|Very real, living, breathing people|
It has been a year since Traditionis Custodes, which sought to discourage adherents to the traditional Roman Rite, blew up in our midst. Such Catholic liturgical experts as Gregory Di Pippo have already made very learned comments to mark the sad anniversary.
It will also be officially announced today that the current Archbishop of Chicago, Cardinal Blase Cupich, has instructed the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, an order of priests that celebrates only the traditional Roman Rite, to stop ministering to the faithful in that archdiocese. (No, it wasn't. My source was sure this would be announced today, but it wasn't. My bad. Should have have "It is rumoured that..." However, Father Z has this to say all the same.)
I wonder if Chicago is so well supplied with vocations that.... No, of course I don't. This is an own goal (as we say in hockey-mad Canada), or it would be if the player weren't actually playing for the other side. (More on this below.)
The pain caused by Traditionis Custodes and Cardinal Cupich is very real, inflicted on very real, living, breathing people: bishops, priests, religious, and laity, adults, teenagers, and children. Last year there was some talk of my own community being moved, and after I was shown the proposed room for After-Mass coffee and tea, I burst into tears.
It wasn't just that the shabby, abandoned room was accessible only by several staircases, the last being particularly perilous. It was that the person asked to show it to us seemed (I stress seemed) indifferent to my objections that the room was completely inaccessible to the members of our community in wheelchairs and provided difficulties to parents of small children. It was the first time I can remember meeting a "professional Catholic," who shrugged at the idea of accommodating the disabled.
This, however, may just have been embarrassment and nervousness on the Professional Catholic's part, as I am not very good at hiding righteous indignation. One of our people is in a wheelchair because she was struck down by a bus one evening after daily Mass. It's a miracle she wasn't killed, and it's another miracle that she didn't die after her legs were amputated. A few years later, she is back at our Mass. She used to help serve tea; I told my community that I wouldn't serve tea if I couldn't serve it to this lady. My voice shook.
As a matter of fact, this stalwart doesn't come to tea anymore---although another lady in a wheelchair does. Meanwhile, our Ordinary has been extraordinarily kind to us. It was decided in the end that our little wooden home is no longer a parish church and we could stay. The TLM even got a thumbs-up in the official diocesan report for the Synod on the Synod. May our Ordinary have a hundred 74th birthdays.
These details may seem trivial, and I can well imagine Twitter sneers about weeping middle-aged tea ladies. (Yes, we joke about "Susan of the Parish Council", but the problem with Susan is that she doesn't weep. Susan is at the apex of her self-absorbed powers. My community was once chased out of the tea room by a parish council Susan, who completely lost her head and screamed "Get out!")
My growing feeling is that the problem with the Traditional Latin Mass for a growing number of cardinals is that it confirms and strengthens in a growing number of priests and laity the Catholic faith of our fathers. Here is a splendid little survey illustrating this. The problem for these cardinals, I hypothesise, is that they do not believe the Catholic faith of their fathers and dislike those Catholics who do. Apparently it is not only Susan of the Parish Council who wants to sing a New Church into being because she resents the "Old" Church.
For decades I have heard bewildered, irritated, orthodox Catholics ask why various dissenters (as they were called before dissension became a great career move) didn't just join the Anglicans or some other Protestant sect. They don't because they don't want to. They want to eradicate the Catholic faith--or the parts of it they don't believe--stem and branch. It quite obviously can't be done by those outside--the French Revolution failed, Napoleon failed, European Communism spectacularly failed in Poland--but perhaps it can be done by those inside.
I suspect that Cardinal Cupich and our local screaming Susan are sisters under the skin, but that Cupich is much more dangerous, for he doesn't lose his head. He doesn't scream "Get out!" He just locks doors and writes letters.
This morning I was reading the Coverdale Psalms, my usual morning practice, for I wish to know the Psalms in the same way (and as well as) my convert husband knows them, and my eye fell upon this:
Oh God, the proud are risen against me: and the congregations of naughty men have sought after my soul, and have not set thee before their eyes.
But thou, O Lord God, art full of compassion and mercy: long-suffering, plenteous in goodness and truth.
O turn thee then unto me, and have mercy upon me: give thy strength unto thy servant and help the son of thine handmaid.
Shew some token upon me for good, that they who hate me may see it and be ashamed: because thou, Lord, hast holpen me and comforted me. (Psalm 86, 14-17.)