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By Martin Mosebach, First Things , 7 . 30 . 21
Martin Mosebach is the author of The 21.This essay was translated from the German by Stuart Chessman.
In Traditionis Custodes, Pope Francis has given a command. He does this at a time when papal authority is unraveling as never before. The Church has long since advanced to an ungovernable stage. But the pope battles on. He abandons his dearest principles—“listening,” “tenderness,” “mercy”—that refuse to judge or give orders. Pope Francis is roused by something that troubles him: the tradition of the Church.
The limited breathing room that the pope’s predecessors granted to liturgical tradition is no longer occupied only by senile nostalgics. The Traditional Latin Mass also attracts young people, who have discovered and learned to love the “buried treasure in the field,” as Pope Benedict called the old liturgy. In Pope Francis’s eyes, this is so serious that it must be suppressed. …