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Henry the Tyrant

by Christopher A. Ferrara
December 9, 2009

The Calgary Sun (December 5, 2009) reports that “the Latin mass at St. Anthony’s Parish has been temporarily suspended by Calgary Bishop Fred Henry after the southwest church refused to comply with precautions to prevent the spread of H1N1.” These “instructions,” issued to the priests of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter who minister to the faithful at St. Anthony’s, were to refrain from distributing Holy Communion on the tongue during the traditional Latin Mass.

Since, to its credit, the Fraternity priests advised that they were unable to comply with these “instructions,” Henry announced that “he had no other option but to suspend Latin mass until health officials give the all-clear.”

Health officials? So the Bishop of Calgary has subjected the Catholic Mass to the dictates of “health officials”? Apparently an unnamed “medical officer” is Bishop Henry’s authority for this decision.

But since there is no medical evidence whatever that swine flu is spread by Communion on the tongue as opposed to in the hand, nor any proof of an actual order by “health officials” to cease the traditional practice, it is obvious what is really going on here: Henry wishes to prevent the Latin Mass altogether, and this is a way to do it.

We know this to a moral certainty because, as the excellent Rorate Caeli blog site has revealed, Henry was advised by email of the notification from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), on 24 July 2009, “that it is not licit to deny reception of Communion on the tongue, despite the current threat of H1N1.” Henry was even provided with a scanned copy of the letter.

Henry’s reply leaves little doubt of his malign intent: “I am well aware of what the Congregation decided but quite frankly, it is not their call. It is mine.” This impudent declaration must be viewed in the context of Henry’s arrogant pronouncement in another of the emails Rorate Caeli published: “Receiving Communion on the tongue is not a dogma of faith.” Perhaps not a dogma, but certainly a perennial practice protective of dogma: the dogma of the Real Presence.

But, of course, Henry knows this. He knows full well that Communion in the hand undermines the Catholic dogma that Christ is really present — Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity — in the Hosts dispensed so cavalierly, like so many crackers, by the lay “Eucharistic ministers” who plague his diocese as they do practically every other diocese in the Western Church today.

At any rate, there is certainly no Catholic dogma in the unspecified advice of an anonymous “medical officer.” But, unlike the anonymous medical officer, the CDF actually has authority over this matter and has defended the ancient and venerable practice of Communion on the tongue precisely against Henry’s “swine flu” pretext. Henry simply refuses to obey the CDF directive.

I quite agree with the sentiments expressed by Rorate Caeli: “We too are sick and tired of unwarranted episcopal tyranny, the despotism of those ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’ bishops who use any excuse to persecute us: they swallow entire ‘Modern’ elephants, yet choke on Latin mosquitoes. Or viruses...”

And so it goes in the “springtime” of Vatican II: Despite the Pope’s declaration that every priest in the Church is free to offer the traditional Latin Mass, and always has been, the Mass of our forefathers continues to be quarantined like a strain of anthrax by bishops who preach obedience to their arbitrary dictates as they deny to the faithful the liturgical patrimony they are obliged to provide them in obedience to Tradition.

Tyranny indeed is what we are facing. It is a kind of Jacobinism in keeping with the infamous declaration of Cardinal Suenens that “Vatican II is the French Revolution in the Church.” Suenens revealed more than even he knew with that devastating admission.

The French Revolution in the Church — complete with ruthless dictators — is exactly what is foretold in that part of the Third Secret which has yet to be published to the world. We can only hope that Benedict XVI, like Louis XVIII, will be a monarch of the restoration.