Bishop Schneider: the traditional Mass, even at the cost of a “liturgical exile”

On LifeSiteNews of October 4, one could read these words taken from his conference in Pittsburgh: The powers that be hate what’s holy, and that is why they persecute the traditional Mass”, strong words completed by this wise appeal: “however, we must not respond with anger and pusillanimity, but with the profound certainty of the truth, peace interior, joy and trust in divine Providence. »

The prelate also affirmed: “The fact of declaring that the reformed rite of Pope Paul VI is the only expression of the lex orandi of the Roman rite – as Pope Francis does – is a violation of the bimillennial tradition respected by all the Roman pontiffs who have never shown such rigid intolerance. »

He added: “One cannot suddenly create a new rite, as Paul VI did, and declare that rite to be the exclusive expression of the Holy Spirit in our time, and at the same time portray the previous rite – which has hardly changed in the space of at least a thousand years – as defective and harmful to the spiritual life of the faithful”. And to specify quite rightly that such an argument “inevitably leads to the conclusion that the Holy Spirit contradicts himself”.

On the substance, Bishop Schneider finds the criticisms made, as early as 1969, by Cardinals Alfredo Ottaviani and Antonio Bacci in their Brief Review : “the new Ordo of Paul VI undoubtedly weakens doctrinal clarity as to the sacrificial character of the Mass and considerably weakens the sacredness and mystery of worship itself”. Whereas the traditional Mass contains and radiates “an eminent doctrinal integrity and a ritual sublimity”.

This explains the hostility of those who persecute the traditional Mass: “The splendor of the truth, the sacred and supernatural character of the traditional rite of the Mass worries precisely, among the clerics who occupy high positions in the Vatican, those who, like others, have adopted a revolutionary new theological position, closer to the protestant view of the Eucharist and worship, characterized by anthropocentrism and naturalism. »

And to insist: “Paul VI is the first pope in two thousand years to have dared to make a revolution of the order of the mass: a real revolution”. Such a statement, at the time when Bishop Schneider published his book in French The Catholic Mass (Contretemps éd., 276 p., 22 €), makes us want him to choose the exclusive celebration of the traditional mass, he who for the time being also celebrates the mass of Paul VI in certain circumstances.

Especially since, in the rest of his remarks, he strongly invites the priests and faithful attached to the traditional Mass not to fear a form of ” liturgical exile received in the manner of a persecution suffered for God’s sake.

He then establishes this historical parallel: “The current persecution which aims at a rite jealously and immutably guarded by the Roman Church for at least a millennium – and therefore long before the Council of Trent – ​​makes one think today of a situation analogous to that of the persecution against the integrity of the Catholic faith during the air crisis in the fourth century.

“Those who, at that time, steadfastly preserved the Catholic faith were banished from the churches by the great majority of the bishops, and they were the first to celebrate clandestine masses in a way. »

And to add to the address of the persecutors: “We can say to these men of the Church of our time, spiritually blinded and arrogant, who despise the treasure of the traditional rite of the Mass and who persecute the Catholics who are attached to it, we can tell them:You will not succeed in overcoming and annihilating the traditional rite of the Mass.”

“Most Holy Father, Pope Francis, you will not succeed in destroying the traditional rite of the Mass. Why ? Because you are struggling against the work that the Holy Spirit has so carefully and artfully woven through the ages. »

True Obedience in the Church

Answering questions from Michaël Matt, director of The Remnanton October 13, Archbishop Schneider clarified the nature of true obedience in the Church, with elements of explanation that are reminiscent of those developed by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre more than 40 years ago:

“We must continue even if in some cases we say that we cannot obey the pope at this time because he has issued these commandments or orders which obviously undermine the faith, or which take away our treasure of the liturgy; it is the liturgy of the whole Church, not its own, but that of our fathers and our saints, therefore we have a right to it.

” In such cases, even if we formally disobey, we will obey the whole Church of all time, and even, by such formal, apparent disobedience, we will do honor to the Holy See by guarding the treasures of the liturgy, which is a treasure of the Holy See, but which is temporarily limited or discriminated against by those who currently occupy high offices in the Holy See. »

In an interview with the director of LifeSiteNewsJohn-Henry Westen, October 28, Bishop Schneider returns to the persecution, evoking the time of the catacombs:

“An example of this type of situation, both for the faithful and for the priests – of being in a way persecuted and marginalized by those who occupy the high positions in the Church, by the bishops – is the one we have known in the 4th century, with Arianism.

“At that time, the valid bishops, the licit bishops, in any case the majority of them, persecuted the true Catholics who kept the tradition of faith in the divinity of Jesus Christ, Son of God. This was the question of life and death, of truth, of the tradition of faith. And so these were driven out of the churches, they were forced to go to the “roots”, to open-air masses.

“In a way, we too can find ourselves faced with such situations. And it’s happened before, especially after Traditionis custodes. There are places where people are literally driven out of parish churches where they had had, for many years, the traditional Latin Mass approved by Pope Benedict XVI and local bishops.

“Today, in the new context of Traditionis custodes, certain bishops – I repeat – literally expel from the churches, from the parish churches, the best faithful, the best priests: they expel them from the parish church which is called the mother church. And these devotees are therefore forced to look for new places of worship, gymnasiums, schools or assembly halls, etc.

“It’s a situation that resembles a certain form of catacomb time. They are not literally catacombs because they can still celebrate publicly, but it can be compared to the time of the catacombs because they cannot use official Church structures and buildings. »

And to recall once again what obedience really is in the Church: “We must specify the true concept and meaning of obedience. Saint Thomas Aquinas says that we owe absolute, unconditional obedience to God alone, but to no creature, even the pope himself. Obedience towards the pope and the bishops in the Church is therefore a limited obedience.

“So when the pope or the bishops ordain something that will manifestly undermine the fullness of the Catholic faith and the fullness of the Catholic liturgy – that treasure of the Church, the traditional Latin Mass – it is harmful because it undermines the purity of the faith; by undermining the purity of the sacred character of the liturgy, we are undermining the whole Church.

“We diminish the good of the Church, the spiritual good of the Church. We diminish the good of our souls. And to that, we cannot collaborate. How might we collaborate in diminishing the purity of the faithhow could we collaborate in diminishing the sacred, sublime character of the liturgy of the Holy Mass, the millennial traditional Mass of all the saints?

In such a situation, we have the obligation (it is not just a question of saying that we “can” on certain occasions) to say to the Holy Father, to the bishops, “with all the respect and love that we you owe, we cannot execute these orders that you give because they harm the good of our holy Mother Church”.

“So we have to look for other places while still being somehow formally disobedient. But in fact we will be obedient to our holy Mother Church, who is greater than any particular pope. Holy Mother Church is greater than a particular pope! And so, we obey our holy Mother Church.

“We obey the Popes of all ages who have promoted, defended, protected the purity of the Catholic faith, unconditionally, without compromise, and who have also defended the sanctity and the immutable liturgy of the Holy Mass throughout the centuries. »

Bishop Schneider: the traditional Mass, even at the cost of a “liturgical exile”