Saturday, May 19, 2007


I haven't written much about the ever-impending Motu Proprio, which would loosen restrictions, at the diocesan level, for free exercise of the Latin Mass. The reason I haven't written about it is that I don't think much of it. I really don't think that it will save the Church, I don't think it will reinvigourate pew-warming catholics, and I don't think it will really change the social beliefs that affect the other 118 hours of a catholic's waking week.

If the Tridentine Rite is so devotion inspiring, then why is it that the generation that was born and raised with it the same ones to bring in the guitars, dancers, and EEMs? I revere the Latin Mass, I love traditional hymns, but cdl. Roger Mahony will continue to be cdl. Roger Mahony, and Richard McBrien will remain Richard McBrien. The Tridentine Mass will not change the neglect of Magisterial teaching in the Church.

Few pew-warming catholics have bothered to read the catechism, so what percentage will be proactive about learning the Tridentine Mass? They may learn to parrot the words in latin, but will they understand what it is that they're praying? More likely, they'll still frequent the 5:00 Saturday guitars and bongo Mass, and nothing will change. For the Tridentine Mass, the self-righteous traddies and the neo-trads will show, and then will nitpick the priest on his pronunciation and critique minutiae of rubrics.

Lastly, will this laser-like focus on liturgy do aything about pro-abort catholics, contraception advocates, and other dissent and deviance from the Magisterium? Not bloody likely. We need to have catholics examine what they do with the rest of their week, and see if it's worthy of Christ. Homiletics, teaching, example, and more teaching; we should be getting the hard truth from the ambo, not just the squishy and complacent platitudes. Instead of announcing the bake sale after Mass, maybe start working through the Catechism, one section at a time.

An overhaul of the current vernacular Mass would have a greater impact (and also overhauling the seminaries and many chanceries) than just allowing the Tridentine. I won't even go into the reaction of the schismatic Lefebvrists. Trust me, the Tridentine Mass won't placate them, as the defiance inherent in their movement extends well beyond the Mass; it's a cultural thing that the Church will not be able to reform quickly enough to their satisfaction.


DigiHairshirt said...

I think the Latin Tridentine Mass should be allowed at the diocesan level to those churches where the interest is there to have it be well attended. However, I suspect that the people who holler the most for it will be surprised when it is not offered simply because there is not enough of a demand. This issue has made me angry because of the attitude that seems to suggest a person is less Catholic because they may prefer a Novus Ordo Mass in their own language.

"It's Better in Latin?" Not when you go and receive Jesus with opinions like that.

Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

If the Tridentine Rite is so devotion inspiring, then why is it that the generation that was born and raised with it the same ones to bring in the guitars, dancers, and EEMs?

Simple, Jimbob.... obedience. When all that Prot-friendly/inspired nonsense reared it's ugly head, most Catholics fell back on the "but the pope says it's OK" argument.

Will everything be hunky-dory moments after the MP is relased? Of course not. Hey, it took 40+ years for things to get this screwed up. It'll take quite some time to get Catholics back in the habit of being Catholics once again.

But back to your initial question, I think it all boils down to this.... absolutes are difficult to bear and quite heavy. Ambiguity is easy to deal with and light.

Chuck White said...

When the Motu Proprio is finally issued, there will not be herds of folks migrating to the latin mass, but there is hope that it will have a positive effect on the celebration of the Novus Ordo. And there's an awe and reverence at a typical latin mass that you'll have a hard time finding anywhere else. It's definitely worship... Click here for links to Google video of parts of an actual latin mass.

St. Jimbob of the Apokalypse said...

Yes, the Mass in latin is beautiful, and reverent, but the problem among the laity is lousy catechesis and little interest in the Church. It won't matter what liturgy is practiced, if the laity is still ignorant of, or defiant to, Catholic teaching.