Getting it all wrong … in Latin

Getting it all wrong … in Latin

Another day, another anti-Catholic diatribe by Boston Globe columnist James Carroll. This time he’s got his boxers in a twist over the the rumors of a universal indult for the Tridentine Mass. Carroll thinks this is a monumentally bad idea. Funnily enough, Carroll praises the 16th-century Protestant heretics for first bringing the Scripture into the vernacular (which is itself an old urban legend). Maybe he’s just admitting that he’s really a Protestant anyway.

His ignorance of the Church of today and of yesterday is astounding. On the one hand he shows the typical Modernist chronological snobbery when he dismisses every Catholic prior to 1962 as “dumb spectators>” Even granting what he meant was the definition of “dumb” as “mute” it’s still fairly ignorant. So between about 100 AD and 1962, no one participated in the Mass? They were merely spectators until freed by Vatican II?

Never mind that the Second Vatican Council, most specifically in the document Sacrosanctum Concilium never ordered that Latin be discarded, only that the vernacular be allowed in addition to Latin in particular places for particular pastoral reasons. But the biggest whopper is yet to come:

The vitality and warmth of today’s typical liturgy, involving intelligible encounters with sacred texts, has Catholic parishes surprisingly full, even in a time of widespread disillusionment with clerical leadership.

That right there tells me that James Carroll hasn’t darkened a church door in years. How else to explain how ill-informed about the state of Mass attendance he is? Mass attendance in the 1960s in the Boston area was around 70 percent. Right now, the best estimates put it at about 20 percent, perhaps even less. I guess you could claim a few dozen people scattered throughout the pews as “surprisingly full” if your expectation is that no one would show up.

What English has done for American Catholicism

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli