Does He Know the Mind of Satan?

October 2007

George A. Kendall is at it again. In his article titled "The Old Mass and the Purgative Way" (The Wanderer, July 19), he says, "What the Medjugorje cultists have done is to give an alleged private revelation priority over Christ's public Revelation to the Church and over the Church's Magisterium. Satan has them exactly where he wants them. We see much the same psychology in the attitude of many toward the old [Tridentine] Mass…. [They] become so obsessed with restoring the old Mass that it becomes a kind of idol, to the point where Gregorian chant, incense, Latin, bells at the consecration, and so on become more important, really, than the love of God. At that point, serious spiritual disorder sets in…. Idolatry does not consist in loving bad things too much, but in the disordered love of good things, and the higher the good which we turn into an idol, the worse the idolatry is. The old Mass is a very great good and a very great spiritual consolation, and Satan can use it very effectively to draw souls away from God."

Kendall also says, "This deprivation [the suppression of the old Mass] is, it seems, a means by which God can work with us to bring us to greater spiritual maturity [in the new vernacular Mass], forcing us to live by faith alone without the comfort of beautiful liturgy."

In the same issue of The Wanderer, Editor Al Matt Jr. says, "For many Catholics, including thousands of Wanderer readers, who have endured the indifference or actual hostility toward the traditional Latin Mass by many priests and bishops, Pope Benedict's decision [to liberate the Tridentine Mass] will be received with great joy and gratitude."

Is Kendall saying to thousands of Wanderer readers that "Satan has them exactly where he wants them"?

You have two options:

  1. Online subscription: Subscribe now to New Oxford Review for access to all web content at AND the monthly print edition for as low as $38 per year.
  2. Single article purchase: Purchase this article for $1.95, for viewing and printing for 48 hours.

If you're already a subscriber log-in here.

New Oxford Notes: October 2007

Read our posting policy Add a comment
Well, Kendall is correct: many traditionalists (as well as Medjugorje supporters) are nuts -- not because they love the Old Mass, but because they fall into the "serious spiritual disorder" of idolizing the Old Mass at the expense of everything else in their lives or in the Church. Kendall is most obviously not talking about Fr. Ken Baker, nor is he contradicting Al Matt.

Just because some Trads are idolizers, doesn't mean that all or even most suffer from the disorder. nevertheless, the spiritual disorder does exist. What's so wrong with acknowledging it?
Posted by: charing cross
October 04, 2007 04:09 PM EDT
This is silly. Kendall was not referring to everyone who loves the Traditional form of the Mass, but to a specific set of behaviors demonstrated by some of its adherents.

There is a very fine line in the spiritual life, between acts of piety, and acts of pride. Such a tightrope is the great challenge for those in religious formation, and has been the subject of writings of the saints.

Does NOR know the mind of Kendall? I think not.
Posted by: manwithblackhat
October 09, 2007 11:55 AM EDT
Of course I am only able to comment on the quotes by Kendall, not having read the whole article, but if these quotes correctly represent his views, he is a complete idiot. Of course God can use evil to bring us to greater spiritual maturity, but that does not mean that it is not evil. We cannot therefore say that because the suppression of the old mass was permitted by God to bring us to greater spiritual maturity (supposing this to be true), this suppression was not in itself entirely evil. Kendall's notion of how this spiritual maturity is supposed to have been brought about - viz. by forcing us to live by faith alone without the comfort of a beautiful liturgy - is nonsense; it misunderstands the nature of both faith and the liturgy. The liturgy is not some aesthetically pleasing optional or subsidiary way of worshipping God. It is a source of the faith, being part of sacred tradition, and it is the supreme expression of faith. So any deficiency in the liturgy is an offence against faith, and any love of the liturgy is an expression of faith and of charity. Kendall might as well say that acts of charity can become an idol that distract us from God. Posted by: jlamont
October 17, 2007 10:30 PM EDT

well said!
Posted by: conlee
October 18, 2007 10:38 PM EDT

I tend to think that the suppression of the TLM was in some ways beneficial as it saved it from the "revision" called for by VII.

Let me explain, if you read the first document of VII, on the liturgy, it didn't call for a new liturgy, as Paul VI promulgated, but a revision, where needed, of the TLM. In otherwords, a watering down of the TLM, not a brand new missale.

Thank goodness that didn't happen. Instead, Paul VI instituted a brand new mass, thus sheltering the TLM from innovation. The TLM, as it were, was saved in a cocoon from innovation by the very Pope who some accuse of destroying it; he did just the opposite! After forty years of suppression BXVi has actually revived, in tact, the TLM which would have, potentially, been destroyed by the dictates of VII; brilliant!

This beautiful liturgy, kept alive by the heroic actions of such as the SSPX, is now given back to us, whole!

Thanks be to God!
Posted by: conlee
October 18, 2007 10:45 PM EDT
It would seem that the fanatical fervor Mr. Kendall attributes to some of us who adhere to the extraordinary form seems more aptly applied to some who adhere so strongly to the ordinary form that they not only would refuse to assist at the extraordinary form, but also would deny anyone access to it. Further, many of these people expect and demand all sorts of innovations and liturgical abuses, clinging to those elements even more strongly than to the Sacrifice that the Mass is really about.

God Bless,

Posted by: mightyduk
October 19, 2007 12:29 PM EDT
Add a comment