Thursday, July 22, 2021

Roundup of Major Reactions to Traditionis Custodes [UPDATE #4]

Reactions to the motu proprio Apostolic Letter Traditionis Custodes of July 16, 2021, continue to pour out, from every side and on many aspects of the document and its accompanying letter. I think it is fair to say that nearly all who have written on it, from any place on the spectrum, have expressed feelings that range from regretful dismay to intense abhorrence. It has, in fact, been a unifying moment for all but the most extreme papal apologists.

It will be difficult to catch all of the articles that ought to be listed, but I shall give it a try, in the hopes that this aggregation will be of benefit to NLM readers. Some comments have been appended to certain articles. I have omitted articles that are little more than repetitions of the content of the documents, with no notable commentary. I have also not attempted to put the articles in exact time-stamp order, but simply grouped them by date. To place some limit on the list, I have only included English-language sources. Please feel free to add missing article titles and links in the comments. [UPDATE 7/19: I have begun to add some translations that are coming from foreign sources. It will not be possible to keep this list completely up-to-date but I will try to add when I can.]

It should go without saying that neither NLM nor I necessarily agrees with everything stated in these articles.


Edward Pentin, “Latin Mass Supporters React With Dismay to Pope’s Severe New Restrictions” (National Catholic Register) [includes comments from Cardinal Burke]

Fr. Pierre Laliberté, J.C.L. [pen name], “Legal Considerations on the motu proprio Traditionis Custodes—Restrictions demand strict interpretation” (Rorate Caeli)

Dorothy Cummings McLean, “‘Scandal,’ ‘bomb,’ ‘cruelty’: Tradition-loving Catholics react to Pope’s Latin Mass restrictions” (LifeSiteNews)

Rod Dreher, “‘Et Tu, Francisce?’” (The American Conservative)

Christopher R. Altieri, “Traditionis custodes: Best, worst, and middle case scenarios in the short term” (Catholic World Report)

Father Raymond J. de Souza, “Pope Francis’ Traditionis Custodes: Five Consequences of the New Motu Proprio Curtailing the Latin Mass

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, “First reactions to Traditionis custodes” (Fr. Z’s Blog)

Idem, “I urge everyone to think carefully about how to approach your local bishops” (Fr. Z’s Blog)

Amy Welborn, “Traditionis Custodes” (Charlotte Was Both) [This one wins the prize for the most succinct analysis of the hypocrisy of the motu proprio.]

Anonymous, “Pope Francis restricts celebration of traditional Latin Mass [News/analysis]” (Catholic Culture). [This has the fingerprints of Phil Lawler, but I could be mistaken.]

Steve Skojec, “Crippled Religion Strikes Again—And Summorum Pontificum Gets the Axe” (OnePeterFive)

Sam Guzman, “You Cannot Kill Tradition” (The Catholic Gentleman)

New Catholic, “The Attack of Hatred and Vengeance Against the Latin Mass Should be Ignored” (Rorate Caeli)

Anonymous, “Francis Destroys Summorum Pontificum; or, Obedience, Weapon of the Cleverest” (Whispers of Restoration)

Fr John Hunwicke, “Traditionis Custodes” (Fr Hunwicke’s Mutual Enrichment)

Fr Hugh Somerville Knapman, OSB, “Traditionis Custodes: a New World of Hurt” and “Traditionis Custodes: A Few Questions” (One Foot in the Cloister)

Alan Jacobs, “Asymmetrical Charity” (Snakes and Ladders) [A non-Catholic looks at the motu proprio.]

Eric Sammons, “Traditionis Custodes: Serpents over Fish” (Crisis Magazine)

Michael Matt, “We Resist Francis to His Face: Pachamama Pope Anathematizes Latin Mass” (The Remnant)

Peter Kwasniewski, “Traditionis Custodes: The New Atom Bomb” (The Remnant)

Joseph Shaw, “Some Comments on the Apostolic Letter Traditionis Custodes” (LMS Chairman’s Blog)

Stuart Chessman, “Traditionis Custodes” (The Society of St. Hugh of Cluny).

Shawn Tribe, Comments at Facebook group Defense of the Immemorial Roman Rite: Traditionis Custodes vs. Summorum Pontificum [1, 2, 3]

D.H. Price, “The funniest part is the title” (Dyspeptic Mutterings)

Adam A.J. DeVille, “A papacy big enough to fulfill your wishes can also destroy them” (Catholic World Report).

Brian Holdsworth, “Francis Sidelines the Latin Mass” [video].

Fr. Anthony Ruff, OSB, “An Appeal for Liturgical Peace” (PrayTell) [Even one of the head progressives cannot bring himself to gloat over the heavy-handedness of TC]

Dave Armstrong, “Pope Francis’ Traditionis Custodes Is for the Sake of Unity” (Biblical Evidence for Catholicism). [Defends Francis and approves of his motives.]

Zac Davis, “I once fell in love with the Latin Mass—which is why I understand why Pope Francis restricted it” (America). [Interesting psychological study of a young person who has turned against the Latin Mass; he seems to equate its attractiveness with “smells and bells.”]

James T. Keane, “Explainer: What is the history of the Latin Mass?” (America). [A perfect exhibit of half-truths, half-digested, which continue to malform the understanding of the reading public.]

Robert Mickens, “Pope Francis announces a requiem for the Old Latin Mass” (La Croix International).

Simon Rafe, “Get Interrupted” (ChurchMilitant). [This is, quite simply, the most naïve article I’ve ever read, written as if the author has not been around for any of the past fifty years. But it is instructive of a certain kneejerk papalism and thus instructive.]

Mike Lewis, “Abrogated” (WherePeterIs). [Gloats over decision.]

Adam Rasmussen, “Traditionis Custodes: The Council and the Roman Rite” (WherePeterIs). [Shows the extent to which myths beget further myths.]

Michael Sean Winters, “On the Latin Mass, Pope Francis pulls off the Band-Aid” (National Catholic Reporter). [Just as bad as you’d expect, but amusing in its own way.]

Fr Dwight Longenecker, “The Pope’s Motu Proprio: What Next?” (Standing on My Head). [Fundamentally agrees with the pope’s decision and wants to leverage it for the ROTR.]

How things may soon be . . . in out-of-the-way chapels

Tim Stanley, “The pope’s merciless war against the Old Rite” (The Spectator) [A brilliant and devastating piece.]

Fr. Peter Stravinskas, “An unnecessary and divisive motu proprio” (Catholic World Report)

Elise Anne Allen, “Pope’s clampdown on Latin Mass praised as ‘prophetic,’ ripped as ‘cruel’” (Crux) [The usual gamut of opposing views, including those of NLM’s Gregory DiPippo.]

Edward Feser, “Aquinas on bad prelates” (Edward Feser)

Amy Wellborn, “Reax” (Charlotte Was Both)

Fr. Gaurav Shroff, “Pariahs” (Maior autem his est caritas)

Hilary White, “The Purge” (World of Hilarity)

Leila Miller, “There can be no ‘unity’ through the rejection of tradition” (Leila Miller)

Fr Hugh Somerville Knapman, OSB, “Traditionis custodes and authority” and “The Motu Proprio & the Law of Unintended Consequences” (One Foot in the Cloister)

McCall and Ferrara Discuss Pope’s New Motu Proprio against the Traditional Mass” [video] (Catholic Family News).

The Truth About the Traditional Mass w/ Scott Hahn” [video interview conducted by Matt Fradd of Sips with Aquinas]

Peter Kwasniewski, “TLM Celebrants: Keep Doing the Readings in Latin — Add Vernacular as Appropriate” (New Liturgical Movement)

Molly Olmstead, “The Seemingly Minor Change the Pope Just Made That Is Freaking Out Conservative Catholics” (Slate). [I include this because it exemplifies the incapacity of most journalists to understand liturgical issues—and they are not helped by the people they choose to interview.]

Leo Darroch, “A Lie About John Paul II's Words Underpins Francis' motu proprio” (Rorate Caeli)


Msgr. Eric Barr, “Et Cum Spiritu NoNo—The Demise of the Traditional Latin Mass Experiment” (Thin Places) [a perfect exhibition of the Bergoglian mentality, one that holds sincere ordinary Catholics in contempt, as the very title suggests]

Fr. John Hunwicke, "Does Traditionis Custodes possess Auctoritas?" (Fr. Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment)


Damian Thompson, “The plot against the Old Rite” (Holy Smoke podcast at The Spectator)

Fr Hugh Somerville Knapman, OSB, “Mea culpa—A Glaring Omission” (One Foot in the Cloister)

Dom Alcuin Reid, OSB, “A Homily on the Unity of the Church” (website of the Monastère St Benoît)

Paul Casey, “Can a Catholic Ever Disobey a Pope?” (OnePeterFive)

John R. Allen Jr., “Both on communion and Latin Mass, ‘weaponization’ may be Pope’s target” (Crux)

Relevant in a larger perspective are the following pieces that appeared prior to the release of the motu proprio:

Peter Kwasniewski, “Beyond Summorum Pontificum: The Work of Retrieving the Tridentine Heritage” (Rorate Caeli)

Anonymous, “The right to celebrate the perennial Mass of the Roman Church is based on immemorial tradition and not on legal positivism” (Rorate Caeli)


Edward Feser, “Pope Victor redux?” (Edward Feser blog) [superb]

Fr. Dana Christensen, “Response to Pope Francis: Part One” (A Living Sacrifice) [Powerful read, especially for clergy]


Phillip Campbell, “Nine Reflections on Traditionis Custodes” (Unam Sanctam Catholicam) [Excellent and refreshingly clear]

Christophe Geffroy, "Reflections from France on the motu proprio Traditionis Custodes of Pope Francis" (Catholic World Report)

Cardinal Gerhard Müller, “Cardinal Müller on the New TLM Restrictions” (The Catholic Thing)

Prepare now for non-parochial situations


The following articles have been added on July 20th. It seemed better to append them this way than to insert them back into the dates where it would be harder to tell they had been just added.

July 17

Traditionis Custodes. The commentary of Pietro De Marco” (Settimo Cielo). [Not a great English translation, but a forceful piece by an Italian liturgist probing the true nature of the motu proprio.]

July 18

Douglas Farrow, “Pope Francis and the Tridentine Mass” (First Things)

July 19

Jeanne Smits, “Reflections on the Traditional Latin Mass and the new motu proprio Traditionis Custodes” (Life Site News)

Joseph Shaw, “Who is Pope Francis punishing?” (Life Site News)

New Catholic, “Strong Communiqué of the Chartres Pilgrimage: "Clericalism-Caudillism never works well, motu proprio will be difficult to apply in a Church which is in a catastrophic situation” (Rorate Coeli)

Michel Onfray, "The Latin Mass, a Liturgical Patrimony" (Le Figaro, Rorate Coeli)

Robert de Mattei, “Francis Has Unleashed a War: It Will End With the Full Triumph of Tradition” (Rorate Coeli)

SSPX, "From Summorum Pontificum to Traditionis Custodes, or From the Reserve to the Zoo" (FSSPX.News).

July 20

Peter Kwasniewski, “Given its foundational falsehoods, does Traditionis Custodes lack juridical standing?” (LifeSite News; also posted 7/21 at Rorate Caeli)

Inés San Martín, “The nine questions that sealed the fate of the Latin Mass” (Crux)

Fr. Raymond J. de Souza, “For Pope Francis, the Mass is the message” (First Things)

Adfero, “Bishops should dispense priests and faithful from the horrors of Traditionis Custodes immediately” (Rorate Coeli)

Clement Harrold, “A time for anger” (Crux)

Matthew Hazell, “Demanding the Impossible: Traditionis custodes and Vernacular Readings” (Rorate Coeli)

Fr. Gerald E. Murray, “Is this what the Church needs just now?” (The Catholic Thing)

Sarah Sparks, “As a deaf Catholic, the Latin Mass gives me equal access to the liturgy” (America)

Steve Skojec, “Traditionis Custodes: an Act of War Against Faithful Catholics” (OnePeterFive)

Vatican archbishop: Traditional Latin Mass movement ‘hijacked’ initiatives of John Paul II and Benedict XVI” (America)

John A. Monaco, “Some Questions on Traditionis Custodes” (OnePeterFive)

Eric Sammons, “Traditionis Custodes, Pope Francis, and Vatican II” [Crisis Magazine video]


The following articles have been added on July 21st. 

July 17

Michael Matt, “RIGID INTOLERANCE: Why Does Francis Hate the Latin Mass?” (The Remnant)

July 18

Christopher Ferrara, “ITE MISSA EST: The Aftermath” (The Remnant)

July 19

Larry Chapp, “The Hermeneutics of the Abyss: Some Thoughts on Traditionis Custodes (Gaudium et Spes 22)

John Andra, Traditionis Custodes:  A Kill Shot . . . for the New Mass” (The Remnant

July 20

George Weigel, “Liberal authoritarianism and the traditional Latin Mass” (Catholic World Report)

July 21

Sebastian Morello, “Reflections on Pope Francis’s Motu Proprio Traditionis Custodes (European Conservative) [This wins First Prize so far in my opinion—PAK]

Joseph Shaw, Traditionis Custodes and Families” (Voice of the Family)

Msgr. Charles Pope, “A Cry From the Heart About ‘Traditionis Custodes’ and the Latin Mass” (National Catholic Register) [Beautifully written and an especially good option for sharing with those on the fence or with clergy in decision-making positions]

Dr. Kwasniewski on Traditionis Custodes: Worst Papal Document in History” (extensive interview at The Remnant)

Rod Dreher, “Custodians of the Abyss” (The American Conservative)

Cardinal Zen, “Cardinal Zen Makes a Powerful Statement About Traditionis Custodes (New Liturgical Movement)

Cardinal Pell, “Cardinal Pell Endorses Statement from Archbishop of Sydney on Traditionis Custodes (The Remnant)

Press Release, “SSPX US District on Traditionis Custodes” (The Remnant)

Mary Hansen, “Hiroshima, Our Lady, and Traditionis Custodes (OnePeterFive)

[I will occasionally make further updates but the torrent is slowing down. There will be no more major updates announced as such.]

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