Most of you know already that Pope Benedict has announced his resignation as Pope. As for myself and probably for you, this comes as a great shock. We have heard rumors that he was thinking about that awhile ago, but was willing to carry the cross until death, as is usually the case with popes. This is an extremely important time to Pray, Pray and Pray. Ash Wednesday is this Wednesday and Lent begins. What a perfect lenten practice it would be, to offer up more prayer and sacrifice for who will be our next pope and the future of our Holy Catholic Church. Holy Spirit I trust in You.
I am very thankful to Pope Benedict for the “Summorum Pontificum” and the declaration that the Holy Tridentine Mass had NEVER BEEN ABROGATED. His concern to bring the Society of Pius the X back into canonical conformity with Rome was appreciated too. In his negotiations with the Society of Pius X, they asked for the return of the Holy Tridentine Mass and that bishops and priest and the laity could have accesses to it. It was because of this, that Pope Benedict gave us the “Summorum Pontificum”. As some of you remember that before this the indult Latin Mass was tolerated only in some diocese and usually relegated to a small chapel where few attended and way fewer even knew it existed. Thanks to Pope Benedict and the Society of Pius the X the Holy Tridentine Mass was liberated and is spreading all over the world.
Then on May 13th. 2011, Pope Benedict put out an even stronger instruction, “Universae Ecclesae”, that further encourage and clarified what rights the laity have when they are a stable group asking for the Holy Latin Mass and Sacraments. In this document he also encouraged seminaries to teach seminarians the Holy Tridentine Mass.
I want to beg all of you reading this blog to google these two documents and print them up and study them. Especially read and study “Universae Ecclesiae”. It is short. You will be shocked at the rights you have been given as lay members of the Holy Catholic Church by the Pope Benedict. This is not only for the Holy Tridentine Mass, but also the other sacraments in the old form, like baptism and confirmation. But do not get to excited, because we are still treated like minorities in the back of the catholic bus. I say this because, the so called liberals say they are for the trampled on, yet they are the ones trampling on these new rights we have been given by “Summorum Pontificum” and “Universae Ecclesiae”. You can express your concerns to Ecclesia Dei at the Vatican if you are liturgically and spiritually abuse when asking for what is Catholic from your parish, priests and bishops.
What I have experienced as a pastor for over 10 years was that many people criticized me. When ever you are in a position of a spiritual leadership it is expected to be criticized. There is nothing wrong with criticism when it is done with humility and charity. Whenever we criticize, we need to be sure we know more about the subject than the person we are criticizing. Again we need to be sure we are correct on the information we are criticizing a person for. We especially need to be careful when criticizing the Pope, our bishop, priest, religious or anyone. Basically we need to be careful when we criticize. I want to be open to criticism, because I can learn to become a better priest or it can help me overcome a blindness I may have. We priest need to listen to criticism, that comes in charity, from adults and youth too. Often the youth and children see through adult games and speak the truth. Again humility in taking and giving criticism helps a lot. So if you know more and are sure it is true what you are criticizing about, then in love do it.
If at any time I would criticize Pope Benedict on anything, good people would get very upset with me. They would criticize me for criticizing. I have learn so much from reading the books and encyclicals of Pope Benedict. But I also will carefully criticize him as well. This has gotten me in much trouble with good conservative catholics. They are so use to criticism coming from liberals that they think you can not be a traditional catholic and criticize the pope.
Let us take Assisi as an example. Pope Benedict was critical of Pope John Paul’s gathering in Assisi where pagan rituals took place in catholic churches. Google Pope John Paul peace gathering in Assisi. Here we have a pope criticizing an earlier pope. Is that right or wrong? I say anything that is wrong in the church has to be criticized and corrected as the saints did. Pope Benedict had a gathering last year of religious leaders in Assisi to pray for peace. I know that we need peace in this world and prayer is important. But what I criticize is that he prayed with pagans and allowed them to worship in catholic retreat houses after they had all prayed together. I have no problem coming together to talk about what we have in common to help bring about peace.
Now some will agree and some will disagree and criticize me. That is fine with me, just do it in christian love. I am deeply concerned by Pope Benedict resigning. He is our pope. He has done so much to help restore tradition. He has been brave to bring up the dialogue on rupture in continuity. Again I can not express it more clearly, we need to pray for him and for our church in this very very critical time when things are falling apart all over the world. But then this could be a renewal time for tradition. My prayer is that Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith from Colombo Sri Lanka will be our new pope. He understands and talks about modernism and self centered liturgies. Pray for him. It is wonderful to be a traditional catholic.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.