Pope Francis’s scarlet letter – Catholic World Report

Consider two groups of Catholics:  First, divorced Catholics who disobey the Church’s teaching by forming a “new union” in which they are sexually active, thereby committing adultery.  And second, traditionalist Catholics attached to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass (i.e. the “Latin Mass”), some of whom (but by no means all) hold erroneous theological opinions about the Second Vatican Council and related matters.  In Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis radically altered the Church’s liturgical practice in order to accommodate the former group.  And in Traditionis Custodes, he has now radically altered the Church’s liturgical practice in order to punish the latter group.  Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter famously portrays an unmerciful society in which adulterers are forced to mark themselves off from others by wearing a scarlet A on their clothing.  Pope Francis clearly would disapprove of such cruelty, and rightly so.  Yet the cruel treatment of the community of those attached to the old form of the Mass – the innocent majority of them no less than the minority with problematic theological opinions – amounts to something analogous to the affixing on them of a scarlet letter: the letter T for “traditionalist,” the one group to which the pope’s oft-repeated calls for mercy and accompaniment appear not to apply.

Pope Francis’s scarlet letter – Catholic World Report

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