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Opening Speech for the Venice Document Conference

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò

July 17, 2021

Dear friends,

Praised be Jesus Christ.

This conference has the privilege of being based in a city with a glorious past, in which its rulers were able to apply with wisdom the good government of every temporal reign that finds its inspirational and informant principles in religion.

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A new song by Aaron Lewis has rocketed to the Number One spot on the Billboard chart after debuting within the top 15 of the Hot 100 on July 2, 2021.

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In his first print interview since the release of Pope Francis’ new decree restricting the Traditional Latin Mass, Traditionis Custodes, Bishop Athanasius Schneider has said the document “demeans” a thousand-year-old liturgy of the Roman Rite, commits an “injustice” against Catholics who adhere to it, and creates a “two-class society” in the Church.

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Foreword by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò

This great and powerful article by Professor Massimo Viglione constitutes one of the most lucid and profound comments on the ominous Motu Proprio Traditionis Custodes. In sharing this important intervention, I intend to offer it to the reading and reflection of all the faithful, Catholics and also non-Catholics, so that each one can draw from it prophetic clarity and apostolic courage in the very hard war that we are all called to face, a war whose inevitable outcome will be the triumph of the Bride of Christ over the unleashing of the infernal powers.

Gerhard Eger: I am very grateful, Dr. Kwasniewski, that you are willing to take the time to answer my questions. What is your overall assessment of the motu proprio Traditionis Custodes?

Dr. Kwasniewski: It is the worst document promulgated by a pope in the history of the Roman Church. Full stop. Why do I say this? Because although popes have changed this or that aspect of the legislation of their predecessors, none has ever tried to stamp out one of the greatest liturgical rites in Christendom by putting its adherents under siege and starving them until they die or capitulate. It’s a mentality of warfare applied to members of the Mystical Body. Totally unworthy of a successor of the Apostle Peter, who, like the Apostle Paul with whom he is always depicted in iconography, would have counseled us to “hold fast to the traditions” (2 Thess 2:15).

After issuing a warning on his personal blog on June 12, 2021, Cardinal Zen below reacts to the tone and spirit of Traditionis Custodes:

Why do they see a problem where there is none, and close their eyes to the problem for which they are also responsible?

Concerns about a possible document "against" the Tridentine Mass (see my blog June 12, 2021) have come true, and the blow has been no less severe because it was foreseen. Many tendentious generalizations in the documents hurt more than expected the hearts of many good people, who have never given the slightest cause to be suspected of not accepting the liturgical reform of the Council, much less of not accepting the Council tout court. Moreover, they remain active members in their parishes.
It came as a bitter surprise to me personally that the “widespread” consultation never reached me, a cardinal and former member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. In addition, during 2007-2009, I was Bishop of Hong Kong and was therefore responsible for implementing Summorum Pontificum, and up to now, have been well known for supporting the group.

In hac lacrimarum vallevigano crest

Dear Dr. Valli,

I was moved when I read your reflections on the state of the Church and on the “migration” of Catholics from a dying reality to a new, more combative and guerilla dimension, as you wrote, using an image taken from a well-known radio meditation given by the young Joseph Ratzinger.

New from Remnant-TV.com...

In this Remnant-TV.com exclusive, Michael J. Matt considers the question of why—in the middle of global upheaval, apostasy, and pandemic—Francis is focusing his papal sights not a church wracked with apostasy but rather on the small remnant of believers who wish simply to attend the Mass of their fathers.

Even non-Catholics are perplexed by Francis’ unprecedented decision to contradict his immediate predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, who freed the Latin Mass and insisted it was never (and could never be) abrogated.

So here we are, a mere 24 hours (at this writing) after the nuclear detonation of the laughably entitled “Traditionis Custodes” (TC).  I am reminded of the messages scrawled onto the casing of the Fat Man atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki: “Here’s to you!” wrote one Art Josephson of Chicago  “Here’s to you!” said Bergoglio as he dropped his bomb on a rapidly growing liturgical revival, led by young people, that ever more clearly exposes the terminal morbidity of the vast ecclesial dystopia over which he presides. 

Seventy-six years ago, on July 16, 1945, the first atomic bomb was detonated in a lonely desert 210 miles south of Los Alamos, New Mexico. Today, on July 16, 2021, Pope Francis has dropped an atom bomb on the Catholic Church that will harm not just those who “adhere to the Latin liturgical tradition” but everyone who values continuity and coherence, reverence and beauty, our heritage and our future.

Dear Friends:  Don’t be discouraged. God is in charge of everything, and this would not be happening if He did not allow it. This has all happened before. I know, I remember, I lived through it. This is a chastisement, yes, but it does not alter what we are called to do:  We must know, love, and serve God, and resist those who do not. 

Francis has no power to change that.

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