Recently, Pat Archbold posted a series of articles on the endgame of the Bergoglio cabal as it relates to the traditional Mass and Summorum Pontificum. You can start here.
He predicts, quite reasonably, that the Bergoglio endgame is the Mass. and by “the Mass”, I mean the real one. Don’t pretend you don’t know.
Short version: First, abrogate Summorum Pontificum. Second: herd all TLM-goers into “indult” communities. Third: change the TLM in one or more repugnant ways. Four: Watch trads flee, and cause a schism, all while Bergoglio claims it’s their fault.
To this I can only say two things: 1) An abrogation of Summorum Pontificum, without more, will not abrogate the traditional Mass; and, 2) Even supposing one try to do so, it is impossible for a pope to abrogate the traditional Mass.
Recall that the “holding” of Summorum Pontificum was merely, and exactly, this: the traditional Mass has never been abrogated. It is the right of any priest to say it and of any faithful to assist at it. And that, despite appearances, despite the real and practical efforts to suppress it, it has always been possible for it to have been celebrated, without permission or indult. All the rest– the language about “forms” of the Roman Rite, stable communities of the faithful, the system providing recourse against obstructionist bishops, etc.– this was just language crafting a practical implementation of the underlying, independently existing fact: the Mass has never been abrogated.
So I ask you to use logic: if a pope were to abrogate Summorum Pontificum, what legal effect does that have? Benedict merely recognized that the Mass was not abrogated. Repealing SP doesn’t mean that the opposite is true. What would be abrogated is the laughable, juridically-forced classification of the Mass as the “extraordinary form” of the one Roman Rite, of which the new Mass novelty is the “ordinary form.”
In fact, in the hands of a real, faithful, Catholic pope, the abrogation of Summorum Pontificum would be an act of justice preparatory to a restoration of the traditional Mass throughout the Latin Church. To equate the Mass of the ages, handed down over ages in a glorious, organic, Holy Ghost-directed process, with the Bugnini debacle is an insult to the truth. The liturgical destruction was not a failure– it was a rousing success. It was designed to destroy the faith of Catholics in the pews, and it has done so. Nothing will really begin to get better in the Church until the traditional Mass is restored and the fabricated rite discarded.
But, back to the point. An abrogation of SP merely puts us back to the situation in 2006 and before: the Mass has never been abrogated and any priest may say it. And bishops will seek to punish those who do. OK, we need manly priests and bishops to say it, promote it, and protect it. Not a comfortable spot, but Our Lord did not promise us comfort in doing right in this world.
But wait, you might say, what about Archbold’s point that the pope could exercise his right to change the Mass and kill it that way? No. The pope does not have the right to abrogate the Mass, and thus he cannot forbid any priest from celebrating the Mass as it was codified by St. Pius V. Change the Mass substantially enough, and it isn’t the Mass of St. Pius V. And, according to the words of Quo Primum, and the logic of Summorum Pontificum, the Missal of St. Pius V is a missal to which priests and faithful may have recourse by right.
Back in the days of my early “trad-version”, before Summorum Pontificum, the internet debate over the Mass revolved around Quo Primum, the Bull of St. Pius V, that guaranteed the right of every priest to celebrate the TLM for all time. That is the situation to which we would return. Debates then involved these questions: Could St. Pius bind his successors in that regard? What about incidental changes to the calendar or prayers, etc? What about other rites protected by custom having the force of law?
Thus, at times, I felt like one had to be a lawyer or liturgical expert to explain one’s adherence to the traditional formulations and praxis of the faith. This is why Summorum Pontificum was such a blessing. But the key action of SP was to acknowledge a simple fact– the Mass has never been abrogated. Abrogating SP doesn’t abrogate the fact it acknowledged. Imagine SP acknowledged that 2+2=4. Abrogating SP doesn’t change the equation or its answer: 2+2=4.
The last question that may have to be addressed– forgetting abrogation of SP– is whether a pope could abrogate the Mass itself. Some posit that a pope could validly do so (i.e., he has the raw power), but that any attempt to so would be illicit (i.e., illegal). Others state no pope could do so either validly or licitly. You might have guessed I follow the latter view.
Quo Primum specifically forbade any pope from abrogating the Mass, and specifically guaranteed the right of priests to say it. Moreover, in codifying the Mass, and suppressing other rites, St. Pius specifically exempted and protected those rites that had a lineage of 200 years. And the TLM has a lineage far longer than 200 years.
No, the pope cannot abrogate the Mass, nor prevent any priest from celebrating it, nor prevent you from assisting at it. Yes, it can be taken away practically by evil men, but it can’t be denied that it is our right.
Be strong, be brave, persevere. Pray for the protection of the Mass.