Holy Smoke

The plot against the Old Rite

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In this episode

Damian Thompson

Traditionalist Catholics are still reeling from the Pope's imposition of ferocious new rules limiting the celebration of the old Latin Mass. On Friday, he tore up Summorum Pontificum, Benedict XVI's document rehabilitating the pre-Vatican II ceremonies — and he did so while his predecessor was still alive.

Francis's replacement, Traditionis Custodes, and the letter that accompanies it, relegate Latin Mass Catholics to that of second-class citizens. Their priests must now seek permission from their bishops before using the Old Rite. My colleague Tim Stanley aptly describes it as a reactionary move worthy of Brezhnev, one that ostensibly promotes unity while actually pushing traditionalists towards schism. It's a shocking development, and the subject of today's Holy Smoke podcast, which asks how traditionalists should respond to what amounts to a poison-pen letter from the pontiff.