Matt C. Abbott
Pope Francis on the Latin Mass and abortion
By Matt C. Abbott
September 4, 2021

On the whole, Pope Francis’ pontificate has been deeply disappointing to me for various reasons (see here), including his treatment of the Traditional Latin Mass in the recently-issued Traditionis Custodes.

Phil Lawler of astutely writes (Sept. 1):

    Pope Francis insists that he was solicitous of the pastoral needs of traditionalist Catholics as he prepared his motu proprio. ‘If you read the letter well and read the decree well, you will see that it is simply a constructive reordering, with pastoral care and avoiding an excess,’ he says.

    But during this interview he betrays his distaste for the old rite, saying that the readings at Mass must be in the vernacular because ‘otherwise it would be like laughing at the Word of God.’

    Does the Pontiff really think that traditionalist Catholics are ‘laughing at the Word of God?’ In marked contrast with that harsh judgment, he offers no criticism of the German bishops whose ‘Synodal Path’ threatens to challenge foundational Church teachings on faith and morals, creating a very real danger of schism.

    ‘There is no ill will in many bishops with whom I spoke,’ he assures the Spanish interviewer. He gives the liberal German prelates credit for ‘a pastoral desire,’ cautioning only that it ‘perhaps does not take into account some things’ that he has explained in a letter to the German hierarchy.

Indeed. And in the interest of full disclosure, I usually attend the Novus Ordo Mass. So I’m hardly a “Latin Mass only” Catholic who rejects Vatican II.

Now, I do give credit to Pope Francis for his remarks about abortion in 2019.

From a May 25, 2019 story in The New York Times:

    Pope Francis said Saturday that abortion was always unacceptable, regardless of whether a fetus is fatally ill or has pathological disorders. He also urged doctors to help women bring to term even pregnancies likely to end in the death of a child at birth or soon after.

    ‘Is it legitimate to take out a human life to solve a problem?’ Francis asked attendees at a Vatican conference on the issue, repeating one of his most contentious remarks on the issue. ‘Is it permissible to contract a hitman to solve a problem?’

Very well said!

We can hope that Pope Francis will not walk back his comments on abortion in a future interview or papal document.

We know he won’t do so in regard to the Latin Mass.

© Matt C. Abbott


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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 2019 "Unsolved" podcast about the unsolved murder of Father Alfred Kunz, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets. He is mentioned in the 2020 Report on the Holy See's Institutional Knowledge and Decision-Making Related to Former Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick (1930 to 2017), which can be found on the Vatican's website. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome and appreciate thoughtful feedback. Insults will be ignored. Only in very select cases will I honor a request to have a telephone conversation about a topic in my column. Email is much preferred. God bless you and please keep me in your prayers!)


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