Many of you will have read Rorate Caeli's post about the discussion between Pope Francis and the Czech Archbishop Jan Graubner, on the subject of the Traditional Latin Mass. The Archbishop reports the Pope’s opinion as follows:
When we were discussing those who are fond of the ancient liturgy and wish to return to it, it was evident that the Pope speaks with great affection, attention, and sensitivity for all in order not to hurt anyone. However, he made a quite strong statement when he said that he understands when the old generation returns to what it experienced, but that he cannot understand the younger generation wishing to return to it. "When I search more thoroughly - the Pope said - I find that it is rather a kind of fashion. And if it is a fashion, therefore it is a matter that does not need that much attention. It is just necessary to show some patience and kindness to people who are addicted to a certain fashion. But I consider greatly important to go deep into things, because if we do not go deep, no liturgical form, this or that one, can save us."
If the report is accurate, Pope Francis thinks the Traditional Latin Mass is a fashion to which some young Catholics have become addicted as to a passing phase. He has come to this conclusion, because, as he is reported to have said, he has searched “more thoroughly” into the matter.
I am sure the Pope genuinely believes that his research has been thorough; but that does not necessarily mean it is so.
The evidence that the love of Tradition is a deep-rooted development lies not only in the slow but steady growth of the Traditional Mass in many parts of the world, but most dramatically in the vocational fruitfulness of those priestly and religious congregations who have embraced it. It is not for a fashion that young people give their entire lives to the Lord: it is because they have found the pearl of great price.
Image from Rorate Caeli's post on the recent subdiaconal ordinations of the FSSP