Fr John Zuhlsdorf blogs –– Remember that “survey” that the CDF wanted to make of the world’s bishops about the use of the “Extraordinary Form” and matters concerning Summorum Pontificum?
Keep your heads cool. Don’t panic.
Christian Marquant reacts post factum in the Paix Liturgique newsletter there is an interesting tid bit.
First, a refresher. I’ve been writing for a while now that, even as availability and frequency of the Traditional Roman Rite is growing, there is a demographic sinkhole opening under the Church into which the “nones” and the tepid, the “beige” will soon fall. This is exacerbated by COVID-1984. Also, the clock keeps ticking on older, senior Catholics. It ticks for all of us, but some are closer to the end than others. When they go, their material support of the Church goes with them. But “trad” families are large and committed.
Paix Liturgique: And that, then, is why you are so pleased with this Roman survey among all the bishops of the world.
Christian Marquant: At the beginning of this interview I spoke of those Italian bishops who are hostile to the expansion of the traditional liturgy. Now, the results of this survey are supposed to be handled at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith by the personnel in charge of the traditional liturgy. Yet the Italian bishops, who keenly spotted the inherent danger of this survey, have arbitrarily modified the procedure outlined by Rome: the Conference of Italian Bishops has instructed the bishops of Italy to send their answers not back to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, but straight to the Conference of Bishops, which will then take it upon itself to collate them, summarize them, and send its summary to the Holy See. Without wishing to seem naïve (I am fully aware that those opposed to the traditional liturgy will do their utmost to thwart it), I see this as proof that they have been rattled by the truth. And this truth is the weight of the Summorum Pontificum world, which is a stand-in for the discontent of a considerable proportion of Catholics worldwide.
Paix Liturgique: So you believe that the current situation bothers them?
Christian Marquant: I do believe so, and I’ll give you a reason why: a few days ago our dear friend Marco Sgroi, the president of the Italian Coordination of Summorum Pontificum, was telling us that the number of places where the traditional liturgy is celebrated in Italy had increased from 129 to 134 within the space of the single year 2019. This represents an increase of five venues, or 4%, within 71 of the 222 dioceses of Italy. He also told us that requests for celebrations are more and more numerous in Italy (at least thirty verified requests where the traditional liturgy is not currently being celebrated), even though there as elsewhere the drumbeat had long been that “the traditional problem concerns only the French, in France” … Understandably, the Italian bishops are as worried today as the French bishops were yesterday.
This is the same Italian Bishops Conference whose daily news association just defended the child-porn promoting “Cuties”.
In France, more and more the life of the Church is being influenced by the TRADITIONAL form. That will happen in Italy and everywhere else, too.
Bishops are frightened. That means they will lash out. They will continue to target priests who do traditional things. For insecure bishops, every time they hear about Latin (which they don’t know) or see a TLM is being said or a – GASP! -an picnic table altar is being removed or Mass is going ad orientem – they lash out at the priests.
Bishops are frightened because they see the statistics. Demographics are changing for priests too, not just lay people. Younger priests are more and more open to Traditional. That is scary.
The Church’s landscape is going to change massively. Tectonically. A few groups will remain strong in the Church, including Traditionalists (who are having lots of children, who are dedicated and generous with their money). There are also committed converts from a more Evangelical background. There are charismatics who have strong Eucharistic and Marian devotion. Out of necessity these groups will find each other. There will be friction, but something amazing will grow out of their contact and integration. The TRADITIONAL LATIN RITE, not the Novus Ordo, will being them together.