This article, posted at The Remnant, is a welcome and rewarding read. The words below are his, and though he writes on the, ahem, uncertain premise of the motu proprio’s author being the true pope, the analysis otherwise is spot on:
“Let’s not mince words: this is a declaration of total war, and must be courageously resisted every step of the way, “anything else to the contrary notwithstanding.” The true “guardians of tradition” will be the clergy, religious, and laity who carry on with the traditional liturgy in the face of the infernal hatred directed against it. If Francis wants war, I hope and pray there will be enough men ready to enlist, and enough men capable of leading them. And by the latter, I mean priests ready to give themselves 100% to the needs of the faithful who rightly adhere to tradition—come what may. There are souls at stake, including the priest’s own soul; for he cannot “unknow” what he has come to know, cannot “unlove” what he has come to love. It is too high a price to pay for obedience to a soul-crushing regime, whatever trappings of authority it claims to wear.
“This new motu proprio is as bad as it seems only if we allow ourselves to think and act as if we are bound by it, as if its provisions are licit. If, however, we recognize that it is inherently anti-Catholic, and that no pope can rightfully trample on the members of the Church and on her venerable rites as Francis is attempting to do, then we will see it more as an external burden, like a plague, a war, a famine, or an evil government to be overthrown or borne with until its demise. Does the pope have the authority to issue such a diktat? No. It is worth even less than the paper on which it is written.
“Those who love the traditional liturgy and recognize in it the focal point of the Church’s inheritance will carry on as best they can. They will not beg for permission to offer the immemorial Mass. They will not do the readings in the vernacular, with “approved editions” (New American Bible, anyone?). They would rather perish as martyrs than die in the ignominy of lapsation.
“The ghettoization that Benedict XVI labored mightily to overcome has not only returned but received a ringing endorsement.
I believe at least some bishops will be non-plussed by how cold, harsh, and foolish is Francis’s anti-TLM motu proprio, which has all the charm of a decree by Stalin ordering the purge of Ukrainian dissidents. Of course, there are others who will run with it, but I can’t imagine that bishops who have seen the many good fruits of Summorum Pontificum—not least, the steady and often generous financial contributions that flow in from traditional groups—and who enjoy good relationships with priests and parishes that peacefully celebrate the TLM will want to disturb them for the sake of falling in line with a temporary tyrant. Any bishop who genuinely loves the Catholic Faith, any bishop aware of the burgeoning love of tradition among the young and its power to revitalize the Church after the doldrums (not to say freefall) of recent decades, will quietly set aside this painful document and proceed as if nothing has changed—or rather, proceed in the certain knowledge that, as Rorate Caeli tweeted, “Francis will die and the traditional Mass will live on.”
“On the pragmatic side, most bishops do not have a superabundance of clergy such that they could afford to alienate a sizeable number of their presbyterate. If enough priests in the more conservative dioceses stick to the Latin Masses to which they have an inalienable and unabrogatable right, what are the bishops going to do — throw them all out? Where will they get pastors? Where will they get future vocations? Do bishops need another huge headache on their hands, a civil war, a smouldering discontent that saps time and energy on all sides? Benedict XVI brokered a fragile peace, one under which a certain measure of non-polemical normalcy was possible. Many will want to keep that peace, such as it is, in preference to renewed hostilities.”