Home Articles Golden Oldies Speaking Schedule About Christ or Chaos Links Donations Contact Us
MARCH 9, 2005

A Revolutionary to the Core

by Thomas A. Droleskey

St. Petersburg, 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.

Consider the report from Adoremus Bulletin that was found in a link provided by the Seattle Catholic website:

"I 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 bishops.

Although 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.

Remember, 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 12, 2000.

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.

Pope Leo 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:

For 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.

"For 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 and just.

Our attention 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.

We continue 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.

Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for Terri Schindler-Schiavo and her family.

Saint Frances of Rome, pray for Bishop Robert Lynch to cease his revolutionary causes and to embrace Roman Catholicism without delay.



















© Copyright 2004, Christ or Chaos, Inc. All rights reserved.