Restore the Traditional Latin Mass in the Myrtle Beach Deanery
Restore the Traditional Latin Mass in the Myrtle Beach Deanery
Why this petition matters
Your Excellency Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone,
We appreciate your desire to act in accordance with Pope Francis’ motu proprio Traditionis Custodes, however your November 12, 2021 decree restricting celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass to just four churches in the entire state has deeply discouraged and disenfranchised a large number of faithful in the Grand Strand region of the Myrtle Beach Deanery as represented by the undersigned. The Office of the Bishop had previously granted TLM faculties to Fr. Roger Morgan at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Myrtle Beach, and Father had been celebrating a very well-attended TLM prior to the July 16th issuance of the motu proprio. As stated in Article 5 of Traditionis Custodes, “Priests who already celebrate according to the Missale Romanum of 1962 should request from the diocesan Bishop the authorization to continue to enjoy this faculty.” Fr. Morgan obediently complied by submitting his formal request, but it was rejected by the Diocese, the reasons for which we are unaware. We – and the many other local faithful whom we represent – respectfully implore you to reconsider Fr. Morgan’s request as Traditionis Custodes permits, and to this we offer the following for your prayerful consideration:
- Your decree mentions those “who regard the Mass of 1962 as the “TRUE Mass” while relegating the “NOVUS ORDO” to a lesser expression of the prayer.” Though many of us are predisposed to the TLM for the “spiritually helpful” reasons cited in your decree – i.e.: silence, reverence, beauty, opportunities for reflection and prayerfulness – we neither challenge the validity of the Novus Ordo nor denigrate it. We simply desire that which had finally been granted to us after much time, effort, and prayer; that which was already thriving and growing, and then so suddenly and abruptly snatched away despite allowances made specifically for its continuance in the papal document.
- In Summorum Pontificum Pope Benedict XVI stated the following: “There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of the sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful.” Furthermore, a nine-member Commission of Cardinals appointed by Pope St. John Paul II to study the question of the Latin Mass concluded that: 1) The TLM has never been abrogated; and 2) All priests have the right to celebrate the TLM.
- Any personal anti-TLM views harbored by priests, prelates - or even popes – are, in fact, universally moot and wholly inconsequential. The Mass of the Ages is an established, doctrinally fortified rite, fully immunized in perpetuity against any and all attacks, including those waged against it through the whimsical or calculated desires of men within the Petrine and Apostolic successions. To this end, Pope St. Pius V, bound by Sacred Tradition of the Church, issued a staunch and sobering warning to those in the future who would dare presume to engage in such an attempt to abrogate it by declaring, “he should know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul” (Papal Bull “Quo Primum”). Your Excellency, please – if for nothing else then for your eternal benefit!
Pope Francis’ personal distaste for “traditionally-minded” laity in general and the TLM specifically is well documented. He preaches of ecumenism and tolerance of all other (i.e.: false) “religions”, yet he slams the door on his own devout, thriving faithful – those who will produce good fruits for Holy Mother Church for generations to come - and takes targeted action to deprive them of enriching nourishment that carries no expiration date save the end of time. What manner of shepherd segregates a group of meek, obedient sheep from his herd, corrals them into a separate pen, and proceeds to starve them? This is precisely what is occurring presently and actively at both the universal and diocesan levels – be it out of submissiveness, individual desire, or ulterior motive – and how tragically far such men consequently distance themselves from Our Lord, who as the Good Shepherd instructed St. Peter to “feed My sheep”.
As a faithful laity we are called to recognize error promulgated by the hierarchy – including at the papal level - and undertake efforts to resist it. Just as St. Paul rebuked St. Peter after the latter segregated and abandoned the believing Gentiles (Gal 2:11-14), we are charged to do the same today. Perhaps Ven. Fulton Sheen – among his many prophetic statements specific to these challenging and divisive times - said it best: “Who is going to save our Church? Not our bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to you, the people. You have the minds, the eyes, and the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops act like bishops, and your religious act like religious.” And to this end, St. Vincent of Lerins directs the laity to “cleave to antiquity” when a contagion of generalized doctrinal and liturgical confusion infects the Church (Commonitorium, 3, 7-8).
In closing, Your Excellency, far be it from us to “rebuke”. Instead, from the depths of our hearts and souls we simply and sincerely ask you to tend to your abandoned sheep who are rightfully crying out to their shepherd to be fed, perhaps not in a manner suitable to his personal taste but nonetheless with the liturgical food that is and always shall be good and holy. We therefore humbly request the amending of your November 12, 2021 decree to reauthorize the celebration of the TLM in the Grand Strand Region by reinstating Fr. Morgan’s TLM faculties in a manner consistent with that afforded the priests at the four parishes specifically named in your decree. Please do not allow the deprivation of a significant number of faithful of their right (and Rite) – of this “soul food” so desperately craved - to be a most unfortunate final defining action of your sunsetting episcopacy.
May God bless you, and may the Holy Spirit guide you in your consideration.
Your Lay Faithful in the Deanery of Myrtle Beach