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Pope Sodano Strikes Again

by Christopher A. Ferrara

As I have noted in previous columns, one of the great problems afflicting the Church today is the ascendancy of the Vatican Secretary of State to the status of de facto Pope in terms of the daily administration of Church affairs. This situation resulted from the restructuring of the Roman Curia during the reign of Paul VI so as to place the Secretary of State over all Vatican departments, including even the Holy Office (now called the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith).

I have also noted how it is the Vatican Secretary of State who leads the charge to revise the Message of Fatima by "interpreting" it as pertaining entirely to the past  —  which is why the commentary on the vision of the Third Secret prepared by Cardinal Ratzinger and Msgr. Bertone cites Sodano’s "interpretation" of the Third Secret no fewer than four times. And it is none other than Sodano who has orchestrated the long and scandalous persecution of Fr. Nicholas Gruner, who (like the character Winston Smith in George Orwell’s 1984) refuses to accept the false version of reality Big Brother seeks to impose upon the Church.

Well, "Pope" Sodano is at it again. In response to insistence of the real Pope, John Paul II, that the traditional Latin Mass be allowed once again in St. Peter’s Basilica  —  it is incredible that the traditional Mass was "banned" from the heart of the Roman Catholicism in the first place  —  "Pope" Sodano has announced the absurd restrictions under which the traditional Mass will be allowed. As reported by Cindy Wooden of Catholic News Service (May 22, 2003): "New rules issued by the Vatican Secretariat of State in March, the Vatican official said, allow the old rite to be used under very strict conditions:

<<<The Mass cannot be celebrated in the main body of St. Peter's Basilica. The celebrations will take place in the Hungarian Chapel in the grotto under the basilica.

The Mass must be "private," in the sense that the public is not invited and photographs are not allowed, although the priest may have a small group of faithful with him.

The priest celebrating must show a permission from the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei," the Vatican office responsible for the pastoral care of Catholic faithful with a special attachment to the old liturgy.>>>

Simply incredible! The traditional Latin liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church is treated by "Pope" Sodano as if it were some vile contagion that must be kept from the public by hiding it in the basement. And what is the excuse for this insult to our liturgical tradition? Here it is: "The official [of the Secretariat of State] said the ban on the Mass in the main body of the church was motivated partially by respect for the fact that it was in St. Peter’s Basilica that the world's bishops gathered for the Second Vatican Council and ordered the reform of the liturgy."

This is utterly ridiculous. Vatican II began and ended with the traditional Latin Mass. The Second Vatican Council would never have countenanced the banning of the traditional Mass anywhere, let alone in St. Peter’s itself  —  even if the Council’s ambiguous liturgy decree gave the liberals all the room they need to wreck liturgical tradition.

What can one say? This dread fear of the Church’s traditional liturgy  —  a fear without precedent in the history of our Church  —  is surely yet another sign of the diabolical disorientation of the Church remarked by Sister Lucy of Fatima. And who imposes this fear but the very man who would do away with the Message of Fatima? Our Lady of Fatima, deliver us from the likes of "Pope" Sodano.