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A thought regarding Fr. Rodriguez….. February 9, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, Eucharist, foolishness, General Catholic, Liturgy, persecution, priests, Revolution, scandals, self-serving.

…..concerning a possible Dallas connection regarding the demand he apparently faces to not only offer the Novus Ordo, but, lacking any justification in the rubrics of the Mass or canon law, to offer it strictly versus poplum, facing the people.  I remind readers of an excerpt from a directive of El Paso Bishop Mark Seitz to Fr. Rodriguez, as related by Father in his recent public update on his situation:

I enjoin you to celebrate the Mass and Sacraments according to the Novus Ordo in the Mission of Shafter. The Mass and the Sacraments must be celebrated in the vernacular of the people (English or Spanish) and not Ad Orientem.

I was reminded that this demand was similar to a situation that played out here in the Diocese of Dallas a few years ago.  Then, a priest announced that he would start offering Mass Ad Orientem at his Sunday Masses, and that folks had better get used to the idea because he wasn’t changing his mind.  At that time, we were not yet assisting at TLMs, but we did assist at the very reverent Latin Novus Ordo Masses this particular priest offered. We, and a number of other souls under who attended this parish, were elated at this development.

But a very strange and unfortunate thing happened.  Just a couple of weeks after this announcement, the priest went back to Mass facing the people.  He didn’t explain why, in fact, to my knowledge, he still has never given a justification for this volte face.  I wound up finding out through another source, months later, that someone at the parish had complained to the Diocese, and a very firm decree had some down that the practice of Ad Orientem was barred for this priest and this parish.  Even more, no priest was to offer Novus Ordo Mass facing the Lord in the tabernacle in any parish at any time.

At the time this all came down, Bishop Seitz was still Father Seitz, pastor of All Saints with the gay pornish processional crucifix (which, in fairness, I guess, did predate his time there).  But it seems highly likely that whatever directive was issued in this diocese, however unjustifiable, it continues to inform Bishop Seitz’ thinking regarding how the Mass not just should, but must be offered.  That is, in the closed off circle of self-worship, in Pope Emeritus’ Benedict’s words, of the versus poplum orientation.

I guess given his history, it’s not entirely surprising that Bishop Seitz would hold this view, unsupportable as it appears to be.  That doesn’t make it any more right, of course.

I thought this small historical tie would be of interest to readers. Like Communion in the hand and the abandonment of chapel veils, this massive novelty rests on nothing at all other than progressive whim and the will of a large number of bishops.  There is nothing in any formal Church document that demands Mass facing the people.  A sort of vague permission to offer Mass facing the people sneaked into the post-conciliar documents produced by the revolutionaries of the liturgical “renewal” led by Anibale Bugnini, but there was even in these never a clear demand to change the orientation of the priest at Mass.  At most, it implies the possibility of such.

I remind, as well, that declarations from national conferences are non-dogmatic and have questionable binding authority, at best.  We were told for a long time that lay people were to be refused Communion received kneeling and on the tongue, until that turned out to no longer be the case.  We’ve also been told that the TLM was abrogated, until that, too, turned out to be totally false.

In sum, this demand for versus poplum rests on the flimsiest of premises, and raises grave questions regarding those who insist upon it.



1. Carlos - February 9, 2016

As someone attending the El Paso FSSP chapter that gives me the impression that he’s barely tolerating the TLM in his diocese, I suppose.

2. S. Armaticus - February 9, 2016

You got me wound up on the homoclerics. Here is what I think. Yes, the VII innovations are all bogus. If you read the wording carefully, you can interpret them as nothing changed. The reason that any priest would insist on them is 1) he is a hippie or 2) he is bent. And once the hippies die off, only the bent will be insisting.

3. Concerned Catholic - February 10, 2016

This may seem off topic, but I hope that it will be viewed in the context of the battle between novelty vs. Holy Tradition. This is what Traditional Catholics, such as Father Rodriguez, face in today’s Church.

From Saint Mark The Evangelist Parish in Plano:


Pope Francis opens Holy Thursday foot-washing rite to women

Thursday, Jan 21, 2016

“The Holy Father broke convention in 2013 when he washed women prisoners’ feet. Pope Francis has issued a decree changing the way that the Holy Thursday foot-washing rite is celebrated around the world.

“The decree says that the rite should no longer be limited to men.

“In practice, many parishes around the world have long included women in the rite.”

1. So, in practice, many parishes around the world have long disobeyed the Church’s teaching about washing the feet of men only during Holy Thursday Mass.

2. Another liturgical abuse has gone from illegitimate to legitimate.

3. Prediction: The option of washing women’s feet during Holy Thursday will become the norm.

Our diocese and parishes are keen to point out certain teachings while ignoring the Church’s teachings on Latin and Gregorian Chant. Washing the feet of women, Communion in the hand, cremation, EMs, and altar girls are novelties but I recognize they are, for better or worse, practices permitted by the Church. But why are we so keen to promote those practices while ignoring Summorum Pontificum and, again, the Church’s teachings on Latin and Gregorian Chant?

Poor Father Rodriguez. If he would hop aboard the novelty bandwagon, then his life in the Church would be much easier. But he loves Holy Tradition. In the Church today, there is a price to pay for that.

Concerned Catholic in Richardson.

Tantumblogo - February 10, 2016

First, the statement from St. Mark is inaccurate. Or at least, I think they changed the meaning by saying the rite should no longer be be limited to men. The statement was more like I have decided to open the practice to women. You can argue all day whether the intention was for the inclusion of women to be voluntary, but you are right, more than simply becoming the norm, this will become a hard requirement more or less instantly.

Your other comments are spot on. Thanks for joining the conversation.

4. tg - February 10, 2016

I’m not assisting Mass on Holy Thursday because I don’t want to be put in a bad disposition if women’s feet are washed. I don’t understand why a woman would want a man to wash her feet. it seems so personal. If I were a priest, I would just skip the whole thing. (I was put in a bad disposition this morning when a layperson put ashes on my forehead. There weren’t many people at Mass so the priest could have done it himself.)

Tim - February 10, 2016

The priest should have done it himself even if there were 100,000 people. Heck if this is how it’s going to be I may as well burn some old palms at home and put them on myself!

tg - February 10, 2016

That’s what I thought. I always wonder why traditional Catholics say the NO is bad for souls. Lately, I get it. It causes people like me to only go to Mass on a day of obligation like Sunday and holy days. We get tired of all the novelties so we don’t go more often. However, in my parish daily Mass is more reverent. It’s only on special days like today that things happen that annoy me.

Woody - February 11, 2016

My path to the TLM included the “reverent” NO Mass that I attended every so often, depending on the priest. As time went on and my knowledge of how the NO came to be, it made sense that I and my family should attend a Mass where no matter who the priest was, it was reverent. And it was a Mass that included no innovations. It is currently a long drive to attend the TLM in Irving but it is worth the time. And 635 is not a problem anymore. Just hold on tight while traveling on parts of Loop 12!

5. CF - February 10, 2016

Something similar happened in the diocese of Charlotte last year. There were other factors involved, including the fact that it was a traditionally “black” parish in decline. The priest started saying the NO mass ad orientem. Daily masses were filled with all the (handful) of traditional-leaning Catholics in the area (read: chapel veils on women). But certain non-traditionalists with strong ties to the parish objected and a couple of weeks later the priest was gone. I don’t know the details. I believe the bishop told him he could stay on but only offer mass versus populum, which the priest did not accept. In any case, while I was upset about this turn of events and had supported the priest, I do believe it is difficult to justify ad orientem (the only orientation I believe is proper) given the relevant V2 document which states that mass should be celebrated facing the people “whenever possible”. Of course, it is almost always possible.

DM - February 11, 2016

I thought that document was referring to altars being built in such a way that Mass can be said facing the people, and that was the part that was preferred “whenever possible”, not actually celebrating Mass versus populum? I thought the Vatican had issued a clarification on this years ago.

Nonetheless, even that directive is (thankfully) not always followed anymore, as some new churches or church renovations result in the altar being only possible to use ad orientem. I think that is another part of VII that in the future will quietly fade away, or be eliminated by a future Pope.

CF - February 11, 2016

It appears that what I had in mind is from the General Instruction on the Roman Missal, chapter 5, number 299, which states (from the usccb website):
“299. The altar should be built separate from the wall, in such a way that it is possible to walk around it easily and that Mass can be celebrated at it facing the people, which is desirable wherever possible.”

So, yes, you are right that the context of this quote refers to new church construction, but the last part about it being “desirable wherever possible” appears to refer to the celebration of Mass facing the people and not to the construction of altars. Though a quick internet search also reveals that there is some controversy regarding this English translation. Apparently in the Latin original, the final relative clause might indeed modify the construction of altars and not the celebration of Mass. If the Vatican has clarified this long ago, I was not aware, but thanks for the heads up and leading me to revisit this.

DM - February 11, 2016

The Congregation for Divine Worship issued a letter in 2000 clarifying that the “desirable whenever possible” part of the sentence refers to construction of the altar and not the celebration of Mass. It also clarified that that instruction is also only preferable and not mandatory, so even that does not have to actually be followed.

Thus not only can versus populum celebration not be mandated, but altars can technically be constructed in a way not even allowing versus populum.


Tantumblogo - February 11, 2016

That’s exactly right. That is exactly my interpretation of these admittedly less than crystalline documents

6. reader - February 12, 2016

I believe Seitz is a “liturgist” —

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