Below is the Conclusion (minus the footnotes) to Dr. Kwasniewski's plenary address at the Annual General Meeting of the Vancouver Traditional Mass Society/Una Voce Canada.
In conclusion, I would like to make a brief remark about the current situation of the Church. It is hardly coincidental that the tremendous moral and doctrinal crisis through which the Church is now passing, where some of her shepherds are calling into question fundamental truths about marriage and the family, is occurring in a body of believers who have been habituated by fifty years of liturgical change into thinking that the most sacred mysteries, the most awesome realities of our Faith, are subject to our control, our desires, our “better ideas,” our duty to modernize everything in a vertiginous aggiornamento. Such attitudes and the reforms that enshrined them have contributed to a loss of basic reverence towards mysteries received, such as human life, the love of man and woman, the once-for-all redeeming death of Christ on the Cross, the sacraments of the Church, and time-honored liturgical rites. If we cannot revere our own tradition, which is the result of so many centuries of prayer, devotion, piety, and intelligence operating under the influence of the Holy Spirit, why should we revere anything that is said to be a “given”? Natural law stands or falls with divine law, and our apprehension of nature itself stands or falls with our acceptance of the true Christian religion. If we desire the restoration of good morals, we must first restore the virtue of religion, the foremost of moral virtues, by which we offer God fitting worship along the path of tradition. By doing this, we signify our intention to surrender ourselves to Him as our first beginning and last end; we abandon the Enlightenment folly of taking ourselves as the point of origin and arrival. Within the safety of the Church’s tradition, in the intimate encounter with the glorified Christ who suffered for our sins, we will find again the illumination and the strength to live righteously.
Our Blessed Lady shows us the best way, the true way, the holy way. It begins with “Be it done unto me according to Thy word,” culminates in her adoring and co-redemptive silence at the foot of the Cross, lingers lovingly in her life of Eucharistic communion, and finds completion in her glorious Assumption, where she—the very personification of the heavenly Jerusalem and its ineffable liturgy—is taken up by the hand of her Son and led into His eternal wedding feast. Let us follow her with all our hearts, as we walk confidently in the Marian spirit and power of the traditional Latin liturgy.
The joy of the Tradition-minded is not diminished by the dhimmitude of the iconoclasts, i.e., those who break with the Catholic story and toss history and its treasures—wisdom, art, theology, devotions, etc.—into some forgotten tomb in the liberal cemetery. What the liberal does not realize is that Tradition only gets better with age, like a fine wine. It takes connoisseurs to appreciate such elegant pleasures which history has to offer. Sadly, we are too frequently bullied by puritans in the pulpit who hate such pleasures.
When was the last time you heard such genuine passion for the Liturgy coming from the lips of a Cupich or a Kasper, or even a Francis? We have allowed the heritage and identity of the Church to be subject to the custody of clergy and people who have no roots and no interest in our roots because they, like every absent-minded people, care only about the here and now. They are practically incapable of embracing the received teaching and experience of the Church which would, if they had the eyes to see, deepen beyond imagination their relationship with Christ, the Lord of history, and with His Church, which would allow them to see the direction ahead.