Rome, We Have a Problem

The traditional Latin Mass held at the U.S. Capitol last week was a Jericho-Walls-crumbling moment.

If ever there were an emergency message to Rome, this is it. It might have been the SOS a year ago as some bishops witnessed large numbers of other bishops using their pastoral canonical privilege to bypass the iron-fisted prescriptions of Traditionis Custodes. But it is certainly the frightened alert in light of the Extraordinary Form Mass held at the U.S. Capitol last Tuesday.

It was a Jericho-Walls-crumbling moment. This time it was not Jewish priests and Israelites circling the city and blowing their horns but Catholics worldwide storming Heaven. Or, a parallel more recent, the cracking of the Berlin Wall by East Germans, but this time by passionate Catholic millennials who will not let the Mass of the Ages become a fossil of past ages. Its significance cannot be overemphasized. This Extraordinary Mass was celebrated at the request of the Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, in an archdiocese that has witnessed the near abrogation of all Traditional Masses. The irony could not have been sweeter.

The Hidden Cost of Mon... Bunney, Sebastian Best Price: $19.75 Buy New $21.99 (as of 09:52 UTC - Details) Mr. Johnson intended the Mass to mark the anniversary of the FBI’s investigation of Traditional Masses as potential nests of domestic terrorism. The House properly investigated this enormity with the interrogation of its Director, Mr. Wray, at an open Congressional hearing. For all his wriggling, he was unable to escape blame for the shocking activity of his agents.

The Mass was originally intended for the Speaker’s small dining room—until he discovered that the request for attendance exceeded its capacity. It was then moved to a larger meeting room down the hall from the Speaker’s office. A team of young Catholic men and women from various House and Senate offices eagerly offered their assistance in organizing the event.

But mere organization is an understatement. They went to work with the excitement and passion of men on a mission. Not so much on account of the anniversary, but because of the Extraordinary Form Mass being celebrated. The organizers enlisted the help of a priest known only to them, to protect him from any punitive action. The whole affair was executed with military precision and attention to detail.

It captured the attention of the world.

No sooner was the makeshift chapel disassembled that the Catholic press roared into action. First, the usual traditional online news organizations, then others. Most intriguing was reportage of America magazine, the Jesuit magazine of record for the avant-garde Catholic Left. Their headline screamed “Illicit Latin Mass held in the U.S. Capitol.” This was rich.

Living in the Long Eme... James Howard Kunstler Buy New $24.95 (as of 10:56 UTC - Details) Interesting that the New and Improved Society of Jesus would employ the dated word illicit. After all, their star theologians long banned that term from the theological language of the bien pensant. This is the same Society which proscribed anachronisms such as moral absolutes ages ago (except, of course, the new moral absolutes of the Woke Left).

This is the Society whose sprawling university/college apparatus has become the humming factory of anti-Catholic Catholicism. Long ago, this ever-so-modern Society raised the flag of laissez-faire Catholicism. Yet here they were with the fury of Puritans hanging the scarlet letter round the neck of Hester Prynne. What might be next for the terribly au courant Society? A new iteration of the Salem Witch Trials?

But why would there be alarm in some chanceries? Because this was not the trajectory planned by the foes of the Traditional Mass. After sixty years of the conventional Novus Ordo wisdom, its votaries were certain that the Traditional Mass would, by this time, long be forgotten. They were quite certain their efforts over the past half-century or so would have secured its place on the ash heap of history. It would go the way of meatless Fridays, Sacred Heart devotions, novenas, and mortal sin.

They did not plan on a Youth Revolution catapulting the Traditional Mass into full view again.

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