July 23, 2009
Letter to the Editor
The Remnant Newspaper
P.O. Box 1117
Forest Lake, MN 55025
The article (June 30, 2008) by James Bogle criticizing the new edition of "The Pope, the Council and the Mass" (PCM) and its authors for "deriding Catholics who prefer the traditional Roman rite in... derogatory terms" makes one wonder if he actually read the book.
He certainly did not understand the position of its authors (myself and Kenneth D. Whitehead) who insisted on the necessity of the faithful's obedience to the Pope and the Bishops of the Church in their decisions regarding liturgical discipline. The entire volume echoed the grave concern (expressed by Pope Paul VI amidst the post -conciliar disorders and actual schisms) over the faithful
"being drawn away from the bond of obedience to the See of Peter and to their rightful bishop".
The publication of "Summorum Pontificem" in which we rejoiced has in no way "undermined" that major thesis. PCM remains indispensable for understanding liturgical developments in the history of the Church, for explaining the nature of Papal authority over the Liturgy, and for refuting systematically the many misconceptions, falsehoods, and lying propaganda which led many good Catholics to imagine that Vatican II and its authorized liturgical reform involved a doctrinal rupture with Catholic Tradition.
Mr. Bogle refers erroneously to "PCM Ch. 16, pp. 67-68" for our "derogatory terms". PCM does not have "Chapters", and no derogatory comments are found on those pages. The two quotations he gives are on other pages, with one of them the object of a complete distortion. The authors of PCM never held, as Mr. Bogle charged, that Pope Paul VI had "abrogated" the Tridentine Mass. In fact, he had only to read on page 63:
"He was not really abrogating anything; he was revising the Roman Missal and establishing this revision as henceforth the normative Mass for Catholics of the Roman rite... When Pope Paul issued 'Missale Romanum' promulgating this general revision, the further use of the older, unrevised version of the Missal (the 'Tridentine Mass') was derogated [i.e., allowed under certain circumstances], not abrogated." (p. 64)
The fact remains that the revised Ordo Missae remains the normative
"Ordinary form" for parish celebrations with regulations established for the authorized wider use of the "Tridentine Mass". As in the past, strict obedience is due the Successor of Peter with regard to his legal provisions for the celebration of the Roman Liturgy (whether in the Ordinary or Extraordinary form). As regards "Legal Positivism", it is logical to consider disregard of the conditions spelled out by the authority of the Pope for the celebration of the Mass a grave violation of Church law, no small matter.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
— James Likoudis,
P.O. Box 852,
Montour Falls, NY 14865