Letter #23, 2023 Wednesday, January 18: “No secrets”
I just received a fascinating letter, which I publish below.
I took my distance a bit yesterday (see this link) from the “rumors” in Rome that Pope Francis may soon issue a new decree further restricting the celebration of the old Mass.
Then, I received this letter.
It begins: “As we both know, there are no real ‘secrets’ in Rome.”
Then, essentially, the letter-writer tells me that the “rumor” does in fact contain a truth: that there is a draft Vatican document which would further restrict the celebration of the old Mass.
The letter is from a priest who confided in me that “an archbishop in the States has seen this document.”
The archbishop, he continues, “confirmed to a priest friend of mine (who is a person of true integrity and would not casually spread rumor), that it does indeed contain what some have guessed at — a further suppression of the TLM…”
I replied to the letter-writer, confirmed his identity, and know that the letter is not a prank, but a serious communication.
I regard it as credible. (If I did not, I would not publish it here.)
The news is “second-hand” because it comes from another priest, who learned of this from an archbishop, but I am persuaded that the “chain of witness” is not so fragile as to discredit the report.
Why publish it now, in this form?
Because it seems important that Catholics who love the old Mass, and who feel and believe that it comforts and supports them spiritually, and helps them to conform their minds and souls more closely to Christ, and so to better work out their salvation, should be aware of and informed about what the leaders of the Church are planning with regard to the old Mass.
For many thousands, this is not a “game of rites” played by hierarchs, but a profoundly serious spiritual matter that affects their souls and the souls of many, including their children, intimately.
Benedict XVI made strong arguments in favor of his 2007 decision to permit and, in a sense, to embrace the old Mass as a legitimate, honored part of our tradition.
His arguments remain powerful and persuasive, 15 years later… in spite of his departure from this world on December 31. —RM