Rockford Bishop Spreads the Disunity of Pastoral Unity.

Alternate Title:  Stop trashing Ad Orientem while Ignoring Communion in the Hand

The hippies win again… or:

When AmChurch Smacks Trads, it Does it With HARSHEST RIGIDITY

Word is spreading today of discussion on the Bishop of Rockford, who wrote in his pastoral letter that:

First, as I noted at that time, we are all aware of the on-going discussion surrounding the celebration of the Mass “ad orientem”. However, for the reasons I discussed at that time, and in order to underscore our unity in prayer and to avoid differences between and even within parishes on this point, I ask that no Masses be celebrated “ad orientem” without my permission.”

quote from the Bishop of Rockford’s Letter dated January 11, as posted by Fr. Z here.

It’s even harsher…   er, should I say even more RIGID in forbidding preists to use the latitude of Liturgy, and deny pastoral care for us who want such things:

“Second, for similar reasons, in keeping with Art. 5 § 1 of Summorum Pontificum, and with due regard to Art. 2 of that same document, Masses are not to be celebrated using the Extraordinary Form without my permission.”


I want ad orientem mass and I want the traditional Mass in Latin. I don’t want unity with this:

I’ve written in the past how the progressivism of AmChurch speaks of unity in order to marginalize tradition. And I’ve mentioned that for as much talk about pastoral care for the “marginalized,” all that has happened is that the children of God who love the traditions preserved for us have been kicked to the curb.

You’ll see that Fr. Z’s post above mentions those things today as well. The Liturgy Guy offers opinion as well.

Readers of the Bellarmine Forum do not need reminded that Summorum Pontificum released the need for any “permission” — that is, priests are allegedly free to say the so-called Extraordinary Form — i.e. traditional Latin Mass without permission.  It’s just as Fulton Sheen said:  any thing that has had a rightful place in the Church’s public worship (that means liturgy) always has a rightful place.

But, if we read what is written and expect it to mean something, we are “rigid”?

The Disunity of Pastoral Unity.

I hate to harp in this, but I am going to…  whenever I read a letter from a prelate that calls for me to stop doing something in order to obtain unity, I want to puke. A few years back, there was a move to make everyone stand for reception of Holy Communion and make a tiny “head bob” at Our Lord (as if that replaced a genuflection). I never complied with that. I don’t want to have unity with able bodied people who refuse to bend their knee (or, in the case of my Byzantine friends, bow to the floor or prostrate themselves) to Our Lord. If we can’t be unified in bending our knees (and our wills) to the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, then we might as well follow Martin Luther and be protestants.

Communion in the Hand Must Stop so we can be Unified

One thing I’ve noticed is that you’ll never see a bishop in the United States speak out forbidding his priests from giving Communion in the Hand. If being “unified” is so important, why do they permit that practice? Ought we all not be receiving Holy Communion on the tongue, while kneeling at an altar rail?  We had such unity before the crooked vote at the NCCB (the former incarnation of the USCCB).

Let me ask it this way:

If pastoral unity that these Bishops cite so often really was so important…  

If a bishop speaking up to enforce commonality of worship was the real motive…  

if seeing a unified flock of faithful acting in unison of public worship were the real goal…  

Then… wouldn’t we just return to altar rails, Latin Mass, and genuflecting?

After all, from all that the older generation has told me, we had that before the 60’s…   In other words, Catholics used to be able to go to any Catholic Church and it was the same.

Today’s church in America appears to be rebuilding around a different totem, however. I’m not sure what that is, given the whitewashed walls and sterile music. It’s a shame that a Bishop fails to recognize that the very people who want Ad Orientem and traditional Latin Mass are the same people who want a unified liturgy….

Rather, the hippies who refuse to kneel, can’t receive on the tongue, can’t sing, play guitar, want the priest to walk around in the pews and face them during liturgy in the round were the ones that forced every parish, and every Mass to be different…

In other words, the very people to whom the Bishops are catering are the ones who caused the things they are trying to fix. And yet, the people they keep marginalizing are the ones that have the virtues they keep trying to instill.

It is upside down world. Too bad it appeared in Rockford again.

This article, Rockford Bishop Spreads the Disunity of Pastoral Unity. is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
Do not repost the entire article without written permission. Reasonable excerpts may be reposted so long as it is linked to this page.

John B. Manos

John B. Manos, Esq. is an attorney and chemical engineer. He has a dog, Fyo, and likes photography, astronomy, and dusty old books published by Benziger Brothers. He is the President of the Bellarmine Forum.

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