Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What Will Archbishop Chaput's Appointment Mean for Philadelphia and the TLM?

Already, some of the naysayers have weighed in because of this quote from Archbishop Charles Chaput:

“…I certainly want to be faithful to the Holy Father and his teaching about the traditional expression of the Roman liturgy in the Tridentine form.
“I supported that and will continue to support that.
“It isn’t, however, my personal interest or direction.”
I think the larger and more daunting task will be to bring some of our renegade priests in line and get them to celebrate the Novus Ordo according to the rubrics.  I hate to say this, but improvisation seems to happen more in parishes staffed by religious orders, although I've certainly encountered diocesan priests who took liberties with the Mass as well.  I sincerely doubt Archbishop Chaput is going to do anything to hinder celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass.  In time, he may come to feel differently about his inclination to want to learn and celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form.  But quite frankly, there are bigger fish for him to fry.  While he may have been brought here because of the previous mishandling of the abuse scandal, it's clear from the commentary in this morning's Philly papers that his name has already struck fear into the hearts of Cafeteria Catholics, who are concerned about his political leanings.    It's interesting to note, however, that the Archbishop has his share of detractors on the more conservative side of the aisle.   His observations about Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's views on the death penalty won him much derision and criticism from folks whose Catholicism is often colored by their political leanings.   This is not something that only happens with liberals.   Then there are those who want to force the Church to abdicate her teachings on moral issues rather than abandon their selfish and sinful beliefs.  One commentator has already mocked Chaput's "compassionate conservatism" because he expelled a child from a Denver Catholic school who was being raised by two lesbians. 
When will these folks ever get it?  There is nothing compassionate about watching in silence as  souls fall into Hell.


  1. As someone devoted to the Mass in the usus antiquior I often find that it is my focus when it comes to "church issues." I do know that as an Archbishop this is not the MAIN focus of his job. This is a small portion.

    So I agree with you, I don't think he will do anyhting to hinder it, and it might even see improvements. Yet, Philly has some bigger issues to contend with - and before folks say: "THE MASS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING>...." what I mean is that things need to get back to the most basic of places in areas. Even I know that you cant cut off one arm and put it on the other side of you. It still gives you one arm.

  2. Joe, he has his work cut out for him here but I'm betting he's the right man for the job. When it comes to the Mass, you get it. I wish others did.
    Thanks for stopping by.

  3. The more I read about Chaput, the more I want this man to be our next Pope! If you go to Anchoress, there are a few blogs about him, including a 40 minute interview clip that was wonderful to sit through. I sat through the whole 40 minutes last night. We have a fine Bishop here in NYC, Bp Dolan, but I think you guys over in Philly really hit a gold mine.

  4. I was wondering the same thing about Chaput's new assignment in Philly. No real Tridentine Masses in Denver so unless there is something already established in there Philly, don't count on anything be too different. As a clarification Mass as much part of the overall picture as is whatever else is confronting a diocese. Lousy Masses mean lousy leadership and unwholesome Teaching.

    We here in Los Angeles were hoping for some great things with Archbishop Gomez... but as of late, the only change around here is the name on the door. :| Those who have Bishop Finn of Kansas City-Saint Joseph, or Bishop Cordileone of Oakland, are the lucky ones. ...The continued roll of the Benedictine dice.


  5. Hi Matt
    I'm very fortunate to live in one of the few parishes in Philadelphia that offers a Sunday TLM. We are also lucky to have the TLM on holy days and other important feasts in the church. I hope someday we will have daily Mass in the Extraordinary Form, but I count my blessings every day that we have what we do in my parish. So yes, if folks were look to Archbishop Chaput to make an oasis out of a Novus Ordo desert, that's not going to happen. Also, while Cardinal Rigali is much maligned, people forget that it was he who made it mandatory for every seminarian at St. Charles Borromeo to learn the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.
    Take care

  6. Dear Joyce:

    Thank for your kind reply. I am so glad you have TLMs in your area which you can attend with regularity. To clarify a little more, we also have Tridentine Masses in around the Los Angeles area but as you may know, territory is vast out here and so getting to any given Tridentine Mass for a great many Faithful is really impractical. As for any of the Los Angeles parishes which offer Tridentine Masses, they are nil. There are parishes staffed by religious communities here and they are the ones offering the Classical Masses.

    Insofar as actually making a Diocesan-wide effort at promoting the Extraordinary Form is nonexistent at best. Archbishop Gomez has been here barely a year so we prayerfully await something more profound than has been lately.

    I am impressed with the effort made by Rigali to mandate learning the Tridentine Mass in the seminaries. That is certainly a great step forward and bit of news not widely known.

    Please keep us in your thoughts prayers and we trust Our Lord will see us through. The efforts of our Present Holy Father certainly is not lacking.

    God bless you.


  7. Surely, Matt, we will keep you in our prayers. On August 25th we are going to start to pray a novena to St. Pius X that all those who wish to have access to the TLM will have their prayers answered. BTW, the lead server at our church is also from L.A. I definitely understand the problem of access given the vastness of the area in which you live. I know there are folks who drive an hour or more each way to get to a TLM on Sunday but that's not a very practical option for most.
    We just have to keep praying. I never thought it would happen at my parish, believe me.
    God Bless you, too!

  8. Archbishop Chaput will likely ruffle a lot of feathers. And that is a good thing. I have tremendous respect for him. I have been blessed to meet him a couple of times.

    Just as a little example, he wrote an article in our local Catholic newspaper about how to dress appropriately for Mass... complete with drawings showing how a woman's shoulders should be covered. That's a little example, but it meant a lot to me.


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