melbourne livestream: Pagan smoking Ceremony during Mass for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday July 4, 2021

For example, at a 2021 Mass held to recognise indigenous Australians, Archbishop Comensoli allowed an Aboriginal laywoman to perform a pagan smoking ceremony around the altar of the Cathedral during Mass. For the occasion, the Archbishop wore vestments decorated with what appeared to be a totem, or spirit being, worshiped by the Aboriginals. Archbishop Comensoli used his sermon on that occasion to pay homage to what he described as the “sacramental imagination” of the Aboriginals’ animist beliefs.

On another occasion, the Archbishop celebrated Mass for the Melbourne branch of “Acceptance”, a group of openly homosexual Catholics who reject the Church’s requirement that same-sex attracted individuals must live chastely. In a social media post made at the time, the Archbishop equated celebrating the “Pride” Mass with his solemn and sacred task of ordaining seminarians.

Archbishop Comensoli also allows “Acceptance” to hold regular monthly Masses said by other priests within his Archdiocese. One of those priests is openly homosexual and is employed at Melbourne’s Catholic Theological College to lecture on the topic of human sexuality. That means he has a very influential role in forming the seminarians who are destined to become priests of the Archdiocese. Despite an encouraging number of orthodox young men currently studying for the priesthood, it is widely rumored that the Melbourne seminary remains home to a significant gay culture which has been allowed to flourish with impunity.

Inclusive MassThe Archbishop of Melbourne celebrates Mass for “Acceptance”
Archbishop Comensoli Twitter/X account: Nov 25, 2023

Tolerance towards homosexuality is quite a theme within the Archdiocese: the Catholic Education Department allows a “transgender” man who dresses as a woman to teach at a boys’ school; the more conservative teachers seem to believe they can maintain some sort of damage control among the students without harming the students’ faith.  As an aside, the Archdiocese’s strange employment choices also include hiring a pro-abortion woman as policy advisor for its “Safeguarding Unit”: the department within the Chancery charged with the protection of children.

Attacks on the Latin Mass coupled with tolerance and even promotion of homosexuality have become a recurring theme throughout the human element of the Catholic Church. In a recent talk with The Fatima Centre, Fr James Mawdsley astutely observed that the traditional view of human sexuality is the ultimate dividing line in the Church today. As Fr. Mawdsley noted,

“The polarity of a schism which many people say exists but which is undeclared, is not between tradition and for example, the Novus Ordo,  or tradition and Modernism: it’s between tradition and sodomy. These are the two poles around which people are being divided and gathered.”

That observation is echoed by Archbishop Vigano who believes that the main agenda of the current papacy is to normalize sodomy. He says this is being facilitated by attempts to discredit and make obsolete the priesthood.

Whether or not this is the case, there seems little doubt that in order to rise through the ranks of the hierarchy these days, two things are necessary: a prelate must discard the notion that homosexuality is intrinsically disordered and take every opportunity to crush the traditional liturgy - no matter how evident its pastoral benefits may be.

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Last modified on Monday, June 24, 2024
Kathy Clubb | Australian Correspondent

Kathy Clubb is an Australian home-educator and author of Latina Rosarii, the Latin Primer for the Reluctant.

Twitter @FreedomsAus
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