“We must strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren that is for the Prostestants.” - Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, main author of the New Mass, L'Osservatore Romano, March 19, 1965
Thus, far from being shocked that a modern bishop omitted the Creed from his Mass, I suppose we should be thankful that Paul VI didn’t see fit to remove the Creed altogether from his Novus Ordo Mass. After all, Bp. Olivero was just moving the thinking of Bugnini along to its logical end: a pan-religious worship service that utters nothing but “non-offensive” platitudes about some sort of higher power. (See also: Hilary White's commentary)
Pope Francis Once Led a Lutheran Worship Service
Along these same lines, Lutheran website evangelisch.de reported on a meeting between Francis and the pastor of the Evangelical-Lutheran community in Rome, Rev. Michael Jonas:
During the conversation the Pope shared an anecdote from his time as a young Jesuit in Scandinavia. There he substituted for a Lutheran pastor in a worship service without the Eucharist. The Pope emphasized that Catholics and Lutherans are very close to each other with regard to how they conduct a worship service, according to Jonas. Four years ago the Pope visited the Lutheran community in Rome.
(“Papst empfängt Pfarrer der evangelisch-lutherischen Gemeinde in Rom”, evangelisch.de, Jan. 10, 2020.)
(Remember Lund, Sweden?)
This, again, comes as no surprise to longtime Remnant readers. Francis is correct that the Novus Ordo Mass is very close to a Lutheran worship service. So much so, that the great Archbishop Lefebvre once gave a conference on it:
I wish to speak to you this evening about the evangelical Mass of Martin Luther, and of the striking resemblance between his Liturgical innovations of more than four centuries ago, and the recently promulgated new order of the Mass, the Novus Ordo Missae.
Why are such considerations of significance? Because of the prominent role, according to the President of the Liturgical Commission himself, accorded to the concept of ecumenism in bringing about these reforms. Because, further, if we are able to ascertain that a close relationship does indeed exist between Luther's innovations and the Novus Ordo, then the theological question, that is the question of the faith, must be asked in terms of the well known adage, "lex orandi, lex credendi"; the law of prayer cannot be profoundly changed without changing the law of belief. (An Examination of the Shocking Similarities Between the New Mass and Luther's "Mass" by His Grace Archbishop Lefebvre, February 15, 1975, Florence, Italy)
The difference, of course, is that while Archbishop Lefebvre correctly realized this was a tragedy, Francis sees it as something to celebrate.
Radical Left Catholics Resort to Vulgar Speech (F-word)
The new year saw a disturbing trend of left wing Catholic writers using public profanity. On Jan 7th, left wing Catholic writer Simcha Fischer tweeted vulgar profanity proudly and with no apology. Her friend and fellow radical left wing Catholic blogger, Mark Shea, responded to the tweet with his own use of the same profanity. Mrs. Fischer’s Twitter followers then let loose with 13 uses of the same vulgar profanity in response to the tweet, with full approval of its use.
In addition, on Jan 3rd, the left wing Catholic magazine, Commonweal, published an article with profanity in its very title.
It appears part of the Francis Effect involves taking delight and reveling in the public use of profanity. I suppose this is part and parcel of the inner peace and joy that Francis’ spirituality brings upon his true believers.
Pope Francis Commits Blasphemy by Smacking Woman’s Hand?
On New Year’s Eve, Francis made worldwide headlines for smacking a woman’s hand who had grabbed his own hand trying to get his attention in St. Peter’s Square. The next day, on the Novus Ordo Feast of the Mother of God, January 1st, Francis apparently condemned himself of blasphemy stating, “Every form of violence inflicted upon a woman is a blasphemy against God..”
Yet again Francis makes a hyperbolic theologically incorrect statement, this time trying to redeem himself for his actions the previous day. Yet in the process, he condemns himself of a sin he didn’t even commit, at least not on New Year’s Eve. Instead, Francis previously committed the sin of blasphemy against the holiest woman of all, the Mother of God, in 2013 when he said:
She was silent, but in her heart, how many things told the Lord! ‘You, that day, this and the other that we read, you had told me that he would be great, you had told me that you would have given him the throne of David, his forefather, that he would have reigned forever and now I see him there!’ Our Lady was human! And perhaps she even had the desire to say: ‘Lies! I was deceived!’
Benedict XVI and Cardinal Sarah Co-Author Book on Priestly Celibacy
This just in: Diane Montagna reports that Benedict XVI and Cardinal Sarah have co-authored a book taking a firm stand against the priestly ordination of married men. Key passages have just been released in the French daily, Le Figaro. Catholic social media is, predictably, ablaze with Chicken Little syndrome. Leftists like Massimo Faggioli are panicking and calling it a “breach,” while conservative Catholics with rose colored glasses are reacting as if the Amazon Synod has already been defeated.
As usual, I don’t believe either of these conclusions is accurate. It is, of course, a very good thing that Benedict XVI and Cardinal Sarah have made a vigorous and public defense of priestly celibacy in the West. However, it must be pointed out that priestly celibacy in the West, although a many centuries old discipline, is still a discipline. Francis understands that he has full authority as Pope to change this discipline. As Benedict and Sarah no doubt rightly point out, changing this discipline would have disastrous effects on the Latin Church and the priesthood. However, it would not affect the doctrinal integrity of the Church.
In contrast, there were so many doctrinal issues Benedict and Sarah could have spoken out about against the synod, the theological impossibility of women deacons being one of them. For Benedict XVI to speak on this issue and to reaffirm its impossibility would have really put Francis in a bind. For Francis to take this step in the future, after Benedict XVI came out vigorously against it, would make it clear that Francis had created a theological breach with even Vatican II theology. For Benedict XVI stands as the last living Council Father of any importance.
My fear now is that Francis will be able to side-step this book by Benedict and Sarah. First, Francis will simply allow time to pass so the book is no longer in the headlines. Second, he will do what he has done so often, most recently in Amoris Laetitia. He will praise priestly celibacy in the Latin church to no end in a final synodal document, perhaps even going so far as to quote Benedict XVI’s book on its importance, while still allowing for married priests out of “necessity,” in “limited circumstances,” on a “trial basis” in the Amazon. By doing this Francis will appear to pay homage to his predecessor and priestly celibacy by showing he carefully considered both and takes them seriously. Yet, in reality it will enable Francis to disregard his predecessor and provide an “exception” that will serve to dismantle priestly celibacy in the Latin Rite. Let us pray I’m wrong.