Fr. John Lovell believes that Pope Francis’ recent decision to clamp down on the Latin Mass was not only a major “pastoral blunder” but a “nuclear bomb” that is potentially leading the Catholic Church into schism.
Lovell told former Trump adviser Steve Bannon on his podcast that the pope’s much anticipated motu proprio, Traditionis Custodes, is “extreme” and that it indicates that the pope is “not listening to the voice of the faithful.”
“If [schism] is on the table, it’s not coming from the traditional Catholics,” Lovell said. “During COVID … traditional parishes … were out there in parking lots celebrating Mass when the bishops closed the churches. The largest growing group in the church right now is the traditional community.”
Lovell rejected the idea that just because Francis is the pope, Catholics need to obey him on all matters.
“Obedience comes from the Latin word … to listen … and to listen is a two-way street. And sadly, the pope has not listened. He’s put himself in a bubble.”
Lovell further remarked that Francis has pitted himself against his two previous predecessors, who supported the traditional liturgy.
“He basically went against Pope Benedict XVI and John Paul II, who basically said that Catholics have a right to the Latin Mass … which was the Mass before the 1960s, going back all the way to St. Gregory of the 600s, if not further.”
In his motu proprio, Pope Francis said that he wants to heal the divisions in the Church and unify it around the Second Vatican Council’s more modernized liturgy.
Some traditional Catholics have said that far from promoting unity, the pope’s measure serves as an “act of war” meant to inflict spiritual harm on the remaining Catholics who devoutly practice their faith.
Stephen Kokx, M.A., is a journalist for LifeSiteNews. He previously worked for the Archdiocese of Chicago under the late Francis Cardinal George. A former community college instructor, Stephen has written and spoken extensively about Catholic social teaching and politics. His essays have appeared in such outlets as Catholic Family News and CatholicVote.org.