Revolutionary to the Core
Thomas A. Droleskey
Florida, Bishop Robert N. Lynch is remaining steadfast in his refusal
to plead that Mrs. Terri Schindler-Schiavo's life be spared from a
cruel death by starvation and dehydration under the terms of an unjust
and immoral law on the statute books in the State of Florida being
used by her faithless husband, Michael Schiavo. The stirring appeal
made Monday, March 7, 2005, by Renato Cardinal Martino, President
of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, has failed to move
Bishop Robert Lynch's defiant heart, which beats with a passionate
disgust of Roman "interference" in the workings of the "American"
church. Too strong? Too inflammatory? Too disrespectful? Think again.
the report from Adoremus Bulletin that was found in a link
provided by the Seattle Catholic website:
wonder when and where the current movement backward in liturgy will
end and lead", said Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg in his speech
to the national meeting of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions
(FDLC) held in Orlando, Florida, in October.
Bishop Lynch, who worked at the US bishops' conference from the early
1970s, and was associate and general secretary of conference from
1984 until 1995 when he became bishop of St. Petersburg, recalled
the "courage and resolve" of liturgical reformers working in the conference,
who "courageously fought for proper liturgical implementation of the
controlling documents, often refusing to take no as the first response
from the Roman congregations and ultimately winning the day with a
variety of prefects and congregational staff".
Continuing his reminiscence, Bishop Lynch said that the conference's
liturgical staff "were supported by an episcopacy with both backbone
and resolve. Your speaker yesterday, Abbot Cuthbert [Johnson], was
a staff member of the Congregation [for Divine Worship] at the time
with whom we occasionally did 'holy' battle. They were good days".
Speaking of the bishop's authority to govern the liturgy in his diocese,
Bishop Lynch said, "I would understand that it is my duty to find
the middle between the law and proper liberation from the law which
might allow for cultural or local adaptations which are not in strident
disagreement with the law". The bishop deplores "pontificalism", the
"sin of symbolic and ceremonial excess", but says he does not hear
of much pontificalism in his diocese. And he adds his voice to those
who object to "Vatican interference":
"We now find ourselves in the difficult situation of taking back an
indult previously given, and here I speak of the preparation of the
gifts and the distribution of the Precious Blood. The extraordinary
ministers of Holy Communion must now be instructed that what was previously
approved is now wrong. The more astute are baffled or worse by this
turn of events. No matter how it is explained, it usually ends up
not making sense. Those of us who know the history of this issue find
it hard to explain that what was previously OK with past Prefects
[of the Congregation for Divine Worship] seems now anathema to the
present Prefect. It seems like personal legislation. But whatever
it is, we must implement the change, and I am certain we will. It
may take some time, especially if we are dedicated to the option of
Communion under both species, and it is that we must protect. That
would be the 'liturgical ditch' that I might choose to die in were
that also some time in the future to be forbidden or limited.
"We have thrown a lot at our people these past few years, and they
need a rest. For this reason, I am happy that the new translation
of the Roman Missal will be delayed. For this moment I think of these
things like I think of four hurricanes within six weeks in Florida:
Enough already, Lord".
The bishop's speech to the FDLC was published in Origins in January.
Bishop Lynch's remarks
are proof that the revolution against the Immemorial Mass of Tradition
has produced an entire bureaucracy of apparatchiks such as himself
who hate everything about the Catholic "past," both liturgically
and doctrinally, and who desire a synthetic religion that
has been "purified" of "pontificalism" (meaning
the emphasis of the role of the priest) and the "sin of symbolic
and ceremonial excess." Ah, yes, you see, Bishop Lynch does believe
in sin. He believes that the Traditional Latin Mass was sinful because
of its symbolic and ceremonial "excess." Thus, the Latin
Rite of the Catholic Church was engaging in sinful liturgies for around,
say, nineteen centuries prior to the "enlightenment" of
the "liturgical renewal" begotten under the guidance of
Annibale Bugnini and company. It is not sinful to starve and dehydrated
an innocent human being to death if circumstances justify doing so.
It is a sin beyond all telling to move the "liturgical renewal"
back in the direction of the sinful past.
Bishop Lynch's attitude
concerning the Mass is very relevant to the crime that is about to
be visited upon Mrs. Terri Schilder-Schiavo. As is the case with Roger
Cardinal Mahony, the Archbishop of Los Angeles, and other doctrinal
and liturgical revolutionaries who spit on the authentic patrimony
of the Church, Bishop Robert N. Lynch has more in common with John
Calvin Oliver Cromwell than with Pope Saint Pius V. The Puritans of
England, who were disciples of John Calvin, desired to "purify"
the Anglican Church of its Romanish and Papist vestiges, stressing
the equality of all believers and the simplicity of liturgical ceremonies
with a table symbolizing a banquet rather than an altar for the unbloody
re-presentation of the Sacrifice of Calvary). Altars were smashed
with abandon when Cromwell's Roundheads seized control of England
in 1649 after a bloody civil war. The penultimate liturgical revolutionaries
in the Catholic Church of the past fifty years or so (the revolution
goes back longer than that; see, for example, Michael Davies, Time
Bombs in Vatican II, and Father Didier Bonneterre, The Liturgical
Movement: Roots, Radicals, Results) are really the New Puritans,
full of hate for everything that is authentically Roman Catholic,
both liturgically and doctrinally.
The news story provided
above from Adoremus Bulletin paints a picture of a revolutionary
who is angry at what he considers to be "reactionaries"
in Rome who have fought the American bishops' desire to use the "freedom"
provided by the "liturgical renewal" to provide a simpler
and what Cardinal Mahony called in his infamous 1997 pastoral letter
a "de-Europeanized" liturgy. Bishop Lynch is very upset
that the American bishops had to "fight" for the sacrilege
of Communion in the hand (after permitting this abuse to go unpunished
before Rome gave its "permission" in 1977) and for Communion
under both kinds and for altar girls and for so-called "inclusive"
language in the liturgy. He speaks of "battles" with Rome
over the "implementation" of the General Instruction
to the Roman Missal. As one who thought, wrongly as I came to
understand in the middle 1990s, that Rome was going to come end liturgical
abuses that have their exclusive origin in the very fungible nature
of the Novus Ordo Missae, I was on Rome's side as men like
Robert Lynch were fighting to push the envelope on liturgical innovations.
Oh, I wrote letters. I visited cardinals. I worked behind the scenes
in a chancery office and with several prominent conservative Catholic
priests, particularly over the issue of inclusive language in 1993,
to try push back the advance of the revolutionaries, which was analogous
to pushing a boulder up a hill with one's shoulder. Bishop Robert
Lynch was a major player in attempting to fight Rome and to marginalize
bishops in the United States who were allied with the Holy See.
Yes, I have
known for ten years that efforts to shore up the Novus Ordo Missae
are doomed to failure, something I point out at great length in G.I.R.M.
Warfare. The point of this particular commentary is not to examine
in detail the specific ways in which Rome was bound to cave in to
the likes of the American and German and Swiss bishops in battles
over the "implementation" of a unprecedented synthetic concoction
that has devastated the vineyard of Christ's true Church. The point
of this particular commentary is to point out that Bishop Robert N.
Lynch believes that "Rome" is too reactionary and that it
is necessary to fight with curial officials so that the New Puritans,
if you will, would be accorded the "freedom" to do as they
want without interference and supervision. This warfare was necessary,
as the New Puritans saw it to fulfill the letter and the spirit of
Paragraph 22 of Sacrosanctum Concilium, which issued by the
Second Vatican Council on December 1, 1963, to make irrevocable the
"devolution" of liturgical decision-making from Rome to
the level of national episcopal conferences and to that of the local
I know that many who will be reading this article will not be ready
to accept what I am about to state (which is why a reading of
G.I.R.M. Warfare is instructive), the plain truth of the matter
is that the spirit of hatred for Roman "interference" in
liturgical matters is what drives Bishop Robert N. Lynch at present
in his manifest contempt for Cardinal Martino's unwelcomed "interference"
in the case of Mrs. Terri Schindler-Schiavo. Just as Robert Lynch
believes that Rome has been wrong to put the "brakes" on
the "liturgical renewal," so is it the case that he believes
that the pastoral letter issued by the Florida bishops' in 1989 that
authorized the withdrawal of food and water in some cases (and relying
upon "psychological" and "financial" burdens specifically
rejected by Pope John Paul II's March 20, 2004, statement on the same
issue) and his own statements on Mrs. Schiavo's case carry more weight
than anything that emanates from Rome, which is why he will not acknowledge
any error on the part of himself or of the Florida Catholic Conference.
Rome has no right to put the "brakes" on liturgical reform
(which it really hasn't done; nothing can stop the train wreck that
is the Novus Ordo Missae from degenerating with each passing
year) and Rome has no right to put the "brakes" on the application
of the "cutting-edge" theological insights possessed by
those advise the American bishops.
Bishop Lynch ignored all of Pope John Paul II's repeated pleas for
the promotion of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration when he, Lynch, banned
Solemn Eucharistic Adoration in his diocese five years ago except
for once annually in every parish. He was part of the cabal in the
then named National Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1986 that wanted
to end the spread of this phenomenon. The late Father John A. Hardon,
S.J., who did a lot of behind-the-scenes battles with the revolutionaries
over the years, spoke to me frequently of the demonic fury that many
of the apparatchiks he dealt with had for any form of Solemn Eucharistic
Adoration. Bishop Lynch permitted guidelines to be published in 2000
that asked whether the faithful are as respectful of the presence
of Our Lord in their neighbor as they are in the "Sacrament."
This prompted Father Joseph Wilson, a columnist for The Wanderer
and a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn, to wrote a commentary entitled
"The Monstrance Solution," in which he proposed erecting
large monstrances with glass cases that would enable human beings
to sit in them so as to be "adored" by their fellow human
beings. Mockery is really the only way to handle such fundamental
offenses against Catholic doctrine as were found in the guidelines
on Eucharistic adoration approved by Bishop Robert N. Lynch on June
It should be clear
that Bishop Robert N. Lynch hates the Immemorial Mass of Tradition.
He hates the practice of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration and of daily
periods of Solemn Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament. He hates
"ceremonial excess" and "pontificalism." He resents
Roman interference. He states things as being in accord with Catholic
doctrine that are denied by the Vicar of Christ and applied quite
specifically by the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice
and Peace to Mrs. Terri Schindler-Schiavo. Bishop Robert N. Lynch
is the living embodiment of Americanism, which is but a species of
the genus known as Modernism.
XIII was given the prophetic insight to see where the trajectory of
Americanism, a heresy which embraces all of the elements of the American
civil state as being the most suitable modus vivendi for the operation
of the Church in the modern era, would lead the Catholic Church in
the United States. Writing near the end of his Apostolical Letter,
Testem Benevolentiae, to James Cardinal Gibbons, the long-time
Archbishop of Baltimore and quintessential Americanist, Pope Leo warned:
it [the heresy of Americanism] raises the suspicion that there are
some among you who conceive of and desire a church in American different
than that which is in the rest of the world.
it raises the suspicion that there are some among you who conceive
of and desire a Church in America different than that which is in
the rest of the world." Bishop Robert Lynch considers the very
thing condemned by Pope Leo XIII, on Janary 22, 1899, by
the way, to be a necessity, and that anything to the contrary must
be excoriated and consigned to the Orwellian memory hole. He believes
that liturgical change is but a harbinger of doctrinal change, which
is why, barring a major miracle, he will not have the humility to
admit that he is helping to expedite Mrs. Terri Schindler-Schiavo's
unjust execution under the terms of a Florida law he accepts as moral
must be focused in the immediate future on the needs of Mrs. Schiavo
and her family. There will be no further commentaries on this matter
until after we return from Florida. Most of whatever commentaries
I am able to post on this site for the rest of Lent will focus on
the events of our Redemption (and feasts such as the Seven Dolors
of Our Lady and that of Saint Joseph). There will be time after Lent
to focus on the fact that the very Roman "interference"
Bishop Lynch complains about so vehemently really does not exist.
The very facts that he was consecrated a bishop in the first place
and appointed by the Holy Father as a diocesan ordinary and remains
in power despite his words and actions speak volumes about how Rome
is not governing the Church effectively at present, which
is why Cardinal Martino's clear and decisive statement was so welcomed.
Although Cardinal Martino was only doing his Catholic duty, doing
one's Catholic duty in the ethos of conciliarism and episcopal collegiality
has been in pretty short supply in recent decades. This, though, will
be the subject of a further commentary after Easter.
in fervent prayer, especially before the Blessed Sacrament and to
Our Lady' Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, that all seeking to murder
Terri Schindler-Schiavo will be converted, and that those who are
giving their tacit approval to this act of murder, such as Bishop
Lynch, will themselves be converted and petition Judge George Greer
to let Terri Schilder-Schiavo, a victim soul, live under the guardianship
of her loving parents until she dies a death by natural causes.
of Sorrows, pray for Terri Schindler-Schiavo and her family.
of Rome, pray for Bishop Robert Lynch to cease his revolutionary causes
and to embrace Roman Catholicism without delay.