Where do we go from here?
Over at the Remnant, under a piece I did earlier this week, a reader leaves the following question.
In the event (likelihood) that the result of the Synod is that Francis
continues his liberal programme, is anyone able to direct me to any
advice by FSSP or other traditional priests concerning continued
attendance at Novus Ordo Masses? I’ve no chance of getting to a
Traditional Mass (UK) but wouldn’t feel able to continue attending a
quasi-heretical church and certainly wouldn’t receive Communion. Last
week our stand-in Priest made it clear he was in unity with the liberals
(so I didn’t feel able to take Communion). Is there any traditional
teaching covering obligations to attend Mass etc in this situation? My
conscience says stay away and keep praying at home instead. I suspect
from reading online that plenty of others are going to be in this
predicament. Do we follow our consciences? Ironic, that, given that
it’s the heretical lot who are promoting the infallibility of
conscience! So why am I feeling guilty about not wanting to attend a
heretical Church any longer?
I think we are going to be seeing this more and more, and it would be a good idea to start developing systems by which we can help such people, perhaps offering lifts if we know someone who is without transport for the long drives to the nearest parish. Perhaps organising regional data lists where people can get in touch with each other in a more personal way than merely on the ‘blogs, to start creating useful communities for mutual assistance.I know that the rudiments of such structures already exist. Things like Una Voce, and the LMS in the UK, as well as Facebook group pages and other outlets online. These obviously must start to be developed much more.
I will offer that a long time ago, except in very unusual circumstances, like when I know the priest personally, I long ago stopped receiving Communion in NO Masses on the rare occasions when I have no choice but to go to one to fulfill my Sunday obligation. I don’t want to start a whole long and fruitless discussion in the commboxes here about whether or no one should or should not, but I would welcome the input of traditionally minded priests who have knowledge of the former teaching and practice if any…
For now, it is enough to know that there are many, many people starting to think, and even making the difficult decision to make serious sacrifices in order to orient their lives towards the one thing necessary, for themselves and their children. This is what I would call one of the very beneficial, even salvific fruits of the current crisis. That it is, simply, finally being revealed for the grave threat that it is.
At the moment, I and other traditionally minded Catholic writers with an interface with the public are consulting and working on ways to address this practical question, since we are all seeing it more and more frequently.
For now, I will offer the words of St. Basil on what people were doing to keep the Faith during the worst days of the Arian crisis:
“Religious people keep silence, but every blaspheming tongue is let loose.
Sacred things are profaned; those of the laity who are sound in the Faith avoid
the places of worship as schools of impiety, and raise their hands in solitude,
with groans and tears to the Lord in Heaven.”
Four years after, he writes: “Matters have come to this pass: the people have left
their houses of prayer, and assembled in the deserts, – a pitiable sight; women
and children, old men, and men otherwise infirm, wretchedly faring in the open air,
amid most profuse rains and snowstorms and winds and frosts of winter; and again in
summer under a scorching sun. To this they submit, because they will have no part
of the wicked Arian leaven.”
Again: “Only one offense is now vigorously punished an
accurate observance of our fathers’ traditions. For this cause
the pious are driven from their countries and transported into deserts.”