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Henry the Tyrant – Part II

by Christopher A. Ferrara
December 16, 2009

As reported on the Angel Queen forum (AQ), there has been a development in the situation which prompted my column of December 9, 2009 (“Henry the Tyrant”).

The day after my column appeared, reports an AQ poster, Bishop Fred Henry lifted his “swine flu” ban on Communion on the tongue and the Latin Mass in general, and then gave an interview to CBC Radio in Calgary.

The full interview, available here in audio format, includes the following comments by Henry as excerpted at AQ:

Interviewer: Does the timing of the lifting of the restrictions this week have anything to do with the parishioners of St. Anthony’s [the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter’s Latin Mass community] going public with their complaints?
Bp. Henry: Oh absolutely not. If it did I would have done the exact opposite as a matter of saying to them that there’s still some catechetical needs that must be addressed within that particular community with respect to an understanding of the distinction between what they are celebrating is the extraordinary form as opposed to the ordinary form of the liturgical celebration.

Translation: the Bishop’s response to complaints from the faithful would be to throw his weight around by doing the opposite of what they requested — you know, just to show those uppity Latin Mass types who’s boss. What a tender and caring pastor of souls!.

Henry continued:

Some of them seem to think that it is the ordinary form and it’s not: it’s extraordinary and it’s there by way of a special motu proprio of the Holy Father. Furthermore, some of them seemingly don’t understand… what the authority of a bishop is within the context of an emergency or pandemic situation regarding the liturgy. The bishop is the chief liturgist in the diocese.

Translation: Bishop Henry of Calgary thinks he owns the ancient received and approved rite of Mass in the Church and can ban or allow it at his pleasure, despite the Pope’s motu proprio affirming the right of all priests and faithful to the traditional Latin Mass.

Notice Henry’s strange criterion of “emergency or pandemic situation” as grounds for banning the Latin Mass. Putting aside the phony swine flu “pandemic,” which apparently evaporated between December 9th and December 10th, what sort of “emergency” would justify a Latin Mass ban in the mind of Bishop Henry, the “chief liturgist” of Calgary? A “pandemic” of reverence and piety, perhaps?

Leaving no doubt of where he stands, Henry was asked point blank if he considers himself authorized to overrule the Pope in this matter:

Interviewer: Do you believe you have the authority to still suspend the Mass?
Bp. Henry: Oh yes! In a pandemic situation, of course!...
Interviewer: And so that means that you have… the ability to overrule the Pope's directives and cancel Latin Mass?
Bp. Henry: That’s right.

And this despite the explicit direction of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that the imaginary swine flu “pandemic” was no grounds for suspending the Latin Mass in any diocese.

And so Henry the Tyrant is still very much a tyrant — and very much an example of the Jacobinical “reign of terror” that still afflicts us today, nearly fifty years after what Cardinal Suenens called “the French Revolution in the Church” began.

Only Our Lady can deliver us from the Jacobins and restore the Church to good order. As Antonio Socci puts it, the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart will mean “a clear ‘conversion’ to doctrinal orthodoxy after the frightening deviations following the Council and… a return as well to adoration, therefore to the bimillennial liturgy of the Church that was liquidated in a post-conciliar coup.”

Amen to that.