From the Pastor: When Good Priests Are Gone
A number of great articles have been written recently which have addressed topics on which I am questioned fairly regularly. The first deals with fear among the clergy to speak up about the nonsense going on in the Church today. The second deals with going to Mass when, if those above-mentioned fears bear out, the only Masses left are valid but irreverent. What is one to do? (Ask and I will give you the sources.)
1st snippet: [O]ne thing is often overlooked when people discuss “fearful” shepherds — especially when they are quick to call them cowards — is that their first duty — after Loving God above all things and obeying Him no matter the consequences to themselves — is to love their neighbor as themselves, by forming, nourishing, and protecting the spiritual children of their particular flock... There are, consequently, many pastors who may not speak out publicly in such a way that they are openly challenging the problems in the Universal Church, but this does not mean that they are not speaking out in their parishes — from their pulpits, in the confessional, or in the spiritual counsel they give to the members of their flock. They try to nourish and guide the souls entrusted to their care according to the fullness of the Catholic Faith even when their own bishops — or even the pope himself — are not, and they do so as a direct response to what those bishops and the pope are doing and saying. They do this in order to keep their spiritual children safe from spiritual harm. And many of them have a legitimate concern that if they raised their voices in protest outside the parish walls, they might well be removed in retribution. The question that haunts them is, “If such a thing were to happen, who would be sent to replace me?” [My emphasis--Fr. P] They know that the wolves and hirelings far outnumber the faithful shepherds and that if they are removed for speaking the truth to the whole world, those who would likely take their places would be chosen because they will not speak the truth to the parish, let alone to the world.
2nd snippet: Just a little reminder to one and all about liturgy, and bad liturgy. Obviously, I think that living close to reverent liturgy, either the Tridentine Mass or Divine Liturgy, should be an extremely high priority, BUT, to those who say, “Novus Ordo Mass is all there is available to me, and I’M NOT GOING!”, let me hasten to remind you of the following: The most “irreverent” Mass in history was Calvary itself. No one was actually paying attention to the Sacrifice of the Lamb except the small cohort led by The Blessed Virgin, St. John and St. Mary Magdalen. Only they assisted in silence. What else was going on at Calvary? People were walking around, talking, ignoring Our Lord at best, laughing, shouting and heckling Him at worst. One of the major aspects of crucifixion was the fact that the crucified were naked, completely exposed and obviously unable to cover themselves in any way – complete humiliation. Can you imagine the taunts and filth that the Roman soldiers hurled at Our Lord? Don’t kid yourselves, folks. They were probably making sexual taunts at Him that would turn even our jaded stomachs. That is, of course, when they weren’t playing dice. The Jewish priests also came to mock and scorn. And there were probably quite a few people who came just to gawk. They had no idea what they were looking at other than three men being tortured to death. They just gawked at the spectacle, then walked away.
Now consider the Apostles. None except St. John were there. Can you imagine the regret that they all felt for the rest of their lives for not having been there? [My emphasis--Fr. P] It was the most important event in history, in fact, it was the central event in all of history – so central that everything before and everything after is and will be reconciled through the central point of Calvary. And they missed it. They freely chose to stay away, cowering in hiding. It is pretty clear that the days of being able to easily find a valid – never mind licit – Mass are numbered... My advice is the same as what I suspect the Apostles would say: Go to Mass while you still can, even if it is Novus Ordo. Nothing that happens at a Novus Ordo Mass will be as bad as what was going on at Calvary itself. If bad things happen, pray in reparation as the Blessed Virgin did. Pray the Rosary. Remember that it is perfectly fine to NOT receive Holy Communion, and instead make a Spiritual Communion – remember, no one received Holy Communion at Calvary. Christ Himself, the High Priest, was the Priest Celebrant and the Victim, and He immolated Himself, thus consummating the Sacrifice. Don’t find yourself, like the Apostles, filled with regret at NOT going to Calvary. [My emphasis--Fr. P]
With prayers for your holiness,
Rev. Fr. Edwin Palka