There is a prophetic irony in Pope Francis promulgating his motu proprio Traditionis custodes [on the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970] on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The standoff between the two 'forms' of the Roman Rite was prefigured in the confrontation between the Prophet Saint Elias and the priests of Ba'al on this very mountain about 2800 years ago.
Destroyer of Heresies
"Meanwhile, Venerable Brethren, fully confident in your zeal and work, we beseech for you with our whole heart and soul the abundance of heavenly light, so that in the midst of this great perturbation of men's minds from the insidious invasions of error from every side, you may see clearly what you ought to do and may perform the task with all your strength and courage. May Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith, be with you by His power; and may the Immaculate Virgin, the destroyer of all heresies, be with you by her prayers and aid."
Pope St. Pius X, Pascendi Dominici Gregis
Friday, July 16, 2021
Pope Francis, the motu proprio, and the showdown at Mt. Carmel
Mount Carmel was the scene of the biblical duel between the prophets of the pagan deity Ba'al and the Prophet of the LORD God, Elias (cf. 3rd Kings 18, DRV). The duel took place on Mount Carmel, which is located in the Jezreel Valley in what was then the Northern Kingdom of Israel, comprised of the ten tribes that had renounced their loyalty to the Davidic dynasty and the priesthood of Aaron after the disastrous rule of King Solomon's son, Reheboam. The northern tribes substituted the Davidic line with a series of violent coup de etats, and the Aaronic priests with men unqualified for covenant priesthood. The northern tribes capitulated easily to idolatry, and it was Ba'al, the god of nature they substituted as their object of worship. This period is the backdrop for the Books of the Prophets Osee (Hosea) and Amoz (Amos).
Elias was sent to call the northern kingdom back to the LORD, then under the rule of the emasculated Achab, who bent his will to his pagan queen, Jezebel. Elias challenged the priests of Ba'al to a duel: both would offer a sacrifice to their deity, and the God which answered by fire would be recognized as the true. Elias was convinced that he was alone in this cause, but the LORD consoled him with the knowledge that a faithful remnant remained in the northern kingdom. What occurred on Mount Carmel is one of the most dramatic and thrilling episodes of biblical history, as the true worship, while in the minority was vindicated with the power of God displayed from heaven and the priests of Ba'al routed.
In a stunning irony, it is Pope Francis who is pursuing the constriction of the tiny orthodox remnant, and proposing an audacious challenge to them: reservations about the Second Vatican Council are tantamount to a rejection of the Holy Ghost. Accept the reforms and return to the Pauline liturgy or be guilty of resisting the Spirit of God! (this conclusion is detailed in the letter that accompanies the motu proprio, 6th paragraph).
Like the naturalist priests of Ba'al, the Vatican is arrogantly asserting a claim that is either the vox Deus or a display of astonishing hubris: was the Second Vatican Council and the reformed liturgy of Pope Paul VI inspired from heaven, or men? For the Pope, the question is settled.
For the Church, the confrontation, like that on Carmel of old, is clearly couched between the ancient forms (the sacrifice offered by Elias according to immemorial tradition going back to Abel) and the new, anthropocentric (man-centered) forms which break with tradition (the Ba'alist natural religion). Could the Pope not have foreseen the prophetic irony of promulgating his motu proprio on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel?
And so we have it: as Elias prophesied, "...if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him" (3rd Kings 18, 21). And the Pope throws down the gauntlet: if Vatican II is the work of the Holy Spirit, you sin mortally by resisting its reforms.
I will not take up the arguments at this time against the sources of inspiration of Vatican II which I have detailed elsewhere. Suffice to say, we know the liturgy handed down from antiquity and canonized by Pope St. Pius V is from heaven.
Carmelite Sisters are executed by French revolutionaries in 1794 for the crime of maintaining their "silly religious traditions" that were against the "unity of the republic."