Monday, June 26, 2017

Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Parish in Newton to be spared, but don't hold your breath

Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Parish in Newton, Mass., the main Traditional Latin Mass parish in the Archdiocese of Boston, will be spared from the Archdiocesan "Disciples in Mission" clustering program and will not be clustered when the program is completed in 2023, according to announcements in the parish bulletin and from the pulpit. The parish was originally going to be clustered with neighboring parishes after a draft plan in 2013, but the Archdiocese recently decided otherwise. 

This is good news, but don't hold your breath. Several things could happen between now and 2023. 

This clustering plan, spearheaded by Cardinal Sean, is code for the closing of more parishes. Since the Cardinal turns 75 in 2019, and if he retires in a couple of years at the canonical age for retirement of bishops, Boston will have a new archbishop, who could scrap this program altogether. If Francis is still around, Sean's successor will be worse than him, so Mary Immaculate of Lourdes might end up closed anyhow, since most younger bishops have no living memory of the TLM as the universal norm. If Francis isn't around in two years and a much better Pope is around (even a John Paul II-type would be a significant improvement), things could be much different. If a bona-fide traditionalist like Cardinals Burke or Sarah ascend to the Papal Throne, and dump the Novus Ordo, then we can all eventually attend Holy Mass in our hometown parishes!

Iraqi Catholic Refugees saving the place?

Since 2014 Iraqi Catholic refugees who've been in the the Boston area for several years have been renting Mary Immaculate by having a monthly Mass in the Chaldean Rite of the Catholic Church under the name "Our Lady of Mesopotamia." Their mission was recently placed under the jurisdiction of the Chaldean Eparchy of St. Thomas in Detroit. 

Since most U.S. Catholic bishops are for open borders, they favor foreigners over native-born U.S. citizens. This could be a factor why the Cardinal decided to issue a stay. 

Ultimately, since many Novus Ordo parishes are folding, it would be better off to grant the Iraqi Catholic Community their own parish church and facility, just like St. Jeremiah's in Framingham was sold to a Syro-Marabar Catholic group and St. Charles Borromeo Parish in the Diocese of Worcester was sold to Our Lady of Mercy Maronite Parish in recent years. At least they can have their own sanctuary customized to the Chaldean liturgy. 

SSPX purchase?

To any sane person, the rumored SSPX regularization is not going to happen anytime soon. I doubt the Archdiocese will sell property to the SSPX or any Traditionalist order, even for more than assessed value, because of the Traditional Latin Mass and the (presumed) total rejection of Vatican II and the New Mass of the occupants. If Francis decides to do it, knowing his track record, he'll likely revoke Summorum Pontificum and canonically suppress the FSSP, ICKSP, etc., which then could lead to property transfer to the SSPX. Otherwise, Mary Immaculate of Lourdes is going to remain property of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Boston, a Corporation Sole. 

Unfortunately, because Mary Immaculate is a diocesan parish, the Archdiocese is requiring that the Novus Ordo be offered, which is stupid since you can go to a Novus Ordo elsewhere. At least the elimination of the Novus Ordo Masses would add a Low Mass on Sunday morning, but offering cookies to keep faculties is not good. 

Stay Tuned. 

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